Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)
|Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)|
Master System cover art
|Designer(s)||Shinobu Hayashi (Programming)
Ayano Koshiro and Takefuni Yunoue (Design)
|Release date(s)||Master System
Sonic the Hedgehog is an 8-bit 1991 platform video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series that was released on October 25, 1991 for the Sega Master System and the Game Gear. It is distinct from the more popular 16-bit game. In addition to its original release as a cartridge, the game was later built into some versions of the Sega Master System II in Europe.
In 2008, the game was re-released for the Wii Virtual Console in North America on August 4, 2008 and in Europe on September 19, 2008. The Game Gear version has appeared with other titles on Sonic Adventure DX for GameCube and PC and Sonic Mega Collection+ for PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC.
The game sees players playing as Sonic the Hedgehog as he travels across South Island to liberate it from the evil Dr. Ivo Robotnik. Sonic is able to attack enemies by performing a Spin Attack, either by jumping into the air or rolling on the ground, the latter of which can also send Sonic off ramps. By collecting rings, Sonic can protect himself from damage from enemies and obstacles. Sonic will lose a life if he is hit without carrying any rings, or if he drowns or falls into a bottomless pit. Items found throughout the game include extra lives, speed shoes, invincibility, shields and checkpoints. Throughout the game, Sonic travels through six zones, each consisting of two main acts and a boss battle stage. At the end of each main act, the player hits a Goalpost which can award bonuses depending on how many rings Sonic is carrying. If the player has over 50 rings, they can access a bonus stage where more rings and continues can be collected. In each zone, there is a Chaos Emerald hidden somewhere in one of the acts, with a good ending awarded if the player finds all of them and completes the game.
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The game's soundtrack was composed by chiptune musician Yuzo Koshiro. He adapted several pieces of music from the original 16-bit version, while the rest of the soundtrack consisted of his own original music. One of his original pieces, the "Bridge Zone" theme, was later sampled in Janet Jackson's best-selling single "Together Again" (1997). The "Bridge Zone" theme was also later sampled in Sonic Adventure, for the Miles "Tails" Prower theme song, "Believe in Myself" by Karen Brake. Another one of Koshiro's original pieces for the soundtrack, "Jungle Zone", was later sampled in the Australian hit single "Accidently Kelly Street" by Frente! in 1992.
Ports and re-releases 
A few months after the Master System release, the game was ported to the Game Gear. This version contains some slight changes from the Master System version due to the differences in resolution and color pallette.
The Game Gear version was included as an unlockable game in Sonic Adventure DX, released for the Nintendo Gamecube in 2003 and PC in 2004. The Game Gear version was later included as part of the Sonic Mega Collection Plus compilation, released for PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2004 and for PC in 2006. The Master System version of the game was released for the Wii's Virtual Console service in August 2008.
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- Chris Greening & Don Kotowski (February 2011). "Interview with Yuzo Koshiro". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2011-06-20.
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- "Janet Jackson". SampleHappy.com. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Yuzo Koshiro". WhoSampled. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- "Karen Brake: Believe in Myself". WhoSampled. Retrieved 2011-06-20.
- Mr Toffee (November 22, 2010). "Music Box: Hey, That Sounds Familiar". GameAxis Online. Singapore Press Holdings. p. 2. Retrieved 2011-06-20.