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
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. DavisWriting 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: GoldSROM testing: GoldS, Bramsworth of hiddenpalace.org
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.