Burning Rangers gets lost 2P Co-Op mode restored with downloadable patch

Did you know that Burning Rangers (1998) was planned to have a two-player co-op mode during development? This was shown in early previews and was found in some prototype builds of the game, but no such mode exists in the final retail release. Turns out that the code for the co-op mode was left within the game’s data, so dedicated Sega Saturn reverse engineer Bo Bayles has restored that co-op mode with a special patch. You can download the patch and try it out with your own image file of Burning Rangers. (Which I trust you obtained legally from a copy you own, which you may or may not have paid hundreds of dollars for, but that’s not my place to judge.)

Now then, to the next phase and to the next stage. Come with me past the break for the patch download and more info.

Players can control both playable characters: Shou Amabane and Tillis, in a way resembling the limited co-op mode in Sonic the Hedgehog games with Sonic and Tails, like Sonic 2, Adventure, and Mania, in which a second player can control the other character, but will need to remain on-screen at all times. The second player cannot wander too far away from the first, as there is no split-screen to keep track of both characters. Fortunately, Bo has added a teleportation function for player 2 to warp them right back to player 1’s position with the A button, in case they get lost.

The other important thing of note is that the character that player 2 can control is dependent on the stage you’re playing. Some of the Burning Rangers, including the playable character opposite of whichever one player 1 has chosen to play as, appear in some stages as NPCs, which causes conflict with this co-op mode. Another conflict comes from whichever characters’ textures the game loads for each stage based on who is supposed to appear. Workarounds have been made in the patch, such as skipping the tutorial level at the start of the game because it crashes in co-op mode.

The important thing of note here is that the co-op mode was not quite finished, but the code for it is mostly there, allowing what remained to be restored through this patch. It’s because of its unfinished state that all these workarounds were made, so that players will have the opportunity to at least play around with the co-op and get a taste of what could’ve been. Just don’t expect to be able to play through the entire game without any headaches, but as the song goes: “like Angels With Burning Hearts, we’ll face the risk of our lives.”

You can read all about the changes and precautions on Bo Bayles’s blog post for this patch, and then download the patch from this SegaXtreme page.

Bo Bayles has been very busy dissecting Saturn games lately and finding long lost secrets. We haven’t had the chance to talk about most of them, but we have discussed new cheat codes he discovered in Bug! and Clockwork Knight 2 in the past, as well as an English translation patch he had prepared with the assistance of Malenko for Kingdom Grand Prix. (I had previously credited him as @memory_fallen, his Twitter handle) He has also let us know that he’s got something in the works regarding NiGHTS Into Dreams next, showing us this screenshot below as a teaser of what’s to come from him.

So what’s your thoughts on this lost co-op mode? Would you have liked to see the co-op mode finalized and included with the finished game? What are your thoughts on the co-op mode, if you tried it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


One response to “Burning Rangers gets lost 2P Co-Op mode restored with downloadable patch

  1. Sk8 Again says:

    yeah man

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