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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. Jaxer

    Jaxer

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    Assuming that OOZ's and SCZ's themes indeed belonged to Sand Shower and the winter level respectively, the absence of those tracks is probably due to Brenda Ross' levels being cut early on, which is something that we know for fact.

    However, it's worth noting that Track #10 doesn't get representation either. This is really odd, considering how HPZ survived for so late into development.
     
  2. This is because the track that became Mystic Cave 2P was the track originally intended for Hidden Palace Zone, as proven by all the prototypes up to and including the Pre-Beta using that track for it. By the time the credits theme was composed, this was still true.
     
  3. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Was it?

    It might have been used as a temporary song or placeholder until the "proper" HPZ song was composed/implemented.
     
  4. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    Mega Man Zero: The Definitive Dub
    Keep in mind that the Sonic 3C credits theme does not include Marble Garden, Lava Reef, or Mushroom Hill's themes, and the final game of Sonic 2 doesn't include Sky Chase, Wing Fortress or Death Egg's themes despite all of those belonging to cut zones as well. There are only so many people to credit; it would take too much time to include EVERY theme in the medley.
     
  5. saxman

    saxman

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    I'm going to link to a post I wrote back in May:

    https://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?threads/sonic-2-development-lore.41695/page-14#post-1040239

    I followed up with a series of posts after that furthering my idea. My belief is the songs, in their final order, reflect the order in which zones were worked (though not necessarily finished), either loosely, or definitively. It's hard to look at just songs 02, 03, and 04 alone, and not come away with that conclusion. As I mentioned too, the WFZ song is late in the list, and we know that was a last-minute thing.

    I think it's worth considering given the recent posts about order and what songs go to what levels.
     
  6. Battons

    Battons

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    While completely speculative on my end there might be some ground to stand on here, as sonic 3 does the same thing with the music being in the original level order as evidenced by flying batteries music coming before ice cap in the sound test. Also Sonic 1 has labyrinth before marble zone which we believe (or know by now?) was the original idea there. Odd thing with that though is spring yard comes after star light…. I Wonder if that means anything.
     
  7. Mookey

    Mookey

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    Heck, I'm looking at that chart again and I think saxman's theory would explain why Wood Zone re-uses Metropolis' song: Metropolis was simply the previous zone they had started work on and *for some reason* Wood Zone didn't have a unique song slotted for it at the time it started development, so they re-used the most recent song implemented.

    As for why Wood Zone wouldn't have had a theme I have no clue, but I think it makes sense from a song ID perspective.

    Side rant, but the more I think about it the stranger Wood Zone as implemented in the prototypes feels. Every aspect of it feels like something thrown together to demonstrate what existed of it in functionable assets at the time with no real design applied to it. The art's definitely the most polished part of it, but it's like the zone exists in the prototypes solely as an in-game art asset demo (or a proof of concept) and it never progressed beyond that point.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2023
  8. Battons

    Battons

    Shining Force Fan Member
    (THIS IS ALL A THEORY/FOR FUN. ANY READERS PLEASE DON'T TAKE THIS AS DEFINITIVE FACT)

    So this is my thoughts of what I've gathered/believe right now. After reading a post Hez made in Hidden Palace educated me that there are 2 duplicate music slots in the game, I believe there are songs we have never heard before that were never implemented into the game.
    The XX indicate that I have no fuckin idea what was there if they had music to begin with.
    The Numbers represent the sound test order that they are in game, so you can use the first row in this image like a key to see what I believe what songs went where.

    BS Guess.JPG

    For this second image I used our Wiki Page to come up with the Eras and what levels would have been there, including what songs I believe they may have used. THIS IS NOT A LEVEL ORDER, just levels that would've been in that era. I put Missing Zone and Madness Mountain in Past 2, but its speculated (Maybe Known?) Sonic 2 was going to be 18 Zones, which would make them not fit into the game at all. This kinda makes sense as this era isn't labeled in the design documents we were shown.
    I put Wing Fortress' theme/0F on death egg for fun since it does sound like it could fit in this hypothetical scenario.

    Order 4.JPG

    MY BRAIN IS FRIED HELP.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2023
  9. Jaxer

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    Honestly, I'm still not 100% convinced that any substantial progress was ever made on Tropical Plant/Summer/Sun, no matter how many soundtrack theories imply that.

    I just really can't imagine that anyone at STI sat down and started working on a second tropical coastline level with palmtrees and loops for a game that already had Emerald Hill Zone. It would've been redundant as hell, especially since the game also had another level that literally reused EHZ assets.
     
  10. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    Mega Man Zero: The Definitive Dub
    Metropolis Act 3 sits in the slot Tropical Sun would've occupied and Emerald Hill 2P's music is playing in the slot afterwards, which is supposed to be Blue Ocean. There's a 50/50 tossup of whether the music was meant for Tropical or Blue, it could go either way, because that's all the evidence we have as to its intended use. The demo does have a very "tropical/beach" kind of sound, but it also has instruments that remind me of a Mario underwater stage theme.
     
  11. Hez

    Hez

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    Looking at a lot of the in game 16x16 tiles for a long while, I'm convinced there was a lot more palette switched levels planned. There are a lot of random duplicated tiles that are a bit too conveniently placed for potential art changes. As in, I think more heavily patched levels were going to be done.
     
  12. saxman

    saxman

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    That wouldn't surprise me, because how the heck would they fit a game with that many levels on the cartridge otherwise?! 8 Megabits is just barely enough for what we got. Are we supposed to believe in 1992, they were planning to use something along the lines of 12 or 16? Perhaps that came into the thought process at some point, but I have to believe they would have tried to do as much as they could with as little as they could get away with. Plus, I believe it was Judy Totoya who said the game was originally slated for a 6 Megabit cartridge. Some math should be employed here.
     
  13. Nik Pi

    Nik Pi

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    Aren't they fits in.. 700+ mb? I guess S3K's 4mb would be enough for 18 zones of early concept
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2023
  14. Ch1pper

    Ch1pper

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    So I just had a thought an hour ago:
    Supposedly there was once consideration for a "haunted house" type of setting for a zone. If there was any truth to that, and it was relayed to Nakamura, what would such a song sound like? Sure, many would point to Mystic Cave, but... a haunted house is a very specific setting, and other specific settings like Casino Night (or arguably Metropolis) have very particular styles of music to accompany them. It's a bit hard to describe, but I can't imagine Casino Night 1P being used in any other zone, for example.

    And then it hit me: what about the song for Death Egg Zone as a haunted house theme? It's surprisingly long for how little players hear it without putting the controller down to hear it. It would certainly drive home that uneasy feeling of such a stage, in a far less subtle way than Ghost Houses in Mario World do.

    Food for thought. *shrugs*
     
  15. Londinium

    Londinium

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    What if...
     
  16. Jaxer

    Jaxer

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    The specific quote said that Mystic Cave was supposed to be "like a haunted house", not that it was literally meant to be a haunted house.

    That song was composed after development ended by a random STI employee as a pitch. It had basically no chances of ever making it into the game, especially since the rest of the soundtrack was composed by Nakamura alone.
     
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  17. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    The specific quote:
    Note the wording here. Naka is directly implying that it was not originally a cave, right after he mentions it seems like an obakeyashiki. The term "obakeyashiki" isn't commonly used to refer to real haunted locations but rather an attraction, a "fun house" filled with evil spirits and realistic gore to give a haunted house "experience", and some are similar to escape rooms. Basically the same stuff you'll find in some places on Halloween here. If you've ever played Mystic Mansion in Sonic Heroes, that's basically an obakeyashiki. It's totally the kind of locale Eggman would construct.

    So while he isn't saying word-for-word that Mystic Cave was originally a haunted house, he is at least saying it wasn't originally a cave and directly implying that was what it was originally. Besides, it's pretty clear listening to the demo that the music was meant for it. I mean come on, it's got ghostly wails like "OoOoOoOoO".
     
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  18. Forte

    Forte

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    There was also an early sketch of some clown machine/boss or something like that. I suppose they were toying with the circus idea a bit in pre production phase or something.

    EDIT: https://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?threads/new-sonic-2-concept-art-uncovered.40020/

    "I have a VERY vague memory of working on a red & white circus tent on the Digitizer. If I remember right, the elephant was an idea that Sonic would run along his back (the elephant would be HUGE). I really liked the idea of playing with the track and having more complicated loops. I think the circus idea didn't go too far, even in my own head."
     
  19. Antheraea

    Antheraea

    Bug Hunter Member
    the breakdown too seems very traditionally horror-like, but with the vibe that you're not meant to be scared, just that the surroundings are spooky. the track isn't like, "being chased by a slasher villain"-themed, it's more like "1920s animated ghosts floating into the camera as you walk around" vibe to me. "the creepy creatures are popping out of walls and singing a jaunty tune about how great it is to be dead" kind of thing.

    ...but damn if I can explain it better than that hahahahaha.

    EDIT: basically, it's kind of an old-school comical-kind of horror IMO. think of the really, really old hand drawn animations you've absolutely seen online of skeletons dancing to music in black and white. straight up a contemporary version of this would be this track from undertale IMO, though when I was writing this I had Spooky Scary Skeletons in mind.

    Also yeah, Metropolis is pretty closely themed too. We associate record-scratches (in the demo) with contemporary music, but those could also be pistons firing, or...records, phonographs were a thing back then IIRC.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2023
  20. Mr. Cornholio

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    (Rather long quote-heavy post incoming!)

    Honestly I'm of the opinion that I do think both Mysic Cave 2 Player and Track 10 were both intended for Hidden Palace? Remembering that the original master for Track 10 is the only track on the album that doesn't loop, I get the impression it was intended for a cutscene. Hidden Palace seems like it was going to have a fair amount of plot-relevance and I could see the track being intended for a cutscene depicting the player traveling through time/being given Super Sonic. But we also know that it was meant to be a full Zone at some point. Perhaps Track 10 just...wouldn't have played until a certain point and Mystic Cave 2 Player was meant to play throughout the whole Zone otherwise?

    I can't really explain the Zone being randomly assigned Track 10 in the final though unless there was some major miscommunication on what was being done with that ID slot.

    You bring up an interesting point! However, my reasoning for thinking that some of the song representation mattering in Sonic 2's case is that Nakamura was in charge of Sonic 1 and 2's soundtrack. Sonic 3 was an entirely different set of composers, so there might have been some cutting corners/a different set of ideaologies the composers had in mind there. I guess it depends on how they communicated to Nakamura how long they wanted the Credits Roll track to be (or if he just winged it and they timed the credits to what he wrote). Sonic 1's credits need the gameplay demos to even match the length of the Staff Roll track and 2 cuts them out entirely (something I'll admit to sorely missing!).

    Assuming the theory about Oil Ocean 1 Player was Sand Shower and Sky Chase is the Winter Zone holds weight (which I think it does based on information you provided earlier), we know that both were meant to be 'sister' levels. It seems a little weird to me that the Staff Roll track conveniently omits both and gives me the impression Nakamura might have been informed 'hey these concepts probably aren't going to make it'. I imagine both 'died' around the same time it was time to cut some of the Zones out, and then the information was passed along to Nakamura.

    The 2 Player track usage I still think is a bit odd too. Even if we compare it to what Sonic 3's Staff Roll does, it never samples the Competition-only Zones at all. I feel that lends credibility to the idea that the 2 Player tracks in Sonic 2 were written for the intent of being experienced in Single Player.

    ...Now where they go is another story, but I do like saxman's ideaology that the song ID order in the prototype matches the order they were worked on.

    (I apologize if anything I stated above seems passive-aggressive. It just seems really weird to me reanalyzing the melody and going with the song theories proposed earlier for Sand Shower and Winter Zone. It feels a bit too coincidental and not Nakamura just intentionally skimming on tracks.)

    I'm of the belief that Sonic 2's original vision, while cool as heck to a passerby, was really overly ambitious. I actually really dig the concept of more linear time travel since I think the developers would have more control over what players interact with and allow them to flesh out concepts further than say CD (as being able to travel whenever means the player can ignore the Bad Futures entirely). Something revolving around an entire set of levels where Eggman has already 'won' seems pretty neat. If the 'Tsunami' map was meant to be an event the player had the option of not encountering on certain playthroughs based on actions, it would've added some neat replay value in a way none of the classic trilogy had.

    ...Just there was no way you were going to get that working in 11 months in 1992 with a team that already had rocky communications between one another.


    So this almost seems to confirm or lend credibility to the idea of 'Madness Mountain might have become Mystic Cave'? My understanding based on the conversations had so far is that it seems like no concept art in the same vein of Tropical Sun/Ocean Blue ever surfaced for MCZ. It seems like it might have been a redesign around the time they began actual work on creating artwork to insert into the game. Knowing MCZ was the Future counterpart to 'Green Hill', I'm wondering if it was simply redesigned to better accomodate for the time travel concept they had in mind (and would mean those Zone illustrations pre-date the maps?). I think the 'haunted house attraction over Green Hill' was maybe considered a bit too much of a departure to really drill into the player 'Green Hill is in shambles right now'.

    ...But then I have no idea where 'Neo Green Hill' fits into the picture. Aquatic Ruin is a pretty weird enigma, huh?

    (Edited because I really screwed up the formatting in a rush. I apologize for the trouble.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2023
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