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Sonic Spinball prototype origins?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Black Squirrel, Sep 4, 2023.

  1. Brainulator


    Regular garden-variety member Member
  2. ashthedragon


    Sonic Paradise Researcher
    Sonic Paradise & Sonic Ages
    Not only him. A close friend of mine, from Chile, had that version as a kid too. He always jokes about his surprise the first time he emulated Spinball and the title theme was drossin's, instead of the Dreams come true theme he remembered.
  3. saxman


    Oldbie Tech Member
    I tend to agree. A couple weeks ago, SSNTails was saying how he remembered the DCT theme song when playing Spinball as a kid. Moreover, he's an American, so you can't point to sketchy bootlegs. There may be other explanations to consider. Plus, if it's a prototype, it's still a complete game nonetheless, which is unusual for a prototype (though not unheard of as seen with the Kid Chameleon prototype we have where exactly two tiny changes were made that a vast majority of folks would never notice anyway).
  4. Ted909


    the future kick your ass Member
    I don't want to completely shut down all these memories that are surfacing, but linking back to that Bad Influence clip with the tune definitely, even if briefly audible at one point... do we think it's possible that it was a review copy of it for the media that got out?

    I can easily imagine a journo or someone else involved leaking it (though not necessarily Andy Crane, or even Violet Berlin).
  5. cartridgeculture


    Wiki Contributor Member
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  6. Brainulator


    Regular garden-variety member Member
    ...and I linked above to a reply to that thread, saying that someone remembers playing that build on an actual cartridge.

    I suspect this is the same sort of thing as Sonic 2 REV00, in which the later version is the more common version.

    Funnily enough, I actually discovered that Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (prototype 0612) is nearly identical to the final version of Knuckles in Sonic 2, at least as far as the UPMEM chip is concerned; the only differences involve a single-character bugfix involving an incorrect register and some invisible collision objects being adjusted for Casino Night Zone. The 0618 build is a perfect match for the final.
  7. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    The wiki can't be based on what people remember. Someone has to present a cartridge to prove it was sold commercially (and preferably dump it, to make sure it has the other changes too).

    It can be the latest of late prototypes, but if it wasn't sold... it's a prototype.
  8. saxman


    Oldbie Tech Member
    I don't think you should simply dismiss years worth of people around the internet saying they remember the alternate music in their version of the game. It's not as though it's limited to one or two people. That in of itself is a bias. I think the more prudent thing would be to consider this inconclusive for the time being. None of us have actually inquired about those cartridges that people played on. This thing may very well have been shipped, accident or not.
  9. Ted909


    the future kick your ass Member
    Still considering all possibilities here... there's another example

    Dodgy Kebab's old massive Sega UK television appearance tape has a few clips from The Big Breakfast's regular video games feature, Master Blaster. And guess what popped up on it, old music intact, at least one month prior to release?

    Chris Evans makes the moderately-sized claim that Spinball has never been seen on TV before. I don't know how true that claim actually is. It's not going to be easy to verify an exact date either - even if Channel 4 had a listings project like Genome, it probably wouldn't ever be detailed enough to note the games featured in each Big Breakfast episode from that time.
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  10. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    We can narrow the search - according to this only these episodes for the last five months of 1993 are missing:

    02.08.1993 Episode No. 221
    03.08.1993 Episode No. 222
    05.08.1993 Episode No. 224
    06.08.1993 Episode No. 225
    10.08.1993 Episode No. 227
    12.08.1993 Episode No. 229
    13.08.1993 Episode No. 230
    16.08.1993 Episode No. 231
    18.08.1993 Episode No. 233
    19.08.1993 Episode No. 234
    20.08.1993 Episode No. 235
    23.08.1993 Episode No. 236
    26.08.1993 Episode No. 239
    27.08.1993 Episode No. 240
    30.08.1993 Episode No. 241
    31.08.1993 Episode No. 242
    02.09.1993 Episode No. 244
    03.09.1993 Episode No. 245
    07.09.1993 Episode No. 247
    08.09.1993 Episode No. 248
    10.09.1993 Episode No. 250
    13.09.1993 Episode No. 251
    14.09.1993 Episode No. 252
    16.09.1993 Episode No. 254
    17.09.1993 Episode No. 255
    20.09.1993 Episode No. 256
    21.09.1993 Episode No. 257
    22.09.1993 Episode No. 258
    27.09.1993 Episode No. 261
    29.09.1993 Episode No. 263
    30.09.1993 Episode No. 264
    01.10.1993 Episode No. 265
    04.10.1993 Episode No. 266
    07.10.1993 Episode No. 269
    08.10.1993 Episode No. 270
    11.10.1993 Episode No. 271
    12.10.1993 Episode No. 272
    13.10.1993 Episode No. 273
    15.10.1993 Episode No. 275
    19.10.1993 Episode No. 277
    20.10.1993 Episode No. 278
    21.10.1993 Episode No. 279
    22.10.1993 Episode No. 280
    25.10.1993 Episode No. 281
    26.10.1993 Episode No. 282
    29.10.1993 Episode No. 285
    02.11.1993 Episode No. 287
    03.11.1993 Episode No. 288
    04.11.1993 Episode No. 289
    05.11.1993 Episode No. 290
    09.11.1993 Episode No. 292
    10.11.1993 Episode No. 293
    12.11.1993 Episode No. 295
    15.11.1993 Episode No. 296
    16.11.1993 Episode No. 297
    18.11.1993 Episode No. 299
    19.11.1993 Episode No. 300
    22.11.1993 Episode No. 301
    23.11.1993 Episode No. 302
    25.11.1993 Episode No. 304
    29.11.1993 Episode No. 306
    30.11.1993 Episode No. 307
    02.12.1993 Episode No. 309
    03.12.1993 Episode No. 310
    07.12.1993 Episode No. 312
    08.12.1993 Episode No. 313
    10.12.1993 Episode No. 315
    13.12.1993 Episode No. 316
    15.12.1993 Episode No. 318
    16.12.1993 Episode No. 319
    17.12.1993 Episode No. 320
    20.12.1993 Episode No. 321
    22.12.1993 Episode No. 323
    23.12.1993 Episode No. 324
    24.12.1993 Episode No. 325
    28.12.1993 Episode No. 327
    29.12.1993 Episode No. 328
    31.12.1993 Episode No. 330


    There's talk of Channel 4 maybe having an archive somewhere... but also maybe not, because many of its programs were contracted out, and thus Channel 4 doesn't strictly own the rights to many of its shows and arfdgadsgsad.

    Shoutout to any television archivists reading this: I had an idea once to archive all of UK television (at least, pre-digital) - not how it's currently done, where people cherry pick bits of shows or presentation and put it in an online database, but as a big fat "stream" from the moment the channel started broadcasting to the present day. So if you wanted to watch Channel 4 in 1993 like it was live, you could - people would submit footage, and we'd slowly fill in the massive gaps. And yes you'd have subtly different streams for the different regions so if you wanted to watch split-screen views of breakdowns, you totally could. And hours of test cards or blank screens.

    I think the technology exists. It would take years and years and years for a channel to be watchable, but if you wanted to know what was airing on a specific date and time, it's just a couple of clicks, rather than hoping someone uploaded something to YouTube and named it correctly.
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  11. Ted909


    the future kick your ass Member
    Screenocean have at least some episodes of it up on their site, but none from the exact period we're specifically looking for to see Spinball here. And they've all got fat watermarks at best, or are unavailable to stream altogether at worst, unless you're willing to (understandably) cough up the cash.

    Side note - I clocked a while ago that site had a lot of other interesting things, like assorted episodes of Gamesmaster. Their succinctly brief description of the infamous Mario 64 episode made me smile:
  12. LockOnRommy11


    I disagree. People think they remember all sorts of stuff, when their memories have been rebuilt over the years to what they think they remember. What’s funny is that for the amount of people saying they remember it (actually, a few, but not that many as far as I know?) there’s no cartridge evidence whatsoever. There’s a whole wide world of collectors and connected retro gaming scenes out there but not one person has a copy to prove it?

    Until there’s actual evidence, take what people think they remember with a pinch of salt, especially when there’s layers of information that go with the memory (I.e. I was young, someone else rented it, I don’t remember the time exactly, I just remember the final music sounding odd, etc.)
  13. Taylor


    Especially since the track in question is a remix of the Sonic 1 theme, very easy for memory mix ups to happen. That being said, it'd probably be fine for some acknowledgement on the Wiki as long as it's pointed out that its just hearsay.
  14. Chimpo


    I Gotta Be Me Member
    Los Angeles, 2029
    Don't Forget! Try Your Best!
    Sort of reminds me of this fiasco.


    People swore by the claim that something that never happened, happened, to the point that everyone just accepted it as fact. Hell, I believed it.
  15. evilhamwizard


    I also think the fact that the ROM was classified as an alt ROM and not a prototype even since the GoodGEN days also contributed to people being confused with their memories.

    If the game was mastered and pressed with the music, Sega definitely would've made that classification by the revision number in the ROM itself, but there's only been US REV00 and PAL REV00. I did a little bit of research, and the Sonic Spinball carts in the US were manufactured in two weeks in 1993. The mask ROMs were manufactured in the 42nd (Oct. 18, 1993 ~ Oct. 24, 1993) and 43rd weeks in 1993 (Oct. 25, 1993 ~ Oct. 31, 1993). I think there were carts manufactured in 1996, but based on available pictures of the mask ROM, these were the earliest manufacture dates I could confirm. If there was an earlier revision with the music, it would've had to have been manufactured sometimes around week 38 (September 20, 1993 ~ September 26, 1993) to week 41 (October 11, 1993 ~ October 17, 1993), since the final US build was made around 1992-09-22, a presumed alternate build with the alternate title theme had to be made no earlier than the 20th to be on the safe side to coincide with the stories. So a "mpr-15753" with a manufacture year and week around 38-41 would be your alternate music cart, if it actually existed (which I doubt).
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  16. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
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  17. If there is an actual post from 1993 where someone states, "Oh, the music is the DCT theme," that's worth discussing. However, I don't think someone talking about a memory 20-30 years removed is worth much.
  18. saxman


    Oldbie Tech Member
    The world didn't begin 10 years ago, my friend. It seems some folks on here who were present in the older days of the scene have some amnesia, because I remember quite well how numerous people were making the claim ~1999, whenever the ROM became common knowledge. That would be only six years after the game's release.

    I'm willing to believe it's more likely a prototype than not. And yes, we all misremember things from time to time. But my main issue is nobody has even made an attempt to properly rule out the "this was accidentally published" scenario in the face of all these claims that go back decades. That's not exactly objective.

    Anyway, I don't want to beat a dead bush. I just wanted to add some clarity.
  19. 1. Please don’t talk to me like I’m 15 lol. Even if I were, I’m just trying to ensure we have a good methodology for the Wiki. We don’t want the barrier of proof to be hearsay.

    2. Do we have any records of the posts from 1999? Though, if the ROM was known of prior to the posts it could have given people false memories. If we don’t have documented physical copy, I think acting like it’s real would necessitate having multiple posts from before knowledge came out where the stories match up.
  20. saxman


    Oldbie Tech Member
    1) There's no need to be offended. Nobody's talking down to you or assuming you're 15. I treat you as you are. I'm rhetorical in my first few sentences, slightly tongue-in-cheek. You said 20-30 years ago, I was making the point that people were talking about it long before the last decade. And yes, I'm stating that I was here long before most (but not all) folks here, though I'm certainly not pointing to anyone specifically, but simply giving my own statements the context they deserve.

    2) It'd be difficult, but maybe not impossible. I'd have to do some digging when I have time. I have some links saved off that I could look at. But I can say that many of the people commenting at the time didn't know of the ROM prior based on the discussions as I recall them occurring. But then we're relying in MY memory for this, so that's even more reason to look deeper into this.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2023
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