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Today, 11:34 AMwas eventually replaced with Mystic Cave later in development
I really have my doubts that Mystic Cave was invented that late into development - while the name might not have been finalised, it seems really odd to me that the level wouldn't exist in some form somewhere.
In the Wai prototype, which I'm pretty sure is the first time it was ever seen or mentioned, the level is... "mostly" done. There was a theory that the team put loads of traps at the beginning of the stage to show them off/test them, but uh... it actually has assets. And its own theme tune... not to mention two acts with different layouts.
Constrast this with say, Casino Night, which is mentioned in these slides and is completely broken in the Wai build. Obviously it's not definitive as Hidden Palace didn't go anywhere, but I'd say Mystic Cave was probably started before Casino Night at the very least. Maybe even things like Wood Zone.
Stages that we can guarantee were rushed into the game towards the end are Sky Chase, Wing Fortress and Death Egg. Death Egg is reusing assets from Chemical Plant and is extremely short. Sky Chase is pretty much empty, and Wing Fortress is... uniquely unpolished and simplistic in its design. It wouldn't take much time to create the latter - the ship itself is one solid colour and there's only one route, and as you can see in the final build, there are non-functioning conveyors and a bit with hooks which serves little purpose at all.
Mystic Cave, by contrast, has some of the best art in the game.
... but then it doesn't really look much like a forest either, so I'm not sure what it was meant to be. Rock Zone? ....dunno.
p.s. I think the Sonic 3 competition stages are a red herring - they're similar to ideas seen in Sonic 2, but so are many Sonic 3&K stages. Most sandy deserts kind-of look the same.
Yesterday, 02:55 PMSomething worth noting is that the level order seems to sorta kinda fit the internal level order in the Simon Wai prototype:
00: Emerald Hill (Green Hill)
01: BLANK (Placeholder for Ocean Wind?)
03: BLANK (Placeholder for Sand Shower?)
(SONIC GOES BACK IN TIME)
05: Metropolis Act 3 (Already filled in the Rock World slot)
06: BLANK (Placeholder for Tropical Plant?)
07: Hill Top
08: Hidden Palace (Olympus??)
09: BLANK (Placeholder for Blue Lake?)
(SONIC RETURNS TO A RUINED PRESENT)
0A: Oil Ocean
0B: Dust Hill (Same name in stage select, slot already taken by what would be named Mystic Cave)
(SONIC GOES TO THE FUTURE?)
0C: Casino Night
0D: Chemical Plant
0E: Genocide City
0F: Neo Green Hill
10: Death Egg
This is really significant.
Here's an obvious thing we missed - Hill Top Zone. It has dinosaurs and volcanos, and yet I don't think anyone made the connection that it might be
EmeraldGreen Hill Zone in the past.
I have my doubts about Hidden Palace being this "Olympus" stage though - my thinking is it was always meant to be some sort of secret ("hidden") level - something you might find in this so-called "ruined present" where there apparently aren't many other levels.
i.e. it's the future of Olympus. And if it's true that Hidden Palace in Sonic 3 was built on Sonic 2's ideas... maybe that was Olympus. Or maybe they were going to re-do Marble Zone.
Here's two questions:
- Where is mystic cave?
- What are the chances of "blue lake" becoming the Never Lake in Sonic CD?
19 May 2017 - 10:37 AMI seem to recall one of the older formats adding an extra header to help whatever emulators were around in the mid-1990s, but judging from the comments, that might have been for another system*. The problem stems from a lack of coordination 20 years ago and preservation not being the main priority.
I would have course argue that ".md" > ".gen" because world > America, but even if the extension was uniform, the GoodGen and No-intro naming conventions are often extremely wrong. I still run into "Sonic and Crackers" from time to time.
*actually as I write this I'm fairly sure it was the NES, because Nintendo were caught using some of these ROMs in their Virtual Console releases.
15 May 2017 - 03:24 PMProbably not. But by that standard how many of their old IPs are major then?
From a Japanese perspective, Virtua Fighter and Sakura Taisen.
It's a difficult one to quantify as Sega weren't really known for making a bazillion sequels (unless the word "Sonic" was in the title). Sega Rally might be a candidate. Ecco and Streets of Rage were big sellers on the Mega Drive but I can't guarantee Japan would see it that way.
Hang-On, Space Harrier, OutRun and After Burner are notable but not necessarily as "franchises". And then you come to the realisation that one of the really big money makers on the Dreamcast was NFL 2K1.
15 May 2017 - 12:55 PMDoes Jet Set Radio even count as a "major" intellectual property. Two fifteen year old games that probably didn't sell well.
No the trick is always to make brand new material suitable for Western audiences. Because then the Sega brand becomes the marketable asset, not the product. Otherwise you risk these.
Typically a good starting point is "I have an interesting idea for a game", not "let's bring back the Streets of Rage name - game concept later".