Sonic the Hedgehog 1 @ SAGE 2010

From Sonic Retro

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Sonic the Hedgehog 1 @ SAGE 2010
Version: 1.0
Last release: 8th August 2010
Status: Complete
System: Sega Mega Drive
Original game: Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)
Credits: Cinossu

Sonic the Hedgehog 1 @ SAGE 2010 is a hack by Cinossu of the original Sonic the Hedgehog game for the Sega Mega Drive. It is designed with scoring and time attack in mind, and is the first ROM hack to implement Retro Channel and SonMP3. It was released at the 2010 Sonic Amateur Games Expo (SAGE), hence its name.

The Premise

The basic idea of this ROM hack is to take a basic Sonic 1 and make it record all of your results for comparison and competition. Every Zone Act and Special Stage is individually selectable for play, allowing you to record your results in Score, Time and Rings, with the addition of Monitors, Badniks and Hits for Zone Acts only.

In addition to this, there are two extra Challenges. They are the Full Game Playthrough challenge, and the Boss Attack challenge. Full Game Playthrough starts you at Green Hill Zone Act 1, and makes you play through the whole game from start to finish. Boss Attack takes you to a specific level designed to make you play through all 6 bosses of the game, one after the other.

As well as these, there are 50 Achievements to get as well, some being easy to achieve and others more difficult.

To tie everything together is the first use of Retro Channel, allowing you to upload your results and achievements and compare them with other Sonic Retro users, producing leaderboards for each individual result per Zone Act/Special Stage/Challenge.

The Overworld

The first change you encounter after pressing Start on the title screen is the Overworld. This area is designed to let you choose which Zone Act, Special Stage or Challenge you want to play. When first entering, there are Zones and Special Stages to the right, and Challenges as well as Retro Channel to the left.

Pressing Start on the Overworld will, instead of pausing the game, lead to the Achievements List. Pressing Start again on this list will return you to the Overworld in your previous position.

When playing a Zone Act, a Special Stage or a Challenge, pausing the game and pressing the A button will return you straight to the Overworld without saving any results. Achievements earned, however, are kept.

The Overworld Level Map

Zones & Special Stages

Results Tally

To the right of the starting point are the individual Zones and Special Stages. In each Zone's section there are individual buttons per Act, and in the Special Stage section there are individual buttons per Stage. Jumping on to a button will make the HUD appear with the Zone Act's recorded results, as well as a Giant Ring above Sonic. Jumping into this Giant Ring will start the Zone Act or Special Stage.

At the end of each Zone Act or Special Stage, your results are compared individually to your previously recorded result. If bettered, it will be replaced. Each result is recorded individually to allow you to focus a run through the level on a specific result. For example, you could do three runs of a Zone Act; the first for Rings, the second for Time and the third for Badniks.

If you end up dying in some form during your play through a Zone Act, you will be returned to the Overworld without any results tally occurring. However, if you hit a Goal in a Special Stage you will still recieve a results tally, but your Time result will be set to the maximum of 9'59"96.

When a Zone Act or Special Stage is ended, either by completion or by death, when returning to the Overworld you will appear next to the last Zone Act button you pressed.


Boss Attack

To the left of the starting point are the Challenges. The two challenges available are the Full Game Playthrough challenge and the Boss Attack challenge. Both of these are accessed the same way as Zone Acts and Special Stages. By jumping on to the button, you will make the HUD appear with the recorded result, as well as a Giant Ring you can jump into to begin the challenge.

The Full Game Playthrough challenge starts you off at the very beginning of the game, at Green Hill Zone Act 1, and lets you play through the game (on 1 life) as normal. This includes the ability to enter the Special Stage at the end of most Zone Acts by collecting 50 rings and jumping into the Giant Ring by the end of Zone Act signpost. This adds the additional result of Emeralds to the results tally.

Because you can play through multiple Zone Acts, the HUD can be set to two modes; Level mode and Global mode. Level mode shows the Score, Time, Rings, Monitors, Badniks and Hits from the specific level currently played, whereas Global mode shows the overall global counts for each result. This can be toggled in-game by pressing the Mode button.

Due to the Full Game Playthrough challenge being so extensive in length, when you die you will recieve a results tally as if you had completed a Zone Act. However, it will also now record the Zone Act you died on, with a completion being marked as such also. Any results gained from a further on Zone Act, no matter what the other results are, will score higher on results than from Zone Acts earlier on.

The Boss Attack challenge is a new level created to contain all 6 bosses of the game. You will have to challenge them, one after the other, in order to beat this challenge. They are in the order of appearance in the game, and you are given 0 rings in this challenge also, making it the hardest level in the game. Dying, like on normal Zone Acts, will result in a direct return to the Overworld.

SRAM and Retro Channel

This game has been specifically designed to work with Retro Channel, giving it the ability to upload results and achievements on to the Retro Channel website using your Sonic Retro account. Due to this, when not connected using Retro Channel (such as in a different emulator, or when the plugin is disabled) achievements will be disabled and results will be saved differently. A message will appear after the title screen informing you of this before you go to the Overworld.

If you wish to wipe your results and achievements, hold the A+B+C buttons on the SEGA screen. When you do so, a screen will appear letting you know that you are about to wipe your data. Hold the A+B+C buttons and press the Start button to wipe it, or just press Start to exit back to the game without wiping your data. Wiping your data will also wipe your uploaded Retro Channel results, including all your achievements from this game, when you re-log in to Retro Channel, so be absolutely certain you wish to wipe everything before you do.


There are 50 achievements available to get in this game, of the level bronze, silver and gold depending on difficulty. They will appear with a notice automatically in-game when you get them, and can be viewed on the Achievements List by pressing Start in the Overworld.

It was decided to give out just the title and picture of achievements and not the method of getting them, as doing so would make the majority of them extremely easy. Try to guess from the titles and the pictures in the achievement icons. When recieveing an achievement in-game, looking at the Achievements List will reveal what you did to be awarded with it if you do not realise yourself straight away.

There is also an additional achievement, only given to those who helped to test the game early. It is known as Achievement 00 and is not viewable in-game, just on the Retro Channel user profile.

SonMP3 Support

As well as Retro Channel, this game is the first to support SonMP3, currently in an early alpha form, allowing an MP3 soundtrack to replace the FM in-game music. For this game, Sonic Adventure tracks are used (except the Title Screen, using a track from Sonic CD Jap/EU). The track listings are as follows:

  • The Overworld - Casinopolis: Main Foyer (Sonic Adventure)
  • Green Hill Zone - Windy Valley: The Air (Sonic Adventure)
  • Marble Zone - Red Mountain: Symbol of Thrill (Sonic Adventure)
  • Spring Yard Zone - Casinopolis: Dilapidated Way (Sonic Adventure)
  • Labyrinth Zone - Lost World: Leading Lights (Sonic Adventure)
  • Star Light Zone - Speed Highway: At Dawn (Sonic Adventure)
  • Scrap Brain Zone - Hot Shelter: Bad Taste Aquarium (Sonic Adventure)
  • Special Stage - Twinkle Park: Twinkle Cart (Sonic Adventure)
  • Boss - Boss: Egg Mobile (Sonic Adventure)
  • Final Boss - Boss: Chaos 6 (Sonic Adventure)
  • Boss Attack - Boss: E-101 Mk II (Sonic Adventure)
  • Title Screen - Title Screen (Sonic CD Jap/EU)
  • Invincibility - Invincibility (Sonic Adventure)
  • Level Clear - Level Clear (Sonic Adventure)
  • Drowning - Drowning (Sonic Adventure)
  • Extra Life - Extend (Sonic Adventure)
  • Retro Channel - Field: Egg Carrier (Sonic Adventure)

Known Bugs

There are currently two known bugs in this game, but neither are game-breaking. They are as follows...

  • When on the Overworld, if you run to the left and go to the Achievements List, and then return to the Overworld, one 8x8 line of level tiles might be corrupted. It still has fully working collision, however, and will be restored when it goes off-screen.
  • If you exit any Zone Act of Labyrinth Zone early by pausing and pressing A, when entering a Zone Act next the title card may have corrupt art. It should not affect anything else.
  • If you make a savestate and try to load it anywhere in the game, it takes you to a modified version of the No Way! screen reached when you plugged Sonic & Knuckles into any other Genesis game besides Sonic 3 and Sonic 2. However, that's not the bug. While this happens, the achievement "Get Blue Balls" appears, but it doesn't seem to give you said achievement.


There are four download packs to choose from, depending on what you want available to you. Remember, in order to be able to upload your results and achievements, you need to be using Gens/GS release 7 with the Retro Channel MDP plugin.

As well as the ROM, the Emulator, and the Retro Channel MDP Plugin, this pack comes with additional rendering and misc plugins, along with the experimental SonMP3 plugin for MP3 music support.

Contains the ROM, the Emulator, and the Retro Channel MDP Plugin, and additional rendering and misc plugins.

Contains the ROM, the Emulator and just the Retro Channel MDP Plugin. Recommended for those who do not require additional rendering methods or features.

Contains just the ROM. Can be run in any emulator, but requires Gens/GS release 7 with the Retro Channel MDP plugin to upload results.

Further Links