Famicom: Oct.-Dec. 1988

GYRUSS Prototype

Famitsu previewed Gyruss, set for an October release, with a version that looked a bit different from both the released FDS version and the cut-down NES cart.

Even though the NES version was released later than the FDS disk, the title screen seen here is distinctly American, along with the intro, as well.

In-game screenshots show different graphics for power-ups, barriers, and bosses. Quite a few interesting last-minute changes!


JP Proto
Notice the completely identical US text and title, but with a Konami bumper.

US NES Screen
Released by "Ultra Games".
JP FDS Screen
Smaller triangle, extra graphics.
These blue enemies do show up later in the final game, but as individual attackers like the amoeba or solar flares. In this prototype they're the regular swarm-type enemy. Notice the different power-up icon.
The final game has a higher high score and general score, leading me to think that the point values were readjusted before release.
Again, the enemies are different, as are the palettes.
Oh, and I notice the proto reads "1P SCORE" instead of just "SCORE". Could they have planned this to be a 2-player game originally?
Hello, baby! This vegetative boss with lips certainly looks inspired by the then-popular Little Shop of Horrors film.
Sadly, she got replaced in the final with boring mechanical designs. The small blue cross shots appear to have been changed to red in the final(?)
Here, one "crystalline" design was changed into a more staid mechanical or volcanic boss.
The large blue blocking shots had some red bits in them in the proto, as well.

Monster Party

Here are some early screens of the unreleased (in Japan) Monster Party. Its early title, as found in October 1988 Famicom Hissyoubon and Famimaga issues, is "Parody World Monster Party".  ** A late prototype of the Japanese Monster Party has finally been released as a ROM!  Please look for it, eh? **

Early Proto
NES Release

I like the little messages in the window that mirror your actions: "flap flap", "walk walk", and "You bastard!"

$6000 Cartridge Shock!

Toss an unreleased prototype into a pool of socially-averse Japanese otakus with no romantic or family responsibilities, and more money than ways to spend it, what do you get? You get a 5"x3"x1" piece of plastic that sells for the same price as a decent second-hand car.

On 5/26/2001, the stars aligned, and a seller put a sample cartridge of Monster Party on Yahoo Auctions. The final price: 483,000 yen, honestly more money than it is worth to me. The seller provided pictures of the sample game, looking pretty much completed, and closer to the NES release than the early prototype above. The title screen (left) still says "Parody World Monster Party" on it, even though it may have received a final change to simply "Monster Party" (centre) before being canned. The NES release had the red blood changed to green slime, but here, I changed it back to the prototype colours for illustrative purposes. (Thanks to Phantom Software for some of the proto pics!)

Later Prototype Title
Prerelease Title(?)
NES TItle, recoloured (Original: )
Later Prototype
NES Final
The Japanese version above reads, "One day, Hiroshi was walking home from a baseball game thinking, as he usually does, 'Ahh, I'm hungry.', and other such thoughts. He happened to look up and just then he noticed a twinkling..."
Yes, Japanese is much more compact than English. I like how they even changed the big "Hi" on Hiroshi's shirt to an "M" in the NES version.
The Japanese caption below reads, "'The truth is, the planet where I live is in trouble, with monsters running rampant. So I came here to look for help."