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Is there any proof Tails was originally not meant to appear in SA2?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by charcoal, Nov 20, 2022 at 11:32 PM.

  1. charcoal

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    I've seen the theory that Tails wasn't meant to appear in SA2 countless times, in icebergs, TikToks, Youtube videos, or even on our own Retro wiki. Is there any weight to this theory? The only piece of evidence I've found is the fact that early reveals of the game only showed Sonic, Knuckles, and Eggman. That single factoid hardly counts as concrete evidence in my book.

    Is there any substantial evidence to this theory? I can't seem to find any despite it being so widespread, and I'm really curious.
     
  2. Blue Blood

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    I challenge these claims every time I see someone bring them up. It's been a pet peeve of mine for years. Nothing suggests that Shadow, Tails and Rouge weren't a part of the original SA2 lineup.
     
  3. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    There is one good piece of evidence. The internal names of the three gameplay styles are "SonicTheHedgehog", "KnucklesTheEchidna", and "EggWalker" (rather than anything related to Tails), which align with that early trailer showing Sonic, Knuckles, and Eggman as the only playable characters.

    It's never been confirmed, and probably never will be, but the internal names do lend credence to the idea.
     
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  4. BlackHole

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    A commonly brought point is that Tails' levels really don't mesh with the story.
    • You have him drop in and fight Robotnik, that's something that comes from Robotnik's side, which he notes as an unexpected delay. Nothing else really comes from that fight beyond Robotnik's slight delay.
    • Then you have Prison Lane, where he breaks in to locate Sonic... only for Amy to locate and free Sonic instead.
    • Then Mission Street, where Sonic is the one who distracts the police, while Tails is supposed to be looking for Robotnik, rather than blowing up G.U.N.'s bots.
    • Then Route 101, where Tails locates the President... and Sonic is the one seen running alongside the limo.
    • Then Eternal Engine, where Tails locates and destroys the ARK's power generator... despite the ARK remaining fully operational the entirety after.
    • Then his second fight with Robotnik, which ends with Robotnik getting the Chaos Emerald and putting it into the Eclipse Cannon.
    I think the same applies to Shadow and Rouge as well, that their levels really don't really influence the story at all.
     
  5. Blue Spikeball

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    There is also this, from https://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?threads/the-sonic-adventure-2-that-almost-was.22398/:
    Basically, people that were privy to early SA2 concepts before it came out reported that Sonic, Knuckles and Eggman were the only playable characters. The fact they also reported things that turned out to be true for the final game and they couldn't have known at the time indicates that they weren't making stuff up. They even said that early Shadow designs had one eye, which was later confirmed when his early concept art was released. The branching storyline mechanic also made its way into Shadow the Hedgehog.

    So yeah. If all those things were legit, it stands to reason that the "only Sonic, Knuckles and Eggman were playable" thing was also true.

    Plus the first trailer showed these three only:
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022 at 12:16 AM
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  6. saxman

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    I have never heard of this until just now. Pretty interesting. But my gut tells me they were only focused on a single character for each play style early on in order to get said play style implemented the way they wanted. After that, they implemented the other three characters to share that style of play.

    What I personally have always wondered is if Amy Rose was intended to be playable, because she's actually actively part of the hero story in a way you would expect a playable character to be.
     
  7. MainMemory

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    There is one oddity about Amy. Here is the list of internal character IDs (note these are not official names):
    Code (Text):
    1. Sonic
    2. Shadow
    3. Tails
    4. Eggman
    5. Knuckles
    6. Rouge
    7. Mech Tails
    8. Mech Eggman
    9. Amy
    10. Super Sonic
    11. Super Shadow
    12. Unused
    13. Metal Sonic
    14. Chao Walker
    15. Big/Dark Chao Walker
    16. Tikal
    17. Chaos
    Note that Amy appears immediately following the main cast, before even Super Sonic and Super Shadow's entries.

    It's worth noting that there are three different things that determine character behavior in SA2. First is the object's main function pointer, effectively its "class". SA2 has six of these, named as such (these are found in the game's code): "SonicTheHedgehog", "KnucklesTheEchidna", "EggWalker", "MilesTailsPrower", "Eggman", and "SuperSonic". Next, each character object has a primary and secondary character ID. These are usually identical, except for the multiplayer exclusive characters (including Amy), where the primary ID will be set to the "base" character, and the secondary ID will give the actual character. So, when playing as Metal Sonic, the object's class is "SonicTheHedgehog", the primary ID is Shadow, and the secondary ID is Metal Sonic.
     
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  8. BlueSkiesAM2

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    The claim isn’t that he wouldn’t appear but that he wouldn’t be playable. I fully believe he wasn’t planned to be playable, or at least worked on from the beginning, considering how Sonic, Knuckles, and Eggman have the most stages compared to their counterparts, the internal file names, as well as the original trailer which didn’t showcase Tails’ or the others’ gameplay. I do not think this means he wasn’t going to appear in the story since he plays a pretty vital role in the climax.

    Could Tails’ and Eggman’ listings here be for the Chao Garden?
     
  9. Turbohog

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    I've heard this rumor for two decades to the point where I confused it as fact. I remember hearing that fans complained that Tails wasn't shown in the initial reveal trailer, which led to Sonic Team deciding to add him in as a playable character (along with Rouge and Shadow). I assumed there was an interview where this was said, but perhaps this doesn't exist.

    Edit: I think this is where the rumor started. A preview on SA2 appears in the December 2000 issue of the UK Official Dreamcast Magazine. The article mentions visiting and interviewing Yuji Naka (the interview can be found in the same issue) and also makes the claim that only Sonic, Knuckles, and Eggman are playable. However, Naka is never quoted as saying that and doesn't even discuss SA2 in the interview.

    Fan sites (like Sonic Stadium) picked this magazine up and reported that Yuji Naka himself claimed that Tails wasn't in the game. The rest is history?

    Edit edit: Another fan site (Sonic HQ) also repeating the same claim that Yuji Naja stated Tails wasn't in the game: https://sonichq.net/article/news/to-tails-or-not-to-tails/
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022 at 7:16 AM
  10. sulphurmarketing

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    I've always thought this difficult since the game would have already been partway through development, especially if we consider the initial spring release date. Assuming only three characters were planned during E3 in May, 2000, this would leave Sonic Team only around 9–12 months to completely change the story, implement all characters, and completely design the stages. Perhaps this was the initial concept during early development in 1999 but moved to the two-story, six-character model by early 2000 like we see in the final release?
     
  11. BlueSkiesAM2

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    I don’t see why they’d have to change the story. It’s just making Tails et al. playable and giving them stages. The stages they have aren’t super plot-relevant (“I’LL GO FIND THE ENTRANCE!”) so they could have had the same story.
     
  12. DefinitiveDubs

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    I can believe that Sonic Team at some point thought the game would benefit from having Tails, Rouge, and Shadow be playable, but I can't accept that it had anything to do with fan outcry. It seems like a logical thought process for them to think "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if you could play as Shadow?" at some point, and given the development time, it'd make sense that they only had time to design a small handful of stages for him, one of which was stolen from Sonic, possibly even two going by concept art (there's evidence that Radical Highway was once intended for Sonic). Tails on the other hand has a significant role in the story (or at least is present for much of it), with several original stages. There's no way that was a last-minute decision. The same goes for Rouge.
    Indeed, White Jungle is supposed to be Shadow racing to save Rouge. A good idea, in theory...except after his fight with Sonic, it's implied he only has a few seconds to save Rouge and he's already there, whereas Sonic has a whole 8 minutes to get through Green Forest. And it seems like Shadow forgot he could teleport until after he ran through the whole stage normally.

    I think Sonic Team simply realized that the original concept of Sonic, Knuckles, and Eggman just wasn't as interesting as a gameplay setup as what we got in the final. In addition, if we assume each character had his own storyline like SA1 or 06, then Knuckles's story is pretty bare. All that happens is the ME breaks and he finds the shards. 95% of the major story beats would've been with Sonic and Eggman.
     
  13. Black Squirrel

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    There is another piece in ODM somewhere that specifically talks about Tails maybe not being in the game (or they're re-thinking it, or something along those lines). I can't find it, which is annoying, but I remember reading it at the time the issue came out.
     
  14. JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    Adventure Stages don't exist in SA2 because people said they didn't like it. Sonic Heroes looks the way it looks because people wanted more classic style Sonic (along with cries about Metal Sonic for years at that point), etc.

    Parts of the community wanted Sonic Team to STOP listening to fans during that point.

    My point is, yes, I can see them adding characters because they were asked.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022 at 10:37 AM
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  15. That makes a lot of sense
     
  16. I really wished they did too at the time . Because my main issue with much of the Sonic 3D games upuntil colors was Sonic Team thinking they needed to add in new and playable characters with each new entry. Its one of the reasons I like Sonic CD so much, you just played as Sonic and one my main turns offs of Sonic ADV 2 was being forced to play as different characters at least in Sonic Adv it was optional.
     
  17. sulphurmarketing

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    I'm sure there would have to be some changes made to the story otherwise, as it is right now, it wouldn't make sense with only three playable characters. Cutscenes would have to be written, animated, and added to adapt the story into two sides. To give an example, Sonic was originally meant to be in Sky Rail but instead we see two small cutscenes with Shadow. It's impossible to tell what Sonic would be doing but it's clear that cutscenes would have to added and removed. Or maybe the game wasn't far enough in development to allow these changes to be made, it's unclear.
     
  18. BlackHole

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    Shadow's stages are:
    • Boss: Hot Shot, after an entire stage of Robotnik blowing up G.U.N.'s military hardware, and Shadow could have easily just Chaos Control'd them both out of the place.
    • Radical Highway, where Shadow escapes the military and is implied to lead them to Sonic... even though Sonic's already being chased by them.
    • White Jungle, as you said.
    • Sky Rail, where Shadow pursues Tails... and loses him by the end of the level. And wasn't even needed as Robotnik detects their approach via radar.
    • Final Chase, it just gets Shadow to Sonic's location for their boss fight, so pretty much the most relevant stage to his story.
    • Boss: vs Sonic, which we know Sonic wins since he's, y'know, not dead.
    If I remember correctly, the first three stages were shown as Sonic's stages in the previews. Were they going to do a two act setup for Sonic?

    Act 1: City Escape
    Act 2: Radical Highway
    Boss: Big Foot

    Act 1: Green Forest
    Act 2: White Jungle
    Boss: Shadow

    Act 1: Sky Rail
    Act 2: Pyramid Cave
    Boss: Egg Golem

    Just some idle thoughts.

    It gets him onto the ARK to use the Master Emerald to stop it, so there's some level of relevance there.
     
  19. Pengi

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    The text all over that E3 2000 trailer shows that they already had the Hero/Dark concept in place by then.
     
  20. Taylor

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    This makes the most sense to me. It would explain why some magazines (allegedly) thought these were the only playable characters: they were the only ones with any work done on them. SA2's devs have said the game's theme is "good vs evil", it's why Shadow even exists, but the Sonic-Knuckles-Eggman setup doesn't fit that.

    Whenever this subject comes up, people use SA2's wonky plot as evidence, but as pointed out, Knuckles basically does nothing except bring the Master Emerald to the ARK. Not to mention, Shadow presumably doesn't turn to the good side and sacrifice himself since he wouldn't be playable. Considering that Amy's huge significance to the plot without actually being playable (she's the one that actually busts Sonic out, not Tails), I think SA2's plot is wonky simply because Sonic Team cared more about showing off cool, new characters than anything else. Narratively, Shadow being in Sky Rail doesn't contribute anything, but damn, doesn't he look cool there?
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022 at 1:52 PM