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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)

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

  • At this point, Tails is still quasi-independent. That is, the second player is able to control Tails, except Tails will also follow Sonic. Also, 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.
  • Any zone with water will be glitched when playing in two-player mode, as the game loads the graphics incorrectly.
  • The underwater countdown music uses the level select theme. When Sonic gets out of the water, the Emerald Hill music begins.
  • Special Stages are still not present, although the music is.
  • 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 only levels that can be accessed without the level select cheat code are Aquatic Ruin Zone, Chemical Plant Zone, Hill Top Zone, and Emerald Hill Zone.
  • Bubbles are loaded incorrectly from the VRAM.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rolling demo gameplay is the same as the Nick Arcade build, and has not yet been rerecorded to fit subsequent layout changes.

Cheat Codes

Sonic2SimonWai LevelSelect.png

  • Level Select - A + Start.
  • "Night Mode" - C + Start.
  • Two-Player Mode - on the level select, press B + Start on any level.
  • Debug Mode - C, C, Up, Down, Down, Down, Down, Up. You can also enable it through the patch code FFFFFA:0001.


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 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
0A Oil Ocean Oil Ocean
0B Mystic Cave Mystic Cave
0C Casino Night Casino Night
0D Chemical Plant Chemical Plant
0E Genocide City Death Egg
0F Aquatic Ruin Aquatic Ruin
10 Death Egg Sky Chase

Neo Green Hill Zone (Aquatic Ruin)

  • The underwater portion is not yet implemented, so you will die if you miss the swinging platform in Act 2.
  • As a result of this, the floating platforms cause an "anti-gravity" bug if you jump off of them at the last possible moment (after they fall off the bottom of the screen and despawn).
  • The only enemies present are the arrow-shooting Robotnik-face totems.
  • The splashing animation is corrupted, showing misaligned bubbles instead of a splashing sprite. Tails has no splashing effects.

Chemical Plant Zone

  • The loops have slanted corners instead of 90-degree corners, as in the Nick Arcade build.
  • The background girders are grey.
  • The platforms which move across rails are much smaller.
  • The blue bubbles that jump between tubes make a different sound effect.

Hill Top Zone

Down you go.
  • The level layout has been worked on somewhat since the Nick Arcade build, but is still different from the final.
  • Sonic doesn't automatically spin when going through tunnels.
  • Earthquakes are silent.
  • Act 2 ends a bit early.

Green Hill Zone (Emerald Hill)

  • A snail-type badnik appears here, like in the previous build.
  • At one point, there is a hidden wall which is supposed to contain an extra life; it does, but it is blocked off. The only way in is by staying on the falling platform.
  • This and Hidden Palace are the only Zones in this prototype that contain badniks.
  • As with the previous build, this Zone contains the only boss you can fight. However, the machine does not explode when destroyed, even though the Sonic the Hedgehog explosion graphics are still present in the ROM.
  • Eggman's vehicle is already parked on the spot instead of entering from the right.

Oil Ocean Zone

  • The music is what would eventually become the final's 2P VS version of Casino Night, even though the normal Oil Ocean theme is present in the sound test.
  • Both Acts have different level layouts from the final.
  • Act 1 is completely playable, albeit with no signpost at the end. Many objects present in the final are missing, making it much harder to play through.
  • Act 2 cannot be played more than a few seconds in without debug or glitching, and the level layout is very different from the final.
  • The palette cycle is reversed, making it look like the sewers are sucking up the oil.
  • The sun does not animate or scroll.
  • The oil splashing animation is missing, and oil slides have no effect on Sonic.
  • Elevators are smaller than in the final, making them more difficult to stand on.
  • A mechanic is present which features a rolling checkered ball (like the scrapped ball in Sonic the Hedgehog) that springs up and rolls along when a button is pressed. While cut from the final, it can be placed in debug.

Metropolis Zone

This is, also, not technological.
  • The level layouts of all three acts are very different and do not loop vertically.
  • The stage background uses an orange palette instead of a blue-gray one.
  • The pistons take longer to pop out of the ground, and they don't launch Sonic very high.
  • The metal crushers can only crush Sonic if he is at the bottom. If he is at the top, he will simply be shoved upward.
  • Some rotating nets work, while others don't.
  • The corkscrews will not stop turning, meaning the player can potentially go as high as s/he wants.
  • Neither fire or lava can harm the player.
  • A parallelogram-shaped machine that moves horizontally and diagonally through narrow corridors appears in Act 3.
  • You cannot complete any of the Acts. The first two Acts have no goal sign and cut off with you dropping into a pit, while the third Act ends with a platform ride into emptiness.

Dust Hill Zone (Mystic Cave)

  • Both Acts use somewhat different level layouts from the final, but have few or no objects and no rings.
  • It seems Act 1 was only used for object testing, as the first half has a bunch of randomly placed objects and the other half is empty.
  • The bridge object works in Act 1, but uses a switch to open instead of vines seen in later builds.
  • Act 2 is completely devoid of objects.
  • There is no signpost/boss/capsule in either Act, making them both unable to be completed.
  • The name of this Zone is misleading, and most likely left over from an older build.

Casino Night Zone

Sonic in Vegas!
  • Has a completely different feel, with a pink card-suit-based scheme and sky blue floors.
  • Act 2 has a screwed-up background, since it is accidentally overwritten with the pinball table graphics.
  • There are no objects or enemies, and debug mode only has the default Ring / Static Monitor.
  • Many of the flipping tiles are missing, or the outlines flash and the tiles remain stationary. With hacking, it is possible to implement the rotating tile, albeit without its flipping format.
  • There are no Sonic, Miles, or Casino tiles. Instead, these are part of the layout tiles themselves.
  • There are many solid black areas in the Zone tiles that should be transparent.
  • There is a different sound for the bouncers that give points and disappear after three hits (and don't yet exist).
  • Tile layout is pretty similar to the final, but many level pieces are broken or missing; as such, both Acts are impossible to play without debug.
  • The red bumpers that give 10 points per hit do not exist. If the object (obj44) is placed in the level, it instead places a solid wall similar to the one from Green Hill Zone, indicating a leftover from the Nick Arcade build.

Wood Zone

Does this level look flat to you?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A background is present, but doesn't seem to be complete.
  • Act 2 is empty, containing nothing but Sonic and Tails falling to their deaths.

Hidden Palace Zone

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

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

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

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.

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. Presumably, this slot was meant for Dust Hill.

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. Presumably, this is the level slot that would later on become the Wing Fortress Zone.

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. Presumably, this was the original level slot of Sky Chase Zone, before it took Death Egg Zone's old slot at 10.


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.

Title Screen

The title screen still uses the original theme from Sonic the Hedgehog.

Stage Select

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 Sprites

To do:
Sprite Name Description
Spring Monitor icon This is always loaded in the VRAM in the levels, but you never actually see it. Presumably, it would have worked like the Pogo Spring monitor in Sonic Triple Trouble. This was also in the Nick Arcade build.
Sonic getting up An unused sprite that had no known purpose until the earlier Nick Arcade build was released, in which Sonic recoils in this manner when colliding with a wall. At this point in development, the recoil mechanism has been removed and only their sprites are left. The sprite on the right survived into the final and is used when getting up after Sonic has sat down from impatience, but the sprite on the left has been overwritten.
Sonic2proto LookingAtYou.png
Sonic facing the player Unused sprites of Sonic turning to face the player directly. Similar sprites are present and used in Sonic 3 for when Sonic interacts with certain obstacles, such as the spinning cylinders in Hydrocity.
Spr ledge.gif
Sonic on a ledge An unused animation of Sonic balancing on a ledge. Looks similar to an animation used for the same purpose in Sonic 3.
Sonic2Beta SonicPull.gif
Sonic pulling something An unused animation of Sonic pulling something. Puzzle elements involving pulling things may have been planned for.
Spr lamppost.gif
Checkpoint A checkpoint which looks very different compared to the final, but acts the same as the Sonic the Hedgehog checkpoints. You can place this with debug mode in Emerald Hill Zone, Hill Top Zone, and Metropolis Zone.
Sonic2pre hpzbg.png
Early HPZ background remains Used in an early version of the Hidden Palace background seen in a mock-up screenshot, but not in any real prototype. This was also in the Nick Arcade build.
Spr ball.gif
Ball According to concept art, this ball would bounce around and crush Sonic.
Spr fish.png
Piranha Badnik A piranha-type badnik which attacks Sonic in an arc-like motion. It is placeable with debug in the Nick Arcade build, but did not yet have its graphics.
Spr crocobot.gif
Gator A crocodile-type badnik. This badnik would have appeared in Dust Hill Zone according to a mock-up screenshot and would slowly move back and forth, opening its jaws when it got close to Sonic.
Spr trycerobot.png
Stego A triceratops-type badnik. This badnik would have appeared in Hidden Palace Zone according to a mock-up screenshot and would slowly move back and forth, and when Sonic approaches it it would activate its thrusters and move faster much like the snail badnik. In a later prototype, it was redrawn to use Sonic's palette.
Spr bouncer.gif
Crawl A prototype version of the Crawl badnik from Casino Night Zone. It still exists in the final.
Spr octopus.gif
Octus A prototype version of the Octus badnik from Oil Ocean Zone. This is not your usual Octus, as this one will fire a glowing bullet then quickly fly away horizontally if Sonic approaches it.
Spr seahorse2.png
Aquis A prototype version of the Aquis badnik from Oil Ocean Zone. Unlike its counterpart from the final version, this badnik behaves more erratically.
Spr 3eyefish.png
Bubbler's Mother A three-eyed fish-like badnik. According to concept art, this badnik would swim around in Chemical Plant Zone and drop Bubblers onto the ground around Sonic.
Spr bubble.gif
Bubbler A bubble-like badnik. According to concept art, this would have been dropped by Bubbler's Mother and would bubble up and burst when Sonic got near it. The palette is incorrect; it should be purple.
Spr cpzboss.gif
CPZ Boss Animation An unused sprite for the Chemical Plant Zone boss, presumably for when it was defeated.
(Source: Sonic Retro)

Unused Auto Demo

An auto demo for Metropolis Zone Act 3 was created, but it doesn't run during the title sequence. This demo is present until Beta 6 and removed from the final versions. This is possible to watch using this patch code FFFFF2:0004. The auto demo is partially incompatible with the level design.

Super Sonic

Sonic2 SWP Super Sonic.png

Super Sonic is partially implemented in this prototype, and can be accessed either via the Pro Action Replay code FFF65F:FF00 or by breaking open a monitor with the subtype 09 (unused in this prototype, and used in the final in two-player mode to grant a random number of rings). The only aspect which is implemented is the rotating palette; Super Sonic's unique sprites, invincibility and ring drain are not present.