Sonic Month 2019: Sonic 3

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

  1. drx


    mfw Researcher
    I’d rather have the research here, in this thread and split the speculation off to another thread.

    It’s gonna get buried in the Reverse Engineering subforum and most people will miss it / discover stuff twice.
  2. sonicthesnot


    My guess is the S3 PC tracks are the original MIDI demos that were later programmed into the game. There was that huge interview a year or two back with some of MJ's crew, and they mentioned it was very difficult to compress the "MJ sound" down to the Genesis sound chip. So my guess is they used a format other than MIDI.

    When it came time to do the PC version they probably didn't want to bother converting MJ's demos to MIDI for such a small release, so they left in the original MIDIs.

    I legitimately think that the argument that MJ's tracks didn't sound good is true on the Genesis has some merit - MJ had a very rhythmic upbeat percussive style that IMO doesn't sound great on such a limited sound chip.
  3. MH MD

    MH MD

    Next SXSW event gonna be interesting with Q&A, someone gonna ask the hard questions like that boy with MJ question.

    That was fascinating to behold, music, drop dash etc, i have nothing to add.

    Some thinks the build was 2p fork or something, but i think it's much more simpler, they are simple levels they were finished fast and first, not that hard to imagine.

    Also those who says changing the music will be an admission of guilt and will be sued, then that should have happened in 1997 with PC, but clearly not what occurred, they can simply re-release it and says its based on PC version
  4. Strife


    United States
    Freedom Planet 2
    What if it's not a matter of Sega's contract with the musicians being too restrictive, but with it being too vague?

    It's been pointed out that Sega stopped porting/rereleasing Sonic 3 around 2010. Personally I have doubts that something in their legal agreement with the composers reached an expiration date, and I think it more likely has to do with Jackson's death around that time altering the circumstances of their relationship with his estate. There's a pretty broad consensus that a musician's work becomes much more valuable after their passing, and that was certainly the case with stars like Prince, David Bowie, and of course MJ. It's plausible that the Jackson estate simply didn't care to aggressively enforce its rights to the music until it became profitable to do so, thus they intend to push them for a bigger cut of the royalties the next time they rerelease the game, particularly now that MJ's involvement is public knowledge despite Sega's refusal to acknowledge his contributions.

    In that case, Sega wouldn't be held back by any strict rules in its contract with the music team, but more out of the fact that future remakes of Sonic 3 wouldn't make them any money. Not only would they potentially have to worry about royalties from prior sales of the game - which numbers in the millions - but they'd have to give up a decent chunk of sales from future ports, and in that case it's just not worth it to them to spend money on future ports unless they were guaranteed to be successful beyond their wildest expectations the way Mania was. I wouldn't blame them for just not bothering with it and instead investing in new games that they control 100%.
  5. About the 2p mode...

    The gfx for sonic and co are the s3 versions, yet 1p Is s2. Were the 2p and 1p gfx always different in the final? I assumed everything was scaled down on the fly to save space.

    Are there anymore gfx of new sonic buried in the ROM?
  6. Taylor


    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  7. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

    Virginia, USA
    Paying off student loans
    Once several years ago, I tried shrinking the 1p graphics out of curiosity. The results were noticeably different from the 2p sprites. Probably they shrunk the sprites manually, then touched them up to look better.
  8. Ashura96


    My guess is that the final sprites had been designed, but just not implemented in the game. The life icon matches the S3 style.
  9. muteKi


    Fuck it Member
    Also, while I can presume that the reason for the changes related to redrawing the surrounding '+' shape, the palette on the tumblers for the slot machine makes everything look a lot nicer. There's nuance to the shading that's lost in the final version.
  10. SEGA probably tried that as well and realised it looked even worse on a CRT. At least they wouldn't have to touch up too many sprites.

    The 2p levels always made me wonder. Why have such unique graphics for such a small part of the game? Was 2p planned and finished before the rest of the games levels were even fully realised - or some mad leftover from when it was supposed to be 3d? The s3 gfx are making me wonder more.

    This tinfoil hat is starting to get itchy...
  11. RikohZX


    This seems pretty reasonable. Sonic not having a victory pose, Knuckles already having S3 sprites despite some S2-style leftovers, and other factors imply to me that the Sonic spritesheet was one of the last things they wrapped up in the game development, and even that wasn't perfect as we all know thanks to the number of animations that still have S2 frames left over. Considering the pseudo-3D prerendered style they tried to go for, it was probably taking longer than expected to "perfect" his design.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  12. SpeedStarTMQ


    Here for The Hedgehog. Member
    I imagine 2p could have been finished earlier than other parts of the game to ensure that it could be implemented later without causing too many issues when coding it back in to the main development trunk.

    With that said, this is clearly an older version of Sonic 3, way before November ‘93. There is no way that the game would have been finished and ready to ship with around a month left, so it’s very likely this was a break-off branch of an earlier build for the purpose of building the 2p game and others have speculated.

    The varying 3D sprites in the game seem to just be chalked up to inexperience and time constraints. I don’t think the very few slightly odd looking 3D sprites we did get have any connection to older 3D assets: the final title screen sprite was clearly reworked later in development so it’s clear it wasn’t an original asset.

    It could have been that the 3D dev tools were acquired by SEGA with the intention to create a 3D game, and they ended up making use of them for the final product, but there’s nothing in the final game to suggest that any earlier assets were kept. Even the special stages sprites seem to be a last resort as a way to make it look 3D and they’re not much better than what came before in Sonic 2.
  13. BlazeHedgehog


    A "Community Enigma"? Oldbie
    This is pretty much my thought. It's clear they had new animation frames all outlined and everything, but the actual sprite sheet or whatever wasn't ready yet, so it all points to the wrong frames.

    2P Sonic has way less frames and way less detail, so it's already implemented.
  14. Pengi


    About the early Special Stage - it could be repurposed leftovers of the 3D version of Sonic 3?

    Google translated:

    From the prototype it certainly looks like they were perhaps aiming for something more fluid than the grid-based final.
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  15. JoseTB


    Tech Member
    Sorry if I overstepped, I'd like that as well, it just seemed to me that battle was already lost, since this thread is 80% speculation 20% hacking. But I'm sure something can be arranged with the moderators if you prefer.
  16. hxc


    spotteddove Researcher
    Well. Again. That's quite something isn't it?
  17. HP Zoner

    HP Zoner

    Crash Mania
    On the subject of the Ice Cap/Crystal Egg music similarities:

    Get rid of the former's intro and slow it down a bit, and you get a perfect match. Whatever this means, it's most definitely not a coincidence...
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  18. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    I think its more that the background beat of Proto Ice Cap is based off the main beat of Crystal Egg.

    Proto Ice Cap is still its own original song, just based off Crystal Egg.
  19. 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
    Has anyone else found it odd that the Sonic render in the background of the final's data select screen doesn't match the final Sonic render on the title screen? It has bothered me for literal years.


    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The nose is larger, the shading around the brow near the nose is more severe, and the mouth area isn't nearly as big as it is in the title screen (like they added more to the lower half of his face). It also lacks the actual mouth, and the tan part of the body tapers off just below the head instead of its top edge being cut off by the head like in the title.

    These are however all traits that match more closely the prototype's title screen, though like the final it doesn't match one to one to that either.


    Did they actually use a version of this model that was between stages seen in the prototype and final, I wonder...
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  20. RikohZX


    Honestly the Competition menu Sonic just looks like the final title screen but redone with different shadows and a mouth removal. Especially the hand.