Feel (Ristar) animations tape Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Pre-final tape Discuss this release on our Discord server! A few years ago, we purchased a few PAL SECAM VHS tapes intending to accurately transfer them to a digital format using the best, professional methods available to us. The tapes themselves were in decent condition considering that they haven’t been viewed in almost 30 years, around the time they would’ve also been recorded and viewed. When we received these tapes, we had every intention to transfer them as accurately as possible with any means available to us at the time. The transfers were done by our good friends at Kineko Video. First up, we have a rare, internal-use-only tape showing off various early production design options for the main character in Ristar back when the game was originally called Feel. We displayed this tape in its entirety almost two years ago during our Sonic Month 2020 stream showcasing Sonic Adventure 2 as a small bonus. The footage at the time was based on the original transfer that was done by the local video production company, so we didn’t want to fully release the video on its own without at least giving it another go. In late 1993, shortly after the game had started development, a demo reel showing off color choices, designs, and some animation work was produced by Sega of Japan and shown to executives and producers within each branch of the company to vote on. The design of Ristar in this early preproduction tape was shown in brief prerelease screenshots of the game when the game was still titled “Feel” across all territories. The design for Ristar would continue to be refined even after the game was released, making many of the character designs a little tougher to appeal to the Western market. Lastly, we have a rare, almost complete look at an extremely late prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 3. The tape consists of two almost complete playthroughs of Sonic 3 spliced together to represent each zone right up until the end credits. The purpose of the tape itself is unknown. The owner of the tape said that the tape was meant for progress reports for those living outside of the West during the original development of the game. However, we think that the tape served a different purpose instead. Sega possibly offered journalists a temporary VHS tape that contained footage of a playthrough of Sonic 3 that journalists could use to grab frames and write coverage on instead. This way, the game can receive mostly complete coverage without having to risk the ROM being spread all over the internet days before the release date. The prototype featured on the tape is extremely late, possibly just a few days before release. Despite this, we can determine quite a several differences that were changed or fixed at the last moment before the game was finished. Be sure to check out the article for more information! The write-up was done by our good friend fredbonze, who is known for his excellent Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Unlocked blog which details the inner workings and oversights in the original game. Be sure to check it out! Until next time, see you tomorrow!