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Sonic R (Windows)/2004 Release Differences

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This is a sub-page of Sonic R (Windows).

So very stubbly.
This page is rather stubbly and could use some expansion.
Are you a bad enough dude to rescue this article?

In 2004, the PC version of Sonic R was rereleased. Unlike most of the prior rereleases, which were just straight reprints, this was modified and recompiled to be a bit more friendly to modern systems. Of course, this means some things had to get cut, but it also means some things had to be thrown in.



  • New files "/bin/randtab.bin" and "/bin/randtab2.bin" were added. They are "Randomization tables" used for unknown reasons.
  • The program cannot be run directly from the disc. Unlike the old version where the game was fully set up ready to go on the disk and was simply copied on installation, the 2004 version embeds the program files in an InstallShield installer.
  • The 2004 version requires DirectX 9+, whereas the old version only needed DirectX 6+. DirectDraw support was dropped; only Direct3D is supported. As such, all 8-bit bitmaps were also removed.
  • It does not crash when Windows is switched to Security Desktop (locked screen/UAC). It no longer crashes on high-speed CPUs, either. Also, the controls work on modern systems without needing a DirectX windower.
  • All the resources for the old DirectX test menu have been removed.
  • EXE parameters have been added, presumably for debugging purposes.


  • The old releases of Sonic R had CD Redbook Audio. (It's worth mentioning that it was not present on some reprints.) This means you could stick it in a CD player and it would play.
  • In contrast, the 2004 version was stored in /MUSIC on the CD as ".SON" files. The .SON files are really just signed 16-bit PCM Little-Endian Stereo 44100Hz raw data. They can be opened with Audacity's "Raw Import" feature.
  • Strangely, they take up most of the disk space (~500MB) due to being uncompressed, so there's really not a net benefit beyond simplifying the burning process (which, considering how well the previous releases went, was probably well-needed).
  • The music does not pause when the game pauses. Music only plays once per level and does not loop.
  • The music can now be set to multiple volume levels, rather than a simple On/Off toggle.

Sound Effects

  • Amy.WAV has been changed, with no major audible differences but a slightly increased length.
  • Tails.WAV has been changed to crop off decay and be less choppy-sounding. It's slightly more bearable to listen to.
  • Addition of sounds Waterfall.WAV, beach.WAV, and flame.WAV. These are played when the player is close to certain objects: "Waterfall" next to the Resort Island waterfall, "beach" to the side (on the path) of the first mini-island closest to the village, and "flame" next to the flames at the start of Regal Ruin.


  • All level files unchanged. Strangely, the timestamp on /island/parallax/_I.RAW has been updated, but the contents are absolutely identical.
  • Demos changed drastically.


  • /bin/credits/credit00.RAW gained a set of numbers. This is likely for the new text "2004 edition" in the credits screen. Otherwise, graphics files are completely unchanged.
  • No visible graphics options but F-keys still work. Draw distance cap seems to have been removed for F1 and F2, meaning you can set the draw distance to absurdly high levels without needing a memory or hex editor.
  • F4-F9 and F11-F12 seem to do nothing. F10 pauses the game until next keypress (dings when key is struck) unless you hit Enter, which acts like pressing Alt + Space.
  • Graphics options still exist via hacking, but the resolution is locked at 640×480 and cannot be changed.

Debug Text

  • Debug text from before has been replaced/supplemented with weirder debug text.
   [060D1D]: "It's Sonic the Hedgehog!"
  • As part of the usual debugging text, full filenames for every source file were included. Here's a recreated directory tree:
                               |-- pc
                               |    |-- pcmain.cpp
                               |    |-- input.cpp
                               |    |-- music.cpp
                               |    |-- sound.cpp
                               |    |-- asm.cpp
                               |    |-- threedee.cpp
                               |    |-- filesys.cpp
                               |-- cdstuff.cpp
                               |-- sonicr.cpp
                               |-- option.cpp
  • Contains main menu code to access network screen, but crashes if entered. There is no known network patch for the 2004 edition.

EXE Parameters

Elementary, my dear Cactus.
This needs some investigation.
Discuss ideas and findings on the talk page.
Parameter Effect
unlockgame Unlocks Radiant Emerald (the only unlockable course) and every character. Note that this does not give you the Chaos Emeralds, so Super Sonic is not playable.
ignorecd Bypasses the CD check, allowing the game to be played without the CD inserted. As the music is stored on the CD, however, no music will play.
windowed Runs the game in a window, albeit at the top-left of the screen with no borders.
path Theoretically this would let you choose where the game searches for its files, but in reality it simply takes the next argument, adds a trailing slash to it, and does nothing else with it.
allowdemorecord Records a demo if some conditions are met. The game already records demos automatically though.
allowmodeswap Allows the game to swap between windowed and full screen modes by some trigger (key combination?).