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Sonic the Hedgehog (Prototype)

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

  1. Antheraea

    Antheraea

    Bug Hunter Member
    I can see why they changed that, the dithered pattern is...deeply ugly IMO :V but, I always appreciate the technical posts and demonstrations :thumbsup:
     
  2. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    It would have looked much better on a contemporary CRT TV.
     
  3. JayKuriN

    JayKuriN

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    That was a test. It looks so much better on actual hardware via composite:
    upload_2023-2-16_13-2-22.png
     
  4. LockOnRommy11

    LockOnRommy11

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    Any chance of a hacked ROM eventually, so that we can try these for ourselves?
    I’d love to try this on my 1987 Trinitron :)
     
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  5. JayKuriN

    JayKuriN

    Defeated Dreamer Member
    CRAM DMA and the dither test from that shot are included in the attached ZIP file.

    For sub_3018, I'd rather get that fully functional first before I release it. I feel like the video I posted does not do that effect justice.

    Edit: Press start for dither.gen, but not twice (lol), the way I did it was hacky.
    These obviously are not going to have the effects and everything for being underwater, it's purely visual.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 17, 2023
  6. Blastfrog

    Blastfrog

    See ya starside. Member
    This is just incredible, I love how you guys just keep finding new stuff in the newer protos we have. Finally the whole thing with the solid blue background in the S1 proto LZ makes sense. Interesting to see how the HUD is over the dither pattern.

    Probably explains why they changed the background too. Still a shame, the old background was a lot cooler and contrasted better with the foreground IMO.

    I wonder how this would've worked with the air pockets? Honestly it'd be cool to have some sort of a fully playable version of proto LZ with the old layouts, the air pockets, goggle powerup, the much faster drowning time like in that one footage, etc.
     
  7. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    [​IMG]

    When in doubt, use Kega Fusion's CVBS filter.

    This is the same technique used in QuackShot btw, so it made it into commercial games.
     
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  8. Prototype

    Prototype

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    Forgive me for bumping just for a single question, but what does CVBS stand for?
     
  9. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    How do you get it to work right with Kega Fusion? The water is all glitched for me.
     
  10. RDNexus

    RDNexus

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    It seems to stand for Composite Video, Baseband and Syncronization.
    When confused, check Dr. Google first. It may manage to help you out ^^"

    It seems to be a filter for a standard TV display at the time, via the triple-colored cables connection between console and TV.
     
  11. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    JayKuriN's water.zip, dither ROM, Labyrinth Zone, start button. It'll break on other levels.
     
  12. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    It's also similar to what was used in 8-bit Sonic 1.
     
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  13. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    dither.gen has no water for me, while cram_dma.bin has glitched water. Weird.
     
  14. Battons

    Battons

    Shining Force Fan Member
    That water effect actually looks pretty cool when functioning correctly, I still prefer the one we got in final but it’s a neat technique nonetheless.
     
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  15. Taylor

    Taylor

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    Yeah, a looot of Genesis games did this. From my understanding, the Genesis' composite encoder was very low quality so they could reasonably assume that there'd be a lot of fuzzy blurriness that could blend the dithering. Some old Genesis devs talk about this at the start of this video. There's also a website with a lot of comparisons of Genesis games when hooked up via composite to hooked up via RGB (some Sonic examples, too)

    Anyhow, considering the sheer amount of times Sonic 1 has gotten rereleased on higher-quality displays (got brought over to Arcades not even a year later!), scrapping that water effect was a smart choice, a neat trick for its time but definitely wouldn't have aged well
     
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  16. Blastfrog

    Blastfrog

    See ya starside. Member
    So I was checking out the Sonic manga for the first time (yeah, I'm a retro Sonic freak and only now did I get around to that), and I noticed that they have "Sparkling Zone" and the old background. Why am I bringing this up? Because Eggman uses a spike on the bottom of the eggmobile to attack Sonic in Star Light. Was this perhaps based on old references they were given?

    I know this just speculation related to a spinoff piece of media, but I have to wonder if there's any significance to it. Could there be any evidence in the prototype ROM to indicate which boss was intended where? I know there's the Sonic Chaos style spring, speculated to be for Marble given that Splats was in the object list.
     
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  17. nineko

    nineko

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    Only for the water in the non-aquatic levels, such as GHZ2 and JZ3, because the water in Labyrinth proper is done with the usual palette tricks.

    And yet, this is still better than that lazy thing they did at the beginning of HCZ1.
     
  18. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Virtually all Mega Drive graphics of the day were designed with composite video in mind (or RF). It was one of the points thrown at the Sonic 2 HD project years back - that the trees in emerald hill have semi-transparent leaves.

    If you alternate between two pixel colours horizontally, they essentially blend into one in-betweeny colour, which lets you fake transparency (and the impression of more colours - see Earthworm Jim). The Chemical Plant Zone tubes in Sonic 2 uses vertical lines, but I imagine a checkerboard pattern is better for more pronounced colours, because even though the effect is ruined on super sharp, pixel-perfect displays, the artefacts would be less obvious.

    The trick doesn't work in the vertical though, due to the way the screen is drawn. It's all down to how you display a 240p image in a 480i container - scanlines etc.


    The other way to simulate transparency was to rapidly flicker a sprite to take advantage of frame persistence on CRTs, which is what Sonic 2's shield tries to do. You see this more often on the Game Gear though, because the screen there is guaranteed to suck. It's something the Retro Engine remakes don't always take into consideration, though it's also something the general public doesn't understand, so bleh.


    IIRC Yuji Naka is on record somewhere noting that Gaiares changed its palette mid-way down the screen, and wanted to replicate this in Sonic. So that's what we got (although it means the life counter changes too).
     
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  19. rata

    rata

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    Trying to be useful somehow.
    Sonic 1 does the checkboard transparency for the shield as well, which on emulators (well, or sharp screens anyways) it definetly ages worse than sonic 2's flickering shield.
     
  20. Diablohead

    Diablohead

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    The S1 shield always reminds me of a megadrive magazine back in the day showing off svideo compared to composite video and I used to think it was worse because suddenly the shield looked like pixels haha