V. Hackers

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...


V. Hackers -- The Sonic community looks to hacking for answers

With the observation of the games ending and new information not easily being found, people needed to find another place to go, lest the community die. For a small while, membership took a huge hit, [[]Sonic Spinball Beta]] slightly reviving it just enough for hacking to take a firm grasp. The two eras literally overlapped each other by about four months, so we’ll be starting before the spinball beta...

Overall happenings and history

With the Sonic 1 hacking guide doing well, Damian took his old notes from his text hacking guide on Simon’s site and formed some others, determined to find secrets in hacking.

“Sonic 2 Hacking Guide”

The original text guide became this. With everything from savestate to ROM hacking, people took this information and started creating the first Sonic the Hedgehog hacks. The most impressive being ones coming from Cyan and Yarharhar.

“Sonic 3K Hacking Guide”

With the success of Sonic 2’s hacking guide, Damian went on for 3K. This became a favourite to hack for a long time because of it’s “hackability”. This revealed quickly that Sonic 3 was indeed not finished and that Sonic and Knuckles was a money making device.


The very first popular hacking utility made by Cyan. Though the method to implement debug in it was much more complex than what Damian discovered later, it allowed debug to be used for the first time in Sonic 2 beta, letting people see the “water slide” in HPZ and the top portion of Wood Zone!


The first of the major hacking utilities, this managed to get a site on the SSRG dedicated to hacks made solely with the program. This allowed savestate hacking of the Sonic 1 special stages. This event was what led to the discovery of the other special stage formats being discovered... People tended to hate the registering process, however. It required you to send in a recording of you saying “Whoa, major fender bender!” imitating Sonic's voice, at this time that voice being Jaleel White of Family Matters fame.

Simon’s Sayonara

At about this time, Simon said he wasn’t going to be around much due to school work. He was not seen again for two years.

Sonic Hacking Community

Against Andy’s wishes, Damian broke off of the SSRG creating a “sister” site to the SSRG called the SHC, Sonic Hacking Community. This was the beginning of the tensions that would eventually help bring down SSRG. The Sonic Hacking Community eventually housed all the hacking information you could think of, but that’s getting ahead of the story!

Sonic 2 Beta Hacking Guide

Seeking the ability to be a member of the prestigious SSRG, I came to Andy with my site, Classified World of Sonic the Hedgehog. It was a twist between Area 51 and SoSth. It could have easily been its own webpage, I guess. Andy and Damian talked it over and decided that they didn’t want it. They suggested I start a site on the alpha version I almost got or something else. I knew that I had to get on there. I then realized a new section on my site that no one else had. Sonic 2 beta hacking. I didn’t know about Local H’s site at the time. It was the first Sonic 2 Beta hacking guide and soon became known for its ease of understanding and wealth of information. It used to be a suggested link on SHC until I got too arrogant and insulted Damian’s intelligence at the promptings of André and Elliot. I narrowly avoided a scandal and since then, Damian and I have been on good terms with one another.


Hacking achievements were enormous here and I couldn’t begin to list them all, but here are the major ones...

Debug found

Debug hacking allowed so much discovery in Sonic 2 Beta it’s not funny. It was responsible for the water slide being found in the ROM (although André knew about it before that because his beta allowed him to walk up the steep walkway, but even then he never got a good picture of it). It also allowed people to prove that Genocide City Zone was indeed an empty level and the visiting of Wood Zone’s upper level.

Sonic 1 successfully hacked

Sonic 1 was thought impossible to hack. It had the least “hackability” of any Sonic game to date and many people had given up on it. Cyan learned where stuff was in it and learned that the red screen was simply a checksum error, which a quick byte count and changing of a single byte fixed (later Genecyst did this automatically).

First hacking guides

The hacking guides brought this “elite” ability to the normal folk. Sonic 2 Beta’s tried to make it even more clear to make it so anyone could hack just by reading the guide like a book.

First hacking utilities

Cyan’s hacking utilities brought us to such programs like SonED, Chaos and SHWP.

Sonic 2 Alpha Hoax

The very first Sonic 2 Beta ROM hack. Though nothing close to impressive, it proved that Sonic 2 Beta was the easiest game to hack, even moreso than Sonic 3K. This broke wide open the Sonic 2 Beta hacking scene and led into the major discoveries later by Esrael and Nemesis.

Message Boards

The message boards moved slowly away from anyboard and such and towards EZboards. See Rattleman’s historical document of Area 51 for more info.

Area 51

Area 51 had a huge identity crisis with "Sonic haters", forcing them to move to EZboard where accounts could be used to ensure the people posting were really themselves. Eventually, a password was made mandatory.

“Sonic 2 Beta”

With the Anyboard S2B slowly dying from Simon’s “disappearance”, fake Simons started popping up. Eventually, the real Simon showed up very briefly, giving Pelord the password to Anyboard. Simon then left again for another couple years, when he would show again for good...or so we thought. He left a couple years after his second return.

Sonic 2 Beta moved to EZboard at this point and slowly moved away from the original community into a new one. The original S2Beta'rs either stayed there, or spread their horizons to other sites like Moogle Cavern (Kulock’s site) or Area 51.

Sonic Cult

A baby board! It gained membership after the “death” of S2B and the problems at A51. The maintainer, Pachuka, emphasized fun, no stupidity and “hardcore” Sonic secrets material. This site was a bit miffed still, because Andy did not accept it onto SSRG. This was another basis for the final fall of the SSRG.

SHC Boards 1 & 2

The old Area 51 MBs were handed to Damian for SHC. They worked for about four months until the same thing that killed A51’s old board got SHC’s...


Oh boy... I’m sorry if I miss anyone...

† means not that often...

And a WHOLE BOATLOAD MORE. I will be updating these a lot...