Sonic community researchers have been combing through six minutes of a video unearthed from Japan showing beta footage of the original 1991 Sonic the Hedgehog, in the clear, for the first time.
The video, which is above, had first been published on Youtube in January. It’s purported to be one of a series of VHS promotional tapes Sega released in the early 1990s, known as Sega Shinsaku Soft Video, according to Sega Retro. Only this weekend did it come to light in community circles.
The video showcases several major changes from the final version. Chief among them are the famed UFOs floating in the background of Marble Zone, which were cut in the final version. Eggman’s wrecking ball from the first boss is also seen in the wild of Green Hill Zone prior to the confrontation. A victory pose sprite can also easily be achieved through jumping after passing an act. The special stage layout is much earlier and different. There are revised layouts and traps in Spring Yard Zone and Star Light Zone.
And that’s not the only discovery in this video. With all the talk surrounding Streets of Rage 4, some early footage from the original Streets of Rage, known as Bare Knuckle in Japan, also appears in this video, with some small changes from the released version.
The research community, in particular members of Sonic Retro, are banding together to purchase additional VHS tapes from this era that may offer more clues into the development process of Sonic 1. The Rlan-maintained Sonic the Hedgeblog Twitter account has also flagged Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima of the discoveries. We’ll continue to keep you informed to any major discoveries.