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Green Hill and Green Forest Zones: Grass Levels in Sonic Games


Sonictrainer

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5 hours ago, Sonictrainer said:

Discussion Questions

 

1. If you had to choose, what would be the choices for your #1 Green Hill Level/Hub Area and your #1 Grass Level/Hub Area in a Sonic Game?

2. What would be your least favorite Green Hill and Grass themed levels in a Sonic Game?

3. What are your favorite Green Hill and Grass Level Music Track(s)?

4. What are some old or new ideas you'd like to see in future Green Hill and Grass themed Levels in Sonic games?

5. What's another level theme you'd like to see fused together with the Green Hill and Grass themed levels, that haven’t been done yet, in Sonic games?

6. Would you personally, like to see a Green Hill inspired Level/Hub Areas in the 25th Anniversary Game?

7. Would you personally, like to see a Grass themed Level/Hub Areas in the 25th Anniversary Game?

1. My favourite iteration I'd have to say would probably be Sunset Hill, as I think it achieves the biggest difference in atmosphere with the smallest and most elegant change.  Just changing the time of day and the lighting gives a completely different impression to the original.  But probably my overall favourites are the Sonic 2 range; something about how geometric and almost abstract their designs are really lends them an especially Sonic-like character, to me.  There's something very game-like about their fusion of the natural and the regular.

2. I don't know if I could pick a single one, but any that are just too samey, probably.

4. If it's an old idea, I'd really like to see another take on the Angel Island "destroyed" version, perhaps with more of an emphasis on the aftermath of an attack, with ashes and craters and fallen trees; maybe also a mechanical version, like a better-presented Mecha Green Hill or, best of all, the Good Future Palmtress Panic, a utopic vision of mechanical integration.

5. Snow, perhaps?  There are plenty of areas in Sonic games with both trees and snow, but these levels always look like ice levels first and foremost; I'd like to see a version that looks more like Green Hill Zone in winter.

6. If they do something new enough with it; at this point, I'm not sure what they could add to the Generations upgrade.

7. Sure, why not - if it's sufficiently original.

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The Green Hill trope is pretty awesome, I mean, it's the definitive Sonic trope. I feel you're missing Adabat, I mean if jungle type levels are here too, then Adabat must be, same with the Soleanna Forest Hub. Now for the questions.

 

1. I think the original Green Hill just does it the best in terms of structure and level design, with lots of alternate pathways and platforming, and the S curves were really something special. I'm also fond of Emerald Hill, because while all it adds in terms of level gimmicks is the corkscrews, it has some really good level design with many ways to play, either you can explore around to get all the emeralds in one go, or you can blaze through each act in like a minute tops.

 

I also really like the atmosphere and level design in both Aquatic Ruin and Sylvania Castle, I think the former is really clever in how you can avoid the water by playing well, while the latter has some great visuals, variety in level structure, and is honestly probably the best level in Sonic 4 as a whole. Plant Kingdom in Rush Adventure and Mushroom Hill are really good levels too, with some of the most fun level gimmicks in the series, and while I wouldn't have picked Seaside Hill for Generations, the level design and variety in both acts was so good it doesn't even matter. Planet Wisp is one of my favourite levels in Colours, but I consider that mainly a construction base level, especially in that version rather than the Generations version which adds a few more green areas. Same with stuff like Collision Chaos Good Future, which is a pinball level with a green motif, or Stardust Speedway, which is the highway trope but with ancient ruins and greenery in the past.

 

Oh yeah, Angel Island is great too. Not my favourite 3&K by a long shot, but it's a great introduction to the game and Sonic 3's more action orientated setpieces as a whole. The greenery levels tend to be some of the best levels in Sonic games!

 

2. I really don't like Sunset Hill at all. It looks nice, but the music sounds like ass, and the level design with random bottomless pits everywhere and Act 3's awful "fall down and you redo the entire level" thing is just a massive drag. Other than that, I don't mind the more boring ones, as they're mostly easy, my problem with the Green Hill thing is that it's just so done to death and they all get samey. I prefer it when the greenery levels are more varied in visual design, such as Angel Island, Plant Kingdom, and the like. While it's not a bad level, I also consider the Generations version of Green Hill to be the weakest level in that game as it's just essentially tutorial. Looks amazing, though. Splash Hill, not so much. I don't like Episode 1 as a whole though, so I don't care for Splash Hill either.

 

Silver's Tropical Jungle in 06 is really bad as well with the maze thing and the slowdown everywhere. Sonic's is pretty good actually, while Rouge can just fly over everything, and when Knuckles returns here in End of the World, it's also very brief. And the Soleanna Forest Hub World? Haha! That hub is so big, empty, and pointless. The worst hub of that game by far.

 

3. Plant Kingdom, Angel Island Act 1, the entireity of Planet Wisp in both games, Jungle Joyride Night, Aquatic Ruin, Collision Chaos Good Future, Metallic Madness Good Future (US for both!), there's so many good ones here, I mean jesus.

 

4 and 5. Honestly, I just want to see more varied types of this level. The Sonic games used to do this, but then nowadays you've got Splash Hill and Windy Hill, and it's like "Can we stop whoring this out and do something original?" Or not start with a greenery level at all like SA2 or somewhat SA1 with Emerald Coast. There's so many games where it starts with a fairly generic green level. Other than that, a more wintery version or perhaps more water levels like big lakes, especially as Green Hill type levels often tend to contain water.

 

6 and 7. I'd personally prefer a game that strayed towards new ideas, much like what Colours did, rather than another Green Hill rehash, especially after Lost World, Generations, and Sonic 4. Perhaps a grassy type level, but not necessarily a Green Hill type one.

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1. I really like how Forest Falls Zone looks, and Green Hill Modern is also my second favorite Sonic level. But I have to go with Seaside Hill. I just love how it looks both in Generations and Heroes. And It's fun in both games too.
2. Hard question. I think Splash Hill is a really dumb zone. It's just a boring clone of Green Hill and it lacks charm of most other Green Hill Clones, so I'll go with that. I don't hate it though.
3. Seaside Hill is fucking awesome. Maybe because of nostalgia idk but I love Seaside Hill's music.
4. Well, I liked how the whole island burned in Angel Island, so I would like to see something similar to that.
5. I don't even have a single idea.
6. I don't know. As long as it's not like Splash Hill or Windy Hill, I would be okay.
7. Yeah why not?

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18 hours ago, Semi-colon e said:

The Green Hill trope is pretty awesome, I mean, it's the definitive Sonic trope. I feel you're missing Adabat, I mean if jungle type levels are here too, then Adabat must be, same with the Soleanna Forest Hub.

Adabat/Jungle Joyride was there, I just didn't add pictures or differences between the PS2/Wii Version and PS3/Xbox 360 Version until now.

I did actually forget the Soleanna Forest Hub and have added it.

 

Discussion Questions
1. If you had to choose, what would be the choices for your #1 Green Hill Level/Hub Area and your #1 Grass Level/Hub Area in a Sonic Game?

....This is tough...I'll come back and answer this one later after I brainstorm some more.

2. What would be your least favorite Green Hill and Grass themed levels in a Sonic Game?

For Green Hill Levels, it's a tie between Sonic Blast's Green Hill and Sonic 4's Splash Hill Zone.

For Grass Levels, I'm picking the Soleanna Forest Hub

3. What are your favorite Green Hill and Grass Level Music Track(s)?

Sunset Hill Zone and Planet Wisp Act 1

I never knew about the divide of people who like and don't like Sunset Hill's music until I did research for this topic.

My current favorite versions of the songs are remixes done by MasterJace, who remixed Sunset Hill in "Racing Over the Horizon," and a Piano/Sequencer Cover by Kenichi Tokoi and Dave Harris.

 

4. What are some old or new ideas you'd like to see in future Green Hill and Grass themed Levels in Sonic games?

  • I really like the idea of running on or just using wood logs to cross water in the Jungle Zone and Dinosaur Jungle. I mean nowadays Sonic can just boost over water but still
  • Season changes like in Mushroom Hill
  • Time of Day system like Knuckles Chaotix and Sonic Unleashed
  • Some of the Badnik designs from Botanic Base
  • maybe a level that has a fruit or harvest festival and Badniks attack by starting food fights.

5. What's another level theme you'd like to see fused together with the Green Hill and Grass themed levels, that haven’t been done yet, in Sonic games?

Green Hill Level Fusions are kind of hard to do. For example, Sonic 3D Blast had a lot of levels that had checkerboard patterns on the paths but no grass and Pumpkin Hill was a mountain but had no unique patterns in the rock. As long as it can follow that definition, any other level theme is fine.

I would still like to see a Grass City or something like Knothole Village in the games. Also, I want see something like Botanical Kingdom outside of the Riders games' futuristic view.

6. Would you personally, like to see a Green Hill inspired Level/Hub Areas in the 25th Anniversary Game?

Green Hill themed Hubs are always welcome. 

I'm also Ok with Green Hill themed Levels as long as:

  • we don't get another Splash Hill Zone. Almost every other Green Hill themed level has their own special pattern and ideas 
  • it doesn't call itself Green Hill Zone and do nothing to expand by what was already done in Generations or Lost World
  • it doesn't appear as the first level in the game
  • it uses a mix of old and new Badniks and enemies 

7. Would you personally, like to see a Grass themed Level/Hub Areas in the 25th Anniversary Game?

As long as the Hubs are a decent size and not extremely hard or boring to navigate, sure. 

I'm not sure if there's anyway to mess a Grass level up though.

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