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Sonic Advance

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Sonic Advance
Sonic Advance Coverart

Sonic Team, Dimps (Co-Developer)


Sega (Japan)
THQ (North America)
Infogrames (Europe and Australia)
Nokia (N-Gage)


Yuji Naka & Hiroshi Matsumoto (Producer)
Akinori Nishiyama (Director)

Release date(s)

Game Boy Advance
JP 20 December 2001
NA 3 February 2002
EU 8 March 2002

NA 6 October 2003
EU 7 October 2003

JP 25 November 2011

Wii U
JP 18 February 2015


Platformer, Adventure


Single player, multiplayer


CERO: All ages (re-release)
ESRB: Everyone


Game Boy Advance, Android, Wii U


64-Megabit cartridge, Digital download

Preceded by

Sonic Adventure 2

Followed by

Sonic Advance 2

Sonic Advance (ソニックアドバンス Sonikku Adobansu?) is the first game in the trilogy on the Game Boy Advance, and one of the first few on a Nintendo console. Developed by Dimps as a spiritual successor to Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, the game is a return to Sonic's side-scrolling roots.


The game is the typical 2D side-scroller in the same vein as the Mega Drive/Genesis-era games in the series. The game mixes elements from the original Sonic games with that of the Sonic Adventure series, such as rails and Sonic's ability to somersault. The goal of the game is to get from the beginning of the stage to the end while dodging Badniks, collecting Rings, and finding the seven Chaos Emeralds. This game also introduces Mecha Knuckles as a boss and features the first appearance of rails in a 2D game; although, they can only be used by Sonic and Amy.

Playable characters

  • Sonic the Hedgehog - The titular character, Sonic runs the fastest. His attacks include his mid-air attack that expands his range for a split second, and a ground somersault. (It is possible to use the somersault to climb steep inclines). He can grind on rails to reach areas that Tails and Knuckles cannot reach. Sonic's game is the hardest due to lack of any shortcuts and special skills.
  • Miles "Tails" Prower - Sonic's sidekick, Tails, retains his ability to fly. If the player taps A several times after a jump,Tails will fly until he is exhausted. His attack move is his tail-swipe from Sonic Adventure, though it is fairly slow. Tails' game is the easiest because of his ability to fly.
  • Knuckles the Echidna - Knuckles is once again able to glide for short distances and climb some walls. He can also tread the surface of water. His attack move is a 1-2-3 uppercut punch. Knuckles' game is a middle of the ground game because of his ability to glide and climb walls.
  • Amy Rose - Amy's moveset replaces standard spin-dashing and rolling jumps with some complex hammer moves. This eliminates the ability to attack enemies by jumping on them, as done with the other three characters. Instead of a Spin Dash, she has a hop move as a form of quick momentum, making it easy to get up steep inclines. She also has the hardest time building up momentum but has the second highest speed when done so. Also as she jumps, she doesn't turn into a ball like Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles (though she does when going through spinning bowls and pipes). She can also grind on rails like Sonic. Amy's game is a unique challenge that varies based on the times in terms of difficulty but is generally easier then Sonic's due to her hammer moves.




Gamigami-spr Gami-gami (ガミガミ) -- Crab bots based on Gani-gani. They crawl along the ground and fire projectiles from either claw.
Stinger-spr Buzzer (スティンガー) -- Wasp bots from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 . They fly through the air and fire projectiles at encroaching heroes.
Kiki-spr Kiki (キキ) -- Monkey bots from Sonic Adventure . They scuttle up and down palmtrees, tossing explosive coconuts at passersby.
Rhinotank-sprite E-02 Rhinotank (リノタンク) -- Rhino bots from Sonic Adventure. They roll slowly along the ground, but relentlessly charge as soon as approached.
Kerokero-spr Kero-Kero (ケロケロ) -- Frog bots that hop along the ground in erratic patterns. ("Kero-kero" is Japanese for ribbit.)
Mogu-spr Mogu (モグ) -- Mole bots that pop in and out of the ground. ("Mogura" is Japanese for mole.)
Senbon-spr Senbon (センボン) -- Porcupinefish based on Sonic the Hedgehog 3 's Harisenbo. They hover slowly through the air and periodically inflate their spiky bodies. ("Harisenbo" is Japanese for porcupinefish.)
Tentou-spr Tentou (テントー) -- Ladybug bots that fly along the ceiling and spout projectiles. ("Tentoumushi" is Japanese for ladybug.)
Pierrot-spr Pierrot (ピーエロ) -- Juggling clown bots that roll along the ground. They can only be damaged from above: try rolling into them and you'll bounce right off.
Slot-spr Slot (スロト) -- Coin-carrying bat bots that fly erratically through the air. Pass underneath and they drop the coin, which shatters upon hitting the ground. This Badnik carries a small resemblance to Batbot.
Hanabii-spr Hanabi (ハナビー) -- Lizard bots that roll along the ground and cough up exploding fireworks. ("Hanabi" is Japanese for fireworks.)
Yukimaru-spr Yukimaru (ユキマル) -- Snowman bots that scuttle along the ground and fire snowballs into the sky when you attempt to leap over them in jack-be-nimble fashion. ("Yuki" is Japanese for snow.)
Drisame-spr Drisame (ドリサメ) -- Shark bots that drill through walls and jet through the water at high speed. Dodge them once and they won't return to take another shot. ("Same" is Japanese for shark.)
Pen-spr Pen (ペン) -- Penguin bots based on Sonic 3's Pen-pen . They waddle along the ground and kick snowballs at marauding hedgehogs.
Kuraa-spr Kura (クラー) -- Jellyfish bots that swim slowly through the water and periodically charge up electric barriers. ("Kurage" is Japanese for jellyfish.)
Leon-spr Leon (レオン) -- Chameleon bots that waddle along the ground and prod air with their long tongues.
Wamu-spr Wamu (ワム) -- Caterpillar bots based on Sonic 3's Meramora. They glide through the air.
Oct-spr Oct (オクト) -- Octopus-looking bots that hover through the air and drop flashing radioactive turds.
Mirror-spr Mirror (ミラー) -- Silvery diamond-shaped bots that fly through the air and periodically open up to fire flashing projectiles. They can only be damaged when they open up to shoot.

Special Stages

To collect Chaos Emeralds, the player must first find a Special Spring somewhere in a Zone. Jumping into it will take them to a tube-like stage filled with rings, a certain amount of which must be collected. Also featured are golden gates that the player does well-timed tricks through to get bonus rings, which is a necessity for the later stages. Collecting all seven Emeralds and beating X Zone allows the player access to Moon Zone.

Tiny Chao Garden

When you first enter the Tiny Chao Garden, only a solitary egg will be found. Tapping GameboyA on it will hatch it into a Chao. Use rings collected in levels and minigames to buy fruits and items for your Chao to help them gain stats. Also, link between Sonic Advance and the GameCube version of either Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut or Sonic Adventure 2: Battle to transfer your Chao to their gardens and to participate in races.


Rock Paper Scissors: Select rock, paper, or scissors, and shoot down one of the coinciding cards to gain rings.

Card Matching: Flip over cards and match pairs for rings.


Reviews for Sonic Advance received critical acclaim from reviewers with Metacritic scoring an 87 out of 100 based on 22 reviews.[1]

Similarities to Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure

Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure shares many similarities with this game:

  • The first zone in Sonic Advance is Neo Green Hill Zone, while the first zone in Sonic Pocket Adventure is Neo South Island.
  • The first bosses both are moving vehicles with large hammers; in fact, many boss concepts in this game and the sequel originated in Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure.
  • The second zones in both games are "Secret industrial" zones. Sonic Advance has Secret Base, while Sonic Pocket Adventure has Secret Plant.
  • The third zones are both casinos. Sonic Advance has Casino Paradise, while Sonic Pocket Adventure has Cosmic Casino.
  • Both of the fourth zones have water and on the fifth zone of Sonic Advance, a robot copy of a character is fought. Knuckles himself is fought on the fourth zone of Sonic Pocket Adventure. In addition to that, Mecha Sonic is fought in the fifth Zone of Sonic Pocket Adventure.
  • The "climax" zones, Egg Rocket Zone (Sonic Advance) & Aerobase (Sonic Pocket Adventure) are both one act zones that lead to Eggman's main space station (Sonic Advance) or in the case of Sonic Pocket Adventure, the Aerobase's interior.
  • The final zones in both games have the name "Angel" in it. Cosmic Angel is in Sonic Advance and Gigantic Angel is in Sonic Pocket Adventure.
  • In the normal ending for both games, space stations explode with red/gray chunks of metal flying and Tails rescues Sonic.
  • Finally, before the beginning of both of the Extra Zones, Eggman's space stations, seemingly, do not explode and are apparently abandoned.
  • Both games seem to return to Sonic's 2D gameplay.
  • Both games were released on systems not made by Sega, both of which happened to be handhelds.

Android port

In 25 November 2011, a tweaked version of Sonic Advance was released for the Android mobile devices. It is a Japanese-only title available as an Android application from the Android Marketplace (now Google Play). Unlike previous releases of Sonic Advance, this version is available as a free download.

The game requires an updated version of Android and a strong device in order to compete with the known bugs and lagging issues.


  • The game's resolution is improved from the original GBA version, increasing by three times than the original to fit all Android devices.
  • The Invincibility theme is changed.
  • There is no Chao Garden accessible.

Cheat Code

There is a cheat code in the game that allows Sonic to be followed by Tails like in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. To activate the cheat code, press up, right, down, right, L, right, R, right and A in the character select screen. The cheat will work if a ring chime is heard afterwards.


Image Platform Description
Combo Pack Sonic Advance Sonic Pinball Party Game Boy Advance Released in a compilation with Sonic Pinball Party as part of the 2 Games in 1 series in Europe and Combo Pack in the US.
Sonic Advance Battle Game Boy Advance Released in a compilation with Sonic Battle as part of the 2 Games in 1 series in Europe and Double Pack in Japan.
Sonic Advance Chu Chu Rocket Game Boy Advance Released in a compilation with ChuChu Rocket as part of the 2 Games in 1 series in Europe and Double Pack in Japan.
51YR9NYJTYL Nokia N-Gage Ported to Nokia's N-Gage system and marketed under the title Sonic N.
SAandroidtitle Android Ported to the Android operating system as an application on Google Play, only available in Japan.
Mobile phone Ported to Java-based mobile phones, with 4 zones intact.
Wii U The game was re-released on the Wii U's Virtual Console in 18 February 2015 in Japan only.


Sonic tshirt head (1) An image gallery is available for
Sonic Advance.


  1. Sonic Advance. Metacritic. Retrieved on 28 December 2014.

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