The Mega Drive / Genesis developer Shane Lynch recently revealed on Twitter that he is working on a new ROM hack for the original Sonic the Hedgehog that will let a second player plug in a lightgun and blast away at badniks, power-ups, and rings in the environment.
To accompany the news, Lynch posted a brief 24-second clip of the work-in-progress hack, showing Sonic running through Green Hill Zone Act 1, as he points and fires a lightgun (a blue Konami Justifier to be precise) at various objects onscreen.
The post seems to have gone over well with Sonic fans online, with the clip now sitting pretty at around 948 retweets and 3.8k likes as of writing. Comments below the post include various technical questions about the hack, as well as, unsurprisingly, a ton of requests to be able to shoot the iconic Hedgehog.
The reveal of this hack comes just days after the NES developer Matt Hughson announced a similar feature for their upcoming homebrew Super Sunny World, but the developer Lynch has stated that this was not the inspiration. Instead, the hack was primarily influenced by Super Mario Galaxy, which allowed players to shoot star bits at the screen with the Wiimote in order to stun enemies.
At present, the Sonic hack seems to only be compatible with Konami's Justifier lightgun for the Sega Mega Drive, but Lynch has stated he is also considering adding support for the Sega Menacer in the future. This, however, would require him to "write some additional I/O handling code to detect the gun and then read it properly".
There is currently no release date set, but we'll try and give you an update once the hack is available.