Sonic the Hedgehog (Prototype)

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

  1. Swifthom

    Swifthom

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    So, I finally managed to play through it and, despite not being used to keyboard controls for Sonic (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it) I found it interesting



    But, am curious about the changes to the code in either gravity, the camera, or springs... I had a death at 11.25 (in video above) that I don't 'think' would be possible in the final version of the game. I know its the same as what occurs if you go too fast in the tunnel downwards at the end of GHZ Act I but just from hitting a red spring?

    Otherwise the changes in those early acts are subtle but fascinating.
    What I think I learnt the most about was just, an explanation, for some of the more baffling things in Sonic 4. It wasn't deliberately poor design, they were just harking back to things that had been cut out of the original prototype game for not being good enough... Urgh


    (Also check 19:50 - that is PURE Sonic 4 gameplay on the genesis - it really was inspired by the 'true' classic Sonic after all)
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
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  2. JoseTB

    JoseTB

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    Highly unlikely, the SoA ROM archive has the final build of Sonic 1 REV00 dated May 1st 1991. Even if you take into account massive crunch in the final weeks of development, it would still fail to explain why there were several more builds after this prototype distributed to the press as well (because why bother if you are a couple weeks away from the final retail build?). I'd find a January-March 1991 date more believable, but unfortunately there's not a whole lot of evidence to definitely date it.

    Going by the date of publication of those magazines is a bit unreliable, because we don't know that they all got the most up-to-date build at the time, and we don't know that they all ran the preview piece right in their next magazine issue. I assume many did, but then you also have outliers like that magazine published in May featuring our prototype, when they should have had a later build by that time.

    What we can more or less be confident of is that 1) this prototype was covered the most and 2) the bulk of magazines previewing the game happened between March-April 1991. That would give some credence to this prototype dating sometime February-March 91.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
  3. Azookara

    Azookara

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    It's worth noting that if these magazines were all monthly that I'm sure it takes a good chunk of the preceding month to complete it. That plus the time it would've taken to produce and ship said copies to gaming press shows me that the build they would have would probably be a good month or two preceding March-April, so I'm thinking January-February 1991 sounds about right.
     
  4. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    My name's Martin Member
    About the air rooms from the prototype, they're in fact "air rooms" in the final, with no brick walls or an air space, but a bubble spot over some piled blocks, the ones we can see in the prototype plus the extra one where the bubbles come from. I always wondered why that uncomfortable structure was used so often to put air supplies, and it looks like we know the answer now.
     
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  5. T.Q.

    T.Q.

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    Something I want to bring up regarding Sonic 1's music.

    I was listening to the music discovered by @evilhamwizard, where extra bars to the Sonic 1 credits theme exist, per this thread here.

    This "Theme of Sonic The Hedgehog" demo from Masato Nakamura contains the missing bars.

    I guess what I'm suggesting is that since this prototype doesn't contain the missing bars, might it be part of an earlier prototype, and if so, do remnants of those notes still exist? And can it be reconstructed?
     
  6. Black Squirrel

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    And it also has final Sonic 2 dated on the 31st August, which would pre-date half our prototypes and would mean Sega sat on the final game for three months.

    The press were slow in 1991 compared to 2021, but not that slow. I think April 1991 is reasonable - it lines up with winter CES coverage (January 1991) being printed in late February/March. Most shots from our prototype were printed in May/June.
     
  7. JoseTB

    JoseTB

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    Good catch, I completely missed that. Bummer, I was hoping the dates on that archive could give us a starting point, but you are of course right that this invalidates my previous estimate.

    What did the dates in that archive stand for, anyway? Perhaps the date of the first build to be uploaded to the BBS for internal QA, before being replaced with a final build which would for some reason retain the date of the previous file.
     
  8. almeda

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    This is legendary...thank you, drx.
     
  9. Nova

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    Thinking out loud but considering Nakamura stated he composed the music based on images given to him of the zones, would it be fair to assume Spring Yard (or Sparkling) Zone was composed based on something closer to this version of the level? I feel the music fits the level even better than it did before but maybe that's just me.
     
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  10. LockOnTommy11

    LockOnTommy11

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    This is what I’ve been waiting for since I spent hours on end gazing at all the screenshots on the SoST website back in 2003/2004. Thank you DRX, Buckaroo, Saz and everyone for their amazing work.

    I’ve spent quite a bit of time playing this today with the Retro-bit MegaDrive controller and VHS screen filter like a pig in shit :thumbsup:

    One thing I do find odd is the auto play demo. If you stop Sonic dying by debug he acts very odd and only walks odd steps, jumps, and runs backwards. I do wonder whether this is an auto demo for an earlier version or just random inputs to test that they never meant to map to an earlier map as such, but just prove it works. Previous prototypes for GHZ show the first part of the stage didn’t change a whole lot from conception, and I also can’t see Sonic interacting the way he does with any other start of a level.
     
  11. Lurker

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    There is also the fact that he enters edit mode if you start him in debug after a while even though it makes no sense(for a demo) since A B and C is mapped to jump.
     
  12. Vangar

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    Just wanted to add this - how long do you think it used to take for millions of cartridges to be burned and produced in 1991-1992? The date may actually be right considering how many physical parts had to be constructed for all those cartridges to be made before release?
     
  13. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I am pretty sure there are versions of MS-DOS that only keep track of a file's creation timestamp, rather than last edited (or maybe it's the other way around... or maybe I'm thinking of Windows... and who knows what the case was for DOS/V).

    Either way there's a Truxton build on that disc with a 1979 date on it - something was clearly screwy.
     
  14. ashthedragon

    ashthedragon

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    Sorry if this this is a stupid question, but... you injected thriller from the moonwalker proto into S1 Beta, or fixed the $84 and that it is what comes in? Either way is a great discovery, one for hacking and the other in general...
     
  15. DeltaWooloo

    DeltaWooloo

    The sheep goes quack! Member
    Hi there,

    So what I've done is I hex edited the Moonwalker prototype to hunt my way down to find Thriller. Once I found it, I put in a separate file and saved it into a prototype disassembly, which I've been working on with a few others. Besides me having to slightly modify the DAC, it works as normal. So since Golden Axe 2 uses a SMPS 68k/Type 1b driver, a la S1 proto, and Moonwalker uses a similar driver, SMPS 68k/Type 1a driver, it will bound to work with no problems without any modifications, besides me having to change Thriller's DAC since it mapped its DAC differently. It wouldn't work, without modifications, to Sonic 1 REV00 as it uses a modified SMPS 68k/Type 1b and thus playing it would sound very differently.

    I have tried a few songs from other games such as Golden Axe 2 and 3 and it works without no problems. Some 68k songs may require hex editing to not have issues with the DAC such as Dynamite Headdy since it uses a 68k driver. As with Z80 songs, they should work with a SMPSConv conversion from S3K to tra/trs and with some 68k songs, it can do with a trs-tra conversion.

    Unfortunately, I have not tried all songs and I'm waiting for ValleyBell to dissemble the proto sound driver to gain more information regarding it. Other than that, I'm more than happy to send a testing ROM with a range of songs from other games if you desire to take a look for yourself and understand the concept of the sound driver.
     
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  16. LockOnTommy11

    LockOnTommy11

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    Just a few bits I haven’t seen anyone else post yet:

    If you ride the GHZ ball, it won’t fall off at bridges and will continue rolling on its trajectory even in mid air. It will bounce off the stage boundary and reverse, and can even push Sonic out of bounds. This can cause Sonic to warp to the end of the stage and technically pass the goal post without triggering it. The ball is broken as hell.

    Also, if you have speed shoes and quit, the main menu music will have the effect applied and well as many others in the sound test. Funnily enough the ending cutscene music applies this, but not the credits theme: is this because the cutscene is running it as the stage theme at the end? The Game Over theme is also able to be sped up. It’s neat to hear tracks that can never normally have this effect in game, such as the Final Boss.

    Interestingly, sound C9 - which is amongst many sounds found in Marble Zone - sounds like a small spring that sounds as if it’s pitched in a way to be comical, almost like it would be a dud. Could this be the sound of the small spring presumed to be for the Marble Zone boss?

    Perhaps Robotnik’s ship would fly back and forth but sway up and down as it did, and you had to time your hits on him else you might have hit the spring and been pushed downwards into the lava below? If so , I can see why something like this was scrapped as it would be very similar to the GHZ boss where you could stand to one side out of danger and just jump when you felt you could, essentially making the fights identical in play style.
     
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  17. Metalwario64

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    Same with Labyrinth for me. I actually much prefer the background in the prototype too. It's much more visually interesting than the blocks in the final.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2021
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  18. Hez

    Hez

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    I agree it looks better, but overall its a really poor background graphics wise. Its a repeated pattern of only a few blocks where as the final LZ background is filled with more unique graphics. I GET why they changed it (its too simple, on top of also the level wrapping) but I agree they should have done more of a rocky route they initially started with.
     
  19. Hez

    Hez

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    I agree it looks better, but overall its a really poor background graphics wise. Its a repeated pattern of only a few blocks where as the final LZ background is filled with more unique graphics. I GET why they changed it (its too simple, on top of also the level wrapping) but I agree they should have done more of a rocky route they initially started with.

    Since I can't hack, I put it in SC2. The level is beatable with the air chambers, but it does make it rather difficult. I do like the impending doom feeling if I don't find a chamber.

    https://imgur.com/szW3cJC

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Blue Spikeball

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    I would think the reason they changed it is that a far BG doesn't make much sense for a water zone like LZ, unless you specifically design its lower sections and scrolling to coincide with the water level ala Aquatic Ruin, Hydrocity 1 or Launch Base 2. The beta LZ BG shows a deep cave with no walls on sight and a ceiling with light shafts. Seeing it underwater would have been awkward and raised some interesting questions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2021
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