PaRappa, the dog-eared character of legendary rhythm game PaRappa the Rapper, wasn’t always a dog. New early test footage uploaded by artist Rodney Alan Greenblat showed that prior to development on the game beginning, PaRappa seemed to be very different sort of Rapper.
Greenblat worked with developer NanaOn-Sha on the game, and recently opened a YouTube channel. Over the last week or so, he’s uploaded footage digitized from old VHS tapes dating back to the earliest stages of development on the series. The PaRappa the Rapper clip in question is test footage for the opening animation of the game, featuring placeholder voice acting and characters in place of the final product.
Check it out below.
The tape was sent to Greenblat in late 1995 by the development team, and features notes at the beginning and end from producer Masaya Matsuura. Matsuura was a key figure at NanaOn-Sha, and had a hand in the development of Parappa, Umjammer Lammy, Major Minor’s Majestic March, and Vib-Ribbon. The footage contains a portion of the opening sequence of the game, when PaRappa and his friends P.J. Berri, Katy Kat, and Sunny Funny leave the movie theater and cross over into the restaurant to get some food. Though all the characters in the test footage look different from their final iterations, PaRappa himself is replaced entirely with generic blue character. His design was still being finalized at the time. The clip ends on “PaRappa” ordering water, with a note from Masaya clarifying that the footage was recorded off video output rather than an actual PlayStation dev kit.
You can compare the test footage above with the finalized intro sequence, courtesy of a clip from Higher Plain Games below. Go to the 1:15 timestamp for the closest sync point.
PaRappa the Rapper originally debuted on the PlayStation, but was remastered for the PS4 in 2017.