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Sonic Series Logo

Sonic the Hedgehog English series logo.

Sonic-the-hedgehog-jap

Sonic the Hedgehog Japanese series logo.

The Sonic the Hedgehog series is a franchise of video games released by Sega starring their mascot character, Sonic the Hedgehog. The series began in 1991 with the release of Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. An 8-bit version of the game was also released for the Master System and Game Gear formats. Sonic was responsible for turning Sega into a leading video game company early in the 16-bit era, and his first game soon replaced Altered Beast as the default pack-in game for the Genesis in North America and Europe.[1]

As of 2012, the franchise had sold more than 116 million units, making the series the 5th best-selling video game franchise of all time.

Games in the series are developed by Sonic Team, with the exception of some spin-offs that were independently developed by Sega of America. The main programmer for the first game was Yuji Naka, who would later become head of the Sonic Team division, and the game planner was Hirokazu Yasuhara but stopped producing games for the franchise. The music of the first two Sonic the Hedgehog games on the Mega Drive/Genesis were composed by Masato Nakamura of the Japanese band Dreams Come True.

Yuji Naka, Hirokazu Yasuhara and Naoto Oshima stopped producing games for Sonic. Yuji Naka became the head of his own franchise, Prope and Yasuhara moved to Namco a gaming company. As of current, Takashi Iizuka is the head of Sonic Team and has been involved in several current Sonic games. Most of his involvement was/is in Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, he took very little involvement in the Storybook series. Currently, most of the music is done by SEGA Sound Team or Crush 40.

Overview

Nearly all games in the series[2] feature a teenage hedgehog named Sonic as the central player character and protagonist. The games feature Sonic's attempts to save his planet from various threats, primarily the evil genius Dr. Ivo Robotnik, presently referred to on occasion as Dr. Eggman. The main antagonist throughout the series, Robotnik's aim is to rule the planet and establish the Eggman Empire;[3]and to achieve this, he usually attempts to eliminate Sonic and acquire the powerful Chaos Emeralds.

History

SonicTheHedgehog1

Sonic 1's Green Hill Zone

Most two-dimensional Sonic titles are platform games viewed from a side-on perspective. Their controls are fairly basic and do not deviate much from the genre standard; the selling point of the series is the incredible speed of the playable characters, who usually have the ability to run uphill, walls, and even ceilings. Roller coaster-like loops and corkscrews are also common in Sonic games, as are giant pinball machines with flippers and bumpers which knock Sonic around like a ball. The stages are also similar to roller coasters in that many sequences involve Sonic being thrown along preset paths with little input from the player, which has led to criticism that the player can complete a Sonic game merely by holding the pad in one direction. However, the games also feature numerous sections involving precise jumping between platforms and avoiding of hazards, although these sections do not require "pixel-perfect" judgment and are perhaps more lenient than most platform games of the era. Three-dimensional Sonic titles feature more free movement, and controls are slightly more advanced.

The Sega Technical Institute tried to develop a "true" Sonic game for the Saturn called Sonic X-treme. This game was intended to compete with Nintendo's Super Mario 64. However, due to time constraints and issues between STI and the Japanese division of Sega and Sonic Team, the project was canceled in the last months of 1996.

Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island, an isometric, pseudo-3D ("2.5D") game, was released for the Mega Drive in 1996. Sega Saturn and Windows PC conversions followed to cover the hole of the cancellation of Sonic X-treme. They had enhanced graphics and a different sound track, composed by Richard Jacques. Sonic 3D was developed by Traveler's Tales, although Sonic Team worked on the Special Stages in the Saturn/PC version.

In 1997, a compilation entitled Sonic Jam was released for the Saturn. In addition to containing Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic 2, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, it also included a "Sonic World" mode. This allowed the player to control Sonic in a small 3D world similar to the Green Hill Zone from the original game; it contained no enemies and was mainly a means of accessing the disc's multimedia features such as BGM's, illustrations and even commercials.

Sonic2-big

Sonic being chased by a giant Orca in Emerald Coast, as seen in Sonic Adventure

Although Sonic R was the first 3D Sonic game, the full leap into 3D platforming was made with Sonic Adventure, a launch title for the Sega Dreamcast console. On June 7, 2001 in North America (23 June in Japan and Europe; the 10th anniversary of the US release of Sonic the Hedgehog), Sonic Adventure 2 was launched. Both of the Adventure titles were later ported to the Nintendo GameCube (under the titles of Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut and Sonic Adventure 2: Battle) when Sega dropped out of the hardware market. DX was also ported to Windows PCs.

The first Sonic game to release simultaneously on multiple consoles, Sonic Heroes, was released on the GameCube, Sony PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Xbox in December 2003 in Japan, with American and European releases following soon after, and a PC version the following November. The platforming was largely similar to that of the Adventure titles, although the player now controlled the lead character of a team of three themed characters, with the other two following closely behind. The player could switch to a new leader at any time, in order to make use of each character's special skills. It sold well, but opinions among both reviewers and fans of the Sonic series were mixed.

Shadow the Hedgehog also had mixed views. Released in the US in November 2005, it received mixed reviews from reviewers such as X-Play, for instance, who had given it a 1 out of 5, making it the lowest-scoring Sonic game reviewed on the show. Other game sites such as IGN and GameSpot similarly panned the game. One of the greatest controversies revolving around this game is the gunplay; some fans insisted that Shadow was the self-proclaimed "ultimate life-form" and did not need a weapon. Nintendo Power and Gametrailers, however, both rated it above 8 out of 10, praising the replay value. Two other controversies were the over-use of minor profanity and the fact that Sega had decided to switch to the voice artists from the English version of Sonic X.

A highly faithful two-part port of Sonic the Hedgehog made for mobile phones has been a huge hit in Europe, introducing the game to a new generation of pre-teen gamers, with respected handheld specialist Pocket Gamer awarding Sonic the Hedgehog Part Two a 9 out of 10 review score.[4]

Other gameplay styles

A few Sonic games focus on gameplay styles other than the standard platforming. The first of these was Sonic Spinball (released on the Mega Drive in 1993 and on the Master System and Game Gear in 1994). The concept of Sonic bouncing around as the ball in a giant pinball table had been used in both Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2; Sonic Spinball was designed around that premise.

Several racing games starring Sonic characters have been developed. In Sonic Drift and Sonic Drift 2, characters drive go-karts (kart circuits were later included in the two Sonic Adventure games). In Sonic R (1998), most characters ran on foot (with Eggman riding his Eggmobile and Amy driving a car), while in the Sonic Riders series (2006), they race on hoverboards.

Sonic Shuffle was a Mario Party-style virtual board game/party game for the Sega Dreamcast.

Edutainment video games starring Sonic and Tails have also been released, such as Sonic the Hedgehog Gameworld and Tails and the Music Maker for the Sega Pico, and the PC title Sonic's Schoolhouse.

A fighting game named Sonic the Fighters existed as an arcade game, and later a fighting/platform game hybrid called Sonic Battle was released for the Game Boy Advance.

In 1993, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine was released for the Sega Mega Drive. The game was a clone the Japanese puzzle game Puyo Puyo. This game was also ported to the Game Gear.

Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood brought Sonic into the world of RPGs for the first time, mixing turn-based combat and story telling with traditional Sonic elements.

Common features

Rings

See Rings

Giant Rings

Whereas most Rings were small and easily collectible, certain Rings appeared that were much larger. The so-called "Giant Rings" were hidden in the stages and designed to be jumped through, which would transport the character to a Special Stage, where the character could collect one of the Chaos Emeralds or, in certain circumstances, Super Emeralds. They were used for this purpose in the games Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic CD and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 used Star Posts instead. In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, if all the Emeralds had already been found, these rings could be collected for fifty rings each, allowing the characters to easily tap into the power of the Chaos Emeralds (usually becoming Super, or Hyper in Sonic 3 & Knuckles if the player has collected all the Super Emeralds as well). In most of the newer games since Sonic Adventure 2, these giant rings have taken the place of the old signposts as the end level marker and touching it would end the level.

Shuttle Loops

See Shuttle Loop

Chaos Emeralds

Main article: Chaos Emeralds

The Chaos Emeralds are seven emeralds with mystical powers, and a recurring feature of Sonic games. They are the basic of most of the games' plots, and the player is frequently required to collect them all in order to fully defeat Eggman and achieve the games' "good endings", super forms, or both. The method used to acquire the Emeralds differs between titles in the series. Most early games require the player to find them in Special Stages. In some games, such as Sonic R and the 8-bit versions of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2, they can be found in hidden locations within the main levels. In most later games, the Chaos Emeralds are found by the characters throughout the games' story modes, and do not need to be "found" by the player.

A counterpart to the Chaos Emeralds, known as the Sol Emeralds, appear in the Sonic Rush series.

SonicTailsKnucklesHPZ

Dr. Robotnik steals the Master Emerald to power his Death Egg in Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

Master Emerald

Main article: Master Emerald

The Master Emerald resides in a shrine on Angel Island and is guarded by Knuckles the Echidna; it contains an infinite amount of power, much greater than all 7 Chaos Emeralds, and is used to keep the Angel Island afloat in the sky. The Emerald also has the power to fully control everything that the Chaos Emeralds do, including the ability to negate the energy of the Chaos Emeralds, as seen in Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2, or empower them, as seen in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. The Master Emerald can also be used to power mechanical devices, and has been coveted by Dr. Robotnik since his discovery of it. During Knuckles' final boss fight in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, Mecha Sonic powers up using the Master Emerald into a Super form.

Special Stages

Main article: Special Stage

Usually, a Chaos Emerald may be earned in a Special Stage or Special Zone. Special Stages usually take place in surreal environments and feature alternate gameplay mechanics to the standard platforming of the main levels: the 16-bit Sonic the Hedgehog consisted of a giant rotating maze (which many considered a major technical achievement);[5] Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic 3-D Blast, Sonic Heroes and Sonic Rush featured "in your face" segments with the hedgehog running along a long tunnel, with a variant of this used for Knuckles Chaotix, Sonic Advance, and Sonic Advance 3; 3-D "collect items" levels, as in Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, which used the same perspective but had Sonic collecting all the blue-colored orbs on the surface of a giant sphere, and a different version, the 3-D ring-collecting Special Stage, used in Sonic Advance 2. Sonic Chaos (Sonic and Tails in Japan) utilized a variety of gimmicks for its levels.

Some Sonic titles include Special Stages, but not as a means of collecting Chaos Emeralds. As the Emeralds of the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog were hidden in the main stages, the game's spring-filled Special Stages were merely used as a means of adding variety, and for a player to increase their score. Similarly, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, in addition to their main Special Stages, featured entirely optional bonus stages, one of which combined the rotating maze of the 16-bit Sonic the Hedgehog with the pinball gambling of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Sonic Heroes had an alternate Special Stage for earning lots of 1-UPS, very much like the one in which Chaos Emeralds are collected, but with the objective being to get to the Goal Ring before time ran out, rather than catching up to the Chaos Emerald at the end of the tunnel.

Just as the design of the Special Stages has changed, so has the means of accessing them. In Sonic 3 & Knuckles, giant rings were hidden in levels to take the player to the Stages, but most other titles involve the collection of a certain number of rings, usually 50. In both the 8- and 16-bit versions of Sonic the Hedgehog, they were reached by finishing a level with more than 50 rings; the player would then have to jump inside the giant ring that would appear just after the goal post. In the 16-bit Sonic the Hedgehog 2, reaching a Star Post when they held this number would create a warp of stars which would take a player to the Special Stage when jumped through. Sonic 3D required the player to deliver rings to Knuckles and Tails, who could be found within each level. Sonic Chaos changed the figure, with access to a Special Stage being the reward for collecting 100 rings.

In the more recent game Sonic Heroes, the Special Stages made a return. These special stages were accessed by finding a key in stage 2 of each zone and keeping it (by not taking damage) until the end of the level. It consisted of running through a twisting tube. The Chaos Emerald would be ahead of the characters, and the goal was to "catch up" with it by collecting orbs which refueled a "dash gauge" which the characters would use to speed up and catch it. The stages had some motion glitches which would sometimes cause the characters to slow down dramatically, making it difficult to complete the stage. If the Chaos Emerald got to the end of the stage before the characters caught up with it, the stage would end without the gaining of a Chaos Emerald.

Super Transformation

Main article: Super transformation
Super Sonic

Super Sonic

Since the 16-bit version of Sonic 2, Sonic has had the ability to transform into the extremely fast and nearly invulnerable Super Sonic once all seven Chaos Emeralds are collected. After that, Super Sonic can be used in any of the following levels once 50 rings have been collected, although one ring is lost for every second Sonic remains in this form.

In the Sonic Adventure titles, the Special Stages were omitted entirely and Chaos Emeralds were collected in non-interactive cut-scenes as part of the story, with Super Sonic only appearing in the climactic final boss fights. This dismayed many fans, who appreciated the additional replay value offered by retrying a game's levels with Super Sonic's additional abilities. Despite several games since returning to the emerald-collecting of the 2D platform titles (including the Advance series, Heroes, and Rush), Super Sonic was again only playable at the end of the game in an extra zone.

In Sonic Riders, Super Sonic is also an unlockable character, playable outside the final level for the first time since the Sega Genesis games. As with previous games, Super Sonic consumes rings as long as the form is sustained, and Sonic reverts to standard Sonic when he runs out of rings. He is playable by unlocking the "Chaos Emerald" gear. This mode of play is very difficult to play, however, due to the use of Rings as "air" in the game. Using the air features would deplete Sonic's Ring count at an accelerated rate, often leaving Sonic to run on foot until he could get more Rings to resume his Super form.

Other characters have also been able to utilize the Super transformation. In Sonic & Knuckles, Knuckles the Echidna could also transform into Super Knuckles. By locking-on Sonic 3 to Sonic & Knuckles, Hyper Sonic, Super Tails and Hyper Knuckles also become available, by collecting all 7 Super Emeralds in addition to the 7 Chaos Emeralds. In Sonic Adventure 2, Super Shadow also appeared at the end of the Last story, who fought alongside Super Sonic to destroy the Biolizard. In Sonic Rush, Burning Blaze appears for the extra boss, similar to the end of Sonic Adventure 2. It is named "Burning" instead of "Super" as she uses the Sol Emeralds instead of the Chaos Emeralds. In Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Silver appears along with Super Sonic and Super Shadow.

A feature unique to Sonic is his ability to use Super transformations using different sources of power other than the Chaos Emeralds, each with its own unique abilities. For Sonic and the Secret Rings, Sonic used the World Rings to become Darkspine Sonic. In Sonic Unleashed, Sonic had the ability to turn into Sonic the Werehog from the power of Dark Gaia. In Sonic and the Black Knight, Sonic transforms into Excalibur-Sonic using the power of the sacred swords.

Music

The music of the Sonic series is considered one of the aspects that make the series popular. Sonic games have featured tunes composed by a variety of people; Masato Nakamura of J-pop band Dreams Come True was responsible for the music of the first two 16-bit games. Ys/Streets of Rage composer Yuzo Koshiro composed the music for the first 8-bit title, barring what was taken from the 16-bit title. Sega's in-house music company, Wavemaster, did the majority of the music in later titles. One Wave Master employee, Jun Senoue, is part of the band Crush 40, and through his ties to the band they have played the main theme tunes of the two Sonic Adventure games, Sonic Heroes, and Shadow the Hedgehog. Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog also featured other bands, such as Julien-K. Richard Jacques, a frequent composer of music for Sega's games, contributed to the soundtracks of Sonic R and the Saturn/PC version of Sonic 3D Blast: Flickies' Island.

See also: List of songs

Most Notable Sonic Games

Here's a list of the most notable Sonic games of each year.

Year Console Sonic Game Handheld Sonic Game
1991 Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis/MegaDrive Sonic the Hedgehog for the Master System/Game Gear
1992 Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Genesis/MegaDrive Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Master System/Game Gear
1993 Sonic CD Sonic Chaos
1994 Sonic 3 & Knuckles Sonic Triple Trouble
1995 Knuckles Chaotix Sonic Labyrinth
1996 Sonic 3D Blast Sonic Blast
1997 Sonic R None
1998 Sonic Adventure None
1999 Sonic Adventure Sonic Pocket Adventure
2000 Sonic Shuffle None
2001 Sonic Adventure 2 Sonic Advance
2002 Sonic Adventure 2: Battle Sonic Advance 2
2003 Sonic Heroes
Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut
Sonic Battle
2004 Sonic Heroes Sonic Advance 3
2005 Shadow the Hedgehog Sonic Rush
2006 Sonic the Hedgehog for the Xbox 360/Playstation 3 Sonic Rivals
2007 Sonic and the Secret Rings Sonic Rush Adventure, Sonic Rivals 2
2008 Sonic Unleashed Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
2009 Sonic and the Black Knight None
2010

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I
Sonic Colors for the Nintendo Wii

Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I for the iPhone/iPad
Sonic Colors for the Nintendo DS

Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing

2011

Sonic Generations for the Xbox 360/Playstation 3

Sonic Generations for the Nintendo 3DS
2012

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Characters

Since Sonic's first appearance in 1991, many more characters have appeared, and most of them have been added to main cast. Many of these characters have garnered steady fanbases since their inclusion into the franchise, while other longtime fans have criticized them for allegedly taking the gameplay focus off Sonic. Here are the main characters arranged in order of appearance:


Sonic the Hedgehog Sonic is the world's fastest hedgehog and the protagonist of the series who possesses incredible super speed and numerous other abilities that known to be based on breakdancin. He uses his skills to save the world from Dr. Eggman. He is impatient, laidback, confident, cool-headed and always on the look-out for an adventure as well as help anyone in need of rescuing. Sonicchannel sonic02 nocircle
Dr. Eggman Also known as Dr. Robotnik, Eggman is Sonic's arch nemesis and the series' main villain. He is extremely intelligent, pompous, bad-tempered, egg-shaped, cruel and has black eyes with red pupils, and a giant red-brown mustache. Eggman is an expert in robotics with an IQ of 300 whose goal is to conquer the world and build the Eggman Empire. However, Sonic and his friends always stand in his way. In many cases, he isironically out-done by his own plans. Sonicchannel eggman
Miles "Tails" Prower Sonic's best friend. He is a young two-tailed fox who can fly for a limited time by spinning his tails rapidly. He is a skilled mechanic and often takes care of his biplane called the Tornado. He pilots a machine called the Cyclone, which is an upgraded version of the Tornado with battle-mech capabilities. Sonicchannel tails
Amy Rose A young pink hedgehog who has become Sonic's self-appointed girlfriend, first seen in Sonic the Hedgehog CD. Ever since Sonic and Amy met, she has been in love with Sonic and she now wants him to marry her. Amy is quite strong and smashes enemy forces down with her trusty Piko Piko Hammer. Sonicchannel amy nocircle
Metal Sonic The robotic counterpart of Sonic the Hedgehog, created by Dr. Robotnik who possesses many of Sonic's abilities including his super speed. He seems to believe that he is in fact the real Sonic, and that Sonic is his copy. In Sonic Heroes he betrayed his creator, and took the task of trying to achieve world domination into his own claws. Sonicchannel metal
Knuckles the Echidna The last living echidna, and Sonic's hotheaded friend and rival. Knuckles resides on Angel Island, where he guards the Master Emerald, the source of the island's ability to float in the sky. Knuckles is very strong; his spiked fists are capable of smashing through boulders as well as allowing him to climb walls. The nature of his echidna spikes allows him to glide in the air for periods of time. Sonicchannel knuckles nocircle
Chaotix A team of misfits who have started their own detective agency. The Chaotix consists of Vector the Crocodile, Espio the Chameleon and Charmy Bee. They met for the first time when they fought against Dr. Robotnik in Knuckles Chaotix, along with Mighty the Armadillo. Sonicchannel vector nocircleSonicchannel espio nocircle
Sonicchannel charmy
Big the Cat A big purple tabby cat who loves fishing. His best friend is a frog named Froggy, whom he constantly keeps losing. Big lives with his buddy in a peaceful hut in the Mystic Ruins. Sonicchannel big
Shadow the Hedgehog Shadow is a mysterious black hedgehog resembling Sonic in appearance and skills. He is the Ultimate Life Form created by Gerald Robotnik with Black Doom's DNA on the Space Colony ARK over five decades ago. He recently suffered from amnesia but has regained all of his memories since then. He can use Chaos Control to distort time and space. Sonicchannel shadow
Rouge the Bat Rouge is a sassy female bat treasure hunter who's goal is to make all the gems in the world hers and also works as a spy for GUN. She is full of feminine charm and can be very manipulative. She is Knuckles' rival. Sonicchannel rouge nocircle
Cream the Rabbit A naive young rabbit who lives with her mother, Vanilla. Cream's best friend is a Chao called Cheese (which she uses as missile). Because Cream has been brought up like a princess, she does not like being involved in other peoples' affairs. She can fly using her large ears. Sonicchannel cream nocircle
E-123 Omega A robot created by Dr. Robotnik. He is the last of the E-100 series of robots and seeks revenge on Robotnik for shutting him down. Rouge accidentally activated him when trying to free Shadow from Robotnik's base. Since then, he has became good friends with both of them. Sonicchannel omega nocircle

Blaze the Cat

A female, pyrokinetic lavender cat from a parallel universe. As guardian of the Sol Emeralds, it is her duty to prevent anyone from taking them away from her. She is somewhat shy, and tends to conceal her real feelings. Sonicchannel blaze
Eggman Nega The opposite but equally evil Dr. Eggman known as Eggman Nega. Like Blaze the Cat, Nega is from a parallel universe. Similar to the real Eggman, he tries to steal the mystic gems of his world to rule the universe. He is cunning, cold-hearted, and a genius, just like the true mad scientist. However, he can easily seen as a different doctor by his deep shades, nasal voice, and gray mustache. Rush eggman nega
Babylon Rogues A group of Extreme Gear riders that search for treasures. The leader is Jet the Hawk and Wave the Swallow and Storm the Albatross follow him. Sonicchannel jet nocircleSonicchannel wave nocircle
Sonicchannel storm nocircle
Silver the Hedgehog Silver is a mysterious silver coloured hedgehog from the future. He traveled through time to stop Sonic, who he believed to be the Iblis Trigger causing his time to be ruined Unlike Sonic, Silver utilizes psychic powers such as telekinesis that allows him to lift objects with his mind and throw them at foes. Sonicchannel silver

Regional variations

To create distinctive Sonic products in various markets, Sega initially developed two different back-stories for the instruction booklets; the Japanese version (which is considered the "true" canon by most fans), and the version for all other regions, which was the version built upon by the comics, cartoons, and other media. (This version was retconned in 1999, when Sonic Adventure came out, which continued the Japanese storyline in all regions.)

Differences between regional storylines include the setting of the game (while the non-Japanese version had the game set on a fictional planet called Mobius, the Japanese version had the games set on Earth from the very beginning), as well as Dr. Eggman's name, which was Dr. Robotnik in the American version. (Although now, Robotnik is his official last name while Eggman is a nickname made up by Sonic and his friends for him which he has since adopted and is hardly ever referred to as Robotnik anymore.)

Chronology

Notification: This chronology is extremely speculative and in no way official; it is compiled by fans using best-guess reasoning. Titles marked by asterisk (*) are confirmed to be absolute canon. Feel free to discuss disputes and suggest revisions on the Talk page.

Saga 1 - Meet Sonic the Hedgehog

This is where the Sonic Series begins. It mostly involves Sonic being the only one to save the World from the Evil Doctor Eggman.

Sonic 1 is the first game in the series and establishes the canon's foundation. It introduces the protagonist, Sonic, a speedy blue hedgehog and the antagonist, Dr. Ivo Robotnik, a malevolent human scientist. Basic gameplay elements and bosses that have reappeared in later games.
The Game Gear and the Master System both featured this game, although each one was very slightly different. The storyline is virtually identical, though it is considered a separate game.
This game takes place directly before Sonic CD. Seeing as how this game does not feature Tails, yet was released after Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Genesis, this would theoretically be placed at the end of the list of games where Sonic fights without Tails; however, this game was released before Sonic CD and seems to be able to fit at that point as well. This game also features the debut of Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel. There is speculation that this game happens before the first Sonic game ever because several reasons: Mighty the Armadillo already exists longer than Sonic, so the appearance of Mighty could say that this game plays before Sonic the Hedgehog on the Mega Drive/Genesis. Another reason is that Sonic is shier than in all the other games. Also in the japanese manual of Sonic the Hedgehog you can read that Robotnik and Sonic had a meeting already before the first game. And the last reason could be that Sonic is kidnapped in this game what never happened again in any other games.
The placement of the game is in debate. The most important factor that would determine where this game takes place in the timeline is whether or not that Sonic has yet met Tails, who does not appear in the main game (he does make two side-cameos, once with the Tornado). Also, while Sonic CD was released after Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for both the Sega Genesis and the Sega Game Gear, Sonic CD was in production alongside the other two games and could have possibly been intended to come out beforehand. Sonic CD most likely takes place either before Sonic the Hedgehog 2 or after Sonic 3 & Knuckles, with the former being used here. It could also potentially take place between those games, as the game not only involves time travel but there is a small time frame of several days between those events. It should be noted that this game was not listed on the Sonic 4 website, so it could potentially occur after that. This game includes the first appearances of Amy Rose and Metal Sonic.
This game came out recently after Tails Adventure, so this game could be placed in the timeline during the events of Tails Adventure, as per the U.S. storyline when the two split up. This timeline will assume that the Japanese storyline is the correct one, where that game takes place before Sonic met Tails.

Saga 2 - Meet Miles "Tails" Prower

This Saga mostly involves Miles "Tails" Prower being the hero and leads Tails to meeting Sonic.

Because of the original intention of Tails not yet have meeting Sonic in Tails Adventure, and because this game came out before Tails Adventure, this game takes place before the events of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Game Gear. It can either take place during the events of “Meet Sonic the Hedgehog” or after and before “Sonic and Tails Together".
Although the Western story states that Tails split up from Sonic for a while, the Japanese story states that, during the events of this game, Tails has not yet met Sonic. Assuming that the Japanese story is the case, it can be included in “Meet Miles ‘Tails’ Prower”. However, in the game, there are power ups named after Sonic and Knuckles; this means the game takes place sometime after Sonic and Knuckles.

Saga 3 - Sonic and Tails Together

This Saga mostly involves Sonic and Tails working together to defeat Doctor Eggman.

While the Japanese continuity completely debunks this placement and clearly states that Tails met Sonic shortly before the events of the 16-bit game, this timeline will assume otherwise for simplicity's sake as well as the fact that any games between this one and its 16-bit version did not exist until after this game and its story was created and was most likely changed. The story states that Tails gets kidnapped by Dr. Robotnik. After this game, Tails fights alongside with Sonic, so it can be assumed that this game marks the beginning of Sonic training Tails to fight for himself. The instruction manual indicated that Sonic 1 was the first fight against Robotnik, however, it can be assumed that this is meant to be a reference to Sonic 1 on the Game Gear. The manual also states that Sonic left after Robotnik's last defeat in search of adventure. This probably means that Sonic did not leave Tails right after meeting him and that they enjoyed peace for a while before Sonic got bored and left. It may also mean that, while in search of adventure, Sonic met Tails for the first time. Additionally, the first Mecha Sonic (or Silver Sonic in the English manual) is introduced in this game.
"Here he comes, straight from his high-speed Sonic 2 adventure! Headstrong Sonic The Hedgehog and his feisty friend Tails blast into hyperspeed to save the Chaos Emeralds. If evil Dr. Robotnik snatches the Emeralds first, he'll make a Super bomb! Could this be the end?" (Probably taken from instruction manual) The storyline to Sonic Chaos, like most Sonic stories, revolves around Dr. Robotnik and his quest for world domination via the use of the mysterious Chaos Emeralds to create nuclear weapons and lasers. (According to the U.S. version of the instructional manual)
Dr. Robotnik takes control of Mount Mobius, turning it into his new Veg-O-Fortress, which transform helpless animals into robot slaves at an astounding rate. In the end, Sonic retrieves the Chaos Emeralds and takes down Dr. Robotnik once, again. It may or may not be set in the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic or SatAM cartoon due to the cameos, but they could be nothing more than simple cameos, since they only appear in bonus rounds.
This game is a racing game that includes Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles “Tails” Prower, Amy Rose, and Dr. Ivo Robotnik. Seeing as how this game does not include any story, it can be seen as pure filler. Although this game was released between Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic and Knuckles, and because both of those games are also considered one whole game, Sonic Drift, if it would fit in the timeline at all, would go right before or right after. Because Knuckles is not featured in the game, it can be assumed that it takes place right before the events of Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
"A Chaos Emerald has been hidden on each floor of Dr. Eggman's 5-story Gameworld, an amusement center built - like everything else he constructs - in his own mustachioed image. Sonic, Tails, and Amy must clear all the minigames on each floor and find the Emeralds." (Story taken from http://www.theghz.com/sonic/gameworld/gameworld.html)
It is interesting to note that the back story of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 mentions that this game seems to lead into Sonic the Hedgehog 3, but it is also interesting that it also mentioned that there was peace between this game and the first game. It is currently unknown whether or not the placement of the other games have changed because of this. Sonic Chaos is said to take place right after Sonic 2, but that can be referring to the 8-bit version, since both Sonic 2 and Sonic Chaos are for the Sega Game Gear and Sega Master System. The game formerly introduces Miles "Tails" Prower, Sonic's sidekick. Super Sonic makes his first appearance. Additionally, another Mecha Sonic model is seen in this game. (This robot has also been called Silver Sonic, but it appears to be unrelated to its odd 8-bit counterpart.)

Saga 4 - Knuckles the Echidna and Eggman's Vengeance

This is just another Saga of Doctor Eggman hatching different evil plots to take over the World and also introduces Knuckles the Echidna.

Sonic 3 & Knuckles comes soon after the events of Sonic 2 and recycles its game engine core. The combined game is considered canon, as it is closer to the way the designers intended, plus the Death Egg completely vanishes at the end of Sonic 3 standalone. Inside the game, Sonic's story happens first, then Knuckles' story. In Sonic's story, Angel Island is in the sea and Knuckles is his enemy; in Knuckles' story, Angel Island is floating in the sky and Sonic is his ally. Additionally, this game reintroduces Mecha Sonic.
Dr. Robotnik discovers Flicky Island and its inhabitants, the Flickies. He plans on using them and their ability to travel anywhere via large rings by turning them into robots to help him search for the Chaos Emeralds. Most notably, the Japanese version (released around Sonic Adventure International) featured artwork that seemed to be a transition of classic and modern.
While this game was released at the end of 1996 in conjunction with the similarly named Sonic 3D Blast, it is worth noting that both games have little in common (it also has an entirely different name in Japan). No enemies, levels, or bosses, are shared between the games. The story is also completely different. Sonic and Knuckles join together to collect five of the Chaos Emeralds and confront Eggman at Silver Castle. (See source for details)
Although it is said to be a direct sequel to Sonic & Knuckles, it is not unreasonable to place some games in between, similar to other games. Also, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II should take place immediately after this game, and that game reintroduces Metal Sonic for the following games. Originally, the main reason that placed this game so far ahead was Dr. Robotnik's costume change (at the end of Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, Dr. Robotnik changes into a different outfit, but after that, he keeps that outfit throughout the rest of the series), but Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure was moved later in the timeline to treat the costume change in this game as either temporary or not important to the story due to Sega's mandate to have all characters in their current designs. Since only Episode 1 has been released and it is merely a prologue to this game's history, this placement may change, but it is not unreasonable to be placed this far after Sonic & Knuckles, since the other numbered games (1 through 3) have other titles in between them.

Saga 5 - Metal Sonic Returns

The games in this Saga were originally believed to be in seperate areas, but through Sonic the Hedgehog 4's backstory, it is confirmed that these games take place after, especially since Metal Sonic was not supposed to have been seen anywhere between Sonic CD and Sonic the Hedgehog 4.

Episode II: This game picks up where Episode I left off and features Eggman and Metal Sonic's plot. It also reveals why Eggman was investigating Lost Labyrinth and why he built Mad Gear.
Episode Metal: This game takes place between Episode I and Episode II and features Metal Sonic's backstory and how he was revived. It also features him travelling through all of the zones Sonic visited.
The US Instruction manual states that, as usual, Dr. Robotnik has captured all of the Chaos Emeralds. Unfortunately for him, an accident in the testing phase of his new ultimate weapon, the Atomic Destroyer, scatters the Emeralds across the island again. While Sonic and Tails are out to retrieve them, they are cut short by Knuckles the Echidna. Robotnik has already reclaimed the yellow Emerald, and he's once again duped the Guardian into believing Sonic and Tails are out to steal the stones. Meanwhile, a sneaky treasure hunter named Nack the Weasel (Fang the Sniper in the Japanese version) is taking advantage of the commotion to collect the Emeralds himself. He does not know of the true power of the Emeralds, but he does know the large, pretty gems would fetch a high price. Now it's a mad four-sided race for the Chaos Emeralds. Additionally, Metal Sonic makes its third appearance since Sonic CD as a boss near the end of the game.
This game introduces Vector the Crocodile, Charmy Bee, Espio the Chameleon, Heavy and Bomb. Additionally, Mighty the Armadillo and Metal Sonic make their second and fourth appearance in this game, respectively. Prior to the fight, Metal Sonic is seen moving with Dr. Robotnik into a ring, and then a new mechanical monstrosity appears. It is thought to be a transformation of Metal Sonic, and often known amongst fans as Super Metal Sonic, Metal Sonic Kai or Mega Metal Sonic. In the end, it is defeated. This game has most likely been retconned, as statements from key Sega and Sonic Team employees indicate the Chaotix as having made their first "true" appearance in Sonic Heroes.
This is another racing game that is most likely pure filler due to the lack of a story. It added three new playable characters: Knuckles the Echidna, Fang the Sniper/Nack the Weasel, and Metal Sonic. The only thing that resembles a story is the fact that, in the game, Chaos Emeralds are awarded for winning races. If Sonic, Tails, Knuckles or Amy collects all six in the Blue GP, they will face Dr. Eggman in a final race around the Death Egg. If Eggman, Metal Sonic or Fang collects all six in the Blue GP, they will face Sonic in the final race.
"This race is unlike any other in the Sonic Universe in that this World Grand Prix race takes place on foot! Sonic joins the race once he discovers his nemesis is using the race as an excuse to get to the Chaos Emeralds. Knuckles and Amy join in to wreak havoc on Dr. Eggman’s plans as well." This information was taken from http://www2.sega.com/sonic//content.php. The game featured a few new characters to the series: Metal Knuckles and Tails Doll. These two never made another appearance, except for a target practice dummy of Tails, which looked like Tails Doll, in Sonic Adventure. Additionally, Egg Robo, a robot version of Dr. Robotnik from Sonic 3 & Knuckles, was a playable character as well.
Dr. Robotnik has built the Death Egg II, and it is up to the heroes to foil his plans for the Death Egg once and for all. This game introduces Bark the Polarbear and Bean the Dynamite. Metal Sonic makes its fourth appearance as the penultimate fighter before facing Dr. Eggman. There is a new form of Metal Sonic only seen in the opening sequence of this game known as Mecha Sonic Model No. 29, but when it is controlled through hacking, its name is Rocket Metal. It is possible that it is Tails' reconnaissance robot. It should be noted that this game features eight Chaos Emeralds, but one of them is considered to be the Master Emerald. However, it does establish certain things seen later in Sonic Adventure, such as Amy's Piko Piko Hammer and Tails' Workshop and Tail Whip attack.
This game's placement in this list is perhaps not necessarily due to the lack of characters, but due to one important factor: Dr. Eggman changes from his old outfit to his new outfit by the end of the game. Additionally, Mecha Sonic (Silver Sonic in the US manual) makes another appearance as a boss since Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit) chronologically, unless this Silver Sonic is actually the same one from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit) for the Sega Game Gear. If this is the case, then this would mark its third appearance. Because this Mecha Sonic is the same model as its counterpart from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit) and not Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, they are most likely two different Mecha Sonic models. One thing worth noting is that Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episodes I and II use Dr. Eggman's new outfit, but this is due to Sega wanting the newest designs on their franchise, even though the now later games portray Dr. Eggman in his old outfit again. Either this game takes place before Sonic 4, where Dr. Eggman keeps his outfit on until the end (ultimately putting it back on again in Sonic Advance), or Sonic 4's design change can be treated as something minor and not specific to the story. It is currently treated as a minor design change (or perhaps Dr. Eggman trying on his new outfit and changing out of it at the end of Sonic 4 due to damage or some other decision), making this the game when Dr. Eggman decides to keep his new outfit.

Saga 6 - Amy Rose Joins the Fight

This is the Saga where most of the characters get redesigned and where Amy joins the Fight against Eggman as a playable character. The last game of this Saga, "Sonic Adventure 2," introduces Shadow the Hedgehog and Rouge the Bat.

While some may assume Sonic Adventure comes first, Sonic Advance comes first for two clear reasons: (1) Sonic's red Tornado biplane appears in it, but it was shot down and destroyed in Sonic Adventure (and wasn't fixed until Sonic Unleashed); (2) In all the games after this game, including Sonic Adventure, Dr. Robotnik has a much more complicated way of taking over the world, but in Sonic Advance 1 and 2, Robotnik has the same old scheme: keep Sonic distracted with his robots while he tracks down the Chaos Emeralds. But where both Advance-games really belong is still not sure because there is also evidence that they could go shortly before Sonic Heroes because both GameBoy titles feature grinding and Sonic wasn't able to grind before Sonic Adventure 2 when he has got the soap-shoes.
There are three reasons why Sonic Advance 2 occurs here. It is evident from the game and official material that Sonic Advance 2 closely follows its prequel. In Sonic Adventure's GameCube remake, Cream has a cameo appearance when she gives Sonic the Ice Stone, whom she met in this game. The third reason is that Robotnik's strategy is essentially unchanged from Sonic Advance.
Adventure marks the first of the fully 3-D and evolved Sonic games. Sonic Adventure is closely connected to Sonic & Knuckles, as seen by the fall of Angel Island. It also makes several references to earlier games: Sonic making jokes at Knuckles' expense about his history with Robotnik (now called Eggman); Tails' dream of when he first met Sonic; and Amy's flashback of when Sonic first rescued her from Eggman's base on the Little Planet while being chased by Metal Sonic.
The story involves Sonic and company getting caught up in a mess in a world called Maginary World, which they inadvertently stumble upon one day. A villain named Void has shattered the Master Precioustone into many pieces, resulting in chaos in every part of the world. Lumina Flowlight and the rest of Maginary World are counting on Sonic to restore it and bring Illumina back, who mysteriously disappeared after the disappearance of the Precioustone. (See source for details)
It is Sonic Adventure's sequel, and the events within closely follows it's prequel. This game introduces Shadow the Hedgehog, a 'look a like' of Sonic, Rouge the Bat, a rival treasure hunter for Knuckles and a playable Eggman up against Tails.

Saga 7 - The Return of Shadow

This Saga marks the Return of the Chaotix and Shadow the Hedgehog himself after his apparent death.

It continues five months after the storyline of Sonic Adventure 2. The game stars Metal Sonic as the antagonist of the game instead of Dr. Eggman. In Team Dark's story, Shadow begins his story inside a cryogenic capsule; Rouge is surprised that he is still alive. In Team Rose's story, Amy begins her story relaxing at the beach in a scene reminiscent of the opening cut-scene of Sonic's story in Adventure.
The reason that this game is not a bonus/filler game is that it actually has a story. The story is set in Casinopolis (in Station Square), where Doctor Eggman turns the people gambling into robots, and brainwashes Miles "Tails" Prower and Amy Rose. Sonic must rescue his friends by winning a pinball tournament called the "Egg Cup Tournament." (See source for details.) Also, even though Cream was introduced in Sonic Advance 2 and Sonic Adventure DX, it is because they came out later on than when they were actually placed in the timeline. At this point, Cream becomes a recurring ally. Though this game may not be Canon since its a Spin-off and it does include Sega Crossover Characters NiGHTS and Amigo.
It makes several references to Sonic Heroes, and, in Sonic Battle, Shadow is completely aware of his past and rants on about trusting in Maria, but in this game, he can only remember one tidbit of his memory, and, he doesn't even know who Maria is. "And who is this 'Maria'?" - Shadow the Hedgehog
Even though this game was released before Sonic Heroes, it comes after, because Rouge comments about E-102 Chaos Gamma (who she believes to be a Guard Robo) looking like Omega, whom she met in Sonic Heroes. "...that Guard Robo looked just like Omega" - Rouge the Bat. The second reason was explained above, in the case with Shadow's past.
It is seen that this game closely follows Sonic Battle, and it continues Battle's storyline, seeing as Eggman found Emerl's pieces and rebuilt him into G-mel. Emerl is a robot introduced in Sonic Battle.

Saga 8 - Traveling through Time and Space

This Saga introduces Silver the Hedgehog and Blaze the Cat and yet they're only involved in the games of this Saga. Both Silver and Blaze appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 and they appeared in separate Handheld series with Silver in the Sonic Rivals Games and Blaze in the Sonic Rush Games. Eggman Nega was also introduced in this Saga as the Main Villain of the Sonic Rivals Games and the Sonic Rush Games.

The placement of this game in the timeline is debatable. Although Blaze seemingly recognizes Sonic when she utters "Blue Hedgehog..." (whom she first met in Rush), in the end of this game, Blaze is sealed away into another dimension. It is interesting to note that the Japanese word for the colour "blue" (adjective) is aoi (青い). The Japanese word for the adjective "naive" is ALSO aoi (青いor 蒼い). So, Blaze's mentioning of "Blue Hedgehog..." is actually a translation of "Aoi Hedgehog..." in Japanese. This phrase was originally meant to be a misinterpretation in the game's story, but was left out in the English version due to the difference in words. This also does not mean that she already knows of Sonic. Regardless, she seemed to just be thinking about the cultprit anyway. As for the dimension that Blaze was sent to, this could possibly be the dimension that Blaze lives in in "Sonic Rush". Although this game seems to retcon itself by erasing the events of the game from history, Blaze is not seen in the end when the past, present, and future merge. Therefore, Blaze and the future Iblis sealed inside of her have been sent away from the timeline, resulting in her own existence being erased from her home world/dimension. It is also probable that her entire origin was rewritten as a consequence and was sent to the present in this new dimension instead of staying in the future. Additionally, Silver the Hedgehog is introduced in this game.
In this game, Eggman Nega turns out to be the main antagonist of the game who hails from the future. Masquerading as Dr. Eggman in the past, he uses a special camera to turn everyone into cards on Onyx Island, an island he brought along with him from the future. His master plan is to change his destiny by turning the whole planet into a card that he can control. It is revealed that he was never an alter ego, but a descendant of Eggman. Additionally, Silver the Hedgehog makes a reappearance in this game. Due to that fact that Eggman Nega turns against Eggman (and with the discovery that he is a descendant and not an alter ego), this takes place before the Sonic Rush games, where Eggman Nega thinks less of Dr. Eggman, his ancestor. Once sealed away into another dimension, he presumably decides to ally himself with Dr. Eggman when given the opportunity.
This game introduces Metal Sonic version 3.0, which is a robot built by Eggman Nega. Because Dr. Eggman is not the main antagonist of the game, he sends Metal Sonic as to help fight against the threat of Eggman Nega. Silver again makes another appearance in this game. Since the game is closely tied to its prequel, it takes place after it.
It has to happen after Sonic Advance 3, because several elements introduced in Advance 3 are re-used in this game, such as Cream's house and the new looking Flickies. Blaze the Cat is introduced. This game has to take place after Sonic Rivals 2 due to the fact that Eggman Nega has been most likely sealed away in the same dimension as Blaze. Blaze not recognizing Sonic must be a side effect of being sealed away, and, since the events during the time of her being sealed away were erased from her original world, it is possible that she too was somehow still affected.
It's most likely that this game comes next due to the fact that Dr. Eggman and Eggman Nega still have a working relationship, as the Sonic Rivals series shows that Eggman Nega develops a tendency to work alone or dispose of Eggman first.

Saga 9 - The Babylon Rogues

This Saga mostly involves the Sonic Riders Games and the Babylon Rouges: Jet, Wave, and Storm.

This game introduces the Babylon Rouges-Jet the Hawk, Wave the Swallow, and Storm the Albatross-as well as the E-10000 series. Jet and Sonic seem to have a rivaling relationship over who is the fastest thing alive, and, in the end, Babylon Garden's secret treasure is uncovered after defeating the Babylon Guardian. The reason this game takes place after Saga 8 is because, even though some of the games from the previous saga were made after Sonic Riders, others were made before it; however, those games go together as a whole saga. Sonic Riders can take place before Saga 8, but it can also lead into Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity. Therefore, the placement of Sonic Riders and Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity is not definite, but Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity does have the newer characters from those games developed later on as secret characters (such as Blaze and Silver).
The game closely follows Sonic Riders, and it continues the story of the Babylon Rouges. Like Sonic Riders, this game's chronological placement can also be before Saga 8, but only as long as this game's secret characters from the newer games do not interfere with the canon of the story. Other than that, it was developed and made after most of (if not all of) the games from the previous saga. Therefore, this game really can take place in this saga. Sonic Riders may or may not lead directly into this game, but Sonic is still carrying his board in this game, so it can be assumed that it does.
The game takes place after Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity because it continues with the second World Grand Prix which relates to Sonic's point in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity when he tells Jet, "See you in the next World Grand Prix!" when the Heroes Story is finished. Being a second World Grand Prix, this could take place a long time later; however, it is also possible that the second Grand Prix was held soon after the first because of the interruption during the first one.

Saga 10 - Storybook Adventures

This Saga includes the Sonic Storybook series. The games in this saga have to take place after Sonic Riders because Sir Lamorak from Sonic and the Black Knight is based on Jet the Hawk, and it has to take place before Sonic Generations because the adventures are mentioned in Sonic Generations by Sonic the Hedgehog himself.

Sonic enters the world of Arabian Nights, a book that appears in front of him. He journeys to save the world of Arabian Nights, as well as his own life and his new friend, Shahra the Ring Genie, from the evil genie, Erazor Djinn, from the story of Aladdin. In the end, Sonic and Erazor Djinn each use powers from the Seven World Rings and transform into Darkspine Sonic and Alf-Layla-wa-Layla respectively. Darkspine Sonic defeats Alf-Layla-wa-Layla, then they turn back to normal. Erazor Djinn is forever sealed away inside his lamp. The story is saved, and the name of the book changes from "Aladdin and the Magic Lamp" to "Sonic and the Secret Rings".
Even though Shahra stated in the end of Secret Rings that Sonic did not leave the book, Sonic enters the world of King Arthur to stop the Black Knight. Sonic is summoned by Merlina to save the Arthurian world from the reign of King Arthur, the Black Knight. By the end, they find out that King Arthur was an illusion conjured up by Merlina's grandfather, Merlin. Taking the Black Knight's Scabbard, Merlina planned to make the world eternal by using the power of the underworld. With the help of The Knights of the Roundtable (Sir Gawain, Sir Lancelot, and Sir Percival), and the Lady of the Lake, a barrier was formed around the castle to stop the spread of the underworld using the four legendary swords. Although the barrier was weak, Sonic jumped in with Caliburn, and fell to the Dark Queen-the now powerful Merlina with the Scabbard. After breaking Caliburn, the Dark Queen easily overpowers Sonic. His will to keep fighting returns the light to the sacred sword, revealing Caliburn to be Excalibur when the Lady of the Lake has Lancelot, Gawain, and Percival throw their swords-Lancelot's Arondight, Gawain's Galatin, and Percival's Laevatein-into a portal, which fuse with Caliburn and cover Sonic, ultimately transforming him into Excalibur-Sonic. In the end, the Dark Queen is defeated and Sonic is revealed to be the true King Arthur. Additionally, the name of the book changes from "King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table" to "Sonic and the Black Knight".

Saga 11 - Planetary Problems

This saga features Sonic alongside some of his friends travelling around the world (Unleashed and Chronicles), space (Colors), time (Generations), and another dimension (Chronicles). Additionally, aside from Sonic Chronicles, all of them feature an add-on to the gameplay that offers a different style of play (the Werehog in Unleashed, the Wisps in Colors and Classic Sonic in Generations). All of three of them feature a little new friend for Sonic - Chip (Unleashed), Yacker (Colors) and Classic Sonic (Generations). The stories of the games are connected since at the end of Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Dr. Eggman takes over and Sonic has all seven Chaos Emeralds. In the beginning of Sonic Unleashed, Sonic is battling Dr. Eggman as Super Sonic. At the end of Sonic Unleashed, Sonic and Tails are running and hovering respectively during the credits and the trailer of Sonic Colors features a similar scene, also Eggman states in the end of Sonic Colors that he is working on a new plan, which turns out to be his plan in Sonic Generations.

Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood introduced a number of new characters as well as explains mysteries from the past. It is also set two years after Dr. Eggman's previous defeat. This could help to make the age difference in Sonic Generations a bit more believable. The story revolves around the Twilight Cage, a realm where powerful beings/races who threaten the peace of the world are sealed away by the god, Argus. Trapped in the realm, Sonic and friends save the day and escape, only to find their world taken over by Dr. Eggman due to the amount of time that passed by while they were trapped inside the Twilight Cage (since time moves slower in the Twilight Cage). The game was originally meant to have a sequel, but it seems that the beginning of Sonic Unleashed clears up the cliffhanger ending whether intentional or not.
Before he can stop Dr. Eggman's evil plans once again, Super Sonic is engulfed by the dark energy of Dark Gaia, a creature that prematurely awakens from the center of the Earth and rips the world into several pieces. As a result, when the day turns to night, Sonic undergoes a transformation in which he becomes a Werehog. Eventually, Dark Gaia absorbs its dark energy that resides inside of Sonic, putting a stop to the Werehog transformation. In the end, Dark Gaia is defeated by Super Sonic and Light Gaia, and the world is restored to normal.
The two versions of the game (Wii and DS) have the same stories with slight differences between them. Continuing from Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Colors is a high speed action-adventure in which Sonic races through theme park-inspired worlds to rescue a colorful alien race from the clutches of Dr. Eggman. An extraordinary amusement park has been seen orbiting around the home planet of Sonic the Hedgehog, and rumors are spreading that an alien race of Wisps, who have a unique colorful energy, are being held captive there by the evil Dr. Eggman. Soon after arriving at the amusement park, Sonic discovers he is able to use these mysterious alien forces to help the Wisps escape. Through the game in both versions Sonic races around the park saving the Wisps with Tails as his partner. Aside from Sonic, Tails and Eggman, there aren't any other recurring characters present in the Wii version. The DS version contains gratuitous cameos from other characters such as Knuckles, Shadow, Amy, Blaze, and Silver. The Wii version the game ends after beating Eggman in Terminal Velocity, but the DS version features the semi-traditional Last Story in which Sonic becomes Super Sonic to defeat and purify the Mother-Wisp who has been corrupted into a Nega-Wisp by Eggman.
Modern timeline - Some time after the events of Sonic Colors, Sonic celebrates his birthday until his universe is thrown into chaos when a mysterious new power creates "time holes", which pull Sonic and his friends back through time by a mysterious new nemesis. As a result, he encounters some surprises from his history, including Classic Sonic: Sonic as he was in the past. After finding out everything is chalk white and losing color, Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic team up to defeat this strange new enemy, save their friends, and find out who is really behind this diabolical deed. It is also interesting to note that Dr. Eggman mentions leaving Cubot and Orbot in space at the end of Sonic Colors, meaning that, until further notice, this game takes place directly after Sonic Colors.

Non–Canon Games

  • Blue Sphere – (Genesis) (1995)
A collection of special stages from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. There are also some new stages. Made by combining Sonic and Knuckles with Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis).
  • Sonic Crackers – (canceled)
Eggman traps Sonic and Tails together with a band of rings. It is not sure when this game would have taken place since it was canceled, but it was probably near the sixth saga since Eggman has already begun his complicated plans, starting with trapping our heroes in a band of rings.
  • Sonic Xtreme – (canceled)
Eggman is after the Rings of Order. Had this game not been canceled, it probably would have bridged the gap in between the fifth and sixth saga since Eggman has begun his complicated plans.
  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games – (Wii, 2007) (DS, 2008)
This game lacks a story but it would have taken place somewhere after Saga 9. However, it is the first meeting between Sonic and Mario.
  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games – (Wii, DS) (2009)
This game would most likely occur after the events of the previous Olympics game due to the time difference. The first game takes place in 2008 while the second occurs in 2010, both years when the Olympics occurred.
  • Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games - (Wii, 2011) (3DS, 2012)
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl – (Wii) (2008)
This game's storyline is non–canonical to all characters that appear in it.
  • SegaSonic Cosmo Fighter – (Arcade)
  • Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car – (Arcade) (1991)
  • Various mobile phone games
  • Sonic's Schoolhouse – (PC) (1998)
  • Tails and the Music Maker – (Sega Pico) (1994)
Tails teaches how to play music.
  • Sonic Eraser – (Meganet / Mega Drive) (1991)
  • Wacky Worlds Creativity Studio – (Mega Drive) (Genesis) (1994)
  • Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine - (Mega Drive) (Genesis) (1993)
  • Sega SuperStars - (PS2) (2004)
  • Sega SuperStars Tennis - (Wii) (Xbox360) (PS3) (PS2) (DS) (2008)
  • Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing - (Wii) (Xbox360) (PS3) (DS) (PC) (2010) - A game very similar to Mario Kart, you play as notable SEGA characters and race against each other.

Spin-offs

The Sonic video game franchise has led to a large number of spin-offs starring Sonic. Each spin-off incorporates aspects from the games to varying degrees.

Animations

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (or AoStH for short) is an American animated television series that was first broadcast in September, 1993, and has been running in cartoon syndication ever since. It follows the escapades of Sonic and Tails as they stop the evil Dr. Ivo Robotnik and his array of vicious robots from taking over the planet Mobius. The plots very loosely followed the storyline of the video games series; at the time the Sonic games were still quite new, and lacking much plot or character development, which was in turn filled in by the show's writers.

The animated television series simply called Sonic the Hedgehog originally aired from September 1993 to June 1995. While Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog is known for its bright colors and whimsical humor, Sonic the Hedgehog featured darker stories which constituted a departure from the tone of the Sonic games of the time. To distinguish between the two series, fans typically refer to this series as SatAM because it was a Saturday morning cartoon while Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog aired on weekdays in syndication, and using the show's full title would cause confusion in many situations because the show's title is the same as the character's name.

A two-episode OVA film series based upon the game Sonic CD and the video game series as a whole, Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie was made in Japan in 1996 and released as a dub in North America in 2000. Unlike the games, the film takes place on a world named Planet Freedom that, as with many anime series, appears to be a crossbreed of a fairytale land and Earth. At the time of its creation, the anime did not differ as far from official canon as it does today; at this point, it could be considered to take place in an a different continuity than the games, just like other versions of Sonic from other media.

The cartoon Sonic Underground ran for only one season, 1998 to 1999; it bears little relation to other entries featuring Sonic (including previous games, comics and animated series), and shares few established characters. 65 episodes were originally produced, and of those, only 40 were released. Unlike its predecessor, SatAM, the heroes do not remain in a sanctuary-like refuge but instead travel around Mobius to battle Robotnik's forces on a global scale. The Mobian civilization featured in the series includes multiple cities, a poor underclass and an aristocracy for the heroes to interact with. Sonic Underground is the only animated series based on Sonic where Tails has not made an appearance.

The anime Sonic X is the longest-running and most successful animated series based on Sonic to date. Originally planned as a 52 episode series that would be inspired by the story lines of the Sonic Adventure series, Sonic X has now expanded to 78 episodes with the latest 26 episodes set primarily in outer space. Sonic X is also the only animated series to include Super Sonic. Despite these similarities, it is not completely compatible with the video game canon if only for the fact that it shows Sonic being transported to Earth from another world; in the games, Sonic has always lived on Earth.

Comics

The Sonic the Hedgehog manga series, published in Shogakukan's Shogaku Yonensei (literally "fourth-year student") was written by Kenji Terada and it was illustrated by Sango Norimoto. The manga, which started in 1992, was about a hedgehog boy named Nicky who can turn into Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic fights Dr. Robotnik, with Tails tagging along to help him.

Sonic the Comic, known to its many readers as STC, was a UK children's comic published by Fleetway Editions between 1993 and 2002. Although it was the UK's official Sega comic, Sonic the Comic established its identity and ongoing storyline and setting when Sonic, Tails and their friends were sent forward in time six months. During their absence, Doctor Robotnik successfully conquered the entire planet of Mobius, and Sonic's group were forced underground, operating as "freedom fighters" attempting to bring down Robotnik's rule of the planet. Due to an aggressive series of budget cuts on the part of Fleetway, the series went into full reprint by issue 184; the final story ended with a number of loose ends left untied. An online fan based comic, called STC-Online, has been set up to continue the STC story starting from where the original STC story left off and beginning with issue 224, due to STC being reprints from issues 185 to 223. It has received positive feedback from both fans and writers of the original STC.

Sonic the Hedgehog is an ongoing series of American comic books published by Archie Comics All of Archie's Sonic-related series, miniseries and specials take place in the same fictional universe. This universe features a mixture of characters, settings and situations from the video games, the SatAM cartoon, the various other incarnations of Sonic, and many elements unique to the comic universe. The current status quo of the comic deals with a full-scale war between the Eggman Empire, ruled by Robotnik, and the restored Kingdom of Acorn, currently ruled by King Elias Acorn.

Sonic X is the title of a comic book series that exists to supplement the stories from the animated series of the same name. It began in September 2005 and was originally meant to be a four-part series; due to the positive reaction to the series' announcement, it was extended to ongoing status before the first issue premiered. The comic is unique in that it is not directly based on the games; the comic is based on the television show and takes place in its expanded fictional universe. The comic borrows elements from the series first two seasons of the show, including Eggman's fort, destroyed in Season One in the Series , and characters from the Sonic Adventure storyline.


Reception

The series of Sonic the Hedgehog became an instant success throughout the video game industry. It leads as a legendary icon throughout the first game, hitting a mega-sensation and becoming the most popular game franchise at that time. The series ranks 12th as the best selling franchises being 80,000,000 sold worldwide. The series have won several awards as well. It won "Oustanding Contribution" by the Golden Joystick, the first ever to win that prize. It got Walk of Game, has one several graphic, gameplay, game of the year, and sound awards almost per game. The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise was awarded seven records by Guinness World Records in Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. The records include "Best Selling Game on Sega Systems", "Longest Running Comic Based on a Video Game" and "Best Selling Retro Game Compilation" (for Sonic Mega Collection). In the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2010, the Sonic the Hedgehog series was listed number 15 out of the top 50 video game franchises. In December 2006, IGN ranked Sonic the Hedgehog as the 19th greatest series of all time, claiming that "although recent 3D entries in the series have been somewhat lacking, there is no denying the power of this franchise."

However besides this praise, the Sonic the Hedgehog series are somewhat known to be hated and are controversial. Controversy also hits the annoying fanbase claimed by people. A common criticism has been that the variant gameplay styles found in recent 3D titles have strayed from the formula of the original series. Specifically, the series' jump to 3D has been noted as a declining point. Many sources pin-point 2003's Sonic Heroes as the beginning of the series' decline. In late 2010, Sega delisted several below average Sonic titles, such as the poorly received Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), in order to increase the value of the Sonic brand after positive reviews for the games Sonic the Hedgehog 4 and Sonic Colors. Such small games like Sonic Free Riders won Sh**tiest game of the Year by ScrewAttack and listed Series that should Die by Yahoo! experts. GameTrailers named it first as Worst Blockbuster Franchise ever. People claim that "Sega’s speedy mascot has had a hard time recapturing the form that put him on top of the gaming world in 1991."

Notes and references

  • In addition to information taken from the Sonic the Hedgehog games themselves, the instruction booklets of the US and Japanese versions of the games were also used as references for this article.
  1. Kennedy, Sam. The Essential 50: Sonic the Hedgehog. 1up.com. Retrieved on 2006-06-03.
  2. Note that Sonic is not the central character in certain games, such as Shadow the Hedgehog, Knuckles Chaotix, Tails Adventure and Tails' Skypatrol, where Shadow the Hedgehog, the Chaotix and Miles "Tails" Prower were the central characters, respectively.
  3. Although the manifestation of Dr. Robotnik's goal to conquer to world was left unnamed in pre-32-bit games, Sonic Adventure and games since then have heavily developed this aspect.
  4. Sonic The Hedgehog Part 2 review. Pocket Gamer. Retrieved on September 23, 2006.
  5. Yuji Naka: "...the Mega Drive allowed this stunning demonstration of rotation during the bonus stages. This was said to be impossible on the hardware at the time." (September 2001) "The making of... Sonic The Hedgehog". Edge (101): pp. 121. Retrieved on 2007-02-09.

External links

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v · e · dFeatures of Sonic the Hedgehog
Chaos Control | Chaos Emeralds | Master Emerald | Rings (Red Star Rings) | Special Stage | Star Posts | Item Boxes | Super transformation | Piko Piko Hammer | Miles Electric
Earth | Angel Island | South Island | Space Colony ARK
Egg Mobile | The Tornado | Egg Carrier
Aliens (Wisps) | Eggman's robots (E-Series) | Eggman Empire

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