Sonic The Hedgehog Chaos

Sonic The Hedgehog 3 was SEGA's big product for the Mega Drive/Genesis but SEGA's 8-Bit platforms, were still enjoying success (especially in Europe) and as such they get another unique instalment courtesy of Aspect Co. Ltd.

It was a well rounded title and the last official Sonic game to grace the Master System/Mark III. It also goes by an alternative name of Sonic & Tails. It also marks the first 8-Bit game where Tails is a playable character.

Case Scan

European Case (Click for larger)

Note: This feature covers the Master System/Mark III (console) version.

Robotnik Has An Emerald

Robotnik Has An Emerald


South Island is in trouble again. Dr. Robotnik (Robotnik) has managed to get hold of the Red Chaos Emerald. By tapping into its power he has somehow managed to throw the remaining Chaos Emeralds into a parallel universe.


Sonic Chaos retains all the traditional gameplay rules but adds new abilities and a few new items.

It’s clear that Sonic Chaos tries hard to bring as much 16-Bit class gameplay as it can and is somewhat successful, however, it shows that the platform is not really capable of it.

Sonic’s look has been updated and Tails is now playable complete with his flying ability. Curiously he begins the game with more lives and continue credits than Sonic.

Zones seem rather small and can be zipped through rather quickly.

On Screen

As ever, the crucial stats of Time Elapsed, Lives Remaining and Rings Collected are on screen but now contained to the top-left.

Sonic The Hedgehog Chaos


Controls are the same, however, both characters now handle with a heavier feel.

In order to perform the Spin-Dash with either character, hold DOWN on the D-Pad and rev up pressing JUMP buttons and releasing.

By holding UP on the D-Pad and pressing JUMP, Sonic will perform the Peel-Out from Sonic CD (press repeatedly to rev up) and Tails will begin to fly. Beware that characters are vulnerable whilst doing these moves.

Sonic can still bounce across the surface of water by running at speed and repeatedly pressing JUMP.

As always, rings that are Sonic and Tails’ lifeline are all around to be collected and they can still be killed by the same things (damage, drowning, falling of screen ect). Zones have plenty of hazards and Robotnik’s robots for them to contend with. Thankfully, ring scattering is done after a hit for some recovery.

To help our heroes the Special Items to be found are:

Ring Monitor – 10 Rings.

Stars Monitor – Invincibility. Sonic/Tails is invincible for a brief period of time. They can still be killed by falling off the screen and drowning.

Shoes Monitor – Gives a boost in speed for a short amount of time.

Sonic/Tails Monitor – Gives an extra life.

Pogo Spring Monitor – This attaches powerful springs to allow for jumping great heights and distances.

Rocket Shoes Monitor – Sonic only item. Allows Sonic to reach great heights and blast through the air for a short amount of time. There will be plenty of extra rings to find whilst doing this. Beware that taking a hit will make Sonic loose them and plummet. When playing as Tails these monitors are replaced with ring monitors.

The end of an act is signified with the familiar Bonus Panel, and now offers more points based on how fast Sonic or Tails dashed past it.

The image on the panel will equate to the following:

Flicky – Nothing.

Ring – 10 Rings.

Sonic – Extra life as Sonic or a continue credits as Tails.

Tails – Extra life as Tails or a continue credit as Sonic.

Blank – Run at the sign to spin it again.

Extra points for rings carried (100 per ring) and completion time of the act are then added. The totalling can be sped up by holding down a button for the impatient.

Bonus Points

For every 50,000 points a continue credit is earned.

Each zone consists of 3 acts with the first 2 being full sized and act 3 being a small interlude before a boss fight. Unlike the previous 2 games there will be some rings available.

The stats are hidden during the fight for better visibility. Nice touch.

Special Stages

Curiously, only Sonic can enter the Special Stages where the Chaos Emeralds are located. Simply collect 100 rings during acts 1 or 2 to be whisked away. An extra life will also be earned.

Rather than several stages based on the same theme, each Special Stage is now its own environment and challenge that must be met within a time limit. There are five (!) in total.

Any large rings collected are worth 10 Rings and any Time Monitors will halt for countdown for a short period.

The Special Stage ends when time has expired, falling out of or the Chaos Emerald has been collected. The act is automatically cleared.

Having possession of all the Chaos Emeralds will still give extra lives for a 100 rings and will affect the ending of the game.

The Zones | Screenshots

Turquoise Hill Zone, Gigapolis Zone, Sleeping Egg Zone, Mecha Green Hill Zone, Aqua Planet Zone, Electric Egg Zone Special Stage 1, Special Stage 2, Special Stage 3 Special Stage 4, Special Stage 5

Turquoise Hill Zone

Turquoise Hill Zone Turquoise Hill Zone Turquoise Hill Zone

Gigapolis Zone

Gigapolis Zone Gigapolis Zone Gigapolis Zone

Sleeping Egg Zone

Sleeping Egg Zone Sleeping Egg Zone Sleeping Egg Zone

Mecha Green Hill Zone

Mecha Green Hill Zone Mecha Green Hill Zone Mecha Green Hill Zone

Aqua Planet Zone

Aqua Planet Zone Aqua Planet Zone Aqua Planet Zone

Electric Egg Zone

Electric Egg Zone Electric Egg Zone Electric Egg Zone

Special Stages

Special Stage 1 Special Stage 2 Special Stage 3 Special Stage 4 Special Stage 5

Version Differences

This game has more significant differences between the console version and handheld. The Game Gear version differs by:

Cheats and Tips

Level Select (Master System and Game Gear)

At the title screen press: UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, START. If successful there will be an extra life sound.

Level Select

Sound Test (Master System and Game Gear)

At the title screen press: DOWN, DOWN, UP, UP, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, START. If successful there will be an extra life sound.

Sonic Fireball / Hadouken

At the sound test menu roll: DOWN, DOWN-RIGHT, RIGHT, then BUTTON 2. Sonic throws a fireball.


Sleeping Egg Zone Boss

Can be easily defeated by getting behind as it will not turn around to aim its cannon.


The tunes in the game are available to download on the Soundtrack Page.


Sonic Chaos builds well on top of Sonic 2 with the inclusion of a playable Tails (whom only made cameos in the 8-Bit version of Sonic 2), Peel-out, Spin-Dash and Special Stages too.

There are some improvements in the graphics with good use of colour even with the less colours available in the console version. Some backgrounds even sport some parallax scrolling but there are some places where things look rather basic. Sonic and Tails now have more frames of animation.

Music and sound fx are good with a few catchy tunes. These are all original and not imported from the previous games.

Zone design is very good and thankfully they are not laid out to be as difficult as Sonic 2 though the Special Stages will can be rather tricky.

Its nowhere near as tough as Sonic 2 making it more enjoyable.

but its sluggish feel can sometimes be off putting.

It’s clear though that everything pushing the hardware as scrolling can feel jerky as Sonic or Tails begin to move up a pace. The controls can feel sluggish however.

In summary, this is a good edition in the Sonic 8-Bit library.

Emulator Compatibility

Both the Master System and Game Gear versions of this game run perfectly with KEGA Fusion, DEGA and MEKA emulators. These can be downloaded from the SEGA Master System and Game Gear Emulators page.

Misc Info

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