Since we’re back on that SA1 v SA2 linearity debate. While the routes/progression of the stages in SA1 are linear, I’d argue the construction of the environments aren’t. Most of the stages there try to incorporate differing amounts of playspace that correspond to the level theme. So even when the levels still send you down one direction, the locations feel different enough for people to say that the levels in that game don’t feel as linear as those from the sequel. The Prima Games maps of the stages from both titles confirms as much. Besides, I’ve been saying for a while now that the major value of SA1’s stages over SA2 for me is less from its linearity (though having unique stage creation doesn’t hurt) and more for the array of platforming challenges that it offers. If I wanted a Sonic game where speedrunning was the main/only point of playing, I’d honestly rather play Boost games like Unleashed and Generations. I think they’re much better designed for that purpose.