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Sonic the Hedgehog CD (Sega CD)

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Title Screen

Sonic the Hedgehog CD

Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Sega CD
Released in JP: September 23, 1993
Released in US: November 19, 1993
Released in EU: October 18, 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.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
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
PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article
BugsIcon.png This game has a bugs page

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


Read about prototype versions of this game that have been released or dumped.
Prototype Info
Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info
Read about notable bugs and errors in this game.

Palmtree Panic Zone

Unused Color Palettes

SonicCD R11A SaladPlain Palette.png Salad Plain's palette data from the v0.02 prototype still exists in R11A__.MMD at offset 0x000754, alongside its palette cycling data at offset 0x0001F8.

SonicCD R11A S1Title Palette.png Sonic 1's title screen palette data from is leftover in R11A__.MMD at offset 0x0005D4.

SonicCD R11A S1LevSel Palette.png Sonic 1's level select screen palette data from is leftover in R11A__.MMD at offset 0x000654.

Unused Objects

Object 04

This object moves downwards quickly for a bit and then disappears. As it moves down, it overwrites the level blocks with a singular block. There's this particular piece of unused graphics located at 0x03695A in R11A__.MMD:

SonicCD R11A UnusedSplashes.png

It seems to fit the sprite mappings for this object perfectly:

SonicCD R11A UnusedSplashes Mapped.png

According to the leftover symbol data found in the Sonic Gems Collection version, this object is called "taki", which translates to "waterfall". With some modifications to the code, it would've looked something like this:

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 traveled through time, keeping any rings and accumulated time from the last level.

The level select screen skips from level 1 to level 3. Level 2 was also missing in the PC version, known as R2 because of the way the PC version stored the levels in R# folders.

Sonic CD Staff's Time Attack Scores

SonicCD BestOfTime.png

Press Right, Right, Up, Up, Down, C at the title screen to see the best times that the team behind Sonic CD got in Time Attack mode for each stage and act. High-Speed Shoes music plays in the background. Possible developers and their common nicknames are as follows:

CXX: Masato Nishimura (CXXMAJIN)

TOT: Yasushi Yamaguchi (Judy Totoya)

3PE: Masahiro Sanpei (3pei)

ANN: Akira Nishino

KAZ: Kazuyuki Hoshino

DDS: Unknown (Hideaki Kurata?)

TAC: Takumi Miyake

TAK: Takao Miyoshi (Taka Oh)

AXE: Kenichi Ono (AX)

UNT: Unknown (Yuuichirou Yokoyama?)

TNO: Hiroaki Chino (TINON)

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. Drawn by Yasushi Yamaguchi (also known as Judy Totoya/Toyota, as seen here), character designer for Tails, and special stage designer for Sonic CD. The "Little Planet" theme plays here.

The Tails unlock screen on the 2011 remake and on the version used in Sonic Origins also says "SEE YOU NEXT GAME", likely as a reference to this screen. Here, the music uses Quartz Quadrant Good Future.

FM NO.42
DA NO.21
An unusual Batman tribute. Drawn by Takumi Miyake, landscape and visual designer for Sonic CD. The final boss music plays in the background.
"The Fastest DJ" MC SONIC - Can I kick it? - Come in Bad boys! - K.H
FM NO.42
DA NO.01
Sonic, Metal Sonic, and Eggman gettin' funky. Drawn by Kazuyuki Hoshino, character/special stage/visual designer, and illustrator for Sonic CD. Metallic Madness Present music plays in the background.
yūākūru - by santyanzu
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 by さんちゃんず" (You are cool, by Sanchanzu). Drawn by Masahiro Sanpei, landscape designer and animation visual director for Sonic CD.
tanosisa∞ - SEGA・ENTĀPURAIZESU - mazin ga
FM NO.46
DA NO.25
A rather creepy wallpaper collage featuring multiple Sonics with freakish humanoid faces. The boss music plays. The Japanese text reads "たのしさ∞ セガ・エンタープライゼス まぢん画" (Infinite fun. Sega Enterprises. –Mazin Picture). Drawn by Masato Nishimura, landscape designer for Sonic CD. Mazin/Majin is his childhood nickname, as explained here - although the spelling "Majin" is used in Dark Wizard to refer to Masato Nishimura, it has been officially confirmed that the easter egg itself is spelled Mazin. たのしさ∞ (Infinite fun) is a phrase that was written on Sega Sougou catalogues. At one point, a button command would have changed "たのしさ∞" (Infinite fun) to "楽しさあまって憎さ∞" (Infinite hatred proceeds from excessive fun), a phrase derived from "可愛さ余って憎さ百倍" (The greatest hate proceeds from the greatest love) but it was deleted from the game for unknown reasons.

Contrary to popular belief, and even SEGA's own description for the mobile release, this is not an anti-piracy screen in any version of the game. Despite its creepiness, Nishimura has stated it was not intended to frighten the player, with the creepiness being owed to the unsettling U.S. boss theme.

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 in the 510 prototype.
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 backward Sonic looking over his shoulder; it's possible the pre-Stardust Speedway cutscene was meant to use it as Eggman is behind Sonic.
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. Interestingly, the first sprite was used in the Game Gear and Master System versions of Sonic 2 for the title card of Underground Zone.
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. 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.
Sonic with chest forward An animation of Sonic with his arms outstretched and his chest pushed out in front of him. It looks somewhat similar to Metal Sonic's floating animation.
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, in the final frames of the animation, the very bottoms of his feet disappear, and he has an annoyed frown on his face. Concept art for the game that features these sprites confirms that he is indeed supposed to have a disappointed look on his face, so it could've been a "failure to obtain the Time Stone" animation.

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, later revealed to be the v0.51 prototype; 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.
Unused Amy sprites Sprites of Amy leaning forward, and a different "clinging" sprite with her shoes in a different position. There are also unused sprites of Amy closing her eyes, which appear to be misaligned due to the closed eyelids being a separate sprite.
(Source: Sonic Retro)

Unused Objects

Sprite Name Description
Oil Slick Oil slicks that would have appeared in Special Stages, just as they could be found normally in some prototypes, but are unused in the final game (and are still non-functional).
Broken Switch A broken switch that may have been used in the Bad Future of a Zone to prevent access to certain routes. Regular switch sprite present for comparison.
SonicCD QQPastPlatform.png
Moving Platforms Moves up and down while moving to the left. They come in two variations: a pair and a group of four, all of which do the same thing (though in the latter, the top row is flipped vertically). While technically used in the Futures of Quartz Quadrant, these variants for the Present and Past do not appear anywhere in their respective time zones.
SonicCD QQPastSmallConveyor.gifSonicCD QQPastMediumConveyor.gif

SonicCD QQPastLargeConveyor.gif

Conveyor Belt Platforms Conveyor belt platforms for the Past version of Quartz Quadrant. While these platforms exist in the Present and Futures, they do not appear anywhere in the Past at all, so these Past variants are never seen.
SonicCD QQPastSwingingConveyor.png
Swinging Conveyor Belt A swinging conveyor belt platform for the Past version of Quartz Quadrant. Like the platforms above, this object exists in the Present and Futures, but this unique Past variant doesn't appear anywhere.
Hand Appears to be an unused Special Stage item. Purpose unknown, but may have stopped the timer.
(Source: Sonic Retro)

Unused Monitors

There are some monitors that aren't used in the final game but are used in some of the prototypes. The player can access the monitors in all major releases of the game from the Debug Mode. The S and Clock monitors can also be used in Palmtree Panic Act 3, using debug to place Sonic in a secret room located underneath the boss arena.

Sprite Name Description
SonicCD UnusedMon1.png
Clock Monitor This monitor is supposed to stop time for a few seconds, but it doesn't work correctly. It can stop the animations of rings and monitors as well as rotating palettes, but that's it.
SonicCD UnusedMon2.png
Blue Ring Monitor This monitor has no effect. In the v0.02 and 510 prototypes, it had the same effect as the "S" monitor, while in the v0.51 and 712 prototypes it acted as an invisible shield that can stack with a regular shield. Its icon would be repurposed for the Combine Ring powerup in Knuckles' Chaotix and redrawn for the similar Hyper Ring powerup in Sonic Mania.
SonicCD UnusedMon3.png
"S" Monitor Breaking this monitor gives Sonic invincibility, power sneakers, and a shield all at the same time. The icon originates from but also goes unused in Sonic 1, However it ended up being used in the 2013 remakes of Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 functioning exactly like the S monitor in Sonic 3.

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 into a CD player, one can hear this sound on track #2. The v0.51 and 712 prototypes 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. Later used in Sonic Mania for the Hyper Ring powerup.
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!". The voice actor of Sonic, Masato Nishimura, recalls that it may have been intended to play after passing the goal post at the end of a stage.
Sonic saying "Yeah!". This was used as the extra life sound in the v0.51 and 712 prototypes, in the final game he says "Yes!" instead.
(Source: https://twitter.com/Mazin__/status/598087283175108609)

"Comin' Soon" Screen

SonicCD ComingSoon.png

This screen, which features a scrolling banner saying "COMIN' SOON" while playing the invincibility theme, was used as far back as the v0.02 prototype when only two levels in the prototype were accessible and used for subsequent prototypes after clearing certain Rounds. It managed 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. This is most likely the signature of Masato Nishimura (Majin), graphic designer of Quartz Quadrant, as "CXX" is a nickname Nishimura is occasionally credited under, such as the Sonic CD team's best times screen and the game Dark Wizard, where he is credited as "CXXMAJIN".

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:

Japan USA
SonicCDJPtitle.png SonicCDtitle.png
  • The copyright text at the title screen was altered slightly.
  • 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.
  • In the Japanese and European versions, the player can restart the stage by pausing and pressing all three of the face buttons at the same time. In the American version, only one button has to be pressed. 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".
  • The font used in the end credits' large text was altered, and most credits related to the original soundtrack was removed/replaced.
    • 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 FREE LITTLE PLANET FOREVER" text was shortened to simply "TRY AGAIN".
  • Amy is unable to cling onto Sonic in Palmtree Panic.

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.

Leftover Code and Data

In each level file, there are 2 sections of data that contain an amalgamation of various other level data and code. 1 before the chunk data and 1 at the end of the file. This is due to how the level chunks are set to be aligned to address 0x010000 and how the end of the file is padded to the size of Word RAM. However, when they were building the level files, instead of filling the areas of padding with 00, it just used whatever data was left in the memory space used to hold the assembled file data before.