Master System cover art
|Series||Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Release date(s)||Sega Master System
Sonic Chaos is a platform game for the Sega Master System developed by Aspect and published and released by Sega in Europe on October 25, 1993. It was later released for the Sega Game Gear in Japan on November 19, 1993 under the name Sonic & Tails (ソニック＆テイルス Sonikku to Teirusu?), on November 23, 1993 in North America under simply Sonic Chaos and in Europe in November 1993 under the same name. It was the last platform based Sonic game released for the European Sega Master System.
The Sega Game Gear version was re-released in 2003 as a hidden game in Sonic Adventure DX for the Nintendo GameCube and PC 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 storyline 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 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 to collect a Chaos Emerald. Failing to complete the Special Stage will put Sonic 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 doesn't 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 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.
However, the game was criticized for its lack of difficulty and short length. NintendoLife gave the game a 4 out of 10.
Sonic Chaos was awarded Best Sega Game Gear Game of 1993 by Electronic Gaming Monthly.
- "[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 (EGM Media, LLC). January 1994. p. 52.
- "Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide". 1994.