1. The preliminary episodes were not called "Image Arcane". In fact, they were untitled as I hadn't yet thought of a title for the series.
2. The preliminaries didn't follow a story arc. They were random, self-contained episodes.
3. The only "hero" characters that were present in the preliminaries were Tomi Forrester, Deuce Koma, Chance Tomasaro, Sesa Markino, Samantha, Jack Sheen, Dr. Lizaki, Dion Falkor, Raymond O'Malley, and Dr. Victor Markino. Other characters, like Nucleo McRaven, Cory McRaven, and Christopher Paladin, did not appear until the main series.
4. Deuce and Tomi were more or less the main characters of the preliminaries. However, Tomi was named "Ace Telly", so that the "joke" is that their names were Ace and Deuce. The idea was that they went on wacky adventures to different planets (this was how they met up with Chance and his friends). I later changed this when I decided I didn't want Image Arcane to focus so much on comedy, and I also just don't like "coincidental" naming schemes like that.
5. The designs of the some characters were drastically different. Deuce was dressed like a knight in a football helmet. Tomi was sometimes dressed like a knight, but othertimes wore pajamas with a pair of underwear on his head.
6. Chance and Sesa were drawn to look much more "generic" and it was at times difficult to tell them apart if they weren't colored in. The idea for Chance and Sesa actually came from an earlier idea I had for a comic strip about a couple of brothers who owned a karate dojo. One brother was supposed to be really well-disciplined (Chance) and the other was a lazy goof-off (Sesa). It was, more or less, a spoof of that old "Goofus and Gallant" thing from the Highlights For Children magazine. Essentially, this comic was a combination of two ideas I was tossing around in my mind: One was about two space bounty hunters who go on wacky adventures (Deuce and Tomi) and the other for the karate brothers (Chance and Sesa). However, when I started writing the preliminaries, I decided not to make Chance and Sesa brothers, but instead childhood friends. (I felt that it spoke more about Chance's character that he would befriend Sesa, who was a shy and an outcast due to his strange psychic powers, if he wasn't related to him.)
7. Jack Sheen was completely different. He was a green dragon with feathery wings. The earliest drawings of him had spikes instead of hair. Later, I made Jack a human who could turn into a feathery dragon, but I don't remember if the change occurred in the preliminary episodes or later.
8. Samantha more or less looked the same as she does now. The fact that she's so plainly-dressed is sort of a homage to the character's original design. I've just never felt the need to add anything more to her because I think she's the type of character whose personality goes well with being dressed down.
9. Samantha's origin story, however, was completely different. She was still a synthetic human, but it was Dr. Victor Markino, Sesa's father, who had created her. Therefore, Sesa considered her his younger sister. This was changed when the transition was made to the new series for many reasons. First and foremost was that I didn't think it was believable that Victor Markino would have had the technology to create a nearly-perfect replica of a human being. The second was that I felt it was pointless anyway. By changing her origin so that she was now created by the same person responsible for creating the Seven Towers, she gained a purpose in the storyline.
10. There was another semi-regular character named Halley who was dropped after the preliminaries were over because I didn't like him. However, I sort of reworked him into the character Chester Hallet who joined the cast of the main series much later.
11. Raymond O'Malley never made it into the main series, either, but unlike Halley, he is still considered a "canon" character. Dion Falkor did make it into the main series, but he has since been dropped because I didn't like him very much. His role was sort of taken over by Chester Hallet and Lukyan Degorah anyway.
12. The villains that appeared in the preliminaries were Desiree Blueblood, Captain Crelo Kobold, Honen Calzoun, Zumo, Rick Jones, and Kado. All of them made it into the main series, but Captain Crelo Kobold has since been dropped. Their designs were very close to the modern versions, except that Rick was more "generic", like Sesa and Chance.
13. The most noticeably absent character amongst the pirate villains is Cody Decker. There was another red-clad pirate called Rex Cardinal in his place. Rex was meant to be a parody of popular characters "The Lone Ranger" and "Zorro", but I dropped him from the series when I decided that I did not want any of my characters to be blatant spoofs of any existing ones.
14. Honen Calzoun was pretty much the main villain of the preliminaries. He was constantly vying with Desiree to be the leader of the Quixotic Tigers. This carried over into the main series, but instead of continuining to fight with Desiree, Honen eventually went off on his own with Zumo.
15. There was another villain in the preliminaries just called "The Master". He was (vaguely) a protoype of General Ghestov Sal-Yun. His henchmen were the protoypes for Eddy and Jade, but they were both males. One was a warthog-like creature named Bace and the other was a snake-like creature named Turmoyl. Bace never made it to the main series (part of the reason is because TMNT became popular around that time and that show also had a bumbling warthog villain). Turmoyl's snake design became Eddy Blythe's alternate form. Their personalities are pretty much the same, too.
16. The Image Arcane sword existed in the prelims and it was Chance's main weapon. He used the sword a lot more than his bo staff (in fact, I'm not even sure if he used the bo staff at all in the prelims...it might have come later in the actual series.) It was the exact opposite in the main series - Chance preferred using a bo staff to the Image Arcane sword. Because the sword was made from the blood and bones of Skiva, the ultimate god, it had a mind of its own and was difficult to wield. It was known to be an unusual and special blade in the prelmins, but its origin was never explored.
17. The elemental gods existed, but the towers did not. There was little explanation as to who and what the elementals really were. In the prelims, they existed just because... In the main series, there's a distinct reason for their presence in the world. In the prelims, the gods did not evolve humans into other species to be their minions. Note: This explains why Darkona has minions like the Calico King and the Banshee as well as the mountain devils in Image Arcane. In the prelims, the gods each had a few servants, but they were unique one-of-a-kind monsters. Some of these got carried over into the main series. The explanation I gave for this is that they are very, very super-evolved forms.
18. Deuce had a bow that could stop time. It was given to her by the time spirit, Harken, to combat the other elemental lords. Harken's character design was dressed like a female in the conceptual art for the prelims, but he was still referred to as being male. Harken actually disappeared after the prelims were retconned. I did not find a place for him again until after I joined The Minerva Project and created the character Kin-Liu to be his partner. Although the current vision I have for the storyline does have an extremely important and major role for Harken and Kin-Liu to play, this role was originally intended for another spirit character that was never used. In retrospect, I feel this change is for the better since we'll see a lot of H&K throughout the series until this role comes to light. In the old version, this role would've been filled by a character that came out of nowhere near the end of the seven towers saga.