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What Sonic development secrets do we have left on the list?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by E-122-Psi, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. BlackFive


    Given that Sonic & the Black Knight was missing from Pete Capella's Resumé, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if Awakening was just a working title for that. It'd be nice to have some clarification, though scratch that, apparently Silver's lines in black knight were reused from older games

    I too would be interested to see more development builds of Sonic Crackers/Knuckles Chaotix, and particularly whether or not anything became of the planned Saturn version of the game. On a more minor note, It'd be interesting to find out what the reasoning for the July date in Crackers' ROM header is, considering the leftovers in the Yuu Yuu Hakusho prototype would seem to suggest that the build we have is much older than that (and it might explain the Sonic Studium/Stadium naming discrepancy to boot)
  2. Travelsonic


    On Sonic 1, of course protos between the TTS demo one prototype, and between the proto we have and the final for the purposes of being really neat, good to preserve, AND a great amount of information on the development of this game.

    IMO on Sonic 2 there is still a lot we could glean about the development of Sonic 2 if we hunted down internal protos from between the start of development and the Nick Arcade proto, and between the Nick Arcade proto and Wai proto - irrespective of how hard it would be to try, this is actually (IMO at least) a rather sizable chunk of the game's development period that we are sorta in the dark about with regards to how things were implemented, what was implemented, at what pace, when relative to other things that were added (and either kept, or later scrapped), etc.
  3. RDNexus


    That reminded me that we never managed to get our hands on the stuff Yasuhara had from Sonic2's original concept.
    The overworld maps, the time travel/plot progression mechanics and so...
    Well, at least we managed to get the concept sketches... ^^"


    It's starting to feel more and more like the missing Doctor Who episodes - Things are just less and less likely to show up as time goes on, and we've had a few major discoveries left in the modern internet age, but I question how many more things have actually survived. After an amazing haul in 2013, there hasn't been another in 7+ years now despite a renewed and much stronger modern interest in finding them, and better commercial prospects for the fans and studio if they did.

    Who can we still contact? Who can we still ask to help recover these assets? How many of them exist in a form that would even be satisfying?

    I still want better coverage of the assets that went into Genocide/Cyber City/The Machine, and any other unseen Sonic 2 visuals we've never recovered. We got a tilesheet that no one ever even tried to do much of anything interesting with since it was for another game, even though it likely represents what exists of the real level. And I really want that working build of R2 and the 91 TTS demo are my remaining dreams. The developers hint at something being build beyond a mere concept, otherwise it makes almost no sense why the level slot numbers would not have been changed if something didn't make it in a build somewhere.

    But I genuinely question if these assets exist in any discernible form anymore. How much left would Sega have in their "basement" after 30 years. Didn't they move the USA HQ from SF to LA?
  5. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

    Virginia, USA
    Paying off student loans
    Yeah, probably the most agonizing thing about all this is that if something no longer exists, or never existed, we'll never truly know. Suppose there never was a build of Sonic 2 with Sand Shower implemented in any form. How would we actually prove it? Goddamn Chinese Teapots.
  6. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    Just going to take this opportunity to toot my own horn and point out that we had unexplored Chaotix prototypes sitting around for 13 years. So there's "development secrets" left to be found in things we already have (and certainly plenty that isn't on the wiki).

    As far as really important Sonic things go (assuming you don't class everything as important, which it is), there's a few Sonic 1 prototypes, some Sonic Adventure (2) stuff, almost certainly builds of X-treme (but I couldn't tell you what since there's been so much obfustication in those prototype releases) and god knows what else lying around on old floppy disks and CD-ROMs. Material from old trade shows or things sent to magazines, a bazillion development documents - we come across scraps all the time on Sega Retro.
  7. Xilla


    I now have this image of Ian Levine running up huge phone bills by calling places all over the world asking if they had any Sonic proto carts, and getting scammed by someone who tore the label off a World Cup Italia '90 cart and wrote "SONIC TOKYO TOY SHOW 1990" :V
  8. Deep Dive Devin

    Deep Dive Devin

    Goblin Sex Researcher Member
    I'm not sure what counts as an unsolved mystery and what doesn't. Like, there's still a ton of footage of X-treme that we don't have in any playable form. Or maybe that damaged PSP disc of Generations. Everything removed from Rise of Lyric? Where do you draw the line, exactly?
  9. Still hope to hear what the true purpose of the Unused Sonic 2 Track was originally for. That & the unused track for the GG/MS System's purpose too.
  10. YuTwo


    Yes, I was going to bring this up as well. It's rather interesting how Tails Skypatrol is a reskinned version of a Disney game and in turn Skypatrol would be repurposed, taking out all things Sonic related, into an original Gameboy game five years later. That game, Boon Boon カブーン, however would be cancelled though.

    Masato Nishimura, landscape designer of Sonic CD, made a post on Twitter in which he said he found specification documents for Sonic CD which he thought he had lost:

    Archived Source:

    I bring this up because someone asked Nishimura if there were any different names for the rounds that he could find. In response Nishimura revealed that Wacky Workbench's early name was Crazy Toy Box: []

    Someone else asked if there was any information for R2 in the document as well and he said yes but that he can't speak anymore on it unfortunately: []

    This avoidance to answer anything about R2 seems to be carried along with other members of the CD team. From the thread "Sonic 1 prototype images" there was discussion of storyboards for the original ending which were revealed in the book, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works. According to user SpeedStarTMQ, who apparently has the book, there was a part where they asked Kazuyuki Hoshino about R2 and this is what they wrote:
    Now I don't have the book myself and I can't seem to find any kind of scans of it either so I'm just going to have believe what they wrote. To add on to this, user Andrew75 wrote a response in which he describes having been in a chat with Naoto Ohshima where he asked about R2 as well with a similar response:
    Perhaps they genuinely don't know anything about R2. Who knows.

    As for "development secrets", since I'm already talking about Sonic CD I would like to see a build that has either of the early special stages:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I would particularly love to see the mountain background in it's original quality.

    Sonic 3 has some pieces of concept art that haven't been publicized yet and were only seen in the MTV special for the Sonic & Knuckles competition, Rock the Rock:

    (It's at 6:00)
    I'm pretty sure the art for the ice level hasn't been publicized, neither the one below which looks like it could be for Sky Sanctuary, but it could have originally been for Sonic 2 and it's scrapped Winter Zone as it looks like there's a Christmas styled tree in it as Brenda Ross has described in an interview.
    The ice level concept art seems to even have a description on the bottom right corner but it's illegible. The team seemed to be fine with recycling art for concepts between 2 and 3.
    There's concept art for a zone called Secret Jungle, that looks like Wood Zone, which was then redrawn over for Mushroom Hill Zone. There's Metropolis Zone art that would just be relabeled with "Interior of a blimp" possibly for Flying Battery Zone. Concept art for both Emerald Isle and Madness Mountain can be seen in the image above too and they were finally publicized for the first time in the 2016 Sonic The Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book from Cook & Becker.

    The one I want to highlight the most though is the one that looks like Super Sonic battling a creature in space:
    In the Japanese Sonic 3 manual it describes Knuckles mistaking the crashed Death Egg as the egg of a legendary dragon:

    It's possible that particular concept art is showing the dragon, which was a precursor to Perfect Chaos, and that Super Sonic was originally going to fight it instead of Eggman in the Doomsday Zone. It would be great to have a higher quality version of this art as it could make more people aware of it. Not only that but it's just another great piece of lore to add to the classic games.

    Someone made a recreation of the concept art only containing the dragon:

    I believe user Kat made the recreation as it was from a thread they made which contains a link to the recreation in their post here:

    The last thing I want to see is more of SegaSonic Watame Scramble. It's basically the cotton candy version of SegaSonic Popcorn Shop:
    The concept of the game is that Sonic and Tails fly their Tornado airplane to go up in to the sky and make cotton candy out of the clouds. The screen on the image above shows them preparing
    to takeoff. I find it to be a rather cute concept. A trademark page shows schematics for the machine itself and some rough sketches of how the minimal gameplay works.
    Here's a sample of a few of the images:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Sourced here:

    This is all the stuff I could think of at the moment.

    EDIT: It looks like Retro changed image formatting so I had to change some of the image links since they were (.webp) images and they were no longer showing up. I decided to mirror them into the Wayback Machine now. What's the point of (.webp) anyways?
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2022
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  11. JaxTH


    Pudding Deity Oldbie
    Los Angeles
    Jack shit.
    What reference art are you talking about?
  12. Antheraea


    Bug Hunter Member
    I'd kill for the SA2 build they used for the initial trailer, which had like five seconds of repeating in-engine gameplay with nonsensical english slogans being overlayed over them with basic after effects transitions.

    Also, earlier SA1 builds. They had Windy Valley Beta working in-engine at some point, and we don't have the build that's from (yet). More Sonic 3 and CD are always welcome also, and of course, the major holy grail that is the TTS Sonic proto before they retooled the entire premise.
  13. Linkabel


    I've always wanted to see that particular concept art in its full glory.

    While not an exclusive "development secret" I would like to know more about what SoJ plans were for Sonic's extended universe during late 91-94.

    It seems like they had a bigger plan for the whole Sonic/Nicky manga world that they sort of just dropped?

    But what makes me wonder about it is that this particular version of Sonic had more of a push from Sega's marketing team and some members from Sonic Team than say Archie or Fleetway at the time.

    It's weird to me that for example Sega always lists the debut of Amy being in Sonic CD or Charmy in Knuckles Chaotix when we know that they debuted in the manga first by a considerable amount of time before those games came out.

    But they rarely mention this at all, especially in official material like books or documentaries. Is it a legal thing? Is it a Japanese company quirk? Do they just not want to mention it because it involves another company?

    I noticed that other companies with big name IPs are not shy about mentioning real debuts or legal redtapes when it comes to the history of their franchise, so why does Sega never mention this particular version of Sonic despite having a big presence on it?

    Amy in particular is interesting because from what I gather there were a lot of hands in her creation, one of them being the manga staff.

    People like Norihiro Matsubara working on this also makes me suspect that there might've been chances for an anime series or some kind of OVA based on this continuity being in the cards at one point.

    Again, I feel like there's something in this particular era of the franchise that needs more poking. Maybe there's more stuff that affected the games from this particular version of Sonic.
  14. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    I'd say the most likely reason is that we still didn't have much info about that manga on the Sonic Retro wiki or Wikipedia when those books/documentaries were released.
  15. DoodlesYT


    "No! I'm with the science team!" Member
    I mean, about the tokyo toy show thing, did anyone talk to the owner of the toy show about the sonic 1 proto? It could still be with him. Although pretty unlikely, its worth a shot.
  16. E-122-Psi


    @YuTwo The interviews about R2 are intriguing, it sounds similar to the whole S3K thing where some backstage complication is leaving the creative team unwilling to talk about it publicly. Maybe this explains why there are no remains of it in CD, all evidence of it got REMOVED some point in development for legal reasons.

    The Sonic 3 concept art is also of interest given it straight up just pastes on some Sonic 2 concept art there. The whole 'Super Sonic righting a monster' makes sense in that regard since they were carrying over ideas that were cohesive enough to later games. Really explains why S1 - Sonic Adventure still feel like they're carrying on from each other to some degree.

    I do indeed wonder if that ice themed concept art was in fact original plans for Sonic 2's winter level. The background even vaguely resembles Sand Shower's flat blocky landscape that we know it was planned to be built over.

    That also seems to be two developers that clarify Wood Zone would have had pink flowers of some sort. I wonder if they just meant those little ones decorating the fences or if they would have been some sort of actual gimmick to the level itself.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
  17. JaxTH


    Pudding Deity Oldbie
    Los Angeles
    Jack shit.
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  18. DoodlesYT


    "No! I'm with the science team!" Member
    am I missing something? tell me. I'm okay with criticism.
  19. The KKM

    The KKM

    Welcome to the nExt level Member
    IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog comic books
    In Sonic Adventure, in Speed Highway and through Station Square, you can see posters (the ones with like, red and green squares) that show a character with big lips and big busom. IIRC Okunari, not sure if he was the artist, but one of the Adventure artists confirmed on twitter recently that that character was a spider character he was making that went nowhere. I'd like to see a good clear image of that.

    EDIT: Mixed Okunari with Okano, he's the one that was making the character.
    AI-enhanced version of the texture for said poster
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
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  20. JaxTH


    Pudding Deity Oldbie
    Los Angeles
    Jack shit.
    Oh. I remember that. I don't remember it being a spider though. In fact we probably thought it was somehow about Rouge.