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Metal Slug (Neo Geo)

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Title Screen

Metal Slug: Super Vehicle-001

Developer: Nazca
Publisher: SNK
Platform: Neo Geo
Released in JP: February 23, 1996 (MVS), April 2, 1996 (AES)
Released in US: April 2, 1996
Released in EU: April 2, 1996


GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.


Hmmm...
To do:
Get more of the unused graphics. They can be found from this website: http://randomhoohaas.flyingomelette.com/msmia/1/ug.html

Originally conceptualized as a game where you control the titular Metal Slug alone, the game wasn't received well during the location testing. Nazca went back to the drawing board and decided to add human players into the mix as well. This transition wasn't as smooth as it could've been, however and a bunch of stuff was left unused. But that's why we're here, right?

Debug Dipswitches

Present in all the sequels is the Debug Menu. Unlike the sequels, the debug menu is completely different in presentation. However, there are some debug features that can be enabled by toggling the debug dipswitches:

Bit DIP 1 DIP 2
1 Unknown Show screen debug data
2 Unknown Unknown
3 Unknown Unknown
4 Unknown Players are invincible
5 Unknown Show debug data for tanks
6 Unknown Jumping disabled
7 Unknown Unknown
8 Players can move after boss is defeated Unknown

DIP 2, Bit 1: Screen Debug Data

MS-debugdata.png
This will show 7 4-digit hex numbers whom indicate.
  • The set beneath the Player 2 HUD denotes on-screen enemies, though it doesn't seem to recognize some foes, particularly endlessly-spawning enemies.
  • The small green marker is where the player will respawn. MS-debugcrosshair.gif
  • The coordinates on the left-side tracks how much of the level has been traveled.
  • The center-top and center-middle values record horizontal screen coordinates.
  • The rightmost value record vertical screen coordinates.
  • The center-bottom values are yet to be identified.

This will give the access to a primitive version of the later games' VIEW GEO SCROLL by pressing either combination of buttons simultaneously: A and D or B and D, with the latter having different colors and tiles. Pressing C and D will disable it.

Accessing this dipswitch also enables sound test and level select by holding Up and pressing D. For level select, the options can be scrolled through with the B button, and then confirm selection with the A button.

DIP 2, Bit 4: Invincibility

This dipswitch enables invincibility for the player and the Metal Slug, at the consequence of the HUD not updating ammo, bombs and score. Even if this switch is turned off, players cannot advance to the next level thus necessitating level select listed above.

DIP 2, Bit 5: Tank Tread Debug Data

MS-debugveicle1.png
MS-debugveicle2.png
This dipswitch specializes in tank tread physics, displaying coordinates and graphical indicators to the Metal Slug and the Girida-O tanks. The coordinates remain until either one or both is on-screen, and will cease operations once it leaves the screen or is destroyed.

The coordinates and their purpose are shown below.

  • Unknown
  • Unknown
  • X coordinate of the first sphere
  • X coordinate of the second sphere
  • X coordinate of the third sphere
  • Y coordinate of the first sphere
  • Y coordinate of the second sphere
  • Y coordinate of the third sphere

This will also show 3 sprites under any Metal Slug and Girida-O's thread, which will determine the tank sprite rotation amount while walking on a vertical drop. In that case, the 3 sphere sprites will result misaligned and the Metal Slug sprite colors will become brighter, except the Vulcan.

When jumping, the 3 spheres sprites will automatically align, while the Metal Slug sprite will return his normal palette and the 2 sphere sprites on the ends will change their color to black. When it lands, if there is a sphere which is not touching the ground, it will change its colors to brighter ones.

If there is a Girida-O in the screen, it will also show its 3 sphere sprites and the debug values will point to them in place of the Metal Slug's ones. However, the Girida-O palette won't change when its spheres get misaligned.

Unused Graphics

Careful, you'll lose an eye.
This page or section needs more images.
There's a whole lotta words here, but not enough pictures. Please fix this.

Player Characters

At one point, the playable characters were to be more flexible with varied movements. This was axed for a simpler yet smooth set - and despite not used at all they all appear repeatedly in later games, to the extent that the same animation is made for other new playable characters and they still remain completely unused. Someone in the company seems to not want to let it go.

Shooting Backwards

Ms-marcoshoot.gif Ms-marcoshooth.gif Ms-marcoshooth2.gif Ms-marcoshooth3.gif
Ms-tarmashoot.gif Ms-tarmashooth.gif Ms-tarmashooth2.gif Ms-tarmashooth3.gif

Technically, these were used in the game. It is obscured by the stage title call. In missions where you drop into the area via parachute, hold left and fire. Arcade version only allows pistol starts, but console ports on the Saturn and PSX has an option that allows you to keep your weapon after stages, allowing them to be seen.

These were redrawn and re-purposed for the helper NPC Achilles in Metal Slug 5 and even so he is unused in the proper game.

Alternate Throwing

Ms-marcothrow1.gif Ms-marcothrow2.gif Ms-marcothrow3.gif Ms-marcothrow4.gif Ms-marcocthrow1.gif Ms-marcocthrow2.gif
Ms-tarmathrow1.gif Ms-tarmathrow2.gif Ms-tarmathrow3.gif Ms-tarmathrow4.gif Ms-tarmacthrow1.gif Ms-tarmacthrow2.gif

Lobbing grenades, front, backwards and backwards with weapon extended. Only the second and fourth sets are used for each character with the same method of shooting backwards, again, obscured by stage title call. Marco's first throwing animation finally sees its use in Metal Slug Attack.

The later new characters would receive their animations for the alternate crouch throw... and it remains unused.

Alternate Turning

Ms-marcoturn1.gif Ms-marcoturn2.gifMs-marcoturn3.gif Ms-marcoturnh1.gifMs-marcoturnh2.gif Ms-marcoturnhs5.gif Ms-marcoturnhs4.gif Ms-marcoturnhs3.gif Ms-marcoturnhs2.gif Ms-marcoturnhs1.gif

Ms-tarmaturn1.gif Ms-tarmaturn2.gifMs-tarmaturn3.gif Ms-tarmaturnh1.gifMs-tarmaturnh2.gif Ms-tarmaturnhs5.gif Ms-tarmaturnhs4.gif Ms-tarmaturnhs3.gif Ms-tarmaturnhs2.gif Ms-tarmaturnhs1.gif

These simply won't appear in the game proper, possibly on how overly complicated they all look.

Looking Up

Ms-marcoupts.gif Ms-marcouph.gif Ms-marcoup.gif

Ms-tarmaupt.gif Ms-tarmaupts.gif Ms-tarmauph.gif Ms-tarmaup.gif

Supposedly turning around while firing was to be smoother.

Enemies

Startled Soldier

MS-StartledSoldier.gif

A weird sprite of an enemy soldier with a distinct uniform. Judging from the way how they pop up from the bottom (this sprite has copies in 32 directions) they might be the sidecar riders... except that the one used in-game doesn't match the uniform of this one.

Grenade Soldiers

MS-soldierpipe1.gif MS-soldierpipe2.gif MS-soldierpipe3.gif

Soldiers throwing grenades similar to those used by the players, a remnant of the early location tests where freed soldiers will tag along and help.

Ms-runninggrenade.gif

An exclusive remnant of the said prototype, where allied soldiers will throw pipe grenades while running, whereas regular infantries will stop to throw grenades. No pineapple grenade of this sprite exists.

Prisoner Soldiers

MS-PrisonerSoldier1.gif MS-PrisonerSoldier2.gif MS-PrisonerSoldier3.gif MS-PrisonerSoldier4.gif MS-PrisonerSoldier5.gif MS-PrisonerSoldier6.gif

These were partially reused in the console ports and fully redrawn to be used for the captured Regular Army trainees in Metal Slug Advance.

Turret Soldier

Soldiers manning a mounted weapon. Early previews show that they use the same mounted gun as you do in Mission 6 as allied soldiers, and these later get used for Sea Satan's mounted gun in Metal Slug 4.

MS-turret1.gif MS-turret2.gif

The AA turret is not the only turret they use, as there are two gun emplacements - a machine gun and a missile launcher. The former is static while the latter have rotations for five directions. Their sprites fit nicely on the Mission 1's Tetsuyuki's wings, and it can be used by enemy soldiers against the player, and against the boss itself if it was hijacked by friendly soldiers.

Diagonal Floating Soldier

MS-floatingsoldier2.gif MS-floatingsoldier.png

The enemy itself is actually used, but it appears to have 2 unused animations and a frame. The animations are practically identical to those used for floating and firing, except the fact that the bazooka is aiming diagonally.

(Source: http://www.spriters-resource.com/arcade/ms/sheet/26745/)

Vehicles

KT-21

Ms-protoslug.gif Ms-shellproto.gif

This tank, named as the KT-21 from the game's concept arts survived long enough to have a good set of animations. Its animations make it seem to be the prototype of the Di-Cokka. A fired shell exclusive to itself exists, which is similar to the unused Di-Cokka shell.

Armored Vehicle

Ms-carfall2.gifMs-carfall1.gif

A vehicle with sandbags and appears to be falling. A destroyed version of it exists too.

Items and NPCS

Elk

Ms-deer.gif

Would be fitting for Mission 3 or the ending sequence.

Kid

MS-kid1.gif MS-kid2.gif MS-kid3.gif

These kids show up in all games, and yet didn't show up in the game at all proper.

Female Civilians

MS-Womanzpalette.gif

Only one frame each.

Metal Slug's vulcans

MS-vulcan1.gif MS-vulcan2.gif

The vulcan guns, detached and still sparking before landing on ground (or water) before exploding. In game, they spark in blue and explode in mid-air instead.

Parachutes

Ms-unusedparachute.png

Parachutes with clamps - probably for parachuting in Metal Slugs but it was never used.

Cannon Shell

MS-Shelltiger.gif

A fired cannon shell, found between the tiles for Girida-O and Iron Iso. Neither do the two use this kind of shell but at least the former can fire it in multiple angles.

MS-Shelltiger2.gif

This one is found close to the Di-Cokka's tiles. Originally that tank were to fire this shell than fireballs, as shown in various early footages of the original build of the game. This is similar to the unused tank's projectile detailed above.

Early Turret

MS-turretold1.gifMS-turretold2.gifMS-turretold3.gif

Early turret used by friendly soldiers in Mission 6 has only one ammo box and three rotations. The final version has two ammo boxes with one on each sides, and has more rotations.

Bullet Casing

MS-bulletcase.gif

Discarded bullet casing. Early prototype screenshot shows that the machine gun turret in Mission 6 and the vulcans would originally eject these casings. This would be later used for soldiers with miniguns in later games and then the Slug Gunner in Metal Slug 5.

Rotating Balls

Ms-ball1a.gif Ms-ball1b.gif Ms-ball2a.gif Ms-ball2b.gif

Translucent balls with roman numerals in it. The static ones are used for debug features described above.

Miscellaneous

This should have been shown in the title screen in conjunction with the unused soundbyte below, but they don't. They appear to be animated to rotate as well.

It even has unused sound found at 0x002C identifier, which means it was to be used with the logo. This sound can be listened by using the Neo Geo UniBios, and can also be heard in the first track of Metal Slug Complete Sound Box OST.

S, G, H and M icons

MS-sgmh.gif

Seems to be early pick-up sprites of the special weapons.

Grenade-Juggling Monkey

MS-loadingmonkey.gif

This monkey is unused in the arcade version, but shows up in the console ports as a part of the loading screen. Its latest appearance is in Metal Slug Attack, as a loading screen element.

HUD Elements

MS-hud-slug.gif

Technically this is used in the AES version as the cursor for the main menu. Originally its purpose was to be the life counter indicator for the early test version where you only played as the tank.

MS-hud-bar.gif

This is the health bar for the slug, again from the early test version. Final version uses a single bar that's filled with a single color.

Region-exclusive Messages

Depending on what BIOS is used, the message shown at startup will be different.

US (MVS) Japan
The message seen almost everywhere William S. Session? Who's that?


(Source: A special thanks to randomhoohaas.flyingomelette.com for a majority of the unused graphics found.)