Thankfully, Metal Slug X's test stages are somewhat more interesting than Metal Slug 2ís.
ANDY THE WIZARD is Mission 1 with a variety of items to get, including a prisoner who gives you an Armour Piercer, another Armour Piercer, a Shotgun, a Rocket Launcher, a Flame Shot, a Laser Gun, an Enemy Chaser, and a Girida-O.
MEEHER is the beginning of Mission 5, but with a Camel Slug and a rocket thatís flying backwards at the beginning, and when you reach the other side of the screen, several mummy dogs and a runaway camel appear.
YOKO-SHU is Mission 4 with various random things appearing in it, such as the credits, two relaxing soldiers, some Metal Slug 1 enemies (mainly just cannons and outposts).
TEST4 is a mostly empty version of the second part of Mission 6, with the only things in it being an unlimited number of Slugnoids at the beginning, and several soldiers along the way.
TEST5 is Mission 1 with sword throwing arabs instead of rebel soldiers, and along the way a line of flashing tank shells appears, as well as a square made out of coins and near the end items start being thrown out of your character.
NISHINO is Mission 4, and with a variety of items to grab. Thereís a Shotgun, pulse Shotgun, Super Grenade, Iron Lizard, Laser Gun, pulse Laser Gun, Drop Shot, pulse Rocket Launcher, Fire Bomb, pulse Heavy Machine Gun, and a Rocket Launcher. There are also a large amount of enemies, including some from Metal Slug 3!
NAKATSUKA is the first mission, with no objects or music until you reach where the three towers are, where a helicopter come down, and you fight General Morden like you do in Metal Slug 1. After you beat him, he falls out of the helicopter, and the mission is completed.
TAGUCHI is an empty version of Mission 2ís third section, only occupied by a Slug Flyer, two soldiers, and an endless amount of crab items from Metal Slug 3. Near the end, an endless number of coins and mummy jars fly out to your characterís left.
There are no unused stages in Metal Slug 2, disappointingly, but Metal Slug X has a whopping number of 58 unused areas! And even better, is that theyíre actually interesting!
Quite a few levels are from different games, so if there are two screenshots, the one on the left is from Metal Slug X, while the right image will be from the game the level appears in. There are a large number of selections that are just warps to partway through a level, so I'm skipping those.
This is an area from Metal Slug 3 (4: 4 2-1, to be precise), but alas, thereís no objects, nor an exit. It appears that when it was used in Metal Slug 3, they mirrored the room, added in the staircase and removed the background from the windows.
This is the desert area, but at morning, just like Metal Slug 2. Unlike Metal Slug 2 is that it goes on seemingly forever, and thereís no scenery or anything interactive. You donít leave footprints in the sand, but there are some mighty fine effects on it, like sand being blown about and haziness and stuff. Itís cooí.
Another MS3 level (4: C 4-2), this one is apparently endless, and also has no objects. They changed the pillar slightly, and pretty much reworked the background from scratch.
This is the spiked ceiling part from Metal Slug 3(4: F 4-5), but the ceiling doesnít lower, nor are there any obstacles. The area was merely recoloured to look more dark and nasty, but the ceiling was given a massive spit and polish.
The sand-shifting slope from Metal Slug 3 is here (4: E 4-4), but of course, thereís no obstacles. Thereís some very minor edits: The whole room has been recoloured (obviously), but the MS3 version has alternate or less details:
The MSX version has a block nearest the bottom with an eye on it, but in MS3 itís merely a circle.
The block next to that has a duck in it, but the version in the finished product is a fancy shape, possibly a flower.
The block in the bottom corner has three symbols on it, but when brought into MS3, it lost the third symbol.
The block above that one has what looks like the German comic character Werner in a
Batman outfit, but itís more like a scribble of lines in MS3.
The block to the left of that has a squiggly line and a dot in MSX, but itís changed to a squiggly line with a dot on the end in MS3.
The stone head in the background looks content and happy in MSX, but looks like a frightened Chris Tucker in MS3.
A block above that head has another squiggly line + dot design in MSX, but was changed into a circle or eye in the sequel.
Thereís a block further to the left of that one; it has what looks like a question mark, or a walking stick on it, but it was mostly erased in MS3.
Theyíre not major differences, but itís interesting to see what they changed.
Another MS3 level (4: D 4-3), this is the area with tons of items, but the door opens to reveal a bunch of that crazy exploding moths. The only differences appear to be the inclusion of a door and obstacles, and the area made less colourful.
An early version of the stone lift (4: 10 4-6), seemingly endless. All they did was recolour it.
This appears to be remnants of the flying part of Metal Slug 3 (5: 2 1-1); once you reach the sky part, your character dies for no apparent reason, and an explosion occurs at the top left corner. Strange.
Itís just like the sewer areas from Mission 5, but thereís no obstacles, and you can only go so far before an invisible wall blocks your path.
This is the area where you gather batteries for the exit from Metal Slug 3 (4: B 4-1). Thereís quite a few changes, such as a computer terminal in MSX replaced with boxes, the platforms risen, and boxes given, taken, and rearranged. The grime in the background was redrawn, and a few pipes were added in.
This is the mutated bug area from Metal Slug 3ís fourth mission (4: 8 3-1). Pretty much the entire place was redone, with tons more detail added in.
In MS3, the area changes flashes slowly and gradually, but this is a lot more blatant about it, making the flashing fast and obvious.
Yeah, that's the most detail I can go into. Have a map!
Map of AREA 5: 4
The underwater path from Mission 1, Metal Slug 3, complete with Slug Mariner! (1: 2 2-1) There doesnít seem to be much changed in graphics, they just added in a few things and changed the colours of when you drive closer to the bottom. They added in a few ďbalconiesĒ for prisoners and boxes, and additional details were added to the jellyfish caves and eel cages.
The level ends once you reach the bottom, where youíll die if you drive to the bottom.
As for the Slug Mariner, it seems rather complete, aside from a few things. Itís gun doesnít shoot the ďfloatyĒ bullets, and goes in a straight line just like the turrets of the Metal Slug and Slug Copter. Itís bomb appears complete, but since thereís no solid ground here, you canít see what itís explosions look like; it also has the wrong word in the HUD (ďcannonĒ instead of ďmissileĒ).
However, you cannot exit the vehicle, nor can you Slug Charge with it. When it explodes, instead of your character playing the drown animation, they fly out as if above water, even though the drowning animation is in the game.
Does this look familiar? It should, as itís the first mission from Metal Slug 1! Itís complete, excluding all the obstacles and enemies and stuff. It even has the reflections in the water, the stones that crush you and the little fish you can shoot the flesh off! And it also has a Slug Flyer right at the beginning, which is awesome.
Another MS3 level, this is also from Mission 1, and is the upper path. (1: 4 3-1) The background was made gloomier, and some dead fish were added in MS3.
This is yet another part of Mission 4 from Metal Slug 3, a part of the upper path. (4: 2 1-2) Apart from the typical design changes (the MSX version is unfinished after all), the only change appears to be the removal of the trees and lowering of the background.
Aha, the samurai caves! (4: 7 2-4) These are from MS3, and there are no major differences. Slight colour changes, minor additions, like that rock there.
Starts you a little more into the samurai cave.
The second mission from Metal Slug 1! Itís also vacant of obstacles and enemies, but strangely, some enemies rolling snowballs appear before the bridge, and there are still rubber ring bazooka guys and boats there. The mini boss is still there! But sadly, the level stops a little after that, since the screen doesnít scroll up, youíre trapped there.
And you have access to both a Slug Flyer and a Slug Copter here! Not only is it surprising that a vehicle that isnít supposed to appear until the sequel is here, but itís incredibly useful against the boats! There's a few minor differences with it, though: Most of it's sounds aren't there, it's vulcan cannon turns almost white in some directions, it's bombs go straight down instead of at an angle, and it's vulcan cannon bullets are the straight ones, instead of the spinning oval ones.
This is a strange, totally original level which takes place on roof tops and balconies. There are several gaps which you canít jump over without dying, and thereís one bit where you need to use two lives just to reach the other side!
This is the only warp selection I'm covering, since 8:1 has some bad scrolling and can't let you access the boss area, but this warps you up there. No boss, though.
This is the sewer area, just before the staircase. Sound normal? The catch is that the vertical scrolling isnít working, and youíre trapped. Thereís also some downright dodgy tile placement, such at the pipe with two middles and that bit at the edge there.
Itís the fourth mission from Metal Slug 1, but it claims to be the third! The third mission isnít excluded, itís in A: 1.
As usual, youíre given access to a Slug Flyer and Slug Copter, but this level seems rather buggered up. For starters, thereís an infinite number of soldiers storming you from the right side of the screen; second, the destructible cliffs are missing, making the background have large chunks missing. And aside from the vehicles and soldiers, the level is empty.
That area from MS3, the second part of the bottom path in Mission 4. (4: 5 2-2) It appears that all they did was simply reverse the background, resulting in the "MODEN" barrels becoming N2COM" barrels.
This is another level that isnít used anywhere else; itís a cliff, but with openings in the cliff to show more cliffs.
Another part of the bottom path from MS3. (4: 5 2-2) The palette was darkened and thereís additional detail on the ceiling.
This appears to be the cave from Metal Slug 3 where you get the Slug Mariner. (3: 5 2-1) They changed the palette, reversed the background, and added a few pools of water.
Mission 3 from Metal Slug 1, though the game says itís the fourth mission! This gives you access to a Slug Copter and Slug Flyer (as usual), and appears fairly normal, other than the typical lack of obstacles, and inclusion of a limitless number of enemies from the right side of the screen, and a gap in the tiles before that destructible building.
The destructible building explodes upon being looked at, and the sky isnít correct in the area after it.
A small snowy area, it looks like it would be part of Mission 2 in Metal Slug 3.
The first part of Mission 6, but no obstacles and only one platform.
The same as A: 2.
Aha, a part of Mission 3 from MS3! (3: 3 1-3) As you can see, thereís a prisoner there, and off the edge of the screen are some unobtainable weapons (they drop off the bottom of the screen), and once you scroll back, a Girida-O and a parachuting platform appear. The prisoner gives you an Armour Piercer.
It was also given serious remodeling in MS3. The palette was darkened, the platforms were redrawn, and those teeny tiny boxes were changed.
Itís Mission 5 from MS1! You start with a prisoner in front of you, who gives you an Armour Piercer, and after that, some weapons appear. In the order they appear: Another Armour Piercer, Shotgun, Rocket Launcher, Flame Shot, Laser Gun, and Enemy Chaser. Other than another tank on a parachuting platform, this level is fairly normal.
Final Mission! Thereís yet another Armour Piercer wielding prisoner here, and another tank, and other than falling through
the ground to reach the boat that is missing itís turret gun, this level is fairly normal.
This is that part from Metal Slug 3 that involve going through that pipe and riding that ostrich. (3: 7 3-1) Looks like all they did was change the palette.