SegaSonic the Hedgehog (セガソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ SegaSonikku za Hejjihoggu?), also referred to as SegaSonic Arcade, is an arcade game developed by Sonic Team and Sega AM3. It was officially released in Japan in March 1993 by Sega. Versions of the arcade game appeared in limited quantities in Anglophone countries, such as London's Sega World.
The music for arcade game are composed by Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Keitaro Hanada and Naoki Tokiwa. The game was Sonic the Hedgehog's first major arcade outing, and featured Sega's mascot alongside two new characters: Ray the Flying Squirrel and Mighty the Armadillo.
Sonic, Ray and Mighty have been kidnapped by the evil Doctor Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik, who uses his large tank vehicle to do so. He takes them prisoners on Eggman Island: an island littered with traps and hazards that can be activated with the push of a button.
Sonic, Ray and Mighty team up to escape the island, as the trio must survive the various hazards of the island and reach Eggman's Tower. As they arrive at the control room, Eggman presses a button that triggers a self-destruct sequence that will destroy the entire island. The trio manage to flee the island before the explosion. The evil doctor also escapes, but suddenly falls into the sea due to his Egg Mobile running out of fuel.
SegaSonic the Hedgehog is an isometric platforming game with three characters who shares identical controls and abilities. The characters are controlled with one action button which lets the player perform a spin jump, and a trackball which is used to move the characters around. Each trackball and corresponding action button are color-coded, meaning the blue ones are for Sonic, red once are for Mighty and yellow ones are for Ray.
The premise of the game is to reach the end of an isometric course without dying. This objective is similar to other video games in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Yet, it is also different in the sense that instead of a typical platforming game, the game is centered entirely around running as fast as possible on a linear course from a never-ending barrage of threats, including giant boulders, lava flows, rogue gears, falling stalactites, and other traps. When the player is hit by a dangerous obstacle or hazard, they lose health from the Health Gauge, which can be refilled by collecting Rings that found around the arena. Upon completing each level, the game tallies up how many Rings were grabbed. Extra points are also received if over half of the level's Rings were found.
The game only has a few enemies and one boss that appears midway through the game. At the end of the final level, the player is given twenty seconds to escape from the self-destructing tower. Failure results in an instant Game Over.
Gimmicks and obstacles
The game contains seven stages located on Eggman Island. Between stages, brief cutscenes show Robotnik panicking and plotting the player's demise as he tracks the progress of his enemies.
Prototype of the arcade game is known to exist as "revision A" version. There are numerous differences, which are mostly featuring different level layouts, gimmicks and alternative level order. Differences included:
- The title screen of this version is clearly white without moving background. The logo also doesn't feature Mighty and Ray with only Sonic posing.
- There are no character select screen in the game, as the player automatically starts with three playable characters.
- This pre-release version is only has only four playable levels, which some of them haven't yet given final names, including Volcanic Vault being unnamed, Icy Isle is titled simply as "Ice World" and Desert Dodge is called "Desert Zone".
- The level order is also different, as Icy Isle being the 4th level, Desert Dodge the 5th level, Trap Tower the 2nd level and Landslide Limbo is the 3rd level. In the final game, they are listed as Icy Isle second, Desert Dodge third, Trap Tower fourth and Landslide Limbo as the fifth level.
- When the player access to quicksand section at Desert Dodge, the ability to continue will be taken away.
- After completing Desert Dodge, the game ends with "TO BE CONTINUED" and instant Game Over screen.
- Director: T.Tsuda
- Program: H.Kawatake, T.Hasegawa, T.Kawauchi
- Design: Manabu Kusunoki ("M.Kusunoki"), Kiyoshi Miyagi ("K.Miyagi"), Masahiro Hoshino ("M.Hoshino"), Satoshi Yamagata ("S.Yamagata")
- Sound: Hiroshi Kawaguchi ("H.Miyauchi"), Keitaro Hanada ("K.Hanada") and Naoki Tokiwa ("N.Tokiwa")
- Voice actor:
- Special thanks: Naoto Ōshima ("N.Ohshima"), S.Burton, James Spahn ("J.Spahn"), M.Sasaki, E.Taki, Aoni Pro., Recording Studio Tavac
- Inside the game's code there can be found alternative, in-game sprites that resemble Dr. Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog animated series (or more precisely Dr. Robotnik from the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic books, judging by his color scheme).
- The use of the trackball has subsequently led to great difficulty in both official and unofficial emulation efforts. Yuji Naka has stated that the reason it was not included in Sonic Gems Collection was because of this.
- All three playable characters possess identical footwear.
- This game was the first in the series to feature an ice/snow-themed level.
- Eggman's Tower is the only level within the game that prohibits continues should the player die.
- Although Eggman is the main villain, this is the first game in which the player doesn't have a final confrontation with him.
- This game had a limited release in North America and Europe, except that there is no translation whatsoever.