Was Press Garden originally going to be 2 completely seperate Zones?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by HEDGESMFG, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    http://info.sonicretro.org/images/e/e1/ManiaPGZ1map.png
    http://info.sonicretro.org/images/1/1f/ManiaPGZ2map.png

    Upon a fairly close inspection of the visuals, and remembering the gimmicks and enemies each act has, Press Garden Acts 1 and 2 are radically different, sharing virtually no tiles between each act (even the similar looking green bricks are different tiles). All the Gimmicks/Enemies are quite different as well. Are there any assets shared between them at all?

    Now, I give Team Mania credit for going all out and really making each act unique... but I can't help but wonder if there was a separate reason for this. Is it possible PG2 was meant to be a separate Ice themed Zone (even if the bricks are sort of re-used), giving us a 5th original zone? Perhaps they cut them down to 1 act for each level due to time constraints. While each of Mania's other 3 original levels have some act differences, none of them are this radically different between Acts 1-2.

    Heck, even if this isn't the case, it'd be fun to see someone mod extra acts for each Zone to expand the game's original content just a little bit more.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. HedgeHayes

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    If that's the case, the fusion seems to have happened early, because they blend well enough as a zone. What I never understood was the western style for the building Vs. the eastern style for the landscape. I think the zone could have benefitted of acts being a little less different, but that's just about personal preferences and not really about the topic here.
     
  3. Sid Starkiller

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    Without the team's input, I would say no. It just makes sense to build your paper mill/printing press next to a forest. There'd be little to no material transport cost.
     
  4. SystemsReady

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    The only thing that bugs me about Press Garden is how large it is relative to the characters. We don't build factories that tower over us like skyscrapers in that way, and the papers in the background are far too large too. Having environments that make no sense to character (or villain! in this case too, as Eggman is about Sonic's size in the 2D games) scale has always been the biggest pet peeve of mine in cartoon platformers. It's actually why I hate "toyland" levels the most out of any cartoon game archetype.

    (yes I know Chemical Plant exists but it's also extremely surreal in a way that Press Garden just...doesn't feel to me)
     
  5. Rhythm Raccoon

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    Y'know, it was originally called "Pulp Solstice Zone". That fits waaay better with the theme of act 2 than it does with act 1, and act 2 was the one we saw the most leading up to the game's release. Just my two cents.
     
  6. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

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    I think some assets were changed for act 1 too. There was a blurry screenshot floating around before the game released and it looked pretty different from what we got in the final release; Maybe they tried to make act 1 a bit more similar to act 2 once the hypothetical merger happened ?
     
  7. Rhythm Raccoon

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    Yeah, I was thinking of that screenshot.

    Found it:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. HedgeHayes

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    That looked a lot better, if you ask me.
     
  9. lupinsmask

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    Don't know where it came from (4chan I guess) but I liked the name "Sakura Synagogue Zone".
     
  10. Rhythm Raccoon

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    Yeah, me too. I really like the oriental feel in contrast to the propaganda press theme. Funnily enough, leading up to the game's release, I thought this looked like an aquarium themed stage (a la Aquarium Park). Looking back now, I have no idea how I came up with that assumption.
     
  11. Sid Starkiller

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    Blurry pictures will do that to you. According to the wiki, this:
    https://info.sonicretro.org/images/d/d9/Dcsonic1.png
    was the first ever released screenshot of Sonic Adventure, and was thought to be a motorcycle game at first.
     
  12. KMetalmind

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    I never thought about that... But I've always thought there was going to be 5 new zones (one per Hard Boiled Egg):
    * Heavy Gunner is on Studiopolis, which is both like a city/studio, where a cop fits. It's on Act 1, but we all know he was going to be in Act 2 and both acts where switched.
    * Heavy Shinobi is on Press Garden, which fits too. If Act 2 was going to be a zone, Pulp Solstice, it was going to be there.
    * Heavy Magician is on Mirage Saloon. It may seem they don't fit at first, but magicians and westerns are two themes that have been used before many times. Again, Act 2.
    * And then, suddenly, we get two Hard Boiled Eggs on a S3K zone: Lava Reef. Which breaks everything. But you know, Titanic Monarch has always been Heavy King zone, and it's obvious.

    So I always though Heavy Rider lost its zone, and we couldn't get to play it. But if you look closely at Press Garden, originally it looked more like a castle or a cathedral. And you know, Heavy Rider really looks like some kind of knight. So maybe that was the fifth zone, and they mixed the two, just like they switched both Studiopolis acts.

    That would explain too why the end of Lava Reef Act 2 isn't a homage to previous Sonic classic games too. Most old zones use a lot of classic content on the end of Act 2, leading up to epic battles (Death Egg Robot in Green Hill, Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine on Chemical Plant, Stardust Speedway with all that Metal Sonic fights, Hydrocity based on all bosses from the original zone with a twist, Oil Ocean mixing the octopus with the submarine, Metallic Madness fighting while being small, etc).

    When I reached Lava Reef Act 2, which in S&K was truly epic (Knuckles throws you a rock, then the Death Egg puts Lava Reef back on fire, you pursuit Eggman, fight him, get to Hidden Palace, fight Knuckles, lose Master Emerald, befriend him and then teleport to Sky Sanctuary), I really though there was going to be something like that on the zone. But you just get to Heavy Rider, which doesn't fit there, and originally you didn't even get a cutscene. Meanwhile, Knuckles gets both to Hidden Palace from Sonic's original route, get to the Heavy King's fight, and ends up teleporting. I always tought that part was originally going to be used for all characters and expanded with more cutscenes / content.

    If they didn't have much development time, maybe they had to mix both zones together, mix the theme more between the two, move Heavy Rider to Lava Reef Act 2, and they just made the end of Act 2 simpler. They didn't have time for the cutscene either, so Knuckles got it.

    Just theories, though... Maybe we can ask them someday :)
     
  13. MastaSys

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    I always saw it as something that was probably conceived from the Sonic CD Taxman port.
    Where act 1 was wierd Eggman's Present to the act 2 Past's natural stage, as many Zones are in CD.
     
  14. Rhythm Raccoon

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    You know, they did delay the game...
     
  15. It was delayed, but still not entirely complete on release as evidenced by the additional zone transitions implemented with Plus.

    The HBH theory seems like a strong-enough one to me. Act 2 may have been from an intended zone based around Heavy Shinobi, while Act 1 may have been culled from an abandoned level based around Heavy King. Press Garden as we now know and love definitely seems to be two disparate themes blended together.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  16. Dark Sonic

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    This screenshot made me think this level was an homage to Egg Garden from Retro Sonic. Which would have been lovely btw to see a fan game classic from the lead developer see itself evolve into an official stage.
     
  17. astroblema

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    I don't agree. Egg Garden was too generic and experimental (and explicitly conceived to showcase the gimmicks of the early Retro Engine) for me to enjoy it as a full zone. I'd love to be proven wrong though!
     
  18. OcelotBot

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    Interesting topic.

    Yeah, both acts being completely different asthetically-clearly not belonging with each other has always bugged me. This isn't neccesarily a bad thing, but it really stands out when all the other zones have similatries between the acts which makes them feel connected.

    Aside from having a green foreground colour, both acts feel unique. Act2; the beautiful japanese garden theme with lanterns, red and purple trees. Feels kinda like a spritual succesor to the cancelled Wood zone from Sonic 2...sort of. Probably the best looking act in the entire game. If anything the green foreground colour for act2 is a slight detriment because it doesn't really fit with the other colors and theme of this act.

    Whereas I am not a fan of act1. Whilst the idea of a printing-press themed stage feels unique for a 2D Sonic level, the green, grey, brown, purple/blue colours etc seem to clash badly which makes it IMO the worst asthetic in the game.

    Also the level design from both acts is very different. Act1 is more platform-heavy, maze-like slower-paced with a few fast automated sections. Whereas act2 feels more open, more routes to explore and level design is often very geared (including the frozen-in-ice gimmick) to keeping the player moving fast.

    I think the snow/ice theme should have been a full zone. Just having one act compared to the two acts of Ice Cap is disappointing.

    At the same time it would have been intereting to see what a two-act printing press stage would feel like. Perhaps the below screenshot is from a scrapped printing-press themed act2?

    [​IMG]

    So yeah, I like the idea that they could have been two separate zones at some point-seems plausible. Perhaps Team Mania will provide some insight some day.
     
  19. Rhythm Raccoon

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    We need to speak out against this injustice!! (joking) I mean, if anyone knows a good way to have these questions definitively answered, by all means go for it! I don't know anyone though, and I have no way to travel. If anyone here gets the opportunity to go to the next SXSW, they should ask about it!
     
  20. This would be a fun panel question, if it doesn't end up getting answered before next spring.