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CREATED APR.20.2010
UPDATED APR.21.2010
CREDITS
TEXT WRITTEN BY
MARTIN NIELSEN
F1 WORLD GRAND PRIX
WORK IN PROGRESS
FULL TITLE F97 THE CHALLENGE
DEVELOPER PARADIGM ENTERTAINMENT
PUBLISHER VIDEO SYSTEM
FLASH CART TYPE NUS-8F16F (128M)
GAME STATE EARLY BETA
GAME TYPE RACING
GAME RELEASED YES

CART FRONT SCAN AVAILABLE
CART BACK SCAN NOT AVAILABLE (NOTHING TO SEE)
OTHER CART SCAN NOT AVAILABLE (NOTHING TO SEE)

Welcome to another N64 prototype exposed. This time I've found a flash cart I purchased from ebay sometime last summer for roughly $200. The game is what became F1 World Grand Prix, but at the time this build was made, the game was called "F97 - The Challenge" on the game title screen, but the working title mentioned on the cartridge label says "World Grand Prix".

So I'm guessing the decision of a name change already was made at this point, the titlescreen just hadn't been changed yet.

Well let's start the comparison of the prototype which is said to be around 80% complete according to the label on the dev cartridge.

In the final game you're asked to insert a RumblePak, if you want to, right after the game boots. This screen does not show in the prototype and I don't think rumble support is present at all.

FINAL PROTOTYPE

Now let's move on to the into movie...

The first visible difference is presented right after the game boots. As seen in the video above the intro in the prototype is a lot shorter and incomplete than the final version, but the prototype is also suffering from some weird video issues with a white flicking bar around the picture until you reach the titlescreen.

FINAL PROTOTYPE

As mentioned earlier the titlescreen also says F97 The Challenge, could it be that the F1 licenese wasn't obtained at this time?

If the final version if left at the titlescreen it'll start a demo mode shortly after, this doesn't happen in the prototype though.

FINAL PROTOTYPE

Moving on to the menu screen you can see the the final version menu is arranged slightly different, but also notice the background doesn't start off at the same track. The two screenshots were taken right when entering the menu, so it's not just because of the time the shots were made.

FINAL PROTOTYPE

Jumping to the Grand Prix mode there's also a few differences. The prototype is missing an image is the upper right corner and the erase menu item is called exit. But the exit can't be used in the prototype, nothing happens and the highlight just jumps to File 1 or 4.

When choosing a driver a lot of interesting stuff happens. A lot of the driver details are incorrect, the Ferarri logo was slightly changed in the final. A cameraman is supposedly an Arrows driver. Jacques Villeneuve is MIA in the final version and Heinz-Harald Frentzen is missing the "-" in his name. I won't bother listing all the driver detail differences, there's simply too many.

FINAL PROTOTYPE

Another interesting thing to note is that some of the driver pictures were edited in the final game, removing sponsor images from caps and such. The funny part is that not all of them were removed. Notice the sponsor image below Michael Schumacher neck, on his driver suit. Well it's gone in the final version by the sponsor logo on the cap is still there.

The next batch of screenshots shows some differences in the courses. The first two pics are just made to show that the prototype and final doesn't start off with the same course in the list. But notice the small country icon in the prototype that seems to be the same for most of the countries.

Also there's a small text difference in the title of each course and Magny-Cours is suffering from the Heinz-Harald Frenzen proto syndrome, also known as the missing "-", how unfair.

FINAL PROTOTYPE

The Jerez course received a whole new track picture in the final build and the grass in the rest of the track pictures went from light green to dark green.

FINAL PROTOTYPE

The options menu item, even though it's called the same in both menus, is known as the config menu in the prototype when entering the sub menu. The differnces are huge, there's a lot of stuff missing from menu items to the small picture in the upper right corner.

Next up is the system menu where the prototype has a feature that didn't make it into the final game, a controller config option. With that said though the controller option just takes you to an empty screen in the prototype, so there wasn't much to see really. It actually just removes the round upper right corner icon but still says system menu.

FINAL PROTOTYPE

The display sub menu doesn't display anything, the music in the sound sub menu the music available is only "music 1" and "music 2" these were named differently in the final version and it also has a lot more music available.

Now let's have a look at the challenge mode menu which also received an upgrade, there's a minor challenge title difference and a missing driver icon in the prototype.

FINAL PROTOTYPE

What's interesting to note is that the intro movie for the challenge was changed in the final version as seen on the pictures. On the racing screen the sponsor on the back wing of the racer in the prototype was removed in the final game and the number of the racecar changed aswell. Also notice that the course starting point isn't the same.

What also changed "in game" is a small momo logo in the upper right corner and it seems that the Tag Heuer official timing logo dissapeared from the challenge mode as well.

FINAL PROTOTYPE

The pause screen in the prototype is also different from the final release. The options menu item is not available though but there's a restart race menu item that has been moved to a completely different screen in the final, probably to make sure the player doesn't use it by mistake. Also if you "quit to menu" you quit the challenge mode completely, however you exit to the challenge menu in the final game.

FINAL PROTOTYPE

Before entering a race you're presented with the set-up "computer" shown above. As it shows there are a few differences, like there's no such thing as a soft intermediate in the final game.

In the actual game there's also a few differences, first off the intro for a course is extremely long in the final version, I've captured that in the video below. But also notice the voice in the game, it has changed a lot from the prototype to the final. The final voice actually sounds like someone's on the radio.

But that's not all, when a race is about to start the lights usually are red and then after a few seconds the race is on. Well in the prototype the red lights at the starting line are out of order, so a green flag is raised in the lower left corner and then the race is on.

FINAL PROTOTYPE

Control wise the two games pretty much are the same, I suck at F1 racing games even if it's prototype or a final version.

Well that's it for now, stay tuned for another proto exposed :-)

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