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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. David The Lurker

    David The Lurker

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    We don't know exactly when Ohshima would have been aware of a sequel being made, but it's been stated that there was some brief communication between the two teams. Makes sense - Ohshima knew Naka and Yasuhara, it's not out of the question they would still speak, especially if they realize "oh hey we're all making Sonic games." But Ohshima wouldn't be aware of a Sonic 2 before the "we need it now" decree because Sonic the Hedgehog 2 didn't exist yet. Yasuhara mentioned in Nick Thorpe's "Making Of" article in Retro Gamer that he thought he'd have about two years to work on Sonic 2, which makes sense if STI was initially told not to make the sequel. Work on something not-Sonic as your main project, work on the conceptual design of Sonic 2 on your downtime. But then things shifted, they were told to make the sequel right away, and they only had nine months to do it. So proper work on Sonic 2 began...early January? Since the final build has a late September date. So Sonic 2 presumably began proper development before Sonic CD.

    If Sonic 2 is originally meant to come out in 1993 at the earliest, the idea of a "souped up" Sonic 1 on Sega CD for 1992 makes a lot of sense. Though I don't know how much would have actually changed. Would a zone or two be added? Would there be an extra bonus game? Or would they have just added some sort of FMV opening and given it Redbook audio? It's hard to say, because its something we know very little of.

    (Also, yes. After rewriting the development page for the original Sonic the Hedgehog, I did intend on going through and rewriting the rest. Get them up to the same level, but I haven't gotten to it yet.)


    1992 was definitely an interesting year! But mostly behind closed doors. I mean, not only do you have the shortened schedule for Sonic 2, the beginning of CD development, you have both SatAM and the Archie comic enter production. Heck, I guess even Adventures of could have started being worked on at that point? I don't think we have an exact date, but if you premiere in September of 93, good chance you began the year before.

    I guess the only thing I'm not entirely convinced of yet is that the team who was responsible for putting Sonic 1 on Mega-CD became the team who made CD, that whatever plans they made for Sonic 1 enhancements folded over into CD. But maybe? It's hard to say either way, because we just don't have enough information. We don't even know who it was that supposedly created, well

    Yeah, that. It was on Sonic Team's website, but who designed the art for the disc? Who ported the code over, assuming the whole game is even on there? It simply exists, and we know nothing. Nothing!

    Which I guess emphasizes a point I've thought for a long time. There's still plenty about the history of this franchise, and the development of these games, that we know nothing of. Which is funny to think about. If you were to tell anyone from the early days of Simon Wai's Sonic 2 Beta Page the information we now know, they would be shocked and assume there's nothing left to learn. But there's always something more to find out.

    I think the alien emoji is just supposed to be "oooh spooky." That it is a cosmic coincidence, not that the Mania team had any knowledge about the move ahead of time.
     
  2. Mookey

    Mookey

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    I was talking specifically about the video, I don't doubt that a port of Sonic 1 for the Mega CD existed in some form.
     
  3. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    I would argue that it doesn't matter as much who worked on the hypothetical Sonic 1 CD port, as the design documents could still have been the basis and inspiration for CD's early planning even if it was handed over to a separate team.

    Additionally, I'd like to remind people that enhanced ports were not only common then, they're not unusual today. PS4 to PS5 version of FF7 Remake, for example. And Game Gear/Master System Sonic 1 is another example of the original concept being modified with extra stages/content to create something similar, yet different for other platforms (although those were planned concurrently with the Genesis version of course). It's not hard to see a small period of time where a CD port was treated as the evolution of the same idea. Sonic 1 would've been seen as a big multimedia project to be expanded and spread to the widest audience possible before a fully new titled entry could be agreed upon (as 2 and CD eventually were). A lot of the franchise norms were not yet established by mid 1992.

    Ultimately, I guess I'm trying to more strongly solidify the logic that R2 is an evolved version of Marble Zone. Evolved doesn't have to mean identical, it just means it could be the starting point and the concepts were reworked from there. R1, R3 and R4 are all fairly different from Green Hill, Spring Yard and Labyrinth Zone, but it's not at all hard to see how they'd be inspired by the Sonic 1 stages, even if they greatly evolved beyond them with time (as I suspect R2 would have).
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2023
  4. Brainulator

    Brainulator

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    Wasn't Sonic CD originally intended for a spring 1993 release, if the ROM header in various old builds are to be believed?
     
  5. Antheraea

    Antheraea

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    Prodding at the "Sonic CD and Sonic 2 are both sequels" bit, IMO Sonic CD not having anything to do with Sonic 2 is the most plausible one based solely on how the Spin Dash behaves alone :V they both handle the same movement mechanic so differently that they can only be sanely explained by working on it completely separately. That, and the drastic differences in art direction and level design philosophy. Sonic CD doesn't feel like "Sonic 1.5" or "JP Sonic 2", it feels like a spinoff, if we actually got good spinoffs of Sonic at that time.

    That said, I would 100% buy Sonic CD starting out as a Sonic 1 port. its original name was CD Sonic, a lot of the same tropes are reused etc.

    An aside here, Sonic 1 CD port -> Sonic CD (completely original game) is not even unprecedented. Zelda somehow managed to have this happen twice with the same developers - Link's Awakening was originally a Link to the Past GB port and Oracle of Seasons has a lot of its stuff taken from a scrapped Zelda 1 GB port.
     
  6. GoldeMan

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    I know its probably not too important in the grand scheme but that's a really interesting theory behind the original "CD Sonic" name as I can easily see it meaning more "CD (Version of) Sonic (1)" in a blunt way. I'm definitely in the camp of Sonic CD itself being originally a Sonic 1 port but somewhere along the way, probably very early on during the brainstorming stage of modifications and tweaks, they came up with an idea for Sonic CD and Sega was like "Sure that's a better idea" or something to that effect. A Sonic 1 port that spiraled wonderfully out of control and became an entirely different beast.
     
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  7. Forte

    Forte

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    Interesting. So we have a commercial and a disc, but no info if these are the real deal. For all we know it could be real or just some promotional materials...

    I'm in the camp that thinks CD Sonic was intended to be an extended port of StH, bit we still need a confirmation from the Devs, or better - a working prototype. Maybe there is a chance, that this Mega-CD disc was dumped by someone, somewhere...
     
  8. Nik Pi

    Nik Pi

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    I remember I read somewhere, that BG in this demo of Marble on CD has some differences from SMD version.
    If it's true, and BG REALLY at least a bit different from normal bg, we have a little chance, that SCD Sonic really exists.
     
  9. MasterDreamcaster

    MasterDreamcaster

    Running Up That Green Hill Member
    I notice different things that look alike – just like in that song from Sonic OVA.
    One of those things is how early Hydro City, Act 1 looks similar to Dubious Depths.
    IMG_20230114_203956_974.jpg
    Also, there is a Rainbow Waterfall Concept Art. Angel Island, Act 2 has a big waterfall. And a bridge. And palmtrees... Look at this panic:
    5362694-sonicuniverse_88-0v.jpg
    Then Sonic falls into dubious depths of Hydro City, where (in prototype version) you can see some ridicule roots (plants?).
    IMG_20230114_213533_374.jpg
    Early background reminds me of ending animation's version of Round 2, even colours are similar.
    IMG_20230226_101638_586.jpg
    Oh, there are also a lot of fans in Hydro City, just like in R2 | 2R in Little Planet Map Art from Sonic Origins.
    And Hydro City is Round 2 in Sonic 3, while Round 1 (Angel Island) looks like:
    IMG_20230227_133510_166.jpg
    Please note – I'm not saying: "Sonic 3 reuses unused ideas from Sonic CD" or "waterfall and bridge in Angel Island, Act 2 are taken directly from CD concept art and underground stage Hydro City is dungeon stage Dubious Depths" – I just write about similarities.
    There is even a topic about them. It's called "Sonic CD, 3, 3D – Similarities".
    IMG_20230114_205118_808.jpg
     

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  10. Ted909

    Ted909

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    I can easily believe that was the case - there is of course the suggestion that many of Sega's developers were still not really accustomed to making games on CDs yet when the Mega CD was launching in Japan, and the fact that it took several years for first-party titles like Sonic CD to turn up is supposed to have angered Hayao Nakayama somewhat.

    I imagine this is also partly why the idea of upgraded versions of 1 or 2 was thrown around - why waste even more time creating an original game?
     
  11. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    I should also remind people that the timing for all this lines up fairly well too, as Sonic 1 CD came out in Japan in December 91, meaning a Sonic 1 port would have been more than reasonable to discuss in the 6 months after the game's June 23rd release that same year. Then, the project could have either stopped development for a time, or been immediately retooled into Sonic CD.

    Meaning all things considered the game could've had as long as a nearly 2 year development cycle, which does line up with the sheer ambition of the game's concepts.

    Also, I'm not sure if I would literally consider Hydrocity a recycled DD concept, but I certainly noticed the background fits the style of what a stage like DD could have looked like. A good fan remake could consider reusing elements from it given how different it is from the final version.
     
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  12. Shoemanbundy

    Shoemanbundy

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    Seeing this brought up again reminds me how much info gets lost in the void even when it was answered years ago.

    This had text describing it on whatever site it was on again, Sonic Team's old site? And it specifically said it was "the only one in the world" that was just made as a test. IIRC they didn't outright say there's no game on it, but the implication was heavily "this was just a graphics design test just to see what it would look like."

    Just to put to rest any further speculation on that.
     
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  13. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    For those who might be curious what a hypothetical functional CD Sonic 1 would be like (without any visual or stage bonuses). This hack is a pretty good technical example, all done with the Tee Lopes songs too (before he became an official SEGA contractor).
     
  14. Nik Pi

    Nik Pi

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    Let's stop to talk about Sonic 1 CD, and continue to talk about deleted zone, that hasn't any content, that wasn't explained here
     
  15. Mastered Realm

    Mastered Realm

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    We have this document from March 12th '92 ("H4"/"平成 4" is the JP name for 1992) with all the zones laid out. They were already set on little planet and the time travel aspect was already planned.
    [​IMG]

    The game couldn't be and enhanced version of Sonic 1 if the original plan had time travel and the zones were set on a different place (not on an island). Just so we can establish a timeline, CD Sonic v0.02 is dated December 4th, nine months after the Little Planet map was made.
     
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  16. Nik Pi

    Nik Pi

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    Why everybody thinks that v0.02 it's earlier proto, that exists?
    IT'S. JUST. DEMO. FOR. PUBLIC. SHOW.
    Stop talk about v0.02 like about inside build, that has ALL content prepared for that time period.
     
  17. Chimes

    Chimes

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    Because it is a prototype.
     
  18. Mastered Realm

    Mastered Realm

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    Because we have more prototypes down the line to compare. We know that in the May 10th 1993 proto the only zones that looked more or less final were R1 and R3.
    R4 onwards had a lot of palette problems, collision issues, extreme slowdown and mostly unfinished layouts.

    So if the May 10th proto looked like that, the December build probably didn't have much more hidden behind the scenes.

    We know there's a "Sonic CD v0.01", not made for the Yuusei event, that booted straight to this unused screen:

    [​IMG]

    If you take a closer look at the Level Select present on the May 10th prototype you'll notice they listed 1-3-C and 1-3-D after R3. It's very plausible knowing what we know that they really only had R1 and R3, without their boss acts, implemented in previous builds.
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Forte

    Forte

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    How do we know that? Leftover data from v0.02?
     
  20. Jucei

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    The more we learn, the more I think that R2 was never implemented as a zone into a build of the game, seeing as they worked on R1 (Palmtree Panic) and jumped to R3 (Collision Chaos). There's always the possibility of finding leftover assets, but I am now thinking that they cut the zone out right at the beginning of active development, probably after realizing that the game may have been too big to contain in a CD, and needed to cut something out, so they chose the level they deemed the worst. R2 just happened to be that level.

    My guess is by maybe in-between v0.01 and v0.02, they had probably composed at least all of Palmtree Panic's time zones, R2(Dubious Depths)'s Present Theme, and Collision Chaos' Present theme. In v0.02, all of Palmtree Panic's non-boss acts are complete-able, and Collision Chaos had either been worked on but removed for the Yuusei build, or had just started work on by that point.

    If they hadn't cut the zone out by that point in time, wouldn't they have started working on it in place of R3?

    Personally, if it is the case that it had never been implemented, that would be disappointing, but it makes sense with the current info that we have.

    One thing that is strange, is the fact that if R2 was never in the game, why have Collision Chaos in R3's slot? Also, why does the Time Attack screen in v0.02 have R2 listed? Did whoever who worked on the screen not get the memo, or was there still plans to work on R2 at that point? The zone had to have been cut relatively early for only a Present theme to be completed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2023