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What really was the Sound Test #10 in STH2 going to be used for?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Nick Gemini, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. Chainspike


    Stealing rings since 1994 Member
    Death Egg Zone
    S3C Delta
    It still stands that none of the level select names ever got changed until the final level select screen was implemented. Only entries got removed (you don't want magazines visiting a void, now do you?). We can neither really confirm or deny that Mystic Cave and Dust Hill are the same.

    I never said that names were changed after title cards were implemented? The title cards are a 99% accurate way of knowing the name of a zone and if the early title cards are using the prototype names, wouldn't that pretty much mean Mystic Cave is "Dust Hill"? And if the title cards do state "Mystic Cave" it only further proves they didn't care about the level select screen.
  2. RankoChan


    I'm bored, k? Member
    Some random RPG project.
    It's because we have multiple concept art and in-game evidence towards Dust Hill simply being an early name for Mystic Cave. Meanwhile, the "evidence" that it wasn't is this very telling interview with the level artist:
    [quote]Brenda Ross: Do me a favor, Leigh?
    WetflameG: Yes?
    Brenda Ross: Please don't give this IM to anyone.WetflameG: I won't.
    Brenda Ross: Or you'll force me to change it. I only use this for work and I'm busy enough all day long you know it's funny...
    WetflameG: I'm sure you are. Sorry if I took up too much time.
    Brenda Ross: ...people always ask me and Craig questions about Sonic 2 but they never ask for Tim Skelly.

    WetflameG: But can you remember is the level may have been intended to call Dust Hill?
    Brenda Ross: I think it was, yes. I always called it the Desert Zone or Desert Level.
    WetflameG: And it's not just because people flooded you with e-mails asking about "Dust Hill"?
    Brenda Ross: Sure. [/quote]Sounds to me like someone starting to get irritated about kids flooding her with messages about "Dust Hill" and threw them a bone so they can finally shut up about it and leave her alone.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought it was confirmed somewhere that Nakamura composed his demos based on the level concept art he was given?

    The demo track has an Egyptian tomb feel to it, IMO. Not unlike some certain Sonic 3 stages that may have been based on Sand Shower's concept art:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Because we know that Sonic 3 reused Sonic 2's level concept art:

    EDIT: To summarize, my thought is that Sand Shower Zone's level slot (03) in the Wai proto used OOZ's song intentionally and that OOZ used CNZ2P's song intentionally. Not as placeholders. The problem of a middle-eastern song clashing with a western level being resolved with Nakamura creating the song based on concept art and not Brenda's level art.
  3. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    My post wasn't a jab by the way, I think a lot of people are interpreting it that way. I'm just interested that so many people think Mystic Cave was Dust Hill, since I didn't realise it was a popular opinion.

    Also, I'm a bit drunk, so sorry for sowlling lolol
  4. I just figured Dust Hill was a leftover name from an earlier concept, much like how Hill Top was presumably meant to be an ancient Emerald Hill. The concept was just abandoned and gave way to Mystic Cave in its slot. I really don't think that particular Brenda Ross interview above has much value. As RankoChan observed, she seemed to just want to appease the interviewer and be done with the ordeal.

    [Edit] I've also thought that Rock World would be a good candidate for that western desert mock up.
  5. DigitalDuck


    Arriving four years late. Member
    Lincs, UK
    TurBoa, S1RL
    Dust Hill in the Yasuhara maps doesn't show anything resembling a cave. The slightly later, more polished set of concept art (including things like Madness Mountain Zone) doesn't include any reference to either Dust Hill or Mystic Cave.

    It seems to me that Dust Hill was a concept that never really left the drawing board, and Mystic Cave was a replacement for it.
  6. jbr


    Sadly, this whole debate has happened several times before, but never to any satisfying conclusion. There is another interview with Yasuhara himself states that Dust Hill is indeed the desert level, which is interesting. Personally I fall in the camp that thinks the Mystic Cave concept was thought up later in the process and just used the Dust Hill level slot, although I concede that it was one of the earlier levels to be implemented.

    Back to the actual topic though: this similarly is something we'll never know for sure without some new evidence, but my feeling is that either Hidden Palace was short (similar to S&K) and BGM 10 looped until the end cutscene where Sonic becomes super or whatever, OR Mystic Cave 2P was the main level music and there was a cutscene sequence at the end using BGM 10.

    We can only hope that more information transpires in the future!
  7. Travelsonic


    Not to be an ass, as hostility is far from my intent, but on what basis are you not doing what would be considered calling the kettle black - making assumptions based on the same evidence we haven when we all know (or can see, or find out) what holes exist (if any) that would prevent being able to make definitive statements of fact?
  8. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

    Virginia, USA
    Paying off student loans
    You have a point. I just feel like this topic has too many people saying "This IS what it was," when the fact is we don't know yet. At least that how it felt to me, and I got pissed off. Probably should've just kept my mouth shut.
  9. Covarr


    Sentient Cash Register Member
    Trapped in my own thoughts.
    Two stageplays, a screenplay, and an album
    I mean, that's been like 90% of this thread, across all sides: conjecture formed from a combination of real evidence and logical leaps. Some has been better than others, but even so, we can't form definitive answers from incomplete information.
  10. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    Those overhead Yasuhara maps are the worst thing. Somehow "Sand Shower Zone" has managed to gain itself a level slot and a music track - pretty impressive for a vague set of words on a (presumably) pre-production sketch.
  11. Hey, randomly found this thread and saw all the talk about Dust Hill and decided to shed some light on this.

    Brenda Ross calls the desert zone by Dust Hill several times, and says that it had no relation to Oil Ocean in any way. As this interview is dated 2001, this topic has been solved for 18 years now.
  12. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    The original interview (at my website) also includes some needed context.

    Also, stuff was unveiled in these 18 years which kinda debunked things.

    EDIT: Oh, one of the relevant things was mentioned just a few posts back, I guess you didn't bother reading this topic.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  13. Thanks for the link. I had no idea there was more to the interview. However, in question #27, she answered that she specifically remembered the desert zone being called Dust Hill. Do you know which interview came first?

    Also, I really want to see that Sonic 2 prototype with the Neo Green Hill Zone title card.
  14. Oh boy the Desert Zone/Dust Hill saga is still alive. We've got screenshots of early development concepts now and another alpha (the Nick Arcade proto), but the "Desert Zone was definitely Dust Hill Zone!" stuff will won't die. That same Brenda Ross interview is even being used as evidence!
  15. It sure would be nice to finally know the true name for that mock-up so the whole saga could be put to rest.
  16. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    The one with "I always called it the Desert Zone or Desert Level." came afterwards.

    We just have an early map made by the game planner with all the level names at that point, including a crumbled Green Hill called "Dust Hill" and a desert called "Sand Shower" with a past called "Rock World" just like the other documents suggested.

    But hey, what if.
  17. Probably a safe bet to call the mock-up Sand Shower/Rock World then.
  18. Song 10 fits Hidden Palace perfectly fine, IMO. And since it loops in game and that is where it ended up, I don't see any reason to suspect it. I still feel confident that the desert mock up is Dust Hill because the zones in the Nick Arcade prototype happen to be the other zones that they created mock ups for. However I do think that the zone that is palette swappable into a snow level was Sand Shower, not Dust Hill. Because Dust Hill does not seem to have trees.

    Also the mockup images/Nick Arcade's Zones are all Emerald Hill in different time periods-- Hill Top, Emerald Hill, Dust Hill, Chemical Plant.... and Hidden Palace because it is the Warp Point.

    I think that extra flourish that's on the soundtrack might've been used for when you use it as a "Warp Point". Personally, I think both songs fit, 2P Mystic Cave in an "Indiana Jones" sort of way, and Song 10 in a "Crystal Palace" sort of way. Since the "Warp Point" appears in almost every time period, there could potentially be more than one song allotted to it. But in reality, I think Mystic Cave 2P was just a really good placeholder.

    If I were to make one of those restoration hacks, I'd like to split the Zone into two acts and apply both songs. Give the Mystic Cave music to Act 1, where you explore for the first time and warp, and the Song 10 to act 2 where you get Super Sonic. (And Toxic Caves for a theoretical ruined Now2 HPZ) But that's just my taste, I don't think any of that that it is accurate to the real thing as interviews clearly state it was a 1 Act Zone.

    If HPZ's music might is suspect then what about Wood Zone's? It was once assumed to be past Metropolis based on the music and the seeming re-use of assets, but on the map it lines up with Casino Night instead.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  19. That is a neat theory about Nick Arcade, though I'm not sure exactly how the desert mock up fits. Unless by mock ups you just meant the Yasuhara maps, in which case I'm fully on board. I figured Dust Hill would either be a snow covered or burned down Emerald Hill.

    Woods' sharing of Metropolis' music has always seemed odd to me too. The beta soundtrack has it in a different key at least, but it is still bizarre that it shares with the Metropolis that is both at a different location and within the same time period.

    As for Sound Test 10, it's difficult to say how much it really fits considering how long I've associated it with Hidden Palace. It certainly fits the aesthetic, as does MC 2P, but the structure makes it seem off. I lean toward it being used for whatever major cutscene was intended, unless Hidden Palace was even more like its 3K counterpart by being a quick pass through.
  20. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    To be fair, I'm unconvinced that the map represents anything other than early stages for what the game was going to be at an early stage. There's a lot of levels on it, clearly beyond the scope even for the earliest Sonic 2 prototypes.

    Also just for sake of ease, according to the map:

    Hill Top (Ancient)-Green Hill (present)-Dust Hill (ruined present)-Chemical Plant (future - possibly, it's a bit off the space on the map)

    The main problem here is that Mystic Cave (if we assume that was Dust Hill) doesn't look anything like Emerald Hill, if we are making the assumption that Green Hill was Emerald Hill. Hill Top makes sense because it's a colour swap, which would make Mystic Cave stand out even more.

    I do think the map proves that Dust Hill probably wasn't the desert screenshot, but I'm unconvinced that it was an early name for Mystic Cave. It's possible, but I don't think it's concrete.