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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. Well said, it's in a lot of Mega CD games and I noticed it in Mega CD games, very early in like in 1992.
    Silicon Graphics workstations were used in quite a few Mega Drive and Mega CD titles like Micky Mania, Novastorm, and Dracula never mind Mizuguchi-san 1st game for the AS1. One only needs to see the interviews in the MD ultimate collection to see that Sonic Team/ Akira Nishino worked on Ristar and wasn't this at a time when most of the console staff were mainly on the same floor, even AM#1/AM#3 (a bit like Capcom) and so staff would have their names in all sorts of titles, helping out at various times no doubt

    I can't see Chaotix being a Saturn title and then downgraded to be a 32X. I would see Chaotix more as a request by SEGA America we need some type of Sonic like game for the 32X,to help promote and push the system very early in and that all it was.
     
  2. Gryson

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    Thanks for replying.

    Is this someone at SOA? A producer? Did they provide any kind of evidence? Some things still don't add up.

    "SOA decided to put those on 32X" - wasn't the game entirely managed out of Japan?

    Edit: I guess this last point can make sense if SOA requested it be switched from a Saturn project to a 32X project.

    Jina Ishiwatari said she was working on a 32X game in July/August 1994 - far from "the end of the project".

    If this is an SOA producer talking, it's possible he didn't know the game's background and is misunderstanding something or has incomplete information. (to be clear: I'm not dismissing what he said, but it doesn't feel quite... satisfying).

    I'd still urge caution without some concrete proof.

    Also, to explain why I'm being skeptical:

    The hard part to rationalize here is why the Japanese side has never mentioned anything about the game being developed for the Saturn. We have people talking about working on it as Sonic Crackers, and we have people talking about working on it as Chaotix on the 32X. It's strange that the Saturn has never once been brought up.

    Edit: There's also a possibility it was re-designed as a Saturn game but no (significant) work was done on it before it switched to the 32X... That might account for the lack of evidence.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2022
  3. Gryson

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  4. saxman

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    As I like to tell people in disputes like this, two different things can be true at the same time, even if they appear to contradict each other.

    My initial thought: The game being developed on the Saturn was supposedly split or trimmed down. Is it considered to be a different game than Chaotix by some Mr. Nishimura?
     
  5. Forte

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    Is it possible it was developed for Saturn with a different name or by different team?
    Could the Saturn Version be a wholly different game? Like Sonic 1 MD and Sonic 1 SMS?

    I mean, surely there exist Sonic concepts/ protos that we don't even think exists. Idea of superior Chaotix on Saturn and a lesser version of it for 32X, based on Crackers doesn't sound too farfetched to me.

    I guess we need to wait for more information on the matter.
     
  6. The KKM

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    Being from a different team would be the most plausible to me, except- SoA's interest would be on a 32X version, not a Saturn version. If it were reverse I can imagine SoA asking someone else to try and port it, and it not working out (think Sonic X-Treme).

    Without more info from drx we really can't know, and drx's indicated already that info's being held back now. Annoyingly, yeah, but I think he's proven enough to be a reliable enough source so far to at the very least assume he's not randomly lying, and if there's something false here, it's the fault of those who conveyed info to him instead.
     
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  7. I can imagine a call from SOA came in asking
    We need games for the 32X, even better of its from the SONIC universe. I wonder if SEGA Japan ever looked into bring Sonic the Arcade home to the Saturn. I know it used the rollerball, but it looked amazing at the time and I always wanted it on Saturn
     
  8. Ted618

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    None of those games were by Sega, they're all Psygnosis. Megalopolis isn't actually a proper game in the first place, and was finished by 1994 - hence no mention, despite it being the first of AM3's numerous 3DCG projects. Neither are really relevant here, at least in terms of whether parts of Chaotix were made with SGI workstations at Sega.

    Because of a few connections, Ristar is only retrospectively labelled a "Sonic Team" game by some, and not Sega itself. The company certainly never saw it as such at the time. Though they would be more involved in Nights, most of Ristar's developers weren't previously big parts of Sonic; the original staff were now working on Clackers.

    Both Okunari and motekin - actual employees who were working at Sega at that time - seem to be spelling these facts out quite clearly in their posts, and Nishino doesn't state anything to the contrary in that interview. Sonic is only mentioned alongside Dynamite Headdy in the context of them all being comparable cartoon action games.
     
  9. Azookara

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    Wasn't it said earlier in the topic that Nishiyama worked on it when it was on Genesis?

    I'm just assuming here, but I imagine the game probably jumped staff for each version of the game; from Genesis, to Saturn, to 32X. If Nishiyama was on the Genesis version and knew nothing of it besides that it released on 32X, that'd make sense out of why he wouldn't know of a Saturn version. Again, that's all going off if he was only on the Genesis version. Same with Hoshino.

    IDK, I feel like we can trust drx on this one.
     
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  10. Black Squirrel

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    It's wiki time. There's no need to be afraid.
    I was going to say there are no recorded cases of Saturn games being ported to the 32X, but there might be one - Virtua Fighter. "Might be" because I'm not totally sure if it wasn't ported straight from the arcade.


    There won't be some magic compiler flag that lets you instantly turn a Saturn build into a working 32X one - the gaming press liked to paint the two consoles as one in the same, but rendering is different, audio is different, memory is different, the Saturn's CPUs are clocked higher... they feel like completely different systems. And given we seemingly have evidence that Chaotix started its life on the Mega Drive (not to mention the state of our earliest 32X prototype), I remain hugely sceptical that there's a Saturn version involved.

    Except drx's posts suggest there was. Which makes the situation properly weird.
     
  11. The Joebro64

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    This is just pure speculation on my part, but there being different staff working on each version would explain why the game credits an abnormally large amount of people, including three directors. (Like I said earlier, I do doubt Hoshino was the only team member who left to start working on Nights given the number of developers who are credited on both Chaotix and Nights.)

    It's difficult to say, though, since we know very little. We're in murky territory, especially since there aren't many developer interviews regarding Chaotix and the few that do exist don't reveal much that we couldn't figure out for ourselves. Nishimura doesn't recall a Saturn version and a few developers don't mention it in interviews. But the anonymous developer drx spoke to tells a different story. We don't have any concrete evidence for a Saturn version. But I doubt drx is wrong when he says he lost out on a Saturn proto when he's the one who brought us things like Sonic 2 Nick Arcade, all the December-February Chaotix prototypes, the Sonic 3 prototype, and the Sonic 1 prototype.

    We've got some standing mysteries here, and probably a few we haven't even identified yet. And identifying them is the first step towards finding the answers.
     
  12. Linkabel

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    Would it more likely that someone or a small group in the staff carved out some time and made a Saturn build of the game that was abandoned quickly because of the rushed production timeline?

    Some of the staff wanted to work on Saturn games, right? I can definitely see trying it out, especially if it was just one level or something like that.

    Or at least this explains why a game that started on the Genesis then moved to the 32x suddenly has a Saturn version, and why not everyone in the staffe knew this was happening.

    If it does exist then hopefully it can be found, or at least finding more info on it.
     
  13. The point I was trying to make is that they were nothing to do with Nintendo, so it didn't matter about using SGI workstations, that was different to the NCL/SG console hardware deal .
    I'm pretty sure VF used SG systems to handle the data animation from Flock of Birds motion capture. Sonic Team as a separate team didn't really start until NiGHTS. I know Sonic Team is displayed in Sonic, but some of the team worked on other games when on the same floor and each line might look to use a code name for game development.


    I really can't see SOJ allowing a Saturn game to be downgraded to a 32X production myself, given SOJ focus on the Saturn
    I can see a phone call coming in for help and the need for software for the 32X and SOJ putting a team that was woking on a MD project moving them up to 32X production.
     
  14. Black Squirrel

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    Another example - Clockwork Knight. Or rather, the pre-rendered teaser of Clockwork Knight that was doing its rounds as early as Winter CES 1994 (and maybe the pre-rendered bits that became Victory Goal).

    [​IMG]

    We even have this screenshot straight from one of Sega's SGI workstations. And of course they had at least one stateside for Sonic 3.
     
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  15. Azookara

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    If I were to guess, it'd be that SoA was convinced that since Sonic was most successful in the west, and 32X was their focus, they needed to focus on getting a Sonic title to that platform in attempt to assure 32X's success.

    The only thing that stands in the way of that theory would be Sonic Mars, which was being made concurrently. But maybe that game's failure to take off plays into it? Pure speculation, that, but what can you do with what little we know? It's not a far-off guess at least, since we know the same happened with 3D Blast after X-Treme kicked the bucket.
     
  16. Laura

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    I do find it funny that Drx has all these unpublished interviews that he never gets round to uploading. Not an attack on the guy, he's he's legend. I think it's possible he's working on a major project. Possibly a book or something.
     
  17. Forte

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    I used to work in a corporation. It is not difficult for me to imagine a situation where some people are working on one prototype while others are not even aware of its creation, or are kept secret.

    And looking at Sega from that period, the confusion must have been unearthly there.

    I'll put my judgment on hold until drx releases more information, which may take a while - but for now I have no reason to believe anyone is lying. I believe there is a version for Saturn, even if it's some simple screen with Knuckles jumping.
     
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  18. drx

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    Someone at SOA.

    I suppose he could be mistaken, but it's not like Mazin would have perfect information either.
     
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  19. Mr. Ksoft

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    I haven't seen it mentioned, but isn't it a possibility as well that it really was a straight up 32X game, but that there was an early effort by a separate team to also port it to Saturn in order to help bolster the Saturn's early library, making it a kind of cross-generation game? It's also possible they dumped said project when it became evident that the game wasn't going to turn out great given the timelines involved. Perception may have been that it could reflect badly on the new Saturn, but they may have been desperate for anything to keep the 32X afloat. Or that having a cross generation game would discredit the Saturn as actually being powerful if it appeared that a Genesis add-on could run the exact same game. (Though they still back ported Virtua Fighter later, so I dunno)
     
  20. Azookara

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    What would've SOA been doing with Chaotix? Two SOA employees now mentioned to know about this, but all the JP staff interviews seem to not know anything about it.

    The story somehow just got even more confusing. :tinfoil: