Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by nineko, Jun 22, 2022.
And it's off!
I have a question: what makes us think the recordings heard in Origins come from a build of Sonic 3 before 1993-11-03, rather than after?
There is not a lot of wiggle room for another build, the later November ones were pretty much the final Sonic 3 code and the Jackson team songs were programmed in during that time.
And I wasn't going to send a letter, but I think I will now. The lack of motivation has motivated me. It might not even work, but let's actually do it and see where it gets us. I will be writing a new one in the coming days and will send it in the mail. I will post a picture of the letter and envelope. Unless anyone has more information for U.S. residents, I am going to trust that address Josh is using.
For the first milestone, let's see if we can get at least 10 sent out by Friday.
Okay fuck it, I'll send one tomorrow too. I have stamps and envelopes lying around after all. But I'm most definitely going to chastise Sega for the anticonsumer practices put on display thoughout this entire debacle.
I anyway think, our beta it's a test for competition levels. Would be too silly use earlier music, if you had a later, more finalized tracks. Also, in our proto- title screen goes to demo too early. I think, developers is experiment with OST, and test different combinations of MJ/SEGA music.
About letter- I wanna wish to all a good luck. Who knows, maybe mad fans still can change this world
For starters, the songs in different keys (Carnival Night 1/Launch Base 1) are actually coded in the same key as Origins and transposed via a flag set in the code - you'd expect that to be the other way around if the 1103 tracks were the earlier versions.
Secondly, many of the tracks have objective refinements - putting aside the instrumentation or tempo changes, from memory there are stereo panning effects added to some of the drums in at least Carnival Night 1, and I believe someone confirmed already that there are extra PSG channels in Launch Base 1. In addition, the Origins version of Launch Base 2 has volume balancing issues near the middle of the track where the backing instruments drown out the melody for around 15 seconds - the 1103 version balances this correctly so the melody is strongest volume-wise.
If we go into instrumentation, Carnival Night is much more complex, and in both acts there are segments which use the same instruments as each other in Origins but have different instruments assigned in 1103. Finally, Icecap 1 in Origins is basically Act 2 with different percussion - in 1103 they've tried to differentiate it further by changing the lead instrument.
Lets remember that a single proto from one date may not be reflective of all proto builds for that time. To my knowledge the Sonic 3 proto with beta music was made to test the the multiplayer mode. There very well could have been another proto with MJ music in it from the same date.
It's tough to know developer intent and timelines with protos, especially when you have a team of people each working on different components separately.
That's certainly possible.
I think the largest piece of evidence that the Jackson sound team comps were hastily implemented is the bug that exists in Sonic 3 and was patched in S3K where the wrong sound cue plays during the Hydrocity Act 1 miniboss. If only we had access to as many development builds as we do for S2...
I am taking part but with a slightly different approach. Firstly, I am hiring a translator to get my letter translated in Japanese and I will address it to Takashi Iizuka who I understand is based in the US at Sonic Pilar. I think having a Japanese letter addressed to Iizuka is less likely to be intercepted by a customer support team.
Secondly in my letter I am requesting Sega hire Headcannon to make new paid DLC that adds new features to the whole Origins package (in the style of Mania Plus).
Primarily this is because translating about the prototype music is tricky. But also, I think there’s a good chance that Sega will misunderstand and think we want the MJ tracks back and so just ignore our messages.
In addition, Origins doesn’t seem to have a budget for updates (look how long the Tails AI issue has gone unresolved). I’d be surprised if Sega have any financial incentive to change the music. But if we ask for a paid DLC then that’s something Sega can make money on. And if they can get Headcanon back to produce it, then that’s the best chance we have of them fixing the music.
(I know Headcanon produced S3K and the music turned out bleh, but from Stealth’s tweets, it seems like they were working on the main game with a tight deadline and so probably weren’t in a position to give input on the music. If they come back to produce paid DLC, then hopefully things will be different).
I had hoped to have a Japanese letter ready by the time of Origins release, but I had trouble finding a good translator. And one stage it seemed like I’d have to drop the idea. But everything is working out now. So once I have the letter ready I can share it for those who’d also like to send a Japanese letter. I have found services that will post a letter for you for just a few bucks, so that will be convenient for those who can't easily send letters (e.g. because they don’t have a printer or live overseas).
I’d be happy to set up a campaign around this (similar to the one for Sonic3remastered) but I am not sure what demand there is for that at this stage.
Here is the translated letter. It’s in PDF format and the text has been converted to curves, so it’s super easy to print off for those who want to take part.
Here is an English version for those curious about what it says
Spoiler: Here is an explanation of the letter:
[*]I think targeting Takashi Iizuka with a Japanese letter is probably the best way to avoid being intercepted by customer service agents.
[*]The letter focuses on features that are similar to Mania, such as extra characters, multiplayer etc. The list is presented as “along the lines of” so it’s not meant to be a prescriptive list but just ideas Sega could potentially consider for DLC.
[*]The crowdfunding aspect is just a way to show we are serious about this project becoming reality in the event they feel there isn’t a viable market for it.
The best place to post it is the address listed on the Sega Corporate website.
Sega of America, Inc. (Sonic Pillar Head Office)
250 East Olive Avenue, Suite 200,
Burbank, CA 91502
Here are some services you can use to print and post the letter online for those that don’t have a printer (or live overseas).
Mail form This is the one I used. If you use the coupon code ALIYAH you get a discount. Seems good, although the customer service doesn’t seem to reply to emails.
I had started making a campaign website, but there doesn’t seem to be much interest (especially now that Sega has announced an official patch). But if interest picks up, I can revisit the campaign website idea.
I just want to provide some thoughts on the Japanese letter. While it was definitely translated by a native speaker, it sounds like the person translating it isn’t a Sonic fan/isn’t a gamer and is missing some context.
Looks like they didn’t bother looking up Takashi’s name in kanji, so they wrote his given name in hiragana instead. A quick Google search showed multiple articles writing referring to SEGA’s Takashi as 隆, including an official SEGA tweet (https://twitter.com/SEGA_OFFICIAL/status/1475748101759639554?s=20&t=4iJ-3RQ6SUGuCgZB4Pmvvw) Thus his proper full name is most likely legally spelled as “飯塚隆” and not “飯塚たかし”. Replace the first line with:
(The ‘様’ at the end is not part of their name, it’s an honorific typically used in letters and emails when contacting people outside of your company)
Amy’s official Japanese spelling is エミー, not エイミー.
This reads like they didn’t know that Headcannon is a company, and aren’t quite sure what exactly Headcannon is (I’m not sure if “使用” can be used when referring to hiring a company). Typically in Japanese emails, when referring to a western company (or even a Japanese company with English letters as part of its official registered name), it should be rendered in English as it is, because “Headcannon” is the actual name of the company and not “ヘッドキャノン”. (Source: I used to work in support for a cloud service company and was told something similar when I had my Japanese emails reviewed)
These are just nitpicks though, I think the original message gets across. But I would at least write his name properly as a kind gesture, as well as Amy’s name.
But also, as seen in Game Informer’s rapid fire questions video, Iizuka’s English is actually quite good (not surprised as he’s been working in the US for a while), so I’m questioning the need to even write it in Japanese if he’s the sole audience.
EDIT: I just saw your previous post where you mentioned that it was quite difficult to find a good translator, so I apologize for nitpicking. I’m sure Iizuka won’t have any issue understanding the intent, so no worries there.
Thank you so much! I have updated the link to the PDF letter with the suggestions. That's a big help, so thanks again!
Primarily I think a Japanese letter is less likely to get intercepted by customer services (although that is a big assumption on my part). I have no doubt Iizuka is fluent in English. Many years ago he used to reply to people’s comments on Facebook and his replies clearly weren’t machine translated. But I notice his English responses tend to be short (like in that video interview), so hopefully a letter in Japanese will have less friction?
One day later than I'd hoped, but since nobody else seems to have done so in the interim I've given it a go and tried giving the SEGA Europe Head Office a call. Sadly, no dice so far - the number is definitely correct, but on phoning through I just get stuck with an automated message saying "Welcome to SEGA Europe; please wait to be connected" on an infinite loop. Occasionally it stops and rings for a split second or slightly longer, but it starts straight back up with the message again afterwards. No idea whether it's because they're just busy or because I'm not a recognised number, but whatever the cause if I can't get through I won't be able to make any enquiries. They do run a different out of hours message after 5:30, which suggests that even though I've had no luck so far it should be possible to get through before then, so I'll try again at a slightly different time of day tomorrow if time allows.
I'm curious though - if the number is publicly listed, has anybody over in the US tried ringing the Head Office over there? It's possible it'll lead to a dead end, but it'd be interesting to see if it's possible to get through. I'd do it myself, but can't justify the cost of an international call just to check...!
Quoting from another topic - I did eventually manage to get a contact email from SEGA Europe, but am now mid house move so have been unable to pursue this further myself. Relevant section of original post quoted below for anyone interested in trying to make SEGA aware that more finished versions of the music tracks exist:
I had an idea today!
While I don't think SOJ will rerecord the tracks for now, Data Discs sources their recordings off their hardware. If we get enough traction for an actual vinyl/digital OST, we'd get new recordings and thus another chance of setting things right. And who knows if we'd also get proper credits this time? A man can dream!
I made a mockup and shared it on Twitter. If you liked the idea and wanna share the image, here it is, no credit is needed.
After Chris McAleer replied noting he'd hope an OST release would only happen after Origins was fixed, Data Discs asked me to write them an e-mail with the info.
I already did and I'm now waiting for their reply. They can help escalate the issue to SEGA of Japan as it's the branch they deal with for licensing the soundtracks!
Just for reference here's the email I sent Data Discs:
Not a bad summation of the situation - in particular I'm glad you brought up things like the mastering issues and inconsistent recording quality between tracks sourced from Sonic 3 (which seems to include all the level tracks, as in the recording of FBZ1 you can hear the start of the syncing issues only present in the Sonic 3 version of the track) and tracks sourced from Sonic & Knuckles (such as the unique jingles etc.).
I'm a little concerned your use of shorthand/abbreviations etc. might confuse someone not familiar with those terms though - 'proto' for 'prototype' is probably dechiperable, but when listing the tracks affected you only use abbreviations "CNZ/ICZ/LBZ" which could confuse someone not used to this way of referring to the stages with affected tracks, compounded by the fact you've not linked a comparison of the affected Icecap Zone track or the first Launch Base track. Likewise, switching from "SEGA Japan" to "SOJ" suddenly may make it unclear you're referring to the same entity in both cases.
Also, while you refer to the "November Proto", there's no mention of what that actually is or where is can be located. Obviously you're not going to link them to the ROM or anything, but at the very least saying it was rediscovered in 2019 by a preservation group and linking the Hidden Palace tweet offering to send it back for recording would provide some much needed context, not to mention an avenue for getting in contact regarding getting hold of it for the purposes of making new recordings.
Personally I'd be tempted to send a follow-up clarifying those few points to ensure your message has gotten across clearly, including a clear list of the five tracks affected by the proto/Origins differences, phrased without any community shorthand (e.g. Carnival Night Act 1 & 2, Icecap Act 1, Launch Base Act 1 & 2).
Don't worry. I had talked with Data Discs in the past about the Sonic CD vinyl and they have pretty hardcore Sonic fans in the staff (they are fully aware of Hidden Palace and even know about the unused SNCBNK loops present in the 720 proto). With that knowledge I just tried keeping things short as it was a lengthy e-mail.
In retrospect, I think they just wanted to know if the issues with the Origins versions were limited to people being unhappy with the MJ replacements (either because they are not what people grew up with or because they sound worse than the November proto).
That's why I also stressed the lack of mastering and the fact those 7 recordings have technical problems. Those are technical reasons that need patching, if Data Discs makes new recordings and send them to SoJ we might have them patched onto Origins.
And even if they didn't know the abbreviations, I did use "Mushroom Hill" and then "MHz BGM.flac" "MHz Credits.flac". I'll gladly do a follow-up e-mail if they reply, though. As I have already offered to clarify claim #3.
Separate names with a comma.