What an awesome piece of work. I once made feeble attempts to port Sonic 1/2 sprites into Sonic 3k using SonikSprite, but now someone has finally done it properly. Bravo!
Just a couple of 1/2-isms to suggest.
Sonic 1/2 Robotnik/eggpods One thing I missed was Robotnik's evil laugh whenever you took a hit. I could do some modifications to the boss machines to make them fit the old eggpods if you like.
Traditional spinners What could happen here is that you have a screen lock for an act 1 boss, and instead of the spinner falling from the air the screen is unlocked as you move forward to hit the spinner in the old-school way.
and as someone has already suggested, including some Nakamura staple tunes like 1ups, invincibilities, act clears and maybe bosses - that would be cool as well!
Thank you! I'm happy to see that my work paid off for this. I was just afraid that since this porting wasn't a 1:1 conversion process that some people might get all nitpickey. Good to see that that isn't the case. I'm still working on refinements with the sprites, especially the S1 sprite set. Getting that angry eye implemented for ya all!
I think the main problem with incorporating older Robotnik eggpods is, like you said, how they would fit into the many contraptions he pits against Sonic and co. Plus I do not know if it would go against story canon. I always thought that his original eggpod was completely destroyed after trying to escape from Final Zone back in Sonic 1, and that his S2 eggpod, which he had "parked" in the original Death Egg, met a similar fate. It's not really the same as changing Sonic's sprites; although S3K interpreted it differently, each game modeled the hedgehog off of what the concept art depicted. It was all the same classic Sonic. Robotnik's machines, on the other hand, reflect new designs of his own after repeated failed attempts, all with the intent to be better than the previous one.
I would like to see his evil laugh re-implemented, though! That's one of the few things that kind of let me down with the original S3K, but I kind of just got used to.
Classic signposts might become a possible old-school feature in the future, but it would take some time to not only implement them, but determine what would happen to those in-between act transitions. Would they still be there, or would the screen fade out and fade back in to the title card for the next act? It all depends on what Tiddles decides to do about it, IF he does anything about it at all.
And the Nakamura themes would require extra thought, especially considering the music bank limitations. There aren't enough free spots to store all the old-school themes, so something creative would need to be done about that. Plus someone would need to compose new title screen and invincibility themes for the game based off the older two; these two themes were different between S1 and S2, so it would make sense that it was the same case for S3(Complete). Finally, it would leave a particular dilemma: would it be necessary to include Nakamura's name in the end credits?
- Implementing proper Knuckles *falling* sprites. The back and forth flickering of the closed-eyes/open-eyes sprite animation during Knuckles' LBZ transition falling to Mushroom Valley seems visually incomplete in terms of smooth animation, which Sonic and Tails both seem to have.
- Implementing exhaust flames to the Tornado during the Hyper Sonic/Super Tails pre-credits cutscene when they're flying through Angel Island after returning the Master Emerald would make sense since it's the only instance the Tornado seems to lack the animation. Here is the original and a mockup of the animation, along with Sonic's green color problem fixed.
Firstly, as Neo said, Knuckles is likely using an animation meant for only Sonic and Tails. It should just be because there's an actual entry for a two-sprite "sliding" animation when there shouldn't be one in the first place for Knuckles. So it should be a relatively simple fix.
Second, I also caught on to Sonic's strange green pixels on those sprites. I asked Tiddles awhile back about them, and he determined that they were meant to serve as an early form of anti-aliasing. Since players would be experiencing S3K on their CRT TVs instead pixel-perfect emulators, the green would actually help accentuate Sonic's shape with a smaller sprite. It didn't seem to pay off. It's an easy "fix", though: just replace the green with the same black that Sonic always uses in game.
And finally, I never noticed that the Tornado didn't have exhaust fumes in that last scene before the credits. I guess I was always either too busy looking at Knuckles and the Master Emerald, or just doing something else. Perhaps Sonic and Tails are just taking one last slow cruise around Angel Island. Unless this is due to sprite count issues, I don't see why this couldn't be amended.