Thanks to everyone who submitted these as lots of stuff is covered. If you have a theory, check here first, and if it's not here submit your theory.

New SRZ Theories
Theory 057 Sonic 2 HPZ Theory X By Zykuro
If you ever thought Tails was the Guradian check this out. It explains why Tails was
ditched as the Guardian due to the gamers tastes of the time.

Theory 058 Sonic 2 Theory By
Some thoughts on where HPZ was in the level order, and suggests some reasons that urged Sonic Team to cut it from the game.

Theory 059 Theory of the icons (Zone 1, Zone 2, etc...) in the bonus of Sonic 1. By LaMuerte
In english and spanish! This document presents a possible explanation for the unused Zone icons in Sonic 1.

SoSTH Theory Archive
Not a Theory 32X FAQ  This file which i just happened to find in my archives talks about what the 32X is and the idea behind the so called 32X/Genesis unit code named mars.. definitely good for reading.

Theory 001
Dust Hill Zone Alpha
Is Dust Hill Zone from Alpha or Beta Sonic 2? You will be shocked....
By Mosquito LS5

Dust Hill Zone Alpha
Remember, how before most people knew about the Sonic 2 Beta, all we really
cared about having to do with that was Hidden Palace? Of course, there was
that other screenshot... the one known as Dust Hill. This screenshot does
not appear anywhere in the Beta. Neither does the screenshot labeled
Death Egg Zone that shows Sonic running down a purple ramp, which was
reported by Vector (and for those of you who know the site GameSages, this is
not the same Vector). At the site Sonic: The Conspiracy, a mock-up theory is
suggested, saying these screenshots are fake screenshots created by Sega to
show what they thought the game would look like. Although most of the
screenshots have been proved to be from the Beta, this theory could easily be
true for these two. However, I have a theory of my own, that these are real.
And not from the Beta. But from another version. An earlier version. Not
the Beta - the Alpha.
Taken from 'Secrets of Sonic the Hedgehog - The Original'
Theory 002
CD Secrets - And Longer Levels
Amazing discoveries about the missing "icons" in Sonic CD and more!
By Gabriel Morales

CD Secrets - And Longer Levels
I have been recently messing around with sonic cd (domestic sega cd
version) using the debug. Everyone knows that there are icons which are
nowhere to be seen in the game, right? WRONG! I have found 2 of the 3
strange icons in the levels and i am sure I can find the 3rd! I found
the 2 (clock and the S (super sonic icon)) in the bad future of palmtree
panic. I was fighting robotnic when I noticed a small bar in the debug
parts list. I placed it and another robotnic appeared. Cool. I beat them
both and headed down the tube thing, but I didn't distroy the roboegg
thing. I thought it would be cool to fight infront of it. So i placed a
robotnic. Then... all hell breaks loose. The game screen shakes
violently and you a thrown back to the place where you fought
robotnic(rats!). But the game only scrolls horizantaly, not verticly. So
your under the area. When everything comes back into order, you'll
notice 3 1 up icons ( i think the might not be 1 up icons, because i
used a clock before. I'll explain later) Anyway, I move ontop of one and
exit debug (other wise i'd just fall into a pit) and jump. It turns out
the first is really a 1 up (or maybe a silver ring. Read on!), while the
second is ... THE S!!! THE THIRD IS A CLOCK!!! Cool, eh! Now for my
theorys and findings:
When you jump on a clock, other than all the animations stoping, all the
icons turn into 1up pictures. They don't give you a 1up though.
My theory is the silver ring is useless untill you wold hit a clock icon
(which would have been in the levels). Then they would turn into 1ups
untill the clock ran out. OR. When you hit the clock, all items would be
1ups for a short while. But the coding was never finished. I also
believe that super sonic was going to be in the game.OR. that the S icon
is not supposed to be in the game and is used to show the game the
invincibility and super shoes physics.
Also, I think the levels were intended to much much much larger, because
when you scroll down into the ground on palmtree panic, there is another
level down there, complete whit springs and rings.
Taken from 'Secrets of Sonic the Hedgehog - The Original'
Theory 003
The Secrets Changes of Sonic Crackers
If you've ever wanted to know why there are different versions of the same level in Sonic Crackers, this theory will completely change your life!
By Loony Mike

The Secret Changes of Sonic Crackers
Here's a theory I have about Sonic Crackers. I think the reason that it has
the same level with different colors(except for the carnival level) is because
you play the level at different times of the day. At first, it's morning.
Then, when you go World 2, level 2, it's evening. The other levels are also
different times of the day. Well, that's my theory.
Taken from 'Secrets of Sonic the Hedgehog - The Original'
Theory 004
Beta Theory Pack
It’s interesting to read about what people thought about the Sonic 2 Beta before they had played it. This is one example.
By AJ Freda

Beta Theory Pack - Classic!!
Note: This theory was written before the release of the Sonic 2 Beta ROM.
#10 is the real music for Hidden Palace. I have proof: 
You can speed up the music with Super Sneakers in the sound test,
They probably didn't have the music finished yet in your beta copy,
so they used something else, just like for wood zone, etc. #10
plays with the hidden palace level on the FINAL sonic 2 cart, so
that was the finished music. Here is my theory about how all those
lost levels went bye bye ^_^ 
Ok, First they had all those levels, then they took out Neo Green
Hill Zone, Wood Zone, and Genocide City Zone, and they told magazines
not to list those levels because in the carts that the magazines
received those levels were still in there. Sonic Team told the magazines
that they were sure they were going to put Hidden Palace in, and were
fairly positive about Dust Hill (mystic cave). That's why you see so
many pics of them in magazines. That one early dust hill picture was
probably taken by a magazine that got the first stage development cart
and didn't listen to them. ^_^. Next, they renamed dust hill to mystic
cave. Then, once Sonic Team was wrapping up Sonic 2, they found out
they had more than 12 levels (all sonic games come with 6 or 12 levels),
so they said alright alright, we'll take out HPZ, but they had already
programmed the level in, so they stuck in a few bytes of code to skip
the level and take it out of the level select menu, and they took out
the graphics to save space. 
END!! ^_^ 
Taken from 'Secrets of Sonic the Hedgehog - The Original'
Theory 005
Beta Backlash
A disturbing look at the effect of "theory disagreement".
By Stealth

Beta Backlash - Classic!!
Note: This theory was written before the release of the Sonic 2 Beta ROM.
aj's "proof" is less than convincing. the music in sonic games are all a midi
type thing. all the "speed shoes" in sound test do is increase the tempo.
plus, since the hidden palace in the real sonic 2 is crap, theres no telling
exactly why it loads the music from sound test 10 it couldve been intentional,
it could be a bug, it could have something to do with whats modified in the
save-state... lots of things that music doesnt really fit the real hidden
palace anyway... sound test 3 does much better.
besides, if you want to argue over the "real hidden palace music", you would
have to say it was 3, because the only playable version of hidden palace (ie..
the "real" one) uses that music and from what i know, "neo green hills" was
the early name given to aquatic ruins. the name isnt really creative, so
its obvious that they wouldve changed it if they thought up a better one.

as for dust hill, i read part of a letter from saturnman saying the original
one WAS supposed to be a desert level, but sega didnt feel itd interest the
japanese. the level was stopped, and they probably used the name for mystic
caves like i said earlier for aquatic ruins.. lack of a better one at the time
i dont exactly know the deal with wood zone... but as you said, in your beta
its unfinished. they might have stopped development on that level for others
they thought were more suited for the game, and ran out of time in the rush
sega was putting on them to send the game to the market, so they had to cut it
out. same with hidden palace.

earlier on, i heard something about sonic 2 being the last sonic game, because
itd bring an end to the story. the hidden palace mightve had something to do
with that, especially since one of those pics you uploaded has something that
looks similar to s&k's master emerald. either they didnt have enough of the
zone finished by the time they had to sell it, or the plot behind that part
wasnt developed enough.(leaving way for future sonic games) and for the number
of levels idea... i doubt that had anything to do with it. if they'll all fit
on the cart, theres no problem with it, and the more thereare, the happier
the players will be itd be pointless to "stick a few bytes in to skip the
level"... really, if the game is like saturnman says, just a bunch of files
that are encoded, they might have forgotten to remove ONE file, which held
basic structure of the level. the garbage in the background comes from
trying to load graphics from a part of memory that shouldnt be accessed,
i ran into that problem while programming my games before.

thats my 2 3/4 cents.. make of it what you will
Taken from 'Secrets of Sonic the Hedgehog - The Original'
Theory 006
Is Dust Real?
The author of this theory show us the reasons why the desert Dust Hill Zone may or may not be fake. Take a deep breath before reading..
By Jarred Man

Is Dust Real?
Have you ever noticed that there is a song that doesn't match anything in
Sonic 2? And in the Beta Dust hill is Mystic Cave zone? I have three points
to point out on the "off-center sonic" picture of it.

Mystic Cave zone probably replaced it.

1. Sonic could be off center because if you go at a high speed, he moves
off center, and he probably is stopping. Sort of when running on certain
parts of Chemical Plant Zone.

2. The rings/time/score come from Sonic 1, probably an earlier version.

3. What sense does it make calling a zone w/o dust named dust hill zone?

Evidence it is fake:

1. Sonic is off center---doesn't appear to be stopping, and he moves back on
center quickly.

2. Where's tails? Can't shut him off in Sonic 2 Beta too easily
(Get him lost) unless he wasn't always in the game.

3. There is no evidence that the rings/time/score ever looked different. In
fact, if someone wanted to make a fake picture before even seeing a game, it
is hard to picture revisions of text, making the old text the safest bet for a
fake picture.
Taken from 'Secrets of Sonic the Hedgehog - The Original'
Theory 007
Visions of Vector
An incredible collection of theories. It will suck you in and keep you glued to the screen until the end... Beware!
By Vector

Visions of Vector
Before I start, yes, I am the same Vector who reported
the purple Death Egg Zone. (Actually, the level was pink
and blue, but I guess the 2 colors got combined as the
information was passed along :) 

Anyway, the first theory I'd like to mention is the one
about a Sonic 2 Alpha. I think that this theory is correct,
and it does explain the Dust Hill Zone. However, the
actual explanation of the prototype Death Egg shot is a
little different. 

It turns out that the shot was actually from the prototype
Casino Night. It had been used in a magazine, and the
caption was something like: "Sonic and Tails will need the
new Spin Dash moves to get throught the 12 huge zones,
including the Death Egg Zone." It showed Sonic and Tails
spin-dashing on a blue diagonal floor that led up into what
looked like a loop. Anyway, since I didn't know about the
previous Casino Night design until seeing it on the pages
of SoStH, it seemed reasonable to think that this was the
Death Egg. I did have a secondary theory (which turned out
to be right), of an early Casino Night, because it did look
Casino Night-ish. However, it was clearly a different set
of graphics, and the magazine seemed to call it Death Egg,
so wouldn't ypou come to the same conclusion? 

I think it's really cool that I was mentioned in a Secrets
theory, since I'm a big Secret Sonic fan and I've basically
been wondering about the numerous pics in that magazine
since I noticed the changes in the final version. (I actually
played a preview of Sonic 2 a month before it came out, and I
thought the title screen was a prototype because it had been
different from the one in the magazines. :) I did think I
should clear this up, though. 

Does this mean that there wasn't a Death Egg Alpha? Not at
all! In fact, I have another explanation for why such a
Zone might have existed. When S&K was first reported, the
magazine called it Sonic 4, mentioned the backwards-
compatibility, and said that it was supposed to include
the levels that had been missing from previous Sonic games.
The 2 weirdest beta pics (the ones with Sonic running in air)
- Dust Hill and the Hidden Palace shot with Triceratops Badniks
- were included in the article. 

I think Mushroom Hill was the new Wood Zone, Sandopolis was the
new Dust Hill, and Death Egg was the new Death Egg. Lava Reef 2,
S&K Hidden Palace, and Sky Sanctuary together were supposed to
make up for fans' loss of Hidden Palace from Sonic 2. Lave Reef
had the cave aspect, along with the high-speed tubes, while the new
HP and Sky Sanctuary brought the "ruins" aspect. After all, both S2
HP and Sky Sanctuary had green ruins. Doomsday might have even been
the new Genocide City. You say on your page that all you do there is
fall - maybe you're supposed to be Super. Super Sonic was invented
in Sonic 2, after all. But I'm not so sure about the Doomsday
connection, so that isn't really a major part of my theory. 

The only S&K zone that doesn't seem to be a revival is Flying Battery,
but the S3 Level Select confirmed that it was going to go between
Carnival Night and Launch Base originally,' so that still supports this

This theory is kind of a stretch, but I never said I was 100%
certain :). 

Here is some interesting news - I can confirm LoonyMike's theory about
daytime/nighttime play. From what I hear, Sonic Crackers was the
prototype that led to Chaotix. Chaotix does have morning/daytime/
sunset/nighttime play, and the music in one area is different
according to the time of day. 
Taken from 'Secrets of Sonic the Hedgehog - The Original'
Theory 008
Dust Hill CD
Another Dust Hill Zone theory. But this time, the author tells us why the the zone may have been in Sonic CD Beta.
Scott Niermann
Dust Hill CD
I saw a theory on another page that says that Dust Hill (desert
version) could have been one of two things. One way, it could have
been Quartz Quadrant past. Two is that Dust Hill was a level
itself that was erased in the final version. It probably was number
two in the level slect. There is no two on the level select
menu, so they assume it might be dust hill. My theory is based on
this. I think that a level like this could probably be in sonic CD
Beta. It is only a theory but a good idea.
Taken from 'Secrets of Sonic the Hedgehog - The Original'
Theory 009
Sonic 2 Versions - RTF Document :: Word Document (Corrupt)
This epic collection of well-researched theories relating to the different versions of Sonic 2 is over 4,000 words long!
By Cyan
Note: Microsoft Word Document appears to be Corrupt

Theory 010
Disturbing Palace Redundant!
The points mentioned in this theory are expanded no end in 'Palace Separations' making this text file redundant.

By Jarred Man
Disturbing Palace
New and disturbing belief:
Hidden Palace Zone was indeed revised and shipped.

Hidden Palace Zone in Sonic and Knuckles is not that
much, however, Act 1 of Lava Reef Zone has all the
same detail and is complete.

The green things sonic could walk up in Sonic 2 were
replaced in Act 2 by blue metal things.

The rock backround remained for the beginning.

Those "pipes" in the walls remained.

As for the music, Stealth is probaly right. Hidden
Palace Zone probably had no music. If you get over
100 rings in the beta version for that board, it resets.
Taken from 'Secrets of Sonic the Hedgehog - The Original'

Theory 011 Pyramid Beta
Some excellent Sonic 2 Beta theories. It would be great if he could scan those EGM Dust Hill Zone pictures..Pyramid Boss!

Theory 012
Emulation Bulb
The name says it all! Truly an excellent theory on why the "Sonic Two and Knuckles" rom does not currently work on any emulators.

Theory 013
Beta Badniks
Time-travel in Sonic 2!? Repetitve badniks!? And created by someone who has many E-mail addresses!? WOW!

Theory 014 Palace Separations - Word Document :: Webpage
So, was Hidden Palace separated into many parts? Find out here! By
Jarred Man.

*Theory 015 Theory Bash - Updated 2nd of August 1999
An interesting collection of theories all wrapped into a single text file. Some of it is fact, though, so be careful and use your own discretion. This theory has been updated to include information on how to get the Hidden Palace Zone level icon in Sonic 2! And it has been updated yet again to include so much information, it'll make your head explode!

Theory 016 Disturbing Palace CD Remix Disturbing!
The link to this theory has been removed until further notice.
Death Toll: 18 [not including accidental deaths]

Theory 017 Dust Hill Music
An interesting theory, backed by personal opinion. It's ingenius in its simplicity, though whether you agree with it heavily depends on how you interpret music. A great theory, indeed.

Theory 018 Old Knuckles
Knuckles may be older than you thought. Read this theory to learn more.

Theory 019 Mystery of the Missing Levels
The mysteries behind almost all the missing Sonic levels solved in a single text file!

Theory 020 Two Player Trouble
Do you think about the Two-Player Versus Zones in Sonic 3 every day? If so, then you're a very sad person. Anyway, this theory talks about those zones - and it is far from sad.

Theory 021 Construction of the Parking Spring
The secrets of Parking Zone, Construction Zone and much, much more! There's even a bit of Hidden Palace Zone music thrown in for good measure.

Theory 022 Wrongly Dubbed
Supposedly short, but disturbingly long.

Theory 023 Sonic and Knuckles Blast
Imagine they made a version of Sonic and Knuckles for the Game Gear. Wait a minute, isn't that Sonic Blast?

Theory 024 Zac Plus
Zac goes mad and explains to us all the truth behind the Secret-Sonic information on the 'Sonic +' page.

Theory 025 Extreme Explanations
Kat puts forward her views about the secret levels in Sonic 2. This makes for an incredible read.

Theory 026 Cracking Chaotix
Theories regarding the strange relationship between Sonic Crackers and Knuckles' Chaotix.

Theory 027 Lava of the Hidden Reef
Is Hidden Palace Zone in Sonic and Knuckles really just Lava Reef Zone Act 4 or is it something much more sinister?.

Theory 028 Hidden Master Knuckles
Two Hidden Palace Zone theories, a Knuckles in Sonic 1 theory and a time travel theory! Goodness, that's a lot of theories!

Theory 029 Wet Patch
Incredible theories which include proof that Dust Hill Zone may have been the first zone in Sonic 2 instead of Emerald Hill Zone!

Theory 030 Individual Needs
Interesting information about Sonic 1

Theory 031 Mighty Crack
Is Sonic the Hedgehog a mighty cracker? Erm... no, but he is something else! Find out here.

Theory 032 Class Review
It's all been said and done, but you can handle a bit of review, right?. This document here is also not a theory, but it is still packed with interesting information.

Theory 033 Tiberious Trouble
Another realis

Theory 034 Including Tails
Two theories are included with this text file. The first one explains the impassable gaps in Hidden Palace Zone. The second one is just bizarre!

Theory 035 Second Undefined
Madness, pure madness!

Theory 036 Beta One
A huge amount of theories concerning the Sonic 1 special stages!

Theory 037 Flying Fortress
Wing Fortress is Flying Battery! I didn't believe it could be possible, but this exciting new theory has the evidence!

Theory 038 Tails Two
Hidden Palace in Sonic 2 designed for Tails only!? Find out here.

Theory 039 Charmy Palace
If that bit in Sonic 2's Hidden Palace where Sonic can't climb up is bothering you, then this incredible theory will blow you away! Genius, pure genius!

Theory 040 Tech
Incredible theory. No description needed.

Theory 041 One or Two?
Is the controversial Sonic 2 Dust Hill Zone screenshot really from Sonic 2? Or is it something much more sinister.....[?]

Theory 042 Gnarly Knuckles
Knuckles the Echidna [Sonic 3 & Knuckles]! Might not really be a theory...

Theory 043 Rival Bash -Updated
I'm always getting E-Mails from people wanting more of Theory Bash. This isn't it, but it's extremely close. Prepare yourselves for....... Rival Bash!

*Theory 044 Hidden Boerdom
This theory discusses the real reason Hidden Palace was removed from Sonic 2.. although i personally don't like it its certainly feasible.

Theory 045 EmuViews [Sonic Edition]
An idea on why Sonic 2 didn't make it into the S&K Collection

Theory 046 Spoiling Knuckles
yet another Hidden Palace Theory

Theory 047 Sonic & Knuckles: Pirate
an interesting idea about Dust Hill similar to theory 41 DHZ meant for Sonic 4? Pirate Covers? quite strange indeed.

Theory 048 Second-Hand
Interesting ideas on why Knuckles wasn't able to be in Sonic 1

Theory 049 A few theories for the Theory Bin - 7 or so interesting theories ranging from S2beta to Sonic crackers defintly worth checking out.

Theory 050 - Time Travel - Sonic 2 and time travel? a good reason why that may have been planned and why there were so many missing zones in s2 final.

Theory 051 - Dragon Conspiracy - Remeber that Dragon Pic that nobody had any info on? well turns out this guy has what might be a possible explination. Read further for more info.

Theory 052 - Sonic 2 Music - Remeber that piece of music from the Sonic 2 sound test that you had no idea what it was for? well here is a theory that explains it all a MUST READ

Theory 053 - Music Backlash -  Here is another theory about that infamous #10 in sound test that nobody knows what it's for. well this offers a somewhat different but just as likely explination. I would suggest anyone who owns a copy of sonic 2 on genesis to read it.

*Theory 054 - Dust Hill Zone Confirmation -  Could this be the Final Word on Dust Hill? well maybe not but it does raise some intresting questions and a few answers. At the very least these are rather good observations and they make a lot of sense .. beta fans read at once!

*Theory 055 - Yet another Dragon Theory -  Man looks like im gonna have to start a whole seprate page for these things ^_^ just kidding. anyways TLSPRWR has some ideas on the origins of the infamous Sonic Adventure Dragon. Not much new but probably one of the more realistic ideas thus far.

*Theory 056 - The Secret Path to HIdden PalaceHere's another popular theory item.. maybe ill make a page for this one too *loL* ok seriously though there's some good solid evidence against the HPZ Being Msytic Cave theory. and one more thing.. it also mentions where to find the long lost hidden palace icon, well sorta you'll see what i mean.

"Hacking" Projects

Sonic 2 MP3 Tool
Allows you to have a custom soundtrack to Sonic 2 when playing in Gens or Gens+.

Sonic 2 Music Porter
Ports the music data from S2Beta to S2Final.

Research and Speculation

Game Research Database
Research into the games, old mag pics, oddities etc.

Level Maps
Maps of the levels from the games taken from SSRG before it went down. (now all online!)

Lost Objects Archive
Objects in the Sonic games that were unused. This section is from an old Sonic Site called "Area 51".

Sonic Team Interviews
Prossibly every interview conducted by the community.

Theory Archive
Massive archive of peoples theories, stretching way back to SoSTH.

Music Information
Dreams Come True, Naofumi Hataya, Spencer Nilson and others are all covered in this section devoted to the music in Sonic The Hedgehog.

Articles: 2
Less intence than the game research pages, a collection of articles about debunked myths and other stuff.

Other stuff

Random Sonic Net's Forums!

Basically some silly fake screenshots created in Paint Shop Pro.

News Archive & History
See how the site has progressed. Did you visit this site back in 2000?
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