Special - Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Magazin, February 1994)

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Sega Magazin (DE) #3: "Februar 1994"
"Special: Sonic 3"
Six-page preview and cover article detailing the upcoming game. Throughout the article the game is referred to as Sonic 3 Part 1. The author of this article has been contacted and says that he has a prototype of Sonic 3, but he is/was not allowed to give any information away.

Many of the screenshots show Sonic 2 styled Sonic sprites still in use. Page 97 and 98 refers to a unused help item, remnants of this item were found in Sonic 3 including a Whistle Animation. Page 98 mentions Flying Battery Zone as being available, although it wasn't seen until the release of Sonic & Knuckles. It also gives a different level order with IceCap Zone listed as the final level. Page 100 mentions that 50 rings are needed to enter the special stage and bonus stages are entered by finding hidden rings, meaning that their uses were swapped in the final version. The special stages also had you collecting red or blue spheres so their effect was different level to level. 3 versions of Sonic 3 are also mentioned, the original Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles, and a combined version of the 2 called Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Limited Edition.


(Translation provided by Oerg866, the original translation can be found
Sonic Retro

Page 96



Page 97

Sonic - it doesn't happen that often that a character has conquered the world in such a small time like Sega's mascot. While others are slow and lazy, he's saucy and audacious. When others jump from platform to platform in a slow speed, he rushes over hills through loops and so on in super-sonic speed. He actually doesn't want to be the star for all the people, he knows his powers and he's self-aware. Anybody who thinks like this, too, automatically follows him. Anyone who thinks that plumbing is the best job for him, shall do that. But Sonic wants to be a world star, and whatever he wants to do: he will succeed.

Accompanied with one of the biggest ad campaigns the video-game business ever saw, he got extremely popular. According to the newest studies Sonic is more popular with kids than Magic Johnson, Michal Jordan and Bill Clinton. In our offices, we daily get letters asking him for an autograph. So the conclusion is that Sonic can only be explained as a phenomenon, at which only Mickey Mouse can hold on. Sonics popularity will also increase in the next years drastically. In the USA there already are two popular TV-shows airing, that have him as protagonist. We shouldn't wonder about the comics that are selling very good, too. At some time these TV-shows will air in Germany, too. A big load of other products like the Sonic-Soda, the chocolate, the towels, running shoes are now available with Sonic on them. Because of this high popularity, SEGA always is asked to make new Sonic games. And that's what SEGA's going to do now with Sonic 3 for the Mega Drive.

We were one of the first magazines that was allowed to take an in-depth look at the third part of the Sonic-saga. You may now ask: "Is it better? Is there really some awesome new stuff?" - Sonic 2 really was very good, but there really was not that much new stuff in there. But: Don't worry, SEGA really is going to change everything. The programming team that also coded Sonic 2 was responsible for this, and since Sonic 2 was finished, they didn't work on anything else but Sonic 3. The product that comes out is a game, that is going to set new standards. Just if you look at the size and amount of the content in there is huge. The completely new designed levels are three times as big as the Sonic 2 ones. Just alone this guaranties a game-fun that lasts at least weeks.

Info Box

Box 1:
Here he is now, the new character from the Sonic-family. Knuckles however isn't really friendly to Sonic, he also sneers at him! You can also play as him in the 2-Player mode.

Box 2:
Water shield: Sonic can now breathe under water, and he also can use the Squat-Attack.
Fire shield: Is very effective against fire attacks. Sonic can use the Flying Attack with it.
Lightning-Shield: Sonic can electrocute near enemies.
Help!-Item: Tails helps him in dangerous situations.

Screenshot Caption

The dream team of the 1990s is up and running again! More adventures are awaiting him in the third part!

Page 98

Everyone who thought that the Sonic games were too easy, definitely will have to try very hard in the later levels. There are six different zones, with even more levels. If you know the biggest zone of Sonic 2 then take it and think of it times 3, and then you have the biggest zone of Sonic 3. These are the Zone's names: The first one is an island called Angel Island. Then you continue in a water-city called Hydrocity. A garden full of mumbling will await you in Marble Garden. You can have a big Brazilian carnival party in Carnival Night, while you're going in the air in the Flying Battery Zone. Then at the end you'll have to survive the cold Ice Cap Zone. First there was Sonic, then Tails got added an now there's another one called Knuckles. He's not friendly to Sonic, he even is very bad to him. In return, Sonic got lots of extra-features that he can get out of the usual destroyable TVs: The water shield allows Sonic to breathe under water. With this shield, he can use the Squat-Attack. The Fire-shield makes him invincible to fire-attacks, and lets you perform a flying attack. The Lightning-Shield lets you electrocute Sonic. Really useful is the Help!-Item that calls Tails so he can grab and fly you out of really dangerous situations. Graphically really nice are the ropes, which Sonic can use to swing on. Perfectly animated are the ropes that swing, and so is Sonic. This really is very nice, but not the most spectacular thing in the game. Sometimes there are Stone-walls as big as the screen that chase after Sonic and need him to give his best.

Info Box

Here again is the use of the Split-screen-technique, but this time there's no interlace-mode. All graphics were redrawn to fit, and these are very cute now. In five different courses the three characters Sonic, Knuckles and Tails can race against each other.

Screen Caption

No obstacle is too dangerous for Sonic. He swings through the waterfall.

Page 99

These stone-walls really squeeze everything that stands in their way. With perfectly programmed interrupts underwater there's now a really great water-feeling. There also are way more than the usual 64 colors to see. Under water Sonic also can use the Squat-Attack. For this he simply hides in a big bubble, that wobbles as if it was real. Big catapult-arms hunt Sonic through the air. Spike pillars and spinning tops also are present. It should be clear that there are more hazardous obstacles and so on in later levels.

Info Box

1. Angel island
2. Hydrocity
3. Marble Garden
4. Carnival Night
5. Launch Zone
6. Ice Cap

Page 100

It's clear that there are bonus rounds again, but that they were so good, I didn't expect that. If you got 50 rings and jump through the active star-post, you'll get into the bonus round. Here you race over a perfectly rendered 3d-ball. On this ball there are many spheres: Blue, red and silver ones. Depending on the game-round you have to collect the red or blue spheres and dodge the other items. This is really challenging, you always need to have an over-view of what's going on. Great Thing! There is a Special stage too. You can reach these by finding and jumping in big rings that are hidden.

Info Box


Sega's Game experts have done a special thing for Sonic 3. There will be three different versions of it. Sonic 3 Part I will be released in the end of February.

In fall there will be Sonic 3 Part II, that also has 16 MBit. Between the two parts there will be the Sonic 3 Limited edition with 24MBit, this one contains Part I and Part II. The price of over DM200 is really good for this edition.

For Sonic 3 Part II there is another special thing: There is a Combination-Module! You ask now: How does that work?!

Easy! You put Sonic 3 Part II in your Genesis, and you pop another Sonic Jump'n'run game on it, and poof: You have a new game! The new character Knuckles will have a big interactive role on this. We think that this module simply is great! Except you Sega Freaks nobody has it! We will get more information soon!

Screen Caption

Really wet! In the Hydrocity, the big water storms and big turbines do action!

Page 101

In this special stage, you are in a quadrangle and jumping on springs to get to a row which drops useful and useless items. You can get these by touching the left and right sides of the quadrangle. The round ends when you fall to the ground. This also is a very nice feature. Now we get to the best point of Sonic 3: What will happen to the 2 Player mode? Is it again shrunk via Interlace? No. It's split-screen again but now all animations are redrawn in a smaller size. This is really cutely animated. Five different courses are there to be raced on, and the fastest one wins. You experience whole new enemies and stuff. This 2-Player mode is its own game that is almost as much fun as some complete games themselves! It's clear that you can chose Sonic and Tails, but we think that it's awesome that you can also choose the new character, Knuckles. Each character has its own abilities. One is really fast while the other has other advantages. The last thing is that there is a nice feature, the S-RAM that lets you save your games.

Info Box

Module Size: 16 MBit (24MBIT Limited edition!)
Levels: 6
Size: 3x as big as Sonic 2
Animations: 3x as much as before
Enemies: 2 Uber-Bosses ber level, completely new Badniks
2-Player mode: 5 courses
Characters: Sonic, Tails and (new!) Knuckles
S-RAM: Game can be saved
Bonus stage: On a big ball
Special stage: Fight of the gravity!

Screen Caption

Blub, Blub! The Squat attack in Hydrocity is one of the most beautiful attacks.