Sonic X-treme

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Sonic X-treme Title.png
Sonic X-treme
Publisher: Sega
System(s): Sega Saturn
Genre: 3D Platform

Sonic X-treme is an unreleased platform game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series.

Sonic X-treme was a 3D Sonic the Hedgehog game for the Sega Saturn.It was originally developed for the Mega Drive/Genesis but was moved to the Sega 32X and eventually to the Sega Saturn. It was intended to be released around Christmas of 1996, but after many internal development problems, it was finally cancelled in 1997. Had it been finished, it would have been the first fully 3D Sonic game and the first original Sonic title developed for the Sega Saturn.

The concept was truly unique; to further the traditional Sonic "go-anywhere-or-run-through" formula, every level would be designed in a rather tube-like fashion; Sonic would be able to walk onto walls, thus changing the direction of gravity and the rotation of the level itself. In addition, an unusual, fish-eye lens-styled camera was put into place so players could see more of their surroundings at any one given time. It is now known that at one point in the development process, there was a possibility for 4 playable characters. The characters planned were Knuckles the Echidna, a new character, Tiara Boobowski, Miles "Tails" Prower and Sonic the Hedgehog. Each character would also have had a unique gameplay style. Knuckles and Tiara would have had traditional-style play, having top-down and side-scrolling views respectively. Sonic had the fish-eye style levels, and Tails would play in first person flight mode. Tiara had the Ice Blade to fight her enemies. Sonic himself was to be equipped with a large set of new moves, including a "spin slash", a ring throwing ability, and a downward dash.

There were seven planned Zones: Jade Gully, Crystal Frost, Red Sands, Blue Ocean, Metal Blade, Galaxy Fortress, and Death Egg. Other characters intended to be included in the game were Nack the Weasel and Metal Sonic, who would have been bosses in the final game and whose design and programming was actually finished by the time Sonic X-treme was canceled.

Unfortunately, the game was canceled because of many, many internal problems. The game was being developed by Sega Technical Institute, a US-based developer that had worked on such games as Sonic 2, Sonic Spinball and Comix Zone. Originally it was based on the engine Sonic Team's at-the-time most current work - NiGHTS into Dreams - but Yuji Naka discovered this and had their usage of the engine pulled. As of such two separate engines started work; one was for the main levels (similar in style to Bug!), while the other was for the bosses. Later on a Sega of Japan representative came over to check on the game's progress, and was so impressed by the boss engine he requested the entire game be made on that. By now the team was running short on men, and it all had fallen on one man to finish it up before the Christmas deadline so as to go up against Super Mario 64 alongside NiGHTS. However, despite his putting 200% into the project, he literally worked himself sick and had to stop before it became any worse. Sadly, that was the nail in the coffin; Sega of America stopped funding the project and switched to plan B: a Saturn port of Sonic 3D Blast. Work on X-Treme was halted permanently. The game is a popular topic among Sonic message boards, allowing for much speculation and curiosity to surround it. Some fans have tried to make fangames recreating it, but as of now nothing has ever seen completion.

Due to the way that the Saturn's hardware is constructed, most of the environment is rendered with sprites rather than polygons. The complete sprite sheet for the enemies can be found online. The enemies were supposed to come in two colors; red and blue, with red enemies being stronger than blue ones. However, all known enemy sprites are coloured red, presumably because this is a base colour which allows them to be easily recoloured via palettes.

Beta Auction

In September 2005 a Sonic X-treme demo was privately auctioned and sold to an anonymous collector for $2,500.

It was said by the seller that the game was never any more complete than this demo, however, it's possible that this assertion was an attempt to raise the value of the demo due to existence of media which suggests there were far more levels and certainly bosses completed.

This version of the game has since been released and is available for download. For more info see the Sonic X-treme beta auction section.


In 2006 Sazpaimon hoaxed several people by releasing a Fake Sonic X-treme ISO. The gaming press was taken in by the prank as was much of Sonic community.


Box Art

External Links

Unreleased Sonic the Hedgehog games
Sonic's Edusoft
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Sonic X-treme incarnations
Untitled Isometric Game
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| Sonic X-treme
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Sonic games for the following systems
Sega Saturn
 1996  Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island     1997  Sonic Jam | Sonic R    
 Unreleased  Sonic X-treme | Sonic Saturn