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Spartan X 2 Arcade

 
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SuperG



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 18
Location: Canada (Quebec)

PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 3:02 am    Post subject: Spartan X 2 Arcade Reply with quote

The unreleased sequel is there :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Efr9EQkbCSQ
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contrafan



Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(off-topic) Salut, fellow Quebecois.
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Brain Breaker



Joined: 15 Mar 2013
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 11:10 am    Post subject: Re: Spartan X 2 Arcade Reply with quote

SuperG wrote:
The unreleased sequel is there :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Efr9EQkbCSQ


A fantastic discovery, and thank goodness it seems to have been preserved.

What's interesting is that Irem actually announced (or maybe "quietly let slip" is a better description) "Kung Fu II" for the NES at the Summer 1987 CES. They don't seem to have ever actually shown it or given any real details, but it was mentioned briefly by a couple of the Japanese game mags who covered the show at the time, and then showed up for a few months in the "coming soon" lists in Computer Entertainer newsletter, before disappearing by '88. This also jogged my memory that I had vaguely been expecting it to come out at some point back then, as I had seen it in similar lists that a local NYC-area video store I lived near at the time put out every month (this was one of the NY/NJ stores that had been carrying the NES and all the games since the original regional test launch period, and always seemed to have "inside information" on the new games coming out). Oddly enough, I don't think Spartan X II was announced for a Famicom release at the time, although I'd have to go back and check my mags/notes to be 100% sure. In any case, it would seem certain that NES "Kung Fu II" would have been based on this unreleased arcade version, rather than having anything to do with the Famicom sequel that was released several years later. I wonder if this seemingly US-focused conversion project could have had anything to do with convincing Irem to ultimately scrap the whole game and rework the formula into a more "Americanized" form as Vigilante?
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shawnphase



Joined: 22 Dec 2005
Posts: 213
Location: baltimore, md

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so wish we woulda gotten this for the nes. i loved that first game. looks like a lot of elements in that one that might have been a lil tough to implement with the nes like the dragons and tigers or whatever, but man, they could have done it great. i really played that game a ton, was one of my favs from the nes era. a sequel on the home system would have been great!
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TheRedEye
The Internet's Frank Cifaldi
The Internet's Frank Cifaldi


Joined: 26 Aug 2003
Posts: 4189
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 12:46 am    Post subject: Re: Spartan X 2 Arcade Reply with quote

Brain Breaker wrote:
SuperG wrote:
The unreleased sequel is there :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Efr9EQkbCSQ


A fantastic discovery, and thank goodness it seems to have been preserved.

What's interesting is that Irem actually announced (or maybe "quietly let slip" is a better description) "Kung Fu II" for the NES at the Summer 1987 CES. They don't seem to have ever actually shown it or given any real details, but it was mentioned briefly by a couple of the Japanese game mags who covered the show at the time, and then showed up for a few months in the "coming soon" lists in Computer Entertainer newsletter, before disappearing by '88. This also jogged my memory that I had vaguely been expecting it to come out at some point back then, as I had seen it in similar lists that a local NYC-area video store I lived near at the time put out every month (this was one of the NY/NJ stores that had been carrying the NES and all the games since the original regional test launch period, and always seemed to have "inside information" on the new games coming out). Oddly enough, I don't think Spartan X II was announced for a Famicom release at the time, although I'd have to go back and check my mags/notes to be 100% sure. In any case, it would seem certain that NES "Kung Fu II" would have been based on this unreleased arcade version, rather than having anything to do with the Famicom sequel that was released several years later. I wonder if this seemingly US-focused conversion project could have had anything to do with convincing Irem to ultimately scrap the whole game and rework the formula into a more "Americanized" form as Vigilante?


...this is good, why didn't I think of this? I was already convinced that that early Kung Fu II announcement was for a totally different game, but I didn't make the connection to this arcade game until now.
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shawnphase



Joined: 22 Dec 2005
Posts: 213
Location: baltimore, md

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

do you remember if in any promotional material if they had a screenshot or not? im trying to remember if they even showed one, that could be part of why. was kind of thinking the same thing.
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Brain Breaker



Joined: 15 Mar 2013
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shawnphase wrote:
do you remember if in any promotional material if they had a screenshot or not? im trying to remember if they even showed one, that could be part of why. was kind of thinking the same thing.


That's a good question. I tend to think there wasn't any, and that I just recall seeing it on those old video store release lists I mentioned, circa mid/late 1987, after which it became something of a rumor-mill item for me and my group of friends at the time. That was pretty common back then, at least where I grew up in the NYC/North Jersey area. Having been in on the initial test launch of the system and being slightly older than much of the system's audience later on, we had kind of developed this Famicom Boom/Nintendomania syndrome around 2 or 3 years before most other areas in North America did, and there were all sorts of weird rumors floating around. There was hardly any real media coverage of anything back then, so there was this tremendous sense of mystery about things in the early days. That veil basically lifted as 1988 rolled along, the NES finally exploded in the mainstream, and the dedicated gaming mags started slowly trickling in again.

One thing to keep in mind is that Irem were somewhat odd amongst the other early NES third parties. Their initial releases in the US were licensed through Data East and Nintendo, and Sqoon was the only thing they managed to put out themselves at the time, although I think even then Broderbund had already cut a deal with them and were helping to distribute it, along with the other Irem titles they had already licensed. In fact, looking back through the Computer Entertainer coverage of Kung Fu II, they actually mention that both it and Sqoon were supposed to be distributed by Broderbund, so if there were any promotional materials for the game, they probably would have come through them. I used to try to write to and/or call all of the game companies back then to see what information they had and if they would send me anything (flyers, hint sheets, etc.), and I distinctly recall that Irem didn't even have a US office until later on. The address listed for them was in Japan! They basically disappeared from the US market after Sqoon, not reemerging until Broderbund left the NES scene after 1989, and even then only in a very minor capacity.

One interesting item (that even Computer Entertainer didn't seem to catch) was that Irem did plan to release The Guardian Legend themselves early on, which they were then calling "The Legend of Guardic". They even showed a little bit of anime-inspired character artwork for it which I don't think ever surfaced again at the 1987 Summer CES.
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Kid Fenris



Joined: 17 Sep 2003
Posts: 300

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brain Breaker wrote:
One interesting item (that even Computer Entertainer didn't seem to catch) was that Irem did plan to release The Guardian Legend themselves early on, which they were then calling "The Legend of Guardic". They even showed a little bit of anime-inspired character artwork for it which I don't think ever surfaced again at the 1987 Summer CES.


That's pretty neat. "The Legend of Guardic" is straight off the Japanese box. I assume the art they showed at the CES (you meant the 1989 Summer CES, right?) was different from the Naoyuki Kato illustration on the Japanese cover. I'd love to see it.
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Brain Breaker



Joined: 15 Mar 2013
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kid Fenris wrote:
Brain Breaker wrote:
One interesting item (that even Computer Entertainer didn't seem to catch) was that Irem did plan to release The Guardian Legend themselves early on, which they were then calling "The Legend of Guardic". They even showed a little bit of anime-inspired character artwork for it which I don't think ever surfaced again at the 1987 Summer CES.


That's pretty neat. "The Legend of Guardic" is straight off the Japanese box. I assume the art they showed at the CES (you meant the 1989 Summer CES, right?) was different from the Naoyuki Kato illustration on the Japanese cover. I'd love to see it.


No, it was at the 1987 Summer CES. It actually seems to be the first ever mention of the game, as word of Guardic Gaiden didn't begin showing up in the rumor-mill/upcoming releases sections of the Japanese mags until around August of '87. It was initially planned to be released as early as September of that year, but ended up slipping to February '88. Irem seems to have planned this to be a simultaneous Japan/US release (or at least close to it) but it ended up being even further delayed in the US when they got cold feet and handed everything over to Broderbund again. If you look at Broderbund's release schedule, you'll see that they didn't do anything for the NES in 1988. It wasn't until the spring of '89 (when Guardian Legend and Legacy of the Wizard were released) that they reappeared.

Anyway, here's the scan (from the same report that mentions Kung Fu II):



It seems to be the lone time this artwork was used. A somewhat similar (although a bit more mature looking) image did appear in the earliest ads for the game, and made it into the Japanese instruction manual, but not the US version:

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Kid Fenris



Joined: 17 Sep 2003
Posts: 300

PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's awesome. I love old game art that looks like a frame grab from some 80s anime

Interesting how the earlier art is consistent with Miria's outfit in the game, as opposed to the one-piece design seen in the game's ending. And it's funny how Miria went through several different hair colors, just like Samus and Alis!

Perhaps it's for the best that Irem didn't release The Guardian Legend over here. They might've produced it in lower numbers than Broderbund later did, and today people would be paying as much for it as they do for Metal Storm.
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