Ray in Sonic 1

From Sonic Retro

RiS1 Title.png
Ray in Sonic 1
Version: 1.1
Last release: 28/11/2019
Status: Completed
System: Sega Mega Drive
ROM size: 644 KB
Original game: Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)
Credits: Iso Kilo, SMS Alfredo, AsuharaMoon, Outer, Fabricechaotix

Ray in Sonic 1 is a ROM hack of Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Mega Drive, that features Ray the Flying Squirrel, who takes the place of Sonic the Hedgehog. The ROM hack was created by Iso Kilo on October 4, 2019.

Unlike Fabricechaotix' 2007 version of Ray the Flying Squirrel in Sonic the Hedgehog, which only had SegaSonic the Hedgehog to reference, Ray in Sonic 1 used Sonic Mania Plus as a reference, and also pulled assets from it, such as art.

The hack is officially called "Ray the Flying Squirrel in Sonic the Hedgehog", however, due to the original filename of the ROM, the community has widely recognized it as simply "Ray in Sonic 1" this naming scheme helps to distinguish it from the 2007 version.


  • As a usual Sonic game would go, the player can walk, jump, roll, look up, look down.
  • A standard for ROM hacks, and late 2D Sonic games, the player can spindash by holding down, and rapidly pressing the jump button to build up speed. Release to spin away at high speeds.
  • Similar to Sonic Mania Plus, Ray can glide. To do this, hold the jump button after a jump. To dive, hold the D-Pad in the direction you are facing. To rise, press the D-Pad in the opposite direction you are facing. As you dive, you will build speed, and can rise higher. As you rise, you lose speed, and descend slower.

Cheat Codes

  • The original level select and debug mode from vanilla Sonic 1 are left in tact.
  • Playing 9E or 9F in the sound test automatically jumps to the ending sequence.

Release Dates

  • Version 1.0 - Released October 4, 2019
  • Version 1.1 - Released November 28, 2019

Differences From Versions

  • Version 1.0 - Initial release
  • Version 1.1 - Ray's water palettes for Labyrinth Zone and Scrap Brain Zone Act 3 have been improved. Animation for the ending sequence added, finally removing all traces of Sonic. Credits adjusted for extended letters, and completed. A hidden upper route in Marble Zone Act 3 was completed.

Known Bugs

  • If the player manages to reach a high enough location, they can dive down and build enough speed to exceed the screen, and cause a level wrap.
  • A line of garbage tiles appears along the top of the screen on the final scene with Dr. Robotnik reading either "Try Again" or "End"


Development of Ray in Sonic 1 began August 3, 2019. When SMS Alfredo, co-creator of Ray in Sonic 1, gave Iso Kilo a recreation of Ray's gliding mechanics for the original Sonic the Hedgehog. However, at first, Iso Kilo implemented the code incorrectly. In the state it was, the player would had have to rapidly press back and forth to gain height, but said height would almost be immediately lost by the stronger gravity. As well, there weren't any proper animations or art put in place, so instead, it'd consist of Sonic jumping between 2 unused animations: Sonic1 MD Sprite GreyDeath.png and Slide.gif

The following day, the glide code was properly implemented, however the animations were still the same.

About 5 days after that, Ray's art was beginning to be added. However, it was still incomplete, with signs of Sonic showing up in animations such as the walking or running.

2 weeks later, a new title screen was given to the hack. Rays art was drawn and provided by an artist named Outer. And the banner, while being programmed by MarkeyJester, was provided by AsuharaMoon, another ROM hacker developing "character hacks" for Sonic 1.

On August 30th, level modifications in Marble Zone were added, reflecting the changes in the Sonic the Hedgehog (2013 game) layouts. Afterwards, development went cold.

Iso Kilo would only work on Ray in Sonic 1 in small parts, showcasing screenshots, and even playable builds in small chats. Eventually, just releasing whatever he had on October 4th. However, it was evident that some spots were incomplete. The ending sequence would result in Sonic jumping towards the screen instead of Ray, and the credits appeared nonsensical as the tiles were rearranged, and some letters were added to write the names of those who had letters such as 'V' in their username and had contributed to the project in one way or another.

Almost immediately after the release of 1.0, Iso Kilo realized the success of Ray in Sonic 1 from YouTube gameplay channels. Receiving several positive comments, views and likes. The co-creator SMS Alfredo also spurred Iso Kilo into continuing the project, leading to the creation of version 1.1.


Download.svg Download Ray in Sonic 1
File: (439 kB) (info)
Download.svg Download Ray in Sonic 1
File: (441 kB) (info)


RiS1 GHZ Glide.pngRiS1 MZ3 Path.pngRiS1 LZ Underwater.pngRiS1 Ending.png


[1] August 3, 2019 development video

[2] August 4, 2019 development video

[3] August 8, 2019 development video

[4] August 22, 2019 development video

[5] August 30, 2019 development video

[6] Version 1.0 release post