Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
|Sonic the Hedgehog|
This game has a prototype 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) 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 Subpages
- 2 Sonic's Action Gauge Restored
- 3 Unused/Early Areas
- 3.1 test_enemy - Shadow
- 3.2 Early/Test Soleanna Forest
- 3.3 Early New City
- 3.4 Wave Ocean Hard Mode - Blaze
- 3.5 Tropical Jungle Hard Mode - Rouge
- 3.6 Wave Ocean Hard Mode - Tails
- 3.7 Dusty Desert "B" Section - Sonic
- 3.8 Dusty Desert "A" Section - Silver
- 3.9 Crisis City "D" Section - Sonic
- 3.10 Crisis City E3 Layout - Silver
- 3.11 Kingdom Valley TGS 2006 Layout - Silver
- 3.12 Kingdom Valley TGS 2006 Layout - Shadow
- 3.13 Kingdom Valley TGS 2006 Layout - Sonic
- 4 Unused Assets
- 5 Unused Shield
- 6 Knuckles Has Cleared Act 1
- 7 Unused Music
- 8 Oddities
| Unused Animations|
E3 and TGS leftovers, alongside some straight-up unused ones.
| Unused Text|
??? You'll need to buy it to see what it does!
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.
test_enemy - Shadow
A test level, test_enemy, 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 in the city. 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
...And for Tails.
Dusty Desert "B" Section - Sonic
There exists 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.
The area was also shown off in a development screenshot:
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 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.
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 Sonic Heroes' render of Sonic. 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 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.
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 gem 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), but that feature was removed from the final most likely because of its rushed development.
This said, the item can still be accessed through hacking, but isn't fully functional. What it does is make Sonic perform a transformation animation that makes him change spikes to that of Super Sonic 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.
Unused Xbox 360 Controller Icons
These Xbox 360 controller icons go unused in the retail version of SONIC THE HEDGEHOG. 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 Xbox LiVE Arcade Demo and the retail game.
Unused Early Dashboard Icon
This image would be shown on the Xbox 360 Dashboard for the game's icon. It's unused and is 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. But, the pause menu in its entirety is never used.
Early Total Ring Icon
In the game's manual for both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 release, there are many screenshots showcasing pre-release versions of the game. On page 7 under the Town Stage section, there is a screenshot showcasing Soleanna Castle Town. Highlighted as 'money,' is an early icon for the total rings counter, shown above. It features a ring (most likely taken from the in-game HUD) with the letter R in the New Rodin font.
Early 1-UP Icon
In the footage for the E3 version of the game, this early 1-UP icon can be spotted in this item box. It depicts two yellow arrows above the same 'UP' text used on the retail 1-UP icon.
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 power-up boxes are ever 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 a few glitches, allowing for these quotes to be heard, but the animations do not activate and the player just stays in control of Knuckles, at least in Flame Core. Additionally, rank quotes appear to be improperly assigned, since the D rank quote played despite earning a B rank. These are believed to be emulator quirks as the same issues occur when beating the level normally as Sonic.
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 called 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.
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 Decreased Speed
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 down in run-time in the retail game for an unknown reason.
- The game's manual states under Tails' and E-123 Omega's character bios that you can use their flight abilities until the gauge runs out. However, in the retail game, no such gauge is visible on screen.
- Sonic's gem abilities are described as being able to upgrade up to level 3, draining energy when used, and that Chaos Drives power up the bar like for characters which have a working one, but this function was never finalized. Despite this, the bar still shows up when you play as Sonic anyway.
- The hub worlds and action stages are referred to as having a level indicator. This is meant to show the current level of Sonic's custom actions and Shadow's Chaos Boost, but since Sonic cannot level up his gem abilities in the retail release that behavior goes unused. It's still used for Shadow.
- 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. Note that none of the other stages' tracks exhibit this oddity.
- 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 in this game were originally supposed to be Chaos Emeralds, as evident with how the Rainbow Gem is 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 1280 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's 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.