A mockup of Dust Hill Zone.

Dust Hill Zone was the name given to a desert level intended to be featured in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Mega Drive.


Dust Hill Zone is a desert, decorated with cacti and assorted plants. The tiles were designed to at some point be used in a winter-themed stage, transforming the sand into snow and the cacti into Christmas trees. The player would navigate terrain both aboveground and belowground, where there were snow/sand tunnels.[1]


Dust Hill Zone was created by Brenda Ross,[1] one of the final level artists added to the Sonic 2 development team. It was referred to in an early concept sketch as Sabaku Zone (literally "Desert Zone"). Time constraints kept the zone from being added to the final product.


  • Dust Hill Zone is listed in the Level Select of the Simon Wai prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but selecting it sends the player to an incomplete Mystic Cave Zone.
    • However, through hacking, it is possible to access the actual Dust Hill Zone, but much like Genocide City Zone, the 2nd act of Wood Zone, and Death Egg Zone, all the level is, is Sonic falling to his death, and plays Oil Ocean's music as the music for this stage.
  • Brenda Ross called this level's palette swap "Winter Zone".[1]
  • Design elements of this stage were later used for Desert Dazzle, a scrapped stage from the 2011 remaster of Sonic the Hedgehog CD. Elements of Desert Dazzle (and by extention, Dust Hill Zone) were eventually used for the Sonic Mania stage, Mirage Saloon Zone.




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Brenda Ross Interview. Sonic Research Zone (February 2001). Retrieved on 25 February 2015.

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