Software preservation can be incredibly tricky, as is the case for Hidden Palace’s recent discovery of an prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 that was recently discovered from an old dumping group named CENSOR. Despite being made available to the public once before, it was not until recently that this version of Sonic 2 was not made available to a society dedicated to software preservation.
If you’re reading this expecting some significant new information about Sonic 2’s development history, you’re out of luck. However this build is actually older than the Beta 4, previously relesed by drx in 2008. This has led to speculation that this version is the Beta 3 build that was not included in SEGA’s QA archives. In fact this version is so close to the release of the final game from a matter of weeks, meaning the differences between this prototype and the Beta 4 prototype are not as drastic. However there are some notable differences, such as object layout changes in Wing Fortress, known as Sky Fortress in this version, slanted edges on the loops in Chemical Plant as well as longer load times when entering special stages due to how art was compressed in the Nemesis format.
Hidden Palace has provided a video playthrough showcasing differences, a brief history on dumping groups and the indirect role of software preservation (piracy!) as well as a page dedicated to the prototype detailing differences as well as links to download the prototype. The downloads include versions with CENSOR’s intro and copy protection bypass along with a proper dump of the ROM by itself.
Be sure to keep an eye on Hidden Palace as they have been on a roll putting out pre-release and prototype versions of games consistently. Aside from Sonic 2, they also rediscovered another CENSOR release of Gauntlet IV which predates the official Japanese release. One of the more interesting recent releases includes the 32X version of Pinocchio which, despite being ultimately cancelled, features increased color depth and parallax scrolling over the Mega Drive and Genesis versions. They also noted they will continue to put out more releases by CENSOR in the near future.
Thanks goes to GerbilSoft for pointing out the release in the Sonic Retro Discord.
Iron Gut Publishing who specializes in creating limited edition art print collections have announced a run for the 25th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog that will also feature other SEGA properties that’s currently slated only in the UK. Below is their press release.
Iron Gut Publishing, the company that specialises in creating limited edition art collections for global brands have signed a UK license with SEGA® Europe Ltd.
The art collection will feature the iconic video game character Sonic the Hedgehog, as well as a host of other classic brands from the SEGA video game portfolio including Golden Axe™, Streets of Rage™ and Revenge of Shinobi™.
2016 is the 25th anniversary year of Sonic and we will be organising an art event to celebrate this which will showcase the collection to fans. The event will allow us to drive awareness and increase visibility of both the brand and collection available.– Anthony Marks, M.D Iron Gut Publishing.
Framed products will be available from bricks and mortar stores and unframed for mail order and online sales. The range will be available from Q2 2016.
Throughout the summer, YouTube channel The Geek Critique has been covering the classic Sonic games in a six part Classic Sonic Retrospective which is, as described by the video’s creator, as being “essentially a feature-length documentary covering every single game in the classic series”. The retrospective covers why Sonic was such an influential series personally, and to the industry as a whole. It also does a good job in tackling the recent notion circulating the internet that Sonic was never good to begin with. Give the series a watch and stay tuned to The Geek Critique’s channel as he plans to cover the Sonic Adventure series next summer!
This past weekend, SEGAbits writers Ben, Shigs, and Nuckles hit San Diego Comic Con and SEGA’s game preview event located at the nearby Nerd HQ. While Comic Con isn’t as game centric as E3, there was quite a bit of SEGA goodness to be found. We were able to check out the latest preview builds of Alien: Isolation and Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, as well as interview Archie Comics on the upcoming Sonic Boom comic book series. But the main event had to have been Sunday’s Console Wars panel. The panel, which centered around the SEGA and Nintendo rivalry of the 90′s, featured special guests Tom Kalinske (Sega of America), Al Nilsen (Sega of America), Bill White (Nintendo of America), and Perrin Kaplan (Nintendo of America), as well as Console Wars author Blake J. Harris and Julian Rosenberg, producer of the upcoming Console Wars documentary.
Thanks to Blake, our guys were given the VIP treatment and secured some awesome seats – allowing us to film the panel and Q&A session and meet the SEGA and Nintendo legends! Check out the full panel above, and make sure to pick up your copy of Console Wars if you haven’t already!
Come join our live SEGA Channel Retro stream as we celebrate Sonic’s birthday the only way we know how! Come check out Sonic games and more on stream.
Now that the stream has concluded, jump to any point you’d like from our initial stream, and be sure to stay tuned this week for more Sonic games streamed live on SEGA Channel Retro. Videos are up on YouTube and on Twitch.
SEGA Channel Retro presents a showcase of fan-driven projects regarding classic SEGA favorites as well as a vintage PC shooter making it’s debut on the SEGA Genesis. Today Bartman3010 checks out Ecco the Dolphin PC retooled for modern platforms by a key member from Caverns of Hope, GASEGA68K’s port of Wolfenstein 3D to the Mega Drive as well as finishing up our sporadic playthrough of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 with Sonic 3 Complete made by members of Sonic Retro. If you are reading this, the feed should be live very shortly.
You can check out the archived stream in it’s entirety on Twitch here as well as view the videos on YouTube if you prefer. If you want to play any of these for yourself, the links will be listed below.
Sega Channel exclusive no more! Sega and Capcom are teaming up to bring you not only Sonic the Hedgehog 1, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Super Street Fighter II, you also receive a copy of Mega Man – The Wily Wars which featured Mega Man 1, 2, 3 and an exclusive mini-game under one package.
Given the history of portable Genesis/Mega Drive units produced by At Games and Blaze who have also released other ___ Sega games in one Mega Drive units such as the Firecore, also known as the Blaze Sega Mega Drive, it’s highly likely all the games in the package will also suffer a number of sound and graphical emulation errors. You won’t be getting the perfect experience playing the game, but at least it’s on the go and has 37 games from Sega, 3 games from Capcom and 40 other unannounced titles. The unit is scheduled for release on November 13th.
All I can say about Sonic is…it’s awesome! – James Rolfe a.k.a. the Angry Video Game Nerd
Not something you expected to hear from what is possibly the world’s most irate game player. James Rolfe has put out a video of him outside of the role of the Nerd and unscripted describing his memories on playing Sonic the Hedgehog games. Surprise! He states in the video that he has never played a bad Sonic game. If the video is of any indication, he probably stopped playing them after a certain point. The video covers his fond memories of Sonic 1, 2, 3, Spinball (Briefly) and Sonic CD.
Like any enthusiast, one will probably dissect the video and see how his memory stacks up to their own experience with the games. While James recounts his fondest memories from what seems like years that he last played a Sonic game after being introduced to the series by his neighbors, there’s something a bit off from the footage used for the video.
If the red number didn’t throw you off, you’ll notice that the font is taken from…Sonic the Hedgehog 2. It’s not supered over the actual game. It’s running in real time. The Nerd is usually known for using actual hardware to play games. No save states. No modifications. Where did this footage come from? The Nerd is at Game Trailers and is probably not compiling the video himself. However, running behind him is footage from what is definitely a modified version of Sonic 1 and most likely through an emulator. Not to over analyze the video, as the other games don’t really have anything that any enthusiast here at Retro would find amiss.
Outside of that, the Nerd has some fond memories on Sonic, from the debug mode, the lambasting Tails, up to Sonic CD, using footage from Taxman’s port. (As well as the instrumental version of You Can Do Anything laid for the opening and closing of the video.) Worth a look if you’re into the Angry Video Game Nerd.