According to Tim (TB86NO2 from VS Realms) and Dylan "Doc X" Northrup, the beta version of the game was demoed at Gencon in 2003. You can read the posts for yourself on VS Realms or the Marvel_DC_TCG Yahoo! Group, but here are some quick quotes:
Tim [who want it to be known that since this happend over 3 years ago, that his memory might not be 100% here] wrote:
I dont remember specific cards, but I do remember that the game played alot like YuGiOh with its combat. I believe you started at 1000 endurance. You could "evolve" (via Pokemon style) into a ultimate version. So a normal Wolverine could evolve into the Ultimate Wolverine you have posted. See that 7/4 in the upper right hand corner? If you want to 'hardcast' the ultimate Wolvie you pay 7, but if you evolved from his smaller version you pay 4. I remember vaguely about equipment, and how it was transferable when the character died. I remember a Cyclops card with the 2-drop MOR art, and a Wolverine with the 7-drop MOR art. One piece of equipment had the artwork used for Jetpack, and the other equipment had the artwork used for No Fear (it was named Billy Club or something).
Tim also suggested, "You also might want to mention that the cards have square edges and were printed on lustrous baseball-card-like paper stock (some people might think the card image is cropped)."
The Ultimate cards were only available in the really old demo decks that were used at GenCon in 2003. AFAIK, they weren't handed out to folks and, if you got your hands on one of those decks, it was either purloined, or obtained directly from a UDE employee.
From what I understand, the Ultimate cards will not be making a re-appearance in the game since their primary mechanic relied on parts of the game's rules that are not present in Vs. This was back when the game was called "The Marvel TCG" and Master Mold was the most broken card in existence.
He later added:
Also, just to give a bit more feedback, those cards do look like the real deal from the old school Marvel TCG (which is what lead up to the Vs TCG). The card numbers (on the left-hand side, about the middle of the card) actually gives the order of the cards. There was a script for the two demo decks and there was an A deck and a B deck (from my hazy memory). These cards were likely from the B deck. You'd put the cards in order and the demo guy was destined to get a lead, then fall to superior cards around turn 4 or 5.
[Dylan - I hope it's OK that I quoted you here. If not, let me know and I'll take it down.]
Ok - without further ado...todays batch of cards! (You'll recognize the artwork to quite a few of them)
First off - the Ultimate version of Storm:
Note that this is the "Evolved" version. (You can see the "unevolved" version in yesterday's post).
Here's a little Recovery Phase magic for you:
A Location...err, "Setting":
Was there a Red Bull cross promotion in the early beta?
And finally, an Acrobatic ATK enhancer:
Back tomorrow with more...including a former member of Alpha Flight!