"Amazingly, the universe began in chaos. Things were fast, it was cool. Over the years, that chaos would take many forms, but one thing it's never become is portable!"
Released towards the end of 1993 for the Sega Game Gear
and Master System
, Sonic Chaos
—or Sonic & Tails
as it's called in Japan*
—makes quite a few improvements upon its predecessor, the 8-Bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2
South Island is in turmoil. In his latest scheme to take over the world
, Dr. Robotnik
has just nabbed one of the six Chaos Emeralds, and as a result, South Island is on the verge of sinking into the ocean. Getting wind of this scheme, Sonic and his buddy Tails must retrieve the other five Emeralds and steal the sixth back from Robotnik before it's too late. With six zones, three acts each, and five Emeralds to collect, it's time to hero up and save South Island!Sonic Chaos
presents a couple of firsts for 8-Bit Sonic
. Notably, it's the first where the Chaos Emeralds are collected via Special Stage instead of in the actual zones, the first to feature the Spindash, and also the first to allow you to play as Tails.
But in a first for the series as a whole, Sonic and Tails were differentiated gameplay-wise. Sonic can perform the Peelout/Strike Dash - a technique carried over from Sonic CD
- and for some reason he's the only one who can enter Special Stages (by collecting 100 Rings in a regular act)
. Tails is slower, but he can fly, and he has the benefit of starting the game with a couple of continues (Sonic has to work for his!). Needless to say, Tails' game is considered the easier of the two.
Items introduced here were the Rocket Shoes, which sends your character forward with a powerful thrust of speed and mild flight capabilities for a short period of time, and the Pogo Spring, which allows you to do extra high jumps but also for a short period of time.
This game provides examples of:
- Acrofatic: Eggman managed to keep pace with Sonic in the bad ending.
- Cut Song: There is one in this game. Thankfully, Sega knew it would be a sin to leave it unused and so they used it in Sonic The Hedgehog Triple Trouble for the boss of Sunset Park.
- Eternal Engine: Electric Egg Zone.
- The Goomba: The Motobugs return in this game, but now have Springs mounted on their backs, meaning you can only hurt them by rolling into them.
- Green Hill Zone: Turquoise Hill Zone.
- Hailfire Peaks: Mecha Green Hill Zone combines Green Hill Zone with Eternal Engine, resulting in a once beautiful tropical paradise industrialized in the ugliest way possible.
- Hopping Machine: The Sleeping Egg boss.
- Law of 100: How you get into the Special Stages.
- Made of Explodium: The explosive coconuts in Mecha Green Hill Zone.
- No Ending: Even when playing as Sonic, and clearing the game with all emeralds, all you get is a slightly different credits sequence.
- Obvious Beta: It's practically an unfinished prototype version of Sonic The Hedgehog Triple Trouble, with very blank, short level design and no real reward for getting the Chaos Emeralds.
- One-Hit KO: The second part of the Final Boss, which will kill the player in one hit even with rings on hand. Thankfully, it works the other way around.
- Rearrange the Song:
- The final boss theme is actually the normal boss theme from the 8-bit Sonic 2!
- The final level's theme is a variation of the Scrambled Egg Zone theme.
- Recurring Riff: Mecha Green Hill's theme is You Can Do Anything. It's also part of the final boss theme and invincibility theme.
- Rocket Tag Gameplay: The very last challenge in the game boils down to this (see One-Hit KO).
- Sequel Difficulty Drop: Unlike the two previous Master System entries, you no longer have to go into boss fights with zero rings. Playing as Tails also makes the game significantly easier.
- Shout-Out: The level select (Up, Up, Down, Down, Right, Left, Right, Left, Start at the title screen) and sound test (Down, Down, Up, Up, Left, Right, Left, Right, 1, 2, Start at the title screen) codes are both variations on the Konami Code.
- In the sound test menu, if you perform a code, Sonic will pull off a Hadouken.
- Tomorrow Land: Gigapolis Zone.
- Underwater Ruins: Aqua Planet Zone, which contrary to its name, is still on South Island, and thus still on Earth/Mobius/whatever.
- Warm-Up Boss: The Giant Spring Motobug from Turquoise Hill Zone. It can't even directly harm you—It's just a Spring Motobug, but bigger and with hit points. It's weak spot is it's front, which you can ram with the spindash, bounce off of, and rinse and repeat to destroy in roughly ten seconds.