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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. Blastfrog

    Blastfrog

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    If Rock World wasn't necessarily an ice level at first, they could've possibly decided on making it one at a later point in development.
     
  2. RankoChan

    RankoChan

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    Some random RPG project.
    This is assuming that Dust Hill was meant to be more than a proto name for Mystic Cave. All evidence points to it just being an earlier name. It's perfectly logical that the cave level Dust Hill/Mystic Cave evolved from an early concept art such as Madness Mountain.
    Yes. We have evidence that Neo Green Hill/Aquatic Ruin was added after the original time travel story and level order was scrapped. It's not too far-fetched that the team decided to resurrect a scrapped level concept.
    Who says they shipped out the level concept art immediately after it was created? I'd assume out of the level concepts created, they'd have already sorted out what's planned for the game before sending copies to Masa. Waste time and resources on things that may or may not go into the final game? Like the maps themselves, scrapped levels, badniks, etc? Lots of things get created during development that don't go into the final game.
    All we know about the maps is that they were supposed to work like the ones in Super Mario Bros 3. These maps were still created very early on, I'm just saying that I believe the early level concept arts predate them.
    We know that it was "Genocide City or Cyber City" according to one concept art, implying the name was undecided on. Cyber City might have been the original name before it was changed to Genocide City by the Japanese side of the team, thinking it sounded more "dangerous".
    I didn't think about that, you're right there.
     
  3. Nik Pi

    Nik Pi

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    All this time we asked developers about hidden palace, heckin' master emerald, wood zone, but never asked about dust hill...
    Maybe we should contact with Yasuhara and ask him a Dust Hill concept art? It should end all these unusefull discussions about desert and caves
     
  4. saxman

    saxman

    Oldbie Tech Member
    Rock World could have been anything. Considering the name "Genocide City", Rock World could have been an awkward name to describe a mountain, with or without snow. But I've been saying for 20+ years that the EHZ-2P and SCZ songs both sounded like they could have easily been for the winter level. When I think of a rocky level, I think of a mountain. Likewise, a blue lake can easily be tied to an arctic-themed level.

    The only thing that makes me lean toward Rock World being the winter level is its physical location on the map.

    Could Rock World and the winter level have been two different concepts? Perhaps. But we've never seen a picture of a level that fits the description of a rocky region. Maybe that's because it doesn't exist outside the winter level. Because the winter level IS Rock World.

    But none of us knows for sure. We should ask someone who does.
     
  5. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    I'd like to remind you that the developers of Sonic 2 are human beings: human beings who operate on logic. Now...if "Green Hill" is in a spot on the map, and "Hill Top" operates that exact same spot in another era, and "Dust Hill" operates that exact same spot in ANOTHER era, and they all have "hill" in the name, and the former two zones are meant to share assets and be directly related, I ask you: what logical conclusion would you draw? Do you truly believe that Dust Hill was intended to be an underground level with an entirely different tileset? Do you believe that "Dust Hill" is anything close to a fitting name for a mining cave level under these conditions, even if you don't have a firm grasp on the English language?

    To assume that Dust Hill wasn't more than an early name for Mystic Cave arguably involves more speculation than what I'm suggesting, and when solving mysteries like this, you want to go with the explanation that involves the least amount of speculation.
    You're right, that isn't far-fetched. However, my point is that it's less far-fetched to assume that the maps/timeline were just the initial idea, that Emerald Isle was drawn up as one of the final chosen zone concepts, and then they figured out how it would go into the game. Otherwise, you would need to assume that a developer said "this level sucks, let's dig through the archives and replace it with something totally different". It makes more sense that they would've chosen it, and knew what they wanted, before production actually began. It's one thing to throw out gameplay, it's another thing to throw out an entire concept top to bottom, music and all, in favor of another that, if your theory is correct, had nothing planned for it.
    You misunderstand. I'm saying they wouldn't have asked Yamaguchi to draw up level concepts that they hadn't already decided upon and would be in the final product. It's not as if Yamaguchi drew a hundred concepts and Sonic Team simply picked and chose from the best ones. If that were the case, then we would've seen Yamaguchi art for a shitton of level ideas, like Craig Stitt's carnival idea.

    We know why these images exist. They were adaptations of art that the level artists had already done (at least I think I'm reading this right...).
    For that to be the case, they would need to have been drawn up when production had already started and the levels had already been decided.
    Not true. You've got it backwards.
    So Cyber City came later, after the team told the Japanese devs that the name wouldn't fly with parents. Since the concept art names it Cyber City while Yasuhara's concepts still say "Genocide", that would blow a gigantic hole in your theory.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2023
  6. Laura

    Laura

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    I dislike the way the board maps for Sonic 2 time zones has started to dominate discussions online. We have no idea how far this early design concept influenced actual development but everyone speaks as if it was of major significance.

    Now Emerald Hill and Hill Top I can appreciate. They both share tileset sprites, the backgrounds are similar, Hill Top was clearly made very early in development. So I think it is possible that Hill Top was designed with the time travel concept at least very early on. Although I think the fact those two are so similar makes it even starker that the other zones in different times look so different.

    I mean with Nick Arcade I can kind of see it. Emerald Hill and Hill Top connection. Hidden Palace not on the time zone maps because it is mystical and you are warped there when you get emeralds. Chemical Plant has no other time zone connecting to it in the prototype yet. Maybe they were still thinking about time travel at some point during that prototypes development.

    But the other prototypes make no sense to me. Let's take Simon Wai. Chemical Plant as the future of Oil Ocean? Maybe? I dunno. Chemical Plant as the future of Olympus (maybe Aquatic Zone?). Ehhhh. Maybe Chemical Plant was its own thing so it doesn't really overlap with over zones? It's a bit off centre of other zones on time maps. But it fits better than most zones on the time maps do so seems to be different times. And they don't seem to look similar at all to me.

    I also don't think Mystic Cave (Dust Hill) looks related at all to Emerald Hill and Hill Top. I've seen the arguments people have put forward and I'm utterly unconvinced. In fact if anything, I find it more convincing that Mystic Cave transformed from the initial Dust Hill concept to something radically different for theme variety. Which is why it eventuslly had its name changed.

    The actual development of Zones during Simon Wai also makes no sense if they had time travel on their mind. During early development they made Emerald Hill amd Hill Top which were time connected then started development on one unique zone (Hidden Palace) and a new area (Chemical Plant). Makes sense. But in Simon Wai they are developing zones in wildly different geographical areas with no connecting time zones. Wood Zone but no Blue Lake. Casino Night but no Rock World. I guess they were working on Sand Shower potentially if that was the desert stage. Again, that zone design doesn't seem to have anything to do with Casino Night to me. They do have Metropolis and Genocide City on the go but Genocide City is in a sorry state. But it doesn't fit with the early design when they worked on Hill Top and Emerald Hill in tandem because I think it is clear they dropped the time travel shenanigans.
     
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  7. Ura

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    Just a small correction here, but mining sites are incredibly dusty actually. If Dust Hill was supposed to be the future of Green Hill after Eggman started to mine after Chaos Emeralds (Something even the final game somewhat implies) then it would make perfect sense for it to become a Dust Hill

    edit: btw I know this is about the fact that Mystic Cave doesn't use Emerald Hill/Hill Top's assets, but I'm not sure if this would necessarily be a rule for the different time periods, and even then, do we have any proof that Dust Hill wasn't supposed to use any assets from Green Hill at all? I mean, they could extrapolate the underground sections into an entire underground themed level, but this is especulation at this point.
     
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  8. Hez

    Hez

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    I've always had a tin foil hat theory that Secret Palace was something different than Hidden Palace. That Hidden Palace is actually in fact Rock World, and Secret Palace was to be a EHZ/HTZ esq version of Oil Ocean. It's an absolute garbage theory with very little backing.
     
  9. RankoChan

    RankoChan

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    Some random RPG project.
    I concede on the level concept being created after the maps. However, that does bring up the idea that the names on the level concept art were replacements/updates for the zone names presented on the timeline/maps, rather then the other way around. For example:
    Genocide City --> Cyber City
    Wood(s) --> Secret Jungle
    Tropical Plant --> Tropical Sun
    Blue Lake --> Blue Ocean
    Dust Hill --> Madness Mountain --> Mystic Cave
    Neo Green Hill --> Emerald Isle --> Aquatic Ruin

    Edit: I see where you're coming from now. Assuming Madness Mountain was related to Dust Hill, then it's likely Dust Hill was completely different from its cave theme early on, perhaps closer to what Madness Mountain depicts. Same deal with whatever Rock World started as before changing to a winter/ice theme.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2023
  10. saxman

    saxman

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    For us Americans, the most obvious connection between a desert and casinos is Las Vegas. They literally built the city in the desert. So that one is not such a crazy connection to me.

    I agree with some of your points though. The Dust Hill connection with Emerald Hill and Hill Top seems flimsy. I question what Dust Hill was supposed to be. Even if it was a haunted house theme... why "Hill"?? So I think that one is still an anomaly.
     
  11. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

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    Something to consider, are we sure every zone in the different time periods are meant to be a past or future counterpoint of another one? Hill Top, Emerald Hill, and Dust Hill I can understand, but it doesn't mean all of the stages have a counterpart like Sonic CD does right?
     
  12. RankoChan

    RankoChan

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    Some random RPG project.
    Not all stages were likely to have counterparts, since the time travel was just part of the story rather than a gameplay feature like in CD. Here's a breakdown using the map concept names.

    Known counterpart stages:
    Green Hill - Hill Top - Dust Hill
    Sand Shower - Rock World
    Metropolis - Genocide City

    Likely counterpart stages:
    Tropical Plant - Chemical Plant
    Ocean Wind - Oil Ocean

    Possible counterpart stages:
    Woods - Blue Lake
     
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  13. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    Tom Payne's document suggest Hidden Palace and Oil Ocean would have also been related...somehow. They do occupy the same spot on the maps after all.

    Also, Woods and Casino Night are in the same spot. It doesn't seem to make sense that they'd be counterparts, though. They both, however, have conveyor belts: the only two zones that do.
     
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  14. E-122-Psi

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    Wood (aka Secret Jungle) did have bouncy branches in its concept art, that MIGHT have worked akin to CNZ's flippers. The chutes in the level also spring to mind the narrow pressure spring sections or the elevator shafts.

    Metropolis Zone and Wing Fortress also have conveyor belts though, I think that combined with the reused music may have played into Wood seeming like MTZ's past counterpart originally.

    Concerning HPZ and OOZ, one thing I noticed is how the graphics of HPZ show loads of waterfalls (along with a supposed water slide section), a utopian contrast to all the oil being dumped in OOZ.
     
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  15. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Join the club. The vague positions on a map often seem to take up a life of their own on these boards.

    Take solace that it rarely spills onto the wiki.
     
  16. Londinium

    Londinium

    People actually read these? Member
    Let's split it even further, a topic specifically for the board maps
     
  17. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    Metropolis does not have conveyor belts actually (I remembered it having some, but looking at the map it doesn't seem they do), and Wing Fortress doesn't count as it was made at the last minute, far removed from any of the initial planning. Actually, I don't think Wing Fortress has conveyor belts at all still...does it?
     
  18. E-122-Psi

    E-122-Psi

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    [​IMG]
    Here's one from the earlier builds.

    I'm also fairly certain there's an area in the final where you have to cross one with crushers above it.
     
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  19. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    Huh. Ok. I guess it's been too long since I actually played the game.
     
  20. McAleeCh

    McAleeCh

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    Wing Fortress has a grand total of exactly one conveyor belt - a slightly diagonal one, right after the bit where you're thrown across a large gap. And despite animating correctly using the rotating palette, in the original Mega Drive version of the game it doesn't actually function at all! I'm guessing that was a casualty of time crunch - thankfully they fixed that in the Retro Engine remake, at least.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2023
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