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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. Devon

    Devon

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    your mom
    Each stage MMD file generally fills up the Mega CD's Word RAM quite a bit, so, unfortunately, at least not without major changes, that won't be possible.
     
  2. synchronizer

    synchronizer

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    I was thinking it'd preload if you hit a time warp sign. Ah well.
     
  3. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    While this is yet another fan project, I feel it's worth pointing out since it's inspired by the discussions and discoveries we've had in this community over the past year and a half. Just dropped for SHC 2023.

    https://shc.zone/entries/expo2023/852

    All 3 acts are there, with all 4 time periods, and 3 OST full sets included too. And it slots right between R1 and R3 in the actual decomp version too. No boss included yet, but I'm sure that will come later. It's the only standard zone feature missing so far.

    Overall, an impressive mod and a nice interpretation of all we've debated on. The only other documented notable thing missing is an Amy encounter in the zone, since that still happens in R1 and R3 only.

    SCD Decomp 1.3.1 (Needed to run this mod. Not updated for the latest 1.3.2 version yet)
    https://github.com/Rubberduckycooly/Sonic-CD-11-Decompilation/releases

    Decomp Scripts (Click on Code and download the zip folder, then put it in the same folder as decomp v 1.31.)
    https://github.com/Rubberduckycooly/Sonic-CD-2011-Script-Decompilation/releases/tag/1.0.0

    RSDK Mod Loader
    https://gamebanana.com/tools/10457

    Throw all these together into a single folder with a data.rsdk version taken from the Steam or Android version of SCD, put the mod in the mod folder, tweak your settings in the settings.ini with a text editor, and have at it!
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2023
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  4. Pie Eyed Piper

    Pie Eyed Piper

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    Yeah, it's the continuation of the one I posted months back. There's another video in between that shows the timezones in depth. I have some reservations about the aesthetics in sound and art alike, for example it's taking a bit too much from Angelfox (he who shall not be given further attention, I'm aware) in both departments, and the art still kinda has the issues I mentioned from the initial video. The past underground BG looks more fitting for, say, Puggsy than it ever did Sonic. I've yet to hear a good what-if Good Future track for R2 because everyone is absolutely convinced that everything from Sonic Remix is related to it (and I'm almost sorry I ever brought even the Techno Power Mix thing up, for starters I never even said it was a bad future remix...), so that kind of bums me out along with the garish art direction for it.

    But even for all my personal taste gripes, I do really like what they've done for the Present taken as a whole, and most importantly, I absolutely appreciate this guy for just getting the job done already. I understand what it's like to start a project, and it just kinda falls by the wayside. I imagine most of us have. Most of us also have full time jobs and all that good stuff. But when it came to R2 (or perhaps a Sonic CD round in general), I feel like people bit off more than they could chew. The above posted mod had to be completed in less than 2 years, and maybe even under one. It means either this guy was ultra determined even in spite of other obligations (and I get that, personally), or it just wasn't really all that hard and interest in doing it waned for many (which is also understandable). Or even a third option! Maybe people got caught up in their own perfectionism that no self-created asset looked good enough, and it just spiraled until they gave up. Who knows?

    But this isn't a thread on intrinsic/extrinsic motivators when it comes to fan games/mods. I'm happy that this finally exists in some form. He deserves a lot of credit! Hopefully it's further moddable or maybe someone offers up a "second opinion", so to speak. That GF BG in the dungeon is blinding.

    Semi-related, I'd like to see what Sonic CDX has in store for R2 as well. I can't imagine it'll be borrowing from other fan interpretations, and I would hope the music score is a lot more original (while still being based on DA Garden, of course).
     
  5. Ay, thanks for checking out the mod, glad to see you liked it, Extra Badnik says thank you for the kind words. I was the one who slotted DD in between R1 and 3, along with supplying one of the soundtracks, I also have a set of US tracks in the works as-well, so if we come back next year my tracks should be even better and have a US set to go with them. :D

    Yeah, that makes sense since Alexy joined early on and gave ideas, while I do prefer some of the older graphics Extra did based off concepts the two of us had come up with, I'm not the director he is.

    I've never understood this line of thought until I saw a screenshot of Puggsy, and now I can kind of see it. However, the resemblance is more of an accident/coincidence than intentional since Extra had no idea what Puggsy was until it was brought up, and the same goes for me, I've never heard of this game until now.
    Sonic_CD_28.09.2023_18_46_06.png [​IMG]

    Sonic Stream is a remix of Little Planet if I recall correctly, and there are references to the original track with the song, along with its triumphant vibe, the speculation of it being a remix of the G'' mix is not unnecessarily called for, and TPM does feature B'' mix melodies, so it's not entirely out of the question that certain B'' mix elements of Little Planet were snuck in by Ogata-san, if you haven't heard it yet I'd recommend listening to my version of the G'' mix, as my version tries to combine Little Planet and Sonic Stream together and you might like that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2023
  6. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    Personally, I'm very happy with the OST choices. There are more than 3 different entire sets of soundtracks in the mod anyway, so if you don't like one, switch to another. Even the use of the ancient "Relic Ruins" fan tracks is appreiciated, even if they are totally unofficial. Plus regardless of the drama with hewhomustnotbenamed, I admit to liking how their tracks sound, so I don't mind having them as an option.

    Also, it needs to be reiterated. Naoto Ohshima has left us with a lot of ambiguity in terms of how much was even made for this stage, or how many accurate visuals we've even seen. It is what it is, so fans are going to make their own interpretation to it for the forseeable future. There's even a chance Ohshima is keeping concepts to himself because he may have recycled them in Superstars or for future projects, so fans will just do the best with what we have.

    My goal with this thread was to open up a path to new discussion, and seeing completed projects like this be a partial result of years of informed research and guess work makes me very happy, regardless of any misconceptions that exist in the wider fandom.

    I hope at some point the mod can be incorporated in a way to be compatible with Origins, SCD Restored, and Miracle Edition. Maybe even an eventual R9 mod too. It'd be nice to add it into the other collections so more fans can enjoy a fully featured version of the game with at least one fully working R2 interpretation included.

    I'd also still love to see a more fleshed out Desert Dazzle as well, but that's a topic for another day.
     
  7. muteKi

    muteKi

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    I mean you have a point -- we DID just get a ruins stage full of fans and air currents
     
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  8. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    Well, we already know he recycled beta and concept art elements in the game. The loop from this image was directly ported into Golden Capitol. And Feels/Max the Rabbit too.

    There's a real possibility he used more old concepts in development, including ones we've never publicly seen. This may be one of the reasons why they've yet to release everything even after 30+ years.
    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  9. Mastered Realm

    Mastered Realm

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    The proto mural in Sonic 3's Hidden Palace depicted a dragon.

    [​IMG]

    We also have this image of Doomsday Zone, with Super Sonic fighting a dragon in the air.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. MasterDreamcaster

    MasterDreamcaster

    Running Up That Green Hill Member
    Well, I wrote about restoring a stage from concept art. After playing Superstars, I was glad to see many ideas from the Mega Drive / Genesis Trilogy are back. They are mentioned in another topic.
    [​IMG]
    Trip's Super Form is a dragon. A glowing dragon. This really reminds me of concept art for Sonic 3. Speaking of it...
    Sky Temple with its name and design resembles that "Temple in the sky" concept art.
    [​IMG]
    But also, look at those roots. Kind of matches the name Ridicule Root.
     
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  11. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    Cool, but what does this have to do with Dubious Depths?
     
  12. MasterDreamcaster

    MasterDreamcaster

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    Well, Ridicule Root is an early name of R2. And some parts of Sky Temple resemble Kazuyuki Hoshino's drawing (but without rainbow waterfalls). My point is: if the developers check artwork from previous games and make new levels based on it, there is a chance we will see a version of Dubious Depths.
    Well, maybe we already have it but don't know it yet.
    Because some levels look like they were inspired by concept art made for Sonic 1, CD 2, 3 & Knuckles.
    Golden Capital is a mix of unused ideas for levels in Sonic 1. Also, some places there are like Madness Mountain from Sonic 2.
    Developers probably checked some stuff we know and don't know about, and decided to remake stages:
    "Temple in the sky" / Ridicule Root / Dubious Depths – Sky Temple;
    Unused Art for Sonic 1 / Madness Mountain – Golden Capital;
    There are possibly some unseen designs of what eventually became Hydro City and Carnival Night – and they thought: "Let's give it another try", and reimagined it as Lagoon City and Pinball Carnival.
     
  13. Londinium

    Londinium

    People actually read these? Member
    Why is there so much hype around Dubious Depths
     
  14. saxman

    saxman

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    Because staring at the R1-R3-R4-R5-etc cadence back in the '90s and noticing that missing number naturally had to fill a child's mind with wonder. It's like seeing that Sonic 3 level select for the first time... what THE HECK are those levels, and why can't I play them?!?

    To me, it's a no-brainer. Or am I missing an underlying point in your question?
     
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  15. MasterDreamcaster

    MasterDreamcaster

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    After Ohshima wrote that he didn't think it was Zone 2 in ending animation of Sonic CD, I thought: what could it be then?
    [​IMG]
    The only place left is Tidal Tempest. But there is no water. Like in early Labyrinth Zone.
    [​IMG]
    So I made a theory that it's Tidal Tempest. The level is also a counterpart of Labyrinth in Sonic CD. It even has a background in its Past version that is close to the one in proto LZ, while its Present looks like final LZ and Good Future somewhat resembles the place in animation.
    Why there is a badnik that did not actually appear in Tidal Tempest?
    Well, the same reason those robots from Palmtree Panic are in Collision Chaos here:
    [​IMG]
    Because early in development, things are not in the same places where they are in the final version.
     
  16. MasterDreamcaster

    MasterDreamcaster

    Running Up That Green Hill Member
    Evolution of R2 boss:
    [​IMG]
    Antlion:
    [​IMG]
    I collect all R2-related material.
    Here is the post.
     
  17. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    upload_2023-11-1_14-50-27.png
    Eggman Roosevelt isn't real, they said.
    He can't hurt you, they said...
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2023
  18. Londinium

    Londinium

    People actually read these? Member
    Eggman from 06
     
  19. Cooljerk

    Cooljerk

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    I cant remember where i read this, but this is ultimately the genesis of chaos. The japanese manual for sonic 3 talks about an egg that would hatch a dragon that would eat the world that knuckles clan watched over.
     
  20. MasterDreamcaster

    MasterDreamcaster

    Running Up That Green Hill Member
    In a prototype from May 1993, Palmtree Panic boss resembles the concept art version.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    However, developers changed the boss after some time.
    I wonder if those Eggman R2 sprites are actually updated variants, while there was a version based on concept art?
    [​IMG]
    Because R2 went through a kind of update (its name). It's also the only level with corrections made to it in pencil (on the map).
    [​IMG]
    Looks like they were not sure about the level in 1992. Ideas were in contrast with one another. That would explain why Masato Nishimura does not remember / recognize rainbow coloured waterfall drawing and Naoto Ohshima does not think it's Zone 2 in ending of the game.
    Two acts could have been totally different. Act 1 is a place deep in the woods (judging by trees; also, the name "Ridicule Root"). Music by Masafumi Ogata fits this act.
    The same cannot be said for Act 2, which is a dungeon ("Dubious Depths"). The composition has a jungle / forest feel. It doesn't sound like it was written for an underground level.

    Sonic explores the forest and then finds out what's under that forest. Like in Sonic 3 (Angel Island, Act 2 / Hydro City, Act 1).
    The difference is that in Sonic CD it could have been one Round, not two separate Zones.
    The part of R2 on the surface has some strange constructions. It seems they were developed further into an aqueduct / bridge.
    The underground part possibly was depicted in another artwork, which served as a basis for animated ending sequence.
    [​IMG]
    All evidence we have of Round 2's existence dates back to 1992. The stage is present in design document from spring of that year. And it's still there in December (well, at least in level select).
    At some point, developers realized there won't be enough space for 8 Rounds, with 4 music themes for each. So they decided to make hardware handle "Past" mixes. And to have 7 Rounds in the game.
    It's a mystery why specifically second stage was not used. Many reasons were given over the years: designer of level R2 didn't do a very good job, so the level did not meet quality standards; there was not enough room for Sonic to run around... But these reasons have the following implication: Ridicule Root / Dubious Depths actually appeared in a version (or even several versions) of Sonic CD.
    Because decisions described above can be made after playing and testing a level.
    Why R2 is such a big deal? Because it's not just an error in level numbering, when R1 skips to R3. It is the last lost level from Mega Drive / Genesis era (Sonic 1, CD, 2, 3 & Knuckles).
    There were some unused concepts for Sonic 1, but now we see them in form of Golden Capital. And I can't recall if the first game had any slots for deleted levels.
    Sonic 2 is a record breaker in terms of cut zones. But we have mockups, concept art, many prototypes. It allows us to know what those stages actually were supposed to be. The most famous zone (Hidden Palace) was even restored.
    Sonic 3 & Knuckles has no deleted stages. Well, if we count the dragon boss picture as a stage – it's also remade (in Superstars).
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    So, what is left? Only Dubious Depths.
    Why everything has to be so mysterious about it?
    Not a single detailed artwork or mockup ever surfaced. I don't remember seeing any photo of it's composer. There is no success in contacting him.
    I just hope that one day Sonic CD will be remastered and include all ideas that never made it in previous versions of the game: both DD's (Dubious Depths, Desert Dazzle), CD-audio "Past" tracks, instant time travel and so on...
    [​IMG]