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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. saxman

    saxman

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    I think differently than a lot of you on this, I guess. I think it's very likely we'll get more Sonic 1, 2, 3, and others. The real question isn't whether any more will ever be found/released, but how long it will take. I think it's reasonable to believe there's more Sonic 2 content somewhere (within Sega for certain), and someone with the know-how and knowledge of interest in acquiring such material will likely bring it forward. I just don't know if we'll see it in the next year, five years, ten, or however many.

    In summary, everytime people think we'll never get something, they've been proven wrong. So why should I follow that line of thinking now?
     
  2. LordOfSquad

    LordOfSquad

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    After we got the Pokemon Gold/Silver SpaceWorld demo, nothing seems off the table for me anymore. Have faith, true believers
     
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  3. HEDGESMFG

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    I agree with this. Not only are the chances of finding other dumps very slim, but the more important point is that the type of content we can find within said dumps is unlikely to be anything new.

    New content we've found since 2019 has all been based on assets the devs gave us directly, and we're running a bit low on people who could still have/be willing to give something in the short term.

    That's not to say there's nothing more to discover, but I think people here are taking for granted the sheer depths of what we've uncovered in the past decade or so. Sonic 2 was built in a specialized STI office outside of the main SEGA HQ. Maybe if the SEGA of US offices shut down and auctioned off everything that could uncover something, but that's not happening any time soon. What Brenda uncovered with that tape was itself almost a miracle find.

    I do believe SEGA has more materials for the 2D Sonic titles we've never seen. The Origins alternate Sonic 3 music almost certainly came from a proto we've never uncovered, that SEGA still had. That's at least one confirmed proto build that would exist... somewhere with arguably "new" content. There's always a (very) slim chance of more Sonic CD protos emerging after beta 510, and the holy grail of the 1990 tokyo toy show build could still be in japan... somewhere, but that's a real, real long shot.

    But, I question how many more digital assets exist that we've never seen. I truly don't think much of Sand shower was built, and if it was, ever was playable. Even Tom's disc points to there being just the mockup. We need to comb those over more in depth to search for other possible goodies hidden in the data, and maybe there's a chance Craig Stitt uncovers more of the stuff he said he 'might' still have (he talked about this in a youtube comment recently), but that's the extent of it.

    Anything else we are likely to find will be similar to tom's materials. Maps, and maybe a data disc or too. Brenda will give an interview at some point, but it's questionable how much more she can reveal that we don't already know. Any remaining revelations are going to come from the JPN side of things, most likely, and even 'there' we're getting pretty concrete answers on most stuff these days.

    More scans of content art and japanese commentary are our best bet for some real goods.
     
  4. Travelsonic

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    I feel like a dumbfuck asking what those estimates would be based off of - so I'll just *zip mouth closed to avoid saying something dumb* I hate being a pedantic and annoying shit, so if I am straying into that territory, PLEASE hit me over the head with a frying pan Looney Tunes style.

    I agree that it is a matter of time (and persistence) - since there is more out there... and honestly, I also believe that "never" is an impossibly long tme to guess with ANY degree of certainty. How many times has "impossible" and "never" been thrown around nonchalantly in regards to the stuff we have now being unearthed?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2024
  5. Jaxer

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    I'm pretty sure Brenda had said that SSZ had a full map and was at least partially implemented into some prototype. And since we know for fact that a lot less work was done on Wood Zone, a zone that was playable in several prototypes, the possibility that out there is a playable Sand Shower Zone is not impossible.

    Now, whether or not it'll ever see the light of day is a whole another question - I don't think that it's likely.
     
  6. HEDGESMFG

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    I'm not trying to dampen people's hopes. I'm trying to look at the data we've had after countless dumps and what it's led us too.

    Every dump we've had is releated to things that were given to the press, yet the only thing the press ever got was a sand shower mockup. I don't doubt that maps could have been drawn, but fully digitized? It just doesn't seem right to me that this would happen and we'd have 0 evidence of it so far. The only digital assets we've ever found confirmation of from sand shower are a half overwritten version of the exact same mockup from a developer's data disc, and that ALONE is an incredibly lucky, damn near miracle find.

    There are no traces of anything else aside from badniks which may or may not be tied to the zone, and proof that a level slot once existed. Tom's materials clearly surprised us with Genocide City, but even that showed what the limits of designing an unfinished zone could be.

    When was this playable map implemented? Prior to the Nick Arcade/CES 1992 Demo? The one that's still filled with tons of Sonic 1 leftovers? Between that and the Simon Wai beta? Which already has the zone totally cut and leaves no data from it aside from one enemy sprite that could have been used elsewhere?

    If I recall correctly, the recent Judy Totoya interview tells us they basically had one digitizer computer to build and implement maps on, which means a lot of assets were designed on paper first before being implemented due to the sheer difficulty of actually putting content in game and compiling it. Think of the workflow for actually making the game...

    Things like this would explain why Genocide City could have a slot, and fully drawn maps, but very little in terms of digital zone art implemented into the game. I'm sure digitized art was drawn on different devices, but building the maps seemed to have a dedicated machine that would prioritize stages that were sure to make the cut over ones that wouldn't.

    It's because of this type of work environment that I remain highly skeptical that a functional build of the game's map was ever actually made. I know what Brenda said, but something seems off with what we've discovered.

    And if a build WAS made? It clearly never, ever made it to the public. If it exists, it is only likely to ever have ended up in STI's own archives, and therefor would be in some SEGA basement either in California or in Japan (unlikely).

    Again, I know more materials for lost stages exists somewhere. I'm not saying anything is impossible, but I'm trying to put into perspective here how much data we actually do have, and what it really shows us.

    And if I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but I've spent the past year or so deep diving into every bit of info we can find on the original trilogy and CD's developments, and we don't know everything, but I think we know a heck of a lot more than we used to, and it gives us a lot of pieces of the puzzle that we were missing and gives a much better picture of what sort of undiscovered material remains.

    I just want people to be realistic, and if you 'are' one of the few humans who can sensibly search for lost material (like Frank or drx) make sure you know 'exactly' what to look for and what leads to follow.
     
  7. saxman

    saxman

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    The beta ROMs didn't come from the press. And that's the point: it inevitably *will* be harder to get materials, including ROMs, but I think it's reasonable to assume there are probably more in existence. The only way we stop getting new stuff is if we really do have everything, or if people stop caring/trying. I see interest still brewing around these parts. We might not get another version of Sonic 2 for another 20 years. But I think persistence is key.

    That said, it IS possible we won't get another Sonic 2 ROM. But I think when you look at Sonic 1 and 3, I'm even less willing to believe we won't get anything else.
     
  8. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    They would have, but not directly. Other than the builds we got from Sega's internal archive, it's safe to say they were all built with demonstration in mind, and likely "disappeared" during one of those demonstrations (be it an event, a magazine preview, or something else that required Sega to ship a ROM to someone off-site). Otherwise why did they leave Sega at all?

    I say this because all(?) Sonic 2 preview builds we've seen in the press are accounted for. We haven't found a mysterious post-Nick Arcade, pre-Simon Wai prototype in a state never seen before. I was able to predict the existence of those August "alpha" and September "pre-beta" builds before drx released them - from my perspective there wasn't many surprises in the "public facing" parts of the game.


    And this is the same with most of the Mega Drive protoypes that have been dumped, not just Sonic. It's a little different on CD-based consoles because the media was readily available, but for cartridges... yeah. I think I worked out there's at least three unaccounted builds of Sonic 1 out there, and at least one build of Sonic 3. I'm not sure where we're at with Sonic 3D. For Sonic 2, it's mostly design documents and "not put into the game" stuff, which I would include as Brenda Ross' desert zone mockup (and the HPZ/EHZ ones)

    And then there's versions of Sonic R and Xtreme and a Sonic Jam proto and Sonic Adventure with proto Windy Valley and plenty to look for. Oh and Chaotix when it was still called Knuckles' Ringstar - that'll be interesting since it might have more bits of Tails in it.


    But as I also said whenever, treasure the things we have - most people just gawk at dumps, but only a few put in the time discovering their secrets. Those Chaotix builds sat untouched for years until a broken Sega Retro inspired me to go digging a couple of years back - we found tons!
     
  9. E-122-Psi

    E-122-Psi

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    Yeah, that sounds like one of the remaining missing links in the Sonic 2 beta chart we have so far.

    I'd say it's unlikely too, but given we said the same about ever getting a proper idea what Genocide City and Winter Zone would be like as well, I'd say anything goes at this point.
     
  10. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    There's two camps here. One camp is the Youtube crowd gawking at cut content and wondering what could've been. They look at Sonic 2 and see something like the Half-Life 2 beta where 100% of a game was cut. They want to piece together the original storyline, the original level order, and think about how much cooler Sonic 2 could've been if the vision was realized.

    The other camp is the nerds (for lack of a better term) on Retro and TCRF, who are far more interested in learning about the in-depth development of these games. Cut content is less interesting to them than the development process behind stage graphics, the way the game's structure and level design evolved over time, the developers' thought processes, and so on. Of course, they still find cut content fascinating, but not in the same way the "casual" fans do. For casual fans, uncovering something like Sand Shower wouldn't just be a chance to see another part of Sonic 2's development, it would be "hype". This is why when drx releases a prototype of a game, and it's literally just the final game with a debug menu, the nerds get excited and see it as a grand opportunity to learn a lot about the game. But the casuals don't give a shit, because it's not hype.

    So even if a new Sonic 2 prototype gets unearthed, even if we find more information, it's probably not going to be anything hype. It's probably not going to give some grand revelation about the game's original storyline or cut levels and mechanics we didn't know about already, something that makes fans go "OH MY GOD, this changes EVERYTHING" like they did when Yasuhara first dropped the maps. Those days are over.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2024
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  11. RankoChan

    RankoChan

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    Some random RPG project.
    It's hard to say if Sand Shower was playable at any point. Based on the statements made by Yamaguchi about the moving sand, it sounds like there could have been a test map of sorts. But those statments could also just be referring to the animated mock up, which might have served as a "visual test" for the moving sand without implementing anything in-game.

    The map Brenda brought up was likely the paper map designed by Yasuhara, similiar to the Genocide City maps that were recently uncovered. Since the maps were created first and then given to the artists, that would mean full maps for Rock World and Wood exist too.

    Yasuhara showed off Emerald Hill's map during his Digital Dragons presentation, so it's very likely he still has these maps in his possession. They are likely the last major development material regarding Sonic 2 we can realistically get in my opinion, should Yasuhara decide to share them in the future. Dust Hill's map alone would put many things to rest.
     
  12. Brainulator

    Brainulator

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    I took saxman's statement to refer specifically to betas 4 through 8, i.e. the ones that came from Sega's archives.

    Speaking for myself, I'd love to have various in-between builds, even if their contents are mundane to the general populace, just to get a better sense of how the code became what it is.
     
  13. HEDGESMFG

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    Bingo. I'm pretty sure this is exactly where we're at, but you have to follow and cross compare essentially 'all' of the evidence (including untranslated materials) to reach that conclusion.

    It's less of an issue of "be sad something doesn't exist", more or an issue of "be glad we've found enough material that it could be meaningfully recreated if you wanted" or "be glad we're resolving the remaining mysteries, which have previously been almost impossible to resolve." Could more material exist? Even digital assets? Yes, finding even part of that sand shower screencap digitally was practically an impossible recovery... and really says to me we need to fully comb Tom's discs hard to make sure there's nothing else. There's also certainly Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 concept arts we've yet to uncover, and possibly some more from Sonic CD as well.

    But the rest of those are probably locked up in Japan with developers who still have loose ties to SEGA, who doesn't want to give away everything they own (much like Nintendo), so it makes it difficult. Plus we're left guessing, which makes any attempts to ask questions about these things... awkward... to say the least.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2024
  14. Nik Pi

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    Long story in short: belive in best, but not fanatical. Wait for more but expect that it can take more time than you want

    And don't worry, be happy :thumbsup:
     
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  15. Travelsonic

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    That same curiosity, preservation related reasons, and also because we just don't know what surprises we could find, would be what makes me tick when it comes to the idea of finding more of what could still be out there.
     
  16. Battons

    Battons

    Shining Force Fan Member
    I’d be willing to bet that if your goal is searching for cut content specifically, your odds of finding something “new” will be in development and storage disks like what provided sand showers graphics. I won’t say never to finding that in a proto because clearly we keep getting new twists every 5-10 years, but I do agree that they won’t be as exciting as say, sonic 3s or sonic 1s proto reveals. Again, Who knows, maybe one day mark cerny just drops a dev build with a fully playable blue ocean just for chuckles.
     
  17. TheRedEye

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    I disagree with this. I believe that the concept art was most likely from Yamaguchi's personal files, not from a Sega internal archive, and I think the same is likely true about the Origins music for 3 being held by its composer. I think it is extremely unlikely that at the end of production at Sega Technical Institute, which was very specifically and intentionally splintered from the rest of Sega, someone boxed up and shipped scraps to the home office for archival safekeeping. I think anything that survived was because individual people packed up their desks when they left and took everything home. If Sega has an archive I'm guessing it's final production material: packaging art and layouts, binaries, and buildable source for the final game.
     
  18. Blue Spikeball

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    Dunno about Sonic 2, but we do know that Sega has Sonic 3 development material it hasn't released, because it showed some of its zone concept art some years ago during some kinda event or expo at Japan IIRC (at Joypolis?). Someone posted about it a short while ago in this forum.

    It's also kinda sus how the only Sonic 3 zone concept art they officially released are the ones that were originally created for Sonic 2, like Mushroom Hill/Secret Jungle or Flying Battery/Metropolis. Literally none of the ones created specifically for Sonic 3 (Sky Sanctuary, IceCap, the dragon boss, etc.) were released even though at least some of them were shown in the aforementioned event.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2024
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  19. TheRedEye

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    And we know for a fact that Sega provided that art from an archive and not from individuals loaning it from their personal collections?
     
  20. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    Well, I remember some of the devs saying they were "opening the vaults" and digging through everything SEGA had. But that could've just been marketing.