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

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 Sonic the Hedgehog in video game form 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 first known build has some advantages over 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.

Allegedly, this demo was planned to be included in Sonic Mega Collection, but was never in any build as the ROM has since been lost internally at Sega.



Anonymous user #1

10 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.

Anonymous user #2

9 months ago
Score 0++
I found an image of it. Looks like it's slightly later.


4 months ago
Score 1++
I saw that, confirmed hoax by uploader and SEGA
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