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Sonic Origins: Game Facts Special Video & Script

Posted by WillieCorley - July 8th, 2022



Sonic Origins is a game compilation with remastered Sonic games that originally released for the Sega Genesis and Sega CD in the first half of the '90s. It will release on June 23rd, 2022 across multiple platforms as a “digital only” game with no plans for a physical release. It will be available on Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X & S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows through Steam and the Epic Games Store. [1] [2] It was initially reported that the standard and deluxe editions of Sonic Origins would have a huge file size difference, but that was likely due to a typo since Nintendo's official website changed the file size information. [3] [4]


The Steam version of Sonic Origins will have Denuvo DRM at the game's release, but Sega has previously removed that form of digital rights management in a patch for Sonic Mania, so the DRM might get removed in a future update. The release of Sonic Origins is the first time Sonic 3 & Knuckles will be getting released by Sega in over a decade. The previous time Sonic 3 & Knuckles got re-released was on the Sonic Classic Collection for Nintendo DS in 2010 and for Windows in the early 2010's. [5]


It was announced ports of Sonic 1, 2, 3, Sonic & Knuckles, and Sonic 3 & Knuckles would be delisted from Xbox 360, Playstation Now, Playstation 3, and Steam. This implied the Steam version of Sonic CD might not get delisted, but it got delisted. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] Since some Sonic games were delisted from Steam, that means a lot of fan mods and fangames will be more difficult to experience such as the Sonic CD mod that allows players to play as Knuckles in Sonic CD. The fangame Sonic 3: Angel Island Revisited previously required players to own the Steam copy of Sonic 3 & Knuckles to play that fangame. [12] [13]


While a lot of Sonic games were delisted, the mobile ports for Sonic 1, 2, and Sonic CD will remain on both iOS and Android. [14] [15] The mobile ports were made using the Retro engine, which is a video game engine created in 2007 by Christian Whitehead AKA The Taxman in C++. [16] None of the games in Sonic Origins are emulated ports. This collection of games uses different versions of the Retro engine created by Christian Whitehead and Headcannon instead of emulation. This is the second time the Retro engine version of Sonic CD will experience a console release, but it will be the first time the Retro engine versions of Sonic 1 and 2 will received a console release after previously releasing on mobile devices in 2013. [17]


Sonic Origins is the first time players will be able to play Sonic 3 & Knuckles in widescreen with an officially released game by Sega, but many Sonic fans have previously played Sonic 3 & Knuckles in widescreen through a fangame called Sonic 3: Angel Island Revisited. The Sonic 3K Proof of Concept uploaded to Christian Whitehead's YouTube channel in 2014 uses a very different version of the Retro engine compared to what people will experience in Sonic Origins. The version of Sonic 3 & Knuckles in Sonic Origins was created by HeadCannon using a heavily modified version of the Retro engine. [18]


The Path Tracer for Sonic 3 & Knuckles in Sonic Origins will reduce the likelihood of some glitches players experienced in the original Sonic 3 & Knuckles. In a tweet by Simon Thomley AKA Stealth who founded HeadCannon, he referenced the original instruction booklet to Sonic 3 that referred to some of the collision issues in that game as “Dr. Robotnik's diabolical speed traps." [19]


While Christian Whitehead created the Retro engine, he did not work on Sonic Origins directly because he was busy working on a new 3D game with Private Division. [20] [21] The initial plan in Sonic Mania's development was to bundle the Sonic remasters alongside “a rather modest little original 2D game”. If Takashi Iizuka had agreed to this proposal, we might have gotten a game similar to Sonic Origins way sooner than 2022. [22]


All the new game content in Sonic Origins was worked on by Sega and HeadCannon, but Christian Whitehead did update the Retro engine to allow different versions of the Retro engine to work together in a single collection. [23] While HeadCannon was contracted to build a Retro engine version of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, their company was not asked to do any additional work to Sonic 1, 2, or CD. [24] Sonic CD was initially remastered with version 3 of the Retro engine, Sonic 1 and 2 were remastered with version 4 of the Retro engine, and Sonic Mania was made with version 5 of the Retro engine. The remaster of Sonic 3 & Knuckles was worked on with a heavily modified version 5 using “path tracing,” which Stealth has described as necessary for Sonic 3 & Knuckles. [25] Version 5 of the Retro engine was used for the Sonic 3 & Knuckles remaster because it was “more well-featured and better suited for S3K, as well as easier to use.” [26] Some of the contract workers hired to work on the Sonic 3 & Knuckles remaster includes Mr. Poe, who previously worked on the Sonic Worlds engine in Clickteam Fusion that powered games like Freedom Planet and Spark the Electric Jester. [27]


Every game in the menu screen for Sonic Origins has a 3D model of an island to represent that game. [28] [29] [30] [31] HeadCannon provided feedback for the island placement and Sega accepted some of their feedback. [32] The Sonic Spinball island is used to represent Mission mode and the Sonic 3D Blast Island is used to represent the Museum in the menu for Sonic Origins. [33]


Sega's team was responsible for creating Mission Mode, Boss Rush, Mirror Mode, and other features in Sonic Origins. [34] Mission Mode features missions that are ranked depending on a player's performance in a game. Some of the missions require players to use super forms for Sonic characters. The HUD menu for missions displays what rank players might earn depending on how well they play. [35] Mission Mode inserts enemies into zones that weren't designed for that zone in the original games. [36]


Classic Mode preserves the 4 by 3 aspect ratio of the original Genesis games, where as Anniversary and other modes allows gamers to play the game at a 16 by 9 aspect ratio. (5:45) Hidden Palace Zone returns for Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which was a scrapped stage in the original Genesis game, but was featured as a hidden level in the mobile port of Sonic 2. [35] Sonic's drop dash ability is not available in Classic Mode, but it will be available in other modes such as Anniversary and Story modes. [37] This is the second time Sonic 1 and 2 will be released with drop dash functionality. Previously the Sonic Ages versions of Sonic 1 and 2 for Nintendo Switch included the drop dash functionality for Sonic's gameplay.


Only Sonic is playable in Story Mode, which is an experience that combines Sonic 1, Sonic CD, Sonic 2, and Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Each game has a new opening and ending animation in Story Mode, which connects all four titles in “one big storyline”. [38] The new animated cutscenes in Story Mode were created by Tyson Hesse and Ian Flynn with Powerhouse Animation Studios. [39] Tyson Hesse previously shared artwork in 2021 that shares a similar art style to how Sonic looks in the new cutscenes. [40] Other animations by Tyson Hesse, such as the Sonic Mania Adventures animations, will be included in the game's new museum feature. [41] Sonic CD's original cutscenes will be restored using artificial intelligence technology and other software to enhance the video quality. [42]


Sonic Origins will feature a Mirror Mode, which is not the first time this option has been available to players with these games. You could previously play Mirror Mode in the emulated ports on Steam where everything, including the HUD and title screen, are mirrored. Mirror Mode is unlocked from the moment you start the game if you pre-order the Digital Deluxe Edition. The Anniversary mode replaces the lives system with collectable coins. You can also earn coins by completing missions in Mission Mode. The new coin system will allow players to immediately retry special stages in Anniversary Mode after failing the special stages. Coins allow players to unlock special content in the new museum feature such as remastered music tracks, artwork by Kazuyuki Hoshino, and “game design documents by Takashi Iizuka from when each of the titles were originally in development”. [43] Some of the artwork in the museum vault were previously available in the Sonic & Knuckles Collection for Windows. [44] Since the lives and continues system was removed in Anniversary Mode, you earn coins instead of a continue in Anniversary Mode. [45]


The Start Dash Pack DLC is included with a pre-order of the standard or digital deluxe edition of Sonic Origins. Features included with this DLC are 100 bonus coins, mirror mode unlocked at the start of the game, and letterbox backgrounds. The Premium Fun Pack DLC includes hard missions, letterbox backgrounds, character animation in the main menu, camera controls over the main menu islands, and character animations during the music islands. The Classic Music Pack DLC includes additional remastered music tracks from Mega Drive and Genesis titles such as Sonic Spinball, Knuckles Chaotix, and Sonic 3D Blast. [46] All of the DLC is included if players pre-order the Digital Deluxe Edition, which has caused a lot of criticism from fans. Memes were made by gamers to mock the business model. [47] [48] The digital deluxe edition will cost $5 more than the standard version of the game, which is a sales tactic Sega previously used for Sonic Colors Ultimate at the same exact prices. [49] [50]


For the iOS and Android versions of the Classic Sonic games, Christian Whitehead kept the original arrangements for the music using FM synthesis, but were “put together in a DAW environment and given an actual mix as opposed to simply recording the existing music. The Drum samples were sourced from the original synthesizer.” [51] The soundtrack to Sonic 3 & Knuckles in Sonic Origins will have some of its music replaced with compositions previously heard in a prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 for Sega Genesis and the Sonic & Knuckles Collection for Windows. This is likely due to legal issues from Brad Buxer being involved with Sonic 3's original soundtrack. [52] [53] [54] Jun Senoue was involved with Sonic 3's soundtrack in Sonic Origins to replace some of the songs using the same sound chip from the Sega Genesis and his own digital audio tape collection. [55] [56] Jun Senoue also worked with Tee Lopes on the background music for the animations in Sonic Origins. [57] Hyper Potions, who previously made trailer music for Sonic Mania and a Tropical Resort remix for Sonic Colors Ultimate, were hired to work on music for a trailer to Sonic Origins. [58] [59]


Some of the in-game cutscenes have been polished with new animations. For example, Tails has a new intro for Sonic 3 & Knuckles where he lands his plane. [60] Both Sonic and Tails will be playable in every game in the collection. Knuckles will be playable in most of the games, except for Sonic CD. [61] The character select screen for Sonic 2 also includes the option to play as Sonic with Tails following him, along with the option to have Tails following Knuckles. [62]


Split screen multiplayer will be in the game for Sonic 2 and 3. [63] [64] More zones are available in the 2 player mode for Sonic 2 compared to the original Genesis game. [65] For the multiplayer versus mode in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the competition zones had their art assets upscaled. [66] [67] Other forms of competitive play in Sonic Origins includes time attack modes with world rankings, which were confirmed on the Japanese website for Sonic Origins. [68]


If you would like to see links to over sixty sources that were used to make this video, check out the description of this video. We are trying to reach one hundred thousand subscribers in our first year, so if you hit the subscribe button, that would be awesome. My name is Willie Corley and I hope you enjoyed this video as much as I enjoyed making it. Thanks for watching. This has been a Game Facts Special.


[1] https://origins.sonicthehedgehog.com/?lang=en

[2] https://twitter.com/KatieChrz/status/1516791500381646849

[3]https://www.nintendo.com/store/products/sonic-origins-switch/

[4] https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2022/05/sonic-origins-file-sizes-for-standard-digital-deluxe-versions-seemingly-revealed

[5] https://sonic.fandom.com/wiki/Sonic_the_Hedgehog_3_%26_Knuckles

[6] https://twitter.com/SEGAbits/status/1519316751971926016

[7] http://segabits.com/blog/2022/04/26/sega-delisting-sonic-1-2-3-knuckles-and-cd-from-digital-storefronts-on-may-20th/

[8] https://sonic.sega.jp/SonicChannel/topics/information/20220427_002878/

[9] https://sonic-sega-jp.translate.goog/SonicChannel/topics/information/20220427_002878/?_x_tr_sl=ja&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=sc

[10] https://store.steampowered.com/app/71162/Sonic_3__Knuckles/

[11] https://store.steampowered.com/app/200940/Sonic_CD/

[12] https://sonic3air.org/

[13] https://gamebanana.com/wips/53126

[14] https://twitter.com/SEGAForever/status/1519074026978791430?t=lmgWKY-B2VMLx909XwDMKg&s=19

[15] https://youtu.be/Stqo8KmTz2A

[16] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retro_Engine

[17] https://youtu.be/Stqo8KmTz2A

[18] https://youtu.be/Ct1cErthI6s

[19] https://twitter.com/HCStealth/status/1538281729420427264

[20] https://twitter.com/CFWhitehead/status/1517073343047880704

[21] https://twitter.com/CFWhitehead/status/1516784160211230723

[22] https://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?threads/sonic-mania-switch-ps4-xbox-one-pc.35709/page-269#post-896459

[23] https://twitter.com/CFWhitehead/status/1516784160211230723

[24] https://twitter.com/Head_cannon/status/1526736101108396033

[25] https://twitter.com/HCStealth/status/1538281666132578304

[26] https://twitter.com/HCStealth/status/1527424689433300992

[27] https://twitter.com/MRP0E/status/1516780083448537092

[28] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frcoI10xoLI

[29] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frcoI10xoLI

[30] https://youtu.be/0EicmYTMzRQ

[31] https://youtu.be/t8LjF9Lvgxk

[32] https://twitter.com/HCStealth/status/1532988755149131776

[33] https://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?posts/1006716/

[34] https://twitter.com/Head_cannon/status/1526744569789837312

[35] https://youtu.be/MRBQwcq8fiI

[36] https://twitter.com/MC1337_/status/1534879362197372930

[37] https://m.ruliweb.com/news/gameshow/PlayX4/read/166134

[38] https://youtu.be/tHGi6l1qjeg

[39] https://www.sonicstadium.org/2022/04/sonic-origins-story-mode-sequences-written-by-ian-flynn/

[40] https://twitter.com/tyson_hesse/status/1397684707651846145

[41] https://youtu.be/St86PQwccgc?t=3440

[42] https://twitter.com/bradyhartel/status/1516951540224991232?s=21

[43] https://youtu.be/tHGi6l1qjeg?t=160

[44] https://youtu.be/13scURh6V4E?t=163

[45] https://youtu.be/St86PQwccgc?t=1321

[46] https://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?posts/1004413/

[47] https://www.ign.com/articles/sonic-origins-fans-arent-happy-with-locked-off-dlc-content

[48] https://twitter.com/devolverdigital/status/1516877660370124801

[49] https://store.epicgames.com/en-US/p/sonic-colors-ultimate

[50] https://store.epicgames.com/en-US/p/sonic-origins

[51] https://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?threads/sonic-1-and-2-getting-the-sonic-cd-treatment-by-taxman-and-stealth.31061/page-4#post-736345

[52] https://youtu.be/pqfSBnqUDcg

[53] https://twitter.com/HCStealth/status/1535079820689743872

[54] https://twitter.com/HCStealth/status/1535079897399365632

[55] https://www.youtube.com/clip/Ugkxhw_yVutDnwFxgmaB9gIMOv6Lnpbv4vPq

[56] https://twitter.com/HCStealth/status/1535079940726542336

[57] https://youtu.be/tHGi6l1qjeg

[58] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8XmjNoisq4

[59] https://youtu.be/ZzHXjAJ86Zw

[60] https://youtu.be/G75NDuOuRN8?t=59

[61] https://asiablog.sega.com/archives/25004?lang=en

[62] https://twitter.com/MasteredRealm/status/1532683511655763969

[63] https://twitter.com/MasteredRealm/status/1532683648486543360

[64] https://twitter.com/MasteredRealm/status/1532684278244548608

[65] https://twitter.com/MasteredRealm/status/1532683948282810369

[66] https://youtu.be/13scURh6V4E?t=144

[67] https://asia.sega.com/SonicOrigins/en/mode/

[68] https://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?posts/1005357/


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