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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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    Naofumi Hataya and Masafumi Ogata were also people we'd wanted to ask music related questions to, though I personally think that should be a lower priority than possible artists.

    Hiroyuki Kawaguchi/Hiroe would be very helpful person if they could be found/contacted and were willing to answer questions, as he was the art director.
    https://segaretro.org/Hiroyuki_Kawaguchi

    Yamaguchi/Judy has been on twitter and answered questions before. He was responsible for Special Stage Designs and could clarify that timeline a bit.
    https://sonic.fandom.com/wiki/Yasushi_Yamaguchi

    Hoshino is still actively working on the brand and has a twitter. Designer of Amy and Metal.
    https://sonic.fandom.com/wiki/Kazuyuki_Hoshino

    https://sonic.fandom.com/wiki/Sonic_the_Hedgehog_CD/Staff

    There are others, but those are some of the most visible options.

    Edit: And if you're willing to do it BlueSkies, you may be in a better position to do it than many of us here. Especially since we want any requests to be as professional and as friendly/respectful as possible.
     
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  2. MasterDreamcaster

    MasterDreamcaster

    Running Up That Green Hill Member
    [​IMG]
    I looked closely at that picture to the right. Is it my imagination or Sonic enters an underground area? Also, it looks like a dungeon with something drilling from the ceiling. Or is it a ridicule root?
    [​IMG]
    Speaking of drilling... Robots from Dubious Depths are cool. One of them has wheels.
    [​IMG]
    Speaking of wheels... Doctor Eggman used this machine with spikes in concept art form and with a wheel in sprite form. Form. Worm:
    [​IMG]
    Or a snake? Anyway, those robots are not out of place in a dungeon. They could probably drill / dig through the ground, taking Sonic by surprise.
    [​IMG]
    And this... Well, this could take place above. Rainbow waterfalls flowing into an underground Rainbow River...
     
  3. BlueSkiesAM2

    BlueSkiesAM2

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    Yeah, I’m pretty good in that regard thanks to my work.

    I’ll try to compile a list of everyone’s Twitters and then reach out when I have the time. I’ll also copy every question into a master document I can draw from down the line.

    I’ll try to update this post with all the info as I add it. I’ll also share a link to the questions as I ask them. I think we should start with Oshima on the questions, wait 2 days, move onto the next person (prob Majin or someone else depending on the topic), then do the same. That should be a good plan.
     
  4. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    We could do with some confirmation that "Sonic 1 CD" actually existed (if this has been proven already, again... not on the wiki, should be on the wiki, put it on the wiki, etc.). Poor assumptions may have been made - our only "evidence" was a Sega CD trailer compilation thing shown at Summer CES 1992, which, if we're agreeing that Sonic CD was already in development by then, makes for an odd timeline.

    It could just as easily be read as "Sonic the Hedgehog, on the Sega CD". As in, "we're making a CD Sonic game". Ultima Underworld is part of the montage and is missing its subtitle, as is Hammer (vs. Evil D in Soulfire). Remember, "CD Sonic" was just a tentative name at that point and there might not have been anything to actually show (also: vast chunks of that montage were never released, which could suggest the plans were still very rough. The Mega-CD hadn't even launched in the US at this time).


    Anyway if that's confirmed, then you query whether Sonic CD evolved from that concept. Because everything I've read suggests it was very much pitched as a sequel, just one that's quite similar in many respects to the original game.

    I don't like this idea that "R2 must have been Marble Zone". There seems to be a pattern, but neither Quartz Quadrant nor Wacky Workbench line up with any of the zones in Sonic 1 - we mustn't assume.

    There's also no point asking for documents because these are all owned by Sega, but it might be worth flashing that "bonus stage" screenshot and the special stage with a balloon to see if it jogs any memories. Or documents/unused sprites that are already in the public domain.

    Or these bits of Metallic Madness:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Why did it keep changing between prototypes - is this were antlions were meant to go?
     
  5. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    Yeah, that’s where it’s assumed the Antlions were supposed to go. We know they hid in traps and would attack when you ran over them. The curved pits, which had trapdoors, appear to have been an attempt to recreate their traps, even after the enemy itself was scrapped.
     
  6. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    I must ponder if they might be small developmental ties to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Mega Drive)...

    Quartz Quadrant makes me think of Mystic Cave, and Wacky Workbench makes me think of Metropolis...

    Just idle thoughts on my part, do not take this as evidence towards connections.
     
  7. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    R2 was almost certainly based on Marble Zone from the concept art we have. It'd help if a developer clarified, but I think it's a safe assumption to make, especially when Marble is the only Sonic 1 level that doesn't have a direct equivalent in Sonic CD.
     
  8. Mr. Cornholio

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    Marble is the one Zone I would've loved to see the CD developers tackle. Again, as stated earlier, I felt Sonic 1's Marble Zone is the low point of the game due to it's level design and visuals. The 'above ground' sections simply felt too close to Green Hill for me, even though that might have been intentional. The below ground segments are a wee bit more visually interesting, but still aren't my personal favorites (that goes to Green Hill/Star Light). The block pushing is a cute gimmick, but wears out it's welcome rather quickly with how much the design relies on it being used as a means of transportation.

    CD is absolutely breath-taking in terms of visual design in my eyes. I have no doubt if DD did see the light of day, it would've been on the same level of visual quality. They might have been able to address my own personal complaint about the above ground sections.
     
  9. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    Sonic CD wasn't Sonic 2; it was really meant to be more of a CD version of the original Sonic. I can't help but wonder, therefore, if we had more fun making CD than they did making Sonic 2 [because we didn't have the pressure of making a "numbered sequel"].
    — Naoto Ohshima, Director of Sonic the Hedgehog CD

    https://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_the_Hedgehog_CD/Development

    We've already had this established for some time. I'm just connecting dots with things we already know with evidence right in front of our faces. Am I speculating to an extent? Yes. But it's not baseless at all. Of course, that's why more details would be great to hear to confirm this.

    But regardless of how the game was pitched and in what order, Sonic CD was both built off of Sonic 1's engine, reused Sonic 1 sprites, and obviously shares a minimum of 5 level tropes in almost the exact same order. 6 if we count R2, based on a game that only had 6 zones originally.

    And the concept art we've seen clearly shares some very basic characteristics of Marble, perhaps with the same amount of changes R1, R3 and R4 all had to the original Sonic 1 zones. Again, I see no reason to be stubborn about this fairly straightforward idea.

    And again, even if the earliest Sonic CD development started was February 1992 (because I doubt that March 1992 concept art is the first thing ever drawn/planned for it), that's still a mere 7 months after the final Japanese release of Sonic 1, with the Mega CD premiering in Japan just 2 months prior to that. That's a reasonably small window of time for the concepts to be pitched and evolved.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2023
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  10. T.Q.

    T.Q.

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    Unless there's someone who did go against the rules and tried to sneak in some photographs...but not from Sonic CD, it's Sonic 2 anyway. Still, maybe there are magazines from the era talking about CD Sonic games that need to be re-read.
     
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  11. saxman

    saxman

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    My suggestion of tackling the Sonic 1 and Sonic CD connection was based on the fact they would almost certainly be able to answer those questions.

    The R2 stuff, I'm far less certain about. They can't remember what it was about. So can they really tell us if it was based on Marble Zone or not? Or when it was canned? I'm just trying to be a little realistic about it. To me, the higher priority stuff is what we know we can get. The other stuff, while is worthy of a shot, might just leave us empty-handed.
     
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  12. BlueSkiesAM2

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    I think the Sonic 1 connection is a fine place to start. I assumed it was confirmed that each level was intended to be analogue to Sonic 1’s, but I guess not.

    I asked:

    “I read that a Mega CD version of Sonic 1 was planned before making Sonic CD. Is that true? The stages in CD resemble Sonic 1… is there a connection?”

    https://twitter.com/drjeanmontague/status/1634002979534536704

    I kept it casual in the language (I don’t see many non-translated accounts using -masu forms), but direct and not like a rabid fan. Despite 4 years of university Japanese, I’ve never had to speak it outside of exams and playing games lol. So if anyone with better experience wants to give any corrections, it would be appreciated.

    If we don’t get a reply, I can maybe rephrase it and ask again, or move on to another.
     
  13. Battons

    Battons

    Shining Force Fan Member
    Please try not to ask leading questions… if you ask “was it inspired by marble zone?” You are going to unintentionally bias their response to being something similar. Try to ask more open ended questions like, say, what was the theme or gameplay ideas they had for the zone?
    Also I’d be careful about linking until there is a reply just because I’d hate for crazy lurkers to go bother the individuals.
     
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  14. BlueSkiesAM2

    BlueSkiesAM2

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    You’re giving me flashbacks to master’s thesis prep classes lol.

    This is a good point, but I’m sure every freak out there already knows their Twitters lol. There’re so many weirdos in the reply threads whenever I dare to open a tweet that I don’t know how they stand it. Sometimes I think I’m the only guy who doesn’t follow that stuff and it makes me feel like a bad Sonic nerd :(
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2023
  15. Battons

    Battons

    Shining Force Fan Member
    Hahaha, I just want to make sure we don't skew any potential info is all.

    I feel you, they have a level of patience I doubt I could ever have. Seems like many of them are a lot better at managing their exposure to social media but that is something else entirely.
    Thank you for being willing to ask on our behalf. I hope you are able to make a connection with one of them, even if it may not resolve any of our current questions.
     
  16. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    That was a good starting point. Open ended enough to let them reply (if they wished), without being leading.

    And the questions I gave were more suggestions and goals. You are more than free to adjust or choose as needed. There's no guarantee of getting a response anyway.
     
  17. Johney

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    I feel that we should try contacting the composers as well, Naofumi Hataya probably knows more of the sound engineering side of things that went on and could possibly confirm or disconfirm if more music for Dubious Depths was made and/or was reused in Sonic the Hedgehog Remix.
    Then there's Masafumi Ogata. Ogata-san was the composer of the Round's soundtrack, meaning he probably knows things the others don't when it comes to its music, the problem is contacting him, as he's basically off the grid. Although I do have an idea of how. Doing some research with a little help from he who must not be named, I was able to find out that after working on the soundtracks for Sonic CD and Sonic 2 8-bit, he would later do some music for some adult visual novels and is a member is PURE SOUND INC. His last music credit I could find was on the soundtrack for Summon Night 4. I did find the website for PURE SOUND, meaning we could ask if Ogata-san is still there and if one of us could set up an interview with him.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2023
  18. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I don't think I'd want to make that call - Marble Zone doesn't have anything similar to rainbow waterfalls or enemies with drills. It could be another level based on Labyrinth Zone, cut because Tidal Tempest was scratching that itch. Or it was something totally unique.

    But that's why it would be nice to have clarifcation... though I fear there's still politics involved stopping that information from coming to light.
     
  19. Forte

    Forte

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    IIRC, Labirynth Zone was at first envisioned as a second stage, but moved because of difficulty.

    It's not entirely impossible, they worked on CD with a mixup of Marble and Labirynth in their minds. If I were creating a game, and mid development some stages changed places I would still subconsciously think of Labirynth as a second stage. At least on some level.

    Speculation of course.
     
  20. HEDGESMFG

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    Labyrinth never had an above ground area, Marble consistently did. Could R2 have water? Sure, but there's little evidence for it so far. The most compelling being the possible R2 concept MasterDreamcaster posted above and the rainbow waterfalls. But waterfalls doesn't always mean a water themed stage.

    R2 has no water drawn on the little planet map. R4 does. That says a lot.

    At the end of the day, I agree with you that we need more details, but I repeat that the speculation and marble connection isn't baseless. That doesn't mean I'm not open to other tropes influencing the "final" design, but I will defend this point until proven wrong by the devs and official documents. All "inspired by marble" really means is "above ground and underground ruins in the same zone". I also don't believe the Zone's design would have been as open as something like Aquatic Ruins would have been (which is the next closest comparison), due to them defining it as a slower more technical round.

    Also, for what it's worth, I'm not going on the retro wiki (or any other Sonic wiki) and putting a big bold R2 WAS INSPIRED BY MARBLE ZONE quote without definitive proof, nor do I want anyone here to do so. For all of our talk, it's possible we'll never get another piece of info about this level again. But I am gathering reasonable evidence and encouraging informed speculation. I've been part of the Sonic research and fangaming community since the 90s and Simon Wai's original screencaps hit the web. I've seen how this whole thing goes for a 'long' time now. I might seem a bit stubborn, but by no means am I trying to be irresponsible.

    [​IMG]
    Also, this is an interesting concept that doesn't quite match what we've seen elsewhere, though the closest thing to it could be the water pipes within R4. It also reminds me of S2 Hidden Palace warp pipes. I don't want to definitively say this is an R2 piece given how vague it all is, but maybe? It's a bit vague what's actually going on in that shot, or if it even is a pipe at all.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2023