Sonic the Hedgehog 2
After finishing Sonic the Hedgehog, the American-based Sega Technical Institute (now with Yuji Naka and *&^#@#) proposed a sequel, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and wanted to start work immediately. Higher-ups decided it wasn't to be, and instead held off on the idea while the first game was still raking in cash. Two months later, it's sequel was given the greenlight, and in addition, would need to be finished by Christmas (check.) Already behind schedule, the work on Sonic 2 and its storied history would begin.
After foiling Robotnik's plans the first time around, Sonic sees it time to take a vacation.
Dr. Robotnik is at it again.
A two-tailed fox follows the blue bastard for no apparent reason.
The result: lots and lots of sales
Sonic's back, with a couple of new tricks up his sleeve (ignoring "Blast Processing"). Built off of the Sonic 1 engine, the sequel keeps the spirit of the original - looping through brightly-colored courses and bouncing on badniks - while making a couple of key additions. Number one is the spin dash. Hold the down button and tap jump to cause Sonic to spin in a ball. Keep tapping the jump button to charge him up. Release the down button and the blue blur goes flying in the direction he's pointing, spinning through obstacles and taking out enemies along the way.
The other big addition, of course, is Tails. The two-tailed bastard makes his formal debut here (although he was rescued by Sonic in the GG/MS games first). Love him or loathe him, Tails follows Sonic around mimmicking his actions and generally making a fool of himself. He can use his two tails to fly around the screen, but only when Sonic runs off and ditches him. Another player can pick up the second controller and take control of Tails. Controls are identical to Sonic; no flying for human players.
Bonus rounds are entered differently this time around. Instead of huge flying rings that appear at the ends of levels, they're now controlled by lamp posts. Pass a lamp post with more than 50 rings and a group of stars will appear overhead. Just jump into the ring of stars and the pair are transported to the Bonus Round. This time, rather than a huge spinning maze, the whole thing is a quasi-3D race to collect rings. A goal appears at the top of the screen, increasing after each checkpoint. Get enough rings to race to the next checkpoint, avoiding the bombs along the way. Hit a bomb and lose the rings. Lose too many to reach the goal, and it's special stage over.
As usual, compeleting a bonus round will net a chaos emerald, but this time they do more than just reveal the happy ending. Now, Sonic can, in a Dragon Ball inspired fashion, transform into Super Sonic, a ring-munching bastard that is impervious to enemies.
Emerald Hill Zone
Chemical Plant Zone
Aquatic Ruin Zone
Hill Top Zone
Oil Ocean Zone
Sky Fortress Zone
Death Egg Zone
Sonic 2 Beta
With a hasty production schedule and lots of media attention, Sonic would face several publicly visible changes. Upon its release, many fans noticed that what they had seen in previews was not in the game. Screenshots of crocodile in a desert level and a dinosaur in a cave were found nowhere in the game. Game magazines, strategy guides, and even the Sonic 2 manual had screenshots that were different from the Sonic 2 delivered to stores. But one thing is for sure, something happened to this missing levels, most famously, the Hidden Palace Zone.
After years of speculation, rumors (bears flying out of the animal contraptions), theories, and downright lies, a beta version of the game was dug up by Simon Wai on a Chinese Geocities server (Geocities is good for something, right?). As it turns out, a preview version of Sonic 2 was stolen at (*(*&(*games convention in (*(*&(*&YEAR). Apparently, this version was pirated in China and attempted to be sold as the final Sonic 2 game. When it hit the English-speaking shores, people were in for a shock (and many more years of speculation, rumors, theories, and outright lies.)
The missing levels were here. Now publicly available, any Sonic fan with internet access and disregard for copyright laws could get a hold of the Hidden Palace Zone, Wood Zone, Neo Green Hill Zone and the mysterious Genocide City Zone.
Naturally, this raised as many questions as it answered, and spawned almost an entirely new type of Sonic fan - one that was interested in hacking the existing games and prototypes to find out as much about the development of the games as possible. In the following years, this would reach it's peak, with folks contacting game developers first hand to try to get more information. Eventually, Sonic developers, such as Chris Senn from Sonic X-Treme, would come forwards themselves.
So, check out some of the screenshots below, and for more information, head over to Sonc-Cult and the Sonic 2 Beta webpage.
Debug Mode - Go to the sound test and play sounds 1, 9, 9, 2, 1, 1, 2,and 4.& Press start and hold A.& As in Sonic 1, press B to enter debug mode, A to switch sprites, and C to place that sprite in the Zone.
Level Select & Slow Motion - At the sound test screen, play sounds 19, 65, 9, 17, and press C. Press start to return to the title screen, then hold A while pressing Start. While in the game, press Start to pause, and the press A to restart, B for slow motion, or C for frame skip.
More Continues - Input the level select code, then at the sound test, play sounds 1, 1, 2, and 4. Move to the player select option and push Start.
Super Sonic - Instead of getting all the Chaos Emeralds, input the level select code, and then play sounds 4, 1, 2, and 6 in the sound test. While in the game, get 50 rings and jump.
Tails Name Switch - To switch the name of Tails' life counter to "Miles," press Up, Up, Up, Down, Down, Down, and Up at the title screen.
11:44 AM 12/2/2008