Sonic Classic Heroes is a ROM hack for the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis that is the result of a collaboration between flamewing and ColinC10, combining their respective hacks Sonic 2 Heroes and Sonic 1 and 2. It therefore is a single ROM that offers the entire campaigns of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2, either alone or together; and enables the player to play as many characters such as Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. The hack is named due to the ability to control a team of characters, which is reminiscent of the more recent 3D game Sonic Heroes.
The hack is built on Sonic 2’s engine, which has been enhanced by both flamewing and ColinC10 to have new features. These include: multiple gameplay elements from Sonic 3 & Knuckles, such as element shields and character-specific abilities; the ability to save progress, scores, etc. to SRAM (something rarely implemented in Sonic 2, with the other notable example being Esrael’s Sonic 2 Delta); various bug-fixes and improvements to the mechanics of the original games; and many more features, both implemented and planned.
Beginning almost immediately after the initial release of the first version of this project, Sonic 2 Heroes, posters to its official thread on the Sonic Retro forums suggested (with varying degrees of jocularity and seriousness) that flamewing and Sonic 1 and 2 author ColinC10 combine their two hacks, with the result that the hack would cover not only the levels of Sonic 2 but also those of Sonic 1. Reminded of this suggestion several months later, flamewing posted expressed interest and an intention to ask ColinC10. The two agreed to collaborate. flamewing took most programming responsibility to integrate the source code of the two hacks and only announced the existence of the project once it was well underway, on 19 December 2011.
On 20 July 2012, flamewing announced the first public release of Sonic Classic Heroes. This was the same version that he submitted to that year's Sonic the Hedgehog Hacking Contest. Although the new title of Sonic Classic Heroes now replaced that of Sonic 2 Heroes, the existing numbering scheme was maintained, making this version 0.07 beta. Several revisions fixing bugs and/or improving features have since been released, bringing the current version to version 0.07 final, revision 3.
New features such as Knuckles Chaotix characters and physics were included in the August 8th 2013 release. The ability to have players attatched via magical bond is present, similar to the gameplay of Knuckles Chaotix.
In multiplayer mode, the second and third player can "kill" their character by pressing while the game is paused. Useful if the player gets stuck in Chaotix magical bond mode.
Details on further changes can be found here.
Although this is by no means an exhaustive list, here are some of the things that are, or in the future have been planned to be, included in Sonic Classic Heroes. Until this page is updated more thoroughly, please see the forum post linked in the above paragraph for an extensive changelog.
Players can choose to use one, two, or three characters. When using more than one character, the first player controls the character who is leading the group. The leading character can be changed at any time, using the additional buttons on the six-button Control Pad or the button.
- The cpu-controlled partner characters will often match certain attributes of the lead character in order to keep up. For example, Super Tails and Super Knuckles will match Super Sonic's extreme jump height and speed while Super Sonic is in the lead, and Charmy will gain a jump, spin attack, spin-dash, etc. while not in the lead.
- Up to three players can play co-operatively, via the Team Player multi-tap. Special Stages will be playable in this way, too. Moreover, the player can disable all but player 1 in Special Stages; this is intended to help players who don’t like CPU-controlled characters losing their rings.
The classic trio of Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower, and Knuckles the Echidna star as this game’s default team.
This team consists of Espio the Chameleon, Vector the Crocodile, and Charmy the Bee. Their movesets are similar to their Knuckles Chaotix moveset.
These characters may be included in future revisions.
- Power-ups are awarded collectively to all of the player’s characters when a monitor is broken. However, shields are lost individually: if a character is hit, only they will lose their shield, whereas the other character(s) will retain their individual shields until they are hit.
- Elemental shields from Sonic 3 have been added. The standard blue shield from Sonic 2 remains and has been upgraded so that, like the elemental shields, it deflects projectiles and it awards Sonic a power while he has it: in this case, the Homing Attack.
- Version 0.07f added the new ability to save progress to SRAM, accessible from a new combined options and saving menu that is shown after pressing Start on the title-screen. Here, the player can choose to save/load their progress in any one of twelve separate slots. Each saved game allows, prior to its loading, choices of: character order and number, game mode (Sonic 1 and 2, either game alone, or an “Emeralds run”), a level select, and options regarding the AI. The menu also offers a sound test, and various color schemes for itself.
- Return to title screen: while the game is paused, press .
- Kill self: Players 2 and 3 can kill themselves to force a respawn by pressing while the game is paused.
- Change character: Pressing or changes the character being controlled by the player to another character. Only players being controlled by the CPU are eligible for swap, unless the other player is holding or as well.
- Spindash/super peelout: Several characters can execute either a spindash, a super peel-out or both. While ducking or looking up, press or to charge a spindash or a super peelout. If a character can use both the spindash and the super peel-out, he will charge a peelout while looking up and a spindash while ducking; otherwise, the character will charge whatever move he has in either case.
- Jump: In general, pressing or will make you jump; some characters override this default behavior, so be sure to check their descriptions below.
- Jump action: While a character is in the air (whether from jumping, from walking off a ledge, or from bouncing off a spring) and is either moving downwards or not moving too fast upwards, you can press or to execute a special action. These actions change depending on the character, so be sure to check below. Unless otherwise noted, executing any jump actions will allow you to regain control if you jump from a rolling state.
Sonic is the fastest character in the game: his top speed is higher than that of anyone else's. When he is on the lead, his teammates (if any) will share his top speed, acceleration, deceleration and jump strength. Sonic's jump action depends on whether or not he is super or hyper, and on which shield he is using:
- Hyper Dash: Hyper Sonic will gain a burst of speed in the directions held when the double-jump action is triggered; this will also kill all badniks on-screen.
- Super Dash: Super Sonic will gain a burst of speed in the directions held when the double-jump action is triggered.
- Homing Attack: While wearing the Golden Shield, Sonic can execute the homing attack. If there are no viable targets nearby, Sonic will gain a burst of speed forward instead.
- Lightning Jump: Sonic can execute a double-jump while using the Lightning Shield.
- Bubble Bounce: Sonic gains a burst of speed downwards when wearing a Bubble Shield, and will rebound back up when he hits the ground.
- Flame Dash: Sonic gains a burst of speed forward while using the flame shield.
- Insta-Shield: The Insta-Shield not only extends Sonic's attack radius, but it also makes Sonic temporarily invincible for its duration.
- Flight: Tails can fly for a short time as his jump action. Pressing or causes Tails to accelerate upwards for a short period of time. Tails can carry both his teammates while flying.
- Swimming: While underwater, Tails can swim instead. Swimming works similarly to flight, except that Tails cannot carry his teammates while swimming.
- Glide: By pressing and holding either or , Knuckles will glide as his jump action. He will constantly fall while gliding, but at an ever increasing speed.
- Climbing: By hitting a wall while gliding, Knuckles will cling to it; you may then climb up or down by pressing or , as appropriate.
Espio is the fastest member of Team Chaotix: his top speed is equal to Tails' and Knuckles'. When he is on the lead, his teammates (if any) will share his top speed, acceleration, deceleration and jump strength.
- Clinging: By pressing and holding either or , and pressing a direction towards a wall or a ceiling, Espio will cling to the desired surface as his jump action. This allows free movement on any wall or ceiling.
Charmy cannot jump or spindash; instead, he dashes:
- Buzz-Dash: By holding a direction and pressing or , Charmy will gain a burst of speed on the direction chosen. This replaces jump for Charmy.
- Flight: If after triggering a buzz-dash you keep holding or , Charmy will start to fly at the end of the dash. For as long as the button remains held, Charmy will accelerate in any direction pressed.
- Power Boost: Pressing or will give Vector a burst of speed in the direction being held as his jump action.
- Climb: If Vector hits a wall during a power boost, he will cling to it; you may then climb up or down by pressing or , as appropriate.
Announcement of project in the hack's dedicated thread (formerly titled Sonic 2 Heroes) on the Sonic Retro Message Board