Let Me Tell Ya ‘Bout A Place, Called “Zone: 0”

zone0

Community projects and cool websites are one of the few reasons I bother to like Sonic anymore, aside from the adoration of the character at a young age.  When amazing sites within this community pop-up, I take notice and rush to tell everybody about it.  So, now, I’m tell you to visit Zone:0, the most comprehensive guide and analysis of the classic Sonic titles.  The site can best described on its about page:

This rather colossal project of mine aims to combine the detail and accuracy of a well written FAQ with the visual features and organisation of an official printed strategy guide, all mangled together into a series of web pages. The ideal, although probably unrealistic goal (either way, we’re talking in terms of years here), is that every single game in the series will one day be covered within this website. The biggest emphasis here though is on the levels of the Sonic platformers, and each one, for each game, will have its own page personalised and dedicated entirely to it. Information will not only relate just to the specific obstacles and tricky bits you’ll encounter but also details surrounding its structure, appearance and tons of other trivia, relying on specific and consistent methods of organisation and analysis. Where possible, complete maps with the most detail you can find anywhere, as well as a load of screenshots will help illustrate the entire stage for you.

I’ll talk about it briefly, because I want you to go over there and see for yourself!

picture-1Zone:0’s administrator, LiQuidShade, recently put up a new ad here at Sonic Stadium to promote the redesign of the site.  Not only is the design slicker and more appealing to the eye, but Sonic the Hedgehog CD joins the party, as guides for only Sonic 1 & Sonic 2 were the only games up before.  There are also improvements within the image viewing department and comment boxes, which allow you to add content to a game’s page.

I was hooked on Zone:0 when I saw a count for the amount of rings in a given act.  When I saw that statistic, amongst the dozens of pictures and details, I knew that I could trust this site for a comprehensive breakdown.  Plus, the site hosts level maps, which have been hard to find, in my opinion, as of late.  While the Sonic Research Zone is also a great resource, half of their maps are down.  Sonic fangamers should frequently visit this site to read about how each level is constructed, in order to create the best possible level for their own game.

Zone:0 provides breakdowns and analysis of each zone’s appearance, level design, and strategy.  Do you want to find the best path to time travel in Sonic CD? Zone:0 has got you covered.  Do you need to know where all of the star checkpoints in Sonic 2 to create the best method of collecting the chaos emeralds?  Zone:0 is on it.  There is just so much information, it will make your head spin with joy.

Visit Zone:0

Fanatics: Continuin’ the Sonic CD Tangent

More awesome Sonic CD art.  This piece is by liquidshade and it’s a beauty.  He actually talks at length on his process, so I’m going to be lazy and copy-paste:

The characters took ages to get right, then I had to outline them, then I had to re-outlight them because I wanted the lines alot thicker, but in the end I’m satisfied with that thick black outline and cel-shaded look. I was gonna try soft shading, which probably would have gone better with the un-cel-shaded background, but that just looked a bit tacky. When I used to buy the British Sonic the Comic as a kid, they always did Amy with her spikes up, like I’ve drawn them here, but on more recent investigation into official pics, old-school Amy’s spikes are actually more like Sonic’s, and are only up in one particular pic, where she’s with Sonic. The poses in that pic are similar to how Metal Sonic is holding her though, so I figured they’d be better like that anyway. Speaking of Metal Sonic, that’s probably the best pic of him I’ve ever done, and all his awkward shapes and limbs ain’t easy to draw. I’m not 100% happy with Sonic’s pose, but I suppose it’ll do. The background only took the last 2 days to do, and even though that rough look and technique isn’t normally me, I think in the end it came out rather well. I used screenshots to get those Palmtree Panic cliffs just right.

The only critique that I have for it is that the color of Sonic’s mouth and belly region look sickly.  Otherwise, it’s bitchin’.