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Here we are, the main Cancelled Sonic Game that every fan should know, the significance of Sonic X-treme is far more important then you could possibly realize. It doesn't matter if you're an SoJ, SoE, or SoA Sonic fan, because it's seemingly inevitable doom shook and changed the foundation of Sonic and it's fate as a series forever. It brought about SoJ taking back control over Sonic in terms of the games, stunning SoA Canon to only that of the Archie Comic, and with that led to the path Sonic is on today. Not only that, but Sonic X-treme's legacy, content, and even it's story has effected the series and games to this very day, if you look closely like I have you can see the grand picture of it and how it all comes together and realize the truth of the series...but I'm getting ahead of myself here, we need to look into Sonic X-treme and it's development before I can show you just what I'm talking about. Hope you're ready, cause it's going to be a bumpy ride, trust me I don't have a driver's license.

ACT I: From Mobius to Mars

The development of Sonic X-treme and it's legend didn't start off as X-treme, they couldn't have imagined the amount of work and struggle could have gone into this, but the pressure of this game can be felt from day one.  You see, as Sonic & Knuckles was being developed Sega didn't want Sonic to lose momentum in the eye of the public, Sega's US branch Sega Technical Institute was given the task to make the next big main title after Sonic & Knuckles was released. How it started off at first though is quite different then what you would expect, in fact much like Sonic Spinball they once more used the background of a much different from the Sonic World of the games.

http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic-16

That's right, the original version of Sonic X-treme was a SatAM based game that was being developed! Would have taken place on Mobius, had Sally in it and presumably had other characters from the show. Now why didn't this come out however we can thank Yuji Naka of all people. It's been said that upon seeing this he gave the project a "thumbs down" and thus this pitch of Sonic X-treme ended up not being picked up.

http://info.sonicretro.org/Untitled_STI_Sonic_Game

So the in-between moments after Sonic-16's unfortunate rejection and Sonic Mars is quite sketchy, but suffice to say they once more pitched a slower paced game that you see up above, this pitch was made before Sonic 3D was ever developed, this too just like Sonic-16 was also rejected. Afterwards however the saying 3rd times the charm would be true in a sense as it's 3rd incarnation would be green-lit...

http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_Mars

Sonic Mars, originally developed for the Sega 32X was that charm, the only one of the 16-bit era to be green lit this one was developed a lot more then previous pitches. A script regarding the game play, story, and playable characters we're all developed and they managed to get something working with it. The initial plan is that Sonic has to venture to a place called Mirco Mobius that Robotnik is trying to take over and has also kidnapped Tails, Knuckles, Sally, and Bunnie, all of which would have been playable including newcomer and rival to Sally for Sonic's Affection Tiara Boobowski (known as Cyberoowski at the time). If this material got out this would have put more power and narrative to a more SoA/Mobius Canon, however none of this was meant to be.

When Yuji Naka got a glimpse of their work at one point he could only sake his head and state, "good luck".

Internal Conflicts came ahead as lead designer Michael Kosaka and game director Dean Lester, what sort of conflict and such details aren't known but regardless this lead to Kosaka leaving in 1995, soon after that with no lead designer an inexperienced Chris Senn was given the job as lead designer, at the same time some big changes were coming with the Sega Saturn in tow development for the game was transferred over to it and sadly in turn all SatAM elements were dropped as well, sadly Sally and Bunnie as well as Mobius didn't make the cut, leading to several different game and stories being pitched as it slowly start to take form to what we know of it today, however at the cost of a more SoA canon.

Sonic Mars was no more, during this transitional period several story pitches were made, eventually only one would be selected along with a new title for this game, known as Sonic X-treme. Much like Sonic Mars however it would have a troubling development, much more so then whatever conflicts Kosaka and Lester had...

ACT II: The X-treme Factor

http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_X-treme

After a troubling development cycle, Chris Senn was given Kosaka's job as lead designer despite being inexperience and never having this sort of position before. Despite that work went by quick to develop the newly titled Sonic X-treme as the Saturn was being released with development spilt into two teams, one by Chris Senn and programmer Ofer Alon who developed the main game with the world and levels while the second team lead by Chris Coffin who made the engine for the boss fights. It seemed like everything was set in stone as both teams were watched by developer Mike Wallis, both smaller teams were meant to make things easier but in turn made things much more difficult with much confusion and miscommunication between both teams.

Ofer's engine was originally developed for the Macintosh, however to make things much easier and to develop it for the saturn it was switched over to the PC. Now their gameplay worked just fine on the PC, just as how it was suppose to, however when they attempted to port it to the Sega Saturn was not great, the earliest ports having the game's frame rate around three to four FPS. With a bunch of delays in internal strife once more prominent Sega decided to bring in outside assistance.

A new company known as Point of View were brought in to help development for the game, however as it turns out this only made development even worse. They took over programming for the game, originally they were meant to port Ofer's work to the Saturn what ended up happening was Ofer being demoted. Both Senn and Alon were rather livid about this as POV became another component to Sonic X-treme and making things somehow even worse then before.

POV basically started from scratch by porting an older version of the game engine to the Saturn, they had just as much difficulty as Alon did in turn. What became the catalyst for Sonic X-treme happened in March of 1996, with Sega of Japan representatives along with then president of SoJ Hayao Nakayama. Time was not on their side, for Chris and Ofer nor POV were ready for this, however Chris and Ofer had much more work on their engine and along with POV both were going to show what they have. In a twist of fate however Chris and Ofer were late to the meeting,when SoJ got there all they saw were POV's work. Needless to say Nakayama was furious at their work, he essentially threw a hissy fit at POV's results unaware of Chris and Ofer's Engine and work. He told STI to make the rest of the game like what was shown from the Boss Engine. Chris got there earlier then Ofer but couldn't delay them, thus SoJ was gone by the time Ofer got there. Due to Nakayama's irrational decision the main gameplay of Sonic X-treme was no more, rejected.

With a Christmas release near by and Ofer's work dropped the situation grew bleaker and desperate, SoA looked upon the engine of Nights into Dreams as a last hope, however once more SoJ would prevent this effort as well...

ACT III: The Condor's Call, Naka's Deception

In a last ditch effort CEO of SoA at the time Burnie Stolar asked Sega if they could used the Nights into Dreams engine as Sonic X-treme Team was desperate for tools, an engine, and very short on time. Luckily for them they got the engine and were quite adapt with it quickly learning how it works within two weeks. This last ditch effort to make Sonic X-treme was known as Project Condor, however this effort proved to be in vain as another piece of SoJ once more prevented the game's completion, this time coming directly from Sonic Team. Yuji Naka became aware of their endeavor with using his engine to make their game, rather then being sympathetic with their cause despite telling this team once before "good luck" he was not happy that they were using his work without his permission and threatened Sega that he would quit if they continued their work with the Nights Engine. Because of SoJ once more, Sonic X-treme was once again brought back to square one. Chris Senn worked tirelessly to make the game a reality, living in his office, sleeping in it, working night and day as the end date grew ever closer.

The strain of the project became too much as he was told by Doctor's on August of 1996 he had approximately 6 months to live if he kept this up, and so Chris Senn dropped out of the project, they weren't going to make the dead line. In the end Sonic X-treme was no more, despite one more shot at making the game only for the PC that attempt was also rejected. Chris and Ofer's work would never be released, the game was to never be made, The nail in the coffin was Ofer, sick of his treatment by the company, left Sega and never looked back. Thus brought an end of an era.

ACT IV: Hidden Mythos: The Truth of Sonic X-treme

We know all this, I mean you can see the links and read the story yourself of how it all came to be, but what's not talked about when it comes to Sonic X-treme is it's story, all the lore that was developed during it's creation that seems to be ignored by all, even the most hardcore fans can barely recall what was going to happen in-game. So what was going to happen, how many stories could there possibly have been?

http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_X-treme_storylines

Quite a number of them, Sonic Mars aside there we're 6 other pitches alone regarding Sonic X-treme each under a different name. Now in the beginning I mentioned this "truth" regarding Sonic X-treme, that applies to the story as by reading them you slowly realize this, Sonic X-treme became the basis for many Sonic titles after it's cancellation. This crosses a bit more into speculation, but you too can see the lines connect. In the pitches known as Sonic Saturn and Sonic Doom, both have the common theme of the Master Emerald end up breaking and releasing an ancient evil....MUCH like that of Sonic Adventure 1. While the takes on it are slightly different the inspiration of it can't be ignored, I would go so far to say that Sonic Team saw this script and took inspiration from it to make Sonic Adventure. Though Sonic Doom's ChaosDoom does things quite differently then Sonic Adventure's Chaos I'd say there's more to it then that, notice the name ChaosDoom...could it be that ChaosDoom itself became the inspiration for Black Doom and The Black Arms? ChaosDoom seems more alien in a few ways then Chaos is after all. Enemies and bosses who use elements are few and far between within Sonic after X-treme but are around such as Chaos and Iblis of course, Blaze and Zeena could also be argued that they are "Element Keepers" in a way. Lastly the final story line for Sonic X-treme is very much like Sonic Colors with planetoids being taken over by Robotnik and aliens called "Mips" instead of Wisps.
 

And lest we forget how similar the gameplay's esthetics are to that of the game Sonic Lost World, I would go so far to say Sega and Sonic Team have used Sonic X-treme's concepts throughout the years sparingly, which isn't that big of a claim as companies do use older works from time to time and make something new out of it, in Sonic X-treme's case I would say that is in fact the case. The Truth is even to this day Sonic X-treme and it's concepts have been used and seen throughout the years, while we were all unaware of this the whole time.

It's because of Sonic X-treme and it's cancellation that this has come to pass, that we are where we are today due to this game's Lost Legacy.

ACT V: Aftermath.

After everything we've seen what more can we say? Sega of Japan and Sega in general seemed to have had a bias to the project from the start, why even give such a project to STI in the first place? Why did Sonic Team not make any Sonic game during that era anyway? Sonic Team as far as I know wanted to take a break from Sonic, hence why we saw games like NiGHTS into Dreams and Burning Rangers, that's my reasoning on why STI we're given the go for the next big Sonic game.

Could things have been different had any of these games came out? Would SatAM be more prominent had Sonic-16 been made without Naka's vote of no confidence? Could Sonic Mars make the Sega 32X a hit? Had Senn and Alon made it in time could have Sonic X-treme be saved? Who can say, we may never have those answers, around that time during the Saturn Era meant that SoJ slowly took control back from SoA and took reigns on everything. This transitional period I'd say not only doomed Sega's Console endeavors but Sonic X-treme as well. It seemed like SoJ just wanted everything while breaking SoA down despite how much success they had, such a discussion is a tale for another day.

What can be said is that Sonic X-treme should never be forgotten, as all of it's story in it's development and lore should be known so that future generations can learn from those mistakes, because had it been completed as intended we could have had a much different Sonic then we do today. I don't know if Sonic X-treme would have been that good of a game had it come out but I would have liked to see a world where it got to be on store shelves, on PC, in Sega Re-releases.

Some fans have attempted in remaking Sonic X-treme over the years but nothing but only a few demos have come out from it, we have gotten concept art, music, textures, and a bunch of work from it though, we may never get all of it or Oler's Engine, we may never get the whole story from everyone's perspective even. But we must keep it's legend alive, alive so that fans everywhere can know what happened and what could have been.

http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_Saturn
http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_Xtreme_Compendium

I didn't mention Sonic Saturn because I believe it to be some sort of form of Sonic X-treme, but it's details on that are extremely unclear even to me, it seems likely though. Chris Senn for the longest time had a site dedicated to giving fans the knowledge and what he had on Sonic X-treme during his time on the project. The site got show down years ago but it's content is available for download and pieces of concept art are all around online. Sega may have wanted you to forget about Sonic X-treme, but I won't let it be forgotten, and I'm glad I wrote this topic down for everyone here. Thank you for your time and have a good one.

So with that all said and finally done, which of these incarnations would you guys have liked to seen and play, Sonic-16? Sonic Mars? Sonic Doom? Sonic X-treme? Let me know your thoughts and views everybody, keep X-treme alive!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wish Sega would have been able to carry out with Sonic 16 not only to help introduce the FF into the game setting but also since the title would probably have been released near the time of the previous main Sonic titles.  Doing so would have at least given more variety to the Genesis and the series if not help improve on both the success of the main Genesis titles and the Archie comics.

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7 hours ago, Ishapar said:

I wish Sega would have been able to carry out with Sonic 16 not only to help introduce the FF into the game setting but also since the title would probably have been released near the time of the previous main Sonic titles.  Doing so would have at least given more variety to the Genesis and the series if not help improve on both the success of the main Genesis titles and the Archie comics.

Heck, it'd probably be good for them if they made an Archie-focused game today. My personal bias and hatred of the comics aside, a LOT of people like the comics and were it not for SEGA's utterly hopeless vision, there could be an extreme amount of potential for a good story.

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But think how well the comics and Sega would have done in the Genesis' heyday!  After Sonic and Knuckles, Sega had Sonic made and they finally introduced new story elements to the gameplay.  That would have been a perfect time to release a FF game.

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34 minutes ago, Ishapar said:

But think how well the comics and Sega would have done in the Genesis' heyday!  After Sonic and Knuckles, Sega had Sonic made and they finally introduced new story elements to the gameplay.  That would have been a perfect time to release a FF game.

I suppose. Back when the sky was the limit.

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  • 3 months later...
4 hours ago, TheRedAuthar said:

Depends on how popular it was.  If it was a game changer, it would have influenced Sonic to today, good or bad.  But if it didn't catch any attention, it wouldn't have much of an impact.  Like Tails's Skypatrol or Sonic Drift.

If it was good it would definitly effect Saturn sales and perhaps would have given enough windfall for them to not over invest in the DreamCast...Sonic Adventure would also have a more seasoned team for 3D game design. I think you would see more Sonic material salvage the Saturn the same way MGS4 saved the PS3. It would encourage third parties to return. 

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Very sad.

When looking at some of the images and leaked gameplay footage, I honestly can't say if X-treme would have worked for Sonic's first big 3d game.  Sonic's "bubble" camera perspective seemed limited and would probably affected Sonic's speed, but maybe it was only like that for some of the levels.  One thing that still seemed to be missing (as is with most 3d games) is that game's physics still didn't resemble the physics of the Genesis games- the gameplay reminded me of a polished Sonic 3d Blast (which, no matter how good it was, still didn't match the nostalgia of the 2d classics).  Anybody else's thought on the gameplay of X-treme?

 

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4 hours ago, TheRedAuthar said:

Of course if the game had been successful and SatAM was more integrated into the main Sonic Continuity, we'd probably be dealing with a BOOM version of Sally, Rotor, and Bunnie right now.  Just saying. 

Wait, you mean they aren't already?  (haha I still hate those re-designs archie comics is trying to use almost as much as the belief that archie was a canon continuation of SatAM)

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2 hours ago, TheRedAuthar said:

...why the heck did the camera spin at the end?

You're guess is as good as mine.

Neat to see this topic blow up now! Although if you ask me I'm not sure if Sonic X-treme as how it was intended for the Sega Saturn would have been that great of a game, but that's hard to say considering how unfinished it was.

I started the topic as I put together the pieces of how all those possible storylines laid out the foundation of many Sonic Games that we got afterward, then as I wrote it back in October wanted to shed light on the injustice Sega did these guys wrong. Despite how the game would have turned out from Sonic-16 to Sonic X-treme I'd be more interested in how the series would have changed had any of the games had been finished storywise, if my claim on those stories is true we might have not even had Sonic Adventure as we know it in the first place.

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  • 5 months later...
On 18.2.2017 at 8:06 PM, TheRedAuthar said:

Of course if the game had been successful and SatAM was more integrated into the main Sonic Continuity, we'd probably be dealing with a BOOM version of Sally, Rotor, and Bunnie right now.  Just saying. 

Yeah. Sonic 16 could have been a turning point for the Freedom Fighters.

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I WOULD like to see an Archie-based Sonic game, really. I'd say it would do more justice to the characters and story than the comics ever could. The closest we ever got was...well, Sonic Chronicles. That game was...The Beginning of The End.

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