We all know the story. 19 years ago, everyone was getting super excited about the upcoming release of Sonic X-treme, which would mark Sonic’s first fully three dimensional adventure. Long story short, the game was never released, and the Sega Saturn always had a hole in its library, no main Sonic title ever being released.
While bits and pieces of what the game would have been have leaked/been released over the the years, last November JollyRodger showed up with a plethora of material from defunct gaming studio Point Of View, including the source code for a variety of Sonic X-treme builds on both the Saturn and the PC. Being as the code could only run natively on hardware very few people have access to, Jolly took it upon himself to begin the process of porting the code to modern PC’s. Earlier tonight, the first public release of this labor of love was been released, “version 037” of X-treme now fully operational.
Jolly Roger has been doing a fantastic job getting stuff from the Sonic X-treme build that was found to work. Most recently he got the level editor used for the game to run on modern Windows and OpenGL, and he has uploaded a video recorded by Andrew75 demonstrating it running on Windows 7. It still needs a lot of work, as it currently has a lot of bugs and crashing issues, but it’s very impressive how fast Jolly managed to get this to work in this state.
Sonic X-treme. Just the name can send a shiver up the spine of anyone who anxiously awaited the release of the game, reading the Red Shoe Diaries over and over again, trying to dissect each screenshot and guess what obstacles were in store for each new zone. Meant to be Sonic’s first foray into the world of 3D gaming, the title was quietly cancelled during 1996, a Sega Saturn port of Sonic 3D: Flickies’ Island filling the hole in scheduling. For years, speculation ran wild as to what happened, and over time many of those involved in the project have spoken about it, including Chris Senn who created an entire compendium chronicling the development history of the game.
But with all we’ve come to discover in the last 18 years, there are still aspects that have been hidden away, the most glaring being how it would feel to hold a controller in your hands and move Sonic about in his fish-eye world. The only playable build thus far had been the test arena from Christina Coffin’s boss engine, a green hill-esque terrain with not much more than random Flickies populating a finite plane with no end goal. That, however, is about to change in a very big way.
Even more than two decades after being cancelled, Nick Arcade is still giving us more alpha/beta stuff. The earliest version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 that we’ve seen in action was first seen on the show, and now that the unaired pilot from 1991 has popped up online we now have the best footage yet of a Sonic the Hedgehog prototype.Sadly we don’t see that much of it because the challenge had to be completed in less than 25 seconds. The most notable differences shown are the rolling ball, which kinda looks like something that’s meant to be used to experiment with the rolling physics, and the different ring placement. Thanks to forum member ashthedragon for uploading a video of just the prototype footage. The full pilot can be seen here.
And on the subject of Sonic development stuff, this book by Read-Only Memory has lots of never-before-seen visual material from Mega Drive games and the console itself. This of course includes stuff related to Sonic as well. Forum member 87th has been kind enough to post a photo of the design documents for Sonic 1 showing some storyboards of the original ending. If you want to see more of it, you can buy the book here.
Also, yes we know that all of this news is old. We’re playing catch-up. :V
Today marks the 20th anniversary of SEGA’s Sonic & Knuckles, and to celebrate, Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 remastered developer Christian Whitehead shared a proof of concept prototype from the Taxman & Stealth personal vaults featuring Sonic 3 & Knuckles running on the Retro Engine. Of course, this is presented unofficially, so don’t jump to the conclusion that a Sonic 3 & Knuckles remastered is on the way anytime soon. Still, awesome to see that they’ve done work on the much requested title, even in an unofficial capacity. The Taxman himself shared this link in our forums, stating that “this isn’t an official announcement of any Sega project, nor to we intend to work on this as a fan-project. It’s simply a proof of concept from our vaults that has been kept to our chests for some time.”
Remember that time some guy with a Sonic hat on just ran alongside a subway? Cause some guy somewhere did that, and there’s a video of it that I can’t find right now. There’s this gif though which pretty much shows all you need to know about it anyway, that being that some guy with a Sonic hat ran alongside a subway. Or it’s a metro, but who can tell the difference really?
By the way, I recently started watching this anime I barely ever see mentioned called Dennou Coil and it’s super good and all of you should watch it. Just thought that I should put that out there. Anyway have some links:
Sonic 2 is a rolling auto-demo showcasing mainly the prototype version of Green Hills Zone, which was prominently shown in many early magazine articles prior to the game’s release. Sky High Zone and Underground Zone can also be seen. The auto-demo has a time stamp of Dec. 5, 1991, making this an extremely early version of the game that was compiled almost a year before the final version was released.
Like the photo showing various concept art from last month, we’re not quite sure where it came from, but a photo of an early version of Sonic Boom running on a Wii U CAT-DEV dev kit has popped up online. Of course, unless the final game will miss a lot of textures and run at 15fps and, this isn’t an indication of what the final game will look like. Be sure to click the image for a larger version.
Apparently Nintendo doesn’t want photos of the Wii U dev kit flying around, so to prevent us from getting our door kicked in we’ll just show the cropped version provided by The Sonic Stadium. Nothing is stopping us from putting a link to the full image posted by Spindash.de forum member Finn here though, which also shows us that the photo was taken in January 2014. So there’s your timeframe for when this build was made. A lower res version of the image was originally posted at AP, but has since been removed.