Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Rarely Seen Rockman 2 Pre-Release Footage Found

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:

  • 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!


  1. Actually, seems like this footage post-dates the images here due to the inclusion of the subtitle:

  2. Gosh, I love these finds… It's always so much fun to see (and in this case, hear) games before their final release. Gotta say, that Mole dropping an E-Can absolutely threw me! That early rendition of Eily Stage 1 sounds pretty killer, too… I guess I can't turn my nose up at remixers who do weird things with the Wily Stage 1 theme, now, though. Seems like the song was meant to sound like that! Heh.

    Great find as always, OKeijiDragon! You're doing some fantastic work! Now, if only there was a promo reel for Rockman World 2… I'd love to hear with Kenji Yamakazi's original compositions sounded like.

  3. Very nice find! It's great to see videos like this .... just wish there were more differences.

  4. Man, that Wily Stage theme though. The guitar solo is awesome.

  5. I put the footage up on Internet Archive:

  6. Code that sets object ID $7A (e-tank) as the object to be spawned still does exist in the code in all versions, but the code to actually jump to it is missing, so it's normally impossible to roll. It's good to know it was actually used at some point and was not just a scrapped idea that they forgot to remove entirely.

    A very nice find indeed.

  7. It's like they knew, way back when, Wily Stage 1 was going to be a huge hit of a music piece.

  8. Really cool find! The designs of the robot masters appear complete, their palettes are just fully set to gray. Loose translation, but the announcer says something to the effect of "We received lots of boss idea submissions. With your help, we were able to make some stroooong bosses! We can only show you their silhouettes right now. Maybe one of them is your boss submission?" It's possible the winners of the MM2 boss submission contest hadn't yet been announced at the time the video was created, or that they simply wanted to tease it and keep it secret until release. I hope more like this is discovered, I love the old media and the prototypes!

  9. I’m still hoping that one day we will hear the lost music which had to be cut for Wily Stage 3.

    1. Was this in an interview with Tateishi or something? Never heard of anything like that.


    On the other hand, new merch dropped, and I feel like the monkey's paw curled.

  11. Hopefully we're a few steps away from getting the music demo tapes.


Keep it friendly. Disparaging, belittling and derogatory comments are not permitted.