Sonic 2’s Hidden Palace Zone Rediscovered in Cancelled Mega Drive Prototype ‘Astropede’

Former SEGA Technical Institute artist Craig Stitt has revealed that assets from Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s long lost Hidden Palace Zone were re-used in a prototype Mega Drive/Genesis game that was pitched to SEGA of America in the 1990s.

Stitt, who also made waves this week after unveiling another prototype for a doomed Sonic spinoff called Treasure Tails, also shared details of a late-generation 16-bit title originally called SEGApede (later renamed Astropede). The game was originally pitched to SEGA of America and then a playable demo was green-lit.

To help demonstrate the game’s quirky premise – you played as a robotic centipede with powers linked to its multiple pods; if you took damage, you’d lose a pod and the powers that came with it – Stitt said in an article published by SEGABits that elements from Sonic 2’s cut Hidden Palace Zone were used.

“After the original pitch to the executives at SEGA America, they gave us the go ahead to make a playable version. Myself and Ken Rose went to work.You might recognize the art as being from Sonic 2’s lost “Hidden Palace Zone”. I figured since it didn’t get used in Sonic 2 I might as well use it here and save a lot of time,” Stitt revealed.

“I also reworked the basic lattice in the art to create the art for the background in the first Astropede video I posted here. In that case, I reworked the art signiicantly, but if you look you can see the underlying nature of the pattern is the same. I also used the art from HPZ as the foundational art for Sonic Spinball’s Toxic Pools level. (clealy I really liked that little peice of artwork).” – Craig Stitt, former artist at SEGA Technical Institute.”

SEGABits also scooped a video of the prototype in action, a fascinating 12-minute tech demo that shows the game in action. And man, Craig wasn’t kidding about lifting the zone – you can even see the Master Emerald from the Sonic 2 prototype just sitting there!

According to follow-up tweets by SEGABits, Stitt intended for Astropede to be a part of the actual Sonic universe as well. Part of a design document was shared online that details the centipede protagonist, called Zip, as a robot of Dr. Robotnik’s design… “fighting to save a life by cleaning up and collecting ‘Chaos Dust’ that had infected a particular evil doctor.”

Watch the video, via our good pals at SEGABits, below.

And check out their original article here.

Published by

Dreadknux

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 Comment

  1. Oh my goodness!!…
    I wanna go back to the 90’s when many spin-offs were created (well, in fact, they were not since TREASURE TAILS and ASTROPEDE were cancelled, like SISTER SONIC for instance) : I really think our SONIC series lacks games dedicated to other characters (in nearly 30 years, we just had TAILS’SKY PATROL, TAILS ADVENTURE, CHAOTIX for Knuckles and friends and SHADOW THE HEDGEHOG)!!…

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