Was the released version of Sonic 3 really just a prototype?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Agobue, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. Agobue

    Agobue

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    There have been some suggestions online, specifically in Sonic circles that Sonic 3 was released pretty much in a prototype state by SEGA, in so far that it features the levels that were completed at that point and includes many glitches and bugs, putting it on a par with Sonic 06, that were not present when locked-on with Sonic and Knuckles.

    Is this really true? I do know that Sonic 3 does contain several glitches that are not present when locked-on, such as the infamous camera locking glitch during the Marble Garden Act 1 boss, and the Super Sonic glitches in Hydrocity Zone, but I wasn't aware of it being released effectively in a prototype state. If this is true though then it makes more sense, I suppose.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
  2. Dark Sonic

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    Ya it definitely wasn't finished. I mean, of course it wasn't that's why Sonic & Knuckles exists. And it is buggy, but unlike 06 it's fun so it gets a pass :V
     
  3. Inferno

    Inferno

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    Considering how 5 months of development time were effectively wasted, and that by October, the likely build date of the current proto, it was still barely functional and was already being split, it's safe to say that arguably, Sonic 3 Alone is a sort of beta, where it was just barely functional with many bugs fixed and most debug stuff removed. HOWEVER, they decided the levels that would appear by October. They didn't just throw together the levels that were already completed, as shown by Lava Reef being in a incomplete state in the proto.
     
  4. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

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    I'm curious as to what you mean by buggy? I've been playing Sonic 3 for close to 10 years now and I don't remember running into a single glitch? Or are you talking about the blue Knuckles stuff (which is fun, admittedly) and the level select levels, etc.
     
  5. Well there's a whole wiki page on it https://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_the_Hedgehog_3/Bugs
     
  6. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    There's some wonky collision for one. You know it's a significant enough problem that they refer to that glitch as "one of Robotnik's traps" in the manual to try to cover their tracks.
     
  7. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

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    Uh, that's in the Sonic 3 manual too? I could've sworn it was only with Sonic 1, I guess I remembered wrong.
    Reading through this page, I realized I actually noticed a lot of these glitches during my several playthroughs, I just kinda forgot about them. Definitely not as broken as 06 :V
     
  8. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    No that was Sonic 3. Here's the line:
    Which, btw, while that is such a shitty cover up I kinda love it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
  9. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

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    So it wasn't in the Sonic 1 manual at all? I'm not at the top of my game today:V Well thanks for the clarification.
     
  10. Blue Spikeball

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    I still cannot believe SoA tried to pull an "it's not a bug, it's a feature" there :psyduck:
     
  11. TheJart

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    I personally think it’s a bit much to call it “unfinished” I mean, yes, it’s only half the original intended game, and 3K is by all extents the full Sonic 3, but it seems so extreme to compare it to Sonic 06. The game can be buggy sure, I do remember getting into “Robotnik’s traps” in Carnival Night once on the mega collection as a kid, but the glitches usually have to be looked for or aren’t consistent enough to be horrid. I’m not going to go full on Boomer and compare it to AAA games released today, but lots of the contemporary games have issues not unlike Sonic 3. Pokemon Red and Blue and even Gold and Silver have tons of issues that are downright game breaking and those came out later. If you want a more contemporary example, you can break all of Donkey Kong Country by complete accident sometimes and that’s a full Nintendo release. I could keep going, but I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a unfinished game and bash Sega for it, like I would 06 and Boom. I played Sonic 3 standalone tons via early emulations and when I got a little older on actual hardware and I can count the times I found a major issue on one hand less then. The recently released prototype is unfinished. It’s cutscenes are not done, the sound driver is off, animations can be stiff, super sonic fucks up sonic’s color, that’s unfinished. I think there’s a distinction between S3 standalone and unfinished games.
     
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  12. Sid Starkiller

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    Yeah, strictly speaking it is, but my understanding is that Sonic Team knew right from the end of preproduction that there was no way the game would be finished when Sega wanted it released, which was Christmas 93. They didn't want to butcher it like they had to for Sonic 2, but they NEEDED something on shelves for Christmas (and even then they convinced Sega to wait until February and make Spinball to satisfy customers), so they arranged the story to have a climax right in the middle so they could cut it in half.

    Personal anecdote: I remember when I was a kid I thought Lock-On Technology would be the next big thing, and every big game would get add-on sequels. I wasn't entirely wrong.
     
  13. Billy

    Billy

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    Was Sonic 3 rushed, causing roughly half of its intended content to be stripped and bugs to appear throughout? Absolutely. Would I call it a "prototype"? Absolutely not. As long as we're going by definition, that would imply that no QA pass or anything of that nature had been done. They didn't have time to fix all the bugs, but clearly they were aware of them, since they brought them up in the manual, as mentioned above.
     
  14. Dek Rollins

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    Even if the other Sonic titles have fewer noticeable bugs, they still have some. The infamous spike glitch is a prominent one, and Sonic 2 has some collision glitches that I've run into by accident before. Sonic 3 just had more junk to fix that they didn't have time to do so. Doesn't mean it's any less finished than other games of the time that, as was mentioned, sometimes had worse bugs than Sonic 3.
     
  15. Afro Thunder

    Afro Thunder

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    Pardon me for being the class dunce if I got this wrong, but wasn't the Sonic 1 "spike bug" an intentional feature?
     
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  16. Sid Starkiller

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    That's fair. I suppose if games weren't released until they were actually ready, nothing would get released. There's always things that get cut for time.
     
  17. TheOcelot

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    Yeah, Sonic 3 was really buggy, but I'm kinda glad. I mean, otherwise I would never have made it passed that stupid barrel in Carnival Night act2 :V. I glitched past it several times and beat the game before I found out how to do it the proper way...

    The final version wasn't a prototype but it was definitelly not quite the polished version it should have been. It's a shame they had to split the game in two and rush out the first half. The lock-on tech was so rad but I kinda wish Sonic 3 had never been split in two and should have been released as one full game (with all 14 zones etc).
     
  18. Dek Rollins

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    I recall it being confirmed as a bug. Why else would it be changed in the sequels, and be removed in a future port of Sonic 1?

    I personally consider it a feature though. :p
     
  19. Sid Starkiller

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    Same reason the Spindash is added in every Sonic 1 port: people expect it to be the way every other game did it.
     
  20. Dek Rollins

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    I don't remember the spindash being added in Mega Collection.