Friday, November 11, 2016

Rockman X3 Prototype Version Released!


After what seems like forever, we have successfully ripped a playable dump of the Rockman X3 prototype/SAMPLE version. Good on our word, it's now available to be played, dissected and researched to your heart's content.


The file can be found by clicking on a certain green button on the right side of this blog. You know, the same button where all the other betas & protos are. It's right there.

Once you've downloaded and unzipped the file, you may want to input the following PAR codes. These allow you to access dummied-out stages and music:

  • E1FAE0C for Doppler stage 3
  • 7E1FAE0D for Doppler stage 4 
  • 7E1FAE0E for Doppler stage 2 - damaged version
  • 00DA390B enable once X starts automatically walking after defeating Sigma and then disable once he reaches the wall in order to enable the cutscene of Zero using his antivirus attack on Sigma.
  • 7E1FCEFF to enable I. Tracer from X2 in weapon select, though it will crash the game if you try to use it
  • 0688D91E to change Horneck's stage music: to the password music
  • 0688D926 ... to epilogue music
  • 0688D92F ... to cast roll music
  • 0688D931 ... to Zero's theme
  • 7E003C01 use at the title screen to allow you to force select password and view the password screen 


With that out of the way, you're good to go.


 Top: prototype Vile left; retail right
Bottom: prototype Byte left; retail right


A little background on this for those just catching up: the build date for this prototype is August 23rd, 1995 - that's about four months before the game hit retail. The differences here are mostly graphical, i.e early stage backgrounds and early sprites. For example, pictured above is a comparison between Vile and Byte's prototype and retail sprites. Vile's prototype sprite is remarkably better than the final version; much more faithful to his official artwork!


Left: unused Blast Hornet ceiling boss gate | Right, armor color-coded enhancement chips


There are other prototype elements, too. The unused ceiling boss gate in Blast Hornet's stage - previously seen on the back of X3's U.S box - is fully operational. Further, the white trim of X's armor changes color based on the enhancement chip you currently have equipped - a feature *entirely* missing from the final game!

There's plenty more differences and oddities to be found. You'll have to play and poke around for yourself! All future findings will be cataloged at The Cutting Room Floor, FYI. Anyone and everyone is invited to contribute.


A big, big thank you to the following people for getting this prototype out the door:

Obtaining/dumping/freely releasing the prototype: C. Davis

Writing and revising the reader code used to create a playable ROM dump of this prototype: skaman (of the arduino.cc forums)

Dumped using an Arduino-based SNES reader by sanni (of arduino.cc forum and ASSEMBLERGAMES forum)

PAR codes: GoldS

ROM testing: GoldS, Bramsworth of

Let me emphasize it took a tremendous amount of effort to get the prototype in a playable state. The Cx4 chip on the prototype EPROM was a bit different than the retail X3, if you recall. It required a specific flavor of hardware - a Super WildCard DX2 and an Arduino reader - to produce a playable dump. Procuring these devices wasn't easy (nor cheap) so we're truly thankful for everyone that's shown us patience.

Do enjoy!

28 comments:

  1. Thank you very much! This is an amazing gift for my collection. you are great!!

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  2. Yay! I'll probably try this out later.

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  3. Thank you! You do keep your promise. We thank you for being honest with us. You are indeed a good person! Now, I have all collection. Hope there is more prototype for Megaman 3, Megaman 4. Those two are missing.

    By the way, you forgot to add Mega Man 64 prototype to your Betas & Protos release list! Here: http://www.rockman-corner.com/2016/01/mega-man-64-debug-version-dumped-and.html

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  4. Missing prototype is: Rockman X8

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  5. That was a fun romp. One neat thing I found (don't recall seeing it in the videos) is that the enhancement chips give you different coloured armor depending on which one you get, similar to how the gold armor in this gives a black and blue colour instead.

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    1. Yup, that is what happens. Curious that they removed that feature.

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    2. could you take some screenshots of video of this? It would be amazing, thanks if you can!

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    3. Already done, my friend.

      My personal favorite is the Arm Chip color scheme.

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  6. BIG Thanks to CD.21.21 CD.21.21 for acquiring the cart and sharing it!

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  7. Image of me, when I noticed this article today. Ho ho ho...

    I really want to show my appreciation for all the work that went into making this possible. Thank you, everyone, who was involved! From the people who physically made it happen, to the patient fans like me who gave encouraging words as we waited for news, you're all awesome.

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    1. And ya know... I find it funny that this came out a day after Mega Man X3 hit the US Virtual Console stores. The timing was pretty good for interest in this specific title!

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  8. First of all, thanks a lot for the effort for bringing this treasure to all fans. You guys have my gratitude.
    Second, regarding the color schemes for upgrades, does anybody think that the early Enhanced Max Armor idea went to become the Ultimate Armor on X4? The colors are similar. Just a though

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  9. It is my hope that one day, Mega Man Mania (A.K.A. Anniversary Collection Advance) will be dumped.

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  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can't thank you guys enough for this wonderful achievement. Also, whoa I. Tracer has the Wily symbol.

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    1. A quote from Gauntlet of The Mechanical Maniacs:
      A "W" bar. Seriously. In EVERY SNES X game. It's actually for X's buster! You can see it in the tile viewer and it's replaced whenever X switched weapons. Interestingly enough, beta screen shots show a "P" bar for X's Power bar. This particular bar came from X3.

      So basically, it's the icon that shows up when the game has no idea what icon it should be displaying for a weapon. Its design is probably just a coincidence though as, while it does indeed look like the W from Dr. Wily's logo, there's some minute differences as well.

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  11. Quite fascinating. Prototypes certainly have some stories to tell.

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  12. Thank you to everyone that was involved in this.

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  13. How does one enter these par codes in ZSnes without getting the "Error! Invalid Code" message?

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    Replies
    1. While it doesn't directly answer your question, I can confirm that the ones I tried worked in SNES9x without issue.

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    2. If you're trying to enter the first code listed, add a 7 to the beginning (7E1FAE0C). Protodude made a typo.

      Otherwise, just enter the 8-character codes in the first line (next to where it says "Enter Code:"), add an optional description (next to where it says "Description:", and either hit Enter or click "Add".

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  14. huh... there's no link to download?

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    1. I can't direct link it. Click on the green betas & protos button on the right side of this page

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  15. You can drop down this hole on Toxic Seahorse's Stage.

    In the retail, this hole is just a normal death hole, and is much wider. It looked suspicious with how small it was, but I was still surprised when I saw the camera transition. At first, I thought this might have been a scrapped area for a powerup, but voila, when you have defeated two bosses, this becomes another entrance to Vile's hideout! I am almost positive they scrapped this from the retail release.

    Also, I have a question. The main article says how Blast Hornet's gate is "fully operational." Is this just a poor way of saying that it is there, or do you mean that there is an alternate path that you can take to come through this door? This is what I always imagined as a kid...

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    1. Nice find! I noticed that pit too but decided not to check it out lol.

      I was also wondering about Blast Hornet's ceiling door too. Is there a way to actually access it because even in the final version, GoldS never shared the PAR code to enable it. With how the level is laid out, it doesn't even make sense why it's there in the first place.

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    2. I put some PAR codes that allow you to go through the door on the TCRF talk page for the prototype: https://tcrf.net/Proto_talk:Mega_Man_X3_(SNES)
      You can only enter the door from above, and it will bring you back into Blast Hornet's room, where the game will effectively lock up. I don't know how GoldS did it originally (his codes appear to be superior), but this will at least get you through the door.

      Unfortunately there is nothing up there. Interestingly, the door is also present in Blast Hornet's refight room in Doppler stage 1. Why would they put a door there if you're going to be teleporting into the room? I personally think that as the only flying boss, Blast Hornet was probably supposed to enter the room through the door, which explains it's present in both rooms. This would also explain the lack of any other objects or terrain above Hornet's room, and the lack of any pathway to the door.

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    3. Thanks Will! That was.......really interesting lol.

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  16. I wanted to play through the Sample a 2nd time to get additional changes but I think I'll share my findings now since the list is getting too big. It's unfiltered/unaltered (with maybe a few edits) but hopefully the information will prove useful to tcrf and such. Heck, maybe even I'll help out with the page...

    http://pastebin.com/Us8U2DAN

    Also thanks to CrAzY for mentioning the Acid Seaforce Vile Teleporter room. I went to check it out myself and added it to my document.

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