Opinions about Hill Top Zone

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by ExecByte, Jan 1, 2008.

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  1. Kama

    Kama

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    Originally, I held nothing but disdain for HTZ. Yet having played Sonic 2 many times now, I've eventually come to accept it as a decent enough level. The blue colored ground does strike me as kinda goofy though.
     
  2. JoseTB

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    I don't see what's wrong with Hill Top. It also felt as a separate zone to me first time I got through it. Reusing art is not a big deal if it's well done, after all there you have 8/16 bit Mario games with 40 zones and 4-5 different tilesets (Not that this would fit on a sonic game though).
     
  3. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    The thing I hate about Hill Top is that earthquake where the ceiling is actually going upwards, but it will squash you if you're going too fast and touch the ground underneath.

    I think they added a breakable rock so that death would be more difficult to trigger, but punishing you for being too fast just doesn't fit in a Sonic game...
     
  4. Fiore

    Fiore

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    I myself am fond of Hill Top Zone. It shows us a time when the game makers knew what they were doing; using the same tiles to make a level with a while new surrounding and feel. Back then, they knew what they were dealing with and how to deal with it. I feel Hill Top is a mark of that.
     
  5. ExecByte

    ExecByte

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    Did you mean Sonic 2 Delta? Cause every version of Sonic 2 Delta II I downloaded was over 1 MB. Sonic 2 Delta is only 1 MB and has all the zones but, I see it uses the Sonic 1 special stages instead of the Sonic 2 special stages. That probably saved a lot of space.
     
  6. Evil Cheese

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    That's the only thing I never liked about it.

    But you have to consider that anyone running through the game for the first time will probably never be punished for "going too fast". In fact in many stages there are places where you must wait for something to happen before continuing on with the level if you're playing like a "normal" player would.

    "Advanced" sonic players only want to go fast because they already know where everything is at in the levels. A casual player will progress through the game at a much slower pace so these places where you have to wait aren't much of a problem.

    Before I forget: I used to hate this level because there is a bug in it in early revisions of the game which makes it hard to finish the level without debug mode. IIRC there is a loop with a tube at the end of it in one of the Hill Top Zones and you'll get stuck trying to pass it because it acts like a solid wall. Obviously it isn't very fun when you get this far into the game only to be forced to reset the machine because you happened to trigger that bug. I think this was fixed in revision 01.

    Anyway imo it isn't the best level in the Sonic series but it isn't the worse. Like others I really do like the music for that level and the "classic" run-and-jump feel of it.
     
  7. Ayla

    Ayla

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    I know what bug you're referring to, but I thought that was only present in the beta? Even then I always chalked it up to inaccurate emulation than an actual bug in the game.. I don't have a rev 00, though, so I guess I never would have known otherwise! >_O
     
  8. Shade

    Shade

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    I think the thing about hill top zone that disconcerts so many people is that it's a somewhat abrupt change in pacing and tone. The vast majority of Sonic 2 moves at a relatively breakneck pace, with exciting music and few segments where you're stuck in one area for more than a few seconds, all of them vastly unique looking.

    And then out of nowhere comes hill top zone. Ripe with cliffsides requiring slow progression via see-saws, slow lifts, "locked-in" earthquake areas, an extremely "blocky/square" layout, and a slow, drawling tune.

    I don't think it's so much the re-used level art; it looks great in combination with the wonderful background art and other additions. I just almost always find myself impatiently thinking "ugh, here's hilltop zone. Time to just trudge through it and get back to the real meat." Again, I believe due to the abrupt change of pacing and slow, drawling music. I have no problem with the level design or music itself, they are both done commendably. But taken with the rest of the game, it feels quite tedious; like an unnecessary and cumbersome lull in the action.

    In short, it's just inconsistent with the design and feel of the majority of the game. There's nothing at all wrong with a platform-intensive level, but after being so used to the slam-bang pacing, it's just a little -too- different for it's own good, and ends up coming off as tedious. All said, it is a completely viable level on it's own merits. But it feels like it would be more at home in Sonic 1.
     
  9. Evil Cheese

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    [quote name='Nayr T'nargh' post='175521' date='Jan 7 2008, 04:27 AM']I know what bug you're referring to, but I thought that was only present in the beta? Even then I always chalked it up to inaccurate emulation than an actual bug in the game.. I don't have a rev 00, though, so I guess I never would have known otherwise! >_O[/quote]

    http://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?sho...rev00&st=75

    ;)
     
  10. Wincherway

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    I found Hill Top Zone actually pretty good. I liked the music, it somehow fit into enviroments. It was "simple"

    Like the whole level, in some parts.

    Althrough the See-Saws and lava and other obstacles made speed limit pretty low, I still cannot deny that this level was awesome. Well, I just liked it, because it had so much stuff in it.


    I didn't care about the earthquake, since I moved extremely quickly, before Sonic got squished.

    That's what I have to say about Hill Top Zone.
     
  11. Bryn2k

    Bryn2k

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    Regarding the person who says he feels that Hill Top would be at home in Sonic 1 - well, that does make sense given the age of the level (we know from Drx's proto that it was essentially already finished way back at the start), so it's probable the designers were drawing inspiration from, say, Marble Zone, which is very similar in style, annoying slow lifts (the blocks across lava), waiting for platforms to open up, etc, just no earthquakes there.

    It's not the only slow-speed level though; Casino Night is not a speed level, it's a get pasted around by bumpers level if anything, and there's no way anyone except an experienced speed runner would make it through Metropolis at full pelt without losing lives.

    I rather suspect the expectation of speed is because of the first three zones being all out speed runs - Chemical Plant is just an exercise in sheer aggressive speed, as is Aquatic Ruin if you stay out of the water. We all know about Emerald Hill, it's the law that the first level is ultra-fast. I think Hill Top gets a bit of un-deserved flak from many commentators who simply anticipate Sonic 2 to be all out speed when it isn't.
     
  12. Wetflame

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    Personally, I like Hill Top a lot. I think the palette switching was done well and it's indicative of what could have been in levels like DHZ. It's one of my favourite levels; it has the coolest gimmicks and it has inside/outside sections, not many levels in Sonic 2 had that.
     
  13. Endgame

    Endgame

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    I've always liked the idea of having an easier route to the finish, and a harder route - it gives the player an actual OPTION as to how 'adventurous' one is feeling.

    Now if we had more options like that [an 'easy' 'medium', 'hard' and 'nightmare' routes] to choose from, that'd be fantastic!
     
  14. ExecByte

    ExecByte

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    Now that this topic is active again, it looks like my last post got missed so, I'll bring it up again.

    I'm assuming you mean the original Sonic 2 Delta since Sonic 2 Delta II is over 1MB. The thing is that Sonic 2 Delta uses the Sonic 1 special stages instead of the Sonic 2 special stages, which I'm guessing saved a lot of space.
     
  15. Rainer

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    I think stating that the levels re-used tiles is a poor argument for not liking Hill Top Zone. Perhaps one of the most interesting features about it was how it managed to integrate new ideas and qualities with a well-designed level to create an interesting gameplay experience for the user.

    In addition, what I also liked was the interesting concept that was put behind the level itself. The fact that the designers managed to craft a mix between an alpine forest and an active volcano chamber together was something that's fairly uncommon in most video game levels. Not only that, but they also mixed in some slight artificial features fairly well, such as the mechanical doors that typically were found around the entrances of the cave.
     
  16. djdocsonic

    djdocsonic

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    Hill Top Zone was a good level in terms of design and ideas behind it. I just didnt like the layout and found it annoying. The music was quite funky though!!!
     
  17. Wetflame

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    You're taking him too literally - he meant the level would fit Sonic 1 better, not that it was meant to be there. It kind of reminds me in the way people can't understand why some people think Dust Hill Zone is probably the name for the desert level. You need to think in a wider scope of logic, not relative to the technology to understand what people are saying sometimes.
     
  18. Qjimbo

    Qjimbo

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    Well the Dust Hill Zone thing is relative to all the evidence, not just the technology, for example, magazine pictures. Though Brenda Ross confirmed it was Dust Hill, it's just that testimonial evidence is subject to conjecture more.
     
  19. Tweaker

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    All we have to assign to the Dust Hill name to is Mystic Cave, since that's the only conclusion we have sound evidence to support. Brenda Ross' testimony is not credible BECAUSE of the various evidence that contradicts her affirmation. It's absolutely pointless to try and argue otherwise unless you have definitive evidence to back up your statement.
     
  20. Wetflame

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    Making a new thread on this.
     
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