The second zone in Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis is far more unforgiving than the first. The grey and dreary Marble Zone contrasts drastically with the bright, colorful and vibrant Green Hill Zone. Blue skies have given way to dark clouds in this more ominous-looking zone.
The pace is also much slower. Green Hill Zone shows off the game’s trademark speed and openness, while Marble Zone’s underground network of ancient, deteriorating ruins is more maze-like.
“Early in production, Labyrinth Zone was going to be the second stage. But Labyrinth is much harder than the early stages, and it would have been a sudden spike in the difficulty,” says Yuji Naka, the former head of Sonic Team. “Sonic is really a different sort of action game compared to anything that had been made at that time, so we really wondered if it was OK to have him running through every stage so quickly, so we wanted there to be a moment for the player to catch his breath.”
While Marble Zone may allow you time to catch your breath after completing the feverishly paced Green Hill Zone, it is rife with hazards like lava, spiked weights, and perilous platforms that threaten to kill Sonic early on in the game. Take your time and you will be all right.
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