My question is this: Would the super emeralds even exist if the game were not split in half? Granted getting all the emeralds before the second half of the game was easily possible in Sonic 2. Also, would the Death Egg have actually fallen and launched twice in the same game? I feel that Hidden Palace was just an added bonus since they had the extra time and it expanded the depth as a two part game. I'm sure a fight with Knuckles was always planned but I'll feel like it may have originally planned to be in a different setting. Luckily they got the extra time to make Mania complete.