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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. saxman

    saxman

    Oldbie Tech Member
    Really? I thought for sure it was 68000. Though I was saying that based on my ROM research/hacking history, which in the area of music, was going on close to two decades ago. So clearly my memory has fogged up quite a bit.

    Sorry for the misinformation =/
     
  2. Azookara

    Azookara

    yup Member
    I knew about his non-gaming experience and how he was very supportive of the online side, but I didn't know them butting heads on the ideals for the machine. It's definitely an upsetting angle and I get why Nakayama left, but in the end they didn't really stick to this all-or-nothing mentality, 'cuz the end product was somewhere between the two. A heavy showcase of video game IP and arcade power PLUS a verbose internet device. It in many ways was the best of both worlds.. minus it's drawbacks, which I'll get into.

    Yeah, it's a major part of why a delay, as saintminya said, would've been incredibly beneficial to them. By 1999-2000, DVD drives were plummeting in production costs. Players between 1997 to that period went from $700 to $300 to $100-200 (and then sub-100 by 2000 onward). With the Dreamcast specifics finalized in 1997-98, it's no wonder they thought it wasn't viable. Just a single extra year working out what went inside the box, hell even half a year, could've made all the difference! Granted, there's no way they could've known that plummet was coming, but it is a sad to see them just miss it.

    That said, there are other good reasons they should've delayed, too. More time to improve the specs, as mentioned, but also just giving Japanese consumers one more year to spend with Saturn before parting ways. The Saturn fanbase's dedication to the platform is iirc part of why Dreamcast's launch there was lukewarm. The launch was premature, and it hurt consumer trust in the one place they still had it.

    This was all IMO short-sighted, but understandable from the perspective they had at the time, and I find it honorable that they stuck to their word.

    Though if in the timeline Sega managed to keep their reputation, I think Dreamcast would've still come to be in a very similar manner. Before it was even in development, Sega was already experimenting with the idea of a premium build Saturn with a pack-in modem (and hard drive) through the Sega Pluto, around 1996 (not sure if that is for certain when Pluto was made, but that's what Sega Retro guesses). This idea seemed to transform eventually into Dreamcast, sans the hard drive (for I assume cost-cutting measures).

    If that was on their minds before Sega even considered throwing in the towel, then I think Sega was gonna go in that direction regardless of whatever drastic measures were taken. It just probably wouldn't have been crunched into a budget production.. which despite Okawa's intentions, unfortunately might've been the thing (outside of the 32X/Saturn) that sealed DC's fate. Basically everywhere it cut corners for pricing made it unfavorable compared to PS2 and it's other competitors. Locking DC into that limitation held it back from being the best it could be even in what Okawa wanted from it.

    What a shame.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2022
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  3. Gryson

    Gryson

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    The Dreamcast could never compete with the PlayStation 2. That writing had been on the wall for a long time. Sega was simply never going to be able to attract the 3rd party support that Sony could. Sega's executives knew this, everyone in the industry knew this. That's why it didn't make sense to wait and compete head-on with Sony. It was an unwinnable battle.

    In my opinion, the wrong choice would have been for Sega to build an expensive console with a DVD drive and then get itself into another brutal price war with Sony. That was a losing game for the much smaller Sega. Sega was instead attempting something that Nintendo would later make good use of. They were trying to go in a different direction, to offer their own product that wasn't necessarily a direct competitor. They didn't really pull it off. I don't think there was the demand for an internet-focused console at the time. People bought consoles to play games first and foremost. I think the internet focus of the console also kind of got lost in the shuffle. It just didn't make good marketing. But it was necessary for the Dreamcast to ever be released.

    In regards to the Pluto: Don't forget this thread I posted a few months ago. I guess the info never made it into Sega Retro. I don't really think the Pluto had anything to do with the Dreamcast. Sega had been experimenting with modem support in its consoles since the Mega Modem in 1990. And they had all been failures, which is probably part of the reason Nakayama didn't want to go that route with the Dreamcast.
     
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  4. Azookara

    Azookara

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    Oh, for sure the Dreamcast could never win against the PS2. Nothing could. Not it, not OG Xbox, not GC. The zeitgeist around it, no matter HOW valid, was unstoppable. The ultimate "right place, right time" machine.

    But I think it could've competed nevertheless. It would've lost to Sony, but again what's so bad about a decent 2nd place? Especially if we're still playing in the timeline where they're not dead broke or widely disrespected?

    And look, as much as I love GameCube (it's my other favorite game console besides DC), it wouldn't have been able to beat DC at the peak performance I'm pitching here. Even OG Xbox beat it, and that console has no games. Speaking of, if DC's existence successfully kept Microsoft from joining the industry (Sega filling the internet-savvy lite PC console / Sony competitor niche they wanted), I could see them sticking close to Sega's hip like they did in the mid-late 90s, helping them along.

    This is all me going into fanfic material at this point, tbh. But it's fun to cast a dream out there. Console talk is fun. RIP Dreamcast.

    Anyways, I'm trying to find a way to bring this back to Chaotix but I'm blanking. Sorry everyone. lol
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2022
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  5. To pivot back to Chaotix, whether or not any development was ever actually done for the Saturn, it should've been shifted to/remained on Saturn once it was clear that it was not going to be ready for the launch of the 32X. Both the 32X and the superior Saturn were initially released in Autumn of 1994, while the clearly unfinished Chaotix wasn't released until April of 1995. Had it been allotted more time in the oven, preferably for Saturn, then it may've come closer to completion and fared better.

    Who knows, I just love the game and believe it could've been so much greater as a Saturn game. I've thought this long before becoming aware of a potential Saturn build,
     
  6. The DC was really let down by SEGA Europe and SEGA Japan. SEGA Europe was just run by muppets at the time and SEGA Japan just made so many bad mistakes with the DC and forget about the Saturn rushed launched in Japan the DC launch was far worse, with SEGA needing to cancel over 400,000 Pre-orders (unpset people who then just stuck with SONY) and barely able to get 100,000 units out and all key software was delayed too, it was a sheer mess and SOJ would have been far better delaying the launch of the DC in Japan until March 2000 when they would have been able to shift over 500,000 units on launch and more software was ready.

    I also never liked how SEGA 'again' rushed out key software. SEGA Rally 2 should have been a showcase for the DC in every dept and a really showcase for the Internet side, with online racing, online rankings and users being able to upload and download replays. If SR 2 was as good as VO 2 on the DC in terms of being a near perfect port and a wealth of online functions, I think it could have been massive in Pal land myself

    But I agree with you, I think the DC was pretty doomed anyway, more so after that amazing E3 trailer of MGS2 on the PS2, I really think that was a killer moment for the DC and made so many people minds up
     
  7. LockOnTommy11

    LockOnTommy11

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    The cherry on top to all of this was the PS2’s DVD, CD capability and backwards compatibility. It really had everything going for it.

    Back to Knuckles Chaotix, have we ever had any information from SEGA referencing it since the early 2000’s or mentioning why they haven’t re-released it over the years? I really wanted it in Sonic Gems Collection back in the day, and found it odd that it could be emulated online from at least 2002 onwards, but never made available.

    The only way to play this and most other 32X games nowadays is simply to either buy a 32X (alone costs a minimum of about £230), plus the individual games, or simply emulate them online. In any event, SEGA make basically no money from the 32X’s catalogue when it seems like there’s a bit of a gap. I was hoping the Analogue Mega SG’s FPGA would have been updated by now to natively play 32X titles, but it doesn’t seem like there’s an interest post-sale as the work I involved would be complex and the money’s already been received. Effectively you either spend a lot of money for real hardware, or do it all for free via emu.

    It seems to me that SEGA want to at least shuffle Knuckles Chaotix under the rug as a mistake, if not the majority of the 32X library.
     
  8. Azookara

    Azookara

    yup Member
    I think Sega sees the console as a sore spot, and they don't seem to want to think about it's existence.

    I can't tell you the last time a 32X game has been ported or emulated in a collection, because I don't think it's ever happened. You'd think the upcoming Genesis Mini 2 would've tried for it, but they just seemed to ignore it and focus only on SegaCD. Unless they're thinking "maybe for Genesis Mini 3", but.. honestly why even make a Genesis Mini 2. But I digress.
     
  9. Trippled

    Trippled

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    It's more commercial viability rather than any remorse...Sega loves referencing obscure stuff

    They even released a CD album

    https://segaretro.org/Super_32X_15th_Anniversary_Album
     
  10. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Chaotix was released on PC through GameTap in 2007.
     
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  11. Ted618

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    I did want to add all of that info to Retro at the time, but only after the apparent second part of the interview had came out with SOA's reasoning and the thread was updated again. Should probably edit the planet codenames page before that though.

    And re: Sega's network gaming ambitions, this is going well off-topic now but I have also read somewhere that they initially had big plans more for the arcade side of things, specifically the amusement theme park concept. While it didn't quite work out that way in the end, and their first attempt (Entertainment STAGE [email protected]) failed, ALL.Net did eventually become a thing in the 2000s. Albeit only in the east for the most part.
     
  12. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    I honestly hated Sony for entering the console market like a big bully. Nintendo survived by being the IP house they were and sticking to oldschool niche of "these are toys for kids to play with" which later updated to families and casual gaming, but once Sony and Microsoft entered the scene, it was impossible for anyone else to compete in the same league. On Sega's side, if they got so high on console wars they didn't know how to handle the success, their fails should have told them something, but that was not the case. I really wanted the DC to be their return even if the console itself failed, but since they went third party they haven't tried anything but survival. Sonic could be cool, but Sega was somehow cool too even in their failures, and then they stopped trying.

    Oh, yes, Chaotix. The friend who introduced me to Sonic bought the 32X with the game but wouldn't let me know at first because how I behaved when he got Sonic 3 (shame on me). When he finally showed it to me, he told me the gadget would freeze the game often and Chaotix itself was boring and nothing close to previous Sonic games, but I wanted it anyways, and then things happened (nothing bad, regular life affairs) and I couldn't ask him if he still had it, so I saw that thing once and only once in my life.

    And that's all. sadly, I have nothing to share about the topic itself besides these memories. :psyduck:
     
  13. Aesculapius Piranha

    Aesculapius Piranha

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    For the record when I've said this I'm mostly pointing out that Oshima's team led it rather than Naka's Sonic team which also had *huge* changes between games back then as we all know, and as such Oshima's had different design philosophies. I never did a deep dive into the credits and am kind of surprised anyone took it this way though I guess I shouldn't be. I was clearly making some assumptions that I should not have based on visual similarities, but this does make more sense and I really appreciate the write up. Good job.

    Edit: And now I know to credit Takumi Miyake for the visual similarities.
    Edit 2: And now I am reminded that searching game Credits online is itself a clusterfuck no wonder nobody pointed out my mistake before this. Apparently this individual also worked on Killer 7, No More Heroes, and Street Fighter IV. A little TMI but I know people IRL whose credits aren't collected neatly anywhere other than their resume. There is no totally reliable IMDB for games.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2022
  14. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    hey wiki you're so fine
    Google "スーパー32X". After Wikipedia, the next result is Sega's dedicated hardware page.

    [​IMG]

    You can buy a 32X for your Mega Drive Mini. It's purely cosmetic, but this is not the behaviour of a company that's embarassed by the ordeal. And this is for Japan no less - perhaps its weakest market.
     
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  15. Chibisteven

    Chibisteven

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    Chaotix didn't really make much use of the 32X's additional audio capabilities where a port of another game "After Burner Complete" actually made better use of the 32X's additional audio hardware. I have to wonder at what point this game was a Saturn prototype because I can't imagine a new Saturn game sounding like the Genesis would do well critically even if the music was good. This had to be scrapped quite early on in the alpha stage. If a Saturn prototype is found it be quite interesting to see what if anything was done in the sound department. I honestly think there will be no sound at all in a Saturn prototype of this and probably be only mildly different from the Mega Drive internal pitch demo "Sonic Crackers"
     
  16. Ted618

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    Yosuke Okunari seems to have pushed hard for 32X titles on the Mega Drive Mini 2 - even after he was told by M2 that they simply weren't feasible, he thought about whether just Virtua Racing DX could make the cut as a bonus.

    Though I'm not sure whether they've ever tried to sell any 32X retro merchandise, the western branch has occasionally made posts about it and the games (including Chaotix, natch) after the Sega Forever brand was repurposed.
     
  17. LockOnTommy11

    LockOnTommy11

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    We’ve had emulators running 32X games for the last two decades, are they really not feasible? :colbert:
     
  18. Gryson

    Gryson

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    It's possible but would take a lot of time and effort. The fact that there are emulators available online basically means nothing. Sega/M2 still have to make their own (or hire someone who can do it) and get it to work within available hardware limits.

    On 32X emulation, Okunari specifically said: "If we could easily emulate the 32X's two CPUs, then we could just go ahead and release a Saturn Mini."
     
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  19. I think DVD only really mattered in Japan myself. I think in the west , it was the hype of the system power that was making people want the console when you had talk of 77 million polygons and fancy names for the CPU like the Emotion Engine Plus the killer was with 3rd parties putting all their big games on the PS2 and the DC was by in large limited to PS ports from the 3rd parties I also found the PS 2 1st year of software to be pretty poor and it didn't really change until Silent Hill 2 and ICO hit. I knew people who were never into consoles at all, saying they were going to get a PS2 because the hype said it would be even more powerful that Ultra PC's.

    Still, I think even if the Saturn and DC had taken off, SEGA would have needed to look to others for its consoles, when you had MS and SONY coming into the market, the amount those were ready to put into the development of just the GPU and CPU's alone would be too much for SEGA and in many ways the OG XBox always felt like a DC 2 to me and helped me become an XBot (still am to this day) I wanted to like Chaotix, but it just felt rushed out and I bet it was just at a request of SEGA America and so SEGA Japan looked to get the team to make it and get it out quick on the 32X to try and help with sales. Some might say that SOA and SOJ never got on, but to me SOJ tried it's best to make good software for the 32X and looked to help out on it.
     
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  20. hxc

    hxc

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    Clint Dyer did a little more than simply save things that were being thrown out. There's a reason there is a fair number of crackers carts out there with the exact same build.
     
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