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SEGA'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, including a jungle environment and a huge airship. Other unique differences are one level that scrolls automatically and one that is aligned vertically instead of horizontally. Most of the enemies (mechanized animals, defeated by Sonic's spikes when jumping or rolling) and power-ups (speed-ups, shields, extra lives) are the same as in the Genesis version 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. Some of the boss fights differ in the Master System and Game Gear versions of the game, with special designs for the handheld version due to the smaller visible screen area.

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.


Sonic the Hedgehog Game Gear Power-up item ahead
Sonic the Hedgehog Game Gear Weee, we saved the sweet squirrels and chickens! YEAY!
Sonic the Hedgehog Game Gear A quiet moment inside the airship. Actually, I'm being followed by a wall full of spikes...
Sonic the Hedgehog Game Gear Yeah, yeah... you're getting your ass kicked.

Promo Images

Sonic the Hedgehog Screenshot
Sonic the Hedgehog Screenshot
Sonic the Hedgehog Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ" -- Japanese spelling
  • "바람돌이 소닉" -- Korean spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

A great Sonic game that you can take anywhere! Classix (101) 4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars

Critic Reviews

SEGA-Mag (Objectif-SEGA) May 21, 2013 10 out of 10 100
Sega Power Sep, 1992 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Retrogaming History Jan 29, 2009 10 out of 10 100
neXGam Dec 27, 2009 9.2 out of 10 92
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Feb, 1992 35 out of 40 88
Power Play Feb, 1992 81 out of 100 81
Video Games Feb, 1992 81 out of 100 81
Retro Game Reviews Nov 28, 2014 8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars 80
Retro Archives Aug 30, 2017 16 out of 20 80
The Video Game Critic Jun 21, 2008 C+ 58


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Master System II version

The 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.


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • February 1992 (Issue 31) - Game of the Month

Related Web Sites

Terok Nor (29418) added Sonic the Hedgehog (Game Gear) on Sep 30, 2008
Other platforms contributed by GTramp (65938), Kabushi (250623) and Terok Nor (29418)