Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by cornholio857, May 3, 2015.
That would be why it was easier for you :v:
Edit: oh I just realized nowhere do I explain my super excitement over these new images. These images super excite me.
I can give the source of that, since I wrote the paragraph in question. Yuji Naka told the story during Summer of Sonic 2011, which is either in this video or the followup. I'm not sure of the exact moment he mentions it, but that's because its been four years since I watched it. What's interesting in that video is that Naka also seems completely ignorant of the American storyline, with the brown hedgehog and Kintobor and all that nonsense.
Now, my guess? I feel like it's a bit more complicated than one side is telling the truth and one side is lying. Because it just feels weird that Sega of America would take credit for all these changes, members of Sonic Team going on record telling a completely different story, yet the former SoA employees still telling the same things over and over again. Now, to be fair, I don't think anyone has ever asked Tom Kalinskie "hey, are you sure that SoA killed the rock band and it wasn't this other story about Ohshima running out of time." But is it entirely possible that both sides are kinda telling the truth?
Maybe when Madonna was faxed over to America, people like Madeline Schroeder voiced their concerns, but at the same time in Japan as Sonic Team was trying to focus on the core of the game, they removed her because they felt she made the game seem too much like a Mario rip-off, instead of a unique platformer. Same thing with the band. SoA didn't want them to be the focus of the game, but they were never intended to be the main focus. That the development team wanted to direct their resources to the gameplay, and all the extra bits involving the band were cut more for time than for anything else. There are sketches that show the band members were going to be in the ending sequence, but if it was taking too long to animate them for the sound test, then having them appear anywhere else was just out of the question. It's possible Sega of Japan wanted the band to take "center stage" in promotion, and Sega of America vetoed that, so while they still appeared in the manga and a couple other promotional images, they were never part of the proper advertising campaign.
The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, perhaps slightly closer to Sonic Team's story since they were the ones who actually made the game, with ego getting the better of both sides in retrospect. Also, whenever anyone American would tell the story of how they "softened" the character, it always felt more like "we need to redraw Sonic so he looks as he does on the cover of the American Sonic 1," not that they told Ohshima to stop drawing Sonic in the more raw looking, initial Hedgehog sketch. Because like you've pointed out, the look of Sonic is pretty much finalized once we get to the Tokyo Toy Show, when Madonna and the band were still on the table.
One final note, when it comes to the Console Wars book, it says right there in the beginning:
What's that mean? Not everything in that book is 1:1. Slightly annoying when you want to use it as a primary source, such as trying to come up with an exact timeline involving the earliest concepts for Sonic. While I don't think anything has been outright made up, it certainly feels as though this was written with the inevitable movie deal in mind.
Thanks for the great post! I agree with you. One of the major problems here is that we're talking about multiple changes that occurred over a lengthy period of time, but there is a tendency for people to simplify this and say "SoA came in and made changes and Sonic was complete."
The one really nagging question I have is this: Was SoA (specifically, Madeline Schroeder) behind the changes that we see between the initial sketches and the final Sonic at Tokyo Toy Show? She says she went to Japan and worked with Sonic Team to "soften" Sonic and make him more suitable for the American market. Ohshima has said that his original idea was for Sonic to have short legs and be "stylish", but something obviously pushed him away from that. Was that Schroeder? Or did Schroeder's influence come later, as you say, during the promotional stage with developing things like the comic and game cover? I'm really curious if SoA became actively involved in Sonic's design before the Tokyo Toy Show or after.
In regards to Console Wars: most of the claims regarding Sonic have been confirmed, at a general level, by the interviews with Schroeder, Nilsen, and Kalinske that I've posted. Some details (such as the collar) are probably just exaggerations of the book. Also, despite Harris putting that disclaimer at the beginning, he has actively defended the accuracy of the book numerous times, such as here:
That, together with the semi-official endorsement of the book from Kalinske and Nilsen, gives it some weight. It's not so easy to dismiss Console Wars as a fictionalized screenplay even though that's what it reads like.
One good thing about the movie coming out is that it will hopefully draw enough attention to these matters that Ohshima/Naka set the story straight (at least their side of it).
As it is now, I hear a growing number of people say that Sonic's success was ultimately due to SoA, that SoJ was a failure all around, and a bunch of other silly claims that obviously come from Console Wars/Kalinske.
I could be hilariously pedantic and say there is a non-final Sonic design in the final too:
Although come to think of it, is there actually any evidence that Mighty was a prototype version of Sonic - it's been the internet consensus as far as I can remember but I'm not sure why.
In other news, Sonic's first video game appearance was supposedly in 1990's Rad Mobile. Mighty turns up in the 1994 Saturn port (Gale Racer) - is he in the arcade original at all? Are they even really the same game?
I know that somebody mentioned how there were many kinds of animals considered for Sonic, one of them being an armadillo but, asides from that, I think everything else is just speculation.
You know, I had never noticed until now that Sonic's buckles had been white/silver all the way, up to (and including) Sonic 2. =|
Also, Sonic is replaced by Mighty in Knuckles Chaotix, and he fits the sprite perfectly. People are reverse engineering this fact.
That's pretty common knowledge, but Knuckles Chaotix came out in 1995. I always heard that when deciding on a mascot an armadillo was in the running because it could roll into a ball. I have never heard that there was any real intention on making an armadillo game, or originally making Mighty Sonic 1's subject.
Mighty went from almost being a potential star to a forgotten character altogether, sad.
Manabu Kusunoki is the character designer for Mighty the Armadillo. He is listed in the credits to Chaotix as "Original Character Concept," his only previous credit Sonic-wise being for the arcade title. While it's been said that an armadillo was considered for Sonic at some point in the past, it definitely wasn't Mighty. Could Manabu been inspired by seeing internal concepts for Sonic 1? Who knows. But more than likely, Ohshima's armadillo character was a vague doodle that was never expanded upon, and it was more coincidence that Mighty was the same species. After all, Sonic rolls into a ball, armadillos roll into a ball, and if you're trying to come up with an animal that just happens to mimic Sonic's second-most recognizable shape...
Odds are, judging by Vector, that Mighty technically was the armadillo character from before Sonic, but more correctly it was just some armadillo and was only finalised as Mighty for the Arcade game.
After JumpingRyle provided a higher resolution scan, I cropped and Descreened the new screenshots(above). However, I tried to log on to the Wiki to update the Images with these cleaner shots and I wasn't allowed to log in with my Sonic Retro account to do so. How would I do this or would someone with permission upload these? I believe Sonic Retro deserves to have the highest quality material on the Wiki but I'm stumped(I quoted myself so no one would have to go a few pages back). Thanks in advance!
It would be great if they found in these magazines other Sega games in beta/prototype state (Alex Kidd, Shinobi, ...)
I've done my best to search through the other issues of Beep MD and MD Fan from that time. There aren't any more of the early prototype scans. Just to be complete I've scanned the Beep MD prototype article that's already on the site, but the quality doesn't look any better. Does anybody know where the remaining prototype scans came from? By that I mean the one with the welcome sign.
I also found several articles from later dates that might be of interest.
I apologize for the horrible quality of these compressed images: I've linked the original scans below each. I would really appreciate it if somebody would make them look nice and upload them to the site
Beep MD 8/1990:
The following 3 articles state that the screenshots come from the Genesis version. Notice the empty special stage and UFOs! Also, the 2 MD Fan articles have brief interviews with Sonic Team. I don't have time to translate them now... Can anybody help?
Beep MD 4/1991:
MD Fan 4/1991:
MD Fan 5/1991:
The following 2 pages from Beep MD 7/1991 were published right before the game was released in Japan (and after it was released in the US). This is a mock interview with Sonic and a singer named Yumiko Takahashi. Sonic, described as a vocalist, says he is a "rocker" and music is his work. Clearly SoJ never dropped the band aspect of Sonic's character.
I'll see what I can do with the Beep! screenshots. I'm by no means a photo editing expert, but I'll see what I can do with it. Unless someone beats me to it. Also, thanks for all these excellent scans! />/
That little leaping Eggman on the last page is adorable.
That art still looks amazingly fresh! Thanks for taking the time to scan these pages.
About the art style - god knows why they don't just go back to it. It pains me to see how perfect the design of Sonic was, and the lanky arrogant twat we have to put up with now.
Again, all rehosted:
http://rchan.sonicretro.org/proto/Sonic - Beep MD 8-1990.jpg
http://rchan.sonicretro.org/proto/Sonic - Beep MD 4-1991.jpg
http://rchan.sonicretro.org/proto/Sonic - MD Fan 4-1991.jpg
http://rchan.sonicretro.org/proto/Sonic - MD Fan 5-1991.jpg
http://rchan.sonicretro.org/proto/Sonic - Beep MD 7-1991 01.jpg
http://rchan.sonicretro.org/proto/Sonic - Beep MD 7-1991 02.jpg
Amazing stuff here. Thanks again to you and your collector friend for the scans.
Holy crap this is amazing. I haven't been this excited about something like this here in over 7 years. Can't wait to what else is found. Keep thesender scans coming!
Well that's extremely interesting.
I would love to see a hack that incorporates that version of GHZ into an act that precedes the latter plot-wise with that fanged-blueberry nemesis being a boss of sorts that Sonic decides to kick aside to instead pursue Eggman and foil his evil schemes. Now that's the best version of Sonic 1 I'd ever see.
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