After the success that was Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic team and SEGA desided they had a potentual mario beater on their hands and went on to make sequels. Some have much history behind them (Sonic 2 has loads of secrets behind it's making)and some never made it to the finish line at all. Anyway lets start with...
Sonic the hedgehog (Mega Drive-1991)
That first game that started it all. Sonic was very different to his contender, Mario. He ran fast, looked cool and was thin (well fine he had a bit of weight but not that much!). All of the music for sonic was done by Japan band Dreams Come True. Sonic also started off easy but got considerbly harder as you played on. Many a time has this researcher have used the famous up,down,left,right level select cheat just to skip to the final level.
The chaos emerlads featured in this game but had little affect when you got them all. The only difference was that at the end after a quick run in emerald hill celebrating defeat of final zone, sonic wouldnt just tap his foot then do a jump pose for the screen. Before that he would let the emeralds float up and flash making the flowers in the level design bigger then do the jump pose. Also after credits Robotnik rather than juggling emeralds would be jumping up and down on the "The End" logo.
Sonic had some minor differences which never make the final cut. They were mostly small but had you thinking what may have been in store if the game stayed the way it did. The ball the Robotnik uses on the very first boss did have a job as part of Green Hill zone in which sonic had to get past. Sonic once had a celebration pose too for the end of levels along with different looks for levels and names. Marble Zone once had UFOs in the background, Green Hill once was a night time level and had signs, 2 levels Spring Yard and Brain Scrap where called Sparking and clockwork.
Sonic 1 (Game Gear/ Master System-1991)
The Game Gear and Master System of Sonic 1 was much different to it's 16 bit brother. the title screen, characters and first level was all it had in relation to it. The Special Stage only existed now for points as the emeralds had for some odd reason been moved to areas in the main levels. Your misson was to make your way up south island to the top where Robotniks new base Sky Base Zone was and to rid South Island of the robotic mess. That was all there was to it, Sonic 1 8 bit was a bit harder than the 16 bit but is still fun to play and the music is nice to listen to as well.
Sonic 2 (Mega Drive-1992)
Sonic 2 was the Mega Drive sequel to the popular first game it was released on Sonic twosday and was released on that day all over the world. It featured sonics new friend Miles "Tails" Power a cute ornage 2 tailed kitsune fox and was the first sonic game to feature a 2 player mode. The 2 player mode allowed you to race as sonic or tails in a split screen game where you ran though 3 levels in the one player game and did 2 spechal stages. At the end of these you were judged on who came first in what races, how many rings you had ect. to see who was the winner. The levels in the actual game were bright colourful and when the mood was needed (take metropolis zone for example) dark and dull coloured.
The emeralds played a better part in the sequel. This time when all emeralds were collected (in new stages where you ran down half pipe lines) Sonic could become Super Sonic as long as he had at least 50 rings. Super Sonic looked a bit like sonic but he was yellow in colour with Spikes sticking up and he didnt run he hovered/ flew at top speed. Super Sonic was a rip off of Super Syains in Dragonball Z but in Japan this was known as a homage to the cartoon rather than ripping off. The music was once again supplyed by Dreams Come True.
Secrets played a big part in sonic 2, many levels that were to be in the game never made it. Wood Zone, Hidden palace (later to return in Sonic and Knuckles/sonic 3) Genocide City and Dust Hill.
Sonic 2 (Game Gear/Master System-1992)
This marked the debut of Tails on 8 bit format, except this time he wasnt playable. This time Sonic had to rescue his best friend from Robotnik. This game is one of the hardest sonic games, the bosses are NOT easy and levels are not a walk in the park eather. The Special Stage has now been knocked out and the emeralds are hidden in levels again. One to play when you feel up for a challenge
Segasonic arcade (Arcades-1992)
This game was one that only appeared in Japan in the arcades though did appear in SEGAworld London,UK but ONLY there. The gameplay was different, Sonic and 2 new friends, Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Squirrel had to run though a pesueo 3d world against time. There was also obsticles in the way that you had to guide the characters away from, it used a trackball
Sonic CD (Mega CD-1993/ PC-1996)
Sonic CD was the game released for the Mega/Sega CD. Again the same old run though levels, collecting rings, freeing animals from robots ect. One difference to the game though was that sonic could time warp using speed and "Time Stones". Sonic also gained another friend (or Girlfriend) called Amy Rose who loves sonic to bits! Your job is not only to save Amy from Metal Sonic but also to go to the past and future to try and liberate Little planet too (this being achived by distroying certain things in past, present and future). Sonic CD was supposed to be linked to Sonic 2 in someway with the time travel idea, this idea wasnt just thought of in Sonic 2 it may have been an idea for Sonic 1 too. Also within the game theres a great anime intro with some great music along with 2 anime endings too (bad and good depending on if you get all time stones get rid of the stuff needing to be rid of ect.)Though even when you completed the game there is other things to unlock, for example beat the secret times in the time attack and you get all the movie clips from the game and a pencil test. The people who designed these animation sequences also made a anime movie later
Sonic Chaos/ Sonic and Tails (Game Gear/Master System-1993)
This time Robotnik has had enough of being defeated. He goes to steal the chaos emeralds yet the one he takes (the red one) sends them all out into different lands, now sonic has to save south island from sinking. Tails made his first 8 bit playable appearence giving 2 choices to play as. Tails had also aquired an abilty to fly whist being controled by the player. Previously Tails couldnt fly unless he was trying to keep up with Sonic. The music on this game is ok and graphics are good for an 8 bit game. Yet I find Sonic's sprite just doesnt look correct while tails looks much like a port of his MD conterpart (which is good) the game is short but the difficulty is still higher than the sonic MD games.
Sonic Spinball(Mega Drive/Game Gear-1993)
This is the first Sonic game to really seperate from the normal gameplay system, its also the fir. Sonic and tails are out looking for Robotniks Veg-o-fortress when Sonic gets knocked into the sea below Tails' bi-plane. Luckly Sonic sonics animal friends under the sea save him from drowning and take him inside the fortress. Sonic then has to make his way though 4 levels of pinball. it's not just your average pinball game though sonic does move on foot every now and again and has to collect emeralds along the way too.
Sonic 3/Sonic and Knuckles(Mega Drive-1994)
Sonic got a new look for Sonic 3 he looked older and had gained a little weight. This time round Tails was of more use, rather than just being able to do what Sonic could do, Tails could now pick up sonic while flying and transport him places that he couldnt reach. The Star/ lamp posts from the first 2 games were changed so they took you to bonus stages where you earnt extra goodies like rings and shealds in a slots game and a strange one to do with magantised electric balls and the Chaos Emerald stages were changed to big rings. This time in order to get emeralds You ran on whats best described as a checkered table cloth getting all the blue spheres in the level.
Knuckles made his first apperence here too. He is guardian of Angel Island, which floats in the sky, powered by Chaos emeralds and a big green one called the Master emerald. Robotnik tricks Kunckles into thinking that Sonic is the bad guy and is going to steal Knuckles' emeralds as he apparently did with the other ones according to Robotnik. Knuckles gets the emeralds Sonic already has (right at the beginning of the game) and the chase is on.
2 Player showed up again but this time kunckles could be playable too in 2 player and the levels were not from the game at all. The graphics were top notch for time and the animation was fluid. Shortly after Sonic 3, Sonic and Knuckles appeared on the scene. Sonic and knuckles was good but was a bit short, it had lock on technology which allowed other games to fit into a slot on the top of the cartridge. if you put Sonic 2 with S&K you got Knuckles in sonic 2.
Sonic 3 and S&K though made a bigger impact, you got all the levels from sonic 3 and S&K in one game with extras. There was new emerald stages where you got 'Super Emeralds' the emeralds all had an effect on a character. Tails could now become Super Tails who flashed from normal ornage to neon and he had Flickys that would attack badniks for him. Super Sonic could become Hyper Sonic who flashed multi colours and when moving had multiple images of him trailing and had a flash jump that took care of anyone near him. Knuckles turned to Hyper Knuckles which was the same as Hyper Sonic but he flashed red and neon pink.
There is evidence that suggests that Sonic 3 was going to be S&K and Sonic 3 in the first place but didnt get done in time. If you look at the level select on Sonic 3 you find levels that you cant acsess that are levels in S&K, Super Tails can be acsessed but tails's sprite (the character it's self on sceeen) gets messed up rather than seeing his super form. If you use a cheat you can play as knuckles but the sprite you get is sonics, this is because Kunckles sprite system isnt complete in the game.
Sonic Crackers (Mega Drive-1994 never released)
This game was never to see the light of day, Sonic crackers is much like the 32x game Knuckles chaotix. Sonic and Tails are linked together by a power ring and had to make it together though a level. Though the levels here have no real end (unless you take them to the top of the first). The first level is repeated 4 times and so is the fun fair looking level. In between thes stages lies a pesueo 3D stage like the stages in sonic 3d but while they had design there wasnt anything you could do there but continue on.People usally think of this game as Sonic 4 or as a beta of some sort for chaotix. Though apart from that there isnt much to say about this game except its rather boring after 10 minutes due to lack of variety and bugs.
Knuckles Chaotix (32x Mega Drive add on-1994)
This is the game that took the place of Sonic crackers. It featured Knuckles with 4 new friends Mighty the armadillo (hes not exactly new really, he showed up in SEGAsonic arcade) Espio the cameleion, Victor the crocodile and Charmy bee. The elastic ring system was there again but had a few other uses (ie. one could hold while the other ran and then stop holding thus propeling themselfs faster than usual)Robotnik this time had taken over part of angel island and set up a carnival of sorts full of badniks, after he saves the chaotix Knuckles must save angel island from Metal Sonic MK I (who features in sonic cd too) and Metal Sonic MK II (a new copy).There is shots that hold secrets to this game too. Only minor though, the name is thought to once be called Knuckles' Ring Star, that Sonic might have been in the game, that Espio was once the main character and theres a hidden character that isnt really included in the game. This author because of her intrest in this game got hold of a 32X and a copy of the game to give it a go. The ring system is more advanced than crackers and theres much to do in the levels. The graphics are very nice and detailed for a sonic game. The special stage this time was a 3d course in which any of the characters ran in tubes filled with holes and flat land with gaps collecting blue spheres and rings. The chaos emeralds wasnt what you got at the end though this time, and this time only you got crystal rings. The music is wonderful to listen to as well, the only problem with it is the badniks and bosses. There wasnt enough of them and the bosses were a bit too easy. The hardest things to get though here where the special stages, you were only given time according to how many rings you had when you entered the stage. time could be taken off if you were hit.
Sonic Xtreme (Saturn, never released)
This was to be THE Saturn flagship title for sonic, it had 3d graphics and a 3d world. Sonic could run up walls, on the side of them and it had a 'Fish-Eye lens' camera. The badniks would be given more personality and the game would have been the most unique. There was even a supposed love intrest in the works (by the name of Though due to SEGA having conflict in the company itself eventually the game was canned. In it's place Sonic 3d took center stage...
Sonic 3D Blast/ Flicky Island (Mega Drive, Saturn, PC-1996)
It not only appeared on the Mega Drive but also made a transistion to PC and saturn too. Sonic 3d on the mega drive was different to the other 2 though. it had the same game play and levels but had a different Chaos emerald stage, a different intro movie that the Mega Drive could handle. The Saturn/ PC copys also had extra animations, better intros and music. The objective in Sonic 3D was to free 5 flickys from badniks then to get them into a big ring which led to their dimention. Super Sonic made no appearence here even when you got the emeralds. Tails and Knuckles were your route to the chaos emerald stages this time too. In the mega drive copys you had to run a course getting rings and missing spike balls. For the saturn you ran a course like Sonic 2s emerald stages but with twists and the PC one was a mix of the mega drive and saturn ones but without twists. Because Sonics speed was lost the game was completly different from the other Sonics this game didnt do very well because of this.
Sonic R (Saturn and PC-1997)
Sonic and co finally get to race. Unlike sonic drift (where characters used cars) all characters ran (apart from Robotnik and Amy Rose) there was 5 characters to unlock: Metal Sonic, Tails Doll, Metal Knuckles,Eggrobo (Robotnik look-a-like) and Super Sonic. Robotnik was also an unlockable character but featured in the game, the robots only showed up in races when you unlocked them. There was also one extra course called Radient Emerald. This level was multicoulored and took place out in space. The music rocked there was pop/techno songs that matched each level done by T.J Davis. T.J was to do the credits song in Sonic 3D "Your my Hero" too. Possibly one of the easyest Sonic games to beat
Tails Adventure (Game Gear)
This game was released on the game gear. Tails had to use equipment he collected to get rid of the evil bird bots that were trampling his island (named Tails Island) which he was taking a holiday on. This game features Tails's submarine, the Sea-Fox. the graphics on the game are quite lush for a 8 bit game and tails looked even cuiter than he does in the sonic games. You had to do alot of thinking to get though some levels and to get extra power ups. This wasnt to be the only time Tails would go on a adventure without sonic though...
Tails Sky Patrol(Game gear-)
Tails took to the skys this time. Tails was armed with a power ring to bop baddies with and to catch onto objects that could eather help you or hinder your journey. You had to keep flying the whole time tails wasnt alowed to land in a level, if you did you lost a life. Also tails had to keep his strength up. if you didnt then tails just simply fell and you lost a life too. Energy power ups came in the form of sweets.Again not much to say about this game just go play it. Tails had one more adventure (on the Pico) called Tails the Music Maker but this researcher knows next to nothing about that perticular game
After a fallow period gamewise Sonic came back with a bang for his next game, to appear on the new Dreamcast console. Not only was his new game to be the first in actual 3D all the way though, he also sported a brand new look along with his old friends. Dr. Robotnik (now known as Eggman too) had this time busted a watery creature called Chaos out of the Master Emerald. Now the race is on for Sonic and Co. to find the chaos emeralds before Robotnik can feed them to Chaos and transform him to Perfect Chaos. There was six characters to play as, Sonic (duh),Tails,Kunckles, Amy Rose (her first game as a proper playable character)and new additions Big the cat and E102 gamma. Each character had a different story and gameplay style to follow. The game had a slight RPG feel to it, due to the inbetween exploration stages. To get to the levels themself's you had to solve a puzzle, find a key or just get to the area where the level is placed.
Sonic's game was the usual running around, bopping badniks style, Tails' was to beat Sonic (and in one case Dr. Eggman)Kunckles' to find the shards of the Angel islands Master emerald. Amy has to protect a bird from a robot intent on catching her, Big to catch Froggy, his friend (which is as you can tell a frog) after he is posessed by Chaos' tail and takes Big's 'lucky charm' which happens to be a emerald. E102 gamma is a robot newly built for the Eggmans side, yet after he has met Amy and her bird friend his bad programming starts to malfunction, he soon changes sides and frees other E100 robots in lock on and shoot style levels. All the characters bump into each other in some point in the game. The endings are different though, unless you count Sonic and Tails' which is different till they meet up for a victory run.
Super Sonic appeared in the game after you finished the other character storys. His simply consisted of running back and forth as Sonic, with a few billion cut scenes to clear up plot holes from the other storys. Then had to take out Perfect Chaos (perfect because he's got negative energy of every emerald)Sonic gets to use the positive energy of the emeralds and takes out Chaos, this seems to calm him down and he his resealed in the Master emerald. There were no Special Stages to speak of here, there were a few mini games though and a new system, Chao.
Chao are little creatures, they hatch from Eggs and are very cute. They act like babys and toddlers, needing you to feed them and help them grow.They go though 3 stages, birth, evolotion and another evolotion. Sadly they dont grow beyond toddler and die, yet they do breed with each other so chances on running out of them are low. You can enter them in races which get you emblems,not that these are really worth collecting. For nothing happens when you collect them all which is a real shame.
Sonic Pocket Adventure(Neo Geo pocket-2000)
The first offical Sonic game on a different platform, Sonic Pocket Adventure was much in the mold of the first Sonic games. Most of the level ideas from Sonic 2 and 3. It has a few extras, like puzzle parts to put together and collect in the game. Sonic only appeared on his own, yet in 2 player Tails appears. The only real difference in the game between the early Sonics and this one is Sonic's model and Robotnik's model, which are the styles from Sonic Adventure.
Sonic Adventure 2 (Dreamcast-2001)
Sonic returned to the Dreamcast again in one of his most anticipated games ever. In build up to the game, sonic team sent out odd shots showing a strange black and red hedgehog and others hinting at new powers. The games story was unknown till it came out, the story being that Robotnik breaks into G.U.N. millitary base to get his hands on a project his grandfather was working on. It turns out this project is a artifical Hedgehog called Shadow heralding himself as the "Ultamate lifeform" he steals a chaos emerald and everyone thinks it's Sonic who's done the bad deed. Sonic escapes the millitary and sets out to clear his name along with his friends.
SA2 is a definite update on the graphics of SA, the characters look more smoother and streamlined. The gameplay is great too, theres plenty to unlock along the way and loads of emblems to collect that were worth getting this time. A 2 player mode was put in also for certain levels, cart racing and the chao race. The main 2 player games are ok but are not as entertaining as you want them to be and seem to be rushed efforts. The Chao system is improved, the small creatures are more cuter than ever and have new types of evoloution. Depending on which side you use to raise your chao they can become Angel Chao or Devil Chao. They can now also learn skills at Kindergarten and be taken to the doctor (though that usally is of little use). They still use animals to grow and gain skills but now also use "Chaos Drives" to boost certain ablitys. With all that the game has a high lasting appeal and is more like the orginal than the last few games that came before this
Sonic Adventure 2: Battle (Gamecube-2001)
A few months after SA2 came out SEGA shocked the world by ditching the Dreamcast and becoming a third party game devoloper. Even more shocking was of the news that Sonic Team was producing a ported version of SA2 with some extras...on Gamecube! home of Sonic's old rival Mario. Little was changed to the main game except for a few cosmetic tweaks here and there. Chao system had a update, you could check your Chao's stats by simply picking it up (or giving it a animal) doctors gave you more info and now, as well as racing, you could now watch your sweet little chao plummel another in chao karate. The black market that was on the Sonic adventure 2 website is now in the kindergarten closet and you could get much more.It also was the first game to use GBA to Gamecube connectivity, which worked with...
Sonic Advance (Game Boy Advance-2001)
A more back to basics Sonic game than any other, Sonic advance is a nice change to the 3D treatment of Sonic's normal adventures. The neo-geo game was good but this is better, it's in any case more original
than Sonic pocket adventure. This time you had no real plot to speak of, just that Eggman was being a pain again and you had to stop him. Sonic didnt go alone though, you could also play as Tails, Knuckles and (her playable 2D debut) Amy Rose. Along with just the same old run-and-bop-the-bad-guys idea you had a few new moves. Sonic (and surprisingly, Amy) could now grind rails, each character had a attack of their own and had some great sprite animations,even the waiting animations are worth seeing. The chao garden also appears (with one chao egg waiting to be loved) it serves the same function as the VM did for Sonic Adventure, to raise chao stats.
The Chao garden is pretty much the same as the one on Sonic Adventure, you hatch a egg, feed the chao, give it toys and play games (one being a matching game and the other a odd version of paper sissors, rock) it's other relation to the old VM chao functions is that when you connect the GBA to the GC you can upload you little chao in the 2D garden to the 3D one on Sonic Adventure 2. The music has some remixes of the older tunes from Sonic games
Sonic Mega Collection (Gamecube-2003)
All of Sonic's Mega Drive (Genisis to you US peeps) games on one disc, it's really more a rehash of Sonic Jam but as well as Sonic 1,2,3 and Knuckles also includes Mean Bean Machine and Sonic spinball and as bonus games Ristar and Flicky. Has a load of adverts for the games (including the odd but funny japanese ones) and scans of the covers for many of the US sonic comic (including one full issue). But unlike Jam there is no extra Sonic game like Sonic World with the load of infomation that Jam had. Though this is more for the new generation of Sonic fans that never have played the originals, Jam was for the hardcore Sonic fan.
Sonic Advance 2 (Game Boy Advance-2003)
This sequel to Sonic Advance improved on some of the cons of the last. There was more speed added to the game and less slower sections, trick moves like the ones in Sonic Adventure 2 now added to overall gameplay. When the characters run they really run, when they get to a certain speed they get a extra boost and run like crazy with mutiple images behind them. A new character is also introduced to the staple of Sonic characters- Cream the rabbit. Cream is a young rabbit out to save her mother (who has become the latest hostage of Robotnik)as are Sonic, Tails and Knuckles which makes up the plot. Though Cream, Tails and Knuckles have all become hostages at the beginning anyways so Sonic has to go save them. Cream is pretty much in the same mould as most Sonic charcters, she spin-jumps, runs fast and flys (yes you heard me a rabbit that flys). Though she has one thing that makes her different, she has a Chao called Cheese. Cheese is a neutral Chao who wears a bow tie, he follows Cream in the game and has a homing attack that is used whenever Cream points out a bad guy to him. This makes Cream the easyest character in the game, she is more suited to those new to Sonic. The Special stage now has be accsessed by each character and to enter must get 7 special rings in levels, the stage itself harks back to the pesudo 3D stages in Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles. Yet no blue and red balls appear here, instead you are required to collect 300 rings which are scattered all over the place in a time limit, you also have "Ring multiplyers" that boost your rings, collected on their own get you 10 but when collected with rings can be worth more. There is also more to unlock than Advance, for each character you complete with all emeralds certain things will open up to you such as the mini chao garden which is the first emerald prize and 2 hidden characters.
This is all the Sonic games so far, there are others on the way (Sonic Adventure DX and Pinball mania)and Sonic will continue on, which is why this guide is from Sonic's first year (1991) to 2003, heres hoping theres many years yet for ol' blue spikes