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DescriptionSEGA's mascot Sonic the Hedgehog made his debut in a famous Genesis title, but Sega's 8-bit systems got their own version of the platformer, featuring the same story and gameplay style, but different levels.
To stop the evil Dr. Robotnik, Sonic must traverse six zones consisting of three levels each. Most of the zones are based on those in the original game, but some are entirely new. Enemies (mechanized animals, defeated by Sonic's spikes when jumping or rolling) and power-ups (speed-ups, shields, extra lives) are mostly the same as well. Sonic can pick up golden rings for protection (when hit, he simply loses all of his rings instead of a life) and bonuses: 100 rings gain Sonic an extra life, and 50 remaining rings at the end of a level allow access to pinball-themed special stages full of bumpers and springs. The final level of a zone is always a boss fight against Robotnik.
Sonic should also collect the six Chaos Emeralds to keep them from falling into Robotnik's hands. In a departure from the original game, these are not hidden in the special stages but somewhere in the regular levels.
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Master System II versionThe Sonic The Hedgehog version that came built-in the Master System II console lacks credits. Because ROM chips were very expensive at the time, the credits were dropped to make room on the small ROM chip for the necessary BIOS routines for the console. By doing this, Sega avoided having to buy bigger and more expensive ROM chips for the console.