Version 1.04

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Version 1.04 (also known as Final Demo 1.04) is an outdated version of SRB2, released on June 19th, 2003. It was originally released as Version 1.01 and patched three times on the same day, culminating in v1.04. It was a huge release for SRB2, adding Techno Hill Zone Act 2 and Act 3 to the game, as well as majorly revamping a lot of the earlier content, refining the concepts and tweaks included in SRB2 2k3. v1.04 was also the last version of SRB2 coded solely by SSNTails.

Among other changes to the presentation, SRB2's intro and credits cutscenes would also be introduced in this version – the intro depicts the original story from SRB2 TGF behind the events leading to SRB2, but updated to match the rest of the game at the time of v1.01's release. This intro would remain in all future versions to this day.

A manual began to be included with the SRB2 installation starting with v1.01, giving details on the various items in SRB2 as well as special moves, gameplay, environments, console commands and SRB2's system requirements. However, since v2.0 this manual is no longer included with SRB2 installations.

Between the releases of v1.04 and v1.08 (the following version), a series of beta EXEs were given out for testing new features, including both features that would later appear in v1.08 and features that were later removed. For instance, an early version of Circuit appeared in these betas as a separate gametype from Race; however, it had been disabled by v1.08's release (code for it still existed in v1.08's source code, however). Circuit was later re-added in v1.09.4.

History of the "Final Demo" series

The screen displayed after completing a "Final Demo" version of SRB2.

At the time of its release, v1.01 was intended to be the last demo before the full version (known as "Version 1.1") of the game was released, hence the name "Final Demo". However, further releases continued to be made that were originally intended as patches to this "Final Demo" but grew in scope as they were being developed until they were generally considered new demos. This led to a situation where every release from 2003 to 2006 was supposed to be the final demo, only to then be superseded by another demo. Characteristic of this series of demos is a cutscene following the newly added credits, depicting Sonic suggesting to the player what they could do while waiting for the supposed final version.

The next release after the "Final Demo" series, v2.0, was not the full game as originally anticipated, but it nevertheless added enough new content to be considered more than a mere demo. From this version onwards, releases were made without a fixed plan of which release would be the full game.

New features

Single Player

A completed Techno Hill Zone Act 2, as well as a new act 3 featuring the Egg Slimer, was added as part of the Single Player demo level lineup, so that Techno Hill Zone was now complete in this version. Additionally, all three acts of Castle Eggman Zone ceased to be secret levels and were also added onto the end of the demo's Single Player level lineup, upping the total acts to nine. Beating CEZ3 would also now show the newly added credits and end the game, instead of warping back to GFZ1 as in previous versions. The Single Player level lineup would remain this way until the release of v2.0.

Some modifications were also made to the existing Single Player levels in this version:

  • Both acts of Greenflower Zone received new scenery items (sunflowers, budding flowers, and bushes) and now featured spikes in their main paths. These spikes were sector-based, though Thing-based spikes were also available for custom levels. Some of the water in both acts (but not all) was made translucent.
  • In Greenflower Zone Act 1, two houses were added as scenery, and a new wall texture was added for the inside of the cave by the bridge at the start.
  • In Greenflower Zone Act 2, a red spring was added in one of the pools at the start, allowing Sonic to get up to the alternative path previously accessible only to Tails and Knuckles. Part of the cave in the lower path at the end was sealed off from the rest of the cave, making it accessible only from the large outdoor room, and now contained an extra life monitor. A second token was added under the bridge in the caves near the end of the level.
  • In Techno Hill Zone Act 1, the slime was made translucent, and the entrance to the underground path now had to be spindashed through. All rings in the map now floated above the ground using the Ambush flag like those in Greenflower Zone, rather than using instantly-lowered floors.
  • Castle Eggman Zone Act 1 now used its own characteristic texture set for the rocks and grass. Torches were added to act 2 as scenery. A thunderstorm weather effect was added to both acts 1 and 2, and the sky was changed to match – the original starry sky from Demo 4 was still included for custom maps to use.

Further mechanics taken from the original Sonic games were introduced in this version:

  • Continues were added, which allow the player to restart the current level after receiving a Game Over. Each time a continue is used, the lives counter resets to the default of the chosen skill level. When all continues are used up and the player receives a Game Over, the level cannot be restarted and the player will have to start from the beginning of the game again. At this point, there was no way to earn continues yet, so the number of available continues depended solely on the chosen skill level.
  • Star Posts would now allow the player to have their progress mid-level saved, so that if they died further on they would now respawn at the last Star Post reached in the current level.
  • All boss levels, with the exception of CEZ3, now ended with the player breaking open an Egg Capsule to free the animals trapped inside; the capsule would rise out of the ground once the boss itself had been defeated. This would be a standard feature for all boss levels in future, with exception to final bosses.

The skill levels were revamped: Cakewalk mode was removed. Easy mode gave the player 5 lives and 2 continues. Normal, Hard and Very Hard mode all gave the player three lives and one continue. The difference between Normal and Hard mode was solely in the item placement, with more enemies and fewer monitors on Hard mode. On Very Hard mode, lost rings were not spilled. The previous Very Hard mode (which removed all rings and shields and gave the player one life and no continues) was re-dubbed Ultimate and now had to be unlocked by beating the game in the new Very Hard mode.

Many of the cheats from previous versions of SRB2 had been changed or removed in this version, to prevent the player from cheating through the game. The character select screen from Demo 4.35 had now been fleshed out, and characters chosen at this screen would now be fixed for the entire game session.

Special Stages

The first, second, fifth and sixth Special Stages from Demo 4.35 were reworked, while the others were scrapped and replaced. The Special Stage maps now used the MAP6x slots. New textures were introduced, and each Special Stage now had its own unique sky. A new music track was added, replacing the music tracks used in Demo 4.35, which was used by all Special Stages. The textures and music introduced would continue to be used in Special Stages for all following versions of SRB2 until v2.1's changes to the Special Stage format. Spikeballs were introduced to the Special Stages as a common hazard, removing 10 rings from the player when touched. These would later be removed from Special Stages in v1.09, but the hazard would remain in the game for custom modifications to use.

Emblems and unlockables

Emblems were introduced as a method of obtaining unlockables, inspired by Sonic Adventure – in every non-boss level of the game in Single Player there would be an emblem hidden for each of the three characters specifically to find and collect. The emblems' locations would remain the same until v2.0. Many unlockables were also introduced here, including several bonus levels:

  • Mario Koopa Blast Zone (formerly Mario Goomba Blast Zone Act 1) from Demo 4, which had now been extended to a full three-act zone and was no longer a date-activated secret. The behavior for ? blocks had now been implemented. Many new items and features were also added for these levels, such as the Fire Flower, the Shell, Thwomps, and King Bowser as the boss of Act 3.
  • Spring Hill Zone, a finished version of NiGHTS from SRB2 2k3.
  • Christmas Hunt Zone, also from Demo 4, which now had the player hunt for emeralds instead of Santa's clothes and no longer required Christmas mode to be activated to access.
  • SA Example Zone, which showcased the newly added "Adventure mode" – this was a mode also inspired by Sonic Adventure, featuring analog controls by default, Sonic being given the homing attack and Light Dash abilities, Tails obtaining a Sonic Adventure-style flight, and other minor features such as a sound for landing on the floor. This mode would later be removed in v2.0 due to poor reception and limited usage. At this point, the Light Dash ability was activated using the Ring Throw button.

Continuing how Castle Eggman Zone was implemented in Demo 4 originally, attempting to load any of the listed unlockable levels when not unlocked yet would automatically crash the game, displaying an error message stating it needs to be unlocked first.

The Statistics screen was added to the Single Player menu, displaying collected emblems as well as the best times achieved in each level. The Secrets menu was also added in this version, providing access to the unlockables listed above when each are unlocked. At this time, it was known as "???" in the main menu when revealed; this would be renamed to "Secrets" in later versions of SRB2.

Multiplayer

In the Match rotation, Conveyor Chaos Zone and Seafloor Sanctum Zone were removed. Zero Ring Zone and Christmas Match Zone (now no longer tied to Christmas mode) returned from Demo 4.35, and two new stages were added: Midnight Abyss Zone and Zim's Base Zone. Most Match stages, with the exceptions of Zero Ring Zone and Zim's Base Zone, were given enemy spawn points to allow them to be played in Chaos mode.

Two versions of another new stage, Storm Valley Zone, were added for both the Match and CTF rotations. Both would be removed in the following version, v1.08; the stage would later be reworked into Jade Valley Zone for v1.09. The CTF rotation was otherwise untouched from SRB2 2k3.

The Chaos rotation also mostly remained the same as that of SRB2 2k3's, with the exception of some stages being swapped and Slime Canyon Zone being added as a new stage. Weapon rings were added to all Chaos stages to allow them to be played in Match mode.

Editing

  • The level header feature, which had been added in SRB2 2k3, was further expanded. Aside from the level name, mappers could now specify other settings such as the sky texture, weather, and the next level. With these additions, serious modifications for SRB2 became feasible.
  • Map Things could now be given Z offsets. At this point however, Z positioning worked differently for players and bosses than it did for other Thing types.

Other

  • A simpler, more abstract score tally screen background appeared when a level was completed in Single Player, replacing the pictures of Sonic, Tails or Knuckles that were used in previous versions.
  • Pressing and holding the Tab key in Single Player now displayed the Chaos Emeralds collected so far by the player during the current game session on the HUD, as well as the total number of emblems collected so far in SRB2 overall, allowing the player to more easily keep track of their progress in SRB2.
  • Easter eggs were added as a new Easter-themed date-activated secret. During the month of April, these would be activated allowing the player to hunt and collect Easter eggs hidden and scattered throughout all non-boss levels – unlike with emblems, these could be collected by any character. If all Easter eggs in all levels had been collected, the player would be awarded with some of the original concept art for SRB2's enemies. Easter eggs would feature in all releases until they were removed in v2.0 along with all other date-activated secrets.
  • Tails now had the ability to carry other players around with him while flying in multiplayer, just like in Sonic 3. Previously, all players were solid to each other and could block each other from moving/jumping (this behavior can be re-enabled by typing TAILSPICKUP OFF in the console); now players would phase through each other so that a player can jump into a flying Tails player's range and grab on. A new frame was subsequently added for all characters for latching onto Tails, but only Sonic's was completed at this stage – Tails and Knuckles both reused falling sprites as a placeholder for this version.
  • Invader Zim from the animated TV series of the same name was included as an additional, though incomplete, playable character. In SRB2, Zim was most notable as a character that used taunts, a newly-added feature for custom characters at the time – Zim's own taunts consist of voice clips of the character himself from the TV series. Unlike with Demo 3's additional characters however, Zim was exclusive to multiplayer and would be featured in all following "Final Demo" releases until v1.09.4, when he was removed from the game. Also included was Zim's Base Zone, a Match level also inspired by the TV series.
  • Object placement mode was added as a special mode for Single Player only. This allowed new map things to be placed in a map, simulating Debug mode from the classic Sonic games.
  • Updates to sprites for various items such as the Level End Sign, the Egg Mobile and the monitors. However, some of these were included in SRB2 2k3 beforehand.
  • Super Sonic's transformation animation was added in this version. At this point, Super Sonic still displayed as the Superman joke placeholder from Demo 4 otherwise, so the transformation sprites were the only ones to actually depict Super Sonic outside of NiGHTS mode.
  • In the Host Game menu, the supported gametypes for a map were now displayed next to its name. Single letters were used to represent each supported gametype (C for Coop, M for Match, R for Race, T for Tag, F for CTF, and S for Chaos). For example, the entry for GFZ1 read "Greenflower 1 (CR)", indicating that the map supported Coop and Race.
  • The SONICCD console variable was added as a cheat. If enabled, the animals freed from destroyed enemies are replaced with GFZ flowers, similar to Sonic CD.
  • The automap was re-added as a feature of development mode. The console variable to activate development mode itself was renamed to FISHCAKE. The console commands for the God mode and No clipping mode cheats were also renamed to EMILYDAMPSTONE and IAMAGHOST, respectively; their names were reverted to GOD and NOCLIP in v1.08.

Levels

Single Player levels

Secret levels

Special Stages

  • MAP60–MAP66: Special Stages

Chaos stages

Capture the Flag stages

Match stages

External links

Archived Versions – srb2.org – Information and download

  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