Sonic: True Colors (the "real" Sonic Colors)

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by Josh, Aug 8, 2020.

  1. Josh

    Josh

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    [​IMG]

    FULL PLAYTHROUGH (via Dolphin, with 60fps and Infinite Boost). If you watch the video on YouTube, it'll have chapter breaks delineating each act:


    I made a topic going into detail about this over in general, but I'll sum it up:

    Y'know how Generations and Unleashed had "real" stages with a nice mix of 2D and 3D gameplay, in addition to more gimmicky, optional bonus acts and missions? Turns out, Colors was designed to be the same way: It was meant to have two "real" acts per zone, and a few bonus levels.

    This is how Colors' internal stage list describes Tropical Resort Act 2:

    upload_2020-8-7_19-34-30.png

    This translates roughly to "The second half of the old Act 1." And in fact, every zone in Colors has at least two acts with a notation like this. They're all either "the old act 1," "the old act 2," or "the first/second half" of either.

    At some point in development, Sega or Sonic Team may have been worried the game would be too short. So they decided to split many of the longer acts in two, mix in the bonus levels, and pad Colors out by making the player do EVERYTHING.

    Imagine a version of Unleashed or Generations (or heck, even SA2!) that forced you to play EVERY SINGLE MISSION to progress, made no attempt to delineate its gimmicky bonus acts from the "real" levels, and even split most of those levels into two SEPARATE acts, which weren't always even played in sequential order!

    This... well, I hesitate to even call it a mod. It's more of a HACK, in that it's a very hacky way to experience Sonic Colors as it was originally-designed.

    I've reordered the internal level list to enable you to play all of the "main act" stages (and their corresponding boss acts) in the correct order, omitting all the levels that were originally designed as "bonus acts." The preferred way to do this is via the "Egg Shuttle" challenge mode, which easily takes you from level to level, just like the classic Sonic games. Of course, even without modding, you could also just manually select the "main acts" from the map screen, but you'd have to know where they _are_. This streamlines the process.

    By playing only these stages, I find Colors to be a MUCH more consistent, cohesive, fully-featured boost game that mixes 2D platforming with 3D spectacle in the vein of Unleashed and Generations. It is definitely still more focused on platforming than either of its contemporaries, but it's not bogged down by platforming gimmicks. Wisp powers are introduced, used in a variety of interesting ways and setpieces, and largely discarded before they can wear out their welcome.

    So YEAH. I'm trying not to overstate it, but I believe Sonic Colors is significantly better designed than I've ever given it credit for, and all it took for me to see that was culling all the mediocre, pace-breaking gimmick stages out of the game.

    DOWNLOAD: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4137qlyiqo4ufmj/TrueColors.zip?dl=0

    INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS (also included in the readme.txt file):
    YOU WILL NEED:
    A PC
    A US-region Sonic Colors ISO
    Save data with every stage unlocked (you can download the North American one here, and import it in Dolphin by going to Tools -> Import Wii Save)

    INSTALLATION:
    1) Make a copy of your Sonic Colors ISO, to avoid modifying the original
    2) Unzip everything
    3) Open WiiScrubber.exe
    4) Click on "Load ISO," and select your copy of Sonic Colors.
    5) Click the + symbol next to Partition:1
    6) Right-click on the file at the bottom of the list, "sonic2010_0.cpk," and select "replace."
    7) Select the cpk from this pack.
    8) Make sure you close WiiScrubber once it finishes replacing the file.

    Load the modded ISO in Dolphin. It _should_ also work on real hardware, but I haven't tested it.

    HOW TO PLAY:
    From the zone select screen, select the Egg Shuttle (that rocketship flying around with Eggman's face on it). This will take you through the entire "original" version of Sonic Colors. You'll play the two full acts of each zone, concluded by the boss act, then move on to the next. Once you finish the final boss, the Egg Shuttle will return you to Tropical Resort, and you can play through the "bonus" acts.

    LIMITATIONS:
    Unfortunately, Starlight Carnival Act 1 gets stuck on an endless loading screen, so it (and all the gimmick acts that use the same map data) have been omitted. The full "original" Act 2 is still present, as well as the boss.

    RECOMMENDED MODS:
    60FPS enhancement (watch out for Aquarium Park 1, though!): https://wiki.dolphin-emu.org/index.php?title=Sonic_Colors

    HD Texture Project: https://github.com/Kawasuzu/colorshdproject

    If you'd prefer Colors to play more like Unleashed and Generations, you might try this AR code for Infinite Boost. It makes the game quite easy, but I think it's fun!
    c2055e5c 00000002
    c3be0014 d3be0008
    60000000 00000000

    FAQ:
    How do I save?
    Unfortunately, the Egg Shuttle doesn't let you suspend progress. (In fact, if you hit "restart" from the pause menu, you'll start over from the very beginning of the game, so be careful!) I recommend using savestates, and perhaps a future version of this mod will include them as a sort of "level select." You could also just play through the stages via the map screen and keep track of where you are.

    SPECIAL THANKS:
    SKmaric, for bringing this to light:
    SuperSonicRider, for bringing the above video to my attention
    Covarr, my right-hand man
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 13, 2020
  2. Mana

    Mana

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    Any chance of you uploading a playthrough?
     
  3. Can’t wait to try this out!
     
  4. Josh

    Josh

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    Good thinking, it's been added to the OP.
     
  5. Mana

    Mana

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    After watching in full I really want a port of the OG Colors to Generations somehow. Wonder if it is even possible...
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
  6. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    Not sure about the wisp functionality, but to my knowledge basically every main act of Colors save for maybe asteroid coaster has been ported to Generations
     
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  7. Mana

    Mana

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    So you're saying that there's a chance...

    I'm watching a video of Asteroid Coasters ported to Generations right now. This is cool.

    EDIT

    So in a bit of a twist the person who made the Sonic Colors OG structure video is actually also the person who ported the stages over to Generations in the first place. Interesting.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
  8. Josh

    Josh

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    Here are a few additions and improvements I could make, that I *think* would be within my capabilities:

    • Customizing the act music, so that no matter how many levels make 'em up, "act 1" and "act 2" each have their own unique, consistent themes. (Or vice-versa, make it so you'll hear every individual stage theme at least once in a full playthrough. For instance, as it is now, you never get to hear Tropical Resort Act 3, and that's a shame!)
    • Fixing the Super Sonic music so it's not so repetitive. Maybe make it the full "Reach for the Stars" instead?
    • Make an alternate version of the hack that skips the boss acts, leaving only the main stages.

    Things that I would like to do, but that are well past my level of expertise:

    • Combine the broken-up acts into full levels. They load from the same map data, so if you could import the appropriate objects and implement a transition, it might be possible.
    • Fix Starlight Carnival Act 1.
    • Fix the handful of ramp glitches that arise from running the game at 60fps.
     
  9. If you can make it so the Super Sonic theme is Nega Wisp Armor Phase 2, I will be eternally grateful.
     
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  10. Holy hell this looks awesome. Nice work dude!
     
  11. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Sorry, but I don't get it? Nega Wisp Armor Phase 2 sounds like a dramatic boss music, not a Super Sonic or invincibility tune -- at least to me.
     
  12. Trunks

    Trunks

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    Yoooo, this is an awesome idea. So it plays like an old school Sonic game with no hub world stuff?
     
  13. Josh

    Josh

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    I decided to whip up a logo:

    [​IMG]

    I think it'd work fine, the problem is it has SO much buildup. Maybe if I could start it around 57 seconds in? But I personally would probably prefer the Reach for the Stars instrumental.

    Yeah, pretty much! You never go back to the map screen. You just get a brief score tally between levels, which actually transitions out as soon as you hit the A button, so it's over a lot faster than it was in the old games.
     
  14. Blue Spikeball

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    Reach for the Stars instrumental sounds more fitting IMHO.

    Speaking of Super Sonic, one common complaint was that the Colors level tend to make it too hard to transform, with many having less than 50 rings, or having just barely enough, only allowing you to go Super when you're about to reach the goal. Now we know why. The levels were supposed to be longer, and when they decided the split the acts and convert the short side missions into acts, they didn't account for Super Sonic's ring needs.

    I don't suppose there are any plans to address that?
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2020
  15. Josh

    Josh

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    When I want to mess with Super Sonic, I typically just enable an AR code that gives me lots of rings. Doing anything hack-wise with Super Sonic is gonna be... pretty rough, anyway. If the preferred way to play this hack is via the Egg Shuttle, then it's a bit of an issue that Egg Shuttle doesn't let you use Super Sonic at all. Super Sonic is also pretty odd in general: He's enabled in the options menu, you can't use Color powers (other than boost) when that option is ON, and the level design changes slightly to accommodate him. I think I'd prefer if Super mode was something you could toggle with a different button, which WOULDN'T prevent you from using Wisps... but unfortunately, I wouldn't even know where to start with that.

    The only thing I can speculate on is this: Egg Shuttle DOES maintain your boost energy between acts. So it may well be possible to make your rings carry over, too.

    On that note, I know Colors/Wii modding isn't something there's been a whole lot of research in. Buuut, if anyone with more background in it wants to see about making some of these more complex ideas work, I'd be very open to contributions. (And let's be honest, if there IS someone like that, they probably need to just take the lead here, haha. Anything much more complex than throwing together a logo, reordering the stage list, and editing music tracks is probably going to be beyond my abilities, I'm afraid.)
     
  16. Mana

    Mana

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    Might want to email or send a YT message/Tweet to the guy who made that video you linked because he's been the one porting the stages to Generations and I'm sure he'd love the idea. He might know how to mod from the game directly at that.
     
  17. Overlord

    Overlord

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    It's missing a letter. =P
     
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  18. Josh

    Josh

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    My b!

    upload_2020-8-13_17-0-34.png
     
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  19. Overlord

    Overlord

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    true_colours.png

    Thanks, this'll do for a logo that's good enough. =P