Sonic CD [Beta / Unused Stuff – Mega CD]

Sonic the Hedgehog CD, or simply Sonic CD, is a platform game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, released for the Sega Mega-CD in Japan on September 23, 1993, in Europe in October 1993, and finally for the Sega CD in North America on November 19, 1993. After the release of Sonic the Hedgehog, Lead Programmer Yuji Naka had grown dissatisfied with the rigid corporate policies at Sega, so he moved to the United States to work with the Sega Technical Institute. Incidentally, a large number of the original design team of Sonic also left for the U.S., to help instruct the American developers. With half of Sonic Team and two of its most important creators present, the Sega Technical Institute eventually got the job to develop Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

Meanwhile in Japan, Sonic CD (or at this point, “CD Sonic” as it was first known) was handled by a separate development team, headed by Sonic creator Naoto Ohshima. Initially, as revealed in interviews and magazine clippings, Sonic CD, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Mega Drive/Genesis, Master System and Game Gear were supposed to be the same game. However, during development, Sonic CD evolved into a vastly different type of game. [Info from Wikipedia]

An early version of one of the bosses in the game had pinchers instead of bumpers on its hands. In the beta version of the Special Stages, the background had a large mountainside and planet instead of the usual dark space. The UFO was originally a baloon which Sonic would have to pop.Various unused sprites can also be found in the game’s code. Rumors also had it that Tails was going to be in the game but it was later removed. A couple of removed Levels were know as R2 and Final Fever.

It seems that various Sonic CD Betas were leaked online, as the ones labeled 510, 712 and 920. The Sonic CD 510 Beta has many differences that were seen in early screens, with changes in the graphic details, removed level sections and unused monitors (S and Gem monitors that transform Sonic into Super Sonic and a Timer monitor that would have stopped or slow down the time). As we can read at Sonic Retro:

Sonic the Hedgehog CD prototype 510, referred to as CD Sonic the Hedgehog on the title screen, is among the first prototypes of the game Sonic the Hedgehog CD for Sega CD. This prototype was discovered by a group of fans called Sega Extreme in the summer of 2000. The game contains all the stages of the final game, but at first sight the player can only highlight the first three: Palmtree Panic, Collision Chaos and Tidal Tempest. The rest can be viewed through the Level Select. Secrets also are in the game. Using the Sound Test menu and entering a Specific Code for each one will reveal some secret artwork. One is a cute Sonic with Japanese text that reads “You are cool”. Another one is a Scene where Sonic and Metal Sonic rap and Robotnik as the DJ. Another one is a epic tribute to badman. The last one is so creepy im not even posting. It appears both by using the sound test AND running a pirated version of Sonic CD. Its Sonic with a scary face with no pupils and looking mad with Japanese text that reads something like “Fun is never ending with Sega – Manjan (which can be translated to Devil or Demon” So you probably know why now.

For more info you can check the SoST archive and X-Cult!




Sonic Saturn [Cancelled Prototype]

Known simply as “Sonic Saturn“, it was another project that was in development in 1995 / 1996 by Sega Technical Institute (STI) along with Sonic X-treme. This prototype was created by Peter Morawiec, the coder of the Sonic 2 special stages, with an interesting 3D Engine that was more “realistic” than the ones used in X-Treme. It seems that Yuji Naka did not like this proto and so the Sonic Saturn Engine was never used to develope a full Sonic game. STI tried to use the engine to create some Bonus Stages to add in the Saturn version of “Sonic 3D”, but for the lack of time they abandoned them in favour of a 3D version of Sonic 2’s special stage.

More infos on Sonic Saturn can be found on Sonic Retro and Sonic-Cult.

Thanks to Matt3 for the contribution!


Sonic Unleashed [X360/PS3 – Beta / Unused Areas]

Thanks to the Sonic Retro and The Sonic Center community, a series of glitch were found in the Xbox 360 & PS3 version of Sonic Uleashed, that let us to go to some unused / beta areas hidden in the game. As we can read in the SR forum: “There’s all kinds of ordinarily inaccessible areas that can be romped around, but the most notable is in Adabat: you can reach the area past the goal ring that’s normally barred off by a solid gate, and within lies an unused device that changes the water level and a tree that can be knocked down to walk across. If you can manage the wallwalking glitch, you can get to it by going through the barred door on the right side of the Adabat ghost mission, after which the ordinary goal ring area isn’t barred.” In the Youtube Channel of DarkspinesSonic and 1stkirbyever we can see a series of video about these unused areas.

Also, Robert Seddon linked us to the japanese Sonic Team blog, in which the Unleashed team posted some interesting images from the development of the game and various concept arts with unused design for the characters.




Sonic 3 & Knuckles [MD/G – Beta / Unused Levels]

Sonic & Knuckles was developed by the Sega Technical Institute in collaboration with Sonic Team, and published by Sega for the Genesis/Mega Drive in 1994. It is the direct sequel to Sonic 3, which was released earlier that year and it seems that some removed levels from S3 were later re-used for S&K. As our friends at X-Cult say: “Sonic & Knuckles is, at it’s heart, a continuation of Sonic 3; or rather, a collection of Sonic 3’s lost levels and then some”. It seems that the project was originally named “Sonic 3 & Knuckles”

In these beta images we can see an unknown “carnival night zone” and the Sonic 2 “Hidden Palace” in the hacked level-select menu screen,  while in the other gameplay ones there are probably just graphical differences that are minor.

Also, Interesting fact to note. Sonic 3 and Knuckles Developer Roger Hector points out that Sonic 3 and Knuckles was going to be an isometric 3D style game in a similar fashion to sonic 3D blast. Also, it was confirmed that Micheal Jackson did work on the game’s soundtrack. The soundtrack was re-written by Howard Drossin due to the development team removing Jackson’s soundtrack cause of a child molestation scandal near the end of the game’s development cycle.


Sonic Mars [32X – Concept/Cancelled]


Sonic Mars was being developed by Sega Technical Institute (STI), a U.S.-based developer that had worked on games such as Sonic 2, Sonic 3 , Sonic Spinball, The Ooze and Comix Zone. In its earliest conception, the game was set to be released on the Sega Genesis and later on the 32X, under the name Sonic Mars (based on the codename for the 32X, Sega Mars). Sonic Mars would also have featured Sally Acorn and the other Freedom Fighters from the Saturday morning animated series, Sonic the Hedgehog. Part of the project staff included Chris Senn, who designed demo animations in order to persuade executives, and Michael Kosaka, who was the staff leader and the game’s producer.