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Sonic 2 Development Lore

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Chimes, Apr 5, 2023.

Is it Miles or Tails?

  1. Miles

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  2. Tails

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  3. Both

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  1. Chimes

    Chimes

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    Okay, here we go...

    The development of Sonic 2 was big. Very big.
    The game was different. The title screen was also different.
    There's a fox named Miles. But he's also Tails.
    Levels were taken out of the finished game. You could only see them in magazines and videotapes.
    Two players had two screens thanks to black magic.
    The ending song had lyrics.
    Sonic using time travel was once considered.
    American and Japanese artists worked together.
    Sonic got a mohawk in America. Tails became brown on TV.
    Sonic can mutate your very console with magic. Sonic magic, to be precise. The hedgehog has declined to comment.
    The cartridge was going to be holographic. Not anymore.
    There was a release date. Sonic 1 had no date.
    It came out on the Game Gear. It also came out on the Master System. But it's also different? You can't play as Miles/Tails in it.
    There was a desert level. It had gators. No one knew what to call it. It also had trees during winter time.
    There are many prototypes. Some guy found one inside a website.
    Knuckles can be played by welding two games together.
    There are strange things in the data of the game.
    There's this thing. I don't know what it is.
    [​IMG]


    Cybershell made a good video on these, but it's slightly dated. This will serve as a general for discussing the development lore of this game and its Game Gear cousin.

    Mod edit: If you're looking to discuss the materials released in December, please visit this thread: New Sonic 2 development lore drop - Genocide/Cyber City palette and art! | Sonic and Sega Retro Forums (sonicretro.org)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2023
  2. Nik Pi

    Nik Pi

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    Oh my FUUUUUUUUUCK!
    I ABSOLUTELY forgot about this art!
    If it's NOT leftover from another game/ROM/garbage data- it's.. could be a part of map?
    Why not?
    [​IMG]
    We know that it was as concept, but could sonic used it as map from adventure island? Or SMW?? Or even Sonic 1 8-bit???
    I easily can see how big blue square uses for warp point, and little one for Metropolis point. Also we can see that image is incomplete, or can do loop. Does it mean that this could have a something like second page?
    I not understand, why after all these years after discovering N.A. proto noone hasn't asked yet about this.. thing from cartridge data
     
  3. CaseyAH_

    CaseyAH_

    human incarnation of Palmtree Panic 'P' Mix Member
    Tails is his nickname, Miles is his actual name. They are both correct.
     
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  4. Nik Pi

    Nik Pi

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    Fast reply, because I.. I mean, one my friend (CaioST) noticed THIS:
    unknown (3).png
    Emerald Hill has differences in bg between beta title screen and in-zone layout and palettes. I not sure, that it's documented on tcrf.
    Also, look at this:
    319px-Mag_compare4a.png
    Mockup, but I belive that it were in game at some dev. state.
    In some aspects you can reconstruct that bg clouds, and that clouds on top still has some data even in final game.
    What I mean? Parallax data! When you'll put graphics on the top of sky, you'll notice, that two blocks after top- flying with one speed, and the thrid- with another! Looks like they hasn't deleted some code stuff, and it were changed when they wanted to reuse one graphics file for EHZ and HTZ.
    I found it a long time ago, so if it's wrong- correct me please.. I'm unsure :tinfoil:
     
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  5. Chimes

    Chimes

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    Whoa. It did not occur to me to compare the two backgrounds. Nice find!
     
  6. McAleeCh

    McAleeCh

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    Cross-posting from the Cyber City scans thread so as not to clog it up with unrelated stuff; musings on Sand Shower Zone and Rock World Zone, and whether or not we really know which of the two the mockup of Brenda Ross' rocky, desert-themed stage depicts:
    Also some musings on the winter-themed Zone which would have shared art assets with the Zone seen in the mockup, and whether or not there's any substance to the idea of the desert stage transitioning to winter partway through:
     
  7. saxman

    saxman

    Oldbie Tech Member
    I knew that mockup had a different background, but how did I not notice the title background was also different??! 24 years later, I'm still learning new things from the '99 prototype.

    I forgot about that map! It doesn't look anything like the concept art maps though. But still, could a connection exist?

    Things like this could be sent to artists/developers via Twitter. It might be a shot in the dark, but maybe someone knows something about it
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2023
  8. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Hidden Palace was going to be a cutscene-only area before being turned into an actual level. This would explain why Masato Nakamura's demo version of track #10 had an ending yet the in-game version loops, assuming it was intended for HPZ.

    Dust Hill/Mystic Cave wasn't intended to be a cave at first. It was intended to have the feeling of a haunted house, explaining its music.

    There was going to be a "last battle in space" after Neo Death Egg, suggesting a final boss akin to The Doomsday.

    The Tornado was going to have transforming capabilities ala the Tornado 2.

    It was considered to have Super Sonic glow in multiple colors ala Hyper Sonic.
     
  9. Forte

    Forte

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    Do we have any proof of existing connections between SMS/GG version and the Mega Drive one?

    I mean, we have proof that Sonic 1 SMS and SMD were using the same beta elements, we also theorised a lot about possible connections and evolving concepts (the blimp, starlight, labyrinth crystals etc), but the two instances of Sonic 2 are so different, it's like they told Ancient at the end of development cycle: "look, here's Miles or Tails, have him in the game. Kidnapped or whatever, we don't care, just insert him somehow so it has synergy with our main console".

    Of the top of my head:
    - Silver Sonic
    - Sky High Zone resembles HillTop
     
  10. Hez

    Hez

    Oldbie
    This one really blows my mind. The palette is even slightly different. How I never noticed this is insane....

    upload_2023-4-5_13-56-50.png

    Super slapped together job, but all the pieces seem to be there for the smaller cloud without any modification to 8x8 tiles.
     
  11. saxman

    saxman

    Oldbie Tech Member
    Sky High Zone and Tails are the only things in my mind that honestly tie them together beyond a reasonable doubt. The Silver Sonic boss *could* be a coincidence, particularly since I think the Death Egg Zone boss was conceived of late in development (or at least that's the impression I get from Yamaguchi's tweets).

    It is interesting the games went in two entirely different directions, and one has to wonder why. If they had Hill Top Zone assets to work with, why not include other levels from the Genesis version too?
     
  12. CaseyAH_

    CaseyAH_

    human incarnation of Palmtree Panic 'P' Mix Member
    Given Hill Top is fairly presentable and in (relative) working order as early as the Nick Arcade proto, it was probably one of the first stages to be worked on and therefore one of the first the 8-bit team would have theoretically been able to use as reference. Doesn't explain the lack of references to the other stages from that era, though.
     
  13. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    Random thought: in Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), you have Knothole Forest and Robotropolis. A Wood Zone and a Metropolis Zone. And in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Beta), one is a retile of another.

    Possible behind the scenes influence from the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Beta), perhaps?

    Just putting here since this seems the most apt, being about the developmental history of the game, without creating a new thread for a random thought.
     
  14. Sonic Hachelle-Bee

    Sonic Hachelle-Bee

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    Green Hills zone also share the same tiles as Sky High zone, palette recolor just like EHZ and HTZ in the Genesis game.

    EDIT. : Gimmick Mountain zone is similar in name to Madness Mountain. The zone tiles themselves look like Metropolis but with a more "cyber" design...

    Aqua Lake zone may come from Blue Lake. And the lobster badnik is seen in Genesis concept arts.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2023
  15. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    One thing that's always interested me (and I may have mentioned this in another thread in the past) is that we know there was a cut level called either "Blue Ocean" or "Blue Lake". Sonic 3 has a level called Azure Lake. But Sonic 2 GG has a level called...Aqua Lake. And while it may seem like a staple level trope, we know both levels contained sunken ruins. So I wonder if they're connected at all.
     
  16. Fadaway

    Fadaway

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    Concerning the various hand-drawn maps (some are in different time periods, correct?), has there ever been any documentation whether or not there were plans at an early stage in development for an in-game map screen?

    The Sonic CD D.A. Garden Little Planet made it in-game after all even if it doesn't function like a map screen. I don't think Sonic 1 or Sonic 3/Knuckles have so many island map illustrations (that we know of) besides a South Island depiction shown in S1 MS/GG (correct me if I'm wrong as I'm a bit rusty at recalling some of this info). They really put a lot of work into drawing West Side Island and showing where the Zones were supposed to be.
     
  17. Chimes

    Chimes

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    For a long time I thought they were made in tandem, but I did some googling after writing this and it turns out 8-bit Sonic 2 was actually in dev as early as December 1991 according to the AutoDemo, and Wikipedia says that Sonic 2 didn't even get the okay at first until a few weeks in November after the pitch.

    If I may speculate now, it's possible Sonic 2 started in the Game Gear and kind of mutated alongside its technically younger sister by osmosis almost like a obscene monkey see monkey do of game dev, culminating in the confusing Tails-exempt monster we got at the end.
     
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  18. GoldeMan

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    There's something about that OG title screen that is really cool. It feels so much more Americanized then the final title screen but I kind of prefer it overall.


    Specifically the Mystic Cave connection, the haunted house would've been related to the Madness Mountain concept art, which is equally odd since it seems to not be present on any interation of the overworld map. Maybe the concept art for the stages was created much later after the initial maps, and once the map idea was dropped they just forgot to fit it in there... but then you have dust hill on the OG maps... its all very confusing (which is part of the fun).
     
  19. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    Madness Mountain was just another name for Dust Hill/Mystic Cave. I'm sure of it. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it was a later name than Dust Hill was. The brick tiles look very similar to the concept art, and the drawbridge gimmick is hard to ignore as well. And that would fit the "haunted house" vibe Naka mentioned as well. I can't think of any other explanation.

    I think the timeline is this:
    1. Maps are made showing the initial concept. Dust Hill is among the levels, being a "ruined present" version of Green Hill (Emerald Hill).
    2. The themes are actually finalized later on, with concept art being made of the chosen zones along with their names. By this point, the initial concept of Dust Hill has been dropped (or perhaps moved to "Neo Green Hill", then finally dropped in favor of Aquatic Ruin), however its name remains in the level data. This concept art is shipped off to Masa for composition.
    3. "Madness Mountain" takes Dust Hill's intended level slot. The in-game title is still "Dust Hill" because "Dust" is the codename for the level slot the artists recognize, and changing it would cause confusion. Instead of a "haunted castle", it ends up becoming a cave, likely due to miscommunication between the Japanese staff and the American level artists.
    4. The level's name is eventually changed to Mystic Cave just in time for the final release.
     
  20. GoldeMan

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    That would make a lot of sense really, it's clear that Dust Hill - Mystic Cave - Madness Mountain share the same DNA in some form, and this seems like a pretty logical view of how they connect. I guess is begs the question what was Dust Hill really... like besides the clear vague connection to the other two levels we've mentioned there isn't any definite (or still not definite regardless) clear visual concept for what it was going to be prior to the Madness Mountain / Mystic Cave rebrand. It's possible I'm forgetting some obscure piece of concept art though. (sans the Desert level mockup which seems to just be Sand Shower misremembered or again further communication issues)

    I guess keeping it in line with the Madness Mountain middle ground between Mystic Cave and Dust Hill it could potentially be assumed that it was just an earlier era of that specific design idea before Mystic Cave took over.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2023
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