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Judy Totoya speaks about the making of Sonic 2 - why Wood Zone was cancelled

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by darylbaxter, Nov 26, 2022.

  1. darylbaxter

    darylbaxter

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    Hello.
    I haven't seen this in another Thread, but Judy Totoya has been tweeting about his involvement in Sonic 2, and when I asked him about Wood Zone, he replied.

    He's been talking about some great stories in the making of Sonic 2, including Sand Shower.
     
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  2. Pengi

    Pengi

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  3. E-122-Psi

    E-122-Psi

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    It's always great when some past developers come in and add their two cents like this, it clearly wasn't just another paycheck for them.

    I wonder if he remembers any details about WZ and SSZ that were planned. The "moving sand" element that didn't translate to gameplay well interests me, wonder if they're talking about that pit in the mockup.

    Also he did all that classic Japanese art! :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2022
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  4. HEDGESMFG

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    His comment about a "testing phase" for Sand Shower makes me wonder if a tiny test map was built similar to Wood Zone.

    Also, it appears Wood was cut not long after the tiny "test map" we had in the beta was built which tracks. As for other stages? Most seem to have been cut for time/space reasons, in the simplest most practical sense.

    His answer about the Casino Night tiles changes is pretty funny in a slightly endearing way, though.

    Also, his account is quite fun to skim since he has a clear love of mecha/tokusatsu content that's similar to my own. It's nice to see how these 80s Japanese fandoms would obviously influence the team over time.
     
  5. RDNexus

    RDNexus

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    Could someone please translate his comments?
    It might do good for archival purposes... ^^"
     
  6. RankoChan

    RankoChan

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    Some random RPG project.
    Seems like a possibility, since SSZ's art had been completed. Would explain why its level slot has its own music in the early protos too.
     
  7. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    He also explicitly states (in English no less, he responds to questions directly in English which is nice), that Sand Shower was cut because the Sand theme and movement felt to "slow" for a new Sonic stage while they were testing the sand based gimmicks (sinking sand ala Sandopolis?)

    I can see the logic in that if they felt sand obstacles and pits slowed Sonic down too much. Sonic 2 emphasizes speed much more than Sonic 1's stage design does, so I can see them wanting to more consistently move towards those kind of gimmicks.
     
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  8. saxman

    saxman

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    Okay, I give up. Where is this tweet? I can find many, but I can't find this one.

    Alternatively, maybe you can just summarize what he said about it. I'm curious to know.
     
  9. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    https://twitter.com/judy_totoya/status/1596480506589499392

    Did you click "Show replies"?
     
  10. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    Working on my art!
    For those who don’t want to click, story was “Original art was done by someone who never went to a casino, Judy on the other hand had been so they were tasked to remake the art.”

    That certainly makes the most sense. Also Twitter is weirdly organized unless you see the right reply you might not see that reply’s reply.
     
  11. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    given how much of a technical clusterfuck the moving sand in Sandopolis Act 2 was, I wonder if that actually stems from the unused concept? but if so, Hill Top Zone already has a nearly identical mechanic with the...er...moving...flower floors that try to crush you.

    hmmmmmmmmm

    I really do wonder if Sandopolis was very much derived from Sand Shower, like how Hidden Palace's name and concept seems to have been reused and some aspects of S2 HPZ made it into Icecap (the bridges that light up when you walk on them for instance).
     
  12. E-122-Psi

    E-122-Psi

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    Really it's interesting that they seemed to get so far in terms of mechanics with Sand Shower (enough to test run then decide it didn't fit their direction at least) despite having no real representation of it in a build so far, while Wood Zone, which replaced it and made it into a promotional beta, is far more barren in terms of that info besides its concept art. Almost no one has anything to say about it besides its level art.
    Makes sense, some ideas like split screen multiplayer and the more dynamic ending were planned for Sonic 1 but carried over into Sonic 2.

    I think one tweet also states Death Egg Zone was likely made from unused concepts for the shortened Sonic 2 version.
     
  13. saxman

    saxman

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    It doesn't surprise me that Sand Shower would have had some sort of implementation. In the Nick Arcade prototype, it certainly seems like they had *something* in that Labyrinth Zone slot. And instead of keeping it around for months on end like Hidden Palace and Wood Zone, they scrapped it very early because they knew early on they didn't want it. That lends to the belief that Wood Zone at least had a shot at making a final build of the game if time permitted, much the way Hidden Palace had.

    What I have always wondered is if there is an earlier build floating around on some medium behind Sega's doors. Not counting on it, but that would give us the best insight beyond what some former staff member can reveal.
     
  14. Hez

    Hez

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    I'd kill for just some level layout maps on paper. That's all I really need.
     
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  15. E-122-Psi

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    I think the only remaining missing link of prototype MD Sonic content left to nab now are actual assets of Sand Shower (assuming the other unused levels didn't make production stages).

    Heck we have more stuff of Genocide/Cyber City now than we do Sand Shower (level maps, concept art, supposed tidbits of sprite work).
     
  16. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    I'm willing to bet money that Masa still has all the original demos he wrote, and that the ones from the soundtrack album are not all of them.

    Aside from anecdotes from developers, I think those demos are the only bit of prototype MD Sonic content that can be found at this point, unless Yasuhara decides to dig up everything he has and post it online, which he won't. I think every nook and cranny of SEGA's vault of archives has been searched at this point. Everything else is lost to time.
     
  17. RankoChan

    RankoChan

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    Some random RPG project.
    It seems like only Sand Shower, Genocide/Cyber, and Wood(s) made it past the concept stage, possibly Rock World if it was/became the Winter Zone. Excluding HPZ, Wood was likely the last unused stage to be scrapped, with Genocide/Cyber having been cut prior to the Simon Wai proto. Makes me wonder if that stage also had a test map of sorts earlier too, since the art assets were later reused for Spinball. Always seemed odd that it was selectable on the level select screen if nothing had been done with it.
     
  18. saxman

    saxman

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    Call me an optimist, but I still believe Sega has more than they've released. That's not to say necessarily that they *will*, but simply that they have it. Mind you, most of what we have either came from media floating around, or Sega of America. We've not been able to explore Sega of Japan.

    Someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

    Edit: I realize Sonic 2 was STI. I was speaking more broadly about Sonic games for a moment when I spoke of Sega of Japan. Still, even Sega of America may have more.
     
  19. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    Totoya's shed some light on the Casino Night redesign:
     
  20. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    I thought Casino Night wasn't supposed to look "gorgeous". That it was supposed to look gaudy and uninviting because it was a Future era stage.