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Proto:Gex (3DO)

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Gex (3DO).

Hmmm...
To do:
  • Document level, map, power-up and boss differences, or at least for ones that still have existing data.
  • Document the scrapped Dragonfly power-up.
  • Find more error and development text.
  • Look for unused graphics and put them here (probably in a sub-page?).
GEX3DOAlpha Title.png

GEX Alpha is an early prototype of Gex for the 3DO.

The prototype seems to be similar to a build shown in footage from Crystal Dynamics' Sample This! demo disc, and slightly more different than another build seen in an attract reel from Star Control II. While there doesn't seem to be an exact build date, internal copyright text indicate it was developed some time in early 1994. It was originally included in a Russian compilation disc named 3DO Gamepack #1, made by MNEMO back in 2011. The ISO was then dumped and released 9 years later by GexGaming, with MNEMO's permission.

Sub-page

Blank.png
Levels
Unfinished bosses, placeholder enemies, buggy collision, oh my!

General

  • Music and sound is absent from this build.
  • Title cards for both levels and maps haven't been implemented yet.
  • Debug mode is enabled by default, and it works almost the same as in the final.

Copyright Notice & Text Strings

Present at line 216 of the file "gex_alpha" is a copyright notice:

Copyright (c) 1994 Crystal Dyanimcs

Present at line 244:

----Elvis has left the building---

Present at line 1319:

Error: Object Typ %ld with collide is marked for removal!!!

Present at line 1605:

parsed too many args! I don't know why.  Bugs in argparse()

Level Select

Alpha Final
GEX3DOAlpha Level Select.png Gex3DOLevelSelect.png

The game immediately boots to this screen upon loading instead of the Title Screen. The font is pink and doesn't have its purple gradient yet, and there's an option to exit the game that isn't present in the final. BONUS levels 1 through 7 and GLUE2 don't have their labels yet.

Title Screen, Options and File Select

Title Screen

Alpha Final
GEX3DOAlpha Title.png Gex (3DO)-title.png
  • The static in the background is the same static used for dying in both builds, and for title cards in the final.
  • The game logo was shortened at the end to make room for its TM symbol and the Gex sprite in the final.
  • Gex's original sprite was later redrawn to the one seen on the box art, and it also winks.
  • Gex's tail when using the spray can moves slower and in a wave, and he bounces a few times once his sprite pops up.
  • Both sprites constantly flicker in and out of transparency once the animation is done.
  • Menu options are absent and the game can't be started from here, it can be exited by pressing X.

Options

Alpha Manual (3DO version) Final
GEX3DOAlpha Options.png GEX3DOManual Options.PNG GEX3DOFinal Options.png
  • The "OPTIONS" text used a unique bigger font, while the smaller font was the same one used for the HUD.
  • The Sound Test option was omitted in favor of a Voice switch. Despite this, an early screenshot found in the manual still had it listed as an option, and it seemed to have more sounds available before it was removed.
  • Both Sound Test and Music Test have only three listings. The Music Test from the manual build onward lists actual track names.
  • "Spit" became "Hurl" and was later merged with the Tongue Lash.

Gex 3do options crash.png

Attempting to exit this screen results in a very glitched-out version of the screen appearing and the game locking up.

File Select

Alpha Final
Gex 3do alpha file menu.png Gex 3do final file menu.png
Alpha Final
Gex 3do alpha file erase.png Gex 3do final file erase.png
Alpha Final
Gex 3do alpha file copy.png Gex 3do final file copy.png
  • The screen is a little darker in the alpha version.
  • The third file's level count has a glitched "0".
  • The font is different.
  • The messages for copying and erasing files are different.
  • In the alpha build, A is pressed to erase a file. In the final game this is switched to B.

Attempting to play any file results in the death animation playing.

Gex 3do file select crash.png

Attempting to exit here does pretty much the same thing as the Options screen.

Results Screen

Alpha Final
GEX3DOAlpha Results.png GEX3DOFinal Results.png

While also never actually used, an early Results screen can be viewed from the Level Select. In the alpha, Gex walks in from the right, and starts spitting out and licking any power-ups that were reserved in the Gex-Ray for bonus points. Once it's done, he walks off to the left. In the final, bonus points are scored depending on the remaining Hit Paws and how many power-ups were collected during a level. After this, Gex makes a quip, and runs off to the right.

Game Over

Alpha Final
GEX3DOAlpha Game Over.png GEX3DOFinal Game Over.png

The alpha version used the same static as the early title and options screens. Rez is absent, and the frame is placed slightly lower, causing part of the background to be viewable at the top of the screen. The screen doesn't fade out from here.

Graphical Differences

Alpha Final
GEX3DOAlpha HUD.png GEX3DOFinal HUD.png
  • The positioning of various elements in the HUD were changed to make room for a coin counter, due to the Gex-Ray being removed. Hit Paws were moved more closer to each other, and power-ups are instead indicated by their icons located to the left of the Hit Paws.
  • Graphics are slightly darker in the alpha.
  • Background scrolling is absent.
  • Gex's animations are slightly different compared to the final, most noticeably Tail Bouncing and jumping from walls. Oddly, some of these early sprites ended up being used on the back of the box art, some promotional material, and even some of the configuration menus from the PC port.
Alpha Final
GEX3DOAlpha Portal Transportation.png GEX3DOFinal Portal Transportation.png
  • Going through portals in the alpha briefly moves all sprites but Gex to the bottom right corner before clearing them (and Gex's sprite after a split second) as the screen transitions, once again using the Title Screen static. In the final, the screen zooms in (as does every sprite but Gex) and fades to a blueish purple as Gex enters a portal.
  • Graphical effects on Gex when using power-ups look different. The masking on his tongue used for said effects is also broken in some sprites, such as Tongue Lashing while looking up, rendering the mask as a rectangle around the sprite.
  • The zap effect for when an enemy is shot with the electricity power-up is smaller.

Gameplay Differences

Alpha Final
GEX3DOAlpha Bounce Impact.png GEX3DOFinal Bounce Impact.png
  • Gex is able to Tail Bounce off of floors like he would with enemies in the final. Ironically, some enemies can't be bounced off of in the alpha (he simply goes through them, but they're still killed anyway if his tail touches them). He also uses different sprites for its animation compared to the final, and there's no impact effect when he does it on enemies.
  • Gex's physics feel slightly slower than they do in the final.
  • Tongue Lash and Spit/Hurl are mapped to different buttons (former is R, latter is A). This was simplified so Gex can use both when pressing A in the final. If Gex eats a projectile (for example, a skull in the Cemetery levels) R can be used to spit it out.
  • Gex can sometimes get crushed in certain corners when climbing foreground walls.
Alpha Final
His name is Caine, he seeks sound. Babaloo!
  • Gex's inability to talk means he doesn't quip during the beginning of a level, and only has one idle animation, as opposed to using one of the 10+ idle animations in the final. Here, he uses sprites from an idle that would also be used for intros in the Jungle Isle levels, vocalizes something, and then cycles on two frames for a bit until the animation loops.
GEX3DOAlpha Gex-Ray.png
  • Pressing start doesn't pause the game. It instead brings you to a "Gex-Ray" screen that doesn't seem to do anything, as selecting items here does nothing. For some reason, if Gex's sprite happens to be rotated (i.e. facing a certain angle on a wall, being upside down or facing downwards, etc.), some of the Gex-Ray's graphics (minus power-up icons and the highlighter) will also be rotated in the same direction as him. The palette also turns purple if Gex is using the Dragonfly power-up. If the Gex-Ray is opened while Gex is in the middle of a tail bounce, exiting the Gex-Ray locks up the game.
  • Hitting a power-up ball causes the bug represented on it to fly around until Gex eats it, which then grants him the power-up. In the final, hitting one only grants an extra Hit Paw. Vice versa goes for just eating the power-up ball itself.
  • Exploding TVs and their level-specific props act as separate objects when either one is destroyed.
  • Enemies and objects respawn once Gex is far enough away from their spawning point.

Audio

Jungle Gym Music

Despite the alpha's complete lack of audio, an audio file can be found in the game's data. It is titled "jnglbos.sng", and is the music that plays during the level "Jungle Gym" in the final game. The track loops once then fades out.