Space Channel 5 Dreamcast prototypes
The concept chosen for Space Channel 5 is a visual and auditory delirium that sets this software apart in the world of video games. The atmosphere and the gameplay could confuse a lot of players. Its designer, Mizuguchi Tetsuya, will later create the mythical and unclassifiable game "Rez". His unbridled imagination had no limit, he will leave his mark in history with these two crazy games.
With its fluorescent colors, its seventies look, and the choreography of its protagonists, one would believe oneself in a trip under acid, it would only miss the music of the Grateful Dead !
Ulala, a charming 22 year old girl likes to dance in public and to improvise herself as a journalist for the TV channel Channel 5. She is asked by the director of the channel to do an unusual report covering the invasion of aliens on Earth. The heroine will only complete her report if she eliminates all the Mororians (the name of the ETs) who cross her path. She saves several of her compatriots before facing her Machiavellian rival.
Ulala must reproduce the dance pattern she has just seen while keeping the rhythm, a relatively simple concept. The aliens state the sequence of buttons to press. On paper, it looks easy but once the controller is in hand, it's a different story.
The realization of Space Channel 5 on Dreamcast does not lack originality. The levels are all in computer graphics that scroll progressively. Ulala and his recruits move in real sequences in Mpeg, in real time 3D. The mix is as amazing as it is explosive.
Debug Menu and Development Options:
This prototype of Space Channel 5 is dated April 20, 2000. It contains some development options and a Nindows Debug Menu. The Debug Menu can also be activated on the final version with a hack.
Nindows is a "Windows-like" Dreamcast debugging GUI system used by developers using the Ninja library. It comes with a number of built-in functions and features such as system metrics, texture viewer, device information, memory usage of Ninja models etc.
Games using the Nindows Debug Menu (non exhaustive list) :
- Crimeon OX
- Grandia II
- Vermillion Desert
- Scud Race Dreamcast SET 2 tech demo
- Sonic Shuffle Jan 11 2001 - Prototype
- Skies of Arcadia V0.830 - Prototype
- Maken X Feb 9 2000 - Prototype
- Maken X (USA)
- Tower of Babel Tech Demo
You have to connect a Keyboard in the D port of the console in order to access the Nindows Debug Menu. Some sub-menus will only open during a game and not in the different menus of the game.
The buttons to use for the Nindows 1 Debug Menu :
Insert : The mouse cursor appears, the Debug Menu is activated. I don't know how to move the cursor.
F1 : "Audi" sub-menu
F2 : "Adx" sub-menu
F3 : "Camera" sub-menu
F4 : "Input" sub-menu
F5 : "TaskMemory" submenu
F6 : "Console" sub-menu
F7 : "Ninja Info" sub-menu
F8 : "Texture Viewer" sub-menu
F9 : "Peripheral Info" sub-menu
F10 : "Desktop" sub-menu
F11 : "Debug Info" sub-menu
F12 : "Performance" sub-menu
Ctrl + L : "Light" sub-menu
The buttons to use for the Nindows 2 Debug Menu (in game) :
The Nindows 2 Debug Menu is activated with a combination of additional keys. To access it, you must first unlock Debug Menu 1 as explained above.
Ctrl + . : Unlock the Debug Menu Nindow 2 so that its sub-menus can be displayed.
N+O : "NpcObj Info" sub-menu
N+P : "NpcParty Info" sub-menu
N+è : "NpcPos Info" sub-menu
N+L : "Disp Level Edit" sub-menu
P+è : "NpcParty Position" sub-menu
The buttons to use for the Nindows 3 Debug Menu (by selecting a character in the "Character Profile" menu):
Disp Level Edit
The Nindows 3 Debug Menu is activated with a combination of additional keys. To access it, you must first unlock Debug Menu 1 as explained above.
Ctrl + - : Unlock the Debug Menu Nindow 3 so that its sub-menus can be displayed.
M : "Camera" sub-menu
T : "TELETOP" sub-menu
This option allows you to change the position of the character in the menu, to choose the angle of view in which it will appear etc.
This option allows you to change the location of the character's name and the description of its presentation in the menu.
These Debug Menus, unlike others, do not allow much interactivity with the game. It is mainly intended for system information.
This prototyped version has development options that do not correspond to Nindows :
Build version and date information (Ver. 0.900 2000 20/4) and level selection :
To activate this option, you must hold the left and right triggers at the same time on the controller connected to the console's A port. The information about the version of the build and its date is displayed in all menus. However, in the main menu, an additional annotation designating the level appears (the Demul emulator is recommended to use it).
The numbers can be adjusted from 111 to 466. Each number corresponds to a sequence in the game. From this screen, the player can select the level of his choice. Once the value is chosen, it must be validated by starting a new game "NEW GAME" without forgetting to always maintain the 2 triggers of the controller.
Space Channel 5 is divided into 4 rounds (R01-R02-R03-R04) and then into scenes. Thus, "R466" means scene "66" of turn number "4".
Other keyboard options on the Dreamcast D port (not Nindows) :
§ (to the left of "1") : Debug All Question Mode, this development option is still unknown. I think it is the invincibility cheat, the "God Mod".
Page Up and Page Down : Increase or decrease the View Rating % during a game.
Pause/Break : Set the game to PAUSE.
Ctrl + Alt + Del : Return to the title menu.
S2 (Dreamcast Keyboard) : Pressing the button once removes the audio. Pressing the button a second time reinstates only the sound effects and voices (without the music). The manipulation does not always work. I don't know how to cancel the option and return to the original configuration.
S3 (Dreamcast Keyboard) : The background is switched to a black background. As for the function of the "S2" key, the option does not always work. I don't know how to cancel it.
Directional Arrows : Navigate and change values in the submenus where possible.
E : Light effect around Ulala (you have to hold Crtl + in order to use the function)
Debug : All Question Mode !!
Warning, the researches have been made by playing the prototype on the Flycast emulator. Some keys of the virtual keyboard may not correspond to the Dreamcast keyboard.
Music, sound and sound effects
The audio will have been adjusted between this prototype version and the commercial version. By digging and extracting the files from the prototype, some voices show audible differences :
Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, appears as Space Michael. Due to his late participation in the project, only two of his characteristic screams were included in the game.
Here's the surprise, while analyzing audio samples, the inventor of the Moonwalk also recorded voice commands (left, right, up, down, shoot)! His voice commands are much longer than those of any normal animation and seem to be "played" instead of "dubbed".
Michael Jackson Unused Voice