- Back to: Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball (Mega Drive prototype; 1993-08).
The prototype goes straight into the introduction, rather than the title screen. Mount Mobius is red, the clouds in the background are pink, and there is no music. The plane's propellers can be heard, the lasers make a different noise, and when Sonic jumps into the water, a jingle, not used in the final game, is played.
There are several minor differences to the title screen. The red lines only fade in after the central animation is finished, the ™ symbols are missing and there is a missing tile above the "N" in Sonic. The title screen is also missing audio, and the "options" menu has yet to be implemented (attempting to access it will just restart the game).
The escaping cutscene has similar palette differences to the introduction, but also some corrupt sky graphics. Again, there is no audio.
While you can't reach the ending by normal means, it has been partially implemented.
A free movement mode is activated by default; Sonic can be moved to any point of the level just by pausing the game and using the d-pad (though lodging Sonic within walls risks breaking the camera). There is no "Game Paused" text when the game is paused, and much of the scenery will continue to animate.
The game doesn't pester you for standing still...
...or lying down.
In the final game, the game keeps track of any emeralds collected before you die. In the prototype, you're forced to start from scratch.
There is no fanfare for collecting all the rings in a level, though the bonus level warps still appear.
All of the trapped animals are different. In the final game, Sonic only rescues birds; Cucky, Flicky and Locky (and an unknown red bird), whereas in this prototype he rescues bats and insects, in addition to a different blue bird.
When hanging, Sonic is missing the animation frame that has him look at the camera.
Sonic frowns when he gets an emerald.
When bosses explode in the final game, 16x16-sized tiles are removed to symbolise destruction. Here the same effect is in place, but only applied to 8x8 tiles. As the explosion sequence is the same length as the final game, much of the supposedly destroyed boss is clearly visible when the level ends.
The Sega logo is missing the sparkle sound effect and has different propeller sounds.
The explosion sound effect is different, being more muffled and less impactful than the final game.
Jingles don't stop the main stage theme, so the collecting emerald jingle is masked by other noises and is cut off prematurely.
Possibly as a side-effect of the above, the tempo of the stage music is affected by jingles, causing it to speed up and slow down as you play. It seems to reset to the correct speed once the stage music hits its looping point (or if the level is restarted).
Some actions cause the classic Sonic the Hedgehog theme to play, usually reserved for the title screen and end of level jingle.
The boss music will play if Sonic is near the boss area, regardless of how many emeralds have been collected.