Sonic Month 2019: Sonic 3

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

  1. James Smith

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    There's also the scandals going on with MJ at the time when the PC Collection came out. I believe Sega by that point and even to this day are trying to stay clear from MJ because of the scandals. That's one of the big reasons why they changed the OST later on.
     
  2. Blastfrog

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    On that note, all the MJ/Buxer songs that didn't belong to zones or menus (such as competition) that weren't in S&K were replaced in S&K. So it's as if they went about removing it immediately after, they basically only existed in the game for a period of time between S3A final and the S3C protos, gone before and after.

    It just occurred to me, perhaps the S&K replacements (which included reverting to a proto track, but the rest were new compositions) were what Roger Hector may have been referring to when he said MJ style tracks were ditched during development because of the scandal. It's possible he wasn't inaccurate, just vague, and that it was during the post-S3A era of the game's development cycle. Perhaps they didn't want to reveal too much by reverting the level themes in the S3 zones, or were just too lazy to replace them and may have considered the ones in the proto incomplete mixes (but then it wouldn't have taken much to finish them).
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
  3. Fadaway

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    Been tied up with lots of things lately so pardon my belated thank you to drx. This is a huge deal. I love the “PC” music now. It sounds way better than those tinny MIDIs. I still think they’re not great or anything but they sound pretty damn nice now. To me, I think they’re really fun and almost sort of great, but none of them (and this goes for a lot of the game’s music in general) really fares up well next to Sonic 1 and 2. There are some hooks but it could have been much nicer and maybe these were works in progress by the time Michael’s team came on. I just can’t say.

    Paired with the best of S1&2, these are closer to B-side material but still good in their own right and maybe bringing on another well-known artist like MJ as they’d done with DCT would have been the sonic windfall needed. But the final tracks barely do it for me.

    As a kid, I noticed a difference between some of the game’s music and other music in the game, especially Knuckles’ theme and the miniboss theme and stuff like Launch Base or Carnival Night compared with stuff like AIZ.

    The Team Michael tracks can be appreciated because they have more “punch” but the original tracks as heard here have so much potential. I think a good remix series is in order aiming to meld the original and Michael/Buxer tracks together in an interesting way. Just a thought.

    And, these are just my own opinions. But I digress—there is sooooooooooo much going on with this ROM. I don’t totally trust the build date but it could be possible or it could be a dump from that date while other components and code and stuff were being worked on separately.

    Begs the question of who thought up the drop dash originally, doesn’t it. Iizuka, I’m coming right at you with a hard-boiled interview one of these days.
     
  4. Hez

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    What I am honestly curious about is if ALL of the prototype tracks were replaced at one point. I don't have the source off-hand, but I recall someone stating that Michael Jackson wasn't to happy with the converted tracks when he heard them on the MegaDrive. Which prompted them to "remove them" from the game and then removing his credits. Why I put quotes around that, is because I could have seen this going as either "You can keep tracks A,B,C etc., but I don't want my name tied to it" happening, OR as "Take all the MJ exclusive tracks out and keep the others he didn't write in" scenario.

    If that is the case, there very well could be a build that existed at one point with more MJ tracks in it as a POC. At this point in time, I don't think it had anything to do with scandals, and more to do with him being displeased with the MegaDrives capabilities in music.
     
  5. Dek Rollins

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    That has been one of the official stories for years I think, but I never bought it. MJ had already released his Moonwalker arcade and a Mega Drive version of it. If he was happy with how his actual music sounded when arranged for Mega Drive soundfonts, I don't buy that he was frustrated with the same tech when he was composing new songs specifically for it.
     
  6. Xilla

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    I've always felt that MJ thought it was going to be a Mega CD title personally, hence his disappointment.
     
  7. Spanner

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    And yet were they replaced for Sonic Jam? Or the various compilation releases? Or any other re-release? No, they never did those...
     
  8. James Smith

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    Its hard to say why this is the case. I have a feeling they were able to change the OST on the PC Port because of the different sound fonts being used. Now as for why the tracks weren't changed on every other re release, it's possible MJ's Estate wanted the tracks to be kept in since it is true that MJ was a big sonic fan before he got involved with Sonic 3. It's also possible Sega kept the tracks so the other composers in Brad's team could keep getting royalties for their work, or Sega kept the tracks because there would have been more of a uproar of Sonic 3's OST being changed at that time when we didn't know the proto tracks were THE original tracks made for the game. Honestly we don't know for sure the true reason why the MJ Team tracks were kept for so long..
     
  9. I genuinely believe that the S&K PC Collection is simply an anomaly. Expert Software either used the proto tracks by mistake, or because CNZ/ICZ/LBZ just didn't sound right with the soundfonts available for the port. It is even possible that Sega gave them the wrong tracks to work with.

    This would better explain why Sonic Jam, the various collections, and the Xbox Live Arcade and Steam releases did not alter the music. I don't believe the legal fiasco was even a thing until Cirocco Jones began huffing and puffing after Jackson's death.
     
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  10. GerbilSoft

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    The S&KC port was done in-house. Expert Software (later Activision Value) merely served as a re-release publisher years later.
     
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  11. Master Emerald

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    I thought two companies (HIC and USP) made the port, with SEGA providing support through select employess, like Toshinori Asai and even Jun Senoue.
     
  12. SyntaxTsu

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    If so, then there may have been an internal error which resulted in that port getting the prototype tracks.
     
  13. Hez

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    I honestly doubt any of that. It really probably boils down to the music format and lazyness. The original proto tracks were all composed in the same manor. MJ's tracks were probably shipped to them in a wav or higher quality format. Back when this was released, disk space was a concern for most people so the proto tracks were already done in a format easily converted to MIDI, MJ's were probably not. So, being a place designed to make profit, they chose to just use those instead. People forget that this team does not care about minor details like the fans do.
     
  14. Gestalt

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    From a legal perspective, how bullshit is it? =P For me the PC tracks don't stand out so much (against the music of other Jump ’n’ Runs). Buxer's songs were all bangers.
     
  15. Hez

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    Because once you create and hand over your work for a product, you don't own it anymore. Anyone who's worked for any sort of fortune 500 company would know that. Hell, I signed a paper at my current place of employment stating that anything I do that relates to the companies field is theirs while on company time. Now granted, contractually there may have been other stipulations, but I doubt they would have agreed to something as heinous as "You can only use this music on the Sonic 3 cartridge on the Sega Megadrive". That means less $$$ for Sega and more work to get around it. Remember people, this is a company that produces a product to make money. I feel like a lot of you get disconnected from that and view it differently because its our blue boy.
     
  16. Chibisteven

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    A lot of people are referring to the Genesis audio system as a sound font. In a technical sense it isn't anywhere close to a real sound font and neither was the synthesizer hardware the PC version MIDIs were intended to be played on anywhere close to an actual sound font in that regard. That said the PC version MIDIs on a modern operating system could easily be played using a sound font, VST instrument, or OPL emulator if anyone desired to.

    A lot of people also need to keep in mind how limited PC hardware was in the mid to late 90's. Hard Drives were quite small, so MIDI in this sense made a lot of sense, it most likely was difficult for sound cards to mix multiple streams in the WAVE part of Windows at different sample rates. Windows 95 didn't offer any resampling capabilities that Windows 98 would later introduce and offer. The audio hardware most consumers had was quite limited so using the prototype tracks is probably something they decided to use. Also overseas versions of Sonic & Knuckles: Collection included a screensaver which also ate the available space leftover. In the case of Sonic Jam, they decided to make use of the space that a CD-ROM would offer and stick a bunch ADPCM compressed tracks there at a sampling rate of 32KHz. The SEGA Saturn hardware was quite different from Windows PCs of the era. Comparing Sonic Jam and Sonic & Knuckles: Collection is really comparing apples to oranges because console hardware of the era was quite different from PC hardware of the era.
     
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  17. Gestalt

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    Omfg, how hard can it be to arrange an exception? Something tells me it's the management. Somewhere between being overprotective of someone's intellectual property & keeping the legacy of a megastar alive must be a solution that everyone is happy with..
     
  18. LocalH

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    It's entirely possible. As an example from other media, *many* TV shows have music changed in boxsets/rereleases/modern syndication, due to contracts that didn't cover all possible futures (which modern contracts *do* cover). It's very plausible that they *don't* have the rights to use that music in any other form than a Sonic 3 binary.
     
  19. big smile

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    I wonder if the issues is that back in 1993, Sega simply couldn’t fathom that it would be a third party publisher or that there would be things like mobile phones and emulation. So when they wrote the contract, it only talked about Sega platforms because the company wasn’t thinking about anything else. That’s why Sonic Jam could use the music but the PC collection could not.

    I am guessing emulation is a grey area because the code is still running on a Sega platform, it’s just that platform is running on another system.

    I find interesting that Sega was going on all in with Sonic 3 emulation but then stopped in the last few years. However they haven’t removed it from platforms like Steam. A long time ago a fan was trying to interview a member of the MJ team who wrote back and said that he wasn’t going to do any interviews because he was bringing a law suit to Sega. Surely that would have been settled by now?

    I also think it’s really interesting that Sonic 3 was on the Mega Drive plug and play console that was released a few years back in Brazil but not on the recent western version.
     
  20. Dek Rollins

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    If it hasn't been mentioned yet, BlazeHedgehog's "supplemental podcast" sequel to his Sonic 3 AIR video discusses possibilities like these and others:

    Since Michael Jackson was most likely contracted similarly to Nakamura, rather than being an in-house employee, it makes sense that he might own the copyright on the music he wrote. Nakamura had copyright for his music on Sonic 1 & 2, but Michael Jackson didn't get the same in Sonic 3's credits because of whatever actually caused them to not credit him as a contributor. If so, Sega would not be respecting the copyright MJ had any time his music was ported to a new platform, which would explain the PC version. I'm not too knowledgeable about the intricacies of contracts and licencing, so this is all guessing, mainly from the ideas presented in that video.