Also known as: Chaotix (JP)
This game has unused playable characters.
This game has a prototype article
This game has a prerelease article
Once the only 32X title people could name off the top of their heads, Knuckles' Chaotix is a very quaint game in the Sonic series.
Considered the calm before the storm right before Sonic X-treme's development, Chaotix is an "anything goes" game consisting of bizarrely-constructed levels, claw machines, occasional 3D, a giant dose of the Memphis aesthetic, and a plot involving Knuckles being literally shackled to various people with magic rings while trying to stop Eggman/Robotnik from trying to induce disaster with his Chaos Rings.
Curiously for a Sonic-type platformer, Sonic is almost completely absent. Even more unusual is the game's development history, with a massive amount of digital archaeology to comb through (and not just unused graphics) and several prototypes for this site to sink its teeth into. And that's only just the beginning.
It's Sonic on the 32X without Sonic.
| Unused Sprites|
This game seems to have more unused sprites than used ones.
Configuring the Color Test to look as it is on the left activates a stage select in the main menu. Choosing a stage and configuration also enables a free movement debug mode, activated whenever the game is paused. Use the D-Pad to move and combinations of A, B, and C to move faster. There are three numerical values shown: the X coordinate of the crosshair (which is always at the center of the main character sprite; all sprites are drawn relative to their centers in Chaotix), Y coordinate of the crosshair, and a value that indicates the Zone, the Act, and what time of day it is.
For the five "attractions", the level numbers should be between 1 and 5; 0 is the same as 1, while 6 will crash. For the Special Stage, 0-5 are the six normal stages and 6 is the first wireframe stage. World Entrance Level 0 is the normal world lobby, 1 is the penultimate boss, 2 is the final boss, and all others crash the game.
The stage select also features a character select; "Player" is the player-controlled character, while "Combi" is their partner. Knuckles and Mighty are the default Player and Combi selections, respectively. The player can choose to control any character, including Bomb and Heavy (who normally can only be controlled by a second player or with the "Swap" monitor), or have the playable character and partner be the same character. The character select also shows the internal order that characters were added in, which differs from the final order. (Italics means a character is not selectable from the character select shown upon starting a game.)
|Stage Select Order||In-Game Order|
Mighty and the unused character are listed in the first two slots before Knuckles, a remnant from when the game originally featured Sonic and Tails. (Mighty replaced Sonic, while Tails was removed.) Meanwhile, Espio is the last character rather than the third. Charmy and Vector's spots remain identical.
The second character on the player select menu is a deleted character named "**********", who is listed second after Mighty. Informally known as "Wechnia" (a portmanteu of "white" and "echidna"), this character is the remnants of Tails, who was present in Sonic Crackers but scrapped sometime before the 1207 Chaotix prototype. In earlier prototypes, Tails could fly if the player pressed the jump button while holding up. Tails' palette remained in use in the 1207 prototype, while his behavior was intact until the 0119 prototype.
In the final game, Tails uses Knuckles' graphics and Mighty's palette and moveset in attractions, and Mighty's graphics in the Bonus and Special Stages. The game will usually crash the instant Tails touches the floor, but it's possible to properly control him through hacking or loading the game in certain emulators such as Gens. However, the game will still be prone to crashing through certain interactions, such as balancing on a ledge. Although Tails uses Knuckles' graphics, almost none of them are displayed correctly - in fact, playing as Tails is the only way to see certain unused Knuckles graphics within the game itself, such as his throwing animation (used when spin dashing) and his dizzy animation (used when clinging to a wall).
Sound Test Stuff
In the prototypes, the Sega screen plays a sound at code 6B. While this was removed from the final game, a different version of the sound remains in slot 6B.
|Version of the sound from Prototype 0202 (February 2, 1995), the only known build to play a sound on the Sega screen, and the last known to contain this version of the sound.|
|Final version of the sound, present in all prototypes after 0202 and the final builds.|
Configuring the Color Test to look as it is on the left will replace the volume meters with a dancing Amy Rose saying "Cool Sweet & Catchy!"
No 32X Error Message
When trying to play the game without a 32X attached, it tries to show an error message saying it needs a 32X. However, on real hardware the 32X security code tries to access the 32X directly without checking if it's there, which makes it hang up and the screen stays blank. The message can be seen in emulators that don't implement this hangup.
It always says "SUPER32X" (sic) regardless of region.
Sonic in Special Stages
|Sonic (Sonic CD)|
|Mighty (Knuckles' Chaotix)|
Mighty's jumping sprites in the Special Stages are edited versions of Sonic's Special Stage jumping sprites from Sonic the Hedgehog CD, with some of the pixels on the edges shaved off since Mighty's ball is smaller than the others'. Interestingly, there are some leftovers: Sonic's quills are still present in the second frame, and his eyes can be seen in the third.
|Sonic (Sonic CD)|
|Knuckles (Knuckles' Chaotix)|
More fascinating is that Knuckles' jumping sprites in the Special Stages are almost exactly the same as Sonic's Sonic CD Special Stage jumping sprites, with the only differences being the color palette and the removal of his ears. It even keeps errors from Sonic CD: the middle frame for Sonic has two erroneous pixels which are marked as transparent instead of grey/white, something carried through to Chaotix.
Additionally, Mighty and Knuckles' Special Stage jumping sprites are displayed incorrectly. In Sonic CD, the Special Stages have a 256x224 screen resolution and are stretched horizontally to fit 4:3, so Sonic's sprites are thinner than they actually appear in the game. Chaotix's Special Stages are already running in 4:3, but Mighty and Knuckles' jumping sprites were not altered to accommodate for this, so they're shaped like an oval rather than a ball.
"Unused" Sound Test Button Functions
Although the US and European manuals state that the six-button controllers don't do anything, they actually do! Pressing X lets you change the output between stereo and mono, while holding Y and pressing Left or Right lets you change the tempo.
These functions are mentioned in the Japanese manual, so it's unknown why the international manuals state otherwise.