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New Sonic 2 development lore drop - Genocide/Cyber City palette and art!

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by The Joebro64, Mar 19, 2023.

  1. LockOnRommy11

    LockOnRommy11

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    I’m actually fairly certain that it was taken from Kraftwerk’s track ‘Metropolis’. Their previous track ‘Spacelab’ seems to have possibly been an inspiration for Scrap Brain Zone’s track, and I can see them using the name as a reference.

    Spacelab


    Metropolis


    The music in Metropolis itself has a number of inspirations, but a standout track with great similarities is this one:


    I’m not convinced that the purple colour scheme would not have stayed as it is being shown. It’s far to garish and doesn’t seem to fit with the colour scheming for the rest of the game. I presume that they may have altered the final colours, as they did for Casino Night, which had quite an overhaul mid production. Seeing as Genocide City doesn’t even seem to have had its tiles fully implemented, I would guess that they never even got far enough to review it. I could be wrong, I think I’d need to see it implemented and in action. WINK. WINK.
     
  2. McAleeCh

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    Off-topic, but why are we so certain that the desert level seen in the mockup is Sand Shower and not Rock World? The early concept sketches for the "Banper" enemy (which seems to have eventually evolved into Casino Night's Crawl badnik) show the two were definitely linked, with Rock World being considered the past of Sand Shower - actually, wasn't that the first concrete evidence we found that time travel was planned for Sonic 2 outside of magazine blurbs? The position of the two on the various early island maps also backs this up, with Rock World occupying the same spot as Sand Shower does in another time zone. It would make perfect sense for the two to both be in desert-like environments, much like Hill Top and Emerald Hill (also once considered past/present of the same location) share grassy hills and underground caves, or how Metropolis and Cyber City would have shared an overall mechanical base theme. Notice also that while the background of the mockup is desert, there are rocky buttes on the horizon, and the main ground seen in the mockup is very much rocky terrain - sort of a Monument Valley style environment, which could easily fit a stage named Rock World.

    It definitely seems some stages were dropped outright between the time travel concepts and the prototypes we have access to - is it possible that Sand Shower was dropped outright, and that the desert stage Brenda Ross created artwork for could actually be Rock World? The early digitizer versions of the Crawl badnik actually seem to have sand or rock designed to appear either side of it as it popped up from beneath the ground. This badnik was definitely planned for a desert stage (presumably Sand Shower) - however, the "Banper" concept sketches show it was also to appear in Rock World too, so its continued development in this from doesn't tell us anything as to which stage it was being developed for at that time. And to make things more confusing, it then ended up in Casino Night, a completely unrelated stage. No wonder they redesigned it and removed the burrowing aspect!

    Then there's the music. As mentioned in the post quoted above, the track used in Oil Ocean in the final game does sound desert-like, and the fact that it's not used in some earlier prototypes does at least suggest it wasn't composed for Oil Ocean originally. However, it's not desert-like in the sense of a western desert with cacti - more like something you'd expect from a middle eastern-style desert. Meanwhile, Aquatic Ruin's music seems to have a pan-flute riff with strong similarities to Ennio Morricone's iconic score for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - an all-time classic western, and definitely something you might expect to hear in a western desert stage. The instrumentation in the demo version of the track is also more western-like, with guitars for the backing and a more haunting pan-flute for the main melody, which could easily fit with the idea of desert wind blowing around a desolate rocky area. Aquatic Ruin itself also doesn't appear on the early maps either, so depending on when the soundtrack was composed it's completely possible its theme may have been intended for another stage originally.

    Forgive me if there's something I've missed - I've not been able to have my head in the game as much recently owing to family commitments, so it's very possible I've missed new info being uncovered at some point which concretely links the mockup with Sand Shower. But unless such evidence appears, it seems to me to be jumping to conclusions somewhat to say they're one and the same when another linked stage clearly exists which could also be related to it.

    On a side note - I know there's also been talk in past of a winter-themed Zone sharing assets from the desert mockup, but the early maps contain no reference to such a stage. It may be that the concept was introduced later after the game deviated from the original plans - concept art for Madness Mountain and the presence of Sky Chase and Wing Fortress in the final game all suggest this could be the case, as none of those appear on the original maps either. The other possibility, I suppose, that the winter stage was actually Rock World, and it just had a spectacularly unrepresentative name - the earlier names Dust Hill for Mystic Cave and Genocide City for Cyber City show that the Zone names sometimes didn't accurately represent their intended theme. Interestingly, the concept art for Ice Cap in Sonic 3 does appear to have Christmas trees, which were talked about as part of that winter stage in past - however, without more info, it's impossible to say whether that means the concept art was repurposed from Sonic 2's development or was just a case of reusing one of the basic ideas.

    ...Actually, while I'm at it - another thing which bothers me is the idea that's become accepted over time that the desert stage was supposed to transition to winter during the stage at some point. However, what's actually said in the original interview with Zone's artist, Brenda Ross, is fairly vague:
    Nowhere is it stated that this was supposed to happen during a single stage - just that the art was designed to be used with two different palettes (which in this case would make all the sand elements look like snow instead). The same is also true for Emerald Hill and Hill Top (and, to bring this back on-topic a little, for Metropolis and Cyber City) - a palette change to help turn it into a different type of scene.
    Here she actually describes the winter version as a separate stage, and the only thing explicitly confirmed is that different art would replace the cacti in that version, replacing them with Christmas trees. Again, this matches with patching over different trees in Hill Top compared to Emerald Hill (or electronic elements in Cyber City instead of Metropolis' steam pipes).
    All this statement does is reiterate that the 'sand' elements would look like snow when the winter-themed palette was being used with the art.

    I'm not sure where the idea that a transition would have happened during the actual stage originated from, as I don't remember it being accepted wisdom in the early 2000's when I first entered the Sonic hacking scene. Unless, again, further info has come to light that I'm not aware of, it seems to me to be another case of jumping to conclusions when there's very little evidence to suggest the idea was even considered.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2023
  3. Nik Pi

    Nik Pi

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    I not sure that Rock World could be desert zone. We know that this level has a lot of names; Sand Shower on maps, Desert on concepts, Desert World for badniks concepts, and Dust Hill by according to some developers (not fact, because we have a lot of refutations).
    Also, would be nice to create a thread for discussing all Sonic 2 beta stuff, not only Genocide City. It would be a nice place to talk about our theories and good source for hackers or fangamers that hasn't imagination
     
  4. McAleeCh

    McAleeCh

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    I'm not refuting any of that - merely questioning whether the mockup of the rocky stage with the desert background has actually been concretely linked to any of those names. Since Rock World occupies the same spot on the map as Sand Shower in another time period, it's possible it could have still been situated in a desert-type area, and the foreground of the stage seen in the mockup is mostly rocky terrain which fits quite well with the stage name seen on the maps. And the sketch for the one badnik concretely linked with the desert stage that was actively developed - "Banper" - also specifies that it would appear in Rock World too (referred to as "Rock Zone" - again, the first mention we had of this stage's existence prior to the time travel maps surfacing), so it's not very useful in helping to ascertain which of the two stages the mockup could have been. Particularly as the enemies shown in the mockup itself don't include the one we know was originally designed for both stages...!

    Agreed - sorry, I've taken things a bit off-topic while we're waiting for confirmation on whether or not the previously unseen Cyber City papers can be scanned successfully. Would be good to have a general-purpose thread for this kind of thing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2023
  5. Chimes

    Chimes

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    Ask and you shall receive!
    Looking forward to the Cyber City papers here.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2023
  6. synchronizer

    synchronizer

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    “Metropolis” is a classic Fritz Lang film in which the lower classes of society are forced to live and work in an underground sub-city with lots of steampunk elements (that fit with Metropolis’s aesthetic) to power the city above ground for the upperclass society. It’s a stretch, but the level basically looks like that underground area in the movie.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2023
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  7. Fadaway

    Fadaway

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    Now I must find this film and watch it. I collect films. I am a big fan of M but I haven't seen this one. I have heard of it.
     
  8. synchronizer

    synchronizer

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    There are lots of versions because the original version was damaged, leading to a lot of attempts to restore it. I think a full version is available now—whichever is mostly-recently released.
     
  9. I love Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (M as well), but I wonder if maybe Tezuka’s manga “adaptation” (he hadn’t actually seen the film lol) was a more direct influence. I don’t know how popular the original film was in Japan, but I imagine artists of that era were pretty familiar with Tezuka’s work.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Blastfrog

    Blastfrog

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    [​IMG]

    Anyone else remember this old thing? It's incredible how far we've come! I'd still love to see this interpretation become a playable zone, it's pretty damn cool. It vaguely reminds me of Aqua Lung in Sonic Project Mettrix.
     
  11. OKei

    OKei

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    I seem to remember seeing this back in 2000-2001 at Andre Dirk's Secrets of Sonic the Hedgehog website, OR at least around in the same circles as his site. I think this was an April Fool's day hoax?

    Found the link. So my memory wasn't that bad.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2023
  12. Xilla

    Xilla

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    That was posted on the old Area 51 Ezboard originally I think. I remember thinking the text was all a bit too convenient for it to be real!
     
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  13. McAleeCh

    McAleeCh

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    Oh man, I remember that - what a blast from the past! Inaccurate as it is, I love that that old hoax reused some tiles from Metropolis Zone to build the scenery, well before we had any idea the Zone was actually related to that stage. Funny coincidence, haha!
     
  14. Sparks

    Sparks

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    Man I probably haven't seen this image in over 10-15 years. It's funny how much it takes from Oil Ocean as well, design wise. We've come a long way from the more apocalyptic, fire and brimstone interpretations of what Genocide/Cyber City Zone was believed to be. At least something that bizarre of a concept would never appear in a Sonic game.

    Ah, fuck.
     
  15. Chimes

    Chimes

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    I mean... close enough!
     
  16. The KKM

    The KKM

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    IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog comic books
    The version they'd have had available to watch at the time would've been Moroder's reconstruction, which is easily found on youtube and a recommended watch from me.
    I suspect this movie's more relevant than it seems to the development of CD/2, considering the story revolves around an evil robot doppleganger of a heroic figure; but even if that's a coincidence, the visuals of Metropolis Zone definitely feel inspired by the opening bits of the movie, with the visuals of the machinery and pistons.


    EDIT: Again, complete speculation, but considering the concept of the game's time travel, maybe it's not a coincidence there'd be a level referencing Metropolis, a symbol of the early days of science fiction cinema, and a level referencing Star Wars, a symbol of the best of modern science fiction cinema (at the time). The Sci-fi of the past and future meeting through time travel.
    Probably a coincidence, but fun to think about.
     
  17. Rachel Mae

    Rachel Mae

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    lmao people are STILL getting fooled by that old GCZ hoax?? apparently someone uploaded it to TCRF today

    anyway here's the original image. I made this literally 20 years ago. good thing I never delete anything

    upload_2023-4-9_19-43-4.png
     
  18. Londinium

    Londinium

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    It's beautiful
     
  19. AbsoluteG

    AbsoluteG

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    Holy shit I remember seeing that hoax in its full quality back then in the early 2000s. I remember this one and one someone did of a mechanical looking GCZ eons ago. lost a lot of old sonic shit though due to many drive failures lol.

    It's still looks good! but damn do I feel ancient now.
     
  20. Nik Pi

    Nik Pi

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    Great to see it so much times ago!
    I saw how somebody tried to recreate it:
    [​IMG]
    It's a shame that this version wasn't used in any S2beta-esque hacks :colbert:


    P.S.: Just imagine this as Cyber City bg, lol