Author Topic: Robo Racing an Empty Jetbike? (V.Net Dash Paper ROM Magazine Scans)  (Read 316 times)

Reld

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I recently bought some Chrono-related stuff online and the seller threw in a few bonus "posters". One of these "posters" was a magazine foldout that, after some research, I figured out is from the October 31st 1994 issue of Weekly Shonen Jump. It was apparently a semi-regular feature about video games called "V.Net Dash Paper ROM Magazine". I'm only mentioning how I got it because I'm mildly amused by the fact that I essentially stumbled across it by accident.

Here are the scanned pages:
Page 1
Page 2

Anyway, the main reason I decided to scan these is the images at the bottom on both pages that appear to show Robo and an empty Jetbike on the track where you race Johnny. I don't recall ever seeing this before. I did a quick scroll through the alpha screenshot page and didn't notice anything, so I think this is totally new (to us at least).

A few other interesting observations:
Blade-armed Zombor on Zenan bridge. I know I've seen blade-armed Zombor a few times, but I don't remember seeing a shot of him on Zenan bridge. I could be wrong about that. I didn't actually check for this one. The map itself is also different though. The bridge is narrower (like the super old "Omokage Bridge" screenshots) and there's a patch of grass on the right side that isn't in that spot in the final game.

An intermediate world map that has shown up in a few scans. I've seen it before, but this is the first time I've gotten a good enough look at it to notice that the town graphics used to feature a church steeple with a cross on top. It's on the upper edge of the bottom-right semi-circle of buildings, partially overlapping the trees.

A pretty decent shot of the four elemental stats in the menu.



Edit: I was just taking a closer look at that menu screenshot out of curiosity. Crono has equipped:
Father's Katana
Leather Hat (on his torso apparently)
Leather Clothes (on his head?)
Holy Ring

Also, I watched some video about CT speedrunning strats a while ago and somebody mentioned that the playable characters have some sort of hidden elemental affinity stat (apparently Ayla's is fire). Is that what these elemental icons are for, and the stat just wasn't always hidden?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2021, 03:22:06 pm by Reld »

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: Robo Racing an Empty Jetbike? (V.Net Dash Paper ROM Magazine Scans)
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2021, 09:34:07 pm »
A few other interesting observations...

1.) The official art of Marle casting Fire magic fighting a Hekran in the snow is created in the Trigger engine! I'm pretty sure that's nothing new, but this the first I can recall in seeing it. How cool!
2.) The overworld of Zeal Kingdom seems to have {recolored?) Crono sprites (as in plural) also on the overworld.

Quote
An intermediate world map that has shown up in a few scans. I've seen it before, but this is the first time I've gotten a good enough look at it to notice that the town graphics used to feature a church steeple with a cross on top. It's on the upper edge of the bottom-right semi-circle of buildings, partially overlapping the trees.

3.) I've seen a variety of alpha and beta version screenshots before, but to add to your observations, I don't think I ever noticed that the Guardia Forest trees were different!

Reld

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Re: Robo Racing an Empty Jetbike? (V.Net Dash Paper ROM Magazine Scans)
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2021, 10:20:36 pm »
1.) The official art of Marle casting Fire magic fighting a Hekran in the snow is created in the Trigger engine! I'm pretty sure that's nothing new, but this the first I can recall in seeing it. How cool!
Definitely not news to me, but it might be the first time I've seen it explicitly acknowledged in print that the screenshot and artwork are depicting the same thing.

Quote
2.) The overworld of Zeal Kingdom seems to have {recolored?) Crono sprites (as in plural) also on the overworld.
I think this is probably just a result of stitching multiple screenshots together to create a larger image. You can see a really obvious seam in the image of Magus's castle where they did this.

Quote
3.) I've seen a variety of alpha and beta version screenshots before, but to add to your observations, I don't think I ever noticed that the Guardia Forest trees were different!
The graphics for the land meeting the water and the fountain in the center of town are different too.

Razig

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Re: Robo Racing an Empty Jetbike? (V.Net Dash Paper ROM Magazine Scans)
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2021, 04:30:08 pm »
Interesting stuff. Maybe they used Robo as a placeholder before Johnny's design was finished? The background colors are also wildly different from those in the final game.

A few things that stood out to me in these pictures:
  • At the trial, the king is seated above the judge, and Pierre and the chancellor are replaced by a couple of 600 AD soldiers.
  • In the picture of Guardia, the Epoch is flying around even though the characters are on foot.
  • The battle with the Dragon Tank is happening just outside the prison tower, instead of the barracks tower.

Reld

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Re: Robo Racing an Empty Jetbike? (V.Net Dash Paper ROM Magazine Scans)
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2021, 05:32:29 pm »
Interesting stuff. Maybe they used Robo as a placeholder before Johnny's design was finished? The background colors are also wildly different from those in the final game.

Your guess is as good as mine. The jetbike sequence may have even been something else entirely instead of a race against Johnny at one point. I find those shots totally perplexing.
 
Quote
  • In the picture of Guardia, the Epoch is flying around even though the characters are on foot.
Yeah I'm pretty sure that's just a mockup to show things off, but interestingly enough I do believe it was created in the game's engine rather than just cobbling the various graphical elements together. If you look at the first image in this tweet there are a couple of pictures of someone who appears to be working on the overworld. He has two computer monitors, one displaying the overworld graphics and one displaying what looks to me like a full-screen picture of the characters from Secret of Mana. In the top picture (to the left of the Chrono Trigger logo) you can also see a little black monitor hooked up to what I believe to be a Super Famicom dev unit. That little black monitor is displaying the same overworld image from the scans in my first post.

As an aside, I think the tweet I just linked to from Frank deWindt II/@Bo_deWindt was missed when all of those tweeted scans were added to this site. At least I couldn't find them here, which is why I'm linking to a tweet instead.

Edit: The way twitter handles linking to tweets is very annoying. In case it's not clear, the tweet I'm referring to is the one from Jul 16, 2019 that says
Quote
Some early Chrono Trigger scans from the VJump Dec 1994 issue I scanned

Nice pics and coverage of the "Dream Team" and other Chrono Trigger staff

Part 1/2
« Last Edit: February 09, 2021, 05:44:07 pm by Reld »

Reld

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Re: Robo Racing an Empty Jetbike? (V.Net Dash Paper ROM Magazine Scans)
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2021, 01:30:33 am »
I just recently acquired issue 23 of Family Computer Magazine (AKA Famimaga) from November 18th 1994. It has a fairly in-depth Chrono Trigger preview article in it that I intend to get fully scanned in a few days. I'm holding off because I'm having issues with a bunch of dust and fibers showing up in my scans. I've tried wiping the surface of the scanner down with some glass cleaner, but whatever cloth/tissues/paper towel I use just seems to end up leaving its own fibers behind so I want to try hitting it with a can of compressed air to see if that helps, but I don't currently have any.

Anyway, one of the more interesting things in this preview article is a full view of the world map that I don't think I've ever seen before.


This is an animated gif showing a comparison of a small section of five different versions of the overworld. Version 1 is the version we were previously discussing in this thread with the church steeple and the Epoch in the corner. Version 2 is a small screenshot that was in the same Famimaga issue as the full world map. Version 3 is a cropped down section of the full world map from Famimaga. Version 4 is from the "Prerelease"/Sample ROM cart. Version 5 is from the final game.


This is another animated gif, this time starting with the full world map from Famimaga, then the "Prerelease"/Sample ROM version, then the final version.

I personally find this to be the easiest way to spot differences, but I'll get a proper still scan of this new map up when I scan the full article.

The obvious stand-out difference to me with this new map is the full Guardia castle clone taking the place of the Choras ruins.

Vehek

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Re: Robo Racing an Empty Jetbike? (V.Net Dash Paper ROM Magazine Scans)
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2021, 03:44:45 am »
That reminds me, in the V-Jump March issue, there's a tiny inset of the 600 A.D. map.
https://www.chronocompendium.com/images/wiki/2/21/Frank_deWindt_II_V-Jump_March_1995_07.jpg
The exact extent of the desert area is different, and the house is further down.

Definitely not news to me, but it might be the first time I've seen it explicitly acknowledged in print that the screenshot and artwork are depicting the same thing.
There's certainly a tendency to pair the artwork with images from Death Peak.

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: Robo Racing an Empty Jetbike? (V.Net Dash Paper ROM Magazine Scans)
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2021, 10:35:23 am »
I won't lie, the Prerelease / Sample ROM is probably my favorite. I wonder why they downgraded in the release version? It seems like they removed a few of the standalone trees and made some of the roads have "gaps" of just plain grass.

Reld

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Re: Robo Racing an Empty Jetbike? (V.Net Dash Paper ROM Magazine Scans)
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2021, 12:44:15 am »
That reminds me, in the V-Jump March issue, there's a tiny inset of the 600 A.D. map.
https://www.chronocompendium.com/images/wiki/2/21/Frank_deWindt_II_V-Jump_March_1995_07.jpg
The exact extent of the desert area is different, and the house is further down.
That's a nice find! I probably never would have noticed that since it's just this tiny little shot.

I won't lie, the Prerelease / Sample ROM is probably my favorite. I wonder why they downgraded in the release version? It seems like they removed a few of the standalone trees and made some of the roads have "gaps" of just plain grass.
Yeah, they kinda went wild removing the standalone trees. I don't really get it either. The only thing I can think of is that they might have thought it was too cluttered or something, but I had never even noticed the difference until I made those comparison gifs so it's not like I personally think the extra trees looked messy or anything.



Here are the scans of the full Famimaga article:
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12

There's some interesting stuff in there. On page 3 there's a shot of King Guardia, Queen Leene, and a soldier in what I believe to be an early version of the cathedral boss room. It's a tiny room compared to the final version, but I think it's the only room that uses the open version of those windows. I don't think that shot is new, although I'm having trouble keeping track of what I've seen where at this point. There's another one in the top left corner of page 8 though that shows the same scene with some dialogue.
Quote
そんな、あわてて出ていかなくとも、どうぞ、ゆっくりしていってくださいなギャギャギャギャー!!
Which translates to something like:
Quote
Oh, no need to rush out, please, take your time! Gya gya gya gyaaaaa!!
I'm wondering if maybe Yakra was originally posing as the king instead of the chancellor.

Vehek

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Re: Robo Racing an Empty Jetbike? (V.Net Dash Paper ROM Magazine Scans)
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2021, 02:29:54 am »
There's some interesting stuff in there. On page 3 there's a shot of King Guardia, Queen Leene, and a soldier in what I believe to be an early version of the cathedral boss room. It's a tiny room compared to the final version, but I think it's the only room that uses the open version of those windows.
More like an early version of the room next to the secret room with the Magus statue. The quote's almost exactly the same with only minor punctuation differences.

Reld

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Re: Robo Racing an Empty Jetbike? (V.Net Dash Paper ROM Magazine Scans)
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2021, 07:10:10 am »
Oof! You're right!  I probably need to play through the game again before I throw out any more wild speculation. Like I said, I can't remember where I've seen what anymore, and apparently that includes stuff from the final game. :oops:

ZeaLitY

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Re: Robo Racing an Empty Jetbike? (V.Net Dash Paper ROM Magazine Scans)
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2021, 03:53:50 pm »
Damn, somehow I missed those additional pages from November 1994, plus all of December 1994. I've saved them down and will get them on the "Alpha" page.

Would love to see what's translated for the Nu caption on the last page of Famimaga. They really played the hell out of that 600 A.D. scenario, didn't they? Should we assume, then, that what's depicted in those screenshots was another build, earlier than the Prerelease? Correct me if I'm wrong, but Zombor in the Prerelease doesn't have the sword-arms. We always thought the Zombor with sword-arms was a mock-up character (I think he's on the prism cards), but if they got all of these other screenshots live from their review build, it would mean this Zombor actually was in the game at some point.

Reld

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Re: Robo Racing an Empty Jetbike? (V.Net Dash Paper ROM Magazine Scans)
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2021, 05:01:54 pm »
Should we assume, then, that what's depicted in those screenshots was another build, earlier than the Prerelease?
It's definitely a slightly earlier build, yeah. I think it's the same build as (or one very close to) the one shown in the Brut Press video. It seems to feature some of the same elements like the gradient-less windows and battling a Goon on Zenan bridge.

Quote
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Zombor in the Prerelease doesn't have the sword-arms. We always thought the Zombor with sword-arms was a mock-up character (I think he's on the prism cards), but if they got all of these other screenshots live from their review build, it would mean this Zombor actually was in the game at some point.

It may still be just a mockup. The V.Net Dash scans (page 2) and the Famimaga scans (page 11) feature the exact same Zombor screenshot. Zenan bridge in that screenshot is also narrower than it is in the Goon battle screenshots. My guess would be that the Zombor shot was part of a press release packet of stills. It's either a mockup, or it came from an even earlier build.

Edit: According to DeepL the text to the right of the Nu says something like "You seem like the type of person who would stand up to the protagonists' attacks without a second thought..." (I think "You" here probably refers to the Nu, and DeepL is just getting confused due to a lack of an explicit pronoun) and the pinkish text below says something like "He's a strange guy, and you can't tell from his expression what he's thinking. As his name suggests, he may appear out of nowhere." I'm not sure how his name suggests that. Nu = New maybe?
« Last Edit: February 19, 2021, 05:28:07 pm by Reld »