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Proto:Sonic Jam (Sega Saturn)
This page details one or more prototype versions of Sonic Jam (Sega Saturn).
A Japanese trial inside a European promotion disc. The Sonic Jam demo from the Sega Flash Vol.5 disc features a trial version of the Sonic World minigame and a few zones from Sonic 1 and 2.
It's dated April 21, 1997 - two months before Jam's first release.
The animated opening starts with the Sega and TrueMotion logos. In the final version, only the Sonic Team logo shows. The game is not localized yet, as almost all the text is in Japanese, including the disclaimer screens.
This screen is displayed when the demo ends. It translates to "SONIC JAM Release in June! Sonic Jam Price: 4800 yen".
It appears when any of the following happen:
- Sonic World's timer runs out.
- The player finishes one of the classic games.
- No input is detected for 30 seconds. (Anywhere aside from Sonic World)
Once this screen fades out, the game returns to the Sega Flash Vol.5 title screen.
Whether the player is in Sonic World or playing one of the classic games, they're completely unable to pause the game in this version.
Only the game selection menu is present in this version - there are no further menus to select difficulty, read manuals etc. like in the final game. Only Sonic 1 and 2 can be chosen - the other two games, while present in the menu, cannot be selected and are marked with a message (shown above) that translates to "Under construction". Selecting a game will IMMEDIATELY kick you into it's first zone, meaning you can't use cheats or, if playing Sonic 2, play as Sonic or Tails alone.
The versions of Sonic 1 and 2 in this version are fairly limited:
- In Sonic 1, only Green Hill Zone Act 1 & 2 and Marble Zone Act 1 are playable.
- In Sonic 2, only Emerald Hill Zone Act 1 & 2 and Chemical Plant Zone Act 1 are playable.
- Both games are in easy mode.
- Spindash is always enabled for Sonic 1.
- Music doesn't loop, and certain tracks such as the speedup theme are missing.
- In the final game, the classic games' music is stored inside .adp files. In this demo, the tracks are stored in .aif.
After finishing either game's available stages, the game goes to the SONIC JAM Release screen.
After selecting SONIC WORLD on the title screen, this shows up. It translates to "Sonic World Trial Version - This trial version was made specially and differs from the final product.". A time attack mode of sorts is still in the final game by holding A and Start on the title screen when selecting Sonic World.
The player won't immediately be given control when they enter Sonic World. They must wait for a countdown timer to appear and reach "GO!" first. Despite this, they can still run around on the spot beforehand. Sonic World gives the player 1 minute to run around and explore the world. When their time is up, the game goes to the SONIC JAM Release screen.
This version of Sonic World is far smaller than the final game's, lacking many of its effects and features:
- The player cannot enter any buildings.
- The water splash sound is different.
- There are no flickies flying around the map.
- Tails doesn't make any flying sounds.
- There are no secret cards scattered around the map.
- The mission button is missing entirely, meaning no missions can be played in this version.
- There are no controls to zoom the camera, though it can still be rotated left and right.
- The song playing here has louder percussion and saxophone instruments.
Despite Sonic not being able to enter buildings etc, the animations for him doing so are still in the game.
Aside from the world's limited state its layout is mostly the same as the final game's, but there are a few changes around the map. One of the few and easily noticeable changes is the presence of a spring that was changed into a platform for the final game, likely due to issues getting to the raised area with the spring's reduced movement while bouncing.
In the final game, the spring was moved onto a floating platform accessible via the raised area - only needed to gather rings floating above it. A nearby circle of Rings in this area was reduced from 8 rings to 7.
A group of rings in front of the character building were changed from a small group in front of the building to two small circles around the nearby statues.
Along the path near the character building, an extra pillar was added and the existing one was moved slightly to the left. A set of two rings on top of a nearby platform were removed.
None of the floating platforms above the map move in this version, so the floating platform chains are much smaller in order for the player to be able to jump across them. These sections are also missing the pillars placed at the start of each chain.
The floating platforms in the chain near the waterfall form a different path to the chain in the final game. Some of the pillars below the platforms in this area were changed, as well as the addition of a line of 3 rings over the river in the final game.