First footage of recently discovered Sonic X-Treme build released

Sonic_X-treme_engine_test_screenshot

Brace yourself for this one folks, because it’s pretty big!

Recently, a previously unearthed build of the infamous cancelled Sonic game, Sonic X-Treme for SEGA Saturn, made its way into the hands of AssemblerGames member jollyroger. It was a PC executable, supposedly tying into SEGA’s SEGA PC initiative that took place at the time of X-Treme’s development and saw several Saturn titles ported to PC. This initiative was also intended to help launch nVidia’s first GPU, the NV1, which worked similarly to the Saturn: this build required the NV1, as a result. This led to the interest of our fellow site Sonic Retro; and as one thing has led to another, jollyroger and Sonic Retro members cooljerk and Andrew75 (who has been working on a Sonic X-Treme remake project, Project AXSX in the Sonic GDK engine) have worked together to try and get the code running, with Cooljerk having sent off an NV1 to jollyroger, and Andrew75 testing parts of the code in SEGA Saturn emulators. And lo and behold; they’ve succeeded, in what I can only describe as a superb team effort.

It was impressive enough when mere days after the discovery, Andrew75 presented this screenshot, taken in the SEGA Saturn emulator SSF:

xtreme

And now, barely a week after the original discovery, we have our first footage of Sonic X-Treme running in the same emulator; yes, the real deal!

The build seems pretty glitchy to say the least, but that’s to be expected.

Suffice to say, this is a huge milestone for the research of Sonic X-Treme. As a Saturn fanatic, it’s incredibly interesting, and just straight-up cool to see actual footage of this unreleased title.

As for what’s next, who knows? A whole world of possibilities is open for this build. One thing’s for sure though; patience is of the greatest importance. This is incredibly complex stuff, and the fact that jollyroger, cooljerk and Andrew75 have already made such progress is incredibly surprising, and impressive. In terms of a release, we have no idea: however, since this build is apparently the build referred to by Ofer Alon, lead programmer of Sonic X-Treme who did not want the code released, it seems unlikely. Ofer cited respect for SEGA’s property as his reasons for not sharing in the past, and that seems fair and sensible to me.

I think cooljerk himself puts it best however:

If nothing else, everybody owes JR an enormous debt of gratitude because his work has been extremely generous and selfless. What he’s doing is pretty much the exact opposite of greed. So please – and realize I’m speaking to an audience greater than Sonic Retro here, mainly to those who are coming to this forum for news on this release in general – try to understand that this is a phenomenal amount of work being undertaken, at no cost, entirely for the benefit of stranger’s he’ll never even meet.

As a whole, I think the team respecting Alon’s wish shows considerable courage, and nobility. This is a incredible effort, and one I think everyone SEGA, Sonic, or Saturn fan should be impressed by. We’ll keep you updated with more significant developments, but also keep an eye on the Sonic Retro forums thread for the game by clicking here.

Given how complex this whole tale is, there’s a chance I may have messed up a few details: I’d be open to any corrections.

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