Sonic the Hedgehog (arcade game)

From Sonic Retro


Sonic the Hedgehog
System(s): Mega-Tech and Mega Play
Publisher: Sega
Genre: Action, Racing
Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code Rating
Arcade (Mega Play)
199x ¥? ?
Arcade (Mega-Tech System)
199x £? ?

Sonic the Hedgehog was one of the games adapted for release in arcades for both the Mega-Tech and Mega Play hardware.


Mega-Tech version

The Mega-Tech version is essentially the same as the Sega Mega Drive game. The first two revisions of Sonic the Hedgehog have been used in various machines and cheat codes still work. Also, like all Mega-Tech games there is a time limit on how long the game can be played and a high score table is displayed on the top screen. The time limit can be increased by inserting credits.

Mega Play version

The Mega Play version has a large number of differences from the Mega Drive game. First of all the second revision is used so the scrolling clouds in Green Hill Zone are present. However, cheat codes cannot be used. The player only has three lives to complete the game, and extra lives cannot be earned; breaking a 1-Up monitor will award 5,000 points instead. Continues are increased by inserting credits after a Game Over.

There are also only four Zones: Green Hill Zone, Spring Yard Zone, Star Light Zone, and Scrap Brain Zone (which is missing its third Act). Special Stages are also missing and jumping into the Giant Rings only cause Sonic to disappear, therefore the player cannot collect any Chaos Emeralds, however if the player beats the game without dying, the "Good Ending" would be shown. The credit roll is not used. The player can also enter their initials on a High Score screen displayed after the game ends, either by running out of lives or finishing the game. There is also a strictly enforced time limit unique to each level. If the level isn't completed by that time, the player will lose a life and the timer will be reset.

The Mega Play version was later released on the Nintendo Switch as part of Sega Ages Sonic the Hedgehog, and uses the "Normal" difficulty.

Time limits

The time limits for each level vary depending on the DIP switch configuration. Listed below are the time limits for each difficulty.

Level Time
Easy Normal Hard Hardest
Green Hill Zone Act 1 1:00 0:50 0:40 0:35
Act 2 1:10 1:00 0:50 0:45
Act 3 2:00 1:50 1:40 1:35
Spring Yard Zone Act 1 2:20 2:10 2:00 1:55
Act 2 2:00 1:50 1:40 1:35
Act 3 3:10 3:00 2:50 2:45
Star Light Zone Act 1 2:10 2:00 1:50 1:45
Act 2 2:40 2:30 2:20 2:15
Act 3 4:10 4:00 3:50 3:45
Scrap Brain Zone Act 1 3:10 3:00 2:50 2:45
Act 2 3:40 3:30 3:20 3:15
Final Zone 4:10 4:00 3:50 3:45

Magazine articles

Sonic Retro emblem.svg Main article: sega:Sonic the Hedgehog (Mega Drive)/Magazine articles#Arcade version

Physical scans

MegaPlay, EU
Sonic the hedgehog mega play ARCADE EU.jpg
MegaTech, US

Sonic the hedgehog mega tech ARCADE US.jpg

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments


Sonic the Hedgehog games for the following systems
 1991  Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car     1993  Sonic the Hedgehog | SegaSonic Cosmo Fighter | Sonic the Hedgehog 2 | SegaSonic the Hedgehog     1996  Sonic the Fighters     2011  Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Arcade     2015  Sonic Dash Extreme‎‎     2016  Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Arcade Edition     2020  Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - Arcade Edition    
 1992  UFO SegaSonic     1993  Sonic the Hedgehog | SegaSonic Popcorn Shop     1994  Sonic no Space Tours | SegaSonic Wataame Scramble | Sonic Canball | Air Circus | Curling Holiday     1997  Sonic the Hedgehog AWP     2002  Sonic & Tails Spinner     2003  CR Sonic     2007  Sonic Spinner     2008  Sonic Live!     2009  Sonic Hopper!     2010  Sonic Sports Basketball     2012  Sonic Sports Air Hockey | Oh! Ring | In the Barrel     2013  Sonic Athletics | Sonic Ghost Shooting | Sonic Brain Ranking‎‎     2016  Sonic Blast Ball‎‎     2019  Sonic Sports Kids Basketball‎‎    
 Unknown date  CoroCoro Fever (199x) | Darts Shot (199x) | Mogu-Mogu Rush (201x) | Neo Target (201x) | Circles Shoot (201x)