IV. “The Golden Age”

From Sonic Retro

This article is part of
Hidden Palace Zone: ACLA-ATD4
by Nayr T'nargh.
Individual pages...
I. Introduction
II. Dawn
III. Ethiopia
IV. “The Golden Age”
V. Hackers
VI. The Dark Age of Light
VII. The Cleansing
VIII. A New Start
IX. Deception: The Hacker
X. Astray and Confusion Abounds
XI. Conclusion
XII. Versions
XIII. Credits
See also...


IV. “The Golden Age” -- The SSC’s finest moments of secret finding emerge Now you’ll get much more info, because this is when I showed up with my first name, Samantha Clarfet, which I took to continue Andre Dirk's legacy. The name I wound up really going by and became known as was Nayr T'nargh, although I recently changed it to Ayla. Anyhow, the SSC really started taking off at this point. SSRG invited several more sites on, but no one was ready for some of the discoveries that took place at this time...

Overall happenings and history

Well, we’ve got a lot here, so I’ll just go in order ;)

Sonic 2 (Simon Wai prototype)

Not a member of the community at the time, Simon was and still is the only member who can read Chinese (although we have some that can decipher Japanese now). He knew about the ROM for the prototype Sonic 2. When he realized that people on the SSRG were seeking it, he basically showed up and said “here it is”. This changed the community drastically. The membership of the community must have grown about 100 fold during this period just because of the beta (ironically enough, this is pretty much the only instance that a beta discovery has created a lasting burst in scene interest). Simon was quickly invited onto the SSRG, where he documented continued discoveries of Sonic 2 Beta, hoaxes and the new fake hoaxes. Fake hoaxes are things that look like hoaxes but really aren't. There is an argument to this day as to whether Simon was the creator of fake hoaxes or whether it was Sonic Pandemonium. The world may never know ;)

The race for HPZ

The existence of Hidden Palace Zone in the beta drove people to wonder about the final. Could HPZ still be in there? A small group of people were wanting to find out. Tom, Cyan and Damian Grove started randomly blasting hex in the Sonic 2 Final ROM. In the end, Tom found Hidden Palace Zone and told Cyan. Cyan released the information and got the credit for finding the corrupted version of HPZ in Sonic 2. This period was very important, though. While going through the ROM, these guys had picked up a wealth of other info. Damian documented this in what is now the first hacking guide ever created. I now include that in here from me to you:

Sonic 2 Hacking Guide v1.00
Copyright(c) 1999 by Damian Grove
(Use "Word Wrap" for this file)

Welcome to my Sonic The Hedgehog 2 hackers guide! I will be able to tell you how to choose your lives, levels, edit object mapping (the way the 32x32 sprites are lines up on a single sprite), and more. Right now, my notes are very sketchy. You may not even understand some of it. I am constantly working on this, so expect to see major updates. Oh, and one more thing. If you use Microsoft Developer Studio, you will understand the code pointers well enough. If you use HEX, ignore the first zero. This has confused many people.


(1) KGEN/Genecyst Saves
	(01) Startup Data
	(02) Levels
	(03) Tiles
	(04) Acts
	(05) Lives

(2) Sonic 2 Binary
	(01) Mappings
	(02) Object Routins
	(03) Solids
	(04) Music
	(05) Commands
	(06) Extra

////////KGEN/Genecyst Saves\\\\\\\\

//Startup Data

011E8E                 Level Name? (Still studying this) This is sometimes valid depending on the selection.
011E8F                 Level Name/Tiles?
012272                 Music
012273                 TILES/Debug?
012270                 Screen pointers
011EA0                 00 0B B0 00 00 03 00
                                00 = Level
                                   00 = Act
                                      03 = Lives

So, if I wanted to start on Hidden Palace Zone Act 2 with 36 lives, I would have this:
00 0B B0 08 01 24 00


#  NAME                # IDENTIFIER
01 Emerald Hill        00
02 Chemical Plant      0D
03 Aqua Ruin           0F
04 Casino Night        0C
05 Hill Top            07
06 Mystic Cave         0B
07 Hidden Palace       08
08 Oil Ocean           0A
09 Metropolice         04
10 Sky Chase           10
11 Wing Fortress       06
12 Death Egg           0E


--(for Sonc 2 Beta)--

       DC Emerald Hill
Hidden Palace          D4 is the default for all the levels in the full Sonic 2. I tried changing it and I got a blank screen. This tells me that I am getting warmer to getting its art back!

There are a total of 4 levels that were taken out. They are labeled:

???                    01
Wood                   02               43
???                    03
Genocide City          09 ----Level name data still exist!

So actully, there was 16 levels at one time.


Act 1                  00
Act 2                  01
Act 3                  02

Metropolis Zone Act 3 can also be selected by changing the level number to 05.


000                    00
001                    01
002                    02
003                    03
004                    04
005                    05
006                    06
007                    07
008                    08
009                    09
010                    0A
011                    0B
012                    0C
013                    0D
014                    0E
015                    0F
016                    10
017                    11
018                    12

Etc, etc, etc. This makes it so you can have a max of 255 lives.

////////Sonic 2 Binary\\\\\\\\


0714F0-??????          Sonic
071FF6-07393C          Smoke streams
073AF8-??????          Tails
0748B2-??????          Sega logo
07CD30-07D227          Sonic/Tails logo animation
07D230-??????          Level intro

//Object Routins

	0E4381          Rings Act 1
	0E4382          Rings Act 2
	0E6800          Execute all debug sprites for 00 except rings and end level mark - act 1
	0E6801          Execute all debug sprites for 00 - act 1
	0E6802          Execute all debug sprites for 00 except rings and end level mark - act 2 (buggy)
	0E6803          Execute all debug sprites for 00 - act 2 (buggy)
	0E6810          Execute all debug sprites for 04 except rings and end level mark - act 1
	0E68C0          Random ring loss for 00 - act 1
	0E6980          Blue liquid worms thingies for 00 - act 1 (from 0D)

This is the thing that looks like a color palette when you open it as a RAW file.






NqNqNqNqNq              Switches to another frame
Sx                      ??????
Nu                      Sprite offsets
UrUrUrUrUr              ??????
init                    C initializer?
HB                      Pixel offsets


Graphics are displayed by tile sets. The art in Hidden Palace is not displayed correctly simply because the tile set value is not correct. The tile value is set to display Oil Oceans art. This is because in early beta versions of the game, Hidden Palace actually came before Oil Ocean and when it was removed, Oil Ocean took over that level slot. Hidden Palace still reads this section though. Also, there is a data section that sets witch sections are walls/floors, and which you can go through. I found that out by doing an experiment. I don't know what the section is though. Anyway, this is proof that the Hidden Palace Zone CAN be restored correctly.

S P E C I A L    T H A N K S :

Scott Feeny --------- Extra level editing info
A.J. Freda ---------- Extra screen pointer info

That’s all for now. You can e-mail me at [email protected] or visit my homepage at

Cyan soon created a Sonic 1 hacking guide. So did Damian. Both were hosted on the SSRG until Cyan agreed to combine both sites into one, which became the Sonic 1 hacking document.

Why the heck’d they do that? THEORIES!

This era brought about the need of the group for theories. Unable to contact any of the designers of the games, people had their own ideas about what things were for. Simon's Sonic 2 Beta really made this gold rush of (mostly) poorly conceived ideas take off as people began speculating about unfinished levels, especially the absent “Dust Hill Zone” (at that time, the new popular name for Desert Zone) and the infamous stone in Hidden Palace. Here are a few theories from the original SoStH:

By ML55XGameCubemon
The Cracked Egg Conspiracy

just realized something......all the lost Sonic 1-S3&K levels were right in front of us the whole TIME! The funny thing is, the real zones that were made out of these concept ideas, turned out better than the original prototype lost zones themselves!

The Lost Zones (beta levels and creator ideas) and what they've become:
(I'll put a percentage of how much of an Idea was transferred in my opinion...)

Wood Zone- to -Mushroom Hill Zone: 60% chance it was revamped. But since it was probably a Metropolis past or something, but they kept the forest idea.

Desert level- to -Sandopolis Zone: 100% change thats where the idea came from. Doesn't an Egytian-type theme seem more interesting than Death Valley? It seems as if they moved from the hispanic/mayan(or aztec, or whatever) theme just like in ARZ (even though ARZ does have some "Cha-cha-cha-ness" in its music). And inside a pyramid for act 2 put the icing on the cake.

Winter Zone- to -Icecap Zone: 100, but was enhanced with some Sonic 2 hidden palace features that were begging to be used.

Circus Zone-to-Carnival Night: 100%...without the clown heads, but with ballons instead  .

Now what I have stated so far was just light hearted obvious stuff (with the exception of Wood Zone) for the down & dirty!!!!

Hidden Palace Zone-to-Lava Reef AND Hidden Palace Zone: 90%. The idea was there but a better level theme/layout made it even better. At the current time, most speculation states that the original HPZ was supposed to be only one act (due mostly to act 2 being an exact copy without objects). But it was quite massive for just one act as well. What they did was make the secret/important part of the level for the very last part. They juiced up "Hidden Palace" with some lava, add a second, yet different full act, and give the giant emerald it's own dramaic/special level to itself. They had wanted the giant emerald zone to be huge, but they couldn't do it in just one, OR 2 acts. So we get Lava Reef 1 and 2 as the playable acts (they also added that huge LRZ boss for added effect they probably wanted. And past the lava reef, on to the Master Emerald/Giant Important emerald level. 

Genocide City Zone-to-Sky Sanctuary Zone: 80%. Think about it. The controversy is WHEN the Genocide happened. Was it supposed to happen WHILE you were in the level, or were you supposed to be in the ruins of a city that was destroyed long ago? I just now realize that it is probably the latter due to and ENTIRE RACE DISSAPEARING, except Knuckles (  ). In all probable relation, after the city got destroyed, it started floating in the sky in pieces for some strange reason (hint- maybe so Sonic could jump on the Death Egg? OOPS! At first that WAS a joke, until I remembered the HPZ picture prediction of Doomsday Zone). So maybe ancient spirits with the help of Knuckles kept the city afloat so he COULD get to that Death Egg!, even though it blew up as soon as he jumped on (  ). So in conclusion, even though it wasn't the launch site of the death egg, the death egg was still next!

Death Egg Zone-to-????????*shot*: 100%. We all know that this was supposed to be 2 acts from the get go. but something happened, But who cares, we have 2 full acts of DEZ now! In Sonic 2 I speculate that it WAS going to be built in a similar fashion of CPZ and Metropolis (To me Eggman had a certain design style for his cities[yet he copied chemical plant], so it was NO surprise at all that Death Egg was going to be similar [but then all this equals lazy level artists]  ). The Zone that had 2 second music was a full level once and for all, with 2 separate, yet similar, songs this time around!

One more before you can go:

Just some stuff about Hill Top Zone (I hope Digi wont kill me):

I believe the Sol badnik in HTZ was supposed to come out of the lava. MADE BY DIGITAL X(or equivalent to what he is called know, you all know who I am talking about anyway.)

THAT is why it is red.....even though some have said he comes out of the water in various ways. But it DOES explain how Sol seems to appear out of nowhere in HTZ. I think he was supposed to bubble up out of the lava and do his usual thing (toss his flames toward you and then shows his mean defenseless little face)..........

My 2 cents.....

If ANYTHING interrupts this post before the topic is posted on the board I will commit suicide.......

UPDATE: There is just one thing that still bewilders me, and the is the placement of Genocide City.

For Sonic 2 I understand the possibility of it being the launch level of the Death Egg, due to the Death Egg being suddenly "in space".

But I have re-thought this conundrum. Perhaps act 1 could have been used to launch the Death Egg and act 2 would have been the city ruins that Sonic (& Tails) had to climb to catch up to the Death Egg, just like at the end of Sky Sancturary.

Perhaps it was split into separate levels to stretch the storyline. Instead of scrapping one, they decided to use both and just changed the placement. In Launch Base Zone, the Death Egg finally launches, only for it to fall into the Lava Reef/Hidden Palace volcano. This seemed to add more depth to the story that just having the Death Egg crash again and that would be the "end" of it. When Eggman stole the Master Emerald, it was enough to "fix" the Cracked Egg (*shot*) to let it go back into space. This is when the ancient city (genocide act 2) comes into play as Sky Sancturary. This gives Sonic a chance to climb the destroyed city to reach the Death Egg.

Just a possibility... 
By KnucklesX7
<[email protected]>
Gnarly Knuckles
This mostly floats around Knuckles....

Many think that Sonic was the first game, and it
had only Sonic. But if you have a Master System and
Sonic Blast, there is Knuckles. He was probably not 
carried over to Sonic 1 because he would not have a
place in the game. For Sonic 2, they came up with the
idea for the connection. Such as in the second level,
first zone, if you play as Knuckles, there are many
things Knuckles can get by climbing, but Tails wouldn't
be able to fly to and Sonic can't get to it. In Sonic 3,
there is no way to play as Knuckles in 1 player because he 
wouldn't fit in, so they get ready to put him in the next
game by showing small bits of him. Finally, in Sonic
and Knuckles, he fits in because the story leads up
to him, again.

This might not really be a theory....
Taken from 'Secrets of Sonic the Hedgehog - The Original'

---By Jarred Man<[email protected]>  

Theory Bash

Updated 2nd of August 1999---The glitchy Bonus stage selection...I don't know if this is just my version of Sonic three or if it is on every version, this hasn't been emu tested by me yet.Part one: Select the pinball machine in the stage selectPart two: Go down and exitPart three: Look for name change (IE: Dolius stage)Part four: Press start then a to exitPart five: on the stage select take angel Island zone act onePart six: Glitchy opening: Hit debugPart seven: In debug, you should see Sonic on a surfboard. Place it. This is really glitchy. The one after placing the sonic-surfboard, you'll notice a bunch of junk behind him. This probaly is a wave chasing him that was taken out of the game: The game interprets it the only way it can (And it looks like the background to the Hidden Palace zone in the finished Sonic two). This definetly proves that Sonic was at one point surfing or was planned to surf in Angel Island Zone act one. I don't know if this is on anyone elses cart, but if it is on one, it probaly is on all. There is always the second (Unlikely) opinion.In another board, the yellow balloons in balloon park were programmed in this glitch. Don't think this is too illogical. I don't know how it was done, but I saw a save state with those robot mice from flying battery all messed up in Angel Island Zone. Well, if you select the option after Sonic surfing, you get something that is weird. If you put it down, everything gets an ultrared tint and, though not very clear but easily identified, the yellow balloons. I take a old Goldeneye 007 (N64) fact in this one. Multiplayer board "Library" (Or "Stacks" and "Basement" put together) did one be a single player board that was taken out. Could the multiplayer boards be beginning of boards that were taken out?Balloon park takes an imbetween a circus board and carnival night. I think it could be possible that Carnival Night was originally projected to look like balloon park did in the final version. I can't think of the name of the board right away, Chrome Gadget does have a possible connection with death eggzone (In look, Those floors only and the fact it is supposed to look high tech, and which board was more high tech than death egg zone, Sonic and Knuckles) and Desert Palace looks kind like Sandopolis. I think The yellow balloons could have come from Carnival night easily because the floating balloons. Now before you go shouting around "Sonic was surfing in the beta version" you must consider one thing: You have no evidence Sonic was ever surfing at all. This could be one of those things where "Oh, we wanted to put it in but we never had time to implement it fully" or "We didn't know how to finish this, so we only through a small piece in and nothing else," either way, it is a definety conclusion Sonic three was planned to have Sonic surfing in it.I've done this on Icecap Zone: There were rumors to see sonic skiing. No, I didn't get this on Icecap zone, and most of the zones I haven't tested. Instead, I got a low death point on it (In short, I'd start moving down the slope and die randomly [not so randomly according to the game {That is it's death position}]). Why hidden palace zone in Sonic two final is so glitchy. Duh! Same thing with nothing implemented. Just like HPZ 2 from the Beta. Hidden Palace zone one and two probaly wasn't changed in the later versions. One being the board, two being the board with nothing implemented except floors. The only difference I can see that was changed in Hidden Palace Zone from the Beta version we have and that one is the fact sonic goes into a ball in the green tube.

Added 7th of July 1999
After writing a document that was posted on Sonic Stuff Reasearch Group, I decided to continue obscure observations. If you consider the active rom online (Sonic 2 Beta) a beta version, to you this is proving a delta version. If you believe it is an Alpha version, well, here is your evidence of a gamma version.I do not recommend trying this, and I predict different things happen on different systems. This is how to get your Sonic cart to access the "Zone Zone" and "Emerald Hill (No act"Unfortunetly, neither boards work. Emerald Hill, act null, and Zone Zone are probaly the two player boards "Emerald Hill" and "Casino Night Zone" in place of taken out one player boards "Hidden Palace Zone" and "?????"These are accessable solely for the reason they took the place of two boards in the level select, and what pisses me off is that I'm actually wrong about a Gamma (Delta to those of you who think the Alpha version is really a beta) not existing but a post-beta. Truth is, the post-beta might not exist and the Gamma replaces it. The specific cartridge I am talking about is not Andre Dirks, that one is too early.Start Sonic two.Enter Level start.when the cartridge goes back to "Sega" pull it out, put in the Sonic 3 cart and press reset.Go to Sound test.Go to Bonus stage.After you fall through, when the bonus stage restarts, press start + AThe Bonus stage is the 6st board in 2 pl vs.the screen will be all glitchy. Pull out the Sonic three cart and put in the Sonic two cart. Press reset.Go to Sonic two level select. You should see a picture of Casino Night Zone with nothing selected. If you choose it, you will see "Zone Zone" come on the screen.I got the hidden palace picture, I'm suprised this method worked, by when I press a + start, I was still holding A into Level select. Holding A I pressed up. All of a sudden, I see the Hidden Palace Picture. I selected it and I saw on the Screen "Emerald Hill Zone" and nothing else.Why this works:I doubt my understanding of this is even 60% correct. As far as I know, this does not work with Sonic 3 level select first, rather then Sonic two, because Sonic two for some reason is cleaner. I'll explain my proof of that later.During the Beta stage of development (Or gamma, whichever you think the rom that is online is) Wood Zone or Genecide was totally taken out, but Hidden Palace Zone stayed in. Sega made another version of Sonic two soon after, this time making all pictures to Zones they thought accessible. Since Wood Zone/Genecide City Zone was taken out, they didn't draw a picture. Hidden Palace was going through it's last run. Wood Zone and Genecide City Zone were still on like the demo picture "Dust hill" was to be programed into Sonic two but was never completed (The palette does hang around for the Alpha version). Thus, they were accessible but not without any device, unless you use my method, which I don't think anyone did. When the final version was created, Hidden Palace Zone was taken out but the thumbnail hung around. Sega probaly relised this and then coded Hidden Palace Zone to a different area (Inbetween Oil Ocean and Mystic Caves) instead of right before death egg, because that wouldn't make any sense to keep it there anyway. In place of hidden palace went the two player Emerald hill zone, which has its own differences then the one player zone. Ditto with Casino night. Emerald hill Zone 2 player replaced Hidden Palace, but kept its picture (This is logical because with a device Hidden Palace picture fits on Emerald hill Zone 2) while Casino night replaced a zone like wood zone or Genecide City Zone. I am willing to bet there is a similar glitch with Mystic caves and the special stages. This would explain the palette hangover a bit farther then initially though, because now the genesis has to oversee them to go where it should go. My map is like this:Hidden Palace Zone slot=Emerald Hill Zone two playerCasino Night Zone slot=Genecide city/wood zone/original remains of dust hill paletteMystic Caves Zone slot=" "Special Stage Zone slot=" "Emerald Hill is identified as Hidden Palace Solely because the picture of Hidden Palace in Level select when you choose Emerald Hill Zone act 2 is sometimes accessed.Casino Night Zone is identified because of Music and the fact of the picture in level select. (Zone Zone)Mystic Cave Zone and Special Stages sadly are unproven at this time to exist like the above, though I hope to prove them eventually.Why this is actually cleaner then previous debug:I don't know. All I know is that when you place Sonic surfing like I said to at the beginning of this theory the wave is visible if you do it right before Knuckles pops out. When you did it without Sonic 2 "Stop and Swop," you couldn't do this, but now you can.

Added 2nd of August 1999

Yes, I know many of you were looking for my Sonic 1 plus Knuckles theory, so if you want it posted, complain to Comp USA in White Plains, NY.  They've had my computer for weeks and refuse to fix it (No comment) I haven't searched for any lost level icons, and the music is not the same with the bad level icons, but I have indeed found something. Using this method, you can find a few screenshot changes before the gamecrashes.  Count 'em.  They coordinate with all the lost levels,including a "Dust Hill Zone" which I believe never was programmed, but was "waiting to be" for the reason of being dropped from Sega CD.And it is too bad that my computer isn't working, I was to show my DustHill place in Hill Top location.To get down to argument, Lava Reef Zone Act 4 never has and never shall exist.  Nor is it the "Real name for Hidden Palace Zone."  It is to mybelief that Hidden Palace Zone was originally Sky Sanctuary Zone ACT 1.The normal board was to be act two or somewhere to go after you beatKnuckles.   Think about it.  The emerald keeps up the island, thus it ison an island rather than a cave.   Hangover of this is the emerald beingin Sky Sanctuary Zone Act, like you couldn't guess, 2 on the stageselect.Another report for you, where is the music for Hidden Palace Zone?  I dobelieve I've heard that music in another board, oh lets say Lava ReefZone act 2.Incorporate logic into your theories, folks, though some have you do, noone has really looked at the Knuckles Can Go to Hidden Palace messagetoo clearly. Maybe this simply means now Knuckles can progress throughthe game past Lava Reef Zone.  If you recall, there are NO chaosemeralds past Lava Reef Zone with any characters and the Sonic teamalways wanted you to take the time to get Chaos Emeralds.  Maybe thiswas their reward.However, if Hidden Palace was developed late, how would the message "Hidden Palace" be in it?  Easily, to save space, the Sonic Team never re-typed anything in the Special Stage screen, but did this:Text, load board name. That would mean by placing Sky Sanctuary over Hidden Palace, you'd replace the Zone names.

Added 26th of March 2000

After a long long absence, I have returned to write a little to add to my
theory written long ago.  I've deleted my emulation and in fact haven't
played any video games lately, but I will take this time to make a small
addition to things I wrote in theory bash.

Plots:  Demise of Hidden Palace Zone

    Recently (Well, it was written months ago originally to be an add on to
theory bash) I wrote a few lines, which turned out to be gibberish pointing
the demise of hidden palace.  Let's look at some facts:

Knuckles is the final guardian of the Chaos Emerald.
The level has a Tails 1-up icon, even when accessed by Sonic.
The level has water.

OK, many of you may be immediately asking what "The level has water" has to
do with anything.  This answer is simple.  The Sonic Engine couldn't use
water in the multiplayer level:  It freezes the game if programmed in,
therefore it was overridden into loading single player.  Clear cut and
simple, this small thing proves the board was never meant to be multiplayer.

But what of the impossible jumps?  It appears, this board didn't load
correctly.  If you examine this board into very close detail, the steep
walkways show that this board was cut off at the ceiling.  But what does this
mean?  It hadn't loaded correctly at this Alpha stage of the game, and more
then likely didn't work well at the drawing boards.

If you use debug, you will find the "End" and the "New begining, cut
off"...seems offcentered, with detail being brought down to the bottom.  The
other reason for this is so O2 Bubbles wouldn't have to be programmed in,
letting them test the level (Albiet about water)...will get back to this

There also seems to be minimal support in this board.  This board could be
renamed "Death Egg Zone two."  The fact the Tails ought to be fighting aboard
the Death Egg is absurd.  Why is Tails fighting against a Sonic Robot?  Well,
there could be two solutions to this strange plot delema.  Add another board,
or at a Tails Robot.  The Tails Robot Idea could not fly on any level.  Sure
he could spin in a ball, but he has no spikes.  How does one die?  Only one
way.  He rams you.  Sprite robot tails has no feasible attacks.

Realising this, the Sonic Team went to another drawing board idea.  They
decided to make Tails the guardian of the master emerald.  They therefore
could insert a good plot in.  Tails is explained why he is allied with Sonic.
 He must defend the emerald.

As noted, the emerald is in board I.  This means the HPZ was meant to be only
one level long.  The HPZ II board is the exact same thing as I with nothing
implemented except the structure in HPZ I.

There are some huge problems with this board, though.  Tails encounters the
master emerald early.  Is he supposed to use it and become Super Tails?
Probably not.  There is no boss in this board, and no evidence.  At least in
other boards there is a small skeleton.  The emerald is too close to the
beginning too.  Would it be like Death Egg?  No, this has rings and would be
too easy plus it scrolls up and down.  This leaves a dilima. A fantastic
looking board with a skeleton plot.  Quite unimaginative and boring.

Developments of the other boards progressed.  HPZ still wasn't sure how it
would work.  Therefore, it was not worked on much, just with some commands of
making objects work.

Sonic Team would keep this board in the game as long as possible.
Eventually, however, they were nearing the deadling.  An uncertain HPZ had to
quickly be completed from its dismal state.  There would be a few add-ons.
One problem would remain: Plot.

Around this time, a few weeks before Cartridge production, the game was being
finalized.  Final enhancements were being made, such as a new stage select.
Final ideas were being implemented, such as Super Sonic.  The question looms:
 Would HPZ be complete?

The drawing board for S3 would begin.  An idea, a massive game with a new
character to hook onto S2 would be made.  Skeleton code allowing this would
be inserted into S2.  This would allow S2 to import sprites as well as
altering button commands.  Since Sonic One lacked this, it would not be able
to use this small enhancement.

As this character, Knuckles latter known, was being developed, the Sonic Team
would figure out an easy way in solving the HPZ lack of plot/boredom
problems.  It would continue this story in a latter version of Sonic.
Therefore, this board was now out of place; It was deleted.
Taken from 'Secrets of Sonic the Hedgehog - The Original'

By A66Seth
<[email protected]>
Rival Bash
This is a wierd theory I have (you Are still taking theories right?) but 
Knuckles story is not what it seems. Go to Launch Base as Sonic/Tails what is 
the first thing you see? The Death Egg. As Knuckles: No death egg none 
whatsoever! So is Knuckles story supposed to take place before or after 
Sonic's/Tails' story? Launch base uncovers some of this.In act 2 You 
(Knuckles)fill The lake with Sonic it's full But if Knuckles story takes 
place at a different time it makes sense that he's not going around beating up 
on Sonic/Tails. But then why does Angel island Catch fire?

Okay #2 Time travel Think about this every single level takes place in one 
area exept death egg Think about it the water in the backround of virtually 
every level The Layout 
Distant past :Hidden palace. far past:mystic cave Still in the past 
somewhere:Neo green hill: not to far past (like the 80's)Chemical plant 
Now:genocide city tiny bit in the future: Metropolis Further into the future 
Oil ocean Even further:who knows what Sega had planned!

Or maybe you're following a river the whole time.. Look at all the levels until 
Metropolis Well not mystic cave..  Water in the backround right 

Theory:Chrome gadget Launch base 
People always seem to associate Chrome Gadget With a flying level.But that's 
is completely impossible.Look in the backround what do you see? You See 
lights so those lights must be from a city. So why is it supposed to be 
flying? Some people really don't think do they. It had to be a full Level. 
I'm figuring it took place Right before (or after) Carnival Night But maybe 
it was Launch base! think about it Large city of gadgets Well add in the 
Death egg right in the Backround  Launch base Have'nt you noticed how screwed 
up the final launch base is? Think if Eggman's so smart why'd he crash the 
death egg in water
i mean could'nt he steer the thing?
Taken from 'Secrets of Sonic the Hedgehog - The Original'


Hacking was in its infancy, so hoaxes then were very predominant. Few were made with the intention of fooling people, but rather to get out an interesting idea that they thought would be neat or just to make people laugh. This also started the “brutality” towards Miles “Tails” Prower, a movement that died off only recently. The original hoax I still have on an old hard drive and it contains Sonic kicking Tails into a bed of spikes in MCZ.


Being the Golden Era, the achievements here were few, but MAJOUR. Two betas were found during this era, although one is often overlooked...

Sonic 2 (Simon Wai prototype)

The major achievement that brought us into the golden age. This was the community’s number one membership boost and still continues to bring in members. Although Simon's Sonic 2 Beta has just about been picked clean, it has provided a wealth of information over the years.

Sonic 1 Beta HOAX

The proving that Sonic hacking had matured during the race for HPZ. Unbeknownst to anyone else, Cyan had collected info on Sonic 1 during the race and released the first ever Sonic hacking hoax (arguably, the first ROM hack). Though unimpressive by today’s standards, it was for a VERY long time beyond anyone else’s capabilities.

Sonic 2 Final’s HPZ

The race for HPZ revealed that the final may have fried most things, but certainly not all of HPZ. Though the belief at this time was that the art was in another location in the ROM and that the level was completed, it was still known that at least the sprite location array had remained intact as well as the level slot. It was also discovered not too long later that Wood Zone’s palette survived the blasting.

Sonic Spinball Beta

Though at a transitional time between periods, this was the last boost in the Golden Age. Found by Elliot Rosenburg on a Chinese site with the name SuperSonicGame, it turned out to be the second and last dumped beta found in the community from a Chinese website. With very few changes and game support lacking in the first place, the recognition quickly died off.

Message boards

Sonic Pandemonium had lost serious membership due to other SSC sites opening up. The ones that were loyal to Sonic Pandemonium started going to at least the new SoSth board and some to A51’s and S2B’s. Here we go...

Sonic Pandemonium

I don’t have much info here, because I got scared off the board and sought refuge in S2B for about a year. There was "The Perfect Chaos Gang" a sprite comic / message board roleplay / story that involved various members and their arch-nemesis Samantha Clarfet!

Secrets of Sonic the Hedgehog

Ah yes... the continuation of Samantha Clarfet. It led to a really funny time with wars back and forth between André, Nique, Dr. Zachary, Mecha Tails and “Samantha”. Mecha Tails even hacked Samantha’s site. Those two also created a couple additional hoaxes for Samantha. New people started showing up there as well, which added to the chaos...


And a lot more I’ll add as I remember or as they come forth ;)

Sonic 2 Beta

With the foundation of Sonic 2 Beta, Sonic 2 Beta switched from their original board very quickly to an anyboard one. The major events here were a few music discoveries and Sonic 2 Alpha being supposedly found by myself (my first post with my new name. Yes, I was still in my stupid Samantha stage at the time). After that fell apart, not much really happened. Just hoaxes and general zaniness...


And a lot more I’ll add as I remember or as they come forth ;)