Mystical Ninja Goemon Zero (Jun 22, 2005 prototype)

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Title Screen
Mystical Ninja Goemon Zero (Jun 22, 2005 prototype)
Build date Jun 22, 2005 08:20:06
Dump status Released, redump needed
Dumped by Anonymous
Released by Hidden Palace
File release date November 13, 2021
Origin DVD-R
Game Mystical Ninja Goemon Zero
System PlayStation 2
Genre Action Adventure
Final build JP Nov 11, 2000
US Unreleased
Release date JP Dec 21, 2000
US Unreleased
Release date Unreleased
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A English localization prototype of the unreleased Mystical Ninja Goemon Zero (also known as Bouken Jidai Katsugeki Goemon (冒険時代活劇ゴエモン) in Japan) for the Sony PlayStation 2.


  • Unreleased English localization prototype that was in development by Working Designs. Development on the localization began in 2002 but was cancelled sometime in late 2005 due to failing to pass Sony’s certification.
  • Because the game never passed certification, the product ID that’s used for the game’s main executable is still using the Japanese version’s ID.
  • While game saves are compatible between prototypes of the English localization, the saves are not compatible with the Japanese original.
  • The English translation is somewhat complete, with only one noticeable line of dialog left untranslated (the Sasuke introduction cutscene) and some minor grammar and spelling mistakes. In comparison to the August build, the map screen hasn’t been translated yet. The credits sequence has also been left untranslated, with no additional Working Designs credits added.
  • While the translation itself is fairly accurate to the original script, some flavor text has been added for a few NPCs and certain item descriptions.
  • The following bugs exist in this build:
    • Certain lines of dialog end prematurely due to the text box closing too fast.
    • Certain lines of dialog run off the text box.
    • Sometimes text can overlap on top of preexisting text.
    • Certain NPCs will have prompts that indicate you can talk to them but nothing happens.
  • The “NOW LOADING” screen has been changed to “PATIENCE…”.
  • On the attributes menu, “Strength” and “Defense” have been renamed to “Power” and “Strength” for some reason.
  • Unlike most video game localizations, Working Designs took it upon themselves to improve the game by making many changes to the gameplay. In comparison the the original Japanese release, these changes include:
    • The introduction of a dummy file is present on the disc in an attempt to make load times slightly faster.
    • The title screen was changed to add an actual options menu where you can change camera settings, activate rumble support, and more. This options menu is even accessible from within the ingame main menu. In the original Japanese release, the only setting you could modify was either or not the sound played in stereo or monophonic. You could not change this setting at any other time ingame.
    • Rumble support has been added.
    • Money is now uncapped in this version. In the original release, the amount of money was capped at 9999. This change makes it easier to buy multiple weapons, as most weapons in the game are close to the maximum amount.
    • The dialog box has a decorative border in this version of the game. The original just has a simple blue box.
    • Icon prompts for interacting with NPCs and objects have been added in this version. This doesn’t exist in the Japanese final, which makes interacting with certain objects a bit confusing.
    • Inventory hotkey management has been improved over the original version. In the original, you have to cycle through each palette using L1/R1 which adds time between actions. In this version, you can press Triangle to toggle between two halves of the palette, where L1/R1 utilizes whatever is on the current half of the palette.
    • The button to hide the HUD was changed from pressing L1+R1 in the Japanese original release to simply pressing a button on the D-pad. Oddly enough, the D-pad serves no purpose in the original release.
    • The camera system has been improved. In the original Japanese release, pressing R3 moves the camera behind Goemon which allows you to use a free camera. This causes issues as the camera will always be close to Goemon, and R3 has to be held down in order to use the free camera. This causes a humorous bug in the Japanese release where enemies won’t spawn if the camera is pointed directly to the floor. In this version, pressing R3 toggles between a fixed and free camera. The free camera in this version can be rotated around Goemon at any time, and isn’t stuck behind Goemon. This does cause an issue in two instances in the game, however. There’s a puzzle in one dungeon where Goemon has to outrun a wagon while avoiding obstacles and pitfalls. The camera during this sequence is meant to be fixed so the camera is looking behind Goemon at all times. However, since you can toggle free camera movement at any time, you can actually force the camera to look ahead - making this part of the dungeon very easy. The second instance is a “boss” fight in a later dungeon where you have to outrun the boss to get to the roof of a burning building. In the original, the camera is fixed which can make this segment relatively challenging. In this version, however, the free camera makes the segment easier by allowing you to judge your distances during certain segments more accurately.
    • This game features a mechanic where your white tiger cub companion Kotora can attack enemies for you. In the Japanese original, you have to target an enemy with R2 and press and hold the Circle button to command Kotora to attack. In this version, you only have to target an enemy with R2 to command Kotora to attack. This causes two oversights, however. There is a piece of dialog in the starting town that still explains the old system. In the Japanese original, one trade off to using the command is that Kotora will eat dropped food without replenishing your health. Since Kotora will attack as long as the enemy is targeted in this version, it will cause Kotora to eat most dropped food with no way to stop him.
    • When you reappear after leaving certain gates and exits in the world, the camera in the original Japanese release faces behind Goemon. This was changed in this version so that the camera is looking in the same direction Goemon is facing.
    • In the Japanese release, there was a large oversight where the buttons for jumping and letting go of ledges were the same button. This makes certain platforming segments where you have to wall jump up a cliff extremely difficult, since you can accidentally press the button to jump while hanging from a cliff causing you to fall down instead. This was fixed in this version.
    • In the Japanese original, you can only add a point to an attribute one point at a time. In this version, a shortcut was added so you can add 10 points at once.
    • This version fixes a bug from the Japanese release where you can spend points on a certain attribute, go back to the inventory menu and equip an item that requires that attribute to be at a certain level, then go back to the stats menu then remove the points to retain that item that you have equipped. In other words, this version locks in your skill choice as soon as you go back to a previous menu, whereas the Japanese release only locks in your choice if you unpause.




File Type Date Size Comment SHA-1
Mystical Ninja Goemon Zero (Jun 22, 2005 prototype).iso Disc image 2021-11-05 13:55:04 1.18 GB Disc image. a93c602947240b80efdfb1d58473b3465cbb1768


We’d like to thank Gonz for gathering the necessary funds to secure the release, as without his contribution this release would never have been possible. We’d like to thank Sazpaimon for acquiring as well as handling many aspects of this release. He recorded not just one, but two full length playthrus of both prototypes and worked together with ehw to make sure that this release would happen. We’d also like to thank drx, ehw, Xkeeper, Hwd45, ZeaLitY, Sappharad, OKeijiDragon, Gerbilsoft, and Carnivol for funding this release as well. Last but not least, we’d like to thank Frank Cifaldi and Hubz from the Video Game History Foundation for restoring the cover insert as well as giving us guidance on scanning with the best possible quality.

See also