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Video Game / Sonic Blast

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Get ready to blast off!

Sonic Blast (G Sonic in Japanese) is a 1996 Game Gear Sonic the Hedgehog game, and the penultimate game Sega released for that system, preceding The Lost World: Jurassic Park. (As usual, it was also converted to the Master System for the Brazilian market.) The title allows the player to pick from Knuckles, with his signature gliding and climbing, or Sonic, who can double jump. The game is unusual in that the amount of rings one loses from a hit varies from 10 to 30 depending on the source of damage, and Dr. Robotnik (aka Dr. Eggman) only takes damage if he gets hit on the windshield of his Egg Mobile.

Being released near the end of the console's lifespan, the game experiments with pre-rendered graphics Donkey Kong Country style, with limited success given the reduced horsepower behind the system. Sonic Blast is often seen as the worst of the five main Sonic platformers on the Game Gear and Master System, with its slow speed, muddy graphics, highly inconsistent difficulty and far clunkier gameplay (even with the addition of Knuckles as a playable character) being common complaints. Even then, Sonic's next portable outing — the version of Sonic Jam that was released the following year — is even worse in those regards.


The game can be found on Sonic Adventure DX and Sonic Mega Collection Plus, and as an unlockable demo on Sonic Gems Collection.

Not to be confused with Sonic 3D Blast aka Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island (although the two were marketed alongside each other). Nor Sonic Robo Blast 2. Nor Sonic Blast Man. Nor the NES hack Sonic 3D Blast 5.


  • Advancing Wall of Doom: At some parts of Silver Castle, spiked walls will chase after you.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Referenced in the western manual, which mentions Robotnik's mustache as depicted in the western-version box art of all games at the timenote .
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The True Final Boss gives you 99 rings off the bat so you can have some fighting chance against it, which is good because you're going to need every single one of them for it!
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  • Attract Mode: Leaving the title screen alone will show short demos of the game's first two acts with Sonic and Knuckles respectively, demonstrating their distinct abilities (Sonic's double jump, Knuckles' wall climbing/gliding).
  • Bee Afraid: The Buzz Bomber-esque Badniks from Green Hill.
  • Beneath the Earth: Red Volcano Zone Acts 2 and 3.
  • Bonus Stage: Acts 1 and 2 of each world have one, with Act 1's bonus stage giving you a 1-up for beating it, while Act 2's bonus stages will give you a Chaos Emerald for beating them.
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy: The Silver Castle boss consists of Robotnik using mirrors to reflect lasers down at Sonic or Knuckles while they're stuck running on a giant wheel. Said wheel in question moves a third mirror around that can deflect said laser attack back at Robotnik.
  • Boss-Only Level: As with the other Game Gear games, the third act of each Zone is a small platforming area and then a boss fight (this returns to the first game's MO by having Robotnik fight instead of his flunkies). The True Final Boss is a separate part of the game from the Silver Castle boss.
  • Bonus Stage Collectibles: There are five Chaos Emeralds to collect, which can be acquired in Act 2 of each level by getting 50 rings, finding a giant ring and completing a bonus stage. Getting all five allows you to fight the True Final Boss and get the Good Ending. Act 1 has bonus stages as well, but they only reward you a 1-up on completion.
  • The Cameo: While Super Sonic is not playable, he does get a rare cameo on the level's goalposts, which will grant you a 1-up and 30 rings if you get him. It's notably the only appearance of Super Sonic in the Game Gear Sonic games.
  • Classic Cheat Code: There is a level select code that can be accessed at the title screen by pressing Up, Up, Up, Down, Down, Down, 1, 2, 1, 2 (a chime will play if you entered it correctly) and then pressing start. You can access all of the levels this way, but skipping anywhere past the first act of Green Hill Zone will make it impossible to get all of the Chaos Emeralds, thus meaning you can't fight the True Final Boss and get the good ending. And if you get a Game Over, you have to reset the game to put in the code again.
  • Collapsing Lair: Silver Castle crashes into the ocean in the ending.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Featured in Red Volcano.
  • Double Jump: Sonic has one in this game, which is referred to in the manual as the Sonic Boost Blast.
  • Dub Induced Plothole: The western storyline leaves out the part where a Chaos Emerald splits in 5, turning the opening sequence in which we see just that happen into a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment.
  • Eternal Engine: Silver Castle Zone, which from the outside is very similar to the Death Egg in appearance, and inside is similar to Scrap Brain Zone.
  • Expy: Almost all of the levels are based on or are similar to levels from previous Sonic games.
  • Excuse Plot: The game follows the typical barebone "Eggman is up to no good, and Sonic (or Knuckles) has to save the day" story. The Japanese story slightly elaborates on it by making it so that the plot is kicked off by Robotnik (while trying to shoot Sonic with a laser beam while he's snoozing in his hammock) accidentally blasting a nearby Chaos Emerald into five smaller pieces. Unexpectedly pleased by this unplanned turn of events, Robotnik impulsively wants to collect them to power up his new Silver Castle base. Knuckles, who sees the event play out, offers to help Sonic defeat Robotnik.
  • Fake Difficulty: What little challenge the game has comes from this due to the cramped level design combined with the huge sprites and wonky hit detection, the limited view of what's up ahead and the fact that you have zero room for failure when it comes to the Chaos Emerald sidequest. Playing as Knuckles adds more due to his low jump height and his gliding ability being nerfed to the point where he can't even hurt an enemy by gliding into them anymore.
  • Green Hill Zone: The Trope Namer makes an appearance in this game, although it has little in common with the original level outside of a superficial resemblance, but has shades of Sonic CD's Palmtree Panic in it as well.
  • Golden Ending: While both endings are identical, the real ending doesn't show Robotnik escaping from the Silver Castle.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: The hit detection in this game is all over the place. The enemies notably have much bigger hitboxes than their small sprites let on.
  • Hopping Machine: Robotnik's device in the third act of Red Volcano is this coming off the bottom of the screen, with a ball and chain used as its method of attack.
  • Idle Animation: Leave Sonic or Knuckles standing around, and they'll do their own distinct idle animations. Sonic will glance at the player and motion with his finger to get on the move, while Knuckles will just punch while in place.
  • In Name Only: Aside from being a Sonic the Hedgehog game with 3D rendered graphics, Sonic Blast has nothing in common with Sonic 3D Blast on the Genesis, Saturn, and PC. However, as these games came out around the same time, they were marketed together in advertising, as if Sonic Blast was the handheld port, where the earlier Sonic Labyrinth had more in common with 3D Blast.
  • Joke Character: Knuckles is, to be frank, as useless as a man's nipple in this game. The levels are clearly designed with Sonic in mind and there are few opportunities for Knuckles to truly take advantage of his gliding and wall climbing abilities. And even then, Knuckles' glide has been heavily nerfed to where he can barely fly any distance at all with it, sinks like a rock in the air and can only turn around mid-air slowly. His climbing is as slow as molasses, and trying to use the glide often can actually make the game harder because of the small screen resolution combined with offscreen enemies that Knuckles can accidentally buffet into — oh and did we mention he can't hurt enemies by gliding into them in this gamenote  any more? On top of that, Knuckles' pathetic jump height means he can't reach some areas Sonic can, and some of these areas can't be accessed by either wall climbing or gliding (at least without sometimes risking getting hurt in the latter's case), which defeats the whole purpose of using the abilities anyway.
  • Joke Item: The Robotnik monitor, which, unlike its Sonic 2/Sonic 3 & Knuckles counterpart that hurts you, instead reduces your time limit by a bit, not that you're aware.
  • Kaizo Trap: If you run out of air during Blue Marine's boss encounter, you have to fight it all over again, even if you're in the victory pose.
  • Kill Sat: Silver Castle is presumably this, due to its similar appearance to the Death Egg.
  • Law of 100: Collecting 100 rings gets you a free 1-up... but seemingly resets your ring counter back to zero. The game's HUD doesn't go past 100 rings, but will still count them as such.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Red Volcano Zone Act 1.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The music for the game's opening cutscene is 33 seconds long, but the actual opening cutscene is only six seconds long. This implies that the game was originally going to have a longer opening cutscene, but due to either time constraints or hardware limitations, it had to be reduced to six seconds.
  • Marathon Level: Blue Marine Act 2 is the longest level in the game and among the hardest too.
  • Mecha-Mooks: 13 different types appear throughout the game.
    • Green Hill Zone has bee robots that resemble Buzzers, which fly through the air and occasionally shoot at you. Coconuts and Masher-like badniks are present too.
    • Yellow Desert Zone has unnamed badniks that slide around and stick a spike out of their heads as well as Batbot/Halogen enemies that simply fly around.
    • Red Volcano has Rexons and Gohla like enemies (though unlike their Sonic 2 versions, they won't change direction and only have one flame circling them respectively).
    • Blue Marine Zone has Crabmeat like enemies that slowly move back and forth, but won't attack the player. An Aquis enemy (a seahorse like badnik) also pops up and can shoot projectiles at you. They also have Octopus enemies that float around in the water and only "attack" through collision damage.
    • Silver Castle Zone has a trio of enemies collectively called Egg Saucers. One flies around with a saw like blade, another has a cannon in its chest, and the third bounces in place on a spring.
  • No Fair Cheating: Using the level select cheat code to skip anywhere beyond Green Hill Zone Act 2 will keep you from getting all of the Chaos Emeralds and thus prevents you from fighting the True Final Boss and getting the Good Ending.
  • Non-Indicative Name:
    • Red Volcano has more of a purple-pinkish color palette than red.
    • Silver Castle, while indeed large and chrome in appearance, looks absolutely nothing like a castle inside or out.
  • Oxygen Meter: The timer now counts down from 9 seconds instead of 5 when close to drowning. Unique to this game and this game only, after the countdown hits 0, all of your rings are rapidly drained away, drowning you as soon as they hit 0, instead.
  • Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: In Blue Marine Zone. Though, if you can't find any nearby bubbles — and often, you can't — jumping into a pipe has the same effect if needed.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Only one Chaos Emerald can be collected per zone, and you only get one shot at getting each one in the second act of each—if you slip up on any of them, you'll have to replay the entire game in order to get a shot at collecting all five Chaos Emeralds.
  • Power Up Letdown: The speed-up shoes do exist in the game and they do make Sonic or Knuckles go somewhat faster, but they only appear once early in Act 2 of Yellow Desert. Said level is cramped and full of chances for you to run into a just off-screen wall and thus lose your momentum and stop dead in your tracks. And to add insult to injury, the speed-up effect lasts roughly 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Featured in Yellow Desert Zone Act 2.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Yellow Desert Zone Act 1, a small sandy area set around some ancient ruins.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Robotnik's flying machine from the Green Hill Zone boss fight looks very similar to Opa-Opa's ship design from Fantasy Zone.
    • The Yellow Desert Zone boss fight has Robotnik's mech patterned after Sun Wukong, a character from the Chinese epic Journey to the West.
  • Single-Use Shield: The standard shield power-up is present for this game, but due to graphical limitations its presented as two sparks circling Sonic or Knuckles.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: Pre-rendered 3-D models for Sonic, Knuckles and the Badniks, but 2-D sprites for everything else.
  • Temple of Doom: Yellow Desert Zone Acts 2 and 3, which take place inside a pyramid.
  • Tennis Boss: Silver Castle Zone.
  • Theme Naming: Each of the five worlds is named after a color: Green Hill Zone, Yellow Desert Zone, Red Volcano Zone, Blue Marine Zone, and Silver Castle Zone.
  • Timed Mission: Each stage has a ten-minute time limit. However, you wouldn't know this unless you paid attention to the pre-stage introductions, as there's no clock in the game's HUD. During the last 30 seconds of the time limit, the words HURRY UP! appear onscreen and the music becomes more frantic. Then, during the last ten seconds, HURRY UP! appears onscreen three more times, and the last ten seconds tick away before Sonic or Knuckles loses a life.
  • True Final Boss: Depending on whether you have all the Emeralds or not by the time you beat Silver Castle's boss, you immediately confront the real final boss.
  • Underwater Boss Battle: Blue Marine Zone. Extra air is only provided by Robotnik's submarine firing a harpoon into the ground, which causes a bubble to rise up that the player must take advantage of to avoid drowning.
  • Underwater Ruins: Blue Marine Zone.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Robotnik flees Silver Castle when it crashes into the ocean in the Bad Ending, but doesn't in the Good Ending.
  • Visual Pun: The true final boss is, of all things, a cracked egg.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The Green Hill Zone boss, where Eggman just launches a razor-edged boomerang at you while he floats in place and occasionally changes position. Predictably, his attack is easy to dodge and he can go down in seconds just by attacking relentlessly.