In the January 1993 interview with the game's programmer Yuji Naka published in the Beep! magazine, he commented on the game's 3D-stylised special stage, stating that it was conceived at the start of the game's development and was eventually implemented despite Naka being forced to work with rougher image quality. He also stated that the camera-view behind Sonic's spiny back running towards the Chaos Emerald in the final game was something that he was hoping to add. Him and the team also thought of having more "cliffs and valleys" in the special stage, but this idea was scrapped.
Contributed by ProtoSnake