Once upon a time, the very idea of a Sonic the Hedgehog movie seemed frightening. After all, the track record of videogame adaptations had not been particularly stellar, what reason was there to assume that anyone would get Sonic right? Yet here we are, on the cusp of a Sonic cinematic universe. Before Sonic the Hedgehog 2 hit theaters, Paramount announced a third movie plus a series starring Idris Elba as Knuckles the Echidna. Clearly their confidence wasn’t misplaced. As of this article, Sonic 2 has gone on to become the highest grossing film based on a videogame in the United States, and has made over $320 million worldwide. Quite a feat!
If you’ve lived in the UK, it has been a month since the movie premiered. So it’s long overdue that we give you another round of the Retro Roundtable: four mini-reviews about the latest film to star the blue blur.
In the wee hours of the morning, the official Sonic the Hedgehog social media account woke up and went “hey, let’s talk about Sonic Origins.” After eleven months of near radio silence, they posted a trailer complete with Hyper Potions music, the English and Japanese websites went live, and everyone suddenly woke up to talk about it.
So, what do we now know about Sonic Origins? Let’s go through it after the jump. Continue Reading
Once again the online event for Sonic mods, ROM hacks and general nonsense is upon us with the Sonic Hacking Contest for the year of 2022. The Hacking Contest website has been updated with finer details on entry requirements, categories and more which can be found here. Tentative dates for the event will center around October much like last year’s event. The contest is asking entries to prepare their works based on Sonic ROM hacks or mods for Sonic games. Mods can include titles released on PC including digital storefronts such as Steam (For titles such as Sonic Maniaand Team Sonic Racing) as well as mods for console games. (Including Sonic Riders Zero Gravityfor the Nintendo Wii) Of course as is with tradition, ROM hacks from Sonic games on Mega Drive and Genesis systems (Such as the ever present Sonic the Hedgehog 2) are also welcome as entries.
This year’s contest involves a change in how trophies are delivered. While the contest acknowledges the desire for the return of themed trophies from 2019, they are looking to make these trophies to better reflect the criteria involved. The contest is also asking for suggestions for naming trophies from the public, and is accepting multiple entries on their Trophy Naming form. Otherwise the structure of the event will be similar to last year’s event.
After the unexpected success of the original Sonic the Hedgehog film from Paramount, it was a pretty safe assumption that we’d be getting a sequel. After being confirmed, and seeing all sorts of set photos leak onto the Internet, there was only one thing that could begin to satiate the appetite of a Sonic fan – a first look at the film, packaged in a convenient advertisement video clocking in at just over two minutes.
Earlier today at The Game Awards, that appetizer was finally delivered on a platter, and boy was it worth the wait. We’ve got Sonic! We’ve got Tails! We’ve got Robotnik lookin’ just as snazzy as ever. And of course, we’ve got the original muscle flexer, Knuckles the Echidna. Sure, you’ve watched it ten times already by rewinding the stream. But in case you somehow missed it, check it out below.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2. For some, it represents everything that a Sonic game should be. The pinnacle of the series, an entry point for millions of kids who would become life long fans. Due to its development, an extra layer of mystique has also surrounded the game, which is why when anything new comes out regarding its creation, people get excited. Just one more piece of the puzzle that showcases how such a beloved game came into being.
You might remember that last month, we posted about Craig Stitt. Not only was he an artist on Sonic 2, he went on to have a pretty impressive career outside of SEGA, working on such classics as Spyro the Dragon and Ratchet and Clank. Over at the Facebook group SEGA Retro Gamers, he’s been sharing stories of his time working in the gaming industry, and posting content that has never seen the light of day. That Treasure Tails pitch? Yeah, he’s the one who shared that.
Well, earlier today, Craig posted another slew of art connected to the development of Sonic 2, drawn by none other than the creator of Miles “Tails” Prower, Yasushi Yamaguchi.
These are photocopies I made of Yamaguchi’s oringal drawings; to help me stay in sync with the game’s style while designing the art for the levels I was working on. (Hidden Palace and Oil Ocean)
On this, our milestone 50th episode of SEGA Talk, we look back on the development, release and legacy of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 for the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive. We cover the game’s unique creation in America, the debut of Miles “Tails” Prower and the comics and cartoon adaptations that took place following the game’s release.
If you want to give us feedback, suggest a topic for the next podcast or want to ask a question for us to answer on the next episode you can add them as a comment below or send theme directly to our email. Make sure you use subject line ‘SEGA Talk’ and as always, thanks for listening!
Once upon a time, a man named Simon Wai came across a prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Not only did it include lost and unused content, it was a window into the development process of one of the most celebrated games of the franchise. Sharing it with the Sonic Internet community, this discovery inspired an entire generation. Not only to wonder, to dream of things they could create, but to also research into the history of the Sonic franchise, and preserve it for future generations.
Over the past few weeks, a plethora of brand new prototypes for a number of games starring Sonic the Hedgehog surfaced. Presented by both Hidden Palace and The Cutting Room Floor, these early versions have answered questions, sparked debate, and most importantly, provided further context for understanding not only Sonic, but game development as a whole.
We also got to see Knuckles make Sonic talk to the hand.
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.
[Source: Hidden Palace]
The latest issue of the UK classic gaming magazine Retro Gamer is celebrating its 150th issue in a big way by counting down the 150 Greatest Games Ever as selected by readers. What’s so cool about the issue is that for many of the entries, they turned to those in the fan community to wax nostalgic on the greatest games. Several classics from the developer have made the cut. Just some include 1986’s OutRun with a piece written by Sumo Digital’s Steve Lycett, Shenmue with thoughts from the Shenmue Dojo webmaster, and (as stated in our headline) a write-up on Sonic the Hedgehog 2 by Sonic Retro’s very own webmaster Scarred Sun.
Seeing as the magazine is out there for sale right now both physically and digitally, I’m not going to spoil the surprise of the game’s placement or what was said, so you’ll just have to find out for yourself.