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Sonic CD's Mysterious Cut R2 Level Discussion - Post Origins Edition

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by HEDGESMFG, Jul 12, 2022.

  1. Forte

    Forte

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    Hang Castle one, yes, that's what I meant :)

    I love Sonic Heroes. It's such an underrated game in the series...
     
  2. I hacked my Wii U last year and gave it another spin after watching Pariah695’s video on it (). I never hated it but it definitely felt like a step down from SA2 when I was a kid, so I never really went back to it often. Though I’m sure the lack of ports also played a part in me ignoring it.

    While it’s a pretty good game and I seriously think the team concept is great, the controls are just too shitty coming off the super smooth Adventure games. I say the level designs are fun and interesting, the aesthetics are appealing (except for the shininess), and the team mechanics are solid. The game falls down in controls, story, special stages, and the general repetition.
     
  3. MykonosFan

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    Just in case, to head it off, let's leave discussion about Heroes out of this thread please.
     
  4. Mr. Cornholio

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    On the topic of the weird statue present in Wacky Workbench, Sonic CD is already a game with a lot of goofy visual Easter Eggs (in the form of the Sound Test's Hidden Images). The game also already has another 'secret room' (albeit not normally reachable) in Quartz Quadrant that's only present in the Past layout, much like Wacky Workbench's Angel only being present during that time period. I could buy that this might have just been some type of similar deal where a developer wanted to create an 'Easter Egg room'? I don't have reason to believe Mazin is misremembering, as much as I'd like to hope this is a remnant from it.

    Another interesting detail to me is that the graphics don't appear to really match what we believe is R2 in the full end credits animation. I feel like the animation would've tried to capture more interesting 'set pieces' from that Zone if the secret Wacky Workbench area is anything to go by. Instead, the animation features Sonic running through an area with a cold gray/blue-ish crumbling structure, with some vegetation. The Secret Room doesn't really have anything like that (nor does it feature a similar color scheme), and it just seems kinda...odd that there wouldn't be a bigger focus on some architecture from that room in the ending animation. You can pretty easily identify Quartz Quadrant in the ending animation with the crystals, and Stardust Speedway features the Metal Sonic race/the giant Eggman statue that actually made it into the game. It just feels odd to me not to pull more from what the Secret Room features if that was the case.

    What's interesting to me is Mazin confirming the name was Ridicule Root at one point. I feel like that suggests the Zone got a bit farther than what I initially thought if it got renamed alongside the others that we know of, and makes me think some Act layouts were drafted on paper. Going by Jim Tretheway's interview, I really do think it might have been a time concern and they weren't terribly happy with how the Zone was panning out and decided to axe it.

    A much bigger form of speculation (so please don't take this as fact) I have is that I'm curious if the Zone might have also been scrapped out of concern that a 'Sonic CD-ified Marble Zone level' would've been too derivative? I could kinda see the developers also deciding against it if it was meant to be Marble Zone inspired - I always personally felt Marble Zone is the lowest point of Sonic 1. The above ground sections simply feel too similar to Green Hill to me even with the lava hazard, and the 'underground' section feels like it's more visually interesting in Labyrinth. I could see the developers wanting to do something more 'fresh' and 'unique', so axing that while Wacky Workbench made it in seems like it kinda makes sense? Wacky Workbench is one of the few 'not directly inspired by a Sonic 1 area' levels in the lineup. I could see them being more eager to experiment with that despite the divisive level design. Do we know if any developers commented on receiving feedback from Sonic 1 while designing CD?

    Edit: Modified my last paragraph for clarity. Apologies.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2023
  5. Blue Spikeball

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    There is always the possibility that the graphics for that Wacky Workbench section were created as a nod to DD, a development gag if you will. Perhaps as the devs' way of including a taste of that DD might have looked like if it hadn't been scrapped. Which wouldn't go against what Mazin said.
     
  6. HEDGESMFG

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    I think the reason for the R2 being cut is a combination of all the various reasons we've been given over the years...

    1. Quality Concerns (The Zone needed more work to be up to par, qualitywise).
    2. Space limitations (The extra stage music took more space in the disc than necessary).
    3. Pacing (A zone that's overly technical early on may have simply felt too slow. I.E. Marble Zone without lava didn't feel fun.)
    4. Time Constraints (Looping back to #1, the zone wasn't up to par at the pace of development needed to reach the September end goal).
    5. A possible conflict with a specific stage developer (We've heard that each zone was more or less laid out by a specific person, so there could have been a problem with the specific R2 developer's pace of work).

    It's possible for all 5 of these to be true simultaneously, but even a combination of just 2 or 3 issues (like 1, 3 and 4, let's say) would be enough to justify cutting content. It's a perfectly normal part of game development. Hell, the SCD team was a lot more stable than the S2 STI team in terms of delivering the planned product to completion, so losing only one stage out of 8 was hardly an issue (The game still ended up larger than Sonic 1 in many ways).

    It also appears that the game had a longer development cycle than the other classic titles got.

    I feel like if R2 was actually finished, it would not have been a popular zone. Imagine playing Marble Zone with endless spike pits and mechanical traps. It probably would have annoyed people as much as Wacky Workbench, which is why they decided to cut down the slower and more difficult "techncial" zones from 4 down to only 3. Especially given the constraints and possible design problems the stage may have encountered.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2023
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  7. Mr. Cornholio

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    Yeah, I'm in the boat of 'I don't think this Zone would've been terribly fun to play', assuming the theories about it taking cues from Marble Zone apply here. Assuming this was a concern the development staff had as well (if they did monitor critical feedback from Sonic 1 like I theorized earlier in my edited post), I could easily understand that contributing to deciding to leave it.

    I don't buy the idea that a disagreement between the level designer and another developer might have led to it's removal, however. It seems like it might have been smarter to hand over what was finished to another designer?

    The closest thing I can think of as an example is Tom Hall's work in Doom being finished up by separate level designers after he left id over several disagreements on where they were taking the game. However, I realize they had fairly different development productions, and this might be an unfair comparison to make. Jim's comment just strikes me as 'there was no bad blood between anyone, they just came to an agreement that the design needed work and there wasn't time to refine it'. One Zone in CD is huge, to be fair - there are several different versions of the same level that had to be designed! Having to re-do a section also means reconsidering how that affects the other time periods. I don't think it's quite fair to assume there was something more negative going on amongst the team.

    But all things considered, I do agree with Hedgesmfg. CD still turned out rather well and stuff like this is sadly normal. What makes discovering more about it fascinating to me is something that was expressed earlier - there's a lack of a clear visual concept for the level. I would've loved to see an in-game concept for the Zone and the public has something that's frustratingly close, but not quite there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2023
  8. synchronizer

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    I might be misremembering, but wasn’t there a promo of a Sonic 2 on megacd with some sort of Greco Roman angel, or am I completely imagining it?
     
  9. MathUser

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    I think it was a tech demo.
     
  10. Blue Spikeball

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    Yup.
     
  11. synchronizer

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    My thought was that if the Wacky Workbench statue wasn't an R2 leftover, then it might be a reference to the tech demo (somehow):
    [​IMG]

    But I find it hard to believe that the statue and Marble Zone-like tiles aren't some more significant leftover from development, but oh well.
     
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  12. saxman

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    Honestly, I'm not trying to diminish any theories. Lord knows I don't have the answers. But I just don't think the development team is as clever and witty as many folks seem to allude. I doubt the statue is an obscure super secret reference to anything. I don't buy that. I can't tell you why it's there, but I do think we have to consider that maybe the real answer isn't quite so long of a reach.
     
  13. Mr. Cornholio

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    Really I'm not sure the demo means much either. It was developed by a completely separate branch of Sega who really didn't have a hand in development outside of getting Spencer to re-do the soundtrack for the US market. I wouldn't even be surprised if the CD team had no clue about the demo's existence. It's a funny coincidence and a cute theory, but it feels like a bit too much of a stretch.

    I still think the origin for what inspired a human(-oid) statue is a fun discussion piece, however. Feels like a lot of things could've inspired that. Do we even know what might have inspired some of the Sound Test artwork, for instance? From a world-building standpoint, the use of ruins might have been chosen to imply what the area looked like before technology advanced and a (Wacky :eng101:) workbench was built over the area.
     
  14. HEDGESMFG

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    The problem is I find the "reused R2 assets" to actually be the simplest answer. It honestly makes the most logical sense, aside from one of the devs simply saying it isn't true. The extra time and effort taken to draw those specific assets for a tiny easter egg is significant and time consuming, compared to the smaller efforts of just repurposing some unused assets. And those tiles are a decent starting point when used in mockup builds too.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Doesn't mean it's the right answer, but there's good reason people love the theory.

    On the flipside, I'm also not entirely comfortable with the "WE MUST ASSUME THE DEVS ARE LYING/TROLLING" approach either, though. That's the same logic we had to shoot down to assume the name Dubious Depths was even accurate in the first place.
     
  15. Let's not make this a "The Desert Zone was Dust Hill because it seems possible based on the information we have available" situation again. We don't know the full details, let's stick with what we know to be true and not try to fill in gaps with wild mass guessing.
     
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  16. Laura

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    No one ever said that.

    I said Ohshima could have been misremembering.
     
  17. JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    I doubt it seeing as the demo was made in America, by Sega Multimedia Studio for American trade shows to advertise what the console could do (since the Sega CD released in November 1992 in America), and Sonic CD was already in development having a trade show demo in Japan that next month.

    But anything is possible, of course.
     
  18. Forte

    Forte

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    The whole Statue hypothesis, being remnants of RR is becoming increasingly ridiculous. I know people want it to be true, damn, I WANT it to be true - but we have confirmation, that this isn't the case.

    Wishful thinking is truly dangerous :V

    Part of me wishes that Taxman got a bunch of concept art when he was remaking Sonic CD and waits for the right opportunity to tell us everything about R2.

    Oh look, I'm wishfully thinking now too :V
     
  19. JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    From what I recall it is actually the case that he has seen R2 concepts that no one else has, not that it was much, mind you.
     
  20. David The Lurker

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    Sometimes an angel statue is just an angel statue.

    Like it's been said before, all we know regarding R2's visuals is:
    • The rainbow waterfall concept art
    • The unused animation from Sonic CD
    • The design document image featuring an underground section
    That's it. That's all we know. Honestly, I like the idea of the angel statue just being a weird thing in a weird level. Sonic CD is full of weird things. Heck, Sonic CD is a weird thing! That's what makes it cool.

    I feel like someone, somewhere may have said such a thing. Discussion about Dubious Depths' legitimacy did occur outside of this thread.