Sonic Advance

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  • Game Boy Advance
  • Game Boy Advance
  • J2ME
  • BlackBerry
SonicAdvance title.png
SonicAdvance GBA JP Title.png
Sonic Advance
System(s): Game Boy Advance, J2ME, Blackberry, Virtual Console
Game Boy Advance
Sega (Japan, Europe)
Game Boy Advance
Game Boy Advance
Infogrames (Europe)
Peripherals supported:
Game Boy Advance
Game Link Cable
Genre: Action
Number of players: 1-4
Official in-game languages:
  • 日本語
  • English
  • Français
  • Deutsch
  • Español
  • Release Date RRP Code Rating
    Game Boy Advance
    2002-02-05[1] $39.99[2] AGB-P-ASOE
    ESRB: Everyone
    Game Boy Advance
    2002-03-08[3] £34.99[4] AGB-P-ASOP
    ELSPA: 3+ OK
    Game Boy Advance
    2002-03-08[5] €? AGB-P-ASOP
    SELL: Tous Publics
    Game Boy Advance
    2002-03-08[6] €? AGB-P-ASOP
    aDeSe: Todos los Publicos
    Game Boy Advance
    2002-03-08[7] €? AGB-P-ASOP
    USK: 0
    Game Boy Advance
    2002-03-08[8] €? AGB-P-ASOP
    ELSPA: 3+ OK
    Game Boy Advance
    2002-03-08[9] €? AGB-P-ASOP
    Game Boy Advance
    2001-12-20[10] ¥5,800 (6,090)[10] AGB-P-ASOJ
    Game Boy Advance
    2004-06-17[10] ¥3,800 (3,990)[10] AGB-P-ASOJ
    CERO: Free
    Game Boy Advance
    2002 $? ?
    OFLC: G
    Game Boy Advance
    (Limited Edition)
    200x $? ?
    OFLC: General (G)
    Game Boy Advance
    200x R$? ?
    DJCTQ: Livre
    Java 2, Micro Edition (J2ME)
    201x $3.00[11] ?
    2012-03-18[12] $2.99 ?
    2013-05-28 €0.89 ?
    2013-05-28 £0.75 ?
    Wii U Virtual Console
    2015-02-18[13] ¥650 (702)[13] WUP-N-PB8J
    CERO: A

    Sonic Advance (ソニック アドバンス) is a 2D Sonic the Hedgehog platform game released for the Game Boy Advance in late 2001. It was the first Sonic game to be released for the system, and along with Sonic Adventure 2: Battle (which was released in Japan on the same day), stands as the first Sonic game to be released on a Nintendo console, systems which traditionally rivaled those built by Sega.


    A Chaos Emerald descending into Eggman's hands, as shown in the opening sequence.

    The evil scientist, Dr. Eggman, has hatched another dastardly plot. He plans to build a Dr. Eggman Empire by turning all the animals into robots. "If I gather all 7 Chaos Emeralds, I'll gain unimaginable power!" You can't just watch your comrades become tools of Dr. Eggman!

    Command Sonic as he dashes into action along with his pals, Amy, Knuckles, and Tails, to stop the evil Dr. Eggman!

    Sonic Advance US manualMedia:SonicAdvance GBA US manual.pdf[14]

    The story is largely basic, following a similar plot to the original Sonic the Hedgehog games. Late into the game, the player discovers that Eggman built the Egg Rocket which will go in outer space. Later, the player's character finds Eggman and chases him outside and defeats him.

    Bad Ending (clear X-Zone without all Chaos Emeralds, or as any other character): The player's character defeats Eggman, and the X-Zone explodes. The player's character falls down to Earth and is caught by Tails/Sonic in the Tornado.

    Good Ending (clear X-Zone as Sonic with all Chaos Emeralds): After Sonic defeats Eggman, the evil genius escapes to the moon. Sonic transforms into Super Sonic and chases Eggman onto the moon for the true final battle. After Super Sonic defeats Eggman and flies off the moon, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy wondered what happened to Sonic, so Tails goes to search for Sonic a few days later. He finds Super Sonic who came from the moon, as Tails waves to him.


    Gameplay in Sonic Advance emulates the gameplay style of the classic games as closely as possible.

    Sonic Advance features four playable characters; Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower, Knuckles the Echidna, and, for the first time as a playable character in a classic-style 2D Sonic game, Amy Rose. Sonic can have Tails follow him, Sonic 2-style, by entering a special code at the character select screen. All characters have separate save-games which record their individual progress.

    The player must play through 6 normal Zones, followed by the X-Zone and The Moon Zone if certain conditions are met. Each of the normal Zones contain two Acts. Act 1 is completed by passing a signpost and Act 2 is completed by defeating one of Dr. Eggman's machines and opening the capsule that subsequently falls from the sky, releasing the captive animals. Sonic Advance was the last game in the Sonic series until Sonic the Hedgehog 4 to use end-level signposts and capsules and Sonic's leg spin animation, and the first 2D Sonic game that allows the player's character to grind on rails.

    The Special Stages are accessible from Special Springs, which are placed in specific locations in certain Acts. Each normal Zone contains one Special Spring, except for Ice Mountain Zone which contains two: one in each Act. Chaos Emeralds can be collected if one passes the stage. The Chaos Emeralds are "shared" between characters. Once the player has collected all the Emeralds and completed the X-Zone with all four characters, they can access the Moon Zone by completing the X-Zone again with Sonic.

    This is one of several games to include the Tiny Chao Garden mini-game. It is unlocked by default in this game.


    Controls are similar to previous 2D Sonic installments, and platform games in general. For all four characters, the A button makes them jump. Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles all simultaneously Spin Attack when jumping as in previous games, however Amy does not, making her significantly more vulnerable in a number of circumstances in the game, effectively making her the most difficult to play as. While stationary, hold Up to look above and Down to look below. Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles can Spin Dash by holding Down and pressing A, another classic feature, and can roll if running and pressing Down. Amy's behavior when these buttons are pressed is different, and is considered a special ability. Each character has their own unique abilities, which influence the game's overall difficulty.

    Each character's abilities are modeled after their special moves in Sonic Adventure. Sonic is the fastest character overall, Tails can fly and swim, Knuckles can glide and climb walls and Amy has her hammer. Each character's strengths and weaknesses particularly come into play when fighting bosses or trying to find access to the special stages.

    All the characters can perform an attack by pressing the B button. These moves are most often less effective than a Spin Jump or a Spin Dash due to their short range. One of the characters can make combo attacks by pressing the button repeatedly. These and other special moves are explained below.

    Sonic the Hedgehog

    Sonic is the word's fastest supersonic hedgehog! He's basically carefree, but he can't stand evil. He can also be short-tempered, but if there's someone in trouble, it would go against his kind nature not to help them.

    Sonic Advance US manualMedia:SonicAdvance GBA US manual.pdf[15]

    • Double Spin Attack (also known as the W Kaiten Attack or Insta-Shield): Press A after jumping and a flash shaped like lightning will cover Sonic for a split second, increasing his attack range and speed.
    • Jump Dash: Press Left or Right twice in rapid succession after jumping and Sonic will dash in midair, increasing his speed. Sonic is vulnerable in this state.
    • Somersault: Press B twice in rapid succession. With the first tap, Sonic rolls into a ball less tight than his usual spin attack. This only lasts a moment. Press B again while he is in this rolling state and Sonic will perform a somersault, which can damage enemies in front of him. Sonic does a couple of somersaults, does a flip, then slides along the ground and stops.
      • Skid Attack: Press B during a Somersault and Sonic will flip forward and skid along the ground for a moment, damaging enemies in his path.
      • Backflip: Press A during a Somersault and Sonic will jump into the air backwards in a light spin. Sonic is vulnerable in this state.
    • Rushing Attack (Super Sonic only): Press B and Super Sonic will speed up and attack in a blaze of light.

    Miles "Tails" Prower

    Miles is a gentle fox with 2 tails who happens to love robots. He can fly by making his tails spin like helicopter blades.

    Sonic Advance US manualMedia:SonicAdvance GBA US manual.pdf[15]

    • Fly: Press A after jumping and Tails will begin fly. He will gain height by tapping A again repeatedly, using the D-pad to control what direction Tails is going. He will not stop flying until he lands on something. Tails can damage enemies while in midair if he hits them with his tails. Tails can fly for 8 seconds. When underwater, this move will cause Tails to Swim, which is identical to flight except he cannot damage enemies. Like flying, Tails can only swim for 8 seconds, and can only stop by landing on something.
    • Tail Attack: Press B on the ground or in midair, while not flying or swimming, and Tails whips his tails around, damaging enemies immediately in front of him.

    Knuckles the Echidna

    Knuckles is a rascal anteater with a heroic heart. He is a little gullible, but possesses such enormous strength that he can crush massive boulders easily.

    Sonic Advance US manualMedia:SonicAdvance GBA US manual.pdf[16]

    • Glide: Press and hold A after jumping and Knuckles will glide sideways while slowly losing height. Press Right or Left and he will change his direction accordingly. Enemies in his path will take damage on contact with his fists. Release A and Knuckles will fall, being vulnerable until he lands on something. When underwater, Knuckles will Swim, which is identical to gliding except he cannot damage enemies. Knuckles cannot gain height like Tails and he loses altitude at the same rate as gliding.
      • Climb: If Knuckles glides or swims into a wall, he will cling to it. Press Up or Down and he will climb or descend it. Press A and he will jump off. When he gets to the edge of a ledge, Knuckles will pull himself up onto it.
    • Float: If Knuckles lands in a body of water, he will rise to the surface and float, regardless of how deep he initially goes. Press Right or Left and he will change his direction accordingly. Press Down and Knuckles will sink. Press A and he will jump.
    • Punch Attack: Press B on the ground and Knuckles will let go a right cross, damaging enemies in front of him. Press B again and he will punch a second time, but with his left hand.
      • Uppercut: Press B quickly after his second punch and Knuckles will perform an uppercut, damaging nearby enemies.

    Amy Rose

    Amy is a cheerful and peppy hedgehog who has decided she is Sonic's girlfriend. She may be cute, but her Piko Piko Hammer makes her a formidable foe.

    Sonic Advance US manualMedia:SonicAdvance GBA US manual.pdf[16]

    • Giant Steps: Press Down + A while on the ground and Amy will take a giant step forward as opposed to a spin dash. This can be repeated so long as there is room. This move is good for getting up steep slopes.
      • Head Slide Attack: Press B during a Giant Step and Amy will slide forward, damaging enemies in her path.
    • Hammer Jump: Press Down + B while on the ground and Amy will smash her hammer into it, launching her into the air.
    • Hammer Whirl: Press Down + B in midair and Amy will swirl down toward the ground. If an enemy is hit, she will bounce up.
    • Hammer Attack: Press B and Amy will swing her hammer, damaging enemies immediately in front of her. If on the ground, press B again quickly and she will swing it a second time, with farther reach.
      • High Jump: Press B such that the hammer hits a spring and Amy will be launched to great heights.


    Sonic Advance offers multiple game modes for up to four players using Game Link Cables. If there are three or more players in Multi-Pak modes, players can choose to enable team play, in which they can play 2-on-1, 3-on-1, or 2-on-2. Playing in team play will enable special character-specific actions:

    • Sonic: When Sonic is charging a Spin Dash and a teammate touches him from behind, they will receive a speed boost.
    • Tails: Tails can airlift a teammate much like he can in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. The teammate being carried can freely jump off with A.
    • Knuckles: A teammate can ride on Knuckles when he is gliding or climbing. The teammate will fall off when Knuckles cancels his glide or jumps off a wall.
    • Amy: Amy can hit a grounded teammate with her Piko Piko Hammer to catapult them into the air.


    One of the available modes is a competitive race mode, with each player requiring their own copy of Sonic Advance to play. All players must race each other in any regular Act from the main game, with only Zones cleared by at least one connected player being available. Item Boxes will rotate in contents in this mode, offering items that can help players or hinder their opponents. The first player to reach the goal at the end is declared the winner, and in races with two or more players, remaining players have 60 seconds to finish; if 10 minutes pass before either player reaches the end, the race is declared a draw.

    In team play, all members of a team must reach the goal in order to win.

    Chao Hunt

    Chao Hunt gameplay.

    Another mode, which also requires each player to own a copy of Sonic Advance, is available to play. In this mode, up to four players play in one of four specially-created levels, and the objective is to collect as many Chao as possible within the time limit (3 minutes for individual play, and 5 minutes for team play). If a player has a Chao, other players can steal the Chao from that player by attacking them. When time is up, the player or team with the most Chao is declared the winner.

    Item Boxes can appear at specific points in the level that can either make a player invisible to their opponents or to reduce their opponent's visibility.

    Collect the Rings

    Gameplay of the Single Pak VS mode.

    Another competitive game mode for up to four players is available to play, with only one copy of Sonic Advance required for the host player. Each player roams around a single confined stage, where the objective is to collect as many Rings as possible. Attacking a player with a Spin Attack or Spin Dash will make them drop their Rings, which can then be stolen by the other players. After three minutes have elapsed, the player with the most Rings is declared the winner.

    Each player is designated a character in this mode. Player 1 is Sonic, player 2 is Tails, player 3 is Knuckles, and player 4 is Amy. Character-specific abilities are not available, with only a basic skill set (Spin Jump and Spin Dash) available for every character. Team play is not available for this mode.

    Sound test

    # Title Usage
    1 Title Title Screen
    2 Character Select Character Selection Screen
    3 Zone Select Zone Selection Screen
    4 Record VS/Time Attack Record Screen
    5 Zone 1-1 Neo Green Hill Zone - Act 1
    6 Zone 1-2 Neo Green Hill Zone - Act 2
    7 Zone 2-1 Secret Base Zone - Act 1
    8 Zone 2-2 Secret Base Zone - Act 2
    9 Zone 3-1 Casino Paradise Zone - Act 1
    10 Zone 3-2 Casino Paradise Zone - Act 2
    11 Zone 4-1 Ice Mountain Zone - Act 1
    12 Zone 4-2 Ice Mountain Zone - Act 2
    13 Zone 5-1 Angel Island Zone - Act 1
    14 Zone 5-2 Angel Island Zone - Act 2
    15 Zone 6-1 Egg Rocket Zone
    16 Zone 6-2 Cosmic Angel Zone
    17 Final Zone X-Zone
    18 SP Stage Special Stage
    19 VS 1 VS Menu (Multi-Pak) ("Emerald Hill (2P)" from Sonic the Hedgehog 2)
    20 Options Options Menu ("Scrap Brain Zone" from Sonic the Hedgehog)
    21 Unrival Invincibility ("Power Up" from Sonic the Hedgehog)
    22 Player Data Player Data Menu ("Star Light Zone" from Sonic the Hedgehog)
    23 Final Boss 1 X-Zone Boss - Phase 1 ("Boss" from Sonic the Hedgehog)
    24 Final Boss 2 X-Zone Boss - Phase 2 ("Boss" from Sonic the Hedgehog 2)
    25 Boss Boss (Zones 1-4)
    26 Knuckles Boss Eggman Demo (Zone 1)/Angel Island Zone Boss
    27 Knuckles Boss-Pinch Angel Island Zone Boss - Pinch
    28 6-Boss Cosmic Angel Zone Boss
    29 Act Clear Act 1 Cleared
    30 Boss Clear Act 2 Cleared
    31 Final Clear X-Zone Clear
    32 SP Clear Special Stage Cleared
    33 VS 5 VS Game Cleared (Multi-Pak)
    34 Time Attack 1 Time Attack Cleared (New Record)
    35 Time Attack 2 Time Attack Cleared (No New Record)
    36 1-Up Extra Life
    37 Opening Opening
    38 Staff Roll Credits
    39 Final Ending X-Zone Ending
    40 Extra Zone The Moon Zone
    41 Extra Clear The Moon Zone Cleared
    42 Extra Ending The Moon Zone Ending

    NOTE 1: This game's Sound Test does not feature corresponding titles. Titles are made in relation to the next game in the series, which features such a Sound Test.

    NOTE 2: There are additional entries beyond the regular maximum amount (42) that include unlisted music (especially from the multiplayer modes), empty tracks, sound effects and duplicates. The maximum range is 199; 200 and up crashes the game.

    NOTE 3: There are a few tracks both used and unused (marked with an *) that are only accessible by hacking the game's memory. These include:

    • [XX] Final Boss 3 (Final form of the X-Zone boss)
    • [XX] Game Over
    • [XX] Drown (Drowning jingle)
    • [XX] In SP Stage (Special Stage Start Demo)
    • [43] Achievement (When a successful trick is performed in the Special Stage)
    • [XX] SP Result 1 (Succeeded in Special Stage)
    • [XX] SP Result 2 (Chaos Emerald jingle)
    • [46] SP Result 3 (Failed in Special Stage)
    • [XX] VS Wait (Communication Demo)
    • [52] VS 2 (VS Menu (Single-Pak))
    • [53] VS 3 (VS Game (Single-Pak))
    • [54] VS 4 (VS Game Cleared (Single-Pak))
    • [58] VS 6 (VS Game Results (Win) (Multi-Pak))
    • [68] VS 7 (VS Game Results (Lose) (Multi-Pak))
    • [XX] VS 8 (Try Again?) (VS and Time Attack)
    • [XX] VS Success (Communication Successful)
    • [XX] VS Miss (Communication Failed)
    • [XX] Tiny Chao Garden
    • [XX] Mini Game (Tiny Chao Garden - Mini Game)
    • [72] VS 9 (VS Game Results (Draw) (Multi-Pak))
    • [51] Unrival* (Invincible) (unused; officially used starting in Advance 2)


    Sales data

    Copies sold Date Platform(s) Regions Cumulative sales References Notes
    1,210,000 2007-01
    Game Boy Advance
    US 1,210,000 [17] These sales numbers makes Sonic Advance the only handheld Sonic game confirmed to have sold over one million units in one region.


    Some of the game's music is remixed from previous Mega Drive games. The remixed music includes the Options (Sonic 1's Scrap Brain Zone), Player Data (Sonic 1's Star Light Zone), 2P select (Sonic 2's 2P Emerald Hill Zone), invincibility (Sonic 1's Invincibility), and the first two bosses in the X-Zone (Sonic 1 and Sonic 2's boss musics).

    There is a mobile port created by Gameloft where you can only play as Sonic the Hedgehog and 3-4 Zones, depending on your device.


    Also released for

    Production credits

    Sonic Team
    • Producer: Hiroshi Matsumoto
    • Line Producer: Koichi Sakita
    • Planners: Yukihiro Higashi, Masaaki Yamagiwa
    • Programmers: Shinichiro Shibusawa, Hirofumi Kono, Hiroki Yoshitake, Katsuya Kuramoto
    • Designers: Kazuhiko Yamamoto, Yuko Yamanoue, Etsuko Hosukawa, Toru Nakanishi, Sadaki Matsumoto
    • Sound: Hironobu Inagaki, Atsuyoshi Isemura
    • Special Thanks: Masahisa Naganuma, Takayuki Sakamoto
    Sega Corporation
    • Promotion Management: Masanao Maeda, Hiroyuki Miyazaki, Seijiro Sannabe, Hideki Yokaichiya, Yasushi Yamashita
    • Product Development: Yoshiki Ohka
    • Marketing: Yasunobu Masahiro, Naoko Ohka, Takayoshi Ohuchi
    • Publicity: Yasushi Nagumo, Mariko Takeda
    • Marketing Research: Tsuyoshi Sawada, Ayako Hino
    • Manual Production: Yoshihiro Sakuta, Chieko Nakamura, Makoto Nishino, Toshiki Yamaguchi, Satoru Ishigami
    • Test Team: Akira Nishikawa, Hiroyuki Miyano, Yutaka Kawasaki
    Sega Of America
    • Executive Management: Peter Moore
    • Localization Producers: Osamu Shibayama
    • Test Lead: Brian Ivanhoe
    • Special Thanks: Takashi Iizuka, Rich Briggs, Noah Musler, Roxana Hui
    Sega Europe, Ltd.
    • Executive Management: Yoshio Sakai
    • Diector Of PD: Kats Sato
    • Producers Manager: Aude Donnan
    • Localization Producer: Kuniyo Matsumoto
    • Lead Tester: Matt Brooks
    • Product Marketing Manager: Jim Pride
    • Product Manager: Mathew Quaeck
    Source: In-game credits[18]


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

    Promotional material


    Key art and characters

    Physical scans

    Segaretro-round.svg Reception »
    Game Boy Advance, US
    Game Boy Advance, UK
    SonicAdvance GBA UK Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngSadv eu boxart.jpg
    Game Boy Advance, FR
    SonicAdvance GBA FR Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngSonicAdvance GBA FR Box Front.jpg
    Game Boy Advance, DE

    SA GBA DE back.jpg

    Game Boy Advance, ES/PT
    SonicAdvance GBA ES-PT Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngSonicAdvance GBA ES-PT Box Front.jpg
    Game Boy Advance, IT

    SA GBA IT back.jpg

    Game Boy Advance, NL
    Sadv eu boxart back.jpgNospine-small.pngSadv eu boxart.jpg
    Game Boy Advance, JP (Okaidoku-ban)
    Sadv pc jp back.jpgSadv pc jp.jpg
    Game Boy Advance, AU (Limited Edition)
    SA GBA AU le front.jpg
    Game Boy Advance, BR

    Sonic Advance BR cart.png

    Technical information

    ROM dump status

    System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
    Game Boy Advance
    CRC32 63f70fd8
    MD5 49ecc8ef1988e7ae81fbda1b4cf71eed
    SHA-1 d842afa7dd1e84de08addb94a51506f1bcafd551
    8MB 2001-10-31[19] Cartridge (US)
    Game Boy Advance
    CRC32 6232839b
    MD5 93a2f28339858e955e4f17060e038bcd
    SHA-1 eb00f101af23d728075ac2117e27ecd8a4b4c3e9
    8MB 2001-11-21[19] Cartridge (EU)
    Game Boy Advance
    CRC32 5f512223
    MD5 b62f11b1d014d5c5c2dd703676cb443d
    SHA-1 8dab4c2d38bd13ed88f98a9210cd0cb4ff11520c
    8MB 2001-10-31[19] Cartridge (JP) v1.0
    Game Boy Advance
    CRC32 85957a24
    MD5 9e02f1c9f26f40905d43188b2bd2d98e
    SHA-1 f43faca5d8df354a63471aebfea3be125e797e51
    8MB 2001-12-20[19] Cartridge (JP) v1.1
    Game Boy Advance
    CRC32 431e55ac
    MD5 d2bc5687ac40a62f74daf3fb219644e5
    SHA-1 08ae7e109f5029a97c6421e8b5aa7c0338a222e5
    8MB Wii U Virtual Console (JP) v1.1
    Game Boy Advance
    CRC32 a80de3b2
    MD5 fca4c485f41412a4ddc05fbe105c3219
    SHA-1 aae6516f72309920acd9fafd03a9d09e35cf755f
    8MB 2001-10-31 Cartridge (US) Prototype Download.svg (1.91 MB) (info) Page

    External links


    Sonic Advance
    SonicAdvance title.png

    Main page (N|Android|Gameloft)

    Promotional material
    Magazine articles
    Video coverage (N)

    Hidden content
    Technical information

    Sonic the Hedgehog games for the following systems
    Game Boy Advance
     2001  Sonic Advance | Tiny Chao Garden     2002  Sonic Advance 2     2003  Sonic Pinball Party | Sonic Battle     2004  Sonic Advance 3 | Sonic X: A Super Sonic Hero     2005  Sonic Advance & Sonic Pinball Party | Sonic Advance & ChuChu Rocket! | Sonic Advance & Sonic Battle | Sonic Battle & ChuChu Rocket! | Sonic Pinball Party & Sonic Battle | Sonic Pinball Party & Columns Crown     2006  Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis    
     Demos  Sonic Advance 3