Sonic Extractor


Sonic Extractor is a family of utilities (written in Game Maker) with but one simple purpose - to "extract" maps of Zones from the classic Sonic the Hedgehog games from Gens savestates that the user provides.

There are currently utilities for the following games:

Development of further Sonic Extractor utilities has been, for all intents and purposes, indefinitely delayed. My free time nowadays is just split up amongst too many projects of higher priority. However, I would be willing to pass the torch to another skilled programmer if there are any who wish to fill out the Sonic Extractor family. Go here for more information.

Though I will not be developing further tools, I will continue to support the existing Sonic Extractor programmes - i.e. fixing bugs, etc. So I still encourage you to give feedback. =)

Note: Though they will work without it, all versions of Sonic Extractor can work in conjunction with the free, command-line image manipulation programme, ImageMagick, to export in PNG format. I highly recommend downloading and installing ImageMagick.

Sonic Extractor CD Mix

The latest version supports exporting maps of both the foreground and background, and custom palettes for everything except objects. However, there is no automatic "Use Underwater Palette" feature, so you'll want to download the pack of Tidal Tempest Zone Underwater Palettes.

Download Sonic Extractor CD Mix 2.0a (3.2 mb)

Legacy versions: 2.0
For historical purposes only. You shouldn't need to download these.

Resources: Tidal Tempest Zone Underwater Palettes (4 kb) | Sonic CD Savestates.7z (3.0 mb) | CD Mix User Manual

Sonic Extractor 3&K Mix

The latest version supports exporting maps of both the foreground and background, custom palettes for everything except objects, "underwater" toggling, and the ability to choose between the original Sonic 3 alone and the modified Sonic 3 & Knuckles object layouts.

Download Sonic Extractor 3&K Mix 1.2 (2.2 mb)

Legacy versions: 1.1a | 1.1 | 1.0
For historical purposes only. You shouldn't need to download these.

Resources: Sonic 3&K Savestates.7z (0.77 mb) | 3&K Mix User Manual

Sonic Extractor 8-Bit Vol I

The latest version supports exporting maps of both versions, Master System and Game Gear. No savestates are required, it's all built in (a little unusual for Sonic Extractor, I know).

Download Sonic Extractor 8-Bit Vol I 1.0 (3.5 mb)

Legacy versions:
For historical purposes only. You shouldn't need to download these.

Resources: 8-Bit Vol I User Manual

Bonus Resources

Sonic Extractor Background Wallpaper! =P

Note About Savestates

Sonic Extractor is coded to use Gens savestates only. Because Sonic CD is a Sega/Mega CD game, the additional RAM has to be present in the savestate as well in order for the utility to work. As some versions of Gens don't properly dump the Sega/Mega CD RAM, I suggest using Gens+ to make your savestates if your version of Gens isn't working with Sonic Extractor properly.

Working savestate packs for convenience: Sonic 3&K Savestates.7z (0.77 mb) | Sonic CD Savestates.7z (3.0 mb)
You'll need 7-zip to open these archives.

Passing the Torch

I'm too busy concentrating on writing engines for Sonic fangames these days, so I regrettably can't continue making mapping tools for the time being. However, further versions of Sonic Extractor for Sonic 1, Sonic 2, or Sonic 2 8-Bit would be similar enough that they could be built off of the existing utilities.

If you are skilled with GML, are familiar enough with the formats of the original games, and would like to help out by making a Sonic Extractor for a Sonic game of your choice, please contact me. I'm willing to release the source code privately to another programmer who would be serious about doing this, and also to give continued support to them - answering questions, etc.

History of Sonic Extractor

A few years ago, I discovered the awesome Sonic fansite, Zone: 0, which is a sort of online "players' guide" to the classic Sonic games, complete with strategies, background information, and - of course - maps. At the time, the administrator, LiQuidShade, had yet to start on Sonic CD because getting decent maps of it was practically impossible with the tools available then.

When I read his Blog post pleading for help, I remembered that I had tried to write a mapping programme for Sonic 1 in Game Maker, but gave up when I couldn't get it to work. Despite this, I impulsively offered to help out.

So, let's be clear: I offered to make a programme that would accurately map Sonic CD (the Sonic title widely considered "unhackable" due to the sheer amount of code on the CD - it's basically 70 independent game ROMs - and paucity of documentation), when my only experience was failing to map Sonic 1. And I would be doing it in Game Maker of all things!

But, in about 3 weeks, I completed my task, and did better than either of us expected. I may end up being better known within the Sonic community for the Sonic Physics Guide or Sonic: The One Ring, but Sonic Extractor will always hold a special place for me as my foolish, brash, and crazy - yet successful entry into the Sonic scene.

Most of all, I'm honoured to have been able to contribute to such an awesome site as Zone: 0. If you've never checked it out, do so! Even if you think you know Sonic like the back of your hand, there's plenty there to see: LiQuidShade's Blog covers most of the latest Sonic news, and contains in-depth reviews from time to time; there's also a forum; and - a recent addition - original art work by Ricky Earl.


You can use the comment section below to report bugs, make suggestions, or give general feedback. If you'd like, you can also contact me via email.


  1. This could turn out to be a really useful tool, because i dont like using geneycyst (correct spelling?)

  2. This is an absolutely awesome set of tools! Any chance that we will be seeing versions of Sonic Extractor for Sonic 1, Sonic 2 and/or Chaotix?

    Keep up the good work.

  3. Thanks. I'm working on a tool for the 8-bit Sonic 1, and after that I'll be taking a break from Sonic Extractor. I switch back and forth between it and another project every couple of months or so. Since Sonic 1 and 2 are already extensively mapped at Zone: 0, I was letting them slide, but since their format is similar to Sonic CD, they shouldn't take too long once I get around to starting on them. I definitely plan on Chaotix someday though - I think the lesser known Sonic games benefit the most from maps like these.

    1. Hello, my name is Chad and I've been following the progress of Aesthete (without a blog or forem membership) since about 2013. I'm just curiouse about wheather you are still working on that project. I've been very exited about the possabilities that such a game making tool presents. Please let us know, and thank you.

    2. Aesthete is no longer my first priority, but it will definitely exist in some form eventually.

  4. Nice to hear that support for other games is planned. I feel that Chaotix is commonly overlooked because there is not a lot of information for it on the Internet. The maps would definitely help it gain some visibility.

    Another thing that I feel that I should mention is that I originally thought that this site had no content because the Navigation Bar text color blends in with the background color. In addition, all of the download links in the individual pages are completely invisible in Firefox. (Not sure why.) I eventually used Ctrl+A to highlight the entire page and the links then became visible, but I almost missed all of the site's content because of these issues. Just thought that I would point these issues out.

  5. Thanks for the heads up. I still use Firefox 2, and it shows up fine. I'll definitely have to look into the problem!

    UPDATE: Problem fixed! Thanks again.

  6. I've been trying out the new Plane B feature on the 3&K version (nice feature BTW) and I have noticed that many levels, such as Marble Garden Act 2, have non-background objects which appear in the background plane. Is this normal or are those objects not supposed to be there?

  7. It's normal, the help file suggests you just toggle the objects off before exporting backgrounds. I didn't want to do it automatically, because then I would have had to turn them back on automatically when returning to the Plane A layout, but what if the user had already had them off to begin with? I guess I could have had it record the state of the variable, but I was in a hurry. :)

  8. Ah, OK. I missed that part of the manual. Thanks.

  9. Nice addition to the S3&K extractor. Thoroughly enjoying it.

  10. Random guy17 August, 2010

    What happened to Knux in the Sonic 3 And Knuckles Extractor logo?

  11. Fell down a hole made by a Madmole badnik and got stuck. =P

    Now he has to be "extracted."

  12. Sonicboy199917 August, 2010

    what is it?

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. Replies
    1. Thanks for letting me know! It took me a while to get around to it, but they should be available again.