Sonic the Hedgehog CD
Developer(s) Sega
Publisher(s) Sega
Released 1993
Genre(s) Platformer
Mode(s) Single player
Input methods Controller

Sonic CD was released in 1993 by Sega. It was developed alongside Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and its sales determined which development team would get to create Sonic 3. With the new Sega CD launched, Sonic was the perfect candidate for such a platform, and sure enough, this was deemed the only great game for the infamous failiure known as the Sega CD.


When the Sega CD was launched, Sonic was launched with it in an attempt to rise sales. The game was actually another sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog, much like how both Super Mario Bros. the Lost Levels and Super Mario USA are considered sequels to the same game. Sonic CD saw univeral praise, with just about every critic giving it perfect scores.

The main innovation of this chapter in the Sonic series is the manner in which the player can travel to four different versions of each zone, each in one of three different time periods of the same location: Present, Past, Good Future and Bad Future. This is accomplished by speed posts scattered around the level, bearing the labels "Past", and "Future". After running through one of these posts, the player has to run at top speed for a few seconds without stopping, to travel into the respective time period. Because these signs are relative, there are no "Past" signs in the Past, and no "Future" signs in the Future; that is, warping to the past in the future returns the player to the "present" time and vice versa. Each stage has three "Acts" (although they are called "Zones" in this game, see below), the third of which always takes place in the future.

The different time zones have slightly different layouts and sprite placements, as well as significant changes in the level music, art and palette. In addition, the robots within a level fall into a state of disrepair as time passes; in the present, some machines have become worn down while in the future all of them have. This affects the speed and attacking ability of the robots; some of them become completely ineffective, while others do not significantly change. The robot-generating machine from the past of Collision Chaos.The appearance of the future changes depending on the actions of the player in the past. Hidden within the past of every act, there is a robot generating machine. If this is destroyed within a zone or all seven Time Stones are already collected, all of Dr. Robotnik's robots will be destroyed in the past (as are some in the present). Should the player warp into the future, it is a "Good Future" in which there are no enemies and fewer hazards, and the landscape is a perfect marriage of nature and technology. If the machine is not destroyed, the warp will lead the player into the "Bad Future" in which Dr. Robotnik's robots run rampant, there are more hazards (though due to wear on some of the enemies, not always as many as in the past), and heavy pollution has harmed the level (such as poisoned water or corroded structures). The Metal Sonic projector from the past of Collision Chaos.In addition to the robot generating machine, hidden within the past of each level is a machine, which projects a hologram of Metal Sonic squashing one of that particular zone's animals underfoot. Destroying this machine causes animals to appear in the past and present levels. However the animals are always present in the Good Future, regardless of whether or not this machine was destroyed.

The third zone always takes place in the future and is mainly a short run up to the boss. Most boss battles are more elaborate than those in the other Sonic games, and typically require fewer hits than the usual 6 or 8. These boss battles, however, require more effort to actually hit Robotnik; one battle takes place on a makeshift pinball table and requires the player to use flippers to get up to Robotnik. Two battles do not involve hitting Robotnik to damage him; one takes place on a giant treadmill where the objective is to wear out Robotnik's machine by running on it, and the other is a race against Metal Sonic. The appearance of the third zone depends on the player's actions in the other two; if the player has achieved a Good Future in the other two zones (or all the Time Stones are collected), this zone will be a Good Future as well. However, if only one or neither stage has been made into a Good Future, the third zone will be a Bad Future. If all the third zones have Good Futures, the player is able to see the good ending but if the player gets all gems and all good futures, then a bonus ending is seen.

As in Sonic the Hedgehog, Special Stages can be accessed at the end of each zone if the player has collected, and is holding on to at least 50 rings., whereas in the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Starposts are used to enter special stages. This is one of the reasons that there are speculations that Sonic CD began development before Sonic 2. A giant ring will float above the finishing sign which Sonic can jump through to enter the special stage. They consist of a three-dimensional, flat surface. To complete a stage and collect the Time Stone reward, the player must seek and destroy six purple UFOs flying around the stage. If a UFO is destroyed, it gives a prize of either a super ring (which has gold markings and gives progressively larger bonuses starting with 20 rings when destroyed in series) or speed sneakers (have grey markings and temporarily boost speed). When the player is running out of time, an additional lighter-colored UFO with red markings will appear; destroying it will give the player more time. Collecting the seven Time Stones, only possible in the special stage, automatically guarantees that the player will reach the good ending even if one of the previously completed zones did not have a Good Future, and that all futures of upcoming zones will be good as well. In addition, a secret special stage can be played by entering 07-07-07 at the sound test screen. In this stage, Robotnik's face is the background landscape. However, completing this stage merely returns the player to the sound test.

Sonic CD was the first Sonic game to use a backup save, using the internal Sega CD memory or a backup RAM cartridge. The game saves after the end of each third zone (after which, a new level begins) and records the best times of the player in the time attack mode.

The game itself has Sonic feeling generally more sluggish than normal. The spin dash he does is different to that of the position in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. A new move was added to complement the spin dash: the Super Peel-Out (aka Strike Dash or Figure 8). The Super Peel-Out, performed in a manner much the reverse of the spin dash, by pressing up and any trigger button, causes Sonic to rev in position until the button is released, at which point he speeds off. The difference between the Spin Dash and the Super Peel-Out is the Spin Dash damages enemies who get in its way, due to Sonic's curled attacking pose; the Super Peel-Out, whilst quicker to charge up than the spin dash, does no damage, instead leaving Sonic vulnerable to attack (however, this can be foiled by pressing down immediately after performing the Super Peel-Out, sending Sonic into a roll that is just as fast as the Super Peel-Out as well as making him invulnerable to enemy attack).

Also, while leaving the game idle for more than a few seconds makes Sonic tap his foot impatiently (as per usual); leaving the game idle for 3 minutes causes Sonic (i.e. a digitized voice clip) to say "I'm outta here!", followed by him jumping off screen, resulting in a "Game Over".

Due to it's large popularity, Sonic CD has seen multiple re-releases, most notably the Christian Whitehead port, which reconstructs the original with a new engine, causing the majority of gamers to announce it the superior form.


Johnny reviewed the game after Sonic 2, where he, Elliot, and Ryan stated that the game was fun, but didn't compare to Sonic 1 or 2, earning a score of 8.5/10. During the ending of his Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 2 review, he stated that by playing the 2011 re-release, he gained new interest, putting it in higher respect, tough a clear answer, whereares concerning scoring is still foggy. However, in his BSC Sonic Retrospective, he stated that with the new port, it was above and beyond Sonic the Hedgehog, and it is probably on par, if not above Sonic the Hedgehog 2, meaning it's score is around a 9.5/10 now. His review was also the first time his Sega Saturn ever appeared in his videos

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