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  • Sonic the Hedgehog (16-Bit)

     Created: by Dreadknux
     Edited: by Dreadknux

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    This page has been restored from an old version of The Sonic Stadium website, and may contain outdated information. An information audit and update is recommended.



    SEGA Mega Drive / Genesis


    Sonic Team





    Release Dates:

    • 23 Jun 1991 [US]
    • 23 Jun 1991 [EU]
    • 26 Jul 1991 [JP]


    Sonic Stadium Score
    ( Read TSS Review )

    Sonic Community Score
    ( 1 review )

    Sonic's first appearance on the Sega Mega Drive, or the Genesis as our great friends in America like to call it. The aim of the game is simple - Dr. 'Eggman' Robotnik plans to threaten all of Mobius with his little mechanic monsters of which cute furry animals are the source of.

    With the use of these, Robotnik wants Mobius as his kingdom. Fatboy has not yet found the seven chaos emeralds which are littered somewhere on the planet.

    All is not lost though, as Sonic plans to stop the Egg-man and to retrieve the Chaos Emeralds on the way, which conveniently happen to be floating about in another dimension.

    Game Story

    Western Story: From the Sonic the Hedgehog US/UK Game Manuals

    Dr. Ivo Robotnik, the mad scientist, is snatching innocent animals and turning them into evil robots! Only one tough dude can put an end to the demented scientist's fiendish scheme. It's Sonic, the real cool hedgehog with the spiked haircut and power sneakers that give him super speed.

    Help Sonic fight hordes of metal maniacs and do the loop with the Super Sonic Spin Attack. Speed down twisting tunnels and swing over dangerous booby traps. Leap across lava pits and dodge burning rocks. Then splash through the chilling waters in an underground cavern. And if you're lucky, you can warp to the secret zone where you spin around in a floating maze! Your greatest challenge lurks in a secret lab where you come face to face with Dr. Robotnik himself! Spin through space, loop 'til you're dizzy, save the animals and become the super hero. Be Sonic! Be atomic!

    Version Info

    Coming Soon.

    Developer Notes

    Coming Soon.


    Coming Soon.


    Coming Soon.


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    Coming Soon


    Green Hill Zone


    The easiest level of all, just take it fast through this level. There are enemies such as Buzz Bombers and others that'll try and attack you, just keep your speed through all 3 acts until you hit the end of act 3. There you'll meet Dr Robotnik in his Egg-O-Matic, which is a small air craft with a chain attached to a swinging checker wrecker ball at the bottom, just duck under each platform until it swings to the other and jump and attack it. 8 hits will destroy the ship.

    Marble Zone

    Marble Zone

    One tough, long level of spikes, falling rocks, and lava! To survive just watch where you walk and be careful not to land in lava or spikes. In the last act Robotnik wants more pain, he'll suck up lava and dump it on you, each time he does just jump to the other side of the lava.

    Spring Yard Zone

    Spring Yard Zone

    Now on to the tough pinball like level, with miles of springs to bounce on and off of. Watch out for the Roller's, they'll roll into you like a spin dash attack. Make it to the end and you'll have to fight Dr Robotnik with a spike on the end of his Egg-O-Matic, he'll move to the ground and break off a chunk of the platform your standing on. Jump at him when he moves down, be careful to destroy his ship before the platform breaks!

    Labyrinth Zone

    Labyrinth Zone

    One of the most annoying levels of all, the under water maze. One of the most important things in this level to do is watch for bubbles and get them before you drown. You have 30 seconds before you drown, so be really careful. Get to act 3 and you'll confront Robotnik, but all you need to do is jump up and survive every trap as you watch him run away.

    Star Light Zone

    Star Light Zone

    After finishing that level, it makes this seem fun and easy. Just run through the whole level, be careful not to fall and go boom. Make it to Robotnik, he'll throw spikey bombs at you, it'll hit a platform that you can jump on a launch the spikes at Robotnik to destroy his ship!

    Scrap Brain Zone

    Scrap Brain Zone

    The hardest of the levels, be careful or you'll get smashed. There is electricity every where, be careful not to get toasted either. If you survive Robotnik will send you underwater, remember to use your skills from the Labyrinth Zone. There is no boss in this zone.

    Final Zone

    Final Zone

    The final fight against the Eggman Robotnik! There'll be 4 pistons that'll try to smash you, to survive go to the far right or left corner and hit Robotnik when he comes down. A red light will light up and 4 fireballs with try to attack you, after 8 hits to Robotnik, his machine will be destroyed and you'll be able to sit back and watch the ending.

    Good / Bad Endings

    To get the good ending you need all six Chaos Emeralds located in the Special Stage. To get the Bad Ending you need five or less Chaos Emeralds to, well, lose.

    Game Re-Releases

    • Sonic Compilation – Sega Mega Drive (1995)
    • Sonic Jam – Sega Saturn (1997)
    • Sega Smash Pack – Sega Dreamcast (1999); US Only
    • Sonic Mega Collection – Nintendo Gamecube (2003)
    • Sonic Mega Collection + – PlayStation 2, Xbox (2004)
    • Sonic Gems Collection – PlayStation 2, Nintendo Gamecube (2005)
    • Nintendo Virtual Console – Wii (2006)
    • Sega Mega Drive Collection – PlayStation 2, PSP (2006)
    • Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis – Game Boy Advance (2006); US Only
    • Xbox Live Arcade – Xbox 360 (2007)
    • iPod Classic, iPod Nano – iTunes (2007)
    • Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (2009)
    • iPhone, iPod Touch – iTunes (2009)
    • Sonic Classic Collection – Nintendo DS (2010)

    Prototypes & Mysteries

    Unused Sprite Set

    Unused sprite set. The top sprites are when Sonic goes into the Special Stages, the second row is Sonic unleashing the Chaos Emeralds at the end of Sonic 1 Game Gear version. The third is news to us, and the last one is the finished level pose.

    Hidden Japanese Credits

    On the Sonic Team title screen in Sonic The Hedgehog 1, take a snapshot and mess with the color. In the background is few game credits in Japanese.

    Canned Gameplay Mechanics

    Sonic’s victory jump at the end of each Act. Canned, it was. The second is the giant ball (that Robotnik uses for the boss), instead used as a vehicle/enemy. Possibly the reason that the US mags managed to dig up all this cool info that was not to be, was the fact that Sega were slightly slow enough to give them copies of the actual debug mode in it, so they could see everything for themselves. Sega removed it when they managed to catch on though. Spoilsports.

    Marble Zone: Floaty Bits 1

    Check out this screenshot, from a promotional poster. You can see UFO’s in the background and the Badnik can only get there by Debug Mode.

    Marble Zone: Floaty Bits 2

    While we’re on the subject of floating objects in Marble, check out this image, which shows Sonic jumping on weird floating platforms in Marble Zone, they took this out before the final version.

    Spring Yard: Trap 1

    You can walk through the walls in this location, as you can in the final, but afterwards you can’t get in or out. You’re…. trapped. Dun-dun-duuuuuuuuun...

    Spring Yard: Trap 2

    ...See the above screen to find out where it leads you to – a room that you can’t exit. Until you suffocate! Mwahahahahaha – cough.

    Scrap Brain Oddities 1

    This strange Scrap Brain location in the above screen has a pipe that supposed to go up but goes down instead. If you have 50 or more rings, you’ll be taken up as normal.

    Scrap Brain Oddities 2

    See the Item Boxes in the above screen? Those are impossible to get without debug… keep going to enter the bottom of a small maze at the end.

    Scrap Brain Oddities 3

    Walk right from the location in the above screen to run on a collapsing bridge.

    Duplicate Spring Yard Intro

    This looks like the first part of the level, when in actual fact it’s a special bitty-thing. Use Debug to get to there (follow the co-ordinates that are displayed at the top of the shot).

    Clock (W)ork 'Bork' 1

    The fabled ‘Clock Work Zone’ – to those not in the know, it’s just Scrap Brain pre-release. But look at this, the backgrounds are different, and, famously, the ‘W’ is missing in the Title Card.

    Clock (W)ork 'Bork' 2

    More Clock Work Zone - see the above screen for how steep those conveyor belts are.

    Ending Sequence DEBUG

    In DEBUG, you can find extra-special weird Debug items if you press B button during the final sequence (where Sonic is running through Green Hill, then leaps and points his finger at you like the rude little boy he is). The one in the screenshot, for instance, just manages to bounce Sonic off.

    Special Stage 1-Up Icons

    The 1-Up Special Stage icon, that was mentioned in the manuals, but never actually seen. In fact, this is part of a special stage in itself – no joke, get there by fannying about in Debug Mode.

    Labyrinth Zone

    The crystals at the top of this screen aren’t in the Final Version…

    Star Light Zone Removal

    This section of the Star Light Zone is not present in the Final Version.

    Green Hill Oddities 1

    It's Green Hill Jim, but not as we know it… The first screen has a strange sign in the background, the lives, score and timer are non-existent, and that sign’s there. Did I mention the sign as well?

    Green Hill Oddities 2

    Check out the mountain backgrounds in the second screen – and most significantly, Sonic’s sprite is pretty much a complete remake (or the final version was a remake of this one).

    Sparkling Zone

    The original name for Spring Yard Zone was Sparkling Zone. You can just imagine Sonic with a tonic water when you think of that level name can’t you?

    Night Totem

    Night Totem. Found during the canned night time version of Green Hill Zone.

    Let's Go

    Let’s Go. Take a look at the first line of Spring Yard Zone’s patterns using Genecyst. If you arrange them correctly you’ll get that image at the top, which says “Let’s Go”. This is also shown floating in Collision Chaos (Good Future) from Sonic CD.

    Sonic 1 Spindash

    Spin Dash sprites hidden in the Sonic 1 cartridge. So, obviously the ability to do so was going to be implemented before Sonic 2 (which I suppose makes sense, given the mode hidden in Sonic Jam). But, why was it canned?

    Tips & Cheats

    Level Select: At the title screen press up, down, left and right. If done correctly you should have heard a ring. Now hold down A and press Start to select your starting level.

    Debug Mode: At the title screen press up, C, down, C, left, C, right, C. Again you should have heard a ring afterwards if done correctly. Next hold A and press Start to continue normal gameplay. You'll notice that the score is screwed up. To turn Sonic into a sprite press B, then scroll through the different sprites of the level you are on by pressing A and place the chosen sprite on the screen by pressing C.

    Tons of Points: First, you need to have Debug mode on, as explained above. Next scroll through the sprites on any level (easiest level to do this is Green Hill Zone) until you come across an easy to defeat enemy (i.e. Chopper-the fish from GHZ). Paste as many of this enemy as possible onto the screen, then transform back into Sonic. Take a run up and spin dash, or do whatever means necessary to destroy all of the enemies on the screen. You'll soon rack up points like never before, and earn tons of lives! The same can be done for rings. Place lots of rings on the screen and let Sonic collect them all. At the end of the act, you'll receive a very hefty score.

    Slow Motion: First, you must have Debug mode active, as explained above. Then pause the game and hold the B button. The game will go in Slow Motion.

    Infinite Lives: Here's a nifty way to trick the system. Get to Green Hill Zone Act 3, and grab that extra life at the very bottom of the level. Then, get 100 rings in order to get another 1-Up. Finally, grab a third life from the top of the loop-de-loop. Now, as cunningly as a blind fox, kill yourself, and repeat the same process until - you die of boredom.

    Crazy Sonic: Make Sonic go Cer-Azzzzy Taxi by holding A, B and C buttons during the demo mode (wait at the Title Screen for a moment to let the demo automaticlly come on). The blue one will run into all sorts of object and act like a mental fish. Bonus - you can also do this nifty trick right at the end of the game - after you beat Robotnik at Final Zone.

    Control The Ending Sequence: Do the Debug (sounds like a kinda dance routine!), then complete the game (easily done - just pass through every wall, very handy in levels like Marble Zone). When Sonic is running like a loon at the end, press B button to turn into an object. Press B button again to turn back, and Sonic will be at your command. Swish.


    Coming Soon.

    Scanned Material

    1. Argentina Sonic 1 Advert - Thanks to Mariano Ratti
    2. North American Genesis Advert - Courtesy SEGA Forever

    Official Artwork

    Official artwork for Sonic 1.

    Concept Artwork

    Concept artwork for Sonic 1.

    1. Soundtest concept. Originally Sonic Team wanted to have Vector dancing on the soundtest options, but time didn't allow for it.
    2. Green Hill Zone concept art, found in the Japanese Sonic the Hedgehog instruction booklet.
    3. Marble Zone concept art, found in the Japanese Sonic the Hedgehog instruction booklet.
    4. Star Light Zone concept art, found in the Japanese Sonic the Hedgehog instruction booklet.
    5. Scrap Brain concept art, found in the Japanese Sonic the Hedgehog instruction booklet.
    6. Various Hazards. Concept art for the game.
    7. Loop de Loop concept art for the game.
    8. Marble Zone concept art for the game.
    9. 'Sonic the Rabbit' character concept art.
    10. Mountain Scene with Cherry Blossom. Concept art for the game.


    Screenshots from Sonic 1.

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    TSS Classic Comment Bot


    This is the game that started it all. Without this, we wouldn’t have Sonic Adventure. We wouldn’t have Tails. We wouldn’t have SatAM. Think about all that. This game is the start of a legacy.

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    This page is for discussion surrounding the development of this information page only.
    Please visit the Forums for general discussion on this topic.

    Recommended Comments

    Like most of the pages in this database, I've basically dumped a bunch of info found on various older versions of The Sonic Stadium in here. The section order may need some adjusting so that the different headers make sense/it reads better.

    EDIT: Perhaps, as a point of improvement, the Prototype stuff can be organised into their relative Beta releases and placed within their own Database records under Games > Prototypes category?

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