Demo 4

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Demo 4 is an outdated version of SRB2, released on December 25th, 2001. It introduced several new elements of the game, most notably unlockable and secret content, among them Special Stages, Castle Eggman Zone and date-activated secrets. Capture the Flag mode was also introduced in this demo.

Demo 4.1 was a minor release released on January 6th, 2002, that fixed a few serious bugs in Demo 4. It also introduced the placeholder Knuckles sprites, modeled in 3D by community member DOHlberg (now known as Silve) and then captured into sprite form for use in SRB2.

New features

Special Stages

Special Stages, and therefore a proper way of collecting Chaos Emeralds, were introduced in Demo 4. Previously, the emeralds themselves had been hidden in the Single Player levels. They were replaced with Special Stage Tokens that send the player to a Special Stage upon finishing the level. The Chaos Emeralds themselves were given new sprites.

The original Special Stages were small arenas in which the player had to collect a certain amount of rings in a certain time. While the maps themselves would be changed in subsequent versions, the general format stayed in place until the Special Stages were replaced with NiGHTS maps in v2.1. The Special Stages in Demo 4 were created by Sonikku and were much more difficult than the ones in later versions due to very restrictive time limits. The last special stage was a copy of the first, presumably because a seventh one had not yet been designed.

Most, if not all, of the music featured in Demo 4's Special Stages (as well as in Christmas Hunt Zone) was MIDIs of music from the anime TV series Ojamajo Doremi. In v1.01, a new Special Stage theme would replace all of these and would continue to be used in future releases until v2.1. However, the first of Demo 4's Special Stage themes was later re-added in v1.09.4 as a bonus track.

Castle Eggman Zone

Castle Eggman Zone was added as an unlockable. At this point, it still used GFZ's texture set. Because a secrets menu did not yet exist, the player would be warped to it after finishing THZ1 with all seven emeralds. At this point, the Single Player campaign looped by warping back to GFZ1 after THZ1, which made it possible to collect all seven emeralds even though there were only four tokens by playing through the game twice. However, attempting to cheat by warping to any of these maps would result in the game crashing, displaying an error message telling you not to do so. The introduction of the Chaos Emeralds and a "certain unlockable" for them was heavily hyped in the period before Demo 4's release. The developers would jokingly tease the community by calling the unlockable "Cas**HACK**".

Date-activated secrets

Demo 4 was the first release to feature date-activated secrets. The secrets were activated by playing the game on a specific holiday, setting the computer's clock to the date of that holiday or loading the game with the associated command line parameter. Date-activated secrets were featured in all subsequent SRB2 releases until they were removed in v2.0. Demo 4 featured two date-activated secrets: Christmas mode and Mario mode. The resources for both of these were hidden in WAD files disguised as DLL files.


Christmas mode was activated on Christmas (from December 24th to January 5th) or with the -xmas parameter. The resources for this were stored in 3drend.dll. When activated, several of the game's graphics, including many of the textures used by the Single Player levels, would be replaced with Christmas-themed graphics. The music was also replaced by Christmas tunes.

After THZ1, a cutscene would play in which Santa Claus asks Sonic to help him find his stolen clothes. This was followed by Christmas Hunt Zone, a level showcasing the newly added Emerald Hunt gametype (with gameplay similar to Knuckles' levels from Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2), in which the player hunted for three pieces of Santa Claus' clothes (outside of Christmas mode, these were Chaos Emeralds instead). After clearing the level, another cutscene would play in which Santa awards Sonic the ability to use the Snow Buster, allowing the player to fire snowballs at enemies in any level using the Ring Throw button (each snowball costing a ring to use). Also during Christmas, the inner portion of this level would take the place of MAP06 as a Match stage.


Mario mode was activated on New Year's Day (January 1st only) or with the -mario parameter. The resources for this were stored in menuitem.dll. When activated, the title screen received a Mario sky background, several sounds were changed to Mario-related sounds, all Crawlas were replaced with Goombas and all rings were replaced with coins. Additionally, GFZ1 would be replaced by Mario Goomba Blast Zone Act 1, which would be included in later versions as the first act of the Mario Koopa Blast unlockable (it was eventually replaced by Pipe Towers Zone in v2.1).

Capture the Flag

Demo 4 introduced Capture the Flag mode, which is similar to Match but is playing with two opposing teams who each control a base with a flag and try to steal the other team's flag. The gameplay mechanics were mostly the same as they are today, except that flags did not return to the base automatically upon being reclaimed. Instead, players had to bring them back themselves. Two levels were added for Capture the Flag mode. Additionally, Demo 4 included a roster of seven Match levels, of which only Zero Ring Zone returned from Demo 3.

Other changes

  • The placeholder sprites for Super Sonic were replaced. His new sprites were simply Sonic's sprites with an added Superman cape. His ability to run on water was removed, although it would later return in v1.09.
  • Tails' sprites were now fully complete (for the time being), replacing the remaining Sonic Xtreme placeholder sprites used by Tails.
  • Knuckles received his climbing ability. Moving sideways while climbing was not yet possible with the turning keys, only the strafing keys. The gliding animation was used while climbing.
  • An in-progress version of the original Techno Hill Zone Act 2 could be accessed by loading upd_net.dll. At this point, the whole final room was missing and the other content was very incomplete. The Turret had not yet been programmed and was missing from the turret room. The conveyor belt path at the beginning was an empty corridor. The crusher on the conveyor after the second path split was missing. The Detons were not yet harmful and orbited the player instead of chasing them. No items had been placed except on the sealed-off conveyor at the beginning of the stage. The conveyor belt texture was different and the crate texture did not yet exist.
  • Apart from the Deton, other new enemies were coded into the game by this version: the Jetty-Syn Bomber and Gunner, and the Crawla Commander.


Single Player levels

Match stages

Note that the level names did not exist at the time, as Demo 4 did not yet have title cards for the multiplayer levels and the Special Stages.

Capture the Flag stages

Note that the level names did not exist at the time, as Demo 4 did not yet have title cards for the multiplayer levels and the Special Stages.



External links

  Versions [view]
Pre-demo SRB2 TGFSRB2 HalloweenSRB2 Christmas
Demo Demo 1Demo 2Demo 3Demo 4Demo 4.32-4.35SRB2 2k3
Final Demo Final Demo 1.01-1.04Final Demo 1.08Final Demo 1.09-1.09.2Final Demo 1.09.3-1.09.4
Post-demo Match betaVersion 2.0Version 2.1In development