I remember that post; an ex-employee of WD had "anonymously" tipped off someone about it, although he (the tipper) got some details wrong. I definitely remember your find being the catalyst for the hunt, though.
Anyway, I finally got to play some of the demo tonight, after complaining bitterly to my husband (who had forgotten to get it running for me the previous night) about being left out. (Thanks to Nobi for posting whatever it was he did, which saved him a lot of trouble!) I haven't finished the demo because I ran out of battery power shortly after meeting Quark.
The first thing to notice, of course, is the music. Everyone's commented on the quality; I don't recall anyone mentioning that some of the pieces, at least, have a second repeat with different instrumentation. The first in-game piece of music you hear, just after the scene with Alex and Nall, for example: the melody is first on ocarina, then there's a bit of a bridge (? not too good with the terminology) that wasn't in the SSS version, then the melody repeats on acoustic guitar. Very possibly a real recording, since I could hear the fingers slipping on the metal-wound strings; Joe will have to let me know, since I know very little about that instrument. ^_^ Same thing with the Burg music.
The most striking thing by far to me is how very very similar this is to SSS, and when relevant, to LL. I mean, really similar. Here are some points:
- opening scenes at the monument, etc (of course)
- the same notable Burg NPCs: Meribian woman with the spellcasting kids (same spells, at least for the boy), girl who Alex helped with music, guy who wants to know what Nall is, kid who wants Luna to sing (same voice clip, I think), and guy who demands 30s of Ramus. That last was a trigger in SSSC enabling getting the bromides from Ramus at the end of the game; I wonder if that's the case here.
- Start with same amount of Silver, I think.
- Chests in Alex's basement hold the same things, and Alex's father gives him the same three items (weapons and flame ring). I also saw a chest near the beginning of the Weird Wood (Goat Forest); SSS has one in a similar location. Legend had several chests scattered around Burg also, but I don't remember if they all contained Herbs and Antidotes as they do here.
- Red Chest in Ramus's room. Also, the same parts of places get comments from Nall -- Ramus's shelf, Luna's bed and bureau, etc.
- Store sells the same items for the same prices. At least, the ones I checked were the same; I didn't look up SSSC's shop inventory. One difference I did see is that Ramus and Luna couldn't equip the Short Sword, unlike in SSS. Also, I think the store wasn't open when you first went to it in SSSC, and it's open immediately in the demo.
- ALL character stats, including experience, were exactly the same as in SSS, although all three started at Level 3 instead of 1. Incidentally, Legend also had the same character stats except for Luck and (obviously) Range, with the sole exception being Ramus who had completely different stats except for HP.
- Same icons for type of equipment as in Legend.
- Magic spells are the same as in SSS and Legend, and Arts spells are the same as in Legend. The only difference is that in SSS Luna learned Purity Song at level 3, while in HSS and Legend she gets it at Level 5.
- Monsters appear to have the same stats. The four in the White Dragon Cave had the same names, the same special attack (the Sasquatch/Albino Baboon's Ice Shot), the same item drop, and the same EXP and Silver awarded as in SSS. (Note that this is different from SSSC, which adjusted these stats and others.) I didn't bother trying to work out any of the other stats, but I have no reason to think they're different. I think Legend has the same stats also, but I haven't yet checked that exhaustively.
- All items and equipment appear to have the same names and stats, although I didn't actually test this with the healing items. The Star Light (Mental Gum?) is the only thing I'm not sure has the same name; it didn't match either SSS or Legend exactly, but for all I know could be an alternate spelling. Something for Kizyr to check.
- Another thing Kizyr, Shiva Indis, or someone else with Japanese would have to confirm: the dialogue looks very, very familiar. Like, all of it. It could be exactly the same script.
By the way, I'm afraid Kizyr is mistaken about the Quark intro music. It's definitely the same as in SSS. I don't know if you were referring to the ominous stuff or the more calm soothing stuff, but the latter is distinctly different from TSS's in the second chord. As for the first part, for the life of me I can't remember the TSS music right before the harp arpeggios cut in, but the HSS music matches the Korean SSS cutscene, which was the easiest thing for me to check.
I have some assorted comments for things which are actually unique to this version -- sprites and the like -- but am too tired to type them up and those are the things everyone will see eventually anyway. The one thing that is quick is that if the White Dragon Cave is typical, this game will probably be pretty easy, since the enemies appear to have the SSS stats but the characters start at level 3 and regain all HP and MP at level-up AND have the Arts spells. I rather hope XSeed will consider taking out the regaining HP and MP at level-up.