That new prototype footage of Sonic 1 going around...

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by MrMechanic, May 10, 2020.

  1. Ralakimus

    Ralakimus

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    @XRick What comes to mind for me is Sonic's palette, the... interesting choice of instruments used in some of the music, special stage layout, drum sample rate, drowning countdown speed, the wrecking ball physics, and a bunch of other minor things like object layout placements or other certain bits of behavior.
     
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  2. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Sup.

    [​IMG]

    From Console XS #1 - could be the same build.


    Not sure if that Special Stage screenshot helps much mind you.
     
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  3. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    old stage names too...
     
  4. Hez

    Hez

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    I've had a pet theory for a long time that scrap brain had a proper third act at one point. I have almost zero proof besides that level select screenshot along with it being the only level with a different background for another act. I think what we see now as act 2 was originally act 3, and act 2 was scrapped in favor of another quickly put together labyrinth zone (its an awfully easy level to be the last level bar). Other than that I have no other real hard evidence.
     
  5. SpeedStarTMQ

    SpeedStarTMQ

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    Act 3 was supposed to have its own assets, though it’s not clear if the level layout itself would have changed:

    “Instead of going straight to the boss in the end, you get dropped down a level, and we wanted that feeling of fighting your way back up. It would have been nice to draw a specific background just for the final stage, but due to space and time constraints we just changed the background color and made the basement level the same as Labyrinth Zone.”
    Yuji Naka, Sonic Jam Official Guide

    http://info.sonicretro.org/Scrap_Brain_Zone#Quotes

    The quote implies that Act 2 was always Act 2, as it’s not a level you fight your way up in. It seems that Act 3 would have had another art style, making Scrap Brain Zone a level of three styles.

    I do wonder if perhaps some of these concepts were used for the airship in Sonic SMS, seeing as that borrows from unused concepts quite a lot.
     
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  6. Iso Kilo

    Iso Kilo

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    So while watching Nostalgia Nerd's video on the Mega Drive's story I noticed something quite special. At the 29:50 mark or so gameplay of Sonic 1 was shown. And it contained some obvious layout differences. While that in itself is interesting, it gets more interesting. For starters, it's demoed on a knock of Mega Drive called the Scorpion. And secondly, we actually get to see the cartridge the ROM was on!
    Video:

    Prototype cartridge itself:
    20200620_222523.jpg
     
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  7. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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  8. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Watch the video again. Sonic 1 is the cart in the system and the naked ROM board is sitting next to the console while he's playing it. When he turns the Scorpion over he props it up using the cart as the prop, still in the socket - otherwise it'd be flat. That board is not the cart in the console.
     
  9. Iso Kilo

    Iso Kilo

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    Right, so reviewing it, yes that seems to be the case. However it still seems to be a prototype. I initially thought it was a different layout because I saw what I thought was GOAL blocks, but is actually blue DOWN blocks.
    upload_2020-6-21_16-5-45.png
    While it would be easy to chalk this up to the CRT blending colors, I don't buy it. The red used in the final game would be too bright to not poke through in the slightest. Besides, most of the other colors look fine.
    Edit: Might need to review the screenshot, but I'm about 50% confident in this...
    Final edit: It is red, just a poor CRT shot. The clip was filmed in 1994. I got too ahead of myself, apologies, nothing new here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
  10. Korou Tenshi

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    I was going to say, the presence of the 32X in that clip didn't quite seem right - why would they be holding on to a prototype from several years prior simply to demo a console?
     
  11. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Andy Crane hoards Sonic protos. Quick - spam Greatest Hits Radio.

    Or don't, because it's not a prototype.
     
  12. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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  13. RDNexus

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    So... The Beta Special Stage is still missing that last corner?
     
  14. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Me again - I'm not making new topics for this:

    Raze has loads of prototype screenshots of Sonic 1, including sections of maps and all sorts. It's where a good chunk of ours game from (although some come from the Italian Games Machine... which printed translations from Raze but we didn't know that at the time and yeah).

    We missed something though:

    https://segaretro.org/index.php?title=File:Raze_UK_12.pdf&page=68

    They printed half a walkthrough. A lot of it isn't interesting because they had the final build by this point... but that map of Green Hill Zone Act 2 isn't final. It has purple sunflowers.

    The differences are minor compared to the final map. A row of rings was removed, a 1up became a shield, but an interesting omission is the Newtron badnik. There should be tons (and we know one appears in Act 3), but the magazine doesn't a single instance of one in Act 2 (despite talking about almost every other hazard).

    So it looks like Sonic 1 was made more difficult over time, while Sonic 2 was made less difficult.
     
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  15. MrLordSith

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    So apparently there's this footage of the Consumer Software Group (CSG) event at Tokyo from 1991, and there's footage featuring multiple prototype builds of S1.

    For part 1, I noticed this is a late build with the RING hud but doesn't lack Marble Zone's torches. This most likely means that Green Hill Zone's background art was already finalized, while the design of the chunks themselves was still different.
    You can see Green Hill Zone at the 11:53 minute mark and Marble Zone act 1 at the 13:29 minute mark (you can also slightly see the broken tiles above Marble Zone's torch).



    For part 2 (1), at 36:00, it seems like everything's final, but for the second part 2 video, there's what seems to be an act 3 Green Hill boss demo? It seems to feature a different background placement, too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
  16. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I've seen that footage before - EGM being completely out of their depth.

    Some of that is actually from the Tokyo Toy Show in June 1991 (those photos they took were used), so we'd be into pretty much final build territory by then.
     
  17. MrLordSith

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    Yeah, that makes sense as to why there's parts that show the final build of the game.

    Also, while viewing the footage again, there seems to be something very interesting....
    In the first part 2 video there's a really interesting image at 39:26 to the very right, showing what seems to be a really early act 1 layout:
    [​IMG]
    If you look closely at the background, you can see that it does have the proto design and the brighter background, but it's further to the right. Now if you look at the signpost, you'll see that it's on flat ground, unlike the final. This would mean that the signpost was placed earlier in the level, meaning this early layout was shorter than what it ended up being from late prototypes to the final build.
    Here's an image showing what I mean:
    [​IMG]
    The dark red color represents the ground, and as you can see, there's no curve right to the left of the signpost, unlike in the final. Comparing the position of the palmtrees helps this theory as well.
    Now if you look at the green border I've added to each image, you can see what I mean. The chunk to the right of the green line is further to the right in the picture on the left, while on the picture on the right it's in the middle.
    Now the reason I think this is from a prototype dated before the Winter CES Prototype is because we have pictures from what seems to be the Winter CES Prototype, and it features the final layout. From what I've seen, since the Winter CES Prototype, the layout has stayed the same except for object placement, but the signpost was always in the same position through development. Here's a picture of the supposed Winter CES Prototype showing the final signpost placement and the final layout for the end of act 1.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    My first throught there was "maybe it's Act 2".

    And then I noticed Act 2's signpost is in exactly the same place relative to the level chunk.... and so is Act 3's capsule which is... unexpected.
     
  19. Master Emerald

    Master Emerald

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    Final is red, proto is black. It's not a major change but interesting nonetheless.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Lurker

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    Maybe they changed it so Sonic had somewhere to run offscreen? In that case the same change should be on pretty much all stages.

    Edit: The new layout is used before they removed the victory pose so idk.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020