Video Game / Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Special Edition

If madness were a video game, this would be its title screen.

"Can God create a game so bizarre, that even He could not play it? Y/N"
Mystic Cave Zone Boss

Some people remember Knuckles Chaotix, the only Sonic the Hedgehog game to appear on Sega's 32X console. Far fewer remember this Sonic game that almost appeared on the doomed console.

Sonic 2: Special Edition was originally conceived as an Updated Re-release of the extremely successful Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but this was complicated when Sonic Team decided to take advantage of the capabilities of the 32X by adding a ton of new content, to the degree that many of the later levels bore only a passing resemblance to those in the original game. By 1996, the game was a few months away from its release date, and the ballooning project had barely avoided collapsing under its own weight then Sega's decision to cease supporting the 32X caused the project to be canned altogether. The legend of this game persisted for years afterwards, as copies of the beta (and a rumored handful of finished games, manufactured but never sold) were highly sought after by hardcore collectors, but none ever turned up...

Then in 2007, on the Something Awful forum, docfuture (aka Robotnik DDS) revealed that he had a copy of Sonic 2: Special Edition, given to him as a present by his uncle (a Nintendo employee who pulled a few strings to get the game... or maybe he just bought it from Chinese bootleggers—it's not clear). Further, he decided to start a Let's Play thread to share this weird piece of Sonic history with the entire world.

From watching the LP, it's clear that, had Sonic 2: Special Edition been released, it would've been the greatest game ever made. While rough at some points, it is clear that if development continued, it would have been a classic that would have influenced games to this day.

What's that? You doubt that this game actually exists? Oh, so you're the one responsible for the shoddy graphics...

As may be gathered from the tropes below, Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Special Edition is an elaborate hoax LP by docfuture, spanning everything from the surreal to the horrific. docfuture's LP can be watched here on the Let's Play Archive, or here on the Internet Archive.

This game provides examples of:

docfuture's Let's Play provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: Both of the entire Sonic franchise, and of the Let's Play phenomenon.
  • Alternate Universe: "I'm still quite high from that Firefly season opener, man. Season 5, it's gonna be the last one."
  • Back to Front: The Metropolis Zone video is chopped into segments and in reverse order, Memento-style, for no reason whatsoever.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The first half-minute or so of the Mystic Cave video is done in Spanish, and the title and description are also written in Spanish in order to sell it.
  • Bowdlerise: Sort of. The rap song that plays during the Clap Your Hands If You Believe segment has a few completely uncensored profanities, but the subtitles during the song employ some very Unusual Euphemisms.
  • Game Breaker: invoked Docfuture complains that Knuckles is cheap, and that his ability to glide, climb walls, jump high enough to bypass large portions of the levels, and call in artillery support against the bosses, makes the game too easy.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: docfuture's Once per Episode prayer in the Mystic Cave episode is entirely in Spanish.
  • Kissing Cousins: Implied. During the Aquatic Ruin Zone video, docfuture starts reminiscing about the time he and his cousin played the game together. He says it was very hot in the room and she was wearing overalls. She leaned toward him... then docfuture cuts the story short because Sonic starts drowning.
  • MST3K Mantra:invoked
    docfuture: Weren't you just up in the air a bit ago?
    Tails: You're thinking too hard, that's your problem.
  • Once per Episode: Every gameplay video starts with a prayer, which may or may not be spoken by docfuture. Except for the Metropolis Zone video, which is shown Back To Front, so it ends with a prayer instead.
  • Orphaned Punchline: " he says to his wife, 'What's with all the dollar bills?' and she says, 'Not everyone's as cheap as you are.'"
  • Perverse Sexual Lust: invokedDiscussed by docfuture and Tails, who suspect this of Robotnik.
    docfuture: Why would you put a living turtle inside a robotic turtle, riding another turtle?
    Tails: Maybe he always had a crush on April O'Neil.
  • Running the Asylum: invoked Commented on.
    docfuture: I know this game was half made by Sega, half made by weird bootleggers, but these days, Sega pretty much is a fanfic company anyway.
  • Serial Escalation: The game just keeps getting weirder the further you get.
  • Shown Their Work: There's a surprising amount of obscure Sonic trivia hidden in the LP, including footage from the cancelled Sonic SatAM game, as well as from the (equally cancelled) Sonic Ride.
  • Stealth Parody: If you haven't figured it out yet, Sonic 2: Special Edition doesn't exist and docfuture's LP is a joke. The Emerald Hill Zone video is actually a pretty convincing hoaxnote , but every subsequent video adds increasing amounts of random crap to clue in the viewers that it's a joke... and to hurt the brain of anyone who doesn't get the joke. He was inspired by the development secrets of Sonic 2.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Likely caused by a Curse Cut Short after the first fake game-over in Hilltop Zone.
    docfuture: (referring to Silver Sonic) Uncle Chuck- (GAME OVER) What the-?!
  • Take That!: In episode 1.
    docfuture: If you're used to new Sonic games, you might notice a few differences, as in, this doesn't suck.
  • The Stinger: "Hey! I just noticed! I'm a girl!"
  • Thing-O-Meter: While calling upon his viewers to clap their hands and will the game back into existence, he uses a Clap-o-Meter to measure how much they're clapping.
  • Unreliable Narrator: At times, what docfuture is saying doesn't match up with what's happening on screen.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Your first clue that this whole thing's a joke is the way docfuture treats the random changes in gameplay or graphics like they're perfectly normal, in some cases not even commenting on them at all. By the final level, docfuture acknowledges that the game has gone completely bonkers, but he'd rather just take Evil Crazy Tails' advice and just not worry about it.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: invoked According to docfuture, No Blood For Oil Zone is supposed to be an allegory for the first Gulf War.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: invoked
    docfuture: Seriously, when you think about what's going on here, it's like a hedgehog running around an oil refinery, fighting robots. Pretty damn crazy. And you gotta wonder sometimes, where does the crazy start and stop?

Alternative Title(s): Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Special Edition