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The transitional phase, in 2 prototypes, between the initial vision of Vectorman
Playstation 2 and its Halo-Like treatment

To find out more about Vectorman Playstation 2 (its history, development and more) and to discover 9 other prototypes and documents from the game, visit the home page of the preservation project linked to the Pseudo Interactive title: The 11 prototypes and documents from Vectorman Playstation 2: the transition from 2D to 3D of our best friend SEGA's robot

Vectorman Playstation 2 had a complicated development. The rebirth of SEGA's most famous robot was scheduled for 2004 on Sony's latest console. Toronto-based Pseudo Interactive were on hand to bring a 3D Vectorman adventure for the first time to an impatient public who had been waiting for a new episode in the series since the last one appeared in 1996.

In September 2002, SEGA agreed to publish Pseudo's game after evaluating a convincing prototype (4 prototypes to discover here). The developers had captured the main attractions of the title created in 1995 by Jason Weesner. Featuring cleverly thought-out visuals and a hero faithful to that of the 16-bit console era, the Canadians were heading in the right direction with their vision of Vectorman Playstation 2.

At the beginning of 2003, SEGA's management asked PI to revise its Vectorman PS2 copy to adapt it to the hit game genre of the moment. Development restarted and took a new direction. Conceived up to now as a Platformer, it became a third-person shooter, and its humorous artistic direction gave way to more serious graphics and models.

Too many changes were made to the original project, and the license became distorted. Vectorman ceased to be Vectorman. Despite its flaws, the game was nevertheless attractive and promising (5 prototypes to discover here), it just shouldn't have been called Vectorman. With this in mind, SEGA decided to cancel the game a few months later. This was the last the industry and gamers would hear, officially, of Vectorman. For 20 years, the blue hedgehog firm has been silent about the future of the franchise!

The betas analyzed on this page give a glimpse of the transition between Pseudo Interactive's initial vision for Vectorman Playstation 2 and the Halo-Like treatment it will receive. It's a mix of both versions of the game. They are not sorted by release date, but by interest (degree of completeness). The February 6, 2003 build is the reference prototype.

At first glance, these prototypes don't look interesting. That's a mistake, because they have a little something extra that the others don't have. Try them out, explore their content in depth and you'll understand!

Vectorman (Feb 06, 2003 Playstation 2 Prototype)

Vectorman likes to accept new challenges. The difficulty, in this unexplored level of VM PS2 introduced by the prototype on this page, is considerable. Previously used to his 3 continues, he no longer has the right to make a mistake. Death has become synonymous with Game Over. Too risky for SEGA's robot, the developers at Pseudo Interactive understood his distress, and he'll get his 3 "Continue" lives back in Halo-Like builds.

VM second Feb 06

Video of the Februar 06, 2003 prototype

Pseudo Interactive, aided by high-performance technology, brought to life games that were distinctly interactive. The almost total destruction of the elements making up the game's level structure would later become the hallmark of the studio and of Vectorman Playstation 2, even though it was never released. This build timidly presents the potential of PI's proprietary engine for the first time, with just a few scenery elements that can be altered (or not). The watchword: disintegrate everything!

Straight as a ramrod, Vectorman has lost his former splendor and is a shadow of his former self. The charm that personified him on Mega Drive/Genesis and on the 3.14 prototypes is nowhere to be seen. He's metamorphosed into a giant of green iron. Fortunately, his new aesthetic, the least successful of all, is only temporary. Decked out in this daring get-up, Vectorman thinks he's the vigilante Robocop!



Future carnage on the horizon


Later, this enemy will be red

Soft, catchy electronic music accompanies Vectorman on his trip. The prototype's OST includes 5 songs, with no way of knowing whether they are original compositions or not. The 2002 edition of the Vecto Techno Parade was more rhythmic. The early 2003 edition is not as catchy as before.

The energy produced by photons powers Vectorman's weaponry. Previously in the form of harvestable items, he now assimilates them from the inert bodies of fallen robots. Assimilation, which is essential to avoid running out of ammunition, is performed using the controller's "X" button. This skill only works in the prototypes on this page. As development continues, the title's designers will be coming up with new ways of refueling Vectorman's weapons, or reintegrating old ones (life and weapon recharging stations, items to pick up from enemies, etc.).

Vectorman's arsenal includes five weapons, all with a modernized design. Most were already included in previous prototypes (Ripper Blade - Shatterstar Bazooka - Shard Repeater - Grappler - Incinerator Cannon). As a preview, in this build, the game's protagonist will be able to use the grappling hook, an essential piece of equipment in the gameplay mechanics of Halo-Like builds. The grappling hook, present only in this Vectorman version of this page, not only latches onto objects, but can also pull an object or an individual towards its user. This secondary ability of the hook is explained in greater detail in the "More Grappler Notes (Jun 17, 2003 document)".


The art of grappling


A complicated passage (screenshot of the January 2003 build)

The method of acquiring new weapons remains unchanged. As in the beta of December 3, 2002 (15:59:29), by pressing "X" (the new feature), the player activates hidden terminals in the level, still called "Data Chips", in order to acquire increasingly varied weaponry. The terminals have been redesigned to fit in better with the game's new artistic direction.

Recharging stations, an idea later retained and improved, appear here and there in the map. They restore Vectorman's health. Frequent trips back and forth to these locations are essential to prevent, for example, succumbing to fire from the two self-propelled gunships at mid-level.

Second look of Vectorman Playstation 2.jpg

Some enemies are the same as in Vectorman 3.14. Other unsympathetic androids are the result of reworked models of some of the creatures that frightened players of VM 3.14 prototypes. And that's not all: new creatures are specific and unique to this build. Finally, unknown adversaries will also materialize in later Halo-Like versions.

By pressing the "Round" button on the controller at any time during a game, the view of the avatar changes. The player can control Vectorman from the inside or the outside, as he sees fit. The camera adjusts to 4 distinct viewing angles: "Normal", "Wide", "FPS" and "Sniper".

In FPS it's more fun


With the traditional above view, action filmed from Vectorman's point of vision lacks thrills, as equipped weapons are not displayed on screen. Fortunately, there's a solution that allows weapons - and even the character's arms if he wants to fight bare-handed - to materialize once the FPS genre has started. To do this, with the third-person camera, you need to initialize the Free Camera development option (instructions here) and then deactivate it. The game will revert to a standard first-person view once this original feature has been activated.

You can download this Vectorman Playstation 2 build below

Vectorman (Feb 06, 2003 Playstation 2 Prototype)

Vectorman (Jan 10, 2003 Playstation 2 Prototype)

What can we say about this prototype except that it's the same version of Vectorman PS2 detailed above, but less advanced. The essentials in a few words:

VM Secod Jan 10

The end-of-level gate

Unreleased Playstation 2 Vectorman.jpg

Vectorman's evil twin

Pseudo Interactive Vectorman Unreleased.jpg

Two weapons only, Ripper Blade and Shard Repeator, with unchanged appearance. They use the same model as their 3.14 counterparts.

Build Jan 10, 2003)


Build Feb 06, 2003)

Ripper Blade Vectorman PS2.jpg

Between the first and second builds on this page, the level will undergo a few adjustments, but nothing major. What's more, the automatic machine-gun towers that populate it are more numerous.

The crates, which can be grappled and projected away, are smaller than those of the February 6, 2003 beta.

The enemies are all from the Vectorman 3.14 versions except one, with a blue skeleton, which is only implemented in this build. His look is identical to that of the hero from the 3.14 prototypes. Vectorman's evil double?

Data Chip terminals use the same design as VM 3.14.

Of Interest: In the February 2003 versions, a thick black fog obscures the player's field of vision. He can't perceive the depth of the level's rooms, and can't see any objects or enemies more than X meters ahead. This unpleasant problem did not exist 1 month earlier. The January 2003 prototype allows to appreciate the construction and configuration of Pseudo Interactive's stage without being hindered.

You can download this Vectorman Playstation 2 build below

Vectorman (Jan 10, 2003 Playstation 2 Prototype)

We'd like to thank the entire Pseudo Interactive team (Mobygames link to Full Auto Xbox 360) involved in the Vectorman Playstation 2 project for making the transition from 2D to 3D for Mega Drive's most famous robot. We can only feel sorry for them that they weren't able to follow through on their desires and creations!

Special thanks to:

  • LemonHaze (from Team Wulinshu) for digging through the game files

  • Le Dan du Coin for proof-reading, rewording and editing the text

  • Vince for the English correction of the article

Feel free to have a look at the "other cancelled games" I've found. For the more curious among you, I've created a "list of all Dreamcast Unreleased games".

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