|Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Developer: Sega, Ancient|
|System(s): Sega Game Gear, Sega Master System|
|Genre: 2D Platform|
Sonic the Hedgehog (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ) is a Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear "8-bit" counterpart to the Sega Mega Drive game of the same name. It was released in October and December 1991, respectively.
The 8-bit Sonic the Hedgehog is a very loose "port" the Mega Drive version, with similar, albeit simplified gameplay and a partially different set of levels (all with new layouts). Though overseen by Sonic Team, most of the game was created by external development studio, Ancient, in their first collaboration with Sega. This version of Sonic the Hedgehog also stands as the first handheld Sonic game.
As was the norm with the early Sonic games, the plot is simple. Dr. Eggman is menacing South Island and imprisoning animals in badniks; the heroic hedgehog sets out to defeat him, potentially collecting 6 Chaos Emeralds along the way. After Sonic fights his way to Scrap Brain Zone, Eggman's factory-city on South Island's summit, the Doctor escapes to an airship (Sky Base Zone), where Sonic finally defeats him in the last boss fight. Eggman escapes by teleporter; Sonic jumps in after him and is transported back to Green Hill Zone. If the 6 Chaos Emeralds have been collected, the gems then spiral up into the air and cleanse the black smog and pollution off the island.
The gameplay is similar to that of the Mega Drive version. The Sonic's abilities and the items available are the same. Although the gameplay is similar, it is slower than its 16-bit counterpart. There are some differences however: Checkpoints take the form of point arrow monitors rather than posts. Chaos Emeralds aren't found in special stages; rather, one is hidden in each of the six regular zones. The Special Stages exist merely as a bonus stage where players can collect Continues and Extra Lives, and no additional reward is given for collecting all items.
Three of the zones come from the Mega Drive version of the game. Bridge Zone and Jungle Zone are considered unusual today for Sonic the Hedgehog zones. However, this was Sonic's second game, so such norms hadn't been established yet. Each zone has three acts. The first two acts are standard levels, but the third act is merely a short run up to the boss and contains no rings. Trial and error is required for the player to defeat all of the bosses. The three zones titled after their Mega Drivecounterparts feature 8-bit renditions of the scenery, but have unique level layouts.
Like in the Mega Drive version, the player can collect 100 rings to earn an extra life; but in the 8-bit version, the ring counter resets to 00 rather than increasing past 99. Additionally, rings dropped after taking a hit cannot be re-collected.
At the end of Acts 1 and 2 of each level, the player has to spin a panel to continue, with a reward given based on what it lands on:
The Game Gear version has a smaller screen resolution, but a higher color palette. Sonic's sprite is smaller and the control feels lighter. In the first zone of the Game Gear version, warning signs have been placed as the high speed combined with the narrow screen can cause problems. Jungle Zone Act 2 allows for vertical descent without losing a life in the Game Gear version, which makes this stage easier.
Labyrinth Zone's level design is different in the Game Gear version as well, with the Chaos Emerald now in a new location. Several bosses, including the final, were modified or even replaced, making them easier than their Master System counterparts. The bonus stages were also redesigned. The Game Gear version uses a Sega splash screen with a jumping Sonic sprite, whereas the Master System version lacks a Sega splash screen entirely.
Sonic the Hedgehog Original Character Design: ©Sega
Game Program: Shinobu Hayashi
Graphic Design: Ayano Koshiro, Takefuni Yunoue
Sound Produce: Masato Nakamura
Rearrange and Original Music: Yuzo Koshiro
Special Thanks: Yoshio Y, Lunarian SG
Presented by: Sega
Game Programmer: Shinobu "Machine" Hayashi
Graphic Designers: Ayano Koshiro, Takefuni Yunoue
Sound Producer: Masato Nakamura
Re-Arranging and Original Music: Yuzo Koshiro
Special Thanks: Yoshio Y, Lunarian SG
Presented by: Sega
See Sonic the Hedgehog (Game Gear Version) OSV for a download page.
|90||Sonic Retro Average|
|Based on 5 reviews|
|Game Gear, JP (Meisaku Collection)|
|94||Sonic Retro Average|
|Based on 8 reviews|
|Master System, KR|
|Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)|
|Sonic games available on Virtual Console/WiiWare|
|Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) | Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (2006) | Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2007) | Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (2007) | Sonic Spinball (2007) | Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island (2007) | Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit) (2008) | Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit) (2008) | Sonic Chaos (2009) | Sonic & Knuckles (2009) | Sonic 4: Episode 1 (2010)|
|Pre-release Sonic games for Virtual Console/WiiWare|
|Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I (WiiWare JP prototype)|
|Sonic games for the Sega Game Gear and Master System|
|Sonic the Hedgehog (1991) | Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992) | Sonic Chaos (1993) | Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (1993) | Sonic Drift (1994) | Sonic Spinball (1994) | Sonic Triple Trouble (1994) | Sonic Drift 2 (1995) | Tails' Skypatrol (1995) | Tails Adventures (1995) | Sonic Labyrinth (1995) | Sonic 2 in 1 (1995) | Sonic Blast (1996)|
|Pre-release Sonic games for the Sega Game Gear and Master System|
|Sonic the Hedgehog (Game Gear prototype) | Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit) AutoDemo | Sonic Chaos Sample | Sonic Drift (demo) | Sonic Spinball (8-bit) Prereleases | Sonic Triple Trouble Prereleases | Sonic Blast Prereleases|
|Scrapped Sonic games for the Sega Game Gear and Master System|
|Sonic's Edusoft (1991)|