Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Simon Wai prototype)

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Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Simon Wai prototype)
Prerelease of: Sonic the Hedgehog 2
System: Sega Mega Drive
Build date: 1992
ROM size: 1 MB
Source: Pirate cartridge
Found by: Simon Wai

The Sonic the Hedgehog 2 "Simon Wai" prototype is a prototype build of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Mega Drive. It is a relatively early build of the game, thought to have been created around the middle of 1992.

This particular prototype is named after Simon Wai, who found the ROM on a Chinese website and subsequently brought it to the attention of the Western Sonic the Hedgehog fan community. It was the first prototype to be found of Sonic 2, and for many years was simply referred to as "Sonic 2 Beta".

The Simon Wai prototype is more advanced than the earlier "Nick Arcade" prototype, though is still very much incomplete. Only four Zones can be played during normal gameplay; Aquatic Ruin Zone, Chemical Plant Zone, Hill Top Zone and Emerald Hill Zone (in that order). A further nine can be accessed through a level select code, though none of these Zones can be finished, and three are entirely empty stages.


This Simon Wai prototype was presented to the Western Sonic the Hedgehog fan community in 1999[1], though had been distributed in various forms for many years prior to this date. Its release was pivotal in cultivating research into the development of Sonic the Hedgehog games in the years that followed. Sonic Retro's origins partly date back to Simon's initial documentation of the ROM in the form of the now-defunct The Sonic 2 Beta Page.

Yuji Naka claimed in an IGN interview that this prototype was originally stolen from a toy fair in New York in 1992[2], despite this event taking place in February. Copies were then mass-produced by software pirates (via the Super Magic Drive) and distributed on unlicensed Mega Drive cartridges across Asia and South America, passed on as the final version of the game. As a result of this theft, Sega temporarily changed their stance on journalists accessing pre-release versions of their games, forcing them to travel to a location of their choosing so as to ensure no further leakages could occur[3].

The ROM is thought to have been hacked to hide the Sega logo from showing when the game boots up (though it was not removed entirely).


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Hidden content

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Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Simon Wai prototype), prototype version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)
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Main page | Comparisons | Maps | Hidden content | Hacking guide

Part of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit) development

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)
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Main page (KiS2|2013|3D|Ages)
Comparisons (KiS2) (2013)
Maps (KiS2) (2013)

Promotional material
Magazine articles
Video coverage

Hidden content (KiS2) (2013)
Bugs (KiS2) (2013)
Region coding
Hacking guide