IntroductionPrevious thread: Let's Play Sonic the Hedgehog!
It is November 23rd 1992. For nearly a year and a half, the world has played Sonic the Hedgehog to death and back again. A sequel has been promised, and tomorrow, on Sonic 2sday, it will be released.
It is of course a gigantic roaring success. The level design has been greatly improved, with more multiple paths and longer acts. The zones are now only two acts long, with a marker at the end of Act 1 and a boss fight with Dr Robotnik at the end of Act 2. Sonic has been given a new, incredibly useful move, the Spin Dash. The graphics are tuned up. The music is more complex. Sonic is now accompanied by an orange flying fox with two tails. Everything is bigger and better.
Ladies and gentlegoons, this is Sonic the Hedgehog 2!
But this is not the whole story...
Some people, having played the game to death, begin wondering about certain oddities in the game's design. The Metropolis Zone, for instance. It has three acts instead of the normal two. The Death Egg Zone has its own music that plays for all of a few seconds before the boss music kicks in for the final boss battles. There is a completely unidentified music track playable in the sound test that doesn't appear anywhere in the final game, and a certain Game Genie code unlocked a whole new level, albeit one that was broken and incomplete...
In late 1998, a discussion began on the newsgroup alt.binaries.emulators.sega, concerning a 'rare version' of Sonic 2, which had several playable lost levels that were not in the released version of the game. A gentleman named Simon Wai discovered the discussion and remembered having played something that fit the description in Hong Kong some years ago. He immediately began trawling Chinese ROM sites and soon turned up a copy. It turned out to be a beta version of Sonic 2, which Yuji Naka has since speculated originates from a demonstration cartridge stolen from a New York toy show. In January 1999, he founded a website to show the world Sonic 2 Beta, and a group formed, calling itself the 'Sonic Stuff Research Group', to hack the shit out of the beta and find out how it worked.
A member of the SSRG became frustrated with this after a few months: he wanted more attention to be paid to Sonic 1, as he felt that far more insight into Sonic 2's development would be available from Sonic 1 rather than the Sonic 2 beta. To stir up a little interest, he embarked on a completely new project. He created the first Sonic ROM hack, modifying Sonic 1 to create a hoax beta version of the game, in an attempt to draw attention to it. The hoax was duly released to the Internet at large and, after it was confirmed as such, ROM hacking became a popular pastime. By 2003, one hacker felt sufficiently confident to attempt a hack for Sonic 2 that would restore the lost levels and make them playable, creating them from scratch in some cases. And this is what we wil play. The game as it might have been, without time constraints on the development.
Ladies and gentlegoons, this is Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Long Version!
|Emerald Hill Zone|
|Chemical Plant Zone|
|Aquatic Ruin Zone|
|Casino Night Zone|
|Hill Top Zone|
|Mystic Cave Zone|
|Dust Hill Zone Act 1|
|Dust Hill Zone Act 2|
|Dust Hill Zone, the stunning conclusion|
|Oil Ocean Zone||Dailymotion|
|Genocide City Zone||Dailymotion|
|Hidden Palace Zone||Dailymotion|
|Sky Chase Zone / Wing Fortress Zone||Dailymotion|
|Death Egg Zone||Dailymotion|
|BONUS: Two-player versus mode, with special Scouse git/guest Lasher.|