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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. Jaxer

    Jaxer

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    Yasuhara is just obsessed with pyramids and ziggurats in general. All of the Sonic 2 maps have those too, including the Future one.
     
  2. dsmania

    dsmania

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    I had not seen that art before and it's indeed very interesting.
    Many of the elements are easily identifiable and in the same place in either the island how is seen in the ending of Sonic & Knuckles or in Sonic Origins.

    upload_2024-5-9_7-6-30.png

    upload_2024-5-9_7-5-9.png
     
  3. Billy

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    It also doesn't have a carnival on it. I think you guys are once again reading just a little too much into a map that was made to illustrate a concept and slap level names onto.
     
  4. Nik Pi

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    You know, I'm just looking at wood zone right now, and I really understand why it was deleted from game.

    The tree graphics has no shade. It's funny if you're going to use it together, making big wooden towers. But try to paste 2 wood chunks, and between them past empty chunk. How it feels, like there is two woods, or like there is unrealistic hole?

    Also look at the bg. It's repeat of trees and very boring. But maybe it could be better, cuz there is unused scroll code from final version that I'm really lazy to test lmao.

    However, there is more horrible thing in this zone. You know what? LEAVES.
    They looks like a plastic green things, or something made up of plasticine. It really looks weird and unnatural. Maybe because it's kinda different to make things like this look like a nature, but it was a task, c'mon.

    Zone even hasn't own composition, or at least we don't know what was meant to used there (No, it wasn't Metropolis music).

    I still wonder why this zone has been in betas, but Sand Shower, that had its own music, a bit detailed and better graphics was deleted even in betas, or never was used at all.

    I still think times to times, which badniks could be used and where. Just have no idea where they used pig, lmao.

    Also weird thing, final game has unused ARZ door and unused CPZ torpedo, but it was never used in any build we know.. as well as CPZ boss with blue water on him, even when code existed since NA!
    Just, how is it possible? Does devs really did some builds for closed tests, and things we've got were just a things special for magazines? About these details people usually forget, but it still wonder me.
     
  5. Londinium

    Londinium

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    IIRC all the unused zones were made by Brenda Ross, right? I wonder if it was straight up misogyny that caused her levels to go unused.
     
  6. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Speaking of Wood Zone...
    upload_2024-5-24_15-16-40.png
    I wonder if these background tiles in the bottom half are meant to be a placeholder to for the ground? Like, the bottom section of the level would have ground, but they hadn't created any ground tiles yet, so they used those. This goes with the fact Mushroom Hill is based on Wood Zone (albeit more mushroom-ish an less tree-ish) and has ground sections.
     
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  7. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Jina Ishiwatari made Emerald Hill Zone, among othes.

    And Green Hill Zone, the most iconic level in any Sonic game ever.
     
  8. Palas

    Palas

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    I think the possibility is speculative at best, especially in a development cycle that was troubled in so many ways, but a woman having made other zones doesn't make misogyny go away in the workplace, or decisively a non-factor in power dynamics that may have taken place.
     
  9. Overlord

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    I think you're barking up entirely the wrong tree with accusations of sexism. If there was any kind of discrimination going on, it was far more likely to be that she wasn't Japanese. Compare Craig Stitt's stuff as well.
     
  10. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    In my opinion the Brenda Ross zones were scrapped because they look terrible. It's pretty obvious I think.

    Sonic 2 as released already has a slightly less consistent art direction compared to the other games, those zones would have stood out from the rest even more. The foreground level art for Sand Shower is okay, but other than that, I can totally see why they chose to axe those ones.
     
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  11. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    Keep in mind Craig's original background for OOZ was awful and required Yamaguchi to do it himself. CNZ's entire graphics were redone, and HPZ's background was redone as well. Having to do that for every artist's level if they didn't meet standards wouldn't been too much work. They knew some zones had to be axed, and it was probably a lot easier to axe zones that didn't fit SoJ's design principles. Attributing it to misogyny is absurd.
     
  12. Kilo

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    I forget if it was Brenda herself or Yamaguchi, but one of them stated that the level design of Wood Zone was more platforming orientated when Yamaguchi wanted it to be more speed orientated, and that's why it was cut. I suppose it was too late to redraw the maps and chunks to make it speed focused so they gave up and just cut it. But it's not sexism, nor that it was too ugly, although I wouldn't have been surprised if the graphics got cleaned up if it did make it to final.
     
  13. Blue Spikeball

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    True, all reports seem to be that levels were scrapped based on how fun they were.

    Craig Stitt said that Sand Shower was officially scrapped because it was deemed dull. Stealth and Taxman were told that Hidden Palace's slowness was one of the reason it scrapped. And I wouldn't be surprised if Genocide City had been scrapped (despite having its layout and most of its art done) either because it's a palette swap, or because it coming right after Metropolis (after the time travel plot was scrapped) would have been too exhausting for players.

    It makes sense. They didn't have enough time to implement all zones, so they focused on the ones they thought played the best.

    I'll also say that with how rushed Sonic 2's development was, it seems unlikely they would have scrapped perfectly usable art unless the level or art really didn't meet the quality standards. I imagine they would have been too busy trying to build as much of the game as they could in what little time they had to needlessly redo or ignore material based on prejudices like misogyny, racism/xenophobia or anything else.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2024
  14. GoldeMan

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    It was also stated in the recent Beep21 interview that not being able to properly portray the verticality they intended in Wood Zone was another reason why it was cut.
     
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  15. Laura

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    The one genuine example of women being overlooked in Sonic is the uncredited zone sprite artists in Sonic 1 who were clearly instrumental in making the game the hit it was. Sonic 1's zones are beautiful. I don't even know their names!
     
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  16. Jaxer

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    I feel like this is an unfair assessment to make.

    Yes, Brenda's levels do look somewhat unappealing visually, but I think that it has a lot more to do with the graphics being unfinished rather than her being a bad artist. When taking a closer look, it becomes quite clear that at all the roughest parts of her level art are temporary placeholders rather than conscious, poor decisions.

    Just take a look at Wood Zone.

    Woodzone.png

    The ropes on that platform in the top right corner use pink and black to create a rope-like texture, aside from the middle one, which is pitch black. And the diagonal support log that it's tying into the rest of the platform is completely pink too. Some of the plants in the background use only a single shade of green, while the foreground's leaf and wood tiles are not aligned properly in multiple different spots.

    To me, this doesn't signify poor artistic skill, but rather a lack of time to get everything looking perfect for a W.I.P. level that wasn't even meant to be seen by the general public yet.

    Now, it doesn't seem implausible that more graphics for Wood and Sand Shower exist somewhere - both were supposedly implemented into prototype builds, after all. But how about the winter level? We've most likely seen every single unique graphical asset that was ever made for the zone, and all that includes is three christmas threes and a repetitive background strip of forests and mountains. This level was in the earliest stage of production that a level for Sonic 2 could've possibly been in, and it's likely that not a single person other than her had ever seen these graphics before the December of last year.

    Upon closer examination, it's safe to say that they're some of the most unfinished Sonic 2 sprites we've ever seen, just take a look at the christmas trees:

    S2_Winter_Zone.png

    The bottom right corner is clearly missing a chunk. And the tops?

    treetops.png

    They're all using the exact same cone-esque shape, and it isn't even properly aligned for the trees on the left and the right.

    Now, why does it matter that the graphics were unfinished? Bad art is bad art, right? Well, yeah, except for the fact that when a Japanese artist created a bad looking zone, it got two complete graphical overhauls rather than being axed. No such luxury was given to any of Brenda's zones, and in case of the one American zone that was spared despite being considered ugly, they got a Japanese artist to redo the background.

    The deeper I delve into the development of this game, the more I start to believe in Craig Stitt's speculations that assets created by the Americans were always first on the chopping block.
     
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  17. Chimes

    Chimes

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    Reminds me of what I've hard regarding David Javelosa's involvement. He created scratch tunes for the second game of which they never got used, in favour of the "real stuff". On a tangential note, most of STI spent years of work on games that never came out. :doge: The fact we didn't know that Javelosa was involved for over 20 years until he casually showed off his work at a university does speak to the piles of stuff we don't know about...
     
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  18. Kilo

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    Wasn't the deal that Javelosa was just excited about Sonic 2 and tried inserting himself into the project when he wasn't a part of the team? I may be misremembering, but I swear he had no actual involvement, and his stuff was never cut because of the American discrimination but rather because he just wasn't assigned to work on Sonic 2.
     
  19. Chimes

    Chimes

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    I vaguely recall something like that but it's been 4 years
     
  20. Jaxer

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    I'm pretty sure that his tracks weren't accepted because he submitted them to STI after the game was already complete