Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
|Sonic the Hedgehog|
This game has unused animations.
This game has a prototype article
This game has a prerelease article
|This article is a work in progress.|
...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.
Widely regarded as the nadir of the series, Sonic the Hedgehog (often referred to as "Sonic '06" to distinguish it from the 16-bit original and its derivatives/ports) was heavily and extensively rushed. Accordingly, many people who played the game agree it contains lots of bugs, poorly-implemented ideas, and plain bad design which led to the franchise almost being killed off. There's also a lot of unfinished content and leftovers from development.
Also, loading. SO MUCH LOADING.
Most of this still needs to be documented:
- 1 Sub-Pages
- 2 Sonic's Action Gauge Restored
- 3 Super Hard
- 4 Unused/Early Areas
- 4.1 test_enemy - Shadow
- 4.2 Early/Test Soleanna Forest
- 4.3 Early New City
- 4.4 Wave Ocean Hard Mode - Blaze
- 4.5 Tropical Jungle Hard Mode - Rouge
- 4.6 Wave Ocean Hard Mode - Tails
- 4.7 Dusty Desert "B" Section - Sonic
- 4.8 Dusty Desert "A" Section - Silver
- 4.9 Crisis City "D" Section - Sonic
- 4.10 Crisis City E3 Layout - Silver
- 4.11 Kingdom Valley TGS 2006 Layout - Silver
- 4.12 Kingdom Valley TGS 2006 Layout - Shadow
- 4.13 Kingdom Valley TGS 2006 Layout - Sonic
- 5 Debugging Features
- 6 Unused Assets
- 7 Unused Abilities
- 7.1 Common
- 7.2 Sonic
- 7.3 Mach Speed Sonic
- 7.4 Elise
- 7.5 Shadow
- 7.6 Blaze
- 7.7 Boss Sonic
- 7.8 Boss Silver
- 8 Unused Shield
- 9 Knuckles Has Cleared Act 1
- 10 Unused Music
- 11 Internal Project Name
- 12 Oddities
| Unused Animations|
E3 and TGS leftovers, plus stuff for scrapped mechanics.
| Unused Objects|
Information on unused objects and their behavior.
| Unused Text|
??? You'll need to buy it to see what it does!
| Unused Hints|
They never shut up!
Sonic's Action Gauge Restored
It is widely known that Sonic's upgrades, the Gems, do not work correctly, never draining the gauge when used. However, this issue was caused by a simple naming mistake - the Gems attempt to decrease the wrong variable! In release, the string "c_gauge_(gem)" is used, but the correct one is "c_(gem)". Once all occurrences of this incorrect string in player.arc are fixed, the Action Gauge for all Gems (including the Rainbow Gem, oddly enough) will drain as intended.
Various different difficulties were planned for most stages. The final game only uses the Normal and Hard options (with Very Hard being used in DLC), there is a Super Hard difficulty menu option that goes completely unused.
test_enemy - Shadow
A test level that can be loaded by modifying internal files, which can be downloaded for Xbox 360 in the video's description. It's intended specifically for Shadow and is in a directory containing other test levels. The actual stage mesh doesn't exist, so the one in the video was recreated based on the collision map, and this is included in the download. The area itself contains vehicles, a grind spline, and a few item boxes, in addition to enemies.
Early/Test Soleanna Forest
Using a glitch, Sonic can access the blocked portion of Soleanna Castle Town and enter Soleanna Forest before the Wave Ocean level. Doing so reveals several oddities:
- Double sets of doors are found in several locations, including the entrance to the Forest, that can only be seen by clipping through walls.
- The Forest itself spawns a multitude of signs, including the "no" symbol, checkered strips, stop signs, and speed limit designations. The former two have layering issues. Interestingly, the checkered strips are used in a sidequest (although positioned incorrectly), and both the stop sign and speed limit signs are subject to physics and can be destroyed with homing attacks. Only the stop sign is unused, but both it and the speed limit signs are a remnant of the cars planned for New City (see below).
- No other objects are loaded, leading to speculation that this was simply a test layout.
Early New City
Using a glitch, Shadow can access New City before the Dusty Desert level is unlocked, when it is normally blocked off. Doing so reveals an early version of New City with several oddities:
- Vehicles that drive around. However, their AI is unfinished, and they often drive into buildings.
- A town mission that isn't available anywhere else in the game.
- Crisis City and Flame Core warp gates (in the normal game, these two levels don't have warp gates), however they cannot be entered.
- A pigeon NPC called Hatsun, normally only seen after Silver's ninth town mission, that the player can speak to. The brooding little creature has but one thing to say: "Coo..."
Wave Ocean Hard Mode - Blaze
An unused layout file for a hard mode of Blaze's Wave Ocean exists in the data. It is unknown why this was left unused, since most stages in the retail game have hard modes.
Tropical Jungle Hard Mode - Rouge
Much like Blaze's Wave Ocean, Rouge's Tropical Jungle also has an unused hard mode.
Wave Ocean Hard Mode - Tails
We'll throw in one for Tails, too. Why not?
Dusty Desert "B" Section - Sonic
An unused layout file for the B section of Sonic's Dusty Desert, though it doesn't quite align with the stage model correctly. In the final game, only Shadow goes through both sections. Sonic's stage is rather short and would have benefited from another section.
Dusty Desert "A" Section - Silver
Mirroring Sonic's unused layout for this level, Silver has an unused layout file for the A section. Silver does actually go through part of the A section during End of the World, but that uses a different layout.
Crisis City "D" Section - Sonic
The game contains a layout file with the name csc_D_sonic, and it is possible to load it into the second section of Crisis City, but the objects spawn far off from the stage's starting point. The actual terrain and collision files that went with this have long since been removed or edited into something that no longer matches up with this. The presence of a planned but scrapped section to Crisis City would explain the XMA file oddities it exhibits.
Crisis City E3 Layout - Silver
The layout used at E3 2006 for Silver's Crisis City is still present on the disc. It is one of surprisingly few E3 leftovers that can be found in the final game.
Kingdom Valley TGS 2006 Layout - Silver
All three object layouts from the 2006 Tokyo Game Show demo are still on the retail disc. The version of the game shown at that event is much closer to what was in the final game than the E3 version.
Kingdom Valley TGS 2006 Layout - Shadow
This also showcases some alternate tutorial voice clips that eventually went unused in favor of slightly different ones.
Kingdom Valley TGS 2006 Layout - Sonic
Appears to be similar, if not identical, to the layout in the XBLA demo.
All characters support an unused debug state found in common.lub which allows you to fly around with no-clip.
- State Module: state_module_debug - enables debug states.
- Posture Control: posture_control_debug - enables debug movement.
- Input System: input_system_debug - enables debug controls.
- Left Analog Stick/Directional Pad - Move.
- Left Bumper (L2) - Unlock all upgrades.
- Right Bumper (R2) - Increase Ring count by 99.
- Y (Triangle) - Increase height.
- A (Cross) - Decrease height.
cache.arc contains a script called render_debug.lub that is loaded when the game starts up - this script contains only one function called ViewTexture. This appears to be early code for how the game renders the mini-map for the towns (as the code is functionally identical). By default, the debug version will copy the backbuffer and render it as separate windows. You can create more than one, which leads to interesting behaviour when they clip the edges of the screen.
Sonic usually only has one texture on his mouth in-game, where he grins. However, there exist two more unused expressions. The first has him smiling more enthusiastically and showing some teeth, similarly to his render in Sonic Heroes. All of the proper files exist for it, though the background color on the normal map is wrong - the used file has a light blue instead of this file's magenta. The game still accepts the incorrect one unmodified, though.
A similar texture was used on Sonic's face in the TGS 2005 teaser for this game, so this may be a leftover from that.
The second expression is for frowning. It's very similar to Shadow's mouth texture, but he uses the one in his own archive.
Unused Jump Panel
An unused model of the Jump Panel identical to the one used in Sonic Unleashed onwards. The final game uses the same Jump Panel model from Sonic Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog, but this model's presence seems to suggest the Unleashed design was supposed to be introduced here.
Two loading screens from the E3 demo can be found in the folder containing results screen assets. They were intended to be overlaid on top of the empty striped box in the upper-left corner. Note that both of them state "Head for a Goal Ring!"
Several graphics related to some kind of multiplayer mode still exist in the game's data.
Main Menu Text
Unused main menu text that seems to indicate the game once had a different type of save functionality.
Unused Icons/Rainbow Gem
Some of these HUD icons are not used in the game. The first 7 gems are normally obtainable, however the rainbow-colored one is not. A reference to it can still be found in the final game's text file for the shop, stating "???: You'll need to buy it to see what it does!"
Originally, there was going to be a Gem that could be purchased at the store which would allow you to play as Super Sonic in more than just the final stage (similar to how it was in Sonic 2, Sonic 3, and Sonic & Knuckles whenever all seven Chaos Emeralds were collected).
This said, the item can still be accessed through hacking, but isn't fully functional. All it does is make Sonic perform a transformation animation and float in place for a few seconds, with no effect otherwise.
Unused Warp Gate Images
These images are displayed on the warp gates that appear on the Soleanna map, among which are levels that do not have warp gates, such as Crisis City and Flame Core, barring the normally inaccessible, non-functioning ones in the early New City (shown above).
Unused Xbox 360 Controller Icons
These Xbox 360 controller icons go unused in the retail version. The LT and RT trigger icons are shaped more like a traditional trigger and the LB and RB bumpers are more rounded. The Start and Back buttons also go completely unused in both the XBLA demo and the retail game.
Unused Early Game Icon
This image appears to be an early version of the game's icon. It's located in system.arc as sonicnexticon.png.
Unused Pause Menu
These assets were presumably supposed to be used in place of the retail pause menu, they go unused in sprite.arc. Oddly enough, the blue arrow in this image is actually used in-game as the default select icon.
Unused Town Grind Paths
These grind paths for Soleanna are left over in the game's placement files, referred to as grind_twnA and grind_twnB respectively. Both of which are never used in the retail game, possibly due to being both buggy and out of place. Castle Town's (twnA) paths can break into a mess for some rails, which is unfortunate - as well as New City's (twnB) paths clipping through collision. The main problem here is that grind paths don't care for invisible walls or collision, so the player would easily be able to clip past the guards in Castle Town as soon as they start the game.
Unused Menu Graphics
These images were basically stapled to the bottom of title.xncp (XNCP being a UI layout and animation format) - the first image shows a sprite sheet for a menu with a copyright date of 2005, speculated to be used in Tokyo Game Show 2005. The second image shows a graphic of Sonic's head, which would appear at the bottom right of the screen as a decal - recoloured to blue by the XNCP. These images have been altered to make them easier to see - view the image history for the original graphics.
Proper formatting, images. Most abilities have been documented at this point, but there might be a few states for the Supers. Doubt it, though.
Most of the characters were meant to be able to grab ledges, as can be done in Sonic Adventure 2 and Shadow the Hedgehog. However, the coding for this move isn't finished and thus doesn't work properly.
Gravity Jump Dash
Sonic's gravity-based Jump Dash arc from the E3, Xbox Live Arcade and Tokyo Game Show '06 demos is still present in the final build's data. However, due to a bug that also affects Knuckles and Blaze's used arcs, Sonic can no longer attack physics-based objects, with such objects simply canceling the attack instead.
Using the Rainbow Gem, Sonic would have been able to transform into Super Sonic in regular gameplay and not just for the final boss. Presumably, Super Sonic would've played like he did in Sonic 2, Sonic 3, and Sonic & Knuckles. Super Sonic's remnants can be acquired by editing the Rainbow Gem into a save file, or pressing Left Bumper (L2) with Debug Mode enabled and saving. With the upgrade, Sonic will perform a transformation animation when the right trigger is pressed. This is all that the state is coded to do, indicating this did not get too far into development. However there are unused sounds and particles that are in the game files that would've been used for the transformation.
Mach Speed Sonic
This ability works identically to the normal jump besides playing the dramatic jump animations. These animations are the same ones as Sonic's rainbow ring animations, including the unused ground transition and landing animations. The looping animation seems to be incorrectly assigned, however, creating a jarring transition.
Like his regular counterpart, Mach Speed Sonic was intended to be able to use the homing attack. The move itself would have been faster and the jumpdash would have covered a longer range. Due to the high-speed nature of these sections, the enemy placement, and the player's inability to aim or move after the dash, this was probably deemed impractical and scrapped extremely early on. The only remnants are parameters in the lua file, an unused reference in the pkg to the TGS homing animation, and an animation cue to play it, the latter of which lacks any sounds or particles.
While this move is used by Sonic alone via the White Gem, the state module for Sonic and Elise together loads the state despite not being able to use the gems. The state itself is exactly the same as Sonic's, including the need to release the Y button to perform the attack, so this is most likely a leftover from when the move was an A-button based upgrade.
A leftover from the Xbox Live Arcade and Tokyo Game Show 2006 demos, this move is Shadow's counterpart to the Homing Smash. Unlike the aforementioned XBLA demo, the move is fully functional and effectively behaves identically to Sonic's, knocking enemies into each other and stunning shielded Egg Rounders/Commanders. The move differs from the Homing Smash in a few ways. While Sonic's charging and attack states are unified, Shadow's version of the move is split across two states: one for charging the move, and the other for performing it, though both moves will revert to the standard homing state if they aren't fully charged. The speed for charging Shadow's is also faster, being only 0.2 seconds compared to Sonic's 0.5. Interestingly, restoring this move makes the Chaos Snap less buggy.
Blaze swipes at an enemy with her claws. The coding for this doesn't appear to exist, but the animation data is present and the effect module even loads particle effects for the same slot as Sonic and Shadow's spinkick attacks, implying that the devs intended to but never got around to implementing it. It probably would have behaved similarly to other characters' melee attacks.
Sonic was supposed to be able to perform chain jumps in his pinch phase. The move doesn't function as intended, making him get locked in place, though he's still vulnerable to attacks and can be knocked out of the state. This could be due to missing chainjump objects, but the cause is unknown.
This attack damages everything in its radius, including the player. Unlike Silver's main version of the move, it's performed from the ground. It's identical to the one that is used in the Xbox Live Arcade demo, and the particles are still missing.
Hover Variant 2
Silver will hover over a fixed distance. The used one will stop when it's within a certain range of the player. This may be left over from the Xbox Live Arcade demo, where Silver would hover onto objects before lifting them up.
Another leftover from the Xbox Live Arcade demo, this move allows Silver to lift up objects that he's standing on. Like the Psycho Shock, it hasn't changed at all.
Silver stands in place, waiting for Sonic to approach. If Sonic or Shadow enters the move's radius before Silver releases the attack, he'll be stunned and Silver will throw them. Unlike the Grab All attack, which is used, Silver can't grab objects or damage players; players will be flung away in their spring state instead.
In the "POWER-UP ITEMS" section of the game's manual, the Shield is listed as an available powerup that can be obtained from Item Boxes, yet no Shield powerup boxes are seen anywhere in-game. Despite this, the Shield exists in the game's code and is fully functional, allowing the player to take a hit without losing their Rings, though it doesn't play the activation sound like it should and it doesn't cause the player to enter their "hit" animation, which would be somewhat disorienting. The Shield can be placed in a level by changing an Item Box's parameter to 8.
Note that the Speed Shoes (referred to in the manual as "High Speed") are in fact used, in a 2-player layout and one of Shadow's town missions. They're fully functional, playing the invincibility theme and causing the player's top speed to increase temporarily.
Knuckles Has Cleared Act 1
Despite not being able to normally finish a level, Knuckles has a proper level-completion animation and a set of voiceovers for responding to his rank. Knuckles can finish both of the levels in which he is playable (Flame Core and Aquatic Base) with the use of glitches, allowing for these quotes to be heard.
The quotes are as follows:
|Rank||Japanese Audio||English Audio||Transcription|
That felt good!
Well, that wasn't TOO bad...
Hmph! That took longer than I thought.
Shoot! I've still got a ways to go...
There are two unused audio tracks on the disc: silver_theme.xma and shadow_theme.xma. Silver's track seems to have MIDI backing put in place and lacks vocals, while Shadow's theme is the Magna-Fi version, untouched, from Shadow the Hedgehog. The used versions of these tracks are theme_silver.xma and theme_shadow.xma.
A demo version of "Dreams of an Absolution", Silver's theme. The vocals are replaced with a synth lead.
Both this and the Shadow track were removed from the PS3 version. That version contains a couple unused tracks of its own, however:
An early version of the Egg-Cerberus and Egg-Genesis boss theme. Certain instruments were made louder for the final game, and it appears to have MIDI instruments in place of certain real ones.
Same as previous, but with the Egg-Wyvern boss theme instead.
Internal Project Name
The game's internal project name is "SonicNext", as evidenced by filenames and the leaked script. This is likely a reference to how it was the first new Sonic game for seventh-generation consoles, and makes sense given that the game was referred to as "Sonic Next-Gen" early in development. However, the original executable name for the final build of the Xbox 360 version is marathon.exe.
One of these unreachable springs exists in Dusty Desert too. Document it and look for other odd out-of-bounds objects.
Unreachable Spring in Kingdom Valley - Section A
In Kingdom Valley - Section A, there is an unreachable spring at co-ordinates (X: -26241.4, Y: 0, Z: 5035.69) - this spring has a LaunchSpeed value of 0, OutOfControl value of 0, and it targets nothing. It's present in the SET files for Kingdom Valley - Section A in retail and the Xbox Live Arcade Demo, as well as End of the World.
Unreachable 1-Up in End of the World - Section F
In End of the World - Section F (Amy's White Acropolis section), there is an unreachable 1-Up Capsule at the location that Sonic's normal White Acropolis B starts from.
This mysterious texture file can be found in cache.arc, sporting nothing but saturated noise. The word "@komatu" is written in the center of the image which could refer to Takuma Komatsu, one of the game's programmers. The use of this file has been cleared up to be used on enemies when they go into cloak mode. The texture is called in render_main.lub and it is referenced as "OpticalCamouflage".
PRESS START Sound Inconsistency
When hitting Start on the game's title screen, the sound 00_pressstart.aif is played. However, playing this sound back through a third-party application reveals that it's slightly faster and is slowed and pitched down in the retail game for an unknown reason - the sample rate remains the same.
Even the loading screens, probably the most infamous elements of this game, aren't rendered properly. The text is supposed to fade out, but HUD elements and the 3D models end up rendering over it in the retail game. The intended effect can be seen the Xbox Live Arcade Demo.
On the root of the disc for both the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions exist BOOST.TXT, LUA5.TXT, and ZLIB123.TXT. These files contain the license information for Boost Software, a collection of C++ libraries, as well as the Lua scripting langauge and the Zlib compression format. Traditionally, the contents of these text files would be placed in the credits, but they're missing, even though the logos (with brief license info) for Havok, Kynogon, and Dolby Digital are all present there. Lua and Zlib are used in almost every file in the game, so it's not like these are left over from an earlier build of the game or anything. The exact text can be found in the Unused Text subpage.
Curiously, two of these licenses (the Boost and Lua ones) are present in the XBLA demo, as part of a promotional image that appears when beating the stage. The Zlib one is missing entirely, however.
- The internal naming scheme of the music for stages usually follows this format: stg_(stage id)_(letter).xma. The letter corresponds with which section of the stage in which the music plays. However, Crisis City's tracks don't follow this as closely: the first two tracks are stg_csc_a.xma and stg_csc_b.xma respectively, but the mach speed section's track is called stg_csc_e.xma and the track for the section before it is called stg_csc_f.xma, which may imply both that Crisis City had many more areas in the past and also that the mach speed section was intended to be before that platforming section. The former is unlikely as the game is relatively sloppy internally, but the latter is supported by the fact that the "All" track on the OST uses this order.
- The track "Town Mission" uses the name stg_twn_shop.xma, which doesn't fit the syntax of the other Town Mission tracks. These are named twn_mission_comical.xma, twn_mission_slow.xma, and twn_mission_fast.xma respectively.
- Many of Sonic's internal files are referred to as sonic_new, likely because Sonic's model was changed from the one seen at Tokyo Game Show (TGS) 2005.
- The Gems were originally supposed to be Chaos Emeralds, as evident in the Rainbow Gem being referred to as Emerald_S in the game's code.
- All of the textures used in the background of the stages' previews are much wider than they need to be: 2048 pixels. By contrast, they are only 512 pixels tall, since those screens leave space on the top and bottom. The extra space to the right of the 1,280 used pixels is simply black and does not appear to serve a purpose.
- HUD and voice files exist for the PS3 version in the Xbox 360 version. The HUD file specifically contains both the Xbox and PS3 button prompts within the same file.
- One of the two parameters for input_method within the players' LUB files is input_method_mario64. The parameter is used for most Amigo characters, while Sonic and Shadow use input_method_sonic_v1. The reason for this naming scheme is unknown.
- Editing Sonic's .lub file to use Blaze or Knuckles' homing attack module causes his air dash to follow a downward curve (similarly to the XBLA demo's, but with less weight), and this also allows the player to air dash into the ground to gain full speed. This is likely an early version of the air dash in the demo, which was probably planned to be present in the final game. Shadow and the White Gem lack this behavior.
- Many characters have some of Silver's code in their configuration files, namely the line psi_power, which determines how much power Silver should have for his Psychokinesis.
- Silver has a rail trick animation, but due to a typo in his PKG file, he never uses it, resulting in a rail trick with him only making the sound and a small jerk of motion before he returns to his standard grinding animation.