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Saturn [SS] Virtua Fighter - 30% Prototype (1995.09.11)

Tongara

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So, of course we just had the "OG Saturn Group Buy (Release)", and I've decided to have a bit of a look into the 30% build of Virtua Fighter 2.

As mentioned above, this is a 30% complete Prototype of Virtua Fighter 2 (Saturn) dated September 11th, 1995, meaning it was compiled 67 days before the JP retail build of the game (November 17th, 1995). Given it's early build status of "30%" complete, it contains a good few interesting differences.

Title Screen​

  • The first thing to note is the title screen, which unlike the final build has no copyright info.
  • No demos play.
  • There is no 3D intro animation.
30% Prototype​
Final​
VF2301.png
VF2US1.png

Main Menu​

  • Menu options are all in one row on screen, unlike the final where they are shown one at a time.
  • No sound effects play as you move up/down the menu options.
  • The options screen is also inaccessible in this build.
30% Prototype​
Final​
VF2302.png
VF2US2.png

Player Select​

  • Characters all seem to have quite different portraits compared to their final counterparts.
30% Prototype​
Final​
VF2303.png
VF2US3.png

Character Portrait Comparison​

Below is a comparison of the all character portraits between this build and the final.
To note, Kage's eyes are separate from his main portrait in both versions, hence they are displayed as such below.

30% Prototype​
GtA30J8.png
Zq64Z7Y.png
OU3twEK.png
9yZhJGw.png
PsxvGF4.png
IZjBPnD.png

YiHXLW8.png
g4UWLlG.png
IuGeMb4.png
UdRGSVa.png
pNiX9BX.png
Final​
hpnm09z.png
NylFwoa.png
VxP4SvN.png
f379Y3z.png
m3idlLg.png
gNoVDDh.png

EIEyQ9B.png
chIdSPb.png
PK5Obvh.png
0MqSvGH.png
RQspMrl.png

Loading Screen​

  • The "Loading" screen is wildly different to it's final counterpart.
30% Prototype​
Final​
VF2304.png
VF2US4.png

Stage Notes​

  • Stage Music starts much quicker in this build compared to it's final counterpart, starting before the announcer has even finished speaking.
30% Prototype​
Final​
  • Stage Music appears to play for a slightly shorter time before fading out and starting again.
  • Stage music appears to be mixed slightly differently in this build compared to it's final counterpart.
  • No "Try Next Stage" image appears between stages, and is instead replaced with the above "Loading" screen.

Player Winning Poses​

  • Character winning poses are displayed differently in this build, with the camera staying in place during this sequence unlike the final build where it zooms into the character during this.
30% Prototype​
Final​
VF2305.png
VF2US5.png

Shun's Stage​

In the arcade version of Virtua Fighter 2, Shun's stage was originally on a floating platform on water, but the Saturn version dev team couldn't quite get this to work on the Saturn hardware, due to limitations, etc, opting instead to make the stage static on the seafront with water moving along in the background for a nice visual effect.

Well, in this prototype build, the background is moving to the right (and not just the water, as mentioned above), perhaps implying that the Saturn version dev team did in fact try to get the Arcade version of effect working on the Saturn version of the game, but couldn't quite manage it, and at this point were transitioning the stage into it's final static form. Some background art differences can also be noticed.

All 3 versions are shown below for this comparison.
In addition, if you've ever seen the arcade version of Virtua Fighter 2, then you'll know that Shun's stage was originally on a floating platform on water, but they couldn't quite get this to work in the Saturn version, so they opted for a static version of the stage with water simply moving in the background... but in this build of the game, the background is moving to the right (and not just the water!) implying to me that at some point they DID try to get the Arcade version into the Saturn version of the game, but couldn't quite manage it, and at this point were transitioning to the static version of the stage... the background appears to be different in places, too. You can see this in action below:

Arcade Version​
30% Prototype​
Saturn Final​

But yes, for now that is everything I've noticed, but I'll be posting more if I see more... and feel free to add anything you guys find yourselves!
 
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Druid II

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The scrolling background on Shun's stage, as well as the existence of debug tools, makes me think that they didn't specifically try to re-create the stage. It's more likely that they were just at the point where they could get all the model 2 assets working, and compiled it as a demo. THEN they optimized the remaining bugs before the final version, of which the background scroll was one. Note that if they really did try re-creating the water effect, the raft would be bobbing up and down and the ring out would have the character falling under the ground too. And it's not just the scrolling, but the ground graphics that got changed too including some depth shade where the brick ground meets the river.

It would've been nice if they instead left the whole raft/river combo in and just removed the bridge, but if they probably tried it and thought it looked crap, or maybe the ring out looked bad.

But there's no excuse as to why they kept downgrading the character select portraits. I'm guessing they wanted it to look more like the rest of the game which has no lightning in it anywhere.
 

Druid II

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Also when the opponent falls out of the ring, it feels like the falling guys animation plays a lot faster than it should.
 

Tongara

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The scrolling background on Shun's stage, as well as the existence of debug tools, makes me think that they didn't specifically try to re-create the stage. It's more likely that they were just at the point where they could get all the model 2 assets working, and compiled it as a demo. THEN they optimized the remaining bugs before the final version, of which the background scroll was one. Note that if they really did try re-creating the water effect, the raft would be bobbing up and down and the ring out would have the character falling under the ground too. And it's not just the scrolling, but the ground graphics that got changed too including some depth shade where the brick ground meets the river.

It would've been nice if they instead left the whole raft/river combo in and just removed the bridge, but if they probably tried it and thought it looked crap, or maybe the ring out looked bad.

My thinking was that this was at a point where they were transitioning to the static version of the level and that the bobbing up and down of the stage had already been removed, but you could also be correct indeed... I guess we'll have to find a 20% build to confirm it! haha

And yes, I agree about the speed of the animation feeling faster than it should.
 

suddendesu

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Reposting from the main dump discussion thread:

So it looks like the debug menus from the arcade version are present in both the VF2 protos here, though they're really ugly/hard to see. To be fair, I was using MAME for debugging at the time, so that may be why it looks awful. I will try it with Mednafen later.


EDIT: Well, it certainly looks better in Mednafen, though the default font color is still hard to see. You can change the font color within the menus, though. The following mednafen cheats should enable the menu:

19950911 (30%) proto:

R A 4 B 0 060620c4 0000000000000001 Debug Menu

19951019 (10.5) proto:

R A 4 B 0 0606c52c 0000000000000001 Debug Menu

I can provide MAME cheats too if you'd like.

The system is basically identical to the one in the arcade version (and the arcade derivatives, Fighting Vipers and Sonic the Fighters), discussed here and here. There doesn't seem to be as many interesting options, though, and the controls are of course different.

With the debug flag set, R will acts as the menu display toggle. It also goes back to the previous window when opening multiple windows. Holding Y and using the DPad will move the active window around. The DPad moves the cursor by one step; holding A while moving the cursor moves it quickly. B and C change the values down and up by one step, respectively, and here too, holding A will change the value quickly. For larger numeric values, B and C only change the low byte, while Z changes the upper byte. Start button pauses the game as usual (the game is not paused automatically, like the arcade version) and the L button will advance by one frame when paused.

This menu is not present in the final version, so it's definitely something unique to the protos.
 

Tongara

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Reposting from the main dump discussion thread:

So it looks like the debug menus from the arcade version are present in both the VF2 protos here, though they're really ugly/hard to see. To be fair, I was using MAME for debugging at the time, so that may be why it looks awful. I will try it with Mednafen later.


EDIT: Well, it certainly looks better in Mednafen, though the default font color is still hard to see. You can change the font color within the menus, though. The following mednafen cheats should enable the menu:

19950911 (30%) proto:

R A 4 B 0 060620c4 0000000000000001 Debug Menu

19951019 (10.5) proto:

R A 4 B 0 0606c52c 0000000000000001 Debug Menu

I can provide MAME cheats too if you'd like.

The system is basically identical to the one in the arcade version (and the arcade derivatives, Fighting Vipers and Sonic the Fighters), discussed here and here. There doesn't seem to be as many interesting options, though, and the controls are of course different.

With the debug flag set, R will acts as the menu display toggle. It also goes back to the previous window when opening multiple windows. Holding Y and using the DPad will move the active window around. The DPad moves the cursor by one step; holding A while moving the cursor moves it quickly. B and C change the values down and up by one step, respectively, and here too, holding A will change the value quickly. For larger numeric values, B and C only change the low byte, while Z changes the upper byte. Start button pauses the game as usual (the game is not paused automatically, like the arcade version) and the L button will advance by one frame when paused.

This menu is not present in the final version, so it's definitely something unique to the protos.
Nice one, thank you for all the effort you've put into this!
 

Tongara

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Okay, so I've gone ahead and ripped the Character Select portraits to compare them. This has also been added to the OP...

Character Portrait Comparison​

Below is a comparison of the all character portraits between this build and the final.
To note, Kage's eyes are separate from his main portrait in both versions, hence they are displayed as such below.

30% Prototype​
GtA30J8.png
Zq64Z7Y.png
OU3twEK.png
9yZhJGw.png
PsxvGF4.png
IZjBPnD.png

YiHXLW8.png
g4UWLlG.png
IuGeMb4.png
UdRGSVa.png
pNiX9BX.png
Final​
hpnm09z.png
NylFwoa.png
VxP4SvN.png
f379Y3z.png
m3idlLg.png
gNoVDDh.png

EIEyQ9B.png
chIdSPb.png
PK5Obvh.png
0MqSvGH.png
RQspMrl.png
 
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