Welcome to the Megaman Battle Network Mysteries section! This article began as a forum post made on the old Planet Megaman forums by Rikkus Rukkus where he took a few screen caps and talked about the differences. Some of the screen captures are still in this article (they have black boarders and comments directly on the images. I used them only where I have to.
I'd immediately like to thank Raijin "Snakeman" K for actually writing this article. His Battle Network knowledge is better than mine so I gave him a bunch of shots I found on the net and he took the corresponding shots as well as added his insights. This is one of the very few articles on the site not written by me, although I do edit it to update with new information and, naturally, to format the stuff.
Click on the game to see information. Even though you can't see it, there's alot of images used in this article. Be patient with the loading time.
These first screens were grouped together, so it's reasonable to assume they're from the same beta. It's hard to tell for the overworld parts, but Yai's dialogue gives it away as well.
This screen shows a slight variation on the timing and wording of Yai's PET lesson. In the beta she just seems to be trying to be needlessly wordy, saying "NetNavigator" in place of "Navi". I'm not all that good with japanese, but it looks like she's saying pretty much the same thing in both shots, just in a more roundabout way in the first one. Plus, cars don't drive there.
She's not exactly saying the same thing in these two shots, but it was the closest comparison I could find. Wish I could tell you what Yai was saying about PETs in the beta here that she never says in the final game.
The earliest screens show a much different battle system and look for BN1. That texty background gets used in the school net in later versions, but right now it's hard to tell if these battles are associated to any location at all. Later versions feature Woodman in the school network though, so it's all likely related. Anyway, it looks like the buster was originally left out to support a dual chip system. I'm not sure if you needed to have an attack chip on B and a support/defense chip on A or if that was just the demo player's choice. I don't know what each of the gauges or those two extra numbers below the top gauge mean, but I have some guesses. With only two tools to help you during a battle/turn, those chips would have to have multiple uses. The gauge next to the attack chips likely corresponds to how often it can be used, but for all I know it could be a strength indicator and the chips could be powered up. The top gauge is likely a Custom gauge, but could mean just about anything given the difference in style. Those other numbers are especially mystifying to me. The top-left numbers are their HP, so it can't be that. It's unlikely that it's the damage of their attacks since it fluctuates with Woodman, and that 120 value is oddly high for either MM's or the enemy's attack in a battle like this. They don't seem to correspond to the custom gauge in any way either. They gotta mean something though...Oh, and the yellow Mets are hiding under their helmets. Only their upgraded versions do that in the final version.
And the floor's the top of a pencil, like the floor in the main map. They might have wanted origional floors for all locations. The very early shots of the beta are the only places this floor shows up the other beta has the floors used in the final.
The custom screen was very different at this time. MetGuard used to be called simply "Shield", and the description looks like it grants 100% protection if you time it right. All five chips on the side appear to be support/defense, which supports the idea that you have to pick one of them for the A button. There was probably a separate screen for setting your attack chip before each turn.
Heatman of The Megaman Network adds further insight into the early EXE build. He found an old post on the Capcom Unity forums explaining some things. The beta started directly at school (meaning beta shots outside of school were from a later stage in development) and Chaud was there too. After talking to everyone the Warning comes on and you go to fight an evil Woodman. The "Matrixy" code was in place near the end of the first build of the game. For the full article and the original quote head over to the Megaman Network! He was probably referring to this version of the game as opposed to version 2, which was a little more into the plot than this build. It's also possible that he was referring to an even earlier build.
Basically, everything else we know comes from version 2. The shots here were very widely distributed.
Pretty close to the beginning of the first game we can see a few minor differences between the previews from the beta (left) and the finished product (right). Aside from the rug, it looks like the "Get" animation for Lan wasn't added until the end. Normally, he'll be forced to look at the screen and pump his fist before this dialogue box appears. Also, different PET icon in the upper left corner.
Here's another shot of beta Lan getting something, but not celebrating the fact. Beta Lan is a dull guy. They changed what he finds in his breakfast too. In the final version he gets "Recov 10 A", in the beta he gets "Cannon". No chip code or anything, just "Cannon". This might be from the version before the concept of chip codes was added, or it could just be before the concept of the game telling you which chip code you got without needing to check your Pack was added.
Here's our first look at the crazy matrix-texty background of the beta school net. Most of these beta shots are in the school betwork and feature this bg. A lot of other screenshots of other areas are missing bgs entirely. This complex one probably took up a lot of space. We can also see Megaman's classmates and teacher used to be generic Progs and another classmate was Woodman.
With the differences in character positions, it was hard to determine the situation matching this beta screen, but with Dex standing there and Yai seemingly ordering Lan to jack in and bust some viruses, it would have to be just before the school level mission gets into full swing. Dex doesn't look as distraught as he might be if he had already tried to do the job himself and failed like he does in the final version though. Other than that, Yai's updated dialogue is more to the point and less like a redundant tutorial. "Okay Yai, I'll jack in right away. What's that? You want me to have Rock delete the viruses once he's in there? Oh! Thanks for clearing that up. That's not what I was already planning to do at all."
The PET in Lan's hand looks a little different too. I wonder what the proto-PET actually looked like in detail?
The two beta images on the left are the same, but the larger image has the chip name cropped out, so might as well show both. There are plenty of "spot the differences" here, and a lot of these beta features show up in other screens as well. Firstly and most well-recognized is the infamous garbled computer readout background for the school network which got replaced with mosaic blocks shuffling through numbers. I tried to match up my screenshot as closely as possible, which wasn't very easy, what with having to fire the cannon in the path of the Shockwave when getting hit or dodging and moving back is too slow. I have a feeling whoever made the beta sceens was using invulnerability. It also looks like there's some slight differences with the way chip names are displayed in the lower left. In the final game, the chip name disappears while a chip is in us. The name of the next one appears after. In the beta screen, the name of the Cannon chip is displayed while some type of Cannon is being fired. I figure either that's the name of the chip he's using (and then the Cannon's firing graphic was recoloured by the end) or it's the chip he's still got floating above his head there (and then the Cannon's icon graphic used to be the M-Cannon's). Finally, why's the target Met at 33 HP? In the final version, the HP display instantly vanishes at death. Either this isn't the case in the beta, or the Cannon he's firing is doing less than 40 damage.
Texty background, Prog swapped with Navi, desks not installed yet, and Megaman is not yet forced to look at the screen when talking to Lan (That's where navis' operators are, y'know; invisible and floating up in the sky like God).
I just could not find this enemy grouping in the school network. I won't go so far as to say it was removed though. The battles are random, after all. Anyway, this old screen shows a different chip icon for the Spreader.
Now I know the beta screencapper was cheating. There's no way he could be standing in the Shockwave like that and be firing away with his Buster, and there's no way he could have dodged and made it back into that square fast enough to be firing while the Shockwave was still be at that stage of the animation behind him. Also, Longsword does 60 damage and seems to have a thicker blade in the icon.
Widesword icon looks different too, it looks a little like the thick longsword above. For some reason there are Flappy2s in the school network here. It seems like the betas probably had a lot of different viruses crammed into the one level since it was the first one complete.
It's hard to tell where this is in the beta shot. I couldn't find a floor layout exactly like it anywhere, this was the closest I could find. Needless to say, MM's exposition about some virus or another isn't present in the final version either.
Here's an interesting one. MM is about to engage Woodman in a netbattle in the school net. This likely results in the boss fight featured in the early battle system screenshots at the top. One question is "why?" It would probably be easier to tell if I could read more of that text box than the word "netbattle". We've seen above that Wood used to be a classmate of MM's, was he originally the cause of the school crisis as well? Is he just there for a friendly bout of cyber-violence? Did some WWW virus make him go crazy? Somehow I doubt the text box explains all that anyway. To me it just looks like "Look at this guy here! Let's fight him!", which is probably all the plot depth Capcom needed at this stage of the game's development anyway. Though come to think of it, having Woodman as the boss of the school net would be a good set-up for the Wood Super-Program being found there. The Wood never did fit as well in the final game as the other three Super-Programs.
The main point of the first two counter-screens is to illustrate the discrepancy in the leftmost beta screen in that triple-feature. In the beta, Glyde introduces himself to MM in the school network, the translation of the dialogue box is basically "Greetings, I am Miss Yai's navi Glyde." Now while he does still appear in that spot in the final version, he's already met MM in the previous chapter, so there's no need to introduce himself twice. This suggests either the "find Yai's lost Program" mission wasn't added until late in the development, or else in the beta the school mission just comes earlier, possibly on the first day. The latter possibility would explain why the bulk of these beta screenshots are in the school mission rather than the stove mission. The stove mission was obviously still there though, since some of the stove battle screenshots above feature the older graphics. The two missions probably just swapped their order for the final version. Oh yeah, and the Gutsman/Woodman summonings. Aside from the backgrounds and the extra HP on the Met2s and the Kabutank, I can't find anything else amiss.
Seems the all-important Recov50 L chip used to be Recov80 A. Also: green background on Mayl's HP and a displaced teleporter. A teleporter actually does appear in that spot at a point in the game after when I took the screenshot, but is represented only by the purple energy ring things, and not the full fancy platform, which in the final game only appears at the other end of the room at the entrance from the piano.
In the beta screenshot, it seems Lan is asking Dex for a Link to his homepage, in the final version he's instead asking for Dex's link to get to the next area of the net. Asking for a link to Dex's HP would indeed be a bit pointless since he can just jack into it right there.
This isn't exactly a counter-screenshot. I'd try to find the corresponding part of the story where Lan is talking to Megaman and Megaman says what he says in the beta shot, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't. On the left MM is talking about Mayl and E-Mail, probably about getting e-mail from Mayl. I don't think that scene/dialogue exists in the final version, the closest I could find was here where he's talking about Mayl's invitation to go shopping with herin Dentown. It's a bit tricky. Anyway, to distract you, look at that yellow thing in the upper right corner of the beta shot. It's a lampost or something. That's not there any more. Interesting.
Looks like all they did for this one (besides the PET icon) was add a space to Match's sentence. Spaces usually aren't neccessary in Japanese. They must have had some "space" left over (Sorry for that one).
Very different internet background. And just where does the locked door lead? Does the bridge form when the door is opened? That would actually make a little more sense, come to think of it. It eliminates the question of "why can't MM just jump around or over the door?", though still not the question "why doesn't he just get Roll or Glyde to fly over to the next platform to see what's over there?" Ah, videogame suspension of disbelief.
I'm pretty sure they took this enemy group out of the game entirely, unless it's still accessible by hacking or something, I dunno. Aside from the ridiculous "two Cannodumbs and a Met in one column" setup, this old screen shows Shockwave's chip icon used to look like Sonicwave's current icon. Also, a slightly different border for the Custom gauge and much different enemy HP display. I think there's something fishy about the enemy HP after that CrossBomb attack too. Those Cannodumbs should be dead. That's why I used their upgraded siblings for my screen.
Here we see a slightly different concept for Mettool2, both visually with the yellow decals and technically with an extra five hit points. They also appear to be in the Stove Net, that's a bit early for a virus upgrade, isn't it? Furthermore, we have MM's chips. At first glance, that's a MiniBomb he has selected, but the name reads SmallBomb (LilBomb). On top of that, it's fire elemental here. The chip icons look different too, but some of that could just be the image quality.
In the screens, version 3 is nigh indistinguishable from Version 2. Some of Version 2's screens might even be part of version 3's, since the screens are all jumpled here.
More Cannon confusion. This time the blast is blue, as normal. The enemy HP displays are also as they are in the final version, so this is one of the newer betas. It still looks like the Cannon is doing less than 40 damage. When it's not an istant kill, an enemy's HP will rapidly decrease, which is somewhat more visually engaging than just seeing it instantly switch from one number to the other, but if that Met started with 65 HP, it would have to be dropping pretty slowly to show 63 at that stage of the blast. I can't remember exactly why I took two counter-screenshots (it took me too damn long to do a write-up), I think the second one is there because I needed one with a Handy in it to show its extra 20 HP. Spooky is equally pumped up in the beta.
From the final version of Megaman Battle Network
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe and SerenadeDS of TREZ. This screen can be found in the final version of Battle Network; obviously relating to the demo distributed before the game was finished. Note: the blue seperating the yellow "ear" from MM's face - this is a slightly older version of the final MM.EXE design.
This is a bonus dungeon Not accessible with demo ROMs.
From Mega Rock.exe. The "(line)" represents that phrase going on the next line in the game. Obviously this was put into a beta version of the game, but which area it refers to is up in the air.
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe. There exists a dummy ACDC town by using the above code. This place doesn't even have its own music and the squirrel statue has strange numbers all over it. Higsby's Shop is missing its name, probably for the transition from JP to US versions. Walking into any room with the cheat spits you off into a corner of a classroom.
It turns out that overworld sprite of Woodman remains hidden in the data of final version (along with many other unused sprites). Thanks to Barubary of Sprites.Inc for ripping it somehow. Yeah, just the back. Guess they never had him turn around in that scene. It's worth noting that, in Battle Chip Challenge, Woodman finally faces to the front. And, although he does not face backwards, a close examination of the pixels show that this back sprite aligns very nicely to the unused sprite found in EXE1.
Unused mugshots of Wood are also still present in EXE1. He probably had something to say in that school scene. Submitted by Mega Rock.exe
From MR.exe. A beta version of the Zenny icon found after Bass's icon data in BN1.
Speaking of unused sprites, there's also this chip pic that's used for dummied battlechip data for pretty much every game in the series (shrunk down a little for the last three). This was a little easier to find though. So easy I managed to find it myself way back when and write about it in the Viral Infection walkthrough. You remember that, right? You did read that already...right? Anyway, Gauntlet believes this chip pic originally represented the Mega Buster attack, which might go along with those earliest beta shots where both the A and B button were used for Battlechips, not leaving much room for "default attack" concept, and they had to stick a staple like the buster somewhere. Afterwards, I think they just kept using that pic out of tradition. Some kind of developer in-joke. There's no way they could have left it behind in the data for every sequel by accident.
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe. Looks like they didn't delete their beta sprites. The hurt sprite has a shock on it, this one is a separate frame of him just hurt there. It also looked likey planned a dash for him.
Taken from Sprites INC, found by Barubary. It looks like Mayl and Chaud have running sprites for some reason. Or it might be that they wanted to cover their bases and make them fully moveable.
Taken from Sprites INC, found by Barubary. No place for these cars in EXE. I'm guessing that, at some point, the game designers had control over every character and weren't sure which sprites would be needed and which wouldn't be. That's why Mayl, Chaud, and this car have so many frames.
There's an unused pallette for Mr. Prog.
From MR.exe. The first viruses in BN1 had flinching frames. They probably thought it wasn't a good idea for viruses to flinch to damage.
Mega Rock.exe believes these frames are unused. This virus has a separate animation of just it looping through these frames.
From MR.exe. Somehow, a "Max Mode" was possible in BN1. What this means is a mystery.
For the sake of the article, I've pieced together the words on
the background of the early beta shots. There's actually 2 different
backgrounds, although they are both in the same style! Moreover,
from pieceing this together I found the sentences were off (on
the right and left) in alternating rows. This means each row went
a different way - some went from right to left and the next went
from left to right. The result would be some sentences being readable,
while other being made unreadable (as they would go from left to
right). Perhaps this was deemed distracting, neccessitating the
Anyway, the first "Battle with Woodman" backgrounds read as such:
Unkown Species//Lites ////
st INJ>>><<< Coordinates/////
Y: Z<< Coordinates/////Lost City
Rdinates/////Lost City Zi
Min S / 2308 || Transmission Terminated
Min S / 2308 Meters>Trasat///
While the second reads like this:
T ransmission Terminated>>< <<<
N Terminated>>< <<<Tran Terminated>><
|(words blurry here, may not be correct)Encanntpped// >>><<<< >//pjj (end blurry words) Encountered/// <<<Data ><<Ruin Encounter
Ed/// >>><<<< ><<Ruin Encountered/// >>><<< ><<Ruin En
/ >>><<<<<<<Datan Encountered >>><
I don't think much of the story was really fleshed out at this point. Certainly the first shows a few odd concepts like a "Lost City" with fatalities and Coordinates. The second is more in-line with what might have been going on. Transmission being terminated. Ruin (viruses) encountered. Seems more like something a computer might say in a school situation. But all this is speculation on my part.
Also worth noting that the words on the main map are complete gibberish. In fact, when the exe beta font was created (and the words meticulously traced) it was discovered they don't haven share the same font.
Protodude notes evidence that Capcom considered "Netto" and "Megaman EXE" for the English speaking regions of the world (incidentally, the series is known, officially, as "emagaman EXE" in some areas of the world). Early ambitions also included the ability to connect four link cables (as opposed to two).
The background isn't really different, I'm pretty sure it's the exact same ACDC area BG which just looks a little different due to the blurriness of the image. Although there is one oddity about the background, but it has less to do with how it looks and more with which battle set it's associated with. I'm pretty sure there are no battles with Metefires or with empty panels there anywhere in the ACDC area. As with the school network in EXE1, the game designers probably used the ACDC area environment for early testing of various battle types. As for the yellow panels, I'm not sure if the lost gap between the yellow is evidence of an actual change or just that intolerable image blurring. As for the extra yellow panel under MM, keep in mind a meteor is about to fall on him. I'm more concerned about the missing yellow panel under the Metefire.
Erased Chip Data sprite found by MegaRock.exe.
Submitted by Mega Rock.EXE. He managed to hack his way into old SciLab where Lan makes obvious comments.
The old SciLab that you only see in a cutscene is very much playable. You can freely walk around and even push A on objects. What's strange is that the game actually has descriptions set for these objects that you were never supposed to encounter! These descriptions however, are rather shallow and poorly done. Of course they'll never be seen normally anyway.
Code: 82001884 0007
Submitted by Mega Rock.EXE. Master of BN hacking. Punk is a Navi only fought in the Blue version of the game. (his battle data is still in white) After completing most of the game and unlocking the ability to fight Omega Navis, you can fight all the Navis in their Omega form. This is true for everyone, except Punk. There is no set battle to fight him. (as proven in the memory viewer) However, by using the cheat and talking to Mr. Famous to fight Punk, you will fight his Omega form. Even if you never fought him anywhere else, you can fight this secret version of Punk and get a cool 2000z out of it. I have no idea why it is in the game since it was never needed.
Code: 44ED0172 3093C162
Taken from Sprites INC. It seemes there were some unused pallettes in the game. It makes sence that there'd be different pallettes for different Ranked Navis... although I'm glad they took that out. Green is not menacing here.
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe. Just recolored bug styles found in the game, but never used.
Oh, yeah, this is still around too. Taken from Sprites INC. Rock's got a nice set of hips there, don't he?
And again (the large, this time redrawn, mugshot, the different Vulcan and Area Steal chip images) ... though he neglects to mention the green coloured background not existsing in the final version. Counter-screens reveal that bit. Yumland comes close with its shade of green, but in the final version it has yellower circle things.
Another weird background. Sort of a mix between the ACDC and Dentown BGs. I should probably have used one of those areas for the counter-screens, but I guess I was more interested in getting similar viruses.
For the EXE4 Gamespot video, I'd mainly point out the DarkSword icon looking like a bomb, and how it makes MM dark even before he uses it. There seems to be a lack of Soul Unison sound effects at 1:02. At the 10 second mark there's a story scene and Lan seems to have entered from a different direction than in the final. At 00:20 there's a tournament lineup named the "Red Sun Tournament" when the participants are clearly from the Den Tournament. I'm not entirely sure about the last two points, so you may want to gloss over them until I can run through again and compare. There are other things too like emotion windows, but the screenshots we have already beat those points to death.
Submitted by Mega Rock.EXE, master of BN hacking. NaviShadowSP and NaviBlackSP. For some strange reason, the game has data for NaviShadow and NaviBlack in SP version. Obviously there was no reason for it, but it is very unclear as to why these two exist in the game if there was no apparent use for them. Speculation: the workers at Capcom just planned for every contingency and just removed these guys from the game. It's possible they were in an earlier draft.
*no cheat available*
Submitted by Mega Rock.EXE, master of BN hacking. Upon investigating the Navi icons, Mega Rock came upon two mysterious labels simply marked as "18" and "19". Perhaps there was meant to be more Navis in the tournament. No one will ever know.
Submitted by Mega Rock.EXE, master of BN hacking. Karma for Souls. Another interesting find he came across is Souls with karma colors. Now, we all know that you can't do Soul Unison while dark or even low karma. So for some reason, they have colors for Karma even when they never needed it. Maybe it could be a beta thing. You all saw that trailer that made a Geddon effect when they united with Gutsman. Also, for some reason, Proto and Aqua Souls don't have shades. Very strange.
This also explains why the cheat for chaos soul makes a soul unison navi totally black - it's working off this pallette chart for karma.
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe. Apparently there was a pink ... or purple Norm Navi planned at one point.
An unkown effect found in BN4.
Mega Rock.exe. This is how that placeholder chip looks like in BNs 4-6.
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe. He was checking compressed images in BN4, when he found the previews for the maps you visit. Right after the Den Airport image he found what appeared to be Lan's House. He checked the game via hacking for compatible palettes, but none of them worked. So he had to make up the palette for this one since none exists.
It is definitely from the beta stages of the game. Why it is still in the game is beyond me. From the looks of it, BN4's ACDC would have looked very different than it's final form. It appears that Lan's House had trees on the sides and Mayl's House had a different shape. It seems that the park was behind their houses as well.
How ACDC might have looked is a real mystery.
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe. Hex data shows us the names "Frte Soul" and "Duo Soul". No other dtata exists about these souls, so everything about them is a mystery. However, there is a Forte Soul in BN 5, so it might be that they didn't have enough time to implement these ideas before the game was supposed to come out.
NapalmChaos emotion window, the number of turns alotted to a Chaos Unison, and panel colors vary between these versions. I'm not sure about the 10 point boost to Cannon in the beta though, that might just be due to an Atk+10 chip.
GyroSoul's facepic may look about the same, but apparently the graphics team wanted to put the finishing touches on the number "3" before the game was released. The background the "3" is on looks slightly recoloured too, but I can never be too sure how much colouring discrepancy is an issue of image quality.
This is a conparison Rikkus made of some of the status change mugshots. Some are new.
Chaos Unison Tutorial, submitted by the master of BN hacking, Mega Rock.exe. This is something very interesting he found while hacking battle types. Mega Rock came across a tutorial battle that teaches you about Chaos Unison. Even more mysteriously, Colonel gives the lecture, and in Japanese (in an english rom). It was probably planned for in the early stages of the game, then exchanged for an explanatory e-mail from anonymous.
This could explain why in one of the beta shots found on Capcom's
site, both Chaud and Baryl are in the same room. The Chaos Unison
tutorial doesn't seem to be complete. All Colonel says in the first
dialogue box is "DarkBrand Tutorial
Test Message". The other messages are similarly unrefined.
Mega Rock made a battle that was probably the one they used.
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe. I knew it was a little strange when he summoned a regular blue clone instead of a dark one. Also, I don't know why, but the blue clone also has a Full Syncro color.
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe. BN5 rips. he believes these are unused because of 2 reasons.
-The person who ripped the sheets of these guys for Sprites INC riped everything that appeared in the story.
-On playing BN5 (Double Team even) MR noticed they did not appear in the game.
For some reason Numberman doesn't have a corresponding sprite to Searchman. Very strange indeed. It appears that Searchman is blocking, which may have been removed for Colonel version since Protoman version was made first.
Well, gotta figure these were around. The guy seemed just plopped into the game for no reason, so they might have been preparing for every eventuality. Taken from Sprites INC.
Mega Rock.exe subitted this. Unused wiggle frames for the Catikill virus. Supported by official artwork!
Mega Rock again. The orange panel doesn't ring any bells while the red and blue were used.
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe. Both are from Team Protoman, which is why the Numberman one is not golden.
Anyways, what could this suggest? Firstly, for some reason, all Navis have duplicate dummy support chips. They have no name and no description. These, however, do have names. The fact that they are the opposite of each other suggest that it might have been planned earlier in the game. Numberman's is DieBomb, but that's his charge attack. This could mean that NumberBall was going to be his charge attack, or maybe even going way farther back in the beta stages where Team Navis shot a Charged Shot instead. None of these attacks do anything in battle. Attack mods reveal that there is a blank move, also doing nothing. As for Searchman, that would have been an additional attack. This also leads to the conclusion that in beta stages of the game, Team Navis were going to get to use 2 different attacks from the start. This was probably dropped early, but with the chips left in the game.
More from Mega Rock. Apparently Gyroman's propellers were meant to turn, as they do for Gyro Soul.
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe. Notice the following points in this Gamespot video:
Once more, Mega Rock.exe. This was part of a game linked to Rockman EXE 4.5. Rockman 4.5 was not released in the US, but the quest exists in the US game. Everything is there (including the voices), it's just unreachable.
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe. BN5DS has these beta shots. None of which show their believed underdeveloped 3D engine for both battle and overworld.
In this shot, the folder menu is different. The bottom selections has a different shape. Chips don't have a description and have a design where the description goes. The scroll bar on the left is changed.
This shows the beta main menu. On the top screen, the "accessing" object doesn't appear, leaving Lan in a dark atmosphere. The bottom menu is also completely different. Judging from the differences between the icons, I'd say they wobbled. There are no solid shapes to hold the option like in the final.
This shot is slightly newer. There are words on the top screen stating that the bottom screen is accessed. The bottom screen shows the sharp boxes used for options. Again, a scroll option for the set of chips, which would have actually been useful for the final. Sword icon is dark blue for some reason. And quantity is displayed differently. Meteors doesn't come in O code.
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe. From here, this is all speculation, so he may be wrong. First, he doesn't remember Protoman smiling. And Colonel doesn't have an equivalent. There should be no reason that Megaman gets 2 types of blinks. He's never seen the second one on the second row. The full Megaman textures reveal that he opened his mouth, and looked happy. In the final game, he never opens his mouth once. Somehow Mega Rock thinks this has something to do with the early 3D engine planned.
From Megas Rock.exe. This sheet was really strange. Numbers were not aligned properly and there are these "ticker" pixels near every sprite. I'm starting to think that they weren't done with this sheet. It seems like it was still undergoing production and the visual assistance was not removed. Plus, there are two large cursors. The sprites that are not "cleaned" are actually used in the game! I knew that from the looks of the color scheme, this partially belongs to the memory minigame that is in the game. It's strange how they overlap like that. Maybe a different minigame was planned, but the memory one was built right over it.
unused generic map.
Unused PET animation.
Some sort of dot.
Stg6Dungeon1,2,3 - Submitted by Mega Rock.exe. Looks like there was meant to be a 6th level. This name, first of all, is just a test name. They probably called all their boss levels "Stg_Dungeon_" But even stranger, there is no level 6. This freezes your game, so it probably has bad data. Something that may hint at that is the message he found while hacking. Perhapse it's unrelated, but according to its values, it comes after Elementman's stage, so it may be.
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe, master of BN hacking. BN 5 was the first game to introduce the Test Virus, but it also exists in BN6, obviously. Who knows if it existed in the previous games since the way a battle was programmed changed here. The Test Virus is merely a 500 HP Mettaur. It is obvious that it was used in the beta stages of the game to either test out attacks or program a virus's AI and move it to its proper location, then deleted. (this virus does nothing).
Gamespot Trailer. Mega Rock.exe comments.
Once more, from Mega Rock.exe:
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe. This must have been a programming mistake. The way the Heady virus is programmed, it can't be countered. Here's a picture of when you were supposed to counter it. The game treats the head as an object, so it might as well be shooting a Rock Cube because they have the same properties. Some attacks hit the base which will not cause damage, and some hit the head. But no matter how hard you try, you will never counter this virus.
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe. This is Falzar's shadow. Of course he doesn't actually need it since his battle area takes place over a hole, so it's unused.
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe. He explains the colors like so: There is the unused Beast Over color, plus its move on that line. Then regular Full Syncro with move. And finally, Beast Over with Full Syncro with move. Think about it, that's a lot of unused colors. Falzar has the same deal.
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe. This is an unused attack by Colonel. Colonel was probably meant to hit you twice after he tosses the cape. Seeing as how it has no new entrance, it came after the first cut. Instead, they kept one strong hit, and that's it.
Submitted by Mega Rock.exe. Looks like Pulsebulb was supposed to search for a target. This attack does not exist in the final version.
There's a wide variety of unused colors in EXE6. From Mettaur colors, to Flame Breath, to Flame Thrower, to chip's charge colors, to in-battle mystery data color, to an unused color for your charge.
Unused sand wind.
MegaRock.exe. The Maid has sprites in the game as well. The maid isn't in this game. And even if she was, the border is removed and the sprite is changed thus not making it leftover sprite data.
You can rom hack this one with the right address. One of the valid messages are "PENALTY!!". It comes after mini-game related messages, so it may have been intended for the player to receive a penalty. Obviously it isn't used in the game. Submitted by Mega Rock.exe.
0801EF56 (US Faltzer)
Background value 02 freezes the game. One reason this could be is because there is another HP called "Extra". It has Blastman's stage enemies and no playable level. Leftover HPs are common. In BN3, there is an HP called ???'s HP. Maybe they were going to make another HP. Submitted by Mega Rock.exe.
This must be a joke. Only in the English version, the name value for FF is "WideSword!". It's a mystery why this name exists at all.
Before getting into this game, it deserves a little clearing up on how it came to be. So the title most of us are familiar with is "Megaman Battle Chip Challenge", which was the localized version of the japanese game "Rockman EXE Battlechip Grand Prix", which in turn had a japanese-only Wonderswan Color counterpart called "Rockman EXE N1 Battle". Now it's been a few years since the development/release process, so my memory needed refreshing on the differences between the versions. Unfortunately, I couldn't find much info on the WSC version. The most "informative" data that popped up was on Wikipedia, which claimed "This game is the same as MegaMan Battle Chip Challenge in terms of story, graphics and gameplay, except it's on the WonderSwan Color (and came prior to the Game Boy Advance version). It is also somethat more condensed compared to the GameBoy Advance version, having much fewer battlechips to collect, and less frames of animation for attacks."
The reason I typed "informative" in quotation marks like that is because this seems wrong to me in a few ways. My memories of the time are spotty, but I'm fairly certain both the GBA and WSC versions were developed and released at the same time. All the release dates I could find (including the ones on the Wikipedia article) supported this. The article also says right at the beginning, "[MegaMan Battle Chip Challenge] is the English port of Rockman EXE N1 Battle, a Japanese game released exclusively for the WonderSwan Color. A contradictory statement that seems to eliminate BCGP from the process entirely. So I guess what I'm saying is the people who wrote this article didn't know jack about what they were saying.
Although there's a reason I mentioned these claims at all. Lacking certainty, and suspecting the WSC version might match up more closely to the beta screenshots Gauntlet found, I hunted down a WSC emulator, the N1B rom, and started playing to see the differences first-hand. I then banged my head on the desk several times, deleted the emulator in rage, and found a slightly better WSC emulator that didn't run at a snail's pace or make all the battle scenes induce seizures. I then cursed the heavens when I realized the save/savestates from the first emulator weren't compatible with the second one. I then gave up when I decided I wasn't going to spend several weeks playing through the game without any cheats or a fast-forward feature, and made the following hasty conjectures about N1 Battle:
So then we have these beta screens which have decidedly GBA version features like the new characters and the Slot-In, and yet other aspects more primitive than either of final releases. This seems to support my first assumption that the GBA version was developed first, but I'm still not completely clear on how it really happened.
The point of all this is that I had to decide which game to get counter-screenshots from. Normally I'd go with the earliest version, but from what I've learned, all five of these images apply to the GBA version alone, regardless of whether it came first or not. So don't be wondering if I should have gone to N1B for a more accurate comparison, because there isn't even a comparison in N1B. This is as good as it gets.
Like I said, this character selection screen doesn't even exist in N1B, it just plunges you right into Lan's storyline. The most blinding difference here is the lack of background. There's also a more lackluster font used for the characters' names, and a much more boring pose for Turboman. Also, I doubt the lack of colour in the windows is image quality. It seems the final version pumped up the "EXTREME" level a bit, which is fine by me.
If you look closely, you'll see there actually IS a background in the beta screen, it's just that oddly washed-out MM logo wallpaper used in the generic comps in EXE2. I didn't re-play the whole game to be sure, but I don't remember that background being anywhere in the final version. Could be in N1B, but I really don't have the desire to find out. Also noteworthy is that all these beta-battles feature panels only seen in EXE1, while the final versions (both N1B and BCGP) use the panel design of EXE2/3. The reason is likely due to the inclusion of extra panel-types. EXE1 didn't have any, so when the graphics team realized this, they switched to the newer design rather than go through the trouble of spriting new grass, ice, lava, etc. modes for the older design. Anyway, we also have a glaring lack of text box play-by-play in the older image. How was the player supposed to know what was happening without the readout explaining the action? Finally, it looks like the NormalNavi's feet are underneath its own shadow. Weird.
There's definitely a background change in this case. The opponent in the beta screen has the exact same deck as the first opponent in the first tournament, a logical place to take progress screenshots from. So even if they did use that washed-out bg somewhere in the final version, it wasn't in this battle. Anyway, it looks like the later development took away 100 HP from Megaman and gave it to the NormalNaviV1 there (Both screenshots are at the beginning of the first turn, so those are their initial HPs in both cases).
You should also notice the lack of slot-in gauge and auto-indicator in the beta screens. My first thought was that these visuals were added later, then I realized the guy who made the beta screenshots might have just cut off the bottom of the screen, then I checked the image proportions and realized the beta screens had the right width to height ratio of a GBA screen, suggesting no cropping had occurred. Finally, you can notice the characters and images are re-positioned slightly between the screenshots, proving the gauges at the bottom were added later, forcing some other stuff to be moved around to make room. So how is Lan slotting something in now without a gauge telling him if he can or not? Maybe the slot-ins didn't have a chance at failure at first, and were fixed as such to add a bit more challenge to feature. Or maybe the failure rate was still there, but you had no idea of knowing what it was...
These screens immediately follow the last pair. The opponent has just received the punishment of the Slot-In Cannon attack, and the zoomy Slot-In background remains in effect. In the beta, the NormalNavi's picture is aligned differently; they probably had all pictures show up on the left at first, and later worked it so the images appeared under the combatant it represented to make the play-by-play a little less confusing. It seems NormalNavi's original name was "NormalNaviA", likely a part of an A-B-C naming system for the upgrades before the name was re-distributed to the Aqua-Elemental model, leaving the Normal NormalNavis with a V1-V2-V3 upgrade system instead. Finally, a couple more arbitrary changes in the indentatiuon of the second line of the message and the change in coloration of the opponent's name from red to blue.
Found by Mega Rock.exe (who else?). The washed out background found in the preview images is still hidden in the game.