We just released a prototype of the cancelled SNES port of Puggsy! Take a look!
As always, thank you for supporting The Cutting Room Floor on Patreon!

Sonic Blast Man (Arcade)

From The Cutting Room Floor
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Title Screen

Sonic Blast Man

Developer: Taito
Publisher: Taito
Platform: Arcade (Taito B System)
Released in JP: January 1991[1]
Released in US: March 1991[2]


CodeIcon.png This game has unused code.
DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.


Sonic Blast Man is a first-person action game wherein the titular hero must take down five different opponents by punching them but good. To achieve this, the player has to physically punch an actual, real-life punch pad with boxing gloves.

As with anything that encourages punching something as hard as possible, it ended with fractured arms and wrists.

Debug Functions

Put the following code in MAME's sbm.xml cheat file to change the standard test mode into one of five normally-inaccessible debugging tools:

  <cheat desc="Change Test Mode Function">
    <parameter>
      <item value="0x0000CAAC">Block Test</item>
      <item value="0x0000D94E">Object Test</item>
      <item value="0x0000CF6E">Mask Test</item>
      <item value="0x0000D59C">Screen Test</item>
      <item value="0x000114D2">Punch Test</item>
    </parameter>
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.md@091B6=param</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.md@091B6=0x0000BA86</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

Block Test

SonicBlastManArcBlockTest.png

This is a FG/BG "block" viewer. Since the foreground, background, and sprites all use the same graphics bank, this is also a sprite viewer.

Controls:

  • 1P Up/Down - Scrolls between blocks.
  • 1P Left/Right - Changes the "SCR.N" variable, which affects which background layer the block is drawn on and the palettes it can use.
  • 1P Start/2P Start - Adjusts the palette.
  • 1P Start + 2P Start - Resets the game.

Object Test

SonicBlastManArcObjectTest.png

Since, as previously explained, FG/BG and sprites use the same graphics bank, the only difference between the Block and Object tests is the zoom function and the number of palettes available.

Controls:

  • 1P Up/Down - Scrolls between frames.
  • 1P Left/Right - Adjusts the zoom level. At 0 the object is displayed in full, and at 248 the object is fully zoomed out.
  • 1P Start/2P Start - Adjusts the palette.
  • 1P Start + 2P Start - Resets the game.

Mask Test

SonicBlastManArcMaskTest.png
Displays the raw contents of the game's graphics in 8×8 tile form.

Controls:

  • 1P Up/Down - Adjusts the character count by 0x100.
  • 1P Start/2P Start - Adjusts the palette.
  • 1P Start + 2P Start - Resets the game.

Screen Test

SonicBlastManArcScreenTest.png
Displays the raw contents of the game's graphics in 16×16 tile form. They probably could have consolidated some of these tests.

Controls:

  • 1P Up/Down - Adjusts the character count by 0x40.
  • 1P Start/2P Start - Adjusts the palette.
  • 1P Start + 2P Start - Resets the game.

Punch Test

SonicBlastManArcPunchTest1.png SonicBlastManArcPunchTest2.png
Does what it says: tests the game's punch pad, then prints out the data that the game uses to determine how powerful the punch was. The results are displayed for two seconds before the test resets.

  • The first power value is the raw strength of the user's punch, while the second power value is the adjusted strength. The amount of time the punch pad stays up seems to affect this counter.
  • The timer is the amount of time, in milliseconds, that the user took to punch the punch pad after it went all the way up.
  • The counter in the bottom-left corner can be manipulated by holding 1P Start/2P Start. This might have something to do with the punch pad's resistance.
  • The top counter in the bottom-right corner keeps track of the number of frames that Pad Photosensor 1 (as it's called in MAME) was held, and the bottom number tracks the number of frames both Photosensor 1 and Photosensor 2 were held.

Stage Debug

Rounds 3 and 4 have their own debug tools that are normally disabled. Put this code in sbm.xml to re-enable these features:

  <cheat desc="Stage Debug">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@16454=0x0001</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@1771A=0x0001</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@16454=0x0000</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@1771A=0x0000</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

SonicBlastManArcRound3Debug.png SonicBlastManArcRound4Debug.png
Three variables are displayed in the lower-left corner. "Target" is the destruction phase that the game will eventually reach this round, while "Current" is the current phase of destruction that the game is processing. In the above screenshot, the game is currently animating phase 1 of the building's destruction, which consists of shaking the building and drawing a giant impact hole in the bottom center. It will then animate phases 2, 3, 4, and then finally 5, at which point the building will be completely destroyed.

"Total Pow" is just the combined power of the player's punches so far.

Game Audits Screen

SonicBlastManArcIncome.png
Hold 1P Start + 2P Start and press the Service button while in attract mode. This screen displays the number of games that have been played by round, as well as clear percentages for each round. Also displays total power-on and playtime, as well as the min, max, and average punch power, both individually and in totality.

Press 1P Start to change between "Data Clear" and "Exit", and press 2P Start to either clear the income data or exit the display screen.

Unused Graphics

Sonic Blast Man

A few notes on the older design:

  • Tilemaps no longer exist for these frames, but they all match frames used in the final game.
  • The same can be said for palettes, though this is a bit more of a problem since the older design uses a different color scheme than the newer design. The palettes of the sprites below are the best guess based on two extant palettes:
  • Object palette 41. While normally not used, this fits the old Round 5 ending sprite. However, the cape in this sprite uses the same color indexes as Sonic Blast Man's skin.
  • Luckily, frame bl_ssbmant4 (#741) has the shades of red that these sprites need. This is a leftover cape sprite from the older design.
  • The yellow and silver parts of the outfit use the same color IDs in most of the sprites. To get everything displayed correctly, the game would need to use two different palettes: One with gray shades, and a near-identical palette with the gray colors replaced with yellow hues. Each 8x8 or 16×16 tile (depending on whether this is a FG/BG element or a sprite) would then be assigned one of the two palettes.
The newer design only needs a single palette for each frame.
Early Final
SonicBlastManArcHeroTitleE.gif SonicBlastManArcHeroTitleF.gif

One look at the old design should give away why it was changed. Blue spandex; red cape, gloves, and boots; a pair of red shorts; and a yellow emblem plastered on the hero's chest... this is a DC lawsuit waiting to happen.

The older sprite, which would appear just before the title screen, has a flowing cape with four frames of animation. The new design reduces this to three frames.

Early Final
SonicBlastManArcHeroIntro1E.png SonicBlastManArcHeroIntro1F.png

To tone down the obvious similarities, the blue spandex was changed to gray, shoulder pads were added, the red cape was turned into a yellow scarf, and the "SB" emblem was replaced with a mounted clock and monitor.

Early Final
SonicBlastManArcHeroIntro2E.png SonicBlastManArcHeroIntro2F.png

His former red boots and shorts are now blue, the red gloves were swapped out with blue boxing gloves (which better fits the theme of the game anyway), and he's now rocking a set of blue knee pads. A true slew of new blue! While the belt around his shorts was white in earlier sprites (which was changed to red in the final sprite), the palette in this sprite was yellow for some reason.

The extent to which these sprites were changed varies wildly. For instance, the title screen sprite (the first one seen in this section) was completely redrawn, while this sprite carries over a lot of the original art, only with a different palette.

Early Final
SonicBlastManArcHeroIntro3E.png SonicBlastManArcHeroIntro3F.png

The core of Sonic Blast Man's body is identical between versions, but both designs take different approaches in the way they depict movement in the in-between frames.

Early Final
SonicBlastManArcHeroIntro4E.png SonicBlastManArcHeroIntro4F.png

Here, Sonic Blast Man's head is identical between designs, but every other element has been touched up in some way. The yellow lighting effect is slightly different in the new design.

Early Final
SonicBlastManArcHeroIntro5E.png SonicBlastManArcHeroIntro5F.png

Sonic Blast Man's design may have changed, but the woman he saves stayed the same. He looks happier in the old design, while the new design has a palette error that makes it look like that lady's been smoochin' him off-screen.

Early Final
SonicBlastManArcHeroIntro6E.png SonicBlastManArcHeroIntro6F.png

Whoever did the art for the newer design forgot to draw one of the knee pads on the first sprite, but since this sprite is normally zoomed out it isn't that noticeable.

Round 1

Early Final
SonicBlastManArcHeroRound1DefeatE.png SonicBlastManArcHeroRound1DefeatF.png

The old sprite has Sonic Blast Man in worse shape than the final design. Where'd his legs go?!

Early Final
SonicBlastManArcHeroRound1EndE.png SonicBlastManArcHeroRound1EndF.png

The early ending sprite has Sonic Blast Man giving the peace sign in one hand and holding the lady's purse in the other. Obviously, the new boxing glove-clad design wasn't able to do a peace sign, but he should have still been able to hold the purse...

Round 2

Early Final
SonicBlastManArcHeroRound2DefeatE.png SonicBlastManArcHeroRound2DefeatF.png

The sprite of Sonic Blast Man getting run over was redrawn in a somewhat different perspective.

Early Final
SonicBlastManArcHeroRound2EndCE.png SonicBlastManArcHeroRound2EndCF.png

The object on Sonic Blast Man's head is inconsistently drawn in the older design. While in most sprites it's drawn like a satellite dish, in other sprites, like the one above, it's drawn like a shiny coin. The newer design consistently draws it like a dish.

There are also two different sprites for the woman holding the baby: The older sprite had a blank space for Sonic Blast Man's hand which had to be redrawn when he started wearing boxing gloves. The older sprite is bl_scnend11 (#666) in the graphics viewer, while the new sprite is bl_scnend11 (#800). The new sprite is the very last one in the object viewer and isn't in alphabetical order like the rest of the sprites, so this was caught very late in development.

Round 3

Early Final
SonicBlastManArcHeroRound3DefeatE.gif SonicBlastManArcHeroRound3DefeatF.png

The older design has an animated sprite with a different expression; he looks more frustrated than defeated.

Early Final
SonicBlastManArcHeroRound3EndE.png SonicBlastManArcHeroRound3EndF.png

Sonic Blast Man shakes the mayor(?)'s hand in both designs, but in the newer sprite, he has to take off one of his boxing gloves to do it.

Round 4

Early Final
SonicBlastManArcHeroRound4DefeatE.png SonicBlastManArcHeroRound4DefeatF.png

Another instance of the strange head-coin design. The position of Sonic Blast Man's arms in the second sprite changed to have them both hang straight down.

Early Final
SonicBlastManArcHeroRound4EndE.png SonicBlastManArcHeroRound4EndF.png

Even this tiny sprite had to be changed, but they managed to fit all of the added bits and alterations into the new design.

Round 5

Early Final
SonicBlastManArcHeroRound5EndE.png SonicBlastManArcHeroRound5EndF.png

This sprite, used in Round 5's ending, shrunk Sonic Blast Man's head a tad and added detail to his shades.

Other

SonicBlastManArcOldLogo1.png SonicBlastManArcOldLogo2.png
Frame Names: bl_title

Two early attempts at a game logo for "Super Sonic Blast Man". The tilemap and palette are still in the game for the first logo, but not for the second.

Even though "Super" was dropped from the game title, voice clips in both the US and Japanese sets still refer to the hero as Super Sonic Blast Man.

SonicBlastManArcHeroIntroGlasses.png
Frame Names: bl_kao1, bl_kao2

As if the suit wasn't enough, Sonic Blast Man's civilian form originally wore glasses...

Early Final
SonicBlastManArcHeroIntro0E.png SonicBlastManArcHeroIntro0F.png

Frame Names: bl_tem (Early), bl_teh, bl_teh (Final)

...which he would then take off before transforming. At least he didn't do it in a phone booth.

To fill his hands with something besides the glasses, he was given a burger and a shake from a fast-food chain that starts with the letter M.

SonicBlastManArcBigLetterE1.png SonicBlastManArcBigLetterP1.png SonicBlastManArcBigLetterR1.png SonicBlastManArcBigLetterU1.png
SonicBlastManArcBigLetterE2.png SonicBlastManArcBigLetterP2.png SonicBlastManArcBigLetterR2.png SonicBlastManArcBigLetterU2.png

Frame Names: bl_bige, bl_bigp, bl_bigr, bl_bigu, bl_bige2, bl_bigp2, bl_bigr2, bl_bigu2

Big "E", "P", "R", and "U" letters. In attract mode, the game's title scrolls by in large print; after "Super" was dropped, these letters were left unused.

Early Final
SonicBlastManArcSelectBGE.png SonicBlastManArcSelectBGF.png

Frame Names: bl_seltitle (Early), bl_newback (Final)

The stage select background originally consisted of a simple checkerboard pattern. The final background adds depth to the squares and two Taito logos.

Early Final
SonicBlastManArcButtonsE.png SonicBlastManArcButtonsF.png

Frame Name: bl_button (Early & Final)

The graphics viewers use a different, earlier palette for the game's buttons. Note that neither of the button graphics matches the actual cabinet's red and blue buttons.

SonicBlastManArcButtonPress1.gif SonicBlastManArcButtonPress2.gif
Frame Names: bl_btnlof, bl_btnlon, bl_btnrof, bl_btnron

There's also animation for the buttons being pressed, just in case that was ever necessary. Turns out it wasn't.

SonicBlastManArcSign1.png SonicBlastManArcSign2.png SonicBlastManArcTrashCan.png

Frame Names: bl_roadsa, bl_roadsb, bl_trush

Two road signs and a trash receptacle for use in Round 2. No moterdrives allowed!!

SonicBlastManArcRound4CrabHead.png
Frame Names: bl_kd1a, bl_kd1b

Separate eye sprites for Taraber, the giant crab robot in Round 4. The set on the left is identical to the ones on the full crab graphic, while the yellow set on the right probably would have been used after getting punched.

SonicBlastManarcRound4BellyHatch.png
Frame Names: bl_fh1, bl_fh2, bl_fh3, bl_fh4

Sprites for Taraber's belly hatch flopping open, revealing its mechanical innards. In the final game, the hatch goes from closed to open instantly by just swapping in a different background graphic.

Unused Music

There are two unused tracks in the game, unhelpfully labeled "Unused 1" and "Unused 2" on the game's OST.

The first is track 20. This foreboding track is the appropriate length and tone for the pre-round explanation screens, which are oddly silent in-game.

The second is track 23. More celebratory than the previous track, this likely would have been used on the high score screen. This track became used in the sequel Real Puncher as a result theme for both face-digitized game modes.

Early English Text

There's an earlier English script in the Japanese set. Put the following code in MAME's sbmj.xml cheat file to set the game's region to "USA", which will display the English text:

  <cheat desc="English Text">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@7FFFE=0x0002</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@7FFFE=0x0001</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

The earlier English text is a more literal translation of the Japanese script and contains a good amount of grammatical errors and awkwardly-phrased dialogue. The final English script does a better job of dressing down the player when they fail and praising the player when they succeed.

General
PUNCH THE
PUNCHING PAD      
AFTER IT IS
RAISED.
WAIT FOR
PUNCH PAD TO       
RAISE BEFORE
PUNCHING.
Round 1
 A WOMAN IS BEING
   ASSALTED BY
    A RUFFIAN.

   HIT 3 PUNCHES
       AND
 KNOCKED OUT THE
         RUFFIAN! 
 A WOMAN IS BEING 
   ASSAULTED BY
    A HOODLUM.

  PUNCH 3 TIMES
       TO
  KNOCK OUT THE
         HOODLUM!  
 ON THE CONTRARY, 
     YOU WERE
    KNOCKED OUT.
 WHAT A DISGRACE!  
     YOU WERE
    KNOCKED OUT!
 
 SAVED THE WOMAN
 FROM THE RUFFIAN.
 A REAL HERO! YOU
 SAVED HER FROM
      THE HOODLUM. 
Round 2
WATCH OUT A BABY!

  HIT 3 PUNCHES
      AND
STOP THE
 TRACTOR TRAILER! 
WATCH OUT FOR THE  
       BABY!

PUNCH 3 TIMES TO
STOP THE
 SPEEDING TRUCK.
 
YOU WERE KILLED BY
 BEING RUN OVER.
HOW UNFORTUNATE... 
YOU'VE BEEN
        RUN OVER!
SUCCEEDED IN
 SAVING THE BABY! 
 GREAT! YOU'VE
  SAVED THE BABY!  
Round 3
 A TOWN IS BEING
         ATTACKED!

    HIT 3 PUNCHES
        AND
  DESTROY A BAD
FORTRESS BUILDING!
 A TOWN IS
    UNDER ASSAULT! 

 PUNCH 3 TIMES TO
  DESTROY THE
   EVIL FORTRESS!
 
 ALAS, YOU WERE
 CAUGHT UNDER A
 FALLEN BUILDING. 
 YOU WEAKLING!
 NOW YOU'RE TRAPPED
 UNDER THE RUINS!
YOU ARE THE SAVER 
     OF TOWN!
    EXCELLENT!
YOU SAVED THE TOWN!
Round 4
A BIG MONSTER
-TARABER- APPEARS!

  HIT 3 PUNCHES
       AND
DEFEAT THE
        MONSTER!
A GIANT MONSTER
-TARABER- APPEARS! 

PUNCH 3 TIMES TO
DEFEAT THE BEAST!

 
     FAILED...

 A PASSENGER SHIP 
 FALLS VICTIM TO
 THE MONSTER...
   YOU BLEW IT...

 A CRUISE SHIP HAS 
  FALLEN VICTIM TO
    THE MONSTER.
  THE MONSTER WAS 
    DROWNED AT
      THE SEA.
  THE MONSTER HAS
  BEEN IMMOBILIZED.
 
Round 5
A METEORITE COMES
  NEAR THE EARTH!

   HIT 3 PUNCHES
       AND
DESTROY THE
       METEORITE! 
 A METEORITE COMES 
   DANGEROUSLY 
  CLOSE TO EARTH!

 PUNCH 3 TIMES TO
 DESTROY THE
        METEORITE!
THE HUMANKIND WAS 
     RUINED...
 THE HUMAN RACE
    WAS WIPED OUT! 
 
YOU ARE TRUE HERO!
 
   YOU'VE BEEN
    HONORED AS
     A REAL HERO!  

Warrior Blade Leftovers

The US set contains leftover data from a prototype of Warrior Blade: Rastan Saga Episode III that's broken up in three blocks.

Block 1 - 0x00400-0x00FFF

This is mostly boot code, but also contains text for the game's extensive RAM error handling. There don't appear to be any remarkable changes in this block.

Block 2 - 0x019AC-0x07FFF

This block includes text and code for the game's test mode and attract modes, the "Insert Coin(s)" strings, and export warnings.

  • At 0x03D1C is a pre-title message that was deleted from the final game:
    PRESENTED     
        BY        
PROJECT FINALGLORY
       WITH       
    TEAM H.D.C.   
  • At 0x03EF1 is filler text for the attract mode screen where Rastan begins to recount his story:
HE IS KING.

SAWAKI MAGIC DE ARU.          
KU MARU MARU GEE DESUKA? KORE?
NNN, MA, IKKA.                
  • At this point, the bios for Sophia and Mahadidekaradi haven't been written yet.

Block 3 - 0x04C8FA-0x7DDDF

The largest block contains data for the game's enemies, objects, and stages. This also includes the code for the high score entry; the list of special high score names has already been finalized.

  • The most interesting content in this chunk is the inclusion of several debug tools that were removed from the final game. First, there's a list of enemy actions at 0x4CE2A and 0x4F04A in the main CPU:
E DES      
E NEAR1    
E NEAR2    
E NEAR3    
E FAR1     
E FAR2     
E FAR3     
E ATTACK1  
E ATTACK2  
E ATTACK3  
E DEFENS1  
E DEFENS2  
E DEFENS3  
E WAY      
E WAIT     
E STOP     
E JFAR1    
E JNEAR1   
E SLEEP    
E BREATH   
E WALK     
E XXX
  • A set of player states is at both 0x4D072 and 4F284:
DES MODE     
WALK MODE    
ATTACK MODE  
POKE MODE    
DROP MODE    
DEFENSE MODE 
TACKLE MODE  
CRUSH MODE   
KICK MODE    
BREATH MODE  
FIRE MODE    
GET UP MODE  
DOWN MODE    
CUT MODE     
LIFT MODE    
STRIKE MODE  
THROW MODE   
ROPE MODE    
PULL MODE    
DES2 MODE    
STOP MODE    
MAGIC MODE   
WAY MODE     
NECK MODE    
OUT MODE     
J ATTACK MODE
JUMP MODE    
NAGE MODE    
DES3 MODE    
SLEEP MODE   
WAIT MODE    
J FAR MODE   
WEAPON MODE  
XXX MODE

Text for an enemy viewer begins at 0x4E05C:

ENEMYCELL
FIGHTER
ZOMBI
WANI
MAGE
BABARIAN
CHAKURAM
LION
WEPON
FISHMAN
SAAPENT
PLANT
MAGIN

MODE_TEST1
REPAT_TEST2
TYPE_TEST3
PATNO
ANIMTIME
MAXTIME

Two different sets of instructions are at 0x4E26A and 0x4E2BC:

PUSH 1P TO EDITER START
PUSH 1P TO BATTLE START
PUSH 2P TO DEFAULT SET

Text for a combat test starts at 0x4E416 in the main CPU:

PUSH 1P TO BATTLE START
PUSH TILT TO RETURN

---BATTLE STAGE---
ENEMY TYPE
MIND TYPE
MOVE SPEED
E STATE
STATE
ATTACK WAIT
DEFENSE WAIT
MOVE WAIT
DOWN WAIT
LIFE
SHELD DEF
SORD DEF
O ATTACK
ENEMY TYPE
MIND TYPE
MOVE SPEED
E STATE
STATE
ATTACK WAIT
DEFENSE WAIT
MOVE WAIT
DOWN WAIT
LIFE
SHELD DEF
SORD DEF
O ATTACK

A list of enemy types for this menu is at 0x4ECF6:

FIGHTER SORD    
FIGHTER PIRUM   
FIGHTER HAIBERUT
FIGHTER FUREIRU 
BABARIAN AXE    
BABARIAN KATARU 
BABARIAN BUMERAN
WANI AXE        
WANI MONINGSTAR 
WANI SORD       
SUKERUTON       
SAPENT          
LIONGOUST       
MAGE            
ZOMBI           
LABAMAN         
BOOZU           
SNAKEBAT        
PLANT           
DRAGONFISH      
FISHMAN         
KONBOOMAN
Finally, there's some miscellaneous debug text at 0x4F5D0:
SHIKOU 
KYOUBOU
BOUGYO 
KIRARE 
NIGHT  
XXX
  • An early list of item names starts at 0x6AC00 in the main CPU:
ARMS             
ARMS OF FIRE     
ARMS OF THUNDER  
MARINE MEDICINE  
GRASS MEDICINE   
TWILIGHT MEDICINE
COPPER COIN      
SILVER COIN      
GOLD COIN        
TREASURES        
GOLD SHEEP       
                 
BRACELET         
CALLING CRYSTAL  
RAINBOW CRYSTAL  
SCROLL OF ICE    
SPECIAL HEALING
The Shield, Circlet, Celestial Globe, Pendant, Medallion, Ring, and Crown items were all added after this build, and the "Special Healing" item was later renamed to "Special Medicine". The Rainbow Crystal and Scroll of Ice items are nowhere to be found in the final game.
  • The game credits are nowhere to be found.

Regional Differences

Japan US
SonicBlastManArcHealthJP.png SonicBlastManArcHealthINT.png
  • The health tracker's text was changed from "LEFT" to "REMAINING", and the health value was moved underneath the text.

SonicBlastManArcTickets.png

  • If the region flag is set to anything other than Japan, the game acts as a ticket redemption game. The player earns tickets depending on how well they did and which round they selected.