This game has a prerelease article
Hatris is a puzzle-type game starring its creators, Alexey Pajitnov and the late Vladimir Pokhilko.
Disabled Save Functionality
Both the Japanese and the US versions re-initialize the high-score table when the game resets, so your records will be lost. With Game Genie codes GAEKLKGK (for the US version) or GEXGPUGK (for the Japanese version), you can re-enable a routine which checks the SRAM memory for a particular text string ("AKIRA KOBAYASHI", present at 0x1C3D4 in the ROM) and do not reinitialize the high-score table if that string is present. As a result, you can save your high scores even when you reset the console.
Unfortunately, since the final PCB version does not have a battery-backed SRAM, this feature was disabled.
Game Genie code XTEAUZAV re-enables a "text typing" sound while displaying credits in the Japanese version. In the final version, this sound was disabled and the credits are displayed silently.
More graphics changes
During the transition from the Japanese to the US version, the game received some significant changes.
The BPS logo screen received a pretty major upgrade.
The Japanese title screen features Alexey Pajitnov running through a field carrying a stack of hats. The fence in the background also has the initials of the developers written on it. The US version changed this to something a bit more... sophisticated.
The "stage" and "shop" columns were swapped. The painting/window was also moved to the left side.
Both regional versions have two game modes. The first one is the default game mode, while the second one can be accessed with a cheat. At the title screen, hold Down, then press Start. For the Japanese version, "SHOP A" will change to "SHOP B". In the US version, there are no additional display options. Both versions display the game mode you played at the high-score table.
differences between modes
At the title screen, hold Left + B + Select. This cheat exists in both versions, but is disabled in the US version because they removed the "Credits" themselves from the game. The US version simply ends with an extra message on the level completion screen and some extra animations.
From left to right:
- The cowboy hat was replaced by the baseball cap.
- The derby was made bigger.
- The crown was given a completely-different appearance.
- The wizard hat has one large "star" on the lower-right corner instead of two little ones.
- The feathered hat was replaced by a new version of the cowboy hat.
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The original Japanese version featured a few songs that were cuuriously cut from the North American release. There is a jingle that plays when a stage has been cleared, a song for the BPS Orchestra (a cutscene that appears when a Shop is clear), and a theme for the credits that were subsequently omitted from the American release.
Unused Stuff (US)
While a lot of things were changed from Japan to America, there is some code and data from the Japanese version remaining in the US ROM.
Unused Stuff (Japan)
Early Battle Storm Graphics
Among other things, two whole CHR data banks from Battle Storm (another game by BPS) are present in the Japanese version. The only data used from this CHR dataset is the BPS logo, which never actually appears in Battle Storm.
There are almost no differences in the second CHR data bank, but the whole first CHR bank has slightly different sprites than the final version.
Unused Credits Text
The following text strings are also leftovers from Battle Storm. Both games utilize the same ending credits code and data, and as both games were developed by the same people most of the staff names are the same.
The strings below were intended for Battle Storm only, so the developers just disabled these strings from the Hatris staff script.
SOUND EFFECTS MAP DESIGN
TAKAHIRO KOSEKI EDWARD S.P.ROGERS TAKAHIRO KOSEKI SHIN-ICHI KITAMI
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