Omega Boost Beta Demos

Omega Boost was released for the Playsation in Japan on the 22 April 1999. However, there are two demos from 1995 and 1996, included with Playstation Club PurePure discs volues 2 and 3. In terms of development, that seems to be a very long time. But even at this early stage, it is clear that the game's developers were aiming for a higher quality than many of the other games released this early on in the Playstation's life.


November 1995 Demo

Although the How To Play screens for the first demo suggests that it was dated from November 1995, some of the game files, including the OMEGA.EXE file, are from mid-December. This featured a single level, the second stage of the game.




The How To Play screens, written by the developers, provides a lot of information about this demo. Unfortunately, my Japanese is nowhere good enough to translate these, but Inductor and Bast at the Cutting Room Floor forums kindly provided a translation:

OMEGA BOOST page1
Comment from the development team This is the time attack version, which is only 30% complete compared to the final version of the game as of November, 1995. Although there are still some rough edges, please enjoy trying to get a good score with this version.

HOW TO PLAY
This mission is to destroy all floating enemy bases and vehicles on the front lines. The mission will be completed if you destroy all enemies shown as red and yellow signals on the right of the cockpit.

Page2
The enemy's bases are protected by walls, but they can be destroyed. There are also undestroyable objects, but weak points will be shown on the monitor.

There are bomber towers that look like meteors around each base. They also seem to be gathering troops and are nearly finished. Be aware of them.

GOOD LUCK


So, the game was around 30% complete. The basic mechanics were already in place, with the kind of movement, weapons and enemies seen in the final game. Having said that, this is a unique level not seen in the final release. Only when a certain number of ships and bases have been destroyed is the level complete. To help the player, there are some powerups scattered around the level, including missiles (essential for taking out the fighters), a Vulcan cannon (mispelt "Bulcan" in the game's coding) and extra energy. As this is a time attack level, the player is graded not only on how many points but how long it takes to complete the demo.

So far as the mech itself goes, it is far more primitive than the final version, with an more organic look. It seems more like a man in a spacesuit than a giant robot. The title of these early demos reinforces this idea, which identifies the Omega Boost as an "Armored Trooper".

The game's enemies include fortresses, asteroids, fighters and two mechs. There are three camera angles: first person, cockpit view and third person perspective.

The OMEGA.EXE file had a level listing:

SPACE
FORTRESS
SEA
GROUND
FALLDOWN
FLEET
CITY
BASEFALL

The demo featured the second of these levels, namely the fortresses. But other than a superficial resemblance to the space battles of the final game, this build's structure seemed to be very different to the final game.




March 1996 Demo

In the four months between the two versions of the demo, the game developed in many ways.




Again, Inductor and Bast translated the briefing screens:

PAGE 01
HOW TO PLAY

The object of this mission is to destroy the enemy's fortresses and the fleets protecting said fortresses.The enemy's bases are protected by rotating walls, but they can be destroyed. There are also undestroyable objects, but weak points will be shown on the monitor. There are bomber towers that look like meteors around each base. They also seem to be gathering troops and are nearly finished. Be aware of them.

The mission will be completed if you destroy all enemies shown as red and yellow signals on the right of the cockpit.

PAGE 02

Comment from the development team

This is the re-made time attack version, which is only contains the second of 8 stages from the 50% complete version, as opposed to the final version of the game as of March, 1996. Although there are still some rough edges, please enjoy trying to get a high score with this version.




The change that was immediately obvious was the addition of the Scan function. This allowed the player to lock on to enemy ships, making it far easier to track the fastmoving fighters and enemy mechs. The missiles had this function in the first demo, but you had to aim manually with the gun. As such, it made the second demo far easier to complete. The map is far more detailed as well.

The basic mission is the same, but the textures and models have been upgraded a little. The fortresses have been remodelled and have a new skin, but they have the same basic design seen in the November demo. The How To Play screens stated that there were eight stages. While there are no further details in the game's files, these may be the same as those listed in the first demo. Both demos mention a debug mode in their coding.



Here, you can see the two cockpit views, and while the basic layout remained the same, the second demo was far more developed. Some of the readouts could be removed, like the map.



The Omega Boost itself developed too. While no radical change in design between the two demos, the latter version seemed more polished, especially with regards to the booster pack.



From the front, there isn't so much difference between the two mechs.

Links

Translation Of Briefing Screens At The Cutting Room Floor Forum
Back To Tech Demo