News/Project Deluge: PlayStation 1, Saturn, and CD-I (Part 2)

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Project Deluge (Lot Page)

Project Deluge - PlayStation (List)
Project Deluge - PlayStation (Matched List)

Project Deluge - Sega Saturn (List)
Project Deluge - Sega Saturn (Matched List)

Project Deluge - Philips CD-i (List)
Project Deluge - Philips CD-i (Matched List)
Discuss this release on our Discord server!

Hello everyone! Hopefully we didn’t make you wait too long this time around.

Continuing with our efforts with Project Deluge, today we present over 370 PlayStation 1 prototypes, 80 Sega Saturn prototypes, and 20 prototypes for the Philips CD-i! From unreleased games to early builds, this part of the lot provides the most varied amount of exciting content so far!

As a recap, Project Deluge is an ongoing project to archive and assess all of the items featured in a lot of video game development material that has been gathered over the course of many years. This has been made possible through the dedication of only one extremely kind individual, who has taken on the herculean task of dumping every single thing in the lot by themselves. Each item in the lot was assessed by a team of dedicated individuals for playability and integrity on both software (via emulation) and hardware when necessary. Each item was then lightly documented and given a general overview of some of the main interesting facts about the item in question.

Almost a month a go, we released almost 800 unique prototype builds for the PlayStation 2. As of writing, we have currently gone over almost 3000 discs with absolutely no end in sight.

This time, this part of the lot deals with prototypes that originated from the early era of games based on optical discs. Since these discs are over twenty years old, they can fare much worse than the prototypes featured in the PlayStation 2 part of the lot. However, we were able to assess and rescue a lot of what existed.

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First up, the biggest part of the lot this time around, the PlayStation 1 part of the lot. Clocking in at almost 400 prototypes, this part of the lot has it all - completely unreleased games, ports, early prototypes, tech demos, early localization builds, builds of Japanese games, and more. Some of these prototypes were heard of and talked about for many years! First up, we have a prototype of the unreleased and completely unheard of game called Aftershock, an extremely early flight combat simulator game demo shown off before the US release of the PlayStation. Next we have a prototype of the unreleased Clay Fighter: Extreme, a build that was known on the Internet for some time but was never released aside from some videos. Not only is this prototype finally released, but it also happens to be the same build that was featured in the videos! Next we have a prototype of the unreleased PS1 port of Dark Rift, a fighting game which was based on an N64 game released just a year later. We also have an even earlier prototype of the unreleased Deuce as well! We have a prototype of the unreleased Dream Team Basketball, which was developed by Anvil Incorporated and promoted by US Gold before it was cancelled for unknown reasons.

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Oh - but we’re not done with all the unreleased games! We have an extremely early prototype of the unreleased PS1 port of Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom, one of the best adventure beat-em-ups ever brought to the arcades! This game was unfortunately one of the very many titles that barely saw a release outside of the arcade original. In the case of Tower of Doom, the game was only ever released on the Sega Saturn - in Japan! This would’ve been such a wonderful game to have on the system. We have a prototype of the unreleased International Rally Championship, a game developed by Konami. Created possibly as a demo for use at a trade show like E3, for a targeted Winter release, it was eventually canceled for unknown reasons. We also have a prototype of the unreleased Madden NFL 96, developed by Visual Concepts, which was aiming to be the first NFL game ever to be released on the PlayStation, which was eventually cancelled after numerous delays caused by quality assurance issues. We have a prototype of the cancelled PS1 port of NFL Quarterback Club 96 in which the optical disc version was only ever released on the Sega Saturn. We have a prototype of the unreleased Paperboy, an original take on the arcade original that never saw the light of day.

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And those were just the unreleased games! We also have many other interesting prototypes in this part of the lot too. We have good prototypes of Dino Crisis 2, Klonoa, Spyro, Spider-Man, Fighting Force, and so much more. We even have a prototype of Duke Nukem: Planet of the Babes before it was retitled to Duke Nukem: Land of the Babes. Aside from your usual prototypes, we also have some great localization prototypes of Lunar and Grandia, as well as some other JRPGs that the original PlayStation was well known for.

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Next we have some prototypes for the PlayStation’s arch nemesis, the Sega Saturn. While not as exciting as the PlayStation lot we have quite a few interesting prototypes to take a look at. We have a nice prototype of Bug Too!, as well as Sega Rally Championship, early prototypes of Virtua Fighter Kids and Fighting Vipers, and so much more. Interestingly, one particular type of prototype that’s often difficult to come across are prototypes of Working Design titles. From the PlayStation lot, we were lucky to have a great localization prototype of Lunar, a game that put Working Designs center stage during the 90s. However, we also have prototypes of other games they were localizing, including various prototypes of Dragon Force and even the infamous Magic Knight Rayearth that was in production for many years only to become the very last title to release for the Sega Saturn!

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Finally, as a tongue in cheek bonus, we also have some prototypes for the Philips CD-i. Note, however, that some of these games may be final or very close to, but given the current state of documentation for the Philips CD-i’s software lineup (especially considering its life outside of the United States), it’s difficult to determine if some of these are potentially a match for the final equivalent. However, we’re including them anyway just in case, as some of these are hard to come by anyway. On an unrelated note, we did come across yet another prototype of Super Mario’s Wacky Worlds, however this one turned out to be a complete identical match to the already released prototype.

There are some things to note in this lot, this time around, primarily with the PlayStation part of the lot. All CD-R based items were dumped using CloneCD. Since everything from this part of the lot was authored on CD-Rs that took advantage of the ISO 9660 standard, each disc utilized ECC/EDC data for error detection and correction. We used this to our advantage to help locate potentially problematic discs in the lot that had errors that occurred exclusively during the dumping process. The discs featured in this lot, with some exceptions as noted in the descriptions of some items, were the games where there were no detectable errors that would affect gameplay. While we were assessing the PlayStation discs in the lot, we found a few discs that were somehow dumped as audio CDs (the first track, the data track, was dumped in a scrambled format, possibly due the drive used). A total of 21 games were affected by this. Fortunately, we were able to descramble and reassess the games affected and can confirm that they all work and are free from errors (incidentally, the original scrambled dumps are included with these discs as well).

Surprisingly, there were quite a few PlayStation games that utilized some form of protection against unauthorized use. In the early days, PlayStation prototypes would sometimes utilize an additional method for preventing review copies of games from being leaked too early. While prototypes by nature could only be run on developer hardware, users who utilized modchips or emulators could still play the games earlier given what was accessible at the time. To prevent this, developers began to implement solutions that utilized an external device known as a “dongle”, which was usually just a memory card with a specific save file on it or formatted in a very specific way, to prevent prototypes from being played without the necessary device. Of course, this protection was usually slapped onto the prototypes just so that they could delay the time it would take for playable builds to be leaked. Therefore, the protection can be defeated. Knowing that it wouldn’t be fair to share something that can’t easily be played, our team member SolidSnake11 heroically reverse engineered and provided xdelta patches for each of the games that utilized this form of protection so that everyone else could take a further look at them. Additionally, he is responsible for all of the patches included with most of the PS2 prototypes that are also secured by dongles (or have other issues to get working). Absolutely incredible!

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As always, we would like to thank all the members of the Project Deluge team for helping us with this project so far. Without your help, it would’ve taken eons for anything to come about. We’d like to thank Jason Scott from the Internet Archive for giving us an opportunity to go through this journey and for providing the hosting for this ongoing project, and Iniche for working with the owner of all of these wonderful builds to make it all happen. Special thanks to Master Emerald for once again creating beautiful art for us to help make each of our releases something special (especially on short notice!). We’d like to thank drx and ehw for writing the scripts and helping get the project initially off the ground, and Sazpaimon for taking everything much further by expanding the capabilities of the script, running some of the builds on hardware, the streams, and so much more. And last but certainly not least, we’d like to thank all of our researchers (Zoda-Y13, GopherGirl, Xkeeper (TCRF), Rusty (TCRF), Shoemanbundy, Hwd45, SolidSnake11, DigitalWarrior, Nex, and Drac for taking the time to help us go through every single build in this lot so far.

This project is far from over and has only just begun! Stay tuned in the next couple of months for more!

Until next time!

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(NOTE: We are in the middle of migrating our server to take advantage of more storage. We have added the capability of adding external links on the Prototype form. PLEASE DO NOT REUPLOAD ANY PROTOTYPE FROM THE LOT ONTO THE MAIN SITE FOR NOW. While the links on the wiki side don’t work at the moment, you should be able to get to the externally hosted link by clicking on the external link featured in every article. If you encounter an error with the external link, please let us know or make the correction if you know what’s causing the issue. This was a big lot so mistakes may happen, so be aware!)