Sonic the Hedgehog 3

This is a good article. Click here for more information.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sonic the Hedgehog 3
North American box art featuring Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Dr. Robotnik
Developer(s)Sega Technical Institute
Director(s)Hirokazu Yasuhara
Producer(s)Yuji Naka
  • Yuji Naka
  • Hiroshi Nikaidoh
  • Masanobu Yamamoto
  • Takashi Yuda
  • Satoshi Yokokawa
Brad Buxer
    • Bobby Brooks
    • Darryl Ross
    • Geoff Grace
    • Doug Grigsby III
    • Cirocco Jones
Sega Sound Team
    • Tokuhiko Uwabo
    • Sachio Ogawa
    • Yoshiaki Kashima
    • Masaru Setsumaru
    • Tatsuyuki Maeda
    • Tomonori Sawada
    • Masayuki Nagao
    • Jun Senoue
SeriesSonic the Hedgehog
Platform(s)Sega Genesis, Windows
ReleaseSega Genesis
  • NA: February 2, 1994
  • EU: February 24, 1994
  • JP: May 27, 1994
  • AU: March, 1994
  • JP: February 14, 1997
  • WW: 1997
Genre(s)Platform game
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Sonic the Hedgehog 3[a] is a 1994 platform game developed and published by Sega for the Genesis. Like previous Sonic games, players traverse side-scrolling levels while collecting rings and defeating enemies. They control Sonic and Tails, who attempt to retrieve the Chaos Emeralds to stop the evil Doctor Robotnik from relaunching his space station, the Death Egg, after it crash-lands on a mysterious floating island. Sonic 3 introduces Knuckles the Echidna, the island guardian, who lays traps for Sonic and Tails.

Development began in January 1993 by Sega Technical Institute in California, shortly after the release of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. It was initially developed as an isometric game similar to what would eventually become Sonic 3D Blast (1996), but became a conventional 2D platform game due to time constraints. Sonic 3 was developed simultaneously with Sonic & Knuckles; they were planned as a single game until time constraints and cartridge costs forced the developers to split it. The Sonic 3 cartridge can be attached to an adapter on the Sonic & Knuckles cartridge, creating a combined game, Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Pop musician Michael Jackson composed portions of the soundtrack, but left the project and went uncredited; his music was replaced in some rereleases.

Sonic 3 was released in North America and Europe in February 1994, and in Japan in May. As with its predecessors, it was a critical and commercial success, with critics seeing it as an improvement over previous installments. Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles sold a combined four million copies worldwide, placing them among the bestselling Genesis games. They have been rereleased in various Sega and Sonic compilations.


Sonic and Tails exploring the underwater portion of Hydrocity, the game's second zone

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is a 2D side-scrolling platformer. As with Sonic the Hedgehog 2, players can control Sonic, Tails, or both simultaneously. In the former choice, players control Sonic while Tails runs along beside him; a second player can join at any time and control Tails separately.[1] Sonic 3 adds the ability for Tails to fly for a short time by spinning his twin tails like a helicopter rotor;[1] when he tires, he falls. Unlike Sonic, Tails can also swim underwater.[2]

Sonic 3 takes place over six zones,[3] each divided into two acts. Levels are populated with "badniks", robots created by the villain, Dr. Robotnik; Sonic and Tails can defeat them by jumping on them or using the "spin dash" attack, which also gives the character a speed boost.[2] The levels include obstacles and other features such as vertical loops, corkscrews, breakable walls, spikes, water that the player can drown in, and bottomless pits.[4] There is a miniboss fight with one of Robotnik's large, powerful robots at the end of the first act of each level and a boss fight with Robotnik at the end of the second.[5] Reaching a new level saves the game to one of six save slots.[6]

As with previous Sonic games, Sonic 3 uses rings, scattered throughout the levels, as a health system; when the player is attacked without rings, is crushed, falls off-screen, drowns, or exceeds the act's ten-minute limit, they lose a life and return to the most recently passed checkpoint. Dying with zero lives gives the player a game over. The levels also include power-ups in television monitors that, when hit, grant the character an extra life, temporary invincibility to most hazards, a number of rings,[7] a shield that allows them to breathe underwater, a shield that allows them to withstand fire from enemy projectiles, or a shield that attracts nearby rings.[8]

Sonic 3 contains two types of "special stages". When the player collects at least 50 rings and passes a checkpoint, they can warp to the first type,[9] which involves bouncing up a gumball machine-like corridor to earn power-ups by hitting a switch. Both sides of the corridor are lined with flippers, which disappear when the character bounces on them, and the switch drops when both flippers supporting it are removed. The corridor's floor contains a bounce pad, which also disappears after one use; falling afterwards causes the player to leave the stage with the most recent power-up collected.[10]

Tails in one of the special stages, in which the player can earn Chaos Emeralds

The second type, triggered by entering giant rings found in secret passages, involves running around a 3D map and passing through all of a number of blue spheres arranged in patterns. Passing through a blue sphere turns it red, and touching a red sphere causes the player to leave the stage, unless the player has just completed a cycle around an arrangement of blue spheres, in which case all of these spheres turn to harmless rings. Removing all of the blue spheres gives the player a Chaos Emerald; if Sonic (not Tails) collects all seven, he unlocks the ability to become Super Sonic, which makes him invincible to most obstacles.[8][11] Failing to collect the seven Chaos Emeralds triggers a post-credits scene in which Robotnik and Knuckles taunt the player.[12]

Sonic 3 includes a competitive mode: two players, controlling Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles, race through one or all of five stages that do not appear in the main game. In these same stages, a single player can compete against the clock in time attacks.[13]

Sonic 3 & Knuckles[edit]

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles were planned as single game, but were released separately due to time constraints and cartridge size limitations.[14] The Sonic & Knuckles cartridge features a "lock-on" adapter that allows other Genesis cartridges to be attached. Connecting the Sonic 3 cartridge creates a combined game, Sonic 3 & Knuckles. The lock-on function is available in most rereleases.[9]

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles allows the player to play Sonic 3 levels as Knuckles or Sonic & Knuckles levels as Tails, or both Sonic and Tails.[15] Other new features are the ability to collect Super Emeralds, unlocking new "Hyper" forms for Sonic and Knuckles and a "Super" form for Tails;[b] improved save options; access to areas that Sonic or Tails could not previously access; altered boss forms; and an additional ending that shows Sonic returning the Master Emerald to Angel Island.[16]


After Sonic and Tails defeat Dr. Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Robotnik's space station, the Death Egg, crash-lands on the floating Angel Island. There, Robotnik meets Knuckles the Echidna, the last member of an ancient echidna civilization that once inhabited the island. Knuckles is the guardian of the Master Emerald, which grants the island its levitation power and has an equal power level of the 7 Chaos Emeralds.[17] Robotnik dupes Knuckles into believing Sonic is trying to steal the Master Emerald, turning the two against each other while he repairs the Death Egg.[18]

Sonic and Tails approach Angel Island in their biplane, the Tornado. Sonic uses the Chaos Emeralds to transform into Super Sonic, but Knuckles ambushes him and steals the emeralds.[17] Sonic and Tails travel the island hindered by Knuckles and Robotnik.[18] At the Launch Base, where the Death Egg is under repair, Sonic and Tails fight Knuckles, but the Death Egg relaunches. On a platform attached to the Death Egg, they defeat Robotnik, causing the Death Egg to crash-land on Angel Island again. The story resumes in Sonic & Knuckles.[18][19][20]


Like Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 was developed in California by Sega Technical Institute (STI).[21] After the completion of Sonic 2, STI split into two teams: one comprised Japanese developers, who worked on Sonic 3, and the other Americans, who worked on Sonic Spinball.[22][23][24] Yuji Naka and Hirokazu Yasuhara were the primary creators of the Sonic 3 design document and project schedule.[25] Naka selected the majority of the team, while STI director Roger Hector oversaw development, and Pamela Kelly led the marketing for Sega. [22]

Development began in January 1993, with a deadline of February 1994, when Sega and McDonald's would launch a major promotional campaign in America.[26][27] Initially, the team used the new Sega Virtua Processor chip, allowing for 3D graphics. They created a prototype with isometric graphics with the working title Sonic 3D; the original special stage featured a polygonal Sonic in a figure eight-shaped stage. When it became apparent that the chip would not be finished by 1994, Sonic 3 was restarted as a more conventional 2D platform game.[26] The isometric concept was eventually used for Sonic 3D Blast in 1996.[22][28]

According to Naka, the team felt that they needed a deeper story to expand the world of Sonic, which "made the project huge"; the levels are triple the size of those in Sonic 2.[29] Many elements were conceived during the development of Sonic 2 but deferred to Sonic 3.[22] Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles were originally planned as a single game. However, time was limited and the manufacturing costs of a 34-megabit cartridge[30] with NVRAM would have been prohibitively expensive.[31] Due to the game's scope and the Sega's commitment to the start date of the McDonald's Happy Meal promotion and corresponding TV ad campaign, the team reluctantly split it in half,[22][14] allowing more time to develop the second part and splitting the cost between two cartridges.[31] The Sonic & Knuckles cartridge's lock-on technology was created, named and implemented so Sonic 3 could be experienced as intended.[14]

Sonic 3 features the debut of Sonic's rival, Knuckles the Echidna. Many designs for the character were considered;[32] for the final design, Takashi Yuda chose the kind of animal, and Pamela Kelly chose the name.[33] Yuda envisioned him as a supporting character for Sonic, and felt he would make a good playable character.[34] Whereas Sonic symbolizes speed, Knuckles symbolizes power,[29] and the emphasis of the character was to break walls.[35] His shoe coloration was inspired by Jamaica's flag.[29] The original name for the character was "Dreds", referring to his dreadlocks.[36] The design was tested with focus groups of American children.[26]

Hector said Sonic 3 had a troubled development. He recalled having to prevent the rest of Sega from bothering the team while simultaneously making sure the game would be finished in time. Additionally, Hector struggled to balance resources between Sonic 3 and other projects, Naka was sometimes seen as a harsh leader, and STI staff not on the Sonic 3 team became jealous of the priority given to the game.[22]

Michael Jackson's involvement[edit]

According to some involved in development, Michael Jackson composed portions of the Sonic 3 soundtrack but went uncredited. His involvement was denied by senior Sega staff.

In 2005, Hector said that Sega had hired the American pop musician Michael Jackson to compose music for Sonic 3.[37] Jackson was a Sonic fan[38]: 292  and had collaborated with Sega on the 1990 arcade game Moonwalker.[39] Jackson's tour director at the time, Brad Buxer, assembled a team and worked on the project for four weeks at Record One in Los Angeles in 1993.[40][41] They developed fully fledged tracks, with extensive samples of Jackson beatboxing, to be adapted for the Genesis.[40] Hector said the work had a recognizable Jackson sound.[40] According to Buxer, Jackson only worked on one of the 41 tracks that the team composed.[41]

Around this time, allegations of child sexual abuse against Jackson emerged. Buxer said the team received no instruction to halt work, and that the finished soundtrack was sent to Sega in mid-1993.[40] According to Hector, Jackson's involvement was terminated following the allegations;[40] his music had already been implemented and had to be quickly reworked by Howard Drossin.[22] Drossin had joined the project expecting to work with Jackson.[40] Naoto Ohshima, the co-creator of Sonic, said Jackson recorded an a cappella demo tape for the game, but that Sega could not use the compositions due to the allegations.[38]: 301 [42]

Buxer and two other members of Jackson's team, Doug Grigsby III and Cirocco Jones, said the music remained in the game. They said Jackson went uncredited because he was unhappy with how the Genesis, which was incapable of playing back high-quality audio, replicated his music.[40] Jones credited himself along with Jackson and Buxer for musical cues for "levels 2 & 3" of "Sonic the Hedgehog" on his website.[43] An anonymous source involved in development also told GameTrailers that Jackson's contributions, such as the Carnival Night Zone theme, remained and that he had chosen to remain uncredited.[43] Buxer said that the Sonic 3 credits music became the basis for Jackson's 1996 single "Stranger in Moscow".[40][44] In 2013, it was discovered that the music for IceCap Zone was derived from a previously unreleased 1982 song, "Hard Times", by Buxer's band the Jetzons.[45] In 2019, GameRevolution noted that Sonic 3 had been rereleased less frequently since Jackson's death in 2009 and speculated that this was due to legal problems with his estate.[46][47]

Senior Sega staff, including the Sega of America president Tom Kalinske, said that any involvement of Jackson was arranged without their knowledge, and that no contracts nor formal agreements were made.[39][40] In 2013, Hector said that any similarities to Jackson's music in Sonic 3 were unintentional.[43] The journalist Ken Horowitz raised questions about Jackson's alleged involvement, such as how an agreement between Sega and Jackson could have been kept secret from the media, why Sega's marketing never mentioned Jackson's involvement and why Jackson would reuse music originally composed for a video game.[39]

Other tracks were composed by Sega sound team members such as Jun Senoue, who became a regular composer for the series.[48] Some tracks were replaced in the 1997 Windows port Sonic & Knuckles Collection,[49] as well as the remaster included in the 2022 compilation Sonic Origins.[50] These tracks also appear in a Sonic 3 prototype discovered in 2019, suggesting that they were originally written for the Genesis before being replaced by Jackson's music.[51] In 2022, Naka confirmed that Jackson had been involved and said that the development team had visited Jackson's home at Neverland Ranch. He expressed surprise that Sega did not use Jackson's music in Sonic Origins.[52]


Sonic 3 was released in North America on February 2, 1994 (Groundhog Day),[53] in Europe on February 24,[54] and in Japan on May 27.[55] Sega spent $20 million marketing it in the United States.[56] To promote the European release, the British band Right Said Fred adapted their song "Wonderman" to include references to Sonic.[57] The song was used in Sonic 3 advertisements and released as a single, which charted in the UK at number 55.[58] A single-cartridge version of Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Limited Edition, was canceled.[59] A ROM image of this version was leaked online in 2008.[60]

Ports and rereleases[edit]

Sonic 3 is included in the compilations Sonic Jam (1997) for the Sega Saturn,[61] Sonic & Knuckles Collection (1997) and Sonic & Garfield Pack (1999) for Windows,[62] Sonic Mega Collection (2002) for the GameCube,[63] Sonic Mega Collection Plus (2004) for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Windows,[64] Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection (2009) for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3,[65] and Sonic Classic Collection (2010) for the Nintendo DS.[66] The Sonic Jam version introduces "remix" options:[67] "Normal" mode alters the layout of rings and hazards, and "Easy" mode removes certain acts.[68]

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 was released for the Wii Virtual Console in September 2007[69] and Xbox Live Arcade on June 10, 2009.[70] The Xbox version was developed by Backbone Entertainment[71] and has enhanced graphics for high-definition, online leaderboards, support for multiplayer via split screen and Xbox Live, and a new saving system that allows progress to be saved anywhere during play.[16] A PC version was released via Steam in January 2011, as Sonic 3 & Knuckles.[72]

Sonic 3 was not included in the Sega Genesis Mini (2019), a dedicated console containing 40 Genesis games. AtGames, which was briefly involved with the console's development, said the exclusion was due to licensing problems with the soundtrack.[73][74] In 2014, independent developers Christian Whitehead and Simon Thomley proposed a remaster of Sonic 3 & Knuckles for iOS and Android, developed using Whitehead's Retro Engine, to Sega, similar to their remasters of previous Sonic games. Despite fan enthusiasm, Sega did not develop the project.[75] Thomley speculated that this was due to legal problems regarding the music.[76]

Sonic 3 & Knuckles has been re-released for the first time since 2011 as part of the Sonic Origins compilation in 2022. The Origins version is a new remaster running on the Retro Engine, and was developed by Simon Thomley of Headcannon, who previously worked on Sonic Mania and remastered versions of other Genesis Sonic games.[77] Since Sega was unable to use the original soundtrack, Senoue was brought on to produce rearrangements of the MIDI music featured in Sonic & Knuckles Collection using the original Genesis sound chip.[50]


In the United States, Sonic 3 was the top-selling Sega Genesis game in February 1994.[89] It became one of the best-selling Genesis games,[90] selling at least 1.02 million copies in the United States,[91] with Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles selling a combined 4 million cartridges worldwide.[92]

Like its predecessors, Sonic 3 received critical acclaim. Critics generally felt Sonic 3 was the best game in the series so far. Andrew Humphreys of Hyper, who declared himself not a Sonic fan, said it was "undoubtedly" the best of the series, including the acclaimed but obscure Sonic CD, though he said he preferred Sonic 2's special stages by a small margin.[83] Sega Magazine, however, stated that Sonic 3 has better special stages and was not only superior to Sonic 2 as a whole but would be "a serious contender for the Best Platform Game Ever award".[87] Sega Power wrote that despite their skepticism, they found it "excellent" and easily "the most explorable and playable" in the series.[88] Electronic Gaming Monthly also compared Sonic 3 favorably to Sonic 1, 2, and CD and awarded it their "Game of the Month" award.[80] They later ranked it number 1 in The EGM Hot 50, indicating that it received the highest average score of any game they had reviewed in the past year.[93] Lionel Vilner of Génération 4 believed Sonic 3 offered more challenge than its predecessors.[82] The Unknown Gamer of GamePro proclaimed that it "proves that you can teach an old hedgehog new and exciting tricks. Take that old Sonic magic, add fun new variations, and you have another spectacular game."[81]

Some critics felt that Sonic 3 had innovated too little from previous Sonic games. Humphreys of Hyper saw only "a few new features"[83] while Sega Power thought it was "not all that different"[88] and Nintendo Life writer Damien McFerran said that "there's not a lot of new elements here to be brutally frank".[94] While Deniz Ahmet of Computer and Video Games agreed that the game was "more of the same", he was placated by the new and imaginative ideas.[78] However, Electronic Gaming Monthly enjoyed the new power-ups.[80] Many aspects of the level design were praised; Electronic Gaming Monthly and Sega Power enjoyed the expansive stages, secret areas, much less linear level design, and difficulty.[80][88] Mean Machines agreed, describing the game as "a rollercoaster ride from start to finish" and listing Carnival Night as their favorite level, which they described as "probably the most slickly programmed portion of game in Megadrive history".[84] Humphreys and Mean Machines felt that the game was too short, but they and Sega Magazine felt that its two-player mode and the Emerald collecting would significantly extend the replay value.[83][84][87] Sega Magazine enjoyed having the ability to play as Knuckles in the two-player mode.[87] The Unknown Gamer felt that while the two-player mode was less fun than the main game, it was much improved over that of its predecessor due to the change of format from split-screen to full-screen.[81]

The visuals were very well received. Humphreys described Sonic 3 as "one of the most beautiful games around" and full of "flashy new visual tricks", highlighting Sonic's ascension up pipes and spiraling pathways as particularly inventive.[83] Sega Magazine exclaimed that its graphics were "brilliant" even for a Sonic game,[87] while Provo praised the "elaborate" backgrounds.[95] Mean Machines thought similarly, giving special praise to the camera's quick scrolling, the diversity of the level themes, and the "chunkier, more detailed" overall aesthetic.[84] Rik Skews of Computer and Video Games stated that "the graphics were stunning, attention to detail is breathtaking". Ahmet of the same publication also noted that the graphics were more detailed than those of previous installments.[78] The Unknown Gamer described the settings as having "gorgeous background detail and lots of visual treats" and was impressed by the new obstacles that Sonic can traverse at top speeds.[81]

The sound effects and music were also well received, though somewhat less so than the visuals. Sega Magazine described them as "brilliant" and "far superior" to Sonic 2's.[87] Mean Machines stated that every level had "great tunes" and sound effects and particularly praised the ending music.[84] However, Humphreys described the sound as "Sonicky ... with the emphasis on the 'icky'"; he also found it strikingly similar to the first two Sonic games' soundtracks.[83] The Unknown Gamer also saw musical similarity to previous installments, and described the individual tracks as "catchy... until you've heard it a hundred times."[81]

Following the release of Sonic & Knuckles, the Sonic 3 & Knuckles version of the game was critically acclaimed. Computer and Video Games rated this version of the game 97% and said, while "you need to buy both Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles to fully enjoy" it, Sonic 3 & Knuckles "is the best platform experience ever" and "what video games were invented for."[79]

Retrospective reviews[edit]

Retrospectively, it holds a score of 89% at review aggregator GameRankings based on five reviews published online in the 2000s.[96] Reviews of the Xbox 360 release have been slightly less positive; it has a score of 79% at Metacritic.[97] Lucas M. Thomas of IGN stated that Sonic 3 "completed the trilogy as the best of them all".[1] Dan Whitehead of Eurogamer, however, considered Sonic & Knuckles superior.[98]

Frank Provo of GameSpot stated that the most significant addition was its save system.[95] He also enjoyed the new power-ups.[95] Whitehead said that the large stages would keep players sufficiently engrossed.[98] Thomas and Provo enjoyed the use of wordless cutscenes to create a coherent story and thematically connect the zones.[1][95] McFerran, however, felt that the visuals had been downgraded, particularly Sonic's "dumpier" sprite and "the infamous 'dotty' textures".[94] Thomas thought the music was "impressive", but not quite on par with Sonic 2's.[1]

Some critics, such as Adam Ghiggino of PALGN, felt Sonic 3 had been insufficiently upgraded for re-releases;[8] Whitehead of Eurogamer wished online co-op had been implemented.[98] Provo of GameSpot and Thomas of IGN wished Sega had re-released Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles together as Sonic 3 & Knuckles instead.[1][95] Mega ranked it the fifth best Genesis game ever in November 1994.[100] In 2014, GamesRadar ranked Sonic 3 & Knuckles as the seventh best Genesis game;[101] in 2013, Jeremy Parish of US Gamer ranked it eighth.[102]


Sonic 3 was the first appearance of Knuckles the Echidna, who featured prominently in later Sonic games. Sonic the Comic (UK) and the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic (US) published adaptations of the game.[103]

For Sonic's 20th anniversary, Sega released Sonic Generations, a game that remade aspects of various past games from the franchise.[104] The Nintendo 3DS version features a remake of the final boss, "Big Arms", and re-arranged version of the "Game Over" theme.[105] The Angel Island and Hydrocity levels were included in remixed form in Sonic Mania (2017).


  1. ^ Japanese: ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ3, Hepburn: Sonikku za Hejjihoggu Surī
  2. ^ Several years later, with the re-release of Sonic 3 & Knuckles in Sonic Origins, this transformation would be referred to as Hyper Tails, now having another version of Super Tails that is unlocked by collecting all seven Chaos Emeralds.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Thomas, Lucas M. (September 11, 2007). "Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Review". IGN. Archived from the original on September 15, 2007. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Genesis) instruction manual, pp. 8–9.
  3. ^ Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Genesis) instruction manual, pp. 16–17.
  4. ^ Sonic Team (February 2, 1994). Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Sega.
  5. ^ Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Genesis) instruction manual, pp. 4–5.
  6. ^ Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Genesis) instruction manual, p. 10.
  7. ^ Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Genesis) instruction manual, pp. 12–13.
  8. ^ a b c d Ghiggino (June 28, 2009). "XBLA: Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Review". PALGN. Archived from the original on October 11, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Nelson, Jared (May 27, 2013). "A Guide to 'Sonic The Hedgehog' Version 2.0's Hidden Level-select, Debug Mode, and Many More Secrets". Touch Arcade. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  10. ^ Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Genesis) instruction manual, pp. 14–15.
  11. ^ Khan, Jahanzeb (April 2014). "20 Years Ago: Sonic 3 & Knuckles". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  12. ^ Sonic Team (1994). Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Genesis/Mega Drive). Sega. Scene: Ending sequence.
  13. ^ Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Genesis) instruction manual, pp. 18–19.
  14. ^ a b c Shea, Brian (October 10, 2016). "How Sonic 3 Became Two Separate Games". Game Informer.
  15. ^ Russell, Danny (October 20, 2014). "Coders behind official Sonic the Hedgehog remasters release Sonic 3 & Knuckles proof-of-concept". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  16. ^ a b Newton, James. "Sonic 3 & Knuckles lock-on". Nintendo Life. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  17. ^ a b Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Genesis) instruction manual, p. 4.
  18. ^ a b c Hill, Simon (1994). Sonic 3 Official Play Guide. London: Titan. ISBN 978-1-8528-6567-2.
  19. ^ Sonic & Knuckles (Mega Drive) instruction manual (PAL ed.). Sega. 1994. p. 5.
  20. ^ Sonic Team (1994). Sonic & Knuckles (Genesis/Mega Drive). Sega. Scene: Main Menu.
  21. ^ Day, Ashley (2007). "Company Profile: Sega Technical Institute". Retro Gamer. No. 36. Imagine Publishing. pp. 28–33.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g "Sonic 3 & Knuckles - Behind the Scenes". GamesTM (60): 140–144. August 2007.
  23. ^ Thorpe, Nick (2016). "The Story of Sonic the Hedgehog". Retro Gamer. No. 158. Imagine Publishing. pp. 18–25.
  24. ^ Horowitz, Ken (June 11, 2007). "Developer's Den: Sega Technical Institute". Sega-16. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  25. ^ "Roger Hector: Director of STI Interviews". EmulationZone. October 2005. Retrieved January 22, 2015. Once Naka & Yasuhara agreed on a general design approach, they drew up a schedule and started working
  26. ^ a b c "ソニックチーム物語". Sega Magazine (in Japanese). No. 3. SoftBank Creative. January 1997. pp. 9–13. (Translation by Shmuplations. Archived 2019-12-17 at the Wayback Machine).
  27. ^ Gander, Matt. "Twenty-five years ago, to this very month, Sonic 'Happy Meal' toys were available in the UK". Games Asylum. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  28. ^ Langshaw, Mark (February 8, 2014). "Sonic the Hedgehog 3 retrospective: Sega mascot's finest outing". Digital Spy. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  29. ^ a b c Sonic the Hedgehog GameTap Retrospective Pt. 4/4. Archived from the original on July 25, 2015.
  30. ^ Sonic & Knuckles (Genesis, EU) instruction manual, p. 4.
  31. ^ a b "Sega's Yuji Naka Talks!". GameSpy. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  32. ^ "Sonic's Creator - Yuji Naka". Sega. Archived from the original on June 5, 1997. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  33. ^ Nguyen, Michelle (July 1, 2021). "How Sonic & Knuckles came to be and the journey of creating it". KTVX. Good Things Utah. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  34. ^ Theobald, Phil (January 27, 2006). "Sega Talks Sonic Riders Part Two". GameSpy. IGN. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  35. ^ "Sonic Central interview: Yuji Naka on Sonic's Past, Present, Future". Archived from the original on May 26, 2010. Retrieved July 7, 2008.
  36. ^ Mylonas, Eric (March 11, 2003). Sonic Advance 2: Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Prima Games. p. 99. ISBN 0761540083.
  37. ^ Carless, Simon (March 27, 2006). "Michael Jackson's Secret Sonic 3 Shame". GameSetWatch. Archived from the original on January 6, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2009.
  38. ^ a b Szczepaniak, John (2018). The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers: Volume 3. S.M.G Szczepaniak. ISBN 978-0992926083.
  39. ^ a b c Horowitz, Ken (May 19, 2009). "Sega Legends: Michael Jackson & Sonic 3". Sega-16. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h i Van Luling, Todd. "The Michael Jackson Video Game Conspiracy". The Huffington Post.
  41. ^ a b Hagues, Alana (June 9, 2022). "Brad Buxer Reconfirms Michael Jackson's Involvement With Sonic 3's Soundtrack". Nintendo Life. Retrieved June 27, 2022.
  42. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (February 22, 2018). "More Fuel For The Michael Jackson Sonic 3 Conspiracy Theory". Kotaku. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  43. ^ a b c "Episode 39: Sonic 3: Michael Jackson". GameTrailers. October 4, 2013. Archived from the original on December 11, 2021. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  44. ^ James, Montgomery (December 4, 2009). "Did Michael Jackson Compose 'Sonic The Hedgehog 3' Soundtrack?". MTV. Retrieved December 5, 2009.
  45. ^ Moore, Dan (December 11, 2013). "A Michael Jackson-Sonic the Hedgehog Conspiracy Runs Through Arizona". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  46. ^ Alex, Donaldson (March 20, 2019). "I believe in Google's Stadia vision of the future, but the gaming preservationist in me is worried". GameRevolution. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  47. ^ Donaldson, Alex (April 10, 2019). "Sonic 3 A.I.R. is the quality remaster that Sega probably won't release itself". GameRevolution. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  48. ^ Herman, Tamar. "Jun Senoue on Creating Music for 'Team Sonic Racing' and the Future of Video Gaming Music". Billboard. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  49. ^ "Sonic & Knuckles Collection". GamesRadar. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  50. ^ a b Scullion, Chris (June 9, 2022). "Sonic 3 & Knuckles won't have its original soundtrack in Sonic Origins". Video Games Chronicle. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  51. ^ Purslow, Matt (November 19, 2019). "Sonic 3 Prototype With Lost Content Discovered". IGN. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  52. ^ Nightingale, Ed (June 23, 2022). "Yuji Naka confirms Michael Jackson wrote music for Sonic 3". Eurogamer. Retrieved June 23, 2022.
  53. ^ Sonic the Hedgehog 3 - "Hedgehog Day" Teaser (YouTube). SegaScream. February 2, 2020.
  54. ^ Minotti, Mike (July 25, 2022). "The RetroBeat: Sonic & Knuckles turned a problem into success 25 years ago". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on May 21, 2020.
  55. ^ "メガドライブ". Sega. Retrieved January 11, 2019.[permanent dead link]
  56. ^ "Games war goes supra-Sonic". The Observer. March 6, 1994. p. 96. Retrieved December 23, 2021 – via
  57. ^ "Sonic the Wonderman: I'm Too Sexy!". Sega Magazine (in German). EMAP: 94–95. February 1994.
  58. ^ "1991 charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  59. ^ "Truth of Rumour (噂の真相) - Sonic the Hedgehog 3". Famitsu (in Japanese). No. 285. ASCII Corporation. June 3, 1994. p. 93.
  60. ^ Caron, Frank (February 27, 2008). "Massive Sega ROM leak reveals secrets of older games". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on December 2, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  61. ^ "Sonic Jam – Saturn". IGN. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  62. ^ "Sonic & Garfield Pack". Metacritic. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  63. ^ Mirabella, Fran (November 2, 2002). "Sonic Mega Collection". IGN. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  64. ^ Goldstein, Hilary (November 3, 2004). "Sonic Mega Collection Plus". IGN. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  65. ^ Miller, Greg (February 12, 2009). "Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection". IGN. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  66. ^ Harris, Craig (March 5, 2010). "Sonic Classic Collection Review". IGN. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  67. ^ "Sonic Jam – Saturn overview". IGN. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  68. ^ "Sonic Jam Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  69. ^ "Wii Virtual Console – Sonic 3 release". IGN. Archived from the original on September 13, 2007. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  70. ^ RubyEclipse (May 11, 2009). "SEGA Announces 7 new titles for XBLA!". Sega Blog. Archived from the original on May 20, 2009. Retrieved May 30, 2009.
  71. ^ Sega; Backbone Entertainment (June 10, 2009). "Sonic The Hedgehog 3". Xbox Marketplace. Microsoft. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  72. ^ "Sonic 3 and Knuckles on Steam". Retrieved August 7, 2016.
  73. ^ Grant, Christopher (April 14, 2018). "Sega Genesis Mini (aka Mega Drive Mini) announced". Polygon. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
  74. ^ Good, Owen S. (March 30, 2019). "Sega Genesis Mini releases in September with 40 games, including Sonic the Hedgehog (update)". Polygon. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  75. ^ Nelson, Jared (October 19, 2014). "Hey Sega! This 'Sonic 3 & Knuckles' iOS Port Needs to Happen". TouchArcade. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  76. ^ Thomley, Simon (February 9, 2015). "Regarding Sonic 3". Tumblr. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  77. ^ Thomley, Simon [@HCStealth] (April 20, 2022). "Though Sega is creating Sonic Origins internally, I'm grateful that they chose us to build the S3&K that they're integrating into the collection. We worked extremely hard in that time and are very proud of what were able to deliver to Sega. We hope you'll enjoy the final product!" (Tweet). Retrieved April 20, 2022 – via Twitter.
  78. ^ a b c "Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 3" (PDF). Computer and Video Games. Future plc (148): 34–36. March 1994.
  79. ^ a b "The Computer and Video Games Christmas Buyers Guide". Computer and Video Games. No. 170 (January 1996). United Kingdom: EMAP. December 10, 1995. pp. 8–9.
  80. ^ a b c d "Review Crew: Sonic 3". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 56. Ziff Davis. March 1994. p. 30.
  81. ^ a b c d e The Unknown Gamer (March 1994). "ProReview: Sonic the Hedgehog 3". GamePro. No. 56. IDG. pp. 42–44.
  82. ^ a b Lionel Vilner (March 1994). "Sonic 3 J'en ai rêvé...". Génération 4 (in French). No. 64. pp. 88–90. ISSN 1624-1088.
  83. ^ a b c d e f Humphreys, Andrew (March 1994). "Review: Sonic 3". Hyper. pp. 26–29.
  84. ^ a b c d e "Sonic 3: Golden Boy Is Back!". Mean Machines Sega. No. 17. EMAP. March 1994. pp. 44–49.
  85. ^ Strauss, Bob (February 11, 1994). "Sonic CD; Sonic Chaos; Sonic Spinball; Sonic 3 reviews". Entertainment Weekly. No. 209. Meredith Corporation. Archived from the original on October 21, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  86. ^ "Game Index". MegaTech. No. 42 (June 1995). May 31, 1995. pp. 30–1.
  87. ^ a b c d e f "Sonic 3". Sega Magazine. No. 2. EMAP. February 1994. pp. 87–88.
  88. ^ a b c d "Sonic 3: Megadrive Review". Sega Power. Future plc. March 1994. pp. 28–30.
  89. ^ "EGM Hot Top Tens" (PDF). Electronic Gaming Monthly. April 1994. p. 52.
  90. ^ "US Platinum Videogame Chart". The Magic Box. December 27, 2007. Retrieved August 3, 2008.
  91. ^ "US Platinum Videogame Chart". The Magic Box. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  92. ^ Sonic the Hedgehog GameTap Retrospective Pt. 4/4 (YouTube). GameTap. Event occurs at 1:39. Archived from the original on July 25, 2015.
  93. ^ "The EGM Hot 50". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 69. Ziff Davis. April 1995. pp. 44–48.
  94. ^ a b c McFerran, Damien (September 6, 2007). "Sonic the Hedgehog 3". Nintendo Life. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  95. ^ a b c d e f Provo, Frank (September 12, 2007). "Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  96. ^ a b "Sonic the Hedgehog 3 for Genesis". GameRankings. Archived from the original on December 9, 2019. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  97. ^ a b "Sonic the Hedgehog 3 for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  98. ^ a b c d Whitehead, Dan (June 17, 2009). "SEGA Vintage Collection". Eurogamer. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  99. ^ Brudvig, Erik (June 11, 2007). "Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Review". IGN. Archived from the original on June 15, 2009. Retrieved March 29, 2023.
  100. ^ "Mega Drive Top 50". Mega. No. 26. Maverick Magazines. November 1994. pp. 74–5.
  101. ^ GamesRadar Staff (August 14, 2014). "Best Sega Genesis/Mega Drive games of all time". GamesRadar. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  102. ^ Parish, Jeremy (October 29, 2013). "The 10 Best Genesis/Mega Drive and Top 5 Sega CD Games". Eurogamer. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  103. ^ Narcisse, Evan (August 7, 2013). "These Are the Guys Who Make Sonic's Life Hell in His Comic Book Series". Kotaku. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  104. ^ "Sonic Generations for 3DS". Metacritic. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  105. ^ Lee, Patrick. "Bark beats bite: 7 video game boss themes better than the actual boss fights". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 6, 2015.

External links[edit]