Here a bunch of magazine scans about Earnest Evans. A lot of the previews contained screenshots showing things that were altered for the final game, click here for a more in-depth look. And thanks to RetroCDN for the majority of these scans:

MAGAZINE PREVIEWS

Beep! Mega Drive featured the first of what would be many previews of the game in its July 1991 issue. All of the screenshots show the first level, but Earnest has a different colored sprite -his hair is blue, his jacket is green and his whip is gray. There don't appear to be any enemies implemented yet as none are featured in any screens. One picture shows Earnest in the boss room, but the door is still down -you're supposed to use a key to open it (although maybe the glitch was in place from this point in development!).

The boss room shot also shows part of the HUD, you can't fully see it, but it says "ITEM" in the top right, in the final version, this was changed to "WEAPON".



A small preview from issue 26 of EGM. You can see the "ITEM" difference more clearly here, plus there is a number next to it. The ring for the level 1 boss is also in a different place than in the final version.



Beep! Mega Drive ran a Mega CD feature in its August 1991 issue, spanning several pages. One page has some Earnest Evans screens in it, featuring the green jacket sprite. There's a rough sketch of Earnest which shows him with slightly different hair, and a stubble the final version of him doesn't have.



Another preview was featured in the September 1991 issue of Beep! Mega Drive. The green Earnest is still here, but the most interesting screen is in the bottom left corner -showing what appears to be a cut level! The next most interesting screen is the one showing the level 6 boss, which had a much more basic looking sprite in this build. The final version is a lot more detailed.



The October 1991 issue of Beep! Mega Drive had another preview, this time it was two pages. The first page shows a picture of level 4, the purple spheres shown here would be changed to purple skulls for the final game. The next page shows lots of screenshots, the usual green Earnest is still present in this build, but the level layouts appear to be the same as in the final version. However, there is one big difference -the jungle level is listed as the game's second level in this preview! For the final version, it was pushed back to level 9.



Yet another preview of the game was featured in the November 1991 issue of Beep! Mega Drive, with three pages this time. The first page features information about the game's voice actors and actresses.

Page two now shows the correct level for level 2, but there are lots of differences in this preview. The graphics are slightly different for the scenery, and the enemies have different sprites as well. Another oddity is that this preview has what are levels 3 and 4 in the final version listed as one combined, larger level. The screenshot in the bottom right of this page shows the boss fight in a different place, the two ledges on the right were removed from the final game.

Page three shows the train level as level 4, for the final version it's level 5. There are also a couple of screenshots from levels 7 and 8. The level 8 screen is unfortunately covered up, and shows the leg of the boss, which had a completely different sprite in this build (see below).



The December 1991 issue of Beep! Mega Drive featured another three page preview. This preview is the first to show the game's cutscenes, from what I can tell they almost all match up with the final version. The picture of Charlotte has some color differences (most notably the color of her eyes) and the picture of Annet on page three has a background -in the final game, the background was removed and replaced with solid black. There is also a screen of the ending, showing blue sky -the final version changed this to black sky.



The February 1992 issue featured an update on the game, seemingly showing the Earnest had an updated sprite. This was the first time the magazine showed Earnest's sprite with the final colors. This came a month after the magazine had reviewed the game (see below).

 

MAGAZINE REVIEWS

A review of the game from the January 1992 issue of Beep! Mega Drive. The single screenshot shows a completely different sprite for the level 8 boss.



Taken from the third issue of U.K. magazine Mega Tech, they had a three page review of the CD version. They clearly didn't have much clue about the story, such as Zigfried being constantly referred to as "blue haired baddie" and from the looks of it they didn't get any further than level 5. A couple of interesting notes though: first off, it says that the CD version was going to be released outside of Japan, and it would have English voice acting, but this release never happened.



A surprisingly positive review of the CD version was featured in issue 5 of UK publication SEGA Pro. "Earnest Evans" and "91%" -two things I never thought could be seen on the same page! The reviewer seems to be very impressed with the graphics and sound, and calls the gameplay similar to El Viento. Not sure I'd agree with that, but still, 91%!



A review of the cartridge version featured in issue 33 of GamePro. Or is it? The reviewer describes the story of the CD version, specifically mentioning Hastur and the President of the United States. Some of the screenshots show a border beneath the HUD, which was something only present in the CD version. However, there's no mention of the cutscenes here, so perhaps they were sent this prototype to review?

Also I can't get over that this game had a retail price of $61.99! If you spent that much on Earnest Evans...I'm sorry.



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A print ad featured in Japanese magazines, such as Beep! Mega Drive. Some of the screenshots are from an earlier version of the game, featuring the green jacket Earnest.



An American ad for the cartridge version of the game. Strangely, Renovation Products used screenshots from the early CD version, as they all featured green jacket Earnest. Thanks to SEGA Retro for this scan.