Monday, March 8, 2010

Capcom Once Planned On Releasing RockBoard Outside Of Japan?

In the Blue Bomber's 22 year history, there's been quite a few games that haven't received an official English localization and remain, to this day, exclusive to Japan.  One such title is 1993's Wily and Right's RockBoard, an obscure Monopoly-like game for the Famicom.  Supposedly, Nintendo believed the game promoted gambling and, as such, chose not to release the game in the States... or anywhere else, for that matter.

17 years later, RockBoard has yet to see an official English translation (although a fan translation exists).  However, a recently uncovered magazine article suggests that at one time, Capcom was in the process of localizing the game in English under the name of 'Mega Board':



Lost Levels forum member ReyVGM stumbled upon this blurb in an old Spanish gaming magazine article previewing a variety of then up-and-coming Capcom games shown off at the 1993 Consumer Electronics Show.  'Mega Board' is one of the games featured, and as you can see, the screenshot for the game features English text. The text refers to the numerous options players can take when traversing the board, like "ROULETTE", "MEANS" and presumably "NEGOTIATE."

Needless to say, this is a truly fascinating discovery.  It begs the question of just how far along the English version was in development before it got canned, and if it still exists in some form.

Well, here's hoping we'll be learning more about this in the future!

22 comments:

  1. As surprising as it is that an English version was in development at one point, I'm even more surprised that no one has hacked that ROM yet, so that it's in English, like they've done with Rockman & Forte (before the GBA version was released).

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  2. Krazy Monkey,

    Someone already hacked that ROM in English fully. A google is your friend. :)

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  3. The ROM may be hacked, but they could have improvised on the translation a bit...some text in the game such as what the characters say is ludicrous. Funny this was found. I was recently having thoughts of "MegaBoard" being released for the Virtual Console or WiiWare with online play and everything, although I highly doubt Capcom has the precious time to do that, what with their hundreds of employees and all...lol.

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  4. Wow, I actually own this particular magazine, and I do remember this article! I can provide a better (scanned) picture if need be.

    Heh, I had no idea this screenshot was so rare.

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  5. "Needless to say, this is a truly fascinating discovery. "

    No, it really isn't.

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  6. Sorry, Mike, I disagree. This is a HUGE discovery. We're looking at a cancelled Mega Man game, here. Proof that the game almost made it to our shores before the big N stepped in.

    Sure, the game might suck in general, but it's amazing to see that there was progress in bringing it stateside.

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  7. First I bring up unused dialog, then Animal Abuse, then Lady Gaga, now this. My name's everywhere here. Can I share this too:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38HMT8z39Ak

    Stay tuned for me people, I've got a video coming up that tells just how "close" Resident Evil is to Mega Man Legends in terms of 3D engines. Coming soon.

    "GeminiSaint said... Wow, I actually own this particular magazine, and I do remember this article! I can provide a better (scanned) picture if need be."

    Please do! We might get a better glimpse of the screen-shot.

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  8. This is an obscure monopoly-like game from 1993. Does anyone honestly care about a news story that says that it "was once planned on being released outside of Japan"? I mean, would you have actually bought this game? It seems to be less of a Mega Man game than The Wand Of Gamelon is a Zelda game.

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  9. "Does anyone honestly care about a news story that says that it "was once planned on being released outside of Japan"?"
    Uh yes. Many don't even know they exist.
    "I mean, would you have actually bought this game?"
    Too young at the time, but wouldn't be surprised if my brothers bought it.
    "It seems to be less of a Mega Man game than The Wand Of Gamelon is a Zelda game."

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  10. Rock board was the first Rockman game to not see an international release. Indeed, this is a major discovery. I wonder if a prototype exists somewhere?

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  11. Sorry, forgot to add my retort to the final quote:
    Game companies have admitted to selling games based on their franchise name rather than their experience. Megaman is no execption.

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  12. I think that magazine was called "club nintendo" a latinoamerican version

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  13. Well a lot of HD remakes are being made I think Capcom team can make it possible of releasing it inHD or in Virtual console....

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  14. Protodude, there is a error in the link to Lost Levels.

    "GeminiSaint said... Wow, I actually own this particular magazine, and I do remember this article! I can provide a better (scanned) picture if need be."

    If possible, scan the cover too for reference of which magazine is it. Thanks in advance!

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  15. Okay, here's the picture scanned at 400 dpi. The original picture was low quality to begin with (it clearly wasn't a direct capture, but more like a regular photograph), so the quality of this scan is as high as it can get:

    http://www.rphaven.org/gs/stuff/megaboard.jpg

    It came from Club Nintendo #13 (september 1993), a latin-american Nintendo magazine published in Mexico and other latin-american countries.

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  16. @GeminiSaint:

    Club Nintendo #13? do you mean the magazine where appears the guy from "prince of persia" in the cover?? LOL, i thing i still own that one!

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  17. If this is a scan from Club Nintendo, then it's not from a Spanish magazine, Protodude :3. Club Nintendo is a Mexican magazine that still exists.

    I'm surprised. Why Capcom decided to cancel this game?

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  18. I have this magazine too!. I'll start looking for beta and unreleased screenshots, i think that some interesting things will come up.

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  19. Ive never seen the Nes version of RockBoard so I think the picture looks like a Gameboy version....

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  20. It would be black and white than.

    Isn't issue 13 the one with Mickey in the cover, featuring Magical Quest?

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  21. Nevermind, I did more search and the Mickey cover is actually issue 13 of the Mexican version of the magazine, which is also in Spanish. The issue 13 with a Prince of Persia cover is the Chilean version. The site I used as reference (http://clubnintendomex.spaces.live.com/) has scans of some of the Mexican version and 3 Chilean version, one being this one but the download link is down.

    The Mexican issue 9 has Mega Man in the cover, a simple 6 pages walkthrough of MM4 and a Mega Man costume from Capcom's booth in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES):
    http://img704.imageshack.us/img704/5163/clubnintendoao1no9capco.jpg

    There may be more stuff in the other magazines.

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  22. I heard rumors floating around that they originally planned on releasing RockBoard outside of Japan (from several of my online co-op buddies who are confirmed Mega Man nuts) for a while, but until i saw this, i never thought they were serious about it. It's a shame that it never got a US release, though. I would've liked to try out a copy that wasn't a Japanese ROM.

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