As the Sonic 2 beta has so many little changes and differences to the final Sonic 2, I decided to dedicate a whole page to it.

Even on the levels that did make it in - Emerald Hill, Mystic Cave, Aquatic ruin etc, there are still some features in the beta which are missing (or have been added) in the real Sonic 2.

This badnik appears in the Emerald Hill zone in the beta, but not in the real Sonic 2! It moves slowly, then suddenly moves fast when it sees you! Reminds me of the Moto Bug in Sonic 1.

A preliminary restart point in the beta Sonic 2. The final restart points didn't look like this - they were actually called 'star posts'

In the beta, the sun and the clouds are on the same level as the background, and move with it. In the finished Sonic 2 however, the clouds move on different parallax levels and the sun remains stationary. They also added a 'heat haze' effect to the sun in the finished version.

Also, in Oil Ocean, they got the palette cycling the wrong way round. Therefore, it looks as if the oil pipes are sucking up oil from the ocean, rather than dumping oil into it!

Before the beta ROM came out, I always wondered what the pulsating objects were in the unfinished Hidden Palace. Now I know.

As you may know, there is a secret passage in the Emerald Hill zone with several rings and an extra life. The passage then continues through the waterfall emerging at the other side

However, in the beta version, you get blocked at the start of the tunnel!

Interestingly, the rings and the life are still there, even though the passage isn't!

In the normal Oil Ocean, when the platforms shoot upwards, there are flames visible on the pipe below. However, on the beta version, there are no flames! (also notice the absence of the spikes and how some of the platforms have slight changes)

In the beta version, Sonic can stand on the oil chutes without slipping. In the normal version, he slides down as soon as he steps on it.

Clearly this is an early version of the level, before the design had been finalised. The level's unique oil slides and other factors had not been properly implemented yet.

In the Metropolis Zone of the beta version, the pistons don't throw you up very high when you stand on them. In the normal version, you go way up into the sky! This can lead to problems in the beta version - i.e. on Act 3 you're stuck right from near the beginning if you don't have debug on!.

Finally, although this isn't a Sonic 2 beta screenshot, it deserves a place here. I read on Andre Dirk's Secrets of Sonic the Hedgehog page (on a cutting from a magazine) that there were features taken out of the original Sonic 1. Visit his page by clicking here (now run by someone else). It says in the cutting that the big wrecking ball used by Robotnik in Act 3 of the Green Hill zone was originally found in the middle of normal levels as a hazard. It was taken out at the last minute though, and, just like Sonic 2, the hangovers remain! You can actually access this wrecking ball sprite in the debug in the full Sonic 1! (although nothing happens when you place it)

Click here to view my page on the Sonic 2 beta zones