Early Sonic 3 prototype found, features major differences to the final game


Previously, Hidden Palace and The Cutting Room Floor announced their "Sonic Month" event, where documentation on never before seen Sonic the Hedgehog prototypes would be unveiled, courtesy of drx. The first handful of prototypes to be shown were of Sonic CD, followed by some early versions of Sonic Chaos and Sonic 2. Today, yet another prototype has been revealed, and this could be the most important one yet. An early build of Sonic 3, dated November 3, 1993, has been dumped, with lots of content to discover within its code.

Sonic_the_Hedgehog_3_(Nov_3,_1993_prototype).2019-09-13_20.03.41.png
Sonic_the_Hedgehog_3_(Nov_3,_1993_prototype).2019-09-13_20.02.23.png
Sonic_the_Hedgehog_3_(Nov_3,_1993_prototype).2019-09-13_20.07.29.png

Booting the ROM brings up a WIP version of the title screen, featuring a completely different looking sprite of Sonic from the final build. Sonic also features his older sprite set from Sonic 2, surfboarding onto Angel Island instead of hopping off the Tornado and going Super Sonic as he does in the completed version. There is also no insta-shield, however, there is something entirely unexpected: a move that is almost identical to Sonic Mania's Drop Dash. By jumping in the air, and holding up+jump, Sonic will spindash the moment he lands. It also appears that Sonic would have other unique moves, as there is unused code present for an "air dash" attack, and a ring throw ability, where he could attack badniks with them.

Sonic_the_Hedgehog_3_(Nov_3,_1993_prototype).2019-09-13_20.01.44.png
Sonic_the_Hedgehog_3_(Nov_3,_1993_prototype).2019-09-13_20.01.55.png
Sonic_the_Hedgehog_3_(Nov_3,_1993_prototype).2019-09-13_20.20.54.png

Continuing on, a level-select that looks very much like Sonic 2's features Flying Battery, Mushroom Valley, and Sandopolis as stages for Sonic 3, while beta Lava Reef tilesets are present, which as we all know, these levels would all later be cut from the game and moved over to Sonic & Knuckles. An hour-and-a-half video has been uploaded showcasing the gameplay of the prototype in full, for those interested.

:arrow: Source
 

PineappleGod

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Previously, Hidden Palace and The Cutting Room Floor announced their "Sonic Month" event, where documentation on never before seen Sonic the Hedgehog prototypes would be unveiled, courtesy of drx. The first handful of prototypes to be shown were of Sonic CD, followed by some early versions of Sonic Chaos and Sonic 2. Today, yet another prototype has been revealed, and this could be the most important one yet. An early build of Sonic 3, dated November 3, 1993, has been dumped, with lots of content to discover within its code.


Booting the ROM brings up a WIP version of the title screen, featuring a completely different looking sprite of Sonic from the final build. Sonic also features his older sprite set from Sonic 2, surfboarding onto Angel Island instead of hopping off the Tornado and going Super Sonic as he does in the completed version. There is also no insta-shield, however, there is something entirely unexpected: a move that is almost identical to Sonic Mania's Drop Dash. By jumping in the air, and holding up+jump, Sonic will spindash the moment he lands. It also appears that Sonic would have other unique moves, as there is unused code present for an "air dash" attack, and a ring throw ability, where he could attack badniks with them.


Continuing on, a level-select that looks very much like Sonic 2's features Flying Battery, Mushroom Valley, and Sandopolis as stages for Sonic 3, while beta Lava Reef tilesets are present, which as we all know, these levels would all later be cut from the game and moved over to Sonic & Knuckles. An hour-and-a-half video has been uploaded showcasing the gameplay of the prototype in full, for those interested.

:arrow: Source
Very interested to take a peek and play the ROM, but my moral standards are preventing me from doing so. (。•́︿•̀。)
 

drazenm

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Have no idea who at all cares about sonic. Sonic was never Mario nor it will ever be, maybe Sonic was popular in the US but nothing at all world wide. Characterless character.
 
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FAST6191

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I was wondering if this was just going to be before the split into Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles but this is more than that.

Very interested to take a peek and play the ROM, but my moral standards are preventing me from doing so. (。•́︿•̀。)
Because by doing so you are denying Sega the money for Sonic 3 that you already own or could easily buy a copy of?
 

NeoSlyde

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I’m pretty sure Air Dash is now the Hyper Sonic move: Hyper Flash

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Have no idea who at all cares about sonic. Sonic was never Mario nor it will ever be, maybe Sonic was popular in the US but nothing at all world wide. Characterless character.
Sonic >>>>>>>>>>>> poop > Mario
Tho..

Only uncult kids will say the opposite ;)
 

AmandaRose

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Sonic was popular in the US but nothing at all world wide. Characterless character.
The franchise has sold 105.14 million units at retail worldwide, 52.9 million units, were from North America. 35.24 million of the games sold were from Europe, while 5.17 million of the units sold were in Japan.

How on earth can you claim the sonic franchise is only popular in North America when you look at the European sales figures??
 

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Very interested to take a peek and play the ROM, but my moral standards are preventing me from doing so. (。•́︿•̀。)
There aren't any morals involved with this, unless you redistribute this for money. This is not a product for sale, and if you somehow had police confiscate your computer for having it and they question you, you should counter "where can I pay for a copy of this specific prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 that was never sold anywhere?"


Also I've been watching all the livestreams, and I did not expect this at the end. I thought the two prototypes late in development was all we had for so many years. To see such an early development prototype was found is just god damn amazing - to the point I didn't even think what I was watching was real.
 

Apache Thunder

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Anyone remember that odd line of rings embedded into the wall above a cave area of 3 power up boxes near the end of act 2 of Angel Island? (note this was fixed in Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Have to play Sonic 3 stand a lone to see this)

Looks like this prototype solves where those came from. Same line of rings appears to be there, but the whole section where the power up boxes isn't there. Looks like they changed the layout of this area and forgot to remove the old placement of the rings. :P
 
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