As we can read on Wikipedia, Sonic Mega Collection is a sonic-games compilation for the Nintendo GameCube and Playstation 2. The compilation contains twelve to fourteen games depending on the region, all originally released on the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis console. Ten of the included games are installments of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, while the remaining two to four games are only related to the series by company. Sonic CD and Sonic Drift were also planned to be included in the beta version, but the former was deferred to Sonic Gems Collection and the latter appeared in Sonic Mega Collection Plus. Below you can see is an extremely old video of Sonic Mega Collection with all the originally planned games.
Sonic Generations is an action game that features two Sonic on one epic adventure. The beta uses few different elements. Here are some of them!
The layout of the classic green hill was slightly different in the beta, and the same goes for modern. At the section where classic sonic enters the cave, where the buzz bomber should be there is a platform. This was removed for unknown reasons. Also, most of the item monitors/boxes were broken leaving only blue static. This is similar to the unused boxes in Sonic the Hedgehog (1991).Other than that, there is nothing else to compare between the beta classic and full classic green hill zone act 1.
Onto act 2! At the beginning of modern green hill zone, sonic says “Ready? GO!”. This was also removed for unknown reasons. The regular and boosting versions of modern green hill zone were slightly edited in the beta version. This can be heard at the E3 Sonic Generations modern green hill zone. At the part of act 2 where sonic must homing attack the buzz bombers, extra spikes were added. The trick rainbow ring replaced the buzz bombers. Another topic, whenever modern sonic uses boost, a different voice may be heard. Lastly, sonic’s aura followed him whenever he uses jump dash, stomp or homing attack similar to Sonic Unleashed.
There is also an unused cutscene featuring the Time Eater. This can be seen in the bosses and rivals trailer.
Also, Modern Sonic in the first demo gained more boost while tricking and Moder was planned to play the first Act as well as Classic, in Green Hill there was a spot where it could use the Light Dash
Information regarding the title in development:
As announced by Aaron Webber, SEGA of America intended to have Classic Sonic either voiced by his cartoon actor Jaleel White, or completely mute. Because White was unavailable, Classic Sonic became mute in every version of the game.
Regarding the odd ‘cutscenes’ in trailers, those are not actually cutscenes but pre-rendered CG animation which may have only been intended to be used for promotional materials. The first CG shown ended up in the retail version of the game. The audio from the trailer (a song called ‘Tenderoni’) was replaced with an original instrumental track. The footage plays if one waits long enough at the title screen.
The final level selection was chosen late into development; SEGA published a series of community polls asking for fans to choose their favourite level from various games. Before the polls, the level selection was entirely different.*
While designing Speed Highway, a request was submitted to make locations and road names on signs refer to SEGA community members. A similar request was made to include advertising for the NiGHTS Hotel from Sonic Adventure 2, in which it would be revealed to be under new management by the community members who run the fan-site nightsintodreams.com, and be celebrating its anniversary. Both requests were denied.*
The script for the game was intentionally kept simple because SEGA feared backlash, as had happened previous times when trying to incorporate character interaction and development into the plot.*
Post by The Neo Joy, thanks to Ivo Robotnik and?Runaway for the contributions!
*Information provided to Runaway by Kevin Eva, who was SEGA of Europe Community Manager until a few months before the game’s release.
Sonic Extreme is a pitch / early proto created by Vision Scape Interactive, that was recently discovered by ProtonX (from the Assembler Forum) on a development unit for the original Xbox console. The project features Sonic skateboarding around in an area reminiscent of Heroes‘s Seaside Hill. Additionally, there appears to be a battle mode with Sonic and Shadow built in the same split-screen style as Sonic Adventure 2: Battle / Mario Kart. Probably Vision Scape Interactive tried to pitch this project to SEGA, but without luck.
Vision Scape Interactive were also working on other cancelled games:
Sonic Colors or Sonic Colours is a platform game developed by Sonic Team for the Wii. Tehe video below is from the e3 demo of Sonic Colours, there are some minor differences between this and the final.
-The music has much more bass than in the final.
-The announcer shouted “POWER UP” whenever a wisp was collected.
-The announcer shouts “SPIN” when the yellow wisp is used, while in the final he shouts “DRILL”.
-Music doesn’t change when using the green wisp (the laser wisp).
-Some of rings and wisp power-ups are in different locations than in the final.
-The announcer’s “good, great, awesome, outstanding, amazing!” is different in this version. It was re-recorded for the final.
Sonic Battle is a fighting game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, developed by Sonic Team and released for the Game Boy Advance in 2003 / 2004. As we can see at Sonic Cult, there are some images of a beta version, even if most of the differences are just an old HP meter.We can only hope that some earlier beta could be leaked in the future, to learn more about Sonic Battle’s development.
Sonic Heroes is a platform game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, developed by Sonic Team USA and released in 2003 for the GameCube, Playstation 2 and Xbox. Kieranmay linked us to many beta videos from the game, as you can see below! Many cutscenes were still unfinished and the songs were changed for the final version.
Also, as we can read at Sonic Retro, various Sonic Heroes betas were leaked online:
Sonic Rush is a platform game developed by Sonic Team and Dimps, published in 2005 for the Nintendo DS. Various screenshots from pre-release versions of the game show slightly different areas, different HUD, slightly different gameplay and the first screenshot of Blaze the Cat shows a Sonic life icon while, in the final version, Blaze has her own life icon. We can also notice a different main menu screen.
The Beta version had a totally different soundtrack for the main menu, for the Leaf Forest, for the boss stages and the end of an act. Also, some FX sounds are different from the final version (Sonic’s voice is different too).
In January 2007 DRX from the Hidden Palace released a prototype version of the game, that was shown at E3 2005. In the E3 version you were meant to play only one level, but Tanks from Sonic Retro has found out that there are 7 zones listed in the proto, and 3 are playable via hacking. He also found an unused set of sprites from Sonic Advance 3, but we don’t know how they were used in the development of Sonic Rush.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a side-scrolling platform developed by Aspect Co and published by Sega for the Master System and Game Gear, released before the 16-bit version for the Mega Drive / Genesis. Jean-François was able to find a few beta-screens (Game Gear version) from an old magazine, in which we can notice some differences in the HUD and in an image with Pib Badnik: in the final it’s a boss in Gimmick Mountain Zone (one of the last levels) but it appears here in a sort of Green Hill-alike level (with differents palmtrees) and with Robotnik at the same time!
Thanks a lot to Jean-François for the contribution!
Knuckles’ Chaotix, is a platform game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, developed by Sonic Team, and published by Sega for the Sega 32X. The project was build on the Sonic Crackers prototype as the concepts, engine and various other materials of Crackers were almost the same (in Chaotix you can even find some unused Sonic & Tails sprites from Crackers). When Sega decided to create Chaotix, initially Espio the chamaleon was meant to be the star of the game: also in some early screens we can notice a different select screen, there were no objects in the special stages. Various beta builds of the game were released by DRX during the February 23rd, 2008 proto release.