Sonic 1 Color Contrast

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Sonic 1 Color Contrast Title Screen.png
Sonic 1 Color Contrast
Version: Sonic Retro Thread (Beta 5.9)
Last release: November 2016
System: Sega Mega Drive
Original game: Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)
Credits: TheInvisibleSun, KingofHarts, GenesisFan64,

Sonic 1 Color Contrast is a hack of Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Mega Drive by TheInvisibleSun. It features new palettes and art, modified zone layouts, audio modifications, and various other special additions.


Dr. Eggman has somehow stolen almost all of the colors (and music) from South Island, and Sonic himself! It is now up to Sonic to return them to where they belong, and restore the island to its colorful musical self.


Sonic's mission is to find the various Color Monitors hidden in each stage. Upon finding them, the various colors and music of the area will begin to be restored to the zone, and he can then proceed to the next act. Sonic must find at least one monitor to proceed to the next act. Collecting every Color Monitor in an act will also allow Sonic to interact with a special Lamppost in the stage's hub world, which doing so will grant Sonic a Chaos Emerald. It is rumored that the Chaos Emeralds grant the power to restore all the colors of an act at once; collect them all to find out! The first three zones of the game are playable and can be accessed through scrap brain. Zones can be played in any order, although Sonic must pass Act 3 in each zone to access the final boss. Finding any one of the Color Monitors is required to get through the current act, but you can explore the stages to find them all!

When starting the game, you can select from one or two gameplay modes:


Sonic can select from 3 different zones in scrap brain, which is now a hub world. Taking any of the teleporters in a the level will send you to a hub stage, in which Sonic must complete, at a minimum, act 3, in order to face the final boss, although completing both acts in a zone and restoring its hub world will allow you to access the elusive Act 2! Each Hub displays the completion status of each act, and can be restored with hidden monitors as well. Lampposts are accessible in each hub world and will reward Sonic with a Chaos Emerald for every stage he fully restores.


Play through each act in a linear order instead, as in Sonic 1-Knuckles. Due to the lack of a hub world in this mode, fully restoring an act will reward Sonic with a Chaos Emerald if he jumps into the giant ring at the end.

As an option, Hint Arrows that lead to other monitors, found near each monitor, can be enabled for a less difficult and more accessible gameplay option. This can be enabled at the beginning of Classic Mode, and before every act in Adventure Mode.

The aforementioned Color Monitors include:

  • 'C' (3x): Returns the normal colors to the stage. Each stage includes three to track down.
  • 'Sonic': Reverts Sonic's colors back to normal, and grants 1 extra life.
  • 'Goggles': Returns all underwater colors to normal, including Sonic's (Labyrinth Zone and Scrap Brain Act 3 only).
  • 'Music': Changes the background music back to normal.
  • 'Cycle': Returns all of the cycling palettes (like Green Hill's waterfalls) to normal. Found within every level with the exception of Marble Zone.

Note: Only one of these is required to complete the Act.

Other helpful Monitors include:

  • 'Super Ring': Gives you 10 rings.
  • 'Speed Shoes': Increases Sonic's speed.
  • 'High-Jump Shield': Increases Sonic's jump height, as well as protects him from one single hit.
  • 'Restart': Returns Sonic back to the start of the stage.
  • 'Invincibility': Makes Sonic invincible for a short time.

If you want to leave an act early, Hold A, then press Start when paused to return to the Hub Stage from any act. However, using this will cost a life if you have more than 3, and the Color Monitors you have collected in the current level won't be saved, so use wisely!

Explore the zones to find all of the Color Monitors and unlock hidden secrets and extras!

Green Hill Zone, partially restored
Spring Yard Zone, partially restored

Planned Features

The following are features not yet included in the current build, but are planned for the future:

  • SRAM support for game saving capability.

Credits & Special Thanks


KingofHarts - SYZ1 Layout, and Miscellaneous help/fixes. Also created Sonic Triad, an excellent and very useful palette editor (and so much more!)
Vladikcomper - Several boss DLE fixes and miscellaneous help.
GenesisFan64 - For the PalLoad_Loop quick loading subroutine.

Special Thanks:

MarkeyJester (Various guides and fixes, and miscellaneous bug fixes/help)
redhotsonic (For his various guides, miscellaneous help and feedback)
Selbi (For his Basic Error Fixing Guide, and the Sonic 1 TCG)
HighFrictionZone (For the Music Monitor suggestion)
Mercury (Helped with signpost bug fixes and created ReadySonic, the source of more than a few fixes)
MainMemory (For SonLVL, and all other associated tools)
FuzzBuzz (For the SonicOneMusicEditor)
Xenowhirl (For SonMapEd)
Cinossu (For some initial coding help)
jdpense (for the idea to stop the timer in the Hubs)
KooklyLookyMan (for the special stage suggestion)
God (For allowing me the ability to do something like this)
.........all of the Sonic Retro Wiki in general, and all of you who have supported this project so far!


Latest Developer Release (Beta 5.9)

Previous Versions


Download Sonic 1 Color Contrast
Multiple downloads available

S1CC Beta 4.3 (390 kB) (info)
S1CC Beta 4.2 (390 kB) (info)
S1CC Beta 02.3 (380 kB) (info)
S1CC Beta 02.1 (380 kB) (info)

External Links

Release Thread

(older versions can be downloaded here)