Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Prototype Found

A prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 has been found by Hidden Palace!

Back in 1993, SEGA Magazine (UK) published a special supplement that included a history of Sonic the Hedgehog to date, along with an extensive preview of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 including screen shots, several months before it was published at somewhere between 40%-50% complete. 

It has been generally considered that this very early prototype would either be lost to time or unattainable…however the Cutting Room Floor and Hidden Palace have acquired a copy of the prototype burnt on EPROMs, which appears to match the prototype seen in SEGA Magazine UK!

Amongst the most significant revelations in the prototype:

  • The game appears to include a drop-dash like ability for Sonic, two decades before the feature was finally officially introduced in Sonic Mania
  • ¬†There is a second unique style of special stage
  • It appears as though Flying Battery was going to be part of Sonic 3 and not Sonic & Knuckles
  • All of the music for the later stages are based on the tracks from the PC port, showing an absence of the Michael Jackson tracks

This appears to be just the tip of the iceberg of discoveries in this prototype – and as always, The Sonic Stadium will keep you up-to-date on these revelations as they come!

Source: Hidden Palace

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Published by

Adam Tuff

With a decade under his belt, Adam is one of The Sonic Stadium's most seasoned writers, with interests in the music and merchandise of the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. Adam is the co-organiser for the Summer of Sonic convention.


  1. It’s just somehow amazing yet obvious twist of all Sonic & Knuckles Collection tracks originally being in the game at some point before the PC port. Carnival Night Zone tracks especially are brilliant in Yamaha YM2612 FM glory.

  2. This is really neat stuff. Kudos to Hidden Palace and TCRF for tracking it all down. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

    On the subject of Sonic 3, one of the explanations that I have read about Michael Jackson’s lack of credit for the music composition for Sonic 3 is that he sent studio recordings to Sega but did not like the way that the music sounded in the game as compared to his original recordings. So he said that Sega could use the music as long as they did not credit him. One of the things that I really would like to hear are these original studio recordings (provided that this account of the development history is true and such recordings actually exist). Here’s hoping that someone actually digs that music up one day and shares it with the world.

    1. whoever made that rumor has a complete lack of understanding about audio workflow, especially re: genesis audio

  3. This Ice Cap version of the music reminds me of some bgm from one of the 8-bit games, but can’t bring it to mind. Any thoughts?

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