From Sonic Retro
- For the Game.com version of the same title, see Sonic Jam (Game.com). For the unlicensed Sega Mega Drive game, see Sonic Jam 6.
|System(s): Sega Saturn|
|Developer: Sonic Team|
|Game total: 4|
|Sound driver: SCSP (1 track)|
|Peripherals supported: 3D Control Pad|
|Genre: Compilation, Action|
|Number of players: 1-2|
Sonic Jam (Japanese: ソニックジャム) is a 1997 Sega Saturn game. Primarily it is a compilation containing the four Sega Mega Drive Sonic platform games - Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and Sonic & Knuckles, however it also contains bonus content in the form of Sonic World and a number of different gameplay options.
- 1 Gameplay
- 2 Differences from Mega Drive games
- 3 Production credits
- 4 Manuals
- 5 Artwork
- 6 Promotional material
- 7 Physical scans
- 8 Technical information
- 9 References
Unlike later compilations, Sonic Jam does not emulate Mega Drive hardware - the games have been re-written for the Saturn, though behave almost identically to their original counterparts. It is especially beneficial to PAL users, as the games have been optimised for 50Hz refresh rates (the original PAL versions perform 17.5% slower than their NTSC counterparts and contain borders, as little optimisation work was done between the two versions).
Each of the games benefit from the Lock-On Technology introduced in the Sonic & Knuckles cartridge. This means Blue Sphere, Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles are also playable. The North American and Japanese instruction manuals for each of the games are also included in a digitised form. The game also sports Time Attack modes, and an option to play each Special Stage in succession for each game. It is also possible to disable Time Overs and allow the player to spend more than 10 minutes in a level.
Another addition to Sonic Jam is "Sonic World", which is accessed at the title screen menu. A 3D adventure world with many buildings containing art, history, music, movies and character profiles is contained within, plus the mission mode where the player must complete certain missions in the quickest time. At the time of Sonic Jam's release, this game was a selling point as gamers were eager to see Sonic in 3D for the first time.
Sonic World is said to have been the basis for Sonic Adventure.
Easy and Normal modes
Unique to Sonic Jam are the additions of "Easy" and "Normal" difficulty options (in addition to an "Original" mode which plays identically to the Mega Drive originals), both of which change the placement of obstacles and fix numerous bugs present in the original versions. The Easy mode dramatically reduces the difficulty across the four Mega Drive titles so as to help less experienced players. In this mode, many levels are skipped, any encountered bosses only take three hits, and much of the level design is tweaked for easier play, be it the removal of obstacles, or the addition of more helpful objects such as monitors.
It is not known how much thought was originally given to the chosen Zones in Easy mode; while one might expect Easy mode to stick with the first Acts, if not just because these lack bosses, a mixture of Acts 1, 2 and where applicable, 3 are used. A notable omission includes Wing Fortress Zone which is missing entirely in Easy Sonic 2.
Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles use the same Easy levels as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 3/Sonic & Knuckles, respectively. Skipped levels were not made easier for this mode, so if the player attempts to access one through a level select code, they will just get the Normal mode layout (and rules).
|Sonic the Hedgehog|
|1||Green Hill Zone Act 1|
|2||Marble Zone Act 1|
|3||Spring Yard Zone Act 2|
|4||Labyrinth Zone Act 3|
|5||Star Light Zone Act 2|
|6||Scrap Brain Zone Act 1|
|Sonic the Hedgehog 2|
|1||Emerald Hill Zone Act 2|
|2||Chemical Plant Zone Act 1|
|3||Aquatic Ruin Zone Act 1|
|4||Casino Night Zone Act 1|
|5||Hill Top Zone Act 1|
|6||Mystic Cave Zone Act 1|
|7||Oil Ocean Zone Act 2|
|8||Metropolis Zone Act 1|
|9||Sky Chase Zone|
|10||Death Egg Zone|
|Sonic the Hedgehog 3|
|1||Angel Island Zone Act 1|
|2||Hydrocity Zone Act 2|
|3||Marble Garden Zone Act 2|
|4||Carnival Night Zone Act 2|
|5||IceCap Zone Act 2|
|6||Launch Base Zone Act 2|
|Sonic & Knuckles|
|1||Mushroom Hill Zone Act 1|
|2||Flying Battery Zone Act 2|
|3||Sandopolis Zone Act 2|
|4||Lava Reef Zone Act 1|
|5||Hidden Palace Zone|
|6||Sky Sanctuary Zone|
|7||Death Egg Zone Act 2|
|8||The Doomsday Zone|
"Normal" Acts as essentially a bug-fixed version of the original game, though some layout changes were made to address concerns with the original releases. As an example, more platforms were added in Sonic 2's Chemical Plant Zone to reduce the chances of the player drowning in the level's second Act - it means on the whole, "Normal" is easier than "Original", but harder than "Easy".
Differences from Mega Drive games
|Main article: Sonic Jam/Comparisons|
Some of the audio in Sonic Jam is different from the original Mega Drive versions, with most music tracks having a slight delay before playing (likely due to CD loading times). This is particularly noticeable when collecting Power Sneakers, as rather than speed up the music already playing, a different, faster version of the tune is swapped in (and subsequently swapped out), with the track restarting each time (it can also cause results screen music to start playing for a second time if an extra life is obtained).
Many sound effects have been sampled at a lower quality (or seemingly replaced, as is the case with many explosions), while others are missing, such as the sound for transforming into Super Sonic. While players can still charge Spin Dashes, the pitch of spin noise no longer rises when doing so.
The ability for music to fade in and out is also removed in Sonic Jam, however as there is no longer a need to share audio channels, sound effects cannot interfere with music playback.
Sonic the Hedgehog
The original Sonic the Hedgehog sees the most obvious changes in its transition to the Saturn, being built on the later REV01 revision of the game, complete with extra scrolling with the clouds in Green Hill Zone and extra water effects in Labyrinth Zone. An option to toggle the Spin Dash ability (which is absent from the Mega Drive release) was added, and like later games, clouds of dust are created when Sonic skids to a halt.
The notorious "spike bug" is fixed in Sonic Jam, however some sound effects are missing, most notably the noise of the waterfalls in Green Hill Zone.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Sonic Jam's port of Sonic 2 uses the invincibility tune from the original Sonic the Hedgehog, presumably by accident as the Sonic 2 track in on the CD and used in the two player versus mode. Thanks to the increased processor overhead, the versus mode also lags less often than in the Mega Drive version of the game.
In the original Sonic 2, the "SEGA" jingle plays at a slightly higher pitch than its siblings. This is fixed in the Sonic Jam release.
Wing Fortress Zone has the distinction of being the only Zone completely skipped in any of Sonic Jam's Easy mode games. No attempt was made to finish this seemingly incomplete stage - there are still no sound effects for the boss battle for example, though extra platforms were added in Normal mode to reduce the chances of falling off.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3/Sonic & Knuckles
Being effectively two halves of the same game, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles share many changes, though aside from different sounds for collecting blue spheres, most of the improvements involve fixing bugs and exploits which are far more common than in the two earlier Sonic titles.
Issues known to have given the developers grief, such as Knuckles' green socks in Sonic 3, are not addressed in Sonic Jam, and are sometimes complemented with new palette errors.
The infamous spinning barrel in Carnival Night Zone (which forces the player to learn it can be controlled with and ) is completely removed from the non-Original versions of Sonic 3.
Despite Sonic & Knuckles Collection (released around the same time period) skirting around what are thought to be music tracks produced by Michael Jackson, Sonic Jam makes no significant changes to Sonic 3's audio, save for changes mentioned above which affect all the Mega Drive games.
- Executive Producer: Hayao Nakayama
- Project Manager: Youji Ishii
- Producer: Yuji Naka
- Director: Takashi Iizuka
- Game Designer: Daisuke Mori
- Main Programmer: Takahiro Hamano
- Programmers: Haruhisa Udagawa, Tetsu Katano, Yasuhiro Takahashi, Atsutomo Nakagawa, Kazuhiko Hattori
- Artists: Kazuyuki Hoshino, Yuji Uekawa, Nobuhiko Honda, Shinichi Higashi, You Nishiyama, Sachiko Kawamura, Satoshi Okano
- CG Movie Artist: Shigemitsu Nobuhara
- Supervisor: Naoto Ohshima
- Sound Director: Tatsuya Kouzaki
- Compose & Arrange: Masaru Setsumaru, Kenichi Tokoi
- Visual Material Editors: Ikuo Ishizaka, Hidehiro Kumagai, Yuji Sawairi, Sega Digital Studio
- Executive Management: Shoichiro Irimajiri
- Executive Coordination: Makoto Oshitani, Jin Shimazaki, Yukifumi Makino
- Promotion Management: Hideki Okamura, Masanobu Tsukamoto
- Promotion: Hirokazu Kanno, Masatoshi Kawaguchi, Takafumi Ueoro, Hiroshi Masuda
- Public Relations: Hiroto Kikuchi, Tadashi Takezaki, Tomoyuki Nagumo, Kazuhiro Hanaya, Miki Morimoto
- Manual: Hiroyuki Mitsui, Osamu Nakazato, Youichi Takahashi
- Lyrics by: Casey Rankin
- Music by: Naofumi Hataya, Masafumi Ogata
- Vocal: Keiko Utoku
- Producer: Daikou Nagato (Being Co. Ltd.)
- Director: Ryo Watabe (Being Co. Ltd.)
- Music Composer: Masato Nakamura (©1992 Dreams Come True)
- Special Thanks: Kazuhiro Takase, Mitsuteru Iwaki, Ryoichi Hasegawa, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Mie Kumagai, Seijiro Sannabe, Akinori Ohno, Nobuhiko Shimizu, Shigeru Tateishi, Hitoshi Okuno, Akihiro Kubo, Hiroko Egi, Shozo Hirano, Tadashi Ihoroi, Takayuki Suzuki, Akinori Nishiyama
- Presented by: Sega
|Main article: Sonic Jam/Manuals|
|Main article: Artwork from Sonic Jam|
|88||Sonic Retro Average|
|Based on 1 review|
|Saturn, JP (Satakore)|
The game makes use of the Saturn's internal battery back-up as well as the Sega Saturn Back-Up Ram Cart to save data for all of the games as well as progress through the challenges in Sonic World.
- File:Sjam sat back cover.jpg
- https://sega.jp/history/hard/segasaturn/software.html (Wayback Machine: 2020-03-30 22:53)
- http://riehlspot.simplenet.com/vgame/new/saturn.html (Wayback Machine: 1999-02-21 17:22)
- sega:Press release: 1997-06-19: SONIC’S BACK!
- http://www.sega-europe.com/SATURNL.HTML (Wayback Machine: 1997-07-15 06:26)
|Sonic the Hedgehog games for the following systems|
| 1996 Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island 1997 Sonic Jam | Sonic R |
Prototypes Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island (Saturn tech demo) | Sonic R (preview) | Sonic R: Trial Version