Sonic Month 2019: Sonic 2

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by drx, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. JoseTB

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    While this is technically possible and valid (excluding something at compilation time that otherwise does exist in the development station), it would be so completely out of character compared to what they did put on all these builds that it's hard to reconcile. These builds are teeming with unfinished bosses, broken levels etc. It's very hard to imagine them going "let's leave everything we are working on as it is, no matter how broken, but also let's exclude Hidden Palace just to fuck with people 20 years later looking at this".

    I don't know, it's not completely outside the realm of possibility that they would have held back that which they didn't intend to work on further, but we don't have any evidence that they ever held back, and a lot of evidence that they often didn't.

    I admit the fact that Hidden Palace was removed before its final music was assigned to it is really fucking weird. But there has to be an easier explanation. And the thing is, even if the level was still present in development stations, they must have known at that point that the level was discontinued if they hypothetically went through the trouble of excluding it from the build. Which doesn't make it less weird that they would have reassigned its music after they knew it was discontinued. So, yeah, odd either way.
     
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  2. GoldS

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    Most of the Casino Night Zone object graphics are loaded to VRAM, though I'm not sure if any of them besides the bumper have been coded yet. All of them are identical to the final graphics except for the moving blocks, which are much smaller.

    The last object graphics stored in the ROM are for the Balkiry Badnik. Everything after that in the final game - Silver Sonic, Tails in the Tornado, everything in Wing Fortress except for Clucker and everything in Death Egg, the new Crawl design - is missing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
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  3. Hez

    Hez

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    The explanation could be as easy as "Hey coder, here is the final music selections, go fix it in the game." and since they anticipated HPZ being complete, he did what he was told and assign music to slots. Or maybe they assigned music to the zone as a bid farewell and then axed it.
     
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  4. ICEknight

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    Perhaps those smaller blocks might have been intended to be used like this:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  5. big smile

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    Back in around 2005, I used to chat with the Japanese webmaster of Act Select, Mr Hari Hari. He often shared scans from the Japanese Sega catalog (that's where all those scans of the Sonic CD beta special stage & the Sonic Drift prototype came from).

    Hari Hari said the catalog entry for Sonic 2 didn’t have any interesting pics, so he didn’t scan them, but he did translate the text:
    Dr.Eggman is burning with the ambition of the world conquest. The peaceful world fell into chaos by Dr.Eggman and his army corps.
    Super hero Sonic acquired the time travel ability and he stood up to regain peace.
    What is ultimate weapon "DEATH EGG" ? ...
    What is the weak point of Dr.Eggman ? ...
    From the dinosaur-age to the future,Sonic and sidekick (Debut!) begin the adventure which transcended time.


    Also in the catalog, Tails' name is listed as "Tail".
     
  6. Rosiero

    Rosiero

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    I feel like it was probably the former. Even if we now have a build were HPZ is already mostly gone and it still plays what became MCZ 2P in the final, they also still bothered to make an icon for HPZ in the new level select screen that got implemented really late. I think someone had the genius idea of having 2P exclusive music and swapping some tracks around to make it all fit, just so they could make the most of what they had, and HPZ was still considered on the table by whoever was doing that.
     
  7. kazblox

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    Diassemblies and decompilations.
  8. Travelsonic

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    Another thing I noticed playing the 9-14 prototype:

    Like how the signpost at the end of Chemical Plant Zone act one is removed if you enter the stage in 2P Versus mode, if you enter Metropolis in 2P Versus mode, the objects that give the warp pipes functionality disappear as well.

    Said warp pipe functionality removal does NOT exist in the WAI prototype, nor does it exist in the 8-21 prototype.

    Seems like the game has code that will detect if the next act has water in it, or if the current act has a sign post in it, and remove objects appropriately - question is, if so, where is it.

    Seems odd though, as warp pipe functionality didn't SEEM bugged while playing Metropolis in 2P Versus mode in either the Wai proto, or the 8-21 proto.

    EDIT: It seems the sign post removal does NOT occur in the 8-21 proto (but, again, does in the 9-14 prototype). If, when playing the 8-21 prototype, you complete Chemical Plant Zone Act 1 in 2P Versus mode, the sign post will be there. Act 2 becomes a non-splitscreened, and buggy as hell mess, but loads.

    EDIT 2: Just completed Chemical Plant act 2 in the 8-21 proto using debug mode to move to the end, due to how screwed up everything is. Seems the game reverts to 1P mode after trying to load act 2, but doesn't do so properly / as a result, the stages that follow are all a garbled mess, and the camera positioning is messed up.

    With debug enabled, jumping back to the title screen fixes it all (kinda "duh" I know XD)
     
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  9. 19XX

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    That's what I don't understand. If HPZ was deleted already in the pre-beta using that MCZ 2-player music, why does it exist with its own theme in the final? That's what I was trying to ask before.

    Maybe there was another later attempt to add it to the game? Was it implemented twice before it was definitively canned?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
  10. Asagoth

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    Beep! Mega Drive and Mega Drive Fan ...
     
  11. Hez

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    Speaking strictly from a development standpoint, there were likely teams tasked with certain parts of the game. There was code junkies/interns to do the easy stuff. Then you had your main staff doing level development, menu development, etc. Likely in a last minute crunch, the team developing and fine tuning the main levels decided it wasn't feasible to include HPZ in the game. Having no second act due to it originally being a secret level, and not having a competent level layout to begin with (lets face it, it was a test level), they made the decision to scrap it. This news probably didn't make it to the other teams, so they went with what was on the roadmap and did their jobs. Come time to compile everyone's work, you get what you have now. Music guy did his job, menu guys did their job, and so on. Menu guy sees that HPZ is no longer there, "oh crap, ill delete it quick" and there you have it.

    People need to also remember this was a time before code merging and branching was a mature thing. Things like github and other programs weren't around. So to others points, there very well COULD have been coded layouts and other such things for wood zone and dust hill, but it was decided midway these zones could not make it and the code was shelved or deleted. This kind of stuff is almost impossible to be uncovered. Tom Paynes stuff is a great example of this, and a huge stroke of luck he kept it. There is likely disks similar to this with Dust Hill chunks, code for badniks, etc.

    EDIT: Also on that subject, there may have been a disk with a full two act HPZ with a boss. But when compiling the final game there may have been an "oh shit, this isn't going to fit and this zone is the weakest of all" moment. Who knows.
     
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  12. Black Squirrel

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    Obviously we need maps of everything but a point of interest might be Oil Ocean Zone in the alpha build. There are tiles and objects all over the place - it's a mess... and yet it wasn't as much of a mess in the Simon Wai build.

    (I'd say it would be nice to compare it to the older version but we don't have maps of the the Simon Wai levels either)
     
  13. SyntaxTsu

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    I noticed that OOZ actually seems to resemble its final counterpart in the level layout, just with incorrect chunks.
    Take, for instance, a spot near the very beginning of Act 1 - in both the Alpha and in the final, it is the introduction to the way oil affects momentum with the little oil pit - but in the alpha, the middle chunk was a different chunk - a chunk with the bottom-of-stage oil in it.
     
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  14. SSUK

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    I'd buy that, there's just one thing that bugs me; they updated the tube in HPZ to have an auto-spin object for when Sonic enters the tube at the start of the level which is something that doesn't happen in the August 21 build. There's several reasons why this could be, they could have wrote a script to batch-update tubes in all stage data to add the auto-spin behavior, for example. But the music change and the level layout change does raise suspicions.

    (Also according to TCRF there was also another object added for the water slides that doesn't exist in any of the prototypes though the article only says they're not in the Nick Arcade and Wai builds, but since HPZ became a dumping ground of sorts, who can say if that was actually deliberate, the tube however seems deliberate? It could just be coincidence, I guess?)
     
  15. JoseTB

    JoseTB

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    Same thing, really, whoever was working on making Sonic spin on tubes was completely disconnected from people making level layouts or deciding which levels were gonna make the cut and which wouldn't, and just updated whatever, HPZ tube included. Occam's razor and all that, it's the simplest explanation that works. It's pretty much well established by now that the direction of this game in general was a disjointed disaster, so it's not super shocking.
     
  16. GoldS

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    The object placement, from what I can tell, is identical to the Simon Wai prototype, it's just that the layout was updated to a near-final design, making most of the objects look misplaced.

    EDIT: Just checked the August prototype more closely, and it's more or less what I thought; the sequence of chunks that make up the layout is almost final, but the chunk definitions haven't been fully updated yet. See the misplaced chunk in SyntaxTsu's example; this is chunk C8 in both the August prototype and in the final layout. It's just that in the August prototype, chunk C8 is a chunk with those purple metal bars and the bottom-of-stage oil...which is identical to what it is in the Simon Wai prototype.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
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  17. SyntaxTsu

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    Perhaps then, we could see the evolution of the level layout by swapping out the incorrect prototype chunk definitions for the definitions of the final.
     
  18. SoNick

    SoNick

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    So I feel like I'm being pedantic here but can we not refer to any of the builds as "the alpha?" Years back it took ages to get "The Wai proto" to stick instead of "Sonic 2 Beta" when other betas were found. We have multiple prototypes right now that could be defined as in the alpha state, it doesn't feel right to name just one as "the alpha." Names like "The 8-21 prototype" and "The 9-14 prototype" are much better and less likely to cause confusion.
     
  19. SystemsReady

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    It should not be assumed that it is HPZ's theme. The demo version of the track that is on the official soundtrack release simply refers to it as an unused track, not a hidden palace theme. Mind you two years later Sega let Taxman & Co put Hidden Palace back into the game, using the 2P Mystic Cave theme, which implies that they knew about HPZ and also knew about its real estate in the minds of Sonic 2 fans.

    Consider this: unlike the in-house music, Nakamura owns his Sonic music. They might be less inclined to not "use" music they contracted him for, as they can't re-use it for other games without paying him, unlike Jun Senoue's unused work that later made it into other Sonic titles. Might as well put it in the game now while we have it, that kind of mentality.

    TCRF has them actually, in the zone subpages.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
  20. GoldS

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    Went through every chunk in OOZ, here is a list of chunks that are leftover from the Wai prototype layout and don't match the new August layout. It's more than I thought:
    19-1C, 34, 51, 5D, 6F, 77, 7D-7E, 97, 9C-9F, A8, AD, C8-C9, CB, D1, DF, EA, EE-EF, FE

    Most of these are chunks that have these [​IMG] that hold the checkered ball launchers. Chunks 87 and BE are also different, but they're only minor aesthetic changes. Chunk EA changed from a background chunk to a foreground chunk in later versions.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
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