Prototypical Treasure

I recently found not one, but two things that combine my overbearing fondness for Treasure games with my love of stupidly obscure trivia. From the September 1995 issue of EGM comes this preview of "Guardian Warriors," which all good Treasure nerds (and anyone who reads the lower caption) will recognize as an early version of Guardian Heroes.

What's different? Well, the game's story mode apparently has only two playable main characters, as opposed to the five available in the final game. One of those leads is Serena Corsair, while the other is, strangely enough, a white-clad version of Valgar Reinhart. He isn't playable in the final version's story mode, though he has a prominent role as the standard semi-honorable bad guy who turns halfway good once the real villains are unmasked.

And now, an early version of Alien Soldier, Treasure's blisteringly hard Mega Drive action-shooter. These shots come from the May 1994 Gamefan, back when the title had a Slab Bulkhead human hero instead of the bird-headed cyborg seen in the final.

For comparison, here's a shot of the released game's main character and one of the bosses seen above.

And here are huge scans of those Alien Soldier and Guardian Heroes previews. The shots of Alien Soldier are lumped in with early Light Crusader screens, when the game was called Relayer. I didn't spot any obvious differences there, but I admit that I never played the final game that thoroughly. I should fix that, as I find that even lesser Treasure titles are still something to be...uh, valued.