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The Enigma That Is Knuckles' Chaotix's Development

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by The Joebro64, Aug 22, 2022.

  1. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Possibly. But if SoA had that much control over the game, you'd think they would have had the devs spell the title as "Knuckles' Chaotix" in-game.

    Speaking of localizations, I think Chaotix had one of weirdest ones in the series. The US manual gives a pretty nonsensical plot (even by old localization standards), with Knuckles being the guardian of Carnival Island, references to the whole game being set the day before the park's "grand opening" (despite the campaign actually taking place over the course of multiple days), and no mention of the Chaos Rings. Meanwhile Knuckles' profile actually seems to be written with the Japanese storyline in mind, referencing the Emerald Pillar from this one. I would love to hear how the localization process went.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2022
  2. Zigetch

    Zigetch

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    So I was listening to Chaotix' soundtrack in Origins earlier today, when I listened to 'Tribute' in its entirety for the first time. It's used for when you defeat the final boss and the screen that congratulates you and shows how many Chaos Rings you've collected. Turns out only the first 10 or so seconds of the song are only used on this screen! It's not even Protoman's theme-levels of unused like in Megaman 3, it's an even shorter section of a full-length song. It definitely sounds like "Peace being restored to the island" music, or something. It's a pretty nice track.

    I think there were definitely intentions of making an actual, more visual ending, perhaps similar to S3K.
     
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  3. Azookara

    Azookara

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    In the Chaotix 0111 prototype, Tribute was called "??? GOOD ENDING ???", with Destructive Power as "??? NORMAL ENDING ???" and Just Another Day as "??? STAFF ROLL ???".

    If I were to guess, Tribute was going to be used for a full cutscene that played after getting the good ending, but after the scene got cut (as we know, it just kinda abruptly jumps to the credits) it was haphazardly thrown on the cutscene where you get all the Chaos Rings.
     
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  4. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I'd have to go digging but I think SoA were advertising the game as "Chaotix" before they bolted Knuckles' name to the title.

    It seems(?) to be just "Chaotix" at Winter CES 1995, which was the event where the game was first demonstrated. "Knuckles'" might have come too late in the day.
     
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  5. SSM was listing the game has just Chaotix too

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Prototype

    Prototype

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    I always thought Espio looked way too chunky, especially when you consider that Espio's meant to be a chameleon and Vector's meant to be a whole bloody crocodile. The size and scale seems off, comparatively.

    Here's a potential rough timeline working mostly off of speculation in this thread, such as the hypothetical Miyake side game mentioned above.

    Some concepts regarding wall-climbing and tornado spinning were conceptualized during S3 for the "Rival" character. We also know that the rival went through several designs and at one point was even a rival hedgehog. We know that Espio had a different creator to Knuckles.

    So, when they scrapped the tornado/wall-climbing elements from the rival that became Knuckles, they were still useful ideas and game mechanics that could be used somewhere, which didn't step on the toes of the established Knuckles character or Sonic IP.

    Miyake works on side project using new character Espio (which may or may not be divergent character evolution from a proto-Knuckles) which repurposes those mechanic ideas in a non-Sonic IP.

    Sonic Clackers is being worked on as a concept. Sonic and Tails get dropped. The game was clearly aiming for something big, so they want lots of worlds and lots of characters. Feature creep. Various Sonic characters get scraped from the bottom of the idea barrel and thrown in as replacements. Knuckles is the first non-Sonic character to come to mind after Sonic and Tails, so he makes the cut as protagonist.

    Hypothetical Miyake side-game gets scrapped, Espio the character gets repurposed and the Tornado/Wall-Climbing mechanics get re-re-purposed back into the Sonic fold.

    Espio is cool and unique enough that they briefly consider him as a star in the game, but given that the 32X was NOT the place to launch new IPs and boosting sales had to be big on their mind, they not only re-shift back to Knuckles as a marketing choice but add his name to the title.

    Thoughts on this rough idea? I haven't put a huge amount of thought into it. But I definitely find it weird that tornado mechanics were clearly in mind for Knuckles at some point, which probably explains the stylistic remnant of a gliding Echidna, so I find it hard to detach Knuckles' development from Espio, even if both final designs were created by other people.

    In terms of Espio though, it's interesting how much detail he got. Little things, like the chameleon palette shifting. Palette shifting isn't exactly taxing, but given what others have said about the limitations of visual data processing through the 32X/Megadrive combo, I find it interesting that there are so many neat visual things in that game.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2022
  7. Forte

    Forte

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    It's a neat theory, but unfortunately - only a theory.

    I wonder if we'll ever be able to prove that Espio was derived from Knuckles' concepts. Devs clearly stated that Knuckles was reptilian-like in some stage of development, so it had to happen sometime after the first concept of the rival Hedgehog.

    I believe the 90's McDonald's toy is the only remnant of the scrapped tornado ability, and if I'm not mistaken, someone from the dev team stated, that Knuckles' tail is a remnant of the reptile concept (his chest crest being a remnant from a failed deal too).

    Jurassic Park was a thing, starting in 1993, maybe they wanted a reptile character because of that?

    It also occured to me, that Echidnas lay eggs, just like reptiles. It's a longshot, but there are connections.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2022
  8. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    May I ask, why is it "Clackers" sounds more appropiate than "Crackers"? From (maybe not so) local use, I associate "crackers" with small salted cookies, so of course it doesn't make sense, but, can you remind me what's "clackers" supposed to mean? Direct translation of the word is sort of something that makes a repeating sound, which doesn't mean much either.

    Sorry, I just remembered: I think someone said they were those balls that hit from sides making the ball on the opposite side move, come back, and repeat that effect on the first ball, repeating this all in a loop. maybe that makes some sense, but, ugh, that's sort of a stretch too. But I guess "Sonic Bolas" or "Sonic Yo-Yo" wouldn't have been good enough game names.
     
  9. saxman

    saxman

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    Yep, the Clackers thing makes sense.

    That said, it has never been called that except by some folks here. In my judgement, it doesn't make sense to correct a translation that Sega itself never corrected. Stadium is different, because there's actual documentation tied to the name Stadium versus Studium.
     
  10. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    We corrected Sega's whole "Mr. Needlemouse" mistranslation, so I don't see what's wrong with noting "Crackers" is almost definitely a mistranslation.
     
  11. saxman

    saxman

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    There's documented evidence of Mr. Hedgehog though.
     
  12. Prototype

    Prototype

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    In fairness, I kind of just like using the Clackers name, because "clacker" can be Aussie slang for an asshole.
     
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  13. Forte

    Forte

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    I just prefer to write/say Crackers. I agree it's a mistranslation, but I don't want to change my habit :V

    I'd say it's fine, as long as other people understand what we are talking/writing about.

    Also, Clackers sounds a bit silly, and I can't imagine them ever trademarking that name... but that's my point of view.
     
  14. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    eh you see those in anime too though. the second Jojo uses them as a weapon for instance. they're basically two balls connected by a string which sums up Sonic and Tails being connected in that way, especially given that the rest of the series uses spheres a lot. Eggman is spherical. Sonic rolls up into a ball. The Chaos Emeralds are also cut to be faceted circles until Adventure, and you have the gumballs, blue sphere, Sonic being used as a pinball etc..
     
  15. BlueSkiesAM2

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    Crackers only sounds right to us because we’ve known it as that for so long. When I discovered it 20 or so years ago, it sounded just as dumb to me as Clackers sounds now. At least Clackers makes sense.

    Though I don’t think it’s worth changing how we refer to it. No one is arguing that we should call Gleylancer “Greylancer” even though that was an obvious mistake.

    *For Sonic-only fans on here, it’s a STG/shmup on the Mega Drive. Pretty good one too. “STICK TO IT AND BELIEVE IN YOUR POWER!”
     
  16. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    I just checked and I wasn't thinking of that thing, but that one that has five balls or so attached to a structure so the outer ones move their opposite without moving the middle ones. Then yes, it makes sense, and it's what I was trying to refer to with that "Sonic Bolas" example. No rubber band involved in that toy, though.

    I'll keep calling it "Sonic Galletas" anyway, which makes no sense to most of you but I find it really funny. Considering that word does not only mean cookies, but is also slang for hits (as in slaps, punches and so on), giving that name to a game where you shamelessly throw your friend against things sounds quite spot on to me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2022
  17. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I looked into this.

    Any reporting on the game prior to Winter CES 1995 (6th-9th January 1995 for those playing at home) uses the Knuckles' Ringstar name. As did some publications that were lagging behind in the following days and weeks. The only exception is Game Players who float the "Sonic Chaotic" name, but this is the same publication that thought Sonic Ride was the new game, so meh.

    "Chaotix" is shown at Winter CES 1995 (both in video and playable form) and every publication reporting on the event calls it by that name.

    The very first "Knuckles' Chaotix" comes from Sega of America's magazine, Sega Visions:

    https://segaretro.org/index.php?title=File:SegaVisions_US_23.pdf&page=5

    we don't have a precise release date for this (as was the case for most American gaming magazines of the era), but the issue date is February/March 1995. Assuming this wasn't printed before CES, that would suggest the name change probably occurred in mid or late January.

    The first non-Sega publication to use the Knuckles' prefix is the March 1995 issue of EGM:

    https://segaretro.org/index.php?title=File:EGM_US_068.pdf&page=120
    (I think that's the 1229 build btw)

    Again, no date, but I'd guess mid-February. And it might have been a late change for the mag - its CES supplement still calls the game "Chaotix". Other publications don't start prefixing "Knuckles'" until their April 1995 editions. Some never made the change.


    My guess is that Sega of America came up with the name change post-CES. However, Chaotix was running to a May 1995 release date, and seems to have gone gold mid-February - I'm not sure if you'd call it a "crunch period" back then, but judging from the state of the 0111 and 0119 builds, it seems fair if they couldn't prioritise such a late change.
     
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  18. saxman

    saxman

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    Any language people want to try and decompose "Newtrogic High"? What the heck is "newtrogic" anyway? Could this be a victim of some strange Engrish translation?
     
  19. _Sidle

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    my final two braincells are on the case :eng99:

    The High part seems pretty straight forward, as it's on an island that just rose up from the ocean. [+]
    The Newtrogic part is just weird and nonsensical... I guess you can make New Tropic with only a single letter change, which tracks with how the island suddenly became a green paradise from the pillar energy.

    Some sleep-deprived attempts of dissecting ニュートロジック (newtrogic) eventually lead me to find semi-similar Engrish components in ニュートロ (neutron) and ロジック "logic"... I'd generally disregard Neutron Logic as word salad, but it reminds me a bit of Atomic Destroyer and Scrap Brain. Eggman did build both of those, as well as the Newtrogic High resort/fortress. Probably trying to see patterns that aren't there, though.
     
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  20. saxman

    saxman

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    Yeah, I thought of the same things last night... neutron, new tropic... it's still very odd. I'd say it's just a made-up word, but most made-up words have some sort of root. I also wondered if taking "neutron" and making it "neutral" made more sense. But I don't know.

    The Scrap Brain name makes sense because it's the center of Robotnik's operations (i.e. "brain"), and it's what's left of the operation... or it's got a lot of metal (i.e. "scrap").

    When I think of "High", I immediately think of high school. In this case, it may be along the same lines as "Brain".
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2022