KNUCKLES: CHAOTIX

SEGA 1995

Knuckles: Chaotix

Title Screen

Title Screen Music

Knuckles: Chaotix was released in 1995 for the 32X - a recently released upgrade for Mega Drive/Genesis.

Sega 32X

The time after Sonic 3 was one of great internal turmoil for Sega. Whilst the major forces, including Sonic Team were focusing on the Saturn the 32X was having all of its titles rushed for completion.

Chaotix is believed to be a result of an unfinished prototype game called Sonic Crackers (also known as Sonic Stadium) which was planned as Sonic 4 for the Mega Drive. That game was pulled from its development. Sonic and Tails were replaced with Knuckles along with three new characters and moved onto the 32X.

Sonic Crackers Sonic Crackers

Sonic Crackers

Chaotix was the only game that used a Sonic game ethos and though the game displayed some nice graphical effects and may well be the most colourful game on the system. Unfortunately the game suffers two-fold. The concepts presented in the game itself got generally negative feedback and very few people took the plunge and bought a 32X.

Knuckles Chaotix - click for larger version Knuckles Chaotix - click for larger version

After invading the theme park Dr Robotnik face the ride of his life at the hands of knuckles and his new abilities. All new elastic ring power lets 2 players link upto pull off special team moves and generate head spinning-speed. 25 enormous zones, 3D bonus rounds and a carnival of hidden secrets await you!

STORY

An earthquake causes a shake up on the seabed of the southern ocean. Believed to be caused by the Master Emerald, this all mighty stone drags up with it a new island that reacts to this power morphing the rock into beautiful lush landscapes.

Newtrogic High Zone

Knuckles, being guardian of the Chaos Emeralds is intrigued by this. He believes that there could be ruins of the lost, ancient echidna civilisation arisen with this new land and there is something that is exerting an amplifying effect on the Master Emerald.

Anything regarding Chaos Emeralds is monitored by Dr Robotnik and he already has made the trek to this island to learn more.

Whilst investigating, Robotnik discovers and ancient ring. Engraved on this is evidence that this is indeed part of the lost civilisation. Another ring, with special properties was once part of seven ring used by the civilisation in conjunction with the Master Emerald.

When the rings are activated, the space between them is filled by the emerald's power forming a Chaos Ring. Clever as he is, Robotnik figures that these could be used to tap the power of the Master Emerald. Getting to work on his latest project, he erects a fortress on the island. Bizarrely the doc goes with a Theme park based installation - the Newtrogic High Zone.

A the time of Knuckles arrival Robotnik already has made major progress. With the power from crystallising the ring energy he's made artificial versions called Dark Rings that allow him to freeze opponents in time. Vector, Mighty and Charmy have fallen but Knuckles is able to release Espio with the power of the ring. Knowing the power of the ring can release his pals he proceeds into Robotnik's fun house.

GAMEPLAY

The gameplay simply put is annoying. Whilst at the core Chaotix has classic Sonic style gameplay. Had this been left intact things may have been different yet the bungee system generally serves only to irritate. In addition the physics are not as well implemented and the game suffers from annoying slowdown even in emulators.

99% of the time you control two characters that are tethered via a bungee cord or ring energy. The primary character (usually Knuckles) is controlled in a normal sense. The other character can be picked up, thrown or made to stand still. Utilise the power of elasticity to progress.

alt :

Knuckles: Chaotix Gameplay Video (Flash Required)Knuckles: Chaotix Gameplay Video

Knuckles Chaotix Knuckles Chaotix
Knuckles Chaotix Knuckles Chaotix

The game can be played as a single player or 2-Player mode where each person controls a character.

The D-Pad moves your character about the screen.

Button A calls your partner from anywhere on the screen to your side at the expense of 10 rings.

Button B is hold. Your partner will not move an inch while the button is held down. You can run or otherwise move in any direction until the band reaches max (pink) at which point releasing the button will make them whip off.

Whilst standing next to your partner, a press of button B will pick them up and they will be poised for an attack. They can be thrown like a ball. This allows for you to have; an attack with minimal risk to you, a whip upwards for progress or just a quick burst of speed.

Button C is Jump. Pressed twice performs the special ability for your character.

All the usual Sonic items and rules apply with some minor exceptions. There is a monitor that temporally changes your partner with a random character, a monitor that shrinks characters and an item that makes them huge.

Blue Ring

There is also (admittedly a good idea) a blue ring item that consolidates all your rings into one. Should you get hit - for a few seconds a single ring will be dropped allowing you (or your partner) to recollect your entire stash before it explodes across the screen.

Somewhat shockingly your ring count can actually go into negative values when you call your partner when you have less than 10 rings.

Should you take a hit with no rings, before you are sentenced to death your partner will disappear (making the game temporally enjoyable). Take a hit without your partner and you die.

You have the choice of seven characters; The last 2 characters are pretty generic whilst each other character has their own skills.

Knuckles the Echidna - He retains the abilities of gliding and climbing walls. He can also make use of the Spin Dash.

Espio the Chameleon - is heavy and a better arsenal of moves. He can also run across walls and ceilings. When at top speed he ducks down and is invincible. He makes tornado for the Spin Dash (standing) allowing for a good vertical range and safe attacks.

Charmy Bee - the smallest member. This does not give him any sort of advantage in speed and he is unable to jump. He can fly indefinitely and can have a quick burst of speed in any direction which is also his only method of attack.

Mighty the Armadillo - is fastest member. He is the best partner to have in the game. He can grip onto, jump upwards or kick off of walls. He can also perform the Spin Dash.

Vector the Crocodile - is the big and heavy member and ergo the slowest. He can climb walls and perform a short mid-air Spin Dash. When performing a normal Spin Dash he has a larger radius but when not attacking slightly more open to attack due to his size.

Heavy or Bomb - Heavy easiest and therefore slowest characters. Bomb explodes when in trouble. Totally useless.

Options

From the main menu:
Scenario Quest - starts the main game
Training - takes you to a safe area devoid of enemies (Isolated Island)

Training Training

Training

Options:

Controller Configuration - Customise the controls to your liking.

Sound Test - Play the tunes from the game. The tempo of the music can be increased using Button X on a 6-Button controller.

Colour Test - Allows the viewing of colours from both the 32X hardware and base Mega Drive/Genesis Hardware. Cheats can also be input here.

Combi Catcher

For your use are 3 save files and a no save option. Your progress is automatically saved as you venture through the game. The game really starts after you play through a practise stage where you firstly rescue Espio after catching Robotnik and Metal Sonic in action.

You then are taken to the world entrance where you select your next partner from a Grabber machine. You move the claw and press down. There is a technique to this which after a few attempts will make sure you won't end up with Heavy or Bomb.

Bonus Stage

The bonus stage can be entered by finding ad leaping inside giant rings hidden about each act (like Sonic 3) but only if you have 20 or more rings in your possession.

You are put into a freefall where you have chance to grab rings and item boxes. Use the D-Pad to direct your character toward the items. Your rings constantly countdown whilst you fall and you are ejected when they reach zero. Beware that you will return to the game with no rings.

Ring - 1 Ring
500PTS - 500 points
Up - Speeds up your descent
Down - Slows down your descent
Stage Select - will slow down the stage selection when you return to the world entrance
Combi Catcher - will slow down the partner selection you return to the world entrance
Spring - bounce you up a level but break apart after 3 uses
Chopper/Blades - will make you loose rings
Exit - Return you to the game

Bonus Stage Bonus Stage

Special Stages

Probably the only impressive part of Chaotix is the special stage. Back in the day it was pretty cool. You run down a polygon rendered hexagonal tunnel.

The object is to collect a specified number of blue spheres before the end of the stage. You are constantly running forward and unable to slow down (similar to the special stages on Sonic CD). You can get a very small amount of backtrack by running into a bumper. Whilst moving through your ring count depletes. You need to ensure a continuous supply of rings.

You can rotate the structure around you meaning that your will always be in the same place but the road ahead will be placed infront of you.

Obstacles are littered all over the place in the form of spiked balls and saws which make you loose rings and therefore precious seconds. Perhaps the biggest danger will be the large gaps in the floors/walls. Falling out ends the stage.

The stage ends when your rings reach zero, you fall out of the course or you finish collecting a Chaos Ring.

SPECIAL STAGES

Chaotix Special Stage 1 Chaotix Special Stage 1
Chaotix Special Stage 2 Chaotix Special Stage 2
Chaotix Special Stage 3 Chaotix Special Stage 3
Chaotix Special Stage 4 Chaotix Special Stage 4
Chaotix Special Stage 5 Chaotix Special Stage 5
Chaotix Special Stage 6 Chaotix Special Stage 6
Chaotix Special Stage Wire Chaotix Special Stage Wire

Perfect!

There is no 'super' reward for collecting all of the Chaos Rings though entering a special stage when all six rings are in your possession then you get to play a wire frame version and if successful you will receive 50,000 point bonus.

The game has a good ending and a bad ending depending on whether you have collected all of the Chaos Rings. The differences between them equate to the picture being displayed and the music. Sonic and Tails make a cameo in the good ending.

LEVELS & SCREENSHOTS

Newtrogic High Zone has 5 zones or attractions in which to play through each with 5 acts. They are of reasonable size but are very similar. Each act will sport a different colour scheme to suggest the time of day. Normal has daytime colours, evening has an orange overlay, night has a dark blue overlay and morning has light purple. Each time slot last for two acts before moving to the next.

Techno Tower Amazing Arena Marina Madness Speed Slider Botanic Base

The end of the 5th act will be a face off with Robotnik. Clear the attraction and it is removed from the selection process.

There is the usual bonus points for Time and Rings. Over 5 minutes does not get you any points. A Secret Bonus worth 10,000 points is given when finding a hidden item such as an extra life or bonus stage rings.

Practice Stage (Isolated Island) - This serves as a practice stage (presumable for you to master the controls) played through when the game starts. It is a simple level with few areas that branch out and there are no enemies or a boss to worry about. Robotnik and Metal Sonic is immediately encountered and a captured Espio in a Combi Confiner. Knuckles and Espio are joined for the rest of the stage.

BOTANIC BASE

Botanic Base Botanic Base
Botanic Base Botanic Base
Botanic Base Botanic Base

Botanic Base is essentially a giant greenhouse filled with greenery and fountains.

The boss is fought with your partner stuck at the top of the screen. You dangle in a spin position Robotnik flies from left and right and occasionally generates an electric field that he uses for rotation.

MARINA MADNESS

Marina Madness Marina Madness
Marina Madness Marina Madness
Marina Madness Marina Madness

Marina Madness is a pleasant blue sky sets the backdrop for boats that rise and fall inside the docks. Thankfully there is no areas to be played in water as that would be immensely irritating.

Robotnik has a multi-use blue polygon shield. He is fully protected when encased so attacks must be when it separates. Beware the shards will either split into 2 and attack or split into many pieces and spin to create a shield around him.

AMAZING ARENA

Amazing Arena Amazing Arena
Amazing Arena Amazing Arena
Amazing Arena Amazing Arena

Amazing Arena is a fun house. Each Act has 2 distinct phases. One phase is where the area is inactive and the other where it is fully powered done so by finding a light switch to which you will be directed to. You can not clear the act until doing so. You simply have to replay it. This is easily the most annoying level of the entire game.

Audio rooms will have a Robotnik hologram that when beaten will reward bonus items.

A room with a giant holographic screen in the centre is the boss fight. Anything that is displayed becomes real. The attack comes from Robotnik's giant arms moving left and right above. He is protected from a shield of rotating spheres.

SPEED SLIDER

Speed Slider Speed Slider
Speed Slider Speed Slider
Speed Slider Speed Slider

Speed Slider is an enormous roller coaster probably not designed for the greatest ride.

Robotnik sits at the centre of a giant rotating carousel. Four spike bottomed platforms rotate in the air whilst the vulnerable ring circles in the direction of the flow.

TECHNO TOWER

Techno Tower Techno Tower
Techno Tower Techno Tower
Techno Tower Techno Tower

Techno Tower is a route through a multi-coloured tower located out in the desert. Level 5 will have transport in the form of a drill machine to burrow through solid walls.

Robotnik attacks using a giant armed robot and shoots lasers that can ricochet off mirrors that shift about.

After clearing the all five areas (25 acts!) the final boss fights are fought in the world entrance.

Metal Sonic

The first altercation will involve Metal Sonic. He takes control of the Level Selector and each area/screen is replaced with a number between 1-4 and an X. A selection will trigger an attack corresponding to that number.

Metal Sonic Attack Type 1 Metal Sonic Attack Type 2 Metal Sonic Attack Type 3 Metal Sonic Attack Type 4

1- The side walls are layered with spikes which a couple of moving bumpers on the floor will try and push you onto.
2- A pair of spiked hands pop out and cover the floor.
3- A spread of missiles shower from above.
4- Twin buzzaws rip across the floor.
X- One of the trap panels explodes.

Metal Sonic Boss Metal Sonic Boss Metal Sonic Boss

Upon destruction of the 4 panels Metal Sonic releases himself and transforms into a new form - a flaming red mechanical monster of considerable size. He has a three phase attack that is easy to beat. He needs 24 hits in total -8 for each section.

He first tries too grope you halted by breaking his arm off. He retreats to the background and tries to smash you with the other. Destroy this arm and he returns to the foreground where a giant laser shot from his belly is your next danger.

CHEATS AND TIPS

Stage Select and Debug Mode

Enter the colour test menu and change the values to 06:0B:11 and 04:00:04 press start and return to the title screen. A stage select item appears allowing you to choose stage, act, time of day, character and partner and single or 2-player mode.

Amy Rose Cameo

Enter the colour test menu and change the values to 00:00:00:06:0B:11:00:08:17. Press start, select Options and then goto Sound Test. Amy will be bopping about in the lower-righthand corner. "Cool sweet and catchy!"

LINKS

For more in-depth information about this game check out some of the links below.

The Best Chaotix Site

A website dedicated to the game with lots of less-known information.

http://www.knuckleschaotix.info/games.html

Chaotix at Sonic World

http://www.sonicworld.net/site/games/32x/chaotix/

EMULATION

The game is fully playable in both Kega Fusion and Gens. You can download these from the emulators page.

MISC INFO

Sonic in Chaotix Sonic in Chaotix Sonic in Chaotix Sonic in Chaotix
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