There were several incarnations of a SatAM Sonic game, but none of them made it off the ground. The history of the SatAM video games is closely tied-in with the history of Sonic X-treme, the final also-aborted project of a 3D Sonic game that utilized many of the SatAM games' ideas, and Sonic Adventure, which in turn used many of Sonic X-treme's ideas. This page will chronicle all of them, and what might have been.
What was "Sonic-16"?"Sonic-16" was one of the most ambitious projects in Sega, and was a victim of the times, as Sega was going through internal power struggles. Sonic-16 was intended to be a 3D video game on the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis involving the Freedom Fighters from the ABC show "Sonic the Hedgehog", and was the first of several early incarnations of the cancelled Sonic X-treme. If the game was completed, it would have been a radical departure from the mainstream Sonic series' games up to that point. Development began in November of 1993, around the same time Sonic's popularity was approaching its peak. Part of the project staff included Chris Senn, who designed demo animations in order to persuade executives at Sega, and Micheal Kosaka, who was the staff leader and the game's producer.
In 1992, plans were already in place to make a video game based off of SatAM and its characters in their struggle to overthrow Robotnik, as mentioned in the
The sprites and background are reported to have been 32-bit within a 16-bit game. The video game's artwork would have been reminescent of the cartoon series, rather than the artwork used in the regular video game series, such as Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Much like Sonic 3, the levels would be generally larger than previous Sonic games, though unlike other Sonic games, the sprites and level art would be much larger as well.
Even though it looked like a slower-paced game than preceeding games, the game was intended to have faster-moving segments. It would also have been much more story-driven than the previous games, to allow for tie-ins between the cartoon and the game.
Although Sonic moves much slower than in previous games, he has been given a new set of moves. Despite being a side-scroller like other games, Sonic-16 also adds the ability to move "up and down", instead of just left-and-right with jumping, to add the illusion of depth and side-stepping. Sonic is also able to hold his back to the wall to avoid being detected by enemies, and peek around corners (similar to Solid Snake of the Metal Gear Solid series of games). Similar to Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, Sonic is also able to grab and pull himself up onto ledges.
Three very interesting attack moves were also shown in the demo: a ring attack, a buzzsaw attack, and a spike blast attack. The ring attack was shown where Sonic uses rings from his life bar and tosses them like projectiles to destroy enemy robots. The buzzsaw attack move would be used to clear obstacles, performed in mid-air, similar to Sonic Adventure's Homing Attack, or the Insta-Shield of Sonic 3. The final (and in this webmaster's opinion, the coolest) move, is Spike Blast. Sonic is able to shoot out quills in eight different directions at the same time, outward from himself to damage surrounding enemies. This is also performed in mid-air.
Sonic-16 — References
Sonic-16 — Game Cast:Production Leader: Micheal Kosaka
Concept & Demo: Peter Morawiec
Graphics & Animation: Peter Morawiec, John Duggan
Other Staff: Chris Senn
Untitled STI Sonic GameFor more information, see our STI Game section, Untitled STI Sonic Game at SonicRetro.org.
After Sonic-16 was cancelled, Chris Senn had decided to make a mock-up of an isometric Sonic game on the Sega 32X, similar to Sonic 3D, but before 3D was released. It is unknown if this would have been built into another game, as the concept design was not finished further.
The image to the right shows the mock-up of the Untitled STI Sonic Game, which Chriss Senn has reported to be another stage of development of Sonic X-treme. The image was created by Chris Senn, during his tenure as an employee of STI. There was no actual game engine created, nor any game data such as levels or sprites, and there was no actual work done to create a game based upon the image, as it was merely concept art. The image shows what the game could have been, if developed. Had the game gone into development, it quite possibly could have turned out far different from Sonic 3D, featuring a less wide-open environment, due to there being single-column walls, platforms, and fixed paths to run on. The game would be an "on-rails" game, similar to Sonic Riders. Its focus may have been more on platforming (like Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic Riders) than exploring (like Sonic Adventure and Sonic R). However, from this single screen, it is simply impossible to determine if this is entirely true, partially true, or if there were more open areas to move around in. According to Chris Senn this mockup was created before Sonic 3D was released and was during the development of the 32X.
Untitled STI Sonic Game — Referenceshttp://www.senntient.com/forums/viewtopic.php?pid=8572#p8572 Chris Senn's discussion of the Untitled STI Sonic Game, on his forums
Untitled STI Sonic Game — Game Cast:
- Image Mock-up: Chriss Senn
As the game's development progressed, the 32X version was cancelled, most likely due to the add-on's limitations (which caused its ultimate failure in the marketplace). The game was intended to be the first 3D polygonal Sonic the Hedgehog game, but the DiC / SatAM characters were dropped due to disinterest from the development team.
As the 32X started to fail and fade from public view, the focus on the game was switched yet again, to the upcoming and far more powerful Sega Saturn. The game's storyline was altered heavily, removing the Freedom Fighters later on in development in favour of original characters (possibly due to licensing issues, as well as general disinterest from the development team, or at the insistance of Yuji Naka). The game then became what would be popularly known as the cancelled Sonic game, Sonic X-treme.
Sonic Mars — Micheal Kosaka's ScriptSee also: our copy of the Micheal Kosaka script (Pages 1-49 are of the script, 50-122 are of concept art), courtesy of Sonic Cult.
An early script of Sonic Mars by Micheal Kosaka was leaked in 2007. This would be one of two Sonic Mars scripts released, with the other being a script written by Don Goddard. The cover page of the Micheal Kosaka script is dated May 19, 1994, while the Don Goddard Script was created later, according to Chris Senn, one of the developers of the game.
According to leaked Micheal Kosaka game script, this version of Sonic Mars was estimated to be 16-megs have two players simultaneously and be completed by June 1995. The final story of the game would have taken place in a 3D Virtual Reality world, similar to its predecssor, Sonic-16. The premise of "Sonic Mars" was as follows:
While Sonic is away checking on a security alarm in a remote part of the Great Forest, his pals (Sally, Bunnie, Tails and Knuckles) have discovered a strange message from within one of Robotnik's super computers. [Dr. Robotnik is trying to take over a computer VR world (Micro Mobius) and the message is a plea for help from its peaceful inhabitants.] Sonic returns to Knothole to discover that Robotnik has captured his friends and taken them into his VR world. Sonic attempts to save his friends and thwart Robotnik's plan to "reformat" Micro Mobius (Courtesy Sonic X-treme Compendium (SXC)).
Sonic Mars — Micheal Kosaka Script: Game PlaySonic Mars had an easter egg placed during the Sega logo. Pressing any button besides Start will play a "Sega shout" by either Sonic, Tails, Sally, or Robotnik. This screen can be bypassed by pressing the Start button. A second cheat was to be hidden on the Title screen. A cheat menu would activate after a certain button sequence is entered.
- Zone = Zone name.
- Act = Act number.
- Sound = Sound number.
- Music = Song name.
Continues in the game would be earned by gaining a minimum of 255 rings. Certain events would also trigger dialogue from your partner, such as completing a certain task, or collecting an item. Levels would be made of 2 to 4 floating cubes suspended in mid-air. The End Level Sign propels Sonic (or his character) and can be swatted back and forth, similar to in Sonic 3. Also, like in Sonic 3, when the sign hits the ground, there is a chance that the sign's impact will be knocked upwards and out of the ground. At the end of the level, your accumulated rings would splash out of a tube.
The game had several badniks lined up, such as Skuzzy, Socket, Cache Masher, Stacker, Viruz, Chipset, Floppy, Stagnat Sentry (which activates when someone is near), Patrollers (which follow a dedicated path), and Hunter-Killers (these act the same as Stagnat or Patrollers, and follow the player).
Sonic Mars — Don Goddard's ScriptSee also: our copy of the Don Goddard script (Pages 1-49 are of the script, 50-122 are of concept art), courtesy of Sonic Cult.
Don Goddard's script came after Micheal Kosaka's, and is generally considered to be a revision. It is also sometimes referred to as Sonic 32X, despite the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis being mentioned in the script, with no mention of the 32X add-on. It is a drastic revision from MIcheal Kosaka's script, as while Sonic is the main character, no others are mentioned. Interstingly, the script mentions sprites AND polygons, so it probably was bound for the 32X. The reason for this assumption is that there was only one Sega Mega Drive / Genesis game that used polygons, and the processor used to crate the polygons (similar to the Super-FX chip used in Nintendo's Star Fox gameStar Fox game) brought the cost of the cartridge up to $USD 100.
Sonic Mars — References
Sonic Mars — Game Cast:
- Director/Game Designer: Chris Senn
- Technical Programmer: Ofer/Ofar Alon
- Lead Programmer/Game Designer: "Me" (Don Goddard?)
- Tools Programmers: Mark
- Tools Programmers: Robert
- Reference: Adrian
- Producer: Mike Wallis
Alongside making the general design, Chris Senn also made a few sprites and concept art pages. These can be found within the Chris Senn subfolder of the Don Goddard Script folder.
Sonic X-tremeSonic X-treme was intended to be the first original Sonic game for the Sega Saturn, as well as the first true 3D sonic game, but was cancelled due to development issues, though its history is very colourful (as shown in the above section, its roots of Sonic Mars).
The story of the game contained Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Metal Sonic, Nack, and involved two new original creations: Professor Gazebo Boobowski and his daughter, Tiara (recycled from Sonic Mars, originally with the last name Cybernooski). The professor and his daughter were the guardians of the six magical Rings of Order, as well as the ancient art of Ring smithing. They feared that Dr. Robotnik is after the six Rings of Order, and called on Sonic to get the Rings before Robotnik can. The playable characters in the game were Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Tiara, and would have unique storylines to that character, similar to Sonic Adventure.
Levels within Sonic X-treme were designed as "tubes", with changing gravity so Sonic (or the other characters) could walk and run, regardless of their physical orientation. One idea recycled from Sonic-16 and Sonic Mars was Sonic's ring-throw ability, where he would toss a ring at a badnik or enemy to knock them out. Sonic X-treme would have also featured Nack the Weasel and Metal Sonic as bosses.
However, Sonic Mars and Sonic X-treme would live on, as many of the ideas from those two games were salvaged and recycled into one of the biggest Sonic games ever, Sonic Adventure for the Dreamcast. Ideas that were recycled from Sonic X-treme include character-specific storylines, Robotnik trying to steal a secret ancient object, and using new characters.