Cheat Codes:Sonic the Hedgehog 3 - Sonic Retro
close
Sonic Retro
»
Search

Cheat Codes:Sonic the Hedgehog 3


Contents

Cheat Codes

noframe

These are cheat codes which can be accessed by inputting button sequences or by various other methods. Note that these are for Sonic the Hedgehog 3 alone.

  • Level Select: Play through Angel Island Zone 1 until you find some vines. Start swinging from a vine and enter the following button combination: Left Left Left Right Right Right Up Up Up. Now press START and then press A to return to the title screen. Scroll down twice then choose the newly available Sound Select mode, where you can listen to the game's musical selections and choose your starting stage.
  • Level Select + Debug mode: Right after the Sega logo's screen darkens and Sonic starts jumping, quickly press Up Up Down Down Up Up Up Up. This code is notoriously hard to do, due to the weird frame windows, but if performed correctly, the ring collection sound will play. Press Down twice (or Up once) to see a "Sound Test" option on the menu screen. Selecting this will allow you to listen to music and select a level to start with. This cheat also enables debug mode, which is used when you hold A and press Start to choose a level. A Game Genie code for accessing the level select is also available.
  • 8th special stage: On the Sound Test, play the songs 01, 03, 05, 07. A ring sound will confirm the code. Afterwards, select "Special Stage 2", hold A and press Start.
  • All Chaos Emeralds: On the Sound Test, play the songs 02, 04, 05, 06. An emerald sound will confirm the code.
  • Shadow/Highlight (aka "night mode"): On the Level Select screen, choose a level, hold C and press Start to enter the level.

In-level functions

Debug

  • Press C+B to cycle through all mapping frames of the character when in normal mode.
  • Press B to toggle normal and debug mode.
    • Press A to advance forward through the debug object list.
    • Press A+C to advance backwards through the debug object list.
    • Press C to place the selected object at the current coordinates.
  • Current coordinates are designated by the top line of hex digits in the HUD.
  • Viewport coordinates are designated by the bottom line of hex digits in the HUD.

Slow-motion/Restart

  • During pause press A to fade to black and restart from the level select screen.
  • During pause press and hold B to enable slow-motion (this proceeds at half-speed for as long as the B button is held down).
  • During pause press C to advance one frame.

SEGA screen technical details

The following table explains how the frames work on the SEGA screen, describing when the cheat code can be entered, when can it not, what frames have input disabled or enabled, and other info.

Description Frames in current section Frames since startup
60FPS 50FPS 60FPS 50FPS
Game startup
Input disabled 1 - 9 1 - 8 1 - 9 1 - 8
Input accepted, but ignored 10 - 30 9 - 29 10 - 30 9 - 29
Input disabled 31 - 36 30 - 34 31 - 36 30 - 34
Input enabled, but ignored 37 - 58 35 - 56 37 - 58 35 - 56
Input almost always disabled 59 - 237 57 - 235 59 - 237 57 - 235
Skipping with Start possible on 78 94 110 126 142 158 174 190 206 222 76 92 108 124 140 156 172 188 204 220 N/A N/A
Dark(ening) SEGA screen
Input enabled, but ignored 1 - 10 1 - 10 238 - 247 236 - 245
Input disabled 11 - 21 11 - 20 248 - 258 246 - 255
Cheat code input can start now
Input enabled 1 - 23 1 - 23 259 - 281 256 - 278
Input disabled 24 - 25 24 282 - 283 279
Input enabled 26 - 28 25 - 27 284 - 286 280 - 282
Input disabled 29 - 39 28 - 36 287 - 297 283 - 291
Input enabled 40 37 298 292
Input disabled 41 38 299 293
Input enabled 42 - 44 39 - 41 300 - 302 294 - 296
Input disabled 45 - 51 42 - 47 303 - 309 297 - 302
Input enabled 52 48 310 303
Input disabled 53 49 311 304
Input enabled 54 - 56 50 - 52 312 - 314 305 - 307
Input disabled 57 - 62 53 - 57 315 - 320 308 - 312
Input enabled 63 58 - 61 321 313 - 316
Input disabled 64 62 - 66 322 317 - 321
Input enabled 65 - 67 67 - 71 323 - 325 322 - 326
Input disabled 68 - 73 N/A 326 - 331 N/A
Input enabled 74 - 78 N/A 332 - 336 N/A
Input disabled, code opportunity ended 79 72 337 327

That's the reason why this code is so hard to input: the player has a short time to do it, it starts a small bit after what most people think (it was initially thought that input started when the background was starting to darken, whereas one needs to wait 21 frames, a bit before Sonic starts moving). Additionally, there are several lag frames in which the input isn't accepted.

Extra info

  • The RAM address that stores the code's progress is 00FFFFD5.
  • The game is only ready to let the SEGA screen be skipped to the darkening part on frame 59 (57 @50FPS) (which, in practical terms means frame 78 (76 @50FPS), seeing as frames 59 - 77 (57 - 75 @50FPS) are lag frames). However, the Start button can actually be used on frame 58 (56 @50FPS), and the skip will work... but the title screen music will be disabled. [1]

Game Enhancer Codes

These are cheat codes that can only be used with game enhancer devices. Support for these codes is available in most emulators.

Game Genie

Official Codes, Sonic 3 Alone

Code Description
AWHA-CA92 Don't lose rings.
SCGT-DJYL Rings worth 2.
SCGT-DNYL Rings worth 3.
SCGT-DTYL Rings worth 4.
SCGT-DYYL Rings worth 5.
SCGT-D2YL Rings worth 6.
SCGT-D6YL Rings worth 7.
SCGT-DAYL Rings worth 8.
KRGT-CAE0 75 Rings needed for a free guy.
GLGT-CAE0 50 Rings needed for a free guy.
D4GT-CAE0 30 Rings needed for a free guy.
CWGT-CAE0 20 Rings needed for a free guy.
BLGT-CAE0 10 Rings needed for a free guy.
HCGT-DJZY Get 2 free guys for 100 rings instead of 1.
HCGT-DNZY Get 3 free guys for 100 rings.
HCGT-DTZY Get 4 free guys for 100 rings.
HCGT-DYZY Get 5 free guys for 100 rings.
HCGT-D2ZY Get 6 free guys for 100 rings.
HCGT-D6ZY Get 7 free guys for 100 rings.
HCGT-DAZY Get 8 free guys for 100 rings.
AC5A-CAHN Super ring powerup worth 0.
A05A-CAHN Super ring powerup worth 5 instead of 10.
B85A-CAHN Super ring powerup worth 15.
CW5A-CAHN Super ring powerup worth 20.
DG5A-CAHN Super ring powerup worth 25.
D45A-CAHN Super ring powerup worth 30.
GL5A-CAHN Super ring powerup worth 50.
NW5A-CAHN Super ring powerup worth 100 (1-Up every time).
AJZA-CA8N Super Sonic doesn't lose rings.
AJ3A-CA7A Infinite lives.
AG4T-AAH4 Start with 1 life.
AL4T-AAH4 Start with 2 lives.
A04T-AAH4 Start with 5 lives.
BL4T-AAH4 Start with 10 lives.
DG4T-AAH4 Start with 25 lives.
GL4T-AAH4 Start with 50 lives.
NR4T-AAH4 Start with 99 lives.
ACAT-CAB6 Shield can be activated multiple times.
AJRT-CA8R Invincibility power-ups last forever.
986A-CAB6 Invincibility lasts almost twice as long.
KR6A-CAB6 Invincibility lasts half as long.
E06A-CAB6 Invincibility lasts 1/4 as long.
SCFT-BJT4 Only need 6 chaos emeralds.
SCFT-BNT4 Only need 4 chaos emeralds.
SCFT-BTT4 Only need 3 chaos emeralds.
SCFT-B2T4 Only need 2 chaos emeralds.
ACGA-AA8T 1 Blue sphere needed for chaos emerald.
TAYA-CRB6 Bonus jump.
AAYA-CWB6 Super jump.
AAYA-C0B6 Mega-jump.
ATST-CA38 Sonic never drowns.
AA6T-AAXC Level select menu enabled.
SCGA-BL0N + A4GA-A28T Blue spheres worth 2.
SCGA-BR0N + A4GA-A28T Blue spheres worth 3.
SCGA-BW0N + A4GA-A28T Blue spheres worth 4.
SCGA-B00N + A4GA-A28T Blue spheres worth 5.
SCGA-B40N + A4GA-A28T Blue spheres worth 6.
SCGA-B80N + A4GA-A28T Blue spheres worth 7.
SCGA-BC0N + A4GA-A28T Blue spheres worth 8.

Unofficial Codes, Sonic 3 Alone

Code Description
ATLA-CARA Invincibility.
AAYT-CAGC Sonic Can Use Bubble Bounce.
AAYT-CAY4 Sonic Can Use Electric Jump.
AAYT-CAWT Sonic Can Use Fireball Attack.
P42S-8ABL All Powerful (Invincible, Aqua Breathe, Magnetism).
AAYT-CAHR Become Super Sonic With 0 Emeralds.
AAYT-CAH0 Become Super Sonic With 0 Rings.
D3AT-AR2E 'Sound Test' Menu Enabled.
AAZA-CAEY Don't Use Up Rings To Maintain The Super Sonic Transformation.
AE5A-AABL Enable Debug (If using an emulator, "reset" the game after entering the code).
AFLA-CARE Tails Always Swims.
VPLA-CACG Tails Never Get Tired of Flying.
ASCA-AAHC + ASCA-BA9Y Play as Knuckles (Knuckles appears at the save screen but you will control Sonic).

Pro Action Replay

Unofficial Codes, Sonic 3 Alone

Code Description
008630:603C Red Spheres have no effect in special stages (you can walk through them).
008672:6622 + 00868C:4E75 White and Red Star Spheres have no effect in special stages (they won't bump you backwards).
FFFE12:0009 Infinite Lives.
FFFE20:00C8 Infinite Rings.
FFF710:00 Rings Multiplier.
FFFE24:000F Stop Timer.
FFE438:0001 Only Need 1 Blue Sphere For Chaos Emerald.
FFFFB0:0007 All Emeralds Collected.
FFB02A:006E All Powerful (Invincible, Aqua Breathe, Magnetism).
FFB02B:XX The value in XX is based on binary, with the following values going to each (unknown values are omitted):
  • 00:None
  • 01:Some projectiles blocked and rings not lost when you get hit
  • 02:Invulnerability, disables ALL double jump attacks
  • 10:Fire Shield
  • 20:Lightning Shield
  • 40:Water Shield
  • 80:No change in movement or direction allowed while on ground

Add together these hex values for the shield you want
Example: 2(Invuln)+10(Fire Shield)+20(Lightning Shield)+40(Water Shield)=72
Having just a shield will not protect you from losing rings.

FFB02F:00 Never used up shield (Sonic)
FFFFFA:0100 Enable Debug Mode.
FFFFD0:0100 Enable Stage Select.
FFFE10:XXYY Stage/Act Modifier.
  • 00 - Angel Island
  • 01 - Hydrocity
  • 02 - Marble Garden
  • 03 - Canival Night
  • 04 - Flying Battery (incomplete)
  • 05 - Icecap
  • 06 - Launch Base
  • 07 - Mushroom Valley (incomplete)
  • 08 - Sandopolis (incomplete)
  • 13 - Gumball Machine - Bonus Stage

Garbled in 1P, normal in 2P

  • OE - Azure Lake
  • OF - Balloon Park
  • 10 - Desert Palace
  • 11 - Chrome Gadget
  • 12 - Endless Mine
FFF711:?? HUD Display Modifier (00 = Off, 01 = On).
FFFF95:00 Special Ring Always Available.

Resources

  • GameFAQs - Regular cheat codes.
  • The GSHI - Official Game Enhancer codes separated from User made codes.

1

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 + Sonic & Knuckles
Sonic 3 & Knuckles
S3k title.png

Main Articles:
S3 | S&K | S3&K
S2&K | Blue Sphere


Levels
Enemies: S3 | SK
Mini-Bosses | Bosses
Bugs: S3 | S&K & S3K
Music: S3 | S&K
Story & Endings
Cheat Codes: S3 | S&K
Commercials
Print Ads: S3 | S&K
Magazine Articles: S3 | S&K
Game Development
Secrets: S3 | S&K | S3K
SCHG: S3 | S&K & S3K