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Hirokazu Yasuhara revealing all kinds of Sonic development stuff

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by TimmiT, May 22, 2017.

  1. Knucklez


    I love 2B 'n' ass. Member
    While new information is always valuable and essential for understanding the history of the game, I have to agree. It's kind of like scraping the bottom of the barrel here. In the sense that they were brainstorming and decided to write down their ideas. Essentially, this reminds me of how tabloids and online journalists react to celebrity tweets. They feel the need to make something out of absolutely nothing from some words a person posted on a screen.

    I get the relevance of early development info, but I've had a change of heart on this matter. If they had recorded themselves having conversations during these brainstorming meetings back in '92 before they ever even made an actual build of the game, it would still be ridiculous to not take it with a grain of salt. Yeah, it would be neat for the archives and for us to understand how the team worked together to create the game. But no one on here should go "That's amazing! Someone needs to make a hack with those ideas they just spewed out of their ass!"

    The time travel gimmick was never implemented to any degree in this game as far as the prototypes can definitively tell us, but was however done in Sonic CD the following year. Magazines alluded to time travel, but they also alluded to other things that never happened. And just about all of those zone names on those drawn out maps are irrelevant. They are just concept names. Wood Zone made it into the protos and we can all assume that's not the name it would have kept had it not been scrapped.

    That's just my viewpoint on it so attack me for it if you will guys. I just don't feel these maps are as relevant as you make them out to be in relation to actual builds.
  2. DigitalDuck


    Arriving four years late. Member
    Lincs, UK
    TurBoa, S1RL
    Did anyone say maps and time travel made it into development? I don't think anyone has said that the map was supposed to be in the game, and as I've said multiple times, the time travel was never a mechanic, it was a story device. It would've happened entirely within cutscenes, which would've been one of the later things to be added into the game (when was the Wing Fortress cutscene added?). There's nothing to say the time travel wasn't still planned even post-Wai build.

    Once again, the time travel was never a mechanic, it was a story device. It would not have been anything like the time travel in Sonic CD, instead being more like the time travel in Sonic '06.

    The names are not irrelevant; yes, many of them would not have been the final name (not just Wood Zone and Genocide City Zone, but Rock World Zone sounds like a placeholder to me too), but they do (usually) tell us what kind of zones would have been planned.

    There's a pretty solid connection between the concept art and the level order in the data of both in-development and final builds.

    We know Wood Zone was in slot $02 (the third slot) from the Simon Wai beta. Is it a coincidence that it is also the third stage in the concept art level order?

    Metropolis Zone is in slot $04 (the fifth slot). Is it a coincidence that it is also the fifth stage in the concept level art order?

    There are three unused zone slots between Emerald Hill Zone and Metropolis Zone. Is it a coincidence that this concept art shows three zones between Emerald Hill Zone and Metropolis Zone?

    We know Mystic Cave Zone, in slot $0B (in between Oil Ocean Zone and Casino Night Zone) was labelled "Dust Hill Zone" in the Simon Wai beta. Is it a coincidence that Dust Hill Zone is in between Oil Ocean Zone and Casino Night Zone in the concept art level order?

    In fact, Oil Ocean Zone, Mystic Cave Zone, Casino Night Zone, and Chemical Plant Zone appear in that order in the level data. Is it a coincidence that they appear in that order in the concept art?

    If you don't think they're relevant with regard to the actual builds, then you're quite frankly just wrong.
  3. It is true that no known build definitively points to time travel, but they still had it in mind from the conception of the game. Time travel, as well as the maps produced in conjunction with the theme, were still influential in overall zone design. Despite the time travel concept likely being dropped early on, it still left its mark.

    With the Wai proto, we can see what zone concepts had already been de-prioritized, as evidenced by the blank slots. That could mean that no work was ever done on the zones intended for those slots, or it could mean very little and/or unsatisfactory work was done on those zones. Ultimately without some holy grail of a build set between the Nick Arcade and Simon Wai protos, or outright confirmation from a developer, we cannot know.

    In my opinion, which no one asked for, we certainly should not disregard these materials. However, I do accept and understand that with these early sketches we cannot claim anything definitive in most cases without supplemental corrorborative material or explicit confirmation from someone in the know.

    I will disagree on the naming of Wood(s) Zone though, as I don't see it as an awful name like say Rock World Zone...
  4. Mastered Realm

    Mastered Realm

    I used that PDF as a base ;)

    The gator enemy is lacking a bit of yellow in your shot, that's an indicator there's an overall lack of yellow in it.
  5. RankoChan


    I'm bored, k? Member
    Some random RPG project.
    To add to this, despite having a different internal slot order at the time, the Nick Arcade proto's debug lists refer to the slots later used in the Wai proto. For example, Hidden Palaces's debug list is labled 08, despite the zone occupying slot 04 in that build. This internal order seen in the Wai proto and later fits the level order of the time-travel maps almost perfectly. So essentially, during the NA proto, the time-travel concept might have still been planned (or at least the level order).

    Why add a total of 17 slots and organize the level order to match the time-travel storyline after the NA proto? There would have been no point in doing so if the concept had already been dropped.
  6. TimmiT


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Member
    Another piece of concept art:

  7. Sir_mihael


    I like this. It's a bit more creative take on the ususal 'hit spring and travel behind the current path' we usually see. Did any Sonic game actually implement what's seen in that concept art? Nothing springs to mind right now.
  8. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    If we remove the unintuitive "spring switch", the concept is kind of similar to those 4-block "floors" that move up or down when Sonic steps on them, in Star Light or Chemical Plant.
  9. bookman the stinky

    bookman the stinky

    literal trash Member
    the dong
    find motivation
    It reminds me more of the P loops in Hill Top Zone that end in breakable rock.
    And Jesus Christ I remember when people were still trying to tie together what was known as Dust Hill at the time with R2 way back when. Oh how far we have come :v:/>
    Unfortunately any parallels between the time travel concepts in S2 and SCD were nothing more than a coincidence, with the teams working on their respective projects being separated by a fuckton of water.
    Which begs the question, how did the seeds of time travel get sowed into the development of both games? Someone internally must've had that as a concept that didn't quite make it very far for the first game for both Naka and Oshima to keep it in mind over the course of development.
  10. SonicGenesis89


    Cool! Sweet! And Catchy! Member
    Green Hill Zone
    Collecting Sonic Manga
    As I was watching the new Sonic Mania trailer I couldn't help but notice some similarities between Mirage Saloon and Sand Shower from the recently discovered concept maps that show all of the different levels and time travel concept. I've been looking at footage of Mirage Saloon since it was first shown off but I never made the connection since we didn't know about the concept art at the time and when I was looking back at the stage again I noticed something that may be of interest.


    As Sonic runs through the loop the sand collapses, crumbles, and showers down above him. The stage is also very abundant with sand. I know Mirage Saloon is based off of Desert Dazzle which is also based off of that desert stage mock up photo from Sonic 2. Seeing all of the similarities and connections of cut content in various stages has me wondering how much stuff in Sonic Mania is actually based off of old concepts and ideas that never made it off the drawing board. Seeing the sand showering down in Mirage Saloon has me wondering if originally that concept was supposed to happen in the deleted Sonic 2 desert stage.

    In fact, couldn't that concept make the name "Dust Hill Zone" make sense? That is, if that was really the name for the desert level. We'll never really know for sure unless we get solid evidence. I honestly don't know what the name of that desert stage was since we are missing a lot of information about Sonic 2's development. Who knows how early those maps were made. I think they might have been pre-production concepts before a build of the game was even made. But if the name "Dust Hill" was for the desert stage I think it could make sense because dust can be associated with the sand or dirt. That's just a theory though. I used to think that "Dust Hill" was just an early name for Mystic Cave Zone but I honestly don't know anymore lol. I hope that we can find out more answers someday and see more concept art. I'd really love to learn more about Sonic 2's development especially the whole time travel gimmick / storyline. I think it's really interesting and it makes me really wonder how Sonic 2 might have been had it kept the time travel concept.
  11. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    Are you sure that you're taking into account all the related evidence that we do have?
  12. Montblanc


    Mirage Saloon has also a bumper enemy, although in the form of a buffalo.
  13. DigitalDuck


    Arriving four years late. Member
    Lincs, UK
    TurBoa, S1RL
    There's an unused "warp" animation in the original Sonic the Hedgehog that suggests that time travel may have been an idea for the first game.

    We know Oshima likes time travel because he also included it as a mechanic in Blinx. I'm guessing it was him.
  14. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    For those curious about it, here's a patch to see it in action:
  15. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    Just going to point it out again:

    There is no guarantee that Sonic would visit the same places in different timezones. It is not Sonic CD. The labels don't always align perfectly.

    Likely, maybe. Fact, no.
  16. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    Even if we ignore that both levels are positioned exactly in the same patch of sand, the Banper document actually spells it out and confirms what I posted.
  17. Ignoring the labels and utilizing the Banper sheet, shows that the badnik would be in both locations. It doesn't definitively say that Sand Shower was another version of the Rock Worlds, but that they did have badnik overlap. I do believe that the labels and badniks points to them probably being the same zone across different times though.
  18. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    It does say that the desert level is the present and the rock level is the past.

    But, in any case, I really don't think that we should ignore the pieces of evidence that seem to fit and make sense together.
  19. In that case I stand corrected, I didn't realize the sheet said they were Past and Present of the same zone. The map connection is extra clear there then. So we're probably on a good track with lining up the maps.
  20. Uberham


    King Of Oblivion Member
    If "Rock Zone" became Mystic Cave, it might explain why it was copied over "Dust Hill" in the level order, if it was a "Past" version of the scrapped level in that slot.