Where to get it and how to run it
The easiest way to play Director’s Cut is on the Steam version. You can purchase the Original game on Steam for $5 USD or less, and easily add the Director’s Cut mod via the Steam Workshop (link at the bottom of this section). When using the steam version, make sure to load the mod specifically, otherwise the game will boot normally. However, if you prefer you can run this game on an emulator (Kega Fusion or Retroarch’s Genesis Plus GX) or original hardware, using delta patcher to patch the original ROM with the Director’s Cut. This is more of a process than the steam version and requires having the ROM and/or emulator/hardware, including a flash cart or the know-how to flash to an original cartridge for hardware use. If you cannot get a ROM I would suggest using the steam version, or searching for info on how to get one elsewhere.
Before I get too much into detail about the game you should know you that for Beat The Game and Best Ending runs you MUST play in Score Run Mode to have a qualifying run. This is mostly for speed reasons that will be discussed further on down in this guide in the Score Run Mode Section.
Most of the mechanics in Director’s Cut are the same as the Original, however the values were tweaked across the board and a slight walking change was made. As such, I will only give a brief description of each mechanic here and how it (if it has) changed from the Original to Director’s Cut. If you are unfamiliar with the Original mechanics or would like a refresher I will link a guide made by the0nlykyd, keep in mind that the values for speed are different in that guide than in the Director’s Cut.
- Walking vs Running In the Original you had a set amount of friction when moving on the ground, meaning you had the same ability of control when moving at slow or high speeds. In Director’s Cut, you have two stages of friction, a higher than normal friction when at very slow speeds, such as walking from a dead stop, which allows you to more quickly change direction and makes subtle movements easier. Your second stage of friction is at mid to high speed, it makes you quite slippery and lets you slide around like in the Original.
- Speed Shoes These have a more noticeable impact on speed compared to the Original and I would recommend picking them up along the way. Speed Shoes also give you invulnerability when moving, so going fast won’t end your run to something you can’t see. Notably, the guide by the0nlykid states the fastest Spindash and the faster slope jumps are faster than Speed Shoes in the Original game. This is not the case in Director’s Cut and Speed Shoes are faster than the fastest Spindash and the majority if not all slope jumps. (note that slope jumps are faster with Speed Shoes than without)
- Jumps Jumping is 1 of 2 main ways you’ll be destroying Badnicks, During a jump you will lose less speed when colliding with a wall due to a collision change made in Director’s Cut in the air compared to on the ground. Holding the jump button when hitting a Badnick (assuming you stay close to directly on top of them) will allow you stay in the air slightly longer, letting you grab the Flicky before hitting the ground in most cases.
- Spindash/Rolls This along with Jumping are your main ways to destroy Badnicks. You can start a roll whenever you are moving along the ground and charge a spin dash when you are at a complete stop. Spindashing is the easiest way to break through destroyable walls, but if you are able to maintain high speed, simply going fast while rolling will suffice.
- Buffering Jump and Spindash/Roll When in the air, pressing and holding jump or roll until Sonic lands will buffer a jump/roll, allowing you to perform that action instantly upon landing (note that you must have a fresh input each time you are in the air, only holding jump will not result in multiple jumps). This is most useful for when you land directly in front of a Badnick to quickly dispose of them with a buffered roll. Buffering jump is more useful for platforming, avoiding spike and electric tiles, and performing boss quick kills.
- Slopes Slopes come in a few different varieties, but the majority will have little effect on your speed, good or bad, while running. Rolling however, reacts more strongly with slopes than running, speeding up and slowing down faster than running, but you won’t often experience this. Be aware that you may become airborne when running down slopes, prepare to spin or jump before reaching a slope if you are trying to hit something directly after the slope ends. However, steep and very steep slopes will slow you down tremendously when running up and jumping off them, some even causing you to stop and slide back down, but you can use this to your advantage. You can rapidly gain speed by jumping off of a steep slope and holding the direction the slope declines in (if the slope goes down to the right, hold Right/Up Right/Down Right). This is applicable to all slopes, but the speed is not as noticeable from shallow slopes as it is from steep slopes. Look to integrate these slope jumps as often as you can.
Score Run Mode
This is REQUIRED for any Beat The Game and Best Ending runs as of the ruleset change on 1/23/2021. Timing starts upon hitting A/B/Start on Score Run Mode and ends on the fade to black after clearing PP3. Note that this is not required or legal for any All Medal runs as verification of medal collection can be impossible in some scenarios without seeing the Level Select screen.
One of the main features of the Director’s Cut is it’s Level Select screen that appears upon loading a save code or inbetween level completitions. Going to and from the Level Select screen every time you complete a stage adds a significant amount of time to the run in comparison to the Original game, which is why Beat The Game and Best Ending catagories use Score Run Mode. Score Run Mode is an additional mode which is unlocked after reaching 100% completion that intends for you to play the game in one sitting to get a highscore. In doing this is removes the ability for one to go to the Level Select screen in between stages, and immediatly loads the next stage instead. Aside from this change, this is exactly the same as running the game from brand new file, saving roughly ~21 seconds over not using Score Run Mode. All that’s needed to access Score Run Mode is to select Load Game, input the 11 digit code for a 100% or higher save file, press A on Green Grove 1, and then select Score Run Mode at the top of the list.
Save code to access Score Run Mode – 2YQ6:VG8b9/
Director’s Cut vs The Original
There’s quite a few changes made with the Director’s Cut but most of them have little to no impact in regards to the typical 3D Blast run so I’ll only list the most important ones here.
- Higher top speed Sonic’s speed cap was increased, and his normal movement top speed was increased. The Speed Shoes are also much faster and now give invulnerability when moving Speed Shoes (as mentioned above).
- Better handling Further increased handling at low speeds (most noticeable out of a dead stop) and less speed reduction when colliding with walls (especially while in the air).
- Stage Select Screen After each stage completion (or game over) you will be sent to the Stage Select Screen. In case of your first successful stage completion (the normal for runs) you will automatically move to the next stage, meaning all you have to do is press and hold any button from end of stage completion till it starts loading the next stage. Stage Select is most useful for practice, and is required for All Medal and 100%/103% runs so completion can be confirmed.
- A Reward for Sonic Medals On the stage select screen there is an icon under each act that displays a shadowy silhouette of a Sonic Medal. When you collect all the Sonic Medals in a level, that level’s silhouette will now look exactly like a Sonic Medal, indicating collection of all medals in that level. This is used for verification of All Medal runs, please show each stage screen after credits roll. As you may notice, these silhouettes only appear on Act 1 and 2 of the first 5 zones, Green Grove through Volcano Valley, meaning that there are medals on those stages only, there are none in Gene Gadget and onward.
- Better Flickies When you are hit while holding rings you only lose 1 Flicky (in most cases), when hit with 0 rings you lose all Flickies, and without either you die. When a Flicky is running loose on stage the icons in the bottom right will bounce up and down and there will be a flashing icon that directs you to the Flicky when it is off screen.
- Time Trials This is a new mode that allows you to race the clock in every level. Flickies are not required to progress through goal rings in this mode and completion of all Time Trials is required to get 100% on the stage select screen.
- Camera adjustments The camera now moves faster, looks slightly ahead of sonic when moving to give you a better look at what’s ahead, and will attempt to keep Sonic and Eggman both on screen at the same time during boss fights.
- Hitbox/Ring Goal adjustments Many enemies, Sonic, Tails/Knuckles, and the bosses all had their hitboxes changed to “make it easier” to land hits. This is really not noticeable for the most part, and doesn’t change anything about the run, but there was a noticeable change to the Ring Goals. Ring Goals had their hit box increased to the point that you can now grab it when you aren’t that close to it. Especially in All Medal runs, this can be handy when trying to grab the ring from odd angles.
- Platforms Are Fixed The moving platforms on slopes in Gene Gadget and Panic Puppet often would let you slide through them in the Original. In Director’s Cut this has been fixed and they should work as intended.
- Locked Chaos Emeralds You can now only obtain 1 Chaos Emerald per zone, completing a special stage in a zone where you already got a Chaos Emerald will now result in an extra life. This also means that Knuckles and Tails were introduced into Gene Gadget and Panic Puppet Acts 1 and 2.
- Super Sonic Was added to the game, requiring all 7 Chaos Emeralds and 50 rings to use, activated by using Spindash in the air. Super Sonic effectively gives Sonic Speed Shoes, Yellow Shield, and Invincibility simultaneously. Due to the Chaos Emerald limitations that were introduced there is little to no practical use for Super Sonic, however it may be useful in full 100% and Individual Level Runs.
Director’s Cut Quirks, Bugs, and Oversights
For the most part Director’s Cut is well made much like the Original, however due to the game being primarily a speed and handling adjustment of the Original there are certain things that function differently or incorrectly when they more than likely shouldn’t.
- Spring Stadium Act 1 When starting SS Act 1, you go through 2 Loops in the first few seconds of the stage. In the Original you get through these with no issue and enjoy a short cutscene of sorts. In the Director’s Cut however, entering the second loop as intended is impossible due to an oversight with how speed is preserved when interacting with walls, especially while in the air. You are instead forced to pass the entry for the second loop and walk into the gate for a moment before you regain control of Sonic. The easiest and fastest way to counteract this is simply hold the roll button and let go of the directional inputs, you’ll bounce off the gate and into the speed wheel.
- Maintaining speed when hitting walls As part of an adjustment to the speed reduction when hitting walls and the overall momentum changes to Sonic, you now maintain close to all of your speed when you hit a wall in the air. Most noticeable on Panic Puppet Act 1, right before the goal ring there are several fans on the steps, if you go full speed into these fans you will more than likely get stuck on the wall, and then shoot past them at high speed when the fan forces you over the wall.
- Increased Knockback Most noticeable when fighting Eggman, Sonic receives increased knockback after a successful hit when compared to the Original. As far as I’m aware this was not a conscious change, rather a side effect of general movement changes and how knockback is calculated. In the majority of situations Sonic will suffer more knockback in boss fights as he is traveling faster than he would be in the Original. This is important for the Spring Stadium quick kill as it’s a very precise trick and the increased knockback requires you to make additional adjustments.
What Order Should I collect Flickies In/Where do I go?
All the stages in the game are fairly linear and in almost all cases you want to collect the Flickies the moment you come across them. I recommend playing each level through 2 or 3 times or at least Gene Gadget act 1 and 2. If you aren’t sure where one is or don’t know if you should go for the first or second one when you have 2 close to each other; I’d recommend watching the WR in whatever category you’re running, (either the Original or Director’s Cut works for this) or checking some of the old routes posted for the Original version.
Old routes made by AmberCyprian and Zurggriff
Chaos Emerald Routes for Best Ending
With the newly imposed rule of 1 Chaos Emerald per zone, the routing has changed a decent bit, requiring you to get emeralds in Gene Gadget and Panic Puppet. I’ve put a good starting route below. Do note that Green Grove Act 1 vs 2 and Volcano Valley Act 1 vs 2 are close enough in time to be up to preference for your first runs. Be weary of Panic Puppet act 2 as it is very strict on rings, and I would recommend giving it a few tries first.
- Knuckles in Green Grove Act 1 or 2
- Knuckles in Rusty Ruin Act 2
- Tails in Spring Stadium Act 1
- Tails in Diamond Dust Act 1
- Knuckles in Volcano Valley Act 1 or Tails in Act 2
- Knuckles in Gene Gadget Act 1
- Tails in Panic Puppet Act 2
Freed Flicky Flagging
Freed Flicky Flagging is a technique usable when you exit a special stage that helps with stage optimization in Best Ending runs. Originally discovered by Zurggriff, FFF makes free roaming Flickies (meaning any Flickies not attached to sonic and not inside a badnick) snap to Sonic upon exiting a special stage. Using this you can release all Flickies in an area then enter a special stage and then dash straight for the goal ring after, saving you the time and hassle of collecting the Flickies normally.
Save Codes for Practice
- Beat the Game – 4TMKXKQX46S
- Beat the Game: All Medals – 5F7RZM/8b6S
- Best Ending – 6YMPXMRX49/
- Best Ending: All Medals – 55CK:8T8B9/
- All stages, time trials, emeralds, and medals – Z9HZ:GX8b9/
- 100% – 2YQ6:VG8b9/
- 103% – 5XZFNVL8b9/
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