Find me the desert level

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Black Squirrel, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. Vangar

    Vangar

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    Hm, the more I look at this the more it seems likely to be a mockup that was never in game. The platform looks like it was taken from HPZ, not just the badnik. And the shine on the cactus looks like something from Marble zone
     
  2. drx

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    There are multiple reasons to believe it's a mockup:
    * 08 rings
    * rings are too close together
    * the twinkles from collected rings are not lined up horizontally
    * the lives icon is too far away from the bottom of the screen
    * HUD is too far away from the top
    * Sonic is in an unnatural frame (a similar one is in the HPZ shot)
    * Both the Desert and HPZ screenshots have a lot of stuff going on. If someone was making a mockup they would want to put a bunch of things on the screen to make it seem interesting.
    * Sonic is very off-center, but not in a rolling or running animation

    Ring objects have predefined patterns, it's unlikely that someone would place rings in this way. Similarly the HPZ screenshot has rings lined up against the curve, which nobody would put into the layout. Both of these issues appear in the EHZ shot as well

    That said the HUD and lives counter from Sonic 1 seems accurate. The EHZ foreground and background too. For a mockup there's a lot of details that seem right.
     
  3. Kat

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    They are mockups for the reasons described by drx.

    BUT, I'm also of the opinion that the mockups were based, at least partially, on real assets that were available to them at the time (since we know for sure that part of that HPZ background was added to the game, though unused by the time of the NA build. Same with the gator.).
     
  4. Fred

    Fred

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    Available to whom? The mockups were quite probably made by the level artists themselves, using Digitizer hardware, to demonstrate how everything would look once put together.
     
  5. Kat

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    Definitely possible! I meant "them" as in "whoever created the mockups" - certainly could've been the level artists themselves, or the level artists in conjunction with another team/person/etc. :)

    My main point was that the level artists/whoever probably used (at least to some degree) real assets that existed at the time the mockups were created, as opposed to the mockups being made up completely of one-off, "only used for these mockups" art.

    Also, I want those assets.
     
  6. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I suspect the people who put these mockups together are different to the people who made the graphics.

    e.g. Brenda Ross gave someone a disk full of "Dust Hill" tiles, and that person stitched them together to make a mockup. That's how the full levels were made.

    You wouldn't make assets just for mockups. Remember, these were being passed off as authentic screenshots - they had every intention of turning them into proper levels.
     
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  7. SystemsReady

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    Wood Zone is indeed unbelievably goddamned ugly. Every screencap I see of it, my brain goes "this looks like an amateur fan hack" (and not because it was literally used in a bunch of amateur fan hacks). The tiling is ugly and the background is simplistic. Hidden Palace has the same repetition problem but it at least somewhat still feels like a Sonic game - you can see that fitting in with the style of Mystic Cave Zone (and that is probably why MCZ is how you get to it in the 2013 remake), it just needed some additional polishing up that it didn't get.
     
  8. HEDGESMFG

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    Yeah, it is starting to look like our most famed scrapped stages outside of Hidden Palace never made it beyond the minimum of proof of concept with very limited graphics assets being built that were quickly shot down for being either sub par, or uninteresting to the JP team.

    This could explain why they not only never appeared in the code, but why the level artists get so confused when interviewed about them. Not only was the desert level never playable, that screenshot for the mockup may be all the graphics which were ever drawn for it, period (save the enemies we uncovered, which could have been recycled from other in development stages).

    In short...

    Desert Stage = Never built in code. GFX were made for a mockup/proof of concept only, then swiftly rejected with recycled enemies filling the screencap.
    Genocide/Cyber City = We've seen the tiles now, and know what it became. About the closest we could ever get to playing the real thing is someone taking the map grid that got released recently and combining it with the modified tiles released on the recent floppy disc recovery.
    Wood Zone = Proof of concept, made it far enough to get into code. Swiftly rejected due to art design/concept/reasons. Never built beyond what we have now.
    Hidden Palace = Attempt to tie into chaos emerald/super sonic mechanic of some sort, perhaps. One off single act stage. Built early, but never finished due to being tied to more complex code that was never implemented in time (Super Sonic was one of the final things finished, so Hidden Palace was likely cut first to streamline development).

    A lot of the other missing stage concepts seem to come from the much earlier time travel conceptual stage that was being considered for the game, and at best loosely resemble what we got in the final product.
     
  9. Dissent

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    How'd the scanning go?
     
  10. Hez

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  11. SystemsReady

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    Indeed. the art itself in some form seems to have made it into an even earlier prototype than Nick Arcade. It is unused in said prototype.

    [​IMG]

    I assume the additional layers in the background might've been parallax? but this is the only part of the graphics that made it in it seems.
     
  12. Hez

    Hez

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    I didn't mean those, I mean smaller ones around it. At first I thought it was an error with the way it was printed, but those seem to actually be part of the background.
     
  13. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

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    Above Sonic to the left? Looks to me like stalactites from deeper in the cave.
     
  14. I was able to recover a bit but not much of the detail. I'm waiting to get access to the full res scans Hez made (already requested :), let's wait!).
    [​IMG]
     
  15. LocalH

    LocalH

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    Wonder if it's worth trying to realign the CMYK plates
     
  16. That's what I actually did. But the results aren't amazing because you can't really recover the plate separations after they're printed.
     
  17. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    Is it just me or is that buzzer in the HUD overlapping the time counter? (while the one above it is below the HUD like it should)
     
  18. Hez

    Hez

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    I'll be honest. I'm not sure I can get a better scan. I might be able to get better colors, but as far as dpi goes, you can already zoom in and see the ink dots.
     
  19. I only wanted the original files you got, your scans are fine. IMGUR adds lots of compression on their JPEGs.
     
  20. Hez

    Hez

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    The link to the original scans is right above the imgur link. I just added imgur for anyone quickly viewing the thread.