Sonic the Hedgehog prototype ROM Sega Genesis The Hidden Palace

The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise has some of the most obsessive, hardcore fans of anything on the planet, so duck and take cover for this story: After over 15 years of searching, the Hidden Palace has preserved a Sega Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog prototype, and it is packed with differences that the Hidden Palace has already documented in explicit detail. It is a holy grail of game preservation for Sega and Sonic enthusiasts alike.

This Sonic the Hedgehog prototype has way too many differences big and small to list them all here, as the game is obviously a work in progress at this point. (There are plenty of missing bosses and missing assets.) So it’s really worth your time to jump around this video of the prototype below and see what you find. Or of course, you could just watch the entire hour of footage. Either way, there’s a lot to enjoy. For some reason, I think “RING” instead of “RINGS” on the game HUD is really cute.

Sonic the Hedgehog originally released for Sega Genesis in 1991 as the console’s answer to Super Mario, and the hedgehog gave the plumber quite a fight for a few years. Fortunately, the two are good friends these days.

Discoveries like this Sonic the Hedgehog prototype help players develop an even greater appreciation for the path great games took in becoming great. Similarly, the Hidden Palace also recently preserved an English prototype of the original Final Fantasy.

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John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!

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