The first glimpse of Sonic the Hedgehog in video game form was at the Tokyo Toy Show in June of 1990, which also happened to be the first time the game could be played by the general public. In a retrospective interview with Yuji Naka, it was revealed that the original Sonic Team put together a small, playable technical demo for the show featuring Sonic in an early version of the Green Hill Zone. Though early, this earliest known build has some advantages over the final version of the game, possessing seven layers of parallax scrolling, with trees and rocks in the foreground being independent from the clouds and other objects in the background, all separate from the scrolling of Sonic the Hedgehog as he ran through this early version of the game.
Then the other day this video turned up on Youtube:
followed by this one:
i do not sell it im sorry
If you think it fake it is your problem
So if it's a fan-game (WHICH IT DEFINITELY IS) it's a very good one. If it's really an early version of Sonic 1 (IT'S NOT, BUT LET'S PRETEND IT IS) it would be a fascinating find. Seven layers of parallax scrolling!
But the fun part has been watching the fans' reaction to it. They know it's a fake, they can tell from some of the pixels and having seen quite a few fakes in their time... but they WANT to believe! You can watch them all saying "it's clearly a hoax" and then immediately following it up with "but what if..."
This "proto" game uses pixel-perfect collisions. Pixel-perfect. This by itself should be already enough evidence, since Sonic 1, CD, 2, 3 and Knuckles uses "sensorial rays" for collisions with planes, and square-to-square collisions for the sprites. The "sensorial rays" method of collision is prone to a few bugs since, if no collision array height is detected by the rays, the collision will not have response. This "proto", however,
Also, notice, at 0:13 in the video, how when Sonic jumps, he makes a perfect square collision with the edge of the higher ledge.
In the actuall Mega Drive games, Sonic jumping sprite would start to enter/overlapse the ledge after his center was 4 pixels above the ledge height, due to how the collision works in the Mega Drive's Sonic engine.
Now, are you telling me that Yuji Naka went from a good and modern collision engine to an archaic and more prone to bugs collison method? The collision response shown in this "proto" video is the default collision method used in most pre-made game-making engines, like, well, MMF. This method of collision in the Motorola 68000 would be as slow as polygon-to-polygon collisions were 8 years ago in 3D games.
There are many other discrepancies as well: the initial jumping impulse value is different from the Mega Drive Sonic games, the gravity is different, and also, it seems like the gravity is different when going upward than when going downward, and it looks evidently like something you see in most MMF Sonic fan games. Now, I could give you that the jump could have been different in the betas than they are in the final version (since later in the delelopment, Sonic had to be slowed down), but I doulbt that the gravity would be that inconsitent.
Taxman (the guy who did the engine for the recent re-release of Sonic CD) weighs in:
Also, the camera stays fixed in the center and has no 'slack' when the player is in the air or changes direction (32 pixels X, 64 pixels Y). Now, I can accept that of all the prototypes, Sonic 1 would have the most changes to the gameplay as it evolved, but the amount of graphical and gameplay discrepancies between the original screenshot and Sonic 1 in general pretty much make this a clear "LOL MMF" hoax for me.
Dean Sitton, the Sega employee who was responsible for renaming Dr Eggman "Ivo Robotnik" and coming up with the English names for the Badniks, dredges up twenty-year-old memories in order to say:
the trees were locked to the A plane and the only effect/depth cues were from a parallax scroll on the water... I think.
Other people have slightly less technical reasons for being skeptical:
"TheNEK()san" is just about the most generic "I'm trying to sound Japanese" username you could think of.
Then someone tweeted Yuji Naka about it. A rough translation of his reply:
"This is a early in development Sonic 1 version, in which I worked on making the multiple scrolls.I Wonder if the rocks and the palmtrees were in those locations. Where did this ROM come from? Ah, the good days..."
Great, now this shit is corrupting the memories of the original devs. We might as well accept it as real even if it's not, let's change history.
So, it's been quite a fun little event to follow!
Despite the fact it's a fake.
... Isn't it?