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Someone FAKES a Sonic 1 prototype; fans get in a tizzy over it (even though it's CLEARLY FAKE)

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#1 Nick R

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 10:02 PM


Here are some pictures of the earliest known playable version of Sonic 1:

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.

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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! :omg:

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? :unsure:
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#2 Down by Law

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:26 PM

You'd think that sign would've made it in if it was legit. Still interesting stuff and to be fair I really like that sonic sprite and running animation
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#3 Yoshimax

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:54 PM

To be fair I shat my shit.
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#4 Corporal Flashback

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:19 AM

That parallax is glorious.
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#5 Cyhwuhx

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:15 AM

I didn't know you could retro-actively apply the Sonic Cycle to the older games.
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#6 Mr Monday

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 08:48 PM

It's an amazing fake. Must have taken ages to do. And if it isn't a fake, well then the Megadrive is a lot more powerful than I remember it!
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#7 Nick R

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:09 PM

In the end this hoax (for that is what it turned out to be, AS EXPECTED) had a good side-effect: it encouraged me to check out the current state of Sonic hacks and fangames, which I haven't done in a long time.

Sonic VR

Now this is very, very good. It's just a series of thirty different short challenge rooms, presented in an MGS Special Missions-style VR environment.

The challenges illustrate just how robust the Sonic engine is, as suitable for mini challenges like this as it is for full platforming levels. It really makes you wish that Sega had thrown a couple of situations along these lines into the original games.

It's not exactly Portal in terms of the smoothness of its difficulty curve, but for the most part the levels generally feel quite fair - at least, fair compared to most fangames that include more difficult levels! Difficult enough to require a few attempts, and requiring some learning and memorisation, but always clear where you went wrong, and satisfying to get right in the end.

Some of the challenges rely on lateral thinking as much as platforming skills or knowledge of the Sonic engine's mechanics. The "Round Trip" level is a good example of one that's very satisfying to work out what you have to do bit by bit, and then carry it out.

There ARE some evil platforming challenges, though. This one's called "Precision Platforming"... doesn't seem too hard so far...

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Fortunately the levels are unlockable in batches of 10, so if you get stuck on one you can come back to it later.

Having said that, the levels DO get very fiendish later on - by the end of the game you're expected to cope with nonsense like this - but up until that point it's great fun. Well worth a download!

Sonic: The One Ring

Sonic 1, but with just one ring in each level. That ring is well-hidden in extremely obscure places, and you need to find it in order to complete the level. I didn't play too far into it (end of Marble Zone, I think), but I enjoyed it as a great excuse to re-explore old levels we all know so well.

The trailer does a good job of showing it off - just make sure to mute the music!


You do have some extra things to help along the way. Because you won't have any rings to have as protection, all the old 10-ring monitors have become random power ups, and you get the ability to carry more than one shield at a time. The levels have been altered so you can backtrack to places the original game wouldn't let you return to (like going back up the pipes in the Green Hill Zone), and by tapping up or down at any time a ring chime will sound if you're near the Ring.

And of course if you get really stuck you can always consult some level maps to get ideas about where it might be hidden.

Sonic the Hedgehog 1@SAGE 2010


Sonic 1 with added time and score attack record saving and a boss rush mode. Apparently if you run it in a certain modified version of an MD emulator and register with Sonic Retro's Retro Channel website, you can upload your results to online leaderboards and earn Achievements. Very impressive as a clever technical feat.

Then there are the joke ones...

Sonic 1: Omochao edition

Someone's managed to make a fangame that's even more frustrating than Kaizo Mario World, but in a very different way. Just watch this - please watch from the start and don't skip ahead, it's best if you discover it at the same time as the narrator... :lol:


Motobug the Badnik in Sonic the Hedgehog 1


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#8 Gique

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:37 AM

It's an amazing fake. Must have taken ages to do. And if it isn't a fake, well then the Megadrive is a lot more powerful than I remember it!

its a PC executable, meaning it was probably done on game maker or construct, probably 2 weeks max worth of work
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#9 Rob Rule

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 11:40 AM

How Construct rolls off someone's tongue before MMF2 is beyond me.

Speaking of MMF2, there's a fullblown, opensource replication of the Sonic Megadrive engine. It feels remarkably 'true'.
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#10 Cosmic Squirrel

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:45 PM

How Construct rolls off someone's tongue before MMF2 is beyond me.

Speaking of MMF2, there's a fullblown, opensource replication of the Sonic Megadrive engine. It feels remarkably 'true'.

The sonic worlds engine? Yeah its for MMF2 and amazingly robust.
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#11 Nick R

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:38 AM

This came out on April Fools' Day. I played through it:

Oh har har har:

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