From Sonic Retro
Super Sonic is the super form of the character Sonic the Hedgehog. This version of Sonic was first introduced in the game Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and has been featured in some capacity in every main Sonic game thereafter.
Super Sonic in the games
Being a transformed version, Super Sonic is essentially the same character as Sonic the Hedgehog, albeit with highly advanced abilities. Utilizing the power of the seven Chaos Emeralds, Sonic is able to achieve this state if he also has fifty rings in his possession. Jumping up into the air, Sonic's classic blue hue flashes for a brief moment before turning into a brilliant yellow and surrounded by a golden aura, his spikes also upturning in the process. Once in this form, Sonic becomes a force to be reckoned with, having a far greater top speed, the ability to jump much higher than normal, and is neigh invulnerable. However, there are still a handful of obstacles that can put an end to Sonic, such as being crushed by an object, falling into a bottomless pit, or (with the exception of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I) drowning in a pool of water.
Though fifty rings are needed for Sonic to achieve this super state, Sonic needs to at least possess one ring to maintain it, one ring per second being absorbed by the Chaos Emeralds as long as he is the yellow speed demon. If the ring count reaches zero, Super Sonic will return back to normal Sonic, in the process becoming open to attack, one hit now just as dangerous as ever.
Originally treated as a bonus mode in Sonic 2, it was with its sequel Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles that the trend of needing to collect all seven Chaos Emeralds to unlock the "true" final level began. Without the emeralds in his possession, Sonic the Hedgehog would be unable to reach the Doomsday Zone, which also began the trend of having Super Sonic fighting off some giant menace that his normal self may be unable to defeat. Beginning the level with 50 rings and transforming automatically, the player must collect rings as they fly through, or else lose the level and forfeit a life. This same set-up was continued in the 3D and 2.5D titles Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes, the ill-fated Sonic 2006, Sonic Rush, Sonic Rush Adventure Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Colours (DS) and Sonic Generations.
Even though Super Sonic featured in the above titles, the Chaos Emeralds were used as a critical plot device, removing the ability to collect them at your own leisure. Because of this, the ability to play through the regular game as Super Sonic was also removed, for a time only Sonic 2, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles being the only main titles where collecting all seven Chaos Emeralds, fifty rings and pressing jump twice (or with Sonic 2, only once) would let Sonic become Super. However, with the release of Sonic 4 and Sonic Colours, this function has been restored to the main line of games. Colours, which is also Sonic's first 3D title to let the player use Super Sonic whenever they choose, does require an additional set of challenges to be met before Super can be unlocked, the need to collect all the hidden Red Rings in the game necessary, which unlock stages in the game's Sonic Simulator. Beating all the zones of each stage rewards you a Chaos Emerald. Once they are all collected, a Super Sonic mode becomes available within the "Options Satellite," which must be enabled if the player wants to ability to turn into Sonic's super form in the levels. With the yellow hued hedgehog now visible in the game's overworld, fifty rings are all that is needed to speed through each zone, a musical chime replacing the zone's music just as in the classic titles. The area where the Wisp power-up meter would be is replaced with an image of the seven Chaos Emeralds, Sonic unable to use any Wisp power in either form, the levels slightly modified to reflect this. While Super, Sonic has an unlimited Sonic Boost, a single jump as high as his double in standard form, and is able to break blocks that are normally needed with a Wisp. It should be noted that, for these two games that have restored Super Sonic as an in-game bonus, there is no "Super Sonic fights the final boss" encounter.
Super Sonic has also appeared in a number of spin-off games, often times as a secret "unlockable character." The racing game Sonic R makes Super Sonic the hardest character to collect, needing to acquire the seven Chaos Emeralds which are hidden on the first four tracks, then needing to place first in each race once finding them. If placed second or lower, the game will unceremoniously state the emerald was not won, the player needing to try their hand at the race once more. Once unlocked, the character proves to be much faster than any other character, with the ability to hover over water with the slightest acceleration. Along with his towering double-jump, the character proves to be the most effective in the game, at the same time disrupting the balance the other characters have with each other.
The Riders racing trilogy (Sonic Riders, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity and Sonic Free Riders) also feature a playable Super Sonic, marked in game as the "Chaos Emerald Gear." In the first Riders game, Sonic immediately transforms, although he only starts off with thirty rings. Though he has infinite air and all three attributes (Speed, Flight and Power) Sonic uses up rings at a far greater rate when drifting, boosting or attacking opponents, although such actions as grinding will cause the ring counter to freeze momentarily. If Sonic runs out of rings, he takes to running on foot until he can collect more. In the sequel, Sonic begins with zero rings, needing to collect at least one before he transforms into his super state. Having the rings deplete at a much slower rate than in the first, the player has more than enough time to build up their supply, though using the gravity control ability causes rings to quickly deplete at a multiplied rate, making it almost impractical to use. However, if Super Sonic collects at least 60 rings, he enters a permanent boost mode.
The arcade game Sonic the Fighters has Super Sonic appear as the only secret unlockable character, only accessible in the second round of Sonic's fight with Metal Sonic. If Sonic is able to successfully win each round and not lose once up to that point, pressing back, punch and kick at the same time will cause Sonic to transform, becoming invincible as he confronts Metal once more and, in the end, Dr. Eggman. In the party game Sonic Shuffle for the Dreamcast, the transformed state of Sonic is an unlockable character, done by purchasing the bottom right picture in Sonic's photo album. His special move ability is the "Light Speed Spin Dash", which allows double the spaces moved when the same number is played twice in a row, which can be chained indefinitely if the right cards are played. His battle ability is "Sonic Rumble" where the roulette only contains the values four to six.
Finally, the Super Sonic transformation is accessible as a "special move" in such games as Sega Superstars Tennis, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, and the Nintendo game Super Smash Bros. Brawl as his "Final Smash."
Super Sonic in other media
Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie comics)
Super Sonic made his first appearance in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series by Archie Comics in issue #4. With the Knothole Freedom Fighters fighting against a robot calling itself the "Universalamander," Sonic the Hedgehog turned to the reader, asking them to help him out as he ran through the Special Stage to unlock the power of Super Sonic, using seven Chaos Emeralds and fifty rings he just "recently" collected. Although subsequent appearances would not play off the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog-esque nature of the early issues, it was established that Sonic's ability to transform into Super Sonic was made far easier by the fact that, on the planet Mobius, an untold number of Chaos Emeralds existed, each with a distinct green hue. This was made clear in the special Super Sonic vs Hyper Knuckles, where Sonic and Knuckles the Echidna raced through a special zone to gather rings and emeralds to transform in an ill-conceived brawl, numerous more emeralds floating out that were unused by the pair. It was also shown, in issue #56, that Sonic did not necessarily need the 7 Emerald/50 Ring combination, able to transform strictly by using previous ring energy and the attacks of Mammoth Mogul. The number of Chaos Emeralds were eventually consolidated into the traditional seven found in the games in issue #169, once again establishing the scarcity of the Super Sonic transformation. However, in issue #184, it was also established that, if need be, Sonic could transform by using the powers of the Master Emerald.
Before the consolidation of the emeralds, a story arc with Sonic stranded in space found him on a planet that did not have green but red Chaos Emeralds. Trying to save an alien race under attack in issue #126, Sonic attempted to use the red emeralds, but instead of transforming, a separate Super Sonic entity was created, an evil version only interested in power and destruction. Having destroyed the threat that the planet was facing, the evil Super Sonic turned its attention to the defenseless inhabitants, Sonic forced to go up against this powered version of himself. Just like Super Sonic, though, the evil alternate could only exist for a limited duration, disappearing once his energy was used up; Sonic distracted the being long enough for this to happen, in order to prevent any further damage.
Sonic the Comic
First appearing in Sonic the Comic issue #7, the powered version of Sonic is an uncontrollable, almost demon-like force, interested in death, destruction, and little else. After the comic's interpretation of the events of the first Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic attempted to recreate the Retro-Orbital-Chaos-Compressor, a machine which uses the Chaos Emeralds to absorb evil. However, because of the unstable nature of the emeralds, the gems transported into a dimension known as the Special Zone, the resulting shockwave of energy hitting Sonic, transforming him into Super Sonic. Although this was only temporary, it set up the potential for this wild being to appear, either by Chaos energy, residual energy from rings, or simply in moments of great stress. Though there were times when Super Sonic was needed (such as in the finale of the comic's adaptation of Sonic & Knuckles) they would immediately be followed by Super Sonic going after his friends and allies (such as when Super Sonic tried to kill Knuckles before reverting back to Sonic). Each time Super Sonic returned, he seemed to be more powerful, gaining new abilities such as being able to fire energy beams from his eyes. The rest of the Freedom Fighters soon knew that they were no match for him in a head-to-head battle.
Eventually, on a social call to the Floating Island to visit Porker Lewis and check up on him after a nervous breakdown, Sonic accidentally fell into the Emerald Shrine that held the Chaos Emeralds on the island. This caused him immediately to transform into a still more vicious version of Super Sonic, and this crazed being flew off, filled with an uncontrollable urge to kill Amy Rose. Alhough Porker Lewis attempted to warn the Freedom Fighters, they were unable to prepare against his wrath, the group dodging and hiding as they try to hold on. Through quick thinking, the group set the Tornado to fly automatically, and when Super Sonic destroyed the plane, he believed himself to have killed his friends, allowing Sonic to revert back to his blue hue and becoming aware of his actions. Immediately going into hiding, the disappearance of Sonic allowed the rest of the group to come up with a plan to try and remove Super Sonic from the hero once and for all. In issue #82, through the use of a Starpost the group is able to successfully remove Super Sonic from Sonic, in the process making him a separate being now trapped in the Special Zone. Knowing the inhabitants of this zone could now be in grave danger, Sonic journeyed over to the zone, finding his evil double still fulled with rage and wanting nothing more than to kill his calmer counterpart.
Although Super Sonic was trapped within the sentient Omni-Viewer, this was only a temporary solution; the trap was meant to freeze time (and in turn Super Sonic) but in fact was only slowing it down. With the aim of trapping Super in an even better cell if he were to ever break free of this one, the Omni-Viewer was placed within the Black Asteroid, Sonic and the Chaotix Crew hoping that the Omni-Viewer would have time to transport out of the asteroid to safety if Super Sonic did eventually escape. The entire process occurred much faster than anyone expected, the Omni-Viewer indeed escaping and warning everyone that Super was charging himself up, heating the asteroid in an attempt to make it explode (and freeing the OV in the process). The asteroid was transported away moments before it was to explode to Mobius, and the resulting explosion caused an electromagnetic pulse that not only knocked out Dr. Robotnik's entire operation on Mobius, but at the same time freed Super Sonic. However, instead of a resulting battle between the two Sonics, the explosion also altered the super being, causing him to lose his strength and eventually his memory.
Super Sonic eventually befriended a cat witch named Ebony and regained his memories, but he was now afraid of returning to his crazed mentality. Unfortunately, he would be once again forced into his original mindset. In the build-up to the final arc adapting Sonic Adventure, Ebony learned that Super Sonic was dying, due to the lack of Chaos energy he now possessed. Although she was able to save Sonic and the rest by causing him to absorb the powers of Chaos, the refueling process only resulted in the return of his evil self. Only by Sonic and Ebony working together were the group able to stop him, by having Super Sonic re-merge with his original self, once again becoming a burden for the blue blur.
Presented in a similar manner to how he is depicted in the games, Super Sonic is once again the fully-powered form of Sonic, done through the use of the seven Chaos Emeralds. First appearing in "The Birth of Super Sonic," the appearance of this super form allowed the first major story arc of the show to complete, stopping Eggman's latest plan. This first appearance also showcases an ability of Super Sonic's exclusive to the show. During the course of the episode, Chris Thorndyke, who was the first person to befriend Sonic after the universal jump in episode one, became wounded. Noticing this, Super Sonic was able to heal the boy, something no other version of Super Sonic has been shown to do. The transformed state would later show up in the adaptations of Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2, used in nearly the same capacity as in the games. Super Sonic would also appear at the end of the first series, saving Tails from the "Grand Egg Imperial," and would later return during the course of the second series in the fight against the Metarex.
One episode of the series, "The Black Trap," also featured a variant on the "evil Super Sonic" motif. Called Dark Super Sonic, this chaotic version of the character appeared when Sonic accidentally channeled his anger through a set of fake Chaos Emeralds. It was only when Dr. Eggman talked to Dark Super Sonic and explained that Sonic is usually "much better than this" that Sonic was able to return to his natural state.
Television Series and Film