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Proto:Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis)/Simon Wai Prototype

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This is a sub-page of Proto:Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis).
Download.png Download Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Simon Wai prototype)
File: Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (Simon Wai Prototype).bin (1 MB) (info)
Sonic2nickarcadetitle.PNG

The Simon Wai prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is definitely further along than the Nick Arcade prototype, but there are still quite a few unfinished elements such as level layouts and things that have not been fully implemented. There are also many, many unused graphics that can be found via hacking. In addition, there are a few levels not seen in the final, but most of them contain nothing.

The prototype is named after Simon Wai, who found it on a Chinese Geocities page in 1998. The actual ROM image likely came from a demonstration cart that was stolen from a New York toy fair in 1992, then dumped.

General Notes

  • The SEGA logo does not appear when booting up the game. However, if you get a Game Over, the game does show the SEGA logo and then shows the title screen. This also happens if you stay on the title screen and allow the resulting demo to run its course. The sound is also noticeably higher pitched than in the final.
  • Uses the earlier title screen and lacks the title menu.
  • Any zone with water will be glitched when playing in two-player mode, as the game loads the graphics incorrectly.
  • Special Stages are still not present, although the music is.
  • Locking on this prototype with Sonic & Knuckles will unlock the full Blue Sphere game, as it does with the Nick Arcade build. This is because the two prototypes have the same serial code as Sonic the Hedgehog (REV01), which determines the result of the lock-on.
  • Rolling demo gameplay is the same as the Nick Arcade build, and has not yet been rerecorded to fit subsequent layout changes.
  • The level select has the same general appearance as the level select from Sonic 1.
  • Special Stage cannot be selected on the level select, as they don't exist yet.
  • There are no checkpoints in the game. One can be placed via Debug Mode, where it can be seen that they have a totally different design to the one used in the final game.
  • The player starts most Acts positioned slightly more to the left than they do in the final game. However, this doesn't affect all levels.

Cheat Codes

Sonic2SimonWai LevelSelect.png
  • Level Select - A + Start.
  • "Night Mode" - C + Start.
    • Unlike the final game, Debug mode doesn't need to be active for this to work.
  • Two-Player Mode - on the level select, press B + Start on any level that doesn't have water.
  • Debug Mode - C, C, Up, Down, Down, Down, Down, Up.
    • You can also enable it through the patch code FFFFFA:0001. The ring sound will play even if the C button is never pressed, but nothing else happens.
    • Layer switches are visible in this version's debug mode. A checkpoint sound is made whenever the player (or Tails) passes through them.
    • Tails jumps to Sonic's position when leaving Object Placement mode.

Gameplay

  • At this point, Tails is still quasi-independent.
    • The second player is able to control Tails, except Tails will also follow Sonic.
    • Tails cannot complete a level on his own, since the game only loads the goal sign when Sonic approaches it.
    • The AI is much simpler; it only follows Sonic and does not try to keep up.
    • Tails loses the player's rings when he is hit.
    • If he dies, he drops back in from the top of the screen and immediately goes into a roll when he hits the ground because he can't fly yet.
  • If player one completes a level, Tails can be controlled if Sonic is off-screen.
  • As with the Nick Arcade build, the spin dash is still a work-in-progress, as Sonic and Tails can only charge it up once; the sound for when Sonic spins in Sonic the Hedgehog is still heard due to there not yet being a specific sound effect for the spin dash.
  • As with the Nick Arcade build, the timer resets to 9:00 when it approaches 9:59 in order to allow the player to test the stages for extended periods of time.
  • The screen doesn't scroll up or down when you look up or down for a certain period of time.
  • Bubbles are loaded incorrectly from the VRAM.
  • A unique bug is present in this prototype. Upon collecting 100 rings, the game will play the Death Egg Zone music instead of the usual 1-up sound. This is because sound bank 88 (which was the 1-up sound in the Nick Arcade build) has since been overwritten and not edited to play the correct sound. Game Genie code XCOT-AAC4 will cause the correct tune to play. The monitors, on the other hand, were programmed with the correct 1-up sound.
  • The underwater countdown music uses the level select theme. When Sonic gets out of the water, the Emerald Hill music begins.
  • Spike behavior is the same as the first game - getting hit does not give the player invincibility frames to avoid being immediately hurt from other spikes.
  • Rolling tubes do not force the player to roll, notably in Hill Top and Hidden Palace.
  • Speed Shoes do not increase the speed of the music.
  • No title cards or score tallies appear at the beginning and end of an Act respectively. However, the clear theme does play in the case of the latter.
  • The splashing animation is corrupted, showing misaligned bubbles instead of a splashing sprite. Tails has no splashing effects.
  • 2 Player mode only has split screen for Sonic and Tails. Otherwise, it's identical to 1 Player mode - The level will still restart if Sonic dies.
  • Aquatic Ruin, Chemical Plant, Hill Top and Emerald Hill are the only zones where signposts appear. Capsules do not exist yet.

Zones

Without accessing the level select, the game allows you to play Aquatic Ruin, Chemical Plant, Hill Top, and Emerald Hill. After beating the Emerald Hill boss, the game resets to the Sonic the Hedgehog SEGA screen despite being disabled from appearing at startup.

Internal Zone Order

Zones that are either placeholders or leftover from a previous build are in italics, new levels are bold, and moved level slots are blue.

Sonic 1 Nick Arcade Simon Wai Final
00 Green Hill Green Hill Green Hill
(Emerald Hill)
Emerald Hill
01 Labyrinth Labyrinth leftovers
02 Marble Chemical Plant Wood Wood leftovers
03 Star Light Emerald Hill
04 Spring Yard Hidden Palace Metropolis Metropolis
05 Scrap Brain Hill Top Metropolis 3 Metropolis 3
06 Wing Fortress
07 Hill Top Hill Top
08 Hidden Palace Hidden Palace
09
0A Oil Ocean Oil Ocean
0B Dust Hill
(Mystic Cave)
Mystic Cave
0C Casino Night Casino Night
0D Chemical Plant Chemical Plant
0E Genocide City Death Egg
0F Neo Green Hill
(Aquatic Ruin)
Aquatic Ruin
10 Death Egg Sky Chase

This earlier zone order seems to match the order seen in early concepts for the game which involved time travel. Zone 01 would be Ocean Wind, zone 03 would be Sand Shower, zone 06 would be Tropical Plant, and zone 09 would be either Blue Lake or Rock World.

Even at this point, though, the zone order has been changed: Neo Green Hill doesn't appear in any of those time zone maps.

The prototype seems to have some routes, different from the final version where you start in Emerald Hill Zone and goes to Death Egg Zone. Apparently there are 3 main routes. To access them, use the object 3A in order, Green Hill Zone, Genocide City Zone, Hidden Palace Zone and Death Egg Zone. All routes restart on the Green Hill Zone (Emerald Hill Zone) after going through Hill Top Zone. ID01, ID03, ID06, ID09 and Death Egg Zone don't have anything interesting.

Green Hill Zone Route
1-Green Hill Zone
2-Wood Zone
3-Metropolis Zone
4-Hill Top Zone
Back to Green Hill Zone Route

Genocide City Zone Route
1-Genocide City Zone
2-Neo Green Hill Zone
3-Chemical Plant Zone
4-Hill Top Zone
Back to Green Hill Zone Route

Hidden Palace Zone Route
1-Hidden Palace Zone
2-Oil Ocean Zone
3-Dust Hill Zone (Mystic Cave Zone)
4-Casino Night Zone
5-Chemical Plant Zone
6-Hill Top Zone
Back to Green Hill Zone Route

ID01, ID03, ID06, ID09 and Death Egg Zone Route
Back to Green Hill Zone Route

Subpages

Sonic2IconEHZ.png
Green Hill Zone
Behold the monkeyfication!
Sonic2IconMZ.png
Metropolis Zone
Vertical wrapping!
Sonic2IconHTZ.png
Hill Top Zone
Lava hurts now!
Sonic2IconOOZ.png
Oil Ocean Zone
Too many checkered balls!
Sonic2IconMCZ.png
Dust Hill Zone
A pretty empty cavern!
Sonic2IconCNZ.png
Casino Night Zone
Pink and blue nightmare!
Sonic2IconCPZ.png
Chemical Plant Zone
The same, but different!
Sonic2IconARZ.png
Neo Green Hill Zone
Semi-aquatic ruins!

Zone ID 01

Sonic2gen waiproto GHZRemains.PNG
  • Uses Emerald Hill's palette and music, complete with a lack of debug mode objects aside from the ring and Static Monitor.

This empty stage slot can be accessed by entering Game Genie code AA7A-ACGY or Pro Action Replay code FFFE10:0100 and choosing Green Hill Zone Stage 0. As with Genocide City, Death Egg, and Wood Zone Act 2, Sonic and Tails immediately fall to their deaths upon entering. Presumably, this stage belonged to the original Labyrinth Zone, which was featured in the Nick Arcade prototype. In that prototype, the level was just garbage data.

Wood Zone

Does this level look flat to you?

A scrapped Zone. It seems that only a small portion was ever implemented and did not get too far.

  • What exists of the level quickly ends because of a ramp that has a platform blocking the top of it, which is impossible to get past without debug.
  • Plays the music for Metropolis Zone.
  • If you use debug, you can move upwards in the level and find a conveyor belt, but it doesn't work.
  • Level collision is glitchy.
  • Unlike any other zone in the game, the entire background is located under the stage instead of in the background layer.
  • Act 2 is empty, containing nothing but Sonic and Tails falling to their deaths.

Zone ID 03

Sonic2gen waiproto DHZBetaLeftovers.PNG
  • Uses the final Oil Ocean theme, and only has the default Ring and Static monitor objects in debug mode.

This empty stage slot can be accessed by entering Game Genie code AA7A-AGGY or Pro Action Replay code FFFE10:0300 and choosing "Green Hill Zone Stage 0" on the stage select. Like Genocide City and Death Egg, this stage uses Emerald Hill's palette and is entirely empty, causing Sonic and Tails to immediately fall to their deaths upon entering. In the Nick Arcade prototype, this slot was used for Emerald Hill Zone.

Zone ID 06

Sonic2gen waiproto WFZSlot.PNG
  • Contains a pitch black background, uses what would become the two-player Emerald Hill Zone theme in the final, and only has default Ring and Static monitor objects in debug mode.

This is an empty stage slot that can be accessed by entering the Game Genie code AA7A-ANGY or Pro Action Replay code FFFE10:0600 and choosing "Green Hill Stage 0" on the stage select. As with the others, the stage is entirely empty, prompting Sonic and Tails to fall to their immediate deaths upon entering. This level slot was later used for Wing Fortress Zone.

Hidden Palace Zone

It took them 21 years, but they finally finished it.

This zone has very few changes from the previous version. For more information, see the Nick Arcade prototype page.

  • This Zone has had mainly minor behind-the-scenes changes since the Nick Arcade build.
  • Sonic and Tails have had their underwater palette updated.
  • The music has been changed to what would be the 2P VS version of Mystic Cave in the final.
  • The debug list has had a face lift, and all the unused objects that were in the Nick Arcade build are now gone. The items that are still there have fixed previews.
  • The collision bug caused by spindashing into the big emerald from far away has been fixed.
  • The art for Emerald Hill's enemies is no longer loaded in this Zone.
  • This and Emerald Hill are the only Zones in this build with badniks in it.

(Layout)

Zone ID 09

Sonic2gen waiproto SCZSlot.PNG
  • Uses the Emerald Hill Zone palette, the Sky Chase Zone theme as its default background music, and only has default Ring and Static monitor objects in debug mode.

By entering Game Genie code AA7A-AWGY or Pro Action Replay code FFFE10:0900 and choosing "Green Hill Stage 0" on the stage select, the player will be taken to yet another empty Zone that promptly causes Sonic and Tails to fall to their deaths.

Genocide City Zone

What are you?
  • Both Acts use Chemical Plant's music, Emerald Hill's palette, and the default Ring / Static Monitor objects in debug mode. They're also completely empty.

This Zone was originally designed as a single-act mechanical-themed area. It is called "Genocide City" in this build because of an average understanding of English by the person who originally named it, then changed to Cyber City after this prototype. Before the team started putting it in the game, it was scrapped; the level design was used for Metropolis Act 3, while the graphics were used in Level 3 of Sonic Spinball (The Machine).

Death Egg Zone

S2wai-deathegg.png
  • Both Acts use Emerald Hill's palette, but play no music and are empty. Dying here causes all sound to cut off.

Music

The tracks for the final's invincibility, drowning, ending, song #10, and credits themes are all nonexistent while the continue, game over, extra life, and Chaos Emerald fanfares are already in their final form. Everything else, however, is at least slightly different.

Audio Name Notes
Title Screen The title screen still uses the original theme from Sonic the Hedgehog.
Stage Select/Drowning The snare sample has been replaced with a kick, and the trumpet sample is heavier. A backing trumpet in the left channel is instead a celesta. The right channel has an extra bottle-like instrument.
Neo Green Hill Zone (Aquatic Ruin Zone) The instrumentation is heavier and lacks a backing part in the left channel.
Chemical Plant Zone/Genocide City Zone About 1.4% slower than the final, and the first pitch bend before the loop comes in late.
Hill Top Zone About 11.35% slower.
Green Hill Zone (Emerald Hill Zone) About .3% slower, and some of the percussion is more distinct.
Wood Zone/Metropolis Zone About 1.6% faster. The instrumentation is radically different, with more grating and off-key tones. Also uses a different off-beat sample, and the melody has a simpler, downward pitch bend.
Hidden Palace Zone (Mystic Cave 2-Player) About .6% faster. The intro has more quavery instruments, and the mix is overall less full.
Oil Ocean Zone (Casino Night 2-Player) About 10.75% slower.
Zone ID 03 (Oil Ocean Zone) About 8.35% slower. Has more distinctive intro instrumentation, and some backing instrument samples are slightly different.
Dust Hill Zone (Mystic Cave Zone) About 6.6% slower.
Casino Night Zone About 12.93% slower. The instrumentation is much different, giving a sleazier feel. The percussion and bass are much more ornamented. The prototype has an extra harmony line just before the loop.
Zone ID 09 (Sky Chase Zone) About 6.95% slower, and has a louder bell sample.
Unused (Wing Fortress Zone) About 6.23% slower. The backing instruments are slightly altered and much louder, sometimes to the point of almost drowning out the melody.
"100 Rings" Extra Life (Death Egg Zone) About 15.65% faster, and has much fainter and sicklier instrumentation. The percussion is also very different.
Act Complete Seems to have a very slight jump in the first two notes that the final doesn't.
Dr. Robotnik About .25% slower. Has a much heavier mix, and a faint additional backing part.
Unused (Final Boss) About 1% slower. Has a different, less distinct kick sample.
Invincibility (Super Sonic) About 7.4% slower. The right channel has an extra "alarm" instrument in the intro. This was later replaced with a different theme and became the music for Super Sonic.
Unused (2-Player Results) About 1.5% slower.
Zone ID 06 (Emerald Hill 2-Player) About 6.64% slower. Has a slightly shorter kick sample.
Unused (Special Stage) Has a very slightly more prominent kick sample.

Unused Graphics & Objects

Hmmm...
To do:
Chiki Chiki Boys Leftovers

Most of the changed and unused graphics and objects in the Nick Arcade prototype are still here, with the following exceptions:

  • The signposts and fireballs use their final graphics.
  • The early animated Chemical Plant Zone graphics are no longer in the ROM.
  • The JIS X 0201 character set has been deleted.
  • Hill Top Zone's one-way barrier and the nebulous gray switch have been coded and placed in various zones.
  • The Chemical Plant Zone floating platforms now behave as they do in the final game.

Graphics

Graphic Offset Compression Description
Sonic2MetropolisDrills.gif 0x28A6A None Animated drill tiles for use in Metropolis Zone. These are loaded to slots 368-377 in VRAM, though the game mistakenly loads two copy of the horizontal drill instead of the vertical drill.
Sonic2MysticCaveVineSwitch.png
0x77472 Nemesis This is the vine that acts as a switch in Mystic Cave Zone. It has yet to be coded at this point.
Sonic2MysticCaveHangingVine.png
0x7756A Nemesis The hanging vine from Mystic Cave Zone. It hasn't been coded either.


(Source: Sonic Retro)

Objects

Sonic2MonitorQuestion.png
Monitor subtype 08. Breaking this monitor will load Super Sonic's palette.

Sonic2 SWP Super Sonic.png
The same effect can be seen through the Pro Action Replay code FFF65F:FF00. Super Sonic's unique sprites, speed, invincibility, jump height, and ring drain are not yet present.


(General information: Sonic Retro)

Unused Auto Demo

There's partial data for a Metropolis Zone Act 3 in the demo table that can be viewed using patch code FFFFF2:0004.

This is actually caused by the demo table not being converted after the Nick Arcade prototype:

Zone ID 02 03 04 05 05 05 05 05 04 04 04 04

02 is Chemical Plant, 03 is Hidden Palace, 04 is Green Hill, and 05 is Hill Top. The first four entries are valid, while the remaining entries are placeholders.

In the Simon Wai prototype, the table was changed:

Zone ID 0D 00 08 07 05 05 05 05 04 04 04 04

Chemical Plant, Hidden Palace, Green Hill, and Hill Top use their new level IDs, but the duplicate Green Hill and Hill Top entries were not converted. They now point to Metropolis Act 3 and Metropolis Act 1/2 respectively.

The Metropolis Zone demo uses the input from the 2P Green Hill demo, which doesn't really work out.