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Dust Hill and Mystic Cave Discussion 2019

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Taylor, Nov 9, 2019.

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  1. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    Those pages are already being edited these days (mostly) without my help but yeah, that tidbit should definitely be included somewhere.
  2. Korou Tenshi

    Korou Tenshi

    Yeah, that's definitely a possibility!
    What I'm saying is the only thing we know for sure is that in the prototypes we have, the level select option for Dust Hill Zone points to Mystic Cave Zone.
    The circumstances that led to why and how are completely up in the air and speculative though.
    Perhaps if we had more of an answer to "why did Mystic Cave have its name changed part way through development", we might understand the intentions behind the Dust Hill name
  3. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    I think this is one big problem here, there's a huge difference in weight between "tangible proof" and "what ifs".

    Wikis are about documenting facts, so once the tangible proof arrives, there's no need to keep using the (sometimes contradictory) "what ifs" anymore.
  4. Nova


    That part is just my own theorizing, admittedly. All I'm saying is I still don't think there's enough evidence to definitively say that Mystic Cave is Dust Hill, either. We can say that for some reason, it goes by that name in various prototypes - but whether the name was changed, or it occupies a previously cut level's slot and hadn't had new titles done yet could be either way with what we know. I don't know, Yasuhara mistaking the desert screenshots and Mystic Cave seems unlikely and then there's the part about the name being really unfitting. It leaves doubt in my mind anyway.
  5. 19XX


    So, if I delete a level, could another one assume its slot, and with it, its title card and menu entry? It's a technical question I can't answer myself, but I remember at least the menu entry is separate from everything else. So I don't think Mystic Cave inherited everything because the desert level was deleted, at least not the menu entry. Simply I don't believe the system can reorder data and memory that automatically.

    For me, the desert level is just Desert Level, not Sand Shower, not anything else. It is just what we know.

    Dust Hill is a cave with an engrish name. Bye.
  6. Sonic Hachelle-Bee

    Sonic Hachelle-Bee

    Taking a Sand Shower Tech Member
    Lyon, France
    Sonic 2 Long Version
    First of all, I have to apology. I largely contributed to the "DHZ is the desert level" argument a decade ago, even to the point of naming the desert level "Dust Hill zone" in the old Sonic 2 Long Version hack. And for that, you don't know how I feel really guilty :( Just search on Google for "Dust Hill zone": most images are now the desert level partially because of that.

    We have to remember that at the time, we knew that a desert level existed (we had the mockup), but we never knew the existence of the maps, the Banper sketches, and a "Sand Shower zone". It was easy to link the desert level to "Dust Hill zone" as the name fits better (even now) for a lot of people: dust = sand or snow, "Diamond Dust zone", etc... This assumption logically implied that the cave level took the slot ID of DHZ during the game development after the desert level was scrapped.

    But now, we have the following evidences:
    • The desert level is NOT "Dust Hill zone" (interviews are irrevelant, just search "Dust Hill zone" on Google even if it was a decade ago).
    • The desert level IS "Sand Shower zone" (maps and Banper sketches proves that).
    • The cave level was named "Dust Hill zone" at some point during development (occupied slot ID in all Betas, magazines).
    • The cave level became "Mystic Cave zone" in the final game (at least, we were not the only ones to think that "Dust Hill zone" was not a good name for the cave level).
    For now, with the (objective) evidences we have and our knowledge, it is safe to assume "Dust Hill zone is Mystic Cave zone" until proved otherwise.

    • "Dust Hill zone" as a name, doesn't fit 100% the cave level (that's probably why it was changed and why we are discussing this subject until now). On the other hand, I agree that's purely speculative.
    • The maps are not clear about the exact localisation of the cave level.
    • The maps are not clear about the exact content of the "Dust Hill zone".
    • A slot ID is easily reusable for something else (MTZ3, WFZ, DEZ all use reused slot IDs).
    As such, we can't prove the cave level was meant to be "Dust Hill zone" from the start. We have several reasons to believe so and we have to assume this is the case for now. But we can't be 100% sure of that. The original "Dust Hill zone" may have been an entirely different level.
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  7. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    He posted a video of Esrael's Sonic 2 Delta along with his response, which he could only have found after actually googling "Dust Hill" when being asked about it.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
  8. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    To mods: Here's the list of posts which can be merged with this topic:
    Code (Text):
    1. 949553, 949559, 949564, 949566, 949573, 949579, 949588, 949589, 949590, 949592, 949593, 949595, 949599, 949600, 949606, 949627, 949638, 949641, 949644, 949649, 949651, 949690, 949694, 949697, 949699, 949700, 949702, 949705, 949715, 949722, 949726, 949727, 949729, 949730, 949731, 949732, 949735, 949739, 949742, 949745, 949747, 949748, 949750, 949757, 949830, 949840, 949841, 949843, 949851, 949860, 949874, 949876, 949881, 949892, 949898, 949900, 949902, 949904, 949906, 949907, 949908, 949909, 949910, 949911, 949912, 949913, 949914, 949917, 949918, 949920, 949922, 949925, 949927, 949928, 949929, 949931, 949932, 949933, 949934, 949935, 949937, 949938, 949939, 949943, 949946, 949969, 949995, 949997, 949999, 950001, 950003, 950004, 950009, 950011, 950012, 950019, 950023, 950026, 950031, 950039, 950058, 950102, 950106, 950107, 950108, 950110, 950119, 950121, 950133, 950134, 950138, 950140, 950143, 950145, 950147, 950148, 950149, 950151, 950152, 950153, 950155, 950156, 950157, 950169, 950175, 950190
    Also, while at it, perhaps somebody could please change the topic title to something less flamewar-ish such as "Dust Hill discussion 2019" or something?

    EDIT: (Most of) the posts have been moved, thanks!
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  9. Yasuhara's maps serve as decent evidence of Dust Hill = Mystic Cave for me. It may not indicate a mine/cave, but it does show that Green Hill has collapsed. Pairing what concept art we have with the maps also point to Sand Shower being a desert and not yet another beach as well. Firstly, it is further out from the coast. Secondly, we've seen concept art of Ocean Wind and Tropical Sun. If you coun't Green/Emerald Hill as being a beach, then that would make for three semi-distinct beaches.

    The title card is solid evidence of DHZ = MCZ too, and not only because of the title card consistency prior to the deletion of the name Dust Hill. We still have no idea if the Desert mock up/Sand Shower was ever present in a build. Until that holy grail of a build is unearthed, I'll believe it to be a significant stretch to think that MCZ just took over another level's slot.

    That old Yasuhara interview did make me question all this, but I firmly believe the evidence points to his response back then being a goof.
  10. Antheraea


    Bug Hunter Member
    Collapsing caused by something such eggmobile with literal drills in it that digs through things to attack the player character?

    Hell, we saw that idea used for Marble Garden Zone too. That ACTUALLY caused in-game terrain collapse!
  11. LockOnRommy11


    Like I said in the Sonic 2 topic earlier today, Emerald Hill’s backdrop has mounds with holes in which seemingly look like they are unnatural and associated with real world excavation.

    Not only that, but what does Robotnik land in upon first meeting him? A drilling machine.
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  12. Woah! This certainly adds some depth to that seemingly random boss.

    Another thing to ponder: Eventually Green Hill was renamed Emerald Hill, and the background art of Mystic Cave appears to contain emeralds.
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  13. Scarred Sun

    Scarred Sun

    Be who you needed when you were younger Administrator
    Tower 8 ️
    Welp, this.
    So, a few things I want to make clear:

    • As reiterated several times, we write facts in the wiki. Not fanon, not theory. Facts. We have already caused several butterfly effects in the past, and Dust Hill is one of the bigger ones. Write facts. Whether it should be this way or not, Retro is inadvertently responsible for keeping these sorts of facts straight, and when we fall down as a community we all look like dinguses.
    • As an extension of that, please do not "theorize" on time travel items officially (forum chat is fine, but no wiki writing) unless we get actual interviews. People who can get actual interviews will do so and that is likely not Random Member #12946.
    • I mean geez just read SHB's post a few posts up
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  14. Xilla


    I've been wondering myself if the name change from Dust Hill to Mystic Cave was possibly a result of Hidden Palace getting axed.

    Like......the names Hidden Palace and Mystic Cave are both implying something mysterious and out of the ordinary. Would it be possible they were trying to keep that theme going in the final release?
  15. Blastfrog


    See ya starside. Member
    This is just stupid conjecture and is probably not likely, but I wonder if Mystic Cave as "Dust Hill" had different art or theme at some point, at least conceptually and before being implemented in the game. Look at Casino Night, they totally redid that zone's art. They also had a different background for HPZ in a mockup. For all we know, Mystic Cave is Dust Hill but Dust Hill wasn't originally a cave but was turned into one at some point.

    Honestly, who knows. I wish we could get clearer answers from the devs and not vague and clearly inaccurate stuff. Brenda probably only made the connection because that's what all the fans were saying, likely with Yasuhara as well. If they just went by their own memory without being given "hints" we might have a better idea.

    It's already been changed but I agree. We don't need to be getting mad at each other or even implying that's possible over some Engrish level name.
  16. Overlord


    Now playable in Smash Bros Ultimate Moderator
    Long-term happiness
    (fwiw I changed the topic title again, but only because the typo of "discussion" was annoying me. That's now fixed =P)
  17. jbr


    Although this conversation is faintly absurd I'm also enjoying it greatly so going to add my opinion.

    A few people have touched on this, but I think we should emphasise the massive piece of evidence that Mystic Cave is called Mystic Cave in the final. I don't think we can deal with such absolutes as "DHZ == MCZ" when this is literally the one thing that we know is not true. Mystic Cave is called Mystic Cave, and there could be so many reasons how that name came about. For all we know, a designer looked at a late build of Mystic Cave with the Dust Hill title card and said, "what the fuck is this?? I imagined Dust Hill as a literal hill of dust, in which Sonic sneezes his way past dust mites and battles a huge feather duster mecha". Or perhaps (more realistically), "wow, this changed a lot from the original concept. Time to change the name." All we do know is that they clearly did not think that the end result should be called Dust Hill, and as Korou Tenshi said above, knowing more about the reason its title card changed would be very interesting.

    While we're talking about absolutes, we should focus again on how haphazard we know the development process was. It's fun for us to solve the riddle of "what is Dust Hill..." and try and find ridiculously obscure supporting evidence for our theories, but it is actually quite likely that this abstract concept never had a single meaning. It is entirely plausible that Brenda Ross really did think the desert level she was drawing was called Dust Hill, whilst someone else in the team was absolutely set on Dust Hill being a cave. Maybe the idea was lost in communication or Chinese whispers; maybe the person who set the level order and title card was different from the person who designed and implemented Mystic Cave and just made a guess at what it was referring to. Or, most likely IMO, it simply evolved from the initial concepts into something else.

    Having said all that, I definitely think that all the recent evidence points to Dust Hill being an early name for the concept which evolved into Mystic Cave. That to me is the most likely explanation. I am also prepared to believe that the real answer is much more complex as I've described above. We are however a long way from "proof", and honestly, given the contradictory evidence we have and the amount of time which has passed, this is probably the best we're ever going to get. Mystic Cave, Dust Hill, Sand Shower and Desert Level are all distinct concepts in my mind, with some unknown Venn diagram which describes the amount of overlap they have.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  18. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    No, she already clarified that she actually never called it that.
  19. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

    I don't see where you're coming from with this. He googled Dust Hill because he didn't have any relevant pics at hand.
  20. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    No, he was given the desert screenshot.
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