Sonic 2 Director Confirms Level Removed
A long standing debate in the Sonic research community has mostly been laid to rest.
The row surrounds the existence of Dust Hill Zone. Long thought to join Genocide City, Wood Zone, and the Hidden Palace as scrapped levels in Sonic 2, recent debate as to whether the name at one point represented Mystic Cave Zone, instead of its own desert environment, prompted some further investigation.
Tweaker of Sonic Retro opted to work his sources and this is what he found out:
I decided to go to a fellow scener, Sik, about getting in contact with Hirokazu Yasuhara, the one person who would definitely be able to settle this once and for all. We were able to do this by talking to another fellow Sonic developer Chris Senn, who has had close contact with Yasuhara even in recent years. After some talks, both Yasuhara and Senn agreed to answer our questions to settle the age-old debate: Was Dust Hill the name for the Desert Level, or was it an old name for Mystic Cave Zone?
Here are the results:
Us: What significance did the name “Dust Hill” have in regards to Sonic 2’s development? Was it the original name for Mystic Cave Zone? Or was it supposed to be a conceptual name for the scrapped Desert Level?
Yasuhara: “Dust Hill” was one of dropped levels from original plan of Sonic2. Sega of America did want to sell the game at Christmas time of that year, I had no choice, but decided to cut some levels out from original plan. So if Sega allowed me to use enough time to pursue the plan, The Dust Hill zone would be in the game.
Further questioning of Yasuhara, one of the directors from Sonic 2, revealed that, indeed, the Dust Hill zone had a desert environment.
Wetflame, who helped push for the interview, commented further:
Seriously though, how did Dust Hill end up being assigned to Mystic Caves? That’s what I really want to know. Also whether Dust Hill was meant to have the snow section – that makes sense, as I said “Dust” describes both snow and sand(though is technically incorrect for both – particles considered dust are actually 75% and under the size of sand grains, but kids won’t know this).
I’ll have to wait see if he responds to my questions and see if I can fire another one at him, but I’ve no idea how often he checks the site, maybe not that often.
I think this is good for the community because it highlights the importance of theories and logical reason over “technical evidence”, which in this case turned out to be meaningless due to it being little more than procrastination on keeping the level select and title cards up to date. I don’t want people to take away from this “Oh so that crazy crowd just so happened to be right”. Anything could happen to be right by “chance”, like Xenu really DOES exist, but that’s a random belief drawn out of air; there was reason to back this conclusion.
I hope this changes the way we think about “research” in the future, and brings back the fun and wonder of the A51 back into the spotlight, at least a little.
This new development has prompted community members to wonder what other theories floating around may be on track, and has encouraged some within the wonderers to get going on more research.