Sonic the Hedgehog




Sega, Sonic Team




Naoto Ōshima
Yuji Naka
Hirokazu Yasuhara

First release

Sonic the Hedgehog
June 23, 1991

Latest release

Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
February 23, 2010

Official website

Sonic the Hedgehog is a video game series released by Sega starring and named after its mascot character, Sonic The Hedgehog. The series began in 1991 with the release of Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, in addition to an 8-bit version of the game for the Master System and Game Gear formats. Sonic was responsible for turning Sega into a leading video game company during the 16-bit era, and his first game soon replaced Altered Beast as the default pack-in game for the Mega Drive/Genesis in North America and Europe.[1] The series has sold 70 million units worldwide as of 2010.[2]

The Sega division responsible for the first game in the series was called Sonic Team, and the group has since developed many titles in the franchise. Prominent members of its initial staff included programmer Yuji Naka, designer Naoto Ohshima and game planner Hirokazu Yasuhara. Other developers of Sonic games have included American Sega Technical Institute, Japanese Dimps, Canadian BioWare, and British Traveller's Tales. While the first games in the series were platform games, the series has expanded into other genres such as action-adventure, fighting, racing, role-playing, and sports.

Video games

Nearly all games in the series[3] feature a teenage hedgehog named Sonic the Hedgehog as the central player character and protagonist. The games feature Sonic's attempts to save the world from various threats, primarily the evil genius Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik. The main antagonist throughout the series, Robotnik's aim is to rule Earth and establish Eggmanland;[4] to achieve this, he usually attempts to eliminate Sonic and acquire the powerful Chaos Emeralds.

8-bit installments

Sonic the Hedgehog's first outing was on the Mega Drive/Genesis, but the character was also featured in games released on the 8-bit Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear formats. Some of these games were ports of their Mega Drive counterparts, but several were original titles that were designed for the 8-bit systems. Most of the later titles were only released for the Game Gear, not the Master System.

16-bit installments


Green Hill Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

The original four main Sonic games for the Mega Drive/Genesis, released between 1991 and 1994, were:

These two dimensional Sonic titles are platform games viewed from a side-on perspective. Their controls are fairly basic and do not deviate much from the genre standard; the selling point of the series is the high-speed gameplay. The series' game engines allow characters to run up walls and ceilings, and roller coaster-like loops and corkscrews are common, as are giant pinball machines with flippers and bumpers which knock Sonic around like a ball. The games also feature numerous sections involving more precise jumping to traverse platforms and avoid hazards.[5]

There are also 3 Spin-offs games for Mega Drive/Genesis:

  • Sonic 3D Blast was released on the Genesis, Saturn, and PC in varying forms. The Genesis version featured an isometric, pseudo-3D ("2.5D") view and pseudo-3D bonus levels that more closely resembled those of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 than the ones in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Sonic 3D Blast (also titled variously as Sonic 3D Blast: Flickies' Island or Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island in different regions, and also called just Sonic 3D) was developed by Traveller's Tales.

For the Mega Drive/Genesis with add-on devices, these Sonic games exist:

Also, these arcade game machines were released in Japan:

32-bit installments

The following games were released during the 32-bit era:

  • Knuckles' Chaotix is the first 32-bit game in Sonic the Hedgehog series. Released in 1995 for Mega Drive/Genesis add-on Sega 32X, it is the first game in which the Chaotix appear.
  • Sonic 3D Blast (also known as Sonic 3D: Flickies Island), was released for the Sega Saturn in 1996 alongside the Genesis version. Like the Mega Drive/Genesis version, this edition has isometric pseudo-3D graphics but features FMV cutscenes, enhanced music and visual effects, and a real-time 3D special stage.
  • Sonic Jam is a compilation released for the Saturn in 1997. In addition to containing Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic 2, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, it also included a "Sonic World" mode. This allowed the player to control Sonic in a small 3D world similar to the Green Hill Zone from the original game; it contained no enemies and was mainly a means of accessing the disc's multimedia features. A notable special feature was that the Sonic & Knuckles connectivity from the Genesis was fully integrated and extended in this collection. A black & white version of this game (with lots of things removed) was released for the in 1997.
  • Sonic R, a racing spin-off and also the Sonic series' first full 3D game, was released in 1997 for the Saturn and later ported to the PC.

The Sega Technical Institute tried to develop a Sonic game for the Saturn called Sonic X-treme. This game was intended to compete with Nintendo's Super Mario 64 and Sony's Crash Bandicoot. However, due to time constraints and issues between STI, the Japanese division of Sega, and Sonic Team, the project was canceled in the last months of 1996.

Sega Saturn and Windows PC conversions of Sonic 3D Blast followed to cover the hole of the cancellation of Sonic X-treme. They had enhanced graphics and a different sound track, composed by Richard Jacques. Sonic Team worked on the Special Stages in the Saturn/PC version of Sonic 3D.

Sixth generation

The following games were released in the sixth generation:

  • Sonic Adventure was a launch title for the Dreamcast console released in 1999. The game is notable for being the first game in the series to feature voice acting and fully utilise 3D platforming. In 2003 Sonic Adventure was ported to the Nintendo GameCube and Windows PC under the title of Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, featuring some enhancements to the Dreamcast version.
  • Sonic Shuffle was released for the Dreamcast after Sonic Adventure and before Sonic Adventure 2. It is a board game with cel-shading graphics.
  • Sonic Adventure 2 was released in North America on 19 June 2001, originally for the Dreamcast. It was later ported, in an improved form, to the Nintendo GameCube under the title of Sonic Adventure 2 Battle.
  • Sonic Mega Collection, released in late 2002 on the Nintendo GameCube, is similar to Sonic Jam as the game features classic Sonic titles as well as unlockable games and extra bonus material. In late 2004 it was ported to the PlayStation 2 and Xbox under the name of Sonic Mega Collection Plus with the inclusion of additional games. A PC version was also released in 2006. A continuation, Sonic Gems Collection, provided more games including Sonic R and Sonic the Fighters.
  • Sonic Heroes is the first multiplatform game in the Sonic series. It was released on the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox on December 30, 2003 in Japan, with American and European releases following soon after and a PC version the following November. The platforming is similar to that of the Adventure games, although the player now controls the lead character of a team of three, with the other two following behind. The player can switch to a new leader at any time to use that character's special abilities.
  • Sonic Advance was the first new Sonic game to be released on a non-Sega console. It was released for Game Boy Advance in Japan on December 22, 2001, North America on February 4, 2002, and Europe on March 23, 2002. Sonic Advance was also ported to Nokia's N-Gage system on October 7, 2003, under the title SonicN. Two sequels, Sonic Advance 2 and Sonic Advance 3, followed in March 2003 and June 2004 respectively.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure is a game for Neo Geo Pocket Color. This game borrowed elements from Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
  • Shadow the Hedgehog, was released in late 2005 in North America. It focuses on Shadow the Hedgehog as he tries to uncover his past. It is the first game to feature the English cast of Sonic X, following the death of voice actor Deem Bristow (the voice of Dr. Eggman). This game has multiple paths and endings, as the player can choose to take good or evil paths for each level. It also uses handheld pistols and driving vehicles with 3D platforming action.
  • Sonic Riders was the first Sonic racing game since Sonic R, but instead of racing on foot, the characters use futuristic hoverboards, bikes and skates. It was followed by the sequel, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity.

Seventh generation

The following games were released in the seventh generation:


Main article: List of recurring characters from Sonic the Hedgehog (games)

Sonic the Hedgehog, a blue anthropomorphic hedgehog capable of running at high speeds, is the series' protagonist. Doctor Ivo Robotnik, known commonly as "Dr. Eggman", is a scientist who generally serves as the central antagonist. Other major characters include Miles "Tails" Prower, Knuckles the Echidna, and Amy Rose. Minor recurring characters include Shadow the Hedgehog, Rouge the Bat, and the Chao creatures.

Common features


3 rotating rings

Rings are a recurring item in the Sonic the Hedgehog series.

One distinctive and recurring feature of Sonic games are the collectible golden Rings spread throughout the levels. This gameplay device allows players possessing at least one ring to survive upon sustaining damage from an enemy or hazardous object. Instead of dying, the player's rings are scattered; in most Sonic games, a hit causes the player to lose all rings, although in certain situations and in certain games, a hit only costs a set number of rings rather than the entire collection.[7][8] When the rings are scattered, the player has a short amount of time to recollect some of the lost rings (up to 20 can be recovered) before they disappear.

Some causes of death cannot be prevented by holding a ring, including being crushed, falling into a bottomless pit, drowning and running out of time.[7]

In line with many platform games, collecting 100 rings usually rewards Sonic (or any other playable character) with an extra life.[9] Certain games in the series often reward the collection of 50 rings, with the Chaos Emeralds; to access the Special Stages in which the Chaos Emeralds may be obtained, or to utilize a character's super transformation.[10]

In most 3D games, rings retained by the end of a level are usable as currency to buy things such as Chao food or special abilities. In some games, such as SegaSonic the Hedgehog, Tails & Eggman levels in Sonic Adventure 2 and the Werehog segments of Sonic Unleashed, rings can also be used to restore health. In Sonic and the Black Knight rings are represented by yellow faries. In Sonic Riders rings level up the characters attack, in the sequel Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity it cost rings to level up the players gear.

Chaos Emeralds

Szmaragdy emeralds

The Chaos Emeralds as they appear in Sonic R—yellow, purple, red, white, blue, orange and green

The Chaos Emeralds are seven emeralds (six in the original, eight in Sonic the Fighters, numerous emeralds in Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball, and seven in every other game) with mystical powers, and a recurring feature of Sonic games. According to official sources, the emeralds can turn thoughts into power,[11] give energy to all living things, and be used to create nuclear or laser based weaponry.[12]

They are the basis of many of the games' plots, and the player is frequently required to collect them all to fully defeat Doctor Eggman and achieve the games' "good endings", super forms, or both. The method used to acquire the Emeralds and the result in collecting them differs between titles in the series. Most early games require the player to find the emeralds in Special Stages.[10] In some games, such as Sonic R and the 8-bit versions of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2,

Master Emerald

The Master Emerald was introduced in Sonic & Knuckles as a plot element. It resides in a shrine on Angel Island and is currently guarded by Knuckles the Echidna, as only those of the Echidna Tribe are able to control it.[13] Its power is what keeps Angel Island afloat in the sky.[14] It can control the power of the Chaos Emeralds,[11] including neutralizing or amplifying their energies.[15]

In Sonic and Knuckles, it is stolen by Dr. Robotnik to power up a weapon/ship of his called the Death Egg. In Sonic Adventure, the Master Emerald is shattered, and Knuckles must collect the shards as part of his individual story. The Emerald shows its ability to negate the energy of the Chaos Emeralds in Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2, and empower them in Sonic 3 & Knuckles. The Master Emerald can also be used to power mechanical devices, and has been coveted by Dr. Robotnik since his discovery of it. During Knuckles' final boss fight in Sonic & Knuckles, Mecha Sonic uses the Master Emerald to power up into a Super form. In the Sonic the Comic adaptation of the fight, Sonic does the same.

Special Stages

Usually, a Chaos Emerald may be earned in a Special Stage or Special Zone.[10] Special Stages usually take place in surreal environments and feature alternate gameplay mechanics to the standard platforming of the main levels: the 16-bit Sonic the Hedgehog consisted of a giant rotating maze, which many considered a major technical achievement;[16] The most common special stages are an "in your face" segment with the hedgehog (or another character) running through a long tunnel, with a variant of this used for Knuckles Chaotix, Sonic Advance, and Sonic Advance 3; 3D "collect items" levels, as in Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, which used the same perspective but had Sonic collecting all the blue-colored orbs on the surface of a giant sphere; and a different version, the 3D ring-collecting Special Stage, used in Sonic Advance 2. Sonic Chaos (Sonic and Tails in Japan) uses a variety of gimmicks for its levels. Also, there is the half-pipe ring collecting stages, used in "Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic Rush, where the character must collect a certain number of rings to pass one or two checkpoints and finally, obtain the Chaos Emerald.

As the Emeralds of the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog were hidden in the main stages, the game's spring-filled Special Stages were merely used as a means of adding variety, and for a player to increase their score and earn continues. Similarly, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, in addition to their main Special Stages, featured entirely optional bonus stages, one of which combined the rotating maze of Sonic the Hedgehog with the pinball gambling of Sonic the Hedgehog 2; Sonic Heroes has an alternate Special Stage for a chance of earning lots of 1-ups.

Super transformation

A Super transformation is a state certain beings go into that gives them incredible power. Super forms are usually gained after an individual makes contact with Chaos energy from sources such as the Chaos Emeralds from various zones and the Master Emerald. Power Rings also help with the Super transformation process. In this state, the individuals are usually covered by an aura of power of a certain color and gain other powers such as flight, increased speed and strength, energy manipulation, and invincibility.

Super Sonic Emerald

Super Sonic with the Master Emerald in the ending for Sonic & Knuckles, moments after defeating the final boss in the Doomsday Zone

Super transformations are a staple for the series where collecting all Chaos Emeralds allows the player to transform the character of choice into a more powerful version of themselves. Super transformations first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, where Sonic can transform into Super form after collecting all the Chaos Emeralds, and jumping whilst holding 50 or more rings (the following 16-bit titles require the player to press the jump button twice). Sonic has since had the ability to transform into the extremely fast and nearly invincible Super Sonic once all seven Chaos Emeralds are collected (he is still vulnerable to crushing, drowning, falling off the stage and running out of time - plus the final boss in Sonic 3 can knock him out of his Super Sonic form.) After obtaining all Emeralds, Super Sonic is used in most of the final levels. While in his Super Sonic form, he loses one ring for every second he remains Super, reverting back to normal when it hits zero (which means instant death in Sonic and Knuckles' Doomsday Zone and all final stages that followed). The exception to this is Sonic Unleashed, where he loses one ring every ten seconds and collecting rings fills up an energy bar that reduces when he is hit. In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, Tails and Knuckles also have this ability. In addition, in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Sonic can also gain a "Hyper Sonic" status after gaining all seven Super Emeralds. Knuckles can also achieve this. If Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic 2 are locked into each other, Knuckles in Sonic 2 becomes available, where Knuckles is playable in Sonic 2 and can achieve his Super Form by collecting all the Chaos Emeralds. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the super transformation is Sonic's Final Smash attack, allowing him to fly around ramming into opponents for a few seconds.

In the Sonic Adventure games, the Special Stages are omitted entirely and Chaos Emeralds are collected in non-interactive cut scenes as part of the story, with Super Sonic and other super characters only appearing in the final boss fights. Despite several games since returning to the emerald-collecting of the 2D platform games (including the Advance series, and the Rush series), Super Sonic has remained unplayable in the games proper, appearing only at the game's end in an extra unlockable final boss fight. Other playable characters have super transformations, but, as with Sonic, they only appear in final battles. It is speculated that Sonic the Hedgehog 4 will allow players to play as Super Sonic in normal stages for the first time since Sonic 3 & Knuckles.[17]

Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower, Knuckles the Echidna, the Sonic & Knuckles version of Metal Sonic, Shadow the Hedgehog, Blaze the Cat, Silver the Hedgehog, Imperator Ix, and Caliburn the Sword are the characters that can perform super transformations. However, Sonic appears to be the only character that can power up others into a super form.

Sonic is also capable of transforming into Darkspine Sonic when he collects 3 of World Rings (The other 4 are consumed by Alf Layla wa Layla), as is seen in Sonic and the Secret Rings, and can turn into Excalibur Sonic when the power of the 3 sacred swords is channeled into Sonic when he proves himself worthy of it, as shown in Sonic and the Black Knight.

Item boxes

Known also as Monitors, TVs or TV boxes in the early games, these are containers that hold power-ups and appear frequently throughout the stages. An icon on each box indicates what it contains, and the player releases the item by destroying the box. In the early games, item boxes resembled television sets and could only be destroyed with an attack; in later titles, they became transparent, capsule-like objects easily destroyed with one touch. The most common items in boxes include rings, a barrier (or shield), invincibility, high speed (or power sneakers) and 1-ups.

Ring boxes give the player the number of rings shown on the box. They come in 5, 10, 15, 20 and randomly-determined amounts between 1 and 40 Ring varieties. In games before Sonic Adventure, these boxes are "Super Ring"s and always give 10 Rings.

The barrier is a spherical energy shield which surrounds and protects the player's character from one attack; when hit, the barrier is lost instead of rings or a life. In Sonic 3 and later games, additional barriers were introduced which give the player special abilities for as long as the shield is active. These include the ability to magnetically attract rings and double jump (Sonic 3 onwards), breathe underwater (Sonic 3 only, although the bubble bounce was reintroduced with out the shield in Sonic Adventure 2), resist fire (Sonic 3 and Sonic 3D Blast: Flickies' Island only), and even damage nearby enemies (Shadow the Hedgehog).

Invincibility temporarily covers the player character in small flashing stars (the star effect was dropped in later games) that protect against damage done by enemies and obstacles, and lets the player destroy enemies by touching them. The Ring count will not decrease for as long as the stars are surrounding the player. However, death from crushing, falling, drowning and time ups are still possible. In some games, such as Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, the player will earn twice as many points than normal while invincible. Typically, the game's background music is replaced by a game-specific "invincibility theme" for the duration of the item's effect. In the later games, the stars were replaced by a glow surrounding the character.

High speed boxes give the player character enhanced speed for a limited time. In the earlier games, the background music increases in tempo for the duration of the power up, while in later games, a jingle plays during the speed-up.

1-up boxes display the face of the player's character and give the player one extra life. It lets the player restart the level either at the starting point, or, if one has been passed, by the last checkpoint in the event the player loses on a stage. Multiple lives can be collected, generally up to 99.

A specific type of item box is only available through Debug mode in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, which displayed a flashing "S" of the playing character's color palette. Upon opening this item box, the character would instantly gain fifty rings and would transform directly to Hyper form in the case of Sonic and Knuckles, and Super form for Tails.

Other item boxes featured include the Robotnik box (Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic 2's 2-Player mode), which causes damage to whoever opens it and the teleport box (Sonic 2's 2-player mode only), which swapped both players' positions, whilst modern game have other boxes dedicated to their unique features (such as Sonic Heroes's level up system).

Giant Rings/Warp Ring

Giant Rings were featured in a few Sonic games, mainly from the 16-bit era. They served as a portal to enter a Special Stage, where the player could collect one of the Chaos Emeralds or, in certain circumstances, Super Emeralds. In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, if all Emeralds have already been found, touching them rewards the player with fifty rings. In most games since Sonic Adventure 2, these giant rings have been renamed Goal Rings and taken the place of the old signposts as the end level marker, which ends the level upon touching it.


Checkpoints, originally called Lamp Posts and Star Posts, are items placed throughout the stages in Sonic games. If the player runs through one, their game is "saved", and if the player loses a life on the same stage, they will start over at the last checkpoint passed, although one life is lost and any rings or items collected up to that point (except for important items such as the Chaos Emeralds) are lost. Checkpoints also serve other uses in various games, such as entering Special Stages in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and leveling up in Sonic Heroes. In the 3D games before Sonic Heroes, and a few after, when holding a certain amount of rings, the player can gain power-ups usually found in item boxes from passing through checkpoints. One of these can be used as an in-stage weapon if hit in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In the 2D games, they take the appearance of posts, whilst in 3D games, they are small gates.


Levels in most 2D Sonic games are referred to as "Zones", each of which is split into one or more sections referred to as "Acts". The far end of each Act is marked by a sign post showing the face of Dr. Eggman, and passing this causes it to spin round and display a different image, usually the face of the player's chosen character. Upon defeating the boss at the end of each Zone, the player is presented with a large capsule containing small animals imprisoned by Eggman; hitting a button on the cage will free the animals and clear that Zone.

This basic concept of two types of goals is present in most 2D Sonic games; however, in the 8-bit versions, the spinning sign shows a question mark, and when flipped it will may show different pictures meaning bonuses for the player. In Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, the panel would come down after a mini-boss fight, and players could attack it in the air for extra points. On some occasions when it hit the ground, it would bounce up leaving an item monitor behind. Sonic Advance was the last game to use the basic concept of two goals.

Sonic Adventure continued the trend of having a cage filled with animals as the ultimate goal in each level, although more recent Sonic games from Sonic Adventure 2 have a goal ring at the end of each act, which ends the stage when touched and gives the player a rank based on their time and score (the exception to this is Sonic Rush Adventure, which uses a treasure chest at the end of each standard level). Sonic and the Black Knight makes a reference to the old fashioned goal signs in some of its levels.

In Sonic Advance 2, a different type of goal was used, in which players would get bonus points depending on how fast they went through the finish and how quickly they could brake to a stop.


Springs are probably just as recognizable in the Sonic series as rings are. Springs are scattered throughout the many levels in the games, and they will catapult the player at high speeds in a certain direction. They are mostly used to allow the player to proceed, but some are used to hinder the player, by either sending them back towards a dangerous area or by creating a loop between two springs. Some are also hidden and are used to access special areas with either a powerup, a cache of powerups, or to access special stages. Most 2D games feature yellow and red springs, with the red ones being more powerful. In recent games, they are red and blue with white stars, and are either single, launching Sonic in a specific direction, or bumpers that launch Sonic to higher platforms. Sonic Unleashed also feature nasty springs with Eggman's face on them that launch Sonic towards danger or hinder his progress. Springs also serve as Sonic's Up Special (Up + Special Move button) move in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.


The Sonic the Hedgehog universe is populated with generic animals as well as anthropomorphic ones. These small animals (referred to as "Sonic's friends" in earlier games) are often used by Dr. Robotnik as "organic batteries" to power his robot armies. The trapped animal inside can be freed usually by hitting the robot and destroying its metal case. In Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2, the small animals can be given to Chao, altering their appearance and attributes. The small animals were originally the major population of Sonic's world (also known as Mobius in Sonic Underground, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog) before Sonic Adventure, which introduced human populations and cities.

The original seven different animals in Sonic the Hedgehog were characterized in different ways in different markets. In Japan, they were given profiles and names in the game's instruction manual; the Western manuals, conversely, made no mention of them, leaving various Sega media such as Stay Sonic guidebook and the UK's Sonic the Comic to establish the Western names for these characters. The original seven animals are:

  • Flicky: The most prominently used animal in Eggman's implantations, this small bird's first appearance in a game predates Sonic. Flicky and its respective game were alluded to in Sonic 3D Blast. Of the seven initial animals, this is the only one to have a consistent name in all regions. Flickies were last used by Eggman to power his E-Series line in Sonic Adventure.
  • A squirrel or chipmunk. Named Ricky in Japan, but gender-swapped for Western markets and named Sally Acorn, serving as the inspiration for the Archie Comics character.
  • A grey rabbit. Named Pocky in Japan, called Johnny Lightfoot in Stay Sonic and Sonic the Comic, and the basis for Archie Comics' Bunnie Rabbot.
  • A white seal. Named Rocky in Japan, called Joe Sushi in Stay Sonic, and the basis for Archie Comics' Rotor.
  • A small pig. Named Picky in Japan, called Porker Lewis in Stay Sonic and Sonic the Comic.
  • A black penguin usually freed in aquatic levels. Called Pecky in Japan, named Tux in Stay Sonic.


Numerous composers have worked on the music of games in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Masato Nakamura of J-pop band Dreams Come True was responsible for the music of the first two 16-bit games. Ys/Streets of Rage composer Yūzō Koshiro composed the tunes for the first 8-bit title, barring what was retained from the 16-bit version.

Sega's in-house music company, Wave Master, did the majority of the music in later titles. One Wave Master employee, Jun Senoue, is part of the band Crush 40, and through his ties to the band they have played the main theme tunes of both of the Sonic Adventure games, Sonic Heroes, Shadow the Hedgehog, and Sonic and the Black Knight. Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog also featured other bands, such as Julien-K. For the 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog game, Senoue and Crush 40 performed a remix of "All Hail Shadow" to play as Shadow the Hedgehog's theme for the game.

Richard Jacques, a frequent composer of music for Sega games, contributed to the soundtracks of Sonic R, the Saturn/PC version of Sonic 3D Blast: Flickies' Island and most recently, Sonic and the Black Knight. Runblebee has done songs for Sonic games such as Sonic Riders and Sonic and the Secret Rings, and Steve Conte performed the Sonic and the Secret Rings main theme, "Seven Rings In Hand", as well as its end theme "Worth A Chance".

On several recent games, well-known artists have contributed music to the series. For example, Bowling for Soup lead singer Jaret Reddick performed "Endless Possibility", the main theme of Sonic Unleashed, and former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman played on "With Me", the final boss theme for Sonic and the Black Knight.

Other media


Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (or AoStH for short) is an American animated television series that was first broadcast in September 1993, and ran in cartoon syndication for a number of years afterwards. It follows the escapades of Sonic and Tails as they stop the evil Dr. Ivo Robotnik and his array of vicious robots from taking over the planet Mobius. The plots very loosely followed the storyline of the video games series; at the time the Sonic games were still quite new, and lacking much plot or character development, which was in turn filled in by the show's writers.

The animated television series simply called Sonic the Hedgehog originally aired from September 1993 to June 1995. While Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog is known for its bright colors and whimsical humor, Sonic the Hedgehog featured darker stories which constituted a departure from the tone of the Sonic games of the time. In order to distinguish this cartoon from the character and video games with which it shares a name, fans typically refer to the series as SatAM, because it was a Saturday morning cartoon while Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog aired on weekdays in syndication. At the time this series was made the Sega games had a distinct lack of characters, which allowed the writers to fill in the missing niches with their own creations.

A two-episode OVA series based upon the game Sonic CD and the video game series as a whole, Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie was released in Japan in 1996 and released as an English dub in North America in 1999. Unlike the games, the film takes place on a world named Planet Freedom.

The cartoon Sonic Underground ran for only one season, in 1999; it bears little relation to other entries featuring Sonic (including previous games, comics and animated series), and shares few established characters. Forty episodes were produced and released.[18] Unlike its predecessor, SatAM, the heroes do not remain in a sanctuary-like refuge but instead travel around Mobius to battle Robotnik's forces on a global scale. The Mobian civilization featured in the series includes multiple cities, a poor underclass and an aristocracy for the heroes to interact with. Sonic Underground is the only animated series based on Sonic where Tails has not made an appearance. However, it is the first to introduce an animated appearance of Knuckles the Echidna.

The anime Sonic X is the longest-running animated series based on Sonic to date. Originally a 52 episode series that was inspired by the plots of the Sonic Adventure series, Sonic X has since expanded to 78 episodes with the latest 26 episodes set primarily in outer space. The series borrows more from the games than any other Sonic cartoon before it; with the exception of Blaze the Cat, E-123 Omega, Babylon Rogues, Silver the Hedgehog, Metal Sonic, Mighty the Armadillo and other characters, every significant and playable video game character has made an appearance in the series. Sonic X is also the only animated series to include Super Sonic. It was dubbed into English by 4Kids Entertainment, whose cast replaced the game series' cast following the death of Deem Bristow, starting with Shadow the Hedgehog.


The Sonic the Hedgehog manga series, published in Shogakukan's Shogaku Yonensei (literally "fourth-year student") was written by Kenji Terada and it was illustrated by Sango Norimoto. The manga, which started in 1992, was about a hedgehog boy named Nicky who can turn into Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic fights Eggman, with Tails tagging along to help him.

Sonic the Comic, was a UK comic published by Fleetway Editions between 1993 and 2002. Labeled "The UK's official Sega comic", Sonic the Comic was one of few pieces of Sonic fiction to faithfully replicate the world of the 16-bit era video games: elements and terms from the games such as zones, rings, item boxes and star posts were incorporated into the comic. The publication's own identity and ongoing storyline and setting were established with a story in which Sonic, Tails and their friends were sent forward in time six months. During their absence, Doctor Robotnik conquered the entire planet Mobius, and Sonic's group were forced underground, operating as "freedom fighters" attempting to bring down Robotnik's rule of the planet. Due to an aggressive series of budget cuts on the part of Fleetway, the series went into full reprint by issue 184; the final story ended with a number of loose ends left untied. The comic is now unofficially being continued online.

Sonic the Hedgehog is an ongoing series of American comic books published by Archie Comics. All of Archie's Sonic-related series, miniseries and specials take place in the same fictional universe. This universe features a mixture of characters, settings and situations from the video games, the SatAM cartoon, the various other incarnations of Sonic, and many elements unique to the comic universe.

Sonic X is the title of a comic book series also published by Archie Comics that exists to supplement the stories from the animated series of the same name. It began in September 2005 and was originally meant to be a four-part series; due to the positive reaction to the series' announcement, it was extended to ongoing status before the first issue premiered. The comic is unique in that it is not directly based on the games; the comic is based on the television show and takes place in its expanded fictional universe. The comic borrows elements from the series first two seasons of the show and characters from the Sonic Adventure storyline. The comic has been canceled, and its place has been taken by the new Sonic comic book series called Sonic Universe.


Aggregate review scores
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 91.88%[20]
Sonic the Hedgehog CD 100.00%[21]
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 97.50%[22]
Sonic & Knuckles 91.25%[23]
Sonic Adventure 87.12%[24]
Sonic Adventure 2 83.71%[25] 89[26]
Sonic Heroes (Xbox) 75.21%[27]
(GC) 74.06%[28]
(PS2) 69.18%[29]
(PC) 60.00%[30]
(Xbox) 73[31]
(GC) 72[32]
(PC) 66[33]
(PS2) 64[34]
Sonic the Hedgehog (X360) 48.22%[35]
(PS3) 45.68%[36]
(X360) 46[37]
(PS3) 43[38]
Sonic Unleashed (PS2) 67.00%[39]
(Wii) 66.26%[40]
(X360) 61.10%[41]
(PS3) 56.18%[42]
(PS2) 66[43]
(Wii) 66[44]
(X360) 60[45]
(PS3) 54[46]

The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise was awarded seven records by Guinness World Records in Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. The records include "Best Selling Game on Sega Systems", "Longest Running Comic Based on a Video Game" and "Best Selling Retro Game Compilation" (for Sonic Mega Collection). A common criticism is the variant gameplay styles in recent 3D titles that have strayed from the formula of the original series.[47] Specifically, the series' jump to 3D has been noted as a declining point.[48]


Units sold
Year Title Sales
1991 Sonic the Hedgehog 4 million[49]
1992 Sonic the Hedgehog 2 6 million[50]
1994 Sonic the Hedgehog 3 1.02 million in US[51]
1994 Sonic & Knuckles 1.24 million in US[51]
1998 Sonic Adventure 2.5 million[50]
2001 Sonic Adventure 2: Battle 1 million shipped[49]
2001 Sonic Advance 1.5 million [51]
2002 Sonic Advance 2 1 million [51]
2003 Sonic Heroes 4 million [49]
2004 Sonic Advance 3 1.5 million [51]
2005 Shadow the Hedgehog 1 million[52]
2006 Sonic the Hedgehog (mobile) 8 million[53]
2007 Sonic and the Secret Rings 1.2 million[54]
2007 Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games 5 million[55]
2008 Sonic Unleashed 5 million[56]

Many games in the series have been commercially successful. As of 2008, the series has collectively sold over 50 million units worldwide.[57] Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Genesis and Sonic Adventure for the Dreamcast are the best-selling games for their respective platforms.


  1. Kennedy, Sam. "The Essential 50: Sonic the Hedgehog". Retrieved 2006-06-03. 
  3. Note that Sonic is not the central character in certain games, such as Shadow the Hedgehog, Knuckles Chaotix, Tails Adventures and Tails' Skypatrol, where Shadow the Hedgehog, the Chaotix and Miles "Tails" Prower were the central characters, respectively.
  4. Although the manifestation of Dr. Robotnik's goal to conquer to was left unnamed in pre-32-bit games, Sonic Adventure and games since then have heavily developed this aspect.
  5. Fletcher, JC (2008-02-06). "The VC Advantage: Sonic and the Secret - Nintendo Wii Fanboy". Nintendo Wii Fanboy<!. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  6. Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine Review The Genesis take on the classic puzzler, Puyo Puyo. by Lucas M. Thomas
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Reach for the Rings". Sonic the Hedgehog. English. Sega. "p. 4" 
  8. "1P Game: Viewing the Game Screen". Shadow the Hedgehog. English. Sega. "p. 19" 
  9. "Items for Survival". Sonic the Hedgehog. English. Sega. "p. 6" 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Secret Zone". Sonic the Hedgehog. English. Sega. "p. 8" 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Sonic Team. Sonic Adventure. (Sega). Level/area: "?" Story.
  12. "Prologue". Sonic the Hedgehog. Japanese. Sega. "p. 4-5" 
  13. "Sonic Channel". Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  14. "Sonic's Adventure Continues". Sonic the Hedgehog 3. English. Sega. "p. 4" 
  15. Sonic Team. Sonic Adventure 2. (Sega). Level/area: Hero Side: Wild Canyon.
  16. Yuji Naka: "...the Mega Drive allowed this stunning demonstration of rotation during the bonus stages. This was said to be impossible on the hardware at the time." "The making of... Sonic The Hedgehog". Edge (101): 121. September 2001. 
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  24. "Sonic Adventure Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  25. "Sonic Adventure 2 Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  26. "Sonic Adventure 2 (drm: 2001): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  27. "Sonic Heroes Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  28. "Sonic Heroes Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  29. "Sonic Heroes Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  30. "Sonic Heroes Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  31. "Sonic Heroes (xbx: 2004): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  32. "Sonic Heroes (cube: 2004): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  33. "Sonic Heroes (pc: 2004): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  34. "Sonic Heroes (ps2: 2004): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
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  36. "Sonic the Hedgehog Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  37. "Sonic the Hedgehog (xbox360: 2006): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  38. "Sonic the Hedgehog (ps3: 2007): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  39. "Sonic Unleashed Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  40. "Sonic Unleashed Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  41. "Sonic Unleashed Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  42. "Sonic Unleashed Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  43. "Sonic Unleashed (ps2: 2008): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  44. "Sonic Unleashed (wii: 2008): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  45. "Sonic Unleashed (xbox360: 2008): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  46. "Sonic Unleashed (ps3: 2008): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  48. Buchanan, Levi (February 20, 2009). "Where Did Sonic Go Wrong?". IGN. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 Sega (2002-07-01). "Sonic Adventure 2 Battle and Sonic Advance ship one million units worldwide; new Sonic the Hedgehog titles announced". Press release. Retrieved 2008-05-26. 
  50. 50.0 50.1 Boutros, Daniel (2006-08-04). "Sonic the Hedgehog 2". A Detailed Cross-Examination of Yesterday and Today's Best-Selling Platform Games. Gamasutra. pp. 5. Retrieved 2006-12-08. 
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 51.3 51.4 "US Platinum Videogame Chart". The Magic Box. 2007-12-27. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  52. Kuo, Li C. (May 17, 2006). "More Good News for the Game Industry". GameSpy. Retrieved January 31, 2009. 
  53. Parfitt, Ben (May 29, 2008). "Sonic rings mobile success". MCVUK. Retrieved February 17, 2010. 
  54. Ashutosh Chhibbar (March 21, 2008). "3rd party Wii games that sold a million". That Videogames Blog. Retrieved March 21, 2008. 
  55. Crecente, Brian (2008-07-18). "Another Mario Sonic Collaboration in the Works?". Kotaku. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  56. "Financial Results" (in Japanese) (Portable Document Format). Sega Sammy Holdings. 2009-05-13. p. 7. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 

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