top of page

Jet Set Radio/Jet Grind Radio Dreamcast (28 avril 2000 E3 prototype)

Jet Set Radio was developed by Smilebit , a Sega subsidiary made up of ex-members of Team Andromeda , creators of the Panzer Dragoon series on the Sega Saturn . Initially made up of 3 members, the team will grow to reach 25 developers. They were young, the average age was around 25 - 27 years old.

Sega had placed their trust in them, hoping that this youth could breathe new life into the industry. Bet won since during its presentation at the TGS , the press acclaimed the design and the quality of the game. Jet Set Radio was born from a desire to shake up the codes and bring a breath of fresh air to the industry.

Jet Set Radio was not a commercial success, sales did not follow. It will remain in posterity and inspired many other games that will use its graphic concept. This roller-skating game with a pop and hip-hop aesthetic inspired by Tokyo at the end of the 90s marked an entire generation of players, 20 years later, everyone is hoping for a reboot or a sequel to this Dreamcast hit!

“We are too old and experienced to make a new Jet Set Radio . If other people need to create a new  Jet , they have to be young daredevils like we were back then.”

Jet Set Radio Logo (press kit).jpg

Jet Set Radio is 100% speed and 200% fun!

Jet Set Radio or Jet Grind Radio was innovative in its graphic aspect which used a rendering technique unheard of in video games, Cel Shading . This technique consisted of giving a non-photorealistic rendering, a cartoon aspect to the game in question. This is the first time that this process has been used for a video game, Jet Set Radio made an impression with its graphics. We were playing a cartoon for the first time. It was a game like only Sega could make!

The game begins in 2000 and is introduced by Professor K , the DJ of a Tokyo-to- based pirate radio station, who explains the basics of the life of a " Rudie ", the term used to refer to young people who roam the the streets on rollerblades looking for walls to tag.

The city is divided into three parts: Shibuya-cho , Benten-cho and Kogane-cho , each corresponding to a different time of day. Shibuya is a daytime shopping area, Benten is a nighttime entertainment area, and Kogane is a district.  residential, built over water, at sunset.

The government was trying to curb the activities of young people in Tokyo-to ….Rollers on their feet and with the help of a team of broken arms, the  mission was to tag the walls, roofs, buses… of the city of Tokyo-to to mark its territory. To help the player, the pirate radio station Jet Set Radio and its DJ Professor K , provided information on the position of the police who were chasing the riders. It was also necessary to fight against rival bands which also wanted to take possession of the various districts of the city.

The game features a host of playable characters with three different attributes: Power, Technique, and Graffiti. Power determines a character's health, Technique determines the number of points a character earns when performing tricks and the character's overall speed, and Graffiti determines the number of points earned by performing tricks and the difficulty in accomplishing them.

Jet Set Radio Dreamcast Pal Cover.jpg
Jet Set Radio Dreamcast Artwork.jpg
ONISIMA Jet Set Grind Radio.jpg

The main characters form the GG gang, housed in a garage in Shibuya-cho .

Photo from "French Dreamcast Asset" to be found on the Asset, Press Kit, Dreamcast Documents page .

The specifics of the Debug Menu:

By using the GD-Rom Explorer program, the build is named Jet Set Radio E3 . It is dated April 28, 2000, approximately 1 month before the final Japanese version.

Jet Grind Radio E3 Dreamcast prototype extraction.jpg
Jet Set Radio Dreamcast prototype debug menu.jpg

The prototype starts on a Debug Menu. The 3 selections TGS SIBUYA , TGS KOGANE and TGS BENTEN undoubtedly correspond to demonstrations of the game used during a Tokyo Game Show . To play them, you have to activate them and then start the game by going to the "Goto Garage". The zones will then appear on the Tokyo-to map.

The other options of the debug menu are basic, very simple. They allow :

  • Stage : To choose the area of the map to play

  • Mission : To choose the mission to play

  • Charactor : To play the character of your choice

  • Vs Charactor : To select the character to face during duels

  • Event : Activates or deactivates the explanatory scenes of the missions

  • Goto Garage : Go to the map area selection map (to be used to activate the 3 TGS options)

  • Goto Game : Directly launches the game with the modified data from the debug menu

  • Goto Demo : This option does not work, there is a black screen

  • Goto Title : The game starts normally

This prototype offers 15 playable characters, here they are:

Beat (Ereki) (final name Beat)

Beat (Ereki) Dreamcast prototype Jet Grind Radio.jpg

Gum (correct name)

Gum prototype Dreamcast for Jet Set Radio E3 version.jpg

Corn (final Tab name)

Corn Jet Grind Radio Dreamcast beta.jpg

Combo (correct name)

Combo Jet Set Radio Dreamcast prototype.jpg

Code (Slate final name)

Code Jet Set Radio beta Dreamcast.jpg

Nuts (final name Piranha)

Jet Grind Radio Nuts E3 dreamcast prototype.jpg

Reco (final name Cube)

Sega Dreamcast prototype of Jet Set Radio Reco.jpg

Bis (final name Mew)

Bis Jet Grind Radio GD-R Dreamcast.jpg

Yo_Yo (correct name)

Yo Yo Jet Set Radio dreamcast prototype.jpg

Plug (Pench) (final name Garam)

Plug (Pench) Dreamcast prototype Jet Grind Radio E3 version.jpg

Character 11 (Poison Jam final name)

Character 12 (final name Love Shockers

Character 13 (final name Noise Tank)

Poison Jam Black (new character?)


Jet Set Radio E3 prototype Dreamcast Character 11.jpg
Jet Set Radio prototype Dreamcast whit Character 12.jpg
Character 13 Dreamcast Jet Set Radio prototype used for the E3.jpg
Poison Jam Black Dreamcast Jet Grind Radio E3 prototype.jpg

This character does not work. Beat charges in his place.

Characters not loading for certain missions, another " Rudie " appears in its place. " Pots " a kind of dog on rollerblades and " Goji "  are not present. " Poison Jam Black " is certainly a new character and specific to this prototype (to be confirmed). The names of some Riders in the Debug Menu are certainly tentative.

Jet Grind Radio prototype Dreamcast Title Menu.jpg

The zones, "Stage", are 5 in number. They include 3 districts of Tokyo-to ( Sibuya , Kogan and Benten ), stage 5 and the final level. Each environment has 12 different missions. Missions can have a short explanatory scene in Japanese and sometimes in English, they can also directly start the controller part in hand. "Stage 05" does not work, player spawns in "Final Stage" instead. There are no missions for "Final Stage" and "Stage 05" even when choosing one. Mission numbers can block the game on loading for these 2 places to visit.

Considering that "Stage 5" is present in the stage selection of the debug menu, it is possible that the goal was to release the Japanese version with the same content as the US/EU version. In a way, the Japanese version may be an unfinished product. Maybe the level couldn't be put in the Japanese version because it wasn't finished and the studio couldn't delay the game's release.

I had started documenting each mission for each area like I had for Shenmue 2 (Us) . Unfortunately, it's too complicated to explain and make myself understood in my own words.

The particularities of the prototype:

Event prototypes ( E3 , TGS , Toy Fair etc.) are the most complicated to analyze. The game is often mounted especially for the occasion or 70% of the content is locked.

  • This prototype is a mixture of English and Japanese.

  • The screen warning about the illegality of the practice of graffiti  does not yet exist.

De La Jet Set Radio Sega Dreamcast prototype Japanese.jpg
  • Launching the game normally, once you get to the title screen, a  commentator usually shouts " Jet Set Radio ".  There are no voices on this window.

  • At the titled screen, pressing Start should bring up several game modes and features. In this build, the game launches directly onto a mini stage designed, in my opinion, especially for the E3 show.

  • By not touching any key for a certain period of time, in the middle of the game, the game will reset automatically without going through the Debug Menu.

  • Debug Menu missions have no music, only sound effects. Sounds are missing, for example the meowing of cats when passing close to them  or the sound of water when skating in the sewers of " Kogane ". The sound of rolling rollerblades is sometimes continuous.

  • During scenes before the missions, the text displayed on the screen does not correspond to the final version.

  • On the pause menu minimap, in some missions (mainly those without intros),  the locations of the places where the graffiti to be drawn are located are not marked with a G. No indications appear on the map.

Jet Set Radio E3 prototype for Dreamcast (Demo).jpg
De la Jet Set Radio E3 Dreamcast prototype english.jpg
  • In the sewers of " Kogane ", while riding in the water, there is no splash effect under the rollerblades.

  • The " Graffiti Soul " items (the ones resembling the loading times logo) are not implemented.

  • During a game, mini-scenes between cut missions (explosion, appearance of enemies etc.). These intermediate kinematics do not appear on this prototype.

De La Jet Set Radio Sega Dreamcast prototype Map.jpg
  • Road traffic is cut in some missions (Benten M08 for example). By playing Benten M12, the cars parked on the side of the road are no longer there.

  • There are no more pedestrians in some missions, try Kogan M12.

  • When you leave the mission areas, an arrow with Exit written appears at the top of the screen. We return in principle to the garage.  By choosing mission 8 of Sibuya, it is possible to continue playing outside the authorized zone and reach other parts of the city ( see the video at 8:58 ). Some exits from the map are unfinished and delimited by buildings, instead there is blue sky.

Jet Grind Radio Dreamcast TGS,E3 prototype no finished zone.jpg

Differences with comparative photos:

Comparisons were made with another prototype  by Jet Set Radio Dreamcast dated August 22, 2000. This does not necessarily represent the reality. We can see the progression of the development of the game between the few months separating the 2 prototypes. Photos on the left were taken with the E3 build, those on the right from the Hidden Palace Project Deluge beta. These are just a few examples!

Taxi color (Sibuya M01)

prototype Jet Set Radio Dreamcast red taxi.jpg
Jet Grind Radio Final Dreamcast blue taxi.jpg

Less detailed stair textures (Sibuya M01)

Jet Set Radio E3 version prototype Dreamcast Texture.jpg
Sega Dreamcast Jet Grind Radio Final Texture.jpg

The Darkness of the Car (Sibuya M01)

Dreamcast beta of Jet Set Radio car.jpg
Jet Grind Radio Final DC car.jpg

The location of the excavator (Sibuya M04)

Jet Grind Radio prototype Dreamcast E3 Retro.jpg
Final Jet Set Radio Dreamcast Retro.jpg
De La Jet Set Radio Dreamcast E3 prototype Bulding problem.jpg
Jet Grind Radio Dreamcast Commercial version bulding.jpg

The buildings in the background, the enemies on the catwalks (Sibuya M04)

Background of the city, arrangement of buildings (Benten M01)

Dreamcast prototype Jet Set Radio E3 Benten Bulding.jpg
Commercial version of Jet Set Radio Dreamcast Benten bulding.jpg

The audio of this build:

The game offered an eclectic soundtrack mixing hip-hop, rap and even metal, all animated by the local DJ who created a crazy atmosphere. The work done on the soundscape was really remarkable and some music is still in our heads. This prototype has possibly unpublished sound tracks.

DJ Jet Set Radio Dreamcast Asset
CORN Jet Set Radio Dreamcast Asset

Songs found only in this prototype:








































The songs including those of the  JP version are extended:





Regarding " THAT_SJ1.ADX ", the sound is similar to the Japanese version but the data does not match.

Other tracks are not in this E3 build. We can however listen to them in the final Japanese and American version.

We believe the song names were changed during development. During the creation of this E3 build, some music was not finalized, once the song was finished, the developers named it something else to differentiate them. Some examples found:

  • (E3) BB_M.ADX and (JP) FUNKY_M sound the same but FUNKY_M seems to be of higher quality.  The data stream is completely different, but it's essentially the same track.

  • (E3) RICH_M and (JP) EVERY_M1 , track (E3) RICH_F looks like (JP) EVERY_F1 and (JP) EVERY_F2 put together.

It would be necessary to analyze in detail all the songs in order to find unpublished ones, it would be a long and tedious work.

You can download a comparative Excel table of music below

Jet Set Radio Music Comparison Excel Table (Japanese Prototype-Final Version)

Additional analysis from a friend:

Finding Japanese prototypes is rare. It is however the most interesting for multi-zone games.Tim Ritiau extracted the  models of characters and scenes from game data. Here is the result of this research (on the left the prototype, on the right the final Japanese version):

The bridge in the E3 beta has stairs  wider than in the JP version ((Sibuya M04)

Jet Set Radio E3 Dreamcast bridge.png
Jet Grind Radio JP Dreamcast bridge.png
Jet Set Radio prototype E3 Dreamcast shrub.png
Jet Grind Radio Jp final Dreamcast shrub.png

The grass box is larger in the E3 version compared to the JP version (location unknown)

Prototype Dc Jet Set Radio Tree removed.png
Jet Set Radio GD-R Dreamcast E3 Tree Removed.png
Jet Set Radio Dreamcast prototype Tree Removed.png

These 3 trees have been removed from the JP version and are only in E3

Jet Grind Radio E3 Dreamcast Crane.png
Jet Set Radio JP Crane.png

The crane has a different position and the model is reversed between versions

The placement of the rods on the ceiling

Jet Set Radio GD-R E3 Dreamcast.png
Japanese finale version Jet Set Radio for Sega Dreamcast.png

According to Tim Ritiau , a  remarkable things is that this version has English subtitles for DJ Prof K's speech on the demo. The JP version has Japanese subtitles.

Jet Set Radio Dreamcast Disc Prototype.jpg

You can download the build of JET SET RADIO E3 Dreamcast below

JET SET RADIO E3 Vervsion (Apr 28,  2000 prototype)

Thanks to

  • Tim Ritiau for his help in analyzing this prototype.

bottom of page