Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit video game)
|Sonic the Hedgehog|
Master System cover art
|Series||Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Release date(s)||Master System
Sonic the Hedgehog (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ Sonikku za Hejjihoggu?) is a 1991 platform video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series that was released on October 25, 1991 for the Master System and on December 28, 1991 for the Game Gear. Developed by Ancient, it is the distinct 8-bit version of 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 Master System II in Europe. It was the last Master System game released in North America.
In 2008, the Master System version was 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. A sequel, titled Sonic The Hedgehog 2, was released one year later.
The game sees players playing as Sonic the Hedgehog as he travels across South Island to steal it from the evil Dr. Ivo Robotnik. Sonic is able to attack enemies by performing a Super Sonic jump 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 speed, speed shoes, everlasting 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 a few pieces of music from the original 16-bit version by Masato Nakamura, while the rest of the soundtrack consisted of his own original music. "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. The Game Gear version then went on to be released for the 3DS eShop in 2014. 
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Sonic the Hedgehog has received a positive response from fans in addition to mostly positive critical reception. The gaming press at the time applauded the efforts of the development team to bring the Mega Drive/Genesis title to the Sega Master System, with Mean Machines scoring 90%, Sega Force scoring 95% and Sega Pro scoring 96%.[by whom?]
- "One WiiWare Game and Two Virtual Console Games Added to Wii Shop Channel". Nintendo of America. 2008-08-04. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
- "Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)". The GHZ. 20 May 2007. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
- Chris Greening & Don Kotowski (February 2011). "Interview with Yuzo Koshiro". Square Enix Music Online. 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.
- "Sonic the Hedgehog (3DS eShop / Game Gear) Review". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
- "Sega Master Force Issue 2" (2). September 1993: 12. Retrieved November 19, 2015.