The story of a strange "lost level" in Sonic 2


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What a fascinating story. It’s amazing that she only just decided to publish that story now, all these years later.

I’m sure I recall vague discussion of this interview in the distant past, though it’s nice to see it in more detail here.

Also, I hadn’t heard this news about the new port of Sonic 2. There had been talk of introducing new content in the modern “Retro Engine” port of Sonic CD, though Sega ultimately decided it should be faithful to the original. (In classic fashion, a screenshot of the scrapped content can be viewed with a cheat code.) I’ll be watching for the inevitable Steam release. Good promotion thar.

The Cutting Room Floor is the place to go for all your scrapped-video-game content needs.


Seems like she was having to write mostly about new games, and perhaps it’s taken a while to allow an open story about bootlegging to be published. I could see how a game company might not want that because it sounds like it is encouraging it, etc. She might have been trying to respect him then too by not making it look like he was holding a position on piracy. Whatever the reason, I’m glad she published it. That was an interesting story and just the non-dire news I needed to read. I couldn’t afford to keep up with game systems (or rather my parents couldn’t), but I remember having the same obsessive passion about how these games were created. There really was a close culture around it even back then!

That was an excellent read. Nice one.
There’s a hidden level in GTA3 San Andreas, probably about 15 miles up. It’s a huge section of half-built Liberty city. Though very easy to fall through the sidewalk into void.
So I think sometimes, hidden levels are pre-development stages too.

“Actually,” I replied, “that ROM’s data is out there. Online… I have it here with me,” I continued. “On my laptop.”

“Do you, now?” His smile turned icily menacing. “Somehow, I’m not surprised. You’re truly quite the fan.”

I was so disappointed when this is not what the article said.

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Wowww, Hidden Palace Zone… that takes me back. You could use a Game Genie or equivalent to access that level on the retail cart but it was just garbled. I had no idea they completely restored the level for the iOS/Android port. Of course they would save it for the platform without a friggin gamepad. 9_9

Made me remember a few things from those days. Back then and even well into the Dreamcast era, game company’s promo images for publication were sent on slides. Also as for the Super Magic Drive and the like, those things often cost as much as a new console back then. They were advertised for “backup purposes” even in Asia but of course no on eI ever knew used em for that.

IIRC, there’s a bit of Liberty City shown in the opening cutscene, and it’s “filmed” in that hovering, phantom city.

My understanding is that when they wanted to use the Saint Mark’s Bistro area from GTA 3 as the location for a mission fairly late in the storyline of San Andreas, where the player flies a plane to Liberty City to take out a victim, they basically pulled a big chunk of map data straight from GTA 3 – which ends up covering a much larger area than is actually needed for the mission. The area around the bistro where the mission takes place is walled in to prevent you from leaving that area and exploring the rest of the city, though it’s supposedly possible to use the recoil of a rocket launcher or grenade blast to fly over a wall, and certainly possible to use a super-jump cheat code to do the same.

They likely left the structures around the area because you are outside for part of the mission and can see beyond the area (and because it was easier than removing the unneeded part)… but apparently didn’t focus on making that part walkable, since you shouldn’t be able to leave the enclosed area.

This seems like a completely different, more convoluted method to the one I used. It was a while ago, but I’m sure it was as simple as jumping up onto a wall (I think inside the barbershop) where there was a glitch that would propel you upwards into black space, then with a jetpack on you’d head off in an Easterly (or whichever) direction and you’d eventually see it emerge from the distance.

Ah, could be! I remember finding a way to the various locations by jetpacking through a non-solid ceiling panel inside the entrance of the gym in Los Santos. There were maps/FAQs online showing how to get to various locations. Good times.

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