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Sonic 2 Prototype vs. Final Comparisons

Here you will find a list of general differences between the prototypes and final version of Sonic 2. For zone layout comparisons, go to the zones section.

Topic S2 Nick Arcade Prototype S2 Beta S2 Final Description
Betaspin.gif Finalspin.gif In his prototype running animation, Sonic has a very distinctive swirling pattern in his legs, however upon closer inspection this is just part of a larger change. The entire running animation is different in the prototype compared to the final, and most importantly uses more frames.
Betarun.gif Finalrun.gif
Tails Jumping/Spinning Animation Comp tailspinp.png Comp tailspinf.png Tails' jumping/spinning set of sprites doesn't have the reflective white spot in the prototypes.
Spin Dash Comp spinp.png Comp spinf.png There is no dust when Sonic or Tails is charging up for a Spin Dash. The prototype charge-up sound is the normal spinning sound, and there is no release sound effect. Also you cannot re-charge a Spin Dash in the prototype — tapping the button does nothing. You can also hold a Spin Dash on a breakable platform and Sonic will float in the air, instead of falling as he does in the other versions.
Spikes Comp smspikesb.pngComp tailsspikes.png Comp smspikesb.pngComp tailsrings.png Comp smspikesf.gifComp tailsringsf.png In all prototypes earlier than drx's 'Beta 6', Sonic dies immediately, just like in Sonic 1. In the final and all protos later than 'Beta 6', he becomes invincible for a short while and stands on the spikes unharmed. It's worth mentioning that while Tails is invulnerable to spikes in the Nick Arcade prototype, he is still capable of losing rings in both early prototypes (and is vulnerable to spikes in the Beta). He does not lose his rings in the final release.
Spinposts Comp signposta.png Comp signpostf.png The signposts in the Nick Arcade prototype are different to the ones in both Sonic 1 and Sonic 2. They are symmetrical and the faces are looking directly forward. The Robotnik image is the only one out of the three that hasn't been changed.
Comp sms2protohit.gif No effect, though
sprites are in ROM:

Comp htired.png
No effect The sprites featuring Sonic sitting and standing up in the Sonic 2 Wai beta ROM caused many theories at the time they were discovered ("Would Sonic get tired?" for example), but thanks to the Nick Arcade prototype, we now know they were used when Sonic collides into a wall in this rather unique gameplay element. With this and the unused Chemical Plant Zone failed boss in mind, you could perhaps think the game was intended to be more cartoon-humour based.
Comp sonbrakep.png Comp sonbrakef.pngComp sonbrakef2.png Two of Sonic's braking frames are based on Sonic 1. There's a bunch of weird ones that didn't make it into Sonic 2 final. Tails' braking animation hasn't been implemented. He simply slides across the floor, without his tails.
Comp tailsslide.png Comp tailsbrakef.png
Comp sonledgep.png Comp smsonledgef.png Sonic's ledge animation is also based on Sonic 1. Fear the tailless Tails!
Comp tailsslide.png Comp tailsledgef.png
Comp tailspushp.png Comp tailspushf.png Tails has no pushing sprites in either prototype. He simply keeps "walking" towards the wall or whatever obstacle is in his path.
Comp invincible.png
S2 Nick Arcade Prototype
  • Makes Sonic invincible
  • Plays Sonic 1 invincibility music
  • Shows no stars
S2 Beta
  • Makes Sonic invincible
  • Plays music which is used as the SuperSonic music in the Final
  • Shows smaller stars than in final
Comp sneakers.png
  • Makes Sonic faster
  • Background music speeds up
  • Sound effects are not sped up

  • Makes Sonic faster
  • Background music speeds up in some cases. As MesterKeel pointed out, using FB in the sound test allows you to apply the speed shoes effect. FC slows the music down again.
  • Sound effects are sped up