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Proto:Spyro the Dragon (PlayStation)/June 15th, 1998 build

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This is a sub-page of Proto:Spyro the Dragon (PlayStation).

Hiddenpalace.org logo.png  This prototype is documented on Hidden Palace.

This article is a work in progress.
...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.

The June 15th, 1998 Prototype of Spyro the Dragon is a preview version of the game dated around two months before the final NTSC-U release version. It was released on February 26th, 2020.


Differences in the first homeworld.
Peace Keepers
Differences in the second homeworld.
Magic Crafters
Differences in the third homeworld.
Beast Makers
Differences in the fourth homeworld.
Dream Weavers
Differences in the fifth homeworld.
You've guessed it - differences in the final homeworld.
Soundtrack Differences
There's no rhyme or reason to any of this.
Gems and Dragons
Cliff Town has how many dragons?
Unused Text and Dialogue
Thank you for releasing me.

Build Dates

The following is a table comparing the various modification dates of each of the files within the ISO between the June 15th prototype and the final NTSC-U build.

File Description June 15th Prototype Final
WAD.WAD Contains most of the game's contents 1998-06-15 11:50 1998-08-12 15:46
PETEXA0.STR Soundtrack file 1998-05-15 05:33 1998-08-08 12:58
PETEXA1.STR Soundtrack file 1998-05-15 05:36 1998-08-04 07:20
PETEXA2.STR Soundtrack file 1998-05-15 05:37 1998-08-04 07:27
PETEXA3.STR Soundtrack file 1998-05-15 05:33 1998-08-04 07:38
PETEXA4.STR Soundtrack file Not present 1998-08-04 07:47
PETEXA5.STR Soundtrack file Not present 1998-08-04 07:59

If all of these dates are to be believed, it is possible that the soundtrack in this version has remained unchanged since at least May 15th, 1998.

Curiously the disc has some interesting creation and modification dates, too:

Prototype Final
Created: April 21st 1998 August 13th 1998
Modified: June 24th 1998 August 14th 1998

This may suggest that the WAD date is inaccurate and that the build is actually closer to June 24th, but it is hard to be certain.

General Differences

  • No title screen has been implemented. Instead, the game checks for a memory card and a save file before immediately loading the game.
    • As such, no more than one save file - as opposed to three per memory card - can be used in this version of the game.
    • If no memory card is inserted, a screen displaying "No Memory Card" appears shortly before the game loads.
  • There is no introductory cutscene.
    • Similarly, there are no end-of-game cutscenes.
  • There is no option to quit the game on the pause menu.
  • Pressing circle or square in the pause menu or inventory functions the same as pressing X.
  • The pause menu is displayed slightly lower on the screen than it is in the final game. This causes the options menu to partially overlay the dragon eggs at the bottom of the screen.
  • The contents of the options menu are also slightly different:
    • There is no option for speaker setup in this version.
    • A "Vibration" option, set by default to "On", is present at all times, regardless of the controller used.
    • The camera mode is set to active by default.
  • Pressing triangle in the inventory doesn't switch it to the pause menu, as it would in the final.
  • Dragon eggs in the inventory do not display next to the level they correspond to.
  • Levels with no dragons - such as flight levels - display "0/0" Dragons in the inventory instead of a dash.
  • When all gems in a level are displayed, the counter at the top does not indicate this to the player. In the final game, if the player were to collect all (for example) 100 gems in a level, upon collecting the final gem the counter will read "100/100".
  • For some reason, when you have more than 10 dragons, the rightmost (units) digit of the number of dragons displayed in the HUD moves behind the model of Spyro's head used to represent how many lives he has. Despite this, it displays correctly in the inventory.
  • Regardless of the amount of lives the player had at the time of saving the game, it defaults to four lives each time the game is loaded.
  • Many Dragons do not feature cutscenes at this point in development. Most of these Dragons instead display a full-screen text prompt containing dialogue.
    • From the Beast Makers onwards, all Dragons lack both cutscenes and dialogue. Instead, touching the Dragon statue makes it disappear instantly.
  • When speaking to the balloonist, the dialogue is displayed similarly to the aforementioned text dialogue Dragons. The options "Go" and "Stay" are listed beneath the text if he's offering to take the player to a different world.
  • All balloonists wear the same clothing, instead of slightly different colours for each world.
  • An invisible wall seems to surround each of the balloonists and balloons.
  • Instead of allowing travel between any two worlds, each balloonist may only travel either to the next world or to the previous one. As such, each world now has two balloonists, one ready to take you to the next world and one to the previous world.
    • The balloonist taking you to the previous world is placed at the start of the level, where the balloonist normally lands in the final game.
    • In the case of the Magic Crafters, this explains why the beginning platform juts out slightly (where the balloonist to the Peace Keepers would stand) even in the final game.
  • The requirements that the balloonists give to the player for entering the next world are vastly different.
  • When traveling between worlds via the balloonist, no balloon animation is displayed. Instead, Spyro appears to fly into the void for some time before the level suddenly appears.
  • When saving the game, no memory card slot number is listed.
  • The message windows opened when speaking to a fairy seems to be significantly more opaque than in the final game.
  • Dragon egg and key cutscenes cannot be skipped.
  • Once you obtain a key in a level, it will remain visible in your inventory, even if you have already used it. However, it disappears if you re-enter the level.
  • Spyro is harder to control in this version. Specifically, he doesn't turn as fluently as he does in the final game.
    • In addition to this, when pressing triangle while gliding, Spyro reacts and falls much slower. There's also no thud animation when Spyro hits the ground.
  • Spyro can charge through whirlwinds, rather than being picked up immediately upon touching them. This behaviour is also true of the level exit vortices, which allows him to collect the gems they hold without exiting the level.
  • When Spyro takes damage from an electric floor, he plays a short animation and is then able to continue standing on the electric floor until his invincibility frames wear off. In the final version, the animation continues playing until the floor returns to normal, at which point the player regains control.
  • Sparx can't pick life statues up yet.
  • Extra life statues are gold instead of silver.
  • Many sound effects are missing or different, especially in later levels.
    • There is no sound when moving through pages in the inventory.
    • Crystal dragons do not make their signature "rumbling" sound, however they're still animated.
    • Many of the smaller Gnorcs make a different sound when they're killed.
    • Sparx does not make his usual chime sound when picking up a gem.
    • Thieves don't make any sounds when taunting the player.
    • Fan chests make a loud humming noise constantly, whereas they're silent until they're flamed in the final game.
    • There appears to be an audio glitch that occurs if the player flames whilst gliding and presses the Triangle button to cancel the glide, which will simultaneously cut off the flaming sound effect.
    • Another audio glitch is sometimes heard when travelling between levels - the gem sound effects can inexplicably change to entirely different and sometimes high-pitched or grating sound effects.
  • The silence between the soundtrack loops is significantly longer, than in the final version.
  • Most levels' gem placements are different.
    • Curiously, some later levels tend to not use red or green gems at all, perhaps because in the early stages of designing a level it would have initially been easier to use rounder gem values like 5 or 10.
    • The red spring chest which infamously only appeared in a single level in the final game can be found in two different levels, in this version. Rather than being placed in Lofty Castle, it’s in Dry Canyon and Ice Cavern.
  • Many levels feature gaps between some of the polygons where gaps do not exist in the final game.
    • Occasionally holes large enough for Spyro to fall through manage to make their way into the level.
  • At the end of each level is a home vortex. In this version of the game, the base of the vortex uses the dragon pad model instead of a unique model. Additionally, in some levels a gem can be found floating inside the vortex.
    • The dragon pad colouring always matches the colour used in the Artisans worlds.
  • All flight levels are called "Flying" and all boss levels are simply called "Boss".
  • When entering boss levels the text on the top of the screen says "Entering [Boss name]" instead of "Confronting [Boss name]".
  • In the flight levels of the final game, once the timer is below 10 seconds, it will begin making a noise once every second to warn the player. In this prototype, it makes this noise every second regardless of time remaining. However, this noise is never played at all in the flying levels of Beast Makers and Dream Weavers, most likely due to them being completely unfinished.
  • The fairies on flight levels take on an entirely different and more goofy appearance.
Jun 15 Aug 12 Final
SpyroJun15FlightFairy.png SpyroFinalFlightFairy.png

Cheat codes

The cheat codes present in this build seem to be in place mostly for testing purposes. They can be used at any time during gameplay by holding down the buttons for a few seconds at the same time. Aside from the level warp and XA playback code, whose activations are obviously signaled by audiovisual cues, the successful entry of the other combinations are indicated by Spyro doing a light jump into the air whilst in a frozen idle state.

Level Skip

L1 + L2 + R1 + R2

This code takes Spyro to the next level. The current level will just disappear and Spyro will be left flying in the void until the next level loads in.

When using this code, the levels go in order that they appear in the inventory. As such, using it on a flight level will basically take you to the next world's home. This is also the only way of accessing The End and Gnasty Place without the use of cheats. However, the level skip will not let you access any of the placeholder levels in the Machinists world (Bunchacrap, Boss (Gnasty's Loot), Flying). Using it on The End will take you straight to Gnasty Place and using it on Gnasty Place will warp you back to the Artisans home.

The game can softlock on certain non-accurate emulators and leave Spyro stuck flying in the void if the code is input while the XA audio is playing.

Toggle active/passive camera

L2 + R1

Does exactly the same as the option found in the pause menu.

Toggle Sparx' pick-up ability

R1 + R2 + Circle

Entering this code makes Sparx behave the same way as if he disappeared (e.g. Spyro is on his last health point). He won't pick up any gems when you get close to them, leaving Spyro up to the task.

Toggle XA playback

Square + Triangle + Circle + X

Hold down all four geometry buttons for three seconds to deactivate the music. Re-entering the code re-enables playback. However, the first track of the STR file in use is played instead. Pausing and unpausing the game reverts to the intended music.

Save Information

The information stored on a memory card when saving the game differs in this version compared to the final release.

Info Proto Final
Save icon Spyro-SaveIcon-Jun15.png Spyro-SaveIcon-Final.gif
Product Code SLUS-00000 SCUS-94228