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New Sonic 1 Alpha Screens Discovered

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

  1. cornholio857

    cornholio857

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    Here are scans of the Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic Volume 1 and 2:
    http://www.sonicdatabase.com/Sonic1991/sonic1991.htm

    Apparently these were in Mega Drive Fan between June and July 1991.
     
  2. Flare

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    Wow, I love seeing the prototype stuff pop up. Its also amazing to see how so much the game has gone through but the title screen has been the same. Had a quick overlap and it doesn't seem to have differences apart from the banner. http://cl.ly/360W2h0i1e3O
     
  3. JumpingRyle

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    Thanks for the link to the comic. It seems more and more clear that the people at SoA are referring to the promotional comic.

    They got a hold of the Japanese version, which depicted Sonic in a band and with fangs. They didn't want to release this in the US, so they re-did the promotional comic and removed the fangs and band.

    It seems that the only design changes they requested that were relevant to the game were the removal of Madonna and a change in the scenario (this probably took place well before the comic). Naka and Ohshima have both said that the band was going to be in the game (the sound test) but had to be cut for technical reasons.

    As to the fangs: we don't know who the artist of the manga was, right? I assume this was just their interpretation of Sonic; it doesn't seem that Ohshima ever drew him with fangs.

    So, what SoA should really be saying is "Thanks to our hard efforts, the mostly irrelevant promotional comic was re-drawn to appeal more to the tastes of American kids."
     
  4. The KKM

    The KKM

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    I think that's the wrong assumption, here- I think it more likely that this manga was referencing something that DID have the fangs, since as we know, it's not like this manga created the band either.

    Ohshima once agreed to answer me some questions in simple english, but then never did. If someone would be willing to help with the Japanese, I'd be happy to revise the questions to include a mention of this, and gently nudge him "hey sir you said you'd answer these but you never did, would you be more willing a year later if they were in Japanese?"
     
  5. JumpingRyle

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    I see the fangs as being part of the artist's style. There are other differences in how he/she drew Sonic, such as the visible buckles on the shoes. I don't think that such a minor detail needs to be based on anything else. The band, of course, is part of the story so isn't related to the artist's style.
     
  6. For reference, it's pretty common for a mangaka doing a media adaptation of a videogame or promotional material for it to put their own artistic flairs into a character that aren't necessarily "canon" details. For comparisons, take a look at the various Nintendo manga going around -
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I'm guessing Sega of America at the time frowned more on this in comparison, preferring a consistent look through and through.... but unfortunately for Sonic that never stuck, thanks to Mohawk-head and AoStH vs. SatAM.

    EDIT: For a better contrast, compare Electric Tale of Pikachu above with Pokemon Adventures here. Both of these were localized in English around a similar timeframe, but are completely different manga written and drawn by different artists. (In fact, Electric Tale of Pikachu is based off the anime, meaning that it has an "Ash" design based more closely on the in-game "Red" than the Ash in the actual show. Haha.)
    [​IMG]
     
  7. JumpingRyle

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    Just to make this painfully obvious:

    [​IMG]

    Both of these came from the same publication - the promotional comic. The official design was on the cover of the comic and the alternative design appeared in the comic.

    Keep in mind that this comic was published the same month the game was released, so it probably would have been too late to make any changes to the game based on feedback on the comic.

    I think it would be very unusual for a comic artist to not inject some of their own style into their drawings. I think that's clearly what's happening here. We've never seen Sonic look like he does in this comic. There is no indication that this design is based on some secret design, especially when the known, official design appears on the cover!

    I have a strong suspicion that SoA was planning on releasing this comic in the US as well, but when they saw it they judged that it wouldn't appeal to American kids. Instead they had their own comic made. Due to either not remembering well or never really understanding the situation in the first place, today they claim to have significantly altered the design of Sonic, when what they were really altering was the design of a single comic artist.
     
  8. GODDAMNIT Blue arms Sonic goes THAT FAR BACK.

    I wouldn't excuse a liar with such easy leeways into it being "just a mistake". There's no way the spin wasn't intentionally done to make it look like Kalinske accomplished more than he actually did.
     
  9. Knucklez

    Knucklez

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    Regardless... Those images of what never came to be are still amazing to see. This has got to be the most exciting thing to happen to Retro since Sonic Generations hacking.
     
  10. Black Squirrel

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    Actually the buckles go back... right to the very start

    [​IMG]

    I think these were Naoto Ohshima's original batch of sketches.
     
  11. The KKM

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    and in case your point was instead that they're white instead of gold, there's official art for that too

    There's nothing in there that can't be sourced to SEGA artwork except for the fangs, hence my point that that combined with three different people reporting the fangs means to me it's more likely that there WAS a piece of artwork with fangs, even if just for experimentation, instead of the artist inventing it here- since they otherwise worked hard to keep the design accurate, a touch or another in shapes aside.
     
  12. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    Prototype setting, white buckles, proto nose, pre-final spikes, but no fangs still.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The only place where I remember Classic Sonic sporting fangs is that one manga, so I'm also guessing that's what Kalinske saw and rejected.


    Needless to say, I loved the couple of pages I saw of it when I was little and hated the American-style Sonic. =P
     
  13. Linkabel

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    Well, every once in a while Oshima likes to draw Sonic with fangs so there is a high possibility that there's a fang Sonic sketch that is lost to history
    [​IMG]
    (At least the fangs came back in SA for a bit)

    I feel that even though this particular version of the manga was published somewhere close to the game's release I think the manga itself had already made the rounds sometime before.

    I say this because there's also this version
    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure if this the version that came with the magazine or was given at events etc etc but it does seem to predate the blue arms version.
     
  14. JumpingRyle

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    I think you're putting more significance in the fangs than the artist did. They are just an interpretation of how the mouth of a talking animal might look. The artist doesn't need permission or need to have a basis for adding such small details.

    By the way, check out the official Shining Force manga if you want to see how incredibly different the same character can look depending on who draws him ;)

    Anyway, as I said, the comic was published the same month that the game came out, so obviously SoA could not possibly have changed anything in the game at that point. But the prototype title screen clearly shows no fangs (my original motivation for uploading it). I think it's a bit far-fetched that Ohshima first drew Sonic without fangs, then created a fanged version which apparently only the comic artist and SoA saw, then decided to take the fangs out again without telling anybody.

    One last thing: At the time this comic was published, there is a TON of artwork featuring Sonic appearing in magazines, ads, everywhere. The design sure seemed finalized.

    Edit: Yes, of course, it's possible that I'm completely wrong. Maybe the comic is very old (although not older than the prototype!). But my ultimate point is that there is no good evidence that SoA majorly redesigned the character of Sonic, and there is a plausible explanation for why they might think otherwise. On the other hand, there is a lot of evidence indicating Ohshima's design is the final (or near final) design. I find it frustrating that SoA is trying to take credit for something that there is absolutely zero evidence of.
     
  15. DigitalDuck

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    Just to go one step further with the "buckles" argument:

    Sonic's official design always had buckles on his shoes. The reason you can't see them in that image is because you're looking at the INWARDS part of his feet. You can see the right half of his left foot and the left half of his right foot; the buckles are on the left half of his left foot and the right half of his right foot.

    The promotional comic, of course, ignores this.
     
  16. TheKazeblade

    TheKazeblade

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    Not that I'm disagreeing by any means with JumpingRyle's assertions, but I think there are a couple things that need to be addressed before we ratify the theory this theory.

    For one, we have an interview with Naka where he states that changes were made to Sonic because of feedback from SoA. With the comic, I would imagine the artwork had been done for several months before it actually went to press, so even after changes to the in-game design of Sonic were made, it would have been too late to apply them. We don't know how long they were sitting on that content.

    Now nowhere does Naka state that Kalinske was in charge of SoA during the time that the Sonic American redesign took place. In fact, in Console Wars (though yes, we are calling aspects of the book into question) states that the mascot project was inherited by Kalinske from his predecessor Michael Katz, which would still indicate that he lied about his involvement with the redesign, but not about SoA's involvement. I don't think that there's any doubt that the most noticeable aspects of Sonic's redesign were prompted by SoA's involvement, especially in regards to Greg Martin's artwork.

    Long story short, I think SoA had a major hand in Sonic's overall design; not so much Kalinske. But even then I won't go as far to say he lied, as we don't know how quickly feedback was implemented and how long it took for licensed media such as the manga to see production.
     
  17. Black Squirrel

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    I'm pretty sure Sega of America's changes involved scrapping most of this noise:

    I.e. when they say "we changed Sonic", it's not the "character" so much as it is the "game". Although they did localise the artwork and backstory and whatever if that counts.

    We know Sega of America axed Madonna. I would imagine they also pushed for the "kill the robots, save the animals/planet" message, because looking after the environment was all the rage back then.

    So we're talking some point after the Tokyo Toy Show 1990 build, but before that comic.
     
  18. JumpingRyle

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    Kalinske was hired in November of 1990. These are things he has claimed:

    from Collected Works.

    from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73abjrBD3NU

    from Console Wars. Note: Kalinske has fully endorsed this account and was heavily involved in promoting the book. He was Blake Harris's primary source.

    Is it possible that Kalinske isn't flat out lying? I suppose. I guess he could say "By 'we', I meant the people who came before me at Sega." But he is certainly implying that he was responsible for significant changes.

    The confusing aspect to Naka's account is that we know SoA did request some significant changes - especially the removal of Madonna. And they wanted the scenario changed so that Sonic was rescuing animals instead of rescuing his girlfriend. I can't hear the actual Japanese which is translated as "the look and feel" in the Naka interview, but that could be anything. It's also certainly possible that some SoA people requested changes in the very early stages. I'm not accusing them of deception.

    Again - this all comes back to the prototype. The Sonic we see there is the Sonic we ended up with. And that prototype was made at least 5 months before Kalinske was at Sega.

    Edit: Al Nilsen's account of this is worth adding:

    from http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/251le3/we_are_blake_j_harris_tom_kalinske_and_al_nilsen/

    Nilsen clearly says Kalinske had a role in "subtly" changing Sonic, which meant removing the fangs. The only thing that makes sense to me is that this is in reference to the comic.
     
  19. DigitalDuck

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    Given Oshima's other creations, I'd say that's all him rather than SOA.
     
  20. JumpingRyle

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    Can you explain what you mean by that? I'm really confused :(/>

    This is Greg Martin's famous Sonic artwork:

    [​IMG]

    It has Buzz Bombers, a finished-looking Dr. Robotnik, and a Green Hill Zone loop.

    From the gametap video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkhjBAYL2Hs&t=3m19s

    The video implies that this poster was Greg Martin's. But how can that be?

    Here is the title screen from the prototype:

    [​IMG]

    Is that not a very similar design to the one in Martin's poster? Yet everything about Martin's poster indicates it came AFTER the prototype. I really don't understand.