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Proto:Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis)/Beta 4 to Beta 8

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This is a sub-page of Proto:Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis).

Beta 4 September 18th, 1992
02:26:36 PM
Beta 5 September 21st, 1992
10:06:52 AM
Beta 6 September 22nd, 1992
04:47:42 PM
Beta 6B September 22nd, 1992
05:42:12 PM
Beta 7 September 24th, 1992
07:25:56 AM
Beta 8 September 24th, 1992
05:27:48 PM
REV00 (Final) September 25th, 1992
11:00:44 PM
REV01 (Post-Final) September 29th, 1992
09:33:36 AM

These five betas, labeled Beta 4 to Beta 8 in the Sega QA Archives, are internal testing builds spanning eight days that were created as the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 project was nearing completion. All six were released by drx as part of the colossal February 23, 2008 proto dump.

While nothing prior to Beta 4 was found in the archives, the eventual release of the September 14th prototype confirms that the CENSOR prototype is from the Beta 1-3 period.

Download.png Download Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Beta 4
File: Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Beta 4.bin (1 MB) (info)
Download.png Download Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Beta 5
File: Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Beta 5.bin (1 MB) (info)
Download.png Download Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Beta 6
File: Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Beta 6.bin (1 MB) (info)
Download.png Download Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Beta 6B
File: Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Beta 6B.bin (1 MB) (info)
Download.png Download Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Beta 7
File: Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Beta 7.bin (1 MB) (info)
Download.png Download Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Beta 8
File: Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Beta 8.bin (1 MB) (info)


Attract Mode

Intro / Title Screen

Sonic2SonicTailsIn.png

Beta 4 lacks "Sonic and "Tails" / Miles In" screen, and shows this version of the text in all Beta builds.

September 14, 1992 to Beta 4 Beta 5 Beta 6 to Beta 7
STH 2 Prototype Beta 4 Title.gif Sonic2TitleScreenBeta5.png Sonic2TitleScreenBeta6.png
Beta 8 onward
Sonic the Hedgehog 2-title.png
  • The title screen in Beta 4 is the same as in the September 14, 1992 and CENSOR builds. This title screen is known for being used in non-Japanese instruction manuals.
  • Beta 5's title screen changes to the one from the final version, but it's missing the TM symbol and the "Options", uh, option.
  • Beta 5's title screen changes the color of the selected option from orange to the final's yellow shade.
  • Beta 6 adds the Options menu and a TM symbol to the title screen. In this build and Beta 7, the "TM" uses the blue font palette instead of the yellow one.
  • Beta 8 colors the TM symbol yellow and spaces the copyright graphic differently.
  • In Beta 6 to Beta 8, the Options menu is called "Option", singular. This was corrected in REV00.

Game Demos

In all Beta builds, the demos play in this order: Chemical Plant, 2P Emerald Hill, Casino Night, Hill Top. They're still using the same inputs as the demos in the Nick Arcade prototype, with Casino Night using the inputs for the old Hidden Palace demo; clearly, recording new demos wasn't a high-priority assignment.

The final version records new demos that play in Zone order: 2P Emerald Hill, Chemical Plant, Aquatic Ruin, Casino Night.

General Changes

Dying

Sonic2DeathScrollBeta4.png

  • In Beta 4 and Beta 5, the camera still follows the player after they die. Beta 6 properly locks the camera.
  • In Beta 5, objects will keep moving after the player dies.
  • In Betas 5 and 6, if the background is scrolling when the player dies, it won't stop scrolling until the screen fades out.

Spin Dash

Sonic2SpindashScrollEarly.png

In Beta 4 to Beta 7, the amount of time the screen is locked after the player lets go of the Spin Dash is exactly 20 frames, regardless of how fast the player is going.

Sonic2SpindashBug.png

This can cause problems when the Spin Dash is revved up too much, especially when playing as Super Sonic: the player can outrun the camera and bypass most sprite-based obstacles, like the barriers in Wing Fortress Zone and Eggman's running sprite in Death Egg Zone.

Sonic2SpindashScrollFinal.png

To fix this, the screen-lock time was changed. The game now takes the initial inertia after the Spin Dash into account, and freezes the screen between 20 (the slowest Spin Dash speed) to 12 (the fastest Super Sonic Spin Dash speed) frames. The player is now unable to outrun the camera after a Spin Dash.

Sonic2SpindashFloatBug.png

If the player is Spin Dashing on a platform that crumbles when the player steps on it (like the rectangular platforms in Aquatic Ruin and the ledges in Oil Ocean), they'll remain in the air until they stop holding Down. This wasn't fixed until REV00.

Super Sonic

The Super Sonic transformation is in various stages of completion:

  • Beta 4 has no code to handle the Super Sonic transformation or ring drain, though the actual Super Sonic code is partially implemented. Use Pro Action Replay code FFF65F:0001 to enable the Super Sonic palette, FFFE19:0001 to enable the Super Sonic sprites and increased jump height, and FFB02B:0006 to enable invincibility and speed shoes.
Super Sonic doesn't produce any invincibility sparkles when he runs.
The increased speed and acceleration are not enabled - this is set by the transformation sequence in later versions - but the player can get the increased speed/acceleration if they either get a Speed Shoes monitor and let it expire, or go into the water and then jump back out.
  • Beta 5 implements the transformation, but it's bugged: The game checks if RAM address FFB0 (a boolean that is set after a Special Stage is cleared) is 7, when it should be checking FFB1 (Chaos Emerald count). Use PAR code FFFFB0:0007 and get 50 rings to enable the transformation.
  • From Beta 6 onward, the Super Sonic transformation is properly enabled.
Sonic2SuperSonicUnderwater.png
  • In all Beta versions, Super Sonic defaults to the standard blue palette while underwater. Corrected in REV00.
  • If Super Sonic starts the underwater countdown timer and then either gets out of the water or gets an air bubble, the invincibility music will play instead of the Super Sonic track. Fixed in Beta 6.

End of Act

Sonic2ActEndShield.png

In Beta 4 to Beta 7, the player keeps their shield at the end of the Act. This extra graphic, plus the sprites used for the results screen, can cause some of the signpost graphics to blank out. From Beta 8 onward, the player loses their shield at the end of the Act.

Sonic2ActEndSuperSonic.png

In all Beta versions, Sonic can keep his Super transformation at the end of the Act. The ring total on the results screen will be whatever rings the player had when they passed the signpost.

Sonic2ActEndSuperSonic2.png

There's one problem with this: Super Sonic's invincibility stars are overwritten with font and continue icon graphics, leading to the mess you see here. The final version fixed this by transforming Sonic back to normal at the end of the Act, but ended up introducing a much worse bug.

Beta 4 Beta 5 to Beta 8 REV 00 onward
Sonic2Beta4 EndAct.png Sonic2Beta8 EndAct.png Sonic2 EndAct.png

The Act Clear screen has an additional period after the word "Act" but before the act number. The Total text is also higher up due to the lack of a Perfect Bonus. The period was removed in Beta 5, but the spacing (and the existence of the Perfect Bonus) wasn't changed until the final.

Beta 6 Beta 7 Beta 8 onward
Sonic2ActEndTailsBeta6.png Sonic2ActEndTailsBeta7.png Sonic2ActEndMilesBeta8.png

Beta 6 and Beta 7 use Sonic's continue icon for Tails. Beta 6 calls Tails "Sonic" at the end of the Act, while a new continue icon was drawn for Beta 8.

Beta 4 Beta 5 onward
Sonic2CapsuleBeta4.png Sonic2CapsuleFinal.png

In Beta 4, the camera locks earlier than it should whenever an Animal Capsule is onscreen, causing the Capsule to be off-center.

Misc.

Sonic2ActStartJump.png

If the player holds any of the jump buttons as the Act starts, they'll start in the air after the title card scrolls off. Fixed in Beta 8.

Sonic2ChemicalPlantCrushed.png

The collision check for getting crushed seems to be less lenient in Beta 4. The easiest place to see this change is in the lower path at the start of Chemical Plant Act 2, on the platform above the second transport tube with the Super Ring monitor. In Beta 4, if the player walks all the way to the left, they'll be crushed. In other versions, they're able to get to the end without dying.

  • Holding Up / Down to scroll the camera up or down wasn't put back in the game until Beta 5.
  • Beta 4 still uses the original spike behavior from Sonic 1. From Beta 5 onward, spikes won't hurt the player if they're flashing from post-damage invulnerability.

Debug Features

Stage Select

Accessing the stage Select changed between Betas:

  • In Beta 4 and Beta 5, the stage select is accessed by pressing A + Start while selecting "1 PLAYER" at the title screen. There is no code required.
  • In Beta 6 and Beta 7, the player must enter Up, Down, Down, Down, Down, Up, then press A + Start while selecting "1 PLAYER".
  • Beta 8 keeps the previous code and adds the final code: Enter the options menu, go to the sound test, then enter 19, 65, 09, 17. Exit the menu and press A + Start while selecting "1 PLAYER".
Simon Wai to August 21, 1992 September 14, 1992 to Beta 4
Sonic2SimonWai-Alpha LevelSelect.png Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Pre-Beta to Beta 4 Level Select.png

The Stage Select screen in Beta 4 is about the same as it was in the Simon Wai prototype. Wood Zone and Genocide City Zone have been removed, Sky Chase Zone and Sky Fortress Zone have been added, and Death Egg Zone only has one Act. Wing Fortress is still called "Sky Fortress" on this screen after the August 21 proto, and even though Hidden Palace Zone is listed, it can't be selected.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Beta 5 Level Select.png

Betas 5 and 6 try to use the same setup, but the new title screen logo blocks out a lot of the text.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Genesis Level Select.png

Beta 7 implements the final stage select. However, in this version, the player can't press Left or Right to go to the other column. That feature was implemented in Beta 8.

Sonic2SoundTestBug.png

The sound test numbers in Beta 7 are initially glitched. Moving the cursor to the sound test option fixes that.

Debug Mode

  • This is enabled by default in Beta 4 and Beta 5: Just hold A + Start before entering a stage.
  • Beta 6 to Beta 8 require a code: Press C, C, Up, Down, Down, Down, Down, Up, then hold A + Start before entering a stage.
  • In Beta 4 to Beta 6, debug mode does not enable edit mode, only the debug information on the HUD and the debug controls when the game is paused. Use PAR code FFFE08:0001 to activate edit mode.
Sonic2ColChange.png

Beta 4 to Beta 6 will not show the collision changer objects in debug mode, even if edit mode is activated. In Betas 7-8, the collision changer objects are always visible as long as debug mode is active. In the retail versions, those objects are only visible in edit mode.

Sonic2DebugRedRings.png

The "red ring" objects (the pinball mode toggles in Casino Night and palette changers in Wing Fortress) are visible in Betas 7 and 8 as long as debug mode is active. These are the only versions in which the player can see these objects.

Zones

Sonic2IconARZ.png
Aquatic Ruin Zone
The Zone with the most changes.
Sonic2IconCNZ.png
Casino Night Zone
Slot machines and crabs.
Sonic2IconWFZ.png
Wing Fortress Zone
Added late, finished late.
Sonic2IconEHZ.png
Other Zones
Everything else.

Special Stages

Each Special Stage has a different layout to the final game - bombs don't even make an appearance until Stage 4. All of the stages were changed to their final layouts in Beta 5 except for Stage 6, which stuck around until Beta 8 before finally changing in REV00.

Ring Requirements (Sonic and Tails)
Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 7
Beta 5 40 80 140 60 110 150 60 110 160 40 105 160 60 100 170 50 90 140 100 150 190
Beta 6 to Beta 8 40 80 140 50 100 140 60 110 160 40 100 150 55 100 160 50 90 140 100 150 190
REV 00 onward 40 80 140 50 100 140 60 110 160 40 100 150 55 110 200 80 140 220 100 190 210

The ring requirements for Sonic & Tails together were adjusted twice after Beta 5. In Beta 6, the ring requirements for Special Stages 2, 4, and 5 became more lenient. In the final version, the ring requirements for Stages 5, 6, and 7 are stricter. Stage 5 has a more difficult third round, Stage 6 is still using the old layout as mentioned previously, and the number of rings for Stage 7 went up considerably - it's notoriously difficult if there isn't a second player controlling Tails.

Ring Requirements (Sonic / Tails Alone)
Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 7
Beta 6 to Beta 8 30 70 130 50 100 140 50 100 150 30 95 145 45 80 145 45 85 135 90 140 180
REV 00 onward 30 70 130 50 100 140 50 110 160 40 110 150 50 90 160 80 140 210 100 150 190

The ring values for Sonic / Tails alone also changed, but the changes weren't as drastic as Sonic & Tails together, only differing between 5-15 rings. Note that these changes made Special Stage 4's ring requirements harsher when playing solo than when playing as a team. The stages have different palettes to the ones used in the final, though the palettes for Stages 1, 3, and 5 were eventually reused for Stages 2, 5, and 7 respectively. These palettes are also present in Beta 5, but the stages use their final palettes from Beta 6 onwards.

Beta 4 Beta 6 onward
Sonic2Beta4 SpecialStage1.png Sonic2 SpecialStage1.png
Sonic2Beta4 SpecialStage2.png Sonic2 SpecialStage2.png
Sonic2Beta4 SpecialStage3.png Sonic2 SpecialStage3.png
Sonic2Beta4 SpecialStage4.png Sonic2 SpecialStage4.png
Sonic2Beta4 SpecialStage5.png Sonic2 SpecialStage5.png
Sonic2Beta4 SpecialStage6.png Sonic2 SpecialStage6.png
Sonic2Beta4 SpecialStage7.png Sonic2 SpecialStage7.png

In Beta 4 and Beta 5, rings sometimes disappear when the half-pipe is doing the transition animation from straight to curved. Once the tube has finished curving, the rings will reappear. This seems to have been fixed in Beta 6. The "X RINGS TO GO!" message doesn't appear until Beta 6.

Sonic2RingsToGoBeta7.png

In Betas 7 and 8, the message will keep flashing even after the player gets enough rings. The yellow parts of the stage flash different colors occasionally in this version including green, red, and white. This is due to the cycling palette used for the rings that mark the end of each section being loaded too early. In Beta 4, the background doesn't flash different colors when obtaining the 7th Chaos Emerald.

The color order of the Special Stages the Emeralds represent are different compared to other versions. In Beta 4, the order they're collected is represented in the table below (with color positions kept in the final in bolded text):

Beta 4 to Beta 8 Green Yellow Red Pink Purple Cyan Grey
REV 00 onward Cyan Purple Red Pink Yellow Green Grey
Beta 4 to Beta 5 Beta 6 Beta 7 onward
Sonic2Beta4 EmeraldScreen.png Sonic2SpecialStageResultsBeta6.png Sonic2 EmeraldScreen.png

Beta 4 only displays one Chaos Emerald on the screen no matter how many Emeralds the player has. In Beta 4 and Beta 5, the results screen uses the name "Tails" regardless of the console region, and the Emeralds are positioned higher. Beta 6 attempts to add the red triangles seen from the normal results screen to the Special Stage results, but something went wrong and the graphics are badly corrupted. This affects the small font and the Emerald graphics. This was fixed in Beta 7.

Beta 5 Beta 6 Beta 7 onward
Sonic2SpecialStageAllEmeraldsBeta5.png Sonic2SpecialStageAllEmeraldsBeta6.png Sonic2SpecialStageAllEmeraldsBeta7.png

Beta 4 and Beta 5 don't acknowledge that the player has collected all of the Chaos Emeralds. Beta 6 adds the "All Emeralds" message but swaps around words a few. Fixed in Beta 7. By Beta 6, the letter E in Emerald was also kerned to the letter M.

2 Player VS

Normal Stages

  • 2P is always called Miles in Beta 4, regardless of region. In Beta 5, he's always called "Tails". It changes depending on the console region starting in Beta 6.
  • If Tails hits a shield or invincibility monitor, the shield / invincibility stars won't be displayed. Fixed in Beta 6.
  • The Eggman monitor doesn't do anything in Beta 4 and Beta 5.

Time Over

Sonic22PTimeOverBug.png

There's an oversight in Beta 4 and Beta 5: If either player gets a Time Over, the stage will reset and then immediately go to the results screen. This sets their score, time, ring, total ring, and item box numbers to what they were the last time they hit a checkpoint; or, if they never hit a checkpoint, to zero. Beta 6 fixes this by jumping to the results screen after a Time Over. Beta 6 is the first version to implement a 60-second timer after one player gets to the end of the Act.

Special Stages

Tails is always called "Miles" in Beta 4 and Beta 5. It changes appropriately from Beta 6 onward.

Sonic22PWinTwice.png

In Beta 4, after the first round of a Special Stage, the "MOST RINGS WINS!" message was originally written as "WIN TWICE WIN ALL!" This message was revised in Beta 5.

Beta 4 to Beta 5
Sonic2Beta4 2PSpecialStage1.png Sonic2Beta4 2PSpecialStage2.png Sonic2Beta4 2PSpecialStage3.png
Beta 6 onward
Sonic2 2PSpecialStage1.png Sonic2 2PSpecialStage2.png Sonic2 2PSpecialStage3.png

The palettes for Special Stages in 2P VS are also different to the ones in the final game.

Ending / Credits

Ending

Beta 4 has no ending at all. After the Death Egg cutscene plays, the game resets to the Sega logo.

Sonic2EndingSonicBeta5 1.png Sonic2EndingSonicBeta5 2.png

In Beta 5, a rough version of the final cutscene has been implemented: Sonic falls briefly before Tails catches him. Tails flies straight from the right - there's no attempt to make it seem like he's moving the plane up to catch Sonic. After 64 frames, Tails flies off to the right, off the screen. After about three seconds, the cutscene ends and the game resets to the Sega logo. There is no special ending for Super Sonic.

Sonic2EndingSonicBeta6.png

In Beta 6, the cutscene is close to what it would be in the final version, but the part where Sonic jumps off the plane is glitched. The large Tornado and large Sonic sprite both spawn in the bottom-right corner. There's no special ending for Super Sonic, and finishing the game with Tails plays Sonic's ending.

Sonic2EndingSonicBeta7.png

Beta 7 spawns Sonic at the right place, but forgets to delete the tiny Sonic & Tails sprite at the bottom-right corner. This was fixed in Beta 8. Beta 7 is also the first version to implement a special ending for Super Sonic; it's identical to the one in the final version. Tails is still missing his ending cutscene.

Sonic2EndingSuperSonicBeta8 1.png

Something in Beta 8 glitched the Super Sonic ending up: Sonic starts out Super, but after a second he transforms back into regular Sonic, running on air.

Sonic2EndingSuperSonicBeta8 2.png

The game loads the large Super Sonic sprite at the start of the ending, but tries to give it the normal Sonic tilemap once he transforms back, resulting in this glitched mess.

Sonic2EndingTailsBeta8.png

Beta 8 is the first version to implement an ending for Tails. It's almost there, except for the part where Tails' tails sprite is missing.

Credits

Sonic2CreditsBeta6.png

In Beta 6, there's an odd segmented line in the middle of the screen. This was removed in Beta 7.

Beta 6 Beta 7 Beta 8 onward
SONIC 2

CAST OF CHARACTERS
SONIC 2

CAST OF CHARACTERS
SONIC 2

CAST OF CHARACTERS
SPECIALSTAGE
ART AND CG

TIM SKELLY
MORAWIEC PETR
SPECIALSTAGE
ART AND CG


TIM SKELLY
PETER MORAWIEC
SPECIALSTAGE
ART AND CG


TIM SKELLY
PETER MORAWIEC
SPECIAL THANKS
TO

CINDY CLAVERAN
DEBORAH MCCRACKEN
TATSUO YAMADA
DAISUKE SAITO
KUNITAKE AOKI
TSUNEKO AOKI
MASAAKI KAWAMURA
SPECIAL THANKS
TO


CINDY CLAVERAN
DEBORAH MCCRACKEN
TATSUO YAMADA
DAISUKE SAITO
KUNITAKE AOKI
TSUNEKO AOKI
MASAAKI KAWAMURA
SPECIAL THANKS
TO


CINDY CLAVERAN
FRANCE TANTIADO
DAISUKE SAITO
KUNITAKE AOKI
TSUNEKO AOKI
SPECIAL THANKS
TO


DEBORAH MCCRACKEN
TATSUO YAMADA
RICK MACARAEG
LOCKY P
MASAAKI KAWAMURA
  • They colored the 2 in "SONIC 2" yellow in Beta 7.
  • Section names are white in Beta 6, the same as the rest of the text. From Beta 7 onward, they're yellow.
  • Peter Morawiec is mistakenly rendered as "Morawiec Petr" in Beta 6.
  • Beta 8 adds France Tantiado, Rick Macaraeg, and Locky P to the Special Thanks. It also splits up the Special Thanks list into two screens.
  • In Beta 6, credits go out of sync with track - music ends before the Special Thanks screen. In Beta 7, the credits fade out just before the track ends. Beta 8 properly syncs the music to the credits.
Sonic2CreditsEndCard.png

A Sonic 2 logo was added at the end of the credits in the final version. The credits had to be sped up a bit to fit this screen.

Changed Graphics

Invincibility

Simon Wai to Beta 7 Beta 8 onward
Sonic2InvincibilityMainEarly.gif Sonic2InvincibilityMainFinal.gif

From the Simon Wai prototype up to Beta 7, the main part of the invincibility effect is two sets of large sparkles that go into one of three different positions every nine frames. Beta 8 uses a more complicated effect: A circle of rapidly moving invincibility sparkles that cycle every 48 frames.

Simon Wai to Beta 7 Beta 8 onward
Sonic2InvincibilityTrailEarly.gif Sonic2InvincibilityTrailFinal.gif

The sub-effect of the invincibility effect, in earlier versions, is a collection of small invincibility sparkles that trail the player and change direction depending on what direction the player is heading... in theory. This was working fine in the Simon Wai prototype, but after that something in the code glitched.

Sonic2InvincibilitySparkleBug.png

The trail moves in the correct direction if the player is grounded. If the player is jumping, the trail will move southwest, and if they're falling the trail will move northeast, regardless of the direction the player is facing. The final version fixes this by completing changing the sub-effect. The player will now leave behind two large rotating invincibility sparkles. The complete rotation cycle lasts 120 frames.

Stego

Nick Arcade to Simon Wai
Sonic2StegoWalk.gif Sonic2StegoRun.gif
August 21, 1992 to Beta 4
Sonic2StegoWalkNew.gif Sonic2StegoRunNew.gif

Stego's sprite is the same as in the August 21, 1992, September 14, 1992, and CENSOR builds. It was deleted in Beta 5.