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Black Tiger (Arcade)

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Title Screen

Black Tiger

Also known as: Black Dragon (JP)
Developer: Capcom
Publishers: Capcom (INT), Romstar (NA)
Platform: Arcade (Commando hardware)
Released internationally: August 1987

GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

Black Tiger is an action-adventure game by Capcom. It features a hero with a mace and an infinite supply of daggers.

It's also the game that introduces the ubiquitous Zenny currency that appears in many other Capcom games.

Unused Graphics

There's only so much you can say on this subject.
Sundry unused font characters. The characters without shading are for the Japanese font sets.
The End? Yes.
These characters at the end of each font block are 訂 (Correct) and 完 (End).
The Blue-green Flame of Kindness.
Eleven Kanji that would be used by the wise men that the player saves.

Their possible meanings: 敵 (Enemy), 売 (Sell), 破 (Break), 毒消し (Antidote), 何 (What), 求 (Call), 薬 (Medicine),
恩 (Kindness), 青 (Blue / Green), 炎 (Flame)
The hourglass graphic that the wise men use has sand in it. This graphic does not.
Two unused HUD graphics: A gem, possibly an early Zenny graphic. And a dagger, which the player always has.
Early designs for the 4 and 5 HP HUD graphics. Here, it's represented by a shield rather than a set of armor.
These are the only remnants of this design. The 1, 2, and 3 HP versions were replaced by the 6, 7, and 8 HP armor. Perhaps the player once maxed out at 5 hit points?
Is it possessed?
A large HUD graphic for a suit of armor. This might've been the first design for the HP display!
Where's the rest of it?
An unused fifth armor type. This is stored in ROM before the other four armor graphics.
Presumably, buying this would give the player an armor with 1 HP. This was replaced in the shop by the antidote.
Five sets of armor complement the theory that the game once capped the player at 5 HP.
The other four armors were then altered from (2, 3, 4, 5) HP to (2, 4, 6, 8) HP.
I apologize for the olden golden sentence.
This is an olden, golden version of the shop key graphic. This design can be seen on old arcade flyers for the game.
The final shop graphic is the same silver design seen in the rest of the game.
The cow says: RAAARGRGH.
An angry-looking version of the cow bonus item. The angriest cow in history.
(Translation: divingkataetheweirdo)
Early Final
They took Supersize off of the menu.
Take your time.
A happy medium
The golden hourglass fallacy.

There are three "sizes" of Potions and Hourglasses in the graphics ROM. Only one of each is used, and even then their designs were changed.

Unused Music

ID Track Notes
Four miscellaneous congratulatory tracks. Each track could have been assigned to a high score slot, which would've been a nice feature.

Regional Differences

To do:
There are reportedly more changes, such as more instant-death boulders and adjusted collision on the bosses of stages 3/5/7 to stop the player from ducking under them.

The Japanese version was made after the international version and has further refinements and balance adjustments.

High Score List

International Japan
BlackTigerArcTitle.png BlackTigerArcScoresJP.png

The character limit per name was changed from 3 to 4.

International Japan
BlackTigerArcNameEntryNA.png BlackTigerArcNameEntryJP.png

Furthermore, the Japanese game uses a completely different character set for its high score entry screen that includes katakana, hiragana, and numerical symbols.

Shop Prices

International Japan
BlackTigerArcShopNA.png BlackTigerArcShopJP.png

The prices of all shop items were changed for the Japanese game. Note that each difficulty level has its own price table. 1 is the easiest difficulty, 5 is the default setting, and 8 is the toughest difficulty.

Prices in bold print were increased for the Japanese release.

International Japan
Difficulty Level Difficulty Level
Item 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Item 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Weapon LV 2 100 100 150 150 200 200 300 400 Weapon LV 2 150 150 200 200 200 200 300 400
Weapon LV 3 1000 1200 1000 1600 1200 1600 1600 2400 Weapon LV 3 1000 1200 1600 1600 2400 2400 2400 2400
Weapon LV 4 2400 2400 3200 3200 4800 4800 6400 6400 Weapon LV 4 2400 3200 3200 4800 4800 6400 6400 6400
Weapon LV 5 9600 9600 9600 9600 12800 12800 12800 12800 Weapon LV 5 9600 9600 9600 12800 12800 12800 19200 19200
Armor LV 2 80 80 100 100 150 150 200 200 Armor LV 2 80 80 100 100 200 300 300 400
Armor LV 4 300 300 400 400 500 500 600 600 Armor LV 4 400 400 500 600 800 1000 1000 1200
Armor LV 6 800 800 800 1000 1200 1200 1600 1600 Armor LV 6 800 1000 1200 1200 1600 1600 2400 2400
Armor LV 8 1600 2400 2400 2400 2400 3200 3200 4800 Armor LV 8 1600 2400 3200 3200 4800 4800 4800 4800

Additionally, the price of keys was changed from 30 Zenny to 80 Zenny. This applies to all difficulty levels.

Graphical Changes

International Japan
BlackTigerArcKanjiNA.png BlackTigerArcKanjiJP.png

These four Kanji were touched up a bit.

International Japan
BlackTigerArcCaveDoorNA.png BlackTigerArcCaveDoorJP.png

The shading on the top of the cave entrances in Round 3 was redone.

International Japan
BlackTigerArcWallSpikesNA.png BlackTigerArcWallSpikesJP.png

The wall spike tiles were changed to match the brightness of the rest of the adjacent bricks.

International Japan
BlackTigerArcRockPillarNA.png BlackTigerArcRockPillarJP.png

More shading changes, this time to Stage 6. The Japanese version certainly looks better.

International Japan
BlackTigerArcStoneWallNA.png BlackTigerArcStoneWallJP.png

Some of the edge tiles were changed so that they meld better with the surrounding wall.

Level Changes

Round 1

International Japan
BlackTigerArcStage1NA.png BlackTigerArcStage1JP.png

Some of the cliff tiles in this section are missing in the international release.

Round 2

International Japan
BlackTigerArcStage2NA.png BlackTigerArcStage2JP.png

One of the spikes on the large left "orb" is improperly flipped in the international game.

Round 3

International Japan
BlackTigerArcStage3NA.png BlackTigerArcStage3JP.png

This area looks sloppily constructed in the international versions of the game. The Japanese added more cliff tiles to the game's BG graphics ROM, allowing this area to be redone in a more natural way.

(Source: Original TCRF research)