Cheat Codes:Sonic the Hedgehog 3
From Sonic Retro
These are cheat codes which can be accessed by inputting button sequences or by various other methods. Note that these are for Sonic the Hedgehog 3 alone.
- Level Select + Debug mode: Right after the Sega logo's screen darkens and Sonic starts jumping, quickly press . This code is notoriously hard to do, due to the weird frame windows, but if performed correctly, the ring collection sound will play. In the Sonic Jam version of the game the code is entered on the title screen and no precise timing is required. Press twice (or once) to see a "Sound Test" option on the menu screen. Selecting this will allow you to listen to music and select a level to start with. This cheat also enables debug mode, which is used when you hold and press to choose a level. A Game Genie code for accessing the level select is also available.
- 8th special stage: On the Sound Test, select song 00-07. This is the Special Stage number; select "Special Stage 2", hold and press , and you will taken to that special stage. Choose 07 for Special Stage 8.
- All Chaos Emeralds: On the Sound Test, play the songs 02, 04, 05, 06. An emerald sound will confirm the code.
- Shadow/Highlight (aka "night mode"): On the Level Select screen, choose a level, hold and press to enter the level.
- Press + to cycle through all mapping frames of the character when in normal mode.
- Press to toggle normal and debug mode.
- Current coordinates are designated by the top line of hex digits in the HUD.
- Viewport coordinates are designated by the bottom line of hex digits in the HUD.
- During pause press to fade to black and restart from the level select screen.
- During pause press and hold to enable slow-motion (this proceeds at half-speed for as long as the button is held down).
- During pause press to advance one frame.
SEGA screen technical details
The following table explains how the frames work on the SEGA screen, describing when the cheat code can be entered, when can it not, what frames have input disabled or enabled, and other info.
That's the reason why this code is so hard to input: the player has a short time to do it, it starts a small bit after what most people think (it was initially thought that input started when the background was starting to darken, whereas one needs to wait 21 frames, a bit before Sonic starts moving). Additionally, there are several lag frames in which the input isn't accepted.
- The RAM address that stores the code's progress is 00FFFFD5.
- The game is only ready to let the SEGA screen be skipped to the darkening part on frame 59 (57 @50FPS) (which, in practical terms means frame 78 (76 @50FPS), seeing as frames 59 - 77 (57 - 75 @50FPS) are lag frames). However, the button can actually be used on frame 58 (56 @50FPS), and the skip will work... but the title screen music will be disabled. 
Cheat device codes
These are cheat codes that can only be used with game enhancer devices. Support for these codes is available in most emulators.
Official Codes, Sonic 3 Alone
|AWHA-CA92||Don't lose rings.|
|SCGT-DJYL||Rings worth 2.|
|SCGT-DNYL||Rings worth 3.|
|SCGT-DTYL||Rings worth 4.|
|SCGT-DYYL||Rings worth 5.|
|SCGT-D2YL||Rings worth 6.|
|SCGT-D6YL||Rings worth 7.|
|SCGT-DAYL||Rings worth 8.|
|KRGT-CAE0||75 Rings needed for a free guy.|
|GLGT-CAE0||50 Rings needed for a free guy.|
|D4GT-CAE0||30 Rings needed for a free guy.|
|CWGT-CAE0||20 Rings needed for a free guy.|
|BLGT-CAE0||10 Rings needed for a free guy.|
|HCGT-DJZY||Get 2 free guys for 100 rings instead of 1.|
|HCGT-DNZY||Get 3 free guys for 100 rings.|
|HCGT-DTZY||Get 4 free guys for 100 rings.|
|HCGT-DYZY||Get 5 free guys for 100 rings.|
|HCGT-D2ZY||Get 6 free guys for 100 rings.|
|HCGT-D6ZY||Get 7 free guys for 100 rings.|
|HCGT-DAZY||Get 8 free guys for 100 rings.|
|AC5A-CAHN||Super ring powerup worth 0.|
|A05A-CAHN||Super ring powerup worth 5 instead of 10.|
|B85A-CAHN||Super ring powerup worth 15.|
|CW5A-CAHN||Super ring powerup worth 20.|
|DG5A-CAHN||Super ring powerup worth 25.|
|D45A-CAHN||Super ring powerup worth 30.|
|GL5A-CAHN||Super ring powerup worth 50.|
|NW5A-CAHN||Super ring powerup worth 100 (1-Up every time).|
|AJZA-CA8N||Super Sonic doesn't lose rings.|
|AG4T-AAH4||Start with 1 life.|
|AL4T-AAH4||Start with 2 lives.|
|A04T-AAH4||Start with 5 lives.|
|BL4T-AAH4||Start with 10 lives.|
|DG4T-AAH4||Start with 25 lives.|
|GL4T-AAH4||Start with 50 lives.|
|NR4T-AAH4||Start with 99 lives.|
|ACAT-CAB6||Shield can be activated multiple times.|
|AJRT-CA8R||Invincibility power-ups last forever.|
|986A-CAB6||Invincibility lasts almost twice as long.|
|KR6A-CAB6||Invincibility lasts half as long.|
|E06A-CAB6||Invincibility lasts 1/4 as long.|
|SCFT-BJT4||Only need 6 chaos emeralds.|
|SCFT-BNT4||Only need 4 chaos emeralds.|
|SCFT-BTT4||Only need 3 chaos emeralds.|
|SCFT-B2T4||Only need 2 chaos emeralds.|
|ACGA-AA8T||1 Blue sphere needed for chaos emerald.|
|ATST-CA38||Sonic never drowns.|
|AA6T-AAXC||Level select menu enabled.|
|SCGA-BL0N + A4GA-A28T||Blue spheres worth 2.|
|SCGA-BR0N + A4GA-A28T||Blue spheres worth 3.|
|SCGA-BW0N + A4GA-A28T||Blue spheres worth 4.|
|SCGA-B00N + A4GA-A28T||Blue spheres worth 5.|
|SCGA-B40N + A4GA-A28T||Blue spheres worth 6.|
|SCGA-B80N + A4GA-A28T||Blue spheres worth 7.|
|SCGA-BC0N + A4GA-A28T||Blue spheres worth 8.|
Unofficial Codes, Sonic 3 Alone
|AAYT-CAGC||Sonic can use bubble bounce (can’t use a Aqua Shield or become Super Sonic).|
|AAYT-CAY4||Sonic can use Electric Jump (can’t use Lighting shield or become Super Sonic).|
|AAYT-CAWT||Sonic can Use Fireball Attack. (can’t use Fire Shield or become Super Sonic).|
|P42S-8ABL||All Powerful (Invincible, Aqua Breathe, Magnetism).|
|AAYT-CAHR||Become Super Sonic With 0 Emeralds.|
|AAYT-CAH0||Become Super Sonic With 0 Rings.|
|D3AT-AR2E||'Sound Test' Menu Enabled.|
|AAZA-CAEY||Don't Use Up Rings To Maintain The Super Sonic Transformation.|
|AE5A-AABL||Enable Debug (If using an emulator, "reset" the game after entering the code).|
|AFLA-CARE||Tails Always Swims.|
|VPLA-CACG||Tails Never Get Tired of Flying.|
|ASCA-AAHC + ASCA-BA9Y||Play as Knuckles (Knuckles appears at the save screen but you will control Sonic).|
Unofficial Codes, Sonic 3 Alone
|008630:603C||Red Spheres have no effect in special stages (you can walk through them).|
|008672:6622 + 00868C:4E75||White and Red Star Spheres have no effect in special stages (they won't bump you backwards).|
|FFE438:0001||Only Need 1 Blue Sphere For Chaos Emerald.|
|FFFFB0:0007||All Emeralds Collected.|
|FFB02A:006E||All Powerful (Invincible, Aqua Breathe, Magnetism).|
|FFB02B:XX||The value in XX is based on binary, with the following values going to each (unknown values are omitted):
Add together these hex values for the shield you want
|FFB02F:00||Never used up shield (Sonic)|
|FFFFFA:0100||Enable Debug Mode.|
|FFFFD0:0100||Enable Stage Select.|
Garbled in 1P, normal in 2P
|FFF711:??||HUD Display Modifier (00 = Off, 01 = On).|
|FFFF95:00||Special Ring Always Available.|
- GameFAQs - Regular cheat codes.
- The GSHI - Official Game Enhancer codes separated from User made codes.
|Sonic the Hedgehog 3|