(protos of released games)

While the primary focus of this website has always been and always will be the accumulation of pics and info about the UNRELEASED proto games, over the years I have had many questions and inquiries about the protos of the RELEASED games as well. (actually, my friend Matt is really the ONLY person that has ever asked or cared about this stuff!) But while this subject matter is not as interesting to me, I decided that perhaps it was indeed time to discuss it at length and to cover it in more detail.

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Original Working Title: BUBBLE BUSTER


-- TAITO -- 1994

Unknown to most people, the original Bust-A-Move puzzle game concept began its humble beginnings as a stand-alone puzzle game idea. Later on down the line, the Taito game designers decided to kick it up a notch by incorporating some of Taito's IP game characters into the storyline in order to enhance the gameplay and make it more appealing to audiences. Thus the characters from Taito's famous Bubble Bobble action game series were added in just prior to release and a pseudo-sequel "Puzzle" Bobble was born. We know this because the original beta of Bust-A-Move was left intact hidden within the proto Puzzle Bobble program. The music and sound effects for this version of the game are also different. In fact, the only thing it seems to be missing (more likely perhaps was never programmed) is a game ending. This is probably because the game was at about 80% completion when the concept was changed.




no cute friends
was name entry
Original Working Title: SUPER VOLLEY '94

Released as: POWER SPIKES II

Video System released the original Super Volleyball in 1989 as a jamma board. The Sega Genesis and NEC Turbografx received ports of this game in 1990. The second title in the series, also on jamma, was called Super Volley '91 (aka Power Spikes) in 1991. And in 1993, the Super NES saw the release of Hyper V-Ball. This final game in the series was initially called Super Volley '94, but was quickly changed to Power Spikes II.

The initial ADVERTISEMENTS as well as the FIRST RUN of MVS cartridges manufactured actually went out with this earlier version of the game. Shortly afterwards, they changed the games rom data, specifically the P rom and the C roms, and did the next MVS run.

The known differences are the obvious title screen change and subsequent attract mode title logo of the game. In addition, it has a completely different introduction sequence opening. (video and BGM are altered) And finally the league selection screen has the men, women, and hyper choices in different order and with different icons.

APRIL 1994 - Taito/Video System places an advertisement in GM Magazine.

(?) 1994 - article in Gamest Magazine?

JULY 1994 - the NEOGEO Guide Book publishes an article with a screenshot

ROM STATUS: 2 physical cartridges have been found of this rom build. One in California and another in France in May of 2012. Only the P rom has been dumped. We still need the C roms.

Original Working Title: CRYSTAL LEGACY / Released as: BREAKERS

The Breakers fighting game series (released in 1996 and 1998) began development as far back as 1994! Originally entitled Crystal Legacy, the game centered around fighters searching for the "Tenrin no syo" master scroll and 8 crystals. It was initially given an earlier NGH product number (NGM-072) which was revoked after the game underwent a 2 year delay before releasing at position NGM-230. A sequel then followed at (NGM-245).

APRIL 1994 - presented at the 1994 JAPAN AM show.

JULY 1994 - Gamest Magazine runs a full page article on Crystal Legacy.

JULY 1994 - A preview shown in the NEOGEO guide book

AUGUST 1994 - Visco places an advertisement in Game Machine Magazine.

(?) 1994 - An unknown article in ENGLISH on Crystal Legacy.

(?) 1994 - An unknown article in FRENCH on Crystal Legacy.

(?) 1994 - An unknown article in KOREAN on Crystal Legacy.

SEPTEMBER 1994 - Japan Amusement Monthly has an article with a screenshot.

SEPTEMBER 1994 - article with screenshots in DENGEKI OH Magazine

DECEMBER 1994 - Game Machine Magazine mentionsCrystal Legacy with a screenshot.

Additional NEO-GEO BETA Title Screens

An early beta version NGM-041

Baseball Stars 2 was originally referred to in SNK documents as "Baseball Stars Professional II". It was also stated that the player could play in leagues and tournaments. Baseball Stars 2 originally had solid black letters for its title as well as different colors utilized for the stars, the uniforms, etc. The US title screen was also altered prior to release from crediting SNK Corporation to the newly reformed SNK Home Entertainment. Even some debug code can be seen on the top right corner of the title as well.

An early beta version NGM-039

King of the Monsters 2, which has the subtitle of "The Next Thing" was originally called The Next Thing, with the subtitle of King of the Monsters II" The same thing with regards to Sengoku 2. It was originally titled "Sengoku II". The first big "sequel" push by SNK came to us during this time with these three games, as well as the Japanese Quiz Detective 2 game. Someone in the marketing department must have been debating these last minute changes to the titles of these games.

An early beta version

SNK put quite a bit of effort and detail into the Sengoku games. They were intended to be the shining stars of the side scrolling beat 'em up genre. But the theme of Sengoku was (at the time) considered to be unsuitable for the US market. Even the title was going to be changed because it sounded too foreign. (The working titles for Sengoku and Last Resort were Battle World and Shooting World). And by the time Sengoku 2 was nearing completion, the arcade industry trend was shifting from side scrolling beat 'em ups to one on one fighting. Sengoku 2 originally had 6 stages, but the final release was cut down to just 4. The removed stages were excessively violent and contained offensive religious symbols. The game had a very small production run on both MVS and HOME formats and the English home cart release was only intended for the EUROPEAN market.

An early beta version

An early beta of Burning Fight was found and it contained many differences from the final rom build. Some of the later stages were not yet finished and could not be accessed without the memory card. Also one of the 3 main characters was drawn very different.

Robo Army Beta Title Screen NGM-032
Here we can see that Robo Army originally used different colors for the title text and originally kept the forward marching army from the introduction sequence in the background behind it.

Ninja Masters Beta Title Screen NGM-217
Take a look at this radically different and much simpler looking title screen shot taken from an earlier March 1996 rom build of Ninja Master's. (the final was released in June 1996)

Puzzle de Pon beta title screen Puzzle de Pon final title screen
An early title screen for Puzzle de Pon with its' original working title.

An 82 MEG early beta of SNK's 3 Count Bout!


The ORIGINAL Roy Wilson! Amazingly, the 106 Mega Shock SNK wrestling game 3 Count Bout, which features 10 player selectable characters, was originally an 82 Meg game with only 8 selectable characters. However, all is not what it seems. Although the final version had 2 more characters to choose from, 2 of them were simply "pallette swaps" of other characters with alternate names.

Roy Wilson vs Bomberder

At first, we assumed this "9th" character was originally intended to be a final boss character. (very similar to the Great Puma of Nintendo's NES Pro Wrestling) However upon closer inspection, it was discovered that he was actually the original concept for Roy Wilson. Roy Wilson began as a "standard" wrestler (similar to Terry Rogers) but was eventually redrawn and recreated with a more diverse personality as a German rastafarian character.

It is completely unknown as to why SNK made these changes. If they had enough time to redo one character, as well as double up two others, why not simply leave the roster at 8 with the 9th character as a final elusive boss? A boss that could also be hidden and playable. Surely this would have been a far better addition then simply repeating 2 characters. With some more time, SNK might have been able to have incorporated a real final boss into this game, but instead the character Master Barnes was given the status of "current SWF champion" and as such is the last wrestler you must defeat to see the ending.

Roy Wilson vs Blubber Man