It's that day again! On the 14th October five years ago in 2000, SRZ (known then as Hill Top Zone (click here for a history of the site) was born! Happy Birthday SRZ!
As I'm sure you've noticed, the rate of updates to the site has fallen quite a bit in recent years, this is simly due to a shift in the community focus. There are next to no secrets to be found in the Sonic games now through hacking and whatnot, so this site is just becoming an archive. The new focus seems to be contacting old sonic team members, researching, and beta hunting, the latter of which seems to be on everyones minds at the moment, how plausable it is that we'll find a beta, I don't know, but I think that maybe eventually we'll get one if a collector doesn't swipe it from us.
So yeah it's been a good 5 years, and I will make sure SRZ will continue to stand here as a referance for everyone in years to come.
Another new interview from Yuji Naka in the interview archive! Some really interesting stuff in this one, such as where our Sonic 2 Beta may have come from and direct questions about Hidden Palace Zone!
Oooo long time no update, sorry! However there is a new interview in the interview archive from Masato Nakamura the composer of the music in Sonic 1&2, enjoy!
Sorry about the database problems folks, should be all working now =)
Just added Wetflame's interview to the interview archive officially, and also updated the Sonic 2 oddities page a bit!
23/01/05 TECH UPDATE: Just repaired commetns system, sorry that it wasn't working before!
A bit belated, but happy new year! Well well well, a LOT of stuff has been happening over at SWS2B forums, namely the possible chance of the Nick Arcade Sonic 2 prototype finally being dumped! And also, the desert zone in Sonic 2 was apparently called simply "Desert Zone", according to some info ICEKnight recently uncovered at sonic database. In terms of updates to my site, I've added a small oddity to the Sonic CD section, but it's nothing worth jumping out of your seat over =)
Well my birthday came and went on the 20th, I'm now 18 @_@. Wierd how these sorts of things sneak up on you... Anyway I've fixed the errors that were coming up on the site thanks to voice enabling error reporting ¬_¬ so it should be all good now :P
Ah so now it's december, as we edge closer to christmas! Not much to report on, except a new theory from LaMuerte, which is avaliable in english and spanish :)
You may be aware that it was SRZ's 4th birthday on the 14th this month, and so I must say Happy Birthday and Long Live Sonic Research Zone! Still going strong after 4 years is something to be proud of :)
Aaaaand we're back! After at least 2 weeks of downtime, as our server was having problems... I'll get the rest of the level maps uploaded ASAP! Currently the database is down though, we're still trying to sort that out with our webhost
I've been tidying up the Sonic 2 level maps section and also added the Sonic 1 level maps, hopefully I'll get the rest done shortly! Also there's a tiny update in the HPZ research section :)
Wow, it's autumn! Or fall as american folks call it :)
There's a new article I've written about the name of the Desert Zone from Sonic 2. Check it out here!
Check out the articles section for a cool article by Saxman!
We're now at Random Sonic Net! Which means a few changes.... most notably the new cool design, and the new name. From now on this site is the "Sonic Research Zone"!
I've tidied stuff up, fixed errors etc. so hopefully viewing this site is a more pleasant experience for everyone :)
However if you are using Internet Explorer the site may be quite jerky, I recommend you view it in Mozilla or FireFox.
Currently neither the music nor video sections are up as me and voice are discussing how to fit them into RSN.
Back to college today!
The site I mentioned that I would be merging with is Random Sonic Net (if you hadn't guessed by the name of their forums), and we are currently organizing more professional hosting (hopefully a dedicated server).
SSRG has finally updated it's look! It looks much more professional than it did before - good job JohnnyUK and everyone else who helped. This look change also brings me onto my next point about the merge with RSN, why? Well the reason is a site like this can't survive on it's own in my opinion. It needs a tidy frontend that makes it easy for everyone to access, but also needs to keep the cozyness and enjoyment around reading a research site such as this. This is why I'm merging, RSN can simply provide a hub to this site which makes it more appealing to people. I will be changing the look of SRN however, but it will stay "cozy", I don't want to fall victim to lifeless over-professionalism.
Another intresting point is that the Sonic Hacking Community site is back open on Shadowsoft (do all sites go there when they die? it's like Sonic website heaven!) and I've made it to the SSA polls. If you survived this massive news post, please vote below ;)
Phase I of the SSA has finished now, if you voted thanks, if you didn't don't worry, with other sites like Sonic Vengamite competing I hardly expect to get to the polls anyway :p
Anyway, in terms of updates there isn't much, I've added another Dreams Come True Sonic-tune-that-they-sold-on-an-album in the music archive. Though you'll have to go by other means if you want to hear it *cough*WinMX*cough*. Also intrestingly Reala, the webmaster of Sonic CuLT, has decided to sell up, and even though I'm not a huge fan of the CuLT this is obviously a big twist in the Sonic community, especially as IGN want to buy it.
Last words now, and currently SRN is negotiating a merge with another sonic site! See, I told you I'm not dead :)
Hosting applications will be posponed until the merge has been completed.
Happy Sonic Birthday folks!
13 years since Sonic The Hedgehog 1 was released for the Genesis/Megadrive in the U.S.!
How time flies...
You may have noticed the nice new theme on the site, and I also got rid of that rubbish intro :)
New affiliate: Sonic Tonic
New Theory from BKEmpire@aol.com, check out the Theory Archive!
Thomas Pitt has agreed to let me host his "Tom's Sonic Hacking Station" files as part of the SRN, but as more of an archive rather than an actively run site - unless he decides to update it.
Check it out here!
Couple of updates. Firstly the clip of wayne's world showing the Marble Zone objects has been added to the video archive and secondly an intresting observation by NeoMaster has been added to the Sonic 2 Oddities page!
Just got back from a holiday in America (Colorado), and it was great!
Anyhow, I've released version 1 of Music Porter, a program that ports the music from Sonic 2 Beta to Sonic 2 Final. It's avaliable from the Sonic2 Music Editing Utilities page.
Recently I've been toying around with a program called Sonic QX, which lets you import your own Midi's into the Sonic 2 beta ROM. Using this tool I've started making an entire replacement soundtrack for Sonic2. At the moment I'm still trying to figure out how to port the music from Sonic 2 Beta to Sound 2 Final. My research so far is now avaliable on the newly opened Sonic2 Music Editing page, which replaces Sonic Review!!
Retro Sonic Website Re-opens!
Major New Discovery!
In the traces of Hidden Palace Zone in the final sonic 2, the strange Tails 1up box is still
there. However, when Sonic or Tails breaks the box neither of them get a life. However:
When you access it with Knuckles from Sonic 2K, Knuckles Gains a new life!
I don't know what this means, but it's certainly intresting!
Big thanks to Nightmare for providing the savestate :)
Hidden Palace Research
Fans of the Sonic Fangame "Retro Sonic" will be pleased to know the website should be up on the 14th March.
Taxman, who is writing the game, was kind enough to send me 2 screenshots:
The level editor, with the ability to import levels from the older Sonic games. This is now part of the main RSonic Editor.
Sonic with Tails following in an imported Emerald Hill Zone, all coded in C++!
Added 2 Yuji Naka Interviews, and expanded the Dust Hill information in the Sonic 2 Section.
New Flash Intro to the Site, with my remix of Aquatic Ruin in the background!
Also, thanks to people on the Sonic2 Beta forum, the broken Sonic Jam video links in the video archive are fixed!
I apologize for the lack of updates folks, there is stuff that needs doing and I've finally decided to sort it out!
Firstly, the ghastly DHTML menus at the top that hardly any browsers support has gone, replaced with
smaller image files. Also I may finally get around to finishing the Sonic 2 alpha -> Sonic CD theory, and also
converting more stuff to PHP if I feel the need.
Um, again no update to the content, however I'm glad to be hearing many people
are enjoying the website, so I'll be sure to do some work on it after christmas.
If you have found anything strange in the games, don't hesitate to contact me. The Details are furthur down this page.
Also some VERY important news has happened recently, check out Simon Wai's page!
Update: New Emerald Hill Remix that I've done! Hope you like it!
Sorry I haven't updated for a while, I've been busy with other stuff.
Firstly I have to say noone's listenig to SRN Streamcast live, probably because the Sonic Community is saturated with
radio stations, thus I won't be doing the show.
I'm going to be doing some more research/playing of the games, so there may be a few updates later this week!
Hello SRN people!
Firstly a new site is joining the SRN Team, called "Sonic Review". Check it out here! However it is under heavy construction.
Secondly I'd like to thank everyone for visiting as I never expected this many hits. It's now about 20hits a day!
Finally sorted out my radio station. There's now an SRN StreamCast every Sunday at 5:30pm EST/10:30pm GMT on JHNet Radio. I'm gonna play various Sonic musics and hopefully talk about some Community stuff (if anythings been happening). It starts TONIGHT!
Whoa! Whats happened?
Well I've finally got rid of that bloated sidebar, and changed the whole theme of the site, hope you like it!
I wasn't happy with the loading time of the site, so I've redesigned the site a little. Notably the monolith that was at the top of the page :)
Happy Halloween/Bonfire Night!
Most of the PHP system is online. All new additions will be on the front page. Slight problem is that the 'Next Page' button appears when there isn't a next page, hopefully I will sort that out soon enough. Also feel free to add comments about any of the Oddities. Not all the pages are converted yet.
Apologies for the appauling spelling in the last news item! I've been moving house recently so I haven't been able to update for a while, but don't worry, the new system will be up on Sunday or there abouts. I haven't left the Sonic Community!
I know some of the Oddities in the Sonic 1 section are a little weak, but there are more to come. Stay tuned!
Well, I'm just posting this because I believe this is the second major Sonic Renaissonce! Everyone is hyped up for Sonic Heroes, My Site has had a re-design, SSRG will soon be having a redesign, and Sonic Stadium is revealing operation Grandslam to us all in 2 days. The reason? Well now everyone's exams are over I beleive people are finding more time to run websites like this, and now have plenty of skill to do good ones too. Long live Sonic!
I really should end it there, but I'd like to say there is a new PHP system that is nearly complete, that allows people to comment on the Oddities in Sonic Games, and Theories, ans well as making it easier for me to update!
There have been a few minor updates the past couple of days just to neaten stuff out mainly. Um, what else? Oh yeah, soon hosting will be avaliable to those with decent websites. I mean decent, not newbies I'm afraid, but people with REALLY good ideas, theories and/or findings. I can't give hosting out to everyone, Angelfire do that. (Heheheh, I sound mean...)
Welcome to the new Hill Top Zone, renamed now to the 'Sonic Research Network'. As some of you may know this site has been closed for the past few weeks to give me time to redo everything.
Well during this time I've collected as much information as posible and crammed it all here. As well as that there's all new theories and ideas, that you'll have to explore the site to find!
Hill Top Zone News Archive - Recovered News from Backups!
Well, I've forgoten to say this over the years, but why is this site called "Hill Top Zone"? Well the idea is that it's kinda like "Altavista" which means High view, and Hill Top Zone is at the top of the Hill looking down on the Sonic Community. Yes I know it's corny but that IS why!!
Sorry about the time it's taking to upload SSRG. I'm on a Dial-up connection and 70MB is quite a large upload.
Other cool news I've got Sonic 1 running on my Sharp Zaurus PDA. It's a bit jerky, here's a pic:
Sorry about the poor quality!
I used Dgen on the Zaurus (if anyone else has one)
Wow, summer went fast!
Well, I've finally found out more info on "Sweet Sweet Sweet", the Dreams Come True song used in the final part of Sonic 2, basically that on the B-Side of the DCT Single "Winter Song" (also a good song) there is a track called "Sweet Dream", the english version of "Sweet Sweet Sweet"!
I have tracked it down on WinMX, but I'm considering also buying the Single.
Um, not much else really, my Hosting has been having some probs but thats about it really!
I've spent money!
I now have 750MB of webspace and the domain jameshansen.com
So I will be putting SSRG Memorial up - All of the info from SSRG online.
If you are an autor of an SSRG page, and would not like it online contact me, it's fair enough.
Unfortunatly my new hosting doesn't allow MP3 files, so I have converted them to OGG Vorbis
You'll need WinAmp 2 or better to listen
Great news, SSRG Have re-opened here!
I told them about my back-up of the site and Nikthegreek now has a copy of SSRG so we should be seeing everything back online soon thanks to my back-up and their webspace!
Of course JohnnyUK wants to get permission first before putting the pages online.
If he can't get permission to put them all up I'll just upload my SSRG Backup somewhere so everyone has access.
Also all GBA Movies are back online! :)
Also I've removed the SATI Banner. I can't believe it's been a year and I didn't notice I put Investiging instead of Investigating!!!
thecounter.com are shutting down their free service!! DAMN THEM!
Sorry about password protection boxes that may have been appearing on the site. This was due to
me hosting images on a server I pay for, and this was password protected for a while.
Anyhow, I've compiled this little GIF Clip (in the multimedia section of the site soon) called "Sonic Through the years"
Also the media clips from the GBA have been corrupt for a while, I'll be re-uploading them soon :)
AHH! SSRG has gone!?!!??!
Well it certainly looks that way. It's been in turmoil for a while so
I have an offline copy which I grabbed a few weeks ago.
If it never comes back I'll put it back up on my webspace as a tribute.
I've done a Sonic CD -> Sonic 2 Porting section,
where I've found a few Hidden Palace Zone elements in Tidal Tempest, I have also heard that dust hill
is related to Quartz Quadrant but I haven't done it yet.
Frames! - Sorry if your browser doesn't support them - I will do a
frameless version soon
Couple of new thingies I've noticed
1. Pre-load screen before hidden palace
It displays a strange picture of Hidden Palace, just before the level loads.
The background seems to be different, for example there are holes cut in the rocks. Take a look...
It reminds me of this Magazine pic of the background on Area 51...
The background in the above image looks like a fake one, but the developers may not yet have implemented that design in the background, but an unfinished version was in the beta or something?
Post on Sonic Classic Board
2. Slight music difference
The Emerald Hill music in the final has one note different in the BETA.
GHZ Beta - Listen at 7 Seconds
EHZ Final - Listen at 6 Seconds
I have recently bought Sonic CD, and it is damn good, annoying SEGA didn't put it on the Mega Collection, especially considering few people have played it compared to the other Sonic games.
I've been trying to use some of the Sonic2 patches on SSRG and found you need Sonic2.BIN
Problem is almost every version of Sonic 2 on the net is Sonic2.SMD, but for those of you with this problem I have found a converter, SMD2BIN
I found out about the problem when I went on the S2ME Troubleshooting MessageBoard
Happy New Year!
Few corrections aswell as Sonic Advance to the old sonic games comparisons!
Check it out!
Lets just say I got a Gameboy Advance to TV Converter, and that I have a TV Tuner Card. I CAPTURED THE ENDING OF SONIC ADVANCE!
Free to download, it's just the credits, and it's quite low quality, but it's still good!
The intro is a screencam of an emulator window, I will make a Higher Quality version soon.
6th December 2002
I guess this site isn't dead after all!
Well anyhow I'm making a Sonic Advance page as this game is amazing,
Sega haven't spoiled a thing!
On ESPIOKAOS.com there are now several Midi's of Sonic Advance, which
I am going to convert to MP3 for your enjoyment!
And yes, I have finally got round to converting my remixes to MP3's.
Another gap *sigh*
24th April 2002
Sorry sonic fans, but I'm gonna archive the site. It hasn't been very long I know, but I now want to concentrate more on other projects.
I may update from time to time, and don't just stop visiting the site, remember it's a database of wierd stuff, facts and theories, thats free to everyone.
I don't want any requests to take over
Sometimes I really hate the internet. Recently I've been recieving "dodgy" emails, probably caused by a robot scouting the web for email addresses, so I have changed the mailto links to images with my address on, just type it into outlook or whatever to send.
I've got rid of the message board broken link, noone was posting anyway.
There's a new hoax, sorry for not putting it up sooner
I've finally updated the other pages.
I've made another Midi, check Gigasonic!
The message board is down becase not enough people were posting on it or something, I'll probably just remove the link.
Sorry about lack of updates, I've just been upgrading my PC recently and haven't had the time.
I haven't updated any other page yet, as I am still busy.
I have much to do!
Anyhow, here's the first gigasonic track:
MIDI - Sweet Hill
Genocide City Zone has officially closed now. Due to lack of hits and homestead now charging for sites more than 3 pages big.
6 month Gap!
23rd August 2001
Hi Sonic Fans!
Weekly Updates are back now
Emails are coming in
The site looks good again!
I am planning to do a Theory/Hoax Submitter, so you can enter your theory or hoax, and the site will automatically update, no hassle with emails. If I do do it, it'll probably be up for the Anniversary
Here's a new theory in The Big Tails theory:
"So what would happen if you broke the block in hidden palace? Where would it lead?
Maybe back to where you accessed the zone?
Think about it. Hidden Palace was a hidden zone, so there had to be a hidden way into it from a different level!
What I think is the most likely, is a bonus stage. If you get all the crystals say, and then go on another bonus run, at the end a portal to hidden palace might be there. Or even stranger, the entrance to hidden palace might have been in another zone!
But wait! You can access Hidden palace from Mushroom Hill in S3&K, through a giant ring..."
I've replaced the big image at the top with a crisper one, because it looks loads better!
You may have noticed that the gm.dls download has not been working, but this has now been fixed ( Angelfire previously had a file size limit of 2.5 megs )
The link to the Gigasonic productions page has also been fixed.
There's a few updates dotted around, check out my new midi mix!
Hello out there!
Soon it will be the sites proper Aniversary, I can't beleive it's been 10 months since the site began.
I've updated some more of the Big Tails Theory, including the game and some more ideas of mine.
A while ago I told you about a website competition, but unfortunatly I didn't win it. Apparantly because of
the use of "copyrighted music" without permission. Pathetic or what!!
SkuylerW@aol.com was hit 1000!
In the last message I said I wouldn't accept sceenshots, but as I got only 1, I let it through!
Also, here's something email@example.com sent me...
Sonic 2 Evals Edition
Evals is Evil Tails
Hi Sonic Fans!
I love e-mails, send them to me!
Secondly I'd like to point out the cool new Forum, I looks much more professional.
I've tried to make it as easy to use as possible.
Remember when I said my site was gonna be entered into a competition?
Well by the end of the month we'll find out who won!
You get a digital camera worth over £500!
Um, anyway back to Sonic...
I can hardly wait for Sonic Robo Blast 2 :-D
If any of Sonic Team Jr. are reading this:
Thank you for one of the best fan games in sonic history!
On a final note I really would like you to post on the new message forum or e-mail me strange things
in sonic, stop enjoying my site and contribute! :-)
Sorry about the late update, I've been doing a lot of stuff recently and I haven't found the time.
I've just been doing some messageboard scouting and so the H T Z SM news is updated.
Sometimes I wonder why I do the News because I hate my voice!
I'm really pleased with the way people are responding to my site,
I've had loads of positive comments about it!
Oh, and here's a nice poem about my site:
If your wondrin' why there's nothing new it's because of a person called YOU! ;-)
I just found out today that Isao Okawa has died. This is terrible
news for sonic, and sega fans around the world.
Many people admired him for the way he made SEGA what it is today, and his personal love for the company.
On messageboards all around the sonic community people are paying their respects to the man
behind it all.
Short update I know, but I've made a new radio station
Hill Top Zone SM
I've also fixed a few links, and I'm waiting for your input!
March 14th 2001 Anniversary News
Yes, it's been 6 months since Hill Top Zone began, the average was 1 person a week. Ahh those were the days.
I remember when this page only had three sections, now we have EIGHT! All managed by yours truely!
Well on with the news....
Major Server Blackouts this week! www.sagexpo.org and www.ssntails.org are just two of the servers that went down. This caused quite a shake up through the sonic community but now there back!
The time travel section's almost finished and I've created a separate hoaxes page. The download time of this page was terrible - sorry guys!
I'm working on a possible fan game - nothing might come of it.
I'm hoping to be able to make it look like sonic 2 but in 3d.
So far I've made an animated wall, sonic and ring, the plan is to slowdown each animation depending on how fast sonic is going. It will probablyuse Windows Media Player running in the background.
Visit Sonic Xplosive Zone!
D'ya know, I've been here six months nowand I hadn't heard of Seven - The sonic radio station.
If you haven't click here!
And finally I would like to say to any webmaster who is having a problem with their server that they can
contact me and I will host you're page on my stable website.
If I let you host your website here, do as follows:
E-mail me a zipped version of the website ( *.zip ) and I will host is here. Then everytime you update,
send me the changes zipped together aswell.