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Hidden 11 Rings in SA2(B) Mad Space...?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Vexus, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Okay, as if that level wasn't frustrating enough, I was watching son1cgu1tar's "Mad Space All Rings - 239" vid when I looked in the description and he said that there were 11 rings in this god-forsaken level that are unobtainable. One of them is way past the death plane, as seen in this screenshot he took:

    http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/1624/0003vz.png

    (Tiny Huge Island, anyone?)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynNHFhq1oog&feature=plcp

    But apparently the other 10 appear on a platform after playing the Mystic Melody at a non-existent shrine...I don't quite get that...He said he heard it from someone else, so it could just be a rumor...I dunno, I looked on this sites Wiki entry on Mad Space, but there was no information about the 10 rings or the single ring past the death plane...
     
  2. pablodrago

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    well the same thing happen in Metal harbor mission 5 (the hard mode) in the beginning there is 75 rings below the first ramp, also unobtainable


    skip to 4:18
     
  3. Jimmy Hedgehog

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    Now that's just weird...I wonder what other levels they're in? All I knew about was the rings where Big used to be...one of which made get 100 Ring mission in Metal Harbor a bit faster to do.
     
  4. In the description in one of SadisticMystic's vids, he explains its some kind of coding error in SA2B. They wanted to add some extra scenery due to the superior processing power, but not all of the scenery they put in could make the cut, or something like that, so they took it out. However, in Metal Harbor and Final Chase, I guess the coding got messed up and "replaced" the extra scenery with a single ring at the very middle position on the map. 75 for Metal Harbor and a whopping 131 in Final Chase! The 131 you can get to by skillfully jump-dashing up the very first rail you start out in. However, it is very difficult to pull off since the camera doesn't move past a certain point, but you can get to them. Another interesting thing is an almost non-existant limit: (Pardon me for the bad wording) A character can only "interact" with 128 objects in a single frame, so you'll have to go back and get those last 3 rings.
     
  5. Mr Lange

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    Wow, all these years of playing SA2 and I never knew about these things. I wonder what else I've missed.
     
  6. Yeah, its amazing what fans can discover many years after a game is released. (Playing as Master Hand in Smash Bros Melee without AR, the Celebi Egg glitch in Pokemon Gold and Silver, and someone finding out the Beta Sky Chase Dragon actually is the "camera man" who was there the entire time in Sonic Adventure!)
     
  7. ICEknight

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    Unless I missed something important, flying behind Sonic's biplane doesn't equal having anything to do with the camera... Could have been meant for a chase scene (making the Sky Chase title fit even better).
     
  8. TheKazeblade

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    I'd like to find out where he obtained this information. I feel like that's a fairly big oversight on behalf of the coders since rings are a counted aspect of your final score.
     
  9. But since the camera is fixed, it would be easy to just drag it off-screen, since the only way you'd be able to move the camera is by an external method.
     
  10. Sappharad

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    This has been explained by someone, (probably Dude or MainMemory) in a previous thread.
    They "removed" in-level objects from the SET file by blanking their entries out with all 00's. Since object 0 is a ring, an entry of all 00's is a ring at the X,Y,Z coordinate of 0,0,0 with the default rotation of 0.
     
  11. doc eggfan

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    I remember trying to get perfect ring scores in SA2 on DC (not battle) and finding some levels were impossible. I never worked out where the hidden rings were, but I looked everywhere and could never find them.
     
  12. Assuming Metal Harbor and Final Chase aren't the only levels that undergone that, does that mean those rings could exist in other levels as well?
     
  13. SadisticMystic

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    In Dreamcast SA2, there are exactly three rings located at the origin coordinates of a level: Green Hill (just below the ground at the starting point; obtainable with a lightning shield), Mad Space (significantly below the starting point; reachable but not until after you trigger dying), and Radical Highway (at the top of the starting bridge; it would almost be reachable except the rails there are surrounded by object 91—NOINPCOL—which locks out the controls such that you can't gain enough speed to get to the top).

    SA2B retains all three of these, and adds a 2400-byte block of zeroes into the Metal Harbor hard-mode-only object file (which places 75 rings below the start; they can be obtained, but you can't do anything but splash after that unless you have a moon jump code) and a 4192-byte block of the same in Final Chase hard mode (131 rings, just below the highest point on the starting rail before it loses its solidity; as was alluded earlier, these rings can certainly be grabbed as shown here). There are a few 2P/boss levels that have origin rings, as well as two in the test level, but those are somewhat less interesting, and a few other oddball one-off rings that happen not to be placed at the origin that I won't get into right now.

    As for the missing 10 box in Mad Space, here's a dump of all the Mystic Melody-related objects in that level:
    Code (Text):
    1. ID  SU Xrot Yrot Zrot  Xpos     Ypos     Zpos    Xarg   Yarg   Zarg
    2. 036: mystic shrine
    3. 036 00 0005 C000 0000 +0510.00 +3950.00 +0850.00 000.01 001.00 100.00
    4. 038: mystic portal
    5. 038 00 0005 8FC5 0000 +0347.61 +3310.00 +0466.46 063.00 3385.00 572.00
    6. 038 00 0005 A047 0000 +0178.97 +3310.00 +0187.09 084.00 3310.00 355.00
    7. 038 00 0005 C000 0000 +0510.00 +3990.00 +0920.00 433.00 3310.00 295.00
    8. 040: mystic item capsule
    9. 040 00 0000 2800 1000 -0173.75 +0327.00 -0138.74 003.00 000.00 000.00
    What's going on here is that some levels have multiple mystic shrines, each of which does different things (for example, Pyramid Cave just after the second twisting tunnel) and they need to divvy out separation of powers. So the way they make those things work is by using the lower byte of the X rotation to represent an ID number, and each object there waits for a shrine with a matching ID to be activated. Other objects such as enemy-triggered doors use a similar scheme.

    The way Mad Space's mystic shrine normally works, you play it and all three portals appear (since they're all numbered 5). The third portal in that list is the one right by the shrine, which moves you to the sealed container that has portal #2, which goes to the container with portal 1, which puts you right in front of the chao. (For portals, those Xarg, Yarg, and Zarg values are the coordinates it dumps you out at.) So far, just as planned.

    But then you have that oddball item capsule, which is keyed to a shrine with an ID of 0. There is no such shrine in the level, of course; the only one is numbered 5, and don't ask me why they started numbering at 5. (If it helps you out, which it won't, the ball switches are numbered 0, 1, and 9 for activating the rockets on the start platform, 8 for activating the missile on the outskirts, and 2 for getting your ticket off the Spherical Planet.) Xarg for item capsules determines its item type, and a 3 there is a 10-ring box which is consistent with what's missing from the out-of total.

    In an early test build of the level, there may well have been a shrine numbered 0, placed right next to that ring box on one of the diggable platforms sticking out from the starting structure. It wouldn't have been unique as a mystic shrine that did nothing but grant rings for a reward when there's no mobility involved (read: light-dash chains). In any case, no remnants of shrine #0 survive, except for this mysterious ring box which is keyed to it and thus can never appear: indeed, they might have forgotten to take it out simply because it has no visible footprint, and probably didn't have one even in whatever modeling tool they were building levels in. Another possibility is that it was meant to be the "other" kind of invisible item box: the one that triggers on treasure scope, object ID 63 (which doesn't use the lower X-rotation byte, so a 00 there makes perfect sense). It's not like there's any shortage of 63s around the start, nosiree.

    Whatever it may be, it's such a trifling detail, and so long past in the memories of the design team, that you're not really going to get a definitive answer to why that inaccessible item box ended up there. But it can be fun to think about.
     
  14. Ahhh, straight from the source himself! Thanks much for that explanation, SadisticMystic!

    Development leftovers and the like in video games have always been an interest of mine, but even more interesting is often the explanations of just why they are there...
     
  15. Dark Sonic

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    I'm curious if they're going to fix these with the XBLA version (or if they even know this is a problem).
     
  16. Overlord

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    Not only do they not know, even if they did I doubt they'd touch it - they're fairly unobtrusive, out of the way, and they'll be far more concerned with actual game-breaking bugs if they do end up fixing anything - these ain't that.
     
  17. SadisticMystic

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    Now this one's fun. Depending on the level, it may be that the missing rings actually don't exist at all. As far as I've looked into things, that Mad Space box is the only instance in the game of a conditional item whose condition can never be met, but there are a lot more levels with an out-of total that reflects rings that never get placed.

    Let's start with...oh, Wild Canyon, because it's close to the beginning, relatively easy to explore to exhaustion, and it's conveniently one of those levels with "missing" rings. The Dreamcast out-of total is 173, and if you look through all the level, including the secret rooms, and including Sunglasses, you'll only come across 170. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you might even think of exploring the blue void surrounding the level, in hopes of finding the last 3 rings there. There's a way of doing so, but it won't help: no rings are anywhere to be found there, so you're stuck at 170. (Perhaps sadly, that's not always the case in some other levels: Pumpkin Hill comes to mind as a particularly egregious example.)

    To show what's really going on here, look at the six pillars near the start. The two short ones each have a circle of 6, the tall ones on the near side are connected by a line of 6, and the tall ones on the far side are connected by a line of 8. (Hooray for inconsistency. At least you don't have to light-dash this crap.) Also, on the upper floor, the buried Sphinx Head is surrounded by a circle of 8 rings. The weird stuff comes in when you look at the internal files and see that those last two formations were really entered in as a line of 9 rings, and a circle of 10.

    I don't know where it came from, but apparently the SA2 engine has a limitation that any single object definition for a ring formation can only place 8 rings; larger numbers are simply treated as though they were 8. So from this it's clear that when the design team was counting the rings they placed in the level to determine the out-of ring total, they looked at those two formations and put down 19 rings on their checklist, but only 16 appear in the actual game from those objects, and this is where the discrepancy comes from.

    The level design team must not have been very tightly affiliated with the engine programmers, or stupid issues like that would never have arisen. But undoubtedly, they learned about that 8-ring limitation somehow: both Final Rush and Final Chase have mystic shrines on the Chao route that generate lines of 15 rings, which are cleverly coded as a line of 8 and a line of 7, and if they hadn't already known of the behavior and originally entered it as a single line of 15, then some rudimentary QA testing in those levels would have easily caught it and alerted them at that point. Whatever the case, and whatever they may have gone back and fixed, those two ring formations in Wild Canyon aren't among them, and neither are a bunch of other formations in other levels.

    In SA2B, they went back and reevaluated the out-of totals using rings that are actually present. That permanently-cloaked Mad Space box still counts against it, and the object placement files still have lines attempting to place more than 8 rings (with the same limitation), but now the out-of total respects that limitation too. Unfortunately that won't really help in Wild Canyon, which is now /171 because Big the Cat screws everything up (what else is new?) Some Big appearances in levels were removed entirely, and others were replaced by a ring, with no rhyme or reason that I can see, even though the entries still have their old object IDs that were reserved for Big the Cat—different levels use different ID numbers for that. Wild Canyon's Big is above the ceiling and out of reach; it may well have been possible to get close enough in the Dreamcast version, but a minor structural change to the level makes it impossible to do so on GameCube so you're still stuck at 170/171.

    As you can see, even a seemingly minor facet of a game like SA2 rings has a fascinating historical record to glean.
     
  18. Dark Sonic

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    Well they break the game in the sense that getting a perfect bonus (and thus an automatic Rank A) is impossible on those levels because of it. It won't cause the game to crash but it still fucks things up a bit.
     
  19. Overlord

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    Which is why it won't be fixed. These are quick & cheap ports, don't expect much more.
     
  20. Espyo

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    All in favor of making this thread the catch-all "misplaced level bits" thread? I mean, there is SO MUCH to talk about regarding misplaced objects in the Sonic games that it's not even funny. We have a misplaced ring in Sonic 3's MGZ2 (above the starting point, 00800080), the invisible floors in mid-air that are part of what is likely a cut section of SA2(B?)'s Green Forest, with several rings, the famous blank pink-garbled monitors in Sonic 1's SBZ, a ring out of bounds in SA(DX?)' Red Mountain (http://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?showtopic=8815&view=findpost&p=692022)...
    We could reach well over 40 pages discussing all the little things that, sometimes, have been literally under our feet, never to be found before.