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30 Retro Rumors
Introducing Sonic: Escape From Ring Zone (Retro Rumor #23)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 18, 2015   |   Episode 23 (Show Archive)  

Welcome to 30 Ridiculous Retro Rumors, a brand new series that will run daily between November 26 and December 25, 2015. This is a series where we debunk some of the craziest rumors and predictions of all time. Today we're taking a look at a Sonic the Hedgehog game that never came out. It's a twisting and turning platformer that was supposed to hit Sega CD. Let Die Hard Game Fan explain it all in today's episode of 30 Ridiculous Retro Rumors.

This is a real rumor taken directly from the December 1991 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly ...

Today's episode is on shaky ground. The truth is, Sonic the Hedgehog is no stranger to aborted sequels and spin-offs, including Sonic Battle, Sonic Extreme and a 32-bit Sonic designed for Saturn. But of all the prototypes, betas and canceled projects, none sound like Sonic the Hedgehog: Escape From Ring Zone.

This rumor comes from the December 1991 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, mere months after Sega debuted their newest mascot. Sonic the Hedgehog was not only winning over critics, but also convincing gamers to buy the Genesis instead of Nintendo's competing 16-bitter. Obviously a sequel was planned, but Sonic the Hedgehog 2 turned out to be nothing like Quartermann described.

In fact, he somehow manages to get every detail wrong. Sonic 2 ended up coming on a 1 MB cartridge instead of CD; it wasn't filled with rotating levels, didn't hit store shelves in the mid-summer, didn't involve a scaling anti-hero and, thankfully, didn't come with a dopey subtitle. That all sounds good, but that's not the Sonic follow-up I bought in 1992.

It's also not the blueprint for Sonic CD, which began its development it the same time as Sonic 2. Although it used the Sega CD's "advanced processors" for the 3D bonus stages, there wasn't much rotation and scaling in the actual adventure. Sonic didn't grow in size and it definitely wasn't called Escape From Ring Zone. And while it's no doubt true that Sonic CD went through changes before hitting retailers, I couldn't find anything corroborating what Quartermann suggests.

In fact, the only other mention of this rumor comes from the February 1992 issue of Super Game, a Sega-focused magazine based out of Brazil. However, much like EGM, Super Game doesn't run any pictures, instead merely parroting what Quartermann said three months earlier. It could be that they both have the same source, but it also wouldn't be the first time a foreign magazine reprinted EGM's scoops (both real and fake).

So while I feel that this Quartermann making a bunch of awful guesses, I'm sure the Sonic army will flood the comments section letting me know how wrong I am. But don't worry; I have an ace up my sleeve: Everybody is going to be so excited about Star Wars that literally nobody is going to watch this video.


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