The Curious Case of Sonic 2's Music

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by DefinitiveDubs, Jun 23, 2022.

  1. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    Mega Man Zero: The Definitive Dub
    If you had to associate controversy with a Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack, most people would choose this:

    There's been a lot of discussion about Sonic 3's music lately, and research put into who composed what for the game. But I don't think enough people have talked about Sonic 2's music instead.

    All of Sonic 1&2 was composed by Masato Nakamura, with the exception of the Staff Roll themes and some jingles being done by SEGA. That much is obvious. And we also know that during development of Sonic 2, a bunch of levels got cut and tons of stuff ended up being shifted around. Also obvious, if you know anything about the game. But which song was composed for which stage? After analyzing every statement Masa's ever given in interviews, soundtrack booklets, and documentaries, it seems like the only materials he had to work with for Sonic 2 were concept art with vague descriptions, sent to him while he was overseas (in London, I believe). I believe "concept art with vague descriptions" refers to these:
    [​IMG]
    Assuming that all these concept images were drawn up at the same time, and sent to him at the same time, this means Masa must have been composing extremely early in development when the time travel concept was still being planned. So it's very possible that levels that never even made it to their own level slot, such as Tropical Sun, at least had music composed for them. The zones that seem to have had their music stay there from conception to final and don't have any controversy surrounding them are as follows: Emerald Hill, Chemical Plant, Casino Night, Hill Top, and Metropolis. Furthermore, here's what we know for sure(?) about how the final music connects to the original vision:
    But there are a bunch more tracks that are up for debate or just have weird stuff about them I wanted to mention. I was going to turn this into a video essay, but I sat on it for a while before posting it here. Prepare for unsubstantiated fan theories up the ass. Also please bear with me as I don't know a damn thing about musical theory.

    Aquatic Ruin: This zone had its own concept art ("Emerald Isle", as seen above), yet its level slot is dead last in the game's data and it's not mentioned in Hirokazu Yasuhara's original plans and map. Was it a last-minute addition? Did it evolve from the whole tsunami thing? Either way, is its music correct? When the original demos were first released back in 2011, a lot of fans theorized Aquatic Ruin's music was in fact intended for the cut desert level, due to it having the riff to the main theme of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, a common musical trope used for desert or spaghetti western themes.

    However, after Yasuhara blew the lid open on Sonic 2's development in 2017, it became clear that this couldn't have been intended for the desert stage. Some people think that because the desert stage changed from an Egyptian style to a Western style desert, Masa was asked to entirely redo the theme (this being the result), but I highly doubt that. In addition, with the use of a steel pan (xylophone?) it ends up sounding like Caribbean music. And what's in the Caribbean? Tropical rainforests. But what about that spaghetti western connection? The answer: it's not. It's the Tarzan yell. Stock music in cartoons will often use the exact same riff for tribal/jungle scenes (@14:49):

    Assuming Aquatic Ruin was always planned to be in the game, I think it has the correct music, but the zone itself remains an enigma.

    Mystic Cave: For years and years and years, there was a debate surrounding this zone and "Dust Hill". But after Yasuhara revealed some things in 2017, and the August 1992 prototype was unearthed, it became pretty obvious that whatever Dust Hill originally may have been at some point in time, it and Mystic Cave are one and the same. But, according to Yuji Naka, at one point, it was something that wasn't either of these things. In the Sonic Jam Official Guide, he mentions that it was originally a haunted house-type level, and changed themes by the end to become a cave. Keep this in mind, and the original demo's sound makes a bit more sense.

    I personally believe that "Madness Mountain", the bottom-right concept shown above, was this original version. The drawbridge gimmick, the brick tiles...the similarities are hard to deny, and it certainly fits the theme Naka mentioned, that being a spooky castle. So while Mystic Cave technically has the correct music for its level slot, the theme seems to have entirely changed from what Masa composed for.

    Emerald Hill 2P: In prototypes, the music here plays in the slot just after Metropolis. There were two levels between Metropolis and Hill Top in the original plans: Tropical Sun and Blue Ocean. The problem is the former's slot is taken up by Act 3, even in the Simon Wai build. The latter's slot is empty and plays the theme you hear here. A lot of people conclude based on this that the music was intended for Blue Ocean. But was it? Keep in mind that several zones had placeholder music put in before the final music was inserted. The level slot after Emerald Hill was originally a level called Ocean Wind, but that slot plays Emerald Hill's theme. So isn't it possible that the music was actually intended for Tropical Sun, and Blue Ocean only used it as a placeholder before it was cut? I say this because it doesn't sound like a water level to me. It sounds very much like a TROPICAL theme.

    We may never know for sure, but it was definitely meant for one of those two cut zones.

    Mystic Cave 2P/Unused Theme: Oh boy. The great Hidden palace debate.

    For over 20 years, fans have believed Mystic Cave 2P belonged to Hidden Palace. All evidence at first glance seems to point to that. It's not used for any other level slot, and it has somewhat of a prehistoric feel to it, fitting Hidden Palace's status as taking place in prehistoric times with dinosaurs walking around. Taxman and Stealth used it as Hidden Palace's theme in the 2013 Sonic 2 remaster, and at the time, said on Twitter that they were privy to development info on Sonic 2, and heavily believed this was the theme for the stage. Their argument was that it was used in all the prototypes where HPZ was present.

    However, there's issues with this explanation. It was given years before Yasuhara's presentation in 2017. Prior to that point, fans were under the impression that HPZ was always intended as a full playable level. But Yasuhara made it clear that HPZ was not a proper zone, but rather the "shrine" that Sonic & Tails go to in order to time travel. This level in concept art is referred to as "Hidden Shrine" and "Secret Palace", and in his presentation, Yasuhara points to "Olympus" in the middle of this map as being "the shrine". It's pretty obvious that what he's referring to is Hidden Palace, and that Hidden Palace was originally literally a palace. A Greek-style shrine. Not the cave full of waterfalls Craig Stitt created later on, and not a level theme where prehistoric bongo drums would fit.
    [​IMG]
    It's a cutscene level, just like HPZ is in 3&K. That's also why it's labeled differently. So if HPZ wasn't a normal level, and was instead a cutscene, the unused theme would make perfect sense. What else could this have been composed for? HPZ was a cutscene level, then it became a proper level with two acts, which then became one act, then finally Yuji Naka wanted to salvage it as a cutscene once again where Sonic became Super Sonic, but that couldn't have been decided on until the last minute, long after Masa would've submitted this. And in the final game, that's where this plays, is in HPZ's leftovers. Was it by accident due to all the music shifting around? I don't think it was. I think the music was deliberately placed there since salvaging HPZ was still on the table, but plans fell through.

    But then, what's the deal with Mystic Cave 2P? What was it composed for, if not for HPZ? Well, in Sonic 2's sound test, the music seems to follow the original intended order up to a certain point. It goes from Emerald Hill to the desert theme to Metropolis to Hill Top, and inbetween Emerald Hill and the desert theme, Mystic Cave 2P is present.

    It's my belief that Mystic Cave 2P's music was intended for Wood Zone. Not Hidden Palace. Look at the concept art for "Secret Jungle" above, then listen to Masa's demo, and see how well it fits.

    Notice also how the percussion in the final version has changed entirely from what Masa's demo was. Masa's demo has a bongo beat throughout that sounds built for a jungle-like setting, but even in the Simon Wai build, those bongos have been removed and replaced with whatever the hell's going on in Channel 1, which doesn't seem to be present in the original demo. What I think happened was that due to HPZ's new direction as an actual level rather than a cutscene, they didn't have an available music track for it since Masa hadn't composed for that. Wood Zone had already been cut, so they repurposed the music composed for Wood Zone into something that would fit the new, crystal cave-themed Hidden Palace. But that's just a theory!

    Game Results: Does anyone actually think about this theme?

    The only point where it plays in the final game is the Results screen for the two-player mode. A screen you're only going to spend 5 seconds on at most, despite the cue lasting 42 seconds. The idea of Masa being asked to compose for such an insignificant thing seems silly. It's the kind of thing that you'd think SEGA would've asked one of their own people to come up with a jingle for. The only logical explanation is that it was intended for something else. But what? What clues do we have? There are only two: First, it shares a leitmotif with Green Hill, something it has in common with All Clear and the Options theme, so it probably has something to do with either Green Hill itself or Sonic 2's main theme as a whole. Second, in the sound test, it's between the title theme and Emerald Hill.

    The latter has caused some to theorize that this was actually composed for Emerald Hill (back when it was just Green Hill) and that Emerald Hill's theme was actually meant for Ocean Wind (explaining why it's present in that level slot). It's plausible, I suppose, but highly unlikely. This just doesn't sound like a successor to Green Hill's theme like Emerald Hill's theme does, and it doesn't even sound like a level theme tbh. But if that's the case, then if we go by the sound test, it played between the title screen and the first level. Sonic 2 was originally an 18-zone epic, something even 3&K doesn't reach. 3&K is a huge game, so it has a save feature and a data select screen, with its own theme music. Could Sonic 2 have had the same? It would certainly make sense to at least have a password feature for how big Sonic 2 was going to be, and if there was a data select screen, it would also make sense that its music would share a leitmotif with the All Clear and Options music. And that would logically come between the title screen and the first level, just like it does in Sonic 3. But, again, that's just a theory.

    Options: And finally, we have this, the Options theme. A very short loop that likely was always meant for a menu. Even the Simon Wai build has it playing on the level select screen.

    However, in Yasuhara's presentation, he mentioned that all the maps showed were intended for a map screen similar to Mario 3, where the player would move Sonic around the map themselves. Masa's demo sounds awfully adventurous and triumphant for a simple options screen. If a map screen was planned, would Masa not have composed for it? This is probably the biggest stretch I've come up with so far, but I like to believe this was indeed intended for a Mario 3-style map screen. I dunno. I can just picture it, y'know?

    Anyway, there it is, my two cents. I've been fascinated by this stuff for a long time and was itching to write something down about it. Now I finally have. Hopefully my ramblings are not too cringey for this forum. Maybe someday, Masa will sit down with some Sonic fan who managed to hang out with him and give more insight into Sonic 2's development.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2022
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  2. _oliver

    _oliver

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    Really interesting read, thanks for posting this. I never put much thought into the Sonic 2 music myself, I always just assumed Masa was given concept art that was fairly accurate to the final zones because of how well the songs fit. I don't really have anything to add TBH, I just wanted to compliment you for having a very enjoyable writing style.
     
  3. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Excellent analysis.

    I got the impression that the map thing would have been a brief screen shown between levels like in Sonic 1 SMS, rather than a navigable map screen ala SMB3, though? If the options/level select theme was composed for that, it would explain why it's so short. I agree that it would have fit there.

    I forgot the whole thing with HPZ being a cutscene area that was later expanded into a playable level. That solves the mystery of why the unused song's early version (Masa's demo) has an ending yet the final (in-game) version loops.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2022
  4. Pobert-Eii

    Pobert-Eii

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    I know exactly what you mean.
    Unrelated to any fact whatsoever but when I read this paragraph, immediately my mind shifted into this vivid mental image of a Sonic version of the little map screens from Quackshot.

    Like, I can instantly picture it right there. Sonic's a little scaled-down sprite, the South Island's there in sepia, and he's just walking across the little signs like in the concept art SegaSonic style after each zone's completed. And with that music in mind it fits so damn well.
     
  5. Ralakimus

    Ralakimus

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    It should be worth noting that when the sound driver was updated in the later prototypes, even with the shifted IDs, it kept using the MCZ 2P music for HPZ (ID 0x83 or "0x03"). It was deliberately changed to the unused track (ID 0x90 or "0x10") later on. Here's the progression of the music ID table for reference:

    Simon Wai prototype:
    Code (Text):
    1. unk_4140:       dc.b $82        ; EHZ
    2.                 dc.b $82        ; Unused
    3.                 dc.b $83        ; WZ
    4.                 dc.b $90        ; Unused
    5.                 dc.b $83        ; MTZ1,2
    6.                 dc.b $83        ; MTZ3
    7.                 dc.b $93        ; Unused
    8.                 dc.b $96        ; HTZ
    9.                 dc.b $86        ; HPZ
    10.                 dc.b $8F        ; Unused
    11.                 dc.b $81        ; OOZ
    12.                 dc.b $85        ; MCZ
    13.                 dc.b $84        ; CNZ
    14.                 dc.b $8D        ; CPZ
    15.                 dc.b $8D        ; Unused (Genocide City)
    16.                 dc.b $87        ; ARZ
    17.                                 ; DEZ (missing music ID definition)
    18.  

    August prototype:
    Code (Text):
    1. unk_41B8:       dc.b $82        ; EHZ
    2.                 dc.b $82        ; Unused
    3.                 dc.b $85        ; WZ
    4.                 dc.b $84        ; Unused
    5.                 dc.b $85        ; MTZ1,2
    6.                 dc.b $85        ; MTZ
    7.                 dc.b $8C        ; Unused
    8.                 dc.b $86        ; HTZ
    9.                 dc.b $83        ; HPZ
    10.                 dc.b $8D        ; Unused
    11.                 dc.b $88        ; OOZ
    12.                 dc.b $8B        ; MCZ
    13.                 dc.b $89        ; CNZ
    14.                 dc.b $8E        ; CPZ
    15.                 dc.b $8E        ; Unused (Genocide City)
    16.                 dc.b $87        ; ARZ
    17.                                 ; DEZ (missing music ID definition)
    18.  

    September prototype:
    Code (Text):
    1. unk_4994:       dc.b $82        ; EHZ
    2.                 dc.b $82        ; Unused
    3.                 dc.b $85        ; Unused (WZ)
    4.                 dc.b $84        ; Unused
    5.                 dc.b $85        ; MTZ1,2
    6.                 dc.b $85        ; MTZ
    7.                 dc.b $8F        ; WFZ
    8.                 dc.b $86        ; HTZ
    9.                 dc.b $83        ; HPZ
    10.                 dc.b $8D        ; Unused
    11.                 dc.b $88        ; OOZ
    12.                 dc.b $8B        ; MCZ
    13.                 dc.b $89        ; CNZ
    14.                 dc.b $8E        ; CPZ
    15.                 dc.b $8F        ; DEZ
    16.                 dc.b $87        ; ARZ
    17.                 dc.b $8F        ; SCZ

    CENSOR beta:
    Code (Text):
    1. unk_48F0:       dc.b $82        ; EHZ
    2.                 dc.b $82        ; Unused
    3.                 dc.b $85        ; Unused (WZ)
    4.                 dc.b $84        ; Unused
    5.                 dc.b $85        ; MTZ1,2
    6.                 dc.b $85        ; MTZ
    7.                 dc.b $8F        ; WFZ
    8.                 dc.b $86        ; HTZ
    9.                 dc.b $90        ; HPZ
    10.                 dc.b $8D        ; Unused
    11.                 dc.b $84        ; OOZ
    12.                 dc.b $8B        ; MCZ
    13.                 dc.b $89        ; CNZ
    14.                 dc.b $8E        ; CPZ
    15.                 dc.b $8A        ; DEZ
    16.                 dc.b $87        ; ARZ
    17.                 dc.b $8D        ; SCZ

    As you can see, the IDs in the Simon Wai prototype are quite different, as the songs were arranged differently. The sound IDs were updated with the new arrangement, and HPZ kept the MCZ 2P music with its new ID and remained that way in the September prototype (it is possible that the IDs were given labels to automatically generate the correct ones on build). The updated music arrangement in the August prototype also has that unused track at ID 0x90, but isn't referenced. By the CENSOR beta, it was changed to the unused track, which of course was left as is through the final build. What's really interesting is that HPZ was being taken out by the September prototype, yet its track ID wasn't updated until after. Wonder what that was about.

    Of course this isn't really to say what the tracks were originally COMPOSED for, but I thought it was worth sharing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2022
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  6. Palas

    Palas

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    I agree with everything you said. Mystic Cave having been composed for a haunted-house/cave kind of level explains why the weird spooky theremin-like sound is more prevalent in the demo than in the more bass-oriented, funkier game version. Also, Mystic Cave 2P sounds very obviously jungle-y, a lot more than simply prehistoric (given the details we have, Hidden Palace's briefing alluded more to a "forgotten, classic ruin" kind of mood, down to the name Olympus, than Chrno Trigger's 65,000,000 B.C.

    Great insights overall, and it make me wonder if there is any possibility of any of these super early time travel concepts having been used for Sonic CD down the road (I had never seen these concepts so sorry if this is all old news). Blue Ocean features a broken underwater column there, as well as a cave right there. Both ideas are used in Tidal Tempest. Could be a coincidence.
     
  7. Brainulator

    Brainulator

    Regular garden-variety member Member
    Funnily enough, on the 68K side of things, the final ROM still puts the tracks in the Simon Wai order. They just changed for the Z80's purposes.

    I don't think constants were used for sounds (at least in Sonic 1 and 2), given the 1-UP music behavior when collecting 100 rings, August 21's EHZ boss fight playing Chemical Plant's music, and the final game's continue cheat bug in which Oil Ocean's theme plays forever.
     
  8. Ralakimus

    Ralakimus

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    Oh yeah, that's quite interesting. Wonder what that's about.

    For reference, he's talking about this:
    Code (Text):
    1. ; ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2. ; Music pointers
    3. ; ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4. ; loc_F8000:
    5. MusicPoint2:    startBank
    6. MusPtr_CNZ_2P:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_CNZ_2P
    7. MusPtr_EHZ:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_EHZ
    8. MusPtr_MTZ:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_MTZ
    9. MusPtr_CNZ:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_CNZ
    10. MusPtr_MCZ:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_MCZ
    11. MusPtr_MCZ_2P:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_MCZ_2P
    12. MusPtr_ARZ:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_ARZ
    13. MusPtr_DEZ:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_DEZ
    14. MusPtr_SpecStage:    rom_ptr_z80    Mus_SpecStage
    15. MusPtr_Options:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_Options
    16. MusPtr_Ending:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_Ending
    17. MusPtr_EndBoss:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_EndBoss
    18. MusPtr_CPZ:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_CPZ
    19. MusPtr_Boss:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_Boss
    20. MusPtr_SCZ:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_SCZ
    21. MusPtr_OOZ:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_OOZ
    22. MusPtr_WFZ:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_WFZ
    23. MusPtr_EHZ_2P:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_EHZ_2P
    24. MusPtr_2PResult:    rom_ptr_z80    Mus_2PResult
    25. MusPtr_SuperSonic:    rom_ptr_z80    Mus_SuperSonic
    26. MusPtr_HTZ:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_HTZ
    27. MusPtr_ExtraLife:    rom_ptr_z80    Mus_ExtraLife
    28. MusPtr_Title:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_Title
    29. MusPtr_EndLevel:    rom_ptr_z80    Mus_EndLevel
    30. MusPtr_GameOver:    rom_ptr_z80    Mus_GameOver
    31. MusPtr_Invincible:    rom_ptr_z80    Mus_Invincible
    32. MusPtr_Emerald:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_Emerald
    33. MusPtr_HPZ:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_HPZ
    34. MusPtr_Drowning:    rom_ptr_z80    Mus_Drowning
    35. MusPtr_Credits:        rom_ptr_z80    Mus_Credits

    and
    Code (Text):
    1. ; Music IDs
    2. offset :=    MusicPoint2
    3. ptrsize :=    2
    4. idstart :=    80h
    5. ; note: +20h means uncompressed, here
    6. ; +40h is a flag that forces PAL mode off when set
    7.  
    8. zMusIDPtr_2PResult:    db    id(MusPtr_2PResult)    ; 92
    9. zMusIDPtr_EHZ:        db    id(MusPtr_EHZ)        ; 81
    10. zMusIDPtr_MCZ_2P:    db    id(MusPtr_MCZ_2P)    ; 85
    11. zMusIDPtr_OOZ:        db    id(MusPtr_OOZ)        ; 8F
    12. zMusIDPtr_MTZ:        db    id(MusPtr_MTZ)        ; 82
    13. zMusIDPtr_HTZ:        db    id(MusPtr_HTZ)        ; 94
    14. zMusIDPtr_ARZ:        db    id(MusPtr_ARZ)        ; 86
    15. zMusIDPtr_CNZ_2P:    db    id(MusPtr_CNZ_2P)    ; 80
    16. zMusIDPtr_CNZ:        db    id(MusPtr_CNZ)        ; 83
    17. zMusIDPtr_DEZ:        db    id(MusPtr_DEZ)        ; 87
    18. zMusIDPtr_MCZ:        db    id(MusPtr_MCZ)        ; 84
    19. zMusIDPtr_EHZ_2P:    db    id(MusPtr_EHZ_2P)    ; 91
    20. zMusIDPtr_SCZ:        db    id(MusPtr_SCZ)        ; 8E
    21. zMusIDPtr_CPZ:        db    id(MusPtr_CPZ)        ; 8C
    22. zMusIDPtr_WFZ:        db    id(MusPtr_WFZ)        ; 90
    23. zMusIDPtr_HPZ:        db    id(MusPtr_HPZ)        ; 9B
    24. zMusIDPtr_Options:    db    id(MusPtr_Options)    ; 89
    25. zMusIDPtr_SpecStage:    db    id(MusPtr_SpecStage)    ; 88
    26. zMusIDPtr_Boss:        db    id(MusPtr_Boss)        ; 8D
    27. zMusIDPtr_EndBoss:    db    id(MusPtr_EndBoss)    ; 8B
    28. zMusIDPtr_Ending:    db    id(MusPtr_Ending)    ; 8A
    29. zMusIDPtr_SuperSonic:    db    id(MusPtr_SuperSonic)    ; 93
    30. zMusIDPtr_Invincible:    db    id(MusPtr_Invincible)    ; 99
    31. zMusIDPtr_ExtraLife:    db    id(MusPtr_ExtraLife)+20h; B5
    32. zMusIDPtr_Title:    db    id(MusPtr_Title)    ; 96
    33. zMusIDPtr_EndLevel:    db    id(MusPtr_EndLevel)    ; 97
    34. zMusIDPtr_GameOver:    db    id(MusPtr_GameOver)+20h    ; B8
    35. zMusIDPtr_Continue:    db    (MusPtr_Continue-MusicPoint1)/ptrsize    ; 0
    36. zMusIDPtr_Emerald:    db    id(MusPtr_Emerald)+20h    ; BA
    37. zMusIDPtr_Credits:    db    id(MusPtr_Credits)+20h    ; BD
    38. zMusIDPtr_Countdown:    db    id(MusPtr_Drowning)+40h    ; DC
    39. zMusIDPtr__End:

    Note that the IDs in the comments are offset by 1.

    If the game wasn't using constants and were using raw IDs in the code, then that should still mean that every music ID was manually changed to match the new order. The change to the unused track for HPZ still seems to be deliberate.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2022
  9. I always thought that Sky Chase Zone's music was definitely composed for the scrapped Winter Zone. It has a strong wintery feel to the music with the bells.

    The Game Results Music definitely was for Wood Zone. It has a slight Jungle Feel to it. (Demo Version) I'm positive that's where it was for.

    I believe that the Death Egg Final Boss Music may have been originally going to be for the scrapped Genocide City. Since it was intended to be the final stage originally & was a cybernetic/industrial city.

    The Options music i'm certain was indeed for an unused map screen, It fits perfectly for that.

    The unused song though I think was definitely for the Super Sonic Cutscene in Hidden Palace Zone where he gains the powers for the first time. If it wasn't a full level at first i could see it playing there. Alternately i think it could work for the Olympus/Warp Point Level as it was a cutscene level. I do not believe the theory of the unused song being for a bad ending early in development. The demo doesn't sound as somber or haunting as the final version. It has a greek feel to it which would make sense if it was intended for the Olympus spot seen in the map.

    Judging by those original maps for the time travel, Wing Fortress Zone, Sky Chase Zone, & The Death Egg Zone weren't in originally. This opens up alot of speculation as to what the tracks that were eventually used for them was intended for originally.
     
  10. Can we please stick to what we can at least somewhat prove instead of speculation?
     
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  11. Pengi

    Pengi

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  12. RDNexus

    RDNexus

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    Curiously enough, yesterday I watched this vid:
     
  13. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    It's not as if I'm making wild-ass guesses. There's genuine evidence here and there. Where do you think scientific theories come from?

    Also, Retro was literally founded on speculation. If all you care about is hard data, then you have no soul. Prior to 2010 or so, there was literally no proof that MJ's music ended up in the final release of Sonic 3. It was all speculation without even the slightest credibility, just like that vid from Qjimbo in the OP.
    This is what I get for sitting on an idea for too long. But he does it better than I could have.

    EDIT: Actually nevermind, this guy gets a lot of things wrong and has waaaaay too much baseless speculation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2022
  14. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    So I've read the post and gone back into old posts, my opinion on some things has changed since the maps first came to light and I've been swayed by some things here:

    I'm unconvinced on this - based on internal data orders and what I can piece together about the development, the intended music for Emerald Isle/Neo Green Hill/Aquatic Ruin was probably Emerald Hill 2P. You're right that the Aquatic Ruin music very much evokes tropical rainforests, which is probably why it fits perfectly for Tropical Plant/Tropical Sun, both thematically and internally, and I would argue that the music was written for that level. I think these two have been placed the wrong way around.

    Another thing to note is that you say both Tropical Sun and Blue Ocean were between Metropolis and Hill Top, but this isn't what the map shows - Blue Ocean/Blue Lake occurs AFTER Hill Top. The slot after Metropolis may well belong to Olympus or Rock World (Past).

    Another interesting take I haven't heard before. It does share traits and motifs with other non-level tracks in the game and a data select screen would definitely be needed for a game of this size.

    I'm still in the "it's proto Green Hill theme" camp but it would've been a weak tune to start with, and it no doubt would've changed before release. Perhaps it would've swapped with Ocean Wind (which presumably would've been using Emerald Hill's music). But it does sound like a level theme to me.

    Again, not something I've heard before but it fits well, especially when you compare it to something like this:



    I've cut everything else because I agree with them and I have nothing more to add. Mystic Cave being Madness Mountain makes too much sense and wasn't something I considered before.
     
  15. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    The problem with that argument is Tropical Sun's concept art is clearly like a seaside beach, not a jungle. I doubt Masa would've been thinking of composing something evoking rainforests and a Tarzan yell looking at that.

    Also, I can't see anything in the internal data order that points Aquatic Ruin's music to be EHZ 2P, so can you elaborate? Aquatic Ruin, even in the Simon Wai build, is playable from start to finish and the first level loaded for demo purposes. If that's the case, why doesn't it have the correct music? I suppose Sonic Team might've thought another theme fit it better, but that requires a lot more assumptions than my explanation does. I believe in Occam's Razor.
    On the map, yes, that is the case. Thing is, that map must've been made very early point in development, likely as part of the original pitch, because Yasuhara's timeline clearly has a different order. The Japanese reads that "Blue Ocean" comes after "Tropical". The arrows stop after that, so I don't think the map was truly intended as a rigid order of events, rather just a general idea of how the story would progress and how Sonic would move around the island.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Mr. Cornholio

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    Curious: What about the speculation in the video above seems too baseless? After watching the video, I'm not completely convinced that Time Travel work was abandoned before any prototyping began like I originally thought, at the very least. I do think it seems plausible it was planned to still appear up until a bit after the Nick Arcade prototype before being dropped completely.

    As you stated, I do think Retro has a bit of origin in speculation, and I admire a lot of the connections made here in his video. It seems REALLY hard to deny that Sky Chase was made for anything but the Winter Zone concept art. A lot of the stuff I've been finding difficult to create a recap on what we know for sure.

    I do agree with a lot of the original post, however! I think a lot of people improperly point to 'Track 10' being intended for the cave waterfall level, and it seems the music was assigned there in a last ditch effort to turn Hidden Palace back into a cutscene level. You brought up some tracks that I haven't really seen talked about either. The Results Screen's track origin is really odd since it seems it would've been acceptable to just simply reuse the 'Options' theme for such a small screen.

    (Edited since I'm a dumb-dumb and had my message in an improper quote.)
     
  17. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    I was chopping and changing things around a lot and I think that statement kinda got lost as a result; I meant that Aquatic Ruin's music fits in the sound test exactly where I'd expect Tropical Sun's music to be - EHZ 2P is looking more like Dust Hill there, which is an option given we don't really know what Dust Hill was supposed to be, but is too tropical sounding for that to be the case for me.

    While Tropical Sun is a beachy area, it still seems to be a tropical beach (think Angel Island Zone - opens on a beach, goes into jungle), and both Aquatic Ruin and EHZ 2P are tropical sounding tracks. In fact it's possible that Tropical Sun was dropped because it was too similar to Emerald Isle in theme. You're right that it doesn't explain why the music is "wrong" from as early as the Wai bulid though. But if Tropical Sun had already been dropped at this point, it's possible that they thought its theme was better than the one they had for Aquatic Ruin. (Or it could just be that ARZ uses the correct music.)

    In either case we're both agreed that one of these was written for Emerald Isle and one for Tropical Sun.

    Yes, but what remains in the internal level order generally follows the map and not the timeline - so an argument that uses the internal level order should base it on the map. Of course, this actually further supports your argument of EHZ 2P being Tropical Sun, as it would be the zone before Hill Top and in the Wai build the zone before Hill Top plays EHZ 2P.
     
  18. Oh I'd absolutely believe it; my comment was not directed at the opening post but instead at the reply directly above mine, that used such compelling evidence as "The Game Results Music definitely was for Wood Zone. It has a slight Jungle Feel to it. (Demo Version) I'm positive that's where it was for." I have not done more than skim the opening post yet, but that's more due to my own busy schedule lately than any fault with the post itself; it looks really interesting from the quick skims I've done so far!

    I'm veering quite off-topic here but this website really wasn't founded on speculation. Depending on which branch you want to start with, it was either founded on a person finding a Sonic 2 prototype ROM on a non-English website and creating a page to document information and provide a download link, or as a wiki for documenting information regarding Sonic hacking. In the early days we left the baseless speculation to other sites and in the mid-2000s we actively discouraged such activities heavily in favor of ROM hacking.

    Edit: Changed the example I quoted; on reading the original post further the original example was simply agreeing with OP which is harmless.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2022
  19. Josh

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    Ooh, I remember those days, y'all were SPICY! And to be honest, you kinda HAD to be when so much of the fandom was still so young. That's what made this community worth coming to, it wasn't over-run by the kind of riff-raff you'd see on the SEGA forums. But it's also why my join date is so late compared to most Oldbies. I lurked for ages, but couldn't get in because I had no interest in learning to hack, and the entrance exam we used to have wanted me to know about registers in Sega 32X programming or something. I probably could've figured it out if I'd wanted to, but I was an extremely unmotivated teenager.

    Fantastic post Dubs, thank you for making it. :thumbsup:
     
  20. RDNexus

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    I also lurked for ages until I somehow got accepted, by a stroke of luck.
    I still mostly lurk around, but being capable of interacting and contributing to the community, even if only a little, feels more fulfilling.