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Proto:Lunar: Eternal Blue

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Lunar: Eternal Blue.

A self-playing demo of Lunar: Eternal Blue, most likely intended for store kiosks, came out shortly before the game's Japanese release. It was apparently assembled during mid-late development, as it exhibits quite a few differences from the final version; the files on the disc are dated October 19th–20th, 1994, versus November 15th–29th for the final.

The demo is non-interactive; it consists of a mish-mash of the more impressive-looking cutscenes spliced together with gameplay demonstrations and advertising copy. Unfortunately, it was largely gutted of unnecessary resources, so there are only a handful of maps and cutscenes to look through. There's still quite a bit of interesting stuff, though!

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More text differences than anyone will ever care about, or translate

General Differences

Party Follow

Demo Final
LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample party.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- final party.png

One of the most noticeable differences is the "party follow" behavior. In the final, the party members follow behind the leader in a line, like in Lunar: The Silver Star, but in the demo the members fan out behind the leader in a "marching formation". The followers are much more autonomous than in the final, and can take some interesting routes in order to get around obstacles.

While the idea is interesting, playing around with this behavior with the demo's autopilot removed makes it pretty obvious why it was scrapped: party members can easily get stuck in crevices and separated from the rest of the group, which (aside from looking ridiculous) causes problems when they need to be moved around for scripted events. Perhaps if there'd been more time to fix the bugs, this feature would have made it in.

Other

  • The demo's internal name is LUNAR_2, versus the final's LUNAR2. It's a fine distinction.
  • The game's ABS.TXT, BIB.TXT, and CPY.TXT files are copied from The Silver Star, but they're actually from the American release, not the Japanese one. Most likely, the devteam started work on Eternal Blue by copying the resources from The Silver Star, and simply grabbed the most recent revision of the codebase available (like with the Game Boy Advance port of Mother, which retained changes from the then-officially-unreleased English prototype).

Graphics

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There are many subtle differences in map graphics, palettes, layouts, etc., between the demo and final; a few are visible in the screenshots above

Portraits

Though the demo only displays six portraits (on the screen listing the voice cast), it contains twelve in total; the rest were either removed or not drawn yet. All of those present were altered for the final release, some quite dramatically.

Note that these are actually displayed with a slightly brighter palette in the demo, but that's probably just an artifact of how they're embedded in a cutscene; the palette used for most portraits in the final version is also present in the demo. (The format of the portrait data actually differs between the demo and the final; the demo expects portraits to be drawn from a fixed palette, whereas the final embeds a palette – in many cases a copy of the demo's fixed palette – with each portrait.)

Demo Final Comments
LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample portrait-0.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- portrait-0.png Hiro underwent quite a makeover from the prototype to the final; aside from closing his rather dopey-looking mouth, his hair went from black to brown and his eyes from green to brown, the position of his neck and ear were altered, and the left side of his clothing was slightly expanded. The shading was also enhanced and the background changed to a darker shade of gray, alterations common to most of the portaits.
LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample portrait-1.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- portrait-1.png Ruby grew some distinct fangs for the final, and her head stripe was also darkened.
LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample portrait-2.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- portrait-2.png The ugly dithering on Lucia's face was fortunately removed – the idea was probably to give her noticeably lighter skin than the other characters, but the palette doesn't really allow for it. Her ears and neck also became a bit larger.
LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample portrait-3.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- portrait-3.png Except for the lighter background in the demo, Gwyn's portrait is identical to the final.
LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample portrait-4.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- portrait-4.png Ronfar got various small tweaks: darker hair, more bulge to his left cheek, the extra shadows under his eyes, and various shading tweaks. The line on his neck was also redrawn to follow a more sensible path.
LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample portrait-5.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- portrait-5.png "Dancer" Jean is pretty much a completely different person in the demo: lighter skin, brown eyes, and differently-shaped face and hair. An earlier character design, or just a really bad drawing?
LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample portrait-6.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- portrait-6.png Lemina's neck was un-broken in time for the final, though this turned her smile into more of a smirk. Her eyes also changed from green to blue.
LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample portrait-7.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- portrait-7.png Lucia's second portrait differs even more radically between demo and final. This one was virtually redrawn from scratch – only a couple parts didn't change. Note the green eyes, which are inconsistent with the other Lucia portrait even in the demo.
LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample portrait-8.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- portrait-8.png Leo barely changed; the only difference is the little lock of hair on his forehead that was erased.
LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample portrait-9.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- portrait-9.png "Karate" Jean's head morphed a bit for the final, and she also got an extra bit of hair on her left side and a defined lower lip. Other than that, it's surprisingly similar to the final, considering how radically different her "dancer" portrait is.
LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample portrait-10.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- portrait-10.png Nall's portrait is identical to the final except for the background color.
LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample portrait-12.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- portrait-12.png Mystere mysteriously received the same change to his hairstyle as Leo. How unlikely is that?

Note that the duplicate Hiro portrait from the final is also present in the demo, and was altered the same way as the used one.

Inventory Icons

The inventory icons (items and spells) aren't shown in the demo, but they are present. They clearly weren't finished yet: Out of the game's 241 icons, only 43 remained unchanged from demo to final. The rest were all altered to some degree or another.

Items

Of the game's 191 items, 149 of them have a different icon in the demo. Most icons had their shading adjusted, at a minimum, while others were replaced entirely. See the images below for all the alterations, but here are some highlights:

  • Lunn's Mask, Luna's Letter, and the Staff wasn't yet drawn in the demo, though they have blank placeholders.
  • The Shiro Tail, Lynx Tail, Dimension Ring, Wind Pendant, and Earth Crux items (IDs 0x34 to 0x38) do not have graphics in the demo. They aren't blank – their graphic "slots" are simply filled with those for the next items in the list.
  • The demo has the Red, Blue, and Black Dragon Crests in that order; the final game changes it to Blue, Black, Red, reflecting the order they're obtained in-game.
  • The unused Harisen item ("NEEDLES" in the English version) actually has a proper icon in the demo! It was erased in the final.
  • The Spring Water's icon is a bag in the demo; it may have been interchanged with the Sunflower Seeds, which have a different and rather ambiguous icon.
  • The Party Mask appears to be a pair of glasses in the demo.
  • The Plasma Ring has a strange skull icon.
  • The Dragon Angel Crest is radically different.
  • Most of the armors were redrawn or extensively touched up for the final.

LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample-items-1.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample-items-2.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample-items-3.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample-items-4.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample-items-5.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample-items-6.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample-items-7.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample-items-8.png

Magic

All 49 magic icons were redrawn for the final. Most of them are just cruder or simpler versions of the final icon, but a few are more interesting:

  • The hexagram on the Loki Magic spell line was ditched in favor of a yin-yang derivative.
  • The Power Flame and Ice Shell spell lines have very different artwork with no kanji labels in the demo.
  • Pressure Cooker uses a derivative of the Light Litany icon instead of the final's ball-and-chain.
  • Oddly, Magic Swiper's icon is a boot seemingly stuck in some goo. Perhaps it had a different function earlier on?

LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample-magic-1.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample-magic-2.png LUNAR -ETERNAL BLUE- sample-magic-3.png

Font

The text uses a different Japanese font; most characters are thinner than in the final, and a few extra kanji are present. Most likely it's copied directly from Lunar: The Silver Star.