Sonic the Hedgehog 3/Development
From Sonic Retro
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 has gone through several changes over its development process. There are several rejected ideas, levels, and other things that were left on the cutting room floor. The following details several of these things.
According to sources, such as the Japanese Sonic Jam strategy guide and issue 60 of Games TM, Sonic 3 began development as a isometric game, similar to Sonic 3D, but this idea was abandoned as the development team did not want a radical departure from the traditional Sonic forumla so soon.
Sonic 3 Part One
The game was envisioned to be quite large but many levels were shaved off the final release and later used in Sonic & Knuckles. This was likely due to time constraints and the manufacturing costs of a 32 MB cartridge with battery. Thus Sonic 3 became half as large as it was intended to be. Official artwork refers to this game as Sonic 3: Part One. According to issue 60 of Games TM magazine the decision to split the game in two was probably made before the Alpha development stage of Sonic 3, which would be quite early.
Sonic 3 Limited Edition
There is evidence Sega planned to release a special version of Sonic 3 with all the levels of Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles combined under the name Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Limited Edition as a German magazine referring to it has been found as well as internal Sega papers. More info is available on the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Limited Edition article.
Michael Jackson involvement
Michael Jackson was apparently involved in composing for Sonic 3's soundtrack, but never credited. Theories for this included Jackson being dropped due to the emergence of child molestation allegations; GamesTM magazine claimed that his compositions were fully implemented in the game before having to be hastily replaced. A more recent 2009 interview with Brad Buxer (one of the composers credited) confirmed that he and Jackson worked together on music for the game, including a chord progression in the credits theme that was later used as the basis for Jackson's "Stranger in Moscow", but that Jackson not being credited may be due to his dissatisfaction with the quality of the sound produced by the console.
The following are images which do not really fit with any other section.
Early Game Design
These scans come from various magazines. They display different aspects that were removed from the game before release.
Angel Island Zone
- S3 Hydrocity3.jpg
Sonic 2 sprites again.
Carnival Night Zone
- S3 CarnivalNight1.jpg
Sonic 2-ish sprites.
Marble Garden Zone
Ice Cap Zone
- S3 Icecap3.jpg
Sonic 2-ish sprites.