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Proto:Star Fox 2/June 22, 1995 Build

From The Cutting Room Floor
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This is a sub-page of Proto:Star Fox 2.

Star Fox 2 (J) (Late Prototype)002.png

The June 22, 1995 prototype of Star Fox 2 was long considered to be virtually complete, barring the presence of various debugging features and a few bugs, as well as some missing encounters and Rogue-like gameplay, though the eventual release of the completed game in 2017 (as part of the SNES Classic Edition microconsole) showed this build to be less finished than once believed.

Through a bit of hacking, this prototype spawned a version with the debug features disabled as well as an English translation hack.

Download

Download.png Download Star Fox 2 (June 22, 1995 prototype)
File: Star_Fox_2_(J)_(Late_Prototype).smc (1 MB) (info)

Differences from Final Version

Hmmm...
To do:
  • Replace the US version of the final build with the JP version for a more consistent comparison.
  • Expand this section.

General Changes

  • The Expert difficulty is available without having to unlock it by beating Hard mode.
  • Aside from replenishing health, collecting the General Pepper Medals gives no reward. In the final, these unlock multiple hidden bonuses. Collecting them all within a single difficulty level will unlock the Secret Base for that difficulty level, allowing access to the Homing Blaster upgrade; collecting them all across all three difficulty levels will replace the image of Andross on the title screen with an image of Fox.
  • All characters have the Homing Blaster at all times. As mentioned above, in the final build this has to be collected at the Secret Base once it has been unlocked.
  • Fay and Miyu's Twin Blasters are enabled by default, as opposed to the final game, where they have to either be collected on a per-game basis, or unlocked permanently (for the characters used in that playthrough) by scoring a Star Rank in Expert mode. In the final game, achieving this with all characters also changes the music on the Pilot Select screen to the Corneria theme from the first game.
  • Bombs do not seem to be functional in this build; the explosion effect occurs, but enemies will happily shrug it off.
StarFox2-95-06-22-Japan-SNES-Asteroids.png
  • The asteroid belt is not finished yet; in the final, encounters which take place in the asteroid belt around the center of the map are filled with asteroids which serve as obstacles during the battle. The debug display in this prototype does seem to indicate that this system was in the process of being implemented, with an "asteroids" counter briefly appearing at the beginning of a battle, reporting 100,000,000,000,006 (100 trillion and six) asteroids are present.
  • In Walker mode, only the A button jumps, instead of either Y or A in the final (exact buttons vary by control scheme chosen).
  • It's possible to transform the Arwing into a broken "Walker" mode during space missions. The transformation animation plays, but the Arwing's model then changes into the C-Type (Peppy/Slippy) Fighter Jet rather than the Walker. Rotational movement is on L and R, and Left/Right strafe as in Walker mode, but Up/Down move the cursor vertically as in the fighter jet mode. The Arwing is completely unable to move forward or backward; the Jump (Walker)/Boost or Brake (Fighter Jet) buttons perform no action.
  • Health items replenish one dot instead of two.
  • Some enemies are slightly slower and/or do not deal as much damage.
  • By pressing Select, it's possible to change the view to third-person while out of all-range mode. In the final, it's done by changing the "View" option in the pause screen.
  • The camera hovers much closer to the Arwing in some cases, most noticeably when running in Walker mode, which blocks the player's view ahead significantly.

Interface Changes

Proto Final
Sf2nintendoproto.png Sf2nintendofinal.png
  • The prototype's Nintendo logo has less saturated coloring than the final build, and lacks the (R) symbol to the right of the logo.
  • The explosions and subsequent fade transitions in the opening cutscene are quicker in the prototype.
  • The prototype displays an FPS counter at the top-left of the screen throughout, which is absent in the final version.
Proto Final
Star Fox 2 (J) (Late Prototype)002.png Star Fox 2003.png
Star Fox 2 (J) (Late Prototype)000.png Star Fox 2ts.png
N/A StarFox2-Final-USA-SNES-AltTitle.png
  • The game's logo seems to be incomplete, using a very basic single-color "2" as opposed to the final's more detailed and stylised graphic. The "Star Fox" portion also uses a darker palette compared to the final build.
  • Andross' face is positioned higher in the prototype.
  • The layout for some of the background nebulae on the right-hand side of the screen also differs between the two.
  • At the bottom of the screen the prototype simply displays the characters' in-game dialog portraits, rather than the unique graphic seen in the final build.
  • The planet in the lower-right corner is much larger than its equivalent in the final build.
  • The copyright message in the bottom-right corner uses a slightly different font for its numbering, and is dated 1995 rather than the final build's 1996 date.
  • The eye/star in the background of the prototype's title screen continues to glow at all times; in the final build, it stops once Start is pressed. It also has an extra vertical lens-flare not present in the final build.
  • Similar to earlier builds, the prototype's menu contains five options rather than the final's three. The "Mission" and "Record" options from the final appear, along with three extra options: "Test", "Training", and "Config". The "Stereo/Mono" option seen in the final build is completely absent, instead residing within the Config menu. However, the standalone "Stereo/Mono" option can be seen in footage of an earlier build intended for public exhibition, suggesting its absence here may simply be due to this build using a debug menu structure rather than the selection intended for publicly-playable builds.
  • In the prototype, the title screen remains the same regardless of whether all of the General Pepper medals have been collected. As mentioned above, in the final build, if all the medals are collected across all three difficulty levels, the title screen will display an image of Fox in place of the image of Andross which is usually displayed.
Proto Final
StarFox2-95-06-22-Japan-SNES-Record.png StarFox2-Final-USA-SNES-Record.png

The Record screen was completely reworked between this prototype and the final game. This prototype's Rank uses a star-based rating, as opposed to the letter-based rank given in the final game.

Proto Final
StarFox2-95-06-22-Japan-SNES-SystemMapShield.png
StarFox2-Final-USA-SNES-SystemMapShield.png

Although the prototype displays the Shield icon correctly in-game and on the character select screen, it seems to use an incorrect palette on the Lylat System Map. This was corrected in the final game.

Debug Controls

Hmmm...
To do:
This could really use a talented hacker to find the various debug combos rather than some goof mashing buttons.

P1 Controller

In-Game

  • L, R, START, and SELECT - Reset
  • L, R, and X - Toggles the frame counter off and on.
  • SELECT, Up and another button - Change character:
    • L - Fox
    • R - Falco
    • A - Peppy
    • B - Slippy
    • Y - Miyu
    • X - Fay

Pause Menu

  • X - Disable most of the pause overlays (the map, menu text and screen dimming); possibly an unfinished screenshot mode.

Map Screen

  • L, R, and B - Trigger Andross to send out miniboss(es); can be activated repeatedly.
  • L, R, and Y - Destroy all opponents on the map immediately and send the player to the last level.
  • L, R, and X - Raise Corneria's damage to 100%, causing a Game Over.

P2 Controller

In-Game

  • Start - Skip to credits.
  • Select and R - Disable rendering.
  • Select and L - Enable rendering.

Map Screen

  • L and R - Message test; General Pepper begins a transmission which cycles through all messages in the game.
(Source: Phugolz, TheSonicfan3000, Original TCRF research)

Sound Test

Hmmm...
To do:
Describe in more detail what each option does.
Star fox 2 late proto-config.png

Accessed by the CONFIG option on the title screen.

The SCENE and PORT 0 options allow you to play the background music, the SCENE option controls the Level to load, while PORT0 allows you to select the different music in the selected level.

PORT 2 allows you to play the sound of various spaceship engines, while PORT 3 allows you to play the rest of the sound effects and the speech of the game.

The "PORT" below the menu represents the sound-ports, in binary, except the last one. Interestingly, if you stop the sound with X, "PORT0" becomes 00001110 (0E in hex), while in the menu you can get up to 00001000 (08 in hex).

Unfinished Secret Base

In the Test menu, if Venom is selected and Planet Step is set to 06, an unfinished, daytime version of the final's Secret Base can be entered. According to the HUD, there are nine targets (presumably switches, as this map doesn't have a boss enemy), though there appear to be no shield switches anywhere nor a "base" into which to proceed. There are a few things that can be shot and destroyed, but they do not count as targets. There is one item on top of the "church" that can be collected by destroying the thing on top, but it is otherwise useless.

Collision is seemingly worse than the rest of the accessible stages. For example, the Arwing can be hit when it is clearly not touching the buildings, and the non-moving "enemies" that can be shot and destroyed may have to be shot multiple times before they can actually be hit.

Oddly enough, this unfinished version of the Secret Base still exists in the final game.

Unused Audio

Two voice samples (one male, one female) that say "1-Up!" Presumably the female samples would have been heard if the player was using Miyu or Fay.

Hmmm...
To do:
Add the unused music track in .ogg format.

Unlike the final build, the prototype does not play the first game's Corneria theme on the Pilot Select screen after scoring a Star Rank in Expert mode with all characters. Still, the track itself does exist within this build, though it doesn't play at any point.

Unused Graphics

Hmmm...
To do:
Several unused graphics are mentioned in this Starfox-online.net topic from 2012. Add any other unused graphics from this build here.
Proto (Unused) Final
StarFox2-95-06-22-Japan-SNES-TitleGroup-Unused.png
StarFox2-Final-USA-SNES-TitleGroup.png

Though not used here, a slightly earlier version of the group shot of the playable characters present on the final build's title screen exists in this version. It can be found in the block of 2D Super FX graphics between 0x90000 and 0xA7FFF in the ROM. A few subtle differences exist:

  • Peppy's eye is entirely different.
  • Areas of Peppy, Slippy, and Fox are shaded using the darkest blue color. Most of these have been changed to use the darkest grey instead for the final version.
  • A few black pixels around Fox's, Miyu's, and Fay's shoulders have been made transparent.
(Source: Patch93)

Leftover Build Date

The STAR GLIDER 01 NOV 1991 string at 0xE07, which remains in the final, also appears in this build.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Developer Signature

An ASCII signature for Dylan Cuthbert can be found inside the ROM at 0x6BBA2 and is the same as the one in the final version.

(Source: BMF54123)