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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

    HEDGESMFG

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    No, but it does explain their purpose and why they function the way they do. A temporary powerup, but one that's commonly found puts a different kind of limit on the Super abilities... one from before the Super Saiyan trope and the 50 rings system was developed.

    In fact, this solves a tiny bit of the mystery of how 2 different but diverging super systems would even exist in this time period.

    Also, here's 2 of the early Screencaps. This does indeed hint to more public builds existing:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So I guess the chances of us finding more builds with new content and visuals we've never seen before isn't 0... including a small chance of finding R2 assets.
     
  2. BlackHole

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    Assuming those two aren't mock-ups, as some companies were want to do back then, of course...
     
  3. GoldeMan

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    We do know at least that even if that Sonic 1 Special Stage picture is a mockup, it was shown off in motion at a toyshow in '92. In video form though so if not in a build then somewhere there was at one point video of it running.
     
  4. Nik Pi

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    Yes, and "What about me" by Haddaway is based on early R2 past music. But if somebody will say that isn't- he is a liar and troll. Don't trust him.

    Not sure, that we'll get something from here, but anyway we still hasn't a lot of prototypes from v0.2 to 510, and if early special stages existed in summer of '92, we hasn't A LOT of protos..
    ..ofcource if early special stages isn't just a leftover from Sonic 1 CD port, but if even so, we has a lot of things, that we should find and research!
     
  5. Chimes

    Chimes

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    Is... is this bait? Please tell me this is bait.
     
  6. Nik Pi

    Nik Pi

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    What do you mean?
    If about Nishimura- it was taken from one YT channel. Not my.
     
  7. I kind of understand the stance, though I think it's a little misguided all the same. Nishimura-san is... I don't know he's probably in his 50s-60s, so I can understand that he may not exactly remember the full story and how much of Dubious Depths was worked on (it was thirty years ago after all). However, that doesn't mean he's misremembering everything related to it. He has a binder full of development documents that probably has things about Dubious Depths that we could over ever dream of getting at the moment, he's got the closest thing to the horse's mouth. Whether or not he's willing to give the people public viewing of these documents is up in the air at the moment, though we have seen one thing from this binder, so never say never.
     
  8. MykonosFan

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    With no examples of what he's misremembering, I think we can safely disregard a random screencap of a random YouTube channel warning against listening to someone who actually worked on the game. By engaging in this topic it's implicitly understood that a man may misremember some details three decades after the fact, and I'll take that over "random person saying to not listen to him".
     
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  9. HEDGESMFG

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    There is context. He was arguing that the Angel Statue and art assets WAS from R2 and tried to justify his theories why with other details (some of which aren't 'entirely' baseless), but I still find his attitude about the whole thing to be problematic. Especially when it came from a bait video (seemingly targeted at this very thread) claiming to be about fixing misconceptions.

    I don't even fully disagree with his premise. There's a small chance the WW angel area could be an old recycled asset, but when the dev has specifically said no, that chance should be noted as very small, and the way he goes about asserting his authority while accusing the dev of blatantly lying ("trolling") on that is less than helpful.

    I will also repeat what I've said one last time, the youtuber's speculation about the visuals of the stage almost entirely ignore the actual assets we do have and could just as easily misinterpret ideas. He asserts that there's a huge forest theme in the stage, when this has not been fully proven and there is just as much evidence against it as there is for it. I could just as easily argue there are rain clouds and and rainstorms being seen in one of the concepts, as opposed to forest elements (that does not explicitly mean I'm right, it just means that... once again, we need more to be sure).
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2023
  10. JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    Holy shit, can we stop talking about this one random dumbass YouTuber who managed to get banned from Hidden Palace AND Retro!?
     
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  11. MasterDreamcaster

    MasterDreamcaster

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    Initially, I wondered why a nearly empty level, which uses Metropolis music and has no robots, appeared in magazines.
    [​IMG]
    While a level with its own musical theme and specifically designed robots doesn't appear in any magazines.
    Then, great people from Hidden Palace released a prototype of Sonic 3, dated November 1993. And it features Flying Battery.
    2019-11-17 at 05-59-48.jpg
    There are many screenshots from that build in various magazines. But do you remember a single one with Flying Battery? Neither do I.
    My point is: we don't know what is included in different yet uncovered and unseen versions of Sonic games.
    It is highly possible there is a prototype (or prototypes) of Sonic CD from December 1992 – May 1993 featuring an early Sonic 1-looking special stage (or the one with balloons and mountains), Ridicule Root, Dubious Depths, Digital Audio Past tracks and so on.
    The same way Sonic 3 proto had all those surprises: Drop Dash-like move, working Flying Battery, early sprites of Knuckles, different background in Hydro City, different music in Carnival Night, Ice Cap, Launch Base etc.
     
  12. Black Squirrel

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    First I've heard - it's not on the wiki, do you have a source?

    That screenshot came from a Japanese catalogue that we don't have full scans for.
     
  13. I linked some sources prior to that post, both from Mazin and the Cutting Room Floor, neither said it was a mockup though. In fact, both sources imply it was once playable.
     
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  14. Black Squirrel

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    So you did, sorry. There's been so many massive images and drivel in the last few pages that it's become a tough topic to parse.

    Not sure what "toy show" he's referring to - Sonic CD appeared at the '93 Tokyo Toy Show but that was in June 1993 - after our 510 prototype. '92 Tokyo Toy Show probably pre-dates the Sonic CD project.

    Interesting...
     
  15. HEDGESMFG

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    It's the 1992 one. Remember, it was proven earlier in the thread that the the Little Planet Concept art is dated to early 1992 (March 4th).

    So let's summarize what we've deduced through discussion recently...

    1. Sonic CD's timetable of development goes back further than most people would assume, at minimum into the first quarter of 1992 (March).
    2. The level tropes match Sonic 1 closely enough that there's a high chance it's an evolution of a dropped project to port Sonic 1 to Sonic CD. The Retro wiki already discussed this before we brought it up, but we now have more circumstantial evidence to support the theory.
    3. There was, at minimum, one more early build compiled that demoed unused early concepts for the special stages, themselves an evolution of Sonic 1's concept.
    4. R2 was likely an evolution of Marble Zone's tropes with less lava, more mechanical traps, and a possible nature theme mixed in with the ruins.
    5. We can't say for sure how far into active development it got, but Taxman was not able to find any digitized stage assets when he asked aside from badniks and a boss sprite.
    6. Amy's encounter would have occurred here, possibly both of them leading up to her being kidnapped. These were moved to R1 and R3 respectively.
    7. Enough concept art existed to send to the animators, who worked on the animation for most of 1992.
    8. The zone was likely cut between December 1992 and May 1993, and most likely on the earlier side of that timeline.
    9. We have at minimum one song officially from the Zone, but can probably guesstimate the 2 future soundtracks based on other circumstantial evidence.
    10. We have 2 names (Dubious Depths, Ridicule Root), but we're not entirely sure which was used when (though most of us assume DD was the final name).
    11. There is almost certainly a story bible containing more info about the level, and very likely more concept art showing the game's art, but it is only in the hands of the top developers.
    12. In September 2023, we'll hit the 30th anniversary of Sonic CD. Though far from guaranteed, there is a very slim chance of encouraging SEGA to release more info as extras either in Sonic Origins Plus, or as part of the 30th anniversary. The latter is far, far less likely, and we're not sure how many more extras, if any, could be added to the former.

    A part of me almost thinks this thread has reached a dead end and should be locked, but god forbid I don't want to cut off the chance that someone else finds something out of nowhere and then lose all the useful (informed speculative) info we've compiled. I feel like we're kind of going in circles now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2023
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  16. Mr. Cornholio

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    I feel like the lack of screenshots of that particular level could be explained by Sega being slightly less generous with builds of the game during Sonic 3's development compared to 2. The 'Simon Wai' prototype of Sonic 2 also makes it absurdly easy to get to the Level Select. There was probably just a lot less regulation there.

    I still find these threads rather fun in terms of generating discussion (as long as the 'speculation' doesn't eventually snowball into 'fact'), but I do also agree this is probably really 'it' in terms of information unless Sega updates the concept art section for Plus. Worst case scenario is that I can see the thread being re-opened if Plus drops and gives us anything new?

    Taxman's words and lack of information makes me think DD died somewhere during the level landscape sketch phase, and sadly never really got 'implemented' in the way I think people want to see (including me!).

    I'd adore more surfacing about the earlier Special Stages, and that seems a little more probable of surfacing given graphics were created for them?
     
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  17. saxman

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    It's been mentioned how someone should ask the developers some of these questions, but nobody seems willing, or they just haven't gotten answers. Let's pick our most pressing question and ask. I vote for the "was there an effort to port Sonic 1 to Mega CD" question. Then the obvious follow-up if we get the affirmative is if that's how Sonic CD came to be.

    And then, of course, we need a brave soul to actually posit the question.
     
  18. Black Squirrel

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    Okay I did some homework. There are at least two builds of the game that were demonstrated in some form, but we don't have:

    (that is, builds we might actually be able to get, as opposed to internal prototypes updated nightly or whatever)

    One is between the Yuusei Sega World build and 510.
    [​IMG]
    I don't know if you'll necessarily see a special stage with balloons, but this shot is too rubbish to be a mockup. And to be fair five months is a big gap, so this shouldn't be too surprising.

    The second is another build between the 510 and 621 prototypes. The build taken to the '93 Tokyo Toy Show doesn't match 510, but... the event happened before 621, so there must have been another. I can't imagine it'll be that interesting though.


    As for anything earlier than our December 1992 "v0.02" build, it's possible, but I wouldn't go expecting something recognisable or playable, especially if we're talking June 1992 when the '92 Tokyo Toy Show occurred. Mockups and tech demos - there has to be time to learn how to use the hardware.

    Footage from the '92 Tokyo Toy Show would be the best bet, however I think you're going to struggle to find anything Sonic related. The problem is, this was where Sonic 2 (the Nick Arcade build) was shown to the public, and like at Summer CES, visitors were under strict instructions not to photograph or film the game until its "official announcement". No casual viewer is going to distinguish between "game they haven't seen before" Sonic 2 and "game they haven't seen before" Sonic CD.

    (no I don't know why they took Sonic 2 to two separate events and discouraged people from talking about it. I can only assume it's because the Nick Arcade build kinda sucks and it's more about pleasing investors. Dunno.)

    Ayrton Senna's Super Monaco GP II seems to have been the stand-out title and is probably the game you're going to see more of. What I do know is there is plenty of supplemental Tokyo Toy Show material that hasn't been scanned or documented, and Japanese television is woefully underrepresented on YouTube and the like - the evidence will exist, but you'll really have to dig to find it.
     
  19. HEDGESMFG

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    The above first build would probably be the holy grail we're looking for if one such thing exists, though again, I would be shocked if literally any of R2's art was ever digitized. And even if it was? The chances of the leftovers being in there may be about as small as the ones we've seen in v0.02 and 510. My fear is that if any R2 assets were digitized, they only ever made it into internal builds.

    Though as has been correctly pointed out, Sonic 3's beta surprised us in tons of ways, so who knows?

    I think concept art remains our best path forward.

    The questions I'd like to focus on...
    1. How early did Sonic CD's development begin. Did it have direct connections with the abandoned Sonic 1 CD port?
    2. Is there any chance we can see more scans from the development bible of missing stages and early concept art? I'm sure we'd love to see more than just R2 if we had the chance. Could SEGA allow this for the 30th anniversary in some capacity?
    3. Were stage graphics for R2 ever drawn, digitized, or put into any functional internal build, or was the stage only ever designed on paper and never made it beyond the concepts?
    4. Did R2 have any resemblance to Marble Zone from Sonic 1 in either visuals or gameplay?
    5. If possible, around when was the stage dropped in development? Late 1992? Early 1993? (They likely won't remember, but maybe a picture of something like the v0.02 beta would help)


    And most importantly, who to ask. Mazin? Naoto Oshima? The animators? Anyone else that can be contacted? It's delicate because we want to be polite, but not turn it into any kind of harassment. I feel like Naoto might be the better person to ask in the near term since they were receptive enough to finally reveal the long lost name just recently.

    Narrowing down some things from this list would be the best way to go, I'd think.
     
  20. I’ve spoken to a lot of devs, people from Sega, etc. before, and can speak Japanese well enough, so I wouldn’t mind doing it.

    Do we have a comprehensive list of Sonic CD people’s Twitters whom we should contact? There’s Majin, Ōshima, and…?

    Edit: @HEDGESMFG ninja’d his way in just before. I don’t use Twitter much so I only see the individuals whose accounts get posted here. I’m connected to a few others like Hoshino on LinkedIn, I don’t want to bother people there. Ōshima’s probably the best to start with, but after him Majin, and who else?

    Also edit: I accidentally included someone who wasn’t a dev.