Sonic Crackers! Two levels (with one of them having many color palette variations), two players! What more could you ask for? Unfortunately, quite a bit. The game will keep you occupied for about twenty minutes. Add another twenty minutes if you've never played Knuckles' Chaotix on the 32x (Super 32x in Japan). It all started out a long time ago when someone on the Sonic Newsgroup was selling a rare Crackers game (so I've heard). Well, here we are today and the Rom is available to download. There's quite a bit of controversy over whether this is a fan game or not. Personally, I think.... actually, I'll keep my thoughts to myself.
Anyway, I need to offer something different relating to the game than other sites, so here's some information about Sonic Crackers taken from Tails' unreleased 'Secrets of Sonic the Hedgehog' document.
"Sonic Crackers (or Sonic Studium, to call it by its real, misspelled name) is a game that has Knuckles' Chaotix-like gameplay, but with Sonic and Tails. The majority of the population thinks that it is an Alpha version of Chaotix, but I've found otherwise. If you check the ROM header, it reads:
SEGA MEGA DRIVE (C)SEGA 1994.JULSONIC STUDIUM
As you can see, the compilation date is July 1994. The release date for Chaotix was April 1995. No Sonic game could be developed that quickly from a tiny little buggy alpha. You can also tell it was probably being rewritten for 32x code by trying hex editing, and checking the GM number:
All Sonic games, even betas, have valid GM numbers. Sonic Crackers doesn't. By hex editing, you can tell the programming structure is completely new....none of the hacks that work on the other Sonic games work with this one. In the 32x FAQ, they list a game called "Sonic 4" in the unfinished 32x titles because of the poor sale of the system....could this be it?
There are 5 levels total in Sonic Crackers. 4 of them are the same level with just a different color palette and music. There is also 2 level maps that make you think of Sonic 3D Blast. One thing that definitely hints that the physics aren't implemented, and which I personally find quite fun, is that you can walk up walls at any pace, and stand at any point on them."
If you'd like to download the Rom Image, for use on an emulator, go here.
Sonic Crackers will probably go down in history as the Sonic game with the most detailed title screen.
One thing I should mention is that the two zones (or five zones, if you want to be smart about it) have no names as such. This zone shown above is commonly referred to as Nuclear Zone. I think Scenic Fortress Zone would be a better name, but what do I know? Hey, look, Sonic's carrying Tails!
And this zone shown here is referred to as Carnival Zone. For further proof that this is the name used, visit the Sonic Crackers MIDI section at The Sonic Corner . What kind of boring people made up these names? Heck, even Green Hill Zone is a more original name!
Case 01: Sonic Chaotic?
Terri Pack has found evidence of a possible like between Sonic Crackers which was rumored to be an early version of Knuckles Chaotix and a prototype available only in the Japanese market. here is the email:
I was looking in a old issue of Gamefan magazine (Volume 3 Issue 2, Feb 95
"On a sadder note, Sega
will not be bring out the much anticipated first 32X Sonic game titled Sonic
Chaotic. This game will only see the light of day in Japan, this Summer.
Sega will be bringing a similar title out staring Knuckles aroung Christmas
So what does all this mean? well to some at least it is the missing link between sonic crackers/ sonic studium and Knuckles Chaotix. others think this was a totally different game but without an actual ROM or cartridge to verify it is impossible to tell for sure. But from what evidence we do have one thing is for sure. There WAS at least at one time a sonic game planned for 32X. hopefully we'll know more later on but for the present at least this does help shine some light on the mysterious sonic 32X game.