Sonic Crackers/Hidden content
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Alternate Sega logo sequence
Sonic Crackers uses the same Sega logo sequence used in Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master, and just like that game there is an alternate Sega logo sequence that will occasionally appear after a soft reset where an enlarged Sega logo scrolls across the screen.
For the longest time, people have opened up the Crackers ROM in a hex editor and noticed one small detail: The ROM header says "Sonic Studium," compared to "Sonic Crackers," as the title screen of the game says. Which name is "correct" is yet to be identified; however, what does "Studium" mean? Is it a typo? Is it nonsensical? Is it a joke?
SpinelSun pointed out on the forums that this was most likely a mere translation error. A common way things are mistranslated to and from Japanese is to use a romanization table letter-per-letter, which doesn't conform exactly to English or Japanese. Japanese has syllables with vowels after every consonant (barring a single letter 'n'). As such...
Stadium would become スタジアム, literally "Sutajiamu" (Japanese has no 'di' syllable; 'ji' is in its place). This is where the error occurs: in Japanese, the vowel 'a' is pronounced as in the English word "father". As such, the スタジ would sound very much like the English word "stud".
Thus, the name is in fact Sonic Stadium. "Studium" is a mere translation error by someone who does not understand both English and Japanese well enough to ascertain the original word. Other examples include Amy (エミー, Emī) being referred to as "Emy" in the Sonic CD PC OMAKE directory, and Knuckles (ナックルズ, Nakkuruzu) as "Knack[les]" in the Sonic the Hedgehog The Screen Saver SONICSS\ICON directory.
Interestingly, the translator knew to convert the 'ji' back to 'd' at least. The error would have been more apparent if the header said "Sonic Stujium". They most likely looked up both "stujium" and "studium" in a dictionary, where they would have learned that "studium" is in fact a word in Latin, meaning "zeal".
If this wasn't compelling enough evidence, an excerpt from the Sonic Mars script shows Sonic Stadium as a title under the "Future SEGA" products category, along with Sonic 3+.
|Characters that are loaded into the VRAM for the title screen and menus but are not used, including a complete set of lowercase letters.|
|Throwing animations. Though throwing is implemented, only the arms change in this build. Similar graphics are used by Mighty in Chaotix, though only the last two frames are used. Tails appears to be stumbling in his animation, which lines up with him having the weakest throw in all the Chaotix prototypes where he's still functional.|
|Pulling animations. Chaotix has them, but characters just stand still in Sonic Crackers despite the hold mechanic having been implemented at this point.|
|Climbing animation for Sonic. Was not adapted for Mighty in Chaotix.|
|Wall Jump animations for Sonic, with associated graphics of him "launching" from a wall. Similar graphics are used by Mighty in Chaotix (though the first frame is only seen in prototypes, and only the second frame sees use in the final game).|
|Flying animations for Tails, unused as Tails cannot fly in this build. While the flying sprite is the same as in Sonic 2, the "tired" animations are unique to this build. These animations would later be modified and repurposed for the remasters of Sonic CD, Sonic 1 and Sonic 2.|
|Jumping animations for Sonic and Tails for use in the field levels. Unused as they cannot jump there.|
|Various sparkle effects that are loaded into VRAM during attraction levels. The second palette line fits them the best.|
|Sparkles normally seen when collecting Rings. While Rings are dropped when touching spikes, they cannot be recollected.|
|Extra HUD text. Chaotix uses some of these terms in its Special Stages.|
|A second, "thinner" HUD.|
While Sonic Crackers does not play any sound effects, a number of sound effects pulled from other Sonic games are unused in the ROM:
|Sound ID 00. The jump sound from Sonic the Hedgehog CD (FM 02).|
|Sound ID 01. The sound of the end-of-level results tally finishing from Sonic the Hedgehog (sound C5).|
|Sound ID 02. An unknown sound that may be an unfinished sound for getting hit by spikes.|
|Sound ID 03. The bomb explosion sound from Sonic the Hedgehog (sound C4).|
|Sound ID 04. The skidding sound from Sonic the Hedgehog (sound A4).|
|Sound ID 05. The Ring loss sound from Sonic the Hedgehog (sound C6).|
|Sound ID 06. Ring collection sound from Sonic the Hedgehog (sound B5).|
|Sound ID 07. The sound for destroying a Badnik or monitor from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles (sound 3D).|
|Sound ID 08. The spring sound from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles (sound B1).|
|Sound ID 09. The Checkpoint sound from Sonic the Hedgehog (sound A1).|
|Sound IDs 0A-0F. Empty sounds that may have been intended to be placeholders.|
|DAC sample 86. An unknown voice saying "Let's go!" in a Japanese accent.|
|DAC sample 87. An unknown voice saying "Hey!" in a Japanese accent.|
Some of these chunks, while unused in the level layout itself, appear as part of the garbage data found at the bottom of the level in the loopback.
Background scrolling code
There is some stage-specific code that goes unused because a "ret" command was added to prevent it from running. At $97E8, there is code that moves the background layer back and forth, and at $999A there is code that appears to lock the background layer in place.
|Sonic Crackers, prerelease version of Chaotix|
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