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Proto:Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones.

At some point Tradewest was going to publish the NES version of Double Dragon III before the rights were given to Acclaim instead. Tradewest's version of the game had a very different script from the final retail version released by Acclaim, being a rougher approximation of the later-released Japanese version, but otherwise the two English versions are identical in terms of content. This suggests that Acclaim simply took the build that was already made for Tradewest and made their own changes from there, while Technos independently refined their own version for their native Japanese market.

(Source: Hidden Palace)
Hmmm...
To do:
retake screenshots with correct resolution

Title

Prototype Final
Dd3nes proto company logo.png Dd3nes company logo.png
Dd3nes proto title.png Double Dragon III - The Sacred Stones (U) -!--0.png

The publisher's logo was changed, as was the subtitle from "The Rosetta Stone" to "The Sacred Stones". The Tradewest logo is still in the CHR data in the Japanese version, but is unused in that version.

Script Differences

Opening

Prototype Final
DD3NES Opening Billy proto.png Dd3nes opening billy.png
Dd3nes opening hiruko1 proto.png Dd3nes opening hiruko1.png
Dd3nes opening hiruko2 proto.png Dd3nes opening hiruko2.png
Dd3nes opening hiruko3 proto.png Dd3nes opening hiruko3.png

The opening text in the prototype is almost identical to the opening of the arcade game. Like in the final version, the first screen varies between games modes, showing Billy by himself in 1-player mode or with his brother Jimmy in 2-players mode. In a bit of an oversight, the second opening screen in the prototype is always written in the plural form and doesn't seem to have any singular variant to take into account the fact that you only have Billy at the start of the game.

Prototype Final
Dd3nes opening lee brothers proto.png Dd3nes opening lee brothers.png

Despite this, the prototype doesn't have the now-infamous Bimmy typo when it shows both Lee brothers.

Mission 1

The dialogue is formatted a bit differently in the prototype. In the prototype, each dialogue box has the speaker's name aligned to the left and their line written around quotation mark on the right (very similar to the Japanese version). In the final version, the character's name (with a colon next to it) only appears the first time a character speaks and the entire dialogue box is used rather than just right portion.

Prototype Final
ALDO
"WELL,WELL, JIM HAS
PAID BACK THE
BLACK WARRIORS"
BRETT:LISTEN! I TRIED TO
STOP THEM BUT THEY WERE
TOO POWERFUL FOR ME.
ALDO
"THEY'RE TRYING TO TAKE
OVER THE CITY."
THEY'RE GREAT FIGHTERS, BUT
THE ONE YOU MUST FEAR THE
MOST IS...
Prototype Final
HIRUKO
"JIM IS THE BROTHER
OF WILLY, THE GUY YOU
KILLED 3 YEARS AGO."
HIRUKO:I'M SORRY ABOUT YOUR
YOUR FRIEND BRETT. WE MUST WORK
TOGETHER TO AVENGE HIM AND
HIRUKO
"THE FIRST STONE IS
IN CHINA."
RESCUE MARION.
HURRY! WE MUST GO BEFORE
IT IS TOO LATE.
HIRUKO
"DOUBLE DRAGON, YOUR
BATTLE WILL BEGIN."
WE HAVE A LONG JOURNEY.
I HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT THE
FIRST STONE IS IN CHINA.

Mission 2

Prototype Final
CHIN
"HAVEN'T SEEN YOU TWO
FOR A LONG TIME,
LEE BROTHERS"
CHIN:I HAVE WAITED FOR THIS
THIS MOMENT FOR A LONG TIME
LEE BROTHERS
CHIN
"DON'T YOU REMEMBER
ME?"
WHAT'S WRONG? DON'T YOU
REMEMBER ME? I'LL REMIND
YOU... BEFORE I DESTROY YOU.
CHIN
"I'M CHIN SEIMEI,
THE BROTHER OF CHIN
TAIMEI."
YOU KILLED MY BROTHER IN
YOUR BATTLE WITH THE
SHADOW WARRIORS.
CHIN
"NOW I'LL SHOW YOU
HOW TO KUNG-FU"
NOW GET READY TO FEEL THE
FORCE OF MY REVENGE.
MY KUNG FU IS WITHOUT EQUAL.
Prototype Final
CHIN
"YOU ARE TOUGHER THAN I
EXPECTED. NO WONDER MY
BROTHER COULDN'T WIN."
CHIN:I AM BEATEN! YOU ARE
THE GREATEST MARTIAL ARTISTS
IN THE WORLD.
CHIN
"THE STONES SECRET....
I WISH I NEVER KNEW..."
HERE IS THE FIRST STONE.
PLEASE ALLOW ME TO JOIN YOU
ON YOUR TRIP TO JAPAN.

Mission 3

Prototype Final
RANZOU
"WHAT DID YOU DO TO
MY MEN?"
RANZOU:WELCOME DOUBLE
DRAGONS. YOU MAY HAVE
GOTTEN PAST MY MEN....
RANZOU
"TRY AND BEAT MY
NINPOU, DOUBLE
DRAGON"
BUT THEY FIGHT LIKE CHILDREN
COMPARED TO ME. MY NINPOU IS
UNBEATABLE.
Prototype Final
RANZOU
"ONLY YOU TWO HAVE
BEATEN MY NINPOU."
RANZOU:I AM DISGRACED.
I HAVE TASTED DEFEAT
FOR THE FIRST TIME.
RANZOU
"I'LL GIVE YOU THE
STONE. BUT YOU MUST
TAKE ME TO EGYPT."
YOU'VE EARNED THE SECOND
STONE AND ALSO MY RESPECT.
MAY I JOIN YOU?
Prototype Final
HIRUKO
"I KNEW THIS WOULD
HAPPEN. YOU TWO ARE
REMARKABLY STRONG."
HIRUKO:IT CAN NOW BE TOLD.
I HAVE ALWAYS HAD THE THIRD
STONE.
HIRUKO
"I HAVE THE THIRD
STONE."
WE MUST NOW TRAVEL TO
EGYPT TO FREE MARION.
HIRUKO
"FROM NOW ON, YOU'LL
NEED MY HELP, WON'T
YOU?"
BUT BEFORE WE DO, WE MUST
SPEND TIME IN ITALY,
PRACTISING FOR THE BIG BATTLE.

Mission 5

Prototype Final
HIRUKO
"WE'VE DONE SO WELL SO
FAR."
HIRUKO:MARION IS BEING HELD
BEHIND THAT DOOR. I MUST PUT
THE STONES IN PLACE.
HIRUKO
"THE KEY IS IN THE
WALL."
THEY WILL OPEN THE DOOR AND
ALLOW YOU TO FREE HER.
HIRUKO
"GO AND FIGHT."
THERE IS LITTLE TIME TO LOSE.
LET US ENTER THE ROOM
QUICKLY.
Prototype Final
HIRUKO
"YOU CAN'T OPEN THIS
DOOR WITHOUT THE
FOURTH STONE. HA!"
HIRUKO:I LIED TO YOU! YOUR
FRIEND BRETT TRIED TO WARN
YOU, BUT I SILENCED HIM.
HIRUKO
"DON'T WORRY. I'LL
KEEP CLEOPATRA'S
TREASURE."
I HAVE THREE SACRED STONES
OF POWER, I MUST GET THE
FOURTH TO CONTROL THE WORLD.

The text-only screen that explains Hiruko's death is not in the prototype.

Ending

Prototype Final
Dd3nes ending pyramid proto.png Dd3nes ending pyramid.png
Dd3nes ending billy proto.png Dd3nes ending billy.png
Dd3nes ending chin proto.png Dd3nes ending chin.png
Dd3nes ending ranzou proto.png Dd3nes ending ranzou.png
Dd3nes ending jimmy proto.png Dd3nes ending jimmy.png
Dd3nes ending stone proto.png Dd3nes ending hiruko.png

Like the opening, the prototype version of the ending originally featured text copied verbatim from the arcade game. While the first screen was simply rewritten to better fit the altered premise of the finalized English version, the final screen showing the three Rosetta Stones was completely replaced with a new screen featuring a reused image of Hiruko from the opening and an explanation of her fate in the game.

The character-specific epilogues in the prototype are pretty close to the finalized versions. Billy's and Jimmy's were rewritten to be more distinct from each other (but basically say the same thing), while Chin's and Ranzou's were made more elaborate.

Unused Text

Chin Seimei's pre-battle dialogue has additional text strings in which he addresses Billy and Jimmy Lee individually. This suggests that his dialogue was supposed to vary depending on whether the player confronts him alone as either Lee brother or as both in co-op. However, Chin will always address the player as a pair, even when playing alone, leaving the singular variants of dialogue unused.