don't click here

The Enigma That Is Knuckles' Chaotix's Development

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by The Joebro64, Aug 22, 2022.

  1. The KKM

    The KKM

    Welcome to the nExt level Member
    IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog comic books
    Oh I'm well aware there's no evidence for it ever having been clackers, just wondering if the root of the name WAS "clackers" but the choice for the apparent-engrish "crackers" is actually more down to finding the latter sounds cooler.
  2. Forte


    I speak better after three beers Member
    Thank You for clarification, drx.
    I can see Saturn Version living a short life as a concept. It's still cool that this version could have been planned. If anything, it adds to our knowledge about Chaotix.

    I suppose Gryson theory is plausible at this point. Or maybe SoJ told this SoA employee that this was the case, but in reality, they never really considered Saturn port.
    Let's not forget, that companies are run by people, and people are different. Helpful, malicious, lying, looking to their own advantage, goals, etc.

    We cannot view corporations as always making logical decisions, and sometimes I get the impression that we read it that way.

    Also - wasn't 32X Nakayama's order? I recall reading somewhere, that SoA was sceptical, and wanted to co-work on Saturn, but SoJ were acting dickish.
  3. Gryson


    If "Sonic Crackers" did get approved by an SOA producer, I could imagine them having no idea what it meant but assuming some firecracker reference or such. As you say, they probably thought it sounded good enough. I doubt they made the clackers connection.

    Not according to Nakayama himself and heads of SOA:

    From the book MD Collected Works.

    SOA didn't want the Saturn. They wanted their own lower-priced machine and didn't want to lose the Genesis install base they had built up.
  4. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

    It's never been confirmed, but the offs are very high that the name was intended to be "Clackers". It's a simple transliteration error. The Japanese language doesn't distinguish between "L"s and "R"s; it spells both English "L"s and "R"s with "R". You can actually see this for yourself by putting "Clackers" in Google Translate and then clicking the arrows - it'll get turned into "Crackers" immediately.
  5. Pengi


    So Special Stage and sprite scaling aside, Chaotix could just have been a Mega Drive? There's nothing else that's reliant on the 32X's capabilities?

    From that post it sounds like maybe the music took advantage of the 32X as well, but I might be misunderstanding.
  6. saxman


    Oldbie Tech Member
    The sound driver is also 68000, but makes use of the PWM chip for drums. I do not know if the PWM calls themselves are done across one of the SH-2s or not, but as I understand it, this isn't required.

    Overall, the 32X is mostly for enhancing the graphical presentation in Chaotix. The sprites are drawn on the 32X frame buffers, and thus are higher color and scalable as such.
  7. Yep. SEGA America dropped with the ball with the focus on the 32X and then to compound matters, they didn't deliver a 32Bit Next Gen Sonic either . SEGA Japan didn't help at times, Daytona USA poor graphics was a gift to SEGA bashers and helped with the myth that Saturn couldn't handle 3D.

    SEGA should have just dropped the Mega Drive in 1994 and looked to focus on just the Saturn and Arcades, if price was a issue gone with the Juptior plan.
    The worst part is with the Series S shows how that could have worked out :(
  8. Forte


    I speak better after three beers Member
    Not really. The gap between Mega Drive /32X and Saturn was too big. 3D was all the rage back then. The gap between PS3 and PS4 and now between PS4 and PS5 isn't as impressive.
  9. Azookara


    yup Member
    We're getting into a different topic altogether from Chaotix, but I find thinking about what it would've been like for Sega to release one reasonably powered 5th gen machine (instead of two underpowered ones) to be really interesting. It probably doesn't lead to much discussion besides just fantasizing and rationing hardware specs/features and how it would've affected our timeline, but if someone who may know more about both machines were to make a topic I'd be down to talk on it.

    I'd offer myself to make said topic btw, but I know a lot less about both 32X and Saturn than I do of say, Dreamcast's development. Half of my presence there would be a learning experience lol

    Back on Chaotix for a minute though, I really wish Sega just wasn't so hasty with their decisions. If I were in their shoes I would've just tried to salvage it into a proper Saturn Sonic title rather than ship it out as-is on 32X. Though I suppose the arms race for 3D wouldn't have looked so hot on Sega's mascot, especially after releasing five 2D games back to back prior. Still, a huge waste to let the art, characters and music go on such an unpolished game.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2022
  10. The Jupiter and Saturn had the same tech spec, the only difference was the lack of a CD Rom drive. At least with those systems you could share development and graphics, like Saturn and ST-V and Saturn users could have had the choice of Carts or CD versions . I would have gone for the Cart version of Die Hard Arcade myself to cut out loading
  11. Forte


    I speak better after three beers Member
    So it's more like PS5 and PS5 digital? :)
  12. Billy


    RIP Oderus Urungus Member
    Colorado, USA
    Indie games
    Do we know anything about the music? It's always been crazy to me that music that was in Crackers ended up in the final release with only slight modification. As stated earlier in the thread, the biggest change being them making use of the 32X PWM. Hell, it's crazy that Crackers even had full music tracks, given the tech demo-ish nature of that build.
  13. Overlord


    Now playable in Smash Bros Ultimate Moderator
    Long-term happiness
    Likely suffered from the same thing everything else in the project did - lack of time. A lot of 32X games didn't make full use of the hardware, it might be they decided that having done tracks that were good enough was fine without going deep into the fancyness of it.

    Could be worse - see the fiasco that is the 32X Doom port, and how terrible that sounds.
  14. E-122-Psi


    The sad thing is that really I LIKE the idea of the 32X on paper, I had my Mega Drive for years before finally being able to get a PS1, so the idea of a 'life support' system that let it play downgraded versions of new games would have likely excited me a ton (look at the two Virtua ports on there, it's nothing now but a full 3D arcade game is an enchanting thing to have on the Mega Drive in its day). But of course the 32X was gone before even the base Mega Drive was. Even as a kid I knew I had just seen a quick buck fad.

    The idea should have only been put out by a company that had the money and investment, which SEGA, even for all their good qualities the Mega Drive brought, obviously didn't. I get the feeling Nintendo might have gotten away with a SNES add on that could play some of the simpler N64 games, though they'd obviously have a bigger market than SEGA to fall back on. People wanted the Saturn before any MD add on, and then ironically even the Saturn barely had anything either.

    Heck most fans were likely already sceptical after the Mega CD petered out, which with more patient and concise design and marketing, likely could have lasted long enough to double as the MD life support instead. Heck imagine if they waited and made THAT the 32 bit experiment to practice how they'd go about the Saturn.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2022
  15. saxman


    Oldbie Tech Member
    Because they used PWM in place of the DAC, all the tracks in Chaotix use six FM channels as opposed to five. I would say they made the most of everything they could. The alternative would be having SNES-like music, which sounds like a step down from the Genesis when it's at its best.

    The thing about Chaotix is I don't know they could have done much better. Having some experience with the hardware on and off, I can say that using the hardware to it's fullest extent is somewhat of a pipe dream. The bottlenecks discourage full use in many situations, because otherwise you find yourself stuck with 30 fps performance as opposed to the the 60 fps we're all used to.
  16. Battons


    Shining Force Fan Member
    Chaotix is very particular and while I can’t verify through technology I know for a fact specific models of genesis can not run the game no matter what.
    Out of my 6 sega (genesi,genesisis???) only 2 I have will run it one being the revision 3 board model 1 and a launch model 2. My revision 4 model 1, majesco model 2, and late release (can’t remember which revision) model 2 don’t work. My last model 1 is a final revision but I busted it after failing a mod so it won’t run anything lol.
  17. Prototype


    Given the weird situation of music from SegaSonic Bros. surfacing in Sonic 3 for the special stage, could it be possible that the members of the Sega Sound Team composed a lot of tracks of various themes/genres without a specific project assigned to it?

    That is, maybe there was already a bunch of pre-made music to fall back on in the case a project needed music.

    This could explain why the songs in Chaotix actually have song titles instead of just being referred to by the Zone/Level/Attraction name.

    Just an uninformed theory, someone can probably easily poke holes in it.
  18. Gryson


    As you say, Sonic on the Saturn just had to be a showcase 3D title. There was no way at all a 2D game would work. Magazines were already full of rumors that the Saturn didn't do 3D as well as the PlayStation. Sony of America even had a policy of not publishing 2D games IIRC.

    There's also the point that Sega thought they'd be getting several Sonic games soon on the Saturn.

    The original intention was to do NiGHTS quickly and then get a Sonic game ready for the American market relatively early. Naka and Ohshima talked about this in that long Famitsu article from a few years ago.

    Ohshima said they were heavily pressured to immediately work on a Sonic title, but they were all so creatively burned out from Sonic that it was impossible. He told the sales managers that they were working on a game where Sonic could fly...

    NiGHTS ended up taking over a year longer than expected. By the time they started working on Sonic Adventure for the Saturn, the console was dying, so they shifted the project to the Dreamcast and released their work as Sonic Jam.

    Meanwhile, I'm sure everyone is familiar with the Sonic X-Treme disaster at STI.
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  19. Mr. Ksoft

    Mr. Ksoft

    Doubtful, the game doesn't seem to credit the Sega Sound Team at all, specifically attributing all the music to Junko Shiratsu and Mariko Nanba. Of course, that does not discount that they re-used music they had composed earlier - but I don't think that the music game from a "general stock" like the reuse of the SegaSonic Bros music in S3.
    • Informative Informative x 4
    • List
  20. Brainulator


    Regular garden-variety member Member
    I played Knuckles' Chaotix in July/August 2017 in anticipation of Sonic Mania. I really feel that Chaotix and Sonic Forces are very similar in that they only seem to give a crap about anything when they feel like it. It's amazing how things got done, especially on a platform that I'm firmly convinced should never have existed to begin with.

    I do find the idea of a 2D Sonic game for the Sega Saturn to be realistic - from what I've heard, the Saturn was originally built with 2D graphics in mind but had 3D capabilities added on once that become the hot new thing (and the PlayStation was announced to have 3D support).

    One last thing - more posts in which drx mentions Saturn Chaotix: post #837631, post #884177.