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CREATED APR.17.2010
UPDATED APR.19.2010
CREDITS
TEXT WRITTEN BY
MARTIN NIELSEN

WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO "KIFF"

TOM & JERRY IN FISTS OF FURRY
DETAILS
FULL TITLE TOM & JERRY IN FISTS OF FURRY
DEVELOPER VIS INTERACTIVE
PUBLISHER NEWKIDCO (UBISOFT IN EUROPE)
FLASH CART TYPE NUS-8F16F (128M)
GAME STATE BETA - NEAR FINAL
GAME TYPE BEAT 'EM UP
GAME RELEASED YES

CART FRONT SCAN AVAILABLE
CART BACK SCAN AVAILABLE
OTHER CART SCAN PCB FRONT, PCB BACK

This prototype was bought from an VIS Interactive asset sale, sometime after they went bankrupt in April 2005. NewKidCo was the publisher of Tom & Jerry, but the game was developed by VIS Interactive, which only managed to stay afloat for roughly 9 years. VIS was founded by Chris van der Kuyl and Peter Baillie and the company was located in Scotland. After the N64 years, but most likely not the reason why, the company changed its name from VIS Interactive to VIS Entertainment.

It was sold along with 8 or 9 other prototypes if I remember correctly as well as a Mr. Backup Z64 (V2) unit, probably better known as a backup device, but it could also be used to test work in progress. Prototype titles included Tom & Jerry, obviously, Earthworm Jim 3D and Powerpuff Girls, which seems like nothing more than Tom & Jerry with changed graphics. These 3 titles were actually everything VIS ever managed to complete, a few other projects were in the works, but they never left drawing board. One of these titles was "Wicked!".

I don't remember how much I paid for this one, probably around 60-75, which was the price of N64 prototypes at the time. No one really bothered to pick up Nintendo64 junk at the time, but during the roughly 2 year that have passed since I bought this, the interest in Nintendo64 has changed for the better.

On this page I'll be doing a comparison of the prototype and final version, so lets get started shall we?

FINAL PROTOTYPE

The first noticeable difference is found on the copyright screen. As you can see above the text is arranged a bit differet in the final version.

FINAL PROTOTYPE

For some reason the VIS splash screen also changed from a company name to "VIS Kids".

But what that's not all, the title music also changed somewhere between this prototype and the final game. The prototype also moves onto the game select screen after loading the title screen. The final version on on the other hand continues to a demo game play.

Who knows what the reason was to move from the original Tom & Jerry tune to a less interesting. One theory could be that VIS simply didn't have the license to use the music? Either that or the prototype music was never inteded to be in the game but is just a placeholder.

Also it seems like the stage music was taken from an old cartoon, check out the video below and hear what happened when I had the game on pause. Another funny thing is that the prototype will switch to a demo playing mode if it's left on pause for too long and then resumed.

Another strange thing is that you're able to press A to quickly pass the into splash screens to get to the game menu. Well this feature is delayed in the final game, you can't quickly pass the copyright screen and rotating N64 logo screen in the final game.

FINAL FINAL

The European version of the game is multilingual, I'm not sure the US version is though. But the language select screen is not present in the prototype and neither is the next screen which checks for a second controller and rumblepaks. I have another Tom & Jerry prototype, NTSC, which does feature the language select screen, but not the rumblepak/controller check.

FINAL PROTOTYPE

Now on the game select screen there's also a difference, the Teamplay Mode isn't available in the prototype.

However now it becomes really strange... one day I was messing around in the game I hit the R (right shoulder) button during the intro screens and the team play mysteriously appeared in the prototype. The same thing can be archieved by pressing the L (left shoulder) button.

We'll get back to the teamplay mode later.

FINAL PROTOTYPE

The single player select screen received another color for the background and in the prototype only two of the characters are available. But if you press either L or R during the splash screens during startup, all characters will be available in the prototype as well.

Prototype wise the player selection is also slightly different. In the final all you have to do is press A or START when a player is selected to start the game. Well in the prototype you select a character and press A, then you'll have to press START to begin the game.

FINAL PROTOTYPE

The versus mode also recieved a small overhaul and again only 2 characters are available by default, but if L or R is pressed during startup they're all there.

FINAL PROTOTYPE

The options screen has less options available in the prototype. If once again L or R is used, a cheat option becomes available. I wonder if this cheat screen somehow managed to sneak itself into the final game? and could be activated by a gameshart code or something.

PROTOTYPE PROTOTYPE

FINAL PROTOTYPE

The last menu listing is the teamplay mode. This isn't by default available in the prototype, but if L or R is pressed on either of the company splash screens during startup, it'll be available.

The teamplay isn't much differen't from the final and all characters are available.

We have now reached in game and there isn't really much to say though as this part of the game is near complete. The prototype does differ from the final though. When a fight begins there's a small scene, the camera zooms to each of the two contestants who then are taunting each other before the battle. This part is missing completely in the prototype. Besides that the final game of course seems a bit more polished.

I've made a small movie that shows the taunting and gameplay of both the final and proto, it can be viewed below.

The two pause screens are also a little different. It's again not a major thing, but somehow the "pause" text dissapeared in the final game and the quit/restart text changed a little. Also if you press restart in the prototype it reboots the game right away. In the final game however the game asks if you're absolutely sure you want to quit, a nice feature if you ask me.

FINAL PROTOTYPE

A debug mode is present if the L (left shoulder) button is pressed during startup of the game. The debug has cheats, level select and all sorts of... yeah debug stuff.

PROTOTYPE PROTOTYPE

All in all this prototype is pretty cool, not the biggest differences but there seems to be some bugs here to iron out. I have another Tom & Jerry prototype which is the NTSC version and it seems closer to the final, although still different, even from this one so maybe I should do a comparison of that one soon eh?

Another funny note is that the flash cart holding this prototype build of Tom & Jerry had been used for a prototype build of Earthworm Jim 3D earlier. The label is almost removed, but the EWJ logo is still visible on the cart....

ADITIONAL
PICTURES