The original prototype for Sonic the Hedgehog (1991) on the Mega Drive and Genesis has been found and is available to watch online! Locked away for many years, and only shown in magazine images and recently on YouTube in a 90’s SEGA promotional video, the beta of Sonic the Hedgehog reveals a work-in-progress of the original Sonic game – It is a piece of gaming history.
Differences to the Official Release
Featuring many differences to the later released Sonic the Hedgehog on the Mega Drive and Genesis, with Labyrinth Zone, Sparkling Zone (later remained Spring Yard Zone), Star Light Zone and Clock Work Zone (later remained Scrap Brain Zone), all in unfinished states. However, in this prototype, Green Hill Zone is here in all its beta glory, including the Robotnik encounter.
Other differences compare to the released version include:
- The ball from the Green Hill Zone boss is placed in a number of locations, and can be pushed and rolled
- After completing a level, Sonic shows a victory pose when he jumps
- There’s no special stage large rings, and 50 rings gets up an extra life!
- The Background in Marble Zone features UFOs
Watch the Sonic Prototype
The prototype plays through Green Hill Zone, a quite different Marble Zone, Act 1 of Sparkling Zone and finally Act 1 of Star Light Zone. Though by accessing the level select menu, a selection of other levels, mostly in very beta form – a number without any badnicks, rings or items to collect – become available. You can watch a playthrough of the Sonic the Hedgehog Prototype on YouTube in the video below.
The Hidden Palace
Getting to experience this piece of gaming history, and to play a version of Sonic from before he was unleased into our world has been amazing. However, it wasn’t easy for the gaming community to uncover this prototype, and years and years of searching has definitely paid off. You can find out more about the Sonic the Hedgehog Prototype by visiting the Hidden Palace, the website/community who took on this search, and where you can read an article about how the Sonic 1 prototype was found.