Sonic Month 2019

News/An Old Can of Worms

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Earthworm Jim (Aug 4, 1994 GameMaster prototype)
Earthworm Jim (Aug 19, 1994 prototype)
Earthworm Jim 2 (Apr 24, 1995 prototype)
Earthworm Jim 2 (Sep 7, 1995 prototype)
Discuss this release on the boards here!

Groovy!

We have some nice surprises for you today courtesy of Radar (aka Junoman), who has been so kind as to let us release some great stuff from his collection.

These builds came from a recently acquired lot that originated from Virgin, a software house based in Europe that was responsible for distributing games for various systems as well as producing some original games such as The Lion King, Aladdin, and Earthworm Jim. The lot came with a lot of unique things like unreleased games, various prototypes of produced or distributed games from Virgin, internal memos, backups, developer kits, and countless other things as well. Recently, SMSPower.org released Super Off Road (Sega Master System Prototype) and Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (Prototype) which came from this lot as well. Along with prototypes, there were also PCBs that carried final builds as well. Expect a lot more from this lot in the near future!

In the meantime, here’s what we got in store for today.

Earthworm Jim (USA) (GamesMaster Special Edition).2019-01-20 01.07.36.png
Earthworm Jim (Aug 19, 1994 prototype).2019-01-20 01.32.35.png
Earthworm Jim (Aug 4, 1994 GameMaster prototype) Earthworm Jim (Aug 19, 1994 prototype)

First we have two prototypes of the original game. The first prototype should be familiar to those who are familiar with no-intro/GoodSNES. The GamesMasters prototype was used on the show of the same name for various competitions. It’s been released for a while but up until now it wasn’t known if the dump currently in circulation was good. It also wasn’t exactly known if the game was actually a prototype, since the game lacks a build date internally in the ROM. As luck would have it, Radar found an original copy of the game still on it’s EPROMs and was able to confirm that not only is the dump out in circulation unmodified, but is also a prototype since whoever burnt the game on the EPROMs was kind enough to provide a build date!

The other prototype comes a few days before the first available US release of the game but should still have a number of differences.


Ewj2debug.2019-01-19 15.33.22.png
Earthworm Jim 2 (Sep 7, 1995 prototype).2019-01-20 01.28.24.png
Earthworm Jim 2 (Apr 24, 1995 prototype) Earthworm Jim 2 (Sep 7, 1995 prototype)

On the other hand, we have an incredibly early prototype of Earthworm Jim 2 for the SNES! This build has a countless number of differences. Cut levels, alternative layouts, different gimmicks, and more! We also have an “inbetween” prototype that was built sometime between the final US and final PAL release. Be sure to check that out as well!

It’s been known that another Earthworm Jim 2 prototype has existed in no-intro and GoodSet for a long time. If you were ever curious to play it, you’ll note that the game never worked correctly. In the GoodSet, the [a1] version is actually playable. In short, this is because there was a mistake made when compiling the ROMs for GoodSNES and it was assumed that the prototype was the same size as the final. However, the prototype actually used seven EPROM chips rather than six, making the actual size 3.5 Megabytes. The seventh EPROM contains most of the game’s sound, so it would explain why the accordion sound effect sounded corrupt when playing the original ROM. For the sake of completeness, we’ve included a brand new fixed version of this prototype which combines the good bytes from the included no-intro ROM with the missing 7th EPROM chip for playability. Have fun!

That’s all for now! As you might've guessed, we were going to release some Dreamcast protos after the MediEvils. We are going to get to those, don't worry!

Until next time!