Prerelease:Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
This page details prerelease information and/or media for Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.
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- 1 Conceptual Artwork
- 2 Prerelease Screenshots
- 3 Prerelease Videos
Enemy Concept Art #1
A handful of conceptual enemy sketches realized by Kazuyuki Kurashima, the game's monster designer and character supervisor. This sheet includes quite the handful of scrapped enemies, some rather odd, with only Belome and Punchinello making the final cut.
- Belome - Depicted here with a fiercer appearance, circular patterns instead of spiraling ones, and with four toes instead of three. His body is also hunched over instead of pudgy, and electricity seems to be running through his head horns, suggesting he was once an elemental-driven monster.
- Punchinello - Depicted here with a more ghastly, almost Tim Burton-esque design complete with a long grin full of sharp teeth, a rounder body, a more angular hat, and a pair of angel wings. Other design tweaks include eyelashes, a third leg, an extraneous tail seemingly ending in a mushroom, and a skull necklace, which in the final game became the mask of Thalia, the symbol of comedic theater plays.
- A creature with a basket for a head complete with two little dot eyes. Its body is round and dressed in a jacket adorned with a striped bowtie. It also has wings, as well as a candy cane in lieu of legs, or at the very least some sort of striped umbrella handle.
- Poltergeist - A scarecrow-like creature which appears to be a more elaborate version of the above basket-headed enemy. It is the only named enemy on this sheet. Appears to be inspired by the idea of a ghost possessing various items, as seen by its body being made out of a clothing iron, a rickety broom, a pair of scissors, an electric razor, and an old bell adorned with a light bulb. Interestingly, the final game features an attack known as "Scarecrow Bell", so perhaps this enemy was designed around this attack.
- A tall armored chicken-legged creature seemingly inspired by depictions of Baba Yaga's house. Its head is covered in a steel Viking helmet, its knees are protected by spiked pads, and it appears to be carrying some sort of mine in its toothy maw.
- A rather puzzling mix between Studio Ghibli's Catbus and a hedgehog, featuring two long gloved arms and a trumpet emerging from the darkness of its gaping maw.
- A chubby ghost riding a ghoulish car, who wouldn't look out of place in Wacky Races. Interestingly, a foot is seemingly seen next to one of the wheels, suggesting that perhaps this specter would have lifted his car around instead of actually driving it, à la The Flintstones.
- A ghost ship inside which resides a whale with a long tongue. May have later inspired the Ghost Ship, in which King Calamari resides.
- A sadly partially-hidden puzzling creature with long chicken legs, and a limbless Koopa biting on God knows what.
Enemy Concept Art #2
Additional early enemy concept art was later showcased by Kurashima on his Twitter. While undated, it looks quite a fair bit rougher than the ones that followed.
- Blade - Seen front and center in a rather primitive form, depicted here as a gargantuan axe with a much goofier face, almost making him look like a cartoony caveman. He was redesigned quite thoroughly for the final game, becoming a solemn fish-like flying vessel, only keeping the weapon basis. Coincidentally, the supervisors of Smithy's assembly line wield axes styled after Blade, with them looking closer to this early design in terms of structure.
- King Calamari - Found right beside Blade, shown here as a squid emerging from a shell, likely based on the nautilus. It also ended up getting quite a visual lift, turning into a Blooper with its shell ultimately turning into a barrel, mimicking a takotsubo. The idea of its tentacles emerging through the floor seems to have already been considered, as seen by the doodle directly below it. A shell-less sketch is right beside the main one, with it likely being an earlier design of a more straight-forward squid.
- At the bottom of the page is a mean-looking chubby bat, not unlike the Vire enemy from the Zelda series. No such enemy appears in the final game.
- Right next to the bat creature is either an alternate design for it, or a different enemy altogether. This monster has round eyes, pointy feet, long arms ending in boxing gloves, and horns. It looks somewhat bug-like, almost like a beetle, which might explain the gloves since bug-fighting is quite popular in Japan.
- At the top of the page is a large skull. This is likely just a simple doodle, as no enemy bears a similar skull in the final game.
Interestingly, extra sketches can also be seen bleeding through this page:
- Jester - Seemingly already finalized.
- Octolot - Looks even more directly based on the Octorock from the Zelda series. It has four legs instead of six, no horns, and boasts a pair of wings (while the final design does fly, it does so by clinging onto two bat-winged Paratroopa shells as if they were balloons).
- Right behind the large skull is an odd, bulky, six-legged creature with a weird pattern on its back. It also appears to have its tongue out, which coupled with the back patterns suggests that this is a very primitive iteration of Belome.
Enemy Relationship Chart
Dated 1995 is this conceptual chart made by Kurashima. This chart aims at giving a clear look at the relationship between the game's various antagonists, which is formatted as a hierarchy of sorts. Various elements were ultimately changed, repurposed, or scrapped entirely for the final game.
The top half of the chart is dedicated to the main bosses that are part of Smithy's Gang and originate from the weapon dimension. Almost all of them use placeholder descriptive titles rather than names, meaning that while already conceived, work still had to be done on them. Interestingly, the Clerk, Manager, Director, Gunyolk, and the Factory Chief are missing entirely. This is likely due to the Factory not being a thing yet at this point in development, with it perhaps being introduced with Smithy's later design revision making him a blacksmith. Boomer is also missing, suggesting a later inclusion.
The characters in this section are as follows:
- Smithy - Shown as a fat, contempt genie with a swirly mustache, with his accompanying label referring to him as "Final Boss Majin". This term, which is also embroidered on his torso, is a concept used to refer to powerful evil entities, demons, or even genies and djinns. The final game instead opts for a monster based on a blacksmith and a mad king. Exor is also seen beside this early incarnation of Smithy, albeit with him depicted as a mere normal-looking sword. This could suggest that he originally lacked sentience, and was but a tool used as a portal between worlds.
- Count Down - Shown as a floating creature with disembodied hands, and eyes encased in the rounded edges of a giant ribbon adorned with stars. The final game instead goes for a large tilted clock with a wooden stool. While it would keep the name "Moebius" in the final Japanese version, this early design is explicitly themed after the Moebius Strip, a surface which, if it were to be walked on, could theoretically have both its sides explored without ever crossing an edge. Thus, Count Down's eyes would be able to roll all the way around without any issue.
- Hypnotizing Priest - A completely scrapped character who appears to be a floating, grinning cloaked figure with a spearhead in lieu of a nose. Is listed with "Cane" (or "Staff") beside his name, which is likely what he would have used to hypnotize people. Not much is known about this character, except that he would have seemingly been tied to Domino and Cloaker, and that he would have looked over the "Hypnotized Grunts" enemy group detailed further down.
- Cloaker and Domino - Cloaker is shown with a radically different, more intimidating design, with it featuring a cape, a sharp V-shaped torso, and large shoulder pads with eerie eyes on them. The final game instead opts for a goofy bottle-shaped mustached monster wielding a scimitar and shield. Domino, meanwhile, is essentially the same, albeit lacking the "hookah tip" ponytail. The duo is labeled as "Bodyguards" as well as "Choice Boss", a possible reference to the mechanic behind their boss fight in the final game. They very likely already had a connection with Mad Adder/Earthlink, beside which they stand here, though it's unclear if that's what they were the bodyguards of, or if they protected the Priest much like how Boomer guards Exor in the final game.
- Mack - Only referred to here as "Sword Boss (Terror)", with the latter aspect perhaps a reference to how Mack terrorizes the Mushroom Kingdom with his army. Design-wise, the eyes on the pogo-sword are lower, the spring is missing, and Mack's face is completely different, lacking the jack o' lantern smile and triangular eyes, having ears instead of eyes, and wearing a little crown.
- Bowyer - Only referred to here as "Bow Boss (Betrayal)", with the latter aspect being quite unclear as to what it could refer to, perhaps being a reference to a scrapped story bit. Design-wise, Bowyer lacks his hair, shoulder and hip pads, gloves, eyebrows, and lips.
- Yaridovich - Only referred to here as "Spear Boss (Hatred)", with the latter aspect being quite unclear as to what it could refer to, perhaps being a reference to an earlier characterization. In comparison, Yaridovich is more arrogant than hateful in the final game. Design-wise, his head is shaped differently, and so is his torso.
- Blade - Seen carrying the Axem Rangers. Only referred to here as "Axe Boss (Destruction), with the latter aspect perhaps a reference to its mighty destructive Breaker Beam attack. Design-wise, the main body is much more simplistic, lacking the mouth and much of the detailing.
The bosses and enemies encountered in the Mushroom Kingdom, this section taking up much of the chart. First and foremost, worth noting is the relation between the four bosses listed here and the four members of Smithy's Gang. This relation was likely just a question of worldly parallels, as in the final game aside from Yaridovich and Jonathan Jones no pairs ever interact with one another (and even then these two are rivals). Moreover, it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense for Bowser and Blade to be linked for example. The characters in this section are as follows:
- The Clown Bros. - Similar, though with Knife Guy being shown as a sword-swallower, while Grate Guy is seen as a dagger juggler. In the final game, Knife Guy became the juggler and Grate Guy became a more standard clown with a spring-loaded body and riding a circus ball.
- Valentina - Has quite a different design, with her having a smaller frame, a layered dress, and being seen wielding a bow. The final game ditched the bow and went with a more statuesque, femme-fatale Valentina. Unsurprisingly, she was linked with Dodo from her very creation.
- Jonathan Jones - Identical to final aside from an extraneous scar on his right eye.
- Bowser - Identical to final, aside from him wielding an axe. In the final game, his weapon of choice is the ball and chain.
- Booster and Croco - Listed on the side in an unnamed section which was likely intended for minor antagonists. Booster is shown as wielding a mace, whereas he lacks any sort of weapon in the final game. When it comes to design, Booster has more exaggerated horns on his helmet, while Croco has a smaller hat and a scarf. Both characters are appropriately listed as "Idiot" and "Thief".
Interestingly, there exists a section which lists "Guardian Deities", or quite literally bosses which would reside in a given place, and were not associated with Smithy's Gang. The characters in this section are as follows:
- King Calamari - Identical to final. Appropriately said to reside in the Ocean, more specifically the Sunken Ship in the game.
- Punchinello and Belome - Identical to final. Said to reside in a Dungeon, though only Belome resides in one in the final game, with it being either Kero Sewers or Belome Temple. Punchinello, meanwhile, was instead moved to Moleville's mountain mine. These two are interestingly listed as being close friends, something never explored in the final game, but is seen by the two being depicted side by side in another piece of Kurashima concept art.
- Gas Boss - A monster which appears to be some sort of hat-wearing, cloud-like creature connected to an air pump, with its belly-button shown as an outie to evoke the idea of it being inflated. It lacks any location label, and it's unknown if it lacked any or if it was another Dungeon boss. Might have later been reworked into the optional boss Mokura.
- Sahon - A scrapped cactus boss which still partially exists in the final game. Is described here as living in the Desert, though it appears to have later been moved to the mountainside of Land's End before ultimately being cut (though this area does actually feature a desert). It is seemingly able to summon miniature copies of itself, which here are referred to as "Hoten".
- Hydra - A scrapped boss which appears to be some sort of long serpentine googly-eyed creature with a large beak-like mouth. It is seen as rushing through something, though the lack of any location label makes it unclear as to what it could have been. Its proximity with Sahon could perhaps make it another desert boss, thus making it a sandworm.
- Sol - The last of the scrapped bosses from this group. A scrapped ghastly boss which would have resided in a Volcano, likely Barrel Volcano. Actually appears to be an earlier iteration of Czar Dragon, with its undead appearance ultimately being reworked into Zombone, which is present beside Sol on this sheet. Interestingly, right next to this boss is a Pyrosphere with the name "Sun Child" and the mention that it is captive. This is likely a scrapped story aspect, suggesting that perhaps a group of Pyrospheres were corrupted and turned into Sol. This could be supported by the final game having the Czar Dragon being made out of Pyrospheres.
The remainder of this chart is comprised of secondary bosses, which are shown as overseeing groups/types of enemies, giving us an interesting look at the game's early design process. Characters like the Hammer Bros, Bundt and Chef Torte, or Birdo being missing is likely due to them only being created due to story rewrites.
The characters in this section are as follows:
- The Priest oversees the "Hypnotized Grunts" group, which is composed of Magikoopas, Shy Guys, and Shamans. This group is described as being composed of Mushroom Kingdom denizens which were brainwashed, though in the final game only Kamek ends up explicitly being brainwashed. Shy Guys are instead seemingly depicted as willingly working for Smithy, whereas Shamans are quite literally doing their own thing. Interestingly, the Magikoopa enemy is known as "Kamek" instead of "Kamezard". Interestingly, an entry named カメック (Kamek) still exists in the final game, unseen as it is assigned to the Magikoopa in the game's intro (this entry later being renamed "Merlin" in the localized version). As for the Shaman, it also has an early name, which here is a misspelling of "Magician", with one character missing (the final game instead opts for the word "Spell"). There's also unused palette data for four recolors of the Shaman, suggesting it may have very well once had a bigger impact on the story.
- Dodo is identical to final, and oversees the "Flying Grunts" group. Interestingly, this group was originally associated with a scrapped two-headed bird boss named "Noisy Bandam", which was ultimately replaced by Dodo. Of all three enemies listed below, only Birdy would make the final cut, with it being listed beside two cut enemies, which resemble a peacock and some sort of gargoyle respectively.
- Megasmilax is shown with way more heads, more akin to actual real-life carnivorous plant clusters. It oversees the "Plant Grunts" group, which is composed of Piranha Plant, Amanita, and Snapdragon.
- Zombone is identical to final, and oversees the "Undead Grunts" group, which is composed of Dry Bones, Greaper, Hobgoblin, Mastodoom, and the Big Boo.
- Jinx is interestingly shown here as an antagonist it seems, while in the final game he is instead a good guy. He oversees the "Puzzling Grunts" group, which is fittingly comprised of toy-like enemies (aside from Octolot). Present here are Jester, Remo Con, and Octolot, alongside a scrapped enemy which resembles a cannon from which emerges a head with a goofy smile full of uneven teeth, complete with swirl eyes and firework rockets in lieu of ears.
- Lastly, there is a scrapped boss known only as "Dark Actor" consisting only of an odd dark silhouette. It's unclear if this was a placeholder or if that was the intended appearance of this creature. Regardless, it oversees the "Shadow Grunts" group, which is only comprised of a much less intimidating Shadow, and an unrefined Orb User.
Enemy Concept Art #3
Yet some more concept art showcased by Kurashima. It appears to be from a more recognizable stage of development, though some interesting differences still remain.
Conceptual artwork of Bundt, Chef Torte and his apprentice. Here, Bundt is shown with only four candles, as opposed to the final game's five.
A concept page of Exor, complete with a model sheet and a sketch of his battle arena. Worth noting in the lower right corner is an alternate battle pose for Exor, with his hands reaching outward. Meanwhile, in the final game his crossguard hands never move, and neither are they used as a means of attack. This idea was likely dropped due to making the battle too complicated, as the played would have had to balance fighting Exor's two hands, both of his eyes, his mouth, and his hilt.
A pretty standard piece of concept are depicting Mad Adder and its arena, as well as a now finalized Domino. What isn't standard, however, is the presence of the cut "Hypnotizing Priest" character, revealing that he managed to stick around for longer than originally thought. Given the fact he sits in the back of the arena, it's likely he would have offered buffs to Domino and Mad Adder, or perhaps even tried to attack the player and their team.
A small handful of cut enemy concept sketches, including a stern boar/pig head, and a giant distressed snail. Also shown here is a head doodle, which vaguely looks like Bowyer.
Character Concept Art
A known total of four separate concept art sketches were drawn up for Geno. Interestingly, all of the designs feature Geno with a sword. The final game instead opts for finger guns as his main weapon and an elbow cannon as his alternate one.
- The first-listed design seemingly depicts him as a tall knight with wild hair and a face mask, as well a Super Star emblem on his belt piece. Geno is also seen here with a wind-up key, something which was later ditched as he was made more akin to a wooden doll, though interestingly his hood does feature a pattern resembling a wind-up key, likely a nod or carry over from this early design.
- The second-listed design is similar to the first, only with wilder hair, the star emblem being moved to his chest with the eyes removed, the wind-up key being removed, the hip piece now featuring a tail, and the sword having a more elaborate design.
- In the third-listed design, while this iteration retains a similar sword design, also features a cape, hat, more protruding hair, and longer legs. The clothing choice is notably similar to his final's. Worth noting is also the already more artificial-looking body, with feet more akin to mechas. This design was also used in a preliminary animation test.
- The fourth-listed design, proportion-wise is similar to Geno's final design. He has sharper eyes, what seems to be either a different hat and/or hair, a face mask, and once again a sword which seems seems similar in size to the second-listed concept art.
We can see use of the third-listed concept art design in a short looped test sprite animation for Geno, revealed by the game's character designer, Kazuyuki Kurashima.
Famimaga '96 No.3
The graphics for Geno's Geno Whirl (Geno Cutter in Japan) move once had a blue crescent design, instead of the yellow/orange saw shape of the final.
V-Jump Festival '95
- Mario has a different sprite that is notably missing the 'M' emblem on his hat.
- An early version of the Bowser's Castle and Mushroom Kingdom battlefields are shown. An unknown area is also seen in this footage, presumably intended for a boss fight.
- The Forest Maze is not as foresty, lacks a lot of its color, has a darker palette, and happens to have a fog-like substance on the ground.
- Yo'ster Isle is much larger and lacks a racetrack (probably meaning it was a petting zoo at first).
- Mushroom Way includes a Buzzer. Buzzers aren't normally seen until the Forest Maze.
- Nimbus Land features different signs for the buildings, differently styled doorways, and a full staircase to the castle of royalty. It also has more flora and flower-like towers.
- The Sky Troopa has a different Koopa Kid-like head, before being changed to resemble a Koopa Troopa.
- Blue Magikoopas would've appeared as enemies.
- Moleville has a cloud-filled foreground and removed the blue static seen in the factory's foreground.
- Nimbus Castle's interior is more green than the final game. The room where Dodo cleaned Valentina's statues were depicted as different shades of pink. It was also completely flipped horizontally in the final version.
- Melody Bay's composition area is much longer.
- Mario's Pad is much larger and featured a treasure chest producing a green 1UP Mushroom-like mushroom. A pair of Terrapins also guarded the exit.
- Mario's house even changed. It was originally named the Pipe House.
Square Special Video
- A lot of songs heard in this video are different, such as the Pipe House theme being lower-pitched.
- Geno's hat is slightly larger than the final game
- The Geno Flash attack is colored rainbow and has a different face that strikingly resembles Kirby's face.
- The Snowy attack has a slightly simpler snowman design and…no snow.
- The Shocker attack comes in an angle and looks a bit different than the final game.
- The Crush attack lacks the Mecha-Koopa's color seen in the final version, sporting a grayscale look instead.
- There are a number of enemies that aren't in the right area or battlefield.
Game Catalogue 2 - September 23, 1995
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