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New Sonic 1 Alpha Screens Discovered

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

  1. Crasher


    Why hello there! Member
    I'm not really sure about Sonic's advertising history, as I've never really looked into it, but it could be that the Martin poster that you posted isn't the first one created? Martin may have had to redraw it a few times so it'd be approved by Sonic Team, which was the one you posted.

    Of course, I could be completely wrong. I haven't looked into this that much, so this is purely speculation.
  2. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    Somebody needs to make a timeline - I thought I had a good idea of what was going on but now I'm getting confused.

    It's a coincidence that the title screen Sonic has... "eyebrows" - it's not influenced by the works of Greg Martin.

    My gut feeling is it goes something like this:

    -Ohshima's "hedgehog" sketches
    -Sonic + Madonna + crap
    -Black and white level mockups
    -SoA says "kill Madonna"
    -Tokyo Toy Show 1990 (might have started before the rebrand)
    -Final-ish Sonic + Band (this stuff)
    -Manga starts being drawn... maybe (maybe didn't get the message about the fangs)
    -Winter CES 1991 build (the one drx found footage of)
    -The Sparkling Zone/Clock Ork build (the one in 480392432 magazines)
    -US localisation (e.g. "Robotnik")
    -Japanese cover art
    -US cover art (probably simultaneous with the above - the game was released worldwide on the same day)
    -Final release

    One or two might be mixed up.
  3. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    And speaking of, they forgot to change the design to final in this "emblem" design: (pre-final spikes, old nose).

    Which was fixed in the colored versions here: (but not in the bottom-right drawing!)

    Which is coincidentially this design:

    Final design, for comparison:

    This also brings up the question, what was up with SegaSonic's development? Non-final Sonic designs in the prototype, conehead Robotnik hidden within the graphics...
  4. LockOnRommy11


    From the evidence, it's clear that a lot of what those who were at SoA are referring to is their own marketing material, and not actual in-game graphical changes.

    We 'seem' to be missing a lot of information in our timeline, but I am highly skeptical of some of the 'facts' presented.

    1) We're getting talk of a guitar-wielding Sonic with spiked collar for starters, and I believe that this was definitely a thing in some form or another, but I think this was a off-shoot of the original Sonic character drawn by Oshima.
    Sonic was meant to be in a band, and I think some small later ideas/sketches must have shown a scenario of this which was quickly rejected by SoA. The band idea still went ahead (and then didn't due to memory contraints) but removed the extremities, leaving the basic band concept intact.


    2) Sonic may have had fangs as part of some Japanese promotional material, but this was swiftly removed for any western material, and straight after was also dropped from Japanese material too - this was clearly short lived in Japan, so any promotional material showing fangs was surely created well in advance and then wasn't changed. The fangs themselves were never seen in-game and aren't even in any unused sprites where Sonic's mouth can be seen open (gulping for air). This is clearly just promo-material changes rather than actual official design changes.

    3) We also know that Madonna was removed early on. I suspect that ANYTHING with the monster enemies is pre-Madonna's removal, as it appears that she may have been kidnapped and the aim of the game is to rescue her, instead of rescuing animals. To remove Madonna leaves a lot of filler - the plot must have been rewritten to what it is today straight after.

    4) Sonic always had red shoes. Even in the earliest concept art, Sonic had red shoes. Whoever says that this was added by SoA is talking bullshit. There are a number of images with both Sonic and Madonna where Sonic is wearing his trademark shoes, and the earliest known colour design of Sonic, titled simply "Hedgehog" shows this. Furthermore, the strap has always been present, and I believe it has always meant to be yellow. As it was such a tiny detail, not much effort was put in to making it consistent.

  5. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    This is the first time I read about a spiked collar. Source?
  6. qwertysonic


    creating the biggest sonic collection
    Like a page or two previously in this thread.
  7. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    Oh, so that's only in the Console Wars book. Eh...
  8. qwertysonic


    creating the biggest sonic collection
  9. JumpingRyle


    Let's try to date the images we have as well as possible.

    These are the initial sketches that were probably made around the start of 1990:


    Then, sometime between when those sketches were made and 6/1990, the design of Sonic is finalized and some stage concept art is done.

    This is a mockup for what I think (based on the date at the bottom) is a flyer for the Tokyo Toy Show:


    Note that at the bottom it says "Planned release date: February 14 [1991]. 4MB cartridge. 6,000 yen (plus tax). For questions, contact Sega Enterprises." The design shown here is the same design that would appear on the Japanese cover.

    The design on that flyer agrees with the prototype title screen:


    So by 6/1990, the design of Sonic is complete (more realistically it would be earlier since the prototype obviously took time to make).

    At the same time, leading up to 6/1990, we see this illustration of Madonna and the bad guys:


    Madonna was in the prototype that was shown at Tokyo Toy Show. Naka has said that to show off the rotation capabilities of the MD, there was a picture of Sonic and Madonna that was rotated for the demo. I believe it is this one (but I'm not sure):


    So we have all of that before 6/1990.

    The next mention of Sonic is in SPEC 7, which was published 11/1990:


    (Note that this illustration of Sonic was NOT done by any of Sonic Team. It was done by RIMO of SPEC (notice signature at the bottom) and it says to the left "This drawing looks just like the Sonic figurine in the development office!")

    In the mock interview with Sonic here, there is NO mention of Madonna. Instead, he says he is from Christmas Island, his job is an adventurer, and his hobby is playing in a rock band. I think we can say that between 6/1990 and 11/1990 Madonna was cut.

    The next appearance of Sonic is at the winter CES in 1/1991:


    The level design of Green Hill Zone is looking complete and we see badniks. So between 6/1990 and 1/1991, badniks and presumably friends were added.

    Sometime around then Greg Martin does his sketch (it contains badniks and Green Hill Zone loop):


    Also in 1991, a comic is published in Japan:


    The comic is known to be released in 6/1991, but may have been released earlier as well. It probably wasn't drawn before 1991 since it has many features of stages and badniks/friends.

    A comic is also released in the US around that time:


    Notable here is the different directions the comics take. In the Japanese comic, Sonic is in a band with screaming throngs of women. In the American comic, Sonic's origins are explained (and sound ridiculous).

    We also have this illustration of Sonic and his band, which appeared in the 7/1991 issue of Beep! MD (I'll try to get scans later):


    In that issue, Sonic again gives an interview in which he talks about his band. Keep in mind this is after the game was released in the US. So Sonic is quite definitely still in a band in Japan.

    So far, the claims of SoA and how they fit in time-wise:

    -They softened the design of Sonic. This would have had to be done before 6/1990, since the design was final by then.
    -They removed Madonna. This would have had to be done between 6/1990 and 11/1990.
    -They removed Sonic's fangs. This would have had to be done after 11/1990, since 2 of the 3 people who claim there were fangs also claim that Kalinske was involved in removing them, and he started work at Sega in 11/1990.
    -They got rid of the band. Obviously that's not the case since the band still existed (but was cut from the game for technical reasons). They simply removed the band from the American promotional material.

    The evidence to support any of the claims of SoA:

    There is none.

    That doesn't mean they're lying, but time affects the memory in different ways and people are known to embellish stories. However, it is clearly the case that Kalinske has been wrong about certain things (the red shoes) so there is the possibility that he was wrong about more. In addition, the wiki says that Yuji Naka disagrees with SoA's claim that they were responsible for the removal of Madonna. There's no source for that so I don't know if it's true. Given the distance separating SoA and SoJ (both geographical and cultural), I wouldn't be surprised if SoA were under the assumption that they were responsible for a change that, by the time they had suggested it, had already been implemented.
  10. flamewing


    Emerald Hunter Tech Member
    Sonic Classic Heroes; Sonic 2 Special Stage Editor; Sonic 3&K Heroes (on hold)
    I find these two VERY interesting:
    Would you happen to have higher resolution versions of those? Neither seem to be on the wiki, although a crop of the second one is.

    They are also interesting because they seem to indicate there was a lake in the Tokyo Show prototype version of Green Hill which was not visible in the available screenshots.
  11. Rika Chou

    Rika Chou

    Tech Member
    The background looks more like it was based on the final background to me. The water, mountains, shape of the clouds all match closer to the final than the toy show background.

    I wonder if Knuckles having fangs was inspired by the early Sonic design...
  12. JumpingRyle


    They're both on the site ;)

    That was from 11/1990, so it was quite a while after the prototype. It's possible that illustration shows a more advanced Green Hill Zone.
  13. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    Which has just reminded me of something...
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  14. JumpingRyle


    I forgot to comment on this. How do you have Ohshima's contact info? That sounds like a great opportunity.

    Ask him something like ?????????????????????????????????????

    "I heard a rumor that Sonic had fangs at first. Is that true?"
  15. The KKM

    The KKM

    Welcome to the nExt level Member
    IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog comic books
    He and Naka pretty much accept any friend request in FB, which can lead to a lot of cringe when you've got legions of South American kids tagging him in their photos of pregnant Amy or whatever. Anyone can go and ask him stuff, I was just asking for help since I've technically got a sort of foot in the door already- he had agreed to answer me stuff but didn't, likely due to his English not being very good and being busy despite me trying to simplify my English as much as possible.
  16. Y'know, I never get that. I thought Japanese are usually fascinated with America and the Western culture, hence they like to use some English phrases from time to time and they put English text even in the Japanese versions of their games, and yet Naka and Oshima still have trouble communicating in English, the easiest language in the world, even 20 years later in the age of Google Translate. Am I the only one who finds that weird? I mean, look at Jun Senoue, Masato Nakamura and Hideki Naganuma. They can speak English normally, so what's the deal? Were they too busy to take some English lessons? Where I come from, the ability to speak English is pretty much expected nowadays if you wanna get a job.
  17. Felik


    Please don't be so ignorant.
  18. DigitalDuck


    Arriving four years late. Member
    Lincs, UK
    TurBoa, S1RL
  19. I'm trying not to.

    Well, I COULD be wrong. I mean, I did start learning English when I was like 5 or 8.
  20. steveswede


    Ask my hand
    Fighting against the Unitary State of Europe
    As far as I'm aware, in Japanese pop culture they are fascinated with Engrish, even going out of their way to make as much gibberish as possible because they find it funny.