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Proto:Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis)/September 14th, 1992

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

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Hiddenpalace.org logo.png  This prototype is documented on Hidden Palace.

The September 14, 1992 prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a later build, dated nine weeks before the final release. The build seems to have been created when the last features of the game were being added, with the EPROM calling the build a "Pre-Beta". It was released on November 9, 2019 as a part of Hidden Palace's Sonic Month.

Interestingly, the differences shown here are consistent with the Gamemaster Preview, suggesting they're the same build. As such, this prototype is sometimes known as the Gamesmaster prototype. Additionally, this is is the first build in which (nearly) all levels are completable.

Attract Mode/Level Select

  • This is the first known title screen to have the menu present, while everything else is identical to earlier builds. This title screen is famous for appearing in non-Japanese manuals.
  • Demos still use their Nick Arcade inputs, which remains the same for all prototypes.
  • The Level Select still uses the Sonic 1 setup. Hidden Palace is no longer able to be selected, with Wood and Genocide City being absent alongside the second Act of Death Egg.

General Differences

  • Spikes will still damage Sonic/Tails while they're in the brief invulnerability state after being hurt, just like in Sonic 1.
  • Super Sonic is close to completion, with all of his abilities being present. However, the ring drain still has not been implemented. The unused monitor from the Simon Wai build is still able to placed in Debug Mode, this time giving Super Sonic all of his abilities instead of just the palette.

Graphical Differences

Hmmm...
To do:
Rip the updated Crawl art as it is unique to this build.
  • Checkpoints and invincibility still use their old art.
  • Crawl uses an updated version of its old art, now having more shading and better colors. Crawl is still stationary aswell.

Sound Differences

  • Starting with this build, the background music is almost identical to the final version. The only exception is the credits theme, which is slightly different.
  • While all sound effects have been added, most of them are not used yet.

Zone Differences

Only 1 Act!?
  • Title cards are in an preliminary state. They lack a background, and the number only displays when the level fades in.
  • Boss themes don't stop after a boss is defeated.
  • The score tally does not display after completing an Act, and the level transition interrupts the Act clear music before it can finish, much like previous builds.
  • Animal Capsules have not yet been implemented. Defeating a boss and walking to the right causes the level to complete regardless.
  • There are no checkpoints placed yet, though they can be placed in Debug Mode and still have their design from prior builds.

Green Hill Zone (Emerald Hill)

Now with 100% less emeralds!
  • This is the second known build which replaces the Snail badnik with the final's Coconuts.

Chemical Plant Zone

Looks complete.
  • The Spiny badnik is blue instead of red.
  • The boss fight's moving platforms are missing.

Neo Green Hill (Aquatic Ruin)

NEO GREEN OOOO 1
  • The art for bubbles overwrites part of the title card, an element seen in at least one magazine preview. This would later be fixed by loading the bubble art after the title card has left.
  • Badniks have incorrect palettes underwater.

Casino Night Zone

But I haven't even played the slot machine yet...
  • This zone has reached its final design at this point.
  • There are far more rings when compared to later prototypes.
  • While not present in the stage itself, the Crawl badnik is present in the object list and uses its early design. However, the badnik itself is impossible to destroy even as Super Sonic.
  • The boss dies in just two hits, which was likely for testing purposes.
  • The boss' cyan electricity never loads, and instead displays maroon.

Dust Hill Zone (Mystic Cave)

Original zone do not steal
  • This seems to confirm that Dust Hill was actually an early name for Mystic Cave, and not the name of the scrapped desert level.
  • The cycling light palette doesn't stop at the boss fight, which causes it to look slightly off.

Oil Ocean Zone

Oil Ocean Zone, now with different music!
  • Plays the Casino Night Zone 2-Player theme, just like the Simon Wai prototype.
  • The background is completely static besides the oil flows in the background.
  • Sliding on oil plays the electricity sound effect instead of the correct one.
  • The boss' laser uses Sonic's palette, which was changed to a unique one in the final due to Super Sonic changing Sonic's palette.
  • The boss' tentacle(?) moves slower.

Metropolis Zone

Slicers still intact!
  • Beating Act 2 will take you to Sky Chase. Act 3 is present, though, and if beaten you'll be taken to Neo Green Hill Act 1.

Sky Chase Zone

Sky Chase Zone.
  • Plays the Wing Fortress theme.
  • There are more rings here compared to the final game.
  • Unlike the final, the platforms for Wing Fortress don't overlap Sonic.
  • Scrolling doesn't stop at the end of the level.
  • Oddly, rings move with the Fortress.
  • It's impossible to beat the level; upon reaching the end, the background abruptly cuts off and the camera stops scrolling.

Sky Fortress Zone (Wing Fortress)

Wing Fortress Zone but Eggman didn't drink Red Bull.
  • The beginning cutscene is extremely incomplete, only one laser appears, and there's no sound effects.
  • Part of the background doesn't scroll, which wasn't fixed until the final release.
  • The Clucker badniks are absent, even though the stage is set up for them and they are present in the stage’s object list.
  • Funnily, instead of a boss fight there's two turrets, implying the boss of this was not implemented at this point.
  • The ending cutscene is also extremely incomplete. The controls are not locked, the Tornado lacks a booster, and Eggman doesn't even attempt to get away. Thanks to this, it is impossible to beat this stage.

Death Egg Zone

Death Egg Zone.
  • Also continuously plays the Wing/Sky Fortress theme.
  • The title card is slightly glitchy.
  • The doors aren't broken here, but are in the slightly later CENSOR build.
  • The Death Egg Robot has a number of differences: it starts in the middle of the room, moves much faster than in the final, freezes completely after taking a few steps, and is completely invincible.

Hidden Palace Zone

Starting to look familiar.

By this point in development, Hidden Palace has been removed and cannot be accessed from the Level Select (though the entry is still there in this build). The level is a garbled mess just like in the final, but much more remains.

It should be noted that this stage will crash to a purple screen due to its first PLC pointing to Oil Ocean Zone's 16x16 blocks, meaning to access it you have to load a random level than immediately after use Pro Action Replay code FFFE10:0800.

  • While the most basic data is gone, art and objects are still intact.
  • The Autospin object has been added for the tube at the beginning.
  • Still plays the Mystic Cave 2-Player theme, even though the track that plays in the final is present.

Wood Zone

Hmmm...
To do:
Figure out which art and mappings it pulls from.
When a Mommy Green Hill and a Daddy Wood love each other very much...

Most data has been removed at this point, though the palette is still present. To access this level, use Pro Action Replay code FFFE10:0200 and start any level.

  • The level layout is now the same as Green Hill/Emerald Hill Act 1. Collision is slightly broken, like the final.
  • Still plays the Metropolis Zone theme.

Ocean Wind Zone

Sonic2Sep14OceanWindSandShowerRockWorldZone.png

Most data has been removed by this point. To access this level, use Pro Action Replay code FFFE10:0100 and start any level.

  • The level layout is now the same as Green Hill/Emerald Hill Act 1. Collision is slightly broken, like the final.
  • Plays the Emerald Hill theme.

Sand Shower Zone

Sonic2Sep14OceanWindSandShowerRockWorldZone.png

Most data has been removed by this point. To access this level, use Pro Action Replay code FFFE10:0300 and start any level.

  • The level layout is now the same as Green Hill/Emerald Hill Act 1. Collision is slightly broken, like the final.
  • Plays the final Oil Ocean theme.

Rock World Zone

Sonic2Sep14OceanWindSandShowerRockWorldZone.png

Most data has been removed by this point. To access this level, use Pro Action Replay code FFFE10:0900 and start any level.

  • The level layout is now the same as Green Hill/Emerald Hill Act 1. Collision is slightly broken, like the final.
  • Plays the Sky Chase theme.

Special Stage

Hmmm...
To do:
Take screenshot
This isn't Red Light, Green Light!

Implemented, but very incomplete.

  • A traffic light is next to the "START" text, rotating through red, amber, and green before the challenge begins.
  • The "START" text is semi-transparent rather than opaque. It stays onscreen for longer, and when the letters disperse the left flag and "ST" move to the left, the "A" moves down, and the traffic lights, right flag, and "RT" move to the right. In the final game, the letters and flags all move upwards and outwards from the center of the screen.
  • Sonic's name is orange instead of blue.
  • The ring counter uses three digits (zero-padded when necessary) rather than one or two depending on the number of rings collected.
  • The stage loops indefinitely until the game is reset. The timer simply resets when it reaches zero.
  • Sonic's jump sprite as well as the rings are using different sprites.
  • There are no sound effects.
  • Only one stage is present, and it's colored differently to any of the stages in the final game.
  • Pausing the game will glitch out the graphics for some reason.
  • The physics are significantly different.
  • Collecting 1,000 rings by either Sonic or Tails causes the game to crash.
  • It takes an absurdly long time (~10 seconds) to load in this build, as the developers for some reason compressed most of the art individually. This was fixed by Beta 4.
(Source: Hidden Palace)