There are a large number of prerelease screenshots from what appears to be an earlier build(s), used as promotion for magazine articles. Most screenshots come from the Mega Drive-centric magazine Mega Drive Fan which published a walkthrough feature in their August to October 1990 issues. These early screenshots show a number of differences, mainly more detailed backgrounds and a different HUD. Considering the date these articles were published, it is likely some of these screenshots came from a version built in the 6 Mega cartdrige it was originally developed for, before it was upgraded into an 8 Mega cartdrige.
Screenshots cover up to the third stage. There are mainly more detailed sprites in the backgrounds that resembled the ones in the Arcade, but were simplified greatly for the released port. This affects the first stage the most, with latter stages having less differences. The playing view also appears to be a bit higher in certain screenshots, showing more of the floor sprites than the final game ever does.
Common across all screenshots is a very different HUD design. This HUD displays lives in the form of three little Hiryu icons, something that was reduced to a single Hiryu icon next to a number showing lives. There's also no "TOP" high score listing above the player's score tally as in the released version, and the player's "SCORE" is instead prefaced with a "1P" possibly indicating the port was initially going to retain the 2 player option from the Arcade game. Finally, the opaque black background framing the HUD in the released game is missing from several screenshots, although it appears to have been implemented in later shots.
The timer is frozen in all screenshots it is shown displaying three different times: 0:00, 9:99 or 1:00. The score appears normal in some screenshots, but in others it shows an obvious placeholder value of "123456".
|The beginning of the first stage, St. Petersburg. The buildings in the background are larger and the first tower features the row of semi-circular windows below the top set of red lights, a detail removed in the final release. Both buildings also lost the antennas seen on top of their onion domes.|
|Proceeding further into the stage. Hiryu's health bar displays all the possible colors it can turn into: black (after being hit), red (Option B active), yellow (Option A active) and green (normal). Not only Hiryu can't get either Option this early in the stage, but it's also impossible to have both Options active at the same time with both their colors in the health bar. Having only the left-most bar empty is also impossible, as Hiryu loses life from right to left.|
|Further into the first area. The red part of the floor is more detailed than in the final, showing a line written in Cyrilic and a Kazakh Federation banner hanging from the side. The final game removed these details and simplified its appearance.|
|Next to the large building. The building's towers at both extremes had some details removed and the little antennas with glowing red lights were taken out.|
|In front of the large tower with Kazakh's half-star logo. The engravings at each side of the circular logo lost their designs and became simpler purple lines in the released game. The little light source positioned below the logo was removed.|
|Descending toward Strobaya's room. The designs on the large tower in the background were simplified extensively.|
|Facing Strobaya. Some of the details in the background, such as the light posts behind Strobaya, were removed.|
|At the top of the Grand Mosque. The area is slightly different, with a different coloration and lacking the round end at the top. Since the screenshot at the beginning of this section shows the mosque's dome as it looks in the final game, this screenshot may be from an even earlier build.|
|The mountain base in the 2nd stage, Siberia. The rocky ground pattern is more detailed and unique, closer to how it looks in the original than the released game's version. These rock patterns are also altered in all areas featuring them, including the beginning area and Solo's battle area.|
|Hiryu inside the mountain base. The ferris wheel's supports in the background appear to not be properly centered on the circles.|
|The beginning of the abandoned power station. A large patch of snow appears to be covering the ground here, like in the Arcade game. In the final version there's only one snow patch covering the right-most part of the ground, in the opposite direction.|
|In the ascending shaft with the Mr. Elephant from the Balrog stage. The background behind the robot is pitch black, like in the Arcade game. It was changed so it'd display the moving blue sky in the released version.|
|The Catapult area, with the catapult systems appearing to be colored gold instead of silver as in the original.|
|The only known screenshot from the Amazon, showing Hiryu on top of a Brontosaurus. The dinosaur's sprite is very noticeable cut off at the leg area, with part of it being only solid color. As explained by the planner in an interview, the Brontosaurus' walking animation couldn't be fully implemented due to memory issues and instead they added a bush fence in front to hide the fact it is not walking but "sliding" forward. The tree trunk in the background is also thinner than in the release game and has a different color.|
|The Development of Strider|
|Development sub-pages||Strider (CPS-1) • Strider (NES) • Strider (Mega Drive) • Strider II|
Strider (PC Engine) • Strider 2 • Strider (2014)
|Prerelease content||Strider (CPS-1) • Strider (NES) • Strider (Mega Drive) • Strider 2 • Strider (2014)|
|Unused content||Strider (CPS-1) • Strider (PC Engine) • Strider (NES) • Strider 2 • Strider (2014)|
Unused enemies • Unused stages
|Cancelled games||Strider Hiryu (Famicom prototype) • Untitled game projects • Untitled GRiN Project|
|Related||Isuke's scenario draft|