A group of coders have taken two of the original Sonic the Hedgehog games and literally stretched them to breaking point.
Sonic the Hedgehog’s original side-scrolling view was tightly focused on the action. This accentuated the speed and chaos of the gameplay, but made it rather difficult to grasp the lay of the land.
Recently, a group of coders have managed to recalibrate the game on PC so that you can zoom out to your heart’s content. Through some nifty technological wizardry, and I can only guess a great deal of work, they have created a kaleidoscopic tunnel that leads back towards childhood. The results are slightly mind-bending, strangely beautiful, and entirely captivating. But don’t take our word for it, get a load of this:
Nostalgia has a way of altering what we remember but this is something far more powerful, it’s like seeing a forest from an elevated vantage point after years of standing amongst its obstructive undergrowth.
The thing that strikes me most about these images is how vertically interesting the level design is – I remember Sonic games from my childhood as being overwhelmingly horizontal; always moving sideways to get to the end of the level.
It would never have occurred to me just how intricate and complex these stages actually were. An added benefit of this all-encompassing viewpoint is that you can see all those hidden passages and secret locations that were previously only known by the very dedicated.
At this stage, running the games with these modifications can lead to a number of technical difficulties. However, as the team continue to tinker with the source code, there’s a decent chance these versions won’t be too difficult to get running.
For those looking to try this out for themselves (an interest in more advanced PC shenanigans is recommended) follow this link to the promised land. However, if your computer skills are a bit more humble, like this writer’s right here, check out the below video and witness Sonic the Hedgehog in action like never before.