Sonic Month 2019: Sonic 2

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

  1. So hey, after thinking this one over for awhile I'd still say that it'd be appropriate to include the name in the wiki, but in conversation still refer to the release by the build date during discussions. drx and co at Hidden Palace worked hard to verify the release date and we still have multiple "alpha" builds. For the "CENSOR," "Nick Arcade," and Wai protos we cannot verify the release dates, but for these we have exact dates to name them. With this in mind it feels more accurate to refer to these recent protos by build date instead of vague titles like "alpha" and "pre-Beta" that could apply to other releases.

    i'd also argue against badly written nonsense like "There's also a gap right at the end of the Act, for Sonic and Tails to kill themselves should they please." on this page, but I haven't been a wiki sysop in like... 10(?) years now so I haven't touched it.
     
  2. T.Q.

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    Perhaps for those prototypes without a date, it should be listed with the earliest possible reference date.

    For example, the Nick Arcade prototype could have a date referenced as the taping date of the show's episode that features the Sonic 2 prototype (June/July 1992), or if it's certain, perhaps from the date of the CES Show that featured it (May 28, 1992).

    SEGA FORCES, JULY 1992, ISSUE 7
    MEAN MACHINES, JULY 1992, ISSUE 22
     
  3. SyntaxTsu

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    Is the cause of the end-of-act gap a later screen lock, or is it actual missing chunks? Based on the BG position, I suspect the former.
     
  4. Lurker

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    I haven't seen it mentioned here(or I missed it) but I tried playing the special stage in the aug prototype on real hardware and it didn't load. So that's a thing
     
  5. Rika Chou

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    Has anyone looked through all the compressed art in the protos yet?

    Edit: Going though the Aug proto art, looks like ARZ has two slightly different tile sets? ($C4DA4 and $D793A):
    [​IMG]

    Also, is this used? Doesn't look familiar to me. (using OOZ palette) ($7A180)

    [​IMG]

    What about this? Using CPZ's palette ($CDFC6):
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
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  6. Black Squirrel

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    I'm finding there are a few very subtle differences between builds:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Wai, alpha, pre-beta, CENSOR, final.

    There's the tinest change on the left hand side of this loop.


    And yes I am very satisfied with these screenshots.
     
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  7. MoDule

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    From what I can tell, ARZ's tileset went through multiple rearrangements all the way up to the Sep-14 prototype. Every prototype before that has a different arrangement of tiles.

    Interestingly, the Sep-14 prototype is also the one where the animated waterfall tiles finally break (as has been pointed out before, I think), even though they had been rearranged previously, in the Aug-21 one. It makes me wonder if there was a build between Aug-21 and Sep-14 where they stopped updating the animated tile definitions, despite moving the waterfall tiles one more time.
     
  8. evilhamwizard

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    Can someone take a look at the data at E9F9C-EBFFF in the September pre-beta? It's not accessed at all by the game, is present to some extent in CENSOR and 4-8 (but not the final) in the same area. It definitely seems to be leftover data used for padding. Each build after this overwrites the data until it's completely gone by the final build. It's not present in any form in the august prototype It's not nemesis or kosinski. What the heck is it? It comes right before the sound driver stuff I believe.

    I checked a few byte sequences from this area against the Mega Drive ROM set I have and nothing aside from the Sonic 2 prototypes after Wai match. Judging by what we've seen so far in terms of left over data, it should be related to Sonic 2.

    EDIT: lol, for some reason E9F9C-EBFFF actually contains the odd bytes from Thunder Force IV for some reason. The data itself seems to match with it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
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  9. Travelsonic

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    Don't know if this has been noted yet, or talked about, but it seems like Y-axis level wrapping was implemented at least for badniks in Hidden Palace in the 1992-08-21 prototype.

    I placed a Stegway badnik by the edge of a platform that was part of a bottomless pit so to speak, and noticed that it wrapped around, falling faster and faster. Then, I placed some Redz badniks on that unclimbable ramp. I placed them on the part that would be the "top" of the ramp, watched them slide down, and offscreen, and quickly scooted up to where the level would wrap around, and found the badniks had wrapped around/were now sliding down to the area near that emerald-esque breakable block.

    In the Wai prototype, if they go offscreen from sliding down from the top of the ramp, they do not wrap back around.

    A quick demonstration video I threw together to show what I mean, as I suck at explaining things sometimes, with demonstrating badnik-going-offscreen-behavior the Wai prototype first, followed by the 1992-08-21 prototype.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
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  10. SyntaxTsu

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    If this is truly a new feature, and not just object handling changes, then this would indicate that Sonic Team was seriously considering resuming work on HPZ.
     
  11. Travelsonic

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    I was tempted to see if I could get the badniks to try wrapping around in Metropolis Zoneas it did have y-axis wrapping, right?) in the Wai AND 1992-08-21 prototypes, to see if that could give us a clue.

    But then I remembered, object wrapping in general had to be a thing in the Wai proto though as you had in Metropolis for instance, the bolts that Sonic would run one direction to move up, the other to move down.

    That, and the capability for stage wrapping (for Sonic and relevant moving objects) had to have already been baked into the engine, as Sonic 1 had it (Labyrinth Zone), and Sonic 2 was built off of it (as per the Nick Arcade proto).
     
  12. Developers (including Naka) have said in interviews that the decision to cut Hidden Palace was done last-minute and reluctantly, so it's definitely possible this was the case.

    I think what might've happened was this: STI kept working on the rest of the game and forgot about Hidden Palace because they'd already made tons of progress on it. When it came to the time to cull the more ambitious ideas to bring it to what we got in the final, they realized they'd done nothing about Hidden Palace and either needed to finish it or get rid of it. They added objects to the debug list and the level wrapping to see what they could do, but when it became clear it wouldn't be possible to finish Hidden Palace for November, they said "fuck it" and just gave you the ability to transform into Super Sonic immediately.
     
  13. Travelsonic

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    Which means that a long-lasting notion that HPZ had absolutely 0 work done on it post-Wai/Pre-Cutting is false, irrespective of how pedantic one would accuse me of being in stating this. I mean, it seems like the notion is dying with these prototypes, but for anyone still clinging to said notion, look at the evidence.

    I mean, we have:

    • The autospin objects in the tubes (seen when exploring the remnants in the final builds, absent in the Nick Arcade, Wai, and 1992-08-21 builds) - which had to have been added manually (I doubt they had a mechanism that would just "know" where to place them automatically)
    • The level wrapping being configured even partially by the 1992-08-21 build
    • Debug object list updates between the Wai and 1992-08-21 prototypes
    • Hell, I'd argue that the changing of Hidden Palace's music from what became Mystic Cave's 2P track, to Sound Test 10 after the 1992-09-14 prototype counts, even if a very very minor, and oddly timed change.
    ... which shows some non-zero amount of work, even if small, had happened between the Nick Arcade build, and the 1992-08-21 prototype.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
  14. Ooh, something else I just remembered: time constraints weren’t the only reason Hidden Palace didn’t see the light of day until 2013. Christian Whitehead mentioned in an interview around 2014 that when he and Stealth were developing the Sonic 2 remaster, Sonic Team told them that another reason the level was cut was because STI wasn’t satisfied with the level design, which was too slow-paced compared to the rest of the game. I think that’s further proof they decided it needed to be cut last-minute, because given the level design in the prototypes could have easily been polished up in a short amount of time IMO.
     
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  15. Blue Spikeball

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    I think that's a weird thing to say, as MCZ, OOZ, HTZ, MZ and WFZ were about as slow if not slower if you ask me. Couldn't it be that they felt the game had too many slow-paced zones (which I would agree with) and decided to cut the one that was the least complete between them?
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
  16. Travelsonic

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    We now have a prototype from September 14th, 1992, and Beta 4 is from September 18th, 1992. These builds are 4 days apart. I am left wondering where, in these 4 days between builds the CENSOR prototype's build date lies. Will we ever know, or be able to find out for sure?

    Also wonder how many internal builds are still out there, not yet found.
     
  17. I'm going to guess September 17th. The differences between CENSOR and beta 4 are mostly pretty minor (the vast majority are layout tweaks in Sky Chase/Wing Fortress), and they've made huge progress on the special stages since the September 14th prototype.
     
  18. Travelsonic

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    [​IMG]
    I always wondered where this magazine screenshot came from (prototype wise) - glad that after the unearthing of the 1992-08-21 proto that mystery was solved
    upload_2020-1-25_23-19-48.png
    (Not in the exact same place camera wise, but I think I got enough of the same flipping blocks in the same pattern as in the above screenshot for comparison?)
     

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    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020 at 4:20 AM
  19. Hez

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    I have to disagree with the level "being worked on". While it technically had things done, it still shows to me it was a test level. The tube spinning wasn't implemented in any level, so they needed to test it somewhere first. Badniks in debug list are insane, which shows they tested badniks here. Badniks/objects weren't implemented in metropolis zone yet, so where better to test level wrapping than in a small basic level like Hidden Palace zone? It screams test level to me due to its simplicity. I do, however, truly believe they had every intent of making it a full level. I think the fact that it was fairly plain, and having Dust Hill/Desert/Sand/Whatever converted into Mystic Cave thus creating two cave tropes may have swayed their decision. It more likely had sentimental value to the team, being one of the first (if not the first level) implemented in Sonic 2.
     
  20. Fred

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    None of this explains why Hidden Palace got a title card or indeed, a level select icon