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Sonic 2 Development Lore

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

Is it Miles or Tails?

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  1. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Considering how big and expensive Nakamura was, I doubt they would have him compose random songs that they weren't sure where and how they were going to use. Nah, I'd think they would specifically have him compose for the planned zones.
     
  2. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    From what we can piece together from interviews, such as from the 2011 soundtrack booklet, we can deduce the following about Masa's approach:
    • He had "screenshots" or "graphics" to work with, for both Sonic 1 & 2. Most likely, these would've been mockup images, like the ones made for magazines, and not the concept art Yasuchi drew up. He also knew the names of the stages, or at least their concept names. Interestingly, he mentions (in a possibly hypothetical way) a "volcano stage" and an "ice stage"; the former is likely MZ, but the jury's out on the latter.
    • Sonic Team members met with him and explained aspects of the game to him. Since he mentions the game "had a strong story", and he thought of it as a film, we can deduce he was aware of the plot for at least Sonic 1.
    • The process for Sonic 2 was pretty much exactly the same as with Sonic 1, and largely unaffected by him working overseas. Thus, it's unlikely he was ever asked to make anything at the last minute, or make a new cue for the same stage.
    The questions we're left with are:
    1. Are the demos released in 2011 EVERYTHING he sent up to Sega, or are there cues he wrote for the games that are just sitting in a vault somewhere?
    2. Were any of these cues labeled? Or were they just "Track 1", "Track 2", etc?
    I find it unlikely that he simply sent a bunch of cues with neither him nor Sonic Team having any clue of how it'd be used. If he composed for a specific stage, and the track was not used for that stage, I'm not sure if I'd call that "disrespectful", but I would certainly be disappointed if I was the composer. I can't see the sound programmers not putting music to its intended stage (if the intended stage still existed) unless in extreme circumstances, such as having a ton of music programmed with nowhere for it to go.

    The main reason why I think the music is important is it's so hard to believe Masa would've been asked to compose for a stage that wasn't fully intended to make it into the final game, should the budget and time allow for it. So if he composed for Rock World, that would mean Rock World made it to a level of development where it was no longer a concept and was fully in production. Of course, that assumes Sonic 2 followed the standard way projects are done, but it seems like production and pre-production were happening simultaneously. So it's possible Masa was asked to compose for a level that ironically had already been cut.
     
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  3. saxman

    saxman

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    I don't think we have hard evidence here. The fact they have the same value could be a coincidence. They changed all the other songs, why not that one?

    I think the ARZ song being tied to WZ is plausible. Still not a perfect fit in my opinion, but it does have a jungle feel to it. And thinking on it, WZ was "Secret Jungle"... hmm, I'm convincing myself in real-time here. I think PenguinBlues is onto something here. And ARZ wasn't part of the original zone plan, taking over GCZ3. So maybe that's why we're at least one song short.

    So WZ losing its designated song could support the idea that WZ's music value is a leftover from Sonic 1... but still not hard evidence. It could also be they felt Metropolis music sounded surprisingly good with WZ and left it as a placeholder with the possibility it would stay if they didn't get a new song.
     
  4. Jaxer

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    This has been said numerous times previously and I'll reiterate: We really, really shouldn't make judgements based on what the songs feel like.

    If you ask me, OOZ's theme sounds industrial and menacing. Aside from the Middle Eastern motifs, it doesn't feel like a desert theme to me. Meanwhile, I was initially toying with the idea of CNZ 2P having some sort of connection to SYZ as the two tracks sound extremely similar, more similar than any other pair of tracks from these first two games. So therefore, that track being assigned to a contemporary urban level would've felt right to me.

    However, I have now been presented evidence suggesting that CNZ 2P was indeed meant to be OOZ's original track. It's still impossible to call it conclusive, but it's far stronger of a basis to speculate on than what the track might feel to me. And no, this still doesn't convince me that OOZ's track therefore must've been intended for the desert level. And I'm not saying this just because of what the song feels like to me, I'm saying this because unless we hear it from the mouth of Nakamura himself, we'll never know.
     
  5. Nik Pi

    Nik Pi

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    Speaking on music, I like how some demo tracks share the same instruments:
    CNZ 2P-> MTZ-> CPZ
    ARZ-> MCZ 2P
    EHZ-> EHZ 2P-> 2p game results
    I wonder if Masa just tried to minimize the number of instruments, or they were planned to use similar feeling for similar zones, or they planned to use sound/music banks like in s3k, or smth.
     
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  6. I've got to massively disagree here, as there's clues within the music to what they were originally planning for the themes and environments within each Zones. There's a good reason why there's many Sonic 3 and Sonic CD music theory, and none? for Sonic 2. Because so much got muddled around and changed. There shouldn't be a winter themed song for a Sky Chase, but there is. Sega got fortunate with OOZ as the middle east is known for their riches in oil.

    There's bit and pieces and hints within the music that can at least help us with detective work with what originally was planned, even if it's feelings, because that's what sometimes the music is going for.

    CNZ 2P and SYZ do sound a little alike, they both sound like classic 90s pop songs, Spring Yard Zone even sounds like Sega got inspiration from a Bobby Brown track. SYZ is always going to be personally, my favourite classic Zone, just because how good the music is.
     
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  7. Jaxer

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    Obviously we can make guesses and speculate based on what we feel. Hell, that's what I've been doing.

    I've just seen way too many people insist that OOZ's theme being meant for Sand Shower is a cold hard fact, and this community has already spread way too much misinformation about this game's development simply because we were way too confident in our unconfirmed assumptions. Most of the internet still believes in Wood Zone being MZ's past, MZ3 being a repurposed GCZ layout and Dust Hill Zone being the name of Brenda Ross' desert level, and we can blame nobody except ourselves.
     
  8. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    Well, music can have evidence linked to it. For Sky Chase:
    • Sky Chase was made last minute, could not possibly have had something composed for it, so whatever music is there was meant for something else.
    • Said music plays in one of the unused level slots.
    • We know there was a winter or ice zone in development at some point, and that it featured Christmas trees.
    • It uses a melody from an earlier Dreams Come True song about Christmas.
    By process of elimination and considering all the facts, there aren't many zones that cue can be linked to. Thus it's extremely likely that it's the music for a winter level.

    What's NOT evidence is "it sounds Christmassy". That's pure speculation and it could "sound" different to many people.
     
  9. Nik Pi

    Nik Pi

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    This is a human factor, cuz there is more misunderstandings. Mcz was Dhz in protos, but some people belive that it was like this from beginning of development, and some think that it was a placeholder from another zone.
    ~ 20 years ago (I wasn't even born then, lmao) came out Sonic 2 Delta and Sonic 2 Long version, and some people still belive that EHZ 2p music was for WZ, MCZ 2p music was for DHZ/SSZ, and we still have footages of this hacks on YT, marked as "REAL BETAH FOOTAGE1!!!". Same happens even with Lost Worlds, Secret zones and Archives. Also, some people really think that rain forest's/jungle ARZ demo theme fits well with desert level.. bruh.

    Also I fucking tired with "What's happened with Tails" comments on YT under Archives playthroughts. Go and learn more S2 development lore, lazy sausage!

    Also, imo, we should more speak about things that we have, than about things that we will never get. Is the anybody remember the stuff that placed in protos? With modern methods of disassembly can we find buzzer's ability of bridge burning? Is the CPZ boss in beta build can run that unused animation? Why CPZ bg has green water, but fg shows pink one? Does August proto has unused music data?

    If we'll prefer to speak about concepts, where is heckin' Madness Mountain on the map? Why Emerald Ise isn't on any map too?

    I have too much questions to development..
     
  10. saxman

    saxman

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    I think it's pretty hard to argue OOZ music originally belonging to anything but SSZ. We don't know for 100% sure, but how many things do we ever know with that level of certainty? At some point you have to be willing to say, given all the evidence which overwhelmingly points in one direction, this is highly likely the correct conclusion. That's about anything. And I feel OOZ music falls into that category. The music was set for level 03 to OOZ early on. OOZ was using a different song originally, for quite some time, despite having the desert-like theme available to use. The music sounds like desert music, regardless if the actual graphics are American-themed or not (I doubt Masa had those anyway). And every lost level song has lined up pretty nicely with what we now understand those levels to be. So I think it's more than reasonable to conclude the OOZ music being SSZ was very deliberate. Yes, it's based partly on human perception of music, but music is something that has real scholarship behind it and has commonly understood ideas and concepts.

    As for the DHZ->SSZ mixup, I have always blamed myself. There may have been others apart from me to say it to. But I remember pushing that assumption pretty darn hard during my research into the games way back then. I think a whole lot of people picked up what I was claiming and ran with it. But then, I was only a teenager. Kids don't have a good concept of what makes evidence truly scientific, so of course certain things will get twisted like that.
     
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  11. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    This is true, and it can be used. However, it should only be used as a last resort IMO. If the facts say one thing, but the music says another, then the music should be analyzed in a way that is consistent with the facts, where speculation is used to rule out what is NOT the case, and thus also figure out what MUST be the case, by filling in gaps that can't be explained otherwise.

    For example, it seems obvious at first glance that ARZ's music was meant for a desert stage, since it uses the "spaghetti western" motif at the start, and it sorta-kinda sounds like desert music. But as you said, the evidence overwhelmingly points to OOZ's music being for the desert stage. Are there two desert stages? Highly unlikely. Did Masa compose two desert themes, one American and one Middle-Eastern? It's possible, but unrealistic. So if the music is going to be perceived by a human, it needs to be perceived from the angle that it can't be for a desert.
     
  12. saxman

    saxman

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    Let's follow your theory through...

    Why would they decide to use that song for ARZ instead? Why not follow the original plan? What would ARZ's intended song be?

    Bu the way, if I'm repeating something you already answered somewhere before, I apologize. I don't have as much time as I'd like to read every single word of every post.
     
  13. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Just throwing this out there, but maybe they asked Nakamura to compose a song for a western desert after they saw Brenda's Sand Shower art and realized that the original song wouldn't work for it?

    Edit: As for ARZ not having a proper song composed for it, it might be either due to it being conceived relatively late in development to the point of not appearing on the maps (if you believe it's not Olympus) or due to being conceived as a cutscene-only area (if you believe it to be Olympus).
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2023
  14. Dek Rollins

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    On the topic of using "what it sounds like" as evidence for speculation, Sky Chase never sounded like a snow/Christmas theme to me until I saw discussion about it online.
     
  15. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    If you think about it, a winter/ice level wasn't exactly part of the original plan either. Brenda Ross stated the desert stage would change palettes mid-level ala MHZ, but all evidence points to it being a dedicated stage. And yet nowhere in the maps or timeline is there any evidence of such a level, unless you interpret "Rock World" as being ice-themed. So ARZ not being part of the original plan doesn't necessarily mean it couldn't have had a cue composed for it. After all, it does have its own concept art, and it's one of the few zones that are fully beatable in the Wai build. It may have started development earlier than we think.

    As I pointed out in a previous thread, another way of interpreting that "spaghetti western/GBatU" motif at the start is that it's a Tarzan yell. Plus, it uses a steel drum, which you'd expect to hear in a tropical or Caribbean-style of music, not something suited to a desert. I believe ARZ really does have its intended song. Either that, or it was meant for Tropical Sun.
     
  16. Sonic Hachelle-Bee

    Sonic Hachelle-Bee

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    Why not? Grass or ice on the top of this singular rock?

    upload_2023-11-23_20-38-3.png

    Seriously, we know a lot of information about the game development now. And I'm pretty convinced that the desert zone and the winter zone were meant to be 2 different zones in 2 different times, and have a palette swap. It is the easiest to implement, and most logical explanation, considering we now know facts about EHZ / HTZ, and MTZ / CCZ.
     
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  17. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    The ruined present Rock World also works, if you assume that thing surrounding it to be snow rather than sand:

    2023_11_23 19-20-50.gif

    It also goes with the idea of the ruined present being a corrupted/destroyed version of the original present. Green Hill collapsed and is now a series of cave tunnels (Dust Hill). Ocean Wind got polluted with oil and became Oil Ocean. Sand Shower froze over and is now the winter zone.
     
  18. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Not quite. The Sonic 2 ending theme is based on a song called "Sweet", created by Masato Nakamura in 1988.

    [​IMG]
    Song #7 on this demo cassette, with credits to... "Cha-Cha & Audrey's Project", before they changed their name to Dreams Come True.



    When it came to releasing this thing commerically, DCT sat on it. They released four studio albums between 1988 and 1991 and it wasn't included on any of them.

    It was, however, included as the 11th track on their fifth album, "The Swinging Star", which launched ten days before Sonic 2 on the 14th November 1992. And it was renamed for this purpose, being called "Sweet Sweet Sweet".

    It has nothing to do with Christmas or winter - here's the lyrics in full:
    Marvel at Google translate's strange translations. "Don't let go of our touching breasts". Okay I won't.


    In 1993 the group recorded "Winter Song" for the Japanese release of Sleepless in Seattle, a totally different track never seen in a Sonic game. However the B-side of the single was an English version of Sweet Sweet Sweet.

    Also this single didn't hit shelves until 7th January 1994, so even Winter Song has nothing to do with Christmas.


    Unfortunately Japanese record companies have draconian policies in regards to YouTube so I can't point towards specific versions or music videos.
     
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  19. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    ...Sir, I was talking about Sky Chase and Very Merry Christmas.
    EDIT: I just realized this is a third-party karaoke version. Here's the original on Spotify.

    I'm not saying the winter level wasn't meant to be how you describe, at least eventually. I'm saying it wasn't part of the original plan. I highly doubt Rock World, during Yasuhara's initial concepting phase when the timeline/maps were drawn up, was meant be something other than...rock-themed. Like a mountain or something. I know English wasn't the dev team's forte, but don't tell me they didn't know the difference between rock and ice.

    So if the winter level wasn't part of the timeline, then ARZ not being part of the timeline means nothing. The only real evidence we have for it being a last-minute asspull that wasn't originally meant to exist is its placement in the level slots, which could be for any number of reasons.

    And if there was a winter level, it definitely wouldn't have been in the ancient past if it contained Christmas trees and shit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2023
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  20. RDNexus

    RDNexus

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    Wait a sec... That Xmas theme...reminds me a bit of Sonic2 8-bit's Crystal Egg.

    At least the beginning... xD
     
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