Surely it sounds to good to be a true, a short playable demo of the Sonic title that captured the imaginations of fans across the world before disappearing into obscurity has finally resurfaced, and at a price.
An anonymous seller via the ASSEMblergames forums has this very item up for offer, a demo of the ill-fated title, wielding a few images of the prototype and a four figure minimum pricetag. TheRedEye writes on the ASSEMblergames forums for the anonymous seller:
Yes, it’s legit, and no, it isn’t mine. Read on, there’s a little bit of explanation in order here.
I was contacted recently by an anonymous former Sega employee, who found the article I published about Sonic X-Treme on Lost Levels while Googling. He came across this disc recently and, figuring that it was worth some money and that I might be interested, he contacted me.
There’s no way in hell I can afford this on my crappy feelance wages, and I told him as much, but I offered to find a buyer for him. So I’m kind of acting as a middle-man here, as he wants to keep his anonymity as tight as possible.
This disc is not a complete game, the simple reason being that there never was a complete game. What this disc contains is the small playable demo that was produced initially as a proof of concept for Sega of Japan, and then shown to the press at Gamer’s Day in 1996. The four screenshots at the bottom of this page are taken from this very same demo.
This is, he assured me, the only playable Saturn build ever seen outside of the development office itself, and I really have no reason to believe otherwise. Furthermore, with the possible exception of one disc under heavy lock and key in Sega’s library (according to another anonymous employee, who I spoke to about two years ago), this is very likely to be the only surviving disc PERIOD. Why does he know this? Because he destroyed the others himself, it was part of his job.
I guess the point I’m getting at is that, for better or for worse, this small little demo IS Sonic X-Treme for the Saturn. And if that’s something you feel you have to have, well…you’d better grab this, because there’s not going to be another opportunity. There is no chance of a “more complete build,” and it isn’t likely that another copy survived.
…I know I probably sound like a damned eBay auction here, but really, I’m not gaining anything from this sale, and I hope my reputation is high enough by now that you’re well aware I know what I’m talking about. As much as I’d love to have this myself, I just DON’T have the funds, and I want it to go to a good home.
Offers are going straight through me, I can be reached at [Visit the source link for the address]. I’ll answer any questions I can in this thread, and ask him any that I can’t. I will warn you now that this guy is expecting a four digits, so please don’t try to lowball me. And please don’t clog my inbox with questions that can be answered in this thread, try to keep it only to buying offers. This disc runs only in a Japanese Saturn (or one modified to think it’s Japanese), and requires a first-party Saturn boot disc. If you don’t have one, he can provide one, but it’s going to cost you (it’s his personal disc, he doesn’t want to get rid of it).
Oh, and further proof of the disc’s authenticity is available TO SERIOUS BUYERS ONLY. Like I said, it is legit, I can vouch for the thing.
Fans have scrambled to gather money to purchase this item for research, however a member named ratman221 has appeared and offered the whopping sum of $3,000US for the elusive disc, vowing to distribute copies to a select few for research and to anyone else for $40US.
The auction is set to close in a few hours from now, stay with SONIC NEWS for the final details of the sale as they happen. Big thanks to SSMB forum visitor Mr. Creosote for the tip-off.