Blog:NES Jaws Secrets Revealed

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Jaws front cover

You may have heard of Jaws for the NES...

You may have seen Jaws for the NES...

You may have even PLAYED Jaws for the NES...

But you don't know everything about...

Jaws for the NES!


The Music

Continuing on my quest to find out more about LJN's Japanese-developed games, I had the esteemed pleasure of talking to Westone composer Shin'ichi Sakamoto (坂本慎一) recently. Westone developed Jaws, in case you haven't been following along. Sakamoto's been with the company since the beginning (May 1986). Before that, he worked for NMK and Tehkan (later renamed Tecmo), as did other future Westone staff. Fans of the Wonder Boy/Monster World games probably know his name. He's contributed his musical talents to a lot of titles over the years, but did you know Jaws was one of them? It's true. According to him, he composed the music and did the sound effects (well, he didn't really "compose" the Jaws theme, but I think you get the idea). This is actually not much of a shocker, at least to me, but it's nice to have confirmation.

By the way, Sakamoto is on YouTube (here and here). He's also following GDRI on Twitter, just like you should be doing. Here's his Beep Street iSequence arrangement of a classic tune from Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap:

Unused Graphics

Airplane

I was poking around and noticed some graphics that don't appear in the final Jaws game. This first one (see right) is an airplane. You fly a plane during the bonus scenes, of course, and there's a plane flying during the ending, but this is neither of those.

From the back of the box: "Will you use the mini-sub, sea plane, sail boat or just scuba gear?" My guess is the original plan was to have the player be able to fetch a plane and fly it over the map and the non-bonus underwater scenes. Just a guess. I can imagine this particular graphic coming in from the right on a screen similar to the one you see when you pull into port to increase your power.

Building

The other unused graphic I spotted (again, see right) is some sort of building that likely would have appeared on the map. A house? Perhaps it's part of the airport that didn't make it into the final game, assuming there would have been one.

While we're on the subject of graphics, take a look at the screenshots on the back of the box. You can spot some differences from the final version of the game. All the land on the map is brown, and the text "SHARK DAMAGE" is displayed above the power indicator instead of "JAWS' POWER." There is also no shell count or player power level shown, just a "man" count.

Conclusion

Haters be damned. I like Jaws and the music. My primary complaint is that there's just not enough. And to prove my point, here's one of several quick playthroughs that can be found online:

CRV 07:17, 15 October 2009 (UTC)


CRV said ...

So much for revelations. Sakamoto had Jaws listed on his profile on his old website.

--CRV 08:23, 21 October 2009 (CDT)


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