Original Post

Hi all. New user here, been reading a while but wanted to register to ask the experts whether they knew of any leftover development stuff in Virtual Boy games. I’m an editor over at The Cutting Room Floor, an open wiki which documents all the fun stuff like debug modes, unused graphics, etc.–basically anything the end user wasn’t really meant to see. We already cover a lot of the things that have been discovered here over the years, like the debug modes in Red Alarm and Vertical Force (you can see our complete list of Virtual Boy games if you’re interested to look at what else is on there).

I don’t own a Virtual Boy myself, so my experience is limited and sometimes it’s hard to say whether something is unused or just not something I’ve seen yet, e.g. these lines beginning at 0xDE472 in SD Gundam:

SELECT GAME MODE
SCENARIO MODE
SHORT SCNARIO MODE
             
SELECT SCNARIO
MISSION 01
MISSION 02
MISSION 03
MISSION 04
MISSION 05
MISSION 06
MISSION 07
MISSION 08

(“SCNARIO” typos in original.) This looks like it might have been a debug level select to me, but maybe it’s just a normal menu you can’t see until you’re further into the game than I’ve gotten, etc. So I figured you folk would be the most knowledgeable on the subject. Many thanks for anything you’d like to share.

11 Replies

Vague Rant wrote:
Hi all. New user here, been reading a while but wanted to register to ask the experts whether they knew of any leftover development stuff in Virtual Boy games. I’m an editor over at The Cutting Room Floor, an open wiki which documents all the fun stuff like debug modes, unused graphics, etc.–basically anything the end user wasn’t really meant to see. We already cover a lot of the things that have been discovered here over the years, like the debug modes in Red Alarm and Vertical Force (you can see our complete list of Virtual Boy games if you’re interested to look at what else is on there).

I don’t own a Virtual Boy myself, so my experience is limited and sometimes it’s hard to say whether something is unused or just not something I’ve seen yet, e.g. these lines beginning at 0xDE472 in SD Gundam:

SELECT GAME MODE
SCENARIO MODE
SHORT SCNARIO MODE
             
SELECT SCNARIO
MISSION 01
MISSION 02
MISSION 03
MISSION 04
MISSION 05
MISSION 06
MISSION 07
MISSION 08

(“SCNARIO” typos in original.) This looks like it might have been a debug level select to me, but maybe it’s just a normal menu you can’t see until you’re further into the game than I’ve gotten, etc. So I figured you folk would be the most knowledgeable on the subject. Many thanks for anything you’d like to share.

I have beaten SD Gundam on the Virtual Boy several times, and I can say with confidence that this is definitely not a normal menu that appears anywhere in the game.

Fantastic; thanks Benjamin. I figured if anyone knew it would be you, very much appreciated.

You’re welcome. I like the wiki, by the way. That kind of info hidden in Virtual Boy games is very fascinating to me.

Ah, yes, The Cutting Room Floor. Great site. Here’s what I know:

Insmouse No Yakata:
There are unused graphics from Nintendo’s “Sample Soft for VUE Programming”: http://www.planetvb.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=167
The automap charset has two characters (attached) that I’ve never seen and were apparently intended to show monsters on the map.
Also, the DEMO level might count. It’s seen in the intro but otherwise unplayable because although entering the password “DEMO” starts the level, you’re out of time before you can do anything. I’ve attached a map. The player starts in the upper left corner. The level has no monsters.

Virtual Lab:
There is an unused BGMap with a copyright message on it (attached). Also, Lisa (the girl to the right of the playfield) does not actually look like she does in the game (see picture).

Mario’s Tennis:
There are unused graphics intended for multiplayer: http://www.planetvb.com/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?post_id=9411#forumpost9411

That’s a great site, I love it!

Your discoveries in the 3D Tetris ROM lead me to the conclusion, that “Polygo Block” was actually the game’s working title, which was changed to “3-D Tetris” shortly before the game’s US release.

When I did the patches to enable the debug menus long ago, there was something I researched but wasn’t able to track down. There’s some back-story to it, so please bear with me.

Back in the late 90’s I finally managed to get my hands on Virtual Boy Wario Land. And like any teenager would, I starting searching for tips, hints, cheats, and secret codes on the internet. I found a few different variations of a “level select code”, but none of them worked. [1][2]. In fact, there’s a very complete walk-through/FAQ for the game written by Brian Hodges which explains as much [3].

I thought I would never see any kind of level select in the game.

Fast-forward a few years, I decided to look for any hidden stuff in Virtual Boy games. I dug up the three debug menus and a handful of previously-undiscovered codes for Jack Bros. (Including some that only work on the Japanese release; they can be re-enabled in the US release with a patch.)

And then there was VB Wario Land. I admit, it’s my favorite red game ever. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find anything valuable hidden within the game. The only thing I came up with was a small skull icon that can be seen in VRAM while on the title screen. (The skull is never actually displayed anywhere, to my knowledge.)

This seems to suggest that there is some truth to the old level select rumors; I always imagined the skull was used as a cursor to select items on a menu of some sort. This is just conjecture, however.

I traced a lot of code to find out what – if anything – the skull is used for, but all I could find was the code that loads it into VRAM. There doesn’t seem to be anything that will make it visible.

Alas, I don’t have any way to get a picture of it at the moment (Red Dragon could dump individual worlds from VRAM). But there’s not much to see, anyway. Just a small (8×8-ish) skull sitting in the corner of a blank canvas.

Sources:
[1] http://www.gamewinners.com/virtual_boy/WarioLand.htm
[2] http://www.angelfire.com/home/nintendo/Wario_Land_cheat_VB.htm
[3] http://www.planetvb.com/modules/games/?r018ff023

  • This reply was modified 8 years, 10 months ago by Parasyte.

I’ve now discovered unused sound effects in Insmouse, so I’ll post this link here for anyone who might find this topic through a search:

http://www.planetvb.com/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?post_id=24572#forumpost24572

I just looked for the skull in Wario Land Parasyte mentioned. It indeed seems to be part of a level select, but not used as a cursor. When you look at BGMap memory while on the title screen, there’s a list of level numbers. The skull is used as a boss indicator. This list doesn’t match the level numbering scheme found in the final game, so it seems to be a beta leftover.

Note that a very similar skull can be found on the final level map.

While on the title screen, there’s also a lettering that reads “Ver.”, which looks like it was used in beta versions to indicate the version number.

As I suspected, there are unused sound effects and even unused music in Virtual Lab.

At 537EC there is an array of 25 words pointing to all(?) sound effects and music tracks. The second one is the intro music, so modifying that one is the most convenient way to hear them all.

More details hopefully later.

HorvatM wrote:
As I suspected, there are unused sound effects and even unused music in Virtual Lab.

At 537EC there is an array of 25 words pointing to all(?) sound effects and music tracks. The second one is the intro music, so modifying that one is the most convenient way to hear them all.

More details hopefully later.

You went to work quickly on that unused content! I wish these were added to the game. It would have made it a little better lol. That last melody is pretty catchy.

Vague Rant wrote:
Hi all. New user here, been reading a while but wanted to register to ask the experts whether they knew of any leftover development stuff in Virtual Boy games. I’m an editor over at The Cutting Room Floor, an open wiki which documents all the fun stuff like debug modes, unused graphics, etc.–basically anything the end user wasn’t really meant to see. We already cover a lot of the things that have been discovered here over the years, like the debug modes in Red Alarm and Vertical Force (you can see our complete list of Virtual Boy games if you’re interested to look at what else is on there).

I don’t own a Virtual Boy myself, so my experience is limited and sometimes it’s hard to say whether something is unused or just not something I’ve seen yet, e.g. these lines beginning at 0xDE472 in SD Gundam:

SELECT GAME MODE
SCENARIO MODE
SHORT SCNARIO MODE
             
SELECT SCNARIO
MISSION 01
MISSION 02
MISSION 03
MISSION 04
MISSION 05
MISSION 06
MISSION 07
MISSION 08

(“SCNARIO” typos in original.) This looks like it might have been a debug level select to me, but maybe it’s just a normal menu you can’t see until you’re further into the game than I’ve gotten, etc. So I figured you folk would be the most knowledgeable on the subject. Many thanks for anything you’d like to share.

TCRF, i love that website 😀 Keep the great work guys! Do you guys plan to disect more Atari Jaguar games? as there’s a lot of stuff uncovered there yet 😉

 

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