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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. HEDGESMFG

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    Do you have a source for that, or is the last statement also speculative?

    We're kind of going in circles here now, so unless someone can find new statements from the team members, or more gets released from the development bible in the future (more Sonic Origins extras, new artbook, random twitter dump, ect. ect.), that may be the last bit of useful info we could peruse short term.

    Again, as much as I'd love to discover a new beta with it, I'd be very surprised if many others even exist. I feel like the depths of searching Hidden Palace/DRX has gone to in order to recover all of what was found in Sonic Month 2019 shows there are very few stones left unturned. Especially when no journalist or publisher has EVER produced a picture of R2 in action (unlike most other zones we've hunted for).
     
  2. Billy

    Billy

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    Echoing this. For all we know that bit of level was a planned feature, with time allocated to it to create separate art. It seems weird, but that may have been super important to them. It does show off the time travel in a bit of a novel way. And we know how much developers of the time cared about secrets and easter eggs.
     
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  3. Forte

    Forte

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    I wonder what's the deciding factor for sega to release some pieces of concept art / design documents? Money? Game promotion? Patents? Corporate secrets?

    I mean, they clearly know there's demand for this kind of stuff. For all we know, someone from sega can even be lurking this very thread.

    They know they're sitting on a lot of valuable papers, and we know it.

    Why Sega? Why?
     
  4. Mastered Realm

    Mastered Realm

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    The creator of that R2 video did and it's because of behavior like this he was banned from other places.

    [​IMG]

    I guess what he's seen he's already shared with us.
     
  5. Mr. Cornholio

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    That's sort of my train of thought as well. It can be seen as a bit of world-building that implies this (wacky :eng99: -oh alright, I'll stop) little workbench was built over some ancient ruins, and Eggman decides to build over in his own image as an act of spite/to promote his own ego. While it is strange it isn't present in the Good Future as well, perhaps they intentionally wanted the statue to only be accessible in the Past? Again, similar to the inaccessible Quartz Quadrant room I mentioned earlier. Wacky Workbench's Easter Egg just ended up receiving more attention than those 'CX' initials with having an actual entry point and unique graphics. Again, CD has a lot of unique little graphics that the average player isn't going to find on their own that seem like they would've been somewhat time-consuming to draw/implement (though these are used with a completely different context). They also really didn't need to draw something like Sonic getting impatient and jumping off screen, too.

    It seems completely plausible to me they were created just for this and there just isn't enough from that tiny room that seems like it was taken from Dubious Depths outside of the assumption of 'It looks like it could fit in Marble Zone?'

    Huh! This is the first I've ever read this quote. Interesting. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. We do know (two) names were considered now, but the mention of a lack of tiles is...telling. It really makes me think that the level layouts just weren't in a very good state and it was thrown out before any work 'digitizing' the art they had on hand (in the form of sketches) was done. I guess sketches were sent off to the animation studio, but it sounds like no work was done actually trying to make them work in-game?

    There is one other thing I'm curious about, and not exactly something that helps anything with the Angel Room:

    Assuming I understand correctly based on this post in Engineering and Reverse Engineering, Sonic's movement code is shared across all levels and references object IDs for every object in the game. I'm unsure if there's been too much research done on this, but do we have a timeline on when the 'Ring Spawner'/'Spike Spawner' object was implemented? Is it even referenced in the 0.02 build in Sonic's movement code? I know it wasn't implemented until way later, but I'm curious if it's a thing that was 'always there'.
     
  6. DarkVDee

    DarkVDee

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    This type of behavior is appalling. It doesn't help that user kept on pestering Mazin for more info about R2, hell that user so badly want to prove that the secret Angel statue room are remnants of R2 EVEN THOUGH IT'S BEEN PROVEN THAT IT DOES NOT. Good lord, people please respect the devs boundaries they're human beings like the rest of us.
     
  7. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Can we stop giving AngelFox's blustering oxygen, please? We've heard far too much of his made up crap in this thread already. Thanks.
     
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  8. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    I don't think everything he says is wrong, but it's clear that his attitude on the whole thing is pretty problematic. I think most of his guesswork about the visuals is off base too.

    And Taxman's statements are obviously worth noting, though it's nice to know that a name was still discovered later. One could also consider the fact that he never found anything related to the WW statue and R2 as more evidence that they aren't connected. I'm not surprised he couldn't find any digitizer tiles, as I've long suspected they were either never implemented, or may simply be entire lost. I stand by the belief however that more concept art exists for the stage is probably out there somewhere.
     
  9. Astro

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    Would it be possible if there isn't any re-used art for Dubious Depths in the final CD there's still chunks of reused level layouts somewhere? I know they've pointed to the layout as part of why it was cut, but it'd be interesting given how Metropolis Act 3 in S2 is meant to (somewhat) be based on Cyber City's proposed level layout. Or am I completely misinterpreting what happened on that latter point?
     
  10. Mastered Realm

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    Metropolis was supposed to have two acts. Since Cyber City and Metropolis shared most chunks like Emerald Hill and Hill Top they ended up using the entire layout they had for Cyber City as Metropolis Act 3.

    Since all evidence points to R2 being cut by the time v0.02 was built it probably means the layouts weren't really done by that point to be recycled on other zones.
     
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  11. I guess that could have happened but it wouldn’t make that much sense considering each zone was the responsibility of different people and likely designed concurrently, as well as R2 being cut because of, what I assume are, level design issues not art design (maybe it was a bit of both, who knows).

    It doesn’t seem like a Sonic 1-3 situation where Yasuhara-san had dozens of stages he basically mapped alone on graph paper and wanted to get the levels in somewhere.
     
  12. The Joebro64

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    We do know that at least two Dubious Depths concepts surfaced in other stages. The sequence where Metal Sonic kidnaps Amy in Collision Chaos was supposed to happen at some point in Dubious Depths according to concept art. Then Antlions were considered for an appearance in Metallic Madness, and based on what we know of them, these sloped pits were designed with Antlions in mind before the decision to bin the enemy entirely was made.

    It's impossible to know how many of Dubious Depths' mechanics made it into other levels without more information (concept art, layouts, etc.) but there is evidence to suggest that some aspects ended up in other stages.
     
  13. Mr. Cornholio

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    I'm assuming Taxman simply said 'Oh there was no name for R2' because he didn't have full access to the design binder at the time he began working on the 2011 port? It's possible nothing that gave out R2's name was digitized and the level was gone by the time they began work on level tiles. The enemy sprites I'm a bit confused about reaching the 'digitized stage' while nothing else did, but it seems to me they might have been a higher priority since they'd be easier to repurpose? The first page of this thread suggested the Antlion Badnik was still considered for Metallic Madness for the 'spike traps'. I could see them wanting to try to find a place for the other enemy designs as well.

    Honestly I think if any in-game art for Dubious Depths did exist, it probably would've been found in the 0.02 build. The level might have already been gone by that build (as Mastered Realm previously pointed out). TCRF, for instance, notes that the R1 boundaries seem to be deliberately re-used for R2 (rather than...using what R4 onwards had as a placeholder?). The only other 'direct' reference to R2 in that build that a player can see is the Time Attack menu. Said menu is in a rough state, and I really wouldn't be terribly surprised if it was already 'outdated' by that point, but fixing the Zone count to be more accurate was too low of a priority to address it in time for the build.

    I do agree some concept art exists and some rough stage layouts, but I think that's as far as R2 got.

    Going back to TCRF, the pre-release page lists more in favor that the level was mostly cut due to design concerns:

    There's nothing that's surfaced about art being a concern for it's removal. The other two sources are Mazin stating it was cut due to space concerns (which sorta conflicts with what he stated earlier), while the other is Ohshima stating it might have been due to 'speed' (which conflicts with what Mazin stated and their idea for even/odd numbered stages).
     
  14. Battons

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    I don’t really see why two conflicting statements couldn’t both be true at the same time. One person says due to space, another says to level design, so then why couldn’t it be they were running out of space the level sucked and had the least work done so it got cut to save time. That then would also free up resources to work on the other stages.
     
  15. HEDGESMFG

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    I addressed this in a post 2-3 pages ago. It's not unreasonable to assume the decision to cut the level came down to multiple factors that all just made it seem like a simple decision, not due to an overly complex dev cycle like what Sonic 2 went through where stuff like Hidden Palace survived late in development.
     
  16. Mr. Cornholio

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    That is true! I guess I'm just skeptical (but don't necessarily believe any of the sources are outright lying/misremembering) since Mazin's statement about the level design goals seems like it could've been fixed by re-ordering where R2 was in the level lineup (just yoink the Amy segment entirely to be consistent with her being kidnapped). That, and Tidal Tempest I definitely wouldn't consider quite as 'speedy' as some other areas that come to mind. Ohshima seems like he was less 'hands on' with the level design too, but he might have been referring to concerns they had about the ordering in his statement as well. I don't doubt the statements regarding R2's names since we've had two sources pitch in at this point (and neither necessarily say 'this wasn't the name, this was').

    Curious: Has anyone actually checked if two extra redbook audio tracks could fit on the final CD-ROM of Sonic CD? To simulate Dubious Depths having 'Good Future' and 'Bad Future' tracks implemented. It could be a way to check how close they were to running out of space on the CD.
     
  17. synchronizer

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    Pure speculation, but I wonder whether some R2 elements might've been reused as little pieces of decorative art and objects in other stages.

    The little spinning fan in the R2 concept art made it to Tidal Tempest.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Also, some of Collision Chaos's elements look loosely like something I might've imagined those metallic buildings in the animation to look like in sprite form (though I realize that is a stretch).
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Little trees and artificial waterfalls in Metallic Madness good future (bottom-right):
    [​IMG]

    The point is not to jump to conclusions and say these are specifically R2. It's to say that at this point, we can't really know what survived from R2, and I'd say it's worth considering that its assets were dispersed across multiple levels. (For me, Tidal Tempest seems like the closest "relative" given that fan mechanic. Metallic Madness has the half-pipe pits and rejected enemies.)
    This would also explain a lot about why no one seems to remember much about R2 specifics. R2 could've just inspired little bits here and there that did in-fact make it into the game, whether it was a teensy art asset here or a level mechanic or layout idea there.
     
  18. Forte

    Forte

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    Can we safely assume that R2 was split into two parts - above and below ground, as Act 1 and Act 2?
    If so, I think I can understand why the developers were unhappy with the status of the work. Not only did 4 separate time periods had to be created, but there could also be a sub-level Act 2 with different layouts, making everything even more time consuming.

    The document with Amy indicates that in the R2 level she falls into the pit - which matches the layout we know from the Little Planet document.
    We know that when R2 was srcapped, Amy's role has been split between R1 and R3 - where she is immediately snatched by Metal Sonic in Collision Chaos.

    Hypothesis time!
    It seems to me that the original sequence in Dubious Depths went somewhat like this:

    - Amy appears in R2 Act1, chasing Sonic. Similiar to her role in Palmtree Panic.
    - At the end of Act 1, she possibly falls into the pit.
    - Sonic descending, could have been a part of the level.
    - Metal Sonic kidnaps Amy at the beginning of Act 2, mid Act 2, or at the end of Act 2

    Also, the whole concept kinda fits the rescue themes. Sonic looking for Amy in mysterious cavern, roots everywhere etc.

    It's interesting that we don't have any video of Amy being kidnapped... she's an important character in the game, and we do have footage of her being rescued...
     
  19. Mastered Realm

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    No we can't since Marble Zone has above and below ground parts on every act.
     
  20. The Joebro64

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    I was rewatching the ending animation and something stood out to me:

    [​IMG]
    Screenshot 2023-03-01 090801.png

    The trees in Palmtree Panic are drawn in a fashion that's very similar to their appearance in the v0.02 prototype. So I think it's safe to say that Studio Juno did get a look at some concept art we haven't seen.

    I'm going to go through the rest of the animation later to see if there's anything else that resembles specific objects in the prototypes/final game worth noting. That might give us an idea of what they were working with when they made the R2 segment.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2023
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