Sonic 1 Beta Hoax

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Sonic 1 Beta Hoax
Last release: 05/10/99
Status: Complete
System: Sega Mega Drive
Original game: Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)
Credits: Cyan Helkaraxe

Sonic 1 Beta Hoax is a ROM hack created by Cyan Helkaraxe in 1999. When it was first released, it was purposely not described as being a hoax. As a result, many individuals mistakenly thought for a time that it was a legitimate prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Mega Drive.


In 1999, Cyan Helkaraxe wanted to stir up more interest in Sonic 1 among the Sonic community. He decided to do something which had never been done at that time: create a ROM hack. The resulting hack would become known as the Sonic 1 Beta Hoax.

Cyan set to work on the Sonic 1 ROM, researching its internal workings primarily by a trial and error process, since there was absolutely no documentation on Sonic 1 available at the time. His goal was to create a hoax prototype a game that mimicked the behavior of a "genuine" Sonic 1 prototype.

In May 1999, Cyan released his hack to Simon Wai's Sonic 2 Beta page. The ROM was deliberately not listed as a hoax; rather, it was released under the title "Sonic 1 beta?".

The release of the hoax prototype stirred up more interest in Sonic 1, and when it was identified as a hoax, Andy Wolan invited Cyan to the Sonic Stuff Research Group for his work in creating the ROM hack.


  • No SEGA Sound.
  • No title cards.
  • No "GAME OVER" text appears when you run out of lives.
  • Music sounds different.
  • Only Green Hill, Sparkling, Starlight, and Final Fight work. All other zones cause emulators to stop.
  • Both Labyrinth and Clock Work Zone are neither implemented.
  • Level Select has 2 renamed zones.
  • Final Zone has three stages (neither implemented) and boss has its own stage: Final Fight.
  • Special stage is called Special Zone (and not implemented).
  • Sound test is unreliable.
  • Zones are differently colored.
  • Green Hill Zone appears to be at an early stage in development.
  • Sonic has a different palette.
  • The ending sequence does not work.
  • Beating the boss of some levels, including Green Hill Zone and Star Light Zone, results in the game crashing with an Address Error.
  • Waiting on the Stage Select screen too long will cause the game to crash.
  • The "TIME OVER" text doesn't appear on the screen when the player reaches 10 minutes.


Download.svg Download Sonic 1 Beta Hoax
File: (351 kB) (info)

External links

Fume Cupboard Facility Cyan's website. Beta hoax is listed under "Sonic 1 Hoax" in "Coding Capers."