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Proto:Ghosts'n Goblins (Arcade)

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Ghosts'n Goblins (Arcade).

This prototype board of Ghosts'n Goblins was dumped in September of 2012. This board comes not from Capcom, but from Romstar, Capcom's erstwhile North American distribution partner from the 80s.

Important Note: The current dump of this prototype board uses the final game's Graphics 0 (HUD) chip in place of the prototype's chip. This is why certain graphics, like the lives icon and the weapon border, use incorrect colors.

Graphic Differences

Objects

Proto Final
GhostsGoblinsArmorProto.png GhostsGoblinsArmorFinal.png

The Armor pick-up has a large collar in the prototype game, and the arms are a touch thinner.

Proto Final
GhostsGoblinsFireshotProto.png GhostsGoblinsFireshotFinal.png

The fireballs were touched up a bit to make them easier to see.

Proto Final
Sorry, you must be 20 pixels or taller to ride. Much better!

The big rocks are slightly larger in the final game. The prototype rock uses two 16x16 tiles, while the final rock uses four 16x16 tiles.

GNGRock.png
One of the tiles that the larger rock tiles replaced was a small boulder. It's nowhere in the final game, and it looks like the coding for this object was never started on. Good riddance to bad boulders, I say.

Background

Proto Final
GhostsGoblinsCornerProto.png GhostsGoblinsCornerFinal.png

This cavern tile is a bit more detailed in the final game. Not much though, just slightly.

Proto Final
GhostsGoblinsStage5Proto.png GhostsGoblinsStage5Final.png

These blocks in stage 5 use a special faded palette in the prototype. This palette and stage 5's layout in the prototype suggest that these would be background tiles. They're foreground tiles, and completely solid, in the final game.

HUD/Text

Proto Final
GNGFontProto.png GNGFontFinal.png
GNGFontComp.gif


Every HUD palette but #08 and 0D were altered in some way between versions:

  • Palette 01 was overwritten with the palette used for the Japanese title screen. Every instance of green text in the prototype had to be changed for the final version.
  • Palette 06 is used for the cross and shield icons in the final game. It's unknown what the prototype's corresponding palette would be used for.
  • Palette 07, which is completely black in the prototype, is used for the international title screen's palette in the final game.
  • Palette 0E (used for the weapon icon frame) and 0F (used for Arthur's current weapon) were swapped.
Proto Final
GNGTakeAKeyProto.png GNGTakeAKeyFinal.png

The "TAKE A KEY" message was changed to all-caps in the final game, and the color of the text was changed as well.

Audio Differences

Proto Final

The frog transformation sound was changed to be more realistic. You've been transformed into a frog, right? It sounds nothing like what you hear in the prototype.

Proto Final

The Game Over tune was sped up in the final version.

Proto Final

The alternate Stage 5/6 track is pitched lower in the prototype. Strangely, the IDs for the standard and alternate tracks were switched between the prototype and final games.

This track is in both versions, but it's only heard in the prototype. It's a nice little jingle that plays whenever a boss is defeated.

Prototype Glitches

Attract Mode

  • The "TIME" graphic is always on the screen in the prototype once it's been loaded. It disappears when Arthur dies in the final game.

Objects

  • If Arthur jumps and lands on a key in the prototype, he'll start walking towards the exit door in mid-air.
  • The Dragon boss is supposed to give 200 points per tail section and 1000 points when killed, but gives 100 points for each in the prototype.
  • All moving platforms behave oddly in the prototype. Sometimes the platforms will switch directions halfway through their intended paths.
  • The fire pillars in Stage 4 don't harm Arthur at all.

Graphics

  • The palette doesn't properly fade to black in the game intro; There are some brown colors left in the darkest palette.
  • When Arthur jumps off a moving platform, he will sometimes use his walking animation instead of his jumping animation.
  • If Arthur falls down a pit after being transformed into a frog, his palette will not properly reset. This means that the cursor on the stage map will be using a glitched green palette. In the final game, falling down a pit as a frog will immediately reset Arthur's palette.

GNGStage4Glitched.png

  • In Stage 3 (halfway through the stage) and Stage 4, the stage palette is glitched; it's almost completely black. This makes progressing through the game rather awkward.
  • When clearing Stages 3 and 4, the bonus point value is incorrectly displayed as 5,000, but the player will be awarded the (correct) bonus of 10,000 points. This discrepancy was fixed in the final game.

Music

  • In situations where the music should stop -- getting killed, finishing the level, when the key appears, etc. -- the music will continue playing in the prototype. This also applies to game demos.

Attract Mode

Proto Final
GNGServiceProto.png GNGServiceFinal.png

The "SOUND CODE" text and current sound number are terribly misaligned. Also, the extra life text is bugged: It's cutting off one more line than it should, so the "AND EVERY X0000 PTS" line is missing.

Useless trivia: This screen was never changed after the title screen graphics and palettes were put in, which is why the extra life numbers are using such a hard to see palette. Now you know.

Proto Final
GhostsGoblinsTitleProto.png GhostsGoblinsArcTitle.png

The title screen is rather spartan. There are no title graphics, just text. Note the early title, Ghost'N Goblins; all known versions of the game use the plural "Ghosts" on their title screen, but the "Ghost" title does appear on a flyer for the arcade game, the PAL NES version's packaging and the spine (but not the cover) of the UK ZX Spectrum version. Oh, and the "ALL RIGHT RESEVED" text isn't on the prototype title screen.

Proto Final
GNGHiScoreProto.png GNGHiScoreFinal.png

Look at how colorful the high score list is in the prototype! None of that in the final game.

Other Differences:

  • There are only two demos in the prototype. The first is about the same as the final game. The second demo is five seconds long and features the thrilling sight of Arthur walking into a pit. Even worse, this is the demo that repeats!
  • Each time the player puts a coin into the cabinet in the final game, a different section of Stage 1 is displayed. This feature isn't in the prototype version.

Stage Differences

Stage 1

Proto Final
GNGArea1StartProto.png GNGArea1StartFinal.png

A common difference between versions is Arthur's starting position. In the prototype, he starts at the center of the screen. This makes for a perfect transition between the intro and the start of the gameplay, but it doesn't work for every stage in the game. So, Arthur starts left-of-center in the final game.

Stage 2

Proto Final
GNGArea2StartProto.png GNGArea2StartFinal.png

See? Common difference. Arthur also starts in the air in the prototype version.

Proto Final
GNGArea2HouseProto.png GNGArea2HouseFinal.png

The biggest difference in any stage appears in Stage 2. The large house in the middle of the stage is completely optional in the prototype! The stone walls in the final game are nowhere to be found in the prototype, so it can be completely bypassed, unless for some reason the player wants to go for a high score.

Additionally, one of the ogres in the prototype house was removed, and another coin was added to the house in the final game.

Other Differences:

  • The final ice platform at the start moves up and down in the prototype. In the final game it falls down and never comes back, making the jump from the ice section to the town section more difficult.

Stage 3

Proto Final
GNGArea3StartProto.png GNGArea3StartFinal.png

The bats at the start of the stage are in pretty odd positions. The positions might be left over from an even earlier stage layout. They're properly on the ceiling in the final game.

Proto Final
GNGArea3TransitionProto.png GNGArea3TransitionFinal.png

There are no tiles transitioning from one cave type to the next in the prototype game, so the first section just kind of...stops. This can be seen in Stage 4 as well.

The Red Arremer's initial action was changed from sitting to flying from the right of the screen, and its position was moved to the right as well.

Proto Final
GNGArea3StairsRedProto.png GNGArea3StairsRedFinal.png

Another Red Arremer changed from sitting to flying.

Proto Final
GNGArea3CliffRedProto.png GNGArea3CliffRedFinal.png

A sitting Red Arremer was added here in the final game.

Proto Final
GNGArea3LastRedProto.png GNGArea3LastRedFinal.png

One last flying Red Arremer appears near the end of the stage in the final version.

Stage 4

Proto Final
GNGArea4StartProto.png GNGArea4StartFinal.png

Arthur was moved to the left slightly. Notice that Arthur's position is identical between stages in the prototype, but in the final game it's different in each stage.

The rather dickishly-placed enemy was removed from the final game.

Proto Final
GNGArea4FirstRedProto.png GNGArea4FirstRedFinal.png

All of the eyeball platforms, and the Red Arremer, were pushed to the left.

Other Differences

  • All of the eyeball platforms move at the same speed in the prototype game.
  • The fire underneath the bridge in the latter half of the stage is completely absent in the prototype.
  • The last Red Arremer was moved a bit to the right in the final version.

Stage 5

Stages 5 and 6 are missing the most tile graphics in the prototype, so a lot of wall sections appear black. Plus, the game freezes right after the stages start. Nevertheless, the stage layout for Stage 5 is almost complete here, though there are two major layout differences.

Proto Final
GNGArea5LaddersProto.png GNGArea5LaddersFinal.png

There's a ladder missing from the prototype game that's present in the final version. It's unknown how the player would get to the third set of platforms, unless there was a vertically-moving eyeball platform that the player could use.

The top-left ladder was moved to the left, just a tad. It seems that the rocky wall at the top-left (or where the rocky wall should be) pushes out more to the right in the prototype, which is the reason why the ladder change was made.

Proto Final
GNGArea5BossProto.png GNGArea5BossFinal.png

Due to the way the camera works in Ghosts'n Goblins, the spikes at the top can't be seen in the prototype. They were moved down two blocks in the final game.

The structure where the gate should be seems to be a lot larger in the prototype.

Stage 6

Proto Final
GNGArea6StartProto.png GNGArea6StartFinal.png

Unlike Stage 5, Stage 6 has barely been started at all. This small chunk is all that's in the prototype ROM.

The stone floor is doubled up in the prototype; There's but a single layer in the final stage layout.

Additionally, the rocky wall juts out further to the right in the prototype, making the Unicorn boss section more cramped than it is in the final game.

That's pretty much all that can be said. I mean, look at it.

(Source: Original TCRF research)