SEGASonic The Hedgehog

Back in 1993 SEGA introduces Sonic to the arcades. SEGASonic The Hedgehog was Sonic's first major arcade appearence. Before then the original Sonic The Hedgehog and Sonic The Hedgehog 2 were available but were essentially Mega Drives in arcade cabinets.

SEGASonic was a unique title and introduced 2 new characters; Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel. It was created on the System 32 arcade board which was SEGA most powerful 2D arcade board at the time and home to other titles such as Golden Axe 2: The Revenge of Death Adder.

SEGASonic Arcade Flyer (Japanese) Click for larger... SEGASonic Arcade Cabinet

SEGASonic Arcade Flyer (Japanese) Click for larger...

The rather bare looking cabinet

The game appeared throughout plenty of Japanese arcades but outside of which was virtually unseen and there was no translation of the text or voices in the game.



For this round Robotnik is done with the Chaos Emerald chasing business. He's wants to punish Sonic. He set's up a new island base full of traps that will make Sonic or (anyone else for that matter) suffer. Using a giant mobile prison tank Robotnik manages to capture the blue wonder. As well as Sonic, pals Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Squirrel are also captured.

Being the tough guys that they are they're imprisonment does not last long but on escape they are promptly lifted by a geyser (a natural eruption of water) to the other side of the island. Escape from the island can only be through Robotnik's giant tower base.

Escape will be tough since the entire island is rigged with traps that Robonik activates whilst watching our heroes escape.


SEGASonic forgoes the traditional flat horizontal view for an isometric viewpoint. The object is to move your wildly moveable character(s) through a veritable hot-pot of dangers and obstacles across the landscape. These will range from collapsing bridges to electric rods. These can slow you down, knock you out of control or damage you thus taking some health from your character depending on what you hit.

The game has 3 selectable characters; the well known Sonic The Hedgehog, Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel.

The cabinet has a trackerball to control your character and an action button. The faster the trackerball is rolled the faster your character runs. The trackerball will come under heavy use during the course of a game as there is always something pressuring you from behind such as a lava tube or landslide. At times there will be obstacles that must be destroyed (destruction of some other obstacles is optional) which is done by spinning into them. When the game opens you will have to break through some bars.

Hitting the action button makes him perform a trademark jump and spin. Mighty and Ray do a slight variation of this.

As the game starts a tutorial explains the control system.

SEGASonic Arcade SEGASonic Arcade

On the screen will be the characters in play, their number of lives.

Your character has health which can be replenished by collecting rings. They typically lie about in the air or can be found by destroying objects such as crates and snowdrifts. No health causes your character to die and therefor loose a credit. You get 10 seconds to get in a coin and continue.

At the end of a stage the game works out the percentage of rings in the stage you have collected and rewards you points for them. Get over 50% and a nice points bonus is yours.

During the course of the game 2 additional players may join in choosing any of the 2 remaining characters.

The game consists of 7 stages and makes for a decent arcade experience with the stages not being particularly long.


The game consists of 7 stages and makes for a decent arcade experience with the stages not being particularly long.

Volcanic Vault

Icy Isle

Desert Dodge

Trap Tower

Landslide Limbo

Wild Water Way

Eggmans Tower

Screenshots to come soon...


There are a few adjustments to the game that can be made should you be lucky enough to have access to the service menu.

There are a few adjustments to the game that can be made should you be lucky enough to have access to the service menu. These can be found under Game Assignments.

Difficulty: Select between 1 and 4. 2 is default.

Initial Vitality: Character vitality. Select between 1 and 4. 2 is default

Cabinet type: Number of players; 1,2 or 3. Default is 2.

Under Coin Assignment allows the change how much cash you need to pump in to play. 1 is default though greedy types can change this.

The other options are general diagnostics common to most coin-ops.


This game is playable using Mame and Modeler emulators. Controls can seem unresponsive due to the difference in using a keyboard rather than a tracker-ball.

The latest versions of Mame (0.99 and above) fix several long term problems in emulating this particular game though emulation is still not 100%.

Modeler will only execute the Pre-Release ROM which has many bugs and is incomplete though it has the advanatge of speed.

There are 4 romsets including the pre-release, the last being revision C. You will need the previous sets A and B to play C.

Modeler Emulator Modeler Emulator


SEGASonic Arcade at Wiki

Some more information about the game at Wiki

Modeler Emulator

Official Website.

The appearences of the Chaotix Characters

Some information and screenshots with plenty of SEGASonic Arcade.


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