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Sonic CD (Sega CD)

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Title Screen

Sonic the Hedgehog CD

Developers: Sega, H.I.C.
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Sega CD
Released in JP: September 23, 1993
Released in US: November 19, 1993
Released in EU: October 1993

AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
CopyrightIcon.png This game has hidden developer credits.
ObjectIcon.png This game has unused objects.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MovieIcon.png This game has unused cinematics.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
SoundtestIcon.png This game has a hidden sound test.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article

Sonic CD is just your average Sonic the Hedgehog game on a CD... that's what you're told, anyway.

Level Select


Press Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, B at the title screen. Note that you will be taken back to the title screen upon completion of the selected level or upon attempting time travel. If the level was ended by attempted time travel, entering the Level Select again and choosing another level will start the level as if you had travelled through time, keeping any rings and accumulated time from the last level.

The level select screen skips from level 1 to level 3. The missing level 2 is known as R2 because it was missing in the PC version which stored the levels in R# folders.

Sound Test/Debug Mode

At the title screen, press Down, Down, Down, Left, Right, A to go to the sound test. By entering the following codes, you can get the corresponding image, debug mode, and/or extra after pressing Start.

Image Code Description
FM NO.40
DA NO.11
Tails holding goggles next to a fourth-generation Lotus Seven, with the words "SEE YOU NEXT GAME" above it. This code also activates the debug mode: like the previous Sonic games, press B to change from Sonic to an object, A to cycle through objects, and C to place an object on the screen. It's worth noting that Judy Totoya, creator of Tails and designer of this game's Special Stages, is mentioned here. Also, the Tails unlock screen on the 2011 remake says "SEE YOU NEXT GAME", most likely as an Easter egg.

The "Little Planet" theme plays here.

FM NO.42
DA NO.21
An unusual Batman tribute. The final boss music plays in the background.
FM NO.42
DA NO.01
Sonic, Metal Sonic, and Eggman gettin' funky. This "official" art plays the Metallic Madness Present music.
FM NO.44
DA NO.09
A cute Sonic with grey eyes. The Palmtree Panic Good Future music plays here. The message says "ゆーあーくーる" (You are cool, by Sanchanzu).
FM NO.46
DA NO.25
A rather creepy wallpaper collage featuring multiple Sonics with a freakish humanoid face. The boss music plays. The Japanese text roughly translates into "Fun is infinite with Sega Enterprises. - Majin".

"Majin" is a childhood nickname of artist Masato Nishimura, as explained here.

Elementary, my dear Cactus.
This needs some investigation.
Discuss ideas and findings on the talk page.
Specifically: This is claimed to be part of a copy-protection routine.
FM NO.07
DA NO.07
The text "WELCOME TO SECRET SPECIAL STAGE" will appear, after which that stage will load (see below).

Unused Special Stage

SonicCD HiddenStaffCredits.png

As mentioned above, setting all three Sound Test selections to 07 will load this stage that features the enlarged head of Eggman as its background and has a rather difficult layout. It's possible that an extra Time Stone was to be collected here at one point, though it's probably just a little bonus thrown in for curious players, much like the hidden pictures.

Completing this Special Stage will display a secret credits screen.

Unused Sprites

Sprite Name Description
SoniccdSCD electrocuted.png
Sonic being electrified An animation of Sonic being shocked by electricity. It may have been used in Wacky Workbench, which contains various level elements with the potential to electrify the player. It could also have been used in Collision Chaos as part of the Metal Sonic sequence. This is used in the 2011 rerelease.
SoniccdSCD fallshrink.png
Sonic falling An animation of Sonic falling into the distance. Purpose unknown. A similar animation is present in Sonic 1, also unused.
Sonic waving his arms An animation of Sonic waving his arms with his palms outstretched. This could have been used in Tidal Tempest when walking through the water, to simulate an attempt at moving more quickly.
SoniccdSCD looking over shoulder.png
Sonic looking backwards Sonic looking over his shoulder. Purpose unknown.
SonicCD Sneeze.gif
Sonic sneezing An unused animation of Sonic sneezing. Purpose unknown. Curiously, he also appears sneezing in the game's intro.
Sonic upside-down An animation of Sonic upside-down with his eyes wide and his mouth open. This suggests that this animation could have either been used for an alternate death animation, or if Sonic was caught by an environmental hazard that dangles him in the air somehow.
Sonic grabbing Sonic grabbing onto something and attempting to create traction. This implies that he may have been trying to stop something from pulling him into some sort of hazard. Part of a scrapped badnik, maybe? A modified version of this sprite appears in Sonic Crackers.
SoniccdSCD WW Swinging.png
Sonic on horizontal pole Similar to the other horizontal pole sprites from Wacky Workbench, this one has Sonic swinging his feet forward. Perhaps he originally had to pull away from electrical hazards positioned underneath?
SoniccdSCD sp Sinking.png
Sonic shrugging An animation of Sonic shrugging his shoulders. These sprites are found in SPSS__.BIN, which contains Sonic's Special Stage-specific sprites.

His spikes rise during each frame, and in the final frames of the animation, the very bottoms of his feet disappear, as though he is sinking into something, or possibly falling down a hole. Perhaps an unused quicksand hazard, a trapdoor, or even being pulled out of the Special Stage altogether, as a "failure to obtain the Time Stone" animation judging by his annoyed frown in the last few frames.

SoniccdSCD hanging.png
Sonic hanging An animation of Sonic being pulled up by...something. Purpose unknown. These sprites are also found in SPSS__.BIN. Early screenshots show hot-air balloons, not UFOs, in the Special Stages; perhaps they caught Sonic and floated him around?
SoniccdSCD sp Falling.png
Sonic falling back An animation of Sonic being knocked back. Purpose unknown. These sprites are also found in SPSS__.BIN.
SoniccdSCD sp Leaping.png
Sonic leaping An animation of Sonic leaping. Purpose unknown. These sprites are also found in SPSS__.BIN.
Sonic with chest forward An animation of Sonic with his arms outstretched and his chest pushed out in front of him. While its purpose is unknown, some believe that this is somehow related to transforming into Super Sonic.
Sonic skidding An animation of Sonic skidding whilst looking the other way. It is unused in the main game, but does appear during the "You Are Greatest Player!" sequence seen once beating the Time Attack scores. It's fairly similar to the skidding animation in Sonic Crackers, and could have been used while skidding at higher speeds in contrast to the normal skidding animation, which was modified from Sonic 1.
Unused Amy sprites Sprites of Amy with hearts in her eyes. While they go unused here, they are used in the 2011 remake.
SonicCD UnusedMon1.png
SonicCD UnusedMon2.png
SonicCD UnusedMon3.png
Unused Monitors Sprites of some monitors that aren't used in the final game, but are used in some of the prototypes. You can access the monitors in all major releases of the game from the Debug Mode. You can also access these in Palmtree Panic Act 3 by beating the boss, using debug to place yourself far below the coordinates of the boss spawner and then exiting debug.
(Source: Sonic Retro)

Unused Objects

Sprite Name Description
Oil Slick Would have appeared in Special Stages. These can be found normally in some prototypes, but are unused in the final (and are still non-functional).
Broken Switch It has been speculated that they may have been used in the Bad Future of a Zone, to prevent access to certain routes. Regular switch sprite present for comparison.
Platform Moves up and down while moving to the left. It comes in two variations: a pair and a group of four, all of which do the same thing (though in the latter, the top row are flipped vertically). The object belongs to the Present version of Quartz Quadrant Zone.
Hand Appears to be an unused Special Stage item. Purpose unknown, but may have stopped the timer.
(Source: Sonic Retro)

Unused Sounds

Time Warp

This sound effect is odd in that it's a CD audio track on the disc. When the game disc is inserted to a CD player, you can hear this sound on track #2. The 712 prototype used this sound for time travel.

Other Sounds

Sound ID Sound Description
FM NO.21
Not sure what it is. Sounds like it would come from a harmonica? FM NO.22 is a duplicate of this sound.
FM NO.26
Sounds like a Spin Dash or a Super Peel-out being jammed.
FM NO.48
A different version of the sound heard when pressing a button.
FM NO.49
The warning bell usually heard underwater in other Sonic games, only high-pitched. The 2011 rerelease uses this sound, albeit at a lower pitch.
FM NO.50
Sounds like something being shot.
FM NO.54
An electrical sound of sorts.
FM NO.55
A loud, harsh buzzing sound.
FM NO.60
Not sure, but it sounds like something rising or powering up.
FM NO.61
This sounds like FM NO.55, but it has a resonating sound underneath it.
FM NO.63
An echo-y spike-like sound.
FM NO.66
A very high-pitched "ding" sound.
FM NO.67
A higher-pitched version of Sonic losing his rings.
FM NO.68
This one sounds like FM NO.63, only without an echo.
FM NO.69
This one sounds similar to the door sound at the end of the Metal Sonic race.
FM NO.75
This sounds like variant of FM NO.68. Perhaps it could have played alongside the sound.
FM NO.76
Another variant of FM NO.68.
FM NO.77
Yet another variant of FM NO.68.
FM NO.78
You guessed it. Another FM NO.68 variant.
Sonic saying "Alright!".
Sonic saying "Yeah!". This was used as the extra life sound in the 712 prototype.

"Comin' Soon" Screen

SonicCD ComingSoon.png

This screen, which features a scrolling banner saying "COMIN' SOON" while playing the invincibility theme, was used in the 510 prototype when the first three zones had been cleared. It manages to survive all the way into the final game and can be viewed by selecting "COMMING" in the Level Select.

"CX" Room

Game Center

Near the end of Quartz Quadrant Zone 1 Past, there is a small, inaccessible room with glitched collision and the letters "CX" in the background made from shadowed yet used tiles. Its purpose is a complete mystery, though it could be possible it's a developer easter egg.

Regional Differences

Almost the entire soundtrack was redone for the American version by Spencer Nilsen because Sega of America thought the soundtrack of the Japanese and European versions sounded too identical to the electronic dance soundtracks being produced at the time, so the American soundtrack has more of a rock feel. One example of this is the theme song: instead of "You Can Do Anything", the American version has "Sonic Boom". The only songs that weren't altered were the Past themes, since those were played through the PCM chip and not Redbook.

(Source: Sonic Retro)

In addition, there are a few other differences in the American version compared to the original Japanese and European games:

  • Some of the music placement was switched around. For example, the "Little Planet" theme now plays on the Time Attack screen (rendering the title theme copy unused), and the music played during the Metal Sonic race is now the normal mix of Stardust Speedway's current Future and not always the "B" Mix.
  • The player can restart the stage at any time by pressing a button while it is paused, eliminating some potential time warp issues. This is at the cost of one life.
  • In order to remove Engrish, "YOU ARE GREATEST PLAYER" was changed to "YOU ARE THE GREATEST PLAYER"
  • There are no longer sound effects at the beginning of the ending. Due to the extended "Special Edition for North America" credits, the ending theme plays over the entire video and mutes other audio (including the post-credits).
  • The bad ending's "TRY AGAIN AND SAVE LITTLE PLANET FOREVER" text was shortened to simply "TRY AGAIN".
  • The copyright text at the title screen was altered slightly.

All of these changes are applied to all regional versions of the PC version, though the 2011 re-release reverts the Metal Sonic racing theme so it always plays Stardust Speedway "B" Mix and mostly restores the original ending videos' exclusive audio when played with the Japanese soundtrack.