Hide and Seek
Wednesday, 14th December 2011, 11:51pm (UTC), 14 Comments
Update: Hidden Palace Zone added to the Sonic & Knuckles section
Slowly but surely, I'm getting there! One little level update for you this evening, Hidden Palace Zone. Home to what is probably my all time favourite scene in the whole series, and proof that you don't need words to create an epic story. I remember seeing it as a kid and considering it to be pretty much the most exciting work of drama of our time.. They were simpler times I must admit, but still, this is a great one to play along with, in your small part in as Sonic.

So, quite an exciting day today with the long-awaited arrival of Sonic CD on XBOX Live Arcade, PSN and eventually a whole load of other stuff too. The final gift (or money making opportunity depending on which way you look at it, though it's hardly pricey) of this wonderful 20th anniversary year - The hidden gem of the Sonic world is now out in the open for all to enjoy! Easily accessing the perfect version of this game has always proved difficult in the past, what with the rare and expensive Mega CD system itself, and a slightly temperamental PC version later on. Until now, I preferred to use a Japanese import (to get my preferred soundtrack of course) of Sonic Gems Collection for the Gamecube, which required a freeloader disc to be run first every single time, and of course nowadays it doesn't work on the Wii - not exactly a dream setup.

It's fortunate then that not only is this one as accessible and comfortable to play as you could want, it also happens to be arguably the best version of the game yet! I'm thrilled that at the last minute they managed to get the rights to have the option of which soundtrack you want to play with, the holy grail of Sonic CD port features, not to mention so many other lovely little features like a Sonic 2 spin dash and looped music. Looks fantastic in wide-screen HD too, and you know it wouldn't have been as good as this without Christian Whitehead's involvement. I think the very idea that a talented fan could produce an engine good enough for SEGA to use in an official port of a classic game, and for it to be completely seamless, is absolutely amazing. I remember being impressed by some of the earliest builds of that in the old Retro Sonic demo, the best part of a decade ago, and it's great to see it put to good use. An entirely new game built on it would be beyond amazing!

Oh and let's not forget that you can find a fully illustrated, highly detailed Sonic CD guide right here, with exhaustive level maps! Hopefully it proves very useful to brand new or inexperienced players, or if you just have a bad memory as to where those all those Past/Future posts, time travel opportunities, generator machines and Metal Sonic holograms are! I myself have had to browse several of the maps already, proving it's the perfect game for these sorts of guides. There are several new things that I'll need to get round to noting though, one being that you can no longer use those vertical conveyors to time travel in Quartz Quadrant! Disaster! I promise I will one day go back and address such issues, but in the meantime, feel free to point out anything like this using the notes feature on the pages.

And also, if you can, please do let others know about the guide who might find it useful and who may not know about it already! This is probably one of the best chances for this site to jump out and attract people as an immediately useful source of information, and if you can help me with that, I'd greatly appreciate it :)

Only two levels and two pages to go now before my game guides are fully complete. I have a lot of time off over Christmas so I intend to make some good progress, either on Sky Sanctuary Zone or the Other Modes page of Sonic & Knuckles - or a bit of both. I've been getting a lot of questions and concerns about what exactly is going to happen after that. Certainly I won't disappear into the ether, there will be a few things I'll probably want to go back on and address, such as any Sonic CD tweaks described above, plus some of the dozens upon dozens of things that people have pointed out to me over the years that I've neglected - a missed power-up or technique here and there.

Ultimately what I want to do is move onto other projects (including at least one new long term Sonic-based one that I hope I can achieve, or even make a start on) and as such I don't want this site to occupy too much of my free time. However, many of you want it to continue in some form, and I do still care for it so I'm beginning to feel that I wouldn't want to let it die or remain frozen in time. I don't want to confirm anything yet, they're only thoughts at the moment, but I've been considering a new approach lately that, while initially would require a lot of commitment from me, would then allow the site to continue to exist and grow by itself, based entirely around user-generated content. Albeit content that goes in a slightly different, broader direction.

I'll leave you with that cryptic thought for now, though bear in mind it is still a thought and I cannot yet commit to any exciting new venture at this time - it may be that nothing comes of it whatsoever. Perhaps I'll be able to make more of a decision on it once the S&K guide is complete though.

Doubt I'll make another post before the end of the year, knowing me, so I wish you all an enjoyable holiday season, and much fun playing the likes of Sonic CD, more of Sonic Generations, maybe a teeny bit more of Sonic Generations 3DS (eehh, it's ok, but it's a bit of a step backwards to much more frustrating level design isn't it? Especially the Adventure levels), and perhaps some M&S London Olympics with your Granny.

See you in 2012!
Comments   14 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by metropolisishard on Thursday, 15th December 2011, 5:58am
What is going on with Ricky Earl's artwork?
#2. Comment posted by SeekingTruth on Thursday, 15th December 2011, 7:33am
Hooray, Sky Sanctuary! :D As always it's super exciting when you make an update! I'll probably be referring to your Sonic CD guide a bunch once I grab it off PSN :D Thanks for such an awesome resource! This talk of the site living on in some form is thrilling as it is intriguing :3
#3. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Thursday, 15th December 2011, 9:16am
Ricky Earl emailed me quite recently, he still hopes to continue producing artwork for this site, when he can find the time, he's just been busy lately. Which is good, a talented artist such as him should be having plenty of work to do!
#4. Comment posted by Doreen on Thursday, 15th December 2011, 4:17pm
I've already started using your using Sonic CD guide to get me through a few of the harder bosses. So glad this site is here! It's made playing CD and the other older games a lot easier. :)
#5. Comment posted by Ricky Earl on Thursday, 15th December 2011, 11:49pm
All good news in this post! I look forward to seeing what's next!
thanks for your comments too, liquidshade :P
New artwork incoming....must...stop..playing...generations and SCD...and..draaaawww
#6. Comment posted by LoneCynic on Saturday, 17th December 2011, 4:26am
This is truly an awesome website you have going here. I recently purchased Sonic CD on Xbox Live Arcade, and having a bad memory from my days playing the PC version ages ago, I found your maps extremely useful in refreshing me on the robot machines and hologram locations. After making good use of those pages, I just read everything else you had on all the other classic Sonic games. I was surprised to find a couple of tricks and special stage rings I wasn't aware of in Sonic & Knuckles. Especially considering it is one of my most played games ever. (Multiple play throughs a year x17 years since release = many, many runs through that game as both characters)

Speaking of that game, I remember buying a strategy guide for it when I was a kid all those years ago, and being severely disappointed with it. Your maps and notes showed even me a few routes and secrets that I never knew about with the Knuckles only areas. That impressed me, because I thought I'd seen it all. Very nice and easy to follow layout, with well written and detailed information. Your site is what an all out, all encompassing strategy guide should be.

You mentioned in one of the pages that you were quite young when some of these games originally came out. I was in my mid teen years by the time Sonic & Knuckles saw release, so I still remember a lot about the games and the times when they were released. Should you wish for any additional info, or have any questions about the early 1990's and Sonic in regards to advertising, tie-in promotions, or what kids were saying about the games at the time, I'd be glad to share what I remember with you sometime. Keep up the good work, knowing that your efforts are not going unappreciated. There are a few of us "old" fans from way back who are enjoying your contributions.

With all the nice things said, my one and only critique of your guide was calling Lava Reef Zone 2 an ice cavern. It is a crystalline cave, leading to the Hidden Palace. It, and the boulder Knuckles punches onto Sonic is made of crystal, or quartz, or something along those lines. Nonetheless, it is a very climactic series of levels and scenes, and I too thought it was the pinnacle of platformer story-telling when I was a kid.

Thanks again for the cool site and maps.

#7. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Saturday, 17th December 2011, 11:25pm
Thanks a lot LoneCynic :) Glad that my guides were of use to you. I've got one or two official guides for the old games somewhere too and you're right, they do tend to miss out quite a lot. It's only when you can rip the full maps that you actually realise how many secret routes and areas you'd never know about otherwise. I think a lot of the printed guides just take lots and lots of screenshots and compile them all together.

Yeah, if you have any relevant memories of the impact of the games in their own time, I'd be interested to hear them. Perhaps you could add any such details to the user notes of the relevant pages and sections? That way, others could add their own memories too.
#8. Comment posted by Andi on Wednesday, 21st December 2011, 1:55pm
I've just found this website and it's the most awesome thing I've found in a long time.

Thank you so much for all your efforts on this site. You've really triggered some fond memories from my childhood!
#9. Comment posted by Nate on Sunday, 25th December 2011, 4:25pm
You said only two more levels. Does this mean there won't be a page for the doomsday zone?
#10. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Monday, 26th December 2011, 3:26pm
No, it's a boss, so standard practise is to stick it at the end of the Stages and Story page.
#11. Comment posted by Hyper_Sonic on Friday, 30th December 2011, 7:05am
Yea, you did that for sonic 1 and 2, however, it is a great shame that the maps and music(?) won't be there, it (maps) would understandably not be neccisary for 1 & 2, but would be for Doomsday, right?
#12. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Friday, 30th December 2011, 12:16pm
Ideally yes, but I don't know if I can get a map for it yet, it's not among the save states provided in Mercury's map extractor tool, and I haven't tried adding my own save state of it yet. I'll see what I can do - if I can get one, it'll be in the downloads page (as well as all the music from the game, including Doomsday), when that's ready.
#13. Comment posted by Hyper_Sonic on Saturday, 31st December 2011, 6:20am
I have seen a map of doomsday before, (on retro?) and I remember that the last part actually loops, but good luck finding/making one, oh and also SONIC 4 EPISODE II !!!, (ken has a tails beard!)Just wath the teaser on gamespot + interview with ken if you haven't already.
#14. Comment posted by SethBlizzard on Monday, 9th January 2012, 6:36pm
I love Sonic CD as well, the only 2D Sonic game that consistently challenges me to this day; I've never managed to get all the Time Stones, and I've only actually beaten the game ones (and then with a Bad ending). I prefer the American soundtrack myself, by Spencer Nilsen and David Young. It's so different from the other Sonic soundtracks, and I love the mix of techno and guitar. Nice work on the site, very interesting, and it's allowed me to discover things in levels that I had no idea about.
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