Christian Whitehead (aka The Taxman) confirmed to Sonic Retro upon the official unveiling of the Sonic CD port on Thursday that his Retro Engine is powering the game. Whitehead also says the game will feature a proper looping soundtrack and an option to play using the original Sonic CD Spin Dash or one similar to Sonic 2. You can see the Retro Engine running a proof of concept demo of Sonic CD on an iPod Touch in the above video Whitehead recorded back in 2009.
UPDATE: Sonic Retro has informed us that it was actually SEGA’s Ken Balough that was interviewed below, not Patrick Riley.
In other news, SSMB and Sonic Retro forum member Shade Vortex attended PAX 2011 and interviewed SEGA staff member Ken Balough about this new Sonic CD port and got some interesting bits of information. You can read the full details below courtesy of Sonic Retro.
SONIC 2 SPIN DASH AND MUSIC
Regarding the functionality of the Sonic 2 spindash, Riley said that the feature could still be removed from the final game if it is found to cause problems within the game, going on to say that developers shouldn’t talk about features so early on for this reason.
More on that point, when asked about the inclusion of the U.S. soundtrack, Riley stated that it is not currently planned for use in the full release, due to licensing issues in using Spencer Nilsen’s soundtrack. However, Sega is trying to work around that and come up with a solution. Meaning, if an agreement is reached, this may include paid DLC, if the game can support it. For now, the game is International soundtrack only.
DOING THE TIME WARP IN THE TIMELINE
When asked about the curious use of Sonic 4 assets in the reveal trailer for the game, Riley confirmed that Sega has retrofitted Sonic CD‘s place in the timeline as after Sonic 3 and Knuckles but before Sonic 4: Episode 1. The rationale behind this was that Sonic CD’s developers never put any direct mention of Sonic CD‘s place in the timeline.
Even if a slight nod to its place exists within the original game itself.
So how exactly does this work? When Sonic CD is released later this year and Sonic 4: Episode 2 is announced, there will be a trailer where Sonic escapes from his time-travelling detour. In all the Sonic 4 trailers, Sonic is chasing Eggman from the left of the screen to the right. In the Sonic CD trailer, there’s a signpost instead, and when he hits it, he takes a detour and does the story of Sonic CD. Once his CD adventure is over, his detour ends, and he goes onto Sonic 4: Episode 2, coming out sometime next year.
Wait… so Sonic 4: Episode 1 happens, Sonic CD, then Sonic 4: Episode 2? I guess this fits with the whole “after Sonic 3 and Knuckles” thing, but wouldn’t this technically make it a side-sequel to Sonic 4: Episode 1 then? Just hit me with the Hazama cameo. Blast you and your odd time travel logic, Sega!
Opinion injection aside, there’s one more point that was tackled.
SONIC 4: EPISODE 2 RUNNING ON THE RETRO ENGINE?
With The Taxman’s earlier details revealing that Sega now owns a license to his Retro Engine, used to power the popular fan game Retro Sonic Nexus, fan speculation rocketed if Sonic 4: Episode 2 will throw away the criticized physics engine it used in favor for the Retro Engine.
And with the precision of Sonic shooting down one of Eggman’s many airships, Riley responded with a flat “No,” continuing by saying that Sonic 4 “will never” use the Retro Engine because the code base is incompatible with the existing Sonic 4 engine, which they are still using for Episode 2.
Hopefully with quite a few tweaks and lessons learned from Sonic Generations. I know, opinion injection again. My apologies.
Special thanks to Shade Vortex for conducting the interview because some of us couldn’t make it to PAX this year.
What are your thoughts on this information? Let us and others know in the comments section below.