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Proto:Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80's/Songs

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This is a sub-page of Proto:Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80's.

Like the other surfaced Harmonix Guitar Hero demos, many of the charts in the 80's prototype are incomplete, either in their note charting, in lighting and stage events work, or in their designated Practice Mode sections (many songs having no sections at all in the demo). Many of the early charts feature short sustains that Harmonix would pull back to single, non-sustained strums in the final game. While some songs have had their stems' levels tweaked in songs.dtb, their audio is otherwise final.

No separate Practice Mode audio has been built for the demo. Instead, the game will do harsh, low-quality pitch shifting of the normal audio on its own. The final game has dedicated, pre-pitch shifted Practice Mode audio, which sounds much better.

I Want Candy

Totally exclusive to this demo and pulled for unknown reasons. The likely guess is that the band was displeased with the cover, but this has never been confirmed. The chart is near-final, though the [music_start] event is malformed (using a space rather than an underscore), and thus the normal ambient crowd audio (and encore effects, if the song used an encore slot) loops in the background instead.

Holy Diver

Many of the sustains in the demo chart are pulled back to single strums in the final chart, and note pitches have been shifted around as well. The demo's chart has more sections as well; each verse is two sections, and the second solo's been split into a few additional ones.

We Got the Beat

Near-final, though all the green-blue chords in the verses are instead green-yellow chords.

No One Like You

Star Power path (technically referring to the optimal times to activate Star Power for the most points across a chart, but used here to refer to the general placement of Star Power phrases) differs very slightly.

(Bang Your Head) Metal Health

Once again, the guitar solo found in the Guitar Hero II retail demo chart is nowhere to be found. Like the final chart, you play the rhythm part instead. Originally, it was thought that the solo was cut to make the song fit the first tier after "I Want Candy" was cut from the game, but this proves it was cut much earlier.

Nevertheless, the chart is much further along than that version was, featuring fixed lighting, a properly-charted outro, "big notes" (marker notes that play crowd sounds when the player misses the notes that occur during them), and more elaborate Face-Off sections. Like the final chart though unlike the earlier retail demo chart, the co-op bassist's fretting hand animation notes are nonexistent, meaning their hand stays stationary on the neck of the guitar instead of moving around.

Finally, some bizarre, curious notes appear at pitches 48 and 49 on the BAND DRUMS track of the MIDI. These aren't mapped to anything in the game's MIDI mapper and may have been simple sloppy notes that were cleaned up for the final game.

Nothin' But a Good Time

Sustains in the intro and throughout extend up to the length of the next note, while in final, they were pulled back slightly to make switching chords easier. The solo also received some additional notes during bends and tweaks during the ascending triplets to make them more accurate to the audio. Medium would be rebalanced for final, with many eighth notes that'd get scaled back to quarter notes.

Curiously, as a sign of rushed development, this song features two differing singer lipsync files (the .voc files found in each song's folder), even in the final game. Even stranger is that, while the used .voc file appears to be final, the unused one (nuthin but a good time.voc) differs in size from the unused one in the final game.

I Wanna Rock

Aside from some minor outro tweaks, this chart mostly differs in its Star Power path.

Turning Japanese

Some chords have had their pitch adjusted, and an extra note was added in the final chart. More importantly, there's far more Star Power than in the final chart.

Los Angeles

Two of the ascending chords in the second chorus are single notes. Harmonix must've considered it an error, as none of the other ascending lines mix chords and single notes, though it also seems to match the audio quite well.

Hold On Loosely

Many of the "pickup" notes that transition between the chords in the main riff are missing in the demo, among many, many other changes. Path is different. Each verse and chorus is two sections in the demo, while these are joined in the final. Harmonix also neglected to include a [play] event to make the guitarist animate correctly until much later in the song.

Lonely is the Night

The final chart, while featuring the same notes and chords in the same places as the demo, has far more drastic pitch shifts throughout, thus requiring more hand movement. No sections whatsoever in the demo.

Synchronicity II

Many of the sustains have had their lengths toyed with. The final prechorus switches between three-note chords and single notes, rather consistently in the demo where the final lets them ring out occasionally. Star Power path is much different. There's no band animations at all in the demo chart aside from the guitarist.

Heat of the Moment

The demo chart features many sustains that were pulled back to single strums in the final, most notably in the main riff.

Shakin'

Many sustains that were pulled back to single notes in the final chart.

Bathroom Wall

Many of the chord patterns in the verse were made more interesting for final. Oftentimes, the demo chart alternates single notes and chords, while in the final, they alternate between two different chords. Missing notes in the Expert guitar part, an orange note on Medium, more rudimentary lighting, and no sections suggests this was one of the especially unfinished charts. Most amusingly, there's two back-to-back Star Power phrases going into the final verse where the final chart only has the singular phrase.

Round and Round

The intro/chorus riff is the most glaring difference; the demo chart uses three-note chords where the final one only uses standard chords, and pitches differ wildly. The outro bizarrely features a yellow-blue trill where a standard zig-zag is used in the final. Star Power path is mildly different, and there are no sections in the demo.

Electric Eye

Another song where the demo chart features much longer sustains. These were pulled back in the final so the player doesn't have to drop the sustain to comfortably get to the next note in time. Plenty of Star Power phrases that were either removed or shrunken for final, especially around the short sustains where Harmonix likely felt players couldn't easily get Star Power out of the notes. No sections.

Wrathchild

Aside from the path being totally different, the most curious fact about this chart is that the buildup to the solo features the red note that's missing in most releases of the game. By accident, 80's shipped with one of the red notes in the section completely absent. This note was reinstated in the later French release of 80's, confirming it was indeed a mistake.

Otherwise, the bridge is split into two sections in the demo, and there's more elaborate drum animation work charted, though with the kick and cymbal notes being on the wrong MIDI pitches, neither animate in-game.

I Ran (So Far Away)

More short sustains that were turned into single note strums in the final version of the chart.

What I Like About You

Some more overly short sustains, and an additional red note transitioning to the red-yellow-blue chord appears in one of the verses.

Radar Love

Mostly more sustain-based and path differences, though one notable change occurs in the guitar lead after the second chorus. In the demo, the harmonizing guitar parts are charted as chords, while in the final, to make it more manageable to play, Harmonix only charted one of the guitars, which switches between single notes and chords. Much fewer sections exist in the demo, especially later on in the chart towards the solo.

Play With Me

Many small differences throughout, notably mixing very short sustains in with the fast runs in the solo and shortening many of the Star Power phrases to make them easier to play. This is another chart with an orange note on Medium, and there's only a single section for the solo.

The Warrior

Notes are final, though the path is completely different and the song ends a beat earlier.

Balls to the Wall

Many places in the solo where the notes are more evenly spread out to make them easier to read. Medium features chords in the verses, where in the final chart, only single notes exist.

Caught in a Mosh

There's a few sloppy errors where a yellow-orange chord transitions back to the fast strumming on green going into the verses. In the final, green 16ths fill the space instead. The solo is subtly different, with a few quick fluttering bits replaced with simple sustains in the final chart. Expert bass was recharted almost entirely for the final chart.

Neither chart is especially kind to Easy players, with a blue note in the demo (blue notes never appear on Easy) and chords in the final (chords also never appear on Easy). The Star Power path and Face-Off sections are also much different. No sections exist in the demo.

Seventeen

More short sustains that were trimmed for the final chart and more Star Power differences.

Police Truck

More short sustains in the demo chart that were trimmed for final.

18 and Life

The biggest change occurs in the rather bizarre choice of time signatures. While the song is in common time, the demo chart is set to 2/4 until the outro of the song, causing Star Power to deplete half as quickly. The Star Power path is completely different to boot. Easy and Medium guitar were rebalanced to make them more difficult for the final chart. No sections appear in the demo. On an animation note, no [crowd_lighters_off] event exists in the demo chart, which causes the crowd to perpetually wave their lighters until the end of the song.

Only a Lad

Chord pitches are different all throughout the song, down to some of the quick triplets in the intro being charted as chords instead of single notes. It seems someone at Harmonix had been wishing for what would be implemented as extended sustains (or overlapping notes) in the Neversoft Guitar Hero titles, as the "oh oh oh" parts in the second half of each verse and bridge repeatedly feature a single sustain to a chord sustain to a three-note chord sustain. Path is also much different.

Ballroom Blitz

Nearly everything about the Expert guitar chart, from the main riff to the chord pitches in the verses, is completely different in the demo versus the final chart. The single most infamous charting decision of the entire game, to overchart (place additional notes where none exist to make a chart harder) the solo with 32nd note quads that blow past the game's strum limit on NTSC consoles, is far more sensibly charted as quickly ascending 16th quads that shift a fret higher in the demo.

For the lower difficulties, Easy guitar was thinned out significantly for the final game, and Hard is closer to Expert in the demo than in the final game with quickly switching notes in the main riff that were changed to double notes on the same pitch. The singer oddly has about seven times more [play] and [idle] events than he does in the final chart.

Because, It's Midnite

This chart isn't early so much as it is an outright placeholder. No sections, no band events (only a [music_start] and [end] for the chart to work properly), no lighting, and both the guitar and bass parts are simply the words "HI BRAKELS" written out in MIDI notes that repeat for the duration of the song. "Brakels" was the nickname of Dan Brakeley, one of Harmonix's programmers at the time. According to his resume, he was the sole programmer on 80's and one of the UI programmers on the Xbox 360 port of II.