Sonic the Hedgehog (Prototype)

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by drx, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. Laura

    Laura

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    Is it possible that the end jump was originally an animation similar to Mania but became assigned to jumping temporarily because it was going to be cut?

    I'm not a programmer :V
     
  2. MagnusTheGreen

    MagnusTheGreen

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    I could see that happening. Maybe they had the idea for Mania by looking at concept art for Sonic 1 that showed that code/idea off?
     
  3. Delta

    Delta

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    So, I haven't seen anyone else mention this. But:

    [​IMG]
    What is the significance? Well, in the rev00 final, the blocks in the lava don't float. They are static in that position. But in Rev01, they float up and down, where the apex is at that position. ...which also appears to happen in the prototype. Why was this removed at one point and then readded?
     
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  4. David The Lurker

    David The Lurker

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    I guess the same reason I would never expect one of the prototypes for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to be in a potential Sonic collection - it's not really meant for the general public. They were made for trade shows and magazine previews, sure. But there are things that are weird and broken. You open the level select, run into Clock Work Zone, and then you just fall and fall and fall - maybe not the best look to have in your pristine Sonic compilation. To make sure a prototype like we've seen would "work" in a compilation, there would be steps to make sure it doesn't crash your product. Fiddling with decades-old code that they can't be bothered to fix. Those who frequent Sonic Retro might not mind a disclaimer in the front of a prototype ROM in a compilation, but I could see them being weary of how the general public would react to, say, that screen locking glitch in Marble Zone Act. 3. Or that there's something even more catastrophic that would force someone to reboot their console of choice.

    The Tokyo Toy Show presentation was the first bit of Sonic that existed, but if it was an autodemo? Well, no one's picking up a controller and playing it. They just get to see a loop forever and ever. A neat piece of Sonic ephemera that you can throw into a compilation, with little worry that it's going to crash your game and force people to restart. People here would dump the ROM, disassemble it, dig in and see all the cool things, maybe have Sonic playable if he isn't already - but it would be safe in how it exists on an officially released compilation.

    That's just an educated guess, mind you. I could be way off.

    I do want to join in on the chorus of excitement that everyone's had for the prototype. I know I wrote a bit on the front page (yes we have one), but this is something I always hoped would come out of the woodwork. The original Sonic the Hedgehog still captures my imagination to this very day, and each story behind its development, every newly discovered screenshot, has just continued that love affair. There are plenty of times when it seemed like it would never happen, but I'm not afraid to admit that I screamed in delight the moment the logo appeared on the Hidden Palace stream, with that blinking "Press Start Button" underneath. I've been waiting since the moment Simon Wai posted about the Sonic 2 prototype.

    Drx and the rest of the crew have been doing a great service over the last fifteen years. The Sonic 1 prototype is the cherry on top. But man, what a cherry it is.
     
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  5. Travelsonic

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    I know I posted this earlier in the thread, but in case people don't want to go back X pages to find it, I am left wondering, and am REALLY, REALLY curious about something ... why despite debug mode being enabled by default can't one enter that object placement mode in the special stage?

    Would it have anything to do with the game crashing from Sonic moving too far out of the special stage?

    I had to use memory editing to movie Sonic out of the stage to observe this phenomenon, but it is the case that unlike in the Final version where Sonic falls into a bunch of garbled data (which is what, game memory being interpreted as object/tile data?), the game crashes if Sonic gets out of the special stage/falls freely. Question I am left with is, does that has anything to do with debug mode/object placement mode specifically being disabled in the special stage?
     
  6. SSUK

    SSUK

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    I would like to say that it is almost certain that Sega does not have any non-final builds of Sonic 1 in their possession, though my earlier comments in this thread makes me reconsider. Either way, we know that Sega's archive does contain Sonic 1 pre-release materials such as concept art and documents that they have been drip-feeding out in various Sonic game collections over the years. They may have the source code, given the weird inclusion of a single frame of the Marble Zone UFO in the otherwise unremarkable Mobile Java version of Sonic 1, which implies that the Java version was created in some part from the original source code repo as those graphics do not appear in any retail version of the game, though we cannot say for certain. But whether that source code could be used to build older versions of the game is very much undetermined, most likely not.

    Any pre-built prototypes were likely discarded. Preservation isn't a huge thing in the industry right now let alone 30 years ago, though things are better these days as storage is cheap and team sizes are much bigger so things like revision software are handy tools that developers just use. EEPROMs, where those prototypes would have been burned, were reused within Sega as evidenced by the Sonic 3 prototype EEPROMs having leftovers for a Star Trek game on them and the Simon Wai prototype EEPROMs having Ninja Turtle game leftovers on them. Developers needed EEPROMs to test games on, they were given them and they used them, destroying whatever was on them previously. We don't know how many copies of the Tokyo Toy Show demo there were, there may have only been one. The EEPROMs may still have the data on them, stowed away in someone's private collection somewhere. Difficult to say. It's taken a very long time for what we believe to be the most common Sonic 1 prototype to surface.

    But as to why Sega would not include a prototype version of a game on a collection if they had one? I guess they might not reckon its of interest to people? I mean, prototype versions being included on collections is rare, very rare. The recent Disney Mega Drive game collection(s?) included a prototype of the Mega Drive Aladdin game (that was already floating around the internet). The only other instance I can think of was the Gunstar Heroes Sampler ROM included in the PS2 Gunstar Heroes Treasure Box collection, that prototype was not floating around the internet until officially released. I'm sure someone can inform me if there's been other notable cases.

    Possibly. It could have been intended to be a one-time animation when Sonic passed the signpost and the animation could have been assigned to jump for testing. However, given that end-of-act animations weren't introduced into the series until Sonic 3 (and as we've seen from the Sonic 3 prototype, they didn't draw any end-of-act celebrations in the Sonic 2 style so that concept came in real late by the looks of it) it seems to work against this theory somewhat.

    One imagines that at some point the celebration-jump and the end-of-act point bonuses existed at the same time, rather than the final game's behaviour where you having a second or so to find a few oddly placed point bonuses above the sign post before Sonic auto-runs off the side of the screen. The auto-run off seems weird in retrospect, given the jump animation's purpose in this prototype and the point bonuses existing in the final. Was the Special Stage warp animation thing cut by this point or just not implemented/finalised (given the WIP state of special stages)? If it was still intended to be included, did the auto-run off need to be there for that animation to play out smoothly? Only for the animation to be cut later but they then didn't remove the auto-run off?

    ---

    Edit: Not sure if anyone has done this yet, but I compared the aforementioned Sonic 1 Java UFO graphic to the same frame from this prototype:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    32x32px images aren't super easy to compare on modern screens, so here's some 128x128 resized graphics as well. The first UFO is from the Mega Drive prototype, the second is the image from the Java port and the third is a 50% opacity Mega Drive UFO over the Java UFO graphic for easy comparison. They're pretty much identical. There's a bit of noise in the Java image, presumably caused by GIF compression, in the cloud parts of the graphic easily noticeable just above the UFO. For someone to redraw that frame 1:1 from resources available on the internet I would image would be pretty darn though even for the most dedicated of hoax maker, let alone some developer on a Java mobile port of Sonic 1 where they are likely very unaware of the infamy of that UFO graphic. I'm fairly certain they had access to something that included the UFO graphics, I can only imagine that's the game's source code.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
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  7. Kyuu

    Kyuu

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    I'd assume it's as simple as the special stage debug controls (to control the spin speed and direction and whatnot) overriding the standard debug controls. Having said that, I've always been curious about the garbage layout you get when using debug to go outside the normal stage bounds in Sonic 1, yeah. Doesn't S3K just crash or reset if you do that?

    Wonder what changed between this proto and the final to create that behaviour...
     
  8. Travelsonic

    Travelsonic

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    It has been a while since I last tried to go out of the S3&K bonus stage with debug, but IF I recall correctly at least, the game behaves similarly to Sonic 1 in terms of getting thrown into a bunch of garbage data (or with my luck, getting thrown into a goal lurking in said data XD)

    Also good point about the rotation speed/direction debug controls. :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
  9. MagnusTheGreen

    MagnusTheGreen

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    Ok. Although there may be a solution. They could make a museum of sorts, where you can enter the beta levels and look through them in "noclip" mode, and then you could hit a button to drop in wherever your cursor is. The levels would be PNGs of the original layouts, with collision, and no entities, almost like a sketch, but playable. Then, add a "SUPER SECRET" prototype mode, where you can play the prototypes. Emulation would not crash the console, and they could pull a "Mario 3D All-Stars" and have the Select Button take you out of the game and let you select a new one. Just spitballing, but I could probably put this together in unity in like, an hour, with some base Sonic classic engine. I'm not going to, I'm just saying it's easy. What do you think.
     
  10. Azookara

    Azookara

    yup Member
    [​IMG]

    I realize I suggested Labyrinth as the use for the spring-based boss, but! I feel like if R2 in Sonic CD was based on Marble Zone, then the unused boss having a spring in it feels like we have another possible connection, haha. Granted no other boss in CD really reflects their Sonic 1 counterparts, but it was worth bringing up.
     
  11. MagnusTheGreen

    MagnusTheGreen

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    Actually, the source code is lost for Sonic 1. It was lost sometime before making the Sonic 1 mobile and after the J2ME (forgive me if I misspelled that.) port. Maybe they had hand drawn pixel art that was converted, and that was copied.
     
  12. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    Naka said that he planned on including a prototype ROM in Sonic Mega Collection but couldn't find it within Sega...
     
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  13. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    this is what KLF is about Wiki Sysop
    I've played through this prototype (and many others) extensively for the wiki. They're not "fun" to play. There's not much entertainment value out of an unfinished video game that could break at any moment, and if you're selling a product for the purposes of entertainment... yeah. There's absolutely no demand for these things outside of our little community here.

    I am almost certain that the thing shown off at the 1990 Tokyo Toy Show as an auto-demo though (or at least, as near as makes no difference). Either way, it's historally significant, moreso than any other Sonic prototype, and you can see why Yuji Naka might have wanted to included it with all the concept art and whatever. The prototype we're discussing here though? It's pretty worthless to the masses (and Sega wouldn't have even been aware SWS2B/S2B/Sonic Retro existed back then). I bet most couldn't even identify it as a prototype - Green Hill and Marble Zone are like, 90% done, and Marble is such a slog most will give up before it's over.
     
  14. Lapper

    Lapper

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    Sonic Studio, Sonic Physics Guide, Kyle & Lucy: WW, Freedom Planet 2
    Never really saw the previous sprite available from back then, but interesting how we have something to compare it to.

    It looks to me like that grain was added deliberately (or accidentally but in a specific way) because it's only on the clouds, all around the UFO, and it keeps to the palette. No idea though, seems weird. Other than the random grain added, they are the exact same. I agree it's so unlikely to have been recreated so perfectly from what we had seen in scans, you'd expect at least one pixel in the dark areas to be off.


    EDIT:
    Posted this on twitter but here also:



    You can stick to sloped ceilings
     
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  15. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    Omg it's like every Sonic fan game pre 2005
     
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  16. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    Do you mean Sonic 4? That was an official game that came out in 2010.
     
  17. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    I know you can stand at weird angles in that game but does this specifically happen? I'm referring to an old trend in Sonic fan games where if you held onto the jump button and hit a ceiling, you'd stick to the ceiling until you let go of the button or moved enough that the ceiling part was over and then you were released.
     
  18. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    You can make this happen. But I was mostly just trying to make a joke about how Sonic 4 is a fucking terrible game that no one should play.

    Anyway, back on topic - GHZ has a ton of unused chunks in the prototype, and two of them may actually be TTS remnants!
     
  19. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    Eh, Ep 2 isn't without it's charm :V

    Ep 1 though gross no fuck that.
     
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  20. Rudie Radio Waves

    Rudie Radio Waves

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    Many a game.
    I think I might know what you're talking about.
    Old old Klik and Play/The Games Factory fangames used the prebuilt Platform movement for the player character, which with some events could be made to stop while colliding with a solid tile... so when a wall or the floor is hit, all the movement is stopped (all the momentum is lost) but when the ceiling is hit, the movement stops, the vertical speed is set to 0, and the character sticks to the ceiling. I think that's why at least.
    This doesn't happen in any Sonic game because they're not made in KnP/TGF... though, taking the shitty CF2.5 Platform physics and shoving them into Sonic 1 would be a funny hack idea.