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Proto:Super Castlevania IV

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Super Castlevania IV.

This cactus is UNDER CONSTRUCTION
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.
Hmmm...
To do:
  • Screenshots showing differences between prototype and final versions of levels.
  • Somehow getting this code to work in the prototype version.
  • Everything else.

A prototype of Super Castlevania IV with a last file modification date of June 14th, 1991 was leaked along with several other prototypes and source code in July 2020, it can be found in NEWSテープリストア\NEWS_05\NEWS_05.tar.\home\kimura\games.lzh. It's further along than the build shown in this advertisement, but there are still many differences compared to the final release. These differences include enemies which use older sprite art and behaviors, a different in-between stage map graphic, prototype versions of many of the songs from the game, as well as differences in the placements of subweapons and items.

Sub-Pages

MusicIcon.png
Sound & Music Differences
There's quite a few musical changes and even different sound effects!

Option Screen

Prototype Final (Japan)
SCastlevaniaIVPrototypeOption.png SCastlevaniaIVFinalOptionJ.png

The option screen gets a overhaul, and added a basic Sound Test function for the Final version. A new animated fire icon replaced the heart icon - which is already used in the title screen - as the cursor of option menu.

Password Screen

Prototype Final (Japan)
SCastlevaniaIVProtoPassword.png SCastlevaniaIVFinalPasswordJ.png

The password screen is yet to be finalized, and the Final version is given a slightly brighter shade rendition. The name entry screen is not accessible in the prototype build, thus the name tag at the bottom of password screen is always "KONAMI". The password system is not compatible with the one used in the Final game, and may generate password sets even the game itself won't accept if entered one of the inaccessible stages mentioned below and trigger a Game Over.

Inaccessible / Incomplete Stages

To continue to Block 6 from Block 5, change D0 to 80 at offset 0x129AB. Otherwise, the game will reset after completing Block 5. Alternatively, you can skip directly to Block 6 by entering the following password:

Super Castlevania IV Prototype Password.png

You can play through part of the game this way, though the stages will lack enemies (besides bosses) and candles starting from Blocks 6-3 and 7-2 respectively. Additionally, every stage from Block 7-1 onward consists of temporary graphics (mostly simple blocks and stairs on a black background). The game will crash after defeating the boss of Block 9; however, the data for Blocks A and B are still in the game, as are all of the bosses besides Dracula.

Circular Room

Image short-looped for dramatic effect (but the corridor IS pretty long!)

Using the Pro Action Replay (PAR) code 7E008637 leads to a peculiar room in Block A-1: The Clock Tower. This room is massive, but consists only of a long, straight platform, a massive staircase, and a bunch of empty space and garbage data. It also reuses tiles from Block 1-2. Most obvious of all, however, is the Mode 7 effects in play, here, which give the illusion of a massive, round, tower-like room.

It's unknown what this room was intended to be, as the room and its value were completely erased in the final game, but from appearances, it might have been similar to Block 5-0A: The Tower of Terror from the previous game. It could also be the bridging phrase between Block 9 and Block A as Room #38 being the room used as starting point of Block A in the Final game, and what appear to be the upper exit of massive staircase roughly matches the entrance of Room #38 in position and shape.

Placeholder Terrain

An example of the placeholder graphics in Block A-2 (A-1 in the final game).

Simple graphics for complex plans

As mentioned above, Block 7-1 onward uses temporary graphics for its terrain:

  • The solid blocks are, well, solid blocks and make up much of the terrain. Bits-and-pieces of blocks are also used, where appropriate, to elevate spikes or make half-sized dips in the terrain.
  • The pipe-looking 8x8 graphics are stairs and are occasionally placed over the blocks to allow upward/downward passage.
  • The 8x8 "dust particle" makes up pools of "quicksand" (muck, loose treasure) in Blocks 8 and 9.
  • The slopes are used as placeholders for piles of treasure in Block 9 and also make up the stone hands of the ruined clock tower of Block A.
  • Lastly, the little 8x8 circle is, quite simply, instant death. However, their use in this prototype is unusual. The graphic appears where special platform types will go in future builds, such as suction holes in Block 9-2 or the collapsing stairs in Block B-2.

ROM Header

The ROM header claims itself as "SUPER CASTLEVANIA" although the Title Screen and System Font are using their Japanese counterparts in the Prototype.