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Sonic 3+ _and_ Sonic 3 Special Edition

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by ICEknight, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    I see that the wiki identifies "Sonic 3+" as an alternate title to a "Sonic 3 Limited Edition" that was supposed to combine S3+S&K.. But is this really correct?

    Here's something I remembered reading a long time ago, which I've finally managed to track down, from January 1994:

    [​IMG]
    Yeah, where it says "the first Sonic" it should probably read "the only Sonic". And only one of the cartridges would feature the lock-on thingy, so those might have been translation errors from their sources.

    Thing is, going by this early info, both Sonic 3+ and Sonic 3 Special Edition were supposed to coexist as the expansion and the complete edition. Two different things.

    I was guessing that S3+ would have been the final S&K and S3SE the whole package, but that blurb about the Eternal Champions + is making me think thay perhaps S3+ was the complete expanded game with the Special Edition being the Lock-On expansion...

    Also, do we have official confirmation of the whole game ever going by the name "Limited Edition", or were those some developer's personal memories? Because "Special" would make more sense than "Limited", here. EDIT: Found the possible source.
     
  2. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    Well, limited could make sense. Who knows how many they ever planned on making of Sonic 3 Complete if they released S&K as it was. It could have been a special/limited edition of sorts. Would have made the re-releases over the years a hell of a lot simpler that's for sure. I mean, we do have those prototypes, that kind of reflects that Sonic 3 Complete was a thing. Sonic 3+ in this case sounds like Sonic and Knuckles, since that's kind of what it was.
     
  3. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    But we never actually got any real info of SEGA wanting to release the complete Sonic 3 in limited quantities. It was all assumed because of that title, that might turn out being incorrect.

    How exactly do we know that Sonic 3+ was not actually Sonic 3 complete/Sonic 3C?
     
  4. Mastered Realm

    Mastered Realm

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    And how exactly do we know they know what they're talking about?

    I mean, they had a lot of articles to write and it makes more sense to call the 'expansion' Sonic 3+.
     
  5. Dark Sonic

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    We don't know any of this. It's true. We never got any info from Sega regarding S3K's true nature. But at the same time, we don't ever get information about Sonic 3 in general. We don't even know who composed like 3/4's of the soundtrack, and it was released 20 years ago. I don't know why Sonic 3 is such a mystery, but for some reason it has been that way forever. Sonic 3+ could refer to Sonic 3C, or it could refer to Sonic and Knuckles, as the EU box had "Part 1" on it. We don't know though, and I don't think we ever will.
     
  6. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    If you mean that they might be making things up, they also previewed some ultimately unreleased games in that same booklet.

    Well, at least we now have some actual printed media that unveils these titles as the working names for the two separate cartridges, which seems to be new info according to the wiki (it assumes that both are Sonic 3 complete, and that Sonic & Knuckles was called something else).
     
  7. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    Well then the question we have is which cartridge refers to SK and which one refers to S3C. It's really just a question of names, since we already have one of the outcomes, and the other one was cancelled. It's just a name game.

    Plus, I don't mean to sound bigotted or whatever, but the magazine is in Spanish. I have to wonder how fresh their Sega information actually was in the 90s.
     
  8. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    Yep, that's what's left to know.

    Their blurb about Feel seems to predate the early screenshots I originally scanned and shared on the internet, so they might have had some good sources.

    I remember they (or perhaps their sister SEGA magazine Todosega) also made a mention to "Sonic Chaotix" before any info on it had been released.


    Also, there was a "SEGA Spain" by then, so they had the info right next to them.
     
  9. Mastered Realm

    Mastered Realm

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    Not making up but maybe imprecise infomation. This is 1994, the world was less connected back then.
     
  10. Tiddles

    Tiddles

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    I'm still not entirely convinced by the 3C prototypes being concrete evidence that a single cartridge version was still on the table at that point. It seems at least as likely to me that the code hadn't been carved up yet - unless I've missed something big, there aren't any S&K protos that predate any 3C protos, and the first S&K proto we have still doesn't work without S3 attached, still has the unmodified S3 title screen, the S&K music isn't finished etc. You could argue that it would be strange not to have started that work sooner, but there could be any number of reasons for that - it feels like it'd be less work to develop it as one, since it's all the same engine; we know there's a bunch of Knuckles assets, extra music, LRZ1 rotating palette in S3; they may have been waiting for hardware specs on how the combined cart would be presented address-wise etc. or even actual hardware prototypes. Like so many other things, we're still mostly in the dark, and we can only guess.

    Still, it's always nice to see a bit more info from the time, regardless of how accurate the reporting may or may not have been.
     
  11. The Taxman

    The Taxman

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    I'm not sure if the authenticity of the "Sonic 3+" name was ever in question but judging from the Sonic Mars document, "Sonic 3+" looks like the internal project name for the whole thing, and not necessarily an actual product name for one of the SKUs (assuming they did plan to sell Sonic 3 as a complete cart in addition to the S&K cart).
     
  12. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    I'm guessing this is the origin (and only source?) of the "Limited Edition" name: Sega Magazin, February 1994 (page 100)

    The snippet I posted and this magazine (which was published one month later) both feature titles that have been confirmed as real by official sources (Sonic 3+ in the Sonic Mars script, Sonic 3 Part 1 buried in the European cover), but also have the exclusive Special Edition and Limited Edition names ("exclusive" as in both "mutually" and "you won't find them anywhere else"). This could mean that either one of the sources is wrong, or that these working names were also changed, somewhere during January 1994.

    From what can be gathered from all the known info, I'm seeing these possibilities:

      • Sonic 3 Special Edition -> Sonic 3 Limited Edition -> Sonic 3 & Knuckles
      • Sonic 3+ -> Sonic 3 Part 2 -> Sonic & Knuckles
      • Sonic 3+ -> Sonic 3 Limited Edition -> Sonic 3 & Knuckles
      • Sonic 3 Special Edition -> Sonic 3 Part 2 -> Sonic & Knuckles

    I personally think the first option would make more sense title-wise, and I don't see any mention in the Sonic Mars script of 3+ being anything else than just plain Sonic & Knuckles... But then, on the other hand, we have "Eternal Champions +" being a standalone, expanded version of the original game that was ultimately canceled just like the standalone, expanded version of Sonic 3. In any case, no info that I know of is pointing towards 3+ and L.E. ever being the same thing, in contrast to what's being stated in the wiki.


    Are there any other sources to either pre-final titles? Some related Japanese publications from late 1993 might prove helpful in clearing things up a little.
     
  13. Uberham

    Uberham

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    I think it's more Sonic 3+ got renamed to Sonic and Knuckles.

    Sonic 3 + Sonic 3+ = Sonic 3 Special.

    The + stands for the extra stuff it adds on.

    I daresay S&K wasn't supposed to be a standalone game anyway, given the Tails remnants.....
     
  14. flamewing

    flamewing

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    The Tails "remnants" are the S&K-specific art (e.g., LRZ pseudo-3D parts, SSZ cutscene at end) and the S3&K-specific art (e.g., Super Tails transformation and Super Flickes) that are needed for S3&K and aren't present in stand-alone S3. Plus the entire code for Tails (which is executed from S&K ROM in S3&K), and mappings and DPLC for the additional art. Those "remnants" are terrible indicators of whether or not S&K was supposed to be stand-alone, if you ask me.
     
  15. Uberham

    Uberham

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    There's also his picture on the signpost, which can be caught with a well-timed pause.

    Also, can't he fly too?
     
  16. Vangar

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    Just because tails is in the game, even if all of his code was there, is not a strong indicator that it was supposed to be a stand-alone game. He's a main character in the series so of course they are going to leave the code in there, even if a director or someone decided tails would be playable at the last moment (which didn't happen, but still)
     
  17. Tiddles

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    To further expand on flamewing's comment, the code for Tails has to be present in S&K because of the way the S3 ROM is attached: all the original S3 addresses are moved $200000 from their original position, which means that only small parts of S3 code can be directly reused that happen to only use relative addressing. In practice, this means that aside from a tiny bit of level events related code, all the code to run Sonic 3 has to be in S&K: all the S3 level events, objects, data select screen, title screen... almost every single bit is reproduced in S&K (and updated in some cases). So yes, no surprise he can fly - it's the same code that makes him fly in S3&K, just with the art missing.

    Any bit of Tails-related stuff that can possibly be taken from the S3 ROM already is, so if anything, it's strong evidence that Tails was never meant to be in the standalone game. Blue Sphere doesn't even use his proper victory animation in the Difficulty screen - they only bothered to store the second frame of art and paste it on as a static sprite. Unlike Sonic, his end-of-game giant victory pose is cribbed from S3 too, and the credits code completely loses the plot if you finish S&K as Tails, mixing the two variants up (a bit like "Blue Knuckles" mixes the character code up when the character value is out of range).

    As for the signpost, well, it's the same art between both games, and it needs to be in S&K for Sonic and Knuckles... so you could produce a specific variant with Tails' face missing and redo the relevant mappings and animations, and borrow the version with Tails from S3, but what's the point? Much easier to just C&P it with the rest of the S3 stuff and use the same code between both games.