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Sonic 2: Robotnik's Revenge - Old demos

Discussion in 'Fangaming Discussion' started by saxman, Jan 12, 2023.

  1. saxman

    saxman

    Oldbie Tech Member
    I wasn't sure if I should post this in the Sonic Fan Games (the older ones) thread or make a new one. Since the other one is mostly about sharing videos and things, I'd make a new one for this so I can give it full dedication.

    I bet 99% of you probably have never heard of this. It's not very impressive at all by today's standards, but you've been gifted a great deal of research and talent over the past couple decades. If you go back to 2000, there wasn't anything quite like Sonic 2: Robotnik's Revenge (S2RR). It was an effort launched by Yarharhar in 1999 to create a fan game that imitated the Sega games as closely as possible. He initially started creating it in Multimedia Fusion. The result he created was Sonic-like physics never-before seen in any other fan game. Sonic could actually walk up walls and on ceilings, and the typical Sonic gravitational pull actually worked!

    Then in early 2000, he began writing a new engine in C++. A short single-level demo would eventually be released on November 28, 2000. After that, the project stalled.

    If you have any interest in this piece of nostalgia from the early days of the Sonic online community, I have created this page on the wiki where you can download four different builds of the C++ engine. Unfortunately, the CNC/MMF version is lost to time, unless of course someone stumbles upon a copy of it. @Xilla has previously provided the public demo which I believe comes from Yarharhar's old website, while I have provided the three additional builds pre-dating the public demo. I retrieved these builds from my old IBM Aptiva computer that I used for many years during the Sonic ROM hacking and secrets hype in the late '90s through much of the 2000s.

    I don't know how many people actually got to see these builds. The first two are very primitive and don't have a lot to offer. I should also mention that the fancy physics I mentioned from the CNC/MMF version are not in the C++ builds.

    Here are some highlights:


    Engine test from February 27, 2000
    upload_2023-1-12_2-34-28.png


    Engine test from August 12, 2000
    upload_2023-1-12_2-37-57.png


    Private demo from November 12, 2000
    upload_2023-1-12_2-38-43.png


    Public release demo from November 28, 2000
    upload_2023-1-12_2-39-2.png

    upload_2023-1-12_2-38-29.png
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2023
  2. AbsoluteG

    AbsoluteG

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    I have one of the CNC/TGF builds laying around. It's the Demo Tubes Zone build. Sadly I don't have anything else as I never had found or played the other builds. I'd been looking into archiving older games (at least older than 2012).

    https://www.mediafire.com/file/xiyi6e5igyy3epx/s2rrdemo.zip/file

    I'd been looking for a couple of old fangame builds myself, but that's better suited in the original topic you had mentioned.
     
  3. saxman

    saxman

    Oldbie Tech Member
    Awesome! I'll take a look at the link you posted when I'm at home later today. We should probably have that added to the wiki page.

    I remember there were several single-level CNC/MMF programs several of us worked on. One I had sort of just come up with to contribute was Neo Emerald Hill. Yarharhar was very welcoming of new level concepts and such. Some way or another, we were going to put these levels into one product. I never finished my level though. This of course was prior to the C++ direction he decided to go with, which is probably a big reason I didn't complete it. I also don't appear to have a backup of it on my old IBM computer.


    EDIT:
    So I tried the Demo Tubes Zone demo. I think I remember the menu screen, but the level itself doesn't seem familiar to me. If I played it, it was very brief and probably never touched it again (granted, I don't have a backup of it, that I couldn't have if I wanted to). It's still nice to know we have it. I went ahead and put it on the wiki page. The date of the executable is 2003, so it's probably been copied/replaced somewhere along the way, which means we don't have a date to associate it with. Best I can determine, is it was probably sometime on or after April 12 in the year 1999.

    The MMF demo I remember was much more raw looking. I believe it had a half-loop like what you see all over Chaotix. As I recall from his methodology, there were a series of active sprites corresponding to different angles, and he would manipulate the acceleration/deceleration according to what Sonic was colliding with. It might have only been an internal demo though, I'm not sure.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2023
  4. AbsoluteG

    AbsoluteG

    disgusted by origins plus Oldbie
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    Unfortunately this was one of the only demos I had. I remembered playing this way back, I think 2000 to 2001. Up until the newer versions with Dust Hill/Sand Shower. It would have been cool to see the other CNC/TGF ones. I must admit. Really brings me back to the old days. heh!
     
  5. saxman

    saxman

    Oldbie Tech Member
    I stumbled across one of Yarharhar's MMF demos. It's a file called "Yarview.cca". The file "modified" date is January 20, 1999, although I question the accuracy of that date, because the Sonic 2 Hacking Guide was still very much in its infancy, and I feel like me and Yarharhar met later than that. The "created" date is April 23, 2000, which seems a bit more reasonable.

    There's no executable for it, but I have both Multimedia Fusion 1.2, as well as Clickteam Fusion 2.5. Both fail to open it for the same reason:

    upload_2023-1-14_20-54-1.png

    Does anyone know how to resolve this by chance? I'd like to see what's in it, and maybe make an EXE version that others can actually run with. I should mention that I get this error on both my IBM (Windows 98 SE) and current (Windows 11) machines.


    EDIT:
    Attaching the CCA file in case anyone wants to try it.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 15, 2023
  6. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    I remember this ;)

    I tried my old copy of MMF, but it also won't open. You could usually export your "completed" game and "lock" it when distributing if I recall, so this is probably one of the completed files, rather than the "open" developer versions.

    upload_2023-2-2_18-53-4.png
    upload_2023-2-2_18-53-31.png
     
  7. AbsoluteG

    AbsoluteG

    disgusted by origins plus Oldbie
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    That's MMF Express, which is similar to The Games Factory or Click and Create. This won't work with those versions. You need MMF without the express. :p.

    Even then i've had no luck getting past that weird ActiveX error. I've tried various operating systems. including 98, XP RTM, and other ones, and I can't seem to open that yarview app sadly.
     
  8. Mr. Ksoft

    Mr. Ksoft

    Member
    Sadly, there isn't much to see in that CCA. It's a so called "Yarsoft viewer" which shows an image and text file from Yarharhar's old site using the ActiveX control. I found some info on that ActiveX control, it was actually forcibly disabled in the early 2000s by Microsoft due to a security vulnerability. I found a copy of isctrls.ocx and registered it in a Win95 VM using regsvr32 and that was enough to get this loading. Screenshot attached.

    Btw, saxman, if you have dug up any other old fangaming bits, I hope you'd be able to share them. Fangame preservation is one of my side hobbies, and I work with some of the prominent people doing that (such as ScaleyFoxy's archive/videos) so anything we can preserve from back then that hasn't been seen would be appreciate. I'm actually blown away to see all of these S2RR builds out of the blue.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 4, 2023
  9. saxman

    saxman

    Oldbie Tech Member
    Well that's a bummer. I was really hoping it was the original physics demo he did. That thing might be gone for good. The Demo Tubes is the closest thing we have to it. But thanks for putting in the effort to reveal what was behind the curtain!

    Regarding other fan games, I have a handful of them. I really don't know where to upload them. I know Retro would prefer things that perhaps have some kind of "noteworthy" value to them, and some of the games I have are pretty underwhelming in my opinion. But I'm more than willing to share them by whatever method is preferred.
     
  10. ScaleyFoxy

    ScaleyFoxy

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    My Youtube as far as Sonic goes.
    "Upload to any file sharing service you can think even if it's temporary" And upload everything you have source files to unreleased or any demo or other version variant of any game that you have.
    I will then sort through them personally and see if I have em on my local storage devices or not and eventually upload em all to my website and make videos about em. https://scaleyfoxy.weebly.com/
    You can send me a Private DM message with a link if you have to,
    EDIT: It does not mater if they are or you think they are duplicates to what I already have, one can never be too sure.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2023
  11. Xilla

    Xilla

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    Bloody hell, the Demo Tubes Zone is even more janky than I remembered it! But then....2000!

    Wish I still had the original Retro Sonic MMF tests lying around, IIRC Taxman started work on that right after Yarharhar said he wasn't continuing with Robotnik's Revenge. I do have a HDD that *might* have it on there but hasn't been plugged into anything for the best part of 20 years.
     
  12. Mr. Ksoft

    Mr. Ksoft

    Member
    There is a version of this on archive.org. Seems to be the second version with Sonic/Tails and Dust Hill. Honestly pretty good for 2001, even has working parallax which most folks didn't figure out how to do (without exceeding object limits) for a few more years. I remember an earlier version that had Egg Garden, but I don't seem to have it any longer.
     
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  13. Xilla

    Xilla

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    Yeah I remember the Egg Garden one being similar to that, IIRC it was pretty much a physics test with no enemies or rings. Might be wrong though.