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The "Sonic The Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles" Quest for Music Composer Research

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by T.Q., Nov 18, 2019.

Choose your favorite soundtrack version:

  1. Sonic The Hedgehog 3 -- Prototype / PC

  2. Sonic The Hedgehog 3 -- Mega Drive / Sega Genesis

  3. Sonic [3] & Knuckles -- Mega Drive / Sega Genesis

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  1. Firippu Maiefusuki

    Firippu Maiefusuki

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    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I think the credit information was added by VGMdb as the letters aren't capitalized and it's listed as "Confirmed composer credits" and only specifically the tracks we know were composed by Drossin, Senoue? and Milpo are listed
     
  2. T.Q.

    T.Q.

    The Sims 2, Tim Drake [Robin] Member
    Ok, I'm convinced with the evidence that's been discovered so far. Both that:

    1. No composer list exists on that 1994 soundtrack (very important, as that VGMdb entry was my source I referred to when composing the table).

    2. Jon Burton's claim has better credence to me, given how ICEKnight found a track listing in the Sonic 3D Blast ROM. Likely a track list exists with Mr. Burton given he was the developer of the game. Also quite importantly, Mr. Burton demonstrated what the unused music he claims sounds like, versus trying to decipher the meaning of written words.

    So I've made adjustments to the Wiki listings, until new evidence surfaces.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
  3. Shakidna

    Shakidna

    Rehash Rampage Member
    "Rings and Diamonds Land" sounds exactly like the silly names Jun would later put on all the Adventure/SA2 tracks.
     
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  4. Naean

    Naean

    Naean H.F. (Nez Man) Member
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    I've read through this entire thread up to this point, and didn't see anyone else make this comparison. Apologies if this has in fact has been pointed out prior, either here or elsewhere on Sonic Retro.

    I'm surprised that I haven't seen this being mentioned more often, but there are some striking similarities between some portions of the Competition Mode Menu and Carnival Night Zone Act 2 tracks from the 3 November 1993 beta.

    The tracks have various similarities, but the most notable ones for me are the melodies between these time stamps respectively:


    0:08 to 0:21.




    0:36 to 0:50.




    Now, it's important that we don't fall into the trap of marking likely/probable things as definitive fact when there are gaps in official confirmations and whatnot...

    ... That said, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised whatsoever if it turns out the same person(s) worked on both of these music tracks; I very heavily believe that to be the case. Again though, this is just a strong hunch of mine. It's ultimately still speculation, but nevertheless I think these notable similarities definitely shouldn't go without mention. I feel the melodies shared are almost too similar to be coincidental, although that is indeed always a possibility.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2020
  5. Shakidna

    Shakidna

    Rehash Rampage Member
    These are so stylistically similar to Hydrocity Act 2 so I'm very confident they are arranged by Masayuki Nagao

    Also Launch Base (proto) Act 2, to a lesser extent. Nagao supposedly did all of the Act 2 arrangements, but I find that questionable.
     
  6. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    I think this kind of thing is extremely speculative and misleading. We aren't talking about composers like Jim Steinman where you can tell it's a song by him from a million miles away. I would be very wary of making connections between songs in this way unless there are shared melodies (like in Ice Cap and Crystal Egg) or unique style (the MJ team with use of vocal samples when none of the other songs have them).

    Let's not forget when everyone thought Ice Cap was based on Smooth Criminal because of musical similarities.
     
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  7. Ch1pper

    Ch1pper

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    You're saying blind association is bad (which I agree with) and then mention Crystal Egg and proto Ice Cap. Was that outright confirmed somewhere? 'Cause I feel like it's the same thing. I get how someone could make the connection in a general sense, with part of the melody and the tempo/rhythm, but something about it still doesn't scream at me as obviously as it does with you/many others.

    I can also see what Shakidna is saying too. I won't claim it's utterly obvious or anything, but the ways the melodies and chords are structured and play off of each other (which always struck me as familiar but I could never place it) is very similar to Hydrocity Act 2. I'd argue it's stronger evidence than IC/CE, as both use the Gen/MD console itself as opposed to 16-bit HC and 8-bit CE, so the comparison is clearer and easier to make.

    That said, I also don't feel comfortable saying definitively one way or another. They're all just neat things to notice, is all. :)
     
  8. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    A connection between Crystal Egg and Ice Cap isn't confirmed but both are obviously sharing the same background melody. Similar to Ice Cap and Hard times, which also hasn't been confirmed by anyone, but both songs obviously share the same melody.

    Two songs sharing the same melody is very different to 'I think these songs sound similar'.
     
  9. D.A. Garden

    D.A. Garden

    & Knuckles Member
    I cannot hear a connection between Crystal Egg and Ice Cap. I've listened to them both back to back many times as a result of this thread, and it's just not happening. I agree with ch1pper; there's no evidence to say they are written by the same person. The same goes for many other comparisons made before it.

    However, the Ice Cap / Hard Times connection is a tricky one because this exists: [​IMG]
    I own a copy myself, and it's not only uncannily familiar with the the foreground melody, but also the backing track. I think this is much more likely to be a thing they know/are aware of, but can't just say. Would be funny if it was just a coincidence, though.
     
  10. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member


    Essentially, the melody from 0:17 is almost exactly the same as the background beat in proto Ice Cap Act 1. You have to look out for it, but when you hear it, it's unmistakable. The melody has been changed slightly (sped up) but it's definitely the same.

    Hard Times hasn't been confirmed by Buxer, it's only been commented upon by Fervor Records, who probably aren't interested in it besides using the memes to sell some copies.
     
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  11. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    Is it even possible for the Hard Times similarity to be a coincidence? I think we can safely assume that IceCap is Hard Times even ignoring the limited Jetzons record. I would imagine that Buxer hasn't confirmed it for legal reasons if anything, but it's incredibly obvious.
     
  12. I mean Brad Buxer was a member of the Jetzons back in the day (he was their keyboardist) so there’s no need to confirm anything when the connection between all 3 parties (Buxer, Hard Times, and Sonic 3) is right there.. but I believe he mentioned the cue in that Huffington Post article from 2016.
     
  13. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    I thought Buxer confirmed that he had indeed based IceCap on Hard Times. I could be talking out of my ass, but I could've sworn it was said somewhere.
     
  14. The Other RaFaél

    The Other RaFaél

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    Not to ask a silly question, but are you listening to the proto version of Ice Cap? The Final version for sure has nothing in common with Crystal Egg, but as for the Proto version, I'm definitely reminded of Crystal Egg. The rhythm is different, but they share notes and "chord" progressions; the fact that they are both in the same key also makes it easier to spot the similarities.

    Could be complete coincidence, but I definitely hear it there, especially after listening to the specific parts Laura shared.
     
  15. D.A. Garden

    D.A. Garden

    & Knuckles Member
    Well that would help that I'm comparing the right tracks, wouldn't it?

    I've tried this again with the prototype IceCap track, and I can hear the resemblance. I wouldn't say they're exactly the same, but they are eerily familiar enough that it sounds likes a continuation of the same track. But it's just one backing melody, which is far from being the same track. I would say that it's more than possible that both tracks had the same composer, but again, we have nothing to confirm it (at least, not right now).
     
  16. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    Oh yeah. Proto Ice Cap is a different song to Crystal Egg. All I'm saying is that Ice Cap is very clearly built upon Crystal Egg. But it has been turned into a new song.

    Also, I'm not saying that the Hard Times link is a coincidence, just that the shared melody connection is enough evidence to link them, even without a confirmation.

    EDIT - Never mind, I'm wrong. Buxer says Ice Cap was based on Hard Times on Huffington Post lol.

    What I'm trying to say is that unless we have something like a shared melody which is an obvious link (Hard Times/Crystal Egg) we should be careful to say 'this song sounds similar).

    I mean, here's a story. I told someone that Blue Spheres music was recycled from SEGASonicBros and sent them a link. They told me they could kind of hear the resemblance and I thought 'wtf, they are exactly the same song?-. Turned out I sent the wrong link, but they read somefhing into it anyway. Saying two songs are similar jn chord progression, tone, atmosphere, style etc is incredibly vague and dependent on listener.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
  17. Ch1pper

    Ch1pper

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    That's my point though: I can hear vague similarities, I'll give you that. But "the melody is almost exactly the same as the background beats" isn't the same thing as Hard Times' chord structure, bass, chorus melody, all things that are being used in final Ice Cap. Like, it's factually undeniable. But Crystal Egg and proto Ice Cap... I can't hear anything beyond a vague similarity. I'm sorry. :(
     
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  18. Metalwario64

    Metalwario64

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    Exactly. The progression is similar, but the notes are distinctly different.
     
  19. BrevonJr

    BrevonJr

    Too many hyperfixations, not much time and energy Member
    Was someone able to get a hold of Tatsuyuki Maeda? I'm almost dying for a definitive answer from him regarding his work for Sonic 3(&K).
    ... Mostly because I've been thinking too much about the Sega staff lately. I actually care more about the credits for them rather than the MJ team.

    (Note: I will only talk about the Prototype music, the state of the music before MJ) To recap;
    • Tokuhiko Uwabo: Sound Director of the project. Did no music.
    • Sachio Ogawa: (One missing piece that might destroy my whole thought process. Based on his work for Sonic 2 and placement in the credits I assume he also only did the Sound Driver and SFX)
    • Masaru Setsumaru: Explicitly said he didn't compose anything for S3. Only did programming and arrangements (+ Sound effects, based on his credit on WAVE MASTER).
    • Yoshiaki Kashima: His wording makes it highly seem like he only composed the Special Stage BGM, which was just reused.
    • Tomonori Sawada: Said he only made the "title screen music and some jingles". Minor enough to not really be worth crediting himself on WAVE MASTER.
    • Jun Senoue: While he did some tunes, he did state he only made "2 or 3 songs".
    From the SEGA composers' side, there's one person that hasn't disproven themselves to have majorly contributed to the music: Tatsuyuki Maeda. And I am going so far to think that he composed tracks like Angel Island, Hydrocity, Carnival Night, Ice Cap, Launch Base, Mushroom Hill, Lava Reef, and Sky Sanctuary.
    He is credited for creating music for Sonic 3 on WAVE MASTER. But unlike Senoue and Sawada, we don't yet know if he only did a very small amount.

    As I've read a few times, CN, IC, ad LB's proto music would have made for a consistent theme throughout. Maeda's work in S3 definitely has the "island" theming going on almost everywhere; tropical sounds with the Menu theme and AI, Genesis LB has that "triumphant" intro that sounds oddly pirate-y to me, and there are volcano vibes with LR (just as examples).
    Proto Carnival Night, Ice Cap, and Launch Base all remind me a lot of the sort of sound you'd hear from him in Sonic 3D Blast (Rusty Ruins and Diamond Dust). That could easily be because those are, as of the time of the Proto, unchanged from how he originally programmed them in. And this bright/cheerful/triumphant style would return in Sonic 3D and Sonic Advance.
    ----
    What about CUBE? I've quickly stumbled upon one important bit that, for some reason, isn't mentioned on the wiki; on their website, CUBE credited themselves for compositing eight tracks for Sonic 3, which already limits the scope greatly.
    Miyoko Takaoka is already confirmed to have composed Marble Garden. As the only other person mentioned by Nagao to have contributed to S3, it is highly likely that Masanori Hikichi composed the 7 remaining tracks.
    As for what those would be, I am currently thinking of Flying Battery, Sandopolis, Death Egg, and the four boss themes (Sub-boss, Boss, Big Arm, and Doomsday).

    Until now, I've been skipping over Masayuki Nagao, and that's where he comes in. Since he was part of CUBE (apparently), it is easy to guess that he programmed in all of his colleagues' music, while not composing anything himself.
    Outside of programming, Nagao said to have also done arrangements. Nagao and Hikichi already did arrangement work prior to Sonic 3; for Mean Bean Machine. That wouldn't be new for them.
    Why do I think Maeda would've also done AI, HC, and LR? That's where Nagao becomes relevant again, because he may have arranged them all to better fit the new direction and the CUBE tracks. After all, Nagao did claim to have produced "more than half of the songs". Plus, we already have the confirmed arrangement credits for HC2 and LR2. Despite that, I easily notice bits of Maeda's brighter sounds in HC2, for example.
    ----
    ... Could someone please manage to get in contact with Ogawa and Maeda? Also, I'm sorry for flooding this discussion with lots of speculation again...

    Edit: Hopefully a bit more clear
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2022
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  20. BrevonJr

    BrevonJr

    Too many hyperfixations, not much time and energy Member
    Welp, here we go again...
    I'm sorry for the bump, but I have a bit more to say about Tatsuyuki Maeda.

    > Again, he straight up has to have done a lot for Sonic 3. In quite a few places, it keeps being mentioned that he did some music for Sonic 3. Even one of the more recent commentaries from him (Skies of Arcadia OST) includes that Sonic 3 credit. He simply must have done a fair bit of major work to have become the Sound Director for the Sonic Advance series (according to Sega Retro).
    > One of his WAVE MASTER profiles talks about him "playing a variety of music". We definitely shouldn't reduce him to just his music for Sonic 3D Blast. Or at least, I shouldn't (because I feel like I may have limited the scope on him with that last post).
    > Same profile praises him for being "good at simulating orchestras". A bit of a supporting piece in giving him credit for proto Launch Base and Sky Sanctuary, who are more of the orchestra/triumphant-type.

    > After a bit of search, I actually found another track that makes use of tremolo, much like Angel Island (YT link skips to 0:08, slight volume warning). And T. Maeda, ofc, is one of the game's composers. Structure and tone-wise, close to some of his Sonic Advance music, and easier to compare with the less polished version of S3 proto Angel Island.
    While Masaru Setsumaru and Mariko Nanba too are credited for the game, this still pretty much sounds like a Maeda track to me. I heard bits of M. Nanba's music (mainly '06) and that really doesn't like anything from her., for example.

    Also, I think I may have rushed the bit about Masayuki Nagao and especially the Cube part. I will still give it more thought, but for now, I believe they did less than I previously thought of.
    Maybe anyone is able to correct me in a lot of places or can add other sources/thoughts.
     
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