Has An Early Beta Of Sonic The Hedgehog 1 Surfaced On YouTube Or Is It An Elaborate Hoax?

Has-An-Early-Beta-Of-Sonic-The-Hedgehog-1-Surfaced-On-YouTube-Or-Is-It-An-Elaborate-HoaxWe've all been victim to hoaxes in the video game world from the notable Lara Croft Nude Cheat printed in Computer & Video Games magazine to the long running Bio Force Ape escapade. Recently a YouTube user uploaded footage labelled up as an early build of Sonic 1 which many are claiming to be fake, at least until Yuji Naka stepped in.

Hoaxes and video games have run hand in hand for years. Many of you will recall the on-going urban legend surrounding the arcade machine which causes suicidal tendencies and insanity within its players, also known as Polybius. Or maybe even the burial of countless E.T. Atari 2600 cartridges in the desert, which are yet to be found. If anything we want to believe in these somewhat plausible stories as it adds a little more spice to the hobby we're so closely attached to.

Where early prototype games are concerned though, the topic is often met with sceptical gamers with pitchforks at the ready. While we can usually write off a story about a video game graveyard in the desert, those claiming to own playable game code from development studios are expected to put forward some evidence or at least be prepared to be branded a fraud.

This early version of Sonic The Hedgehog has video footage on YouTube to suggest it could be real, however there is countless applications available today allowing anyone the ability to create their own games. To make matters even worse, documentation on how to hack ROM files of the Sega Mega Drive Sonic games to re-sculpt and create your own is so well documented and readily available. There is a wealth of Sonic The Hedgehog ROM Hacks out there and many will suggest that anything is possible on the 16-bit console, maybe even the recreation of this legendary beta version.

But with all this in mind, it takes just one man behind a twitter account to throw the entire retro gaming community into turmoil. That man would happen to be the former head of Sonic Team and lead programmer of Sonic The Hedgehog 1, Yuji Naka, who has viewed this uploaded footage and even commented on it. 

"This is a early in development Sonic 1 version, in which I worked on making the multiple scrolls.I Wonder if the rocks and the palmtrees were in those locations. Where did this ROM come from? Ah, the good days..."

Source: Yuji Naka's Twitter Account

Unfortunately we're left between a rock and a hard place with very little knowledge as to the origin of this 'prototype'. The owner has made matters worse by stating he has no intention of selling the game and has called out those holding the pitchforks to deal with it.

I guess all we can do now is sit back, grab some popcorn and enjoy not only the two videos uploaded, but the countless pages of drama which yet another video game has created.

Ealry Sonic The Hedgehog 1 Mega Drive Footage Or Clever Hoax?

Source: SonicRetro Forums

Last Updated ( 09 February 2012 )  


Better known as Adam offline, Cauterize is one of RetroCollect's final bosses with an unhealthy addiction to pixels. When he's not out searching the web for the latest retro gaming news or creating content for RetroCollect, he'll will most likely be found working on his Sensible Soccer skills.

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+1 (Link to this comment) Twimfy 2012-02-09 00:46
I think people are misinterpreting Yuji Naka's words.

His inflection is likely to be that of someone questioning authenticity.
(Link to this comment) Cauterize 2012-02-09 09:22
Quoting Twimfy:
I think people are misinterpreting Yuji Naka's words.

His inflection is likely to be that of someone questioning authenticity.

Maybe so, however the fact he has commented on this makes it all too interesting to pass off easily.
(Link to this comment) chocklo 2012-02-09 10:04
He's sort of left it on a cliffhanger (the little rascal). On one hand he's stating ""This is a early in development Sonic 1 version, in which I worked on making the multiple scrolls."

But on the other hand I read the other bit as - nice try, but, I can't remember seeing those rocks there"

Ooooh the tease!
+2 (Link to this comment) chocklo 2012-02-09 10:06
My money's on this being a proto cart stashed in Ninjabearhug's safe. Pitchforks to Leeds/Bradford then! :D

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