DescriptionSonic the Hedgehog
is the first of many games starring Sega's premier hedgehog, Sonic. It's a side-scrolling platform game with a difference: speed. Sonic rushes through levels with incredible speed, allowing him to traverse loops and jumps with ease.
The plot of the game is simple. The evil Dr. Robotnik has captured many of Sonic's animal friends, and trapped them inside robots. Fortunately, Sonic can free his friends by destroying the robots with his spin attack. Meanwhile, Dr. Robotnik is trying to control the all-powerful chaos emeralds. Sonic must grab them before he does in the 3D rotating bonus levels.
Sonic's weapon is his spin attack; while jumping, Sonic destroys hostile robots by touch. Throughout the platforming levels, Sonic collects numerous rings. If Sonic is hit by an enemy, all the rings he's carrying fall out and scatter around; Sonic can quickly grab the rings back before they disappear. If Sonic is hit while not carrying any rings, he dies. Collecting 100 rings gives Sonic an extra life. There is also an invincibility bonus which temporarily protects Sonic from all attacks.
The game is divided into several "zones", each of them containing three levels. At the end of each zone Sonic confronts Dr. Robotnik in a boss fight.
- "STH" -- Informal title
- "Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis" -- GBA title
- "Sonic 1" -- Informal name
- "ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ" -- Japanese spelling
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Of all the Sonic games, Sonic the Hedgehog
is the only game to have only 6 Chaos Emeralds. Every other game in the series features 7 Emeralds.
Sonic the Hedgehog
was included on compilations for many platforms, including Sega Smash Pack: Volume 1
for Dreamcast, Sonic Mega Collection
for Gamecube and Sonic Mega Collection Plus
for Xbox, PlayStation 2 and Windows.
Creation of Sonic
- At the time when Sega was trying to design a character that was fast, one illustration drawn by one of the people working on the project depicted Sonic singing in a rock band with (you ready for this?) his girlfriend Madonna! They took the concept and dropped Madonna out of it!
- While designing the game, the animal that Sega was thinking of using before the Hedgehog was a Rabbit. Sega cut it out and added the Hedgehog instead.
- Sonic the Hedgehog came about as the result of an internal contest held by Sega to design a company mascot. Among the entries came the first designs for Eggman (Robotnik) as well.
In many early screenshots of the Marble Zone, there are UFO-like objects floating in the sky. Footage of a prototype Marble Zone (complete with UFOs) is shown during a commercial in the movie Wayne's World
. No one knows what the objects were for, or why they were removed.
Dreams Come True
The Japanese rock group Dreams Come True, who also composed all of the music for Sonic the Hedgehog
(as well as Sonic 2
and Sonic CD
), also helped promote Sonic in Japan! During one major tour they took across Japan in the summer of 1991, they had murals of Sonic painted onto the trucks that carried their equipment to get the people's attention. And then to make it even better, their song "Sweet Sweet Dream" was chosen to be the ending theme for Sonic 2
Dr. Eggman's name was changed to Dr. Ivo Robotnik for all English language versions. He would retain this name for all his English language appearances right up until Sonic Adventure
, when it was intentionally phased out and restored to Dr. Eggman, presumably because that game heralded Sonic's return to glory and there was a desire for him to return to his roots. However, the Robotnik name was officially acknowledged in Sonic Adventure 2
, even in the Japanese continuum.
Formula 1 sponsorship
With sponsorship from SEGA
, Sonic appeared on the Williams Formula 1 team in 1993. The hedgehog could be seen on the drivers' cars, and their helmets. Their rival team McLaren would often paint a squashed Sonic on their drivers' helmets after winning a race against Williams. Williams, however, would have the last laugh, when their team leader Alain Prost
, secured the drivers' championship, and with the help of Damon Hill
, the constructors' championship for 1993.
Game Boy Advance version
The 2006 GBA release is a port of the Genesis version. It includes a new save system and the Anniversary Mode, where the spin dash (a feature that enables Sonic to roll into a ball and rev up a spin attack from a dead stop, not available in the original game) has been added.
Curiously, though the game was developed entirely in Japan, Sonic the Hedgehog
was first released in North America and Europe, with the Japanese release coming a month later. The Japanese version features several bug fixes and visual effects that didn't make it into the initial international release. In particular, the infamous "spike bug" (where if Sonic hits spikes, and the hit knocks him into another set of spikes, he dies immediately even though he should still be invulnerable) is fixed. The parallax scrolling in the background of many zones is enhanced, and there are additional water effects in Labyrinth Zone.
The mobile edition is ported from the Genesis version. In Europe, the game was not released as a whole, but in two individual parts: Sonic the Hedgehog Part 1
and Sonic the Hedgehog Part 2
The original Sonic The Hedgehog
game for Sega Genesis sold 4 million units worldwide. As of 2003 the whole Sonic series (for all consoles) sold over 27 million units since its first release in 1991.
Scrap Brain Zone
The Scrap Brain Zone was originally called the Clock Work Zone.
Additional information contributed by
Ace of Sevens,
Big John WV,
- Issue #4 - #4 in the "Top 100 Video Games of All-Time" list
- Game Informer
- August 2001 (Issue #100) - #24 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
- Retro Gamer
- Issue #37 - #13 in the "Top 25 Platformers of All Time" poll