Welcome to my Sonic CD tribute page. Being quite a Sonic fan there was no way that I could leave this classic title out.
With the Release of the Mega-CD, it was only a matter of time before Sonic the Hedgehog would appear on CD - but what format would the game take? With the news of the games development appearing in gaming press in the early part of 1992, speculation grew. The assumption at the time was the game would be identical to Sonic 2, with the addition of animated intros and some CD music. This seemed to happen quite alot with the Mega-CD gaining what are known as "hand me down" titles. Titles that were almost identical to thier MegaDrive counterparts but given CD Soundtracks and usually a crappy animated intro. Others were more hopeful, looking for Sega of Japan's crack programmers to come up with the ultimate in Sonic entertainment.
By spring 1993, the first screenshots appeared. Still at this point there was no information on the gameplay. Although these were actual shots from the game they only depicted the intro sequence. The big question was, what was in the gameplay?
By the summer, Japanese press aquired the answers they were looking for. as they published the first in-game screenshots. Yes, it was another platform game posessing incredible graphics. However, the game would feature one more important gameplay element not found in any of the other Sonic games, Time Travel! Sonic CD was given a provisional subtitle title: Sonic Through Time. The European press were given a full preview towards the end of the summer, with the first reviews appearing shortly after.
The gameplay remains much the same as Sonic 2, however, by taking use of the Mega-CD's large amount of main memory (for the time anyway) the playing area is much larger and there are lots of intriguing new features. One of the more amusing features is the "shirinking" Sonic where one of Robotniks rays hits the heoric hedgehog shrinking him for an entire level.
However, the time travel feature is the main point of the game. Just by hitting a sign post and gaining enough speed, Sonic is able to gain access the the past and the future of each level. In these different time frames extra points and rings can be collected. Here, Sonic is able to put right the wrongs made by Robotnik and the evil Metal Sonic. Special Metal Sonic holographic projectors can be destroyed for extra points.
Although the game itself is relativly easy to complete, different game endings are on offer depending upon how you complete it. You need to complete the game with all 7 of the Time Chaos Emeralds in your possession which is quite a tricky thing to do. Fail to do so and the end sequence is cut short.
In short, Sonic CD is regarded as the best platform game for the Mega-CD. Unfortunatly, this was Sonic's only outing on the Mega-CD, but, it was a good one! Anyone with a MegaCD should have this in thier collection.
Here are some of the pictures from the beta version that were released which showed details of the actual gameplay. If you have played the game you will know from these pictures that there was quite a few changes made in the final version.
Around August 1993 Mean Machines SEGA did a full preview of the game. There was not much but screen shots a few descriptions, however, it seemed as though all of their material for their showcase came from this version of the game.
|Title Screen||Palm Tree Panic Beta #1||Palm Tree Panic Beta #2||Palm Tree Panic Beta #4|
|Collision Chaos Beta #1||Tidal Tempest Beta #1||Tidal Tempest Beta #2||Special Stage|
Sonic CD is based around The Little Planet. A small planet that only appears on the last month of every year over Never Lake. That alone makes Little Planet a little weird, however, the main issue with Little Planet is it's relation to time; it has none. On Little Planet past, present and future are nothing more than different states of mind. There are 7 Time Stones on Little Planet which probably have something to do with this. Dr Robotnik has his sights set on these Time Stones and has already conquered the past on Little Planet so that he is able to take control of the future. Keeping in mind that Sonic will probably come and save the day, Robotnik has created an Evil Metal Sonic robot designed to destroy our spikey blue hero. And just to make sure he does, Robotnik kidnapps Sonic's girlfriend Amy Rose.
So it's upto Sonic to stop Doctor Robotnik, destory the robots in the past, present and future, collect all 7 Time Stones, rescue his girlfriend and deal with Metal Sonic all on a planet where time has no meaning. All this makes for a great game.
The first thing you would notice about Sonic CD (if you have played any of the prevous Sonic titles) is that the controls are much more stiffer and precise. The gameplay reflects this as the levels are designed for this in mind. There seems to be much more happening in smaller areas as apposed to larger, more open view in the other Sonic games.
The main gameplay remains the same, running, jumping collecting rings and destroying the enimies though out the levels. Sonic though gains and extra move in this game. Having already mastered the Spin Dash (by pressing down and holding jump for the revs, if you have played Sonic 2 that is) you now have the Peel Out. By pressing up and holing jump Sonic will begin to kick up the dirt. Keep going until his legs turn into a blurred figure 8 and release for an instant blast forwards. Unlike the Spin Dash you can take damage by doing this as you are still standing.
In Sonic CD there are seven stages or zones as they are refered to in every other Sonic game. Each zone contains three levels or acts. The first two are the majority of the zone with the third one being a boss stage which is always set in the future. The bosses in Sonic CD are different to the other Sonic games. They are much more sophisticated looking contraptions and they have some nastly defences attached to them. This being said, they do not take that many hits to destroy but managing to get a hit is difficut enough.
The new item in the gameplay is the time warp posts. They are marked past and future. By running past one of these you become tagged with it. The post you ran past appears in the bottom left of your screen. Run fast enough and Sonic will begin to have a trial of stars. Keep you speed for about three seconds and you will warp to the time frame on the post. Loose your speed and the stars will stop and you won't be going anywhere. Each time warp stand can only be used once.
With the Time Travel system in mind each level has four different appearences to them.
Past This is how that particular level used to look like in times past. Here Robotik has already been busy and has left a robot making machine behind. If this machine is destroyed then it will eliminate all the enemies in the present and the future. Also look for the Metal Sonic hologram. It will be harassing the local wildlife. Destroy the hologram and all the animals will be happy. How sweet.
Present Each time you start a level you begin in the present even if you were in a different time period when you completed a level previous. You can either play this level straight through or you can travel to different time zones to make the changes for a good future or even just a change of scenery.
Future The standard future outcome if you don't destroy any of Robotniks robot making machines. He has long since taken control and left behind and grimy, pulluted mess akin to all those factory style industrial zones he always hangs around in.
Good Future The ideal scenerio where all of Robotniks madness no longer exists. There are no enemy robots, beautiful clean landscapes, the animals are prancing around happily and there is a perfect balance between technology and nature.
To make all future's good you would have to travel to the past of each zone and destroy the robot making machine. In the past you can either clear the round as normal or warp to the future to see how your efforts have effected the timeline. As the boss levels are always set in the future the outcomes of the previous two levels determines what it will look like. Make two good futures and the boss level will automatically become a good future. In order to get the good ending of the game you must make a good future in ALL the zones which is quite a task.
All the warping between different zones and locating each robot maker is allot of hassle. The easier way is to collect all of the seven Time Stones. These have the power to make all the futures good. The stones are collected in the Special Stage like all the other Sonic games.
Click below for a more indepth look at each of the games levels.
|Palm Tree Panic||Collision Chaos||Tidal Tempest||Quartz Quadrant|
|Wacky Workbench||Stardust Speedway||Metallic Madness||Special Stage|
One area Sonic CD was better than other Sonic gamess at the time of it's release was more gameplay modes. When you played Sonic CD and then switched off, the next time you came to play you were greeted with a continue option on the title screen. Although this only worked for one game at a time you could get round this by going to the Battery RAM option of the title screen and creating another file a copying your present file into it. When you played a new game you would have a copy of the previous game.
The second option was Time Attack. This mode allowed you to rocket through all the levels you had completed in the standard game as fast as you could. By completing all the rounds and by doing so with good scores, you were rewarded with more parts of the game becoming accessible such as animations and the chance to time attack the special stages.
Continuing different games and doing the Battery RAM copy does not effect your Time Attack times.
The soundtrack to Sonic CD was also pretty good. The CD audio does tend to go really well the levels they were designed for. A execellent example is Palm Tree Panic. In the bad future Palm Tree Panic is a technological wasteland with brilliant high-energy techno music backing the action.
There are a few differences between the US, European and Japanese versions. The Jap version contains a slightly different soundtrack with a rap based soundtrack over the animated into. The US version was to have a new soundtrack created by a man called Spencer Nilsen from SEGA US. This delayed the lauch in the US for a few months, however, in the end the original score was left intact.
|Europe - October 1993||US - November 19 1993||Japan - September 23 1993|
Not really that much difference exists between the PC versions (apart from language probably). Here are the specs required to run the game.
Penitum 75, 8MB RAM, CD-ROM Drive, DirectX compatible sound card, DirectX compatible video card.
Not much needed, but back in 96 it was a bit. I played it on my old DX4 (even though the game requires a Penitum) back then and it was OK but the loading was terrible with 8MB RAM.
|Europe - October 3 1996||US - August 26 1996||Japan - August 9 1996|
It seems strange that the person who has developed just about every Sonic title so far, Yuji Naka, had absolutly nothing to do with this title. It also seems that Sonic Team thenselves were not involved. Instead, this installment was created and directed by Sonic's designer, Naoto Ohshima. With this being the case, Sonic CD has a noticable contrast to all other Sonic games in both style and gameplay sporting a uniquely anime flair and a surreal fantasy story with psychadelic environments. It's possible that this is what Sonic was truely supposed to look like instead of the Yuji Naka ideal which is in all other Sonic games.
Whatever, the issue, it seems that our blue, spikey hero himself could not save the Mega-CD from it's death. Perhaps if the machine was more thorughly thought out by Sega and lived longer there may have been another Sonic CD title created maybe by Sonic Team themselves this time. If you look at the later Sonic games on the MegaDrive i.e Sonic 3, Sonic and Knuckles and image something like this on the MegaCD with it's extra power it seems as though we may have missed some truely ultimate Sonic titles.
So, Sonic CD, like all other good games for the system is now relegated to cult favourite status. However, all is not lost. After failing to be the massive boost the Mega-CD needed it was later ported to PC. This version contained the FULL animated intro and the alternative soundtrack provided by Spencer Nilsen.
CHEATS AND SECRETS
For those of you who have to cheat here are all of the cheats for both the Mega-CD version and PC version of the game. Enjoy!
Mega-CD version At the title screen, press: Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, B.
PC version At the title screen, press: Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, SPACE.
Mega-CD version At the title screen, press: Down, Down, Down, Left, Right, A.
PC version At the title screen, press: Down, Down, Down, Left, Right, SPACE.
Mega-CD version At the title screen, press: Right, Right, Up, Up, Down, C, START.
PC version At the title screen, press: Right, Right, Up, Up, Down, SPACE.
PLAY WITH THE CLOUDS
Mega-CD version At the title screen, press: Up, Down, Down, Down, Down and Up.
Mega-CD version Input the Sound Test code. Adjust the numbers to match these settings: FM#40, PCM#12, DA#11. Press START. A picture of Tails will appear with the text "See You Next Game -- Judy Totoya". Begin a normal game. Controls are as follows:
A = Changes highlighted item.
B = Toggles between items and Sonic.
C = Places highlighted item.
For a much easier way just wait for a ganme demo to start (not the animated intro) and press start on the second controller.
EXTRA SPECIAL STAGE
Mega-CD version Input the Sound Test code. Adjust the numbers to match these settings: FM#07, PCM#07, DA#07. Press START.
PC version At the Sound Test menu, adjust the numbers to match these settings: PCM#07, DA#07.
SECRET ART PICTURES
Mega-CD version To access these hidden art screens, input the Sound Test code and adjust the numbers to match the indicated settings:
DJ Sonic: FM#42, PCM#03, DA#01
Sega Forever: FM#46, PCM#12, DA#25
Demonic Sonic: FM#42, PCM#04, DA#21
Yuakuru: FM#44, PCM#11, DA#09
PC version At the Sound Test menu, adjust the numbers to match the indicated settings:
See You Next Game: PCM#12, DA#11
DJ Sonic: PCM#03, DA#01
Demonic Sonic: PCM#04, DA#21
Sega Forever: PCM#12, DA#25
Yuakuru: PCM#11, DA#09
There is more to the Time Attack option than just beating your times. If you complete all the time attacks in less than 037'27"57 gives you access to the DA Garden on the title screen. This allows you to fiddle with the rotation and orbit speed of the Little Planet. Score a total time attack of less than 030'21"05 and you can have a go at time attacking the special stages. For the real experts, a total time attack of less than 025'46"12 gives you acces to a VISUAL MODE on the title screen allowing you to see the opening intro and both the good and the bad endings
Click below to see the list of credits for Sonic CDSonic CD Credits
Here are some links to other Sonic CD related sites on the net. These sites include all of the other Sonic games mostly. Some of these site will include the demo version for the PC for you to download. The link at the bottom for the ISO is for the Sonic CD BETA game that was around in 1992. If you have a CD Writer you can download this, burn it and then play it in your MegaCD!
Review of Sonic CD @ Video Gamer Reviews
SonicHQ - The Ultimate Sonic Resource
(Offline) http://ssrg.emulationzone.org/ - Sonic Stuff Research Group
(Offline) http://ssrg.emulationzone.org/secret/ - Secrets of Sonic the Hedgehog
(Offline) http://ssrg.emulationzone.org/scdhack/ - Sonic CD Hacking Guide
New SSRG Link
(Offline) http://www.mooglecavern.com/segasonic/scdbeta/ - Download the BETA version ISO of the game.
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