Sonic the Hedgehog 3

aka: Sonic 3
Moby ID: 6612
Genesis Specs
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Description official descriptions

Dr. Robotnik's Death Egg has crash-landed on Floating Island, so called because it harnesses the power of the Chaos Emeralds to float in the air. Robotnik needs them to repair the Death Egg, so he tells the guardian of Floating Island, Knuckles the Echidna, that Sonic and Tails are there to steal them. With Knuckles tricked and trying to stop the heroes at every turn, will they be able to stop Robotnik in time?

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is the third in the Sonic series of games. As with the previous games, it is a side-scrolling platformer based around speed. The basic game remains the same - players collect rings to earn extra lives, which are also used for protection, and scatter everywhere when Sonic is hurt. Sonic can jump on enemies to defeat them, and Spin Dash by holding down and the jump button, then letting go of down.

New to Sonic 3 are three different types of shields - the Fire Shield (which protects you from fire but disappears if you enter water), the Water Shield (which lets you breathe underwater infinitely) and the Electric Shield (which pulls nearby rings towards you). Sonic can use extra abilities when he has these shields by pressing jump while in the air - either a horizontal fireball dash, a vertical bubble bounce, or an electric double jump. If Sonic has no shield active, he can activate a brief energy shield, also by pressing jump in the air. Tails cannot use the shields' special abilities, but he can instead either fly or dog paddle (in water) for a limited time. He can also carry Sonic with him while doing so.

There are now two types of bonus stages - one is available by collecting 50 or more rings, running past a checkpoint lamppost and then jumping into the stars (as you could in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. This stage give you the chance to earn bonus rings, lives and power-ups. In this stage, there is a giant gumball machine. By hitting the crank, you'll spit out a bonus item that can either be rings, lives or bonus shields. The stage is over when you fall down the bottom of the screen.

The other, more important, Special Stage can be accessed by jumping into giant rings that are hidden away in secret areas in each level. In these stages, you must collect all the blue spheres while avoiding the red ones (which end the stage early). Collecting all of the outer blue spheres around square or rectangle sphere formations will turn them all into rings - if you collect 50 or more in this stage, you can earn a continue. Once you collect all the blue spheres in the stage, it clears and you earn one of the seven Chaos Emeralds.

Sonic 3 features six different Zones, which are made up of two Acts. At the end of each Act is a boss that must be defeated to complete the stage and rescue Sonic's animal friends that Robotnik has captured to turn into Badnik robots. The zones in Sonic 3 are approximately three times bigger than those in Sonic 2, and feature multiple, branching paths.

As with Sonic 2, there is a two-player Vs. Mode, which plays in a split-screen horizontal style. There are special monitor pick-ups in this mode which do things like swap player positions, lose rings, or cause a Badnik to appear. You can also race against the clock in a time trial mode.


  • ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ3 - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Genesis version)

100 People (91 developers, 9 thanks) · View all



Average score: 89% (based on 36 ratings)


Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 176 ratings with 6 reviews)

best sonic game EVER!

The Good
It has allot ! It has saving...more selection of what to do,and everything a sonic gamer would dream of! It has the classic plot.Evil steals something,you have to find and beat evil. Allot of games are prurly that,but in this...well...lets just say it HARD! you have to get the emeralds,beat Dr.r...and you have to get past marble gardens! I think the best thing 'bout it is the music...I was 5 when i frist played bro,(john) got it for me...i quicky went in his room and put it in our Sega...i was amazed at the graphics..and the music...i beat the first few levels..and he took oer at marble and carnival...and my favorite level..ICE CAP! great,love snow,('cause i live in vegas) and it had that..and the music was great! it is an over all great game!

The Bad
I dont like marble gardens,or carnival....the first boss on carnival,WAY to hard...and on marble gardens...its even hard on the tails (miles) setting....i wish the game had more is bigger that most of them...but it only had 6 happy at 5 but im impressed at 12.....there isnt much that is bad...

The Bottom Line
GET THE SYSTEM AND GET THIS GAME! is worth the 12-15 dollars....because face OLD! i do think it is grouped with the best games in all know besides kick the GET IT!!!!!

Genesis · by marielle goaway (2) · 2004

Weakest of the Genesis Sonics

The Good
With each Sonic game it seems something new was added this time in the form of a new adversary Knuckles The Echidna the protector of the emeralds has been convinced by Dr. Robotnik that Sonic is his enemy because of Sonic CD this game didn’t come out until 1994 thus making it 2 years since the last true Sonic game, Sonic 2.

In this installment you are on Angel Island, Knuckle’s home land and resting place of the master emerald with standard platforming gameplay with mini bosses and main bosses at the end of each stage and usually you run into Knuckles who causes trouble to hinder progress by sending you to a new stage or setting a trap for you with a new special stage which has you running on a 3D globe collecting all the blue orbs not the red ones the red ones send back to the main game finish 7 of the stages to get all chaos emeralds.

The music and sound effects are great as in like most sonic games particular favorites are Angel island, Hydrocity Act 2, and the main theme.

The Bad
This game also adds a save feature which is new to the Genesis installments but since this game is short and it doesn’t save the number of lives you have it doesn’t work that well.

This game does have many faults like how the final boss is way too easy this is probably because this was not meant to be the final boss because this game was originally the same game as Sonic & Knuckles but that’s for another review.

This game is also too short once again probably because Sonic and Knuckles content was originally supposed to be in this game with only Six stages four levels shorter than Sonic 2 it leaves something to be desired.

The Bottom Line
All in all this even with it’s problems is a worthy addition to the Sonic franchise and any sonic fan should find a way to play this game whether it be getting the Genesis version or ROM or Sonic Mega Collection.

Genesis · by Classic Nigel (108) · 2006

One of the best Sonic games!

The Good
On its own, it's a good game, but when locked on with Sonic & Knuckles it becomes 100 times better. By locking on to Sonic & Knuckles you get to play the full version of Sonic 3, the way it was meant to be. You get more levels, mini games, the ability for all characters to turn super or hyper, the ability to play as Knuckles, and several other cool features. Sonic 3 is only the first half of the game; Sonic & Knuckles is the other half. Lock them both together and you get the complete version of Sonic 3.

The Bad
Sonic 3 by itself has some bugs, but locking it on to Sonic & Knuckles fixes them. So, there really isn't anything bad about the game. Just play both games together and all the bugs are gone.

The Bottom Line
If you liked Sonic & Knuckles, you should definitely get this game. It's the other half of the game. Remember, you haven't really completed a game yet if you've only played half of it.

Genesis · by Neocube (140) · 2003

[ View all 6 player reviews ]



SEGA included a rather lame excuse in the manual to try and cover up the game's many glitches. It states: "Don't run to fast or you might fall into one of Eggman's traps". This is obviously referring to the infamous wall glitch; if Sonic runs to fast and hits a wall, he gets trapped in it with no way out.


This game features the first appearance of Knuckles the Echidna, who would become as much a main character as Sonic, Tails and Eggman. He was the fourth most popular character in an official Sonic Team poll, after Tails, Shadow, and Sonic.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson, along with some of his musicians, was originally going to do the music, but when legal scandals broke out SEGA didn't want him involved anymore. The completed songs were used and Howard Drossin finished the soundtrack, later used in Sonic & Knuckles.

Some of his tracks are still in there. The Ice Cap Zone theme, when slowed down, sounds like Who is It, five seconds of the Carnival Night Zone theme resemble Jam, etc.


This is the first Sonic game in which the player can save their progress.

Scrapped content

Due to time constraints, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 had to be released before it was completed. The extra material that was intended to be in this game became Sonic & Knuckles. This is noticeable on the stage select screen; stages such as Mushroom Valley, Flying Battery and Sandopolis were later in Sonic & Knuckles. By plugging Sonic the Hedgehog 3 into the top of the Sonic & Knuckles cartridge, the full game can be played as it was meant to be.


This is the first game in which the player is able to control Tails' flight ability. If there are two players, Tails can give Sonic a lift and carry him over short distances. He can also swim, though he cannot carry Sonic while doing so.


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • March 1994 (Issue 56) - Game of the Month* Retro Gamer
    • September 2004 (Issue #8) – #57 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)

Information also contributed by havoc of smeg, MegaMegaMan, Robbb, sheldon codling and Tracy Poff.


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  • MobyGames ID: 6612
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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Bahz.

Windows added by Havoc Crow. Xbox 360 added by Ben K. Wii added by samsam12.

Additional contributors: Satoshi Kunsai, Sciere, Alaka, j.raido 【雷堂嬢太朗】, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, Thomas Thompson.

Game added June 7, 2002. Last modified May 15, 2024.