Version 2.0

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Version 2.0, or SRB2: Marriage Edition (abbreviated SRB2ME), is an outdated version of SRB2, released on July 24th, 2009. It was the first release after the "Final Demo" line, and therefore ended the situation where every new release was supposed to be the last one before the final version of the game. As the biggest single update of SRB2 up to that point, v2.0 added nine new stages to the Single Player campaign, increasing its scope to 16 levels. Additionally, the gameplay of multiplayer gametypes like Match and Capture the Flag was heavily revamped, adding a new weapon system and other features.

For this release, the engine of the game was expanded extensively, many new features were added and existing content was refined. Therefore, all releases from v2.0 onwards are not backwards-compatible with any custom content made for previous versions without some type of conversion.

History

The last official release of SRB2 before v2.0 was v1.09.4, which was released on August 19th, 2006. Like several releases before it, it had been intended as a "Final Demo" before the release of the full game, which was dubbed Version 1.1. v1.09.4 had included only three of the nine Single Player zones planned for the final game: Greenflower Zone, Techno Hill Zone, and a demo-only version of Castle Eggman Zone which was to be remade for v1.1.

After the release of v1.09.4, development focused on finishing the remainder of the Single Player campaign. A preview video was released in March 2008 that showcased in-development versions of Deep Sea Zone, Castle Eggman Zone, Red Volcano Zone and Egg Rock Zone[1]. At the same time, a new weapon system for Match was developed, which was showcased in a beta release given out to members of the #srb2fun IRC channel in February 2008. In the following months, further progress was made on both the Single Player and multiplayer portions of the game.

In November 2008, lead developer SSNTails announced a new SRB2 version scheduled to be released in May 2009, to coincide with his marriage and subsequent departure from active development. At this point, it was unclear whether the release would be the final version of the game (then still referred to as v1.1) or only a partially finished product. At a later date, as it became evident that game would not be complete by that point, the new release was named SRB2: Marriage Edition in reference to SSNTails' marriage. v1.1 was to be released at a later, unknown date.

In April 2009 however, the release was delayed to give the development team more time to refine the existing content. It was decided to release SRB2 to coincide with that year's Sonic Amateur Game Expo (SAGE), which started on July 25th. A preview video of Arid Canyon Zone Act 1[2] and an SRB2 Message Board thread about the new multiplayer system[3] were launched as teasers. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that the version numbering scheme for SRB2 had been changed. Instead of incrementing the version number towards a fixed final version called v1.1, which had created inconsistencies in the past, the version number would restart at v2.0.0. Major updates would be designated by incrementing the middle digit, e.g., v2.1.0, and minor updates would increment the last digit, e.g., v2.0.1. As a result, what was previously known as SRB2ME would now be v2.0.

v2.0 was released a day early on July 24th and subsequently presented at SAGE a day later. This marked the official departure of SSNTails as lead developer, whose role was assumed by Mystic. In the following months, v2.0 was patched several times for bug-fixing purposes. A semi-major release, v2.0.5, was released on May 21st, 2010. It was aimed at fixing various bugs in SRB2's levels, refining the item placement in the Match and CTF stages, as well introducing several minor improvements to the engine and other aspects of the game. It was followed ten days later by v2.0.6, another minor bug-fix release. The last patch of v2.0 released was v2.0.7, released on September 10th, 2013, as a fix for a major multiplayer bug. The next major version of SRB2, v2.1, was released on March 15th, 2014.

Version Release date
v2.0.0 July 24th, 2009
v2.0.1 July 24th, 2009
v2.0.2 July 29th, 2009
v2.0.3 August 2nd, 2009
v2.0.4 August 6th, 2009
v2.0.5 May 21st, 2010
v2.0.6 May 31st, 2010
v2.0.7 September 10th, 2013

Single Player

Main article: 2.0:Levels

The Single Player campaign was dramatically expanded from 9 to 16 maps. Existing stages were modified or even remade, and seven entirely new maps were added. This greatly increased the length, difficulty and complexity of the Single Player campaign, giving a much more accurate representation of the final game, which will add at least five more stages to the campaign. Difficulty modes were removed from the game, with the exception of Ultimate mode (which became a title screen cheat). The difficulty of the game now depended entirely on the character used, which was aided by the fact that several stages included character-specific paths. Additionally, most of the emblem locations in the stages kept from the previous version were changed, having been unchanged since being introduced in v1.04. All emblems were now visible to all characters, although they still could only be collected by one character.

The save system was completely revamped. Instead of allowing the player to save manually after each level, the player must choose a save slot at the beginning of the game. Progress is saved after each zone instead of each act. While this makes the game substantially more difficult, it gives a purpose to continues, since they allow the player to restart from the current level instead of the first act of the current zone. Once the player has completed the game, the save slot will turn into a level select that lets the user access any Single Player level individually as well as collect additional lives and emeralds. In v2.0.5, a No Save slot (à la Sonic 3) was added that does not save the player's progress, but can still be used to obtain emblems and unlock secrets – albeit at the expense of the former sixth save slot. To prevent interferences, addons with a gamedata file now receive their own save slots.

Main campaign

  • Greenflower Zone: Greenflower Zone was largely unchanged from previous versions of the game, except for some minor refinements including translucent water, new graphics for the Crawlas and SDURF and very subtle changes to the level layout. The appearance and behavior of the Egg Mobile, Greenflower Zone's boss, were also modified, making the boss retreat from the player after being hit instead of staying in place.
  • Techno Hill Zone: Like Greenflower Zone, Techno Hill Zone was largely unchanged from previous versions of the game. The difficulty of act 2 was toned down by removing some enemies and simplifying some obstacles. The lasers in act 2 now played an ambient sound effect. The appearance of the Egg Slimer, Techno Hill Zone's boss, was also modified.
  • Deep Sea Zone: This zone was added in v2.0. It is a mix of caverns and ancient ruins set underwater. The scenery consists of seaweed, gargoyles and coral. The Jet Jaw, a brown fish that chases the player, serves as the main enemy; the previously unused Skim was also featured in this stage, and had an entirely new appearance. Gimmicks include water slides and gargoyle puzzles alongside more traditional platforming involving water. The boss, Sea Egg, moves through an underwater pipe system, occasionally coming to the top to shoot missiles, making him vulnerable to the player.
  • Castle Eggman Zone: This zone was completely remade, bearing no resemblance to previous versions. Act 1 takes place in a forest that leads up to a castle that the player enters in act 2. The zone introduces several new enemies, including the Robo-Hood, which shoots arrows at the player, the Egg Guard, who is covered with a large shield that blocks the player, the CastleBot FaceStabber, a large enemy equipped with a lance, and the Sharp, a spiked enemy that intermittently chases the player by spinning towards them. The zone features gameplay elements such as rotating and swinging chains that the player can hang on to, rotating and swinging spikeballs that damage the player, flamethrowers and cannons. v2.0 features only the first two acts of this zone, both of which are unfinished and unrefined. A placeholder version of the boss, Eggscalibur, existed at this point but did almost nothing. The zone was later completed for v2.1.
  • Arid Canyon Zone: Arid Canyon Zone is a combination of two old level concepts Mine Maze Zone and Rocky Mountain Zone. The first act is included in v2.0 and takes place in a largely dried-out canyon. Gameplay elements include crumbling and falling rocks, many death pits, slippery oil and rope pulleys that transport the player when hanging on to them. Enemies include the Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard, an aerial enemy that charges at the player, the Minus, which tunnels underground and jumps at nearby players, and the Green Snapper, a turtle enemy that is surrounded by a spike ring. Tumbleweeds, which bounce around when being pushed by the player, and cacti serve as scenery.
  • Red Volcano Zone: The first act is a reworked and re-textured version of the hidden map that was featured in previous versions. The behavior of the lava in the stage was changed to be solid from above, preventing players from falling in and becoming unable to get out. The rising lava room at the start of the act received a backup route that opened up in Coop mode, to prevent players from being trapped once the lava had started rising. The ending of the stage was extended, featuring a room with waves of lava which the player has to pass through before reaching the exit. A hidden map called Blue Mountain Zone Act 2 is also included in v2.0, containing the first room of a proposed snow-themed second act of the zone. This idea would later be scrapped in favour of creating a regular lava-themed second act for Red Volcano Zone.
  • Egg Rock Zone: This zone was added in v2.0. It takes place in a space station and features gameplay elements such as reverse gravity, vacuums, teleports, zoom tubes and switching from normal gameplay to 2D mode in real time. Act 1 features no enemies at all, while act 2 included a mix of new enemies and enemies from earlier zones. The new enemies introduced included the Snailer, a snail-like enemy which moved up and down to try and line up with players to shoot them, and the Pointy, an enemy with spikeballs that moved only when the player moved and was featured in act 2's 2D mode sections. The existing Pop-up Turret and Crawla Commander enemies also became exclusive to this zone, and were both given new graphics. The third act featured a boss called Brak Eggman. The boss arena would be redesigned in v2.0.5, and the entire boss fight was scrapped and remade for v2.1.

Additional content

  • Special Stages: Most of the Special Stages from the previous version were kept and re-textured. However, the old Special Stages 4 and 5 were removed. They were replaced by an old Special Stage that was last used in v1.08 and a completely new Special Stage 7.
  • Unlockables: Most unlockables were kept from previous versions, but Adventure Example Zone was dropped along with Adventure Mode due to a lack of interest and useful features. Christmas Hunt Zone and the unlockable concept art were also removed. Instead, an incomplete remake of SRB1 and Neo Aerial Garden Zone, a remake of Aerial Garden Zone from the level pack Mystic Realm, were added.

Multiplayer

Match and Capture the Flag mode were extensively modified for v2.0, dropping the previous weapon stacking concept for a more traditional weapon selection system. Race mode was left largely unchanged except for some minor improvements. Tag mode was reworked and a variation of it, Hide & Seek, was added to the game.

Weapons

v2.0's Match HUD, displaying the player's collected weapons and emeralds.

v2.0's new weapon system was designed to be more like a traditional FPS. To use one of the weapons available in the game, the player must collect the appropriate weapon panel. This allows the player to select that weapon and fire it. The player can carry all weapons at once, but they can only fire one type of weapon at a time, and their effects no longer combine as in v1.09.4. Instead of timers like in v1.09.4, weapon usage is restricted by ammunition. Each shot, apart from depleting the ring count by one, also subtracts one ammunition item for the weapon that was fired. If the ammunition count hits zero, the weapon cannot be fired until more ammunition is collected. This can happen either by collecting the panel again or by picking up one of the stand-alone weapon rings scattered around the stage. Without a panel, these weapon rings don't allow the player to fire the weapon, but their ammunition is saved until the player collects the panel. If a player is hit, they lose all their panels along with their rings and ammunition.

Three new weapons were added in v2.0:

  • Bounce Ring – Fires a projectile that will bounce off walls for a short period of time.
  • Scatter Ring – Fires a cross of 5 rings which slowly spread apart as they fly. At close range, it can knock back the opponent extremely far.
  • Grenade Ring – Fires a grenade-like projectile onto the ground which will explode if an opponent gets too close. If it hasn't been triggered after a while, it will explode on its own.

The Explosion Ring's explosion effect was changed to a cloud of sparkles, instead of thrown red rings used as debris. The Homing Ring and Infinity Ring weapons were removed, though the latter would be re-added in v2.1. Otherwise, the remaining weapons were unchanged from v1.09.4.

With the new weapon system came a large change in the design of Match stages. Instead of providing only two types of weapons per stage, every weapon panel is placed once on every map. To aid players in memorizing the location of each weapon, the maps are no longer symmetrical and are typically divided into highly dissimilar areas. Additionally, the large amount of ammunition and weapons that needs to be placed encourages much larger and more complex stages. CTF stages usually have two of each weapon panel, one for each half of the map. They are still symmetrical between the bases and are generally smaller than the Match maps.

Random monitors

In Match and CTF, a new system for randomly respawning monitors was introduced. Instead of using the generic Random Monitor, which provides each item with the same likelihood, Thing flags are used on regular monitors to make them respawn randomly. There are two types of randomly respawning monitors, the Strong Random Monitor (SRM) and the Weak Random Monitor (WRM). The item distribution of these monitors is weighted, providing some items more frequently than others. This ensures a balanced distribution of items in the game. Typically, a Match or CTF stage includes one or two SRMs and two to four WRMs. Along with the weapon tiles, these monitors frequently serve as focal points for multiplayer stages, as they are the only way of obtaining shields and other powerful items.

Emeralds

Another addition to Match and CTF in v2.0 were Chaos Emeralds and super forms. This feature is optional and can be disabled by the host of a netgame. If enabled, Chaos Emeralds will start spawning on the map about one minute into a game, and will continue spawning until there are seven in the stage. The players can then try to collect them. Getting hit will cause a player to drop all the emeralds they have collected. If a player collects all 7 emeralds and 50 rings, they can double jump to transform into their super form. While in their super form, they can run faster and jump higher than normal players, and they will only lose 10 rings when hit. The amount of rings lost per hit is doubled every 5 minutes when super. When the player runs out of rings, they will transform back into their normal form and lose their emeralds, which will then start spawning again.

Each character has a different super form with different abilities. They all have the same bright yellow color as Super Sonic to make it easier for other players to disntinguish them at a distance. Super Tails and Super Knuckles also have invincibility stars going around them in super form to make it even more clear.

  • Sonic – Same as in Single Player mode. Holding the Spin button while jumping allows Sonic to hover in the air.
  • Tails – Infinite flight. Pressing the Spin button while jumping will cause Tails to launch into the sky, similar to the effect of the Whirlwind Shield, but a lot stronger.
  • Knuckles – Increased glide and climb speed. Releasing a glide in midair will also return Knuckles into a spin, allowing him to glide as many times as he wants while in midair.

Super Tails and Super Knuckles are exclusive to multiplayer, and do not appear in the Single Player game in any way.

Team rings

In CTF, team rings as well as team ring monitors were added to replace normal rings and monitors in the team bases. They have the same color as the corresponding team and can only be picked up by members of that team. This makes defense much easier, since attacking players need to leave the opposing base if they lose their rings.

Levels

Main article: 2.0:Levels

The lineup of multiplayer levels was heavily revamped for v2.0, reflecting the significant gameplay changes. In total, v2.0 included 9 Match stages (one of which was added in v2.0.5), 6 CTF stages and 10 Circuit stages.

Since the Race gametype remained largely unchanged from v1.09.4, the Circuit rotation required the fewest changes. Five maps from v1.09.4 were retained virtually unchanged, while Quicksand Ruins Zone and Fertile Canyon Zone were rethemed and renamed to Burning Sands Zone and Emerald Coast Zone, respectively. Tainted Gorge Zone and Sonic Circuit Zone from v1.09.4 were scrapped. Three new levels were added: Race Alley Zone and Warped Woods Zone had originally appeared in the Official Level Design Contest, while Corrupt Shrine Zone was specifically made for inclusion in v2.0.

The Match rotation was heavily changed since the new weapon system required a drastically different design style for Match levels. Six Match stages from v1.09.4 were scrapped since they were too small and/or symmetrical to work with the new weapon system. Of the four maps that were retained from v1.09.4, three were retextured and two received significant layout changes. Only Meadow Match Zone remained unchanged except for the item placement. Jade Valley Zone and Noxious Factory Zone returned from v1.09, both receiving significant layout changes. The original release of v2.0 added two entirely new Match levels: Tidal Palace Zone, which employs a rising and falling water gimmick, and Infernal Cavern Zone, a lava-themed stage that features flamethrowers. An ice-themed stage called Frost Columns Zone was added in v2.0.5 after debuting in the OLDC.

The CTF rotation was also heavily changed. Four maps returned from v1.09.4; they were updated to work with the new weapon system and to include team rings and monitors, and some of them also received texturing and layout changes. The remaining CTF stages from v1.09.4 were scrapped as they were mostly considered subpar. Instead, two new stages were added: Icicle Falls Zone utilizes the newly added ice-themed texture set and the waterslide mechanic, and Twisted Terminal Zone is an ERZ-themed stage that features a second, upside-down gravity path on the ceiling.

Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek mode was implemented as an alternative to Tag mode, also to be played on Match maps. Similarly to Tag, one player is selected to be "it" and has to wait for the other players to hide. After the hide time expires, the hiding players become unable to move and the player who is "it" has to find and shoot them. The score of the hiding players increases over time, and thus the player who is able to hide the longest wins.

Other changes

  • The Recycler Monitor was added for Match and derived gametypes. When a player destroys this monitor, the items held by the players, such as weapons, ammunition, shields, power-ups and Chaos Emeralds, are scrambled between the players.
  • Time-only Race was made the default Race mode. The previous default Race mode was renamed "Classic Race"; it would later be turned into Competition mode in v2.1.
  • The option to spectate, which had previously only been available in CTF, was added to Match and all derived gametypes. In v2.0.5, a new spectator mode was added. Spectators were not bound to gravity anymore and could freely float around the level.
  • Overtime was added to Match/CTF games with a time limit: In Match, if multiple players are tied for first place at the end of a round, the game continues until one of the tied players scores another hit and breaks the tie. In CTF, the game goes into overtime if both teams are tied. The next team to score a point wins.
  • The length of the hiding time in Tag and the countdown after the first player finishes a map in Race were made configurable.
  • In Team Match and CTF, an option was added that allowed the host to scramble the teams. For CTF, an autobalancing option was added that keeps the team sizes balanced by automatically reassigning players when players join or leave the game.
  • In CTF levels, players no longer needed to jump on a base anymore to enter the game. Just entering the game with the Toss Ring button as in Match would automatically assign a player to one of the teams.

Characters

Several changes were made to the playable characters in v2.0. Tails' running speed was increased so that he is able to display his running animation, and his ability to run on water with Super Sneakers was removed. Knuckles's sprite set was finished, replacing the remaining placeholder model rips, although the sprites would be remade for v2.1. Additionally, his running speed was slightly increased and his jump height was lowered. To make up for this in Match mode, he can fire weapons faster than Sonic and Tails.

The system for custom character WADs was restricted to prevent characters from being overpowered. The possibility to perform an ability multiple times per jump and the spinning ability were combined into one variable, which means that a character could choose only one of both. An upper limit was added to several player stats. Super forms outside of Match and CTF were completely disabled for custom characters. Also, the ability to fire rings in Single Player, running on water and the ability to perform a light dash were removed.

Editing

Restructuring of resources

While the basic WAD format was not changed, all of the Object types, Thing types, textures, linedef types and sector types were reordered to make it easier to find the proper resource. For instance, the linedef type numbers for FOFs are in the 100s and linedef executors are in the 400s. To run maps for older versions in v2.0 or later, they will have to be converted either manually or via a conversion program[4][5]. Note that some features may be incompatible, so complicated tricks may need to be remade completely. SOCs need to be converted manually.

The SOC resource lists for v2.0 are listed below:

Map limits

If a nodebuilder was unable to generate the BLOCKMAP lump for a map, which usually occurs when the map is very large, SRB2 could now automatically generate a blockmap for the map itself from scratch. This allowed levels to be up to 65536×65536 fracunits in size. Additionally, the maximum number of sidedefs supported per map, previously 32768, was doubled to 65536.

New features

Many new level-specific gimmicks and features such as waterslides, rope pulleys, reverse gravity, and changing the size of Objects were added in v2.0. Several new general editing features were also added:

  • PolyObjects, a feature ported from Eternity Engine, were added. At this point, they could not yet display flats; most of the new levels in v2.0 (with the exception of ACZ1) reflected this by using them only for purposes where their flats would not be visible, such as for wall buttons. Support for PolyObject flats was later added in v2.1.12.
  • Many sounds from Sonic 3 & Knuckles were added. Some of the new enemies and level features added in v2.0 made use of these sounds.
  • Many new flats and textures were added, allowing for several new level themes such as jungle and ice. Many of the existing flats and textures which had replaced Doom graphics were renamed to fit their actual intended usage in SRB2. For instance, FLOOR0_6 was now known as GFZFLR01.

These changes allowed for a much greater complexity and diversity in custom levels compared to previous versions, which led to increased quality standards prevalent in the SRB2 community.

Other changes

SRB2's palette from v2.0 onwards.
  • The palette of 256 colors that can be displayed in SRB2 was changed; previous versions had used Doom's default palette. The new palette includes more shades of blue and purple at the expense of some of the brown tones in the original Doom palette, as well as a few other tweaks. This makes all graphics from previous versions unusable, so old character WADs, sprites and textures need to be converted to the proper palette to be used in v2.0 or later.
  • The new skin colors Cyan, Lavender and Steel Blue were added to the game to take advantage of the new palette; these replaced the skin colors Grey, Dark Red and Dark Blue, respectively, which were all removed from v2.0. Additionally, the existing skin color Yellow was no longer allowed as a player color in the Match or CTF gametypes, to prevent normal players from being confused with players who are in their super form. The skin color None was no longer allowed as a player color in any gametype.
  • A level header option was added that allowed levels to use custom palettes.
  • The shield system was revamped, adding the new Force Shield, which protects from two hits and reflects projectiles, and merging the Liquid Shield and Inferno Shield into the Elemental Shield. The Armageddon Shield was re-colored red instead of black, while the new Force and Elemental shields were colored blue and green respectively. Additionally, the ability to activate the Whirlwind Shield in mid-air even when not jumping was added.
  • The setup of Star Posts was changed from v1.09.4. Their order is now determined by the Angle of the Star Post Thing instead of its flags. This makes it possible to place more Star Posts than before and to flip their gravity with the Flip flag. The order of the Star Posts is determined by adding multiples of 360 to their Angle. For example, the Angle of the first Star Post needs to be between 0 and 359, the second Star Post would be between 360 to 719, and so forth.
  • The Silver Ring monitor, which granted the player 25 rings, was removed entirely.
  • The OpenGL renderer exhibited severe issues in some stages, since it did not support several new features. It was briefly left out of the official release entirely, but was re-added in v2.0.6. Several of OpenGL's rendering issues were fixed for v2.1.
  • The OpenGL-exclusive dynamic lights were removed.
  • The menus were reorganized, specifically the multiplayer and options menus. For netgames, various quick-access entries were added to the main menu. These include a "Switch Map" option that allows the host to change the map and gametype quickly without using the console, a "Switch Team" option that allows players to switch teams in team-related gametypes, a "Spectate" option that allows players to enter spectator mode in gametypes that support it and a "Scramble Teams" option that allows the host to scramble the teams in Team Match and CTF.
  • All remaining date-activated features and secrets (Christmas mode, easter egg hunting, and the April Fools' Day intro) were removed entirely.
  • The console now supported lowercase letters; previously, text in the console was displayed entirely in uppercase.
  • The perfect bonus was added, an additional score bonus of 50,000 points that is awarded at the end of a level if the player has collected and kept all rings in the level.
  • The camera distance in 2D mode was increased, allowing players to see more of their surroundings.
  • The background for the score tally screen in Single Player and Coop was replaced with a still image of the last frame displayed in the level.
  • Title screen cheats were added in this version; these were cheat sequences that could be typed directly at the title screen, without opening the console. Typing ultimate at the title screen started a game in Ultimate mode. The remaining title screen cheats activated easter eggs (all of which referenced old STJr animations and community in-jokes): beedee displayed a joke picture of David Bulmer (represented as a blue Knuckles with a human face and glasses) on the screen, played a random sound clip of his voice and displayed a corresponding text emoticon (such as B^D); poksoc played a random sound clip from Pokemon Soccer; apl played a random sound clip from A Pocket Lapse. All of these except ultimate were later removed in v2.1.
  • The Software renderer now supported the 640×400 resolution in windowed mode.

See also

External links

References

  1. SRB2 2.0 Preview – Youtube
  2. Sonic Robo Blast 2 – Arid Canyon Zone – Youtube
  3. v2.0 Match/CTF Preview – SRB2 Message Board
  4. lvlconv.exe
  5. Using lvlconv.exe to convert 1.09.4 levels to v2.0 – SRB2 Message Board
  Versions [view]
Pre-demo SRB2 TGFSRB2 HalloweenSRB2 Christmas
Demo Demo 1Demo 2Demo 3Demo 4Demo 4.32–4.35SRB2 2k3
Final Demo Final Demo 1.01–1.04Final Demo 1.08Final Demo 1.09–1.09.2Final Demo 1.09.3–1.09.4
Post-demo Match betaVersion 2.0Version 2.1In development