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Hill Top Zone

From Sonic Retro

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Hill Top Zone






Hilltop.png
Hill Top Zone
Fifth level, Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Number of Acts: 2
Level theme: underground/cave
Secondary level theme: lava/volcano
Boss: Submarine Eggman
Maximum rings, Act 1: 146 + 40
Maximum rings, Act 2: 199 + 80
For the Sonic Drift 2 level, see Hill Top (Sonic Drift 2).

The fifth stage in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Hill Top Zone has extended level blocks, such as Star Light Zone start loops, and Green Hill Zone spin tubes.

The stage features lava pits and underground caverns, similar to Marble Zone. However, Hill Top features no sturdy ruins of long-gone civilizations; they would have been ground to dust by the frequent earthquakes which ravage the zone and fill the chthomic spaces with scorching magma - often while Sonic is inside. Outside, pine trees rise over a landscape of blue-tinted rocks, with rickety vine chairlifts connecting one peak to another. See-saws and loop-the-loops are scattered throughout the zone; while the latter springs our heroes up the mountainsides, the loops invariably send Sonic and Tails cannoning into the volcanic caves.

Geographically, the Zone is located amidst the high peaks of Westside Island. It can actually be seen from Emerald Hill Zone; the vertiginous ridges of Hill Top's background glimpsed on the horizon at the far right of the first stage.

A slightly modified version of Hill Top Zone's art is also used in Emerald Hill Zone, with different coloration. No one knows why for sure, but Emerald Hill Zone and Hill Top Zone were developed during the same time which can be proven by playing Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Simon Wai prototype) where they are both completed.

Instruction Manual Description

Lava boils from volcanoes and earthquakes shake the ground! Spring for the Rings on teeter-totters and blast through underground tunnels and caverns.

Sonic 2 US Manual, p. 14

Sonic Team Commentary (from Sonic Jam Strategy Guide)

The thing that stands out most in this zone is probably the way the whole screen shakes in the areas where the lava is moving. And then the mountain in the background has a slightly polygon-like look to it. We were aiming for a look similar to the kind of thing we had in mind with Sonic 1's Green Hill Zone.

Yuji Naka

Enemies

  • Rexon - Plesiosaur enemy, sits in lava and throws fireballs at you. Once destroyed, its body can be used as a platform to stand on.
  • Spiker - Cone enemy, launches its cone at you when you jump over it or walk under it.
  • Sol - Spherical enemy, surrounded by 4 fireballs which it throws at you. Referred to as "Sol" in the instruction manual, and "Ghora" in Sonic Jam.

Technical Information (Final)

Offset Description
07 Level Value
$2BA2 HTZ Palette (0B)
$C7F2, C964 HTZ layer deformation info
$3FD26 Dynamic pattern reloading for HTZ
$40038 HTZ animated pattern load cue
$40372 EHZ, HTZ misc sprite mappings
$41FFE HTZ object debug list
$44E50 EHZ and HTZ primary 16x16 collision index
$44F40 EHZ and HTZ secondary 16x16 collision index
$46DD4 HTZ act 1 level layout
$47044 HTZ act 2 level layout
$95C24 EHZ/HTZ main level patterns
$985A4 HTZ 16x16 block mappings
$98AB4 HTZ pattern suppliment to EHZ level patterns
$99D34 EHZ/HTZ 128x128 block mappings
$E4D74 HTZ act 1 ring locations
$E4EAA HTZ act 2 ring locations
$E8302 HTZ act 1 sprite locations
$E8668 HTZ act 2 sprite locations


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