Sonic Month 2019: Sonic 3

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

  1. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

    I Have No Idea What I'm Doing At Any Given Moment Member
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    The Twin Cities
    trying to not fall asleep while writing Selenium tests
    The water table for CNZ act 2; please elaborate. It does move in the final but only when knuckles presses the switch. In ORKAL's Sonic 3 glitch videos it was mentioned that Weird Shit happens with the water level (it is either too high for that part of the stage or too low, can't recall) if you manage to skip the "Knuckles shuts off the lights" cutscene or the switch to turn them back on. Is this referring to the same, or does it actually move more or less than it does in the final?

    This sounds like it would be right at home in Sonic 3D Blast.
     
  2. I don't know, I feel like this one's different enough to be coincidental.
     
  3. I don't know if we're talking about the same thing, but a melody from AIZ1 is reused in bars 8-15 of AIZ2 that sounds so different in this prototype that I thought it was new until I went back and checked.
    $40 in the sound test is actually the same in the final game, and our Fred Bronze did a post on his Sonic 3 Unlocked blog about it.
    TL;DR it's reasonable to assume that $40 was designed to be the sound effect for breaking a lightning shield monitor (and was the one actually used in Generations and Lost World), and $41 was actually intended for an unused item box.
     
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  4. Vangar

    Vangar

    Member
    I mean that if you just sit in the water, the water level moves up and down like in Aquatic Ruin S2, where in the final it just sits still.
     
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  5. XRick

    XRick

    Member
    I wonder if SEGA, Sonic Team, Iizuka, Yasuhara or Naka have been following this Sonic Month.
    If yes, I'd have liked to hear something from them, especially from Sonic Team onwards...
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
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  6. That One Jig

    That One Jig

    aka RichterSnipes Member
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    Somewhere in America
    (Not) Working on My PokéHack
    I'm absolutely stunned at this discovery. Outside of prototypes for Sonic 1, this has to be the holy grail of Sonic developmental builds. The replacement... no, ORIGINAL music tracks, the Sonic 2 sprites, the drop dash, the tech demo special stage inserts... seeing all of it is just so surreal. Thank you everyone who was responsible for bringing this to light!

    It's been over half a decade since I last appeared here, and it's only fitting that S3 would be what brought me back. It was the Sonic 2 sprites in the S3 prototype images that originally got me into hacking, trying to put them back in the game. Seeing them in the game in any official capacity (developmental, in this case) really feels like an old dream coming true (pardon the pun). It's like my deeper retro Sonic fandom has come full circle!

    With what's here, it seems pretty clear that the S2 sprites were merely placeholders by this point in development. The 2P sprites are based on the final S3 Sonic sprites, many S3-specific animations have no custom sprites built for them, and the ones that do have custom sprites look pretty awkward and rushed. Seeing the early Knuckles sprites in the AIZ stage demo, though, makes me feel like maybe that wasn't the case early on. His stationary sprites look like they'd fit in pretty well with the style, although his walking sprites are just... weird. The exaggerated characterization in them almost reminds me of somethilng like Sonic Spinball.

    Are we sure that these are the "authentic" instruments that would have been used by these tracks in the final release? There's some notably unpolished elements with much of the music in the game. Focusing on the replaced tracks, ICZ1 feels awfully lacking in sound, LBZ2's track doesn't loop quite properly, and the unused track (2E) feels very rough in its instruments used. This isn't to mention the various changes made to the music that is in the final game. You got MHZ/MVZ using Seinfeld-esque bass, AIZ using some weird instruments, DDZ using an ear-annihilating sound, SSZ sounding like a completely different mix, and so on.

    Whether they ever got touched up any further than this before being gutted from the final version of the game, though, I gotta admit that they sound pretty great. They give me a lot more respect for the PC version's tracks than I previously had.
     
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  7. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    waiting for you on the beach Wiki Sysop
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    it's a quipu
    This could keep me busy for a while - very well done.

    I think the best was certainly kept until last.
     
  8. Vangar

    Vangar

    Member
    Continuing my little hardware play-through, i found a couple of extra things in addition to my previous post:

    • If you start at ICZ2, you can fly up to the top and go backwards and fight the Act 1 boss in act 2. The end card says you completed act 1.
    • Getting the speed shoes play the invincibility tune and doesn't stop when the speed runs out
    • Pressing B on hardware in the menu doesn't seem to do anything (someone said it makes a noise on emulator?)
    • When Robotnik appears in Marble Garden, the grey numbering in the HUD becomes black, when he leaves, it returns to a light grey
    • Electric shield doesn't seem to protect you from electric attacks, doesn't reflect projectiles
    • Marble Garden spikes don't make a noise when they fire projectiles
    • Haven't seen any bonuses pop out of the ground using a signpost, i don't think they exist.
    I've edited my original findings post with confirmations and notes after I went back to S3 vanilla to check also.

    EDIT: What is the debug code so I can use it on hardware? EDIT 01, 03, 05, 07 and hold A+Start on a level
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
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  9. I guess now might the music from this prototype could be use for Sonic 3 A.I.R, lol.
     
  10. Vangar

    Vangar

    Member
    He's pulling the same pose:
    [​IMG]
     
  11. N!NJA

    N!NJA

    Member
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    Under your bed.
    Collecting all Cartridge based Sonic games and their regional variations!
    Well not seen this posted here yet, There's three offsets containing source code.

    Offset: AFF0F has the following,
    Code (Text):
    1. WhichMessage
    2.                 Bra     @DoneInput
    3.  
    4. @InComingHail:
    5.                 Move.w  #3,WhichMessage
    6.                 Bra     @DoneInput
    7.  
    8. @ImpulseDamaged:
    9.                 Move.w  #4,WhichMessage
    10.                 Bra     @DoneInput
    11.  
    Offset: BFAB5 has the following,
    Code (Text):
    1. the screen.
    2.  
    3. DMAScrollArrows:
    4.                 Subq.w  #1,ArrowDelay                           ; Determine if arrow buffers or blanks should
    5.                 Bne.s   @NoTogg                                 ;  be DMA'ed this makes the arrows flash.
    6.  
    7.                 Move.w  #15,ArrowDelay                          ; Reset delay between flashes.
    8.                 Eor.w   #1,ArrowToggle                          ; Toggle between blanks and arrows.
    9.  
    10. @NoTogg:
    11.                 Tst.w   ArrowToggle                             ; Branch to relevent bit.
    12.                 Beq.s   @ArrowsOff
    13.  
    14. ; ====== Arrows on, DMA the buffers. ======
    15.  
    16.                 Lea     UpArrowBuffer,A0                        ; Source.
    17.                 Lea     ScrollBBase+(27*2)+(21*64),A1           ; Destination.
    18.                 Move.w  #1,D0                                   ; Number of words.
    19.                 Move.l  #VDP_VRAMWrite,D1                       ; Set to write to VRAM.
    20.                 Moveq   #2,D2                                   ; Auto increment.    
    21.                 Jsr     PushDMA                                 ; Move characters to VRAM.
    22.  
    23.                 Lea     DownArrowBuffer,A0                      ; Source.
    24.                 Lea     ScrollBBase+(27*2)+(26*64),A1           ; Destination.
    25.                 Move.w  #1,D0
    And lastly offset: CF973 has,
    Code (Text):
    1. Lea     ScrollBBase+($b*64)+(27*2),A1
    2.                 Jsr     Word_2GVRAM
    3.                 Move.w  #AsciiOffset+CHR_Palette0+CHR_HighPri,D5 ; Color is different if in impulse.
    4.  
    5.                 Bra     @DoneSeperators
    6.  
    7. @NotImpulse:
    8.                 Move.w  #AsciiOffset+CHR_Palette3+CHR_HighPri+'.',D0        ; Place decimal points and '/' seperators.
    9.                 Lea     ScrollBBase+($5*64)+(28*2),A1        
    10.                 Jsr     Word_2GVRAM  
    11.                 Lea     ScrollBBase+($7*64)+(27*2),A1
    12.                 Jsr     Word_2GVRAM  
    13.                 Lea     ScrollBBase+($d*64)+(28*2),A1
    14.                 Jsr     Word_2GVRAM  
    15.                 Move.w  #AsciiOffset+CHR_Palette3+CHR_HighPri+'/',D0
    16.                 Lea     ScrollBBase+($9*64)+(27*2),A1
    17.                 Jsr     Word_2GVRAM
    18.                 Lea     ScrollBBase+($b*64)+(27*2),A1
    19.                 Jsr     Word_2GVRAM
    20.                 Move.w  #AsciiOffset+CHR_Palette3+CHR_HighPri,D5 ; Set up character color.
    21.  
    22. @DoneSeperators:
    23.                 Move.w  CurrentDistance,D7                      ; Get whole part of DISTANCE.
    24.                 Moveq   #3,D6                                   ; Three characters.
    25.                 Moveq   #'$',D2                                 ; Lead with a spaces.
    26.                 Lea     ScrollBBase+($5*64)+(25*2),A1           ; Screen destination.
    27.                 Jsr     PrintVal                                ; Print it.
    28.                 Move.w  CurrentDistance+2,D7                    ; Get fractional part of DISTANCE.
    29.                 Moveq   #2,D6                                   ; Two digits.
    30.                 Move.w
    "Impulse" makes me think it's StarTrek related.

    EDIT: derp someone edited it on HiddenPalace already but didn't post the code.
     
  12. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    I echo the sentiment that the main gane seems to represent a date much earlier than November. I don't know if this is the 2 player team's build or if anything like that existed, but I do believe they couldn't possibly have done so much work before the December prototype.

    I also think the PC tracks still sound strange and don't really fit with the rest of the game. It's interesting that they were in from an early stage, but I get the feeling that there's more to them than that they were the original tracks and were replaced by MJ's team. Just food for thought: why did SAK replace the S3 Knuckles' theme with a new one, rather than just using this proto theme (PC songs).


    This might sound like a crackpot theory, but I think it's possible that these songs are just placeholders until MJ's team got their tracks together, probably unused music that was lying around internally in SEGA. When the game was ported to PC, there might have been some error by the PC team/might have been sent a wrong build and so the PC tracks were put in by accident.

    People forget that Sonic Jam came out around the same time as Sonic 3 PC and that had no problem using the old songs when porting the games to Saturn. I don't think the timeline of scrapping MJ's music is as neat as everyone thinks. In fact, Sonic Jam came out after Sonic Knuckles PC Collection.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
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  13. McAleeCh

    McAleeCh

    Oldbie
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    Man, some of those earlier leftovers are incredibly tantalising - in particular, the early HCZ2 palette has me intrigued. The ordering of the colours definitely doesn't fit the artwork from this build - this and the heavy presence of the colour green make me think it may have had a background involving vegetation at one point, similar to the lower half of the early HCZ1 background that's still used in this build. Makes me wish there were leftovers of earlier art for this Zone to go with that palette, so we could see what the original plan was...!
     
  14. Vangar

    Vangar

    Member
    IMO they are far too developed to be placeholder songs, and they do fit the theme of the other songs. Not to mention that if they were placeholder, they wouldn't use them in the PC version.

    The topic that continues to pop-up, including for the cancelled S3 remaster project, is licensing. We don't know exactly what the details are, but we can guess. It's likely that the songs can be used so long as the ROM is in it's original format or 'playing on a sega console'. It appears that running the game in an emulator is ok, but re-releasing the title or updating it isn't acceptable for the agreement that it's under. Some hefty document agreement with Michael Jackson's estate that is still standing today.
     
  15. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    Perhaps, but the songs are far too different to the other songs in Sonic 3, something's up.

    Upon listening to the songs closer, the second acts don't remix the existing melody in the same way every other track in Sonic 3 does. I'm almost certain these were, at the very least, composed by people completely unrelated to the dev team of Sonic 3.
     
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  16. Lurker

    Lurker

    sleep Member
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    There is something special about playing this prototype on an old CRT and a dusty old Genesis that mostly goes unused.

    Thanks everyone who made this happen
     
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  17. That is absolutely untrue for this prototype's IceCap Zone music, the two acts have very similar renditions of the same tune, about as similar as the two versions of Marble Garden Zone.
    There's one particular phrase that's shared between the two acts of Carnival Night Zone, near the beginning of the tune. Goes "tootoo too too tootoo too". On top of that, as others have noted, Act 2 has some rather striking similarities to Hydrocity Act 2.
    With regard to Launch Base Zone, they begin with (ignoring the four bar intro of Act 1) a melody that (despite different syncopation) traces the following scale degrees: 1 5 8 5 7 6 4 6 5 1 while alternating between chords I and VII. That melody is then repeated minus the return to 1 at the end, landing on chord V with the final 5 of that melody line. (TL;DR for the non-musicians: yeah they're definitely the same tune)
    In general I'd say that the music of Sonic 3's 2-player stages has always struck me as rather different to the rest of the game's soundtrack, and these six tracks feel much more similar in style to those.

    I like to think someone out there has watched the half-dozen edits to the Launch Base paragraph in real time and is wondering what the fuck is going on with my brain.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
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  18. Prototype

    Prototype

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    So, this isn't particularly a groundbreaking post and I'm sure everyone's found the major tidbits. But for what it's worth, despite the lack of a functional Slot Machine bonus stage, from what I can tell in the VDP viewer, that unused Super Sonic reel sprite is still loaded into VRAM (if I'm getting my ROM terminology correct)

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. The songs in this have more tracks than the MIDI counterparts. The 'unfinished' feel is because the MIDIs were probably the original source files and these were converted by hand by someone. Specially CNz 1 and 2. They sound amazing here.
     
  20. Only because it's everybody's current favorite fan theory.

    Sega did not license any commercial music for Sonic 3 so to say "licensing" is inaccurate at best. Sorry if I'm being pedantic but I'm pretty sure I'm right.

    Citing Wikipedia but whatever:
    • "A work must be registered, however, before a copyright owner may bring suit for infringement."
    • "for the purposes of copyright, a publisher is the owner of the copyrighted work"
    The alleged "Brad/MJ" tracks are copyright Sega unless Brad/MJ published them elsewhere first.