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Proto:Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis)/Green Hill Zone

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This is a sub-page of Proto:Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis).

To do:
Document as many object and layout differences as possible.

Green Hill Zone, having been present since the very beginning of Sonic the Hedgehog's development, is the most polished Zone in the entire prototype, and the only one that ends with a boss battle.

However... it's still a ways off here from what eventually shipped, in no small part because it is teeming with giant boulders of destruction. (They're in all three Acts!)


Proto Final
Sonic1ProtoGHZ-2.png Sonic1FinalGHZ-2.png
  • The sunflowers in this build have a magenta disk floret instead of a green one. This color scheme still appears in the ending, suggesting it was altered late in development.
    • As a consequence, the green Newtrons are also instead magenta, due to the flowers and Newtrons sharing the same palette line.
  • This build contains the infamous rolling boulder seen in various prerelease sources. The listing for this still remains in the final game, but attempting to place it (19) does nothing due to the boulder’s code being deleted. Part of the boulder’s sprite is used for Eggman's Egg Mobile Hammer Ball in the final game.
    • The boulder is quite buggy: it has a strange habit of pushing Sonic through the ground and for some reason defies gravity if the player stands on it. Both of these could explain its removal.
  • The background has a different chunk order to the final, meaning the large waterfall appears earlier than it does in the final.


Proto Act 1 Sonic1ProtoGHZ1BG.png
Final Sonic1FinalGHZBG.png
Proto Background Layouts

The background of Green Hill Zone had 3 unique layouts in the prototype, unlike the final which only uses 1 layout.

Act 1

Proto Sonic1ProtoGHZ1Map.png
Final Sonic1FinalGHZ1Map.png
Proto Final
Sonic1ProtoGHZ-1.png Sonic1FinalGHZ-1.png
  • A single Motobug is close to the beginning of the stage, meaning the player can potentially die before they even start moving.
  • The invincibility monitor in the tree after the bridge is not present in this build.
  • It is possible to duplicate the boulder objects without Debug Mode; it is likely that the boulder is intended to despawn at a specific distance away from its spawnpoint, which may be the intention of the jumping action. The boulder can be duplicated by riding it (as the boulder code does not perform collision detection checks when Sonic is standing on it) past the ramp and then immediately taking it back to the area before the ramp. Another boulder will immediately spawn.
Proto Final
Sonic1ProtoGHZ1TreeNoSpring.png Sonic1FinalGHZ1TreeWithSpring.png

This palm tree near the bridge didn't have a spring on top yet.

Proto Final
Sonic1ProtoGHZ-3.png Sonic1FinalGHZ-3.png

The design of these chunks were changed to emphasize the impression that the foreground cliff is jutting out.

Proto Final
Sonic1ProtoGHZ-4.png Sonic1FinalGHZ-4.png

There are spikes on the wall just below the spring. These were removed in the final game.

Proto Final
Sonic1ProtoGHZ1SpringMiddleOfSpikesMore.png Sonic1FinalSpringMiddleOfSpikesLess.png

This area underneath the spiked wall had a spring surrounded with two spikes. The final build removes the extra spike and leaves only one spike on each side.

Proto Final
Sonic1ProtoGHZ-5.png Sonic1FinalGHZ-5.png

The platforms on the hill above the two S tunnels are missing, however an Invincibility monitor is present. The nearby flower is also shorter than in the final game and the shading on said hill also doesn't go as far up.

Act 2

Proto Sonic1ProtoGHZ2Map.png
Final Sonic1 GHZAct2MapFinal.png
Proto Final
Sonic1ProtoGHZ2-1.png Sonic1FinalGHZ2-1.png

One of the rocks near the start was removed, and a yellow spring is placed on top of the other rock in the final. The rings were also moved up.

Proto Final
Sonic1ProtoGHZ2-2.png Sonic1FinalGHZ2-2.png

A 1-Up Monitor hidden behind the Speed Shoes Monitor was replaced with a Shield Monitor.

Proto Final
Sonic1ProtoGHZ2-3.png Sonic1FinalGHZ2-3.png

The prototype has an extra row of rings here.

Act 3

Proto Sonic1ProtoGHZ3Map.png
Final Sonic1FinalGHZ3Map.png
Proto Final
Sonic1ProtoGHZ3-1.png Sonic1FinalGHZ3-1.png

The Shield Monitor was replaced with an Invincibility Monitor, the rock was replaced with a yellow spring and moved to the edge of the starting platform, and a Buzzbomber was removed outright.

Proto Final
Sonic1ProtoGHZ3-2.png Sonic1FinalGHZ3-2.png

A checkered boulder was removed, and a missing spike was added. A crumbling platform was also added to the ledge above.

Proto Final
Sonic1ProtoGHZ3-3.png Sonic1FinalGHZ3-3.png

A set of three spikes were removed, and a green Newtron was added on the wall to the right.

Unused and Changed Chunks

There are many unused chunks for Green Hill in this prototype, unlike the final game's total of zero.

Chunk 2A is notable for using border tiles reminiscent of those seen in the 8-bit versions' rendition of Green Hill Act 2. These tiles still exist in the final game, where they're likewise still unused.

While unused in this prototype, chunk 3A appears to be an earlier version of what would become chunk 02 in the final game. After flipping chunk 02 horizontally and removing its three palm trees, the two align perfectly, shadows and all:

Chunk 3A Chunk 3A (mirrored) Chunk 02
Sonic1 16Bit Proto GHZ Chunk 3A.png Sonic1 16Bit Proto GHZ Chunk 3A Mirror.png Sonic1 16Bit Proto GHZ Chunk 02.png