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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. expansivelovestories

    expansivelovestories

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    ^^ Yes, Wing Fortress is one of the crucial zones and unique expressions/experiences that makes Sonic 2 what it is, in some ways the pairing of Sky Chase and Wing Fortress could be called the very first Sonic Adventure style zones. :) :)

    Did you know that when playing as Knuckles you can jump away from the ship, off the long platform at the very start; like a quick hop before turning around in flight, that is to say: once you figure out the timing, it's possible to glide quickly (i seem to remember you do literally hold right) back towards the ship, you'll be gliding very fast underneath everything, and if the timing and positioning are correct, which isn't as tricky as it sounds, Knuckles will be pulled back up onto the ship, by the reverse current of one of the lower path's round fans!!
     
  2. Londinium

    Londinium

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    Man, I still wish Sonic Team would've cut down Hidden Palace to get it into the final game. The bit that does exist is good enough in my opinion, especially as a zone that is mostly just there for story purposes
     
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  3. Jaxer

    Jaxer

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    And speaking of Hez, yesterday he uploaded two YouTube videos of a Wood/Secret Jungle recreation, and you can see a level select that also includes all finalized Sonic 2 levels, as well as Genocide City, Hidden Palace, Sand Shower, Aqua Planet from Sonic Chaos and Endless Mine from Sonic 3 Competition.



     
  4. Londinium

    Londinium

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    Killer soundtrack! Is it original or from somewhere else?
     
  5. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

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    A version of this track is also in Sonic 2 Archives. According to the comments, it was arranged by a user called Vertz1515.


    Edit: Apparently it was going to be a part of Sonic Classic 2's Sonic 2 mode? I guess it's an original track.
     
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  6. Jaxer

    Jaxer

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    It's supposedly composed by Sean Evans, who's previously worked with Hez on the two Sonic Classic games.
     
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  7. Nik Pi

    Nik Pi

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    Yeah, SC2 wz theme were made by Hez's composer Sean Evans (booth of them credited in archives)
    I've decided to use it in archives cuz it slaps/jams/rocks (or however you englishmen call it :p). It sounds too cool to not be used for wood zone, I asked Hez, and he agreed to allow us to use it.
    Pretty complicated song.

    Not sure if it should be in this thread anyway, lolz

    Anyway, Hez's wz showcase looks cool, definitely best wood zone recreation that I saw B)
     
  8. Antheraea

    Antheraea

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    Quick nitpick, I would disagree with this, as some of their stuff did make it into the Simon Wai version as Metropolis:

     
  9. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    I somewhat misspoke. I do agree that some GCZ concepts were kept in initially, then slowly eliminated, but unlike what we thought earlier, the actual GCZ maps weren't built as Metropolis 3.

    I think it's more likely they took ideas from GCZ, used them in early drafts of Metropolis 3, then kept removing more of them with each revision until we got a final zone that closely matched Metropolis 1 and 2 as we know them now. Both zones of course were from the same artist, so they will always be tied together, but the early idea of Beta Metropolis 3 being Genocide City at some point strikes me as mostly incorrect now.

    It was kind of a gradual evolution away from the stage as those early design docs presented it to us.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2023
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  10. z.man II

    z.man II

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    It seems like the button, rhombus, and piston graphics in this paper spread are not for Genocide City, but rather, are early Metropolis sprites. The color values are different from the ones on the GCZ documents on the right, and match up almost perfectly with Metropolis Zone's palette in the Simon Wai prototype. The same goes for this rhombus document:
    [​IMG]
    It also doesn't look like the rhombus appears in any of the GCZ maps we've been given, so I think that obstacle is just a Metropolis 3 original.
     
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  11. It's because of it's name and somewhat morbid curiosity. If it was called Garden Green Zone or whatever, there would be less interest.
     
  12. Sparks

    Sparks

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    Would it be possible to get the first post revised with all the current/latest findings that have been publicized so far? It'd certainly beat having to dig through 42 pages.
     
  13. Billy

    Billy

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    Alternative suggestion, add it to the wiki and put a link at the top of the first post to it.

    "But what if what's released turns out to contradict what's been added?"
    It's a wiki, fix it afterwards.
     
  14. Chimes

    Chimes

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    if we can revise the Sonic 1 date to say June 11th long after the fact then we can add a preliminary paragraph to cyber city's page
     
  15. HEDGESMFG

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    Man, the more I look at the timeline and research behind this game, the more you realize that it may be one of the single most crunched disasters in terms of Sonic development. The game arguably fell farther from what it was planned to be than even outright disasters like Sonic 06 or Boom did. Of course, we don't tend to care because the final game was still genre defining and critically acclaimed, more advance than its predecessor, and went on to be a huge success... but I think the reason I keep coming back to lore behind this game is just because it was 'that' much of a development disaster behind the scenes.

    The earliest Nick Arcade Proto was first publicly shown only around 6 months before development, was built off of Sonic 1, and 'barely' anything of note was implemented into it. It was likely built sometime in May 1992, given that was the earliest stage it was shown off at. Most of the zones we know were built 3 months later by August 1992, with everything else cut around then and "Sky Fortess" and Sky Chase conceptualized a short time later in early September, only about 2 months before release. They then crunched over roughly another week or so to get it polished and up and running by October so it could go gold for production and release in November.

    Most of the game was crunched to be built in just a few months. A much more doable feat back then, but even so, really points to just how badly this game was cut down from its original planned concept. The final game is almost nothing like what it was conceptualized as, and I doubt they only considered that concept for a short time period due to how many lost levels they tried to build in that spring/summer period.

    Most western developers who talk about it did not point to it being all that fun to work on (besides the general sense of it being a highly coveted sequel to a big IP), and Japanese devs seem to continually express regret over lost concept now. It's not hard to even see why they kept some material to themselves after all these years. By comparison, Sonic CD and even Sonic 3 were handled a lot better, and I don't doubt the crunch and chaos behind the scenes for Sonic 2 led to Sonic 3 being split in 2 to keep it more intact as it was planned.

    I have nothing to add. Just want to put this in perspective the more we learn about this game, the crazier the difference between what was planned, and what we got became. And a lot of stuff took us over 25 years to truly learn.
     
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  16. Nik Pi

    Nik Pi

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    Nick Arcade build probably was built specially for Nick Arcade. Code has tons of much earlier content, like graphics, code, etc (just remember piece of alpha HPZ bg or gator badnik)
    But, final game was built really well and fast, and development of it feels like a real hell.
     
  17. saxman

    saxman

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    I think "disaster" is a bit strong here. That implies failure. My opinion is that things always deviate at least somewhat from the original concept, no matter the product or the team. The fact that it's as different as it is isn't necessarily "bad". No question it was hectic, but they still made it work in the end, and without delaying the target release. I'm impressed the game is as big as it is given the schedule. Sonic 2 takes a commitment to finish in one sitting. And it's very well polished as a whole.

    But it would be fun to see a proper "director's cut" of Sonic 2 with some of the original staff involved. And while the remake did some impressive things, there are a few things about it that feel more "fan game" and less "official".
     
  18. jubbalub

    jubbalub

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    Reminds me of Spider-Verse. Both movies turned out incredible but the working conditions used to get there were not. They've even got a similar story about time crunch; Sonic 2 devs and Across the Spider-Verse animators both had to sit on their hands for a good while waiting for something to do, and then suddenly the floodgates opened and they were overwhelmed and stressed.

    Lord and Miller apparently have a pattern of doing stuff like this, just as similarly to SEGA.
     
  19. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    (please don't wait for the magic wiki fairy to add all new information to the Sonic 2 development page. I'm busy; there's hundreds of you)

    It was cut down from its original vision, but its original vision was stupidly elaborate and unworkable. In fact I expect that original vision had been killed off early in 1992 - it's why I don't much care for over-analysis of those island maps, because the team had likely moved on well before the point Sonic 2 became a proper product.

    Anyway Sonic 2 is different to most Mega Drive games in that it had a hard deadline, but having looked at plenty of other prototypes from the era, its state six months before launch seems broadly in line with the others. The Nick Arcade prototype (which as I've explained before, was almost certainly destined for Summer CES 1992, not Nick Arcade), represents the programming side more than the project as a whole (although granted, the prototype doesn't represent much) - we know there was art waiting to be put into the ROM (see: this topic) and I'd be amazed if they hadn't been tinkering with the music by then.
     
  20. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    I disagree, and I think the remnants of the old levels existing as late as post Simon Wai points to a lot more chaos in deciding what to cut and keep. There were 'full' map layouts for Genocide City made, 3 entire acts. There's no doubt that the large Island map concept was cut down as development continued (since nothing from the map itself exists in the game's code save one possible image at the start of this thread which is vague at best), but they kept a lot of leftovers in those concepts in for months before cutting them down even further.

    Then you have the negative reactions of developers like Brenda Ross, who not only had all of her content cut, but treats her time on the game as a whole as a somewhat negative experience. Yes, she was somewhat put off by the fans pressuring her to answer questions, but I don't think that's the only reason because when she 'did' answer, her answers pointed towards a mixed to negative experience working on the project. There were major communication issues between the JP and US developers. I don't think this is isolated either. Each developer who has spoken up about the project speaks of a form of regret when it comes to cut content. Naka, Judy, all of them. And the amount of content that was cut was substantial, and it seems like a lot of time was wasted in the first half of 1992 to reach the point they did. Just because work was being done in the spring that eventually translated into real finished stages didn't mean it wasn't being done under high pressure, stressful, chaotic, and confusing circumstances.

    That's not me saying the end product isn't a good game; it is (one of the better games of the era, even). Rather, it fell so short of what was planned and was developed under such extreme circumstances that I think it's valid to see it as a deeply compromised product compared to even the average game that evolves and changes during development. Cut content and dropped plans in games is normal, but this is a rather extreme deviation from concept to end, and I'm not convinced the planned storyline the maps and outlines talk about (which only involved time travel in a plot sense), was dropped all that early. Sky Chase/Wing Fontress don't exist in the game at all until early September 1992, so 'very' late in development compared to every other final zone, and they were nowhere to be found in the original concept maps. I think the old concepts lasted until at least around the time the CES build was being compiled, and only was fully dropped after that in the summer, and a new ending storyline was slapped together to give the final game some cohesive, compromised narrative.

    Lastly, don't forget that Naka leaving SoJ and joining STI itself was an extraordinarily unusual circumstance, especially back then. That's what led to this unusual cross pacific development in the first place, and Naoto Ohsima's team started early Sonic CD development during the second half of 1992 as well. That split could be compared to the rather turbulent split we saw later in Sonic 06's development, only at least the final product itself was a success upon release.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2023