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Development:Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis)

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This page details development materials of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis).

To do:
  • Get filepaths.
  • Isolate and organize sprites.
  • What do we do about the other games found in here?

In 2019, a set of floppy disks owned by former STI member Tom Payne were found and preserved, creating what is now known as the Tom Payne Archives. These files contained sprites for Sonic 1 and 2, along with internal concept art and unrelated sprites pertaining to two other games that went unreleased.

Original files can be found here.



Sonic 2 (TPA) Ball.png

The Ball badnik seen in the Nick Arcade prototype.

bubbler and mamabub

Sonic 2 (TPA) Bubbler.png Sonic 2 (TPA) Bubbler's Mother.png

Bubbler from the Nick Arcade proto, with Bubbler's Mother in green.

dino and dinosaur

Sonic 2 (TPA) Stegway 1.png Sonic 2 (TPA) Stegway 3.png

The Nick Arcade proto's sprites for Stegway.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Masher.png

Unrefined sprites for Masher.

gator and gator.2

Sonic 2 (TPA) Gator 1.png Sonic 2 (TPA) Gator 2.png

Sprites for Gator, but with a much brighter palette! According to a cancelled Tom Payne interview from 2004, these Gator sprites date back to April 2, 1992.

newsnail.3, snail and snail.2

Sonic 2 (TPA) Snail 1.png Sonic 2 (TPA) Snail 2.png Sonic 2 (TPA) Snail 3.png

Sprites for Snail that seem to predate the Nick Arcade build, seemingly unsure on whether to give it a wheel.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Crawl and some dirt.png

Nick Arcade-build sprites for Crawl, with some dirt. Crawl was originally intended to pop out of the ground with sand/rocks appearing under it. The idea was likely scrapped after Crawl was repurposed for Casino Night Zone.

wasp.2 and wasp

Sonic 2 (TPA) Buzzer 1.png Sonic 2 (TPA) Buzzer 3.png

Early sprites for Buzzer, including some not found in any known prototypes.


To do:
Check which tilesets are final.

Contained here are several tilesets for Metropolis Zone, mostly seen in the Simon Wai prototype.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Metropolis.png

The Simon Wai proto sprites for the wheel obstacle.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Metropolis 1.png

Several animated tiles.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Metropolis 2.png

The pistons in the background.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Metropolis 3.png

Floor, pipes, and wheels.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Metropolis 4.png

Simon Wai slanty lift walls, Simon Wai background conveyors, and nuts.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Metropolis 5.png

Pipes, wheels, (the top half of) a conveyor belt, and those bumpers that launch you into Slicers.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Metropolis 6.png

Curved floors.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Metropolis 7.png

Slanty lift. 'Nuff said.


Early badniks, once thought to be just mere concept art, in sprite form! Results vary.

bobnface and faces.bg

Hey, I just got shot. Gotta take a picture of that! The many faces of Bob. Introducing Bob Hill Zone!

Included in a scratch pad are some... disconcerting sprites of some guy making various expressions. When animated, he flashes a smile and winks. The full-body sprite appears to have been shot.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Pig Badnik 1.png

Several sprites of a badnik based on a pig. According to a cancelled Tom Payne interview from 2004, these sprites date back to when he first started working at STI (March 9, 1992).


Sonic 2 (TPA) Pig Badnik 2.png

Another pig, this one pink with a silver nose.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Pig Badnik 3.png

Another rendition that would walk on four legs and fire some sort of projectile out of its neck after lifting its head up.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Pig and Insect Badniks.png

A slightly different rendition, pasted over another spritesheet of another unused badnik based on some insect.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Pig Badnik 4.png

A singular sprite of the pig's walker variant.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Pig Badnik 5.png

Another singular sprite, this time of the top-right pig in image 1.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Pig Badnik 6.png

A rougher version of the wheeled pig variant, and a weird pig-bug thing.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Dragonfly and Wasp.png

The dragonfly moving and... aiming, though it's hard to tell as the sprite's not finished. Also here is a badnik similar to the Buzz Bombers from the Sonic 2 Master System box art. Comparing to the other sheets, though, these are actually part of...


Sonic 2 (TPA) Several Unused Badniks.png

...a whole treasure trove of unused badniks! Pictured here are:

  • Bee/Wasp, an early version of Buzzer, including an early yellow version.
  • A pterodactyl that may have dropped something on Sonic's head.
  • A squid.
  • A lobster, similar to Zaririn from the 8-bit Sonic 2.
  • A blue tank-like badnik with claws.
  • A scorpion, similar to Skorp from Sonic & Knuckles.
  • Another version of the Buzz Bomber seen above. This version has only two jets similar to the original, and a firing sprite is also present.
  • The previously-mentioned dragonfly.
  • A frog.

Also included is a sprite of Sonic walking, for scaling purposes. Oddly, the palette used here (and in the Sonic 1 badnik sprites found in the TPA) appears to be the early palette seen in prerelease material for Sonic 1!


Sonic 2 (TPA) Dango and Mole.png

Contains sprites of the mole badnik from the concept artwork, and a pillbug badnik which is very similar to Dango from Sonic CD.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Dragonfly and Squid.png

The dragonfly and squid from before, same as then.


Sonic 2 (TPA) Buzzer 2.png

Bee/Wasp, identical to what's seen above.

Spring 2023 Discoveries

To do:
  • Add the early Cyber City assets, they were mentioned previously in an early iteration of this section but not provided.
  • Move the artwork given to DiC alongside the notes from Yasushi Yamaguchi to the Concept Art page.
  • Add the sources for the quotes with proper formatting, here's a list of them, feel free to add any that were missed.

Tails Concept art sent to DiC

Various concept art of Tails sent to DiC by Sega of America for the production of The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM).

Notes from Yasushi Yamaguchi

Tails' designer, Yasushi Yamaguchi, also mentioned several things about the artwork shared with DiC.

"These are the earliest character set-up drawings. Since the development period for Sonic 2 was short, we used these drawings as a base and brushed up the design as we created the game."

"You can see that the pictures on the game screen have changed considerably between the beta version title screen and the final version."

"The character designs were stabilized when we returned to Japan from creating the manual illustrations to create the official character setting drawings."

He also answered several questions in regards to the artwork and other Sonic promotional material.

Q: "Did you make that early sprite art for Tails? Tails' colours appear to be different than in your finalized design. These early design colours appear on official Sega merchandise in 1992 as well." (shows photos of early US promotional with Tails as an exanple)

"I have no knowledge of the pictures or figures in the photos.

At the time, Sega of America ignored the opinions of the development staff.

They did not listen to our requests for the number of fingers on Sonic in the package art, or our request to fix his legs to be straight."

"The data was immediately discarded, so it is a mystery why it is still there.

The printer at STI did not have good performance, so the colors are quite different.

The printout is only for the programmer to get the coordinate data and size, not for checking the exact color."

"I don't remember much about it since it was over 30 years ago, but I think maybe the pixel art on the printout is a test pattern for size and what the Sonic 1 color palette can represent. The results were not good, so I immediately created a new color palette."

Q: "When you say that the colour palette was quickly discarded, do you mean that Tails' mouth and chest were changed from peach to white almost immediately after the pixel art was made? I'm not sure why 1992 Japanese media also uses it."

"Sega in Japan also did not have a department to properly manage the characters until I returned to Japan and finished the development of the SONIC CD."

"The quality of the promotional materials that Sonic ordered from outside in Japan was also disparate, so we created a solid document and Mr. Oshima, Mr. Miyake, Mr. Hoshino and I began to do quality checks little by little."

"Miles' test pattern with different colors should have been used only two or three days after the character design in line drawings was completed, and the animation pattern should have already been created in December 1991 with the current color palette."

"The existence of this pixel art was so short-lived that I myself had forgotten about it until it was pointed out to me this time, and only the development staff would have seen it, so I do not know why figures such as the one in the photo were created based on this color data."

Q: "I'm not sure why Sega of America sent this early pixel art to the animation company DiC in April 1992, around 5 months after the colours had been changed. Or why these colours appear on other merchandise."

"Perhaps the data for Miles' painting was created in January 1992. I would have to check the date of the saved DISC data to be sure. However, I only remember that I was correcting Sonic's animation pattern in December 1991."

"I must have started working on Miles' animation pattern right after that...I spent about a month each for each character to create them."