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?

“New Sonic 2 World Record” Doesn’t Actually Beat World Record


Various sources are reporting that gamer James Richards, in association with Lucozade and the Guinness World Records, has apparently broken a time trial record for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 at the Golden Joystick Awards show in London.

The only thing is, he didn’t.

James attempted the World Record, which involved speed running through Sonic 2’s Emerald Hill Zone Act 1 as fast as possible, and managed a very respectable time of 0:22. Guinness World Records representatives were at the event to adjudicate and officiate the new record.

However, the current World Record for Emerald Hill Zone Act 1 lies with Louis Tsiattalou with a time of 0:20. This was achieved at the Summer of Sonic Convention in August 2008, and funnily enough was also officiated by Guinness World Records representatives. The record was even published in the Guinness Book of World Records: Gamers Edition 2009.

Which begs the question, how did Guinness come to forget their own World Record?

James was happy that he got a quick time, all thanks to Lucozade Alert Plus, apparently. “I’ve been training for weeks for this. Getting my mental preparation right has been just as important as honing my physical co-ordination and reactions. Lucozade Alert Plus has given me the energy boost I’ve needed to increase my focus, concentration and overall mental performance. I’m so happy to have broken the record – one that I hope will stand for some time to come!”

I wonder who will be the poor sod that has to break the news to James that he didn’t actually break any records?

James attempted his World Record on an Xbox 360. The current World Record holder, Louis, achieved it on a Sega Mega Drive console. There are faster times on speed running sites that clock in as quick as 19 seconds and beyond, but these use ROMs, engineered copies of the game or do not take place in front of a Guinness World Record adjudicator, and thus aren’t qualified for World Record placing.

Sonic games entered in Guinness Records: Gamers Edition

Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog games have made it into the new Guinness Records: Gamer’s Edition 2008. 7 records have been entered which are:

  • Best selling game on Sega systems
  • Highest score for Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Best selling retro game compilation
  • Fastest completion time
  • Fastest video game character
  • Longest running comic based on a videogame
  • Most playable characters in any platform game

Congratulations to our spikey blue hero!

You can view the 2 page section in the book’s preview at it’s official site here on pages 14-15.