Sonic the Hedgehog Tokyo Toy Show prototype (lost build of Genesis/Mega Drive video game; 1990)


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Sonic the Hedgehog Tokyo Toy Show prototype
One of five known screenshots of the demo.
One of five known screenshots of the demo.
Status Lost
Japanese magazine scan containing a handful of screenshots.

The first showing of a Sonic the Hedgehog video game was at the Tokyo Toy Show in June 1990, which also happened to be the first time the game could be played by the public. In an interview with Yuji Naka, it was revealed that the original Sonic Team put together a small, playable technical demo for the show featuring Sonic in an early version of the Green Hill Zone. Though development had just begun, this build was actually more technically advanced than the final version of the game, possessing seven layers of parallax scrolling, with trees and rocks in the foreground being independent from the clouds and other objects in the background, all separate from the scrolling of Sonic the Hedgehog as he ran through the hilled terrain.

Being the earliest representation of the Green Hill Zone, it is also reflective of what was found in early materials used both internally and in promotional articles. One of the most noticeable differences between this version and the final are the strange blue structures in the background, though it is unknown if they are meant to represent a city or are simply a natural yet surreal rock formation. With both trees and giant rocks in the foreground (which presumably had layers of scrolling independent of each other), the entire style was indicative of what was to come. Though foreground items were not found in the final, the rocks would be modified and used in the released layouts of the game, transformed into downsized, colored purple obstacles in the final release. The clouds of this early pre-release are also bigger, seemingly appearing with less frequency than in the mainstream product.

The demo has not been released or leaked in any way. Allegedly, it was planned to be included in Sonic Mega Collection, but was never put in due to Sega losing the ROM.

Comments


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Anonymous user #1

11 months ago
Score 0++

I had seen footage of this prototype long ago on YouTube while browsing through videos, I thought I'd share the experience.

The thumbnail showed what looks like mostly the final title screen, with what looks like legs blocking out part of the title screen.

The actual footage was a full runthrough of Green Hill Zone, very bare and no rock enemy, but still actual footage of the prototype. I don't recall what happened at the end, but I'm 99% sure it just cut to black.

The sound was the same as the final.

I DO NOT HAVE A COPY OF THE VIDEO NOR PROTOTYPE. The whole thing was all a recollection from my memories as I was about 7 when I first saw the video.

I will try to find the footage again so I can show it to you guys.
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Anonymous user #2

10 months ago
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I found an image of it. Looks like it's slightly later.
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Kallus

5 months ago
Score 2++
I saw that, confirmed hoax by uploader and SEGA
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Shrek

20 days ago
Score 0++

I might have some ideas on where to find it, but keep in mind these are pretty Herculean tasks: 1. Find any other computers that contain the original code of this version, it may have meet the same fate of the real prototype, but hey, there may be one Floppy Disk out there!

(I'll type up more ideas later, my phone is at 2%)
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Shrek

20 days ago
Score 0++

2) Ask anyone else who worked on the project to see if they remember where they put the cartridge, but it could be deep in SEGA's headquarters, in the hands of a collector, or destroyed. 3) This one is a bit iffy, we could ask Yuji Naka himself if he remembers anything about it, not just the current state of it. For instance, gen could explain how Sonic could attack, what the egg enemy did, if there were any more enemies, what those weird blue things in the background were meant be, or what the death animation was like.

In all honesty, these might not work, but it might get us something.
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