If you haven’t been keeping up, SEGA Technical Institute artist Craig Stitt has been posting quite a bit of lost video game concept art and now prototype footage of a game he pitched SEGA at first called Segapede and later renamed Astropede. Its a very interesting project since it seems Craig wanted this to be a part of the Sonic universe and even used ideas from Sonic 2 with a twist, for example each pod that follows you contained a power and if you got hit you would lose a pod. A very similar gimmick to Sonic’s rings.
“After the original pitch to the executives at SEGA America, they gave us the go ahead to make a playable version. Myself and Ken Rose went to work.You might recognize the art as being from Sonic 2’s lost “Hidden Palace Zone”. I figured since it didn’t get used in Sonic 2 I might as well use it here and save a lot of time.I also reworked the basic lattice in the art to create the art for the background in the first Astropede video I posted here. In that case, I reworked the art signiicantly, but if you look you can see the underlying nature of the pattern is the same. I also used the art from HPZ as the foundational art for Sonic Spinball’s Toxic Pools level. (clealy I really liked that little peice of artwork).” – Craig Stitt, former artist at SEGA Technical Institute.
While before we had a short animation test, now we have a actual VHS transfer (thanks to Craig Stitt) of the pitch that SEGA Technical Institute showed off to SEGA execs way back in the yearly 90s.
3 responses to “Segapede/Astropede cancelled SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive gets over 12 minutes of prototype footage posted online”
People complain about gaming fads today like battle royale and whatnot, but they forget all these garbage mascot platformers which were flooding every console and home computer system of that era. If this one saw the light of day as a finished product there is no doubt in my mind it’d end up in the hall of shame alongside dozens of failed Sonic/Mario cash-in quirky/edgy mascots whose creators completely missed the point and didn’t understand the appeal of what they were ripping off. It’s Sonic BUT he has a gun. Genius.
Alright…but how about you consider the fact that STI contributed just as much to the development of Sonic 2 as Sonic Team themselves did? Considering they co-developed one of 1992’s most commercially and critically successful games, I think they knew damn well what made Sonic appeal to people. This was an internal game, not third party. This video also only shows off a very early VHS proof of concept pitch shown to SEGA, the actual game spent around 14 months in development before being shelved. A rom of the game’s last known build exists, the artist is currently in the process of trying to locate it amongst his boxes. For all you know that ROM could be dumped tomorrow and you’ll end up thinking it’s the bee knees, so perhaps it’s better to reserve judgement.
I don’t even necessarily disagree with you, I don’t find the gameplay shown off to be too compelling at all and there 100% was a glut of inferior mascot games during the 90’s. But this was being worked on by a team that knew how to make a Sonic-esque game, having aided significantly in developing one of the blue blur’s greatest outings. I think you’re being just a bit too cynical here, there have been good mascot games like Ristar for instance and other games like Freedom Planet have proved emphatically that a combination of Sonic speed and combat is totally viable for a good platforming game.
I doubt they had much to say in Sonic 2’s development considering Japanese employees were in all the executive/chief positions and most of the scrapped stuff we see was, as far as we know, made by the American members of STI. Kinda makes you wonder why Sonic 3 and Sonic&Knuckles were made with minimal American involvement.
Let’s also not forget the great games American members of STI made, such as Sonic Spinball, which has the unique property of having absolutely terrible pinball physics despite being a pinball game and featuring a character who is known for games that rely heavily on pinball physics. Games that got pinball physics right, mind you. And they weren’t even pinball games.
Let’s also not forget all the concept stuff they pitched to Sega that Sega wanted no part of. Doesn’t really impart much faith in their “contributions”. Whatever they may be.
As for Ristar and Freedom Planet, all I gotta say is that exception proves the rule. For every Ristar there are 100 Awesome Possums and for every Freedom Planet there are 50 unimaginative rom hacks, fangames and other derivative works. The only place Astropede would fit in as far as Sonic universe is concerned is the dumpster fire that is the comic book universe. That, or the failed mascot graveyard.