Guilty Gear's Jam Session

You know what’s a good website? The Cutting Room Floor. It’s all about stuff hidden in video games: unused characters, deleted scenes, altered graphics, and even messages from irate programmers. I mentioned the site a few entries back, and it’s worth recommending again as the sort of place where you can lose an entire afternoon and not feel all that bad about it. You were going to waste that afternoon playing Paladin’s Quest or Skitchin' or Bullet Witch or Digger T. Rock: Legend of the Lost City anyway.

I’m dismayed that I don’t have anything to contribute to The Cutting Room Floor. The best I can do is to dig up something that’s easily noticed by the handful of people who played and remembered Guilty Gear: Dust Strikers.

Like Guilty Gear Isuka and Guilty Gear: Judgment, Dust Strikers is a small, irrelevant, and seldom-praised corner of the Guilty Gear landscape. It drops most of the franchise’s nutty heavy-metal anime warriors into chaotic, multi-tiered battlegrounds much like Super Smash Bros. Melee, and it attempts all of this on the DS. It’s cramped and unsatisfying, and I suspect the developers knew this. They tried to make it up to us with a bunch of really simple mini-games.

One of these bonus attractions finds Jam Kuradoberi, shrieky martial artist and restaurateur, balancing food and some unsanitary cats that fall from above. The retail version of the game uses a cheerful, pint-sized version of Jam, but this wasn’t always the case.

As shown in early screenshots of Dust Strikers, Jam’s mini-game featured her with more conventional proportions, plus an expression indicating either confusion or RealDoll-like placidity. It’s pretty clear why this was changed: full-size Jam takes up too much space that would otherwise fit more falling objects. I have no doubt that the original sprites for mini-game Jam are hidden in the Dust Strikers ROM, but I also have no technical aptitude for finding them.

That’s my contribution to the detective work exemplified by The Cutting Room Floor. Yes, you can read much more interesting things there now. Go ahead. I’ll be over here with Digger T. Rock.