Master System cover art
|Series||Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Release date(s)||Master System
Sonic Chaos is a platform game developed by Aspect and published by Sega. The game was released for the Master System in October 1993, and for the Game Gear the following month. The Game Gear version was re-released in 2003 as a hidden game in Sonic Adventure DX for the GameCube and Windows and as an included game in Sonic Mega Collection Plus on the PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC. In 2009, the Master System version was released on the Virtual Console.
Sonic Chaos was the first 8-bit Sonic title to feature Tails as a playable character, and also the first in the series to allow the player to manually control his flight. A sequel, titled Sonic Triple Trouble, was released in 1994.
The plot to Sonic Chaos revolves around Dr. Robotnik and his quest for world domination via the use of the mysterious Chaos Emeralds to create nuclear weapons and lasers (according to the North American instruction manual).
While out on an aimless adventure, Sonic and Tails hear a troubling rumor: word has it that Robotnik has returned to South Island in their absence and has managed to procure the Red Chaos Emerald. As a result of the theft, the other five Emeralds have been thrown off-balance, scattered to all ends of the island. Without the power of all six Chaos Emeralds, South Island and its residents will sink into the ocean. With no time to lose, Sonic and Tails head for ground zero to retrieve the stolen gem.
Overall, the gameplay is similar to previous 8-bit Sonic games, albeit players can now play as either Sonic or Tails. For the first time in the 8-bit series, both characters are able to perform the Spin Dash introduced in the 16-bit version of Sonic 2. By holding up and pressing buttons, Sonic can perform the Super Peel-out introduced in Sonic CD, while Tails is able to fly, this being the first game in which he can do so. While playing as Sonic, players can collect rocket boots which allow him to fly through the air for a short time. He is also able to enter Special Stages. Tails is slower than Sonic and can't enter Special Stages or use rocket boots, but he starts the game with more lives and continues.
Unlike previous 8-bit Sonic games, the Chaos Emeralds are mostly located in Special Stages available while playing as Sonic. In order to enter a Special Stage, Sonic & Tails needs to collect 100 Rings in one act (the player also will be awarded an extra life for collecting 100 Rings). Successfully completing the Special Stage allows Sonic or Tails to collect a Chaos Emerald. Failing to complete the Special Stage will put Sonic & Tails to the next act, without the Emerald. Robotnik himself holds the sixth Chaos Emerald, and the player needs to beat him in order to win it back. Tails have the Emeralds as a concern for the player and beating the game yields the same ending, effectively making Tails an "Easy" mode. Zones: Turquoise Hill Zone, Gigalopolis Zone, Sleeping Egg Zone, Mecha Green Hill Zone, Aqua Planet Zone, Electric Egg Zone.
Sonic Chaos's stages were largely based on those of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. However, Aspect's growing experience with the handheld console allowed Sonic and Tails to move twice as quickly as they had in Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
In retrospect, in 2009, Ken Balough, Sega's associate brand manager, said that Sonic Chaos was "put in a bit of a situation" since a player seeing the 8 bit graphics after experiencing 16 bit graphics would make Sonic Chaos seem "a bit rough" to him or her. Balough added "visually and speedwise, it was just not as impressive as its Genesis brethren."
The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly scored the Game Gear version an 8.25 out of 10, commenting that it retains all the elements that made the 16-bit Sonic games fun. They also praised the graphics and the ability to play as Tails.
Sonic Chaos was awarded Best Game Gear Game of 1993 by Electronic Gaming Monthly.
Darren Calvert of NintendoLife gave the Virtual Console release of the Master System version a 4 out of 10, criticizing its lack of difficulty, short length, and uninspired level design.
- "[セガハード大百科] ゲームギア対応ソフトウェア（セガ発売）". Sega. Archived from the original on June 1, 2012. Retrieved 2015-08-03.
- "Sonic Chaos: Special Stage :: WiiWare Walkthrough". KidzWorld. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
- "Sonic Chaos". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 52. November 1993. p. 148.
- Gamespot Staff. "Sonic the Hedgehog Q&A." GameSpot. September 8, 2009. Retrieved on November 29, 2009.
- "Review Crew: Sonic Chaos". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 54. Sendai Publishing. January 1994. p. 52.
- "Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide". 1994.
- Calvert, Darren (February 2, 2009). "Review: Sonic Chaos (SMS)". Nintendolife. Retrieved 23 January 2017.