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Newly translated magazine shows first Guilty Gear was going to use the same graphics as Donkey Kong Country and Killer Instinct

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • May 16, 2023 at 5:10 p.m. PDT • Comments: 8

Arc System Works revolutionized how 3D models could appear in 2D fighting games with Guilty Gear Xrd, but it looks like the company had some similar plans in mind since the very beginning.

Sol Radguy recently went back and translated a Japanese magazine article from 1995, which shows off that the original Guilty Gear was planning to use the same graphics system that powered Donkey Kong Country and Killer Instinct.

Appearing in the October issue of Dengeki PlayStation F almost 3 years before The Missing Link would actually release, Daisuke Ishiwatari and the developers shared a bunch of the early prototype concepts, artwork and details for Guilty Gear with some very interesting differences to the final product.

The one that immediately stands out is the second page showing off 3D renders of May and Sol Badguy that are very much not what appeared in the game.

Thanks to sol Radguy translating the text now, however, we can read what ArcSys was planning to do with those models, and it's quite fascinating.

"The photo of the character on the left might make you think of polygons, but in fact this character isn't made of polygons at all," reads the article as translated by Sol Radguy. "These characters were drawn using machines by Silicon Graphics, which have incredible graphical processing power.

In Guilty Gear, the characters rendered with Silicon Graphics' workstations are imported into the game and animated. Of course, these graphics are still under development."

Ishiwatari followed that up by saying things will "look much cooler as development continues, and in a way, it probably did.

For those unaware, Silicon Graphics workstations were used by other developers like Rare to create higher quality 3D models that could then be imported to games as sprites.

This was most prominently used in titles like Donkey Kong Country and Killer Instinct, which earned praise and accolades for their graphical fidelity and style for the time.

Obviously, these 3D models were nowhere to be found when The Missing Link did come out and were instead replaced with detailed 2D sprites that would define the series for more than a decade.

It would be very interesting to know just how far these models made it into Guilty Gear's development and why it stopped, but the series could have been very different to what we know if they stuck the course.

You can find the full article and translation for the Guilty Gear prototype on the Web Archive.

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