SRB2 Halloween is the first public version of SRB2, released on October 31st, 1999. It was the first release to be based on the Doom engine, specifically the source port Doom Legacy v1.28. Since programming had only begun 45 days beforehand, SRB2 Halloween was still very rudimentary and intended more as a proof of concept release than a proper demo.
The only playable character was Sonic, whose movement was limited to running and jumping. His sprites were taken from Sonic X-treme, since no original sprites had been drawn yet. Rings, and with them Sonic's characteristic health mechanic, were already implemented, but other items such as monitors and springs were still missing. The HUD consisted only of a very crude ring counter. While the core gameplay was already closer to Sonic than Doom, many other aspects of the game, particularly the menus and the score tally, were still unchanged.
Two versions of SRB2 Halloween were released:
- v1.0 – The original release of SRB2 Halloween. This version ran only on MS-DOS and Windows 9x, and features only a single level (MAP01). This version is no longer available anywhere except through a download at the end of this article.
- v1.32 – An anniversary re-release from October 2000, which can be downloaded from srb2.org. Aside from being a port to Win32, which allows it to be run on modern computers, this version also features a second level (MAP02). Unlike the first level, which was still partially designed like a Doom stage, this level more closely resembles SRB2's stages are they are now: While still very rudimentary and fairly empty, it is much wider and longer and features multiple paths.
SRB2 Halloween could be played in any of five different skill levels – a feature kept from Doom itself – that must be selected when starting a new game. Depending on which skill level was chosen, a different number of enemies spawned in each level. The original names for these skill levels used in Doom were replaced with completely new names, all of which contained the word "Sonic".
The five skill levels in SRB2 Halloween, along with their effects, are given below:
- Sub-Sonic and Sonic, which were identical at this stage – relatively few enemies would spawn in these difficulty modes.
- Super Sonic, which would spawn a moderate amount of enemies.
- Hyper Sonic!, which would spawn a lot of enemies.
- Warp Sonic!, the hardest skill level – this was identical to Hyper Sonic!, with the exception that enemies would respawn a short while after being destroyed.
The original release featured only one level (MAP01), which was unnamed since title cards did not yet exist. It was Halloween-themed, with thick fog and decorations such as tombstones and jack-o'-lanterns (some of these decorations were reused years later for SRB2JTE's Halloween theme). The level also featured ghost enemies which hovered towards the player, but collision with them was buggy: They could only be hit from the side, not from above and below. Temporary invincibility after getting hit had not yet been added, which often led to unfair deaths. The death animation only worked sporadically; often Sonic would simply remain in his standing animation after dying.
The level consists of three sections: After the opening room, the player has to walk through a very cramped corridor filled with shallow water. Attached to this corridor is a circular path consisting of equally cramped outdoor areas. While this section initially appears to be a useless detour, it contains two hidden corridors that are marked as "secret areas", a leftover from Doom, where the player would be rewarded for finding such areas at the score tally screen.
The initial corridor leads to an outdoor maze section comprised of see-through fences. The texture for the fences is now used in Castle Eggman Zone Act 1. After the maze, the player has to cross a small lake by jumping across several platforms. The lake itself cannot be escaped once fallen into. The underwater physics are similar to how they are in SRB2 today, but the player falls more slowly while underwater and cannot drown.
Another hidden area exists in the level that is connected to the opening room, but is not marked as a "secret area". In order to open it up so the player can access it, the player must cross a certain linedef in the outdoor maze section (the game still used Doom's linedef-based triggers at this point, rather than the sector-based triggers introduced much later) – in particular, the player must cross one of the walls of a raised square sector with rings, which is located outside the edges of the maze itself and is accessible only from the area after the maze's exit. Crossing this wall raises the ceiling of the opening room's hidden area, which reveals a room filled with rings laid out in the shape of the word "SONIC".
The main rock and grass textures used in this level, as well as in the second level featured in v1.32, were recolored versions of textures intended for Greenflower Zone. The level music used is an arrangement of Greenflower Zone Act 1's theme, slowed down to a quarter of its normal speed.
- Archived Versions – srb2.org – Information and v1.32 download
- v1.0 download
- wiki.srb2.org – Source code for Hallowen Tech Demo
|Pre-demo||SRB2 TGF • SRB2 Halloween • SRB2 Christmas|
|Demo||Demo 1 • Demo 2 • Demo 3 • Demo 4 • Demo 4.32–4.35 • SRB2 2k3|
|Final Demo||Final Demo 1.01–1.04 • Final Demo 1.08 • Final Demo 1.09–1.09.2 • Final Demo 1.09.3–1.09.4|
|Post-demo||Match beta • Version 2.0 • Version 2.1 • Version 2.2 • In development|