Unused Graphics

What better way to start off a series than by having a heap of unused crap lurking inside? Findings are sorted by whatever graphic comes first in the tile viewer.
Props goes to Ivo Robotnik, V-King, tango_311, stoffhime1 and Magma Dragoon for finding a lot of this stuff.

Source: 6912 (8x8 view)

Not even Metal Slug escaped from William S. Sessons' campaign of drug awareness! ... except it goes entirely unused and isn't seen in-game at all. Whoops!

Source: 891 (8x8 view)

This cute little Slug turret is found at the end of the menu alphabet, and actually dates to a prototype of the game where you only played as the tank - see early footage for details!

Source: 896 (8x8 view)

And I can't find the right palette for this (it's meant to fade from yellow to red), but this is a health bar from the aforementioned early revision.

Source: 658

S, G, H and M icons. Placeholders or early HUD icons for the weapons, presumably.

Source: 3360

A large, rotating Nazca Corporation logo (you'll have to take my word for it on the rotating part!). The developers looked like they'd planned to make it clear as mud who was responsible for the game, but it goes unused.
A jingle and soundbyte for this alleged screen can be heard in the first track of the Metal Slug Complete Box soundtrack - thanks to Stefano for this factoid!

Source: 4587

Animations for the dogs from Mission 5 walking and sniffing, found by Ivo. You only ever see the dogs running in-game, though the early footage appears to show one of these animations in action.

Source: unknown

A teeny tiny flopping fish, found by Ivo. Might be used somewhere for all I know.

Source: unknown

Ivo found these barrels in the vicinity of Mission 2's graphics. Are they used anywhere?

Source: 4612

An elk. Presumably for use in Mission 3 or the ending movie scenes.

Source: 4694

A very peculiar sprite of an enemy soldier with a distinct uniform. No one seems to have found a fitting palette for it that colours the mouth and eye (visor?) correctly. This is the only animation it has, though there are copies of it rotated in around 10 directions. Ivo suggests it might be the character depicted in this concept art. It's possible!

Source: 5555

This stupid kid has appeared in all of the games' data, but not actually in gameplay. tango_311 provided the real palette.

Source: 5658

These three ladies only have one frame of animation each, and it goes without saying they're unused or else they wouldn't be on this page. It's also nigh-impossible to find decent palettes for them. tango_311 got these superior palettes for them, though the last two have rather punk colourations for rural villagers

Source: 11339, 20057

The game is already dripping in rotated sprites... but I can't think of a purpose for these tilted splashes. There's a watery slope in Mission 1 but it just produces regular hitsparks, not splashes.

Source: 13719

What appears to be a cargo lift, probably for the Metal Slug or enemy tanks. Found by Ivo. Not sure what it woudld be supported on - a helicopter? A crane?

Source: 13913

The Metal Slug's vulcan cannon detached and sparking on the ground. One can assume this would happen after the tank is destroyed, but it explodes in mid-air no matter what.

Source: 21352 (crouching)
Source: 21444 (standing)
Source: 21830 (hanging)

Apparently, the Rebel soldiers would’ve also thrown those pipe bombs (the ones Marco and Tarma use in this) instead of just those slow, round, flashing psychedelic colours ones.

Source: 24383

A variant of the knifing animation with the soldier snarling happily. I almost think it's used, but we all know how many times I've been wrong.

Source: 26603

An entirely unused tank is hidden inside the game! Its style is very reminiscent of In The Hunt and Gunforce 2, games made by Irem that apparently was made by the Metal Slug staff before moving over to Nazca.
Named the "KT-21" in concept art (that i can't seem to find, welp), Ivo believes it was an early version of the Di-Kokka (the rounded fat tanks) - its animations hit all the same beats, from its recoil-heavy fire, its wobbly movemeent, and its hatch opening when it's destroyed. The Di-Kokka even has an unused tank shell very similar to the one above, if you read on!

Source: 28844

Apparently, you would’ve had to rescue soldiers too! However, after some research and finding some manual scans of the Sega Saturn version of MS1, it turns out that there would’ve been Regular soldiers clothed in white, who would’ve been on your side. This probably would’ve made sense, considering the ending in 2-Player mode has the soldiers dancing and celebrating in the streets, despite the fact they were defeated.
These were later used in the console ports of Metal Slug and Metal Slug 3, and were reused by the trainee soldiers in Metal Slug Advance.

Source: 30467

An unused shell found between the tiles for the short-and-blocky tank and the large-and-immobile tank (yeah, pardon me, I've forgotten all these delightfully obscure names for the vehicles). I believe these remain in Metal Slug 2 and X.

Source: 42942

What we have here is a Rebel soldier using a turret. Although they do use missile turrets in Mission 5, they don't use the same turrets you use in Mission 6. Has all the necessary animation, too!
Curiously, Marco and Tarma's turret animations immediately follow these sprites. All of their sprites are otherwise found at the very end of the sprite data in one organised lump.

Source: 24731

Found by Ivo: a soldier throwing a pipe bomb while running! Enemy soldiers have always been rooted to the ground while throwing grenades throughout the entire series, so this is pretty wild. Ivo says there's no variant with the final 'pineapple' grenades, so it must have been made only for the tank-only prototype.

Source: 43515

A parachute Ivo suggested belonged to a Slug. If true, there really must haven been more emphasis on the 'chutes early in production, what with all those animations for Marco and Tarma while parachuting. There's more frames, of course, but he couldn't be bothering ripping them. Wise man.

Source: 46660

Bullet cases found near the turret sprites. Presumably a visual feature that never got implemented.

Source: 52898

An armoured car with a tank's entrance hatch and sandbags, falling. Judging from the sandbags, I'm assuming these were for the stronghold in Mission 3, but that's very little to judge off.
Ivo also made a second version with a palette that actually existed in the game, but it looks like ass in my view. Diss!

Source: 54189

Ivo found this projectile by the Di-Kokka's graphics; rather than shooting fireballs, it must've fired more traditional shells. (the fireballs are among the last sprites in the game's data, just before Marco and Tarma)

Source: 57673

Rolling balls with Roman numerals inside of them? These are part of the debug dipswitches, used to keep track of how the Metal Slug and other tanks balance themselves on sloped terrain... but a single static frame is used, with none of the rolling animations.

Source: 69814

Unused gun emplacements. The former is static, but the latter can face in five downward directions. Ivo and Dave found these in the vicinity of Mission 1's boss graphics...

... which suggests they might have sat on the wings and shot at the players. It's unclear how fast or what properties their missiles would've had, but it might've been a bit hectic for a first mission boss!

Source: 77167, 79350

Alternate crouch throwing animations for Marco and Tarma. These animations have last until Metal Slug 5, and even Fio and and Eri were given the animations in their debut... but not once are they ever used.

Source: 77211, 77584, 77955

Ivo found animations of the characters shooting and throwing things in many directions while in the air, but I got these and animated them. It appears that the characters would've been more flexible, turning from every angle, instead of just turning their whole body around to whatever direction.
What's interesting is that just about all of these animations are still in the game! When your character parachutes in (in Missions 1, 2 and 6), release them from the parachute, aim left, and fire. Throwing grenades also works, and the Combat School in the console ports allows the machine gun wielding animations to be used thanks to you keeping your weapon after finishing a level. The turning animations, however, simply don't exist.. Thanks to V-King for most of this info.
Some of these were reused for Glen Achilles in Metal Slug 5.

Source: 77325

Throwing a grenade forward.

Source: 77345, 77840, 79514

Lobbing one backward.

Source: 77612, 77631, 78390

Turning backwards.

Source: 77680

Turning forward.

Source: 78444

Turning around.

Source: 77623

Alternate aiming upwards?

Source: 77555

Unused graphics for looking up and turning while shooting.

source: UNKNOWN

A sandbag with a wider, shorter profile. Found in the first test stage and fully functional; thanks to Ivo for clueing me in!


This cartoony grenade-juggling monkey lurks among the HUD and the text, and appears there in just about every instalment (at least, I'm sure it used to - have newer ROM dumps excised it?). It's used on the loading screens of the original console ports of the first two games.