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This article lists all known conceptual and prerelease content related to the 2014 Strider.

Concept phase[]

The initial plan for Strider was, as described by Tony Barnes, "gigantic" and had to be cut down twice in order to fit a playtime of around 4 to 6 hours. As the game reached Alpha, Capcom worried it'd not be long enough. As they needed to prove the game was fully playable to the end without skips or cheats, the staff played the game believing it'd take a few hours, but ended up playing through the entire night in-between playing, fixing and re-fixing. Capcom would later had one of their own play through the game, and the report stated it took 20 hours to finish. This required further fixes and cuts to the original plan in order to fit the intended playtime.[1]

There were several attempts from execs at Capcom to alter the initial plan as devised by Barnes, which he had to fight back. Some examples included attempts to turn the game more "dark & gritty" in the style of Gears of War or a desire to not have unlockable skills, but instead give the player all abilities up-front and then let them "sandbox" their way through the environment[1]. There were originally a lot more techniques from the Marvel vs. Capcom series in the game, but Capcom had them removed because they believed there was no overlap between "action players" and "fighter players". Barnes also wanted to include fall damage in the game, but eventually removed it at Capcom's request.[2]

Other elements that Barnes wanted to work on but couldn't due to several factors include a "harder-than-hard" mode, a different save system that allowed more than one save slot and the ability to include a "game-plus" after the end of the game.[1]

Characters[]

The Light Capsule is the only remain of the scrapped characters

Barnes wanted to include the classic Mega Man as an unlockable character, and was promised by one of the US producers he'd be allowed to. Barnes planned to have him be found inside a Light Capsule in the Research Facility, but the producer went back on his word at the last minute and he had to remove Mega Man entirely. Undeterred, Barnes planned to include an unlockable Strider Hien in his place. Although Hien was fully-functional Capcom once again vetoed the idea and had Hien removed entirely at the last moment. In the end, the (now broken) Light Capsule was left in the background without any purpose besides being a little easter egg, with Professor Schlange claiming there's "nothing to see" in the room.[1]

There were a few enemy variations planned that needed to be cut, including a fire-themed Brainwalker and more weapon variants for the Heavy Troopers. The only two known scrapped enemies are the Heavy Soldier, a large armored robot with several variations; and Juroung's Follower, an old disheveled man riding what appears to be a small Gravitron. The latter seems to coincide with hints left in-game indicating Juroung's role in the game was originally larger.

The concept for some bosses also included several moves that were cut during development. The Millipede, for example, has a large number of different moves sketched, including the ability to throw spikes or separate its body into parts, and Tornado was planned to use more varieties of attack pods outside of the flamethrower type, such as electric ones and others creating pillars of energy.

Stages[]

The Third Moon, Grandmaster Meio's lair in orbit, was initially planned to be a full-fledged stage with several parts and even a boss rush, but it was almost entirely cut from the final game, save a single room where Hiryu fights the final boss Meio Prime. It was apparently scrapped due to time constrains.

Prerelease content[]

SDCC live gameplay reveal[]

Strider_-_Gameplay_Trailer

Strider - Gameplay Trailer

SDCC Gameplay trailer

The first build revealed to the public during the "World of Capcom" panel at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con, where the game was officially announced. The gameplay demonstration lasted 7 minutes and covered the entirety of the Kazakh Outskirts location, from beginning until right before the fight with Ouroboros Mk.III. The video presents a number of differences when compared to the released game:

The most noticeable change is the game's HUD: the life and energy bars display numbers above them indicating their total and current amount, something not seen in the released game. The name of the area Hiryu enters doesn't appear below the map, but instead flashes at the bottom of the screen, in large letters and in front of a blue effect. The Charge Strike Meter appears at the bottom center of the screen, much larger than in the final, and sports two bars at each side which fill up with every strike. While Charge Mode works, it lacks the special plasma effects and ends almost as soon as it is activated. Finally, the map appears to be zoomed out and displays a bit more of the surrounding area. This HUD is used in all later demonstrations and builds.

The other notable difference can be seen in the skills unlocked: Hiryu starts out with the Kunai, Double Jump and Slide Assault already in his arsenal, and Pickup Cradles in the area provide different techniques. This was done exclusively for the purposes of the demo, as a way to display a larger amount of Hiryu's abilities during the first minutes of gameplay.

  • As the first Pickup Cradle doesn't unlock the Slide Assault, the area around it is different: there's no wall blocking the room, there are two Turrets instead of one, and the cradle unlocks the Reflect Cypher instead. After unlocking it, an electric fence drops behind Hiryu and will not be disabled until the turret behind it is destroyed. This works as a reflect shot exercise, similar to the Turret Tower faced after beating Solo in the final game.
  • The 2nd Pickup Cradle grants the Explosive Cypher. Three Explosive Doors are also found in the area in order to display its ability to open them. In the final these are changed to 2 Ultra-Cold Doors and one Novo-locked door.
  • The 3rd Pickup Cradle unlocks the Charged Cypher, just like in the final. It is located in the middle of Vityaz-1's room rather than in a balcony to the room's left.
  • The 4th Pickup Cradle is found in the Inspection Station, in a room blocked by an Explosive Door, and it unlocks Option-A (called simply "Bot"). In the final the door was changed to a Novo lock and the cradle grants a Health upgrade instead.

Other notable changes include:

  • Although the game's layout is mostly finished, several background decorations are missing such as signs and the scared researchers in the final area.
  • Grandmaster Meio's laugh soundbyte from the original game plays at the beginning of the intro as Hiryu flies his Glider. The soundbyte was removed in the final game.
  • Pickup Cradles are silver instead of gold. Technique descriptions and icons are different from the release game.
  • There's a cutscene that plays after the descending part at the beginning of the stage, which pans out to show the area ahead in full. This was removed from the final game.
  • The large transport Skiffs can actually hit Hiryu if he jumps into their path.
  • The large tower with the grate that requires the Slide Assault to pass through is not featured yet, allowing the player to just continue unobstructed.
  • The final stretch before the entrance to the Inspection Station is a straight path into the door with two turrets defending it. In later demos and the final game this was changed so the path ends in a pit in front of the entrance, with the turrets placed above and below it. There's also no cutscene showing the door opening.
  • There are two floating platforms in the room where Hiryu fights the Vityaz-1 duo that were removed from the final game.
  • The couplers holding Ouroboros Mk.III dormant are placed differently, and the Panther Run statue is missing.

Tokyo Game Show live demonstration[]

【TGS2013】ストライダー飛竜_スペシャルステージ

【TGS2013】ストライダー飛竜 スペシャルステージ

TGS Special Stage live demonstration

A build used during the Japanese demonstration at Capcom's "Special Stage" panel held during the 2013 Tokyo Game Show in September. This build was played during the panel, covering the last section of the Residential District, all the way up to the boss fight against Nang Pooh and Pei Pooh.

This build keeps the same HUD and general differences as the previous one. The stage's layout and appearance is almost identical to the released game, only missing background elements and decorations just as before. The cutscenes before fighting the sisters are not added yet, however, and they just drop without any fanfare. During the battle location text comes up reading "Propaganda Headquarters" (プロパガンダ本部), which is an early name for a different area in the Residential District, the "Ministry of Propaganda".

Nang Pooh's line with Tong Pooh's artwork

While the sisters' lines are already implemented, for some reason Nang Pooh's lines use Tong Pooh's artwork instead of her own, even thought the correct art is used for her boss health bar. This was likely an oversight since Tong Pooh was yet to be revealed as a boss.

NYCC demo build[]

Main article: Strider (NYCC 2013 build)

A public playable build was featured in the New York Comic Con event held in September 2013. The demo featured the initial area like the previous demo, but it is now much closer to its final look, with the final set of upgrades in place with correct descriptions and most elements already in place. It still feature a few prototype elements such as the same HUD and silver Pickup Cradles, thought.

The Slide Assault and Kunai are no longer unlocked from the start, and Hiryu has to get the Slide the same way as in the final, with the room housing its Pickup Cradle being now identical to the release game. The tower blocking the path which requires the use of the Slide Assault to get through is in place, and another Pickup Cradle was added to the other side housing the Reflect Cypher skill. Two other cradles are added where one of the Health Upgrades and Shinden item are located, granting the Explosive Cypher and Option-A as in the first build. The door leading to Ouroboros Mk.III's chamber is changed from a normal door to an Explosive Door, probably to have the player use the Explosive Cypher upgrade.

The demo ends on the fight against Ouroboros Mk.III. Only its first phase is faced, after which a "coming soon" screen comes up.

A build of this prototype was obtained by the Youtube channel PtoP Online in April 2015. It includes unused assets and still-working debug commands.[3]

Misc screenshots[]

Some promotional screenshots that were released with notable placeholder elements:

  • Screenshots from the Historical District showed a number of background models still lacking in textures.
  • A screenshot of the Black Marketer talking with Hiryu. His computer terminal and chair can be seen behind him, but are clearly unfinished as they lacks textures and use placeholder models.
  • A screenshot of the Brainwalker shooting its laser beam. The machine lacks in the proper textures, using a solid blue placeholder one instead.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Hickey Jr., Patrick (January 3, 2020). The Minds Behind Adventure Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers. "Even Better Than the First Time", pg. 208-214. ISBN 1-4766-3847-0.
  2. Tony Barnes reply, posted October 12, 2017. LSCMainframe Facebook Group. Accessed August 20, 2020
  3. PtoP Online (April 03, 2015). "Strider Debug Wireframe Mode (Xbox 360) (Raw Footage)". PtoPOnline Youtube channel. Accessed August 20, 2020
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