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Sonic the Hedgehog CD (prototype; 1993-05-10)/Comparisons/Tidal Tempest

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Tidal Tempest is the final level that can be accessed through normal play. The level is playable, but has some severe graphical issues, particuarly in act 3.

For reasons unknown, pressing Start won't pause the game in this stage.

Zone 1

SonicCD510 MCD Comparison TT Act1PresentWater.png
510 prototype
SonicCD MCD Comparison TT Act1PresentWater.png
Final game

Tidal Tempest is the token water level for Sonic CD, but in this prototype, the water is clearly unfinished. There are no waves on the surface, and every time period has its own set of palette problems. In the present, the background is a mix of light turquoise and red. Sonic also lacks a dedicated underwater palette in this time period.

It is not thought this colour scheme was ever intentional, as the Time Attack menu uses the correct underwater palette for Tidal Tempest.

SonicCD510 MCD Comparison TT Act1PastWater.png
510 prototype
SonicCD MCD Comparison TT Act1PastWater.png
Final game

In the past, the water is lime green. All non-present time zones have to noticeable problems with Sonic's palette line, where the yellow used in the HUD and several objects becomes dark blue.

SonicCD510 MCD Comparison TT Act1GFWater.png
510 prototype
SonicCD MCD Comparison TT Act1GFWater.png
Final game

Good future uses a mixture of blue foregrounds and orange backgrounds. Interestingly the prototype has ripples in the foreground, much like the Japanese version of Sonic the Hedgehog. This effect was scrapped in the final game, and indeed all other 2D Sonic games on the Mega Drive.

SonicCD510 MCD Comparison TT Act1BFWater.png
510 prototype
SonicCD MCD Comparison TT Act1BFWater.png
Final game

In the bad future, Eggman has filled the zone with blackcurrent juice. It's been diluted in the final.

SonicCD510 MCD Comparison TT Act1GF4Spikes.png
510 prototype
SonicCD MCD Comparison TT Act1GF4Spikes.png
Final game

The future time zones have sets of four spike balls which emerge from walls in a circular motion. Here in the final, it was decided Sonic might want some air instead.

SonicCD510 MCD Comparison TT Act1PresentButtonLift.png
510 prototype
SonicCD MCD Comparison TT Act1PresentButtonLift.png
Final game

By pressing this button, an oddly shaped lift will rise to the surface. The final game scraps these objects and plays it safe with springs instead.

SonicCD510 MCD Comparison TT Act1PresentBG.png
510 prototype
SonicCD MCD Comparison TT Act1PresentBG.png
Final game

In order to simulate going indoors, Tidal Tempest swaps out its background during the first drop. It's an easy thing to break in the 510 prototype due to the screen lock problems - move too fast and the background might end up like this.

SonicCD510 MCD Comparison TT Act1PresentWaterfall.png
510 prototype
SonicCD MCD Comparison TT Act1PresentWaterfall.png
Final game

This waterfall is higher up in the 510 prototype, meaning you can walk underneath it and be fired up again. In both versions the object causes sprite flicker, so in the final an extra spring has been added, presumably to help divert attention away from the problem.

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Final game


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Final game


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Final game


Zone 2

SonicCD510 MCD Comparison TT Act2PresentWaterfall.png
510 prototype
SonicCD MCD Comparison TT Act2PresentWaterfall.png
Final game

The big waterfall at the beginning of act 2 doesn't animate in any time zone. In the present the water is also brown, though this colour scheme can be briefly seen in the final game as the level loads in.

SonicCD510 MCD Comparison TT Act2GFStart.png
510 prototype
SonicCD MCD Comparison TT Act2GFStart.png
Final game

In the good and bad future versions of the zone, you start off wedged in a monitor. They've been spaced out in the final.

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Final game


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Final game


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Final game


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Final game


Zone 3

SonicCD510 MCD Comparison TT Act3GFStart.png
510 prototype
SonicCD MCD Comparison TT Act3BFStart.png
Final game

During normal play, the good future version of act 3 is always loaded, regardless of what timezones you've previously visited. The developers never stopped the rings overlapping the title card though.

SonicCD510 MCD Comparison TT Act3GFDoor.png
510 prototype
SonicCD MCD Comparison TT Act3GFDoor.png
Final game

You're meant to chase Eggman around a bit before the boss proper, but given that the door is already open, there's no reason to.

SonicCD510 MCD Comparison TT Act3GFBrokenBoss.png
510 prototype
SonicCD MCD Comparison TT Act3GFBrokenBoss.png
Final game

Of course, not playing the game in the intended way can lead to some unintended results.

SonicCD510 MCD Comparison CominSoon.png
510 prototype
SonicCD MCD Comparison QQ Act1TitleCard.png
Final game

After Tidal Tempest is completed, the game ends, displaying this "Comin' Soon" message before resetting back to the title screen. This screen still exists in the final game, but can only be accessed via the level select menu.

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510 prototype
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Final game


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Final game


Graphics

SonicCD510 MCD Sprite Flowers.png
510 prototype
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Final game

The flowers in the 510 prototype are unique to each zone.

References


Sonic the Hedgehog CD (prototype; 1993-05-10), prerelease version of Sonic the Hedgehog CD
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