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"Can God create a game so bizarre, that even He could not play it? Y/N" 
—Mystic Cave Zone Boss
Sonic 2: Special Edition was originally conceived as an Updated Rerelease 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.
- All Just a Dream: Several people are shown waking up at the end of some cutscenes, although the game continues as "normal" from there.
- All There in the Manual: Here.
- And I Must Scream: Failure Cresh, a man with a monitor for a head, lives on even when his head is cut off.
- Anticlimax Boss / Zero Effort Boss: Sonic 2's original endgame is nerfed for some reason. The Wing Fortress boss is the same, but you fight it as Super Sonic. In Death Egg Zone, Silver Sonic doesn't fight at all, and just directs you to the location of the final boss...who goes down after a single hit.
- Anti Poop Socking:
Tails: Protip — Why don't you go out and meet some girls instead of staying shut in all day?
- Artificial Brilliance: Tails' AI in this game is much smarter than in the original, and he alters his behavior based on how you treat him.
- Art Shift: Halfway through Act 1 of Aquatic Ruin Zone, the graphics go 8-bit. In Mystic Cave Zone, the graphics switch to hand-drawn art. Cutscenes feature a random mix of in-game sprites, anime FMVs, computer-animated FMVs, live-action FMVs, and puppetry.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: The Casino Night Zone boss fight. Robotnik's in Jim's mind, acting as his self-doubt, and you must force him out.
- Bonus Boss: Knuckles in Aquatic Ruin Zone Act 1. Losing to him lets you play as him in the next act.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Tails.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: According to the manual, to play the game, you need to attach "a Sega Menacer Xtreme, Phillips Scuba VR Visor, Mattel Power Glove, 32X Keyboard, Genesis TV Tuner, and Vibra-Luxe Dildonics Ultra-Rod.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: If you mistreat Tails, he will resent you. Not the in-game character, you the player.
Tails: ...Because if you fuck with Sega, then Sega fucks with you.
- Some of his "protips", in fact, seem to be aimed not even at the player, but at those watching the game.
- Captain Obvious: The in-game hint messages contain very important information. Such as "To collect rings, simply touch them," or "Each directional pad button corresponds with movement for your character."
- Chekhov's Gunman: The Mystic Caves boss, who shows up near the end of the game to release Tails from his brainwashing.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe / Your Mind Makes It Real: The game itself begins to degrade if there aren't enough people who believe in it. This even is accompanied by an excerpt from Peter Pan.
docfuture: Okay guys, well, truthfully that was pretty fucking weak. I should have really told you guys — this game runs on a belief-based engine. And apparently not enough of you watching this video actually believe that this game could exist.
- Clone Degeneration: "Can a sista get some child support?"
- She was probably literally asking her "parents" to raise her. And they ran away.
- Colony Drop: The Casino's "self-destruct"
- Cooking Duel: Or rather, a dancing duel at the end of Casino Night Zone 2B.
Knuckles: I won't let you have the unlimited power of the Stamford branch!
- Covert Pervert: Knuckles' apparent lust for Amy Rose's booty.
- Cryptic Conversation: Robotnik and Silver Sonic hold a conversation midway through Chemicals Zone Act 2. Although the music drowns some of its volume out, they were actually just speaking backwards and saying inane things.
- Dummied Out / Easter Egg:
- Embedded Precursor: The entirety of Sonic 1: Special Edition can be unlocked with a cheat code.
- The End of the World as We Know It: Subverted.
Mystic Cave Zone Boss: You may have received messages about the universe being destroyed or some nonsense. These are lies of a bored child. They are meant to amuse you.
- Evolutionary Levels: "What? Your AMY ROSE is evolving! Congratulations! Your AMY ROSE evolved into Kirby!"
- Exposition Fairy: Years before Tikal, Omochao, Chip, and Shahra, there was the Hint Mode in this game. It varies between a setup that's oddly similar to Metal Gear's radio conversations, and one where Tails gives you hints via real-time voiceovers. Both tend to be more irritating than helpful.
- Fail O'Suckyname: Failure Cresh.
- Fetish: Failure Cresh was lucky that Pepper Irish had a fetish for men with monitors for heads.
- Fission Mailed:
- When you beat Hilltop Zone, you get a Game Over screen anyway and get sent back to the pre-level cutscene. After the third fakeout Game Over, the game sends you back to the pre-title screen credits — and then proclaims "You've Unlocked Your Fate", indicating that you beat the level after all. (These may, however, be caused by Tails getting back at the player.)
- In the particularly Mind Screwy final levels, a fake ending cutscene is followed by another level... underwater, with no air bubbles. Sonic drowns. Then the credits start rolling, and get interrupted by a Record Needle Scratch and another cutscene. Then the real final levels happen.
- Foreshadowing: During Metropolis Zone, there is a split second shot of the text "You cannot trust Tails to take you to the Wing Fortress!"
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Try pausing while docfuture fast forwards through a cutscene he's already watched to see various curiosities.
- Some of the protips aren't spoken and don't appear on-screen for long, and furthermore aren't written in the white text. The last one says "You are all guilty and will face my wrath."
- Funny Background Event: The background is frequently replaced with various FM Vs.
- Fun with Subtitles: The ToeJam & Earl: Panic on Funkotron commercial in the middle of Aquatic Ruin Zone.
"Sometimes I wonder if it's possible for a black man to have a fetish for black chicks."
- Game Breaking Bugs: A fair number, all justified due to the game being unfinished. The most showstopping bug freezes the game when you try to play Carnival Night Zone, a bug that docfuture only got past by merging the level file and opening cutscene.
- Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: Robotnik as the final boss? Nah, the final boss is logic.
- Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Used during the ending, when Tails comments on how Sonic shouldn't be floating in the sky.
- Guide Dang It: You must perform a complicated series of button combinations to beat Robotnik in "Super Sonic Dance Attack" in Carnival Night Zone 2B.
- Giving Up on Logic: You, the player, are forced to do this by defeating logic in the final fight.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Failure Cresh.
- Inherently Funny Words; 'Dildonics' and 'Reginald'.
- In-Series Nickname: 'Silver Sonic' and 'Uncle Chuck' for Metal Sonic.
- Involuntary Shapeshifter: Sonic randomly transforms into several Platform Game protagonists, such as Aladdin and Earthworm Jim, in Metropolis Zone.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The biggest offender in the franchise. Notable for featuring characters from the ABC cartoon along with characters and character designs that were recycled in future games after this one was shelved.
Commercial announcer: With the most playable characters of any videogame created throughout the history of mankind!
- Mac Guffin Boy: Inside Failure Cresh's head were ten golden rings, which when absorbed had the ability to protect against harm. The military was willing to take advantage of this.
- Made of Explodium: In the submarine level, depleting Sonic's Oxygen Meter inexplicably causes Sonic to explode.
- Meta Fiction: Due to the copious use of All Just a Dream and Show Within a Show.
docfuture: For some reason, this game is really big on metacommentary.
- Mind Screw: The whole game is so illogical that "the last piece of logic" is literally the final boss.
- Military Mashup Machine: The boss of the
Mystic CaveThis Thing Zone is a robot. His head is M. Bison Balrogthe Boxer, his hands are Amy Rose and the Vectorman box art, and he attacks by asking you questions.
- Mission Control Is Tripping Balls
- Mister Seahorse: Maybe. In the end, Sonic and Tails are married with five daughters. It's not explained whether this tropes is in effect, or if they just adopted.
- Mood Whiplash: The viewer witnesses the death of Failure Cresh, a man they've spent the last five minutes getting to know rather well... and then the LP continues right along as if nothing ever happened.
- More Than Mind Control: Your mistreatment of Tails causes him to resent you, then unexplained brainwashing turns this resentment into outright attempts on your life.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- In No Blood For Oil Zone, docfuture destroys a 10-ring monitor, blissfully unaware that he's actually killing (Mercy Killing?) Failure Cresh.
- In Sky Chase Zone, when Sonic destroys badniks and frees the animals inside, said animals simply fall off the bottom of the screen. Docfuture wonders where the animals are falling to. Cut to New York City, where the animals are landing and completely destroying buildings upon impact.
- Nonstandard Game Over: Just try to kill Silver Sonic in Hill Top Zone.
Tails: Protip — Memorize Silver Sonic's attack patterns, because he is one sexy robot.
Anonymous Sonic Team Member: Problem is, we had like 500,000 yen left over. So we decided to add in these cool 3D effects for no reason at all.
- Shout-Out: The level select code in this game is 4-8-15-16-23-42. Entering it lets you go to stages with names such as Chemical X and Gotham City.
- The code to unlock Sonic 1: Special Edition is 8-6-7-5-3-0-9.
- Show Within a Show: Multiple layers, to the extent that it becomes impossible to tell what within the game is "real" and what's "fictional".
- The Stinger: If you beat Sonic 1: Special Edition without collecting all the Chaos Emeralds, then after the credits roll, there's a shot of Robotnik juggling the Chaos Emeralds over text reading TUPAC LIVES
- Stop Helping Me!: Hint Mode. The tips are useless, frequently distorted, and, according to docfuture, written in Chinese.
- Take a Third Option: The proper answer to the Mystic Cave Zone boss' question is neither yes nor no, but "It depends on whether you need to specifically believe in a classical Judeo-Christian ideal of omnipotence for this corny paradox to even work. Don't waste my time with this Philosophy 101 crap."
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: Normal Sonic-style platforming, Chaotix-style two-character platforming, Beat'Em Up action, logic puzzles, Marble Madness, Fighting Game-style special stages, a side-scrolling Shoot'Em Up finale, and even dance competitions.
- Updated Rerelease
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: See Artificial Brilliance and Breaking the Fourth Wall, above. If you mistreat Tails (by, say, abandoning him in Casino Night Zone), his "hints" are replaced by passive-aggressive mockery, and he eventually tries to kill you in Wing Fortress Zone.
- We Can Rebuild Him: In the Casino Night Zone opening cutscene, Amy is accidentally killed, so Knuckles and Tails have her cloned back to life, and older to boot...which handily explains her change in appearance between Sonic CD and Sonic Adventure.
- What Do You Mean It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: This game wasn't made on drugs — this game was made of drugs.
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?
- What Measure Is A
MookPower-Up: Poor 10-Ring monitor Failure Cresh.
- Where Are They Now? Epilogue: Modeled after the one from Animal House.
- Knuckles the Echidna became a professional beekeeper.
- Mikhail Gorbachev became the mascot of Fruity Pebbles.
- Silver Sonic is a judge with attitude who don't take no crap.
- Melissa Joan Hart became the first woman to walk on the moon.
- Disney's Aladdin is currently serving time in Guantanamo Bay.
- Dr. Robotnik is so fat that he stepped on a rainbow and made Skittles.
- Amy Rose built the world's first solar-powered buffalo.
- Sonic and Tails are married with five daughters.
- Ray the Squirrel holds the world record for least employed squirrel.
- Failure Cresh was reincarnated as John Belushi.
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 (possibly): 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: 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.
- Kissing Cousins: Implied. During the Aquatic Ruin Zone video, when 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's story gets cut short when Sonic starts drowning.
- MST3K Mantra:
docfuture: Weren't you just up in the air a bit ago?
- 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 instead ends with a prayer.
- Orphaned Punchline: "...so 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: Discussed by docfuture and Tails, who suspect this of Robotnik.
- Running the Asylum: 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.
- 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 hoax, 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-?!
- 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.
- Near the end, even he gets tired of it. But then he accepts the wisdom of Evil Crazy Tails and decides that it isn't worth worrying about.
- It depends on whether you need to specifically believe in a classical Judeo-Christian ideal of omnipotence for this corny paradox to even work. Don't waste my time with this Philosophy 101 crap.
- Okay, in all seriousness, Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Special Edition does not exist (and never has). docfuture's LP is a Stealth Parody, and this article is playing along with the joke.
- (aside from misspelling the zone name at the start of act 2, using music from OverClocked Remix and Machinae Supremacy, and a brief Big Lipped Alligator Moment as Sonic approaches the boss...oh, and the opening screen has the game copyright 1991, the year the first Sonic game came out)