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Mobile version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 unearths long-lost secret level

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Sonic the Hedgehog 2

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When Sega first released Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to iOS devices a few years ago, the reviews weren't great.

On Thursday, the company announced plans to remaster the game for mobile users, and in the process made it one of the most anticipated updates around for classic gaming fans.

The reason? The update offers more than the usual minor tweaks. It will include a level called the Hidden Palace Zone that was never officially released, but has become something of a legend over the past 20 years.

Android users will be able to get the game -- and the secret level -- for the first time tomorrow. iOS users will be able to download the update for free.

Initially planned as an area that became available once players collected all of the game's Chaos Emeralds, the Hidden Palace Zone was scrapped midway through development and never made it into the final game. The public only became aware of it when it leaked out via ROMs of the game.

Mobile users, though, will see a complete version of the level thanks to Sonic Retro team member Christian Whitehead, who has a history of inserting cut content into Sonic ports.

Originally created for the Sega Genesis, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has been ported to nearly a dozen other platforms since its 1992 debut. The 2D sidescroller sold over 6 million copies on Genesis alone, making it that system's second best-selling game behind the original Sonic.

Game historians note that it was this game that allowed Sega to pull alongside Nintendo in terms of market share. Even today, it's often ranked as one of the top 100 games of all time, thanks to its polish and challenge.

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