Sonic X-treme [Saturn – Proto / Cancelled]


Sonic X-treme is an unreleased platform game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It started as a project for a new Sonic game, developed by Sega Technical Institute (STI) for the Mega Drive / Genesis but soon moved to the Sega 32X (Sonic Mars) and eventually to the Sega Saturn. After many problems and a long hiatus of development hell, it was finally dropped in 1997.

X-treme for the Saturn was just the “final” project of a long list of Sonic prototypes, created to find the best way to develope a new 3D Sonic for the new SEGA console. The X-treme project can be seen as 2 different games in one as it was initially developed separately by two teams in parallel. The first team was in charge of developing the main game engine, while the second team was creating the separate “boss level” portions of the game that was suggested to use a different viewpoint from the main game.

From a code standpoint the boss engine and main game were basically two games developing at the same time that shared some global memory to remember game state and use a process called executable chaining to switch from the main game to boss levels and back. The boss level engine began to evolve into a game of its own using this new source of inspiration, trying to stay closer to its 2D roots by adopting a 3D but side-scrolling viewpoint.

There were four planned Zones: Jade Gully, Crystal Frost, Red Sands, and Galaxy Fortress. Sonic himself was to be equipped with a large set of new moves, including a spin slash, a ring throwing ability, and a downward dash.

In March 1996, Sega of Japan representatives went over to Sega Technical Institute’s headquarters to verify the game’s progress. They were unimpressed at the progress made on the main game engine, but they were impressed by the boss engine and they requested the entire game be reworked on that engine instead.

By then, the team was running short on manpower, and the project all had fallen on the Sonic Xtreme Project Team to finish it up before the Christmas deadline. Coffin, who had been overworking non-stop to get this project out, came down with pneumonia. Since Coffin was leading the technology end and creating the engine, the loss caused the project to be indefinitely delayed and the studio director informed management that the team could not continue and the game would not be released in time for Christmas.

The project was officially cancelled. Sega of America decided to discontinue the game and switched to an alternative project: Sonic 3D Blast. [info from Wikipedia]

A disc of a test engine of X-treme exists. A copy was sold at auction to an anonymous collector in September 2005, and a high-quality gameplay video was expected to be released by the end of the year. An animated GIF image of the gameplay was released to the community. The disk image was finally leaked in July 17, 2007.


Some images from: Sonic Xtreme CompendiumSonic CultSegagaga Domain



Sonic R [Prototype/Beta – Saturn]

Sonic R is a 1997 racing game developed by Traveller’s Tales and published by SEGA, which was released on the SEGA Saturn. The title made its debut at E3 1997 and was later launched in November, 1997. On the road to reaching store shelves, the game observed a multitude of beta changes, big and small, from how it was outlined in the beginning.



The Conception of Sonic R

The idea of a Sonic racer was first envisioned by one of the fathers of Sonic, Yuji Naka. It was originally intended to be made by Sonic Team itself, but when they became busy creating Sonic Jam, they hired Traveller’s Tales as an alternative. Naka’s place in the project was switched to a supervising role, which included helping determine the character roster. The decision to employ the help of TT was made after they were impressed by their previous works, such as the Toy Story video game.

Prior to the development of Sonic R, Traveller’s Tales was early into developing a Formula One racing title for the SEGA Saturn which was due to be published by SEGA. In early 1997, however, SEGA instructed them to retrofit the title into a Sonic racing game. This was due to Sonic X-Treme facing severe development issues and SEGA needing a new Sonic game to fill its place.

The original working title of Sonic R was ‘Sonic TT’ – a reference not only to Traveller’s Tales, but also racing terms such as ‘Tourist Trophy’ and ‘Time Trial’ according to lead programmer Jon Burton.

E3 1997 Prototype

Its first unveiling was made by SEGA in the form of a teaser video at E3, showing off just over 30 seconds of very early prototype gameplay. According to one of the game’s programmers, Jon Burton, who was interviewed in the October 1997 issue of SEGA Saturn Magazine, work on Sonic R had begun in February of the same year; less than 4 months before the reveal. It was being worked on at the time by no more than six people: three artists and three programmers.

A playable demo of the game was present at E3 according to Jon Burton, although some interviews with Sonic R developers from the time suggested the prototype had limited functionality.

The build showcased in the video impressed attendees, but in actuality, had “no AI for its opponents, limited animation and special effects”, according to Burton. The trailer in question states that it was approximately “20% complete” at the time. 

Sonic Jam [Saturn – Beta]

ENG: This entry in the archive doesn’t have a description yet. If you want to add some info about the beta / cancelled stuff that you see in these images, just write a comment or send us an email! We’ll add your info in this page and your name in the contributors list. Thanks a lot for your help! :)

ITA: Questa pagina dell’archivio non ha ancora una descrizione. Se vuoi aggiungere delle informazioni riguardo le differenze della beta o la descrizione di un gioco cancellato, lasciaci un commento o mandaci una email! Inseriremo le tue informazioni nella pagina ed il tuo nome nella lista dei collaboratori. Grazie per il tuo aiuto! :)

Thanks to Luis for the contribution!


Sonic Adventure [Beta / Unused Content]


Sonic Adventure was developed by Sonic Team and released in 1998 in Japan by Sega for the Dreamcast and is the first game in the Sonic Adventure series. One of its development titles was Sonic RPG, (although the final game was an adventure game, not a standard RPG).

Originally, Sonic was supposed to be able to engage his Super Sonic form at any time during gameplay, once he had gained all seven chaos emeralds during story mode. The proof of this comes in the form of an unused voice clip in the game, in which Tikal teaches the player how to become Super Sonic. The character reveals that Sonic must gain 50 rings before he can transform and warns the player to monitor their ring consumption closely, otherwise Sonic will lose a life when he runs out.

By hacking the 2004 US PC version version of Sonic Adventure DX, it is possible to access a number of unused assets from the Tokyo Game Show 2003 build of the game. One of the most notable of these is an early version of the character selection screen. The omitted menu section is fully functional if modded correctly and is labelled with the text, ‘Choose your buddy!’. Interestingly, this title is also the name of the background music composed by Jun Senoue for the finished character screen on Sonic Adventure’s official soundtrack, ‘Sonic Adventure Digi-LOG Conversation Original Sound Track’.

Sonic Adventure beta character select

A two-headed mecha dragon boss was removed from the game before the final version, but it can still be found in the prototype / beta of Sonic Adventure DX that was leaked online. It was a part of the Sky Chase level, during Sonic and Tails’ approach to the Egg Carrier in Tails’ story section. It pursues the player up until the Egg Carrier fires its laser beam at the Tornado. You can find more info on Sonic Cult!

In addition, an unused animation for Tails has been unearthed in Sonic Adventure DX via modding. By replacing Knuckles with Tails in his story mode, players can activate a glitch in Casinopolis to trigger said animation. It is noticeably very similar to Tails’ swimming animation from Sonic The Hedgehog 3; suggesting there could have at one stage been bodies of water to swim in during one of his stages, or possibly even an entirely new water-themed level, a la Hydrocity Zone.

Thanks to FullMetalMC & BowserEnemy for some of these images!

SEGA Confidential images from




Sonic Adventure 2 [Beta – Dreamcast]


Sonic Adventure 2 was unveiled in June of 2000, at E3. During this time, Sonic Adventure 2 was headed in a completely different direction. There would be three playable characters; Sonic, Knuckles, and Eggman. At the time, Shadow was just a cutscene character. How the game went at first was that what you do in the game differs what happens later. This was eventually incarnated into “Shadow the Hedgehog” for the Gamecube. When the trailer for the game was revealed, fans were outraged, for the fact that there were missing characters (e.g. Tails)

Before he had his SOAP shoes in Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic had his sneakers from the 2D games. The SOAP shoes enabled Sonic to grind on rails. Also Shadow’s original name was “Terios”, which means, “reflection of”, and Rouge’s original name was “Nails”. Shadow was also referred to as “Dark Sonic” in a preview showing off some concept art of Sonic Adventure 2.

Some unused videos were found hidden in the game’s code by Mariosegafreak

Thanks to FullMetalMC, CrashAndSonicChao, and Shade3c for the contributions!