Knuckles' Ringstar (Chaotix) pre-1207 Prototype magazine scans

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Prototype, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. Prototype

    Prototype

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    I have a savestate with the alternate Time Attack screen if anyone wanted to mess around and figure it out. Retro's upload option doesn't seem to work on this filetype though.

    For the record, upon examining the savestate in Tile Layer Pro, you get the usual graphical text like 'SONIC CRACKERS S32X" etc. but nothing with "NUTS". Could be a compressed image or something, though why you'd need to compress something so basic eludes me.

    It just occurred to me after reading Pengi's post, that NUTS could have been a scrapped name for Ray. Think about it. Ray has a sunny disposition, is already named after sunshine, and is a squirrel.

    Could it have been a Japanese pun this entire time? NATSU being a play on both "Summer" and "Nuts".

    Given that they were trawling through the archives for old characters, could there have been an intent at some point between Crackers and Ringstar to revive both Ray AND Mighty for Chaotix? They would certainly fit if they wanted to replace both Sonic and Tails at some point. Seems odd that they'd pick Mighty and not even consider Ray.

    Though why that would result in "NAT" being used for Mighty, I don't know.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
  2. Pengi

    Pengi

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    This definitely merits investigation.

    I was just thinking the same thing before I read this post. There's at least one piece of concept art with both characters on the same page, so maybe they accidentally used a name associated with the flying squirrel?

    Name mix-ups have happened before.

    In the Sonic's Friends concept art the parrot is labelled Max, but in the earlier Sonic the Hedgehog Band art the parrot is named Sharps and the monkey is named Max.
     
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  3. Prototype

    Prototype

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    That's a noteworthy point. There seemed to have been a scramble to finalize the characters once it was decided Sonic and Tails weren't going to be the stars (presumably since the game was really little more than a glorified tech demo), to the point that even during the later periods of development they still had no idea whether to capitalize on Knuckles, or start shilling Espio, so it wouldn't strike me as odd that they messed up the names.

    I think it's quite likely that you're correct in that it was just a name screw-up and they took the wrong name from the concept art sheet.

    In any case, the magazine screenshots earlier in the thread from a pre-1207 prototype specifically mention a playable Tails, and monitor sprites exist for Tails. The fact that they mention a playable Tails but don't have images of Tails on the character select screen would suggest that this pre-1207 build still had a functional Tails programmed in and selectable via the rudimentary stage select menus (possibly still as "*******"), but with clear intent to remove him as a playable character. Indeed there's an empty character slot in the 1207 builds and later, and presumably the same is true for this pre-1207 proto as it looks like there's an empty space to the left of Mighty. Whoever wrote the article probably wasn't aware of this and was just working off what they saw in gameplay.

    If Ray ever was considered, it was way before this point, and it was likely that they didn't want two Sonic clones in the game.

    EDIT: I've uploaded the alternate Time Attack menu savestate. This will only be active for 30 days from this posting. (https://easyupload.io/wyl3ko)

    I'm really not sure what triggers this alternate menu, since I can't seem to recreate it. It's a good thing that I saved the state before screwing around. Notably the "Amusement Park" (Speed Slider) level option is selectable, unlike this build's usual level select, as well as three Time Attack test levels.

    In case the above posts were missed by anyone, this is an open call to figure out what's going on with the screen, how/why it triggers, whether or not the Time Attack stats are a basic placeholder image (and if so, what format it's displayed in) or an alterable value display in a different format to the rest of the graphical data. Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
  4. Dissent

    Dissent

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    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
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  5. Prototype

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    The main issue is getting the ROM to even function in this emulator. This is an issue with the ROM itself, not Gens KMod. I can load the savestate, but it freezes and is nonfunctional.

    So I don't really know how to do any further investigations on this front.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
  6. Dissent

    Dissent

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    Aye, I wasn't implying it's playable, just that the VDP of your savestate could be viewed in some capacity.
     
  7. Prototype

    Prototype

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    True. You get pretty much the same visual if you open up the savestate in TLP, so I assume that's also the VDP data.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I'll keep the dream alive:

    https://segaretro.org/index.php?title=File:SegaPower_UK_68.pdf&page=33

    Sega Power was a strange read by this time in its life, but it's still quite happy to in block capitals that Chaotix is a single player game. And it is until it isn't.

    I'd rather not play through Isolated Island a bazillion times to check, but are any of our prototypes only single player when played normally? That is, without the debuggy level selects and what have you.


    Oh and "Batter The Wife" sounds like a fun Sonic character.
     
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  9. Prototype

    Prototype

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    The earliest prototype we have (1207) has options for Scenario Game 1P and Scenario Game 2P, which boot you straight into the first level. This is without the debug selects. They both technically start as single player endeavors until you reach the point where you gain access to the second character. At this point, the combi-ring is activated and if playing in the 2P scenario, the second character (Espio) is controllable by player 2.

    Weird thing is, if this is a pre-1207 build in Sega Power, they must have deactivated the functionality of the large Attraction Select TV screen between it and 1207, as the 1207 build has the room available, but the screen is non-functional. It also says "Heavy" on the title card instead of "Heaby".

    Could be that whatever build they sent out to the magazines were tightened up in some places and not others, specifically for review purposes. The individual development builds could have been worked on separately and compiled into a functional whole later.

    I love how the review just doesn't hold back about how shitty this game is though. Like they're having more fun coming up with random Echidna factoids than the video game itself.

    Personally I think "Liquidize The Dog" is a fantastic concept for a video game character.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
  10. Robjoe

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    Regarding "NUTS", I believe I've heard before that Heavy and Bomb were originally named Nuts and Bolts, which does fit in with them being "Eggman's chief mechanics". I don't think there's any relation to Mighty; "Nat/Nuts" might just be a coincidence.

    Interesting stuff otherwise. I don't think I've ever heard of Nat the Armadillo, and I definitely wasn't aware of a magazine mentioning Tails (after the addition of Mighty, no less!) I doubt he was intended to stay after Sonic was cut, but this sheds a small day of light on exactly when he was removed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
  11. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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  12. Adamis

    Adamis

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    Oh wow, I had that issue back in the day.