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Sonic Month 2019: Sonic 3

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

  1. XCubed


    Will Someday Own a Rent-A-Center Oldbie
    Absolutely incredible! I can see they had quite a few bugs to work out, especially sound resources as sound effects had an impact on music voices. Those “PC” tracks were surreal. Some recreations have been spot-on, but Carnival Night has a glow to it that the PC version and soundfont remakes didn’t capture. It’s interesting to see how the Hydrocity Act 1 boss really did use the normal boss music. Whatever weird replacement method they used still didn’t work like they wanted due to the easily trigger-able bug.

    Interesting hearing speed and instrumentation differences too!

    This is an outstanding discovery. Thank you and congratulations!
  2. SystemsReady


    I Have No Idea What I'm Doing At Any Given Moment Member
    The Twin Cities
    trying to not fall asleep while writing Selenium tests
    A small kernel of the idea behind the Light Speed Dash? :words:
  3. Vangar


    The final S3 Tracks are obviously the MJ ones. They are clearly derivatives of songs he released Such as 'Stranger in Moscow', 'Who is it', 'Jam'. Not to mention the audio clips of Michael Jackson's voice in them.

    Guesses like "They used his music in the final build as a mistake" is laughable. It's likely they chose the songs that would translate best to the mega drive. Just as we've seen with the game-hut cassettes, musicians will create a handful of tracks but that doesn't mean they are all destined to be used in the current project.

    As i said before, no one knows what the actual legal agreement is for these tracks. We do know there is a legal issue preventing the game from being re-released, as per Stealth / Taxman account.

    Everything I've been saying in here is theory based on evidence - Look at what we know and try to come to a conclusion based on that. If you start with a conclusion and work backwards, well, that's not theory, that's like flat earth evidence.
  4. When compared to stuff like Oil Ocean Zone between Simon Wai and the Censor Prototype, the general layout of Lava Reef Zone has remained fairly consistent between the Sonic 3 prototype and the Final Sonic & Knuckles. There are a few lava pits missing and a few extended, but that's about it.

    That is surprising, considering that there was a whole eight or so months between Sonic 3 being finalised and between Sonic & Knuckles being finalised.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  5. Spindash54


    Did you ever wonder how he spins in place? Member
    Just dropping in to This is simply amazing. It's been forever and a half since the days of Sonic Cult. This...this would've blown our minds at the time. I'm happy, just so happy to have witnessed something of this magnitude. Rock on.
  6. LockOnRommy11


    I’m not convinced that they are MJ’s. The compositions could be his, but none of the voice clips in the game are, and instead they all come from a soundfont archive that a lot of musicians use. I even found and used the original clips to edit the Miniboss theme to include higher quality voices a few years ago:
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  7. Sonic 65

    Sonic 65

    Tech Member
    Amazing stuff. I was always partial to the PC versions of CNZ1 and LBZ1 (I think I even made my own Megadrive conversions of them -- probably over a decade ago, using saxman's long-forgotten "Sonic QX" tool lol). So it's awesome to hear their "official" form :thumbsup:

    The Sonic 2 sprites look so much better than the final ones too, at least conceptually (if not technically). I always begrudgingly accepted Chubby Sonic for who he was, but 25 years on, it's time to admit that the change was for the worse!

    One thing I'd be really interested in seeing, which I don't think the wiki currently has, is a concise and organized development timeline for both Sonic 2 and Sonic 3. Organized by month: "October 1993: we know that this part was done", "June 1993: we speculate that this part had been started", "July 1993: we put Ice Cap Zone at about 50% finished", etc. (With Sonic 2 we have enough prototypes at this point that you could probably do it by week, or at least by fortnight.) Of course, it would be a mammoth project to sift through all the information we now have, and it would involve a lot of speculation and "subjectivity", but I think that it could really illuminate what big-budget game development was like in the '90s -- in a detail that you can't get from developer interviews, even the contemporary ones. How long it took to make each stage, how long it took to make each boss, the amount of time it takes for a part of the game to go from 80% to 90% complete, etc. And it could also help direct any future interviews with the developers.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  8. Blastfrog


    See ya starside. Member
    Indeed. I've wanted such a timeline like this myself for a while now. Like you said, we have enough builds of Sonic 2 now that we could make such a timeline, or at least a rough version. I like the way you think.

    Yeah, definitely. Hell, I'd argue they far look better here than they did in Sonic 2 with the palette. The blues in S2's palette were so low contrast and the 2nd and 3rd shades were hardly distinct. It also helps completely mask some of the ultra-sloppy shading between those (now merged) shades.

    The brighter and blue-ish greys also make the shading on the eyes much nicer to look at.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  9. Mentski


    Pff. Member
    Parts Unknown
    Being a mysterious face.
    I'm starting to wonder how many of these 41 tracks on the tape made by his team (which I guess we can assume include the "problematic" tracks in S3) in had any input from MJ at all.

    We know he hummed and beatboxed a few things to some of the composers that they made something out of, but that's about it.

    We now know the the track that was speculated for years to be derivative of "Who is it" is a track by Brad Buxer's band from 1982, and that interview posted earlier with Buxer seems to show that MJ was very, very hands off with this whole thing, and that the tune to Stranger in Moscow was entirely written by Buxer for S3, and he didn't get credit for it when it was turned into a track by Jackson later.

    It sounds like Michael had a habit of getting full credit for compositions that were actually written by his team, and he just added lyrics to.

    Makes you wonder doesn't it? If you look at it from the angle that these compositions were not Jackson's to begin with, maybe it's not his estate trying to state a legal claim on them and preventing an S3(&K) re-release?

    Scirocco said Sega owes "a lot of people money" for Sonic 3, after all.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
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  10. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    I'm not completely sure that the initial WOO shout is the same.
  11. LockOnRommy11


    Running through the hundreds of sound effects in the archive, I came across this effect which instantly grabbed my attention. No other SFX came close, and whilst it did sound a bit different to the game version, I decided to look in to it a bit further.

    I played around with it: shortening it, upping the pitch a little, lowered the quality of the sample, and in the end I felt compelled to believe that this was the same sample. The sample sound library also had the ‘c’mon’ and ‘Uh’ which I also added and I just felt like it would be believable to have found all three samples in the same library.

    I decided to use the unedited basic sample in my remake, as I was trying to emulate what it would have sounded like in concept.
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  12. SEGA just really needs to settle this.
    Pay the team, and change the soundtrack. I know that it'll take time to adjust to the fact that Ice Cap doesn't sound like Hard Times anymore, but at the end of the day, if it prevents further legal battles, then that's that.
  13. LockOnRommy11


    Maybe if they paid whoever they owed we could keep the original soundtrack - who knows!
  14. The Shad

    The Shad

    ↑ & ↓ & ↻ Oldbie
    Well I'll be a son of a bitch. I only found out about this because youtube recommended it. I thought "nah, this is probably just some hack". And I got REALLY skeptical when I saw a drop dash. But what the hell, this thing is real so I had to pop back onto here for the first time in an eternity.

    All my sentiments are echoes of what's already in this thread. The PC tracks being included in this build is surreal as fuck and they give off a major Ristar vibe that I'm digging. The fact they're the originals just blows apart all the old theories. Can't wait to see them implemented into something like Sonic 3 Complete. Also love Knuckles' best The Rock impression with his Just Bring It pose.

    And while they're not there, it really makes me wonder what kind of shape in some other fork the missing zones in this build were in.

    Glad to see what kind of amazing work still gets put into recovering these pieces of history. Great work to all involved.
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  15. RikohZX


    I'm incredibly curious about that HCZ1 background, why it got changed totally and why it doesn't match up with act 2's style as the final version. It even seems unfinished, what with the waterfalls, water level and pillars not looking right, and there's the fact that going deep enough in the water just seems to partly loop the background. It honestly looks like something derived from CD or 2's development more than a S3 background.
  16. Aesculapius Piranha

    Aesculapius Piranha

    つづく Oldbie
    I think the word you are looking for is "hypothesis."
  17. BlazeHedgehog


    A "Community Enigma"? Oldbie
    I mean, let's be real, that's probably a lot of music, once you get big enough. Sort of like how Jim Davis hasn't actually drawn Garfield in years. His name still goes on all the strips, but he has people do that for him now.

    And it makes sense to me. A creator's well of inspiration is only so deep, and after a certain point, it also becomes about more than simply making music. There's merchandising and production and a "brand" to maintain. A whole team's future depends on the success of one performer. So, installing backup systems to keep the albums (and money) flowing even if the creator themselves has writer's block or whatever, it works. It's cold, but it's also a reality of business.

    I know there are some who proudly advertise writing all of their own music (Taylor Swift does, I think?), but I don't blame those that have a production team like Michael Jackson did.
  18. Taylor


    I've been considering this after Scirocco's statements, but it's difficult to harmonize with the findings of this prototype. We know from Ohshima that MJ did directly compose some songs for Sonic 3, but they had to go unused. Is it possible that Sega was at one point considering scrapping Buxer's work as well due to being a close associate of MJ, hence the creation of the PC soundtracks?
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  19. foXcollr


    Previously 'Hanging Waters' Member
    I definitely agree here; of course we don't know if these are exactly the same samples used in-game, but it goes to show there is no evidence to suggest that the clips are MJ's voice. 90s vocal sample libraries are filled with "woos" of all different shapes and sizes :V
  20. McAleeCh


    As mentioned earlier in the topic, there's a set of level palettes from an even earlier point in development hidden away in the ROM. HCZ Act 2's uses shades of green in place of the purples used for the known background, and the order of the colours doesn't match up with the intended shading in some areas. This leads me to believe that HCZ was in the middle of a visual overhaul when this build was compiled, and while Act 2's background and palette had been replaced Act 1 was yet to be updated. The green colours in the early palette suggest it may have featured vegetation like the lower half of Act 1's early background, though without the accompanying art that's merely speculative.

    Incidentally, looking at the stage maps on TCRF, it looks like in this build HCZ Act 1's fake underwater section at the start doesn't require a palette change to work properly - is this correct? I know the final game starts with a different palette, and switches to the "proper" one just before Sonic bursts out the side of the wall to fall into the main stage.

    Also, re: those older palettes - aside from LRZ Act 1 and HCZ Act 2, do any others differ at all from the ones used in this build (or in the S&K/Sonic 3C protos in the case of the stages cut from this build)?
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
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