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Old 11-18-2019   #1
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Default Sonic 3 Prototype
Some acts contain music that were later used in the PC version.
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Old 12-27-2019   #2
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I think this is also the soundtrack for the Sonic and Knuckles Collection. Like Launch Base and Carnival Night
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Old 12-27-2019   #3
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It's an interesting prototype, considering it's dated before release but has the music everyone thought was from the PC version in it. Confirming that the PC soundtrack was the 'original' while the soundtrack we got in the final product was the replacement in a sense.

The Launch Base Act 2 PC theme is great with the Genesis sound chip too.
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Old 12-27-2019   #4
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It's worth mentioning that, since it's a beta, some of the instrumentations on these beta tracks probably wouldn't have been final. For example, Angel Island 2 is missing a couple instrument parts from the final, is slower in tempo, uses different instrument patches, and so on. Carnival Night and Launch Base sound roughly complete here, but Ice Cap is obviously a bit lacking and probably would have received touchups before being shipped in the final.

That being said, I have to say I'm actually a little disappointed these didn't make it into the release. While the MJ versions generally work and do add a sense of atmosphere to the zones, it's very, very obvious that they were not composed in the same style as something like Angel Island or Hydrocity, and this is made more obvious by their lack of emphasis on melody and their uninspired Act 2 variants which simply mute channels from the first Act. I had always had some respect for the MIDI tracks because every composition gelled well with the rest of the soundtrack and felt distinct from the last, even if there were elements about the midi key or tempo which felt off; now that I understand their origin story, everything makes a little more sense, and I've a newfound appreciation for the Beta/MIDI compositions.

The biggest musical highlight for me is Carnival Night 1. MJ's genesis tracks make Carnival Night appear a strange and unsettling, almost un-Sonic location. The Act 1 MIDI track makes it feel a bit chaotic and clunky. But the beta Genesis version perfectly encapsulates the zone as a quirky and lively theme park, which is just fast enough to match the pace of gameplay, while the instrumentation and chords really bring out the magic of the environment.

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Last edited by CobaltBW; 12-27-2019 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 12-28-2019   #5
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As someone who grew up on the Sonic & Knuckles Collection for PC, playing through the game again on Sonic Mega Collection was really jarring.
"Why is some of the music just shorter simpler loops now?"

Besides Ice Cap, the Genesis tracks took me a long time to warm up to.
Launch Base 2 beta track feels strangely more complete to me than the PC version, like there's more melody in there?
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Old 01-01-2020   #6
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Adding onto Cobalt's message, LBZ2 sounds far more complete than LBZ1, as well.

I generally find ICZ1, ICZ2, and LBZ1 fairly unfitting (although it may be nostalgia), but I have to admit they're all jams. I've especially gotten a bigger appreciation for LBZ2. As I've said before, I never minded final CNZ... but us not getting the proto CNZ is proof we're in a bad timeline.
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Old 01-01-2020   #7
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I'm also one of those weirdos that grew up with the Sonic & Knuckles collection since some absolute madlad installed it on the school computers when i was in year 5, though nobody I knew could ever pass CNZ anyway.

I do wonder if the entire PC version soundtrack is based on the unpolished instrumentations of the tracks in this prototype, too. I saw someone in the YouTube comments point that out relating to one level in particular, Angel Island I think.
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