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Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)

From Sonic Retro

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  • Master System
  • Sega Game Gear
    US/EU
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Sonic 1 MS title.png
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Sonic1 GG JP Title.png
Sonic the Hedgehog
System(s): Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, Palm OS, Virtual Console
Publisher: Sega
Developer:
Genre: Action[3][4][5]
Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code Rating
Sega Master System
US
1991-11[6] $29.95[7] ?
Sega Master System
EU
1991-10-25 €? 7076
Sega Master System
UK
1991-10-25 £29.99[8][9] 7076
Sega Master System
AU
199x $? ?
Sega Master System
BR
1992-01[10] R$? ?
Sega Master System
KR
199x ₩? GB-2012
Sega Master System
PT
1991  ? MSJ7076
Sega Master System
CS
1992 882 CSK ?


Sega Game Gear
JP
1991-12-28[4] ¥3,800 G-3307
Sega Game Gear
JP
(Meisaku)
1993-12-10 ¥? G-3334
Sega Game Gear
US
1991-12 $? 2408
Sega Game Gear
EU
1991-12 €? 2408
Sega Game Gear
PT
199x  ? ?
Sega Game Gear
CZ
199x  ? ?
Sega Game Gear
UK
1991-12 £29.99[11][12] 2408
Sega Game Gear
BR
1992-02[13] R$? 013550


US 2003-04-14[14] $19.95 ?


Wii Virtual Console
JP
2008-08-05[15] 500[16]pts ?
CERO: A
Wii Virtual Console
US
2008-08-04[17] 500[17]pts ?
ESRB: Everyone
Wii Virtual Console
EU
2008-09-19[18] 500[18]pts ?
PEGI: 3+
Wii Virtual Console
AU
2008-09 600[19]pts ?
OFLC: General (G)


Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
JP
2013-12-04[20] ¥286 (300)[20] ?
CERO: A
Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
US
2013-06-07[21] $4.99[21] ?
ESRB: Everyone
Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
EU
2013-06-13[22] €4.99[23] ?
PEGI: 3+
Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
UK
2013-06-13[24] £4.49[23] ?
PEGI: 3+
Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
DE
2013-06-13[25] €4.99[23] ?
USK: 6

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" of 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 an external development studio, Ancient, in their first collaboration with Sega. This version of Sonic the Hedgehog also stands as the first handheld Sonic game.

Story

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, Sonic, 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.

Gameplay

Sonic runs through Green Hill Zone in the Master System version.

The gameplay of the 8-bit Sonic the Hedgehog is similar to that of the Mega Drive version; 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 other than a score increase.

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, while the third Act is merely a short run up to the boss and contains no Rings. The three Zones titled after their Mega Drive counterparts feature 8-bit renditions of the scenery, but have unique level layouts and, with the exception of Green Hill Zone, different music courtesy of Yuzo Koshiro, best known for his work on games such as The Revenge of Shinobi and Streets of Rage.

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. When the Ring counter has rolled over, Sonic is treated as if he had no Rings at all, thus is vulnerable to losing a life unless he gets another Ring or has a Shield. Additionally, Rings dropped after taking a hit cannot be re-collected.

Bonus Panel

At the end of Acts 1 and 2 of each Zone, the player has to spin a Bonus Panel to clear the Act, with a reward given based on what it lands on:

Sonic1 SMS Sprite BonusPanel.png
Dr. Eggman
No prize is awarded. This panel comes up most often in the game, provided the player's Ring count is below 50.
Sonic1 SMS Sprite BonusPanel.png
Ring
10 Rings are added to the player's final Ring tally. In the Master System version, it is awarded if the player ends the Act with 0, 10, 20 or 30 Rings. They can't get this panel in Scrap Brain Zone, nor in Sky Base Zone Act 1. However, it always appears in Sky Base Zone Act 2. In the Game Gear version, it is awarded if the player dies twice in an Act.
Sonic1 SMS Sprite BonusPanel.png
Sonic
An extra life is awarded. In the Master System version, it appears if the player ends the Act with an amount of Rings that varies by Act (see table below). In the Game Gear version, it is awarded if the player dies three times in an Act.
Sonic1 SMS Sprite BonusPanel.png
Exclamation Point
Warp to the Special Stage. Appears if 50 or more Rings are on hand when passing the sign. The player can't get this panel in Scrap Brain Zone nor in Sky Base Zone.

In the Master System version, the number of Rings required to earn an extra life from the Bonus Panel are as follows:

Zone Act 1 Act 2
Green Hill Zone 11~19 21~29
Bridge Zone 41~49 11~19
Jungle Zone 31~39 41~49
Labyrinth Zone 21~29 31~39
Scrap Brain Zone 11~19 21~29
Sky Base Zone 41~49 N/A

Scoring

Enemies: 100 points.

End Level Ring Bonus: 100 points for each Ring held at the end of an Act. Because the Ring counter resets past 99, the maximum possible bonus is 9,900.

End Level Time Bonus:

  • 0:19 or less = 300,000
  • 0:20 = 200,000
  • 0:21 = 100,000
  • 0:22 = 80,000
  • 0:23 = 50,000
  • 0:24 = 40,000
  • 0:25 to 0:29 = 30,000
  • 0:30 to 0:59 = 10,000
  • 1:00 to 1:29 = 5,000
  • 1:30 to 1:59 = 3,000
  • 2:00 to 2:29 = 1,000
  • 2:30 to 2:59 = 500
  • 3:00 to 4:59 = 100
  • 5:00 or more = 0

Chaos Emerald Bonus: 20,000 points for each Chaos Emerald collected, awarded at the end of the game.

Sonic Left Bonus: 5,000 points for each life remaining at the end of the game.

Special Bonus: Miscellaneous bonus points awarded at the end of the game for certain achievements. The maximum possible Special Bonus is 500,000. The achievements and their bonuses are as follows:

  • 50,000 points for collecting all 6 Chaos Emeralds.
  • 50,000 points for collecting all 18 1-Up monitors (Special Stage 1-Up monitors don't count).
  • 50,000 points for playing all 8 Special Stages.
  • 50,000 points for completing all 8 Special Stages.
  • 100,000 points for not losing any lives.
  • 200,000 points for achieving all of the above.

In both versions of the game, extra lives are awarded for every 50,000 points scored.

History

Development

Sonic Retro emblem.svg Main article: Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)/Development

Versions

S1GG warning sign.png
Many changes were made to better suit the Game Gear's specifications.

The Game Gear version has a smaller screen resolution, but a larger colour 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 as it is handled by the boot ROM instead.

The Master System version was also distributed as a built-in game in certain Master System II systems sold in Europe. To play the game, the user must turn on the system without a cartridge inserted.

Comparisons

Sonic Retro emblem.svg Main article: Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)/Comparisons

Also released on

Production credits

Master System version

Sonic the Hedgehog Original Character Design: ©Sega

Programming
Art
Sound
Special Thanks
Source: In-game credits[26]

Game Gear version

Programming
Art
Sound
Special Thanks
Source: In-game credits[27]

Manuals

Sonic Retro emblem.svg Main article: Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)/Manuals

Magazine articles

Sonic Retro emblem.svg Main article: sega:Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)/Magazine articles

Artwork

Physical scans

Master System version

Segaretro-round.svg Reception »
Master System, EU/US
Sonic1ms-box-eu.jpg
Cover
Master System, FR (Blister pack)
Sonic1 SMS FR blister front.jpg
Cover
Master System, PT

MS Sonic ver1 PT.jpg
Manual
Master System, CZ

Sth ms eu cart.jpg
Cart
Notavailable.svg
Manual
Master System, AU (NIAL sticker)
Sonic1 SMS AU nial cover.jpg
Cover
Master System, AU (NIAL/Hotline stickers)
Sonic1 SMS AU hotline cover.jpg
Cover
Sonic SMS AU Cart Top.jpg
Sonic SMS AU Cart Back.jpgSonic SMS AU Cart Front.jpg
Cart
Master System, AU (Hotline/bonus/Sega stickers)
Sonic1 SMS AU sega cover.jpg
Cover
Sonic SMS AU Cart Top.jpg
Sonic SMS AU Cart Back.jpgSonic SMS AU Cart Front.jpg
Cart
Master System, AU (Hotline/bonus stickers)
Sonic1 SMS AU bonus cover.jpg
Cover
Sonic SMS AU Cart Top.jpg
Sonic SMS AU Cart Back.jpgSonic SMS AU Cart Front.jpg
Cart
Master System, AU (Classics)
Sonic SMS AU Cover.jpg
Cover
Master System, AU
(Blue cartridge variant)

Sth ms aus cart.jpg
Cart
Master System, BR
Sonic1 ms br cover.jpg
Cover
Master System, KR

MS SONIC KR CART.jpg
Cart

Game Gear version

Segaretro-round.svg Reception »
Game Gear, JP
Sonic 1 GG JP Top.jpg
S1gg jp back cover.jpgSonic 1 GG JP Spine.jpgSonic1gg-box-jap.jpgSonic 1 GG JP Spine2.jpg
Cover
Game Gear, JP (Meisaku Collection)
Sonic1gg-box-jap2 back.jpgNospine-small.pngSonic1gg-box-jap2 front.jpg
Cover
S1 gg jp cart2.jpg
Cart
Game Gear, US
Sonic1gg-box-us-back.jpgSonic GG US Box Spine.jpgSonic1gg-box-us.jpg
Cover
Game Gear, EU
Sonic1gg-box-eu back.jpgSonic GG EU Box Spine.jpgSonic1gg-box-eu.jpg
Cover
Game Gear, CZ

S1-gg-eu-cart.jpg
Cart
Notavailable.svg
Manual
Game Gear, BR
Sonic1 gg br cover.jpg
Cover
Game Gear, PT

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Master System
CRC32 b519e833
MD5 dc13a61eafe75c13c15b5ece419ac57b
SHA-1 6b9677e4a9abb37765d6db4658f4324251807e07
256kB Cartridge (US/EU/BR)
Sega Game Gear
CRC32 3e31cb8c
MD5 8a95b36139206a5ba13a38bb626aee25
SHA-1 8923295c96b2e05da0a83a827fd709b033fc7332
256kB Cartridge (US/JP) Revision 00
Sega Game Gear
CRC32 d163356e
MD5 b1de7027824c434ce8de59782705f5c9
SHA-1 7dbbbca2229e74fcb8f90ec794aa6e5cb168e489
256kB Cartridge (EU/JP/BR) Revision 01
Sega Game Gear
CRC32 c2572208
MD5 37a20d660517de6a07b4981c253439ef
SHA-1 da410b0f00cd0b3a70c3e18c83d0d71609d8ea43
256kB 3DS Virtual Console (World) Revision 01 VirtualConsole Sonic1 3DS USEU Icon.png
Sega Game Gear
CRC32 816c0a1e
MD5 05d0e3897cb2b6e08c2952730d2c80c1
SHA-1 7ff6810e4ac03e04584243995c3fd54b77896c23
256kB EPROM cartridge[28] Prototype Download.svg (137 kB) (info)

External links

References

  1. https://www.mtwo.co.jp/development/retrogame-2/#tab-2 (Wayback Machine: 2014-04-03 00:26)
  2. https://www.mtwo.co.jp/development/retrogame-2/#tab-4 (Wayback Machine: 2014-04-03 00:26)
  3. File:Sonic1gg-box-eu back.jpg
  4. 4.0 4.1 https://sega.jp/history/hard/gamegear/software.html (Wayback Machine: 2018-12-07 04:57)
  5. File:Sonic1ms-box-eu.jpg
  6. [gamepro, issue 29, page 112 gamepro, issue 29, page 112]
  7. [gamepro, issue 29, page 110 gamepro, issue 29, page 110]
  8. [cvg, issue 121, page 34 cvg, issue 121, page 34]
  9. [segapower, issue 27, page 23 segapower, issue 27, page 23]
  10. [supergame, issue 8, page 43 supergame, issue 8, page 43]
  11. [ace, issue 54, page 87 ace, issue 54, page 87]
  12. [segapower, issue 29, page 47 segapower, issue 29, page 47]
  13. [supergame, issue 7, page 29 supergame, issue 7, page 29]
  14. http://www.sega.com/palm/purchase/buy_select_sonic.jhtml (Wayback Machine: 2003-04-17 05:05)
  15. https://www.nintendo.co.jp/wii/vc/software/08.html (Wayback Machine: 2018-03-06 23:35)
  16. http://vc.sega.jp:80/vc_ms_sonic/ (Wayback Machine: 2008-08-07 00:12)
  17. 17.0 17.1 http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/y0VeAVFtYXeter7r2F5Hkl-WSXgPIAAP (Wayback Machine: 2010-11-23 00:36)
  18. 18.0 18.1 http://www.nintendolife.com/games/mastersystem/sonic_the_hedgehog (Wayback Machine: 2017-07-04 13:10)
  19. http://www.nintendo.com.au/index.php?action=catalogue&prodcat_id=42&prod_id=19903&pageID=4 (Wayback Machine: 2012-03-28 01:11)
  20. 20.0 20.1 http://vc.sega.jp/3ds/sonic1/ (Wayback Machine: 2014-04-06 07:17)
  21. 21.0 21.1 http://www.nintendo.com:80/games/detail/4lFd-f60QAnio7SNDl4scM2mr7uUexvw (Wayback Machine: 2013-06-16 16:32)
  22. https://www.nintendo.fr/Jeux/SEGA-Game-Gear/Sonic-the-Hedgehog-764867.html (archive.today)
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 http://www.nintendolife.com:80/games/gamegear/sonic_the_hedgehog (Wayback Machine: 2017-09-09 21:42)
  24. https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/SEGA-Game-Gear/Sonic-the-Hedgehog-764867.html (archive.today)
  25. https://www.nintendo.de/Spiele/SEGA-Game-Gear/Sonic-the-Hedgehog-764867.html (archive.today)
  26. File:Sonic the Hedgehog SMS credits.pdf
  27. File:Sonic the Hedgehog v1.1 GG credits.pdf
  28. Hidden Palace: Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit) (Prototype)


Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)
Sonic 1 MS title.png

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Reception


Development
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Sonic the Hedgehog games for the following systems
Sega Master System
Sega Game Gear
 1991  Sonic the Hedgehog     1992  Sonic the Hedgehog 2     1993  Sonic Chaos | Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine     1994  Sonic Drift | Sonic Spinball | Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble     1995  Sonic Drift 2 | Tails' Skypatrol | Tails Adventures | Sonic Labyrinth | Sonic 2 in 1     1996  Sonic Blast    
 Unreleased  Sonic's Edusoft
Wii Virtual Console
WiiWare
 2006  Sonic the Hedgehog | Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine     2007  Sonic the Hedgehog 2 | Sonic the Hedgehog 3 | Sonic Spinball | Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island     2008  Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit) | Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit)     2009  Sonic Chaos | Sonic & Knuckles     2010  Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I