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Thread: MVS Proto carts - Part II

  1. #26
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    keep your eye out fer that Garou MOTW2 cart. I think it's back there somewhere

    Searously tho cool stuff!


  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geddon_jt View Post
    There may well be substantial differences between the prerelease and final versions of these early games. Let's use 3 Count Bout as an example. There was a playable character in early screenshots of the game that was removed from the released version. If anyone ever came across a proto version of 3 Count Bout with that character in it, that's gold baby! So these games need to be scrutinized pretty closely...
    I don't know what development method SNK followed back in the day. Even if we knew, it would be hard to know if they actually followed good practices or not. Either or, whether they were following a waterfall development cycle or some mutation, common practice is not to make any major changes once into the beta phase. Adding or removing a new level or characters would put the game in an alpha category and set back development and risk a lot for both test and the release schedule. For that reason alone, I don't think you're going to see any major differences in these since they were an external test version of the game. These are not prototypes in an alpha stage, these are release to the public quality test builds which usually happen very late in the beta cycle before the code is deemed completely finalized. Their task is to find the major bugs with the existing code and fix them.

    Again, I don't know if SNK followed good practices or not, and who knows what they actually did back in 1990. Developing software is a lot less wild-wild-west as it used to be, but I have a feeling these will not be markedly different than the released versions for that very reason alone.

  3. #28
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    Ok, time to update this thread a little.

    Today I have met with the guy that these Pre-release carts came from and have spent a few hours chatting together about them and his involvement with the industry.

    He has been in the Arcade industry since the early/mid seventies and has been involved in many, many things. One of the main points of discussion was about the history of these carts and how he came about them. He was such a large influencial person in the industry and he was presented with many games before they became into production.

    Anyway, these carts he confirmed to me that he was aware of many Neo Geo games that had some major changes to them months before release and that could have included level layout, sound effects changes and even changes to enemy sprite positions and volume, and therefore was adamant that these carts would have differences from the completed production versions. Unfortunatley, work has meant I have not had time to commit to the investigation, but I will and it will be compltetly documented for you all soon.

    He mentioned to me, that being a large distributor in the UK for many companies he had very close relations with them all and had a large input into how the games were actually developed. One of these being NAM-1975 and he believes he still has some original sketches of the game during its conceptual phase, I will keep you updated if they surface.

    Then the conversation eventually got onto unrelesed carts and he said that he had seen many over the years from all manufacturers/sytems and sadly believes to have destroyed more than you would care to think about. He recollected three Neo Geo games to me that he remembers playing that never got released. I am not going to say too much just yet, but I will say that we looked through the Master list together and none of the ones he mentioned to me are listed at all.

    We also discussed one f his friends in Italy that he definitely yknows had some unreleased Neo games and he is going to pass me their details so will be follwoing that lead very shortly as well.

    So, we have exchanged details and hopefully I am meeting up with him again soon and once I have more concrete evidence I will share my findings.



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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcantor77 View Post
    Ok, time to update this thread a little.

    Today I have met with the guy that these Pre-release carts came from and have spent a few hours chatting together about them and his involvement with the industry.

    He has been in the Arcade industry since the early/mid seventies and has been involved in many, many things. One of the main points of discussion was about the history of these carts and how he came about them. He was such a large influencial person in the industry and he was presented with many games before they became into production.

    Anyway, these carts he confirmed to me that he was aware of many Neo Geo games that had some major changes to them months before release and that could have included level layout, sound effects changes and even changes to enemy sprite positions and volume, and therefore was adamant that these carts would have differences from the completed production versions. Unfortunatley, work has meant I have not had time to commit to the investigation, but I will and it will be compltetly documented for you all soon.

    He mentioned to me, that being a large distributor in the UK for many companies he had very close relations with them all and had a large input into how the games were actually developed. One of these being NAM-1975 and he believes he still has some original sketches of the game during its conceptual phase, I will keep you updated if they surface.

    Then the conversation eventually got onto unrelesed carts and he said that he had seen many over the years from all manufacturers/sytems and sadly believes to have destroyed more than you would care to think about. He recollected three Neo Geo games to me that he remembers playing that never got released. I am not going to say too much just yet, but I will say that we looked through the Master list together and none of the ones he mentioned to me are listed at all.

    We also discussed one f his friends in Italy that he definitely yknows had some unreleased Neo games and he is going to pass me their details so will be follwoing that lead very shortly as well.

    So, we have exchanged details and hopefully I am meeting up with him again soon and once I have more concrete evidence I will share my findings.
    That's completely unexpected and totally awesome. Keep us updated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitTroop View Post
    That's completely unexpected and totally awesome. Keep us updated.
    I was not at all expecting what I found out as well and I will be very closely in touch with him until I know more.

    One of the games he mentioned to me was one that was not allowed to be played in many arcades due to gambling licences, so it had a passcode of somekind configured that allowed operators to switch to it from the running game. He believes he still has the first version somewhere in a box that had no passcode installed.



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  6. #31
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    Way to go bud. Can't wait to hear more. Wow!

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    sweet reserch rog
    good luck buddy

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    Mixed Expectations

    Well, it's great to have an update on this. But it's confusing whether or not to get excited about it.

    On the one hand, it would be absolutely awesome if the 2 or 3 unreleased games he is referring to were actually the very same 2 or 3 as of yet unknown & undiscovered protos that still elude us.

    On the other hand, V-Liner, Jockey Grand Prix, & Poker Kingdom / Bingo Island are technically 3 "unofficial" & sort of "unreleased" titles that could be put into a multislot board and wired up to a switch at "special" locations to allow for "gambling" where it is not legal. (trust me, I know plenty of operators who did so with 2-slot boards out on their routes)

    And so that would be a buzz kill right there. If these "unreleased" carts are "applications" such as neo print carts, gambling carts, accounting, etc. then that is not very exciting at all.

    But if they turn out to be Athena 2, Ikari Warriors 4, or Iron Tank 2, then I will dance a jig right here and now.

    I suppose the additional contact in Italy who allegedly may have "other" unreleased protos may be a better shot at some of the really "wanted" titles that we seek. So by all means, yes, please continue the pursuit. I am an optimist and I am confident that at the very least something will come from following this lead.

    Thanks again for the update!
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  9. #34
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    Interesting.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperGun View Post
    Well, it's great to have an update on this. But it's confusing whether or not to get excited about it.

    On the one hand, it would be absolutely awesome if the 2 or 3 unreleased games he is referring to were actually the very same 2 or 3 as of yet unknown & undiscovered protos that still elude us.

    On the other hand, V-Liner, Jockey Grand Prix, & Poker Kingdom / Bingo Island are technically 3 "unofficial" & sort of "unreleased" titles that could be put into a multislot board and wired up to a switch at "special" locations to allow for "gambling" where it is not legal. (trust me, I know plenty of operators who did so with 2-slot boards out on their routes)

    And so that would be a buzz kill right there. If these "unreleased" carts are "applications" such as neo print carts, gambling carts, accounting, etc. then that is not very exciting at all.

    But if they turn out to be Athena 2, Ikari Warriors 4, or Iron Tank 2, then I will dance a jig right here and now.

    I suppose the additional contact in Italy who allegedly may have "other" unreleased protos may be a better shot at some of the really "wanted" titles that we seek. So by all means, yes, please continue the pursuit. I am an optimist and I am confident that at the very least something will come from following this lead.

    Thanks again for the update!
    Hey Billy, thanks for your comments. I do value your thoughts and knowledge on this subject but I will admit my initial thoughts were the same. Regarding the gambling game, he mentioned to me that it was a poker bassed gambling game, that in France especially it was illegal to play and therefore had to be released with this protgection mechnaism. So my immediate thoughts thurned to Poker Kingdom (or maybe even soemthing like V-Liner) but on a seperate conversation we wer discussing the decline of the industry over the years and what games were good sellers. I asked him about the Metal Slug series and he said that he remembers the first one but that was about the time he stopped working so closely with SNK... sl thaqt was 1996/7 and al the Brazzasoft games were released in 2001 - 2003. He could still have been passed one of these later on, but the dates did not match up.

    As for the second game, it could match one of the listed 'unreleased' games but again the dates do not match up to when he was so heavily involved. Although some of what he described did not fit the title I was thinking about.

    And as for the last game (which was actually the first he mentioned to me) This game is definitely not listed. He described the game to me and even gave me the exact name, and if this is found then this will be a really amazing discovery. And no, it is not anything like Ikari 4 or Tank 2... from what he described this game is not a sequel.

    From what I can gather from him, all of the games were developed by SNK but this was many years ago and he could be mistaken... fingers crossed he can find something. Also I have just remembered that he mentioned to me about another title that he saw the early stages of from Taito... he didn't give any details of it but I will be looking into that more too.

    And like you, I am very excited about the Italian lead as he believes this guy would still have more Neo Geo related stuff left in his stores.



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  11. #36
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    Really exciting stuff! Trying not to get my hopes up TOO much in regards to possible unreleased games, but I'm anxious to hear more!

  12. #37
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    This thread is full of win and awesome. Can't wait to see what else may be dug up.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcantor77 View Post
    He recollected three Neo Geo games to me that he remembers playing that never got released. I am not going to say too much just yet, but I will say that we looked through the Master list together and none of the ones he mentioned to me are listed at all.

    We also discussed one f his friends in Italy that he definitely yknows had some unreleased Neo games and he is going to pass me their details so will be follwoing that lead very shortly as well.
    This kind of news gets the blood pumping! Thanks for continuing to take the time to hunt down these leads. I'm holding out hope for some wild finds.

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    icon92.gif

    Awesome, that's getting more interesting every post!

    Hope something cool will surface.

    It happened that one of the biggest distributors for Europe was indeed GEVIN from Naples, Italy:



    Definitively, some big movement occurred.


    A sad note, hopefully they are not the contact, as they runt out of business years ago, selling pretty everything to some italian member here, me included

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    Quote Originally Posted by massimiliano View Post
    Awesome, that's getting more interesting every post!

    Hope something cool will surface.

    It happened that one of the biggest distributors for Europe was indeed GEVIN from Naples, Italy:

    Definitively, some big movement occurred.

    A sad note, hopefully they are not the contact, as they runt out of business years ago, selling pretty everything to some italian member here, me included
    Fortunatley Massi, that is not the name of the company in Italy that I have been given. He said that he actually had lunch with the guy last week and they are definitely still in business. Fingers crossed that leads to something...



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    Quote Originally Posted by rcantor77 View Post
    Fortunatley Massi, that is not the name of the company in Italy that I have been given. He said that he actually had lunch with the guy last week and they are definitely still in business. Fingers crossed that leads to something...
    awesome, that's a relief!

    I'm pretty sure having the UK contact helping you, will definitively open doors.

    Hope to hear some good news soon!

    Massi


    edit:

    almost forgot to say, they changed name to "General Games" "Intervideo" and "Giocando" later on.

    Here you can find a thread about the history of this distributor and his owner Giovanni (google translate)

    http://www.neo-geo.com/forums/showth...-Game-Giocando


    Anyway, far from historical notes, what *matters* is that you found someone still in business.
    Last edited by massimiliano; 11-20-2012 at 02:32 PM.

  17. #42
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    This is a cool find, hopefully more stuff turns out!

  18. #43
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    So... Bump? Hey Roger, you have any new news on this stuff? Definitely hope this lead didn't run cold, because I think you are really on to something here!

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    OK, I have still been on the case but the guy is unable to unearth anything as of yet... although he keeps telling me he is sure he has not thrown any of it out.

    So... when we were speaking before Christmas, the third game he mentioned to me was a game called Bi-Plane. Not the 1976 game but definitely an MVS game. He recalls that the game was circulated to the distributers in the early years of the MVS but it never made it into production.

    He also mentioned about some early hardware prototypes that never got mass produced... there was a 10-slot and even a 20-slot motherboard that they were planning on using at the start but settled on the 6-slot. He thinks he has some paperwork on these as well... so fingers crossed.

    I am still in communication with him and don't worry, this thread will be the first place I will be if something new turns up.



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  20. #45
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    Bi-Plane I am assuming is Ghost Pilots, probably another early version. Makes me wonder if the title screen actually says Bi-Plane.

    I don't know about a 20 slot but 10 was in the works as well as others. I think the 6 slot just proved to be the most reliable when they were trying to go as high as possible.

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    I can't even imagine how many incompatibilities and weird issues you'd have with ten different carts in the same machine, let alone twenty Haha, let alone having to just seat them all correctly. I can't even imagine what that board would have looked like. The six slot is enormous! Good stuff, though. Can't wait to hear more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xian Xi View Post
    Bi-Plane I am assuming is Ghost Pilots, probably another early version. Makes me wonder if the title screen actually says Bi-Plane.
    I don't think it is... from what he described it was a 1 on 1 battle game.



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    Quote Originally Posted by rcantor77 View Post
    I don't think it is... from what he described it was a 1 on 1 battle game.
    Interesting, like Atari's old Combat or something, then. That would be a really interesting game to find.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitTroop View Post
    Interesting, like Atari's old Combat or something, then. That would be a really interesting game to find.
    Yes exactly like that...

    You bumping this thread, spurred me on to email him again and he has just replied confirming 100% that it was called Bi-Plane and was on the MVS. I have just replied asking for him to confirm the year if he can.

    But do not worry, I am not giving up on this one as he is the only person in the UK that might have any info. I am not sure if I have already mentioned this in the thread but he has been in the industry since 1974 and has been involved with all of the big named companies as the UK Distributor. During the 80s he was on the board at SNK and used to fly over to Japan every week or so and was involved in the design of some of the games.

    It's not Neo related, but during one of our chats he was telling me that when Taito first demo'd Operation Wolf in Japan there were no sound effect on the intro... they never used to believe that they were needed. So he told them that they should to create better atmospherics in the game and they then added in the sfx of the laces beign tied and the knife being sheathed.

    Some other things he told me about was about being on the design team of the Original Mr. Do and created the layout on alot of the levels. And a big bombshell that was a shock to me, was that he was fed up with all boards requiring different adapters in the 80s and so he designed the layout of the JAMMA adapter... it had three versions before it got accepted by the board in Japan but it was from his recommendation.



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  25. #50

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    Hey this is all great to hear and I am glad you are still pursuing this lead. And by all means, nobody is as optimistic and open minded about developments in this subject then I am. However, I do want to point out something that we need to keep in mind. I have only been in the business since the early 1990's. But every single manufacturer, distributor, and operator that I have met over the past 20 years who was in the business since the 1980's, (let alone the 1970's as you referred to for this guy in your post), has mixed up, confused, and in some cases completely forgotten games and events of the past. No matter how "alert" or knowledgeable this guy may seem to you, your asking him detailed questions about things from over 20 years ago. Just think how many machines and boards this guy has gone through in his lifetime in the business. 80% of operators from the 1990's that are still in business today still refer to it as the "Street Fighter" golden era years, not the "Street Fighter 2" golden era years. And this is just one example.

    If this fellow was in the business in 1974, he was most likely about 20 to 25 in 1974. That makes him 60 to 65 present day. Do you assume everything a 65 year old father or grandfather says to be 100% factual and true with absolutely no possibility of error or exaggeration in its content? I am not saying this guy is not credible. He very well may be credible, and I am absolutely hopeful that he is and that this pans out. But SNK made jamma boards as well, and SNK made name changes to their games as well, and other companies, lots of companies all made lots of games with similar names and gameplay concepts during that time. Just saying is all.

    Just read between the lines with everything he writes and everything he tells you. His memory is not by coincidence going to be perfect on the very subject we happen to be interested in and inquiring him about during one part of his time in the business.
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