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Monkey Destruction Switch

Interesting revelations from Sonic 3 prototype

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Been monkeying around with the Drop Dash some. The way it's programmed only cares that up was the only direction being pressed at the time of the jump, it doesn't mind if you start holding right mid-jump. It's finicky, but with some practice you can pull it off while moving. Just let off the d pad and hold up before jumping, then resume in the direction you were going and you should get it most of the time. Compared to Mania it's really clunky though, I wonder if that's why it was cut.

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...I just realized something.

This prototype from November 1993 does not include MJ's tracks, making it seem like those tracks must have been a later addition.

But the accusations against Michael Jackson came out before then (August 1993 according to Wikipedia, which sounds about right).

Hmmmm...I'm not quite sure what to make of this fact. Does it mean that Jackson not being credited was not actually associated with the controversy surrounding him at the time, and lend credence to the idea that it was Jackson's choice? Or is there some other explanation? IDK!

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If only we knew when Michael was brought to compose, it'd help. All I could find is that it was in 1993. I assume bringing Jackson onboard was an early decision by the look of it. We know SEGA was really ambitious in the 90's, they probably thought it was a great idea to have a pop singer doing their mascot new game's soundtrack, and since Jackson already had his own game on the Genesis, it was probably easier for SEGA to approach him and get the ball rolling.

Maybe these tracks were indeed composed to replace Jackson's, but at the end they decided against it? Or maybe Brad or someone else finished mixing MJ's demos closer to release, which would explain why in this prototype they're still using the other tracks, eventhough MJ had already come and gone at that time. The game came out in February 94 and this prototype is from November 93, and we know MJ came in before the whole scandal, which happened in August 93.

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Listen to the music here!

Carnival Night (both acts) are a million times better IMO.

Ice Cap is a million times worse XD

Launch Base is cool, on par with the orig... wait, how do we call the Genesis' songs now? Can't call them "original" anymore... Anyways, you get the idea! Both are good.

I like this Knuckles' theme better. Credits theme is also awesome.

Damn man, I wanna know more about this!

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13 hours ago, Noodle Panda said:

Odd. It kind of reminds me of his artwork on the European boxart.

The weirder thing is the fact that Knuckles switches back to the used sprites when you meet him at the end of Angel Island Zone.

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33 minutes ago, Nintenboi said:

The weirder thing is the fact that Knuckles switches back to the used sprites when you meet him at the end of Angel Island Zone.

Which means they just didn't change his introduction at the beginning of AIZ yet. His older sprite had a smoother head animation for what its worth.

 

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What makes the use of earlier sprites interesting to me is that this prototype is dated at only a few weeks before another prototype that's more or less identical to the final game. That, and the final sprites actually being used in some areas, makes me wonder how far along they were at this point.

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This Ring Toss move is awkward. I can see why they removed it.

okKojph.gifg1wonB8.gif

4 minutes ago, Celestia said:

What makes the use of earlier sprites interesting to me is that this prototype is dated at only a few weeks before another prototype that's more or less identical to the final game. That, and the final sprites actually being used in some areas, makes me wonder how far along they were at this point.

It's being speculated on Retro that since the Competition Mode is as far along as it is and uses the S3 sprites already suggests that this build was actually compiled by the 2 player division using a much older, somewhat stable build.

Plus there's this.

wxwARmB.png

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I lurk Retro, and this seems to be the case. This build could be much older, probably (and very likely) older than November 3rd. Why? SEGA had another Sonic 3 build by November 20th that's near identical to the final game. There's no way in hell that Sonic Team would be able to have another build that's basically the final game, mere 17 days later. This newly found prototype has beta music, Sonic 2 sprites, missing special stages, missing transitions, missing effects, super early title screen. No way way they fixed all that shit in little more than 2 weeks.

This prototype must be from before MJ was brought in and before SEGA cut ties with him. The scandals began in August 93. Since this proto doesn't feature any of his and Buxer's songs, that means that this build (at the least the single player campaign) is prior to August, otherwise this would imply that SEGA brought MJ to compose AFTER the scandals, in that case, after November 3rd, which I believe it wasn't the case.

Here's my rough timeline:

Sonic 3 began production (January 93) ~ somewhere between January 93 and August 93 Michael Jackson and his team worked on the music, eventhough the game already had a soundtrack almost completed (which is the one we're listening to now) ~ August 93 MJ scandals began ~ Michael Jackson probably left production abruptly, but SEGA kept some tapes with his work ~ SEGA probably didn't wanted to ditch those songs and rolled with it anyway ~ the prototype we're seeing now doesn't feature MJ songs because: A. It's not from November at all (likely); or B. SEGA implemented those songs only in the November 20th build and went "fuck it, we're keeping it" (less likely, but could've happened).

Basically, all these legal issues and lawsuits could've being avoided if SEGA used the music they had before MJ came in, but they decided against it for whatever reason. Maybe they liked his songs better and didn't wanted to change? Time surely wasn't an issue.

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I think it's so awesome that the pc music tracks were originally from sonic 3 all along. The PC version was the sonic 3 i grew up with and when i first played the genesis version, i always wondered where and why those tracks went. Now i have closure. Thanks guys.

It's like when wreck-it ralph finds out that venellope always belonged in that racing game.

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@Monkey Destruction Switch I can't help but wonder now if MJ's supposed dissatisfaction with the Genesis's sound and resulting desire to go uncredited stem from the possibility that when his songs were implemented into the game the sound driver was still broken, making them sound bad. Obviously they were able to clean up the sound by release, but who knows. It's just a theory, we may never know what really went down.

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What a time to be alive.

Thing I like about these original tracks is that the music of the first half of the game was gonna be bright and upbeat, but over the course of the game get more and more tense and dramatic, as you'd appropriately expect from Sandopolis, Hidden Palace, Death Egg & Doomsday.

Meanwhile, MJ's contributions give the first half a much more moody, atmospheric feeling; with it's cheeriness and hopeful vibes being replaced with something more dramatic and.. sinister..

I love both takes. I mean, MJ wins, but that's no surprise, right?

What IS a surprise though is that after all this time, those dinky little midis were, in actuality, good. And not only like "pretty good" good, but like, "great" good. Carnival Night Act 2 and the competition theme might be some of the best tracks (never) in the game??? Those fucking SLAM

Like, as much as I love what MJ and Brad contributed, I'm kinda sad we missed out on these. Especially the latter; like no joke it murders MJ's take on the competition music in cold blood. And that's high praise, cuz that track is awesome!

I've been beside myself the past day or two listening to these. It's been good. Also, drop dash.

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On 11/17/2019 at 3:14 AM, Miragnarok said:

Lego Dimensions did compose new tracks for those levels anyway. 

I wouldn't read anything too much into this, we KNOW Lava Reef isn't tied up in copyright but that one got a new compositon. They probably just consistently wanted to give all "retro zones" a new song to be consistent, rather than having 90% new songs and 10% that are remixes/originals for some reason.

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On 11/17/2019 at 2:18 AM, Tracker_TD said:

From the man himself.

I would assume Christian didn't know this was a thing in Sonic 3 at the time he was working on Mania. What I'm more curious about is whether Iizuka said anything when they showed him/found out about the drop dash in Mania. Since he was a designer on Sonic 3 back in the day, maybe he knew about this cut feature.

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He knew.

I don't believe for a second Taxman didn't know about the drop-dash being a cancelled concept for Sonic 3. His twitter reply is pretty short and felt more like a cheeky response. Remember Mania/Mania Plus contains lots of cancelled concepts; the beta Sonic 2 running animation, the scrapped Sonic CD Metallic Madness Eggman boss beta design etc. So the idea of bringing back the drop-dash - a scrapped concept - is exactly the kind of thing they were going for in Mania. As to when Taxman learned about the drop-dash being a scrapped concept from Sonic 3 is anyone's guess.

I guess one could argue Iizuka-san may have suggested it (he might have remembered it from having worked on Sonic 3), but if that's the case why didn't they bring back the drop-dash concept earlier (they've had 20+ years to bring it back)? Iizuka-san could have suggested it for Sonic 4 for example, or Sonic Generations. He said he chose to implement the drop-dash (for classic Sonic) in Sonic Forces whilst Mania was still in development, so the drop-dash certainly made an impression on him!

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