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Adventures with Chaotix

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Black Squirrel, Jan 23, 2021.

  1. Varion Icaria

    Varion Icaria

    He's waiting.... Tech Member
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    Well I'm not usually on the forums much hence why I mentioned Discord, I was only here because it was brought to my attention that somebody besides me was diving into the prototypes. I'll share my finds as I go along. One major thing to note that I've found in the same Art file as Metal Kai's back/Genesis Arm is that there is an Eye animation that goes unused. I've also found what I feel to be the prototype Final Boss intro. More like an animation during the Intro. Still haven't found the correct palette yet but Dolphman did what they could to get some sort of palette on it. There's more stuff like how Tails' Flight action code exists was worked on all the way up till 119 the latest before removal, among other things. Those Final Boss tests you posted earlier which proto were they in? I've modified the hell out of 0111 to try to get the final boss to load, If you 'complete' all levels in World Entrance you get forced to exit.
     
  2. Looking at the giant Techno Tower spring. How close was I with my rip regarding the palette? I manually recoloured it myself as I couldn't find the zone palettes in the art viewer.
    Speaking of, are the palette codes for the boss intros available? I'll might rip them next for TSR as they're one of the last few things yet to be ripped.
     
  3. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    It's wiki time. There's no need to be afraid.
    There was a note on the wiki that stage bosses change depending on the time of day. I'm not entirely convinced that's the case for 4/5ths of them, but it certainly seems to be a thing with Techno Tower:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    There are four different configurations for the floating "prisms" (morning not having any), and killer lasers.

    In theory this changes the dynamics of the boss since you're dodging different things. In practise, the rate of fire is too slow, and in many cases, beams are deflected straight away, so the added threat is minimal. Eggman's big suit with flailing arms always behaves the same, and if you're paying attention, you can defeat it pretty quickly.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    There are different configurations in the prototypes, with the 1207 build always using three lasers. Beat it and the game puts you into a spinning limbo... except for when it doesn't - sometimes you get an almost completely black (but fully "working") world entrance. Genuinely not sure how much I trust the emulation anymore for things like that.
     
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  4. Robjoe

    Robjoe

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    I'm about to do a big post (or probably two considering image limitations) of all the unused character sprites I've found in the game (just the final thus far), but I wanted to say a few unrelated things beforehand. (also might run out of time before work at this point, but I'm done and it's coming. :P )

    May I ask for some clarification here? As far as I'm aware, 0119 is the first build to not have Tails' flight. Did you mean to say it still exists in some form in 0119, or did you simply mean 0119 is the first version that no longer has it? Also, do you know anything about where it's code is located, or for that matter, the starting address of character abilities in general? If it's not too much trouble, I'd love to know anything technical you've learned about this stuff. Could lead to a breakthrough for my "small personal project" I alluded to in my first post in this thread.... ;)

    ArtViewer.png

    I haven't yet looked myself, but are you sure it's not using the level's MARS palette for 32X objects? Pick Techno Tower 5 (I found it in level 5) in the red area, and then in the green area, increase the base color until it's drawing with Techno Tower 5 object palette. If this isn't it, let me know and I'll go ahead and try to track its palette down manually in the ROM. Ditto for the boss intros and anything else you need. I think I could simply find the currently-loaded MARS palettes in a savestate, and then search for them in the ROM.

    And a note on the wiki: If you're not feeling up for it, Black Squirrel, I can try getting an account set up sometime and document some of this myself. I'm sure I can figure out the basics of using a wiki, though you may want to double-check my work for any mistakes or "breaches of etiquette", though I'll obviously do my best to make it suitable for Retro's standards. I'm an OCD preservation freak myself, so I certainly wouldn't mind pitching in on that front wherever possible, provided of course I have the time and ability to do so. :)
     
  5. Asagoth

    Asagoth

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    wiki stuff... and a beer... or two... or more...
    Do it... help is very much welcome ;) ...
     
  6. Robjoe

    Robjoe

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    Okay, so I'm finally done with those spritesheets and animations I promised. Apologies for how long it's been since I said I'd have it done, but well, I should've known better than to underestimate the volume of unused stuff in this god-forsaken game, heh.

    This is basically every unused character sprite I could find (just in the final for now). Some of it is new, and a few are things I've seen posted elsewhere, but that I think I have a better idea than Retro's or TCRF's articles on what their intended usage was. The only things I skipped are things that are both documented and that I have nothing new to contribute on. I'll organize this by the internal character order, so that means Sonic Mighty is up first:

    MightyDazed.gif Animated version of Mighty's dazed state. No sheet as I see Black Squirrel actually already covered that a day or two ago. Thanks!

    MightyThrow_sheet.png MightyThrow.gif Mighty's full throw animation. A note on how I've done some of these sheets: The last two frames here actually are seen in-game, very briefly, but I included them on the sheet for a frame-by-frame look at the animation in full. The colored lines at the bottom denote what is and isn't used: Red for unused, green for used. Let me know if this is dumb or could be done some other, better way, but I wanted to be exhaustive just in case!

    MightyWallKick_sheet.png MightyWallKick.gif Complete animation of Mighty's wall kick. Both our and TCRF's pages actually do show the launching frames, but they're vague about it and don't make the connection that it's a part of the wall kick. However, they're stored in the ROM in the exact order you see on the sheet, so I think it's safe to say their intended usage was as you see in my animation: Latch on > Cling > Launch in one of the three directions. Also, there are no launch frames for straight up or down, and considering how kicking straight up just obsoletes every other character's wall-climbing abilities, I wonder if they only intended for Mighty to kick off straight back and diagonally, but never bothered limiting him because of, of course, dreaded time constraints.

    KnucklesThrow_sheet.png KnucklesThrow.gif Knuckles' full throw animation. Much like Mighty's, the last two frames are visible in-game if you look closely, but it looks pretty cool as a full animation. Almost makes me imagining him chucking something heavy like a shot-put, ha.

    KnucklesFlipUp1.png KnucklesUnknown1.png KnucklesUnknown2.png Three more random Knuckles frames. The first is used in the earlier prototypes as the beginning of his "pulling up onto a ledge" animation (I'll investigate later and determine which exact build this is rendered unused in, but my money's on 0119, where character abilities were more-or-less finalized). The last two are very strange, but they might be connected, as they're right next to each other in the index, and almost strike me as him breaking out of his ball for some sort of attack. Worth noting is that his gliding animation comes directly after these, so it could maybe be a more detailed glide start-up, but the second frame doesn't match up so well with his glide-start frame. See for yourself, see what you think.

    ... And with that, I'm unfortunately off to work, but I'll leave this here as I bet I'm closing in on the image limit anyway. I'll continue when I get home with the rest of the cast, as well as a couple other goodies if I get around to them!
     
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  7. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    It's wiki time. There's no need to be afraid.
    Oh yes please do - we can worry about formatting and tone and whatever later :)
     
  8. Varion Icaria

    Varion Icaria

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    Contact me on Discord if you have it, if not send me a PM here. I'll post something in relation to this.
     

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  9. muteKi

    muteKi

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    I hit reset during the end credits and the techno tower demo actually worked


    What the FUCK

    EDIT: initially checked on hardware; can confirm it also works in Fusion if you want better footage than me using my phone camera on a CRT
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
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  10. Robjoe

    Robjoe

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    Well I'll be damned, I never thought I'd see the day where Chaotix's first demo actually worked. I wonder what hell could possibly be making the difference there. The inputs look the same, at least at first....

    Anyway, on to Charmy now. He has a fair number of seemingly unused sprites, though I'm not surprised they've been overlooked for so long seeing as he's a tiny little clump of pixels. (I know he's a bee, but shit, what was the artist thinking?)

    CharmyDazed_sheet.png CharmyDazed.gif Dazed, obviously. Everyone's heard of these before. I've always wondered if there were supposed to be enemies with "strong" attacks or something. Maybe part of a boss, who knows.

    CharmyThrow_sheet.png CharmyThrow.gif Charmy's full throw animation. This one's pretty amusing, looks like he's really struggling to throw his partner without getting himself crushed. Definitely fits with how useless his throw strength is.

    CharmyHold_ sheet.png CharmyHoldFlutter.gif This one is kind of interesting. As far as hold animations go, Mighty, Knuckles, and Espio all have two frames, and the other characters all have a measly one. (Though in the animation scripts, there seem to be entries for far more - like six or eight or so if I recall correctly! I'll be following up on this.) However, Charmy has two extra ones that are just not referenced. Not sure what the dots are on the second one. Hard to tell if they're sweat drops of some sort or just an error, but they're there. Notice the third frame doesn't have wings. For a few of Charmy's animations, his wings are appended and animated separately like Tails' tails, and I assume this was meant to do that. I like the idea that he's beating his wings, desperately trying to maintain his grip.

    CharmyDashStart_sheet.png CharmyDashForward.gif CharmyDashUpward.gif These two frames are found just before his horizontal and vertical dashes, respectively. Pretty sure they were intended to look like him winding up in preparation. Perhaps they intended for you to hold the button to charge up for a faster dash, but that's just speculation on my part. Could've easily just been part of the standard animation and they thought it made him feel too clunky.

    CharmyUnknown.png And one more lone Charmy frame. I labelled this one unknown, but looking at it again just now, it comes right after his last dash frame. Maybe this was intended to be him recoiling after dashing.

    And that concludes Charmy, right as I've hit the limit for attached files, funnily enough. Continuing in next post....
     
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  11. muteKi

    muteKi

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    Given that they seemed to show up in Crackers when Sonic/Tails got stuck onto spikes, I always assumed they were a death animation equivalent.
     
  12. Crappy Blue

    Crappy Blue

    Knuckles' Chaotix is a perfect game with no flaws Member
    For everyone's enjoyment/dismay, an edit I made to these unused frames a couple months ago for a Chaotix emotes Discord server:
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Robjoe

    Robjoe

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    ... Huh, you might be onto something there, given that there is no death animation in this game. These would work perfectly when the screen is fading out. Much nicer than the characters simply flashing and eventually getting bored, hahaha

    And now it's time for everyone's favorite crocodile:

    VectorDazed_sheet.png VectorDazed.gif Starting off with his dazed state. His eyes are fucking priceless here, I have to say. 10/10 would unuse again

    VectorThrow_sheet.png VectorThrow.gif And his throw animation. This one might be tied with Heavy's for my favorite unused throw. It's just so crazy looking. Kind of reminds me of his rolling animation, where he wraps himself in a circle with a hole in the middle. How does a crocodile even do that? Bit of a shame the 3D games never made an attempt to animate him spinning like that, but it probably only looks good as a two-dimensional cartoon.

    VectorUnknownBall.gif The frames for this one are already on the Retro wiki, and TCRF already has it animated, but I did it anyway because it was an easy one and perhaps we shouldn't just lift content from there. I have no real idea what this is supposed to be, but I will note that this comes directly after his normal rolling sprites, for whatever that's worth.

    VectorDashEndHorizontal.png VectorDashEndVertical.png VectorDashHorizontal.gif VectorDashVertical.gif These two frames come directly after his last air dash frame, so I think it stands to reason they're meant to be an ending for it.

    VectorWallLatch.png Two more, right next to each other in the index. Looks like Vector latching onto a wall, and possibly falling off if you leave him sitting too long. My first thought is that this could've been meant to be the start of his climbing animation, but they're not near those sprites at all. They actually appear after them, between his hold sprite and his air dash.Perhaps some kind of extra wall-related ability? Vector in general has always been the weirdest character in the game to me: His abilities are a frankenstein of Knuckles' wall-climbing and Charmy's air dashing. Almost like someone really wanted him in the game (and I mean, who doesn't want to play as a crocodile in Sonic?), but no one knew what to actually do with him.
     
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  14. Crappy Blue

    Crappy Blue

    Knuckles' Chaotix is a perfect game with no flaws Member
    I always figured those smaller rolling sprites for Vector would've been used if Chaotix had any forced-rolling tubes. They're the right size for typical Sonic character rolling sprites compared to his normal roll sprites, so he'd be forced into them in order to fit into a tunnel that other characters could fit into fine. Though, if Espio doesn't have anything like that, that makes it less likely that was the intended use for them.
     
  15. Robjoe

    Robjoe

    Member
    Ah, good guess! There are actually tubes in proto Speed Slider that Black Squirrel pointed out a few pages back, so that might be where they were intended. He definitely looks like he's not enjoying the experience, hahaha. Espio doesn't have anything similar in his sprite set, but I'm fairly certain he was the last character made, and the only one made after the console transition with the 32X in mind (apart from Mighty as Sonic's replacement of course), so it might be that they scrapped the tunnels before figuring out how Espio would handle them. (Nice Charmy sprite, by the way. :P)

    Getting close to the end now. The last three characters don't actually have as many.

    BombJump.png Bomb's one and only unused frame. Listed right before his jump sprite, so this is probably him pushing off the ground.

    HeavyThrow_sheet.png HeavyThrow.gif Posted this one before, but here's Heavy's throw at its proper size, and with a sheet. I really enjoy this one, as it shows him opening his body up. You can barely see it happen on his teetering animation, but you actually get to see inside of him here. Normally you can't even tell that he can do that.

    EspioDazed_sheet.png EspioDazed.gif Dazed. Pretty smoothly animated, though it could've used another couple frames to show him shifting between feet. Interestingly, Espio is actually the only character not to have unused throw frames (other than Bomb, but he doesn't even have an arm sprite for carrying his buddy, so... :V).

    EspioWallSpin_sheet.png EspioWallSpin.gif A vertically oriented spinning animation. Obviously would've been used for spinning while wall-running, but you're not actually allowed to do that. And speaking of things you can't do on walls/ceilings....

    EspioWallHold1.png EspioWallHold2.png EspioWallThrow.png Hold and throw sprites for wall-bound Espio! You're not allowed to grab your partner while attached, but it's easy to imagine how that would work. What I find interesting is the hold sprites: Normally you can only use the "hold" function while playing with an AI partner, but the AI never engages with characters' abilities (apart from Charmy's, if you mash on the jump button). Either they intended to add that to the AI behavior, or you could hold in 2P mode. Frankly, I've always wondered why the hold button doesn't make you anchor yourself when playing two-player, since it otherwise does nothing if you're not in range to grab the other player, and the lack of the hold function makes it much more complicated to do the basic momentum tricks taught in the tutorial sequence. ... Or alternatively, the animator just made these frames without realizing they weren't needed. Difficult to say, with this game's chaotic development cycle. Hurr hurr hurr

    And that wraps up the unused sprites... for Chaotix, that is.
     
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  16. Robjoe

    Robjoe

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    I also decided to tackle Crackers's unused Sonic and Tails sprites because why not.

    SonicDazed_sheet.png SonicDazed.gif TailsDazed_sheet.png TailsDazed.gif Sonic and Tails dazed. Not technically unused as we know, but I thought perhaps they might be handy for the Crackers page somewhere.

    SonicHold_sheet.png TailsHold_sheet.png And their hold sprites. These are actually unused, and notably, Sonic looks different from how Mighty would end up in his hold pose.

    SonicThrow_sheet.png SonicThrow.gif Sonic's throw, actually completely unused here. Matches up with Mighty's, apart from Mighty turning his head more.

    TailsThrow_sheet.png TailsThrow.gif And Tails'. He seems to be stumbling, having a hard time hefting his partner up, like Charmy. Fits with him have the weakest throw in the game in the builds he's still functional in (apart from Charmy's useless throw obviously).

    And I'm out of space again. Just one more post, then I'll stop blowing this thread up, I promise.
     
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  17. Robjoe

    Robjoe

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    SonicWallKick_sheet.png SonicWallKick.gif Sonic's version of the wall kick. Not yet coded at all in Crackers, but it already has all the necessary frames.

    SonicPullUp_sheet.png SonicPullUp.gif This one's interesting, as it (and the next sprite) is the only one that doesn't make it into Chaotix to be adapted for Mighty. My best guess would be that this was another ability considered for Sonic. Perhaps if you tried to wall kick when close enough to a ledge, Sonic would simply climb up rather than kick off of it.

    SonicUnknown.png TailsUnknown.png At first I thought this was part of Sonic's climbing animation up there, but then I noticed Tails has a similar pose, so this might've been something else. Most likely hanging onto a bar or something.

    TailsFlight_sheet.png TailsFlight.gif TailsTired.gif Tails' flight sprites. The normal one seems the same as Sonic 2, sans arm, but the tired one is unique. Has there ever been an officially used Sonic 2-style tired Tails? Interesting.

    ... Okay, now I'm done. My profuse apologies for just blowing this thread up with these.
     
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  18. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Yup, in the remakes by Tax and Stealth. They're edited versions of the Crackers sprites:
    https://www.spriters-resource.com/pc_computer/soniccd2011/sheet/55459/
     
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  19. z.man II

    z.man II

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    That first frame is displayed for about a split second when latching onto a wall in 1207, and while Mighty can launch straight up and straight down, it's more difficult to pull off than in the final game.
    Edit: There's also Vector's wall latch animation, displayed for a single frame when pressing the jump button in midair against a wall.
    walljump.PNG walllatchvector.PNG
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
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  20. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    It's wiki time. There's no need to be afraid.
    There's not enough out there to explain why Chaotix does the things it does. Time might have been a factor, but if those wall jumping animations had existed since at least April 1994, that suggests to me that they chose not to implement them.


    I've tried a couple of routes to find the origins of Chaotix in the gaming press and it's... awkward. Three Spanish magazines seemingly cover a build older than 1207 (we have Hobby Consolas #45. Scans of the others exist but they're crap), but publish in 1995, which suggests perhaps Sega Espana dropped the ball. Finding any sort of coverage in 1994 is very difficult - just a couple of American mags poking Sega about a "Sonic Chaotic".

    The dates are a bit crazy on this too. First release of Chaotix was 21st April in Japan, just six months after Sonic & Knuckles. And if production started in March 1994, they might not have had Sonic 3 has a reference at first. This might explain control differences, and the wonky attempts at trying to tie the story in with Sonic 3&K. In fact there's a bigger gap between Chaotix and Sonic 3D which is an odd one to comprehend.
     
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