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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.

Contributed by Satoshi Kunsai (2082) on Jun 14, 2003. [revised by : Alaka (64256), Cantillon (18701) and Patrick Bregger (237753)]. -- edit trivia