Sonic X-Treme The preview code of Sonic X-Treme shown at the 1996 E3 was definitely playable, and according to various interviews with former Sega Technical Instiute staff it featured the earliest complete version of the bonus stage and a single level of the first zone (Jade Gully) without any collision or enemies. I really don't know how bad/good this game was, but generally the feedback from those at E3 that year is that X-Treme's main problem was with its frame rate - this also follows what has been mentioned in the past by ex-STi members. I know for definite that the X-Treme was developed on the Saturn using FOUR different engines, with most screenshots (usually those with the "fish-eye" camera lens effect) originating from the first, which was actually a modified version of the BUG! engine. The group then moved on to the NiGHTS engine, but after a few weeks of initialising and preliminary coding Yuji Naka of Sonic Team threatened to... well, I'm sure that you all know about what happened next - it's become a Sega legend! The next engine to be utilised for the Saturn version of Sonic X-Treme was a port of the engine programmer Ofer Alon had created for the PC, though it ran so slow (yes, even worse than the E3 demo!) that the team instead chose to use Chris Coffen's own Saturn-based boss level editing tools for the whole game. Screenshots from these later builds feature a completely different heads-up-display, and you could even say that the game looks complete (even if only the first level and a Metal Sonic boss encounter have been seen, suggesting that very little - if anything else at all - actually exists). Following the acceptance that they could not meet their Winter '96 release deadline, STi abandoned the project and was soon dissolved. However, for programmer Ofer Alon and designer Chris Senn, this proved the perfect opportunity to continue with the PC version, free from technical constraints and the impossible completion dates imposed on the console edition. A four-level demo was sumbitted to SEGA PC for approval, but this division was only interested in releasing either direct arcade ports or conversions of existing console software - did they not realise that X-Treme was originally intended to be a high profile Saturn title? Contrary to what has been said elsewhere, Hayao Nakayama did NOT throw a copy of the game into a trash bin (as it was actually Greg Swoarez of SOA and not a member of SOJ that was in charge of X-Treme's ultimate fate). I'm sorry to repeat much of the Sonic X-Treme "myth," but from what I have read I personally find it hard to believe that there was never a playable version of this game. Also, the suggestion that copies are still available in the 'bay area' isn't too surprising - isn't that where STi were based? I don't really know about threatening someone's life for a copy (though murdering Yu Suzuki for Shenmue Saturn Version has entered my consciousness before!), but animator Rob Harris once leaked character sprites from the game while Chris Senn has some artwork and concept music on his website. The major players in X-Treme's production have all said that they could find copies, but would not be responsible for leaking anything because of "sentimental" reasons - Chris Senn was supposedly in a serious physical state as a result of his exhausting 16+ hour day work regime, so I can understand why he may be reluctant to revist the past. Can't we just appreciate that this game is doomed and highly unlikely to ever appear again, unless you consider a few scanned magazine articles and some brief video footage compensation for its loss?