Proto:Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
This page details one or more prototype versions of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
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- 1 Xbox Live Arcade Demo
- 1.1 Stage Differences
- 1.2 Gameplay differences
- 1.3 Changed Graphics
- 1.4 Unused Graphics
- 1.5 Audio differences
- 1.6 Trailer
- 1.7 Oddities
- 2 Review Version
Xbox Live Arcade Demo
The Xbox Live Arcade demo of Sonic the Hedgehog was built on September 16th, 2006, a few months before the game's release, and released on the Xbox Marketplace a little over a week later on September 27th. The demo is noted for being more polished than the final game in some aspects. It was available for download until 2010, when it was removed after the game itself was delisted from retailers.
In the demo, players go through the first section of Sonic's Kingdom Valley. Upon completion of the level, the E3 trailer for the game would play, which features various stages and shows off all three hedgehogs. While the demo doesn't feature very many visible differences from the final and most of the files that it doesn't need have been removed, the game's code hides some much more interesting differences.
- The enemy placement is different, and is generally easier than the placement in the final.
Unused 1-UP Placement (Kingdom Valley)
|Xbox Live Arcade Demo||Retail|
In the Xbox Live Arcade Demo version of Kingdom Valley, there is a 1-UP item box hidden in this bush. This is replaced with a Silver Medal in the retail game. When Sonic obtains the item, he exclaims "Yes! I knew it."
- Rotation interpolation is fully functional here, and characters will smoothly rotate in situations when needed instead of instantly snapping (such as on slopes). This only works for a few states for common characters in the retail game (e.g. Grinding, Light Dashing, and Idle on Ropes), while Snowboard Sonic's posture control uses this rotation for every situation.
- The collision detection is weaker than the final game, making it easier to clip through most walls.
- Rings explode from the player because they collide with each other from the player's absolute centre point. Depending on the number, some Rings spawn closer to the player.
- Only Sonic is playable, but many of the characters are already functional and contain various differences compared to the retail game.
- Sonic's jump dash respects gravity, like the E3 demo. The retail game just ignores it, even though it still accelerates during the move.
- Sonic's Action Gauge starts off empty in this demo. In the retail game, it starts off full.
- Although they can't be selected, the Gem abilities are already functional and it's possible to use the abilities of all but the Red, Purple and Yellow gems by swapping Sonic's states in the executable.
- The Homing Smash and Super Transformation already behave identically to the retail game.
- The Green Gem is missing its particles, though the attack itself works.
- The Blue Gem gives Sonic significantly more speed than it does in the retail game. So much speed, in fact, that it makes Sonic nearly impossible to control and allows him to pass through most walls.
- You can use the Light Dash on every trail of Rings in the stage. In the retail game, you can only do this for Rings that can't be picked up with the Yellow Gem. This is due to the path container missing these splines in the final game.
Mach Speed Sonic
- If Sonic fails to perform a chain jump in time, he will still be able to move (if the analog stick is held in any position). In the retail game, he'll simply drop down without any speed.
- Sonic's speed when landing from a chain jump is slow, like E3 (if the analog stick is held down).
- Sonic's speed when landing from a jump panel decelerates (if the analog stick isn't held down).
- When colliding with a wall, Sonic will lose Rings just as he would when taking damage. Thankfully, you can't die this way.
- Shadow is able to charge Chaos Smash, though attempting to fully charge it will just make him fall to the ground, leaving the standard Homing Attack as his only option. On top of this, his ability to charge is limited; when recoiling from another Homing Attack or Chaos Spear, he'll skip the charge and Homing Attack directly.
- Shadow's Homing Attack respects c_homing_dir in this build. If the Y value is set to -0.5, he will use the same diagonal arc that he uses in the Tokyo Game Show 2006 demo.
- Shadow's Homing Attack recovery is more akin to Sonic's. While his movement is still unlocked like the retail game, there's no pause beforehand to let the player use Chaos Attacks, as they don't exist in this build.
- Shadow's state after using the Chaos Spear acts identically to the one he uses for Homing Attacks, despite both already being separate. As a result, he jumps upwards, allowing players to abuse the Chaos Spear as an infinite jump. In the final build, he can no longer gain any upwards momentum this way.
- Internally, the Chaos Snap features its own state.
- Silver is able to pick up any object and it doesn't effect the gauge.
- Silver's can't kill enemies after releasing them - this leads to broken results, as the enemies can stand in mid-air if released over a bottomless pit.
- Instead of grabbing nearby objects when near Sonic, Silver's boss fight uses a ground-based variant of the Psycho Shock, a move which goes unused in the retail game.
- When near objects, Silver will jump and hover to the closest object, then repeatedly use his Psychokinesis to move the object up in the air. He'll repeat this until he's attacked or the object is destroyed.
- Silver can occasionally get stuck hovering in the air.
- All of Silver's other unused abilities as well as his final 'Grab All' attack are already implemented.
- Knuckles doesn't play any animations when charging up the screwdriver punch. He'll keep playing the last animation that played until the X button is released.
- Knuckles is unable to climb walls unless he's gliding. In the retail game, he's able grab walls by just jumping into them. While this change sounds convenient, it introduced a nasty bug which gave Knuckles a tendency to immediately latch back onto walls he jumped off of.
- Knuckles is also able to climb every surface. Yes, every surface. Even floors.
- Climbing seems a bit buggier than in the retail game. For example, Knuckles can climb off a wall onto a floor without his angle changing at all.
- Gliding lacks a cool down timer, allowing Knuckles to spam his glide move. As cancelling the glide resets Knuckles' momentum, this allows the player to travel much further than normal.
- The HUD is slightly different than the final.
- The positioning of certain HUD elements is closer to the edge of the screen. This was changed in retail, likely to compensate for overscan on some TVs.
- The Action Gauge will always have part of the main gauge and level gauge filled, even when the former is empty and despite the fact that the latter can't be filled at all.
- The first bar on the Level Indicator will always display as full, even when the level is set to 0 (as it normally is with Sonic).
Aside from a few repeats from the final game, the demo contains a few unused graphics of its own.
This was used in the E3 build for the loading screen, which is quite different from the one seen in the final game.
Each of the stage titles rendered in the same style as the E3 build, albeit in a different font. Here is the Unused Load Templates merged together.
An E3 inspired loading Screen left in the XBLA demo files - as displayed via an unofficial XNCP modification tool.
- The title screen plays a loop of the E3 trailer music.
- The 00_pressstart sound effect on the title screen has a slightly higher pitch in the demo. Neither of these pitches match the way the sound is internally stored.
- Some voice clips are played during the stage which are not heard in the final, but used in different segments.
- The result screen is missing many sounds, most notably the voice clip that plays upon receiving an end-of-level rank.
Out of the five tracks present in the demo, only two of them are actually used (besides the title screen theme, which is embedded into the WMV used for the background loop), these being Kingdom Valley's music and the Round Clear theme. Thus, more than half are actually unused!
A demo version of "His World", Sonic's theme for this game. It has a clap track, probably to guide Ali in singing it. This was eventually used as the backing track for Crush 40's cover of the song.
An early version of the invincibility music, which curiously still uses this filename in the final game.
A loop of one of the instruments in the beginning portion of His World. Even though you can reach the (much sooner) end of the level in this demo and thus see the results screen, this music doesn't play after the Round Clear track, leaving it in silence.
Many of the retail game's sound effects are also present in this demo, but they are unused simply because their objects aren't placed in the area of Kingdom Valley that's present here. Sonic's grunts are also present, but they're unassigned.
- The subtitles that appear from the trailer use a different font (Chiaro), which the version shown at E3 2006 used for many display elements rather than the retail game's use of New Rodin.
- Near the end of the trailer, there's a completely different pre-rendered cutscene featuring Silver (and briefly, Sonic)...
- Silver is standing on a ledge overlooking the ruins of Soleanna in the future, declaring that he's found the Iblis Trigger. In the final game, Silver delivers the line while in present-day Soleanna.
- Silver clenches his left hand into a fist; in the final game, he does this with his right hand.
- The Iblis Trigger is referred to as "it"; in the final game, the Iblis Trigger is referred to as "him".
Unused Multiplayer Renderer
In the archive kdv_a4.arc, there is a folder containing the render scripts, similar to that of cache.arc in the retail game. In render_main.lub (the file that stores most, if not, all parameters for the game's renderer), there is a function called 'RenderMainForMulti', the same function used in the retail game which uses different parameters to optimise performance for the game's multiplayer modes. But, there are no multiplayer modes in the Xbox Live Arcade Demo...