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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.



    Is it then possible Dust Hill's graphics were never even created, and we can think of it as essentially an unmade Sonic 2 version of this...?

  2. LordOfSquad


    bobs over baghdad Member
    Winnipeg, MB
    making cool music no one gives a shit about
    I don't think we'll ever have 100% conclusive answers to "what was Dust Hill" or "what was song #10 for" due to the scattershot and rapid-fire nature of Sonic 2's development. Everyone threw everything they had at the wall and then they saw what stuck in a mad dash to get the game done and out in time. Maybe Dust Hill was meant to be the name for a ruined Green Hill, the desert level, AND Mystic Cave all at different points of development, depending on who you asked, and in what office. Doesn't mean we shouldn't try to get to the bottom of it but maybe there are multiple truths we have to accept. Maybe the real Dust Hill was the friends we made along the way.

    Here's a wacky thought I just had; perhaps Sand Shower was intended to be the name of the level shown in the desert mock up, and Dust Hill was intended to be the name of the winter level that was supposed to palette swap the desert graphics? Snow is "dust". makes u think
  3. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    Well, the map shows Dust Hill as a crumbled Green Hill and Mystic Cave is a crumbling green mine, so there's that.

    EDIT: Also, drilling eggmobiles in both, now that I think of it.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
  4. Also worth noting that Diamond Dust is a thing, lending more credence to Dust Hill being the snow level that was probably never worked on. Although I've also certainly gravitated toward the Mystic Cave connection in the past.

    Man, I sure do wish we knew what specific pieces of concept art/level themes were given to Masato Nakamura. Or at least to know if there were any abandoned tracks that never made it to the sound test.
  5. qwertysonic


    creating the biggest sonic collection
    I do love this site
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  6. LordOfSquad


    bobs over baghdad Member
    Winnipeg, MB
    making cool music no one gives a shit about
    The ground is UNCUT EMERALDS
    DUST HILL?!!?!?
    Somebody fucking shoot me

    i love you too boo
  7. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    Hey, also, those occasional earth-colored patches among the green hills in the background?

    They might have been hinting towards a crumbling Green/Emerald Hill all along:
  8. How have I never seen those before in 20 years

    It does kinda look like a crater or something.
  9. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    Hey, at least those are being appropiately taken as conjectures and they're somewhat based on actual development material.
    Now, if you take a look at all those references in the wiki claiming that "Dust Hill was a desert but maybe not", based on thin air and contradictions even within its own source...
  10. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    I think we can pretty conclusively say that Dust Hill wasn't the desert zone. There's not much evidence for it other than Ross's irritated interview. Also, I'll be honest, Dust Hill's name does hint at a desert I guess, but this is also the team that was going to use Genocide City.

    I wonder though, if Mystic Cave was originally called Dust Hill, I wonder why they renamed it Mystic Cave but kept Hill Top's name.

    Another piece of evidence supporting Mystic Cave being Dust Hill is that Mystic Cave isn't on Yasahura's maps. Although I still think we should be cautious while using them, it does suggest that Mystic Cave as its own independent level didn't exist from the outset.
  11. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
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    The Sonic Retro wiki is a community project - if you don't like its contents... fix it?
  12. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    I already tried in the past but wasn't able to register for some odd reasons. I'm guessing that won't be a problem anymore after the update, so I'll have to try again.
  13. I think mystic cave was a later addition, long after the desert level(s) was cut. If anything it resembles "Madness Mountain" more than that. but I think where ideas and assets went was more fluid in the early stage. Aquatic Ruin for example, seems to have be an accretion of stuff made for "Olympus", "Neo Green Hill", "Emerald Isle" etc.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  14. It was. Mystic Cave is called Dust Hill in some prototypes.
  15. Chainspike


    Stealing rings since 1994 Member
    Death Egg Zone
    S3C Delta
    Emerald Hill was also called Green Hill, but no one seems to know the answer for that one. I say outdated level select because we've seen it in Sonic 1, and Sonic 3.

    Anyway, I find the crawl badnik interesting, specifically the prototype version that was never programmed. It's a little surprising that it would have been added to ROM if there wasn't even a line of code devoted to it...or is it?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but here we have this Crawl badnik in this dusty area. I previously mentioned on the other thread that Sonic 2 Nick Arcade's removal of the CPZ boss and HPZ BG showed how quickly SEGA could remove content from the game. The CPZ boss in particular is interesting as it was fully implemented at one point. I also suggested that the Desert Zone may have suffered the same fate, considering the mockup was released alongside the early Hidden Palace. It could be possible that Crawl was meant for this level originally, and after it was removed, the sprites were left without a home.

    Now for something a little more plausible.

    Nick Arcade's level order:
    • 00 - Green Hill Zone
    • 01 - ???
    • 02 - Chemical Plant Zone
    • 03 - Emerald Hill Zone
    • 04 - Hidden Palace Zone
    • 05 - Hill Top Zone
    • 06 - ???

    This is a stretch, it could be wrong, but I noticed something about the Nick Arcade prototype level order. It has the first zone from each of the different timelines, with the exception of Dust Hill Zone (and HPZ because it's an old sketch). It makes sense from a technical level to begin work on the first level of each timeline. Maybe one of these ??? levels is, or was the desert zone?
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  16. It would make sense that either slot 01 or 06 would point to Rock World of the ruined present, if the Nick Arcade proto was following those maps. The levels included all match up, with Green Hill as an easy systems test left over from S1, and Hidden Palace included since it had unique functions to test.

    If only the zones were actually ordered to add further weight to this theory.
  17. 06 was the final boss it went to Death Egg later on
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  18. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    We've already known that since day one.

  19. 19XX


    Well, I'll try to explain myself the best I can with limited command of english.

    There's something I've noticed about the way of assigning level names and the designs of the levels themselves. There's a lot differences the way the levels are created between Sonic 1 and Sonic 2.
    In Sonic 1, level names are more surreal, as much as their graphical designs. The only level that has a more descriptive name is Green Hill Zone and even that one is some sort of hilly area of checkered ground covered in vegetation. Here in Chile we have a kind of stone that is almost checkered and it is used by artisans, but a checkered ground just like Green Hill is just surreal, not possible. After that level, we have Marble Zone (some greek style ruins with lava and bricks made of something that simply doesn't look like marble), Spring Yard Zone (some sort of terraced structure full of lights in the center of a park in an sleeping urban area), Labyrinth Zone (some underground ruins like those of Indiana Jones not so labyrinthine), Star Light Zone (a highway system in a city with starry nights, though you don't think about a city when you read the name) and Scrap Brain Zone (an industrial area which name is just doesn't make sense).
    I think this naming and design convention is the product of a more japanese Sonic Team.

    The early Sonic 2 I think had a lot more influence of this japanese team and we had names (and level ideas) also more surreal and non descriptive as Ocean Wind Zone, Tropical Sun, Sand Shower, DUST HILL, etc.
    After western designers won more influence later in development, names became more logical and descriptive. Emerald Hill Zone was just a renaming of an improved GHZ, Chemical Plant Zone is a chemical factory, Aquatic Ruin Zone is an flooded ruin, Hill Top Zone is a higher hill following the EHZ design for consistency, etc.
    In final Sonic 2 there are still some less descriptive level names like Casino Night Zone or Mystic Cave Zone(its mostly a mine), so we can talk about mixed team of surrealist original-Sonic-1-japanese-team and the more logical western team, each with their respective influences in Sonic 2.

    My point is: We can't know for sure what Dust Hill was meant to be just looking at its name. It might have been anything.
    Certainly I don't think about sand when I read the word "dust" or the desertic Monument Valley when I read "Dust Hill", not in my logical way thinking; but in that previous original-Sonic-1-team-surreal way of design, it might be just what we see in that desert mockup.
    And don't forget their limited grasp of English language, maybe more limited than mine. It might have been an accident just like Genocide City Zone.
    Some day, maybe, we'll see at least some concept art and this debate will end.

    About track 10, I go for the simplest and more evident: It was the final music track for Hidden Palace before it was canned. Sonic 2 is more like Sonic 1: almost not in-game cutscenes, and I don't care about that non-looping sample, simply doesn't sounds like music for a cutscene.
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  20. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    No. The desert was called something else, Mystic Cave was called Dust Hill, ergo the desert was definitely not Dust Hill. It really is that simple.