SONIC 3D BLAST / SONIC 3D FLICKIES ISLAND
Mega Drive/Genesis, Saturn and PC
SEGA / TRAVELLERS TALES 1996

Sonic 3D

HISTORY

Sonic 3D Blast / Flickies Island (Sonic 3D) was SEGA's attempt (albeit a weak one) to give Sonic a breath of 3D action while the rest of the world was still going mad over the fully 3D Mario 64 and Sony having some success with their 3D titles too.

Sonic Team, already occupied with other projects, enlist the help of Travellers Tales (TT) here in the UK to assist. Travellers Tales had previously shown some impressive programming skills throughout the Mega Drive/Genesis (16-Bit) era an example being Puggsy.

Travellers Tales Logo Circa 1996

Travellers Tales Website

Sonic 3D was initially to be a Mega Drive/Genesis only title, yet the underrated Saturn desperately needed a Sonic game. TT had managed to create a port to the Saturn in very short amount of time which impressed SEGA/Sonic Team. Thus, the eventual cancellation of Sonic X-Treme resulted in Sonic 3D's official, complete and quick port to the 32-Bitter. Sonic 3D had become the back-up Sonic game for the Saturn game but sadly this version feels like a throw together effort whilst the 16-Bit version impresses.

It does not make Sonic's first appearance in 3D a brilliant one especially where the Saturn version is concerned anyway.

Sonic 3D was released on Mega Drive/Genesis, Saturn and PC (Windows 9x). The PC version lags behind the Saturn version slightly but is the only version to offer a save feature. Despite the slight difference in the titles, the games are essentially the same.

It spawned an 8-Bit spin-off called Sonic Labyrinth on the Game Gear and TT would bring another Sonic game to the Saturn and PC entitled Sonic R.

The 16-Bit version has been included in some of the Sonic compilation titles such as Sonic Mega Collection. It has also been released on Steam.

Sonic 3D European Cases
Sonic 3D Blast Mega Drive European Case Sonic 3D Flickies Island Saturn European Case

Click for larger.

STORY

The Mysterious Flickies

The Mysterious Flickies

Flicky Island is the home of the mysterious Flicky Birds. They are very rarely seen and thought that their appearance is closely linked to the locations of the Chaos Emeralds. Sonic decides to check out Flicky Island. Robotnik, always after the prizes, has travelled to the island. With his evil scientific genius he now knows the secret of the Flickies - they live in a parallel universe and come into this world via Teleport Rings.

Robotnik creates the Teleport Ring Generator designed to lure the Flickies over for him to do with what he pleases and yet again they are turned into robotic slaves.

Sonic arrives and find the island in turmoil. The Flickies must be rescued from their mechanical prisons and returned to their own dimension as well as getting the Chaos Emeralds before the mad doctor gets his hands on all of them.

GAMEPLAY

Although the name suggests a different style of play, Sonic 3D is not that much of a diversion from the style of a Sonic game. The change of the layout from a more linear scrolling left-to-right (generally) to the isometric view is the real change.

The actions of running around, jumping, collecting rings and special items, destroying enemies and obtaining the Chaos Emeralds all still have to be achieved. As usual there are plenty of nooks and crannies that can be found with some exploration. These are generally found by smashing through weak walls or loose floor panels.

Sonic is the only playable character. He moves around in all directions via the D-Pad. Buttons A and C are Jump and Button B is specifically for the Spin Dash which you have to be stationary to perform.

The levels themselves are split into sections best described as gameboards since they are chequered. There are a minimum of 2 boards per act. Each act contains the usual Sonic special items inside monitors. They are:

ring - earns 10 rings.

invincibility - temporally invincible.

speed boots - a temporary speed boost.

Sonic - an extra life.

Sonic Medals - Collect 10 for a continue credit. These will be in at increasing heights through the course of a gameboard.

There are also 3 types of shield each protecting Sonic from a particular element inside of each zone. All shields also absorb one hit. They are:

blue - protects from electrical discharges.

red - protects from fire.

gold - (only) grants Sonic a Blast Attack ability. Perform a double-jump to home in on a nearby enemy to destroy it.

Your goal on each gameboard is to rescue all of the five Flickies and get them to the teleport ring. The five Flickies are scattered throughout the gameboard and imprisoned as Badnik's. Simply destroy the Badnik by means of a jump or Spin Dash attack to release the bird. Beware that some Badnik's have defences. Then walk/run over to attract and the Flickies will follow in an orderly line.

The Flickies

Once free, Flickies will still need your attention and protection. If any of the group are hit they will disperse. If Sonic takes a hit they will also disperse along with the usual scattering of rings. Each colour of Flicky behaves slightly differently when alone.

Blue are the least trouble. Once busted open, have Sonic stand still and they should make their way to you.

Pink move around a little more but they do try and catch up. They will fly in circles around Sonic when he's standing still.

Red move around from one point to another and do not try to follow. They do not move very far but good timing is needed to catch them.

Green = Problems. They veer off randomly around the gameboard and are the most difficult to catch. On some of the harder levels, having to go after these may get Sonic killed.

The indicator at the bottom right of the screen shows you how many Flickies you've rescued.

Once having collected a Flicky it can be taken to the Teleport Ring which will be in a static location somewhere on each gameboard. Once a Flicky has gone through the teleport ring it does not come back out. However, there are two advantages by having a full line of Flickies. They can reach some of the Sonic Medals that are usually way above springs and the more Flickies you take to the Teleport Rings at once the more points you get.

Once all five Flickies have been sent home, the teleport ring will then serve as the route to the next gameboard although is possible to go back to completed gameboards for collection of rings and special items ect. When exiting an act the usual time and ring bonuses are awarded.

Each zone consists of three acts with act three being a confrontation with Dr Robotnik. There are seven zones in total with a final boss zone.

The Saturn and PC version of the game will display a map of the act when the Start Button is pressed.

Gameboard Map

Gameboard Map

Special Stages

Tails and Knuckles make cameo appearances in an act and serve as your gateway into the Special Stages. You need to take 50 rings in total to either of them to gain access for the chance to collect a Chaos Emerald. Their positions in each act are static and they can be visited as many times as needed to deposit 50 rings, but you can only be transported to a Special Stage once for either of them and their stages differ, though afterward they are will to take Sonic's rings.

Any rings given to Tails or Knuckles are included as part of ring bonuses at the end of each act.

After collecting all the Chaos Emeralds you can enter again for the prize of an extra life instead.

The format of the Special Stage differs between the Mega Drive/Genesis and Saturn/PC versions but both revolve around the same idea: collecting set amounts of rings in a certain amount of space.

Mega Drive/Genesis Version

Sonic runs along a weak quazzy-3D bridge. There are plenty of mines to avoid otherwise rings are lost. There are also steps in the bridge which are easily jumped over but sometimes hamper the oncoming view and therein lays the trickiness as it speeds up also.

Complete all the goals and the shiny Chaos Emerald is awarded.

Sonic 3D Special Stage Mega Drive/Genesis Version
Special Stage Special Stage

Saturn and PC Version

Can be described as an enhanced version of the Special Stage from Sonic 2. Saturn power shows through with the half-pipe design benefiting from the Saturn's polygon abilities with the designers adding tunnels, corkscrew twists, springs and platforms. That said the handling is quite sluggish and will need some getting used to.

Sonic 3D Special Stage Saturn and PC Version
Special Stage Special Stage

LEVELS AND SCREENSHOTS

Select which version of screenshots to view.

Sonic 3D Screenshots
Sonic 3D Blast Sonic 3D Flickies Island

Mega Drive/Genesis

SoundtrackOpening

Saturn

SoundtrackTitle Screen

Island Map

Island Map

CHEATS AND TIPS

Beware that after completing a Special Stage you will have no rings and therefore will die upon taking a hit unless you still have a shield of course.

Extra Life In Rusty Ruin

At the very start of Act 1, enter the door behind and perform a Spin Dash to find the extra life.

Level Select (Mega Drive/Genesis)

Press B, A, Right, A, C, Up, Down, A, Start when the phrase "Press Start" appears on the opening screen. More easily remembered as BARACUDA. The level selection screen will be displayed before gameplay begins.

Level Select Cheat

Level Skip (Mega Drive/Genesis)

Activate the level select cheat. Pause the game and press Button A.

Level Skips and Items (Saturn)

At title screen when Start is flashing, hold down Button C and press Start. It will enable the cheat code.

At any time during play, pause and press:

Button A to skip 1 act

Button B to skip 3 acts/1 zone

Button C to skip to puppet panic zone act 3

Button X to add 1 life

Button Y to add 1 extra medal

Button Z to earn all Chaos emeralds

Easy Chaos Emeralds

With the Level Select Cheat enabled, when beginning a special stage, press A+Start to automatically gain the Chaos Emerald and exit the stage. This does not work from the Level Select screen. You will simpy exit back to the level select screen.

PC VERSION

System Requirements

Windows 9x, Me, XP (Not Windows 2000)
Pentium 75Mhz
8MB RAM
X2 Speed CDROM
1MB Hard Disk Space
16-Bit Sound Card

It is a DirectX game.

It can be played with non-Intel CPU's.

SOUNDTRACKS

You can download the soundtrack to both versions of the game in MP3 format from the Sonic 3D Soundtracks page.

EMULATOR COMPATIBILITY

Perfect for the Mega Drive/Genesis version. Play it with KEGA Fusion, Gens and Gens32. You can download these from the Mega Drive/Genesis Emulators Page.

The Saturn version can be played with the SSF Emulator. You can download this from the Saturn Emulators Page.

MISC INFO

Credits

Sonic 3D Credits

Program Design and Implementation

Jon Burton - Travellers Tales

Senior Producers

Yutaka Sugano - SEGA

Head Artist

James Cunliffe - Travellers Tales

Head Designer

Takao Miyoshi - SEGA

Producer

Kats Sato - SEGA

Travellers Tales

Programmer

Jon Burton

Background Artist

James Cunliffe

3D Models and Animation

James Cunliffe
Neil Allen
Dave Burton
Will Thompson
Jon Rashid

Sonic Animation

Dave Burton

Bonus Game Implementation

David Dootson

Additional Programs

David Dootson
Gary Vine
Neil harding

Project Management

Jon Burton

Production Support

Karen Roberts

Moral Support

Helen Musk

SEGA

SEGA Enterprises LTD

SEGA Europe LTD (SOE)

SEGA Of America INC (SOA)

Game Concepts Design (SEGA Of Japan (SOJ))

Kats Sato
Takao Miyoshi
Takashi Iizuka

Playfield Design (SOJ)

Takao Miyoshi
Hirokazu Yasuhara

3D Modelling (SOJ)

Toshiyuki Mukaiyama

Music and Sound Effects (SOJ)

Tatsayuki Maeda
Jun Senoue
Masaru Setsumaru
Seiroh Okamoto

Document Translation (SOA)

Osamu Shibamiya

Lead Tester

Jason Cumberbatch (SOE)

Assistant Lead Testers (SOE)

John Murphy
Dave Thompson

Lead Testers (SOA)

Nicole Tatem

Assistant Lead Testers (SOA)

Ian McGuinness
Fernando Valderrama
Michale McCollum
Jason Bartholowmew

Technical Support (SOE)

Colin Carter

Marketing (SOE)

Andy Mee
Jo Bladen
Mark Maslowicz

Marketing (SOA)

Chrissie Kremer
Eric Dunstan
Kristin Mccloskey
Mark Subotnik

Advisors (SOJ)

Yuji Naka
Naoto Oshima

Producers (SOJ)

Yoji Ishii
Yutaka Sugano

Producers (SOE)

Kazutoshi Miyake
Kats Sato

Producers (SOA)

Manny Granillo
Mike Wallis

Executive Producer

Shoichiro Irimajiri

Related

Sonic Labyrinth (Game Gear)


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