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Mega Man Mania - O Bogger, Where Art Thou?

 
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Carnivol
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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 8:30 pm    Post subject: Mega Man Mania - O Bogger, Where Art Thou? Reply with quote

First of all; For anyone wonder what Mega Man Mania is/was, it's a compilation of the 5 roman numeric GB/SGB Mega Man games set to be released for the GBA, containing full colorization and more or less the same features seen in the released console brother "Mega Man Anniversary Collection" (Gallery, Save options, etc...)


Anyway, while doing some random file sorting on my old laptop, I stumbled upon some picture archives and decided to put'em up + spend a few horrible minutes writing some text to go with them...

Pictures of this little lost thing announced right before Christmas 2003
for a spring release in 2004:

Mega Man Mania, in early 2004 retitled Mega Man Anniversary Collection turned out to take itself quite a lot of time and kinda slipped off the surface of the earth... Until in late July 2005 it was supposedly revealed that the hold-up was caused by a lack of original source code to tamper with while making the enhanced versions along with evil rumors of an NDS platform change being in the cards...

And now it's just gone?

What happened? A compilation like this couldn't possibly require that much additional work to function. Colorizing is already possible for some mapper GB roms with a simple tool and some effort. There is even a GB emulator for NDS now that lets you add fancy color palettes to your GB games through separate INI files or something. Something similar could probably be doable on a GBA too through some fancy emulation, along with adding various features to the games themselves (like say... L/R to cycle weapons by binding memory value cycling to those buttons and such). But who knows, maybe they wanted to make the new save features more fancy, or do a Powered Up and let you bring features from future titles to the past (Charge beam, dash or whatever).

Maybe I'm talking over my head as this isn't exactly my field of expertize, but I can pretty much only say that on "paper" some of these things should be fairly doable without really having the original source code for the games as they still had more than 2 years of development time for what could very well have been just an enhanced emulator compilation of a set of GB games (SGB for the later, if you want).


Anyway, let's just line-up the screenshots they released at some point (please note that I'm lazy, unlike the any journalistic publications that actually bothered with removing the VBA border from the original pictures. Just like they also did with the Mega Man Zero 2 shots, by the way. And don't act as if this is a surprise to you, even I have seen firsthand the use of VBA every now and then for screengrabs and testing when the proper tools or GBA flash carts were few and far apart):



Here we have what I assume is the main menu.
What we see is...
-Teleport Capsules for Mega Man I through out V. Most certainly the game selection screen.
-Teleport Capsule labeled M. Most likely the "Museum/Gallery", not good to say what would've gone here... But let's just guess that it'd have some basic artwork, music player and maybe a robot gallery for the Robot Masters ala the CD gallery in Rockman & Forte.
-Teleport Capsule labeled O. Most likely the "options" menu. Options would probably include game enhancement features (B&W/Colorized, Original Mode/Arrange Mode, etc), clear save game memory, set screen border (if more than one was available), display modes (stretch, zoom, 1:1) and probably some sort of controller options.
-Teleport Capsule without a label. Not good to say if this is used for anything. Maybe it brought you back to the title screen... Maybe it turned into something if you cleared all the games... Maybe it is how Mega Man pops into the game room (instead of the classic drop down teleportation)


And now, just a bunch of screens people have probably already seen:


Mega Man - Dr.Wily's Revenge:




Mega Man II:




Mega Man III:




Mega Man IV:




Mega Man V:







And that's that!

(and as some clever souls might've noticed, the numbers on the pictures don't quite add up... but I guess the "missing numbers" were never given out)

So the questions are many;
O Mega Man Mania, where art thou?
Did Capcom not see you profitable?
Were you really too much of a hazzle?
Will we see you in the future on a Download Service?
Were you even real to begin with?
Are your screenshots just mock-ups?
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Smeg
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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guess that explains why I never could find it. Mega Man V is rad.
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Tongueman



Joined: 27 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It went unreleased because the music to Mega Man II on the compilation shattered all the windows & computer screens in their offices.
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Carnivol
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could seriously see that as a valid reason not to release this game.
It wasn't about the source code, it was probably the music. They must've had problems locating someone capable of fixing the Mega Man II music (I seem to recall what your ears got exposed to in that game hardly even qualified as music "most of the time").


Does anyone know what studio was working on this thing?
The console "big brother" (Anniversary Collection on PS2/GC/Xbox) was done by APE (Atomic Planet Entertainment), were they also working on this one?
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johntorn



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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What? I was and still am a serious fan of the Mega Man 2 music! Unless the GB version's music was very different than the NES version's music.
I never bought that explanation of not having enough source material. It's not going to take two years plus to reconstruct five Gameboy games.
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Carnivol
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johntorn wrote:
What? I was and still am a serious fan of the Mega Man 2 music! Unless the GB version's music was very different than the NES version's music.
I never bought that explanation of not having enough source material. It's not going to take two years plus to reconstruct five Gameboy games.


Mega Man II on the GB had a soundtrack of its own (unlike MM, MM3-4, which mostly reused NES soundtracks).

As for the source material, I think that excuse is a bit strange too, but it might be possible that it created complications for them. As there is a limit to what type of enhancements a small team could've pulled off in a compilation on GBA when you're working with limited resources.
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Mister Syd



Joined: 22 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot that this compilation was even going to happen up until reading about it here, I think I even had it pre-ordered for a while but then just cancelled it and got my money back after the first delay.

Could the game of been axed due to a bit of quality control issues with the colors?

In a shot like Snakeman's stage, the giant snake connecting to the stage sprites just look plain awful and sitting around matching everything up to fix these problems through all five games to have a more suitable layout seems like a ton of work to do.

I find the palette update to be a rather nice idea and some of it even expands beyond what we could of seen on the NES version of the sprites, but overall the package is very ugly looking because of the mishmash feeling it gives off as a whole and end sup looking like a rushed Gameboy Color license game.

...regardless, I would of still picked it up seeing how III, IV and V are probably some of the best Megaman games to date.
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MathUser2929



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man, the pallette choices don't really impress me. I sort of thought the game would look like the NES games when colorized but it don't really look like it.
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handofg0d



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did I mis-read or are you saying these screens of a ROM running in VBA are the screens released officially?
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PACHUKA



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Megaman was a HUGE part of my youth. Looking at those screens I feel a nasty taste in my mouth. True the originals were on the NES, but capcom did an awesome job making it look and feel like a real adventure. This game looks like vacation slides from that adventure.
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ICEknight



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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since the graphics aspect seemed to be working nicely, I guess the problems they couldn't get sorted out without a source code would have been sound related, due to the different hardware.

But then again, I think the GBA also had a GBC sound chip, so maybe not. Perhaps it was running a slower than it should, due to software emulation? Who knows.
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PACHUKA



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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see the source being a problem. The GBA had a great development kit, and it's not like megaman was all that complicated.
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ProgrammingAce



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given a proper team of programmers and artists, this wouldn't have been too hard to do. I'm guessing Capcom gave the port to one or two people and told them to go to town.

I'm guessing they were pretty junior developers too. While it's not uncommon for GBA devs to use emulators, nintendo gets pissy about it. It's kind of a bad idea to release a press kit that still has the emulator's border around it. That's a rookie mistake.
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Carnivol
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ProgrammingAce wrote:
That's a rookie mistake.


On the screenshot part it goes beyond "rookie"... VBA has a very nice screenshot feature, so an Alt+Prt Scr isn't exactly necessary (at least they went with Alt+Print Screen and not just Print Screen... could ofcourse be that they used a "one button" screengrabber to take "better action shots"... but even then...)

I guess the screenshots for the press section were taken by some Project/Resource Manager or some fantastic dude(s) over at Marketing... possibly some tester being bothered with additional work.
(Those are at least the positions many other companies often have manned with their finest "MS Office", "Word", "Outlook" or "Internet Explorer" experienced/certificated staff)
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