Sonic Crackers is not a Beta, it's a joke

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by infinity, Feb 19, 2017.

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  1. infinity

    infinity

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    So I was doing some thinking today since I was bored. Now the original Sonic Crackers rom came out of nowhere, I happened to come across a BBS copy of the original 'release' in .lzh format from an Amiga based BBS quite a few years ago and I shared it on here thinking it was interesting.

    But when I now look at the details it's very clear this is a joke. Firstly the name is Sonic CRACKERS. Crackers - as in Amiga/computer crackers - people who pirate software and make demos.

    This is the documentation with the original files;


    ÉÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ»
    º This GaMe SupPLieD by Morgoth and Gandalf º
    º *** From Evil Empire (Belgium) *** º
    ÌÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ͹
    º º
    º Name : [Sonic Crack? ] º
    º Size : [08 Mbit] º
    º Editor : [Fuck!Sux] º
    º Console : [Megadrive Euro, Jap and Genesis] º
    º Game Type : [Beta platforms º
    º Copy Date : [11-06-95] º
    º File Names : Find out ! º
    º º
    º Some comments on diz game : diz is a playableÍÍÍÍ MD version º
    º of a new SoNiC that should run on the 32X, but to be º
    º honest i dunno 100% so take it as it is. º


    Now these guys sound stupid right? It's because its a joke group. They are making a joke. 'Morgoth and Gandalf' are not a pirate group - if they were they would have actually released something else - but they never did.

    The date of the release. Compare this to Knuckes Chaotix: March 20, 1995. So they released an 'exclusive beta' months after the actual game.

    Another file included (snippet)


    :-))) Morgoth (((-: \_| Lord of Darkness
    *** [Sonic Crack 32X Beta ] ***
    *** ***
    *** [Sega/SMD/08Mbit/PAL] [PL!] ***
    ===========> Greetz fly to All <===========
    [======== Evil Empire BBS Belgium =========]


    Basically its from Belgium, this BBS they advertise was a place where Amiga games and demos would be distributed.

    In this old thread, Heran Bago was researching this era (which is sadly very much lost to time) http://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?showtopic=5890 - The Sonic 3D by MORGOTH does not exist. They made another joke about releasing a game they didn't have. Another joke is the modified filetime which is from the future, i don't know what the exact joke is but it's 29/04/2023 for no reason. I suspect the BBS owners were unwitting about the ROM they received - a joke by the coders on the BBS/pirates who couldn't test the ROMs themselves.

    I should explain, the scene has many injokes. Unfortunately lost to time is some definite proof they were messing around - a file called CW_JUN95.TXT discusses the 'Sonic Crackers' ROM and they talk POSTIVELY about playing the ROM, seemingly as a joke while giving the release a good rating - in on the joke.

    Some people will argue probably about the technical ability of making it, well this is the kind of thing made in 95 by amiga/demosceners (also who are gamedevs) on the 32X: http://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=10686
    The ROM is only a technical curiosity if you think its funny that a guy with 32X devkit/sdk made a deliberately broken Knuckles Chaotix just to troll the warez scene. Just think about it - sonic CRACKERS. CRACKERS!


    Also Sonic 'STUDIUM' As in Sonic Education which could mean a number of things although interesting they used that word (its not mistyped).

    One reason they would do such a prank is because of the German pirates who often would pirate the games of the actual game developers and release them early. So this is just a little way to get back at them. Often things like this have happened without being noticed. This community should be more aware of joke betas - since the Nintendo guys seem to be clueless whats real or not!

    If you would like to debate and just say 'it's a beta' well its up to you.

    PS: I think the isometric levels are a joke about how bad Sonic 3D was going to be. Just my opinion.
     
  2. Rika Chou

    Rika Chou

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    http://info.sonicretro.org/Chaotix_(prototype_1207)
     
  3. infinity

    infinity

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    It's text in yet another prototype, what about the final... wheres drx's copy of the actual Sonic Crackers if he has such a massive stash of betas? Do you think prototypes cannot be faked, do you not think it's suspicious hundreds of Sega betas turned up that people could research? Why does Sega never acknowledge any existence of the game.

    I mean even think about it as a beta test. It's a joke - the isometric level is awful, the title is done in ascii hash tags lol. What kind of tech demo is this supposed to represent? It's almost like an inside joke from someone about how bad Knuckles Chaotix and Sonic 3D were going to be. Who would you show this to or even let them play.. yet it shows up somehow in the warez scene in mid 1995 with people making jokes about it being 'good'.

    There's many connections to scene and gamedev so these kinds of things would not be a surprise.

    And the date on the title is April Fool's... i mean seriously come on.. sonic CRACKERS. What the hell does that even mean? The term for crackers in computer circles refers to the people I'm talking about.


    Why would this rom even exist when you think about it. Somehow a weird very test of a 32X game (on a genesis?), turns up in the warez scene. It's like a joke by someone inside SoE possibly who was also in the demoscene making fun of the games. They didn't even keep copies of stuff like this. You rewrite the cart after you did a test, then rewrite, etc.

    Because of the hardware crash how would the sceners who joked about the title even try it? They were making a joke! Sceners are gamedevs too that's the point. It's a broken little demo intentionally.
     
  4. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    So you are saying the Knuckles Chaotix photo with a date of December 4th, 1994 is also a hoax then?
     
  5. I always assumed 'Crackers' (this game is bonkers/crackers/mental!!) was a joke/place holder title given by the team during development.

    I always give work in progress songs stupid titles, and then the final name once it's done.
     
  6. infinity

    infinity

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    JaxTH: What? Wouldn't that prove that Knuckles Chaotix was always the intended game? Sonic Crackers is not from (lol) April 1st. It's not even a tech demo its completely broken! I swear a good amiga/console coder back in the day could put Sonic Crackers together in a day as a joke. If you wanted to make a first playable 'Sonic Crackers' why wouldn't you make it uh... actually somewhat playable or good or anything?

    People really like to hold onto their theories. Yes its nice to think you have ROM NUMBER 1 FROM APRIL 1ST OF KNUCKLES CHAOTIX (WITH SONIC!!) (that happened to appear in 1995 suspiciously in the warez scene - which never happened with any other titles, not betas this early). But sorry it's not. It's a joke. The isometric part are a joke about Sonic 3D.

    Unless you think people played this ROM 1 and thought damn this shit is good enough to make 2 whole games out of!



    High Fidelity: Sonic Stadium was a 'planned game' according to some people. Sonic Studium (Sonic Education in German) seems to be another joke, deliberately mispelt. As in - this rom will be educational.

    Just add up the facts here. April 1st. Sonic Studium. Sonic CRACKERS. Appearing in the warez scene which is RAN by Germans, who were very much capable of making this.
     
  7. You've got me thinking, but I think the game is the real deal. I mean, the fact that the same ideas where used in Chaotix should be a clue.

    And also as mentioned before, SonicCrackersS32X in the proto Time Attack screen. That's irrefutable no?

    But you know, there's a small chance we could be wrong. Do some more research and see what you find.
     
  8. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    This situation that you've put forth has a Knuckles Chaotix prototype dated December 7th, 1994 which has the Sonic Crackers name in it, released by drx in 2008, but somehow Sonic Crackers having a date of April 1st, 1994 is suspicious to you because it turned up after Knuckles Chaotix was released proper.

    So what I'm asking you, is do you somehow think this Chaotix proto is also a hoax? It has the Sonic Crackers name in a data and the word Crackers is just some grand joke, correct?
     
  9. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    Actually, people have been pointing out some facts that refute your theory of "it's a big joke by the Germans".
     
  10. Laura

    Laura

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    One point to consider. If Sonic Crackers isn't real, why do Sonic and Tails exist in Knuckles Chaotix? Sonic as modified into Espio and Tails as the broken Wechnia.

    I agree that the Sonic Crackers prototype is bizarre, but it makes logical sense that Cracker's Sonic and Tails leads into the progressive disappearance of Sonic and Tails through the Chaotix prototypes (with Wechnia eventually losing his ability to fly as Sonic and Tails were fazed out of Chaotix).

    Crackers just aligns well with the Chaotix prototypes, and this is before we knew about Wechnia's ability to fly in earlier prototypes of Chaotix because they weren't available.
     
  11. Black Squirrel

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    It's a nice idea, but "it looks bad", "it has a silly name" and "some people could have made this in 1995" don't really stack up against the wealth of game data that links Sonic Crackers to Chaotix.


    But hey, Germans are known for their efficiency - managing to both reverse engineer a 32X and produce a Mega Drive ROM within the space of a few months, all for a laugh.
     
  12. Laura

    Laura

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    To be fair, a lot of the points he brings up are good. It does seem utterly bizarre that some unknown pirates would release a prototype of Knuckles Chaotix six months after the game's launch.

    Can anyone give satisfying arguments against his stronger points. That is, the bizarre name 'Sonic Crackers', the odd release date of the prototype on the black market and the fact Morgoth and Gandalf doesn't actually exist.
     
  13. big smile

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    I wouldn't read too much into Crackers being a silly name. It was probably made by a Japanese development team, who might have thought the word meant something else. A bit like how Donkey Kong was supposed to mean stubborn monkey.
     
  14. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    That's true, but what about his other points? Isn't it a bit weird that there's no digital trace of Morgoth and Gandalf? Why did some unknown pirates have access to such an early prototype months after Chaotix came out?

    And I believe Crackers is real, but it does seem a bit strange.
     
  15. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    These things are often written down, it's just encouraging people to read which is the problem :eng101:

    Simon Wai's Sonic 2 beta for example - its leaking was documented and it led to quite a few restrictions on the press for a bit when Sega flipped out. But we're currently short on magazine scans from the 1994-1996 period - Sega Pro, Sega Power, Sega Magazine, Megatech, Mega, various others etc.
     
  16. infinity

    infinity

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    The wealth of game data is because likely they had ACCESS to the game data. Gamedevelopers were also often once pirates or demosceners and made fun of each other. There's no point in me arguing more make up your own minds. Someone in Sega of Europe thought it'd be fun to laugh at both Knuckles Chaotix and a little bit at Sonic 3D at the same time. It was released only a few months after Chaotix official release - that doesn't happen in the warez scene! They threw it in the warez scene as a joke and said it was a beta.

    Game developers learnt to code somewhere. Many of them in demos and also warez in the beginning. Sega was competitive at the time, VERY much competing SoA/SoE/SoJ. And I just have a sneaking suspicion in this case they were German.

    They HAD the code of the game. It's not a first ROM, its a broken rom on purpose! how could you deny that? It's deliberately a broken joke about the bad physics (they even get worse up the level in the chaotix ones). I think the RESET button not working is a joke too but i don't know for sure (why break it on purpose?). Tails/Sonic are in it because they were always in it.

    In late 1995 is when this kind of thing stopped happening because the piracy scene stopped doing this kind of thing except in demos... no more SUPER early leaks and so on, or code sharing, and so on. People borrowed source codes, leaked games, because they all joined the industry as friends. That's what leads to things like this.

    So ok - the rom is legitimate and by (someone at or connected to) SEGA if you insist - but it's not a serious beta of Chaotix. It is a joke.

    But it wouldn't be the first joke sonic game now would it... Sonic Blast anyone?
     
  17. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    All I'm hearing you say is that you are right because you are saying you are right.
     
  18. infinity

    infinity

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    No look I'm not trying to win an argument.. I'm just stacking up facts in my head about the releases, the content, the nature of the game scene back in 1995. If you think if it's really the first edition of an engine test (thats broken in both modes) then it's your opinion. Sure it could be a work in progress. Then why is it out in the public warez domain in 1995? An early engine test (the first??). Hope you understand where I'm coming from. Because that kinda thing wouldn't be leaked or arguably you wouldn't even keep such a piece of work especially share it with anyone.

    I think it's an interesting discussion anyway at least. I mean maybe whoever had Sega access raided the codebase for some early version of the game to release? I can't say the actual situation I just have a feeling saying it's straight up definitely the first prototype of the new Sonic game is wrong. I mean isn't the new game supposed to showcase the 32x anyway?

    Also do you think maybe a 32x version of Sonic Crackers would exist in some form? Yet they released a Megadrive version (because it was released to pirates and afaik no 32x copier ever existed). Tbh the whole situation is quite mysterious i just thought I'd be an interesting discussion.

    PS: one funny idea in my head is someone making Knuckles Chaotix work in progress inside Sega, then someone throwing them Sonic Crackers just to try and annoy them about their game and encourage them to work harder; i heard this kind of stuff was certainly happening in early 90s.
     
  19. Fred

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    Case in point: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clackers
     
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  20. 32x ROMs are dumped the exact same way as Mega Drive ROMs. The difference is purely in physical cart shape. Nothing else.

    TIL - This explains a hell of a lot. I wish I learnt about these earlier.
     
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