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Prerelease:Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood

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This page details prerelease information and/or media for Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.

Hmmm...
To do:
A few things here and there
  • Try to find corresponding final version counterparts to the rest of the uploaded prerelease screenshots.
  • Explain differences that can be observed from the first gameplay footage.
  • Go into the known behind-the-scenes detail on the unused Intro animation (pencil sketches, instance of it being seeing worked on in the "Behind the Scenes" video).
  • Look through Behind the Scenes video and try to see what else should be noted as different from the final game.

Sonic Chronicles had a... troubled development, to say the least, if the infamously bad soundtrack didn't clue you in.

Unused Green Hill Layout

In a behind-the-scenes article, several artwork of the various areas in the game are shown. Present amongst these however includes this area who's aesthetic resembles that of the final game's Green Hill but which has a radically different layout.

SonicChronicles-UnusedGreenHillArea.jpg

First Gameplay Footage

Nintendo Spring Media Summit 2008

More screenshots of the game would be revealed at the Nintendo Spring Media Summit in 2008. The screenshots appear to be based on slightly different builds from one another as notable differences could be observed between them.

Overworld

Prototype Final
SonicChronicles PrereleaseOverworld2.jpg SonicChronicles Final Overworld 3.png
  • At this stage of development, a different design is being used for the game's UI with a sleek light blue design.
  • The ring icon is different and is placed within a UI panel matching the style of the status panel. That said, the Chao egg counter and the buttons to change characters and open the menu are missing.
  • The character lighting differs in this interior area.
Prototype Final
SonicChronicles PrereleaseOverworld3.jpg SonicChronicles Final Overworld 4.png
  • In the final game, regardless of which character you are controlling or the characters in your party, Tails' workshop can only be accessed by Sonic with all other party members removed.
  • In the pre-release screenshot, when a character isn't occupying a slot in the party no status panel is present at all in that space, allowing for seeing more of the background. In the final game, unoccupied party slots have that character's status panel replaced with one containing a Sonic icon.
Prototype Final
SonicChronicles Prerelease Overworld LaterBuild2.jpg SonicChronicles Final Overworld 1.png
Prototype Final
SonicChronicles Prerelease Overworld LaterBuild3.jpg SonicChronicles Final Overworld 2.png

These screenshots are theorized to be from a slightly later build as while it has characteristics to the previous screenshots, we see several new additions.

  • On the upper screen, the final game's Chao Egg and Ring counter are present but it's still being displayed with black text and very close together in addition to being overlaid over the panel graphic seen in previous screenshots. Interestingly, the maximum amount of rings present in the area is already set whereas previous screenshots had this be set to 0 (though the number of Chao Eggs differ from the final game).
  • The map on the upper screen appears to be more detailed than that seen in the final game.
  • On the lower screen, the head graphics for each character is completed but isn't displayed inside a circle UI element.
  • The button to access the menu in the prerelease screenshot is on the lower right as opposed to the lower left.

Battle

Prototype Final
SonicChronicles PrereleaseBattle2.jpg SonicChronicles Final Battle.png
  • On the upper screen, the timeline of actions has a simpler design than that seen in the final game. Actions are stacked horizontally right next to the status panel of the character carrying out said action, as opposed to vertically in the order all characters' turns will take place in.
  • The SP stat was originally called "Fp".
  • On the bottom screen, the UI for battles is essentially the same as that seen in the first gameplay footage with most of the UI buttons from the final game being present but overall having different designs and placement.

Cutscene

Prototype Final
SonicChronicles PrereleaseAmyDialogue.jpg SonicChronicles FinalAmyDialogue.png

Several differences can be seen in this early piece of dialogue:

  • The text uses a bigger font and is emphasized using dashes instead of caps. Text is lined up vertically with the top of the dialogue box as opposed to the center.
  • The background (depicting Green Hill) is completely different.
  • Sonic and Amy's character portraits looked different compared to the final game with Sonic's notably being the most different. Despite this, the graphic used to represent Amy in the status bar in the final game is based on her original portrait as opposed to her redrawn portrait (note the direction her eyes are looking and how her quills are swept down more).
  • Portraits lacked the white outline seen in the final game.
  • The dialogue box's various response tabs uses a brighter color than that of the final version.
  • The fourth dialogue option ("I totally could've jumped over those boxes, you know.") is missing.

Unused 2D Intro

As opposed to the final game's intro which is made up of gameplay montages and several static graphics, the game was originally to have a 2D animated opening cinematic. Small portions of this opening being worked on could be seen in Behind-the-Scenes footage released during the game's development and short snippets of it appeared in an animation reel. The full version of this unused intro was posted by animator Jonathan Cooper on Twitter on December 21, 2021. Little official reason was given as to why the early opening was removed, but the background music used in it was kept in the final game.