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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. After a little bit of time, since the initial name reveal of Ridicule Root, Mazin has revealed another piece of RD2 info.
    He says: "At that time, regarding RD2, it stopped at the level of creating an image visual, and I don't think there is enough content to mention, sorry."
    I'm not entirely sure what he means, it either could be that the stage itself never got past being concept art or it was only ever drawn and implemented graphics, and none of the assets were ever compiled into something playable. Once again I'm not entirely sure what he means, this is just a guess from me and Giganto from Discord, though this does prove my speculation that the music was done in advance.
     
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  2. saxman

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    What it means to me is there isn't much, if anything, to show. The level more or less didn't exist.
     
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  3. Palas

    Palas

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    This aligns with what we've been saying. It's unlikely there ever were stage maps for R2 at all, and any existing assets were either repurposed or scrapped altogether. It could be speculated that the Mecha-bu was either originally or at some point intended to appear in Wacky Workbench, and that carried over to the FMV. Badniks appearing in multiple stages, behaving differently each time, isn't unheard of in Sonic CD (Taga-Taga and Hotaru) anyway. So we can imagine the level design was only done with tilesets in a somewhat advanced stage of completion, and R2 never reached that stage.
     
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  4. Mr. Cornholio

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    A shame, but yeah this points to R2 just not really having anything that resembles a 'finished' level layout for anything like I think everyone is hoping. I did initially have some hopes knowing that two names were thrown around for R2 that conformed to the naming scheme the final game settled on, but I'm starting to think 'Salad Plain' was already pretty outdated by the time that demo came out. So any fan interpretation is honestly as good as the other unless the binder did save the scraps of what level layouts were sketched? Highly unlikely however.

    Again, the Wiki states the Japanese Sonic Jam guide talks about the purpose of a couple of the FMVs included in the game. Since Jam appears to be the first time the full uncut animation was shown, does this guide mention anything about this segment?

    I am hoping we'll see some playable fan interpretations of R2 sometime in the future!
     
  5. Pie Eyed Piper

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    You know, I did happen to stumble into this yesterday. I debated posting it because I didn't want the thread to derail into too much nonsense again, but I'll go for it this time for one reason I'll mention in a bit:



    As far as I can tell, I think this is the only non-Sonic DVD interpretation that has mostly unique tiles, and is also utilizing what little more we can guess about R2. A lot of these projects make something up with preexisting assets (which is very early 2000s fan game to me), or are doing art but burn out on it before it ever really gets going, forget about implementation.

    I feel like the tile direction could stand to be more "Sonic" and certainly more "Sonic CD", for example the brick work feels gritty like an STI game. However, it's not too bad, really. I like whatever those green structures are at the beginning. And if nothing else at least this one shows some follow through, potentially because this guy was playing the long game of keeping it under wraps according to the commentary. Seems like the other time zones are on the table. It may very well be the first one to accomplish it.

    As for the thread at large I agree with the sentiment that we've hit a wall, but I do believe there's at the least another piece of concept art or two, but it's just kept under lock and key. They have to at least have a vague idea of what they wanted enough to storyboard out that Amy was supposed to fall into a crumbling (antlion? I forgot) pit, or the way the full planet's concept art looks overall. And with a name like Ridicule Root and the BGM to go with it, they had a biome in mind. I don't think it was as meandering as "here's an antlion badnik, do something with that".
     
  6. Vertekins

    Vertekins

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    Midlands, England, UK, over there in Europe.
    Translating Sonic info. Working on Concept Mobius. Also, trying to find extant footage of original Sonic CD special stage.
    Personally, I always found it sort of odd that in Sonic CD's earliest previews, Palmtree Panic and Collision Chaos were shown in screenshots but not Dubious Depths despite being the second zone.

    I guess we now have an answer - It couldn't have screenshots taken of it because in all likelihood, the stage never existed in any substantial form.
     
  7. Palas

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    I love how Sonic CD developers have come out to say, without a shadow of doubt, "no the statue in Wacky Workbench was never meant to be in R2", but the community collectively said "fuck you that's where we're going to put it anyway" to the point it's basically the one common element across all interpretations.
     
  8. RDNexus

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    Oh well, another GREAT mystery came to a close...not on the best of terms, unfortunately.
    It joins the "Sonic Adventure Saturn Proto" mystery that also ended up not even existing...

    Other than "Sonic1 Alpha", what other mysteries are yet to be unveiled or solved at once?
     
  9. I personally think there's still more, whether we'll get it or not is up in the air. After all, it was presumed that Cyber City was a one-act Zone until Frank from the Videogame History Foundation showed us the maps for all 3 acts. We still have no idea how much music was done for it besides the present track, how much graphics were done before the decision to axe it was done, the possible maps for Zones 1-3, and the mystery of the other concept art.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2023
  10. Blue Spikeball

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    There are still plenty of unsolved development mysteries, like what was the final level in Sonic 2 ("last battle in space") going to be called and be about, what was the deal with the scrapped dragon boss in S3K, what were going to be the Knuckles-exclusive zones in S3K, and so on. Though this isn't the thread to discuss them.
     
  11. GoldeMan

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    It is a bit disappointing that R2 really is just... Well R2 as we know it without nothing really set in stone. Not that I expected there to be a DubiousDepths.exe Floating around with everything there... But I do agree with some people here that even though it didn't get that far, there should be more concept art for it out there, I can not imagine they digitized random enemy and a boss sprite without any concept art to go along with what the heck it was supposed to be. Concept art I'm sure there's still more of, but for game assets I wouldn't be surprised if the Taxman sheet is all that was ever digitized.

    Off of the top of my head Sonic Adventure itself still has quite a bit of mysterious stuff to it (the original Act 1 of Twinkle Park being the main thing that comes to mind these days, but also some of the original Sky Chase Dragon Fight would be cool too. Really anything before the Auto Demo would be stellar). For Sonic CD mysteries we still have the original special stage that has yet to be uncovered!

    Just like Johney said with the Cyber City findings as of recent, I'm sure there are many many other unsolved secrets that have yet to be even be identified in this franchise. Heck another good example of that is Final Egg on the Auto Demo which had an unused Duck Enemy that we had no idea existed until that moment. What we see and find is only a glimpse of all the crazy hectic stuff behind the scenes especially for a series that has such a tight schedule as Sonic.

    A lot of the early mysteries are finally being solved and in their place we are seeing the seeds of new mysteries (like the 3 Act Cyber City) being found right underneath our noses.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2023
  12. Palas

    Palas

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    By the way: TCRF claims it was Taxman the first (credible) person who claimed the sequence belongs to R2 as he shared unused sprites etc. It'd be useful to know from him if that was a logical conclusion based on the information he had or a primary source to which he had access (that couldn't have been Oshima).

    We're left with basically unreachable people who could know anything else. At most, the other Landscape Artists, but even then there's the slimmest chance that the person responsible for R2 was only responsible for R2 and, since it was cut, they weren't even credited at all (I guess?)
     
  13. HEDGESMFG

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    Yeah, I'd say the known landscape artists and MAYBE Toei animators are all we have left, but honestly? Oshima was the best source to learn from here, and if he doesn't have much left he can give us, that's pretty much it.

    I do think builds between December 92 and May 93 could always still be found, but it's unlikely they'd have R2 at this point.

    And as for other mysteries, Sonic 1 Alpha and maybe finding digitizer graphics for Brenda Ross' S2 unused S2 stages would be nice... but we've pretty much gone as far as we can with all of those.

    Also, while not as fancy as the tileset for the other video, the R2 mod that's been in the works on SCD2011 GameBananna is progressing nicely:
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2023
  14. expansivelovestories

    expansivelovestories

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    Yes; as much as i personally do appreciate and enjoy Sonic CD's controls and level design, the concept of R2 itself will be able to come to life in amazing ways with more dynamic controls and larger zone map format such as in the eventually forthcoming Sonic CDX fangame!!

    https://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?threads/sonic-the-hedgehog-cdx.41452/
     
  15. MasterDreamcaster

    MasterDreamcaster

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    For example:

    1. Early names of levels from Sonic CD.
    We know about those for Palmtree Panic, Dubious Depths and Wacky Workbench (Salad Plain, Ridicule Root, Crazy Toy Box).

    2. Unreleased music from that game (CD-audio versions of Past themes and possibly Future themed for R2).

    3. Unreleased music made for Sonic 3 by Brad Buxer's team. There are 41 compositions. Only some of them made it into the game. I wonder – when the developers replaced early themes for Carnival Night, Ice Cap and Launch Base, did they also use another track for Flying Battery, as it was there between CNZ and ICZ originally? And then, since Sonic and Knuckles has no tracks by Buxer's team, FBZ probably had another change in terms of music...

    Well, only a Sonic Month like the one from 2019 can provide answers to those questions. That event was epic. A very early version of Sonic CD and the only one with Round 2 in the list. And a prototype of Sonic 3, with working Flying Battery.

    Oh, I saw a post by @Vertekins

    Yes, indeed, there were no screenshots of Dubious Depths Zone in previews. But then again, screenshots for Flying Battery Zone are not featured in articles about Sonic 3 (the ones that include images with sprites from Sonic 2).

    Probably, the same reason in both cases: developers were not sure if those levels would make it into the games.

    However, FBZ had an option to be featured in Sonic and Knuckles, while DDZ... Well, I think it's a waste of time and effort when you create graphics for a level, and then it gets rejected. The best solution in this case is to reuse the assets in another level.
    Like: we have sprites for Antlion, but R2 is probably not going to be included in CD Sonic. So let's place the badnik in R8. And make that pit gimmick (ultimately, though, the robot was not used at all).
    Or: there are backround graphics for a zone which takes place under ground. But we have 2 such zones. Since we are making a choice between them, let's use the graphics for the one which is going to be used in game (R4).

    It's a suggestion, but they used elements of Hidden Palace's background in Toxic Caves from Sonic Spinball, so it's possible that stuff from Depths appeared elsewhere (especially in the game it originated from).
    Also, speaking of reusing ideas. Kazuyuki Hoshino showed the rainbow waterfall drawing and said that they had used it. But where? There are normal waterfalls in Palmtree Panic and Tidal Tempest. Could it be that that idea moved to Knuckles Chaotix (Hoshino and other members of Sonic CD team also worked on that game)?

    Back to Hidden Palace. It had a pretty good treatment: an appearance in unreleased SEGApede, a new version in Sonic and Knuckles, a restored original in Sonic 2 (2013). I mentioned that in a message to Ohshima. Something like this: they brought back HPZ, why can't the same be done for DDZ? Maybe the ARZEST team can restore the stage in Sonic Superstars?

    Of couse he did not take it seriously. And I did not really mean it: it has to be a game like Sonic Mania to feature that kind of graphics, but a level can be reimagined in Generations / Superstars kind of way.

    For example, Sky Temple looks like concept art for Sonic 3, called "Temple in the Sky", which eventually turned into Sky Sanctuary. The level from Superstars feels closer to that image more than S&K level.

    My point is: a zone can be remade if all the materials related to its development are gathered in one place. You can do anything (literally) in this case, if you believe in yourself and use your imagination.

    To conclude this post, I should say that the development materials: design documents, art, prototypes are not lost deep in space and time. The stuff shows up in some places: Tokyo Joypolis (Mega Drive Trilogy concept art), Sonic Origins (Little Planet map) and so on... Also, thanks to researchers, protos are being found.
     
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  16. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    I still maintain Chaotix' Botanic Base is quite possibly a Good Future concept of Dubious Depths. There's a lot of little crossover elements and a giant greenhouse is not something I would think Robotnik would build.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2023
  17. Nik Pi

    Nik Pi

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    Sonic 2: Archives
    Sonic 1:
    • All sprites of TTS or pre/post TTS/Final
    • Working yellow platforms in Marble zone
    • Early Labyrinth Zone water palette

    Sonic 2:
    • What did look like early Hidden Palace Zone background? We have only few tiles for caves in the distance. Also Tom Payne said that he tried few bg variants, what it was?
    • We still hasn't any digital graphics for Sand Shower/Dust Hill
    • Were made more music for Sonic 2, that wasn't included?
    • Which badniks were intended for the Wood Zone?
    • Was made any graphics for Ocean Wind or Tropical Palnt?
    • What made 2p results music were made for?
    Sonic CD:
    • Early special stages
    • Special stages with the balloons
    • Early zones names
    Sonic 3 (& Knuckles)
    • Unused music assignment
    • MJ music, that was never published before
    • Sonic & Knuckles early zone versions (we saw early Sonic 3 zones, but what about second half?)
    • Why were made new zones for competition mode?
    • Full sprite sheet for proto Knuckles
    That's all I can remember.
     
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  18. HEDGESMFG

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    I thought that one had been found already...


    ;)

    You are correct about zones being buildable today if we have enough of the original concepts behind them. I'm very confident that we'll have a working/functional reasonably accurate genocide city built at some point once all the known assets are given to us in the Sonic 2 threads. Heck, we may already have enough to build a functionally accurate one now.

    And again, we've already show several great interpretations of potential versions of R2 shown in this very thread. The community has the reosurces to make it themselves, and has in fact already started using research we compiled here. And building a completed version of Desert Dazzle would likewise be possible some day if we wanted too.

    I of course hope that someday Oshima or someone can cough up more good, and assets being recycled elsewhere in both CD and other games is not unreasonably (with Chaotix being a very likely alternative).

    But as of now, we're kind of at a dead end for this topic. I don't think there's much left to discuss unless more info comes out in private convos or interviews.
     
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  19. Speaking of Desert Dazzle, that round has fascinated me too. There's stuff that remains a mystery to this day, such as demo tracks for the time periods and what the intended boss and enemies were. I won't get into details since I don't want to get too off-topic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2023
  20. Blue Spikeball

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    What would be the point of building a completed version of Desert Dazzle? We already got one in Mirage Saloon.