My old pal OKeijiDragon recently obtained and preserved a 1988 Capcom sales tape, which features several minutes of gameplay from a pre-release version of Rockman 2.
The footage (shown at 9:24 above) includes a few noteworthy differences from the final version. These include:
- Blocky trees in Wood Man's stage (these actually appeared on the back of the game's box!)
- The ladder in Crash Man's stage is positioned to the right, further from the player (compare)
- Enemies DROP E-Tanks!
- Missing enemies, 1-Up in Flash Man's stage (compare)
- EVERY Robot Master is grayed out! (including their projectiles and Health bar gauge) Maybe this was done to maintain a level of secrecy? Or their designs weren't finalized? Whatever the case, the effect appears to be native to this particular pre-release build. It wasn't overlaid or edited onto the video!
Also worth pointing out, the footage is set to a synth version of the game's score. I don't believe these specific arrangements were released commercially. They *might* be the original demos. Maybe someone can isolate or recreate them.
Anyway, with this tape under our belts we now have our earliest look at Rockman 2 yet. Hopefully it won't be the last!