Sonic 1 Prototype Now Available to Play for the First Time

Sonic fans will be able to play an actual Sonic 1 prototype for first time ever, courtesy of video game preservation and archivist group Hidden Palace. Hidden Palace, which held a month devoted to Sonic prototypes last year and released three more Sonic prototypes just yesterday, debuted the prototype on the Twitch account hours ago.

Until recently, this prototype was only known through fuzzy screenshots and an old Nick Arcade video of Green Hill. Then, earlier this year, old poor quality footage of the prototype was discovered. Now, after three decades, we can finally play it for ourselves.

You can download the ROM from Hidden Palace, here. Although I can’t confirm for myself yet, it is presumably playable through Genesis emulators and flash carts.

2020 has been a year filled with old Sonic content being brought to light. From old concept art of Fang the Sniper, Sonic 2 and Sonic Adventure, to demo tracks from Sonic Adventure 2 and the Sonic OVA (plus a complete version of an OVA track), to an early Sonic SatAM bible, to the aforementioned Sonic game prototypes and Sonic 1 prototype footage, and even a pitch for a treasure hunting game featuring Tails, we’ve recovered many lost or never before seen aspects of Sonic’s past this year. Some of came from SEGA itself, but a lot of it came from hardworking members of the community who have never stopped looking for this content.

A Sonic 1 prototype is a perfect way to end a year filled with so much of this content, and a great way to lead into Sonic’s 30th anniversary. Be sure to show Hidden Palace, and especially Buckaroo, who dumped it, and drx, who released it! Also, credit goes to Tracker for the screenshot used in the feature, as I was unable to take a good one myself.

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Nuckles87 has been an editor at Sonic Stadium since 2007, and has been covering events like E3, PAX, and SDCC since 2010. An avid retro gamer, he runs a monthly stream on Twitch where he explores obscure Sonic oddities, and how aspects of the franchise have evolved over the decades.