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Sonic and Crackers - Game that never quite made it...

Some games come out in Japan but never get converted to English, while others get released in the arcades, but never get translated to consoles. And some, like Sonic Crackers, get cancelled before they even make it out of production...

Title: Sonic Crackers
Developer: SEGA Sonic
Team Formal: MegaDrive
Release date: N/A

Sonic and Crackers - Game that never quite made it...

Popular as they were, the first three Sonic The Hedgehog games had very few gameplay features to separate them; aside from different locations and the odd bit of tweaking here and there, they were essentially the same. However, when Sonic And Knuckles came along. Sonic Team brought a fresh lick of paint to the series in the form of lock-on technology, which enabled additional features to be accessed in Sonic 2 and 3when they were slotted onto the top of the new game. Aside from Sonic 3D Fiickie's island, which was more of a spin-off then a sequel. Sonic And Knuckles was the last real Sonic game to come out on the Mega Drive, but it wasn't always going to be that way.
Apparently, SEGA was working simultaneously on Sonic And Knuckles and another Sonic game rumoured to be Sonic The Hedgehog 4. Of course, by 1994 Mega Drive sales were dropping off rapidly, and following the understated release of Sonic And Knuckles, the other title mysteriously vanished. However, some time later a piece of previously unseen code of what was believed to be a prototype version of Sonic 4 was leaked onto the Internet.
Sonic and Crackers - Game that never quite made it...

Entitled Sonic Crackers, this never-released game featured a unique gameplay gimmick - Sonic and Tails were linked together by a magical chain. By pressing jump at the right moment, it was possible for one character to slingshot the other up to higher platforms and secret areas. Although there was potential for the finished game to be extremely playable, the only code believed to be in existence didn't contain any enemies or power-ups, and was riddled with bugs that caused the game to randomly freeze. Four levels were thought to be available showing various times of the day, each with a range of colour palettes, but the instability of the code meant that few players ever got to see them.
Interestingly, Knuckles Chaotix, which was released on the 32X in 1995, seemed to share many similarities with the demo of Sonic Crackers. The level designs were almost identical and some of the music was actually the same. Of course, the 32X was a complete flop and subsequently only a few gamers ever got to sample what turned out to be one of the weakest Sonic games in the series.
Perhaps if SEGA had continued to work on Sonic Crackers instead, both the game and perhaps even the company may have fared slightly better.

Sometimes, despite weeks of bug testing, problems with program code manage to slip through the net. Most games have a few such errors, though many of them are too small to ever get noticed. Occasionally though, the mistakes are so blatant that it makes you wonder how they were never picked up during the beta tests, as was the case with Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast...

In Windy Valley - the second level in Sonic Adventure - Sonic and Tails are lifted over gaps with an updraft of air. But while this should be a straightforward affair, SEGA managed to implement one of the strangest (but also coolest) bugs we've ever seen.

All you need to do is pull back on the analogue stick and the characters remain hovering in the air, as does the camera, though for some reason it gets blown higher and higher into the air as the ground below disappears.

Up and up it goes resulting in more and more of the scenery popping out bit by bit. Eventually, everything is gone, including all the polygons and the 2D bitmap that surrounds the 3D world. It's so peaceful up here, we could float around for hours...

Download Game: Sonic and Crackers

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