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Sonic 3 Complete

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by Tiddles, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. Effexor

    Effexor

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    Thinking about the Mushroom Hill -> Sandopolis transition, how about if Sonic/Tails grab on to Robotnik's Egg-o-matic instead of the Flying Battery which wouldn't exist. You could make it so Robotnik's going a bit slower to allow Sonic and Tails to catch up at the cliff and when they latch on, he starts speeding off. Then at the begining of Sandopolis, along with Sonic and Tails falling to the sand below, we could see Robotnik quickly flying away for a brief moment. Basically, it'd be this:

    Mushroom Hill
    - End of act, yay
    - No Flying Battery to be found
    - Robotnik's vehicle starts making its beeping noise, Sonic and Tails look up
    - Robotnik's having trouble getting the thing up to full speed ad he just rammed it back first into a tree
    - Sonic and Tails rush to the cliff edge much like the original
    - They both jump up and hold on to Robotnik's vehicle as it finally picks up speed
    - Transition to Sandopolis

    Sandopolis
    - Title card
    - Sonic and Tails seen falling like normal
    - Robotnik can be seen flying away as they fall
     
  2. RetroKoH

    RetroKoH

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    Sounds like a logical quick fix to me. All of this, however, raises one other question. I believe Tiddles stated had no intention of taking FBZ out of Knuckles story. I wonder where this would leave FBZ for Knuckles... It's all really complicated, and as much as I'd love the level order swap... it really does complicate things no matter what you do, and it almost would be best to leave it as is... There is the fact, however, that if you look at the level layout... it's really only meant for Sonic and/or Tails to play through. Knuckles CAN take Tails' paths by gliding/climbing, but there is NOTHING in that zone that stands out to me as being designed for him... so I wonder...
     
  3. Knucklez

    Knucklez

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    Truth is, I grew up playing the S&K Collection version of S3&K so.. I was used to FM Synthesized Soundtrack that IMHO was a better rendition of the original MegaDrive Soundtrack.

    One really irritating thing I always noticed is how Sky Sanctuary's music always fades every instance you collect rings, like the main chords that play which define the song all in itself. The sound of rings being collected plays over the high chords, making them fade into the background, and slowly fade back into play once you stop collecting rings. I don't know the technical aspects behind why this would be happening, but it's the only time it happens in any stage, and only of course while playing as Sonic and/or Tails. I immediately noticed it when I played the MD version for the first time over a year ago, because I always played the PC version prior to it, which didn't have this sound-overlapping issue. The PC and Saturn ports of the game had numerous sound fixes, which included this one, so yeah.. finding out the problem and getting it fixed would be most appreciated.

    Here's what it sounds like if you take a good listen, especially early in the level where you hit numerous rings:



    The PC and Saturn version are the same in that they fixed the problem, only difference is their version of the SSZ theme, but here's the Saturn version to compare to the MD version:



    It would make all the difference.. it really would.

    And just for the hell of it, check out the PC version of the theme I prefer over the original. Mind you, avoid the General MIDI formats cause they're horrific. FM Synthesized is the way to go, which is why I wish someone could make the SMPS for Tiddles to implement the soundtrack.
     
  4. amphobius

    amphobius

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    Knucklez: About the ring muting, this is a limitation of the Mega Drive hardware and nothing else. The ring SFX overlaps the music due to being on the same channel. Obviously, this isn't there on the Saturn version due to streamed music and what appears to be wave audio for SFX.
     
  5. Knucklez

    Knucklez

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    Ok so it's a limitation, and it only occurs in SSZ. I'm not too tech savvy but I'm assuming that since every other level runs just fine, then is it safe to assume that each of them run their music and SFX on seperate channels? And if so, would it be possible to add channels for SSZ to function like every other level?
     
  6. That One Jig

    That One Jig

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    Actually this "effect" can be noticed in every zone. If you're collecting several rings in rapid succession in a zone, try putting your ear right up to the speaker. That's the only way you'll hear the noise cancellation in the tune in other zones. It just isn't near as noticeable anywhere else because of instrument in use and the very high pitch it is playing at.

    So, no, they don't play on separate channels in other zones. If they could, don't you think Sonic Team would've done that?
     
  7. DTX

    DTX

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    Sonic Team? I thought S.T.I. was in charge of developing Sonic 3 (& Knuckles).

    This is true for me as well. Well, technically I briefly played Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles, and Sonic 3 & Knuckles (and Knuckles in Sonic 2, though that's a bit irrelevant) back in the day, shortly before my family sold the Genesis. But the version I mostly grew up with was Sonic & Knuckles Collection. And I love the S&K:C version music for Sonic 3, especially both acts of Launch Base Zone. Also, an arbitrary bit of info I'd like to share: a remix of both versions (Gen/MD ver. & S&K:C ver.) of the Competition menu music would be awesome—they surprisingly sound really good together (in an alternating, "full version" kind of way.) At least that combination sounds really cool in my head, anyway.

    The FM Synthisizer version sounded best on a computer that had the type of soundcard typically installed onto PCs around the time S&KC came out. Or at least on my old Packard Bell (it was an e-Tower, I think) PC that ran the Windows '97 (or was it '98?) OS, the FM Synthisizer music sounded just like Genesis music. So Competition menu, CNZ Acts 1 & 2, ICZ Acts 1 & 2, LBZ Acts 1 & 2, S3 Credits, and Knuckles's S3 Theme all sounded excellently fitting, along with all the other tracks of course. If someone can indeed convert the MIDI files to SMPS format (which is above my level of expertise [as though I had a level of expertise =b ]), I hope they sound as awesome as I'm used to hearing them sounding.
     
  8. That One Jig

    That One Jig

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    Yeah, I guess it was them. Shouldn't have rushed that last sentence in like that, thanks for catching my error. Still, I'd think that any respectable developer would have put in the effort to make those sounds play on separate channels if it were possible.
     
  9. DTX

    DTX

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    Especially since (correct me if I'm wrong) Sonic & Knuckles's release wasn't as rushed as Sonic 3's. You would think they would at least do that for Sonic & Knuckles—if they could that is, which probably means they couldn't. So yeah, your point holds, and I agree with it. This is just one of the shortcomings of the Genesis.

    Tangent:
    Although I've always found the ring collect noise too loud anyway. Maybe adjusting its volume so it's not as loud as, let alone louder than, the game's BGMs would in part resolve this matter (at least perhaps minimally, right?).

    What do you think, Tiddles? Is "quieter ring sfx" a feasible, worthwhile patch option? And while I'm at it, a "quieter jump sfx" patch option? Just thought I'd throw that suggestion out there, just in case.
     
  10. Aerosol

    Aerosol

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    Ask yourself this: Is it evident that the ring sfx were meant to be quieter? The answer to this question shall also answer your own.
     
  11. DTX

    DTX

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    )= I was afraid someone would answer like that. No, I don't think they were meant to be quieter than they were. That doesn't make them any less annoying though. Still, aw... oh well, whatever. I guess it was a dumb idea to suggest it... )=
     
  12. amphobius

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    All right, let me clear this up one more time.

    The Sega Mega Drive has only SIX FM channels. For the purposes of this discussion, Sky Sanctuary has its chords on a couple of those. Remember that these channels are MONOPHONIC, so only ONE sound can be played at a time on them. Now, you'll hear drum samples on the DAC channel. This removes the sixth channel for the purposes of sampling. Now, the ring SFX is on an FM channel too. It's hardcoded into the SFX to use the latter FM channels (4, 5, sometimes even 3 if nessaccary) to not disrupt the main melody or bassline of the song, commonly on the first two. Now, with this knowledge, put together that the ring SFX has to play over the same channel that a chord is playing in Sky Sanctuary. It has to mute it, obviously, otherwise it couldn't play. Again, this is a limitation of the Mega Drive and nothing else.

    This also applies to the system's PSG channels too, as they're also very commonly used in music. You'll not hear them as much in Sonic 3 than the others, but take a listen when Sonic jumps in Green Hill Zone - you'll notice that one of the channels where the square wave chords is muted by Sonic's jump. So "using another channel" wouldn't accomplish anything and it's certainly impossible to add more. Hope this clears things up for you.
     
  13. RetroKoH

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    Back to a topic that can have a solution... I noticed a couple graphic bugs in Angel Island Zone. In early act 1, when you are walking along the lower path near the first Special stage ring, the rings (the regular ones, that is) are drawn over the foreground plants... you know, those plants that are supposed to appear over everything else...

    This also happens with the machine that ignites AIZ into flames. If you lose rings against him, and the rings are visible when the wall of fire goes up, the rings are drawn over the fire... they shouldn't be. (And anyone who says that it's supposed to make it easier... I say gimme a goddamned break. If you are that bad to get hurt by that thing, you deserve to lose your rings. Besides, if you were in the midst of a wildfire, could you see everything around you? Of course not)

    A couple small graphical nitpicks that I wanted to point out. I''ll see if I spot more small bugs like this.
     
  14. flamewing

    flamewing

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    Tiddles: since I know you are using (or going to use) my driver, you can mitigate the ring issue in SSZ like this: open up SSZ.asm in the music folder and change this:
    Code (Text):
    1.     smpsHeaderDAC       Snd_SSZ_DAC
    2.     smpsHeaderFM        Snd_SSZ_FM1,    $E8, $0D
    3.     smpsHeaderFM        Snd_SSZ_FM2,    $00, $17
    4.     smpsHeaderFM        Snd_SSZ_FM3,    $00, $17
    5.     smpsHeaderFM        Snd_SSZ_FM4,    $00, $1C
    6.     smpsHeaderFM        Snd_SSZ_FM5,    $00, $15
    7.     smpsHeaderPSG       Snd_SSZ_PSG1,   $F4, $05, $00, $00
    8.     smpsHeaderPSG       Snd_SSZ_PSG2,   $F4, $05, $00, $00
    9.     smpsHeaderPSG       Snd_SSZ_PSG3,   $00, $02, $00, $00
    to this:
    Code (Text):
    1.     smpsHeaderDAC       Snd_SSZ_DAC
    2.     smpsHeaderFM        Snd_SSZ_FM4,    $00, $1C
    3.     smpsHeaderFM        Snd_SSZ_FM5,    $00, $15
    4.     smpsHeaderFM        Snd_SSZ_FM1,    $E8, $0D
    5.     smpsHeaderFM        Snd_SSZ_FM2,    $00, $17
    6.     smpsHeaderFM        Snd_SSZ_FM3,    $00, $17
    7.     smpsHeaderPSG       Snd_SSZ_PSG1,   $F4, $05, $00, $00
    8.     smpsHeaderPSG       Snd_SSZ_PSG2,   $F4, $05, $00, $00
    9.     smpsHeaderPSG       Snd_SSZ_PSG3,   $00, $02, $00, $00
    FM channels 2 and 3 are barely audible in the middle of the song; moving them up so they become channels 4 and 5 like that cause them to be overridden by the ring sound instead. There may be some other sound that overrides the main chords, but I haven't checked.

    Edit: I just tried all SFX, and none of them override the main chords of SSZ in the new configuration; this means it is basically fixed by the above.
     
  15. Tiddles

    Tiddles

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    There's a new mini update 120324 on the Wiki page and site. How "mini" it is depends on what patch options you use.

    Bugfixes over previous S3C versions
    • Sonic 1 Sonic would sometimes disappear after collecting an air bubble. This has been fixed.
    • Knuckles' penultimate MGZ2 restart point in the S3 layouts now allows him to continue normally.
    • When quitting one game and starting another, the demo sequence will now be correct.
    • The green line under Sonic's feet in the ending has been removed.
    Additions and changes to patch options
    • Numerous enhancements to Sonic 1 and Sonic 2-style sprites from That One Jig. In particular, the Sonic 1 sprites are now significantly more faithful due to changes in eye shape and shading, and Tails' semi-run now matches Sonic 2 better.
    • The classic sprite options now cause the HCZ background statues and Knuckles' signpost to change.
    • New options are available to change Sonic's palette to resemble Sonic 1 or Sonic 2 more closely. Thanks to Neo for creating the palettes.
    • The classic shields patch has been split: there is now a version with Sonic 1-style graphics as well as the Sonic 2 version.

    I didn't see the SSZ fix before I built the release, but I made an IPS patch you can try (compatible only with 120304 and 120324). The next release may well use this permanently, but I'm a little concerned by what the post-boss teleporters are doing to the music's intro at the moment. Interestingly, the original Sonic 3 version of that music has another different channel arrangement. I don't know if that mitigates this issue, but I do remember that it makes the intro with the Death Egg rising sound like a bit of a disaster.

    (FWIW, I currently use the ASM'd music with a slightly bodged around regular S&K driver; hopefully I will fully migrate to the upgraded version in the next release cycle.)

    Now let's respond to some other stuff!

    Suggestions are welcome, as long as folks remember I won't necessary implement them. Sometimes, months down the line, people remember these pages of discussion, but not that I never agreed to them. :)

    I don't intend to add Knuckles+Tails. Making that function reasonably is way too much work for a patch option that doesn't make any storyline sense and would allow you to break the levels without a lot of work. Customizable has a partial implementation, though; you could try that.

    On the level order, let's make things simple: the order, whatever it is, remains the same between all characters. Surely the CNZ teleporter leading to FBZ makes more sense anyway! It always seemed to me that this was probably the intention. My faith in that was, admittedly, shaken a little when I noticed that original Sonic 3 ICZ loads teleporter art into VRAM, but what of it? Who's to say they didn't take care of moving the teleporter at the same time as they unhooked FBZ from its old slot? I'm also not sure why the Flying Battery flying again in Knuckles' story is such a stretch: all the other machines short of Death Egg seem to have been repaired or reconstructed, after all.

    The point that the FBZ order is going back to a discarded beta configuration is well taken. On the other hand, you could argue that Sonic 3 is an unfinished beta of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and that by favouring that version I'm already beta-fying things. I wouldn't be considering doing it at all if it were not so well documented that this was the intended level order, and if it were not so widely requested.

    This is a promise: you will always be able to play FBZ in its release order with no notable changes. The rest of it will depend on how things go. I won't do anything too crazy to the default build, or in general; please have faith in that. :)

    I do ultimately want to give Knuckles his moves in Competition mode, but it might not happen any time soon. The whole physics could really do with tweaking so it doesn't feel so weird, but we'll see. My issue with the existing Knuckles 2P sprites is what's missing, particularly climing over ledge and sliding on floor animations. I think some additional sprite work is needed to make it work well.

    The same story applies as always does regarding PC music: if someone wants to build high quality S3K SMPS music for those tracks, I will include it. I'm not a musician so I can't do that myself. I may consider an an alternative Super theme.

    I will try to do something about the rogue switch leaving Knuckles' area of LBZ2 for a future release.
     
  16. Knucklez

    Knucklez

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    Thanks a lot for that flamewing, and I'm glad you resolved the things I've mentioned Tiddles. You have my utmost respect for that.

    The SSZ channels patch worked exactly like I hoped it would. The Death Egg's rising sound was a tad bit louder when I really listened in on it but nothing too serious.
     
  17. Liliam

    Liliam

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    Hahaha, you even tweaked Sonic's colors in the Special Stage :D

    Good work, man. Good work.


    EDIT: I like how if you switch over to Sonic 1/2 shields/movesets, Tails goes from Easy mode to Hard. Fun stuff.
     
  18. Knucklez

    Knucklez

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    When I play as Sonic & Tails combo, I can't help but wonder why the life counter HUD just has Sonic's name, as opposed to a more sensible S & T or S-&-T. I mean I know how Tails has infinite lives cause he dies every other second, but it would make more sense.

    Knuckles' life counter goes by K-T-E, so it would fit perfectly. So could you make a patch or full implementation of their HUD having both of their initials? As for the character picture in the HUD, maybe someone could draw a new one with Sonic & Tails in it, somehow.

    [​IMG]

    I mean Tails deserves to feel included, right..?
     
  19. That One Jig

    That One Jig

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    Wow, I'm surprised how very different Sonic feels when using the different palettes. Nice job, Neo!

    And congrats on the minor release, Tiddles! Even these tiny changes really add up in the end to make Sonic 3 just that much better.

    Oh, and I tried out the SSZ fix. It works great, I can't immediately notice any downside to using this channel arrangement as default.
     
  20. Effexor

    Effexor

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    IS there a chance of fixing this? It's one of those things that's bugged me ever since I first played this game so many years ago.