Guinness World Records Clarifies Sonic 2 Record

Guinness World Records Clarifies Sonic 2 Record

James Richards successfully earned a Guinness World Record for completing Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s Emerald Hill Zone Act 1 in the fastest time. The only problem was, that fastest time was 22 seconds, a whole two seconds shorter than a time officially achieved at the Summer of Sonic convention in 2008. So, what gives?

Gaz Deaves, who was the adjudicator on the Summer of Sonic 2008 Sonic 2 time, explained to The Sonic Stadium that it was a matter of console configuration. James’ record was achieved on an Xbox 360, while Louis Tsiattalou (SoS 2008 record holder) used a Sega Mega Drive. The differences are more significant than you might think, says Deaves:

Bearing in mind the differences between controllers (remember, the Megadrive has 3 useable buttons which allow for faster spin-boosting if used correctly) I’m not convinced 20 seconds is even possible on a current-gen console (but would love to be proven wrong!). James may be in danger, though, as I’ve already had an unauthenticated claim from a guy who says he can consistently pull off 21-second runs on PS3 and Xbox 360.

So that’s that. The main point of contention for some was whether Louis’ record, a faster time despite the apparent difference in configuration, would be dumped for the slower record just because it was a newer attempt, at a higher profile event sponsored by an energy drink. Having something like that muscle out a bona fide achievement accomplished by dedicated Sonic fans would be pretty damning. But Deaves says that all awards get phased out of the book anyway as a matter of keeping things fresh;

The content of the book is never sponsored or paid for – what goes in is always based on what we think is interesting for the reader rather than brand exposure for Lucozade or Nintendo or anyone else for that matter.

As it happens, I don’t think either Louis or James will be featured in the 2010 Gamer’s Edition: we went to press on Thursday last week so there’s no chance of James’ 22-second run getting in. Plus, we don’t feature every record every year (we need to do this to make room for new records) and I’m pretty sure Louis’ time hasn’t been featured in this one. Although, I do know we included a speed run of the Wyle[sic] Coyote-inspired Sonic clone Desert Demolition for Megadrive (dunno if you remember that one?)

Sure, Wile. E’s alright, but it’s just not the same. Deaves notes that he attempted to contact current record holder Louis to defend his title on the Xbox 360, but received no response. Louis, what are you waiting for?

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Founder of The Sonic Stadium and creator/co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic convention. Loves talking about Sonic the Hedgehog in his spare time. Likes Sonic Colours a little too much for his own good, apparently.


  1. Basically, Guinness World Records have no balls.

    Admit you made a mistake and give the credit to the right man you cowards!

  2. “remember, the Megadrive has 3 useable buttons which allow for faster spin-boosting if used correctly”

    Yeah, right. All 3 of the buttons do the same thing: jump, or rev up a spin dash if holding down on the d-pad. You only need 1 button in order to get through Sonic 2. Now, if the record stated that Richards only used the analog stick, rather than the d-pad, in order to get through the level, that would be different, but it doesn’t say whether or not he did that. So assuming he used the d-pad and not the analog stick, the control configuration would not make a significant difference.

    Something else that caught my attention is that Richards claims to have set this record while using what effectively amounts to a performance enhancer (Lucozade Alert Plus), which isn’t much different from professional athletes using steroids in order to gain a competitive edge. And if all he could get was 22 seconds while using this stuff, it simply makes this record attempt even less impressive. If Richards is serious about beating this record, and isn’t merely doing it to promote a product, he should try to beat the current record WITHOUT using any kind of performance boosting supplements. And if Guiness wants to maintain their credibility, they have to point out that this feat was accomplished using a product that is intended to increase gaming performance.

  3. I wonder if there’s a record for the site with the most posts regarding the argument of pointless records.


  4. @Stan: I wonder if there is. It certainly wouldn’t be us, because we’ve only mentioned it a whole two times. Way to troll, though. Don’t let me see you doing it again.

    @needsemail1: The 3 buttons on a Mega Drive pad can make all the difference, because many speedrunners use three fingers to charge up spindashes (thus, charging to full spindash power much quicker).

  5. I actually saw the record taking place on CBBC newsround, you can probally watch it on the iplayer if anyones interested.

  6. Give it to the guy that played it the way it was intended to be played, on a Mega Drive!
    Thats like comparing a world record juggling contest where one person juggles foam balls while the other juggles something different.

  7. Once I beat Green Hill Zone Act 1 with my eyes closed. D’you think that could be counted as some kind of record?

  8. Maybe it’s his own record because he did it eating the controller, still can’t get over that stupid interview and picture. I will say the “room for records” is bull, & the most noted record should be the one on the original format, though things like this should be noted.

    This debate should be called “the fastest thing alive,” like The King of Kong documentary.

  9. Does seem a tad odd they go to great lengths to promote a record attempt only to not feature it in their record books. Don’t they have pages upon pages of small-print records? Does sound like a whoopsie…although “I would love to be proven wrong”.

  10. I saw the newsround story. I sat through the whole segment with a real life O_o face…

    Anyway i’m very confident I can get 21 seconds or faster on an Xbox. Last time I got 22 seconds was at SoS while I was getting up to speed. I haven’t done any speedrunning for around 5 months though, will have a go at 21 seconds in a bit. I’ll even post up a youtube video here of me getting it.

  11. Here we are, If two buttons means you get an extra two seconds, what does using just a single button do?
    Third try, by the way. Less than the amount of tries James Richards got.
    Let me upload first.

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