Sonic: The One Ring

From Sonic Retro

Sonic The One Ring title.png
Sonic: The One Ring
Version: revision #10
Last release: november 22nd, 2010
System: Sega Mega Drive
Original game: Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)
Credits: Mercury

Sonic: The One Ring is a hack of the original Sonic the Hedgehog game for the Sega Mega Drive, created by Mercury. Its defining (and titular) feature is that in each Act, all rings but one have been removed, and Sonic cannot complete the Act without this One Ring in his possession. Thus, in each Act, Sonic must search for the One Ring that will afford him the opportunity to progress. Several alterations have been made to the game, to somewhat balance the lack of rings, and allow backtracking during the search.

New features


Each level has been stripped of all rings but one: the One Ring, which Sonic must find and retain in order to progress. In standard Zones, the signpost (Acts 1-2) or Dr. Robotnik (boss battle, Act 3) will not appear otherwise, so Sonic will be unable to complete the level. In the Special Stage, without the One Ring he cannot destroy the diamond blocks that imprison the Chaos Emerald. Finally, since the One Ring is essential for these reasons, if Sonic loses it through damage from a hazard (Badniks, Dr. Robotnik's Eggmobile, spikes, etc.) and does not manage to recover it before it disappears, he will lose a Life.


The Spin Dash, which debuted in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit) and was a staple of subsequent 2D games, has been added. This aids backtracking in some areas. Because backtracking can require very high speeds, the move has been altered so that its launch speed does not wind down if the player releases the jump/action button.

Ring Sense is a novel ability that allows Sonic to 'listen' for the One Ring by looking up or down: If it is located within the same vertical 'slice' of the level as Sonic, a chime will sound, which is also panned left or right depending on the ring's position relative to him.


Two new monitor types are available. Extra Time increases the time available for searching by 20 seconds (actually removes 20 seconds from the clock, which upon reaching 10 minutes will cause Sonic to lose a life), while Random Item replaces Super Ring (for obvious reasons) and grants one of the other items at 'random' (actually based on a secret condition). Speed Shoes are absent throughout Labyrinth Zone (in which water slows Sonic) and in Scrap Brain Zone Act 3.

A new Reserve Shield feature allows shields, which protect Sonic from losing the One Ring or dying upon collision with an enemy (i.e. a Badnik or Dr. Robotnik) or hazard, to be 'hoarded': If Sonic already has a shield and acquires another, he receives protection against one more injury. Reserved shields are displayed next to the life counter.

Checkpoint behaviour has been modified in two ways. Passing one not only saves Sonic's position in case he loses a life, as usual, but (re-)enables (turns blue) all others in the Act. This eases backtracking (in the original game, passing a checkpoint disabled both it and all those earlier in the level). Also, additional checkpoints have been added to Star Light Zone, Spring Yard Zone and Scrap Brain Zone, to compensate for the difficulty added by having no rings in these levels.

Giant Rings, which appear after end-of-Act signposts and send Sonic to a special stage where he has the chance to collect one of the Chaos Emeralds, now appear regardless of whether or not he has 50 rings (for obvious reasons!) Two new ones have been added to Act 1 and 2 of Scrap Brain Zone, which originally had none. This increases Sonic's chances of collecting all 6 Emeralds and enabling the 'good ending'. If the player does collect the entire set, Giant Rings continue to appear (originally they would not), and now grant 3 extra Lives. Finally, failing a Special Stage does not send Sonic to the next one the next time he enters a Giant Ring; this gives players the chance to try the same stage again at the next available opportunity, with any accumulated practice fresh in their mind.

Other features

The player's progress is automatically saved to SRAM when they successfully complete an Act or Special Stage. The title screen's background changes to reflect the latest Zone reached, a feature that had not been implemented in any prior hack. After the player follows the re-activated Press Start Button instruction, a new menu allows them to choose between resuming gameplay at the last Zone reached, or erasing the save to start a new game.

Sonic now has unlimited Continues (the option to try again from the beginning of the last level reached with 3 Lives, if he loses all of his Lives), meaning that the player is never sent back to the title screen and made to start again from the beginning.

Certain parts of the levels are altered to facilitate the search.


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File: Sonic The One (405 kB) (info)
Current version: Revision #10 (November 22nd, 2010)