It's safe to say that the little blue hedgehog, namely Sonic, is one of the most recognised video game characters of our time. Sonic even stepped away from the gaming lime light to conquer his nemesis, Dr Robotnik, in his own cartoon. I preferred our blue hero on the Mega Drive. Sonic 2 was released in Europe on November 24th 1992 approximately one year after development had started. Rewind slightly to christmas 1991. Myself and my siblings had used our Christmas money to buy Sonic 1 from Toys R Us and played it to absolute death. It cost £34.99 back then. One year later, we were due to get Sonic 2 at christmas. I was off school with some sort of illness and had begged that we have Sonic 2 early. My persistance paid off and we were given an early copy of Sonic 2 from my dad.
I remember completing Sonic 2 and thinking how big the game was compared to its predecessor. The final game had ten zones containing two levels each plus the final battle on the death (so arguably eleven zones). Would it surprise you to know that there were four zones that did not make the final masterpiece we all grew to adore in 1992? Yes four!
Dust Hill Zone was set against a desert backdrop that reminds me of Desert Land in Mario 3. The levels were scrapped due to time constraints for a christmas release. The level designer designed Dust Hill Zone to morph in to a winter theme as the player partially progressed. Personally, I think this concept would have been a strong addition to the game so it's a shame it didn't make the final cut.
Wood Zone was another axed zone. Naturally, the theme is set against a back drop of the forest and reminds me of Mystic Cave Zone in the final cut of Sonic 2. I have no idea why this zone was scrapped but the music used in Wood Zone was ported across to Metropolis Zone in the final game. Wood Zone looked incredible with Sonic and Tails being able to drop through hollowed out trees to progress through the levels. Again, it's a shame this zone was scrapped. Let me know what you guys think in the comments section.
Genocide City Zone (later the name changed to Cyber City) peaked my interest in the tales of the scrapped zones. Genocide City zone was developed as a single act zone but again, time constraints led the development team scrapping the zone. Now here's the fun fact. Genocide City Zone became Zone 3 of the final Metropolis Zone. Yes, Genocide City was re-modelled to fit the industrial backdrop of Metropolis Zone. Call me a geek but as a gamer I pride myself on knowing awesome facts like this one. Graphically, this zone lacked polish in my opinion but nonetheless, seemed fun and challenging.
Hidden Palace Zone was one of the more largely publicised zones in the build up to the release of Sonic 2. Promotional images of the zone were sent to magazines but Hidden Palace Zone was scrapped days before the final release. Fortunately it is now playable on the IOS and Android releases of Sonic 2. The lead developer had planned for Hidden Palace Zone to be the final special stage after collecting all of the chaos emeralds. Thankfully we can now all play this on our IOS and Android devices.
Well there we go guys. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments as I'm eager to know what you all think. Additionally, you can continue to support me by subscribing to my Youtube channel. If you're looking for more retro goodness then check out my awesome list of recommended retailers in the UK here.
Thanks. Juicy Game Reviews
Retro Game Reviews. Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, Sega Dreamcast and more
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