Sonic X-treme

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Name: Sonic X-treme
Developer: Sega
Systems: Genesis, 32X, Saturn, PC
Due date: late 1996, then 1997

Sonic X-treme is a cancelled Genesis, 32X, Saturn, and PC game by Sega.
It was to be a 3D Sonic game and killer app for the Saturn.


Dr. Robotnik is back and has rebuilt his Death Egg spaceship larger than before.
His ship is so large it can pull planets from their orbits.
Sonic got teleported away before his planet could be destroyed with him on it.

There were other stories considered but the above paragraph was the plot for the final version of the game.


The gameplay would play like traditional Sonic games: a linear path from start to exit with branching paths and secrets.
There were four characters to play as: Sonic, Miles, Knuckles, and Tiara.
Each has special moves and playstyles, along with different camera styles and perspectives.

There was to be six zones, each with two regular acts and the third being the boss act.

Jade Gully Zone Like Green Hill Zone but with a gully
Red Sands Zone Desert themed with a pyramid to explore
Metal Blade Zone Industrial stage, home to Metal Sonic
Crystal Frost Zone Winter themed with slippery ice physics
Galaxy Fortress Zone Space themed, set just outside the Death Egg
Death Egg Zone Set on the Death Egg, must beat it within a timer


Sonic X-treme began life as a new Genesis/Mega Drive game.
Then Sega moved it to the 32X as Sonic Mars, based on the cartoon series.
The 32X was being replaced by the Saturn, so Sega turned there.

The developer, Sega Technical Institute, was split into two teams.
One team did the main platforming engine, the other team coded the boss portions.
The teams did not get along well.

Development was slow but not as slow as the game's framerate.
Sega's President, Hayao Nakayama, flew out to check in on things.
He was not impressed.

The team tried to use the engine of NiGHTS into Dreams, but its creator Yuji Naka said no.
Sega then told the dev team to use the impressive boss fight engine for the whole game, naming it Project Condor.
This mammoth task, combined with lack of staff, push the producers to their physical limits.

Christina Coffin and Christian Senn worked 15-20 hour days to get it done.
Christina Coffin got pneumonia and almost died.
Chris Senn was told he only had six months to live at the rate he was working.


Sonic X-treme was cancelled in mid-1997 owing to the delays and lack of staff.
The Saturn went without a traditional Sonic game.
Sega Technical Institute closed down shortly after.


  • early 1995: game begins as Sonic Mars for the Genesis and later 32X
  • early 1996: game moves to Saturn, game renamed to Sonic X-treme
  • April 1996: Sega forces use of the boss engine, codenamed Project Condor
  • May 1996: playable demo at E3 1996
  • late 1996: producers Chris Coffin and Chris Senn hospitalized from overworking
  • August 1997: game cancelled


Trailer from E3 1996.

History of the game.


PC prototype:

Saturn prototypes:,_1996_prototype),_1996_prototype)


External Links