The launch of Sonic Origins yesterday saw the return of Blue Blurs classic Mega Drive/Genesis games, all bundled together on modern consoles. The most notable part of the bundle is the Sonic 3 and Knuckles, which sees the Sonic 3 ported to consoles for the first time, along with new, HD upgrades.
To help make this version possible, Headcannon – one of the developers behind the amazing Sonic Mania – teamed up with Sega to recreate the classic interlocking duo in a retro engine. Now that the collection is out, Stealth — nicknamed Headcannon’s Simon Thomley — has acknowledged some of the problems with the final release and shared some of the intricacies behind them on Twitter.
The full thread (which is quite long and completely worth reading) details how Stealth and the team submitted a build that they acknowledge is in need of some improvements, but Stealth also notes bugs in the final build that Hadcannon was not present in the making – the result of Sega’s team work integrating Origins into the overall game.
Regarding Origins, we were outsiders creating a separate project which was then turned into something completely different. We knew there would be a huge time crunch to go through and we worked the ground ourselves to get it done so it could be built and released too- Stealth (@HCStealth) 24 June 2022
I am extremely proud of my team for their performance under such pressure, but each and every one of us is very sad about the original condition and even the Sonic 3 component. We weren’t too thrilled about its pre-submission status, but a lot was beyond our control.—Sneaky (@HCStealth) 24 June 2022
Stealth also states that the team “wants to address these problems” and asked to make major improvements before being sent to Origins, and possibly inquired about delays in the game, and was told this was not possible. Which with the game locked for launch is Sonic’s birthday that is certainly understandable from a marketing perspective. Headcannon is currently waiting to hear back from Sega to see if it can implement some post-release patches.
We want these problems to be solved. We provided lots of feedback during and after development for both Origins and its Sonic 3 integration. We’ve done a fair bit of work after our work period ended to fix things, support Sega, and prepare for future updates. – Stealth (@HCStealth) 24 June 2022
I hear you, headcannon hears you. We wanted it to be perfect then and now. In the scope of this kind of work you will never know or understand so much, but know and understand it – we try our best, and we care about our work and sonic- stealth ( @HCStealth) 24 June 2022
It should be noted that Stealth is careful to make it clear that the issue is complicated, and that he and other members who worked on this version of Sonic 3 also highly praise Sega’s employees, who are known by the name Called in, including the head of the Sonic team, Takashi Iizuka:
There seems to be a lot of confusion about this… I didn’t say that there was another build on our part that they didn’t use – what I was trying to say was that they took a big hit in the build we presented. Amended, some original, some not. It influenced some of our work. – Chupke (@HCStealth) 24 June 2022
My dealings with most of the SOA staff were actually very pleasant for the most part. The people I spoke to directly were highly respected, including Izuka-san, who I was deeply saddened to learn hated so much of things beyond her control. He’s cool and deserves better.—Sneaky (@HCStealth) 24 June 2022
If we’re listing the names of the good guys, don’t forget Austin. That guy always looks tired and I feel like I have to apologize for how this isn’t going to help. The Evo is also very polite and very reasonable.—Sneaky (@HCStealth) 24 June 2022
Sega has yet to react or announce whether the patches will be released. Although the issues above may not go unnoticed by new players to the games, Sonic fans starting with the series in the 90s have noted various differences. However, the biggest changes – those affecting audio tracks credited to Michael Jackson and/or his team – are attracting more widespread attention, particularly from Yuji Naka himself.
If there’s an update to the game, we’ll be sure to let you know.