Sonic Unleashed (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
Also known as: Sonic World Adventure (JP)
This game has a prototype article
This game has a prerelease article
Sonic Unleashed is the first 3D installment in the "boost" gameplay sub-series of Sonic titles. While it received mixed to negative reviews at the time of its release (to the point of being delisted from digital storefronts), it has since seen acclaim for being a return to form for the series after the infamous Sonic 2006, with many fans clamoring for a modern day rerelease.
Also notable for taking it over 12 years to finally become playable at consistent and high framerates via backwards-compatibility on newer consoles, now that's what you call future-proof.
- 1 Sub-Pages
- 2 Debugging Features
- 3 Unused Assets
- 4 Unused Areas
- 5 Oddities
The Debugging features in the game are not accessed by any normal means, to find them and have them function requires files in the game being unpacked and being edited. Most of these are accessed from some of the #XX.ar.xx files that correspond to a file that is a stage, preference or character.
There are a lot more of these features lying around the files of the game, they need to be found and documented. I will have a few up soon...
In any of the scenes in the game that also have a #XX.ar.xx file name structure, there may be a file found inside called Stage.stg.xml, this file has an option where you can have the collision rendered in the map. The option for this is the string: <IsCollisionRender>false</IsCollisionRender>. Changing it to true will enable the feature.
As an example the archive Town_Mykonos.ar.00 is the scene for the Town Apotos. This archive has a linked file called #Town_Mykonos which contains a Stage.stg.xml file.
As of enabling it, the game will use a texture and have it be shown on the collision in the map, this would have been used to check in-game for any problems with the collision.
If you have epilepsy, it is not recommended that you use this as the textures do flash when moving around or rotating the camera.
E3 Title Leftovers
TitleE3.ar.00 is a leftover from the E3 demo for Sonic Unleashed. Most of the files are duplicates which are used elsewhere, but it contains two images not seen anywhere else.
Likely used as the background. It depicts Windmill Isle, Rooftop Run, and Dragon Road. These were likely the stages playable at E3. The background was also used for the title screen in the downloadable Sonic Unleashed demo on the PS3 and 360 digital stores.
Used for selecting menu options. There's a strangely large number of settings on here, as well as a "Continue" option. Not something you'd expect at an E3 demo... some of this was probably unused there, too. The only other thing of note here is the font used; Rodin. It's seen use in other Sonic games but is completely absent in Unleashed (well, this version, anyway).
In the 'Loading' folder on the root of the disc, there are two control tutorial images which seem to be for an event like E3. Oddly, the Werehog's controls omit the labels for the camera and the 'Unleash' move, and Sonic's controls only label moves in his base move set.
Early Main Menu
MainMenu.ar.00 contains files pertaining to an early main menu of sorts. It's possible this was also used at E3, but there is no direct evidence of this.
Control tutorials similar to those in the 'Loading' folder, likely based on them. These are against a brighter background and use images of a real 360 controller, but are otherwise pretty much the same, missing controls and all.
Japanese versions of the above. The differences aren't just in terms of language, either; this version goes back to the vector art of the controller, only this time it's not strangely fading out the right controller handle, this applies to some on the PlayStation 3 version but it isn't as visible.
Earlier versions of the same controller tutorial - there's a lot more to unpack here;
- The button assignments are mostly the same, but the Werehog's controls finally label the right stick for camera control! It sacrifices the triggers for running, though.
- The Werehog render is very crude, containing a model which appears to be unfinished and better matches some of the pre-release images for this game (earlier versions used a model closer to that of the Wii version).
- Sonic's render is from Sonic and the Secret Rings.
- The 'NOW LOADING' text at the bottom is using the style which the game normally reserves for larger text, being closer together and further italicised. The above versions use text that more closely matches how smaller text looks in the final game.
- The Sonic World Adventure logo in the top-right corner is an earlier one that most closely matches the style of the Sonic Adventure 2 Chao Garden.
Finally, the actual UI elements themselves - ui_mm_parts1.dds strangely has (early) PlayStation button icons, even though this is the 360 version...
In addition to this, system.csb and now_loading.dds are also present - the former being a copy of the same file from Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and the latter being a 1280x720 black rectangle.
Early Spagonia Hub Preview
|TownSample.dds (early)||mat_load_town_EU.dds (used)|
Also present in the 'Loading' folder is an early version of the hub world preview for Spagonia. It is mostly the same, but the icons were changed completely between versions, and the early version's screenshot of the university is closer to the top than in the final due to an icon of Pickle in the way. The relevant icon was moved downward in the final image.
Early Werehog UI
In the archive named ActionCommon.ar.00 there is a image called ui_ps1_e_gauge1.dds with what looks to be some early Werehog UI seen in a few preview images of the game. Right now there doesn't seem to be any way to implement it and have it work as intended but that could change in the future...
A folder called 'reddog' is present on the root of the disc, which contains leftover icons for the debugger used during development. These icons would find their way into Sonic Generations, implying the same debugger was used in that game as well.
Present only in the PlayStation 3 version of the game is a folder named Install containing images that would've been used during an install process. This folder also exists in the Windows port of Sonic Generations.
There is also UI left-over from the install process, stored in Install.ar.00.
These sections of the stages were abandoned by changes in the level design, but can still be found through breaking the game. Strangely, they were later used in modified forms in the Adventure Pack DLC.
Jungle Joyride Act 1 Night
A closed door is present in the room at the end of Jungle Joyride Act 1 Night. Clipping through using a glitch reveals an empty chamber. If the room is accessed from the ghost mission, the door will be open, and the room will contain objects. There is a tree which can be knocked down and used as a bridge, floating platforms, and switches that raise the water level. These switches are mostly functional (the kill plane and platforms rise), but the actual water graphics remain in place. This area was eventually used, with some changes, for the DLC's Act 3.
Arid Sands Act 1 Night
After the Goal Ring in Arid Sands' main Night stage, there is a sealed door. By jumping onto it from a well-positioned water barrel and using the uppercut, followed by the midair Y + Y + A combo, you can fall into an unused canyon area. It's empty, but you can open the sealed door from the other side. Bring water barrels to the bottom of the chasm, stack them, and do an uppercut-grab to go on. There is a huge chunk of level which is empty. Go on through it. There are, among other things, two pillars you can knock down, which don't appear elsewhere. Eventually, you will reach a pit, which is impassable without objects to bridge the gap. Beyond it is a fairly large stretch of level, leading up to the Gaia Temple. This area was eventually used, with some changes, for the DLC's Act 3.
Skyscraper Scamper Night Early Area
The early area seen in the video is before the start of the mission "Sonic Presents". There's even a Goal Ring at the end of the early area.
Play It Cool Early Ring (Empire City Night)
Only accessible on Xbox 360. Strangely, the PlayStation 3 version of the game has this area sealed off.
The file names for many of the game's regions differ from the names used in the game itself - some of them are actually named after real-world locations;
- Adabat - SouthEastAsia, Sea
- Apotos - Mykonos
- Chun-nan - China
- Eggmanland - EggManBase
- Empire City - NYCity
- Holoska - Snow
- Mazuri - Africa
- Shamar - Petra
- Spagonia - EuropeanCity, RedRoofs