Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Chimes, Apr 5, 2023.
These pillars do look pretty Greek in design.
This is what happens when you start writing forum posts at the end of a working day.
... as you were
Okay can someone find me this Dreams Come True song that sounds like Sky Chase Zone? They wrote a few wintery tracks.
Did you see my post?... I'll post it one more time.
Here's Very Merry Christmas on Spotify. It's not available on Youtube except for karaoke versions, so you'll just have to settle for that.
And here's a breakdown of the Sky Chase demo. Pay attention to the bells at the start and at 0:25:
I did, and I found that song - it didn't sound much like Sky Chase Zone, so I assumed it was one of DCT's other winter tracks.
With the breakdown you've posted, it suggests there may be a link, but it's very tenuous. Though I guess that's like a lot of the tracks in Sonic 2.
Compared to other winter levels in other Sonic games, my gut feeling is Sky Chase Zone's theme is too slow paced to fit as a normal action stage. I read that Masato Nakamura was using a Roland MC-4 for composition around that time - the demo tracks might sound they way they do due to limitations with the hardware. I don't know enough to say.
I think the Ice Cap Zone comparison doesn't match much at all to be honest. If there is anything to be noted as simular, it is simular merely because both songs came from the same mind. It's the Nickleback thing... similarities are just going to occur, but it doesn't prove a direct connection beyond the writer. But I don't even think these two songs are particularly close anyway.
The point isn't that they "sound similar". The point is they both use the same continuous four-note Westminster Quarters melody. This is verifiable; the opening of that song, and the bells in SCZ, have the same chord progression and are note-for-note identical. Like, I'm not going to say it's conclusive, but I'm operating under common sense here that Masa probably included a reference to a popular DCT Christmas song, for a winter level containing Christmas trees.
Nobody questioned the connection between Jam and Carnival Night (even before the sample was found) so why is this one so hard to accept?
Aquatic Ruin Zone and its origins, including the music choice, are super interesting to me. It seems to 'show up' in the concept arts for Sonic 2 (Emerald Isle), but doesn't seem to have an easily readable dev history like other levels in Sonic 2 do, especially in regards to their music. It kind of just 'shows up in the Wai build', while the concept goes as far back as the concept arts.
What is really interesting to me however is the fact that there's a scanned document that mentions 'Neo Death Egg' as a level that would have appeared late game, being marked in with the rest of the ruined future's levels (Casino Night, Chemical Plant, Genocide City). In the Wai build we have Aquatic Ruin under the name 'Neo Green Hill', which internally ID-wise is grouped alongside those same levels in the ruined future, which seems to hint that Aquatic Ruin (Emerald Isle) might not have been planned to make it to the final level list (and maybe didn't have much material conceived for it until they put it in the game, which means the music is likely reused from something else), based on slot reservations, but it ended up there in the end because they scrapped another level and had it fill in its place.
Fair enough, but it's as you state: the Westminster Quarters melody. There are other Christmas tunes that use it. It's highly influential. So I think the comparison is a little weak as a result.
I absolutely believe it was created for the winter-themed level though. The only other song that would fit such a setting is the EHZ 2P song, and it's very likely that was created for Tropical Sun given it's "paradise" feel and reggae-esque rhythm (plus which zone it was assigned in Simon Wai, obviously).
The Jam thing sticks because it was already confirmed that Jackson people worked on the game. So it was to be expected that an MJ reference might show up. And it's not the Westminster Quarters.
That's an interesting point I had never given thought to. Well, I knew about ARZ being among the last levels in the internal order and the Simon Wai proto's level select screen, but I never made the connection between the NGHZ and NDEZ names, which enforces the notion that ARZ was going to be one of the final zones and part of the future map.
Which of course brings the question of which zone from the present it would have been counterpart to, if that's the case? Its name in the Simon Wai proto obviously suggests it's Green/Emerald Hill in the future, but its visuals don't match Emerald Hill's, especially with its Greek-esque architecture. Hmm...
Can't listen to it cos no spotify, is there a rip of the part that sounds like sky chase? Cos from the karaoke version I can't hear any similarities.
I do find the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly whistle in ARZ pretty interesting. There is no doubt its that whistle in Masas demo. But honestly in the Sonic 2 track I think the instrumentation makes it very hard to tell if the sound engineers wanted to keep the motif in the final song or even recognised it at all. I'm not sure how well Spaghetti Westerns are known in Japan. Would be pretty funny if the ST sound engineers didn't even recognise the reference. So they adapted it in their own way and ended up keeping it but missing the point.
But even though the demo track unquestionably uses that motif I also very subjectively think both the demo and final track are clearly jungle themed. Lol! I think the actual serious point though is that Masa could have put the whistle motif in for all kinds of reasons. Maybe it was for a desert stage but maybe he simply thought the motif was cool and wanted to allude to it as a clever nod. With no other aesthetic choice in mind but that it sounded good in the composition.
That's why I agree that we have to be careful with attributing aesthetic intention with thematic 'obviousness'.
I mean, if Mystic Cave truly is Dust Hill, none of its visuals match Emerald Hill either. But why would EHZ have two counterparts nothing like its regular present version when the past version is so strikingly similar? So are these two zones actually unrelated to EHZ after all? But both zones have swinging platforms as gimmicks, so are they still related to one another? But which zones are they supposed to be then when nothing on any of the maps looks anything like either? And why are there palm trees in the past map's Hill Top?
I think we've just opened an enormous can of worms. Could it be that Emerald Hill, the one zone that we have always taken for granted, is actually the biggest mystery of Sonic 2?
It could also be that franlky, the whistle adds a sense of mistery and secretiveness, regardless if it is the good bad and ugly or simply coincidence. If the jungle is meant to be secret, it doesn't clash.
Outside that very specific whistle, there's nothing that says desert or western to me.
New ARZ hypothesis: Olympus was indeed Hidden Shrine/Palace and it was going to look like a Greek temple in a lake (per the past map), but the final Hidden Palace was relocated underground and ended up looking more like a cave, so at some point the devs decided to revive its original visuals as a separate zone called Emerald Isle, which became ARZ.
Both S1 and S3 are full of Greek imagery and of course ARZ is full of Greek ruins. If Sonic 2's plot was going to involve an "ancient civilization" I would expect said civilization to be Greek, just because that's how Yasuhara rolls. Of course, it doesn't make much sense for Greeks to live beside dinosaurs, but I dunno. I think when HPZ was a thought in Yasuhara's mind, he imagined a palace. IE a grand residence, the likes of which resemble a European temple.
ARZ really shouldn't be Olympus because the ruins shown, even in the concept art, seem thousands of years old. And yet Olympus is a Past-era zone. So whatever ancient civilization those ruins belong to predates dinosaurs? It doesn't make any sense. And it's not like "woah, they're so ancient they were before dinosaurs, it's full of mystery and wonder" it would just be confusing if ARZ was a Past zone.
To be honest, there just isn’t enough evidence either way with ARZ. I feel it may be best to not weigh on it too heavily in regards to the earliest conceptions of Sonic 2.
This is the same world where animals and humans coexist and water aliens uploaded themselves into cyberspace. If the Ancients are anything to go by, there probably was a civilization that existed and fell before the dinosaurs
My suggestion wasn't that Emerald Isle/ARZ was Olympus, but a new zone based on early Olympus/HPZ concepts/visuals.
If Emerald Isle was reimagined from early Olympus/Hidden Palace concepts as a future-era zone, it makes sense that they would depict it in ruins.
Doesn't say anything about the original concept for Olympus seeing how we don't have any concept art for it.
On that note, if Olympus evolved into Hidden Palace, then the decision to move it underground might have been made when they realized that it would need to be present in multiple timezones in order to allow access to time travel and Super Sonic. Changing it into an underground area that isn't visible on the map would have been an easy way of doing that.
This goes with the timeline documents. If the tiny squares on the minimaps are assumed to depict the warp points, then the location of the warp point used from the ruined present onward (most likely Hidden Shrine/Palace, going by the "Sonic travels back to ancient time by activating Hidden Shrine" thing) is on land in the ruined present, but in the sea in the past:
Which makes more sense if it's deep underground.
You're missing the point. Sure, it wouldn't be out-of-place for this series as a whole, but think about it within the context of when Sonic 2 was made. Do you really think Yasuhara would've written something like that? Do you think he was such an artistic visionary that he was thinking of something like the fucking Ancients? Think about this from a player's perspective: going into the ancient past only to find the same type of ancient ruins that are all over the present day in other spots like Marble Zone is just inherently unsatisfying from a storytelling perspective, and confusing from a thematic perspective: if we're in the past version of the island, why would there be a level that would fit perfectly in the present instead? Imagine if the flashback scenes in SA1 took Sonic and co. to hundreds of years after the Echidnas had already been wiped out. That's just lame. No self-respecting writer or director would ever do that.
The plot of Sonic 2 involves an ancient civilization that had a disaster befall them, and Yasuhara's timeline clearly states that a tsunami hits the island after Sonic arrives in the past. The civilization was clearly supposed to be alive and thriving when Sonic first arrives and he was supposed to witness this disaster first-hand. This storyline would not be the way it was if Sonic wasn't supposed to interact with the civilization in some way like in SA1. It's Chekhov's Gun.
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