Sonic Origins fan-made mod stopped with three words: ‘Screw this game’ [Updated]
Three weeks after its launch on modern consoles and PCs, the retro gaming collection Sound origins continued to be panned by various fans and critics, each discovering issues ranging from finicky to noticeable. With no formal response from Sega on if or when the collection might receive a patch, a group of fans took it upon themselves to deliver their own mod to PC, only to confirm that they were stopping and deleting their efforts immediately.
The mod in question, dubbed BetterOrigins, was set to fix some seemingly unfaithful stuff found in the Sound origins classic versions sonic the hedgehog Games. In particular, the mod had already swapped art and sprites due to the fact that some of them were taken from different games. (As an example, the “skidding” animation in Sound origins‘ version of Sonic 1 was actually removed from sonic cdthat the mod fixed.)
But as the group of seemingly three modders made progress on various exchanges and art fixes, the team ran at Sonic speed into a brick wall: access to the game’s “script” was closed. “After really digging through the files for this game, it [sic] becomes much clearer that this game is absolute crap,” a modder by the name of XanmanP wrote in a post that has since been deleted. Until Sega opens up fan access to the game’s scripts, he wrote, “there’s not much we can ‘fix’ without just redoing the sprites.”
The mod’s page originally suggested the project might return one day, then added, “for now, live this game.” That update, released on Tuesday, was followed a few hours later by a total shutdown and removal of the acrimonious update text. XanmanP explained why: “This mod will never come back now. All these news sites posting what I said is way too much for me. I’m done.”
(Update, 7 p.m. ET: In an email to Ars Technica, XanmanP clarifies that the swear words in the mod’s patch notes were “hyperbole and born out of frustration with limited modding options” – and that their frustration stemmed in part from the choice of Sega to remove older versions of included games from digital storefronts. “Sound origins is useful for newcomers, but for long-time fans like me, it leaves a lot to be desired,” they point out. public tweetsXanmanP clarifies that the project “became more of a chore to fix than a fun thing”, how the three-person modding team bounced around different modding projects “with much larger goals that he was more focused on. fun to work with.”)
Stealth comes out of hiding
Significant examples Sound origins the bugs, which were not addressed by the BetterOrigins mod prior to its GameBanana page edit, include massive runtime spikes on PC when the game is left in its “main menu” interface, full of 3D models of classic characters ; a bug in Sonic 2 this leaves Tails, the series’ popular sidekick, endlessly jumping around (and making repeated jumping noises that can’t be stopped) and completely stuck outside of the screen’s field of view; a video playback issue in the Switch version of sonic cd; and a bug that can erase progress in collecting “Chaos Emeralds” in some games.
These issues are on top of the general price to content ratio that I mentioned in my review of the Origins collection, which were exacerbated by a confusing decision to lock certain aesthetic and “museum” content behind DLC paywalls.
Tuesday’s mod project shutdown follows a troubling June launch day statement made by Stealth, a former Sonic game modder and programmer. Stealth is credited as a member of the beloved Headcannon development team in the Sonic community for his work on the widescreen ports of the series to smartphones, as well as his contributions to the critically acclaimed game Sonic Mania. On Origins‘ launch day, Stealth warned that “wild insects” could be found in the collection, for which he assumed some responsibility.
“All of us are very unhappy with the state of Origins and even the Sonic 3 component,” Stealth wrote in a long twitter thread. “We also weren’t thrilled with his pre-submission state, but a lot of things were out of our control.” The thread claims that requests to delay the game or submit major last-minute fixes were denied by Sega, although Stealth clarifies that some of Sega’s staff were great, the thread does not single out the main sources of these grudges. .
Stealth has not posted on Twitter since the thread went live in late June. At the time of this article’s publication, Sega has not responded to questions from Ars about if or when fans might expect any fixes to be added. Sound origins on one of its platforms.