Before there was Knuckles Chaotix on the 32X, one last Sonic title was planned for the Genesis. Titled Sonic Crackers, the game was to be the Hedgehog’s swan song on the 16-bit console that he had helped make into such a huge success. He had done a lot on the Genesis, and it would soon be time to move on to Sega’s upcoming 32-bit system for bigger and better things. Unfortunately, the game never made it past the alpha stage and slipped away as nothing more than a footnote in Sonic’s history. It may seem odd that Sega would can a Sonic game, since he was still in top form and able to push systems at a good pace. The truth is that what was to be the hedgehog’s final appearance on the 16-bit wonder was quietly revamped and turned into a new game for the 32X, starring Sonic’s friendly rival Knuckles the Echidna. All the anticipation for a Sonic 4was taken up a notch when the 32X arrived.
No one suspected this at the time. In fact, the general gaming public was completely unaware that Knuckles Chaotix had its roots in the cancelled game. They merely assumed that the 32X was getting an original title built from the ground up. It wasn’t until a few years ago that enough clues surfaced for the truth to be told. A few ROMs have been seen floating around the internet. One even sold for $146.50 on eBay in 2001. Though no evidence was ever given as to its authenticity, it is rumored to have been sold by a reputable prototype dealer. It is most likely a submission ROM, which were used to show new ideas to management and seek approval. The ROMs are headed as Sonic Stadium, which supports the submissions theory. Many early game prototypes sport false names, in order to maintain secrecy and avoid concept theft from competition. Buggy and prone to crashing for no reason at times, the ROM is believed to be available in two different dumps, a 1MB and a 2MB dump. The only difference is that the 2MB dump contains about half of a prototype Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, although it is unclear which game it is, or if it is even a version of a released game at all.