Video Game: Sonic Adventure

The fastest thing alive makes the comeback of a lifetime.

Created as the launch title for the Sega Dreamcast, and the highest selling title for the system, Sonic Adventure is one of the first 3D games in the Sonic the Hedgehog series note . It was released in Japan on December 23rd, 1998, receiving releases in Europe, North America and Australia between September and December of 1999.

Sonic Adventure was designed to be to Sega and Sonic the Hedgehog as Super Mario 64 was to Nintendo and Super Mario Bros.: a Killer App designed to be the Video Game 3D Leap to an established mascot franchise that would not only showcase the potential of their flagship console, but also revitalize their flagship series and their own reputation, after they had fallen into both a creative and financial rut during their rocky Sega Saturn years.

Mad scientist Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik has a new plan to Take Over the World: releasing an ancient morphogenic creature known as "Chaos" from its confinement and using the seven Chaos Emeralds to empower it to world-conquering levels.

Standing between him and his maniacal goals are a team of six heroes, whose adventures unfold in a "Rashomon"-Style plot:

  • Chronic Hero Sonic the Hedgehog, a sarcastic but virtuous blue hedgehog capable of running at supersonic speeds.
  • Sonic's best friend, Miles "Tails" Prower: a young genius fox with an aptitude for building machines on par with Robotnik's creations.
  • Knuckles the Echidna, the guardian of the Master Emerald within which Chaos was sealed. When the Master Emerald is shattered by Robotnik, Angel Island falls from its place in the sky and into the sea. Knuckles takes it upon himself to track down the missing pieces and restore the Emerald (and Angel Island) to its former glory.
  • Amy Rose, a pink hedgehog with an all-consuming crush on Sonic. After she meets a young bird on the run from one of Robotnik's robots, Amy resolves to return the bird to its family.
  • Big the Cat, a lazy but warm-hearted fisherman who is seeking to rescue his best friend Froggy from the clutches of Chaos.
  • E-102 Gamma, one of Robotnik's most advanced robots, who eventually turns against its creator.

Sonic Adventure was generally praised as a revival for the series, which had been wallowing in spin-off games and remakes during the Sega Saturn era. However, a few points of criticism would haunt later iterations, like the gratuitous Camera Screw, Gameplay Roulette, a few noticeable bugs, and slippery controls — problems that have sealed Sonic's reputation as having having a subpar 3D leap. It has nevertheless remained popular among fans as a defining game for the sequels that followed.

A direct sequel, Sonic Adventure 2, sold in 2001 to commemorate the series' 10th anniversary, and rumors of a third iteration of the Adventure series linger on, though some argue that Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) was Sonic Adventure 3 in everything but name.

Re-released for the Nintendo GameCube and PC in 2003 as Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut (ironically after its sequel's remake), which added special missions and unlockable Game Gear games. As of September 15th, 2010, it is now available for purchase on Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network, with the DX: Director's Cut extras sold separatelynote . Roughly half a year afterwards, it also saw a release in this manner on Steam.

Playable Characters and their gameplay types:
  1. Sonic the Hedgehog — Sonic's gameplay style is the most reminiscent of the side-scrolling games: Just get to the goal (which is sometimes an animal capsule reminiscent of the Genesis games, sometimes a Chaos Emerald, occasionally just an end area).
  2. Miles "Tails" Prower — Sonic's lil' two-tailed fox buddy. All of Tails's stages pit you against Sonic (and later Robotnik) in a race to the end of the stage. The stages are just a single section of Sonic's stages, hopelessly broken by Tails' flying ability. Sonic is a cheating bastard for this very reason, but even speed boosts can't help him.
  3. Knuckles the Echidna — Current Guardian of the Master Emerald. When Chaos is released from the Emerald, it is naturally broken into pieces. Thus, the goal of each of the echidna's stages is to find three shards, using his Spider-Sense to pinpoint their locations. Reappeared in Sonic Adventure 2 for Knuckles and Rouge.
  4. Amy Rose — In her stages, Amy must outrun Zero, a robot in pursuit of her, and get to the giant balloon that will carry her away. Zero is actually not after Amy, but instead the little bird she is carrying, who unbeknownst to her, has a Chaos Emerald in its locket. Amy is not very strong or agile, and carries a mallet for protection.
  5. Big the Cat — After his pal Froggy swallows a strange looking jewel and runs away from home, Big chases after the frog. The goal of each of his stages is to fish Froggy out of a body of water; indeed, these sections qualify as minigames, with little danger posed to Big himself. Nevertheless, Big's fishing pole can double as a weapon.
  6. E-102 "γ" (Gamma) — Shoot things up and get to the end of the stage before time runs out, which can be increased by combo-killing multiple enemies at once. Like Knuckles', this also was re-used for Tails and Eggman's modes in Sonic Adventure 2
  7. Super Sonic — As in other games, the Golden Ending requires powering Sonic into his Super Form and taking out the True Final Boss.

Sonic Adventure provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abridged Series: Already has a page.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Averted with Station Square's sewers, played straight with those of Casinopolis (you get dumped in there if you lose a game of pinball and come away with less than 100 rings).
  • Abusive Parent: Pachacamac.
  • A Frog Named Froggy: Big isn't too creative with the names. Incidentally, he is pretty large for a cat.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: The Egg Carrier and the Egg Carrier II.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: The game actually makes use of this trope a number of times in order to progress from level to level.
    • For example, Sonic and Tails travel through the sewers of Casinopolis in order to find the Chaos Emerald located there.
    • This is also how Gamma and Amy choose to travel through the Hot Shelter in the Egg Carrier.
  • All Is Well That Ends Well: At the end of the game, as the characters are recuperating after their battle against Perfect Chaos, Tails invokes this trope verbatim, ignoring the fact that the city has been completely inundated and destroyed.
  • Almost Out of Oxygen: A staple of the franchise. That countdown music is unnerving.
  • Already Done for You: Given that the storylines (Apart from the Super Sonic storyline) are done in a "Rashomon"-Style, expect this to happen very often.
  • An Aesop: With Great Power Comes Great Insanity. The tragic story of the Echidna race and Chaos prove this.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Getting all medals unlocks Metal Sonic, who is essentially a reskinned Sonic with slightly altered animations. You can only use him in Trial mode.
  • Animated Adaptation: Was adapted into an arc in the Anime of the Game Sonic X.
  • Another Side, Another Story: Play through the main story from 6 different perspectives. Each character also gets a piece of the backstory of Chaos and the echidna race, only by playing through all stories do you get the complete sequence.
    • And the exact same scenes get alternate dialogue, at least in English.
  • Apocalypse How: Chaos' destruction of the echidna civilization 3000 years ago is a Class 1. Then Chaos' destruction of Station Square is a Class 0 since the citizens possibly survived.
  • Armed with Canon: Sonic Team pokes fun at the "Robotnik" name debate just before the Egg Hornet battle. Robotnik throws a tantrum and insists on being addressed by his full name; everyone just ignores him and continues calling him Eggman.
  • Art Evolution: SA1 introduced the art style for Sonic and friends that would be used in future games. Amy was the one affected most by this, as she no longer looks like a pink Sonic in drag. However, the Sonic-themed pinball table in Sonic's version of Casinopolis does feature stock artwork from the earlier games.
  • Ascended Extra: Amy, originally a minor semi-recurrer beforehand, gained a prominent playable role in this and many titles following it.
  • Badass: Sonic. Thanks to the new 3D presentation, we now get to see him outrun a killer whale, run down a building, and even take out a water god.
  • Balloonacy: A single balloon is all Amy needs to float away from Zero's grasp.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Tikal.
  • Battle in the Rain: Sonic's first encounter with Chaos.
  • Big Bad: Eggman, of course.
    • Big Bad Wannabe: Chaos eventually turns on Eggman and absorbs the Emeralds.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The Hot Shelter and Sky Deck suggests that the Egg Carrier is this.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • In Gamma's story, Gamma dies after destroying his brothers to free the Flickies, but a Flicky of his own is free as well, setting up the ending in Amy's story.
    • In Super Sonic's story, Chaos is neutralized, but Station Square remains a floody mess.
  • Blob Monster: Chaos, who's made of water.
  • Book Ends: Knuckles's story begins and ends with him narrating how he was fated to stay forever on Angel Island guarding the Master Emerald. In the beginning, he mentions that he doesn't know why he was given this role in life, but in the end, he believes he is better off for that.
  • Born-Again Immortality: The Chao can come back from death this way if raised correctly. In fact, dying and being reborn twice is one of the requirements for a Chao to become a perfectly immortal Chaos Chao.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: The arena Amy fights Zero in is enclosed by an electric fence. If you knock Zero into the fence, it will reveal a button in its head. Hitting this button damages it.
    • Knuckles would not have defeated Chaos 6 if it weren't for the ice robots scattered all over the arena (for Sonic's fight with Chaos 6, see Tactical Suicide Boss below).
  • Boss Rush: Beating a story unlocks a minigame where you fight each of the bosses faced in that story one after the other (the exception being Super Sonic, whose story only consists of a single boss fight with some Adventure Field navigation beforehand).
    • Also, Gamma only fights Beta and Beta II. The other E-100s are left out.
      • Even Big only fights Chaos 6, but it's just for the sake of having the player fish out Froggy as fast as possible.
  • Broken Bridge: Parts of the Mystic Ruins, including Angel Island itself, are blocked off by pedestals that require magic stones. The same goes for Station Square, except that the keys are more mundane.
  • But Now I Must Go: Both Tikal and Chaos.
  • Call Back: Icecap first appeared as "IceCap Zone" in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and it opened with a snowboarding segment, too. Red Mountain's inner section is also clearly part of Lava Reef from Sonic & Knuckles. Both are set on Angel Island.
  • The Cameo: Metal Sonic and Mecha Sonic in the Final Egg.
    • Tails Doll (along with puppet versions of Knuckles and Sonic) appear as training dummies in E-102's first level.
  • Captain Obvious: Quite a few snarky moments in SA1, if you look closely.
    (the Egg Carrier changes its shape)
    Tails: Oh look! It's changed shape! Did you see that?
    (Sonic gives him a weary look, and ignores him)
    Sonic: Darn! This makes it harder for us to get to the bridge
    • Also, Gamma, due to being a robot. It states:
    Gamma (when transported into the past via a vision): "This presents a problem."
    Gamma (after seeing what happened to Beta after defeating him at the beginning): "This is the wrong room."
  • Casino Park: Casinopolis.
  • Chaos Architecture: Angel Island looks virtually nothing like it did in Sonic & Knuckles. Here is the original, contrasted to the Adventure counterpart.
  • Character Development: Tails learns to take on troubles without Sonic's help, and he even musters the courage to stop Robotnik's attack on Station Square. Amy also goes from being a Damsel in Distress depending on Sonic to save her to an Action Girl beating up the very robot that constantly pursued her. Finally, E-102 Gamma learns about love and caring, which motivates it to stop being a mindless servant to Robotnik, go on its own mission, and make the ultimate sacrifice in the end to free the bird trapped inside.
  • Characterization Marches On: This game marks the first time Knuckles is portrayed as stoic and serious in contrast to his debut in Sonic 3 & Knuckles where he was constantly laughing at you when he activated one of his traps.
    "Unlike Sonic, I don't chuckle. I'd rather flex my muscles!"
    —"Unknown From M.E.", theme of Knuckles
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Chaos Emerald inside the Tornado 2. It plays a major role in setting off the events for the Super Sonic chapter.
  • Comic Book Adaptation: Was adapted in story arcs in Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog and also as what was notably the last new story arc in Sonic the Comic.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Present in Tails's stages, specifically of the Rubber-Band A.I. variety.
  • Console Cameo: E-105ζ "Zeta" is made of six Dreamcasts located around the grey blocks under his cannons.
  • Continuity Nod:
    Sonic (to Knuckles): "Did Eggman trick you again?"
    • The music for Twinkle Park's hovercraft and Windy Valley's "The Air" segments are remixes of the Panic Puppet and Green Grove Zone themes from Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island.
      • And the second piece of music for Emerald Coast is a redo of Act 2 of Green Grove.
    • One of Amy's flashbacks is of Sonic saving her in Sonic the Hedgehog CD. However, the models weren't changed.
    • When playing other characters' stories, your allies will sport any power-up accessories you picked up for them in their stories.
    • After getting their powers drained by Perfect Chaos, the Chaos Emeralds look the same as the Super Emeralds looked like in Sonic 3 & Knuckles in their power-less state (except for the size, of course), prior to being fully restored by the player.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Sonic and Gamma can survive just fine in the incredibly hot volcano section of Red Mountain, with lava and geysers being the only hazards that damage them. Then again, this is true of all Sonic games where the characters don't suffer any ill effects from standing only a few inches above a lava pit.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Eggman. Not only does he have the God of Destruction at his command, he has a giant flying carrier (although it functions more like a battleship), a second carrier to use against Chaos if it goes rogue, a HUGE missile stationed off the coast of Station Square should the Egg Carrier and Chaos be defeated, and a giant base in the middle of Mystic Ruins.
  • Creature Breeding Mechanic: Both games include Chao gardens. Chao may be trained and any two may be crossed, with the usual Lamarckian mechanics coming into play. This doesn't affect anything outside of the garden, though.
  • Critical Existence Failure: As in most games in the franchise, Sonic and the cast can take any amount of damage, from a barrage of Eggman's launched missiles to an explosion a third the size of the Egg Carrier, without any outward sign of injury, but after their last ring is lost, brushing against a robot chimp is enough for a K.O.
  • Crystal Prison: The Master Emerald is this to Chaos.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In the final route of the game, Robotnik hops into the Egg Carrier 2 to tame Perfect Chaos. It's onscreen for maybe 30 seconds before Perfect Chaos blows it up.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: In some cutscenes, Sonic is just standing there.
    • He also seems to forget how to run and ends up walking to close distance when he needs to run to prevent something bad from happening.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max:
    • Now we know why Sonic refuses to sit in the cockpit of Tails' plane — because gravity means nothing to him. He survives falling several kilometers to the ground not once, but twice in the game. The second time, Sonic's body endures a comical pancake effect when he hits the ground, but he's no worse for wear.
    • In Tails' ending, he manages to fly all the way from Station Square to the Mystic Ruins without getting tired.
  • Darker and Edgier: At least in comparison to most Sonic games released before it. This game literally starts off with its opening cutscene depicting a city being flooded by Perfect Chaos, and later in the game, the echidna tribe crosses a Moral Event Horizon.
    • Gamma's story is this to the rest of the game, complete with an explicitly Bittersweet Ending. Super Sonic's story has a somewhat grimmer tone than the rest of the game as well.
  • Deadly Rotary Fan: E-06 Spinner and E-16 Electro Spinner are fitted with these. Speed Highway also features a Helicopter Blender obstacle.
  • Did You Just Punch Out The God of Destruction?: The Final battle against Perfect Chaos.
  • The Dragon: Chaos to Robotnik. If just to get the Emeralds.
    • Co-Dragons: E-102 Gamma to a lesser extent plays a similar role to Robotnik prior to a Heel-Face Turn helping in preserve his alternative Dragon.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Chaos only helps Eggman to get the Emeralds so that Chaos can go One-Winged Angel and destroy the world.
  • Dueling Player Characters: The game has Sonic & Knuckles fight again, as well as E-102 Gamma. However, playing through as Knuckles & Gamma allows the player to fight Sonic, and playing as Tails puts him in the fights instead of Sonic.
  • Easter Egg: Cream the Rabbit makes a short appearance in the remake. See video here.
    • This one should take a couple minutes to get to- a hidden room
  • Eggshell Clothing: Chao can wear eggshells on their heads.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: Super Sonic, at the very end.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Chaos, a slime creature whose innards can be seen through it.
  • Elite Mook: The E-100 series robots. Oddly despite their more advanced intelligence and power than Eggman's usual badniks (apparently enough to rival Sonic individually abiding by Gamma's story) they are mostly given mundane tasks by the doctor such as searching for a frog in a beach.
  • Eternal Engine: Final Egg.
  • Exposition Fairy: Tikal is always there to guide the player.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Eggman learns this the hard way when Chaos betrays him. And this will not be the last time this happens to the doctor.
  • Failed a Spot Check: While it's not acknowledged by the characters themselves, during the Super Sonic/Final Story Sonic is shocked to hear from Tails that Angel Island has fallen again, despite the fact that he is lying down in view of where it fell.
  • Fanfare: While addressing his robots, Eggman plays his own canned fanfare music. Pretty amusing.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Five Rounds Rapid: The cops unloading their clips at Chaos 0.
  • Fixed Camera: Made more adjustable in the DX version.
  • Floating Continent: Angel Island before the Master Emerald was shattered, and Windy Valley.
  • Foreshadowing: The fact that Tikal had actually managed to send Gamma's mental mind to the past foreshadows him becoming sentient in his chapter.
  • Free Rotating Camera: Not universal though.
  • Freudian Excuse: Pachacamac retroactively gets one through Sonic Chronicles, which reveals that his clan were fighting a losing war against the technologically superior Nocturnus and claiming the Emeralds was a desperate attempt to turn the tides.
  • Friendly Playful Dolphins: Dolphins jump around you in Sonic's first stage, "Emerald Coast", if you're looking in right place at the right time. The appearance of these dolphins and their numbers seems to be performance based, or it might be random.
  • Futureshadowing: Some of the visions of the past do this. No, seriously.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • Windows will crash in certain times in DX. Most notably during the fight with Dr. Eggman in the Mystic Ruins.
    • Turning off or resetting the Gamecube while in an action stage or while saving in DX wipes the entire game disc clean!
  • Game Mod: Sonicretro has made one for both PC versions that fixes much of the bugs and other oddities in the original release.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: In the Chao Gardens, Chao have Resurrective Immortality as long as they're properly cared for. In the story, the Chao who were Chaos' friends kept living through the generations until they were able to meet up with him again in the ending.
  • Gameplay Roulette: Sonic Adventure was where all of the Unexpected Gameplay Changes the Sonic series became infamous for started.
  • Going Through the Motions: Not a major example, but quite noticeable in Amy's ending when she performs her boss victory animation and then abruptly snaps back to her standing animation.
  • Go Through Me:
    • In the backstory, Tikal tries to defend the Chao and the Chaos Emeralds from her dad and his soldiers. Said soldiers brusquely push her aside and proceed to incur Chaos' wrath.
    • In the aftermath of Sonic's (or Tails') fight with Gamma, regardless of who wins, Amy intervenes to convince the victor to let the other live.
  • Gratuitous English: Sonic in the Japanese dub sometimes speaks English with a thick accent, such as when he tells players to "Serect yo kaakta!"
  • Gravity Screw: Most notably in Lost World, where panels on the wall glow when orientated correctly by hitting a switch, allowing Sonic and Knuckles to simply walk up the wall. The last part of Sky Deck changes orientation as well, and Knuckles can actually control this.
  • Hall of Mirrors: A segment exclusive to Amy's version of Twinkle Park.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Before the events of Sonic Adventure, in order to save the world from Chaos' destruction, Tikal sealed him, along with herself, in the Master Emerald.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Inverted by Chaos taking over the role of central villain from Eggman in the final story.
  • Hints Are For Losers: Touching one hintball in Knuckles' B-rank missions disqualifies you from getting the Emblem.
  • Hong Kong Dub: The lipsyncing is just plain bizarre and off a lot of the time.
  • Hub Level: Station Square, Mystic Ruins, and the Egg Carrier.
  • 100% Completion: Getting all of the emblems entails beating the action stages again, under more challenging circumstances. At most, you have to:
    • Sonic: Finish each action stage within an allotted timeframe.
    • Tails: Beat Sonic or Robotnik again (they're faster).
    • Knuckles: Same as Sonic, only the allotted time is one to two minutes.
    • Amy: Same as Sonic.
    • Big: Catch a fish weighing in at 2000 grams and catch Froggy.
    • E102 Gamma: Finish each stage within a certain amount of time left on the clock.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Played with during Gamma's story. Gamma is perfectly capable of self-terminating, it's just that up until the penultimate boss Gamma dosen't realize that his self-given mission technically requires him to kill himself. The moment of contemplation concerning his mortality that he has when he realizes this is almost heart-breaking despite almost no dialogue or music being present in the scene. He ends up averting this trope and allows himself to die from his injuries so that the Flickie inside of him can be freed.
  • I Can't Believe I'm Saying This: Knuckles says this, agreeing with Tails that Sonic is the only one who can harness the true power of the Chaos Emeralds after Perfect Chaos absorbed their negative energy.
  • I Owe You My Life: Not directly stated, but E-102 Gamma's resolve to rescue the animals trapped inside the E-Series robots was partly due to Amy saving its life.
    • Said act by Amy was also provoked by Gamma freeing her and Birdie from Eggman's cell inside the Egg Carrier (which would later crash land into the ocean) making it both issued and returned at the same time.
  • ISO-Standard Urban Groceries: The brown paper bag Amy carries in the introductory cutscene to her story.
  • "I Want" Song: Tails's and Amy's themes: Believe in Myself and My Sweet Passion.
  • Idiot Ball: All three incidents when Sonic and Tails lose Chaos Emeralds to Robotnik. The third time this occurs, when two Chaos Emeralds are knocked out of Sonic/Tails's Hammerspace (depending on what character you're being) by a sharp impact. He then proceeds to lie there while Robotnik lazily floats over and beams them up.
  • Ignorant of the Call: Most of the cast react this way to Tikal's flashbacks. Near the end of his story Sonic fails to get the message that he should go after Chaos instead of Robotnik.
  • Implausible Deniability: Knuckles seems to pull this off after Sonic asked him if he got tricked by Eggman again. This quote from Knuckles' story sums it up:
    "Like, you weren't?"
  • In Case of Boss Fight, Break Glass: The Egg Viper.
  • Incoming Ham: Eggman, Eggman, Eggman.
  • Indy Escape: At various points in Sonic's storyline, he has to evade the jaws of an angered orca, an avalanche and an Indiana Jones-esque flaming boulder.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: There was going to be a dragon boss in the Sky Chase minigame, but it was removed...But not entirely, however...
  • Insurmountable Waist High Fence: Right towards the end of Twinkle Park for Sonic, there's an iron gate blocking you from getting to a spring if you end up on the right side of it. You can barely jump higher than it by yourself and you can definitely jump higher than it if you get up some speed with a Spin Dash. However, the game won't let you pass it from that side, you have to circumnavigate the entire circular roof to approach the spring from the other side.note 
  • Kaizo Trap: Egg Viper. The camera angle isn't great either, so even if you know his suicide attack is coming, you won't be able to tell where he's gonna hit so you may still die anyway. Cue rage.
  • Karmic Death: Implied. Chaos absorbs the Emeralds to transform into Perfect Chaos, wiping out Pachacamac and the echidnas for all of their actions towards Tikal and the Chao.
  • Kick the Dog: Robotnik does it a lot in this game. He's portrayed as a lot more evil here than in most portrayals.
    • In the flashback of the final story, Pachacamac ordered the echidna warriors to charge to the Emerald shrine, in which they trampled Tikal and injured the Chao, just so they can seize the Chaos Emeralds. Chaos didn't take kindly of this.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Chaos. He is the first major threat Sonic and co. face that has no humorous quirks or traits whatsoever in persona and design; while his threat is genuine, he isn't seen as much more than a Dragon to Eggman until the climax and finale, when things truly take a turn for the worse when he finally turns on Eggman and gets all of the Emeralds.
  • Last Note Nightmare: "Fakery way" for Twinkle Park starts out in a quiet, cute tone, but slowly becomes much more creepy and menacing.
  • Leitmotif: Every character is accompanied by their theme tune when they appear.
  • Lens Flare: Present in some of the cutscenes, as well as Emerald Coast and Sky Chase Act I.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Red Mountain, combined with some Death Mountain.
  • Levels Take Flight: Sky Chase Zone reappears, and allows Tails to actually fire upon incoming enemies with his Tornado.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: A few jingles and themes were unused in gameplay or for purposes different from how they are labelled (eg. "Calm After The Storm" is labelled as the theme for the crashed Egg Carrier Adventure Field in the Sound Test, but is used only in a short cutscene in Gamma's story). Many tunes were also truncated and can only be heard in full in the games' official soundtrack.
  • Macguffin Delivery Service: Sonic and friends do a terrible job of keeping the Chaos Emeralds away from Eggman.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Speed Highway, a highway that uses loop-de-loops, corkscrews and has gaps missing, all while being high in the air.
  • Mama Bear: Amy to Birdie. In one instance, she adamantly refuses to give Birdie to Gamma, which then led to his change of heart. In the other instance which stands out more, Amy was enraged when Zero knocks out Birdie out cold and was very keen on bashing him with her hammer.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: E-102 Gamma ultimately.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: E-102 Gamma states this in his story recap following releasing Amy and Birdie and disobeying Eggman's orders.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Knuckles being tricked into fighting Sonic led the two colliding with each other. As a result, Sonic fumbles the two remaining Chaos Emeralds (one of them being green which Knuckles thought was a piece of the Master Emerald), only for Dr. Eggman to steal them and power up Chaos into his fourth form. As Sonic best puts it:
    Sonic: Smooth move, knucklehead!
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Sonic does not have a way to defeat Chaos 6, but luckily Robotnik keeps dropping ice-spewing egg robots onto the battlefield that Sonic can use to freeze Chaos and hit him.
  • Nobody Poops: Surprisingly averted. One Action Stage (Hot Shelter) contains men's and women's restrooms, both of which can be entered, though not used.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Station Square is a death trap, boasting a highway with loops and a pleasure park containing floating platforms and a hall of mirrors where the flooring tends to give way beneath you.
    • Angel Island's emerald altar is only accessible by a narrow bridge with no handrail over a bottomless chasm.
    • Eggman would be in trouble if a safety inspector took a good look at the Egg Carrier's sky deck.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Somehow Big managed to fly Tails' highly advanced Tornado plane back to his home with zero experience. Sadly we see about a second of him taking off from the Egg Carrier. No Sky Chase minigame for you, Big.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Zero in Amy's levels.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Knuckles says this when he is sent in a flashback in the past for the third time. Also, Sonic says this in his story after encountering Chaos, who has transformed into his 6th form.
  • One-Winged Angel: Chaos in Sonic Adventure becomes Perfect Chaos when he drains the negative energy out of the Chaos Emeralds.
  • Palmtree Panic: Emerald Coast.
  • Pals with Jesus: Tikal and Chaos, God of Destruction.
  • Panty Shot: Amy belts one out in most of the cutscenes she's in, most prominently when you choose her in the character select screen. This is made unsettling by the fact that she's only 12.
  • Papa Wolf: Chaos to Tikal and the Chao as the echidnas had learned the hard way.
  • Path of Greatest Resistance: Ever since Sonic Adventure introduced the Homing Attack, nearly all Sonic games since then have had paths identifiable (and accessible) only by finding a trail of stationary midair enemies. This is most commonly used to begin an expert path or for a shortcut; very rarely is it actually required.
  • Pinball Zone: Sonic's version of Casinopolis features Sonic and NiGHTS-themed pinball tables. Naturally, Sonic is the pinball.
  • Polygon Ceiling - The camera and controls are a point of criticism to the game, and these would continue into later games, creating a bad 3D reputation for the series.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Rather than talk to Sonic about why he's after the Master Emerald shards, Knuckles instead immediately starts a fight with Sonic and Tails without reasonably asking the two directly about it, which could have prevented the whole fight in the first place.
  • The Power of Friendship: The bond of Sonic with his True Companions allows him to unlock the full potential of Super Sonic with the Chaos Emeralds, although Tails does say that Chaos only absorbed the negative energy of the Emeralds.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: Who won in the character vs. character fights? It depends who you ask. Most of the dialogue was re-recorded for each story even when it doesn't need to be.
    • In Sonic and Tails's stories, the character played as is the one who fights most of the bosses and puts the keys in the Mystic Ruins.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: This game introduced Chao to the series.
  • The Ruins I Caused: The team looking down upon the flooded Station Square post-Chaos.
  • Rule of Three: Tails' and Knuckles' stories has three bosses, Knuckles gets a vision of the past on three seprate occasions (Upon clearing stages 2, 4, and 5 (Whereas the other five characters' storylines gets one)) on his storyline, and Amy's storyline has three levels (The fewest level count any character has in this game).
  • Sampling: "Red Hot Skull", the theme that plays in the underground section in Red Mountain, samples its drumbeat from a Hip-Hop remix of "Ghetto Red Hot" by Super Cat (the instrumental version, to be exact).
  • Scenery Porn: It may look a bit dated now, but it was considered highly impressive back then.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Chaos was originally sealed in the Master Emerald along with Tikal when he was about to destroy the world, but in modern times, Robotnik freed him by destroying the Master Emerald. Subverted however that, when it turns out Chaos isn't actually evil, just very angry and vengeful.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Tikal, technically.
  • Self-Serving Memory: While it's not mentioned in the game itself, the official strategy guide gives this as the reason for any differences between the character's stories.
  • Shout-Out: NiGHTS appears in the backgrounds, and the "flying" Chao is shaped like him.
  • Shower Scene: Possible in Casinopolis with Sonic if you have him stand under a showerhead, whereupon he'll start scrubbing himself. Knuckles can also trigger the water spray, but he has no custom animation for it.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Icecap, with an Ice Palace section.
  • Smoke Out: Eggman employs a variety of these tricks, including a flash grenade and sleeping gas.
  • Spin Attack: Tails can swipe his tails as an attack, which is upgraded to infinite spinning with the Rhythm Badge. Amy can do the Spin Hammer Attack and swing her hammer while spinning, but she can't move while spinning.
  • Spoiler Opening: The opening trailer contains the destruction of Station Square and Chaos's final transformation. Since this is the first Sonic game with an unlockable secret finale, it may have been intentional to prevent players from putting the game down after completing Sonic's story. Or just to get some extra milage out of the lengthy FMV sequence.
  • Stock Video Game Puzzle: Quite a few different puzzles appear at varying points across the levels and characters, notably in Lost World.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Sky Deck is full of cannons and explosions.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Everyone. The early games didn't even have subtitled lines.
    • Except Sonic and Eggman. They talked in SegaSonic The Hedgehog. (Ray and Mighty did too, but only Mighty reappeared, and even then only in Knuckles Chaotix.) A few months later, Sonic sometimes exclaimed in Sonic CD (Usually upon getting a 1-Up).
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: There are LOTS of them in this game.
    • If Eggman never dug into the ground with the Egg Hornet, Sonic would have never destroyed it.
    • Chaos 2 already has two very effective attacks: one has him bounce all over the arena as a giant ball, and the other covers the entire floor, so why does he have to try to punch Knuckles?
    • Had Chaos 4 never popped out of the water, Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles would have never defeated him.
    • When Sonic fights Chaos 6, Eggman throws ice robots onto the arena. All Sonic needs to do is attack the robot and throw it at Chaos to make him vulnerable. Chaos would have won had Eggman not gotten involved.
    • Eggman should know better than to stick his head out of the Egg Viper.
      • He also should know better than to make its wheels separate from its body and move flat-side up.
  • Team Rocket Wins: Playing E-102 Gamma's story at least, which allows you to fight and defeat Sonic in battle (though Amy stops him just short of finishing the job). So far Gamma is the only Eggman droid to individually defeat Sonic in the games storywise (albeit branching storywise).
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Knuckles' theme "Unknown from M.E." has a verse which he views teamwork, especially in regards to Sonic:
    I have no such things as weak spots
    Don't approve of him, but you got to trust him
    This alliance has a purpose
    This partnership is temporary.
  • Temple of Doom: Lost World.
  • That's No Moon!: The excavation team at the Mystic Ruins is flummoxed by a "mountain" which suddenly appeared from nowhere. Unbeknownst to them (and the player, at first), it's actually Angel Island.
  • The Voiceless: Chaos never says a word, and Tikal is the one who relies his feelings to the audience.
  • Theme Song Power Up: Played with in the final battle against Perfect Chaos. "Open Your Heart" (the game's main theme and Super Sonic's personal theme, more or less) plays during the first half of the battle. After you hit Chaos a number of times, it revives and the second half plays out under Perfect Chaos' own theme. It's subverted because Super Sonic doesn't defeat the creature for good while his own theme is playing, inverted because Perfect Chaos' own theme ("Perfect Chaos Revival!") is what plays during the second half (after it's rejuvenated) so Chaos is the one powering up to its own theme, and averted because it doesn't do a lick of good anyway (it's already losing by the time its music starts up; you just have to land the finishing blow (or two (give or take)).
  • Tranquil Fury: In contrast to his usual Large Ham, Robotnik's encounter with Tails in the Egg Walker has him speak this way. Surprisingly, it's very unsettling.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The game contains six subplots (seven if you count Tikal's) which all come together in the last story.
  • Uncommon Time: The boss music for Chaos 6 alternates between a 7/8 and a 4/4 time signature.
  • Understatement: Gamma's concise nature of speaking creates such gems as "This is the wrong room" after accidentally walking in on his older brother being seemingly cannibalized for parts and upgraded while still active, or "This presents a problem" after being seemingly teleported back in time.
  • Underwater Ruins: Lost World, in parts.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Tikal and the other Echidna residents seem completely nonchalant about the heroes' presence, or even a friggin' robot in the flashbacks to the past. About the only reaction they will make is if the player attacks them or jumps on them.
  • Updated Re-release: The GameCube DX version, which added some more character cameos (namely Cream) and a catalog of Game Gear games. Further upgraded with the PSN and XBLA, with trophy/achievement support.
  • Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: Gamma the robot is made to fight his "brother" Beta, who is the more advanced of the two. To Dr. Eggman's surprise, Gamma wins, so he is charged with carrying out the doctor's missions. Later, Beta is rebuilt and battles Gamma again. Gamma just barely manages to win again, but unlike the previous battle it results in his death.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Pachacamac's reasoning for wanting the Chaos Emeralds taken from the shrine. It does nothing to cover up his power hungry nature and lack of regard for life at that point.
  • Video Game 3D Leap: The true first one after the isometric Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Chao. If you are nice enough to a Chao, it will have a big smile on its face and clap whenever your character picks it up. Beware, however, that being too nice to a Chao might result in the little guy getting a spoiled personality, making it throw tantrums even when only a little hungry. Balance is the key, but regardless, if the Chao is happy enough, it will reincarnate into a baby at the end of its life.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Likewise, you can hit the Chao, throw it, put it in water and watch it flail if it doesn't know how to swim, make it starve, and all other sorts of things. Such abuse will result in the Chao crying a fountain of tears, blowing a raspberry at you, or if it's aggressive enough, it'll charge at you and futilely throw punches. If the Chao is more sad/angry than happy, it won't reincarnate at the end of its life. You can kill your Chao outright this way.
    • To a lesser extent, as you play a stage as Sonic with Tails following you, you will find yourself attacking Tails. A few instances in doing this is by jumping infront of him or use a spin dash.
  • Video Game Settings:
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: E-102 Gamma's story deconstructs this trope by virtue of being a playable mook. (Well, an Elite Mook, but still).
  • Wheel o' Feet: Sonic when running at top speed, but only in the original Japanese release of the game. The International version and all future versions removed the effect.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Chaos. He only acts antagonistically because he has been sealed away so long.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: The themes of Knuckles and Big have their moments, but special mention goes to Amy's Theme:
    I do understand the feelings of a Persian cat
    (But the Sphinx looked so cute I had to shave it)
    He reminds me of parsley when he's standing there all alone
    (Makes me wanna be his speciality)
  • You Have Failed Me: Robotnik sorta does this to Gamma's E-Series brethren after they fail to retrieve the Chaos-enhanced Froggy, dispatching E-105ζ Zeta for a torturous upgrade and demoting E-103δ Delta and E-104ε Epsilon to generic "badniks" in random areas.