Burning Rangers (Jan 3, 1998 prototype)
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A prototype of Burning Rangers for the Sega Saturn.
- This build of the game is mostly complete but is still unfinished in a few areas. While all the missions are present, most of them are missing certain sections and are buggy.
- Unlike the December 1, 1997 build, the wallpapers and sound files in the EXTRA folder are present.
- Debug features enabled.
- There is positioning information as you play the game.
- When you press the navigation button, you go into a free camera mode. The camera can be controlled with the D-pad and the character can be moved into any location that you want.
- A sound test is available from the title screen.
- You can skip to the next round (sub-section of a mission) by pausing and pressing the navigation button.
- The debug menu present in the earlier prototype can be activated with the same button code: hold Z and D-pad up, then press the left trigger. Activating the debug menu causes graphical glitches on the title screen.
- Versus mode is present from the main menu, which was removed late from the final game. Unlike the December 1, 1997 prototype, the Versus Mode is actually selectable and playable.
- You choose between either Shou or Tillis and then are dropped into a room that looks similar to the Training Space map.
- You can run around and shoot at the other character. When you hit then, they fall back. A second player can control the other character with a second controller, but the camera has trouble focusing on them.
- Angels With Burning Hearts is set has the background music.
- None of the relevant voice clips that seem related to the Versus Mode that are present in the sound test seem to be used here.
- There are two other adjacent rooms located on this map.
- Very buggy.
- Co-operative multiplayer is still present from the December 1, 1997 prototype.
- Starting from Versus Mode, use the round skip option. This will begin Mission 2.
- The default second player is Shou, so if your Versus Mode character was Shou there will be two versions of him.
- If a round has a second ranger present in it, that ranger will be used for the second player. For example, Big appears in the first section Mission 3, so he is used there.
- The two players can still attack each other, as in Versus mode.
- Angels With Burning Hearts is the background music.
- Unlike the December 1, 1997 prototype, the Training Space map exists.
- The charge shot doesn't properly destroy crystals.
- A textureless "dummy" character model is used for the rescue NPC instead of a fully textured NPC.
- Mission 1 is close to completion
- There are no crystals in front of the mandatory rescue for the doctor's assistant, Peter Smith. As such, you don't need 5 crystals to rescue him like in the final game.
- Some of the rooms that were built to hold certain NPCs are present but are missing certain survivors.
- After the second "lights out" sequence, you don't get the cutscene with Lead; you just hear his dialogue.
- Mission 2 is slightly less finished than Mission 1.
- The last rooms of the map are completely empty.
- Some sections are very buggy, such as the swimming sections. The water controls aren't finalized yet. You can't ascend by pressing jump, so you have to float. You can swim with the dolphin and orcas by using placement mode, though.
- The Claris and Elliot cameos use knock-off, dummy models. In the final they use their original models from NiGHTs.
- In one section, there are fuel cylinders that roll back and forth aggressively. This was cut from the final.
- Mission 3 differences.
- Mission 3 is missing the section where you carry Neal Belmondo, and doesn't have survivors in their expected locations.
- You don't need to have two ID cards to get into Ami Shibata's room; it is unlocked. She isn't in it, however. A version of her with a different model is in the Starlight Lounge room, however.
- The hallway with four doors that's just before Neal (Stick Canyon Path) has the room with a central tower open. Yuji Naka is in this area in the final game, but he's not there in this build.
- One of the other four doors leads to an anti-gravity switch. After toggling it, the player's character can walk on the ceiling.
- Another of the four doors leads to a spinning fan. While it's running, the player's character can float upward with its air current.
- Neal is just standing there when you encounter him. You don't pick him up, and instead proceed to the rescue pod alone.
- The boss can only be damaged after all its armor has been knocked off (similar to the December 1 build), so it is much harder.
- Mission 4 differences.
- You don't get to play the Burning Ship part. The later sections aren't finished, and are missing various objects.
- You also don't team up with Lead or Big in the area with Iria's stasis chamber. in fact, that chamber is missing from its room.
- The "burning sun" enemies (that sometimes appears in Mission 1 in the final) are much more aggressive, as in the December 1 alpha.
- There is a weird red fuel tank that acts as an elevator into the final boss area.
- The bosses are all incomplete. Sometimes you can't damage the floating crystal boss, but sometimes on later attempts it can fall after several charge shots. The final one only has a single attack pattern. Its damage meter doesn't change with hits, but you can still beat it.
- Misc differences.
- There's a 99 crystal limit. Pink flames are also very generous with crystals. Crystal colors are the opposite of what they're supposed to be; red when idle, pink when being acquired.
- You can't save your game yet. There is a spot for game data in the Options menu, but it doesn't work.
- You can select the Burning Ship sub game from the Mode screen. It's really broken, with text scattered across the screen (including RINGCOUNT), but you can sort of play it.
- The Mail system isn't implemented yet. The messages that were in MAIL.BIN in the December 1 alpha aren't there anymore. If you open a message in the Rescue List, the graphics are corrupt.
- The survivor names are the ones from the December 1 alpha. Their models and animations are definitely improved in the final version.
- There are no passwords on the results screens. And if you try to put one in from the mission select screen, you just start Mission 1.
- Ami Shibata doesn't appear in the credits. In the final version she is given "greatest gratitude."
We'd like to thank Bo Bayles and his excellent write up and for seeking this long forgotten prototype! We'd also like to thank iGREKKESS for kindly redumping and sharing the prototype for everyone to enjoy once again! Finally, we'd like to thank Andreas Scholl on his research on the various formats and internal workings of Burning Rangers as well as other Sega Saturn games, and as well on his work on the Burning Rangers remake.
- Excellent write-up on Bo Bayles Annex!
- Andreas Scholl's twitter
- The Cutting Room Floor (comparisons coming soon)