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Sonic the Hedgehog (Prototype)

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

  1. RDNexus


    Now I can see that Marble 2 & 3 got small chunks cut out of the final version.
    Maybe to lower the difficulty a bit?
  2. BlitzHedgie


    Brisbane, Australia.
    SRB2 Kart server maintenance
    Posting here again for the first time in YEARS. I know I'm one of many but I wanted to say thanks again and congratulations to drx, buckaroo, and everyone else throughout all these years for making this discovery possible. Ever since I woke up yesterday for the reveal stream I've been constantly refreshing the TCRF articles to see what discoveries have been made.

    I can't believe we finally have a S1 Proto. It really makes me thing anything could be possible now in terms of finding other builds, such as the TTS one (or the 7-layer scrolling demo! I'd love to see that!).

    Also I can't wait to get a hold of that Retro Gamer issue. I want to see more of how this came to be!
  3. Travelsonic


    This IMO could be supported by that being behavior seen in other stages (Clock Work Act 2, for instance- no background, just blue)
  4. T.Q.


    The Sims 2, Tim Drake [Robin] Member
    Maybe in discussing the prototype, we can play a game of spot-the-location from the magazine screenshots, and compare them to if it's from this or earlier prototypes. Here's one to start us off (shows the location address in the score). Extra figurative points for getting a similar pose for Sonic:






    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
  5. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

    Here's something that caught my attention: the demos being recorded for earlier layouts, and not playing well with the current layouts (Sonic always immediately dies, for instance). There's reason to believe the TTS prototype was an autodemo, due to different magazines' screenshots showing the same exact run... is it possible that the GHZ demo is a remnant from the TTS prototype?

    If Sonic 2's prototypes were any indication, the demos weren't high priorities for the developers. (In fact, every single Sonic 2 prototype, even Beta 8, uses the same exact demo inputs from the Nick Arcade prototype.)
  6. T.Q.


    The Sims 2, Tim Drake [Robin] Member
    Maybe someone can determine what actions were taken in the demo (e.g. going left, going right, the duration of the left/right directional pushes, jump with the A button, B button, etc).

    Something I noticed is that before the game enters the demo, you can hold the "A" button to see debug mode.

    Then (like in Green Hill Zone), the programmer must has pressed the "B" buttons" and "C" buttons at times. In GHZ, the programmer pressed the "B" button for Sonic to become a ring in debug mode. Then at times, the multiple rings get inserted due to the "C" button being pushed.

    Maybe seeing the list of command will give some idea of what a possible early Tokyo Toy Show GHZ layout could be?
  7. Ceejus


    First post in AGES... like many others on this thread, I too have been periodically following news on a potential Sonic 1 prototype leaking since the late 90s. Also like many, while I continued to hope, deep down I never actually expected it to happen. This is no doubt one the most pleasant surprises of my entire life, if not THE most. I remember being so obsessed with wanting to play a version of the real thing that I started nagging Mistergambit to listen to my input on his Sonic 1 Beta Remake. :ssh:

    This is surreal... so overjoyed beyond belief.

    Anyways, I have been comparing this to the early screenshots over on the Sonic 16-bit Development page all day and did notice that while a good 95% of the stuff in those screens (save from the obvious 1990 Tokyo Toy Show screens of the early GHZ and MZ), one section of SLZ with a clusterfuck of springs doesn't seem to be in this prototype. Did anyone else come across it by any chance?


    Odd that so many of the sections seen in those screens appear in this prototype with the exception of this and maybe 1 or 2 others.
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  8. Vangar


    Yeah it wouldn't be worth the time rerecording on every build, since the layouts and enemies etc seem to be quite iterative in any sonic game development.

    I'm way to lazy for this, but it would be neat for someone to take the time to create a TTS layout or even flat ground in the proto for the demo to play out on.

    Also - I'm wondering if the incomplete levels have super basic backgrounds just so the magazines could take semi-decent screenshots for their articles.
  9. TheInvisibleSun


    Buffalo, NY, USA
    The Water
    I'm late, but what an incredible moment for the community to finally have this; feels rather unreal to see stuff like the Sparkling Zone and old Labyrinth Zone background during my own gameplay. Thanks and kudos to all of those involved in procuring it!
  10. T.Q.


    The Sims 2, Tim Drake [Robin] Member
    Regarding Star Light Zone, what is this (already existed Act 2, not placed by debug mode)? It goes down when landed upon:


    Oh, and those unused lights from the zone are here (and on other loops throughout the zone, but not all):


    I haven't, based on the zone maps provided by Rika Chou

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
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  11. Wow...history has truly been made. I never thought this proto would actually ever surface!

    This is quite an amazing find!! I'm not sure what else can top it honestly.

    Great work to all those involved in getting this prototype!!
  12. Kyuu


    Memory Access Violation Member
    Well, it's been, what, three and a half years since I posted here? But this... Wow. I... Wow. Wow.

    Even after seeing this being unveiled live on stream, I can't quite believe this day has finally come. Amazing work and thanks a million, everyone involved. I can't wait to see what's hidden away in this build - the GHZ chunks with the unused "underground" tiles were already quite a welcome surprise.

    What an amazing note to end 2020 on.
  13. Flygon


    Hey, so I chatted with a friend of mine about the prototypes, and they made an observation regarding Labyrinth Zone.

    Those weird rooms wouldn't happen to generally correlate with where many of the air bubbles are in the final, would they? It was remarked that they seem deliberately designed to block out the background, and potentially have the tiles using a different set of palette entries to the rest of the underwater portions of the zone - they implied that they could've been used to try and get oxygen.

    Of course, this theory is without solid proof or basis, but it's something that's now utterly stuck in my mind.
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  14. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

    I seriously don't get why they stripped down SLZ's visuals in the final. As previously mentioned, they removed the sloped areas' undersides and the lights on the top of the loops, making the level look more blocky and barebones. And the graphics used by those parts are still in the final, so it's not like they had to be removed due to technical limitations :eyebrow:
  15. Qjimbo


    Your friendly neighbourhood lemming. Oldbie
    Firstly thank you drx and buckaroo for this. Hidden Palace had gained so much notoriety as a place for groundbreaking prototype releases which I expect played some role in helping this all come about. The more public awareness there is on the importance of prototype roms, the more likely they are to surface. So yeah, fantastic job and commitment all round really.

    A few of the magazine screenshots that are “missing” and don’t exist in this version I’ve noticed they often feature weird looking springs with long coils, perhaps this is something that was implemented shortly after this version, or could be faked screenshots for press, though strange they would be mixed in with identical looking legit screens.
  16. gold lightning

    gold lightning

    Random note: I decided to check out a commercial that I knew had a later prototype to see if anything stood out to me.
    (Said commercial)
    Proto we have:

    Seems it may have taken some time for them to put a checkpoint there.
  17. T.Q.


    The Sims 2, Tim Drake [Robin] Member
    It also seems from the HAG commercial the 1-Up for 50 rings was still left that way in that prototype, based on the music played from the game.

    Something else. It's presumed the prototype was from April 30 to May 1, 1991?

    Was it easier to produce cartridges for the game because it was packaged in the Sega Genesis consoles? Because that's a short window to produce the game, unless it was in small quantities at first (unlike the Sonic 3 manufacturing timeline guess-timation).

    EDIT: I'm gonna begin the suggestion that this prototype was made at least as early as February 1991, per two magazines (Only proof being the title screen's "Press Start Button")

    Mean Machines Issue 5:


    And Computer & Video Games Magazine Issue 112 February/March 1991:


    EDIT 2: Oh wait a minute, they're reporting from the January 1991 CES show. So this prototype should be at least January 1991.

    EDIT 3: Okay, nevermind, I forgot that there were other similar CES prototypes....should have read the Cutting Room Floor website.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
  18. Travelsonic


    Perhaps a dumb question, but would it be difficult to enable debug mode movement / object placement in the special stage?

    Meddling around with memory through cheat engine, I did pop sonic out of the maze - I noticed that if you do get out of the maze's bounds in this prototype, rather than ending up falling into a garbled mess* like in the final version, you will fall for a little, and then the game will crash.

    *(game memory being interpreted as object data? IDK, just wondering, is that what is seen from going out of bounds?)

    EDIT: Anyone else notice that if you have the game paused, you can hit B or C to advance the frames of the game (+ with it animations, badnik movement, time passage, etc) - probably not the first to notice this, but thought it was interesting & wonder what it was used for.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
  19. gold lightning

    gold lightning

    From what I can gather, that's the date to for actual RTM build and not for this prototype. For that matter the final/RTM build has "1991.APR" in the header while the proto has a generic header that gives off no relevant info at all. Not even a game title is present. I also don't see any way of identifying a date from the cart itself (no physical markings have a date). The truth is we may have no way of knowing precisely when this build was from at this time.
  20. nineko


    I am the Holy Cat Tech Member
    That's what I've been wondering since yesterday, too.

    I found it while recording my video, but I didn't mention it because I assumed that everyone else already found it (and besides, it's visible in my video, as I said).

    I eventually tried to ask on SSRG (it's easier for me to post there), but I didn't get any reply yet.