Sonic Month 2019: Sonic 3

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by drx, Nov 16, 2019.

    • So what is going on with these special stages? This seems super impressive for the hardware and I really wonder what they were aiming for but ultimately dropped.
    • Has anyone simply tried asking Naka or some other old Sega devs how they managed code/work back in the days before github and such instead of all this speculating?
    • Do we have any actual concrete evidence of some kind of legal issue holding up S3 from being reissued or is that speculation on y'all's part?
     
  1. Yeah, I've been doing a stare-and-compare between it and the final Sonic 3 HCZ1 map on our wiki and they look identical. I'd prefer a way to automatically check the chunk data for differences in case I'm missing something, but I don't have such a tool at the moment.

    What's interesting is that from the stream it looked like most of the level layouts were finalized. Based on the Sonic 2 protos I was expecting some changes but I was wrong!
     
  2. Naean

    Naean

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    Haha, beat me to the punch! I was just about to link to the switch's entry on The Cutting Room Floor for the final version of Sonic 3. :)

    Never seen the object on the right before, however. Maybe it's a door which goes along with the switch, but that's just a guess. Is there any code which may suggest that these objects are likely to be related?
     
  3. Blastfrog

    Blastfrog

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    Just speculation to my knowledge. If SEGA's issue is that it wouldn't be authentic to how it was released on the MD, screw that. They made compromises on SCD, why not here?

    (also i like these PC tracks better than the final :V)
     
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  4. Rika Chou

    Rika Chou

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    The block / door looking thing is in the same art file, so maybe they were somehow related.

    Here's another possibility for the palette, could be some burnt thing? None of the other AIZ paletttes fit:
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. T.Q.

    T.Q.

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    Well, let's see. November 20, 1993 to February 4, 1994. That leaves 76 days. Say beta testing occur for 2 weeks. So minus 14 days. That leaves 62 days left until release.

    If this November 20, 1993 prototype was full of bugs and unfinished work that had to be fixed, music replacement was probably the least of the dev team's concern. Getting a functional title screen, working special stage, bonus levels was probably more important in those last 2 weeks.

    Also, since this was a Sonic game instead of other Genesis games, investment in a supply of Sonic 3 cartridges must have been considerably large. So the long manufacturing time would seem likely.
     
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  6. Turbohog

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    It is not speculation. Stealth confirmed on his blog that a legal issue was preventing a Sonic 3 remaster. However, he did not confirm that it was a music issue (though this is pretty obvious).
     
  7. SyntaxTsu

    SyntaxTsu

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    Eeyup. Screw consistency.

    I just want SEGA to know the following - I have Knuckles over here, and he's got a Mystic Cave Zone Box. He's not afraid to use it.

    Seriously, has anyone else noticed that there is an instrument very similar to Mystic Cave Zone's bass instrument in Knuckles's theme here?
     
  8. DreamsComeBlue

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    Points well taken, though it's worth mentioning that the build date for this prototype is Nov. 3 (although granted, it could be older), so 91 days before the Feb. 2 release.
     
  9. rata

    rata

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    Well I've got myself this, I really like this song.

    EDIT: oops, I fucked over the looping. Fixed now.
     

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  10. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

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    My best guess? They were doing something like this with the SVP chip stuff, but after it was dropped or after this was made, they decided they were technically capable of running similar things without the SVP.
     
  11. T.Q.

    T.Q.

    The Sims 2, Tim Drake [Robin] Member
    Shoot, I should have check the build date. I have no idea why I was thinking November 20.

    Ok, so November 3, 1993. Here's some breakdown of the events of Michael Jackson's scandal. So a lawsuit was filed September 1993. The lawsuit could have been seen as frivolous at the time of the filing. Then later in November 1993, investigations started. Then late December 1993, Jackson is strip searched by police. So maybe by this time, Sega decided to distance themselves from the scandal, sent a memo to the dev team and asked for the music in the game to be replaced. By this time, it was too late, the manufacturing was happening, and the dev team couldn't do anything about it.

    Not wanting to stop production and delay release of the game, plan B would be for management to try and save face by denying to the public, if asked, that MJ's music was in the game...even though it may seem like a flimsy defense.

    Then what about when Sonic & Knuckles was released in October 1994, why didn't the dev team replace the music from Sonic 3 with this prototype version? Maybe to lessen suspicion, and avoid having the public who played the Genesis version, ask why the music was replaced.

    So then when it came time for the CD-ROM version to be released in 1997, and it was in MIDI, the explanation given was that certain music couldn't be converted properly in MIDI...and so another flimsy reason to avoid stating the real reason.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
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  12. Vangar

    Vangar

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    1) Yes, software version control dates to 1972, by 1982 it was popular and there was multiple to choose from ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revision_Control_System )
    2) Do you have more than one programmer? Then yes, of course this will happen. Especially if the tools back in the day make merging a few hours of a task (no diff tools) then you'd likely want to do merging only when necessary as not to waste any time. If one programmer spends two weeks working on the competition mode, you've got a version that is two weeks ahead in that area before merging with the other teams.

    If they used version control it would have been very early and likely the teams (yes teams of 1 and 2, or 'tasks' like make competition mode, make this zone etc) would want to complete large chunks of tasks before merging (weather that be modern merging or simply sharing their work via floppy disk or other)

    I seriously doubt they had nightly builds where all their work merged together easily back then. Each team or people on a task would have burnt builds to their workstations for testing when they needed to, and these are the builds we are seeing.

    EDIT: Keep this in mind when trying to organize events like "why is this music still pre-michael jackson" based purely on burn dates ...
     
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  13. SEGACast

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    Is it possible that some of the remnants of the MJ music is in the files somewhere? This is day 1 of many possible discoveries, after all. So there is definitely quite a few things to be discovered as time goes on.
     
  14. Travelsonic

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    Anyone else notice that if you press B in the level select while on the sound test, a buzzer sound plays?
     
  15. Sz

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    No insider knowledge, but the special stages are (IMO) clearly a tech demo to demonstrate the viability of the 3D concept (before they invested a bunch of time in the familiar blue spheres stage we all know, they needed to prove it would work)

    re: source code, pretty much all VCS sucked back in the day, there was only so much you could do. The only thing that would be interesting is what their merge/patch process was, but the best case scenario would've been "only really awful and not hair-pullingly awful".

    Legal issue is mostly speculation, but very plausible speculation.
     
  16. Sz

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    FWIW, I come at it from the other side -- Nov 20 may well be correct for the gone gold date, but if so the Nov 3 build is of much older code.

    re: removing the "MJ" tracks -- and this is flippant, but -- we all know nobody wanted to be the one to remove the Ice Cap zone music from the game.
     
  17. DreamsComeBlue

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    I see. If that's the case, then the 2P team development fork theory seems the most plausible explanation for why these early tracks are still in the game. After all, how unlikely is it that Brad Buxer and his team could have got their stuff in the game in the 17 days between this build and the final? These tracks would have to be holdovers from an earlier version of the game.

    Unless... sometime after the lawsuit was filed in September, SEGA tentatively experimented with replacement tracks for the MJ stuff, perhaps appropriating tracks that they already had lying around (much how the Special Stage theme was a reused, technically unused song from an unreleased game). That could explain why some of the songs sound so wildly unlike anything else in Sonic 3 (proto Ice Cap Zone wouldn't sound out of place in a Kirby game). I mean I realize I'm just talking out of my ass here, but it's possible they weren't even originally composed with Sonic 3 in mind.
     
  18. Sz

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    Also: pure conjecture, but maybe worth considering... regarding release timing of this build. If I'm on the ST dev team in the middle of crunch, a few weeks from release, and some Sega marketing guy asks for a demo copy, I'm pushing back on giving them a recent build. "I'm busy, I don't have time for that! Do you want the game to ship on time or not? Use our old stable build from months ago, it mostly works."

    e: I guess what I'm saying is, it being an older build than it "should be" is along the lines of what I'd expect under the circumstances.
     
  19. GerbilSoft

    GerbilSoft

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    Nov. 20 would have been when the game was sent to manufacturing. It took at least a month or two for cartridges to be manufactured and shipped to distributors and retailers.
     
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