Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit) bug list

From Sonic Retro

General bugs

Missing Press Start Button text on title screen

Sonic1 title.png

What you see when booting up the game.

What you should see.
The text “PRESS START BUTTON” was meant to be displayed on the title screen. However, due to RAM not being properly cleared after the two previous screens, it does not appear. The byte that should call for it to appear is shared with the previous screens, and since the RAM in this area is not reset, the value is stuck in a no call state. For a more technical explanation, see the Sonic Retro forums
Sonic Retro

Not fixed in any version. (Hacking guide fix).

Hidden points

Points before.PNG

It's the end of the stage, let's send Sonic in for more points.
Points after.PNG

Something is wrong here. We have 13230 points, but 2200+100+100+100+1000+10000=13500.

When collecting the hidden points above the signpost at the end of the level, the game only rewards 10 points for the 100 point flags.

Not fixed in any version. (Hacking guide fix).

Missing percussion after 1-Up music


After collecting a 1-up, if you pause the game as the main zone music starts to fade in, when you resume the game, the music resumes fading in but without percussion. Percussion is restored for the next music track that is played (completing level, getting invincibility monitor, getting extra life, etc.). This also affects the Special Stage theme, but in a different way: FM channel 6 is disabled because the Special Stage theme uses 6 FM channels, unlike every other song in the game. In this case, the game need not be paused for the glitch to occur; it occurs after the song fades back in.

It is however interesting to note that this cannot be reproduced in Sonic Mega Collection. This is due to an inaccuracy in the emulator, and not any fix to the game itself.

Not fixed in any version.

Time counter doesn't flash


If the player is in the ninth minute, but he has at least one ring, the TIME counter won't flash red because of a mistake in the HUD code.

Not fixed in any version.

Continuous invincibility music

If the player has invincibility, and obtains a life at exactly the right moment as the invincibility music is about to end, the life jingle will interrupt the music transition, and afterwards, the invincibility music -minus the stars around Sonic- will continue to play until the player dies, enters the boss area or collects another invincibility box. This is extremely hard to do, and has to be timed perfectly. A video of the after effects can be seen
Sonic Retro
- (second post down, second video).

Not fixed in any version.

Spike damage(?)

Sonic1 MD SpikeBug.png

When normally attacked, you gain a brief moment of invincibility to get your rings back or destroy the badnik that hit you. However, the spike routines don't check to see if this is true, so if you get hit on a row of spikes, lost your rings, and bounce back onto it, you lose a life straight away. This applies also to shields; so, if you have rings and a shield, the spikes will take your shield, rings, and life one bounce right after another.

Note that there has been some debate over whether this behaviour was an intentional feature, but many people classify it as a bug. No official confirmation has been made either way.

Fixed in Sonic Classic Collection. (Hacking guide fix).

Jumping next to solid objects

Sonic1 MD GHZ Act2JumpBug.png

In certain circumstances, but most often when next to a solid object, jumping will use the wrong animation, so that Sonic appears to walk in mid-air. This happens often in Marble Zone whilst on the blocks that float on the lava. This also happens in Green Hill Zone Act 2, at the second block (the one with the yellow spring on top).

Not fixed in any version. (Hacking guide fix).

Level bugs

Green Hill Zone

Speed tunnel scrolling creates pit

Sonic1 MD GHZ Act1SpeedPit.png

On the first act there is a series of two speed tunnels with a star post in the middle. Occasionally, if Sonic is moving too fast the screen won't scroll down fast enough, and when Sonic touches the bottom of the screen he will die, as if it were a pit.

Fixed in Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis.

Marble Zone

Duck through solid walls

Sonic1 MD MZ Act2WallDuck1.png

Duck here...
Sonic1 MD MZ Act2WallDuck2.png

...and you can pass through.

In Acts 2 and 3, Sonic is able to push blocks into lava, which can then be used to ferry him across. During these sections, the game expects you to jump over solid obstacles to avoid being pushed in to the lava, however ducking allows Sonic to pass through the bigger blocks without issue.

Letting go of Down when mid-way through the scenery will cause Sonic to instantly die.

Not fixed in any version.

Labyrinth Zone

Crash game


At the end of the first two acts, if the camera is panned down at the moment the results screen is about to appear, the game may crash with an Illegal Instruction exception.

Fixed in Sonic Classic Collection. (Hacking guide fix).

Missing signpost

At the end of Labyrinth Zone act 2, if you head towards the signpost and stop near the area where the camera locks and walk left, the signpost object will be deleted and will not be reloaded. Afterwards, if you enter the signpost area, the camera will lock and you will be stuck until time runs out. If you have over 50 rings the big bonus ring will appear in the area you're stuck in. If you jump into it, Sonic will disappear but you will still be stuck on the level screen. If you wait for the time to run out, you will hear Sonic's dying sound and the time will stop at 9:59, but you'll be stuck on the level forever. The only thing you can do is reset or turn off the game. A video of this bug can be seen
Sonic Retro

Not fixed in any version.

Star Light Zone

Orbinaut death

Sonic1 MD SLZ Act1Orbinaut1.png

Don't jump on this Orbinaut...
Sonic1 MD SLZ Act1Orbinaut2.png

Or you will die.

About three quarters of the way through the first act, you will come across an Orbinaut on the upper path. Attempt to jump on it and you will die instantly. Sonic can be briefly seen rebounding and losing his rings as normal, but as Sonic moves off the top of the screen, the game erroneously registers you as having fallen into a pit.

Fixed in Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis.

Scrap Brain Zone

Zip through walls


On the first act, find the ledges that move right then left. Go to the far right side of the wall and wait for the platform to move to the right. As soon as it starts to move right, duck. You'll go through the wall. While here, press Left to zip right and Right to zip to the left.

Fixed in Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis.

Final Zone

Longer boss


In Final Zone, getting the final hit on Robotnik early in the round will allow a player to hit him again while the piston slowly retracts. This action loops his hit counter from 0 to 255, and interrupts the defeat sequence, making Robotnik restart his attack pattern. The only thing that can be done at this point is to fight on until Time Over or allow yourself to be killed and restart the stage.

Fixed in Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis.

Fall off level

Sonic1 MD FZ Pit.png

Hit Eggman at a precise point as he flies off, and it is possible to fall off the edge of the level. This is only possible if Eggman is hit, as otherwise Sonic's forward movement will be stopped when jumping near the edge.

Fixed in Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis.

External links


Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)
Sonic1 title.png

Main page (Gen|2013|3D|Switch)
Level maps
Cheat codes (Gen)

Print advertisements
TV advertisements
Magazine articles

Secrets (Gen) (2013)
Bug list (Gen)
Hacking guide

  • Levels
  • Enemies
  • Bosses
  • Media
Error creating thumbnail: convert: no decode delegate for this image format `' @ error/constitute.c/ReadImage/504. convert: no images defined `/tmp/transform_003363d06f48.jpg' @ error/convert.c/ConvertImageCommand/3258.

Story Comic