Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Talk about Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! for SNES and VC.
The GBA port can be discussed in the DKC3 Port (GBA) subforum.

Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Blaziken257 » November 20th, 2012, 2:56 am

Sorry I've been slow to find updates lately... but I've been busy (as usual). I am still looking for differences, but in the meantime I found that Whiplash Dash's required time was raised in the final version. In the prototype, it's 0:45.00, and in the final, it's 0:46.00.

(Prototype on left, final on right)

Image Image

Also, this was the Lurchin thing that I was talking about earlier in Ford Knocks:

Image Image

I still need to look thoroughly in worlds besides Cape Codswallop, though.

And with the numerous differences that you found (and the fact that you got 103% in the first place), it's a surprise that this is the first time you played DKL3. After all, you seem to know a lot about it. How did you find some of those obscure bonuses so quickly? When I first played it, some of those took me months to find (and beating Seabed Shanty in 1:20 took me about six years to figure out...).
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Nintendo Player » November 20th, 2012, 8:14 am

Nice, even more new stuff! I updated the article with all of your finds, although I don't have pictures for everything yet.

Doing a side-by-side proto/retail playthrough is simply a matter of comparing each screen for differences. The time-consuming process is a bit maddening but, then again, I'm already a bit mad in the head. I cheated and consulted an FAQ for some of the bonus locations just so I could quickly go through the game and get the article up. The time trials were totally not fun at all for me, but I eventually figured them out after a lot of trial and error.

By the way, I didn't mention this before, but I figured out what the letters on the EPROM sticker meant:

Image

"DMG" is an acronym for "Dot Matrix Game Boy." (It's also used as part of the Game Boy's model number--i.e. the original handheld system is DMG-001.)
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research Topic

Postby CountryFan » December 2nd, 2012, 10:58 pm

Markster wrote::rant: If I had a DKC3 prototype, I would share it, I don't know why Zak's friend can't just share the ultra rare DKC3 prototype, he would make all of us beta researchers happy, but instead, he's selfish and just keeps it only for himself and doesn't dump it, one time, someone found a Super Mario Kart beta, and guess what, he did not dump it, that was back in 2006, till this day, that prototype was never dumped.

And I sure would like to see that SMK proto dumped, if Nintendo Player or someone like that could get their hands on it.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Nintendo Player » December 3rd, 2012, 2:21 pm

The funny thing is, the collector who sold me the Donkey Kong Land III prototype is the same person who owns both the Donkey Kong Country 3 and Super Mario Kart prototypes. I don't think he's selling SMK, but if he were, I'm sure he'd only accept gold bars because of all the differences.

You might recall this Super Mario Bros. 2 NES prototype. That was his, as well. He actually gave at least one person access to the SMB2 ROM in order for its differences to be documented. Somebody was given this dump and leaked the ROM without getting his permission, though, so he never shared any more ROMs (publicly or privately) after that.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Gaz » December 4th, 2012, 2:57 am

I'm proud of that person who did the right thing and publicly dumped the SMB2 ROM. SMB2 is my fav NES game.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Geno » December 4th, 2012, 10:56 am

Gaz wrote:I'm proud of that person who did the right thing and publicly dumped the SMB2 ROM. SMB2 is my fav NES game.

He OBVIOUSLY didn't do the right thing with SMK. :angry:
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby CountryFan » December 5th, 2012, 10:53 am

Gaz wrote:I'm proud of that person who did the right thing and publicly dumped the SMB2 ROM. SMB2 is my fav NES game.

I'm proud of them, too! :thumbs:

However, there is NO reason why van_helen couldn't have released the SMB2 ROM himself, either directly, or through a fundraiser, if he was concerned about the cost. No reason he can't do the same about the SMK ROM, either.

geno wrote:He OBVIOUSLY didn't do the right thing with SMK. :angry:

Don't think that person ever had THAT beta, just :mario:2
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Geno » December 5th, 2012, 9:41 pm

Unnecessary nested quotes removed by Qyzbud

Oh yeah. I forgot the guy who owned the SMB2 beta CART wasn't the one to dump it. :facepalm:
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Nintendo Player » December 6th, 2012, 1:51 pm

To be perfectly honest, and I'm saying this as someone who publicly dumps all of his prototypes and loves the NES, I think leaking the SMB2 ROM was a rotten thing to do. By betraying a collector's trust, you do more harm than good in the long run. From what I heard, negotiations were being made to share the ROM with the public anyhow, but one of the members at the preservation community lostlevels.org couldn't wait that long, and basically ruined any chance of us seeing more prototypes like SMK.

A good number of prototype collectors I've personally contacted don't even have the common courtesy to reply back (case in point: I've tried numerous times during the past few months to talk to the owner of a Donkey Kong Land 1 GB prototype--no response). So here was someone sharing lots of pictures and information and potentially even the back-up file, and he got treated like dirt. As the old saying goes, don't bite the hand that feeds you--or you'll be staring at an $8,000 Donkey Kong Country 3 prototype with zero info about it.

:rant:
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Gaz » December 7th, 2012, 4:50 am

What do you mean this collector had been treated like dirt?
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 7th, 2012, 6:30 am

Because the guy who dumped and released the SMB2 ROM did so without asking, when that person had previously agreed not to do so.

But I still think that the one hoarding the undumped prototype boards has some element of selfishness involved. We are practically one of only two major DKC communities that would be interested in the DKC3 prototype. But we are not bill gates and cannot buy it for 8 grand. Even $250 is still too !@#$ing much for most people on this forum that are even wealthy enough to have the money to blow on a prototype. And it may or may not have any differences.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Nintendo Player » December 7th, 2012, 3:06 pm

Yeah, the guy paid hundreds of dollars for SMB2 and got a big "screw you" with insults and a leak behind his back for being nice enough to let others try to document the differences. I can't think of many other big prototype collectors who'd even agree to take a few gameplay photos, not to mention give anybody the ROM, without being compensated in some way. (Kind of like that potential Diddy Kong Pilot prototype I told you about, Gaz, and how the seller won't check to confirm whether the characters in the game are from the Donkey Kong series or Banjo-Kazooie.)

I'm not trying to defend the 8K price tag or anything here. It's just that whenever a stunt like the SMB2 leak occurs, it only makes things harder for us preservation-minded people to work with collectors and find more interesting betas to share and document with everyone. Maybe if he trusted the community more, all of us could get a better idea of DKC3's worth, with a DKC expert being given the chance to privately go through the data first. Sadly, I think that ship has sailed.

Look at the Donkey Kong Land III prototype. He said he only played the beginning level but compared the prototype and retail binaries in a Hex editor and saw that the code was different. After I got my hands on the cart, I became full-blown OCD with the game until I found changes in the text, item and enemy placements, level layouts, etc.--and I'm no expert because I had never even played the released game before! So, in the case of DKC3, he's again telling us that the code is different, which honestly makes me pretty excited.

A very nice fellow and preservation advocate by the name of Skrybe told me recently that this collector offered to go as low as 14K for all three Virus/Dr. Mario prototypes and DKC3. That's $3,500 apiece, but I'd imagine the first-party NES prototypes would be worth more than DKC3 in that equation. We're probably still looking at over a grand, closer to two, though. As I said before, I have prototypes that I'd be willing to trade away to help bring the cost down, but the last time I talked to him, it sounded like he only wanted cash instead. (Dumped prototypes aren't worth as much, either. :facepalm: )
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Qyzbud » December 8th, 2012, 10:39 am

It's really sad when good will and trust are thrown out the window... I'm all for making information available to the people, but in cases like this, it's only fair that the buyer gets to choose when and how to do this; after all, it's their passion and investment that made the discoveries possible in the first place.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Blaziken257 » December 9th, 2012, 4:31 am

Wow, I didn't know about that situation with SMB2. While I did know about the prototype from years ago, I didn't realize that the person who dumped the ROM backstabbed the person who let him use it. That is a dishonest move, and now I sorta see why the DKC3 prototype costs so much.

Still, $8000 is very high, and I wish the seller would post at least one screenshot showing a difference. Worth noting that if I ever saw the prototype one day, I'd be pretty good at spotting differences (not as good as DKL3, but still)... does anybody remember the time when I saw a European video of Criss Kross Cliffs and noticed a lot less Buzzes?

I guess we would have to organize a campaign to get lots of people to donate small amounts. It would add up after a while, I think...

Also, I've been slow to find more differences in DKL3, but here are a couple for now. First, I noticed that in the prototype, two Blast Barrels near the end of the level are missing. See images below:

Spoiler!
(Note that a lot of these barrels are initially invisible until you touch them)

Prototype:
Image

English final v1.0 & v1.1:
Image

Japanese (same thing, but in color):
Image


The thing is that in Time Attack mode, Bonus Barrels never appear. So, in the prototype, it is possible to enter that Blast Barrel facing down, and fall to your death. In the final, a Blast Barrel pointing up-left was added to catch the Kongs in this situation, and blast them to the goal (note that it is slower than going to the goal the normal way, so this isn't a reasonable strategy in Time Attack to being with). However, even stranger is that another initially invisible Blast Barrel was added inside the wall, facing left. There's no way to get to this one (barring hacking), so it's unclear why it was added. The only explanation that I can think of is that the up-left facing Blast Barrel was initially intended to point to the left when it was added between the prototype and final. Quite weird, indeed. I mentioned this Blast Barrel here.

A second difference: When using a GameShark code to play as glitchy Rattly (010600DF), the prototype freezes as soon as you enter a bonus stage. In the final, the game won't freeze, but Rattly will become an immobile puff ball, requiring you to wait for time to run out in the bonus stage, and then press Start+Select to exit the level. (More information here.) Note that VBA 1.7.2 doesn't emulate a GameShark accurately, so you should use VBA-M or BGB for this.

And finally, while this information isn't totally relevant to the prototype, upon playing Tundra Blunda in the prototype, I accidentally discovered a change... from English v1.0 to English v1.1. A pit was added at the very end (look here). I think it's the only level change from v1.0 to v1.1. If you're wondering, this was unchanged from the prototype to final v1.0 (which is why I wouldn't put it in the prototype article), and the Japanese version uses the v1.1 layout. I really wonder why they made that change from v1.0 to v1.1...
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Nintendo Player » December 10th, 2012, 6:00 pm

Well said, Qyzbud.

I am just as passionate as you guys are in wanting prototype ROMs released or at least dissected to death and the findings posted so that the changes can be seen by everyone (or, in the case of SMK, heard by everyone with SPC dumps), but there are right ways and wrong ways of making that happen. I've had private prototype ROMs sent to me, and by agreeing not to distribute the files, the owner allows me to share any info that I find with the world. Would I prefer that all prototype ROMs went public instead? Of course! That would be the best way of ensuring that they are preserved and more fully documented. But pictures and audio are far better than not having anything at all. (And then, in rare cases, I have had to go into full-blown game preservation soapbox mode in order to even approach some prototypes. I won't link to the page here because it contains some explicit material, but an example of a ton of earnest perseverance eventually paying off would be NBA Jam XXX. That game was so out-of-this-world that many people believe it was some kind of a hoax. Believe me, though, it's real--and really funny.)

Your work never ceases to amaze, Blaziken. Love those maps! I'll have to try out that Rattly glitch.

On the subject of glitches, I'd like to hear your take on the prototype's game-breaking bug near the end of Barrel Boulevard. Is there any way to access the last part of that level to reach the flagpole? I'm curious to see if that section contains any differences.

I updated the article with these new finds. Thanks again!
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Nintendo Player » December 21st, 2012, 2:38 am

A bit of an update about the DKC3 prototype: Last month I sent the seller a list of the Brazilian TV ad's beta differences from this topic. He got back to me a little while ago to say that in his prototype Funky Kong is standing on the floor, not airboarding, and the bananas are animated instead of static. So, this is a later build than the one shown in the ad.

He told me that doing a comparison with the retail version is difficult because the back-up prototype ROM doesn't work in emulators. Instead of opening up two side-by-side emu windows on his computer with the prototype and retail ROMs, he's relying on real hardware to look for changes. Why the prototype ROM doesn't work isn't exactly known, although that could be attributed to there being a bad header. Many prototypes do not have a finalized header, so they're often invalid and emulators can't read them to load the game. He did look at the back-up's contents in a ROM hacking program called Tile Layer Pro, and everything seems to be there.

No promises, but I messaged him again asking if he'd ever consider parting with SMK. The answer will decide once and for all if there is a Santa Claus. (I want to believe!)
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby CountryFan » December 21st, 2012, 10:47 pm

Probably is the header, judging by the glitchy screenshots we have seen previously (and it isn't looking to be more than a review copy, either)

Speaking of headers, here is the header of a normal Turtles Tournament Fighter ROM:
Image

And here is a glitched header:
Image

When I try to boot that second TMNT ROM in ZSNES, this is the result:
Image
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 22nd, 2012, 5:29 am

Shouldn't the ROM boot without a copier header like DKC does?

Or is this the internal ROM header (the one around 0xFFE0 in the actual ROM data) you speak of? :scratch:
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby CountryFan » December 22nd, 2012, 8:02 am

Had another looks, seems there may be other issues with the bad ROM, as well.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Nintendo Player » December 22nd, 2012, 11:27 am

I'm referring to the internal ROM header, which was typically one of the last things finalized in an SNES game.

For example, I have a prototype of Mario Paint. When I went to back up that game, my dumper became confused while trying to read the bad internal ROM header and spewed a ton of extra garbage data that doubled the ROM's file size. SRAM support wasn't recognized, either, so you couldn't save any of your creations on emulators. A fellow by the name of BMF54123 was able to trim the Mario Paint ROM of its extraneous junk to get the file size back down to normal. He also replaced the faulty prototype internal ROM header with the correct one from the retail version, and the SRAM support returned so you could then load and save.

If the problem is, indeed, only with the internal ROM header, then a similar fix should work to get the DKC3 prototype running on emulators. The thing that worries me now, though, is the difference in the prototype code may not be any actual in-game changes but instead more of that junk data resulting from the screwy internal ROM header being improperly read by the seller's dumper.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Blaziken257 » December 22nd, 2012, 4:21 pm

I don't know how SNES headers work, but I'm wondering if the DKC3 prototype header is similar to the final DKC3 header (minus the checksum, assuming the SNES uses one like the GB does, since the data will likely be different). Reading this prompted me to compare DKL3's prototype header with the final v1.0 header (from 0x100-0x14F). (For more information on a Game Boy cartridge header, read this.) It's almost the same between the two versions, except with a few differences:

0x144-145, which determines the licensee code, is different.
In the prototype version, this is 0xAD3E -- this isn't easy to translate into ASCII, but it's worth noting that the English cartridge (at least the final one) has the text DMG-AD3E-USA. I guess that prior to release, someone mistakenly thought this part of the header was intended for some internal game code or something.
In the final version, this is 0x3031, which in ASCII is 01. According to this list, 01 = Nintendo.

0x14D, which determines the header checksum, is different. (This is determined starting with the integer 0xE7, and then taking the values from offsets 0x134-14C, subtracting them all, and taking the last 8 bits.) This checksum needs to be valid in order to run on real hardware. The checksum change makes sense, as the data above has changed. In the prototype, it is 0x51, and in the final, it is 0xDB.

0x14E-14F, which determines the global checksum (this adds all the bytes in the ROM, excluding itself, where the result is a big endian 16-bit number), is different. (The global checksum doesn't need to be valid to work on a real Game Boy, but the emulator BGB raises warnings about it -- an invalid global checksum implies that the game is hacked.) This difference also makes sense, as there are many changes from the prototype and final (which includes the changes mentioned above, and all the changes mentioned in the past). In the prototype, this is 0xC95A, and in the final, this is 0xF1BA.

Point is, how different is the prototype DKC3 ROM header from the final DKC3 ROM header? And does changing it to resemble the final header seem to do anything?

As for Barrel Boulevard, there seems to be a way to fix this glitch. Use a hex editor and go to offsets 0x40419-4041A. In the final, this hex string is 0xFFFF, but in the prototype, it is 0x0A00. Changing this to 0xFFFF, like in the final version, fixes the glitch for whatever reason. (If you want to see more information on this, go here -- the bytes that you're changing here are the ones that I labeled xx and yy. Unfortunately, I don't know what these bytes do besides determining whether this death glitch occurs or not. If you want to see the offsets for other levels, go here (English version) or here (Japanese version). It's weird that in the final version, Barrel Boulevard is the only level to have 0xFFFF as this byte value, whereas other levels seems to have different values -- Raccoon Sam and I tried figuring this out years ago, but were unsuccessful. I should probably get back to figuring out the purpose of the two bytes now that I know how to use BGB's disassembler.)

As for what's down there, it seems to be the same thing as in the final version (although I only took a quick look) -- two Sneeks followed by the flagpole.

EDIT: Fixed a typo.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Nintendo Player » December 27th, 2012, 2:25 pm

Really interesting stuff as always, Blaziken!

Unfortunately, I haven't a clue how different the DKC3 prototype's internal ROM header is, or if it's even different at all. The seller guessed that might've been the issue because incorrect headers in SNES prototypes are known to sometimes create problems. With Mario Paint, at least, swapping the corrupt header with the retail version header allowed emulators to recognize and load the game. I don't think the seller would know how to test that kind of a fix, though. (for your information, he must be busy because it took nearly two months to get a response about Funky Kong and the animated bananas.)

I did find out the other day from a friend who's trying to work out a deal for the 3 Dr. Mario prototypes that the seller recently dropped the price on those games from 14K down to a more reasonable 8K, which works out to be about $2,600 per cart. The NES commands some crazy prices, so that's close to fair market value when it comes to high-profiled first-party NES prototypes. In fact, I know that one of the three sold publicly on eBay for $2,200 back in 2010. Luckily, the SNES isn't as "in demand" as the NES, but this should give you some idea of how much he realistically wants for DKC3.

Oh, and Happy Holidays, everyone!
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Nintendo Player » December 29th, 2012, 10:59 pm

This listing was ended by the seller because the item is no longer available.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NINTENDO-SNES-D ... 1014777216

There were some talks about bundling DKC3 with the Dr. Mario lot, but the folks wanting Mario aren't really into the SNES. I didn't think anyone else was all that interested, to be honest. I guess only time will tell if we'll ever get to see more of this prototype.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby CountryFan » January 2nd, 2013, 4:00 pm

Assuming that it is a prototype and not a review copy.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Nintendo Player » January 3rd, 2013, 3:09 pm

It's rather rare to find a review copy that's contained on one of these big, unruly dev boards. Review copies generally look more like this:
http://www.snescentral.com/article.php?id=0858

That being said, you can't go by the PCB alone. The proof is in the game data.

I have an update on the DKC3 prototype: The auction was taken down because the seller managed to find a buyer for his Dr. Mario prototypes and is no longer in need of funds. DKC3 may still be for sale privately if there are any interested parties.

I was sent 10 images of the prototype's tile graphics side-by-side with the US and Japanese versions. I uploaded everything to this page:
http://www.nintendoplayer.com/prototype ... prototype/

The graphics are really condensed in the ROM, but are any DKC3 experts seeing anything when they enlarge these pictures?

Also, the results of doing file comparisons in WindHex:
Prototype vs. Donkey Kong Country 3 – Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble (U) [!] — 36,515 differences
Prototype vs. Super Donkey Kong 3 – Nazo no Krems Shima (J) (V1.0) — 24,422 differences
Prototype vs. European Version – 22,248 differences

Not sure if anyone here would know anything about setting prototype DIP switches, but the previous owner tampered with them and the improperly-set switches might be another reason for the non-working dumps. I'm trying to help him set them properly with the help of a spec sheet I found online. I sent Evan of SNES Central an e-mail to see if he can assist. (I have some prototypes with DIP switches, but I'm smart enough not to touch them.)
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Mattrizzle » January 3rd, 2013, 3:42 pm

I can't see a darned thing from those blurry, downscaled images aside than the fact that things appear to be located at slightly different offsets. :headache:
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » January 3rd, 2013, 4:26 pm

First of all he probably didn't select the right graphics format.

Secondly, all of the sprite graphics are never guaranteed to be tile aligned so the screenshots (visually) mean almost nothing.

Thirdly, all the level graphics and level layouts are purely compressed data in the release DKC3 ROMs.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Nintendo Player » January 3rd, 2013, 7:22 pm

Yeah, trying to make out tile graphics in SNES ROMs is sort of like taking a Rorschach test. NES ROMs are much neater and easier to examine in TLP. I think it's nice that the owner's at least willing to try to share more information.

What would you guys suggest as a simple way of seeing if the DKC3 prototype has any discernable differences in its game code? Is there any kind of DKC3-specific ROM hacking software out there?

I know I used to use a program called Thingy (http://www.romhacking.net/utilities/218/) to create table files so I could see all of the text in a ROM, which was helpful for prototype comparisons. Would anyone happen to have a table file for DKC3 (like this: http://datacrystal.romhacking.net/wiki/ ... ountry:TBL) that I could forward to the owner so that the prototype's script can be extracted?
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Mattrizzle » January 4th, 2013, 5:05 pm

Most of the game's text is compressed in the final version, but here's the table for the DIALOGUE text:
Spoiler!
00=\n
20=
21=!
22="
23=©
24=<check mark>
25=%
26=&
27='
28=(
29=)
2A=_
2B=+
2C=,
2D=-
2E=.
2F=/
30=0
31=1
32=2
33=3
34=4
35=5
36=6
37=7
38=8
39=9
3A=:
3B=;
3C=<
3D==
3E=>
3F=?
40=@
41=A
42=B
43=C
44=D
45=E
46=F
47=G
48=H
49=I
4A=J
4B=K
4C=L
4D=M
4E=N
4F=O
50=P
51=Q
52=R
53=S
54=T
55=U
56=V
57=W
58=X
59=Y
5A=Z
5B=<TM symbol>
5C=ä
5D=ö
5E=ü
5F=ß
60=ç
61=a
62=b
63=c
64=d
65=e
66=f
67=g
68=h
69=i
6A=j
6B=k
6C=l
6D=m
6E=n
6F=o
70=p
71=q
72=r
73=s
74=t
75=u
76=v
77=w
78=x
79=y
7A=z
7B=â
7C=à
7D=è
7E=é
7F=ê
80=î
81=ô
82=ù
83=û
84=ï
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Nintendo Player » January 5th, 2013, 2:08 am

Thanks for that, Mattrizzle. I sent him the table. This'll hopefully tell us if there are any changes in level/character/item names, some of the dialogue, credits, etc.

I created a basic tutorial video to help him skip to various sections of the ROM that may contain in-game text and also show him how to do a huge text dump should he want to use an editor like Notepad instead. Obviously, if the prototype text is wildly different, some of the words I told him to look for (“CAVERN,” "KOBBLE," “COUNTRY,” “CREATOR,” “GYRO,” “Krem,” "Donkey") may not be in the code. I noticed there’s also more text (and various languages!) in the ROM beyond these examples, but I figured this would be a good starting point.

I'd love to go line-by-line a massive ASCII text dump, myself, but I didn't want to seem too forward.



Of course, YouTube horribly degraded the quality, but I provided detailed written instructions in an e-mail, too, and you can still make out most of the video by watching in full-screen mode.

Almost forgot: The Super Mario Kart prototype is sadly not for sale at the moment.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby CountryFan » January 5th, 2013, 1:28 pm

There must be some way to convince him to sell it.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Nintendo Player » January 6th, 2013, 1:36 pm

He's still a collector, and the Mario games are his main passion. He told me he wouldn't have parted with the Dr. Mario prototypes at all if he wasn't in a pinch for money. He won't be selling SMK "anytime soon," but will probably in the future. Remember, I contacted him months ago about the DKLIII prototype, and he eventually delivered on his promise to sell that cart. So, just have a little faith and patience.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » January 7th, 2013, 1:03 pm

I have noticed something that they forgot to change in the final release, Barbos's Barrier has a red palette in the final, and Barbos's Barrier has a blue palette in the beta, but here is the thing I noticed, the credits have Barbos in a blue palette level in his ending picture.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Stone » January 17th, 2013, 11:49 pm

Hi guys, I found this Spanish Commercial from DKC3 on youtube:
http://youtu.be/KTZvR2bi85Q

On the first picture you can see the different clouds already mentioned by Markster and you get a better look at the beta background, that has different mountains and trees. The Sneak is missing just like the K letter a little bit further:
Image Image

Here's a similar scene to the Brazilian Ad, most likely the same scene just a few moments before:
Image

I'm not quite sure, but I thought there aren't bonus levels like that in the final game:
Image

I'm not that familiar with DKC3 and I don't have a complete save file at hand at the moment, so it's up to you to find more beta differences! :thumbs:
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby EvangeliKong » January 18th, 2013, 12:18 am

Bleak has a different pose.
Kiddy is riding with Ellie in that second Mill level, in the final game you control Ellie only.
The Rat Mill level is missing the red/green bar at every wheel.

I think those are the differences that i saw.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Phyreburnz » January 18th, 2013, 1:41 am

That last picture looks like it could have been a warp. It makes me think of the one in DKC2 with the honey (I think parrot chute panic) where you go into the room and there's the Rareware symbol in bananas.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » January 18th, 2013, 7:05 am

I completed DKC3 105%, there is NO room like that in the game.

That could explain the unused level digits in DKC3, I think that the reason they got rid of the warp rooms in DKC3 is to save space in the ROM.

I guess I'm going to work on documenting all the early beta differences I can find.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » January 18th, 2013, 7:40 am

Update!

I documented all the beta differences I found in the the commercial, while I played my 105% DKC3 game, I was able to find a lot of minor and major differences, some were already found, but a lot are discoveries by me.

1. Makes tire bounce sounds when the Dixie Kong's Double Trouble sign goes down.
2. Beta fanfare music.
3. Beta title music.
4. Different background palette in Lenguin Lunge
5. Different background palette in Bleak's House
6. Bleak has a different palette.
7. You ride ellie in Murky Mill.
8. There is no buzz on the floor door.
9. When you walk on the door, it doesn't crack at all.
10. Kreeping Klasps has a different palette.
11. There are twice the bananas above the rope in Kreeping Klasps. "The part with the Buzz"
12. There is no green to red meter in Squeals on Wheels.
13. No bananas in Squeals on Wheels.
14. No rope in Squeals on Wheels?
15. Sneek is in a different place.
16. Different palette in Arich's Ambush.
17. Missing branch in Arich's Ambush.
18. Respawning barrel is in a different place in Arich's Ambush
19. You can knock Arich to the side using a barrel.
20. Warp room in DKC3?
21. The sneek in Barrel Shield Bust-up seems a bit fast
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Phyreburnz » January 18th, 2013, 11:05 am

Markster wrote:I completed DKC3 105%, there is NO room like that in the game.


I've beaten it 105% too... but, first, finding warps have nothing to do with game percentage and, second, I said maybe it was a warp... as in before it was removed...
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » January 20th, 2013, 3:27 pm

That Donkey Kong Country 3 prototype looks interesting, too bad it's a private dump.

I hope he sells it and a good beta research team like SNES Central buys it.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Mattrizzle » January 21st, 2013, 9:39 am

The Spanish footage has to be from a slightly later point in development than the Brazilian ad. Here's why:
  • In Arich's Ambush, Arich's graphics now match the final version's (the wider portions of his legs are black instead of the narrower part, and his head is larger), but the level still uses the old palette and layout.
  • Kiddy's idle animation has been implemented.

Other differences between this video and the final version:
  • Dixie/Kiddy doesn't use a darkened version of her/his palette when inactive.
  • The inactive Kong AI is still largely unfinished (Dixie/Kiddy just sits still unless she/he is being carried)
  • The tagging animations haven't been added (notice at 0:52 how Dixie instantly overlaps Kiddy, becoming the active Kong)
  • The extra life balloon's eyes don't have white sclerae, making it look much closer in style to the balloons in the first two games.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » January 21st, 2013, 10:52 am

Don't forget that there are sneeks instead of neeks, unlike in the Brazilian commercial.

I wonder if there are any beta leftovers in the final ROM, but the game is compressed, once there is a way to decompress the graphics, I'll find out.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby The Banana Bird » January 21st, 2013, 1:22 pm

Were there really neeks instead of sneeks in that commercial, can someone post it because I cannot find it for some reason.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » January 21st, 2013, 1:42 pm

Hey Mattrizzle, is there any way of decompressing DKC3 data?
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Mattrizzle » January 21st, 2013, 2:06 pm

Someone in Japan had to have figured it out to create the SDK3 Editor. :scratch:
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby CountryFan » January 21st, 2013, 4:16 pm

Mattrizzle wrote:Someone in Japan had to have figured it out to create the SDK3 Editor. :scratch:

Not to mention extract the sprites of Kracka.
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Stone » May 28th, 2013, 3:29 am

Someone has gotten his hands on a rare E3 VHS takeaway:


The fun begins at about 12 minutes. These are definately beta shots, complete with static banana groups and a surfing Funky Kong :)
Looks like we have already seen some material in other ads, but there should be even more.
As always, I'm not experienced enough with DKC3 to spot all the beta differences. So it's time for you folks to find them, again!
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » June 2nd, 2013, 4:23 am

Donkey Kong Land 2 targets 8-14?
Crap, I'm 15 years old. :dixiecry:
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Re: Donkey Kong Country 3 Beta Research & Discussion Topic

Postby Blaziken257 » June 2nd, 2013, 5:27 am

Wow, I found a ton of differences in DKL2 within the minute of footage (not even) that was in the video! The footage starts at around 10:15. Here's a list of things I've found:

  • The title here is Donkey Kong Land II: Diddy's Kong Quest. The Diddy's Kong Quest subtitle was never present in the final game, though it was in the Japanese version. (The fact that the subtitle existed at one point in the English version, though, explains why some sites like Game Boy/game/5811.html" class="postlink">GameFAQs had this subtitle for years. That used to puzzle me back then!)

    Also, the II was changed to 2. Though, the sequel, Donkey Kong Land III, uses a Roman numeral, which is the only DK game that ended up doing this.

    (Yes, I know that Gaz found a magazine scan with this same tentative title some time ago. Unfortunately, I don't know where the link is. He'll have to find it again...)
  • Pirate Panic has a long drop-off, followed by numerous bananas arranged horizontally. The final version's layout is significantly different.
  • Under the Star Barrel in Gusty Glade, the Blast Barrel faces upward. In the final version, it faces diagonally, up-right. Also, after that, there is no DK Barrel before the first Klampon in this prototype, while there is one in the final version.
  • The layout of the rigging level that appears afterwards is very odd. I can't tell if it's supposed to be Mainbrace Mayhem, Topsail Trouble, or Slime Climb, because it doesn't look like any of them. There are two sets of three bananas arranged horizontally, with a Kaboing on the left. Right after that, there's a hot air balloon (in a rigging level!), with a target on the right. And to the right of the target, there's a rope above it. It's really weird that there is something above that target -- I don't remember anything in the final game even closely resembling this layout.

I wonder if I missed anything there. Seeing this, though, makes me hope that we'll see a DKL2 prototype surface one day!

I'll look for any DKC3 differences soon, unless they are ones that already have been found.

EDIT: Here are some differences that I don't think anybody has noticed yet:

  • Doorstop Dash: There are five Sneeks instead of four. EDIT: Actually, the Sneeks are still Neeks here. Wow! More shockingly, the Bear Coin is still a Banana Coin!!
  • While Blizzard's sprite has been noticed before, this video shows the old sprite in better quality.
  • Doorstop Dash (again): I can't seem to recognize the part at 12:50. There's a DK Barrel followed by a Sneek, and a lever with a sole banana.
  • At around 12:51, both the Buzzes in Kreeping Klasps move counter-clockwise. In the final, one moves clockwise and the other moves counter-clockwise.
  • At around 12:53, the level looks like the beginning of Tidal Trouble, except with a blue sky, and a DK Barrel instead of Koin. The steel barrel isn't there, either.
  • At around 12:56, there is no text on the bottom of the screen, and the only visible flag is the single "K" flag at Squeals on Wheels. (EDIT: Disregard what I crossed out; the text doesn't appear while in the middle of navigating one level to another in DKC2 or DKC3. Sorry!)

That's all I can find that hasn't already been found yet. I wonder if anybody can find additional differences!
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