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This article lists all known conceptual and prerelease content related to Strider 2.

Concept phaseEdit

Str2 placeholder logo

Placeholder logo

Early during the game's development, it carried the tentative placeholder title "Strider Hiryu", with a simple white logo being used in trailers and other material[1]. The decision to brand the game "Strider 2" came later in development, and adding "2" to the title made attempting to fit everything consistently in-game difficult, since it was originally developed with the idea it was a remake of the original rather than a sequel.[2]

Very early in development a 2-player option was considered to be implemented with Tong Pooh serving as the 2nd player characters[3]. For reasons unknown, such feature was eventually abandoned, with Tong Pooh remaining as a boss character and the released game lacking in a 2-player option entirely.

EnemiesEdit

A large amount of enemies were planned out for the game, but many of them never went further than concept ideas. Several variations of enemies exclusive for each stage were planned, but usually only around half of the designs ended up in the game. There are unused variants of several of the game's enemy types, such as the Commando Troops, Mutant animals, Fortress Guards, Armored Guards and Flying Turrets. A few scrapped enemies do appear briefly in prerelease videos, however, showing they were atleast introduced into the game, even thought they'd finally be removed from the released game.

Several bosses also went through many different stages of development, usually starting out with very complex designs and patterns and then becoming simpler with each redesign. Limitations in technology and the need to create polygon models may have contributed to this changes. The Reactor Core and Drill Cruiser are examples of bosses who went through significant redesigns during development.

Other bosses remained visually identical but started out with more complex patterns that were either simplified or removed. The Frozen Mammoth, for example, was planned to shoot reflecting laser beams from its mechanical body and tusks, as well as use its trunk as a machine gun. The first move was simplified into homing plasma orbs, while the second was scrapped entirely.

StagesEdit

Strider 2 was planned to include 6 stages since the beginning, with all stages staying more-or-less the same as the final release. The idea of allowing the player to choose the order of the initial stages was apparently inspired by a similar scrapped concept considered for the original Strider, which would have allowed players to choose the order of the 3rd and 4th stage. One stage, known as the "Ruins Stage" in development and later El Dorado, was eventually scrapped for unknown reasons, and the models of its first two scenes repurposed for the high score screens. The scrapped level carries the stage ID 03, placing it just between the initial selectable stages and the first of the two locked ones. The stage would later be reworked for the PlayStation port as a secret stage.

A number of extra scenes were considered as well, but dropped from the final release. The most interesting being a high-speed section for the Antarctica stage which would have seen Hiryu face a number of snowboard enemies.

Prerelease contentEdit

February 1999 AOU Show reveal teaserEdit

A short, 30-second teaser trailer was displayed during the AOU Show event held in February 1999, being the only media displayed during its public reveal. This is the earliest known footage of Strider 2 to exist, and as such it display a very early in-development build. The footage in question consists of several short sequences of Hiryu running around some areas, almost exclusively those from the 2nd stage (Fortress Wahnen). There's also no visible HUD in any part of this video, showing how early this build probably is.

Str2 aou 99-2 wahnen start Hiryu at the beginning of the second stage, slashing a Fortress Guard apart. When certain enemies are killed there's only the circular effect expanding outwards. As no other special effect is added yet, the enemy being split in two is completely visible. There's also a strange, bright and hard to discern sprite at the right side of the screenshot.
Str2 aou 99-2 wahnen bridge Hiryu running from the T-54 in the Connecting Bridge (Scene 3). The boxes standing in Hiryu's path here are metallic instead of wooden as in the released game. The enemy standing next to the box also appears to be radically different to any known enemy in the final game, although the screenshot's low quality makes discerning the enemy a bit difficult.
Str2 aou 99-2 durahan Hiryu climbing above the Dullahan. This part of the trailer features a dynamic camera angle which closes in on Hiryu as he moves. There are other instances where the camera is either too close to Hiryu or pans dynamically, behaviors not featured in the final release.
Str2 aou 99-2 eldorado Hiryu moving across the rocky initial area in the scrapped stage, El Dorado.
Str2 aou 99-2 lantern Hiryu in Scene 5 standing on a Search Lantern. This specific Search Lantern appears on a wall facing the right side of the screen, possibly next to the area with falling fireballs. This is something not seen anywhere in the released game, as the only Search Lantern is found on a left-facing wall.
Str2 aou 99-2 slashes Hiryu in scene 4 fighting an Armored Guard. The arcs of plasma shoot from the basic Cypher Attack are very different to those from the final release: the first is very wide and travels upwards at an angle, the second is a horizontal slash angled upwards above Hiryu's head and the final slash is a very wide arc traveling downwards at Hiryu's feet. In the final release, the slashes are more consistent and simply go from a high angle, horizontal and low angle.
Str2 aou 99-2 hengst Hiryu fighting Metall Hengst.
Str2 aou 99-2 balrog Hiryu walking on the 2nd scene of the Flying Battleship Balrog. Most areas besides those from Fortress Wahnen appear to not feature any enemies yet.
Str2 aou 99-2 antarctica Hiryu facing the Beluga F in Scene 2 of the Antarctica Research Lab.
Str2 aou 99-2 hydra Hiryu facing the Aluminium Hydra.
Str2 aou 99-2 neohongkong Scene 2 of the first stage, Neo Hong Kong City.
Str2 aou 99-2 logo The sillhouette of Hiryu used in the intro of the released game was drawn differently, and originally resembled Hiryu in his idle stance from Marvel vs. Capcom rather than Hiryu dashing forward.

Capcom Friendly Club CFC Style Fan Book #10 videoEdit

The May 1999 release of the Capcom Friendly Club CFC Style Fan Book official newsletter includes a VHS video showing footage of several upcoming Capcom games, Strider 2 among them[1]. The footage is from a slightly altered build when compared with the previous trailer, with a few changes made but still retaining some of the prototype features seen in February.

In this video, almost all stages are featured and enemies are already in place in most areas. The logo at the end is the same as before, but now includes a "Tentative Title" (仮称) under it.

Str2 cfc 99-5 purple mist.png Hiryu at the beginning of the second stage, slashing a Fortress Guard. A small, purple mist-like effect displays when enemies are slashed. This effect is only seen in the final game for when Hiryu is hit and with a very few select enemies like the Human Souls in the Dullahan battle, with most enemies using a more standard explosion effect.
Str2 cfc 99-5 neohongkong boards Hiryu running at the beginning of the 1st stage, Neo Hong Kong City. The signboards at the background of this area are completely different to the ones featured in the final.
Str2 cfc 99-5 eldorado Hiryu attacking a Commando Troop in the first area of the scrapped stage, El Dorado. The enemy faced here is an unused variant of Commando Troop. Hiryu attacks while jumping here, and all plasma arcs come out angled upwards. In the final game, all slashes when jumping come out horizontally instead.
Str2 cfc 99-5 dullahan Hiryu fighting against Dullahan. As seen here, the exagerated plasma arcs from Hiryu's basic attack remain the same as in the previous video.
Str2 cfc 99-5 antarctica Hiryu slashing a Muscle-enhanced Antarctic Guard at the first scene of the Antarctica stage. In the released game, this enemy is not featured in this area.
Str2 cfc 99-5 research dock Hiryu fighting Infantry Turbos in Scene 4 of the Flying Battleship Balrog. There's a metallic cable at the bottom of this area which was removed in the released game, turning this section into a bottomless pit.

Infantry Turbo don't come out at this point in the area either.

Str2 cfc 99-5 slide slash Hiryu fighting Armored Guards in the fortress' Scene 4. Much like jumping attacks, every slice when sliding is angled downwards, while in the final they always come horizontally.
Str2 cfc 99-5 hydra Hiryu facing the Aluminium Hydra. The Hydra's body is different from the released game, being metallic gray instead of yellow/orange and looking less detailed.
Str2 cfc 99-5 hover guard marke Hiryu in the bomb-dropping part of the 5th scene in Fortress Wahnen. Another scrapped enemy, named Flying Guard, is visible in this area (highlighted in the screenshot presented here). The removed Search Lantern can be seen at the side of this area as well.

The PlayStation Magazine June 1999 issueEdit

The June 1999 issue of The PlayStation Magazine included an article about Strider 2. Screenshots are mainly from the 2nd stage, but it includes all stages except the Third Moon and El Dorado. Differences here are consistent with the ones seen in the video footage above, so it is likely this build is the same one or one closer to it. It is also likely this build is close to the build presented at the E3 event in May.

Str2 PSMag 0699 select screen The game's select screen. Fortress Wahnen is taking the first position instead of Neo Hong Kong City. The stage cards are also very different from the final release, displaying unique logos for each stage instead of their number below a small shot of their map location. The text description of the stage is also different from the one in the released game.

The little screenshot at the side of the Fortress' wire map is shown from an angle not seen in the final's animation, and the yellow line appears to be missing as well. The wire map is displaying the 3rd scene with text describing it specifically, unlike the final game were a single general description of the stage is displayed over its duration. It's possible the animation originally presented several different descriptions for each scene as the map went through it.

Str2 PSMag 0699 Fortress extend Hiryu in the fortress' 1st scene, striking an enemy while climbing. The arc of plasma is longer than the normal one, possibly showing the Cypher extension power-up was initially visually the same as in the first game. Flying Turrets aren't faced until the boss battle of this scene in the released game.
Str2 PSMag 0699 Fortress hengst Hiryu fighting Metall Hengst. When struck, the metal horse turns red but the rider does not. It's possible the player could destroy the horse first and then face the Knight Leader as a separate enemy, as a piece of concept art seems to imply was intended.
Str2 PSMag 0699 bridge Hiryu running away from the T-52 while facing several Fortress Guards. The boxes are now made of wood as in the final, but the grenade launcher soldiers are not faced in this location in the released game.
Str2 PSMag 0699 Fortress eliteguard Hiryu fighting the Armored Guard boss from the 5th scene. The metal bridge where the battle takes place is inclined upwards, while in the released game it is completely straight.
Str2 PSMag 0699 Fortress hydra Hiryu facing the Aluminium Hydra. The same early design for the Hydra can be seen here. The camera is also farther away and at an angle not doable in the released game.
Str2 PSMag 0699 Antarctica Hiryu facing a Fat-enhanced Guard in the first area of the third stage. The guard's projectiles are pink instead of yellow and look different. Hiryu's arcs of plasma come out in wildly different angles and positions, something that has yet to be corrected from previous builds.
Str2 PSMag 0699 Balrog tail Hiryu in the 2nd scene of the Balrog. Balrog Infantries can be spotted running far away in the yellow parts of the Balrog. The soldiers attack Hiryu from the background in the previous scene, so it appears they were meant to do the same in the 2nd scene as well.
Str2 PSMag 0699 Balrog Fighter Hiryu on top of the Fighter aircraft, about to fight a Minelayer. There are no enemies to be found on top of the Fighter. As the next screenshot shows the Minelayer in its usual spot at the end of the scene, this indicates more than one Minelayer was intended to be fought.
Str2 PSMag 0699 Balrog minelayer Hiryu at the end of the scene, fighting the Minelayer. The electric effect from the Plasma Cannon Soldiers is blue instead of yellow as in the released game.
Str2 PSMag 0699 balrog core Hiryu fighting the Reactor Core. Hiryu is surrounded by dark purple orbs of energy, probably placeholder graphics for the electric pulses released by the core. The beam of light from the battle's second half lacks most of its details as seen in the final game.

Capcom Friendly Club CFC Style Fan Book #11 videoEdit

The August 1999 issue of the Capcom Friendly Club CFC Style Fan Book includes a 2nd in-development trailer for Strider 2[4]. Footage on this video shows a build closer to the final release, with its title and logo finalized, enemies now populating the stages, the HUD finished and visible and Hiryu's plasma arcs changed to its final appearance. But it still retains some elements that are either missing or were altered before release.

Str2 cfc 99-8 balrog Hiryu destroys a Laser Turret in the Balrog's second scene. Hiryu appears to be using the Cypher Power-Up extension, but the aura effect when he has the power-up in the released game is missing.
Str2 cfc 99-8 savage Hiryu defeats a Fortress Guard using the Savage Slash. The purple mist effect when an enemy is killed is still used here instead of the final's explosion effect. There's also apparently no item drops added in yet, as the enemy drops no Zenny upon death.
Str2 cfc 99-8 wiremap The wireframe map preceding the Balrog stage. The map animation is very different when compared with the final game: the line appears to move slower around the wireframe map, and the camera zooms in very closely as the line reaches one of the red squares representing a scene.
Str2 dragon emperor early The Emperor Dragon is named "JINRAI RYU" in its health bar, which is the Japanese pronuntiation of its Chinese name.

September 1999 AM Show flyerEdit

A few screenshots found in the flyer distributed during the AOU Show held September 1999 display minor differences not seen in the final release.

  • One screenshot shows Hiryu fighting the Researchers, but there's no ENEMY health bar visible in it. Whether this was an oversight or they were originally minor enemies is unknown. Hiryu's pose as he's attacking in mid-air may be unused too. A similar and clearer screenshot can be found in the official website[5], showing the lack of an ENEMY bar. It also appears the Researchers turned red after being hit like some of the more resilient enemies, but they don't show this effect in the final release.
  • Another screenshot shows Hiryu and Admiral Wilhelm crossing paths with their swords drawn. This apparent dashing attack from Wilhelm is not used in the final release, although the sprites seen in this screenshot are still found inside the game's code.

Capcom Friendly Club CFC Style Fan Book #12 videoEdit

Str2 sturmgeschutz early

The misspelt Sturmgeschutz V

A second promotional video for Strider 2 was included with the December 1999 issue of Capcom Friendly Club CFC Style Fan Book[6]. This video serves as an introduction to the game, displaying its prologue text and presenting the game's three main rivals (Solo, the Kuniang and Hien). The build displayed here is very close to the final release.

One apparent oversight in this build appears during the Sturmgeschutz V battle, where its name is misspelt "STURMGESHUTZ IV" instead.

PlayStation portEdit

Trial EditionEdit

Main article: Strider Hiryu 1&2 -Trial Edition-

A trial edition of the PlayStation port was included with an issue of the Japanese magazine Dengeki PlayStation. This demo has only the first stage accessible, which appears to be mostly complete save some missing features like music.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 MrRetroGreg (May 16, 2017). "VHS 076 Capcom Friendly Club CFC Style - Volume 10 カプコンフレンドリークラブ". Published on Youtube.com. Accessed February 9, 2019
  2. Staff (June 2000). "Strider Hiryu 2: Setting Document (Part 2)" (Japanese). Monthly Arcadia (06). Pg. 180.
  3. Capcom (1999). Capcom Secret File #26: Strider Hiryu 2 (Japanese). Pg. 11
  4. MrRetroGreg (November 15, 2017). "Capcom Friendly Club CFC Style - Volume 11 カプコンフレンドリークラブ". Published on Youtube.com. Accessed February 9, 2019
  5. Capcom (2000). Strider Hiryû 2 Official Site (Japanese). Retrieved from archive.org. Accessed February 25, 2020
  6. MrRetroGreg (November 16, 2017). "Capcom Friendly Club CFC Style - Volume 12 カプコンフレンドリークラブ". Published on Youtube.com. Accessed February 9, 2019
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