CONTRA III: THE ALIEN WARS > PRE-RELEASES > CONTRA IV
CONTRA IV: THE ALIEN WARS (NINTENDO SUPER FAMICOM)
A localization intermediate of Contra III had been publicly released in early 2014. This intermediate was sold by a former Sunsoft employee to Jason DreamTR Wilson, who then sold it to current owner, Niels Thomassen.
The title screen reads Contra IV: The Alien Wars, which may be the reason this game was given the title of Super Contra IV in a Super NES Player Guide issue (see here).
Due to being an early localization, this version is based mostly on the Japanese release. This includes gameplay elements (cheats, continues, etc) and the endings. However, the Japanese texts have been translated to English. Regardless, the prototype contains a few differences from either final release. The ROM header labels the game as Contra 3.
The game contains a few glitches, such as the demos being out of sync and a graphical error during the fight against the triple-headed alien boss:
In addition to the gameplay demos being out of sync, they show the players performing different actions from both North American and Japanese releases. In fact, the retail versions of both aforementioned regions share the same demo sequences. This suggests that the former was supposed to feature different gameplay demos from the latter.
The Spread Gun’s muzzle flash is blue in the prototype, whereas it is yellow in the final:
Despite translations, the ending texts for all 3 difficulty settings contain spelling and grammatical mistakes. Notice that the Easy and Normal mode endings don’t contain the PUSH START KEY message. They also lack the “Try Normal [or Hard] Mode” messages seen in the japanese version. (click to enlarge images; prototype on the left; NTSC-U final on the right):
Normal mode (recall that the prototype is based on the Japanese version, hence the text being localized to the lower half of the screen):
-Despite text translations to English, the ending text features the Japanese version’s message during the celebration scene.
-The Special Thanks list in the credits states “Very Thanks” from the Japanese version, instead of the North American version’s “Many Thanks”; however, FC has been changed to NES on the list (as in the North American version):