Mr. Needlemouse (hack)
From Sonic Retro
Mr. Needlemouse is a hack of the original Sonic the Hedgehog game for the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis, by MKAmeX. It replaces Sonic the Hedgehog with one version (arguably the strangest) of his designer Naoto Ohshima's early prototype of the character, Mr. Needlemouse. Planned features include a complete overhaul of the game's graphics to resemble early concept art, and perhaps new music.
When first posted for download in May 2008, the hack was simply an art hack that replaced Sonic's sprites with new ones based on one version of Mr. Needlemouse, an early version of Sonic created by his designer Naoto Ohshima. Regardless of this relative simplicity, the hack was well received, particularly as a result of the humourous appearance of its new protagonist.
In the following days MKAmeX stated that he was considering a more comprehensive graphics overhaul, involving reworking all art to approximate the available concept art, including Mr. Needlemouse, level art, badniks, and the earliest known prototype of series antagonist Dr. Robotnik.
Later posts by MKAmeX revealed that he had been trying out SonED2, learning some assembly language, and starting to edit level art, layout and order. He planned to give all Zones aside from Green Hill Zone new names, and perhaps implement the final version of Sonic as a selectable alternative character.
In August 2008 a second revision showcasing in-progress edits of Green Hill Zone and some other items was released. MKAmeX stated that as well as reworking the graphics, he hoped to implement gameplay objects from the concept art, and that he had been researching music hacking.
Third release, rewrite and future
In January 2009, MKAmeX stated that he was starting anew with his hack, as he was unhappy with what the current version was becoming. In the same post, he offered the last revision of that first branch for download. He warned that development may take some time, and a new release would not be made until it was at least 50% complete. The new version is intended to feature new sprites, level art, layouts, objects, and almost all concept characters, although humans are likely to be limited to prototype Robotnik and Madonna. New music is planned, but visuals are the priority.