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Burning Rangers Prototype Alpha Surfaces

Those of you who, like me, live in dear old England will know that in the past week things have been absolutely roasting. We’ve been blasted with a heatwave, courtesy of scorching sub-Saharan air wafting our way, and the weather couldn’t be more stifling. Trains have been cancelled, eggs will fry if you accidentally drop them on the pavement coming back from Tesco, and buildings have caught fire spontaneously. Seriously.

So it’s serendipitous that in this time of need and us generally sweating our extraneous bits off, who should bob to the surface of retro gaming news but the Burning Rangers? Debuting on the ill-fated SEGA Saturn, this classic franchise has seen little love in the modern age, but remains a firm fan favourite. Centring around a band of high-tech firefighters inhabiting a futuristic world, it is at once a ludicrous fantasy adventure and a sobering insight into where we might be headed if we continue not bothering to switch our outlets off when we pop out. Guilty as charged. My Switch needed it. (Sorry, Earth; will try harder).

Just be glad I don’t often charge my Wii U Gamepad anymore, planet. We all know how bad that thing’s battery was.

The Hidden Palace, a Wiki-based community dedicated to the preservation of video game development media, has turned up an alpha prototype for the original Burning Rangers title. They broke the news via Twitter, and you can take a look below. Iced drinks and handheld fans advised.

Ah, the Saturn’s total inability to render anything even vaguely transparent. You gotta love it.

Those of you brave enough to follow the link to their world of minutiae and analytical fervour (ah, so my kind of place, then) will find a thorough break-down of the prototype. Apparently, it turned up on a physical disc – remember those, kiddywinks? – and “was compiled almost two months before the final game was meant to go gold.” It is, therefore, astonishing that it’s been preserved for this long, and a testament to the dedication of Hidden Palace’s community.

The alpha itself is a demo of sorts, comprised of only four playable levels, including a tutorial of sorts. It’s “very rudimentary” in its state, but nonetheless fascinating for fans of the game and of development cycles in general. “Time hasn’t been exactly kind to Burning Rangers either,” continues the report, “with copies hard to find and re-releases nonexistent.” Well, so long as they can make a quick detour to 2021 and spray some of their all-purpose retardant in Blighty’s general direction, I’m content.

What do you make of this find? Are you a Burning Rangers fan? Let us know below!

Via, Twitter.

Bobby Mills

Motor-mouthed Brit with a decades long - well, two decades, at least - passion for gaming. Writer, filmmaker, avid lover of birthdays. Still remembers the glory days of ONM. May it rest in peace.
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