From Sonic Retro
<forumuser name="sonicblur" /> sonicblur is someone who has been around a long time, but you don't see much recently. sonicblur first joined what might be considered the Sonic scene in September 1998 through the use of Usenet, which at that time was the central point of the early discoveries that started the scene as we know it today.
- 1 History
- 2 Notable Accomplishments
- 3 Towards the future
The earliest known post by sonicblur was made on the alt.fan.sonic-hedgehog newsgroup (more commonly referred to as AFSH by its members) on September 2nd 1998 under the user name Maculation. The user name was also the name of a web site for news updates about emulators on the Macintosh that he ran at the time. (That site was in no way affiliated with another mac emulation site that has a similar name.) He did not begin using the alias sonicblur until November 1998. At that time, he was only 12 years old and his posts suffered from poor spelling and lack of grammatical quality. He was around when Simon Wai originally discovered the Sonic 2 prototype ROM and posted it to the alt.binaries.emulators.sega newsgroup, and thus was able to experience some of the original discoveries firsthand. He continued to frequent AFSH until 2005.
In late 1998, he started a website called Sonic Metropolis which aimed to be a general database of information about the Sonic games in addition to providing details about the 'lost levels' and other prototype content. It was also one of several sites that offered VMU file downloads that were compatible with the Dreamcast web browser. The site design was based on Sonic 2's title cards. In 2001, the site was redesigned to be relaunched as Sonic Cascade. However, due to a lack of interest the site was turned over to another owner who retained the Sonic Metropolis name and later abandoned the site in 2003.
Sonicblur's Mac Applications
In 1999, many websites in the early sonic scene were receiving ad-free hosting from Emulation Zone. Some time during this year, sonicblur developed a Mac application called Knuxbine that allowed users to combine the Sonic and Knuckles ROM with other files to simulate the lock-on technology feature. (Classic Mac OS lacked a command line that would allow something like this to be manually accomplished.) He requested hosting from Emulation Zone for this project and thus began a site for that and future projects there. Knuxbine would later receive SMD to BIN conversion and IPS patching functions. Later projects added to the site included a Sonic-themed screen saver, and a tool for converting and editing Dreamcast VMU files. These tools were for classic Mac OS, and thus no longer function on new mac. A few years after the last update the site was archived at its current home, here.
In 2002, the desire for a creative and unique username to use for an online presence led him to coming up with the name Sappharad. He later launched a site, Sappharad.com to house all of his projects and other work in one place. Although the site is not updated frequently, content spanning the years since it was created typically never moves making it a good resource for it has.
SoSTH, Area 51
In the early years of the Sonic secrets and hacking communities, sonicblur sometimes visited Secrets of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog Area 51; however, he did not post much. His involvement increased as time went on, but his presence was not well known.
SSRG, Sonic Secrets Center
By 2002 the majority of the community at the time was centered around the SSRG, hosted by Emulation Zone. After the closure of the Area 51 forums and saxman, Andy Wolan, and Stealth had all retired from the SSRG, Tom41 took over as head of the SSRG. Sonic Secrets Center was created to replace Area 51, but shortly after attaining his new status Tom's access to the SSRG FTP was revoked. In an attempt to help out, sonicblur was given FTP access to the SSRG and was able to assist with the forums when needed. In the final days of the SSRG on Emulation Zone, he played a more active role in moderating and maintaining the forums. After Chaos was announced as the 4th head of the SSRG and the site on Emulation Zone was deleted, sonicblur stepped away from the Sonic forum community for a while. He would continue as an active member of AFSH during this time.
In 2004, sonicblur joined the Sonic CulT forums. He only posted occasionally, and typically this would be when he had something new that he wanted to share or announce. Several of his discoveries made while hacking the GameCube Sonic games would be posted here. He continued to visit regularly until early 2008.
Sonic Adventure 2 Test Level
During the early days of the GameCube homebrew scene, sonicblur was active among its members under the name Sappharad. He is credited with creating the first unofficial GameCube Action Replay code, using an early release of Parasyte's "GCNCrypt" tool. In 2004, while hacking codes for Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, he discovered the game's test level. Screenshots of the level along with the Action Replay code to access it in the US version of the game were posted to the Sonic CulT forums.
Unused Sonic the Fighters characters
Shortly after the US release of Sonic Gems Collection, sonicblur began hacking Action Replay codes for the game. While hacking a character mod code in an attempt to allow Super Sonic to be used in all levels, he discovered a few character slots that had names assigned yet crashed the game:
- 08 - Eggman - CRASH
- 09 - Eggman - CRASH
- 0A - Bean
- 0B - Eggman in his final stage robot
- 0C - Eggman in a UFO shaped robot - CRASH
- 0D - Eggman - CRASH
- OE - Rocket Metal - Crash
- 0F - Honey (????) - Crash
- 10 - Super Sonic
Unused Sonic Adventure DX Cart Racing Stages
While working on some of his first codes for Sonic Adventure DX, sonicblur discovered that Twinkle Circuit had several accessible sub-level values that contained additional Kart racing courses not used in the game. One of these courses was available as a "Samba GP" download in the Dreamcast version of the game, but the others had never been seen before. These levels were made available as Action Replay codes for the US version of the game. The code to access the course used in Samba GP on Dreamcast also changed the music to the theme from Sonic R to match the Dreamcast version of that course as closely as possible.
Sonic Adventure 2 Battle Online
In 2004, sonicblur released a proof of concept PC program that connected to the GameCube hacking tool "GCNrd" to exchange player RAM and input data in realtime over the internet. This allowed Sonic Adventure 2 Battle to be played in 2-Player mode over the internet for the first time. The tool inspired another GameCube developer to create a GC-native program with the same purpose usable for other games.
Towards the future
Due to a high number of unfinished projects, sonicblur typically doesn't announce any further developments in advance.