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Hidden Rings in Mania - 50 Rings to Enter?


Gemster312
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So this is an interesting video. The person talks about Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces, but when talking about Sonic Mania he brings up that he's played either 5 or 6 levels.

Seeing as the only publicly available levels are: Green Hill Zone Act 1/2, Studiopolis Act 1, and Mirage Saloon Act 2, that's only 4 stages IF he got to play all of them across the different conventions.

He also said that the Sega individuals TOLD him what to not play (in the demos you can't pick and choose any levels that you SHOULDNT be playing, you could only pick the ones displayed in the demo screen).

This makes me think that he actually got a more complete version of the game to test out.

Now at 2:58-ish he brings up one interesting thing:

"There's the massive ring you find during the level and its an outline unless you collect enough rings before you find that"

Having played a bigger build, maybe what he witnessed is true and those HIDDEN RINGS aren't as easy as "find it", but also have that Sonic 1/Sonic 2 mechanic where you need 50 rings to enter?

Clearly that isn't the case in the demos that we have seen before, but maybe that's the way it works in the legit builds?

What do you guys think?

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I didn't watch the video. Just from what you've said, it's possible he was just mistaken or making an assumption. However, if it is true, I actually kind of like that. I liked the method of entering the Special Stages in Sonic 1 & CD, so a compromise between that and the Sonic 3K method seems agreeable to me.

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I think that could work. Getting to special stages was a bit too easy in 3&K once you've found them, so this would add a little extra skill requirement.

Also it would explain why that fancy wireframe ring graphic even exists. It'd be a bit strange if they threw that together just as a placeholder for the demos, but it'd make sense if it's meant to be used in the main game.

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I honestly hope this isn't the case, that's one of the things 3K really fixed. The special stage itself should be enough of the challenge, don't make me go out of my way to haul 50 rings there too. 

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2 hours ago, Diogenes said:

I think that could work. Getting to special stages was a bit too easy in 3&K once you've found them, so this would add a little extra skill requirement.

Also it would explain why that fancy wireframe ring graphic even exists. It'd be a bit strange if they threw that together just as a placeholder for the demos, but it'd make sense if it's meant to be used in the main game.

It wouldn't be too out there for them to put it there for the sake of the demo.  It signifies that there are secrets to be found and thus preemptively encourages exploration as a gameplay mechanic.

Regardless, I wouldn't be too opposed to a 50 ring restriction, either, but I'd rather they not.  In my opinion, the special stages themselves should be where the main challenge resides, not the often times arduous task of actually getting to them.  But attaining 50 rings is a comparatively smaller gripe compared to something like Advance 2's coin collecting.  So if it's true, it's really not that big of a deal.

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I was thinking this the other day for the same reason Diogenes said, seems weird to make an asset just for demos when you could just... leave those spots empty.

I like it to be honest, the health system in Sonic is so forgiving that I enjoy having a reason to play more carefully, and it'll ultimately give the game more replay value and make it much more likely that, like the old days, we aren't going to get the best ending the first time we play.

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I'm kinda surprised how many people are against the game asking you to play well in order to 100% complete it.  50 rings isn't a particularly tall order, especially when you have multiple opportunities per stage to enter rather than having to hold them until the end, especially when you have the ability to double up your defense with both a blue ring and shield powerup, especially when you also have checkpoint minigames to (presumebly) raise your ring count even further in a safe environment.

All you have to do is like... pay attention to hazards.

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41 minutes ago, JezMM said:

I'm kinda surprised how many people are against the game asking you to play well in order to 100% complete it.  50 rings isn't a particularly tall order, especially when you have multiple opportunities per stage to enter rather than having to hold them until the end, especially when you have the ability to double up your defense with both a blue ring and shield powerup, especially when you also have checkpoint minigames to (presumebly) raise your ring count even further in a safe environment.

All you have to do is like... pay attention to hazards.

We're not asking them to eliminate any form of challenge or necessity of skill.  Or at least, I'm not.  I just think those skills are better put to use in the actual special stages.  You already have to use observational skills just to find them by identifying textural patterns and level design quirks.  Then you have (in theory) the actual level design adding its own additional challenges that could impede on your access to them, and when you finally get to the Special Stages. they're usually pretty challenging on their own.  So having an additional barrier on top of that feels like it's just piling on restrictions unnecessarily.

It reminds me of Sonic 3D Blast, where it was hard enough to just find Tails and/or Knuckles, let alone find what you needed to break whatever was barricading them (if applicable).  Making us cough up 50 rings just felt needlessly sadistic.  Of course, that game had other things working against it, such as less than optimal controls and levels designed to mess you up on top of the Flicky collecting thing being absolutely awful, but it still seemed rather extraneous.

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I just feel 50 rings is not a tall order to gather up with all the shields on offer as well as blue ring monitors, especially when it's not even a case of holding onto them all the way to the end of the stage, you have multiple opportunities.  Like, it's really not going to be any more challenging than Sonic 2's special stage entry in terms of holding onto rings.

Having this kind of mini extra challenge and decision making when you find a special stage entrance but don't have enough rings - whether to memorise it and carry on or go and seek out rings and try to return to it.

I just trust that the developers have given due consideration to this task in designing stages.  And hell I feel like every Sonic Mania footage I watch, the player gains an extra life from 100 rings.  They're pretty plentiful.

And as said I'm all for just a little extra something that extends the challenge and longetivity of my first playthrough of this game, and gives more value to the act of taking on obstacles with thought and care rather than just charging through safe in the knowledge that you're unlikely to fail to grab the minimum one ring to protect yourself when you get hit.

To be honest, the return of the Blue Ring powerup makes so much more sense in light of this.  Originally said powerup let you grab a single giant ring that restored them all - not dissimilar to just having a shield.  Here you have to grab several big rings worth 10 each - likely you'll end up recovering 30-50 as oppose to the 10 or so you can grab normally.  So basically the blue ring is just a slightly less forgiving shield that just protects you to the point that getting back up to 50+ rings is not a big prospect.

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Except with Sonic 2's goal posts, pretty much any path you followed guaranteed you would eventually ruin into one on multiple occasions, so the barrier for entry made sense.  The special stages in Mania require actually hunting them down.  So I don't think it's a suitable comparison.

But I do agree that in the context of Mania, it's probably not a particularly daunting task compared to other games.  It just strikes me as unnecessary.

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Since the game is likely to be significantly longer than most other Classic games, it makes sense to introduce a little more challenge for entering Special Stages. And if there are only seven Chaos Emeralds to collect and nothing else, that means plenty of chances anyway.

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I've always preferred the Sonic 1/CD system and stages because of how swiftly they move along. The 50 ring requirement has never really been an annoyance for me and it means your runthrough of levels goes completely uninterrupted and your reward for playing well comes at the end of the level and serves as a brief intermission between stages. The special stages in those games always felt like the right length to me while 2 and 3K's always seemed to feel longer for some reason although I'll grant you Blue Sphere is probably the most solidly made style of special stage they made back in the day.

Whether Mania has the 50 ring requirement for all giant rings or not, I'd really like it if they included an additional ring at the end of each level if you still have 50 rings and therefore cater to both playstyles.

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On 08/07/2017 at 0:45 PM, Pawn said:

Since the game is likely to be significantly longer than most other Classic games, it makes sense to introduce a little more challenge for entering Special Stages. And if there are only seven Chaos Emeralds to collect and nothing else, that means plenty of chances anyway.

I entirely agree, and I think this is exactly why this new requirement (if correctly reported) is in.  If you look at Sonic & Knuckles, for example, you can literally get all the Chaos Emeralds by the end of Mushroom Hill.  Sonic 3 wasn't much less generous.  They really did give you plenty of opportunities, perhaps too many, to get all the Chaos Emeralds - and Mania is going to be a much longer game than either of those...

In other Sonic games, there was a hard limit of one Special Stage opportunity per act, which spaced out the potential amount of time it would take to unlock Super Sonic and trivialise the game.  Cutting down the number of Super Rings and imposing the 50-ring requirement is Mania's compromise to make the amount of the game you spend as regular Sonic last longer even for the real experts.  And for the people who aren't so great at the game, with a reported (somewhere, I think) limit of two Super Rings per act, the likely-high number of acts overall should still give relative Sonic amateurs a decent chance.

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Well, there ya go.

I'm guessing what happened was the dude had seen footage of the demo builds, saw that the giant rings were filled in & accessible now, and assumed it was because he had 50 Rings rather than the wireframe being a placeholder that isn't present in the final game. Understandable mistake, really.

I thought it was an interesting idea to essentially fuse the different methods of entering special stages but eh, keeping it simple makes more sense.

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bart-snicker.gif

...You folks were ACTUALLY speculating on this? lol

It's obvious we're "locked" out of special stages in all builds of the game until we get the final version in the market, that's why all you see are wire frames. They are inaccessible and collecting rings isn't the issue, you just literally CAN'T enter them right now.

Now as far as sign posts, there's a definite possibility of having a ring system latched onto them. There IS supposed to be some kind of "new" item you have to collect in the game, so there are likely the Chaos Emeralds within the giant rings and perhaps the "new" items locked within sign post warps you access via rings.

...You folks actually debated this. That genuinely makes me happy. Mainly because I'm likely the craziest guy on SSMB at the moment.

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8 hours ago, Chris Knopps said:

...You folks were ACTUALLY speculating on this? lol

It's obvious we're "locked" out of special stages in all builds of the game until we get the final version in the market, that's why all you see are wire frames. They are inaccessible and collecting rings isn't the issue, you just literally CAN'T enter them right now.

Now as far as sign posts, there's a definite possibility of having a ring system latched onto them. There IS supposed to be some kind of "new" item you have to collect in the game, so there are likely the Chaos Emeralds within the giant rings and perhaps the "new" items locked within sign post warps you access via rings.

...You folks actually debated this. That genuinely makes me happy. Mainly because I'm likely the craziest guy on SSMB at the moment.

Sonic 1 - Need 50 rings to get into Giant End Ring

Sonic 2 - Need 50 rings to get into Sign Post

Sonic CD - Need 50 rings to get into Giant End Ring

Sonic 3/K - Need to find hidden Giant Ring

It didn't seem far fetched of an idea, as a game that's supposed to take elements from all of the classics, to think it might be a combination of needing 50 rings and finding a giant hidden ring. In fact I thought it would be a cool extra layer of challenge.

And we all know it's a wire-frame for the builds that were shown off in the demos. They didn't want to show the special stages yet. But, from a programming standpoint, wouldn't it have been simpler to just NOT put anything in those areas rather than create a new mesh, and add it to these beta builds of the maps for the demo? I am a game programmer, and that just seems like wasted time. But I can't speak for everyone, as everyone programs differently.

I had thought exactly as you did, its a placeholder wire-mesh, but if you watch the video i posted in the OP, it sounded like that guy got to play a special review copy and he explained it as though you unlock access to the giant rings if you have a certain amount of rings (as he made it sound like he had a more recent build that might have had special stages activated).

I don't think it was a "crazy" speculation. It seemed fairly reasonable and the guy in the video threw me (and a few others) off.
At least we know its like S3&K for sure :)

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1 hour ago, Gemster312 said:

Sonic 1 - Need 50 rings to get into Giant End Ring

Sonic 2 - Need 50 rings to get into Sign Post

Sonic CD - Need 50 rings to get into Giant End Ring

Sonic 3/K - Need to find hidden Giant Ring

It didn't seem far fetched of an idea, as a game that's supposed to take elements from all of the classics, to think it might be a combination of needing 50 rings and finding a giant hidden ring. In fact I thought it would be a cool extra layer of challenge.

And we all know it's a wire-frame for the builds that were shown off in the demos. They didn't want to show the special stages yet. But, from a programming standpoint, wouldn't it have been simpler to just NOT put anything in those areas rather than create a new mesh, and add it to these beta builds of the maps for the demo? I am a game programmer, and that just seems like wasted time. But I can't speak for everyone, as everyone programs differently.

I had thought exactly as you did, its a placeholder wire-mesh, but if you watch the video i posted in the OP, it sounded like that guy got to play a special review copy and he explained it as though you unlock access to the giant rings if you have a certain amount of rings (as he made it sound like he had a more recent build that might have had special stages activated).

I don't think it was a "crazy" speculation. It seemed fairly reasonable and the guy in the video threw me (and a few others) off.
At least we know its like S3&K for sure :)

Oh, there's nothing WRONG with speculating about this. My point was I'm amazed folks were willing to go so far as to speculate about this topic.

If nothing else it just goes to show how far people are willing to go into Mania, especially in comparison to Forces which is lucky if it gets the same amount of care. My own thread trying to link not collecting rings you drop to the planet being dead in that game and being met with harsh criticism for even daring to try putting that kind of depth into the game goes to show just how little folks want to dive into it since trying to add depth to Forces features is ludicrous in its own way.

That's why I said this thread genuinely made me happy. It was funny and impressive.

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1 hour ago, Chris Knopps said:

Oh, there's nothing WRONG with speculating about this. My point was I'm amazed folks were willing to go so far as to speculate about this topic.

If nothing else it just goes to show how far people are willing to go into Mania, especially in comparison to Forces which is lucky if it gets the same amount of care. My own thread trying to link not collecting rings you drop to the planet being dead in that game and being met with harsh criticism for even daring to try putting that kind of depth into the game goes to show just how little folks want to dive into it since trying to add depth to Forces features is ludicrous in its own way.

That's why I said this thread genuinely made me happy. It was funny and impressive.

It is very heartening to see how much people love Sonic Mania and discuss things without being at each others throats *coughcoughSONICFORCEScough*

Everyone knows this game will be great. Fantastic at the very least. I genuinely can't be more excited!

I will be speculating every last possible angle of this game before it releases :)

Im glad you find pleasure in that too!

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