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Sonic the Hedgehog (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ Sonikku za Hejjihoggu?) for the Sega Mega Drive is the first title in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, and the third appearance of Sonic the Hedgehog. The game's original programmer was former Sonic Team leader and series creator Yuji Naka, and the planner was Hirokazu Yasuhara. The gameplay was faster than any other game before it and amazed many people at launch. This was due to the Mega Drive's Motorola 68000 processor, whose basic speed and ability to handle 16-bit numbers gave it incredible speed compared to its predecessor, the Master System. Nevertheless, a separate 8-bit version was later released for said system.
The story begins on South Island, where Doctor Robotnik (A.K.A "Eggman"), has kidnapped all of the animals, using them to fuel robots, and marking the zones (seven in all, Final Zone being only one fight), as his territory. Sonic the Hedgehog races through the zones, marking them as his territory, stopping Robotnik, and freeing the animals. (Animals are also freed whenever a badnik is destroyed). If Sonic gets all six of the Chaos Emeralds, (later to be seven), new plant life will occur in Green Hill Zone, which surprises Sonic. Emeralds are obtained through Special Stages. If the player fails, Robotnik will juggle the emeralds missing, with a "Try Again" message displayed on the screen. If the succeeds, he will angrily jump on the "End" sign.
Sonic the Hedgehog plays very similarly to other platformers, in which the titular character must get to the end of the stage in the allotted time, while collecting the items along the way. Essential to the gameplay are the golden rings the player collects along his/her way in each level, a feature which would become one of the defining characteristics of the series. These items are regularly placed around the level map and serve multiple functions. First, the player collects rings to protect Sonic. As long as they have at least one ring, the player will not lose a life when injured. Instead, when hit, up to 20 of the rings the player has collected will fly outward and scatter around the immediate area for some seconds, some
of which can then be retrieved before they disappear. If the player runs into an enemy without a single ring, they will lose a life. If the player collects 100 rings they will gain a life, and will gain an additional life for every 100 rings after that, provided the rings are not lost.
If the player has at least 50 rings at the end of an act, a giant golden ring will float above the finishing sign which can be jumped through to enter one of the Special Stages (this excludes the final act of a stage, when Sonic will enter a boss fight). At the end of each act, the total number of rings the player has is multiplied by 100 and added to the player's score. During the score-tallying, the player can also jump through the air to find hidden emblems which can range from 100 to 10,000 points. This was the only console Sonic where the player could not get more lives by collecting over 200 rings (this is the only 16-bit title where it is impossible to obtain 300 rings in a single stage).
Also scattered throughout each level are monitors (or TVs as some call them) which, when broken by the character, reward the player with one of a variety of bonuses. These include a shield which will protect Sonic from a single hit, a 10-ring bonus, an extra life, temporary invincibility (accompanied with a temporary change in music), and "Super Sneakers", which give the player a temporary speed boost (and increase the tempo of the music for the duration). The item monitors have become another long-lasting feature in the series, though they have been changed to bubble-like containers that can float in later games.
Despite the various types of protection available, neither the shield, rings, nor invincibility will prevent the player losing a life if Sonic is crushed (by a trap or between a wall and a moving platform), drowned, runs out of time (each act has a ten-minute time limit), or falls into a bottomless pit.
Progression through the game is made easier for the player by lamp posts that act as checkpoints. When Sonic passes a lamp post, the spherical top spins around and its color changes from blue to red, and the next time a life is lost, gameplay will restart at that point rather than at the beginning of the act. In the Japanese version, if a checkpoint is activated and a life is lost as a result of running out of time, the time at the checkpoint will reset to 0:00.
Hazards the player experiences include a wide variety of "Badniks" - these appear as animals trapped inside mechanical bodies which are released the moment the player hits them. Each badnik takes one hit to destroy, but they vary greatly from Zone to Zone; some will walk in a set path, others will try blasting the player, and some cannot be avoided at all. The player must also avoid rows of sharp spikes, cliffs, and elaborate death traps. There is also the threat of drowning (in Labyrinth Zone and the third act of Scrap Brain Zone which acts contained water), as the player can only survive approximately 30 seconds underwater (locating air bubbles can extend this).
|Walk||Push left or right on the D-pad to initiate Sonic's movement in either direction. As you hold the button down, Sonic gains speed.|
|Run||Begin walking and hold down the button to make Sonic gain speed. After a few seconds, he'll break into a run.|
|Screech halt||While running, quickly press and hold the opposite direction on the D-pad to make Sonic screech to a halt. He'll skid for a short distance, based on how fast he was moving.|
|Look up||While standing still, press up on the D-pad to make Sonic gaze to the sky. As you hold up, the camera pans upward, giving you a view of Sonic's overhead surroundings.|
|Crouch||While standing still, press down on the D-pad to make Sonic duck down. As you hold down, the camera pans downward, giving you a view of the stage beneath where Sonic stands.|
|Sonic Spin||While moving, press down on the D-pad to make Sonic curl into a rolling attack. He'll remain in this position until you jump or slow down. The speed of Sonic's movement while in spin mode is based on how fast you're moving when you launch it, and also on the terrain Sonic rolls along.|
|Press any button at any time to make Sonic leap into the air with a spin attack. The height of the jump is proportional to how long you hold the button down.|
|Push||Certain blocks can be pushed by running up against them. Continue holding the D-pad against the offending cube to have Sonic push it along the ground.|
Sonic the Hedgehog had seven zones (plus the Special stages). The US manual states that there are in fact six zones, possibly because the Final Zone was taken to be the boss of the Scrap Brain Zone and not a zone in itself.
- Green Hill Zone
- Marble Zone
- Spring Yard Zone
- Labyrinth Zone
- Star Light Zone
- Scrap Brain Zone
- Final Zone
Items and Power-ups
|As long as Sonic has some of these, he won't lose a life if he takes damage. Sustain a hit and all your collected Rings will scatter, giving you a brief opportunity to grab a few back before they disappear. (Rings will not protect Sonic from getting crushed by a trap, falling below the level, drowning, or running out of time. All of these effects result in instant death.) A 1up is awarded for every 100 Rings collected and each Ring is worth 100 points at the end-of-Act score tally. In many later games, Sonic can collect 50 of these to transform into Super Sonic (if the player has all seven Chaos Emeralds).|
|Item Box||In each stage, you'll find a number of these power-up bearing monitors. Pop them open with a spin to procure one of five power-ups:
|Star Post||These hold your place in a stage: should you lose a life, you'll start back at the last Star Post you crossed.|
|Bobbin||Round bumpers found only in Spring Yard Zone and the Special Stages. Bounce off one for 10 points, up to 10 times for a total of 100 points. (They stop dispensing points after the tenth hit.)|
|Spring||Leap onto the broad side to catapult Sonic into the air. The yellow ones send him flying a short distance and the more powerful red ones send him farther.|
|Spikes||Don't touch the pointy side! They're usually found in sets of three, but that's not a steadfast rule. Sometimes they're just lying out in the open, and sometimes they pop in and out of the ground (or the ceiling or walls).|
|Switch||Jump on the button to cause a change in the nearby scenery, usually necessary to proceed.|
|Air Bubbles||Large, oxygen-filled bubbles periodically rise from these clusters: tag one to fill Sonic's lungs with air and prolong the time you can spend underwater. Sonic can only spend 30 seconds underwater without drowning, and grabbing a bubble resets the timer. (Labyrinth Zone and Scrap Brain Zone Act 3 only)|
|Bonus points||As you approach the bonus plate at the end of an Act, leap into the air to find invisible bonus points that are added to your score. They can be worth 100, 1000, or a sweet 10,000.|
|Bonus plate||These signs can be found at the end of each first and second Act. Cross them to end the stage.|
|Special Stage Ring||These giant Rings appear above bonus plates when you cross with at least 50 Rings on hand. Jump in to warp to the Special Stage. (Once you've collected all 6 Chaos Emeralds, the Special Stage rings no longer appear.) If Sonic does not jump in before the bonus plate stops spinning, he will uncontrollably run off of the screen and the Special Stage is lost.|
|Egg Capsule||These are found at the end of each third Act, after defeating the boss. Push the button on top to destroy the machine and free the helpless animals within.|
|English name||Japanese name||Sprite||Description|
|Beetle bots that roll innocently along the ground.|
|Bee bots that fly across from the right side of the screen, pausing once to fire a large flashing projectile downward.|
|Splats||???||Rabbit robots that just bounce around. These badniks weren't used in the original release of Sonic 1, but appeared in beta releases of the said game.|
|Piranha bots that leap upward from beneath bridges.|
|Crab bots that crawl along the ground and fire projectiles from their pincers.|
|These chameleon bots hang out on the side of cliffs and remain invisible until approached. They come in two colors: blue ones transform into missiles and jet along the ground. Green ones appear just long enough to fire an energy blast at Sonic.|
|Caterpillar bots that crawl slowly along the ground. The safest method of disposal is to roll into their spherical heads: venture a poke anywhere else and you'll sustain damage and send their segments flying.|
|Bat bots that latch onto ceilings until approached, then drop down and fly through the air a short distance before returning to their roost.|
|Armadillo bots that roll down long slopes after Sonic. They tumble faster than Sonic runs, so leap to avoid being steamrolled. At the bottom of the hill, Roller pauses and briefly opens up: this is your only chance to attack.|
|Hermit crab bots that crawl along the ground. Their shells are cloaked with spikes, making them invulnerable from above.|
|Mole bots that spring from below ground and roll along the surface. Look for their drill bit noses poking out of the earth to avoid an ambush.|
|Piranha bots that swim around underwater. ("Puku-puku" is Japanese onomatopoeia for a bubbling noise.)|
|Irritable sphere bots that hover around very slowly. They're orbited by 4 spiked balls which they fling off in rapid succession upon being approached. It's a dangerous assault, but once it's done, Unidus is completely open to attack. ("Uni" is Japanese for sea urchin.)|
|These guys, palette aside, look exactly like Unidus. They're a bit more cool-headed, though, and won't fire off their barrier of orbs. While this means you don't have that tricky attack to avoid, they're virtually impossible to hit.|
|Bomb||ボム||Mindless bots that waddle along the ground or ceiling and explode into a shower of projectiles when approached. They can't be damaged, only avoided.|
|Pig bots that hop in place atop steep banks and roll balls down the slope.|
If Sonic finishes the first or second act of any of the first five zones with at least 50 rings, a large, spinning ring will appear. If he jumps into it, he will enter a "Special Stage" that hides a Chaos Emerald. In these stages, Sonic, in ball form, falls through a series of rotating mazes.
If he can avoid the "GOAL" signs along parts of the stage's walls (presumably labelled "GOAL" to entice the player into a failed attempt at getting a Chaos Emerald), he will eventually find the Chaos Emerald encased in colored diamonds; touching the diamonds repeatedly will cause them to change color from blue, to green, to yellow, to pink and ultimately disappear, allowing access to the Emerald. The stage will end when Sonic either touches the Emerald or hits a "GOAL" sign. If 50 rings are collected before Sonic makes contact with a "GOAL" sign or gets the Chaos Emerald, then a 'Continue' will be awarded to the player, indicated by a brief, distinct change in melody. Many fans believe that Super Sonic does not appear in Sonic the Hedgehog because 7 Chaos Emeralds are required to transform, whereas this game has only 6.
There are a total of ten opportunities to get Chaos Emeralds, meaning the player can fail a Special Stage up to four times if all six Emeralds are to be collected before the end of the game. Scrap Brain Zone Act 1 will not have a large ring at the end of it, even when finishing with 50 rings, despite the act ending like any of the Act 1s before it. If the player fails a stage, that stage is skipped and is returned to after attempting the sixth and final Special Stage.
An oddity with the Special Stages is that it is stated in the US manual that 1up items can be found in Special Stages, but they are not seen anywhere. It is possible, however, to earn extra lives by collecting 100 rings in a single stage, indicated by the same sound used in the main zones.
At the end of the third Act of each Zone (except the Scrap Brain Zone), Sonic faces off against Robotnik, who is piloting one of his Egg Mobiles. For each battle, Robotnik's machine has a different design. Sonic must hit each boss 8 times to destroy it.
- Wrecking ball (Green Hill Zone)
- Fireball shooter (Marble Zone)
- Spike weapon (Spring Yard Zone)
- Retreat (Labyrinth Zone)
- Mine dropper (Star Light Zone)
- Final Zone
Master System and Game Gear
As the Master System still had high sales in South America (and in limited amounts in the US through retail stores), a version of Sonic the Hedgehog was produced for the Sega Master System. This version had slightly different levels and bosses, and simpler gameplay. The Master System version was released for the Wii Virtual Console on August 4, 2008. This version was also made available for the Game Gear, with warning signs added to the game due to the smaller screen.
The EU/US manual contained the following story prologue:
- Dr. Ivo Robotnik, the mad scientist, is snatching innocent animals and turning them into robots! Only one tough dude can put an end to the Doc's evil scheme. It's Sonic, the real cool hedgehog with the spiked haircut and power sneakers that give him super speed. Help Sonic go down platforms and slides. Go into space and do the loop-de-loop until you're dizzy. Free all the animals and become the super hero. Be Sonic! Be atomic!
A translation of the story prologue from the Japanese manual reads:
- The evil mad scientist Dr. Eggman is up to his old nasty tricks again.
"Sonic…that annoying, impertinent hedgehog. Thanks to him, my great plans are always laid to waste! Oh, but this time, I'm going to rub him out with the power of science! Ha ha ha ha ha…"
South Island is a treasure trove of gems and ancient ruins. They say that it's the island where the mystical Chaos Emeralds lie. The Chaos Emeralds are a super-material that give energy to all living beings. Also, when applied to scientific purposes, they can be used for nuclear and laser based weaponry. However, nobody knows exactly how to get ahold of these emeralds. At the same time, though, they do say that the reason why South Island is always moving is because the emeralds are somewhere inside the island's hazy depths.
One day, crisis visited upon the island. And who showed up with it but Dr. Eggman and his cronies.
"I'll find those emeralds even if I have to dig up the entire island to do it!"
Dr. Eggman set up a fort in one corner of the island, and went about carrying out his plan.
"Eggman, you still haven't had enough?"
Sonic hurried as soon as he heard the news. Dr. Eggman never seemed to leave him alone, even though Sonic had beaten him every time so far. It sounded like Dr. Eggman considered Sonic his sworn enemy, but he was never any match for Sonic.
However, this time something is amiss.
"Have you seen it, Sonic? This time is going to be different! Because this time, I've turned all the animals on the island into robots!"
"All of them go about in accordance to my orders. In other words, Sonic, everyone on the island is your enemy! Gya— Ha ha ha ha ha ha ^cough^ ^ack^ ^ahem^. This time, the world really will be all mine!"
This is terrible! Hurry! Sonic the Hedgehog - everyone is waiting for your help!
- Level select - At the main menu, press UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, then hold A and press start.
- Debug mode - At the main menu, press UP, C, DOWN, C, LEFT, C, RIGHT, C, start, then hold A until the game starts.
Note: These codes do not work on the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network versions of the game.
There are 6 particular glitches in the game that could either help, or mess things up for Sonic very badly.
- Too fast Sonic in the Green Hill Zone; Result: If going too fast down two tubes in Green Hill, the camera won't respond and Sonic will die at the ledge to the giant ring pattern.
- Rolling after Labyrinth Zone Act 2's end; Result: An illegal instruction error will proceed if this glitch is triggered, making the player reset the game.
- Too many hits on the Final Zone's boss; Result: If timed correctly, the player can hit Robotnik two times on the final hit, showing that he would need to be hit 255 more times.
- Sonic jumps too far away in Final Zone; Result: Sonic would jump off into the bottomless pit, therefore losing a life.
- Move through walls in Scrap Brain Zone; Result: On one of the moving platforms, Sonic can duck and go through the wall, showing that he has been placed in another location.
- "Spike Bug"; Result: Though this is technically intentional, Sonic's isn't invulnerable to spike damage immediately after taking a hit. This causes instant death (or an endless loop, if on debug mode). This was changed in later games and in certain ports.
- There are two versions of the game, one being a revision only released in Japan. This update makes some very minor changes to the game's programming, as well as adds some visual effects such as scrolling clouds in Green Hill Zone or water ripples in Labyrinth Zone. It also corrects the zone order on the level select. This version of the game is used is most subsequent releases. In addition, the scrolling clouds return in most appearances of Green Hill Zone.
- Michael Sroka holds the high score for Sonic the Hedgehog: 404,980. He achieved this on May 28th, 2010.
- There was a sound test that was originally supposed to be in this game but was scrapped. But one character in this sound test appeared in future games (Vector) while the others appear in the Archie Comics as part of Mina Mongoose's band.
- The Special Stage for this game also appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I.
- There were only 6 Chaos Emeralds in this game. A seventh emerald was introduced beginning in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
- This game's Xbox 360 release is the first Sonic game to be on Xbox Live Arcade.
- In each version of the game's box-art (being 5 in number), Sonic is making the same pose.
- Caterkiller's Japanese name "Nal", was reused in Sonic and Knuckles, being the Japanese name of Sandworm.
- This game can be playable on Sonic Generations as a bonus game. However, it requires to go to the Skill Shop first to buy the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive controller to play the game. The port of this game doesn't allow the level select and debug mode cheat codes.
- Out of the main series classic Sonic games (including Sonic 4), this is the only game whose final boss doesn't take place in space.
- Masato Nakamura did say in a interview that when he was composing the music for this game,he thought the game as a film to compose the music.
|Sega Mega Drive (Genesis)||Included in Sonic Classics on the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis).|
|Sega Mega Drive (Genesis)||Re-released on the Sega Mega Drive in a new package under a "Sega Classics" logo.|
|Sega Mega Drive (Genesis)||Mega 6 Volume 3 was a Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) cartridge consisting of 6 games, 1 of which was Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Sega Mega Drive (Genesis)||6-Pack was a Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) cartridge consisting of 6 games, 1 of which was Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Arcade||This was one of the games adapted for release in arcades using MegaPlay and MegaTech technology in 1993. The game is almost identical to the console version except Labyrinth Zone and Scrap Brain Zone Act 3 have been removed.|
|Sega Saturn||Playable in Sonic Jam for the Sega Saturn console. A new Spin Dash option was added.|
|Dreamcast||Included in SEGA Smash Pack for the Dreamcast console.|
|PlayStation 2 / PSP||SEGA Genesis Collection for PlayStation 2 and PSP also includes this game.|
|GameCube||Available in Sonic Mega Collection for the GameCube|
|PlayStation 2 / PC / Xbox||Available in Sonic Mega Collection Plus for the PlayStation 2, PC and XBox.|
|Xbox||Available in Sonic Mega Collection Plus / Super Monkey Ball Deluxe 2 in 1 combo pack for the Xbox|
|GameCube / PlayStation 2||Sonic Gems Collection allows you to play the final boss of this game in the museum mode. If you beat Final Zone under the time limit, you can continue on to the beginning of the game until your time runs out.|
|Mobile Phone||In 2005 this game was ported as a mobile phone game and offered on the Sonic Cafe service in Japan. Sonic the Hedgehog (2005 Sonic Cafe)|
|Mobile Phone||Sonic the Hedgehog Mobile is an emulated version of the game released for download on Mobile phones in 2005, under the Sega Mobile banner.|
|Play TV Legends||Sega Mega Drive Collection Vol. 1 is a game console which is part of the Play TV Legends plug-and-play series. It has 6 built in games that can be played when the console is connected to the TV. The title game is Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit). This was released in Europe and the US in 2005.|
|Play TV Legends||Included in Super Sonic Gold, a console that has 4 built in games, but no cartridge slot. Released in the US and Europe in 2005|
|Game Boy Advance||Emulated onto a Game Boy Advance cartridge and released under the title of Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis.|
|iPod||Sonic the Hedgehog (iPod); iTunes recently released this "Click Wheel Game" version for download under the Sega Mobile banner. It was compatible with the iPod Nano (3rd, 4th, 5th Generation) and iPod classic (5th Generation). Not to be confused with the iOS port.|
|iOS||Sonic the Hedgehog was ported to iOS in May of 2009.|
|Wii||Available for Download on the Wii virtual console.|
|Xbox 360||Available for Download on the Xbox 360's XBOX LIVE arcade service. released 7/11/2007 |
|PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360||Included in a compilation disk titled Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.|
|PC||Sonic PC Collection is a compilation released in New Zealand and Australia in 2009. This compilation includes Sonic Mega Collection Plus which includes Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Nintendo DS||Included in a Game Card titled Sonic Classic Collection for the Nintendo DS.|
|PC||Included in a PC compilation titles Mega Drive Classic Collection Volume 1 which entails 10 classic SEGA titles.|
Available for Download on the PlayStation 3's Playstation Network service. Available to Playstation Plus Members (for Free) from 01/03/2011 to 05/04/2011. Available to Regular Users 29/03/2011.
|Android (Kyocera Echo only)||
Available for Download on Kyocera Echo via G-Gee by Gmo. It was available for free (including other games by G-Gee and SEGA's Super Monkey Ball) for a short period of time.
|PlayStation 3/ Xbox 360 / PC||
In the console versions of Sonic Generations, this game is playable from the hub world. It is unlockable after a Genesis controller is purchased from the Skill Shop. This version keeps track of time (similar to the Sonic Jam release). In addition, a new bonus feature can be unlocked via the Skill Shop - infinite continues. The Xbox 360 version lacks the level select code, but the PlayStation 3 version has it intact.
Main article: Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)/Beta Elements
- ↑ Dobson, Jason (2006-06-23). Sonic The Hedgehog Celebrates 15th Anniversary. Gamasutra. Think Services. Retrieved on 2009-08-27.
- ↑ http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/s/sonicxboxlivearcade/default.htm