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(or Sonic Studium
) is essentially an incomplete technical demo showcasing the concept of switching game engines on the fly by using code written into the RAM. It features two types of playable levels, and two navigation type levels. The actual gameplay consists of Sonic and his sidekick Tails working together to clear the stages while being chained together by a pair of rings, focusing on the new dynamic of controlling both characters at once and manipulating inertia in order to advance through certain areas. The stages themselves are largely incomplete, and after the first playthroughs beging looping via pallete swaps, and slight changes to the musical score. Despite its very early state, the majority of the concepts put forth in Sonic Crackers
were eventually realized in the later game Knuckles' Chaotix.
Because Sonic Crackers
has never been officially recognized or released by Sega, the origin of the name was instead taken from the ROM itself. This name was Sonic Studium
, which is the title given by the ROM header. The name Sonic Crackers
was a nickname given to the ROM when it was leaked sometime after its creation date of April 1st, 1994. Because of this, Sonic Crackers
and Sonic Studium
are used interchangeably to describe the incomplete ROM. Sonic Crackers
is also sometimes called Sonic the Hedgehog 4
, due to its unreleased and unannounced state, however Sonic Crackers
was most likely never meant to be a sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog 3
or Sonic & Knuckles
, based off of the fact that it ultilizes sprites from the original Sonic the Hedgehog
and shares many levels, concepts and aspects of the later Sega 32X game, Knuckles' Chaotix