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New Sonic 1 Alpha Screens Discovered

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by cornholio857, May 3, 2015.

  1. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

    This was also in early Sonic 2 protos, running into walls would knock you back. Looks like the whole thing might have started with Sonic 1 after all.
  2. saxman


    Oldbie Tech Member
    To be clear, there was no indication of technology being a factor at this point in development.

    Considering what has previously said about the enemies, that they are from a world of nightmares, having something similar to "NEVERLAND" would make some sense, but instead making it "NEVERGREEN" or some other play on words. Pure speculation. We really have no idea what it says, but it's an interesting thought I think.
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  3. SonicGenesis89


    Cool! Sweet! And Catchy! Member
    Green Hill Zone
    Collecting Sonic Manga
    I don't think the name "NeverGreen" is too far fetched for a working title name considering we've had weirder ones such as "Salad Plains Zone" and "Wacky Toy Box Zone" from Sonic CD and all of the weird working title names for stages in Sonic 2 such as "Sand Shower Zone" and "Genocide City Zone" to name a few. Another interesting thing I haven't seen anyone else notice is that the lake shown in Sonic CD is known as "Neverlake". To me, I find the name really interesting because they both seem to match up together. One can even consider that "Neverlake" and "Nevergreen / Green Hill Zone" take place in the same location (South Island).

    I really do believe that the name on the sign says "NeverGreen" because we can clearly see the first word "NEVER" and then the last two letters which are "EN". "NeverSeen" doesn't really make a whole lot of sense to me because even if it's a tech demo and it's a "never before seen" game, the sign is clearly saying "Welcome! to whatever this location is!". And lastly, we know that when they were making Sonic CD they shared the same art books and assets that were used for Sonic 1 and some unused ideas were carried over to Sonic CD or attempted and becoming scrapped in a similar fashion. I don't find it too far fetched to believe that the name "Neverlake" for the location of the chained Little Planet is a name that was inspired off of the working title or original name for Green Hill Zone.
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  4. We've come a long way from "SEGA SONIC" haven't we?
  5. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    It's unfortunate timing given you can barely post on this board at the moment but

    Yuji Naka's been talking about it.

    Basically it translates to "it's been so long that I don't remember adding the enemy/making it work" and "I hope someone finds the ROM".

    Crappy JPEGs are circulating - if someone wants to fight the wiki, use the raw scan I posted.
  6. Asagoth


    Behold! The mighty, the flawless, salted cod eater Member
    wiki stuff... and a beer... or two... or more...
    Are you guys still facing problems when trying to access the website? Because it's working fine for me, now...
  7. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

    Professional Internet asshole Member
    It's been on-and-off for me today. Definitely better than before.
  8. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

    Better than Sonic Genesis... Member
    I wonder if someone could send him or Oshima-san the "Nevergreen" screenshot for clarification. They seem open about talking about early development on Twitter so long as we're respectful about it.
  9. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki


    I think I've been able to put the screenshots in the "correct" order too. I don't know if it was ever confirmed this build was playable, but it looks like an auto-demo, i.e. something that plays itself.

    Sonic stands, walks to the right, an enemy jumps over him, he climbs a hill and jumps over a different enemy, then goes down the hill, past the sign, runs for a bit and the demo ends. Or loops. Or whatever.

    And I mean, this demo was not widely reported - it gets a paragraph in a few Japanese magazines, and little more than "this exists" in the West, which would suggest to me that there wasn't much to talk about. I suspect it was just a short sequence showing off parallax scrolling - a glorified tech demo. There were others on the show floor (well, at least one for the Mega-CD, anyway).

    There might be enough Famitsu scans online to get some real data now, but this is mid-1990, 18 months after the Mega Drive launched. If sales were lagging behind the Famicom or PC Engine, it makes perfect sense to throw 231482903581204 layers of scrolling at a screen and say "can your console do this??". Reaffirming to the market that yes the console exists, and yes it does more than add more colours.

    I mean seriously there's so much Japanese commentary for this period in Famitsu and Beep Mega Drive and Mega Drive Fan - you could spend a lifetime translating it all.
  10. JaxTH


    Pudding Deity Oldbie
    Los Angeles
    Jack shit.
    It's been speculated to be an auto-demo for years now.

    Wasn't there supposedly text that scrolls through as well at some point, or was that debunked?
  11. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    Not sure about that - perhaps one of the many hoaxes people have made over the years?

    Incidentally there are two Amiga demos released just a couple of years later that are similar to this:

    It's completely coincidental, but it's fun that different groups of people came to the same conclusion when attempting to demonstrate 16-bit hardware with Sonic - you do a very flat level, have Sonic move to the right with some very basic jumping, some half-arsed enemies, and make it loop.
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  12. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

    Some of the screenshots we have show text on the screen, and some of the palm trees overlap it - which indicates that it was part of the demo and not added by magazines after the fact.
  13. Antheraea


    Bug Hunter Member
    our own article says that the game was playable, citing this interview:,_2011)

    Not just the trees, the clouds, which would be even harder to fake:


    (they're covering the first two letters there)
  14. CaseyAH_


    human incarnation of Palmtree Panic 'P' Mix Member
    Its possible that there were two versions of the demo, a playable one at the initial event and an autodemo given out to the press (or perhaps the playable version would have been an internal only thing- no real way to know either way.) I don't know if theres exactly any information that gives credence to this beyond Naka saying it was playable but still.
  15. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    I'm slightly wary of the wording - were it an auto-demo, you would stick it in a Mega Drive and "play" it like you would "play" a VHS. Japanese-to-English translations are never completely accurate.

    Not that it couldn't be playable, it's just it looks like all these screenshots can form a timeline. I would expect if the gaming press got ahold of it, there'd be more awkward screenshots of Sonic standing in odd places. And the write-ups would mention it as such.
  16. saxman


    Oldbie Tech Member
    Ever since the prototype became public, along with the subsequent research that went into it, I have speculated that object 06 might have been used for this text. Ignoring the coincidental red-colored tile, it is positioned in such a manner that it could conceivably be this. And it would make sense that it follows the HUD. I have not analyzed the object's code to see if it references a large area of VRAM or not, so that alone may debunk this.
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  17. qwertysonic


    creating the biggest sonic collection
    The Wind of Night Amiga demo's music sounds like Ice Cap zone music. Or maybe it's just me.
  18. McAleeCh


    Coming back to this - it looks like Issue 106 hasn't been scanned/uploaded as of yet. I did check the issue after that (107/108, which seems to be a double issue of some sort) and can confirm nothing's in there. The issues from that period are going up out of order, though - the latest up is 102 - so it's worth keeping an eye out to see if 106 goes up in future.

    Thanks for taking care of that - I've not had the chance to hop onto my desktop machine yet and don't trust trying to edit the wiki on my phone, especially with the connection issues on the site recently...! My only suggestion would be moving the close-up of Sonic to before the sign shot, as if you look at the ground and background position in the close-up it looks like he's just beginning to descend the slope. Wish the magazine had printed the full shot instead of cropping it, but on the other hand it does give us our clearest look at Sonic's Tokyo Toy Show era sprite.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021
  19. What has always struck me about the welcome sign is that it was (what appears to be) raised, shaded blue lettering with a golden-yellow surround, in the style of Sonic 2's boxart logo. I've always been curious about the logo/wordmark as it was inconsistent in the first generation of games:

    The US box has a generic sans-serif red font, without the skewed center hole on the "O" and "C", but the "The Hedgehog" lettering that were a standard for years to come.
    The JP box has the Sonic font we all know today, but with a straight-line "The Hedgehog".

    Sonic 2 brought us the blue-on-gold raised lettering style that became standard form, followed by Sonic Spinball - same style with new color (purple for "Spinball"), but condensed. Sonic 3 followed the same design style but with the colors more or less reversed. Still not sure why they made that design choice, maybe just to make it more obviously different. Meanwhile, for Sonic 2 and 3, Japan continued their flat white text on flat black background, and on Sonic 3, Europe did... a thing. (I'm also still not sure why EU broke Spinball's logo over two lines.)

    There just didn't seem to be a firm style guide back then. But more than anything else I'm fascinated that the welcome sign was doing the blue-on-yellow thing when the first game was barely a tech demo, and a couple of years would go by before they'd revisit the theme for logo design.
  20. Prototype


    If the Sonic 2 proto behaviour of Sonic being stunned/hurt when he dashes into a wall was actually first implemented and tested during development of Sonic 1, could that barrier be why the checkered balls were prevalent in the early S1 protos? They had the idea to break walls with balls/boulders, but hadn't yet finalized how Sonic would operate outside of the ball physics.

    The lack of style guide baffles me, considering how gorgeous the JP artwork is, and how all over the place the Western Sonic stuff was. I'm still not a fan of random Greg Martin buttface Sonic.

    The fact that they retained the Japanese aesthetic for Mania's art pleased me to no end.