Sonic Origins

I’m glad they’re bringing these to modern platforms and that Sonic 3 & Knuckles will finally be playable in widescreen. Looking at the trailer, there’s a new animation included and I think this is the first time Tails/Knuckles are playable in Sonic 1? Also, they are including Hidden Palace in Sonic 2, which was featured in the iOS/Android versions.

Not sure about all the different versions, one of which includes alternate music. Will probably use this as an opportunity replay the original games at some point though; they are classics, and the best of the series.

Yeah these are the taxman ports of the iOS (1+2+CD) games using the latest retro engine according to Whitehead. The taxman Sonic 1 remake lets you play as knuckles in Sonic 1. Unfortunately you can’t play as Knuckles in CD. Both Taxman and Stealth/Headcannon games staff have been contracted to work on this so I trust the quality. The DLC scheme was a bad move on Sega’s part (both in terms of content and how obtuse it was presented). Denuvo I’m neutral on - they’ll get rid of it eventually like they did with Mania I’m sure. Sega is pretty good regarding phasing out its DRM IIRC. Having Hesse do some animated cutscenes was nice but TBH they should include the OVA.


Are the new animated cutscenes going to be in the games as you play them? Or are they just intro/title screen cutscenes?

I imagine they’ll just be an intro animation(s), as with Sonic CD. The games don’t need to be broken up with storytelling cutscenes.

One thing that’s hard to overlook is the price of this collection. Google Play lists the mobile version of Sonic 2 as costing $1.99. At that price, a collection of the five games should be $10. Even if we add the addition of extras, the price of Sonic Origins seems quite steep for a collection of Mega Drive games.

“There are also coins to be earned by completing missions, which will apparently unlock Special Stages, new animation intros for each of the games, and most interestingly, “new content”. Sonic Origins will have a PlayStation 5 release, and currently has no exact launch date.”

It seems according to this the new animations aren’t even available from the start. You have to unlock them by doing special missions which give you in-game coins to use to unlock them…

And this:

“In the listing, we’ve learned that Sonic Origins will offer two different ways to play the classic 16-bit era Sonic games: Classic Mode, which is exactly how the games looked in 4:3 aspect ratio and played, utilizing a lives system, on the Sega Genesis, and Anniversary Mode, an updated take on the games, with a 16:9 widescreen mode and removal of any risk of game overs.”

And it seems like they have included the Hidden Palace Zone stage in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 which was originally removed late in development.

But apart from that, the only work they actually had to do on this project was Sonic 3 & Knuckles. All the other games were already remastered and released years ago. All they did was slap them in the project, next to Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

Also, you could probably assume that Sonic 3 & Knuckles won’t have the original music either because of all those legal issues with Michael Jackson…You’re probably better off to just download Sonic Air (widescreen Sonic 3 & Knuckles) and play it on any genesis emulator!

It’s a nice addition (also featured in existing mobile version of Sonic 2). They’ve replaced the deep spike pit in Mystic Cave Zone (where you have to wait until Super Sonic runs out rings before you can lose a life and get out) with a passage that leads to Hidden Palace Zone. A nice way of removing that annoying pit while also introducing us to the lost zone.

Hopefully nothing important is missing. S3&K has a very iconic soundtrack.

If you want the old versions of these games you’ve got until May 20th until they’re delisted.

And we all know why they are doing it…!

Stealth from Headcannon has confirmed that some of the music in Sonic 3 & Knuckles will indeed be different:

The “new” tracks will be familiar to those who have played 1997’s S&K Collection for PC, but their history is deeper than that. Recently, a prototype of Sonic 3 has surfaced that proves these were indeed the original, intended songs before they were replaced by MJ’s sound team

As Katie said, these tracks, originally presented in MIDI form in S&KC and unpolished in the Sonic 3 prototype, have recently been given an FM makeover by Jun Senoue for integration into the finished soundtrack

Why is it so hard to get the rights to the music? Oh, well I’m sure there will be a day 1 mod that lets you put the original music back into the game LoL. For the pc version that is.

It’s unfortunate that this release has a significant number of problems. Thread about it from Stealth (Headcannon).

I’ve played through the collection. Unlike others, I did not experience any performance issues, although that could be due to playing it on a powerful PC which shouldn’t be required for a collection like this. But your experience my vary.

The positives are, we finally have widescreen versions of Sonic 1 and 2 on PC and consoles and for the first time ever Sonic 3 & Knuckles in widescreen. Along with Sonic CD this collection is the official way of playing the early (and best) Sonic games in 16:9. The original 4:3 versions are also included, which appear to be unaltered.

The anniversary (widescreen) editions have been updated with some changes:

Each game now features an animated intro and outro that briefly sets up the plot for the game and leads it into the next game. I enjoyed these as it helped it make the four games (Sonic 3 & Knuckles is packaged as one game) feel like more of a cohesive whole. You also get additions that make sense, e.g. Tails can fly in Sonic 2, spin and drop dash added to all games etc, creating gameplay unity between the games… although for some reason Knuckles is not playable in CD. Overall, sensible changes.

More controversially the Lives system is completely gone; the player is given infinite lives. Instead, players have a pool of coins across all of the games that can be used to unlock video clips, music, and art in the digital museum. New coins can be earned in any situation where players would originally earn a 1up. If you fail a special stage you’re given the option to retry it for price of one coin, rather than having to find the entrance to the special stage again, making the task of getting all of the chaos emeralds significantly easier. While 90s gaming was a good teacher of patience and the rewards of not giving up, these changes ultimately make the game more accessible and these days when time is more sparse I welcome gameplay additions that reduce repetition.

There are also some new modes. Mirror mode seems a bit pointless. It essentially gives you the option to play the levels flipped around from left to right to from right to left. The mission modes are a bit more interesting, they’re small levels where have a task to complete in a couple minutes or so, say reaching the end with X rings within a time limit. Unessential, but replay value adding challenges.

They’ve also added in the game Blue Spheres (originally unlocked by combining Sonic 1 and Sonic & Knuckles). This has not been updated to widescreen for some reason (even though the in-game special stages have been), however there is a new version called New Blue Spheres that is16:9 and contains some gameplay changes, such as the addition of green and purple spheres to mix things up.

Unfortunately this collection currently contains lots of bugs. So far I’ve had Tails get lost off screen, with the jump sound effect playing infinitely (this happened twice), got stuck in a wall in Launch Base and had to restart (twice), and had trouble double jumping with a lightning shield unless jumping straight upwards.

I’m hoping that these bugs will be fixed, and the game’s performance is improved for others, as in terms of content this is a solid way of experiencing Sonic’s origins that has been made more accessible to modern audiences. There’s also no question that the collection is expensive for such old games, but like the Final Fantasy pixel remasters, the brand is prominent enough to allow for that. So hopefully in the fullness of time, with fixes and sales, buying Sonic Origins will be a no brainer, but for now you’re probably best holding off from making a purchase.

I did think about getting this, as the lack of a lives system and addition of widescreen modes was quite appealing. But the music changes alone are enough to put me off, and really disappointing to hear about the bugs, thats really not acceptable in games as old as this (even if they have been remade).

The three replaced tracks in Sonic 3 just aren’t as good. Although I do like Launch Base’s theme, Ice Cap and Carnaval Night are a disappointment after their iconic original versions. Hopefully there will be a fan mod to restore the original music.

There’s also new music for Super/Hyper Sonic in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, which is a remix of the Sonic & Knuckles main/invincibility theme. It’s fine, but doesn’t really sound like the tunes in the rest of the game. I guess they wanted to differentiate it.

Also, if you like customisation, this collection isn’t for you. In previous compilations you could toggle on and off specific new features, such as spin dash in Sonic 1, but here you either play the classic mode with none of the enhancements or the anniversary mode with all of the modern enhancements. Also, as mentioned earlier, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles are treated as a single game; there isn’t an option to play them separately. That’s okay with me, but a lot of reviews were quite critical of not having a more granular approach to experiencing Sonic in widescreen.

I guess the replaced music confirms Michael Jackson’s involvement in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. He most certainly did the music for the Carnaval Night, Ice Cap and Launch Base Zones. To me Jackson’s tracks are part of Sonic the Hedgehog 3’s identity. The new tracks just sound wrong, uninspired and don’t fit at all.

I don’t think I would want to play this version with the music like this. Here’s hoping there will be an inevitable mod to fix this!

Given how buggy origins is currently, I think I’ll be sticking with for widescreen s3k currently. I feel bad for stealth, I’ve followed their work for some time and know what they would have ensured the origins release was much better if it was up to them.

Possibly origins might reach a playable state in the future, but I have higher expectations of the fans fixing it up than sega themselves sorting it.

Sonic Origins was released in an unfinished state!

I guess Brad Buxer wrote the music for Ice Cap Zone; it was an unreleased Jetzons song. While Jackson supposidly did Carnival Night, Launch Base Zone and the sub boss music.

Some more insight into the origins of the Michael Jackson music in Sonic Origins:

Sonic’s social media manager has confirmed that a patch is in the works: