Oh Sonic X-treme, you could have saved the Sonic franchise, yet sadly you were cancelled and never to be. Unless—wait, what’s this upon the thrift store bookshelf? Sonic X-treme paperback? Ah, smells like the 90s.
Sonic X-treme, of course, is the long ago cancelled and forever lusted after Sonic game for the Saturn. Lots of lore exists online, so I’ll leave that up to your own research abilities for now. While the Sonic X-treme video game was never finished, I guess Sega had some merchandise and promotion so ready to go that they just went with it anyway—a Christmas cartoon special titled “An X-Tremely Sonic Christmas” (later renamed to Sonic Christmas Blast), Sonic X-treme ice cream bars, and now the Sonic X-treme paperback novel.
Written by Michael Teitelbaum and published by Troll in 1997, Sonic X-treme follows Sonic as he tries to save Bunnie from the Swatbots and Dr. Robotnik. The book pits Sonic and Robotnik in an X-treme sports battle—“Sonic knows he’s better than Robotnik at Bungee jumping, rocking climbing, and surfing. But Robotnik has some tricks up his sleeve.”
And now for the big, sad, spoiler—the book has nothing to do with the game we’d been waiting for. By 1997, X-treme was toast. I’m assuming Sega and Troll already had this book in progress and instead of losing all the work, just cleaned it up and removed any actual Saturn X-treme mentions. It’s a sad reality, but still a cool thrift store find.
Not all is lost—the illustrations are pretty amazing:
To go along with this, I found another Sonic paperback penned by Michael Teitelbaum in my collection: Sonic the Hedgehog: Fortress of Fear, also from Troll. This one was published in 1996.
Were there more Sonic X-treme books? None that were actually released. But, I’d love to live in a world where I could fire up my Sega Saturn, play Sonic X-treme, eat a Sonic X-treme ice cream, and unwind with a Sonic X-treme book.
Were you looking forward to Sonic X-treme? Leave us a comment and let us know!