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Sonic CD (2012)

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

This page is for the 2012 Retro Engine version. For the original 1995/1996 versions, see Sonic CD.

Sonic CD
Sonic CD cover
Original Sonic Team
Remaster Christian Whitehead
Windows BlitWorks
Retro Engine
Release dates
Windows January 19, 2012
Monetization One-time game purchase
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Scrolling, Side view
Controls Direct control
Genres Platform
Art styles Cartoon, Pixel art
Series Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic CD (2012) on IGDB
Sonic CD (2012) guide on StrategyWiki
Sonic CD (2012) on MobyGames
Sonic CD (2012) on Wikipedia
Sonic the Hedgehog fangames (series)
Sonic CD 1995
Sonic's Schoolhouse 1996
Sonic 3D Blast (series)
Sonic & Knuckles Collection 1997
Sonic R (series)
Sonic Adventure (series)
Sonic Heroes 2004
Sonic Mega Collection Plus 2006
Sonic Riders 2006
Sonic Racing (series)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2010
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine 2010
Sonic Spinball 2010
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 2011
Sonic 3 & Knuckles 2011
Sonic Generations 2011
Sonic CD (2012) 2012
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I 2012
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II 2012
Sonic Dash 2014
Sonic Lost World 2015
Sonic Mania 2017
Sonic Forces 2017
Sonic the Hedgehog (mobile decompilation) 2021
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (mobile decompilation) 2021
Sonic Colors: Ultimate 2021
Sonic Origins 2022
Sonic Frontiers 2022
The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog 2023
Sonic Superstars 2023
Sonic Dream Team 2023
Sonic X Shadow Generations 2024

Sonic CD (2012) is a cartoon side view platform game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. It is enhanced remastered version of Sonic CD that uses the Retro Engine developed by Christian Whitehead.

The Retro Engine remaster of Sonic CD was originally developed for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Android and iOS devices in 2011. It was later ported to Windows through Steam in 2012. The Retro Engine remaster is notable in that it is not a direct port of the Sega CD version nor emulation, but rather rebuilt from scratch using the engine which allows for an array of enhancements such as native widescreen presentation, 60 FPS Special Stages, higher quality FMV cutscenes, the ability to use the Spin Dash mechanics from Sonic CD or Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and includes both the Japanese and North American soundtracks. The success of the 2012 Retro Engine remaster of Sonic CD led Christian Whitehead to continue working with Sega and a collaboration with Headcannon to develop similar remasters for Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for Android and iOS devices in 2013, both of whom also went on to collaborate with PagodaWest Games to develop Sonic Mania in 2017. This game was delisted on Steam on May 2022 but it has been re-released as part of Sonic Origins.

The game physics and speed in Sonic CD (2012) are tied around 60 FPS, meaning slowdowns on lower end machines and speedups with high refresh rate monitors. Despite featuring multiple resolution scaling options, the game has a persistent smoothing effect, making it impossible to provide a sharp pixel image quality. A mod loader for the Steam version of the game was released in 2017, allowing for modifications to be possible. An open-source decompilation port of Sonic CD (2012) developed by Rubberduckycooly and other contributors was released in 2021, featuring various improvements and a built-in mod loader similarly to the mobile decompilation ports of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

General information

Official developer site
Sonic Retro - A huge fan site for everything Sonic the Hedgehog. Mods for all the games can be found here.
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Steam (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Use the decompilation port or Sonic CD Restored to play without Steam. Removed to be included in Sonic Origins.

Essential improvements

Decompilation port

An open-source decompilation of Sonic CD (2011). Requires the Data.rsdk file from the Steam version or extracted from the mobile version's APK to run, however, the former is recommended for better compatibility with unofficial fixes and mods.
Allows the game to be displayed with nearest-neighbor and pixel-perfect scaling, features keyboard and controller remapping (via editing its settings.ini), native x64 and x86 Windows support, a built-in mod loader, and full support of the updated scripts from the mobile version, allowing for features the official PC version never received.
As of v1.3.2, pre-compiled builds only support the Steam/mobile data files; partial support for Sonic Origins data files (and enabling Plus content) requires compiling from source code, as well as extracting the data files its SonicCDu.rsdk, hex editing its GameData.bin found in the extracted Data\Game folder, and extracting audio files from the earlier Steam/mobile version's Data.rsdk or Sonic Origins. Instructions for compiling the decompilation port can be found here, extracting the audio files from Sonic Origins Plus can be found here, and how to use the Sonic Origins data files can be found here from GameBanana.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <Steam-folder>\userdata\<user-id>\200940\
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/200940/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <Steam-folder>\userdata\<user-id>\200940\
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/200940/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud


In-game options menu.
In-game options menu.
External video settings.
External video settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
5:3 (1.66:1) only, stretch to fit the set resolution. For proper widescreen support, see the decompilation port.
Use the decompilation port. Some glitches may appear in aspect-ratios wider than 5:3.
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Must be set by the configuration launcher in the Steam version. In the decompilation port, windowed mode can be toggled with F4.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use Borderless Gaming for the Steam version, or set Borderless to true in the decompilation port's settings.ini.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Only features Sharp, Smooth, and Nostalgia Video Filter options in the Steam version. See Pixel-perfect scaling for details about the game's scaling and filter options.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Always enabled with the Steam version. In the decompilation port, Vsync can be toggled in settings.ini.
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Game speed bound to frame rate. Must cap the frame rate at 60 FPS.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.

Widescreen resolution

Use the decompilation port for unstretched scaling and support for aspect-ratios other than 5:3.
Glitches appear in aspect-ratios wider than 5:3 with the Steam scripts. Use the mobile scripts to alleviate the glitches with wider aspect-ratios.[citation needed]

Pixel-perfect scaling

The game's graphics in this re-release appear rather blurry, regardless of resolution selected and the in-game Nostalgia video filter does not provide a clear nearest-neighbor image. Use the decompilation port for native Nearest-neighbor/pixel-perfect support, or follow this guide by TheA_Gamer554 for a workaround to make the vanilla game run in a pixel-perfect scaled image; pre-made 4:3 and 15:9 setup.dat files are available to download.[1]


Xbox 360 Controller layout for the game.
Xbox 360 Controller layout for the game.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
No key remapping support in the Steam version. Use decompilation port and modify its settings.ini for custom key bindings (a URL to SDL key codes is also provided).
Mouse acceleration
Mouse is not used.
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Full controller support
Controller remapping
The Steam version uses a pre-defined controller layout that cannot be remapped. Use the decompilation port and modify its settings.ini for custom controller mappings (a URL to SDL controller codes is also provided).
Controller sensitivity
Digital movement.
Controller Y-axis inversion
Controller types
XInput-compatible controllers
Xbox button prompts
Impulse Trigger vibration
PlayStation controllers
No native DualShock 4 support. Use Steam Input wrapper for the Steam version or the decompilation port.[2]
PlayStation button prompts
Light bar support
Adaptive trigger support
DualSense haptic feedback support
Connection modes Wired, Wireless (Bluetooth)
V2 tested.
Generic/other controllers
Use the decompilation port for other SDL2-compatible controllers.
Button prompts
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Digital movement supported
Simultaneous controller+KB/M
Steam Input
Steam Input API support
Hook input (legacy mode)
Steam Controller button prompts


In-game soundtrack selection menu.
In-game soundtrack selection menu.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Song lyrics are not subtitled.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Only for the North American songs and a few Sonic voice samples. The Japanese songs use their instrumental versions due to licensing issues; use the Restore Lyrics mod.[Note 2]

Issues fixed

Game runs too fast.

Limit the Framerate to 60FPS[citation needed]
Set monitor on 60hz.[citation needed]

Game configuration program giving errors and refusing to show any options on the "Video Mode"

Install DirectX[4]
  1. Download DirectX.
  2. Open dxwebsetup.exe and proceed with the installation (Untick "Install Bing Toolbar").

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9.0c
Shader Model support 3.0
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Mods require the Sonic CD Mod Loader for the Steam version; the decompilation port can load mods natively, however, toggling and rearranging the load order of each mod requires the developer mode to be enabled in settings.ini (see this tutorial for details). A mod loader for the decompilation port is also available. Mods are generally not compatible with each other unless they are created to be compatible.
The load order priority for mods in the Steam version is top to bottom, whereas the decompilation port's load order priority is bottom to top.

FMV replacements:

  • Sonic CD original 4:3 videos - Replaces the stretched 16:9 videos with the original 4:3 versions, pillarboxed to 16:9. Also fixes the speed of the Ending version of Sonic Boom from the US soundtrack.
  • Restore Lyrics Japanese Songs HQ - Replaces the instrumental Opening and Ending songs[Note 3] used by the Japanese soundtrack with the versions with vocals, as found on the original Japanese and European Mega CD releases.[Note 2]
  • CD Quality Lyrics Restored 2.0 - Replaces the audio FMVs with their original songs in the highest quality available, including the Japan and US versions.
  • Sonic CD AI Upscaled and Regrained Videos - A mod similar to the ones above but the videos has been upscaled to 1280x960 using Topaz Video Enhance AI neural network with artificial film grain applied to recreate the look of analogue 35mm/16mm anime scenes. The vocals from the Japanese soundtrack are also restored.


  • Parity Updates and Fixes - Various fixes and restorations relating to the mobile version's sprites in the decompilation port when using the Steam version's data files, as well as enabling the game's software and hardware renderer to be independent from the platform being used.
  • MegAmi's Additions - A collection of mods that fixes the game's title screen and menus in the decompilation port while incorporating the Complete Save Zone Select that marks cleared save files similarly to the Sonic the Hedgehog 1/2 (2013) remasters and No Save to allow the game to be played without saving. Compatible with Sonic Origins Plus's data files and enables Knuckles and Amy within the character select screen.
  • Time Warp Fixes - Decreases the amount of time needed to initiate time travel to resemble the Sega CD version while fixing an issue with the vertical conveyer belts in Quartz Quadrant Zone.

Audio/video enhancements:

  • Palmtree Panic Past Redbook Music Restoration - Replaces background music from the past version of Palmtree Panic with the Redbook CD Audio version found on the disc for a beta version of the game.
  • Missing Music Restoration for JP & US Soundtracks - Remasters both Japanese and US soundtracks with the highest quality sources available while restoring missing music tracks from their respective soundtracks.
  • Separated U.S. Past Themes - Replaces the re-used Japanese Past Zone music tracks with unique ones composed for the US soundtrack.
  • Custom Soundtrack - Adds the ability to customize the game's soundtracks. Requires Missing Music Restoration for JP & US Soundtracks (base mod and Bonus Tracks) and Separated U.S. Past Themes (base or Mix version).
  • Non-Wavy Tidal Tempest Flowers - Changes the flowers in Tidal Tempest Zone to no longer look distorted and wavy when out of water.
  • Sonic Sprite Fixes - Fixes various issues with Sonic's in-game sprites and animations. Compatible with Sonic CD Restored.
  • Metal Sonic with Red Eyes - Corrects Metal Sonic's eye color to match with official artworks and promotional material.
  • Consistent Eggman - Fixes the inconsistent art design of Dr. Eggman's in-game sprites in certain parts of the game.
  • '93 Colors - Restores the game's color palette to resemble the Sega CD version on original hardware.

Total conversion:

  • Sonic CD Restored - A fangame that primarily aims to recreate the glitchless speedrunning experience of the original 1993 version of Sonic CD. Separate versions for 4:3 and 16:9 resolutions are available for the Steam version as well as a standalone port based off the mobile decompilation. This mod comes with the Enhanced Hybrid and Unified OST to replace the default Japanese and US soundtracks respectively (they still exist in-game, but require conditions to be unlocked). Requires the Sonic CD Mod Loader if using the mod with the Steam version. Unlocking Amy Rose requires using data files from Sonic Origins Plus and Knuckles requires compiling from source code.
  • Sonic CD: Miracle Edition - A mod compilation that adds various features to be in-line to later versions of Sonic CD such as introducing the ability to transform into "Miracle" forms after collecting all of the Time Stones, toggles for Time Travel Overhauled, higher quality 16-bit sound effects, customizable soundtrack and other additional settings. It also includes some additional bugfixes while fixing physics inaccuracies and behavioral issues for the base game and the required mods. Unlocking Knuckles the Echidna and Amy Rose requires using data files from Sonic Origins Plus.

System requirements

Operating system (OS) XP
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 1.0 GHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 321 MB
Video card (GPU) DirectX 9.0c compatible
Shader model 3.0 support


  1. 1.0 1.1 Notes regarding Steam Play (Linux) data:
  2. 2.0 2.1 Japanese, when in reference to the Sonic CD soundtracks, refers to nationality only and not language spoken. All songs in Sonic CD with vocals are sung in English only.
  3. OP: Sonic - You Can Do Anything
    ED: Cosmic Eternity - Believe in Yourself


  1. Verified by User:AmethystViper on 2021-01-17
  2. Verified by User:AmethystViper on 2021-06-30
  3. Verified by User:Epicgames4 on 2024-03-02
    The game (Steam version) utilizes the Front Left, Front Right, Center, Back Left, and Back Right channels, but they all play the same sound. Verified with Special K and a 7.1 surround receiver with HDMI on Windows 11 Insider Preview 22635.3212 (ni_release).
  4. Verified by User:Rayz0rum on 2022-07-14