Also on: PCSonic CD (or, SCD for short) is considered by many a blue fan to be the pinnacle of Sonic's gaming endeavors. The speedy 'hog's only piece of gaming on the short-lived Sega CD, was however, completely free of the scent of Yuji Naka, instead, SCD was born from the womb of Naoto Ohshima, Sonic's original designer.
Sonic CD, with Sonic only playable, and complete with sprites near identical to that of Sonic 1, followed your usual Sonic gaming route, whereby one would dash through the stages, jumping over and into numerous robots, collecting those shiny golden rings, running through psuedo-3D special stages (collecting the never seen since "Time Stones") and defeating 'ol Robotnik. However there was a twist, aside from introducing Amy and Metal Sonic into the Sonic kingdom, SCD featured several unique gameplay elements rarely seen since; the new "Super peel-out", whereby Sonic would stand on the spot, contort his legs into the figure 8 shape, and zoom off in a fast-running, yet vulnerable manner, a revised Spin Dash, a Time Attack mode that unlocks various goodies, and of course; time travel. The meat of the recipe.
The time travel element of SCD is rather simple; Sonic always starts a Zone in the Present, and upon running across a "Past" or "Future" signpost, large stars would trail behind our dear blue animal as he ran at full speed. A sudden slow-down in speed would cause the time travel opportunity to be lost until a fresh sign has been activated, however, holding this speed for around three seconds would cause you to be catapulted into the appropriate time zone of said stage. This would lead to three completely different versions of each Zone, with the Past generally being lush and vibrant with wildlife, with only a small trace of our Robotnik nemesis, the Future could either have a positive or negative outcome, what with the Bad Future being a Robotnik overrun area, polluted, mecha-filled, and littered with both dirty colors and a flurry of robots, the Good Future being a perfect equilibrium of technology and nature, creating a beautiful utopian environment free of enemies and abundant with nature.
The point of this? Well, the premise of SCD is, that Eggman has utilized the "Time Stones" to travel to the past and set the stage for a grim future. It's upto Sonic to travel to the Past to destroy these enemy spouting devices ridding the future of Eggman, and creating a "Good Future". Zone 3, the boss rounds, always take place in the future. Collecting all of the Time Stones, from the Special Stages (your Sonic 1-esque 'save 50 rings and jump in the jumbo Ring at the end' lark) automatically causes the future to be a harmonic landscape, and gives the perfect ending.
The US, and later on the PC too, release of Sonic CD featured a completely different soundtrack to that originally created by Naofumi Hataya, instead, it featured tunes by Spencer Nilsen (creator of various "Ecco" scores). The debate between which soundtrack is superior still fires on even today between fans. Regardless of this, many fans dispute that perhaps the surreal, psychadelic, and anime-touched world of Sonic CD is perhaps Sonic's true calling, rather than the 80's rock-infused, oversized-teeth, world, of today's adventure 'hog.
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