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

From The Cutting Room Floor
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This is a sub-page of Proto:Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis)/Beta 4 to Beta 8.

Emerald Hill

General Differences

Beta 4 Beta 5
Sonic2EmeraldHillEggmanDefeatedBeta4.png Sonic2EmeraldHillEggmanDefeatedBeta5.png
  • Eggman escapes from defeat differently in Beta 4 and Beta 5:
  • In Beta 4, he moves to the right at two pixels per frame. This is the same speed as he escaped in the Nick Arcade and Simon Wai versions.
  • In Beta 5, he moves to the right at four pixels per frame and upwards at two pixels per frame.
Starting in Beta 6, he flies to the right at six pixels per frame.

Act 1

Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2EmeraldHill1Change1Beta4.png Sonic2EmeraldHill1Change1Final.png

In Beta 4, it's possible for the first Coconuts to hit the player before they get their first rings. They moved that Coconuts two trees over to fix that.

Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2EmeraldHill1Change2Beta4.png Sonic2EmeraldHill1Change2Final.png

Starting in Beta 5, there's an extra ring before the first small quarter-pipe.

Beta 4-8 Final
Sonic2EmeraldHill1Change3Beta4.png Sonic2EmeraldHill1Change3Final.png

Those three rings embedded in the ground, originally used in the Nick Arcade layout, are present all the way through Beta 8. They were finally removed in the first retail build.

Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2EmeraldHill1Change4Beta4.png Sonic2EmeraldHill1Change4Final.png

The hidden floating island on the upper path is empty in Beta 4. They added a few rings and a checkpoint in Beta 5.

Beta 4-8 Final
Sonic2EmeraldHill1Change5Beta4.png Sonic2EmeraldHill1Change5Final.png

One of the rings in this cluster on the upper path was deleted to make up for the one that was added previously. Conservation of rings and all that.

Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2EmeraldHill1Change6Beta4.png Sonic2EmeraldHill1Change6Final.png

The Buzzer was moved from the lower path to the upper path in Beta 5.

Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2EmeraldHill1Change7Beta4.png Sonic2EmeraldHill1Change7Final.png

In the upper path, the bottom six rings in this ring pyramid were deleted, and a four ring diamond was added above the yellow spring.

Beta 4-5 Beta 6+
Sonic2EmeraldHill1Change8Beta4.png Sonic2EmeraldHill1Change8Final.png

In Beta 4 and Beta 5, the signpost at the end is a couple pixels higher than it should be. It's properly planted in the ground starting in Beta 6.

Act 2

Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2EmeraldHill2Change1Beta4.png Sonic2EmeraldHill2Change1Final.png

In Beta 4, if the player spawns back at this checkpoint, the Buzzer on the right will immediately fire a shot at them, killing them if they're caught unawares. In Beta 5 and later builds, the Buzzer is further away from the checkpoint.

Chemical Plant

General Differences

Sonic2ChemicalPlantShieldBug.pngSonic2ChemicalPlantTailsBug.png

  • In Beta 4, shields and Tails' tails will disconnect while traveling through the transport tubes.
  • There are a few bugs with the Sprite Status Table in the Beta builds:

Sonic2ChemicalPlantBubbleGlitch.png

  • In the long water tunnel at the end of Act 2, if Sonic and Tails are both producing bubbles, it's possible to produce enough bubbles to overload the Sprite Status Table and start writing to the CRAM cache. This corrupts the player's underwater palette.

Sonic2ChemicalPlantEggmanBug.png

  • The same bug can be seen if the player defeats Water Eggman while his tube is sucking up water - check the life icon.

Graphical Differences

Wai to Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2ChemicalPlantBGWai2.png Sonic2ChemicalPlantBGFinal.png

The girders in the background are silver in the Simon Wai prototype and Beta 4. In Beta 5, they were changed to use the same gold-green palette as the other tiles.

Act 1

Beta 4 Beta 5-8 Final
Sonic2ChemicalPlant1Change1Beta4.png Sonic2ChemicalPlant1Change1Beta5.png Sonic2ChemicalPlant1Change1Final.png

This hidden bonus cache on the bottom path has existed since the Simon Wai prototype. In both that prototype and Beta 4, that room is empty; In Beta 5 to Beta 8, there are two extra life monitors and a super ring monitor there. The final game changes the two bonus life monitors to an invincibility monitor and another super ring monitor to patch a potential infinite life loop.

Beta 4-8 Final
Sonic2ChemicalPlant1Change2Beta4.png Sonic2ChemicalPlant1Change2Final.png

The extra life monitor in this cubby in the lower path was changed to a super ring monitor.

Beta 4-8 Final
Sonic2ChemicalPlant1Change3Beta4.png Sonic2ChemicalPlant1Change3Final.png

The final game adds another checkpoint to this area on the middle path.

Act 2

Beta 4-6 Beta 7+
Sonic2ChemicalPlant2Change1Beta4.png Sonic2ChemicalPlant2Change1Final.png

Starting in Beta 7, another checkpoint was added to the left of the first checkpoint on the upper path. Note that in order to actually take advantage of this extra checkpoint, you'd have to jump over the one on the right and hit the one on the left first.

Beta 4 Beta 5-8
Sonic2ChemicalPlant2Change2Beta4.png Sonic2ChemicalPlant2Change2Beta5.png
Final
Sonic2ChemicalPlant2Change2Final.png

The final checkpoint in the act changed its position frequently: In Beta 4, it's further along in the act; In Beta 5-8, it's placed to the left of the final booster in the level; And in the retail release, it was moved further to the right.

Sonic2ChemicalPlantCheckpointBeta5A.png Sonic2ChemicalPlantCheckpointBeta5B.png
If the player respawns at the checkpoint in Betas 5-8, they're able to see the speed booster sprite adjusting its position.

Beta 4-8 Final
Sonic2ChemicalPlant2SectionKBeta4.png Sonic2ChemicalPlant2Change3Final.png

The extra life monitor on the upper path was changed to an invincibility monitor. You're going to see this a lot, by the way.

Beta 4 Beta 5-6 Beta 7+
Sonic2ChemicalPlant2Change4Beta4.png Sonic2ChemicalPlant2Change4Beta5.png Sonic2ChemicalPlant2Change4Final.png

The final trap in the level. In Beta 4, there's a super ring monitor on the left and the final checkpoint on the right. In Beta 5-6, the super ring monitor was replaced with a red spring as an alternate way to get across the path, and the checkpoint was moved, as mentioned previously.

Sonic2ChemicalPlantCheckpointBeta4.png
The reason why the checkpoint was removed? The water palette bleeds into the title card.

However, there's another problem that's existed since the Simon Wai prototype: If the player is going too fast, they'll overshoot the floating platform and land in the pit. To quickly patch this, they added a rising block line on the right side of the pit.

Hill Top

Act 1

Beta 4-7 Beta 8+
Sonic2HillTop1Change1Beta4.png Sonic2HillTop1Change1Final.png

The small floating platform with the red spring is barren before Beta 8. They added an invincibility monitor there later.

Beta 4-6 Beta 7-8
Sonic2HillTop1Change2Beta4.png Sonic2HillTop1Change2Beta7.png
Final
Sonic2HillTop1Change2Final.png

This extra life monitor was changed earlier than most of the other ones. It is easy to get taking either path, so this was a good change.

The rings in the upper tunnel were removed in the final version, due to a change in how that tunnel worked.

Sonic2HillTopTunnelBug.png
Up to Beta 7, the player is able to get into that tunnel through the side (which is intended) and from above (which is a bug). They fixed entering from the top in Beta 8, but that fix ended up making that tunnel inaccessible. To allow the player to get a perfect ring bonus, the tunnel was drained.

Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2HillTop1Change3Beta4.png Sonic2HillTop1Change3Final.png

The shield monitor next to the first checkpoint was removed after Beta 4.

Beta 4-6 Beta 7+
Sonic2HillTop1Change4Beta4.png Sonic2HillTop1Change4Final.png

This tunnel was empty in the Simon Wai prototype, but they added a super ring monitor in there in Beta 4. There's no way to get into that tunnel, though - there's no collision changer object here. So, in Beta 7, the monitor was removed and the tunnel is once again empty.

Beta 4-7 Beta 8+
Sonic2HillTop1Change5Beta4.png Sonic2HillTop1Change5Final.png

A blue rock was added to the flat ground at the start of the rising ground section.

Act 2

Beta 4-5 Beta 6+
Sonic2HillTop2Change1Beta4.png Sonic2HillTop2Change1Final.png

There's a Sol badnik right at the start of the act. It's very possible that the player wouldn't have obtained a single ring by the time they reach it, so they moved it to later in the act.

Beta 4 Beta 5
Sonic2HillTop2Change2Beta4.png Sonic2HillTop2Change2Beta5.png
Beta 6-8 Final
Sonic2HillTop2Change2Beta6.png Sonic2HillTop2Change2Final.png

In Beta 4, the checkpoint isn't at the center of the loop. It was moved in Beta 5, but the super ring monitor stayed in the same place. Later, in Beta 6, they moved that monitor to the right.

The yellow spring was changed to a red spring for the first retail version, allowing the player to bypass the seesaw on the next ledge.

Beta 4-5 Beta 6+
Sonic2HillTop2Change3Beta4.png Sonic2HillTop2Change3Final.png

The first Sol badnik was moved to this area on the lower path starting in Beta 6.

Beta 4-5 Beta 6+
Sonic2HillTop2Change4Beta4.png Sonic2HillTop2Change4Final.png

The ring formation at the top is still at its Simon Wai position in Beta 4 and Beta 5. In Beta 6, they finally remembered to move it down to a more sensible location. The red spring was also buried in the ground.

Beta 4-5
Sonic2HillTop2Change5Beta4.png
Beta 6+
Sonic2HillTop2Change5Final.png

The pit on the lower path just has a red spring, an extra life monitor, and a Rexon in Beta 4 and Beta 5. Two sinking and rising platforms were added in Beta 6 to make the pit easier to traverse.

Mystic Cave

General Differences

Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2DrillEggman2Beta4.gif Sonic2DrillEggman2Final.png
  • In Beta 4, the color used for the flashing lanterns is still loaded during the boss fight. It doesn't quite look right when it's used by the drill attachments. In Beta 5 onwards, the cycling color stops and the game loads a dark red color to that index.

Act 1

Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2MysticCave1Change1Beta4.png Sonic2MysticCave1Change1Final.png

The set of spikes on the left side of this pit was replaced by one of those logs with spikes on the end of it (not pictured).

Sonic2MysticCaveVineBug.png
This was changed to fix a small visual glitch; If the player is pushing against the spikes when they grab the vine, they'll start walking in place as the vine rises.

Act 2

Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2MysticCave2Change1Beta4.png Sonic2MysticCave2Change1Final.png

In Beta 4, there are three swinging platforms that act like a Newton's cradle: The one on the middle never moves, and when one of the swinging platforms swings back and hits that platform, the other one starts moving.

However, the amount of objects in this setup can cause the game to start lagging, so the developers eliminated the middle platform, moved the remaining two platforms and rings around, and added a collapsing ledge on the right to fill the new gap.

Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2MysticCave2Change2Beta4.png Sonic2MysticCave2Change2Final.png

The spikes in the pit were raised slightly to match the height of the moving platform. The super ring monitor was added to the left of the pit.

Beta 4-8 Final
Sonic2MysticCave2Change3Beta4.png Sonic2MysticCave2Change3Final.png

Extra life monitor -> invincibility monitor.

Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2MysticCave2Change4Beta4.png Sonic2MysticCave2Change4Final.png

The infamous inescapable spike pit originally had a red spring, super ring monitor (later moved to earlier in the stage), and a collapsing ledge in it. The player would still be stuck there if they pulled the bridge down and then jumped in the pit, but at least it's something.

Oil Ocean

General Differences

  • The Aquis badnik will fire an infinite amount of shots in Beta 4 through Beta 6. From Beta 7 on, it will fire just three shots before fleeing.
  • The pool of oil in the boss fight doesn't work right in Betas 5 and 6: The player will fall right through it. This is a bit confusing; It was working fine in Beta 4. Whatever they changed, it was reverted in Beta 7.

Graphical Differences

Wai to Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2OilOceanSunWai.png Sonic2OilOceanSunFinal.gif

The sun in Oil Ocean still uses the graphic from the Simon Wai build in Beta 4. Beta 5 is the first to use the animated sun.

Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2OilOceanLaserBeta4.png Sonic2OilOceanBlueFlameBeta4.png Sonic2OilOceanLaserFinal.png Sonic2OilOceanBlueFlameFinal.png

Submarine Eggman II's lasers and flames use Sonic's palette in Beta 4, which would be fine if Super Sonic wasn't a thing. From Beta 5 on, the game loads a unique cyan palette during the boss fight.

Act 1

Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2OilOcean1Change1Beta4.png Sonic2OilOcean1Change1Final.png

Sonic2OilOceanOverlap.png
The first three rings in Act 1 were removed after Beta 4 because they ended up overlapping with the title card.

Beta 4-7 Beta 8+
Sonic2OilOcean1Change2Beta4.png Sonic2OilOcean1Change2Final.png

This out-of-the-way extra life monitor was apparently not out-of-the-way enough, because they converted it to an invincibility monitor.

Beta 4-7 Beta 8+
Sonic2OilOcean1Change3Beta4.png Sonic2OilOcean1Change3Final.png

Sonic2OilOceanSlideChunks.png
Spikes were added under two oil slides in the lower path to fix an oversight. The game tags certain 128x128 chunks to make Sonic & Tails slide if they're on the ground.

Sonic2OilOceanSlideBug.png
However, the chunks here have solid ground below the oil slide, so if they managed to reach one of those small ledges, they'll start sliding back and forth.

Sonic2OilOceanSlideBug2.png
Spikes were put there to discourage this behavior, but if the player(s) get on top of the spikes, they'll start sliding again.

Beta 4-8 Final
Sonic2OilOcean1Change4Beta4.png Sonic2OilOcean1Change4Final.png

Spikes were put on the wall to the right of the pressure launcher to try to keep the player from jumping over it...but Super Sonic can jump high enough to clear it.

Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2OilOcean1Change5Beta4.png Sonic2OilOcean1Change5Final.png

Sonic2OilOceanYellowSpringBug.png
The yellow spring by this checkpoint in Beta 4 is a little further away from the ledge than it's supposed to be; If the player falls to the left of it, they can wind up stuck in the left wall.

Act 2

Beta 4-7 Beta 8+
Sonic2OilOcean2Change1Beta4.png Sonic2OilOcean2Change1Final.png

The shield monitor was pushed further to the right to fix the aforementioned bug, then they threw in a super ring monitor for added value.

Beta 4-5 Beta 6 Beta 7+
Sonic2OilOcean2Change2Beta4.png Sonic2OilOcean2Change2Beta6.png Sonic2OilOcean2Change2Final.png

Sonic2OilOceanStuckBug.png
In Beta 4 and Beta 5, the player will either get stuck or get crushed if they managed to wedge themselves into the right side of the second purple machine.

Sonic2OilOceanStuckFly.png
Spikes were added in Beta 6 to fix the "get stuck" part, and due to changes in collision, the player will get flung up in the air if they try to get in there.

Beta 7 adds spikes to the upper-right to keep the player from going over the wall.

Beta 4-7 Beta 8+
Sonic2OilOcean2Change3Beta4.png Sonic2OilOcean2Change3Final.png

We've secretly replaced this fine extra life monitor with Folger's Invincibility. Let's see if they notice.

Beta 4-7 Beta 8+
Sonic2OilOcean2Change4Beta4.png Sonic2OilOcean2Change4Final.png

They added spikes under the oil slide again, ma.

Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2OilOcean2Change5Beta4.png Sonic2OilOcean2Change5Final.png

The super ring monitor to the left of the final checkpoint was removed. Guess it ended up next to that shield monitor.

Metropolis

General Differences

  • In Beta 4, pistons are down for 128 frames, then spring up for 128 frames. This causes an unnecessary amount of waiting in sections where the player has to use those pistons to go up. In Beta 5, both delays were cut to 60 frames each.

Sonic2MetropolisPlatformBug.png

  • The platforms on gears don't carry the player when they move; This was likely done to fix a bug in the Simon Wai version where switch-activated platforms could carry the player into walls when they retracted. This ended up introducing a different bug where the player-activated platforms don't actually carry the player - the player has to manually move with them. This bug is present in every Beta build but was fixed by the first retail version.

Sonic2MetropolisAutolockBug.png

  • The game attempts to lock the bottom of the screen when the player gets to the final checkpoint of Metropolis Act 3, but since the game forgets to turn the vertical wrapping off, it's immediately undone. If the player falls into the pit on the right, they can end up either in the floor below or in a literally bottomless pit. This was fixed in Beta 8.
  • Up to Beta 6, beating Metropolis Zone Act 2 sent the player to Sky Chase Zone, and beating Act 3 sent them to Aquatic Ruin Zone. This was corrected in Beta 7.

Act 1

Beta 4-7
Sonic2Metropolis1Change1Beta4.png
Beta 8+
Sonic2Metropolis1Change1Final.png

Spikes were placed above two of the screw elevators on the upper path. While the ones on the left are mostly pointless, the ones on the right were added to fix a bug.

Sonic2MetropolisScrewBug1.png Sonic2MetropolisScrewBug2.png
There's no invisible block above the elevator to crush Sonic, and the insides of that chunk are hollow, so the player is able to embed themselves in the ceiling. If they get all the way to the top by Spin Dashing, then press Left, they'll phase through the ceiling and be stuck until time runs out.

Beta 4, Beta 6+ Beta 5
Sonic2Metropolis1Change2Final.png Sonic2Metropolis1Change2Beta5.png

In Beta 5, and only in Beta 5, the signpost is missing from the end of the act.

Act 2

Beta 4-6
Sonic2Metropolis2Change1Beta4.png
Beta 7+
Sonic2Metropolis2Change1Final.png

An extra checkpoint was placed before the second transport tube on the upper path.

Act 3

Beta 4-6 Beta 7+
Sonic2Metropolis3Change1Beta4.png Sonic2Metropolis3Change1Final.png

Adding checkpoints never hurt anybody.

Beta 4 Beta 5+
Sonic2Metropolis3Change2Beta4.png Sonic2Metropolis3Change2Final.png

Horizontal spikes (the graphics aren't loaded so they appear as pressed switches) were placed to the right of the invincibility monitor. The player can't phase through the wall in Beta 4, so it's not clear why they were added. Better safe than sorry, one supposes.

Beta 4-6 Beta 7+
Sonic2Metropolis3Change3Beta4.png Sonic2Metropolis3Change3Final.png

An extra checkpoint to the right of these three gears. Check it out.

Sky Chase

While the layout and object placement in this stage is identical between Betas and the final version, there were a few bugs that needed fixing:

Sonic2SkyChaseTwoTails.png
From Beta 4 to Beta 6 (the first version with the options menu), the pilot of the Tornado is always Tails. This also applies to Wing Fortress Zone. Fixed in Beta 7...

Beta 7 Beta 8+
Sonic2TornadoSonicBeta7.gif Sonic2TornadoSonicFinal.gif

...but in that version, Sonic's sprite in the Tornado is different. It's supposed to look like wind is blowing through his spines but it doesn't quite work. It was updated in Beta 8.

Sonic2SkyChaseTurtleBug.png
If the player Spin Dashes on top of the Turtloid platform, they'll stay put, unaffected by the autoscrolling. This was corrected in Beta 8.

Sonic2SkyChasePropellerBug.png
In the flyby past Wing Fortress zone, the propellers are able to damage the player. This was fixed in Beta 7.

Sonic2SkyChaseBackgroundBug.png
When the player reaches the end of the zone in Beta 4, the background keeps scrolling after the screen locks. Fixed in Beta 5.

Death Egg Zone

General Differences

Sonic2DeathEggCheckpointBug.png

  • In Betas 4-6, checkpoint information isn't properly cleared at the end of Wing Fortress Zone. So, at the start of Death Egg Zone, the game attempts to spawn the player at the position of the last checkpoint they hit. This inevitably leads to a pit death.
  • The stage music plays constantly in Beta 4: The boss music is never cued.
  • In Beta 4, Mecha Sonic starts descending immediately after the screen locks. In later versions, it only descends after the boss music starts playing.
  • Mecha Sonic descends one pixel every two frames in Beta 4. This was doubled to one pixel per frame in Beta 5.
  • Mecha Sonic's sound effects are different in Beta 4:
  • When it descends from the ceiling, no sound effect plays.
  • Its idle sound is what would later be used for its spinning animation.
  • When it spins, it's completely silent.
  • The sound it makes while dashing is Sonic & Tails' spinning sound. From Beta 5 on, it plays the Spin Dash release sound.
  • The amount of hits it takes to defeat the Death Egg Robot changed a lot:
  • In Beta 4, it takes eight hits to defeat - same as any other boss.
  • In Beta 5, it takes twelve hits to defeat - same as the final version.
  • In Beta 6, it goes down in a single hit.
  • In Beta 7, it goes back to taking twelve hits to defeat.
  • The Death Egg Robot is missing its flying sound effect in Beta 4.
  • In Beta 4-5, the Death Egg Robot's targeting reticle is silent.
  • In Beta 4, the player keeps control of Sonic / Tails after the Death Egg Robot is defeated. This is clearly not intended - they're able to go into the tunnel at the end and then double back to the boss room, where the Death Egg Robot will spawn anew.

Zone

Beta 4-8
Sonic2DeathEggZoneChange1Beta4.png
Final
Sonic2DeathEggZoneChange1Final.png

The Death Egg Robot was moved into the right-hand corner in the final version.

Hidden Palace Zone

There are no layout or object placement differences. Development on this zone stopped sometime before the Nick Arcade prototype.

This zone is in the process of being dummied out: the stage tileset and collision table have been deleted from the ROM, and by Beta 5 it's exactly as it is in the final version. Beta 4 is a bit more intact, though:

  • All object graphics are still in the game.
  • The zone has its own edit mode list. Interestingly, Stego was added to the list at some point likely before the August 21/Alpha Prototype.
  • Redz, BBat, and Stego haven't had their programming dummied out yet.