Here a bunch of magazine scans about El Viento . 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

The above scan is from the June 1991 issue of Beep! Mega Drive. It appears to be an announcement that the game is in development, and other than featuring the game's logo, lacks any images.



The June 1991 issue of Mega Drive Fan contains what I believe is currently the earliest preview of the game, that shows actual screenshots. It has several screenshots of the game's first level, with the biggest difference being the amount of magic spell slots on display -in these images, there are 10 of them! It seems the idea to have this many spells was very quickly dropped. Other differences include the enemies and background buildings having different colors. The HP and MP gauges are way too long for this point in the game, in the final version they can only extend by progressing to the later levels.

It appears the score wasn't working in this build, as it's at zero in every screen you can see it.



A half page preview featured in the July 1991 issue of Mega Drive Fan. Unfortunately a lot of the screenshots are zoomed in, and they're all showing the first level only. One screen does show the HUD, revealing that there were now only 8 slots for magic spells, two had been removed between this and the previous month's preview. However another 3 would be cut before the game was released. The HP gauge is also too long for this point in the game.



A one page preview from Beep! Mega Drive's July 1991 issue. Like with the Mega Drive Fan July preview, the HUD shows slots for 8 magic spells, and the HP gauge is too long. The bottom left screen shows a location not seen in the final game, whilst there is a section like that early on in the level, it doesn't look the same.



Beep! Mega Drive had another preview in the August 1991 issue. The HUD still shows 8 magic spell slots, but that's nothing compared to the numerous screenshots at the bottom of the page. A couple of them show some levels that were cut from the game! The main one is a larger image showing Annet jumping in front of a building, with a red and black sky in the background. To the bottom right of this image is another screen showing Annet standing still in what looks like a cave background. There's a cave in the game's third level but it looks nothing like this one.

Some of the other screenshots have differences, such as the level 2 boss background having a different skyline, and that level 4 had a pretty horrific looking fish for Annet to ride on (changed to a dolphin for the final game) along with what looks like a city in the background (the building sprites go unused in the final game).



The September 1991 issue of Beep! Mega Drive contained another preview. It shows some of Annet's moves (JUNP!) along with an overview of the story and stuff about the first two levels. Seems like almost everything matches up with the final version at this point, the only difference I could see was the title screen lacks a © on the Wolf Team text.



The October 1991 issue of Beep! Mega Drive contained a review of the game (see below) but also had another 3 pages showing off the third, fourth and fifth levels. Looks like these screenshots all show the final version, as the title screen now has the © that was missing from the previous month's preview.



A one page preview from issue 2 of Consoles + Issue, which was published in October 1991. Most of the screenshots are zoomed in but they're from an earlier build, such as the first level boss room having some coloring differences. The main difference is the image from the intro, which features different text than what the final version has. This early script is actually still in the Japanese version of the game, it just goes unused. It was also present in the build of the game featured at the 1991 Tokyo Toy Show.



A very short preview featured in the Winter 1991 issue of SEGA Force, which was a supplement magazine from the makers of Electronic Gaming Monthly. All of the screens, which are zoomed in, show the first level only.



The same SEGA Force issue also featured this one page preview. It looks like all of the images are taken from the final version of the game. Interestingly, the text for the level one description refers to the boss as "Al Capone" rather than "Vincente DeMarco".



From the November 1992 issue of SEGA Force, I just had to feature this because of the completely made up story the writer came up with to describe the game.



From issue 1 of U.K. magazine Mega Tech. This isn't exactly a preview, but it's worth mentioning because it states Ubi Soft were going to release El Viento in Europe. The news also mentions that Ubi Soft planned to release Japanese games with translated instructions and import adapter cartridges for only £34.99 -this would have been a real bargain for gamers back in 1991. However it has some serious "too good to be true" vibes and it was, as it appears Ubi Soft never went through with this and the European version of El Viento, along with games such as Valis and Exile, were never officially released there. It even mentions Earnest Evans -the CD version was never released outside of Japan.

The text also mentions that El Viento is a comic licence, which it isn't.



From issue 1 of the UK SEGA Force magazine. This bit of news mentions not only El Viento is getting a European release from Ubi Soft, but also states Earnest Evans is too. This issue was published in January 1992 so they'd definitely be talking about the Mega CD version, as the SEGA Genesis version didn't exist yet. In the end though neither of these games were released in Europe.

Like in the above Mega Tech scan, this states El Viento is a comic licence, which it's not.



Interestingly, issue 2 of SEGA Force had an update about about the previous month's story. It states that the Ubi Soft deal was currently in trouble, apparently due to SEGA themselves? It doesn't go into much detail about it so we don't know what the problem was. Whatever it was, it was apparently enough to stop Ubi Soft from publishing Wolf Team games in Europe.



MAGAZINE REVIEWS

A review from Beep! Mega Drive's October 1991 issue. The four reviewers give it scores of 7, 6, 6 and 7 out of 10 each.



A two page review from issue 3 of Consoles +.



A review of the game from issue 50 of Ace. This review is awful, I'm not saying that El Viento is the greatest game of all time, but the reviewer here clearly just sucked. He reviews the Japanese version yet didn't know any Japanese, so he refers to Annet as a ninja. From the text written and the screenshots used, it's unlikely he managed to even finish the first level, and the stuff about the graphics being poorly defined and the colors being wrong is complete nonsense -maybe he couldn't even setup his own television set properly.



Taken from issue 2 of Mega Tech, this was from their review scores list of every Mega Drive game they have played (they never did a full review for the game). It also mentions a European version from Ubi Soft, referencing their issue 1 report (see above), but this version would be cancelled. This review was used in several more issues...



...but a revised version was later used. The review had the line about the Ubi Soft version removed.



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The initial ad used in Japanese magazines. Apparently this ad was so early they didn't have game screenshots they could use, or they forgot to include any. And so...



...a revised ad was put out. This time five screenshots were included, but they were taken from a prototype version of the game -each one shows eight magic spell slots instead of five. The fourth screen shows a different version of level 7, with the airship having a blue color scheme rather than the bronze featured in the final game. The fifth screen shows the level 3 boss fight having a completely different background not seen in the final version, which features several pillars -somehow this screen would end up being used on the back of the box for both the Japanese and American versions.

The manga panels had their colors altered when compared to the original ad, and Annet is in a slightly different position. Annet also has blue hair -the vast majority of promotional art for Annet has her hair this color, despite it being green in the game itself.



A third Japanese advertisement. This one is almost identical to the previous one, other than the second page now mentioning the game's September 20th release date.



The American version's advertisement. The art on this ad was also used for the game's front cover. There are four screenshots in the bottom left corner, the top two were taken from a prototype version, and were also seen on the Japanese ad.