Sonic the Hedgehog 2 HD Remix May Become Reality

sonic2hd-project-header

Remember my post, “If Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Was in HD“? That image got salivary glands working overtime for old-school Sonic fans and turned into one of my most popular posts of all time. Now is turns out that a number of people in the Sonic homebrew community are working on bringing that vision to reality. Of course it is in the early stages at this point, but there are a number of established people involved already. (thanks to LewieP for the tip)

Digg!

Classic games such as Super Street Fighter II Turbo and Bionic Commando are already getting high-definition remakes. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is one of the best platformers of all time and is just as worth of the attention. Sega hasn’t stepped up in any way, so Sonic’s most hardcore fans are stepping up to bring us some Sonic HD goodness.

The Development Team So Far (Accepted proper official staff )

  • Blue Streak & Athelstone – General Project Coordinators
  • Death of Rats – Level and Zone art Coordnator
  • SANiK & Sm&k (I think) – Programmers
  • ScubaSteve – Music Coordinator
  • Vincent, Blue Streak, Drex, Master Emerald, Elratauru, Death of Rats & Sonica – HD Sprite Artists

Goals of the Project

As stated in their Project Summary post:
“The purpose of the S2HD project is to remaster Sega’s classic Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in high definition graphics, whilst at the same time precisely preserving the original gameplay. New features that were not present in the original will also be made available. The S2HD project is always searching for new talent to aid us in our endeavour to resurrect and improve a timeless gaming classic. All of those significantly involved with the S2HD project readily understand that the birth of this venture was entirely due to enthusiastic individuals showcasing their artistic talents in the Sonic community. Collaboration rather than competition and encouragement as opposed to derision are therefore our most central philosophies.

sonic2enhancedck4

Current Feature Aims

  • Remastered tiles, sprites and music
  • New graphical effects when collecting rings, skidding, spin dashing, dust being kicked up when jumping and more
  • Gameplay physics and collisions replicated from Sonic 2
  • Both original and new sound effects
  • 256 colors with 1 alpha
  • Mp3/OGG/VGM music support
  • Sonic & Tails as playable characters (Knuckles will later be added)
  • All the original Sonic 2 Levels available, with an added Hidden Palace zone
  • True 3d Special stages and a possibility of 3d backgrounds
  • 360 degree rotation for slopes and loops (optionally enabled or disabled)

Possible Post-Project Feature Aims

  • A possibility of more animated frames for characters and objects so that they look smoother
  • A possibility of a multiplayer mode with TC/IP support
  • A possibility of a fully functional level development kit for the community to design levels with
  • A possibility of an animated ending sequence

The HD Artwork So Far

Of course that original Death Egg mockup may serve as the inspiration, but the crew has been busy developing their own fresh graphical elements. Below are some sprite re-creations, but there are also some landscapes, enemies, and other elements that have also recieved a remaster.

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Discussion & Details of the Sonic 2 HD Development

If you want to read more of the behind-the-scenes details of the project, look no further than the Retro Sonic forums. All the people involved in the project are busy organizing their plans, artwork, and coding within. Here are some of the main forum topics:

Want To Help Out?

If you have talents in the realms of programming, art, or music, the team would love to hear from you. (You can post examples of your work here). Again, read the Project Summary post for more info.

Would Sega Ever Pick This Up?

Looking at the recent history of game publishers (or big business as a whole) I would be quick to say that a company like Sega would sue the developers of a homebrew project like this before they would adopt the project and the team.
(Examples: Chrono Trigger Resurrection, Scrabulous)

But lets step back and think about what publishers should do. Sega is obviously in a funk right now. Many of its biggest names have left the company or aren’t nearly as active as they once were. There have released very few games that have lived up to it’s innovative legacy. In all honesty, they need all the help they can get at this point.

The smart thing to do it to hire anybody with a passion for the games and hire them for relatively low costs. Games like this would definately sell when on a system like XBLA, WiiWare, or PSN. Perhaps this is a conversation that is worthy of it’s own article…. what do you think about the matter?


68 Comments

Pineconn says:

Or, you (as in Jman) could always get this onto AGN…

Thrash says:

to be completely honest, If Sega’s legal team was to rear it’s ugly head, I’d suggest continuing the project underground(pun not intended) and releasing it as a torrent on several torrent sites. The fact no money is being made however should mean that Sega lets this slide.
I wish you guys all the best and can’t wait for the beta.

~G~ says:

Yeah the project looks great so far.

Sega tend to be fairly cool with fan stuff. I think as long as you don’t try to make money off the game they won’t have a big problem with it all.

It’s when money is involved that things become messy.

Keep up the grand work!

Mark Salmela says:

Hey this is an amazing thing you guys are doing. I would love to be updated on the project as often as possible and would love to cover your game for our site 411mania.com . Please let me know when it’s done, I have a special place in my heart for Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

kerbyninja says:

They should get the people from Project Chaos(http://s3k.ocremix.org/) to help with the music, they did an amazing job remixing the Sonic 3 & Knuckles soundtrack.

Keep up the amazing work guys!

Cinossu says:

.. could you please take my name off of this? My music isn’t specifically for this project whatsoever, so I’m not part of any development team. It just happened to be popular in a thread on improved music for this.

Anónimo says:

I forgot to add this in previous message:

Will the game be in 16:9 resolution?

Here’s my magical prediction: Sega will threaten legal action. In response to legal action, this project will be shutdown or forced under the radar. After seeing the profits other companies make from creating HD remixes of popular 2D games, Sega will rush to cobble together a HD remix four years later. Sega’s official HD remix will stink. When Investors demand to know why the S2HD remix game sold less than expected, Sega will point back to this and claim that “piracy” is the reason their HD remix sold so poorly.

Call me cynical.

ehal256 says:

samsonlonghair:

Tweaker’s already said: “To be perfectly blunt, I don’t give a damn if they send us a C&D. Unless I have a legal notice saying that I am about to be sued, without question, for monetary compensation or something retarded like that, then they can f**k off as far as I’m concerned.

And even then, we can just move the server to Sweden or something.”

Steve Ch!snall says:

I think that Tweaker was being a bit tyrannical about the issue of gradients on the level name cards. I agree that garish gradients are a VERY bad idea but I think that if kept subtle, would be a nice touch. Maybe add a menu setting to turn those little touches on or off?

Game Quiz says:

You guys are onto something great here. Even if a C&D is sent, what kind of pull can that actually do since they aren’t selling it. Even so, just release it on forums with no centralized website and call it a night.

maiki says:

Is this going to be FULL HD or which compatible videomode is going to be used? Is this going to be another stretched “like-to-be HD” Xbox Live-like crap? By the way, what kind of display do you aim to use since LCD can hardly ever replicate the original CRT smoothness of this ultra-fast multi-scroller.

Mike says:

I hope this gets finished – the sprite work looks brilliant. Thanks for doing this guys – when it gets finished, I’ll probably play it in tears. 🙂

So… I’m actually the programmer for the graphics engine. Any questions yall would like me to clear up for you?

Oceanwave says:

I Agree with tweaker . Fuck Sega , Any time fans want to create something that a company never would do or invest effort in time into , They want to sue for something they never would of made a theoritical profits . The Japanese Branch of Sega probably wouldn’t sue . It more the American corporate mentality that the problem .

Null1024 says:

This looks like a very cool idea. And the art shown looks really good. One question though? What are you making this in? (Game Maker, C++ and SDL/Allegro, MMF2, etc.)

me says:

This sounds amazing!!!

How about a Pandora version someday?

I mean the new handheld at openpandora.org

PLEASE!

Renegades says:

I’ve tried to sign up to Retro-Sonic, but cannot gain access to the forums, This project is a dream come reality, when does registration for the forum open again? Thanks in advance.

Hey, guys, any chance that you’ll be adding more frames of animation than what is actually in the original Sonic 2? I think smoother animation would greatly compliment HD sprites!

Pingfa says:

Ahhh! :O How did I miss this!?

Thank you for bringing this to my attention, Racketboy. 😀

A high definition remake of what might possibly be the best game on the Genesis? I’m all for that.
I think the title screen could use a little work – looks great, though. Seeing as it is meant to be a remake rather than an overhaul – which is good because design and animation in Sonic are already impressive – the only real cause for concern, for me, is that they’ll overdo it.
Sonic is a gem still in immaculate condition; don’t scratch it. =_=

See you next time.

racketboy says:

The title screen was just temporary — the final product should be much better.
Thanks for stopping by!

Mike says:

I though Sonic 3 and Knuckles was the best 2D sonic game on the genesis?
Oh well, this will be a blast to play in the future.

Chaoman60 says:

SEGA, needs to adopt the project and the team. Otherwise, it will be all over the news: homebrewers are better than SEGA!!!!!!

Sonica says:

I know, I am now S2HD staff:
This needs updating.

Vincent says:

Hi everyone!
I’m Vincent, S2HD Project Leader and Character art creator.

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for your nice comments! We are working hard to bring justice to our beloved Sonic the Hedgehog.

The images on this article are really early and horrible compared to the new art done.

And it’s with pleasure the S2HD Staff announce a big “surprise” coming this September 15Th! 😀
Keep tuned!

P.s. The Staff list is also not correct, when Sm&k announced his role in programming?
Drex unfortunately left the development Team one month ago.

See ya!

Vincent

S2HD Staff

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