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Yet Another Fucking Hoax? Quickman makes drama again!

#1 User is offline Quickman 

Posted 09 November 2006 - 04:47 AM

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In a Skype conversation Qjimbo, Shade and I noticed a number of apparent discrepancies regarding the nature and content of the recent ROM dump provided by drx. To remain as fair as is humanly possible, we compiled evidence in favour of and against the case for the veracity of the ROM being a valid prototype.

THE CASE FOR - "PROTOTYPE"
The most important argument in favour of this dump being a prototype is the label - it's holographic, so it would be difficult to produce and thus would make it more likely to be sent from SEGA who DO in theory have the resources to produce holograms.

Another argument is that drx has previously admitted he is not very proficient at producing level layouts - this would imply that he does not have the skill to produce hoax levels of such quality as to fit perfectly with the demo sequences.

The final argument is that a hoax produced by drx would make more sense and be generally more coherent compared to the dump we have, which is full of leftover code and crashes.

Other evidence is Tails' end-of-level sign which appears to be new art.

THE CASE AGAINST - "HOAX"
The dump we have does not seem to conform to any predicted development cycle or progression; as we commented, it seems iffy in numerous respects.

drx is a good coder, so it would not be fantastically difficult for him to edit some code from a disassembly of Sonic 1 or Sonic 2 (both of which have disassemblies made, it is worth noting) with some convincing-looking labels backed up by a phony symbol table.

The sudden $1000 deus-ex-machina is also suspicious.

Isn't the incredible similarity to Nick Arcade a little bit convenient?

Then there's the fact the level select code was found near instantly, which is iffy because the UDDDDU code isn't Sonic 1 OR Sonic 2 in origin.

The monitor roulette seems arbitrary and oddly placed; it DOES work as an explanation for the Tails box, but this seems a little too convenient and opens up unpleasant questions like "what was HPZ doing in development when the majority of the physics are still rooted in Sonic 1 mentality?".

The placement of EHZ is puzzling - why did GHZ not get overwritten? Why did they move EHZ from SLZ's place to the first level entry.

drx's lack of proficiency with level layouts could explain why HPZ is so similar to in the Wai beta - he hasn't changed it. Perhaps the poor quality of all the level layouts is because he's not very good at making them!

WHERE DO WE STAND ON THE MATTER?
We're undecided - we'd like it to be real, but we feel it's scientifically expedient to question everything even if it turns out to be false worry. Better safe than sorry.

#2 User is offline Tweaker 

Posted 09 November 2006 - 05:07 AM

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Quote

Then there's the fact the level select code was found near instantly, which is iffy because the UDDDDU code isn't Sonic 1 OR Sonic 2 in origin.

That was actually the same code from the Wai beta... I'm sure he just tried it offhand, and it worked.

The other code combinations are also the same as Sonic 1's - just using UDDDDU instead of UDLR.

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The placement of EHZ is puzzling - why did GHZ not get overwritten? Why did they move EHZ from SLZ's place to the first level entry.

GHZ was a test level for new engine tests, for all intents and purposes. It's safe to assume, however, it was no longer being used as a test dummy after the new collision system was made, since the collision data is byte-for-byte identical to that of its collision in Sonic 1.

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The final argument is that a hoax produced by drx would make more sense and be generally more coherent compared to the dump we have, which is full of leftover code and crashes.

The leftover code is not uncommon in games - see Super Princess Peach (or so Heran claims).

The crashes are mostly due to leftover Sonic 1 DSR events that simply weren't removed yet. This is also why you can go to "Final Zone" by scrolling up in LZ4 (garbled CPZ tiles or whatever).

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drx is a good coder, so it would not be fantastically difficult for him to edit some code from a disassembly of Sonic 1 or Sonic 2 (both of which have disassemblies made, it is worth noting) with some convincing-looking labels backed up by a phony symbol table.

Isn't that a bit far-fetched, though? Anything can be faked - it doesn't mean it was.

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Isn't the incredible similarity to Nick Arcade a little bit convenient?

Sure, but remember that a majority of people were expecting a later beta, rather than an earlier one. This was a surprise for all of us.

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drx's lack of proficiency with level layouts could explain why HPZ is so similar to in the Wai beta - he hasn't changed it. Perhaps the poor quality of all the level layouts is because he's not very good at making them!

...okay, that's just stupid. You seem to be clutching at straws there.

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The sudden $1000 deus-ex-machina is also suspicious.

What do you mean? It was $1500. And the guy selling it needed money badly - we wouldn't have got it otherwise.

Quote

Other evidence is Tails' end-of-level sign which appears to be new art.

The art was probably just a test of style, to see if it would work out. This kind of thing is usually changed a lot during the development cycle - see Sonic CD 510 for examples - the end sign, though similar to the final design, is less intimidating than the final design.

I had my own doubts as well, but the level to which this ROM goes to represent a prototype is insane. drx had neither the time nor the skill to pull this off, contrary to popular belief. His programming is far messier than this, to be quite frank. And the uncompiled source in the ROM is way too real to be faked - I've never seen any person in the homebrew/hacking scene code with such depth.

I think people are just skeptical because drx is now a "known hoaxer" due to the X-Treme fiasco. Yet, he's released many legit protos before, where we've also pulled unused stuff from. How is this proto any less real than, say, Sonic 3D? I have no reason to doubt this is legit - not anymore, anyway.

#3 User is offline Sazpaimon 

Posted 09 November 2006 - 05:22 AM

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you forgot to add that Redeye knows who the seller is in regards to as to why this beta is real.

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The dump we have does not seem to conform to any predicted development cycle or progression; as we commented, it seems iffy in numerous respects.


It fits to me. Here's how I think the development cycle went:
Sonic 2 Alpha - Sonic 2 Engine tests with only Sonic 1 Levels
Sonic 2 Pre-Beta - Sonic 1 levels slowly removed for Sonic 2 levels
Sonic 2 drx Beta - GHZ remains only as a test level to test 2P mode, however EHZ remains the more used test and promotion level, hence its completeness
Sonic 2 post-drx beta - Level slots added and Dreams Come True music added into the game
Sonic 2 Simon beta - More levels for sonic 2 added to fill slots, some slots still remain empty placeholders

Seems to fit perfectly to me. Of course I'm just speculating how the inbetween builds would go, but it seems to make sense logically.

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Isn't the incredible similarity to Nick Arcade a little bit convenient?


The hollogram label would be a good indication that it was used for nick arcade for promotional, demonstration and identification purposes. Sega wouldnt release two different minor code releases to a game show AND a magazine. The way I see it, there are a maximum of 4 major betas of sonic 2 (by this I mean they were put into pretty carts). The rest remain on board kits. Most likely this is the same code that got shipped off to x amount of people.

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Then there's the fact the level select code was found near instantly, which is iffy because the UDDDDU code isn't Sonic 1 OR Sonic 2 in origin.


The UDDDDU code is known since Wai's beta to be a level select code. Also CCUDDDDU is the debug code in Sonic 2 Wai beta. UDDDDU is the base for all the codes in sonic 2 beta, much like UDLR is the base for all codes in sonic 1

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The monitor roulette seems arbitrary and oddly placed; it DOES work as an explanation for the Tails box, but this seems a little too convenient and opens up unpleasant questions like "what was HPZ doing in development when the majority of the physics are still rooted in Sonic 1 mentality?".

This doesn't make a lick of, sense, so I'll move on...

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The placement of EHZ is puzzling - why did GHZ not get overwritten? Why did they move EHZ from SLZ's place to the first level entry.

Ask sega, the nick arcade episode also has SLZ music, notifying that that build also was in SLZ's slot


Quote

drx's lack of proficiency with level layouts could explain why HPZ is so similar to in the Wai beta - he hasn't changed it. Perhaps the poor quality of all the level layouts is because he's not very good at making them!

HPZ has never changed in any Sonic 2 build. It has the exact same layout in sonic 2 final as it does in the beta.

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The sudden $1000 deus-ex-machina is also suspicious.


I know a few people that actually did donate large sums for this beta, that's where most of the money came from I bet.

#4 User is offline Vangar 

Posted 09 November 2006 - 05:22 AM

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I had a strong feeling of hoax when I play-tested... and I still do. But I'm giving the benefit of the doubt here. Lets hope it isn't a hoax.

#5 User is offline MK 

Posted 09 November 2006 - 05:45 AM

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I personally doubt it. Look at the "big" hoax:

To make Sonic X-treme:

drx makes a small 3 (or 4?) line cue file. He makes megabytes upon megabytes of garbage. He uploades it. Fools TONS of people, with little to no effort. He got me, it was fucking hilarious.

To make the Nick Arcade Sonic 2 prototype:

Disassemble Sonic 1, Sonic 2, and Wai's beta. Add Sonic 2's engine. Redesign Chemical Plant. Add lots of graphics. Remove lots of craphics. Move layouts around in uninteligible ways (GHZ1 in HPZ2, LBZ3 in HPZ3?). Recreate Nick Arcade's representation exactly, including the demos. Satisfy a few people.

To me, it seems highly unlikely this is a hoax. It would really make no sense if it was. Far too much work with not much of a result.
This post has been edited by MK: 09 November 2006 - 05:49 AM

#6 User is offline Vangar 

Posted 09 November 2006 - 05:50 AM

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View PostMK, on Nov 9 2006, 09:45 PM, said:

I personally doubt it. Look at the "big" hoax:

To make Sonic-Xtreme:

drx makes a small 3 (or 4?) line cue file. He makes megabytes upon megabytes of garbage. He uploades it. Fools TONS of people, with little to no effort. He got me, it was fucking hilarious.

To make Nick Arcade Sonic 2 prototype:

Disassemble Sonic 1 and Sonic 2. Add Sonic 2's engine. Redesign Chemical Plant. Add lots of graphics. Remove lots of craphics. Move layouts around in uninteligible ways (GHZ1 in HPZ2, LBZ3 in HPZ3?). Recreate Nick Arcade's representation exactly, including the demos. Satisfy a few people.

To me, it seems highly unlikely this is a hoax. It would really make no sense if it was. Far too much work with not much of a result.


Yes, the demo video is very strong fact, but one could create a suitable level layout to match the already recoded one in our beta. But, what about those new unused tiles.

#7 User is offline djdocsonic 

Posted 09 November 2006 - 07:55 AM

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I think its genuine, it would be far too much hard work to fake this surely? Also when I first heard drx was trying to buy a prototype I expected it to be a later one e.g. the one shown on the SEGA SOLID GOLD GUIDE (1993) which showed the 1 and 2 Player VS options on the title screen. The fact it appears to be the infamous Nick Arcade build makes it all the more impressive! Good work drx. Equally if he has somehow managed to manufacture this then again good Hoax.

DJ

#8 User is offline drx 

Posted 09 November 2006 - 09:17 AM

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Funky topic :P

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Then there's the fact the level select code was found near instantly, which is iffy because the UDDDDU code isn't Sonic 1 OR Sonic 2 in origin.


You know - the first thing when I dumped the ROM, I opened it in a hex editor to see what the level select code is - I wanted to see other levels, not only EHZ :P

Also, I think I mentioned it somewhere, but one of the very first things I thought when I first played the game was 'jeez people are gonna accuse me of hoax :P'.

Oh, and you forgot I deleted Wetflames beatiful essays :(

PS. If you want to be a good detective, find a motive for me to do such an elaborate hoax AND take money for it. I mean, if I was to make a hoax, I wouldnt rip people off for $1500 :P

#9 User is offline SMTP 

Posted 09 November 2006 - 09:47 AM

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A quick way to prove its real is to take pictures of the game on your Genesis/TV. =P

#10 User is offline redhotsonic 

Posted 09 November 2006 - 10:02 AM

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View PostSMTP, on Nov 9 2006, 02:47 PM, said:

A quick way to prove its real is to take pictures of the game on your Genesis/TV. =P

We have a winner!

#11 User is offline StephenUK 

Posted 09 November 2006 - 10:15 AM

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View PostSMTP, on Nov 9 2006, 02:47 PM, said:

A quick way to prove its real is to take pictures of the game on your Genesis/TV. =P


Not necessarily, coz he could be running it off some kind of dev cart and still play it on hardware. When I first saw it I thought it was a hoax, but after digging into it properly I'm not so sure it is now. I think this is legit. It's still a bit disappointing that it wasn't a later beta though. I wanted to see what this alternate DEZ art was supposed to be like.

#12 User is offline SMTP 

Posted 09 November 2006 - 10:22 AM

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Well, assuming Drx does'nt have a dev cart. =P
This post has been edited by SMTP: 09 November 2006 - 10:22 AM

#13 User is offline Verse 

Posted 09 November 2006 - 12:40 PM

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I'm undecided at this point. But if it is a hoax, props to DRX for actually trying this time. At least he made a lot of people happy in the process. I think also, that it if it is a hoax, it's gone too far for him to turn back now. Unfortunately he also ripped off a lot of people for cash if it's a hoax. I hope it ain't : (

#14 User is offline drx 

Posted 09 November 2006 - 12:50 PM

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In fact, it's quite easy to burn a game on EPROMs and stick them on an EPROM board like this one, so it wouldn't be a big problem for me to hoax that too.

It's pretty tough to find a 100% sure proof that everyone'll believe. I mean, even the Simon's build could've been a hack, following that logic (and don't even tell me there weren't good hackers in the 90s, cause there were).

For all those that still don't believe - for a second, 'pretend' you think it's legit. Now, tell me, what sort of '100%' evidence would you have to defend your point of view?

PS. This topic makes me happy :( You must really think I'm a good hoaxer & hacker :P Except that thing about ripping you lot off for $1500, that's something I'd never do, but heh.

#15 User is offline Cinossu 

Posted 09 November 2006 - 02:13 PM

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A little thing I just realised: HPZ's zone slot in this.

Okay, time for some comparisons..

In the wai prototype, HPZ is in slot 08. In Sonic 2, and the wai prototype, each zone slot consists of two acts.

In the drx prototype, HPZ is in slot 04. In Sonic 1, and the drx prototype, each zone slot consists of four acts. (Yes, four. The fourth is generally unused, except for LZ act 4.)

Slot 04, in Sonic 1, is Spring Yard. Now, split up the Sonic 1 zone slots into Sonic 2-style..

Slot 00:
GHZ 1
GHZ 2

Slot 01:
GHZ 3
GHZ 4

Slot 02:
LZ 1
LZ 2

Slot 03:
LZ 3
LZ 4

Slot 04:
MZ 1
MZ 2

Slot 05:
MZ 3
MZ 4

Slot 06:
SLZ 1
SLZ 2

Slot 07:
SLZ 3
SLZ 4

Slot 08:
SYZ 1
SYZ 2


.. zOMG! Spring Yard Zone acts 1 and 2 are now zone slot 08! Spring Yard acts 1 and 2 are replaced with HPZ acts 1 (and 2, eventually). Offset indexes are changed appropriately so that the zones are only two acts in size but the indexes themselves aren't altered. This also explains the gaps in Zones 01, 02 and 03, as "GHZ" acts 3 and 4, and LZ 1, 2, 3 and 4 are unused.
This post has been edited by Cinossu: 09 November 2006 - 02:13 PM

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