Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)
From Sonic Retro
- "Sonic 1" redirects here. For the Master System/Game Gear version, see Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit). For other games with the same title, see Sonic the Hedgehog (disambiguation).
|Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Developer: Sonic Team|
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive/Genesis|
|ROM size: 512 Kilobytes|
|Peripherals supported: N/A|
|Genre: 2D Platform|
This game was the first game to really propel the Genesis into mass popularity in North America. After it was released, it eventually supplanted Altered Beast as the bundled game with the console.
Sonic the Hedgehog added the element of speed to the standard platform formula, and introduced other unique elements as well, such as the loops and springboards now permanently associated with the game series.
In the game, Sonic has to prevent Dr. Robotnik (Doctor Eggman in Japan and in later games) from collecting the Chaos Emeralds in an attempt to rule the world - canonically this is Earth, but for a lengthy period of time was commonly believed to be Mobius, due to outside sources using the name.
There was also a version of Sonic the Hedgehog released for the Sega Master System and the Game Gear, which loosely followed the design of the Genesis version, although with some different zones and a level map.
The main villain, Doctor Eggman, has always been called that in the Japanese titles. However, in the European and American versions, his name is localized to Doctor Ivo Robotnik, and has stayed that way until Sonic Adventure, where he's been known as Eggman as well. Also, the name Robotnik was later used in the Japanese version of Sonic Adventure 2.
Although its Genesis counterpart was extremely popular in the United States, Sonic the Hedgehog only received lukewarm responses in Japan. Sonic wouldn't catch on in that locale until Sonic Jam. Because of its popularity, it later replaced Altered Beast as the pack-in for the Mega Drive.
- 1 Features
- 2 Scoring
- 3 Differences between beta and final
- 4 Versions
- 5 Miscellaneous
- 6 Sound Test
- 7 Manuals
- 8 Also Released On
- 9 Production Credits
- 10 GoodGen Versions
- 11 Resources
The game that started it all, it featured many novel elements, utilising the parallel processing capabilities of the Genesis, which contributed to its popularity and helped to promote the uptake of 16-bit consoles.
The gameplay centers around elements that exploit the increased performance of the Genesis console. It is notable for being both simplistic and engaging for players.
The game was arguably the one of the fastest platformers that had yet been released. Sonic could run, jump and roll at significantly higher speeds than most platformers of the time. Unlike other platformers, the game's levels were designed to encourage the player to progress quickly. Springs, slopes, high falls and loop de loops were all available to both boost and challenge the player to reach high speeds. This was all accomplished without any slowdown in frame rates, adding to the experience.
Sonic's method of attack was also novel. As a hedgehog, he could curl up into a ball, by either jumping or by rolling along the ground, a state in which he could damage enemies by simply colliding with them. This was a change from most other platform games, where a the player could only damage enemies by shooting, attacking or jumping on top of them. While rolling along the ground Sonic could roll down slopes, gaining speed as he did so. Most slopes were irregular, as opposed to the fixed angles seen in older titles, and the game had physics to match. Sonic's acceleration down a slope depended on its steepness; he could run around 360-degree loops, if travelling fast enough; and he suffered from drag under water.
Sonic could collect rings to protect himself. As long as Sonic had at least one ring he would not die when injured. Instead he would lose all of his rings, which sprayed out and could be collected again. There were also shields available which allowed Sonic to be hit once without losing rings. However, neither shields nor rings could protect against instant death, brought on by crushing, drowning or falling off the map.checkpoints called lamp posts. When Sonic passed a lamp post, changing its colour, he could restart from that point - rather than the beginning of the level - when he next lost a life.
If Sonic has collected less than 6 chaos emeralds and is carrying 50 or more rings at the end of Act 1 or Act 2 of any zone except Scrap Brain Zone, he can enter the Special Stage by jumping in the giant ring which appears right next to the signpost to have the chance to collect one of the 6 chaos emeralds. It should be noted that despite their importance in the plot, collecting the emeralds is almost unnecessary in this game, as they're not required to unlock any final level and the game can be completed even without them. However, if less than 6 chaos emeralds are collected, Robotnik will juggle the remaining ones in the "Try Again" screen at the end of the staff roll.
The games featured no passwords or game saves. The player had to start from the beginning every time he ran out of continues or reset the console. There was, however, (albeit very cryptic to activate) a level select mode. ,
Hitting bumpers: 10 points for each of the first ten hits on any given bumper; after that no more points can be gained from that bumper
Hitting enemies: (a chain refers to all enemies destroyed until the next time Sonic lands on some form of ground)
- First enemy in a chain = 100
- Second enemy in a chain = 200
- Third enemy in a chain = 500
- Fourth through 15th enemies in a chain = 1000 each
- 16th and all subsequent enemies in a chain = 10000 each
Destroying a Dr. Eggman boss robot: 1000 points
Ring bonus at end of level: 100 points for each ring held
Time bonus at end of level:
- Game clock reads 0:29 or less = 50000
- Game clock reads 0:30 to 0:44 = 10000
- Game clock reads 0:45 to 0:59 = 5000
- Game clock reads 1:00 to 1:29 = 4000
- Game clock reads 1:30 to 1:59 = 3000
- Game clock reads 2:00 to 2:59 = 2000
- Game clock reads 3:00 to 3:59 = 1000
- Game clock reads 4:00 to 4:59 = 500
- Game clock reads 5:00 or more = 0
End-of-level flags: On the screen where the goal post stands, there are sometimes flags you can trigger. These flags are hidden, but if you hit them they will appear and show either 100, 1000, or 10000. The flags that say "100" are really only worth 10 points each, but the 1000 and 10000 flags report their values accurately.
Special stage: 100 points for each ring held
The game's 16-bit graphics were impressive for its time. Colours were lush and varied, taking advantage of the Genesis' enhanced colour palette, and the sprites were richly animated. Flowers moved, rings spun, lights blinked, and water shimmered in the background. Destroying an enemy robot produced a puff of smoke as a small animal flew or hopped away from its prison.
Leaving the game idle for more than a few seconds made Sonic tap his foot impatiently whilst looking at the screen, waiting for the player to continue.
Sound and music
The game took full advantage of the onboard Zilog Z80 and Yamaha YM2612 synthesizer sound chip. The game was filled with sound effects, with chimes, bops and beats following the player through the levels. Many sounds played on top of one another and most of the games sounds were unique and of higher quality than earlier 8-bit sounds.
The music of the game affords special attention, with many fans proclaiming it to be the most memorable feature. The music used 8-bit stereo sound, and was very rich and detailed. The music for Green Hill Zone in particular is a very well recognised tune, by many fans of the series and by other gamers. Many MIDIs and remixes of this track, and of other tracks in the game, can be found online.
Each Zone featured three "acts" or levels each following the same theme as the last.
Differences between beta and final
For general information on unused Sonic 1 items, see the Game Secrets section for this game. For level-specific differences, check the individual level page.
The first version of the game lacked parallax scrolling, moving clouds (Green Hill Zone), rippling water (Labyrinth Zone), a correct Level Select screen arrangement, and other minor details. The newer Japanese version included the details. The much later "JP2" version found in Sonic Mega Collection was an officially hacked ROM which "fixed" the "Spike Bug".
Hivebrain has documented the changes between the first version and the newer Japanese version, which is provided below:
- "clr.l" used instead of "move.l #0" in ClearScreen.
- Garbage removed from CalcSine.
- "TM" on Sega screen is hidden if the console is Japanese.
- "TM" on title screen isn't loaded if the console is Japanese.
- AddPoints gives you an extra life for every 50000 points.
- Level select stage order is correct.
- Level select code is UDDDLR (instead of UDLR) if the console is Japanese.
- Moved restart level flag check in Level_MainLoop.
- Added background scroll check to LZWaterFeatures.
- d2 is cleared in a slightly different way in MoveSonicInDemo.
- Added gamemode check in SS_MainLoop.
- Tidied EndSTH (obj89).
- Layer scrolling changed.
- Tile drawing changed.
- Stuff added to DLE_MZ1.
- Blank frame added to rings mappings .
- Added check in monitor contents item to prevent interruption of drowning music .
- Lamppost time is cleared after game over (obj39).
- Tidied MarbleBrick (obj46).
- Tidied FloatingBlock (obj56).
- Minor change to DrownCount (obj0A).
- Changes to Caterkiller (obj78).
- Minor change to Labyrinth boss (obj77).
- Minor changes to Final boss (obj85), including 1000 point bonus for killing it.
- Ending sequence debug list changed.
- Some unneeded things removed from Pattern Load Cues.
- Sega logo graphics and mappings slightly different.
- Unused graphics data removed.
- MZ & SBZ 256x256 tiles modified.
- SS5 & SS6 layouts modified.
- SYZ background modified.
- Minor change to SolidObject subroutine .
The Ribbon, Ring, and Stars
The distinctive "ribbon, ring, and star"-styled title screen used in the very first Sonic the Hedgehog game (and many installments in the series afterward) was something of a theme in early Sega games. The Sonic version is based on the title screen from the 1988 Sega arcade game Wonder-Boy III: Monster Lair, which bears similarities to that of the 1986 Sega arcade game Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars.
Here is a list of the music featured in Sonic the Hedgehog, as it is located in the sound test, which can be accessed by entering the zone select code(Genesis version).
- 81: Green Hill Zone
- 82: Labyrinth Zone
- 83: Marble Zone
- 84: Star Light Zone
- 85: Spring Yard Zone
- 86: Scrap Brain Zone
- 87: Invincibility
- 88: Extra Life
- 89: Special Stage
- 8A: Title Screen
- 8B: Ending Scene
- 8C: Boss Battle
- 8D: Final Zone
- 8E: Act Completion
- 8F: Game Over
- 90: Continue Screen
- 91: Credits
- 92: Drowning Warning
- 93: Emerald Collection
- Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit) US Manual
- Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit) JP Manual
- Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit) EU Manual
Also Released On
- Sonic the Hedgehog (arcade game) for Mega-Tech and Mega Play
- Sonic the Hedgehog for Tiger LCD (1991)
- 6-Pak for the Sega Genesis (1996)
- Sonic Classics for the Sega Genesis (1995)
- Mega 6 Volume 3 for the Sega Genesis (1995)
- Sonic Jam for the Sega Saturn (1997)
- Sega Smash Pack Vol. 1 for the Sega Dreamcast (2000)
- Sonic Mega Collection for the Nintendo GameCube (2002)
- NOTE: Sonic Mega Collection has the World release, Japanese revision and "JP2" ("spike bug"fix hack) available to play.
- Sonic Mega Collection Plus for the Sony PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Xbox (2004)
- Sega Genesis Collection Volume 1 for the Play TV Legends (2004)
- Super Sonic Gold for the Play TV Legends (2004)
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2005 Sonic Cafe) for iMode phones (2005)
- Sonic Mega Collection Plus & Super Monkey Ball Deluxe for the Microsoft Xbox (2005)
- Sonic the Hedgehog Mobile for iMode phones (2006)
- Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis for the Game Boy Advance (2006)
- Sonic the Hedgehog (Microsoft Live Arcade) on Microsoft Live Arcade (2006)
- Sega Genesis Collection on Sony PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable (2006)
- Virtual Console on Nintendo Wii (2006)
- Sonic the Hedgehog (iPod) (2007)
- Sega Fun Pack: Sonic Mega Collection Plus & Shadow the Hedgehog for the Sony PlayStation 2 (2009)
- Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (2009)
- Sonic the Hedgehog (iPhone) for Apple iPhone and iPod Touch (2009)
- Sonic PC Collection for the PC (2009)
- Sonic Classic Collection for the Nintendo DS (2010)
- Sega Mega Drive Classic Collection Volume 1 (2010)
Executive Producer: Hayao Nakayama
Producer: Shinobu Toyoda
Director/Game Planner: Hirokazu Yasuhara
Sound Producer/Composer: Masato Nakamura
Programmer/Project Manager: Yuji Naka
Project: Naoto Oshima, Hirokazu Yasuhara
Sound Programmers: Hiroshi Kubota, Yukifumi Makino
Design: Jinya Ito, Jina Ishiwatari, Reiko Kodama
Character Design: Naoto Oshima
Special Thanks: Fujio Minegishi, "Papa"
- Sonic the Hedgehog (W) (REV 00) [!] - The standard first release of Sonic 1.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (W) (REV 01) [!] - Japanese-only version of Sonic 1, with graphical enhancements.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (W) (REV XB) - Release with graphical enhancements and with the spike-bug fixed.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (W) [p1][!] - Pirate version of Sonic 1, with copyrights, logos and serial number removed.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (W) [p2][!] - Pirate version of Sonic 1, with copyrights and logos removed.
Sonic 1-Specific Hacking Utilities
Disassemblies are like source codes. You can modify them how you want, reassemble them, and play it. Even though the ROM will be shifted, it will work because of labels.
- Complete list of Sonic 1 disassemblies
- View the disassembly on the SVN
- Download the complete disassembly direct from the SVN
- Sonic Community Hacking Guide/Sonic the Hedgehog
- Nemesis' Sonic 1 ROM Hacking Guide
- Nemesis' Sonic 1 Savestate Hacking Guide
Original Sound Version Recordings
See Sonic the Hedgehog OSV for a download page.
- Advertisements - Sonic the Hedgehog
- Articles - Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic the Hedgehog (promotional comic)
|Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)|
|Sonic games for the following systems|
| 2010 Sonic the Hedgehog | Sonic Spinball | Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine | Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island | Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing 2011 Sonic the Hedgehog 2 | Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles | Sonic Adventure | Sonic Generations 2012 Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I | Sonic the Hedgehog CD | Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II | Sonic Adventure 2 2013 Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed 2015 Sonic Lost World 2017 Sonic Mania | Sonic Forces 2019 Team Sonic Racing |
Prototypes Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II (Beta 8)
|| 1991 Sonic the Hedgehog | Sonic Eraser 1992 Sonic the Hedgehog 2 1993 Sonic the Hedgehog CD | Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine | Sonic Spinball 1994 Sonic the Hedgehog 3 | Sonic & Knuckles 1995 Chaotix | Sonic Classics 1996 Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island |
Prototypes Sonic 2 | Sonic CD | Sonic Spinball | Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine | Sonic 3 | Sonic & Knuckles | Knuckles in Sonic 2 | Chaotix | Sonic 3D