Metal Slug 4 has a substantial amount of recycled graphics, both in-game and as leftovers in the graphic tiles, with stuff even from the first game. Heck, it even recycles stuff from a King of Fighters game!
No, seriously, King of Fighters! There's fonts, mugshots, names and other miscellaneous HUD-related graphics stored in the 8x8 tiles. This is just a sample.
The characters, impaled on swords, in animations that haven't been used since Metal Slug 2.
The characters as skeletons, like the MS3 death from falling into the water in Mission 1.
And frozen this time. This death occurs in Mission 6 of MS2, when you jump into the freezing water. I couldn't get a good palette for Nadia, so I only coloured the ice, and left them as they were found in the tile viewer.
Metal-Geo found this scan of upcoming items in the game, and among them is the “famous photo”. In Metal-Geo’s own words, “am I the only one who remembers the photos that were announced to be in the game? I believe they were suposed to be items. Or left it out of the game or I'm actually being a dickhead and can't find the damn things”.
Enomosiki suggests that maybe the photos were collected to unlock the artwork in the gallery. A reasonable thought, but they'd be semi-useless in the arcade version, being simple bonus items.
The poor old Bradley can't be used to complete a level with, unless you use the Level Select. Note how it uses the plain vanilla Bradley colours, unlike the player-controlled Bradley's green colour.
And the crawler can't complete a level either, your character just hops off it for no reason in both paths.
Same deal with the forklift.
And the spiky thing doesn't get a slice of the completing levels cake. And again, it's coloured like a regular spiky thing, instead of the blue player-controlled version.
The motorcycle, on the other hand, cannot complete levels with Level Select, and thus can only be viewed with a tile viewer. That's the best palette I could find.
Actual unused sprite that isn't seen anywhere else! Apparently, the boat men were once prisoners, and here's a sprite of one of them spazzing out while tied up. What's interesting is that there's no animation of them being released from their ropes.
Another unused animation. Looks kinda like them jumping down and holding their breath. Maybe instead of just scurrying away in that part on the side of the ship, they jumped off into the sea? Crazy fools.
his animation does play in the game, but it's impossible to see without debug, and even then, it's only a brief glimpse. In 5: 2 4-2 (the part that takes place on the side of the ship, with pirates invading on boats), keep using the "D button = death to all" dipswitch to destroy the boats, and get to the second stop point. You'll catch an obscure view of the boat men hopping off the platform, but since I could never get the screen to scroll forward in time, I'm unsure if they jump to the lower platform, or into the sea.
And here they are again, all paranoid and such. To be honest, I'd feel the same if pirates that BLED OIL invaded my ship and started throwing swords about aimlessly.
I thought the scientist turning into a monkey was completely unused, but once more, Ivo proves me wrong and shows that like a lot of obscure things in Metal Slug 4, it's just hard to see.
Scientists have a melee attack if you get close; if it hits, it's the same as being shot by them - turning into a monkey. If it misses...
They become a monkey. Have some context!
One of those hazmat guys, throwing a pipe bomb. They do throw bombs in the game, but they use the same kind of bombs the rest of the soldiers use.
And them burning, with real fire and proper animations! The fire is reminiscent of the burning animations from Metal Slug 1, which is strange, as that style hasn't been used since that game. In the game itself, the hazmats burn, but they just reuse the regular soldier animations.
For some reason, Eri's drown animation is located near some of Fio's. It's not even the proper drown animation, but it actually one without the oxygen tank on her back, that is unused.
I love this guy. I mean, you just see him in the middle of a war zone in the country side, having a puff at his pipe, and then this biker just comes roaring up to him, and he flees like there's a frickin' avalanche after him. That's badassery if ever I say such.
And apparently, he's a lumberjack! This unused animation has him standing, looking about, with an axe. Pure badass, plus being a lumberjack makes him even more badass. He probably eats ninjas for breakfast.
This is used in the game, but it's mostly obscured by the helicopter and "Mission Complete" or "Mission # Start" text. So there's really little point for it being here.
This would've been used for Tarma kicking open the door of the truck he rides in during Mission 1's upper path, but alas, the truck simply appears with the door already open, and him crouching and shooting.
It's not unused graphics or anything, but Enomosiki brought it to my attention with this image, and it's interesting so I thought I'd throw it in here.
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Whatever Metal Slug 4 didn't recycle, it frankenstein'd. The sad truth.