After a long wait that stretches back 14 years, several fans have made breakthroughs in four different Mega Man games. Protodude of Protodude's Rockman Corner, along with a few other dedicated fans have made available prototype and beta versions of Rockman X5, Mega Man Legends 2, and The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, along with a hacked debug mode in Mega Man 8.
There are a lot of interesting changes between the Rockman X5 Beta and the final release, including a number of changes to the music and many unused tracks. The graphic work is incomplete and the gameplay gets a heck of a lot more polish before its final release, but it is still very playable (it may be more playable in some ways, because Alia is nowhere to be seen!) and is an interesting snapshot of the middle of the game's development. In fact, some older fans may remember this snapshot from pre-release coverage in June 2000! The folks over at The Cutting Room Floor are already dissecting much of the innards of the prototype and it's definitely worth your attention.
The prototype versions of Mega Man Legends 2 and The Misadventures of Tron Bonne are more or less complete Japanese versions in the midst of Capcom's localization efforts but with developer debugging tools still intact. These tools include various "flags" that change what items you have and story events that have occurred, along with manipulating the camera and much more. Perhaps most interesting is seeing what form the localization was in at the time of the dump, just a few months before the final release. Additional details and instructions are available for Legends 2 at TCRF, and there are good highlight reels for Legends 2 and The Misadventures of Tron Bonne already uploaded.
Finally, the Mega Man 8 debug mode is a hack of the commercial PlayStation One North American release that makes previously hidden debugging features available to the player. Similar to the other debug modes, players can adjust what weapons and items you have, toggle numerous settings and warp to any level in the game, among other things. Like the rest of the games, TCRF is already discussing the innards of this hack.
Have you tried any of these out? What is the next prototype or hack you hope to see? Let us know in the comments!
Source: Protodude's Rockman Corner