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Sonic Blast

From Sonic Retro

For the comic, see Sonic Blast (Archie).

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  • Sega Game Gear
    US/EU
  • Sega Game Gear
    JP
  • Master System
G Sonic title.png
GSonic GG JP Title.png
SonicBlast SMS Title.png
Sonic Blast
System(s): Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, Virtual Console
Publisher: Sega
Sega Master System
Tec Toy
Developer:
Genre: Action[2][3]
Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code Rating
Sega Game Gear
JP
1996-12-13[3] ¥4,800 G-3385
Sega Rating: All Ages
Sega Game Gear
US
1996-11[4] $34.99[5] 2573
ESRB: Kids to Adults
Sega Game Gear
EU
1996-11[6] €? 2573-50
ELSPA: 3+ OK


Sega Master System
BR
1997-12 R$? 030030
Tectoy: Todas as Idades


Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
JP
2012-04-18[7] ¥286 (300)[7] ?
CERO: A
Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
US
2013-06-20[8] $3.99[8] ?
ESRB: Everyone
Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
EU
2012-06-14[9] €5.00[10] ?
PEGI: 3+
Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
UK
2012-06-14[11] £4.50[10] ?
PEGI: 3+
Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
DE
2012-06-14[12] €5.00[10] ?
USK: 0
Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
AU
2012 $? ?
OFLC: G

Sonic Blast, known as G Sonic (Gソニック) in Japan, is a 2D Sonic the Hedgehog platform game released for the Sega Game Gear in late 1996, and was later brought to the Sega Master System in Brazil by Tectoy the following year. It is both the final Sonic game for both systems and the final Sonic game developed by Aspect Co. Ltd, who had previously developed most of the previous 2D platformers for the system as well as Tails Adventures and the Sega Pico title Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld.

In Japan, the game was released under the Kid's Gear branding.

Story

One day on South Island, Sonic the Hedgehog was taking a nap in a hammock with a Chaos Emerald in hand. Suddenly, the Emerald began to shine brightly, disturbing his nap. Upon waking up, Sonic sees the Emerald spin violently, then shatter into five smaller jewels that fly off in different directions. What's more, his attention was caught by Dr. Eggman's familiar laughter afterwards. The scientist had attempted to fire a laser beam at Sonic but had hit the Emerald instead, and was surprised at the results.

Believing he has already beaten Sonic, Eggman confidently retreats to build his latest fortress, the Silver Castle, and once construction is complete will he seek out the shattered fragments of the Chaos Emerald. Knuckles the Echidna, having witnessed what happened from behind a palm tree, decides to team up with Sonic, and together the two set off to find the fragments and foil Eggman's ambitions.

Gameplay

Green Hill Blast.png
Sonic runs through Green Hill Zone.

Sonic Blast is the fifth and final "traditional" Sonic the Hedgehog game to be released on the Game Gear, and was developed during the same period of the similarly named Sonic 3D Blast (Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island outside of North America). The two share a desire to portray Sonic in a pre-rendered 3D style, similar to the groundbreaking visuals seen in 1994's Donkey Kong Country, however they are otherwise completely unrelated games with different developers and different styles of gameplay.

Sonic Blast builds on some of the ideas seen in Sonic Chaos and Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble, however the game aligns itself more with the Sega Mega Drive Sonic games (Sonic & Knuckles being the driving influence). Miles "Tails" Prower is replaced with Knuckles the Echidna as a playable character, and several of the Game Gear-exclusive features of Triple Trouble are omitted, being replaced with more traditional Special Stages and boss fights.

SonicBlast GG PlayerSelect.png
The character select screen.

Players control either Sonic the Hedgehog (armed with a double jump performed by pressing 1 or 2 in mid-air), or Knuckles the Echidna (who can both glide and climb up walls) through five Zones, each with three Acts. As with Chaos and Triple Trouble, the pair can Spin Dash by holding Down and pressing 1 or 2, however unlike other Sonic games, getting hit only deducts a maximum of 10 Rings regardless of how many they have, leading to an arguably easier experience (this function was also implemented in Shadow the Hedgehog).

Chaos Emeralds are found in Special Stages, which can be entered through Giant Rings hidden in the first two Acts of each Zone. Blast is unusual, however, in that only the Special Stages in the second Act will award the player with an Emerald - those in the first Act only reward an extra life.

Items

TVs contain the game's power-ups like with other Sonic games. However, Sonic Blast is unusual in that both 1UP monitors are treated as individual items separate from one another, and will only award an extra life if the corresponding character breaks them.

SonicBlast GG Sprite Monitors.png
10 Ring
Worth 10 Rings.
SonicBlast GG Sprite Monitors.png
Shield
Absorbs one hit.
SonicBlast GG Sprite Monitors.png
Shoe
Temporary speed increase.
SonicBlast GG Sprite Monitors.png
Invincibility
Temporary invincibility.
SonicBlast GG Sprite Monitors.png
Sonic 1up
Sonic gets a 1up, Knuckles gets nothing.
SonicBlast GG Sprite Monitors.png
Knuckles 1up
Knuckles gets a 1up, Sonic gets nothing.
SonicBlast GG Sprite Monitors.png
Marker
Sonic or Knuckles will return to this point if they lose a life.
SonicBlast GG Sprite Monitors.png
Eggman
No reward given.
SonicBlast GG Sprite Monitors.png
???
Grants any of the 8 power-ups (its contents are pre-determined).

Bonus Panel

At the end of Acts 1 and 2 of each Zone, a Bonus Panel is spun, with a reward given based on what it lands on:

SonicBlast GGSMS Sprite BonusPanel.png
Dr. Eggman
No prize is awarded.
SonicBlast GGSMS Sprite BonusPanel.png
Ring
10 Rings are added to the player's final Ring tally.
SonicBlast GGSMS Sprite BonusPanel.png
Sonic
Sonic gets a 1-Up, Knuckles gets 30 Rings added to his final Ring tally.
SonicBlast GGSMS Sprite BonusPanel.png
Knuckles
Knuckles gets a 1-Up, Sonic gets 30 Rings added to his final Ring tally.
SonicBlast GGSMS Sprite BonusPanel.png
Chaos Emerald
A Continue is awarded.
SonicBlast GGSMS Sprite BonusPanel.png
Super Sonic
Both characters get a 1-Up and 30 Rings added to their final Ring tally.

Unlike other 8-bit Sonic titles, the prizes earned are entirely random.

History

Development

Sonic Retro emblem.svg Main article: Sonic Blast/Development

Versions

One of the many issues in the Master System version, showing borders in the Special Stage.

The decision to use pre-rendered graphics comes at a cost in Sonic Blast, as to ensure the detail is visible, Sonic and Knuckles' sprites are bigger than their counterparts in earlier titles. This in-turn makes the game appear more "zoomed-in", and as a result, less of the level is visible at any one time during play. This can be a problem on the Game Gear, as players are often unable to see what is coming, and can be subjected to cheap hits and deaths. These problems have contributed to the game's retrospective reputation as one of the worst 2D games in the series by fans and critics.

On the Master System, the increased screen resolution mitigates some of these problems, however the Master System port is fraught with its own issues, mainly due to the slap-dash nature of the port. Menus, title cards and the Special Stages were not optimised for the Master System, and so are identical in appearance to their Game Gear counterparts, just with added borders. The in-game HUD was also not moved, and unusual artifacts can also be seen in areas normally hidden for Game Gear users.

Unlike a game such as Sonic Chaos where Master System code was ported to the Game Gear, here the reverse is true, and as Sonic Blast was designed to make use of the Game Gear's extended colour palette, the conversion to the Master System leads to less detailed and more contrasting graphics.

Comparisons

Sonic Retro emblem.svg Main article: Sonic Blast/Comparisons

Also released on

Production credits

Production
Planning
Programming
Art
Sound
Source: In-game credits[13]

Source: US manualMedia:Sonic Blast GG US Manual.pdf[14]

Manuals

Sonic Retro emblem.svg Main article: Sonic Blast/Manuals

Magazine articles

Sonic Retro emblem.svg Main article: sega:Sonic Blast/Magazine articles

Artwork

Screenshots

Game Gear version

Master System version

Physical scans

Game Gear version

Segaretro-round.svg Reception »
Game Gear, US
Sblastgg-box-us.jpg
Cover
Blast gg us cart.jpg
Cart
Sonic Blast GG US Manual.pdf
Manual
Game Gear, EU
SonicBlast GG EU Box Back.jpgNospine.pngSblastgg-box-eu.jpg
Cover
Blast gg eu cart.jpg
Cart
Game Gear, JP
Sblastgg-box-jap back.jpgSblastgg-box-jap.jpg
Cover
Blast gg jp cart.jpg
Cart
SonicBlast GG JP manual.pdf
Manual

Master System version

Master System, BR
Sblastsms-box-brazil.jpg
Cover
Blast ms br cart.jpg
Cart
SonicBlast SMS BR manual.pdf
Manual

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Game Gear
CRC32 031b9da9
MD5 56e1561d981a9a7c240cdd8d5580ccf0
SHA-1 11241be4082f6f9d057488ae75ccdd482f623f8c
1MB Cartridge
Sega Game Gear
CRC32 c09ef45b
MD5 7b758a3f8acd3d6fef82b163da1d2a34
SHA-1 5d9fa949aeddfc4251d7b8a58cb1122f190ecd36
512kB 1996-05-31 CD-R disc[15] "611" prototype Download.svg (115 kB) (info) Page
Sega Game Gear
CRC32 362b186d
MD5 5bffd26d4a2a6adaf2f312f9d51a002d
SHA-1 e7bb20410c7ab341a3f7df7fcfee3a6996823655
1MB 1996-07-04 CD-R disc[16] "74" prototype Download.svg (244 kB) (info) Page
Sega Game Gear
CRC32 19dad067
MD5 dc3ba92c55276f2478f185c55c701b33
SHA-1 12a8a59da110b914acde68112db691df9595d4e8
1MB 1996-08-06 CD-R disc[17] "806" prototype Download.svg (308 kB) (info) Page
Sega Game Gear
CRC32 5eecb549
MD5 4e03b1985f36a925d0aef44ce12d06bd
SHA-1 da497ae41be3fccc97eb18bd6349917e645c5179
1MB 1996-08-22 CD-R disc[18] "821" prototype Download.svg (394 kB) (info) Page
Sega Game Gear
CRC32 e6847ac0
MD5 daa3fb567d237281448a515e7e4ee5aa
SHA-1 f1a1edee0eb15faf74dd6896753f0f6abcf12a45
1MB 1996-08-28 CD-R disc[19] "827" prototype Download.svg (396 kB) (info) Page
Sega Game Gear
CRC32 2f22a352
MD5 b4f35aec668264af115d3bd8d102406f
SHA-1 8aa965b342466cc3ac4093bba61abf7d68b5ec86
1MB 1996-09-02 CD-R disc[20] "94" prototype Download.svg (404 kB) (info) Page
Sega Game Gear
CRC32 031b9da9
MD5 56e1561d981a9a7c240cdd8d5580ccf0
SHA-1 11241be4082f6f9d057488ae75ccdd482f623f8c
1MB 1996-09-07 CD-R disc[21] "910" prototype Download.svg (404 kB) (info) Page
Sega Master System
CRC32 96b3f29e
MD5 ce7f314a657e0f0fe506fb7aea016f31
SHA-1 4ad77a472e98002dc0d5c1463965720a257e1b8f
1MB Cartridge (BR)

External links

References

  1. https://www.mtwo.co.jp/development/retrogame-2/#tab-4
  2. File:SonicBlast GG EU Box Back.jpg
  3. 3.0 3.1 https://sega.jp/history/hard/gamegear/software.html (Wayback Machine: 2018-12-07 04:57)
  4. [gamepro, issue 98, page 62 gamepro, issue 98, page 62]
  5. Press release: 1996-11-14: Sonic covers all the bases as "Sonic Blast" hits Game Gear
  6. [segamagazin, issue 36, page 83 segamagazin, issue 36, page 83]
  7. 7.0 7.1 http://vc.sega.jp/3ds/gsonic/ (Wayback Machine: 2012-06-14 22:58)
  8. 8.0 8.1 http://www.nintendo.com:80/games/detail/YlqRZdPPY_N0dnOGmxsp9TWHUbGPOhZt (Wayback Machine: 2013-06-23 00:11)
  9. https://www.nintendo.fr/Jeux/Console-virtuelle-Nintendo-3DS-/Sonic-Blast--275847.html (archive.today)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 http://www.nintendolife.com:80/games/gamegear/sonic_blast (Wayback Machine: 2017-09-09 21:49)
  11. https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Virtual-Console-Nintendo-3DS-/Sonic-Blast--275847.html (archive.today)
  12. https://www.nintendo.de/Spiele/Virtual-Console-Nintendo-3DS-/Sonic-Blast--275847.html (archive.today)
  13. File:Sonic Blast GG credits.pdf
  14. File:Sonic Blast GG US Manual.pdf, page 13
  15. Hidden Palace: Sonic Blast (May 31, 1996 prototype)
  16. Hidden Palace: Sonic Blast (Jul 4, 1996 prototype)
  17. Hidden Palace: Sonic Blast (Aug 6, 1996 prototype)
  18. Hidden Palace: Sonic Blast (Aug 21, 1996 prototype)
  19. Hidden Palace: Sonic Blast (Aug 27, 1996 prototype)
  20. Hidden Palace: Sonic Blast (Sep 2, 1996 prototype)
  21. Hidden Palace: Sonic Blast (Sep 7, 1996 prototype)


Sonic Blast
G Sonic title.png

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Sonic the Hedgehog games for the following systems
Sega Master System
Sega Game Gear
 1991  Sonic the Hedgehog     1992  Sonic the Hedgehog 2     1993  Sonic Chaos | Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine     1994  Sonic Drift | Sonic Spinball | Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble     1995  Sonic Drift 2 | Tails' Skypatrol | Tails Adventures | Sonic Labyrinth | Sonic 2 in 1     1996  Sonic Blast    
 Unreleased  Sonic's Edusoft