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Sonique 2 alpha

The interface of discord

Part of the following story is flawed. I'm leaving it here for humour purposes. For a more truthful depiction of what really happened, read the bottom of the page.

Once upon a time, an alpha of Sonique 2 was leaked (note: this isn't the alpha/beta that was available for a while in the the official Sonique page. That beta - now dead too - was developed by the new development team. The alpha here was developed by the original team).

I remember Sonique fans were completely hysterical about this alpha. They went to great lenghts to shut down every site hosting it, supposedly out of fear Lycos would drop development because of this high treason. The real reason, of course, is that they wanted to be the only "kool boyz" to own such a rare tool and flaunter it in front of helpless newbies that badly wanted it too.

A good image of how things were dealt with those days at the Sonique forums can be depicted by this protest article that was posted at one of them.

Unfortunately for them, a copy landed in my hands. In yet another attempt to prove my theory that "once something appears on the Internet, no amount of effort can take it down" (check the leakage and distribution of Windows 2000 source code through peer to peer networks), I hosted it, accompanied by a very crude page, at my university server. And so RareWares was born.

So, here it is for you. The rage-inducing Sonique 2 alpha in all its unfinished glory. The interface is quite bloated, matter of factly, and functionality is minimal. Maybe I am not really into eye-candy overkill... If this was the future of Sonique, it iss not a surprise it completely flunked.

Ah, yes. As it turns out, Lycos noticed they were just wasting money with their Sonique division and decided to fire all developers. An outcry ensued, and they hired two new developers to continue Sonique 2 development. Soon after, though, they realized they owed nothing to a handful of squabbling nerds with too much time on their hands, and finally let Sonique die a (mostly) peaceful death.

If you are looking for old, official versions of Sonique 1, look at The Museum of Sonique.


Date: 2001-29-06
Version: 2.0 alpha
Interface: Graphical
Platform: Win32
Download: sonique2.zip - 1.531kB


  • Feedback from Bits:

Andrew McCann himself stated/requested/pleaded that the leak needed to be stopped (as he was in negotiations to buy Sonique2 from Lycos), the leak could have potentially screwed things. (BTW it was leaked only accidently by Tony Million as he left it in a open dir on his private (yet publically accessible) home server @ http://www.tonymillion.com))

So it was nothing to do with fanboys trying to stop the world getting it.. it was merely holding back the leak until after negotiations had finished..

Secondly, the skin in the leaked alpha was merely a working demo and never intended to even ship with the player.. ever.

Thirdly Lycos sacked all bar Andrew and Ian.. Lycos did not intend to kill Sonique ever.. when Andrew and Ian quit on their own accord, Lycos later decided to locate more people to develop a program they never actually tried to completely kill (they merely needed to cut it back)

Of course all said is only to the best of my knowledge (I was there the hour the alpha was found on Tony's ftp, I was talking to Tony when he said it was an accident but added (in the direction to the likes of Andrew and co.) "at least someone had the balls to release it" (or something close to that))

I was there when Andrew requested the leak to be stopped as soon as possible as it was potentially making things much worse for Sonique (he said it via the forum, IRC and ICQ, plus his girlfriend at the time Anna did as well, who BTW was the one who originally broke the month long silence about the mass layoff of Team Sonique).

Of course I am not Andrew or Tony or Ian and can't speak for them. But my story is about 100x closer to what really happened compared to yours (I am confident my version is rather accurate)

To conclude the epic Sonique tale... Tony wrote Tuniac after he left Sonique (http://www.tuniac.com, or for a more recent compile go to http://www.wasteofcash.com/tuniac/ )

Currently we are lazy, and Tony believes he is now a photographer not a programmer. Blur is MIA. Tuniac2 with an OpenGL GUI, SQL database, etc, etc. is like 10% done (and for a month.. or two... has had no updates)



© Roberto Amorim. This is a sister site of RareWares