The Unsolved Mysteries of Old Video Games

The first ring in **Sonic Triple Trouble** is unlike any of the others. It is a different colour, and it appears to spin slightly out of time.


Only this ring behaves this way. Only this one. Why? Why does it do this? Yes, it resembles the ring in the HUD at the top left of the screen, but _for what possible purpose?_ I can't sleep at night, because I am imprisoned by my concern at said ring.

Let's see your Mysteries of Old Video Games, please.

yeah what the hell is going on with that ring

I‘m no programmer or game developer or what have you, but, considering it’s the first ring and only the first ring, it could have something to do with how the game is loading in the game entity and its associated animated sprite or whatever, which the game's code somehow accounts for and corrects for the rest of the game.

I just reviewed some Let's Play footage and it seems that the ring otherwise behaves normally. As in, can you collect it, it adds 1 ring to your ring count as expected, it produces the right sound effect and ring collect animated sprite... so the mismatch seems to be confined to it being assigned the wrong sprite and idle animation cycle speed, which is somehow taken from the one in the UI (which could be a weird coincidence, somehow!).

Is it known if somehow skipping that level entirely will cause whatever is the first ring to appear in the game to appear in that incorrect way? Or even just if that individual ring is somehow removed?

Some of these questions would depend on, I suppose, how the game loads in entities and assigns said entities sprites. It's the "first" ring in the game from the player's perspective because it's the closest one to Sonic as the level loads in, certainly, but that doesn't mean it's the first ring in senses outside of player perception and using Sonic as a reference point. It's also not lost on me that at least in terms of viewing the game world and UI as something that adheres to some level of assumption about things proceeding from the left side of the screen to the right side of the screen, the ring in the UI is also the "first" ring. It's just not collectable (or is it?).

It's probably nothing quite as interesting as like how in _Fallout 3_ the trains have always been hats worn by invisible NPCs, probably just a weird mistake that somehow never made it past QA. Or perhaps it's a load bearing quirk that makes the game not crash, who knows?

Sprite rippers don‘t seem to have noticed this. There’s only one ring animation anywhere.

Perhaps it's a remnant of a time when all the rings used that sprite and animation cycle.

_Or,_ and the more I think about this theory the more I like it, it's a remnant from when the rings sprites/animation cycles were semi randomized, so the collectable rings in the game world weren't all sync'd up in lockstep for the entire game. But this was changed for some reason, maybe it didn't look as good as someone hoped, or it somehow lowered performance, or they couldn't get the distribution to be not quite ~50/~50 enough to look right. But, instead of ripping that sprite/cycle assigner out entirely and potentially breaking other things, the simplest solution was to have it assign the first ring in the game to sprite/cycle A, and then the rest of the game's rings get assigned sprite/cycle B.

@“Mnemogenic”#p157688 That increases the mystery, because the idle animation cycle and colour are definitely different!

I would say that the sprite in that sprite rip looks like the brighter one as seen in the UI and that first ring, but, I haven't busted out the eyedropper/hex colour code tool yet.

…well now this is bothering me, now!

Looking at the .gif in the original post closer, it seems that the idle animation cycle for that one ring is also _not_ matching up exactly with the ring in the UI.

There's even a moment where it seems to very briefly start spinning in the opposite direction, like it went through the animation cycle in the wrong direction. Something is definitely weird with it!

Just to be clear I made that gif and didn‘t really take care to loop it so it’s possible the “loop” might be what causes that. But also possibly not. Woooo, mystery! Scary ghost noise, even!

The truck in the SS Anne area is still a mystery to me.

Why does this truck exist?

  • 1. It is a unique asset
  • 2. it exists outside of view
  • 3. It's hidden behind an ability (surf) you don't get until very late in the game
  • 4. the SS Anne leaves port after you clear the area, so you have to sequence break to see it
  • @“Tradegood”#p157781 with a lot of these things I tend to feel like there was supposed to be more there, and they both didn‘t get to it and didn’t have time to remove the vestiges. Like the door in Sylvan Tale - and I'd link you to a story of a person who investigated this mysterious door if internet searches still worked!

    @“Tradegood”#p157781 If you have a Pokemon with STRENGTH, you can move the truck and find Mew underneath.

    Yeah, and that's a reasonable rational answer, but to a child playing pokemon…. there must be a reason for it!

    I'm curious if the freaks over at game freak did have plans to have a dock and loading zone designed at one point, but then scrapped it but accidentally left the truck behind.

    @"wickedcestus"#p157785 I heard if you catch that mew you can get the pokemon virus and your pikachu will die in real life and its ghost will be sent to Lavender Town.

    One recently one I saw stumbled over: why is there a chest in the tree at Dyne's monument in Lunar: Silver Star Story?

    The chest is only accessible in debug and very easy not to notice in the main game. As the video shows, it contains a Remembrizer (which replays all the cutscenes) and a Dragon's Wing (teleporter to towns). So it could have been for debugging, or something otherwise forgotten about. It's odd.

    After clearing Chameleon Twist once, the game puts a star in the corner of the screen. Manage to complete the game after this without getting hit once, and you get a hex string the game calls a Perfect Code.


    According to The Cutting Room Floor, nobody knows what the code does. However, I seem to remember finding out somehow that it correlates with how long it takes to complete the game, and the working theory ([according to Reddit](, anyway) is this was part of a scrapped promotional contest.

    Maybe it was just a very, very well coded game.

    Retronauts crossover with Stuart Gipp posting here now. Maybe this isn't quite what you were asking, but here it is anyways.

    Potentially more interesting than the game itself (which is a feat because it's a great game imo) is Nomads Blog for Shadow of the Colossus. The game already has a mysterious air about it, and when combined with the variety of demos and concept art that had been seen, the internet obsessively combed over every inch of the game and every inch of space not in the game but in the code to find what secrets were there. Reading these blog posts, and watching the videos changed my game brain forever. And they still post! though it's mostly archival. Even though they didn't find everything they were looking for the journey was the real fun. Maybe the beta colossi are still out there........