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Sonic 2 "Beta 3"

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Black Squirrel, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. drx

    drx

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    Hobby Consolas. I went through every issue up to ~1996 (as I did with almost every magazine out there).
     
  2. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Fair enough.

    Honestly it looks more like an editorial decision rather than something connected to the ROM. It looks like "prototype 4" to me - Tails can fly, CPZ background isn't final, but there are bosses and enemies and scores and things, not to mention Hidden Palace Zone and a shared(?) two-player HUD. If it were to pre-date the Wai build, they would have had to disable an awful lot - why axe the Hill Top Zone boss? Sense makes no.

    My best guess is that because it's Hobby Consolas, and Hobby Consolas was the biggest gaming mag in Spain at the time, Sega likely made an effort to stop them showing unfinished things (HPZ aside). Or maybe they were hiding what they assumed would be later levels in the game. Don't know.
     
  3. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I beg your pardon, maybe a layer prototype did get into the hands of the press:

    http://retrocdn.net/File:PlayerOne_FR_Pocket_02.pdf
    A supplement of French magazine, Player One - will have to look up which month. It even acknowledges that it's not using final code.

    Final 2 player HUDs (MILES because Japan), but old title screens and silver vertical bars in Chemical Plant (and glitchy doors in Death Egg). It's also laid out in the old level select order.


    This is consistent with beta 4. But is it beta 4 or something older?


    EDIT: Came with issue #25, November 1992
    http://retrocdn.net/index.php?title=File%3APlayerOne_FR_25.pdf&page=56
    When I first looked at this a few days ago I just assumed it was a final build. Perhaps not?
     
  4. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    So how come Tails is disabled in the "Nick Arcade" build? Well, this could be your answer:
    http://retrocdn.net/index.php?title=File%3ASegaForce_UK_07.pdf&page=11

    At Summer CES 1992 (which again, I reckon is the reason the ROM exists), the Mega Drive running the game only had one controller plugged in, and Sega were avoiding questions about whether it would be a two-player game.


    I don't know if it's genuinely a case of not deciding whether Tails would actually follow Sonic around in the final release, but it definitely seems they were holding off on a two-player reveal until later in the year. Marketing.
     
  5. Super Egg

    Super Egg

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    Sonic 2 beta 3 hoax
    It's possible, but I have more of a feeling that it had to do with Tails being a hindrance more than anything else. The fucker gets hit, you lose rings. You wanna get that monitor/enemy and bounce of it, whoops too late, Tails already did it. Back then, the very idea there was something in your game that wasn't working, or was very much in early development, being shown to the public was just unimaginable.
     
  6. Travelsonic

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    It's been a while since I've posted here, let alone lurked here, but best of luck in these endeavors. Irrespective of if they are successful or not, I am glad the hunt continues for more prototype builds, as for a while it felt like - with absolute silence on the matter - people had stopped looking, caring, or at least that's the (obviously untrue) impression I got.

    Man, I wish I had tons of spare cash to throw around, then I could help out some. :(
     
  7. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I'm not sure that's true - if you look through some of the stuff revealed at CES or E3 during the 1990s, there are several cases of publishers turning up with super early prototypes (or genuinely just concept art in some cases) and a description along the lines of "it'll look like this, but it won't". I mean they put the Nick Arcade build out in front of journalists at SCES 1992... and from what I've been reading, they weren't too impressed!


    I know Acclaim spewed up some barely functional console ports of Mortal Kombat one year (I.e. you can't fight in them, and there aren't any backgrounds). They set up booths and let people play them and everything. Holy Christ I can move Liu Kang back and forth.
     
  8. drx

    drx

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    :rolleyes:
    Well it's partly true that people stopped caring, but I haven't stopped looking. I found a bunch of stuff since 2008 but it's usually been finals (including a final Sonic 1 on an EPROM cart... that stung), builds that were already released by me earlier (Chaotix, Sonic 3D, Sonic Adventure 2). And that's just mentioning the stuff that I ended up holding in my hand. There's even one (Sonic 1 GG) that got lost in transit recently :( (and before you think it's my fault, I paid for the most expensive insured shipping with tracking, but the guy decided to use cheap shipping on his own accord). So many sad stories with people throwing stuff away or otherwise misplacing it (including but not limited to Sonic 1, 2D Sonic on Saturn, etc.)

    So there wasn't much to write home about. I should probably make a status topic some time to list all the random stuff I come across that isn't that interesting.

    And also about Tails: another possibility is that they didn't want to reveal (buggy) Tails at the time, and make the reveal later.
     
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  9. There are some video footage of builds between Simon Wai and Beta 4. These findings were made some years ago but I'm posting because they may be useful to the discussion:

    http://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?showtopic=29964 (between 11:40 and 22:10)

    http://info.sonicretro.org/S2Beta:Sonic_2_Spanish_Promotional_VHS (you can watch it here)

    Each video is from a different build.
     
  10. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    Which differences made you so convinced of that?
     
  11. The build from the first video uses Sonic's portrait for Tails lives (2P mode), while the build from second video uses Tails' portrait.
    Maybe there are more subtle differences, but this is the most noticeable (not that much because of video quality).
     
  12. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    Sorry for the huge bump.

    The journalist who took the pictures for the Hobby Consolas preview just confirmed his identity, do we already know if it's just the "Beta 4" build or shall I ask him for some specific details he may remember?
     
  13. Mastered Realm

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    Beta 4's Hidden Palace isn't easily accessible. So I think it's something earlier!
     
  14. GoldS

    GoldS

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    That's definitely not Beta 4.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Beta 4 uses the final layout for the Hill Top Zone boss, while the image in the preview has the lava higher up and flowers on one of the platforms.

    Note that in Beta 4-8, the level layouts have already been locked - only the object placement changed between builds.
     
  15. McAleeCh

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    Good spot GoldS - that definitely places this somewhere between the Simon Wai build and Beta 4.

    Interesting that the level of the lava is much higher - I wonder, was Robotnik's sub ever intended to float above it as it does in the final, or was this a side effect of the later changes to the level layout that they then decided to keep? It certainly gives a wider window of opportunity to hit the boss than the higher lava level would have.

    Also of note - although the magazine screen is cropped a bit, from looking at the background it's clear Robotnik's positioned further to the right than his Beta 4 counterpart. I wonder if the pit was originally wider...?

    Makes me wish we saw a few more Zones in this batch of screens - I'd be interested to know whether Casino Night was using the more finished version of its original pink look at this point, or whether it'd already changed to gold. Likewise, would be interesting to see whether the fragments of Wood Zone still existed (per the Solid Gold Guide build, as that also had the final vesion's character sprites) and whether the Stego badnik in Hidden Palace was using the updated art that can be found buried in Beta 4 (presumably another of Yamaguchi's art touch-ups, similar to the changes the Buzzer has between the Wai and Beta 4 builds). Though for the latter, I guess unless the object layout had been altered to actually include them there'd be no way of knowing short of having access to the build itself... It had been added to the Zone's debug list by the time everything was being removed in Beta 4, though, so it's clear they intended to do something with it! That and the Zone's level select icon show they definitely had plans to finish it in some form, even if none of those plans ended up successfully executed.
     
  16. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Nice find

    [​IMG]

    That is indeed a totally different layout. Lining up the first platform shows a bigger gap and higher lava. Eggman is further to the right but at roughly the same Y position... so yes it looks as if this boss was made horrendously easy on purpose.

    Incidentally the background more-or-less matches up so that might suggest the length of the level stayed the same.
     
  17. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    Oh, neat!

    Well, in this case please post here any specific questions that may be of interest in case that he may remember that build clearly.
     
  18. Clownacy

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    That looks familiar...

    [​IMG]

    Trying to reassemble that section from existing chunks (some of the last ones added to the table) gave me this:

    [​IMG]

    Judging by this, that slight slope after the lava might not have been there originally, and it would have been flat right up until the capsule.