SEGA 1995

Knuckles' Chaotix

Title Screen

Title Screen Music

Knuckles' Chaotix ("Chaotix") was released in 1995 for the 32X - a recently released add-on upgrade for Mega Drive/Genesis.

The time after Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sonic 3) was one of great internal turmoil for SEGA. Whilst the major forces, including Sonic Team were focusing on the Saturn, the struggling 32X was having all of its titles rushed for completion.

Chaotix is believed to be a result of an unfinished prototype game called Sonic Crackers (also known as Sonic Stadium) which was planned as Sonic 4 for the Mega Drive/Genesis.

Sonic Crackers
Sonic Crackers Sonic Crackers

That game was pulled from its concept phase, Sonic and Tails were replaced with Knuckles along with three new characters, and then moved onto the 32X.

Chaotix was the only game that used the Sonic game template and though the game displayed some nice graphical effects and may well be the most colourful game on the system, unfortunately it suffers two-fold. The concepts presented in the game specifically the new elastic/bungee mechanism got generally negative feedback and very few people took the plunge and bought a 32X.

So Chaotix remains somewhat of a lost game since it has yet to be included in any of SEGA's compilation titles if it ever will.

At the time of writing, a complete copy on Ebay will cost somewhere in the region of £200! Which is madness!

Knuckles' Chaotix Case Scan PAL
Knuckles' Chaotix - click for larger version Knuckles' Chaotix - click for larger version

"After invading the theme park Dr Robotnik face the ride of his life at the hands of knuckles and his new abilities. All new elastic ring power lets 2 players link upto pull off special team moves and generate head spinning-speed. 25 enormous zones, 3D bonus rounds and a carnival of hidden secrets await you!"


An earthquake causes a shake up on the seabed of the Southern Ocean. Believed to be caused by the Master Emerald, this all mighty stone drags up with it a new island that reacts to this power morphing the rock into beautiful lush landscapes.

Newtrogic High Zone

Knuckles, being guardian of the Chaos Emeralds is intrigued by this. He believes that there could be ruins of the lost, ancient echidna civilisation arisen with this new land and there is something that is exerting an amplifying effect on the Master Emerald.

Anything regarding Chaos Emeralds is monitored by Dr. Robotnik (Robotnik) and he already has made the trek to this island to learn more.

Whilst investigating, Robotnik discovers and ancient ring. Engraved on this is evidence that this is indeed part of the lost civilisation. Another ring, with special properties was once part of seven rings used by the civilisation in conjunction with the Master Emerald.

When the rings are activated, the space between them is filled by the emerald's power forming a Chaos Ring. Clever as he is, Robotnik figures that these could be used to tap the power of the Master Emerald. Getting to work on his latest project, he erects a fortress on the island. Bizarrely the doc goes with a theme park based installation - the Newtrogic High Zone.

At the time of Knuckles' arrival Robotnik had already made major progress. With the power from crystallising the ring energy he's made artificial versions called Dark Rings that allow him to freeze opponents in time. Vector, Mighty and Charmy have fallen but Knuckles is able to release Espio with the power of the ring. Knowing now that the power of the ring can release his pals he proceeds to Robotnik's fun house.


The gameplay simply put is annoying. Whilst at the core Chaotix has classic Sonic style gameplay, had this been left intact things may have been different yet the bungee system generally serves only to irritate and the stage layout sometimes amplifies this. In addition the physics are not as well implemented and the game suffers from annoying slowdown on real hardware.

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Knuckles' Chaotix Gameplay Video (Flash Required)Knuckles' Chaotix Gameplay Video

Graphically the style of the game is more akin to Sonic CD than previous outings and there are plenty of recognisable sounds.

95% of the time you control two characters that are tethered via a bungee cord or ring energy. The primary character (usually Knuckles) is controlled in a normal sense. The other character can be picked up, thrown or made to stand still.

The elasticity power must be used to make progress. This will take a short while to get used to and with practise some of the irritations about this setup can be mitigated.

The game can be played as a single player or 2-Player co-op mode where each person controls a character.

Knuckles' Chaotix Screenshots
Knuckles' Chaotix Knuckles' Chaotix
Knuckles' Chaotix Knuckles' Chaotix

The D-Pad moves your character about the screen. Press to walk and hold to run. Holding UP or DOWN allows for a small preview.

BUTTON A calls your partner from anywhere on the screen to your side at the expense of 10 rings.

BUTTON B is hold. Your partner will not move an inch while the button is held down. You can run or otherwise move in any direction until the band reaches max (pink) at which point releasing the button will make them whip off.

Whilst standing next to your partner, a press of BUTTON B will pick them up and they will be poised for an attack. They can be thrown like a ball. This allows for you to have: an attack with minimal risk to you, a whip upwards for progress or just a quick burst of speed.

BUTTON C is Jump. Pressed twice performs the special ability for that character.

START Pauses the game.

The game is compatible with 6-Button controllers.

All the usual Sonic special items such as ring bonuses and invincibility can be found, and other traits such as screen layout are the same with some minor exceptions. There is a monitor that temporally changes your partner with a random character from those playable, a monitor that shrinks characters and another that makes them huge.

There is also (admittedly a good idea) a blue ring item that consolidates all your rings into one. When hit - for a few seconds a single large ring will be dropped allowing recollection by either character before the entire stash explodes across the screen.

Somewhat shockingly your ring count can actually go into negative values when you call your partner when you have less than 10 rings.

Destroying an enemy will not release an animal. Instead a grey ring will bounce around before disintegrating. They can not be collected.

Taking a hit with no rings, before being sentenced to death, your partner will disappear (making the game temporally enjoyable). A hit without a partner then results in death.

In order to keep the players interest, leaving them idle for over a minute (game un-paused) Metal Sonic will fly onto the screen and strike the team.

Preamble (Isolated Island)

Isolated Island

The main game (scenario quest) really starts after this practice stage is played through. Presumably this was for the mastering of the controls. It is a simple level with few areas that branch out and there are no enemies or a boss to worry about.

A very similar stage is played at the end of the game entitled Isolated Island.

Newtrogic Highzone AttractionsCombi Catcher

Robotnik and Metal Sonic are immediately encountered and a captured Espio in a Combi Confiner. Knuckles and Espio are joined for the rest of the stage.

Upon reaching the end of this section, one character must jump inside the giant ring to the Special Stage in order to continue.

After completing this initial section, the world entrance is next and where the partner character is selected from a Grabber machine. Simply move the claw and press DOWN. There is a technique to this which after a few attempts will avoid the Heavy or Bomb characters.

Next will be the, Attraction Selector. When activated via jump or Spin-Dash it will randomly select the next section to be played.


There is the choice of seven characters. Two characters are pretty generic whilst each other character has their own skills.

Knuckles the Echidna - He retains the abilities of gliding and climbing walls. He can also make use of the Spin Dash.

Espio the Chameleon - Is heavy and has a better arsenal of moves. He can also run across walls and ceilings. When at top speed he ducks down and is invincible. He makes a tornado for the Spin Dash (standing) allowing for a good vertical range and safe attacks.

Charmy Bee - The smallest member. This does not give him any sort of advantage in speed and he is unable to jump. He can fly indefinitely and can have a quick burst of speed in any direction which is also his only method of attack.

Mighty the Armadillo - Is fastest member. He is probably the best partner to have in the game. He can grip onto, jump upwards or kick off of walls. He can also perform the Spin Dash.

Vector the Crocodile - is the biggest and heaviest member and ergo the slowest. He can climb walls and perform a short mid-air Spin Dash. When performing a normal Spin Dash he has a larger radius but when not attacking is slightly more open to attack due to his size.

Heavy or Bomb - The slowest characters. Bomb explodes when in trouble. Totally useless.

Destroying an enemy will not release an animal. Instead a grey ring will bounce around before disintegrating. They can not be collected.

Bonus Stage

The Bonus Stage can be entered by finding and leaping inside giant rings hidden about each act (like Sonic 3) but only in possession of 20 or more rings.

You are put into a freefall where you have chance to grab rings and item boxes. Use the D-Pad to direct toward the items. Rings in possession constantly countdown whilst you fall and you are ejected when they reach zero. Beware that you will return to the game with no rings. Items up for grabs are:

Ring - 1 Ring.
500PTS - 500 points.
Up - Speeds up descent.
Down - Slows down descent.
Stage Select - will slow down the stage selection when returned to the world entrance.
Combi Catcher - will slow down the partner selection returned to the world entrance.
Spring - bounce up a level but break apart after 3 uses.
Chopper/Blades - will make you loose rings.
Exit - Return you to the game.

Bonus Stage
Knuckles' Chaotix Bonus Stage Knuckles' Chaotix Bonus Stage

Special Stages

Arguably the impressive part of Chaotix is the Special Stage and back in the day was pretty cool.

It is a constant run (similar to the special stages on (Sonic CD) through a polygon rendered hexagonal tunnel. The object is to collect a specified number of blue spheres before the end of the stage.

Whilst moving ring count depletes. You need to ensure a continuous supply of rings and they can be collected.

The structure can be rotated around by use of the D-Pad LEFT and RIGHT meaning that your character will always be in the same place but the road ahead will be placed infront of you.

Special Stages


Knuckles' Chaotix Special Stage 1 Knuckles' Chaotix Special Stage 1
Knuckles' Chaotix Special Stage 2 Knuckles' Chaotix Special Stage 2
Knuckles' Chaotix Special Stage 3 Knuckles' Chaotix Special Stage 3
Knuckles' Chaotix Special Stage 4 Knuckles' Chaotix Special Stage 4
Knuckles' Chaotix Special Stage 5 Knuckles' Chaotix Special Stage 5
Knuckles' Chaotix Special Stage 6 Knuckles' Chaotix Special Stage 6
Knuckles' Chaotix Special Stage Wire Knuckles' Chaotix Special Stage Wire

Obstacles are littered all over the place in the form of spiked balls and buzzaws the penalty of touching will be loosing precious rings and therefore seconds. Perhaps the biggest danger will be the large gaps in the floors/walls. Falling out ends the stage.


A very small amount of backtrack can be had by running into a bumper and the tiniest amount done by hitting a wall/step.

The stage ends when your rings reach zero, having fallen out of the course or finishing and collecting a Chaos Ring.

There is no super reward such as a new ability for collecting all of the Chaos Rings though entering a Special Stage when all six rings are in your possession then you get to play a wire frame version and if successful you will receive 50,000 point bonus.

The game has a good ending and a bad ending depending on whether you have collected all of the Chaos Rings. The differences between them equate to the picture being displayed and the music. Sonic and Tails make a cameo in the good ending.


There is a very basic set options available from the title screen which will hold the options of:

Scenario Quest - starts the main game.

Training - takes you to a safe area devoid of enemies (Isolated Island).

Knuckles' Chaotix Training Knuckles' Chaotix Training


Newtrogic High Zone has 5 attractions or zones to play through each having 5 acts. They are of reasonable size but are very similar. Each act will sport a different colour scheme in order to suggest different times of day. Normal has daytime colours, evening has an orange overlay, night has a dark blue overlay and morning has light purple. Each time slot last for two acts before moving to the next.

Upon completing an act and returning to the world entrance, another attraction must be selected.

Techno Tower Amazing Arena Marina Madness Speed Slider Botanic Base

The end of any 5th act will be a face off with Robotnik. Clear the attraction and it is removed from the selection process.

There are the usual bonus points for Time and Rings. Over 5 minutes does not give any time bonus points. A Secret Bonus worth 10,000 points is given when finding a hidden item such as an extra life or Bonus Stage rings.

There are three save slots for use and a no save option. Progress is automatically saved when venturing through the game.

Save File Select

Botanic Base

Botanic Base

Botanic Base Botanic Base
Botanic Base Botanic Base
Botanic Base Botanic Base

Essentially a giant greenhouse filled with greenery and fountains.

The boss is fought with your partner stuck at the top of the screen. You dangle in a spin position Robotnik flies from left and right and occasionally generates an electric field that he uses for rotation.

Marina Madness

Marina Madness

Marina Madness Marina Madness
Marina Madness Marina Madness
Marina Madness Marina Madness

A pleasant blue sky sets the backdrop for boats that rise and fall inside the docks. Thankfully there are no areas to be played in water as that would be immensely irritating.

Robotnik has a multi-use blue polygon shield. He's fully protected when he's encased so attack must be when it separates. Beware the shards will either split into 2 and attack or split into many pieces and spin to create a shield around him.

Speed Slider

Speed Slider

Speed Slider Speed Slider
Speed Slider Speed Slider
Speed Slider Speed Slider

An enormous roller coaster probably not designed for the greatest ride however.

Robotnik sits at the centre of a giant rotating carousel. Four spike-bottomed platforms rotate in the air whilst the vulnerable ring circles in the direction of the flow.

Techno Tower

Techno Tower

Techno Tower Techno Tower
Techno Tower Techno Tower
Techno Tower Techno Tower

This is a route through a multi-coloured tower located out in the desert. Level 5 will have transport in the form of a drill machine to burrow through solid walls.

Robotnik attacks using a giant armed robot and shoots lasers that can ricochet off mirrors that shift about.

Amazing Arena

Amazing Arena

Amazing Arena Amazing Arena
Amazing Arena Amazing Arena
Amazing Arena Amazing Arena

A fun house allegedly. Each Act has 2 distinct phases. One phase is where the area is inactive and the other where it is fully powered -done so by finding a light switch to which you will be directed to. The act cannot be cleared until doing so.

You simply have to replay it. This is easily the most annoying level of the entire game.

Audio rooms will have a Robotnik hologram that when beaten will reward bonus special items.

Boss: A room with a giant holographic screen in the centre. Anything that is displayed becomes real. The attack comes from Robotnik's giant arms moving left and right above. He is protected from a shield of rotating spheres.

Metal Sonic

After clearing the all five areas (25 acts!) the final boss fights are fought in the world entrance.

Metal Sonic

The first altercation will involve Metal Sonic. He takes control of the Level Selector and each area/screen is replaced with a number between 1 and 4. A selection will trigger an attack corresponding to that number. When landing on an X one of the trap panels explodes.

Metal Sonic Attacks
Metal Sonic Attack Type 1 Metal Sonic Attack Type 2

1- The side walls are layered with spikes which a couple of moving bumpers on the floor will try and push you onto.

2- A pair of spiked hands pop out and cover the floor.

Metal Sonic Attack Type 3 Metal Sonic Attack Type 4

3- A spread of missiles shower from above.

4- Twin buzzaws rip across the floor.


Stage Select and Debug Mode

Enter the colour test menu and change the values to 06:0B:11 and 04:00:04 press START and return to the title screen. A stage select item appears allowing you to choose stage, act, time of day, character and partner and single or 2-player mode.

Amy Rose Cameo "Cool sweet and catchy!"

Enter the colour test menu and change the values to 00:00:00:06:0B:11:00:08:17. Press START, select Options and then goto Sound Test. Amy will be bopping about in the lower-righthand corner.

Chaotix Debug


Knuckles' Chaotix Soundtest

You can download the songs used in the game in MP3 VBR format from the Knuckles' Chaotix Soundtrack page.

The tunes were sourced from the PAL version on real hardware and therefore at 50Hz with all the internal 'noise' the hardware generates also.


The game is fully playable in both Kega Fusion and Gens. You can download these from the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis emulators page.



For more in-depth information about this game check out some of the links below.

The Best Chaotix Website

A website dedicated to the game with lots of less-known information.

Chaotix at Sonic World

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