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  • A new look at Sonic 2’s lost levels

    With decades of research, over a dozen leaked prototypes, and countless developer interviews, you may assume the history of Sonic 2 is a done deal by now. Well, the Video Game History Foundation just proved that the game still isn’t tapped out of surprises.

    As part of their winter fundraiser, the VGHF has been sharing daily updates of their preservation work through Christmas. Today, they’ve posted a video detailing brand new details behind Sonic 2‘s development.

    Perhaps most significantly, it gives us a major look at the lost Genocide City Cyber City Zone. If you remember from prototypes, this mysterious zone was completely empty, seemingly having zero work done on it before being scrapped. However, newly discovered documents show that not only were art assets created for it, but a general layout of the zone’s entire map was assembled. Through this (and a lot of guess work), they’ve managed make a barebones recreation of the level, complete with gimmicks (but no enemies).

    Additionally, the group got in touch with Brenda Cook, an artist at Sega Technical Institute who created plenty of level art for the game… though none of it actually ended up getting used in the end. She provided a VHS tape of her portfolio of work at STI. The tape shows the exact same desert level setup as seen in magazines at the time… and it’s animated! But beyond that, it also show the never-before-seen winter level, recycling the desert zone’s graphics into a Christmassy snow field. A high quality, restored copy of the tape was uploaded above.

    It’s nice to know that, even after all this time, there’s still new things to learn about this landmark title. If you like this kinda thing, consider donating to the Video Game History Foundation to help more of this preservation work get done.