Quotation1.svg Increases lives by 1. Quotation2.svg
— Description, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II

1-Up, also referred to as One Up, One-Up, Extra Life and Lives, is a term used in video games, which refers to the power-up/item that gives the number of chances the player has to complete the game. When a life is lost, the player will restart at the previous checkpoint, and a Game Over results for the player when all lives and continues are lost.

1-Ups are present in almost every single Sonic the Hedgehog game.

Description

Several head-up displays from Sonic games, which show the number of lives.

1-Up is a power-up which grants an extra chance of playing. Throughout the series, there have been numerous ways to gain extra lives, but the most common methods are collecting 100 Rings in a Zone/Bonus Stage, scoring a certain amount of points, breaking Item Boxes/Monitors that show the icon of the playable character (or some simply reading "1-Up"), or, in certain titles, finding a floating, glowing icon that displays a miniaturized version of Sonic's head. When the player gains a 1-Up, a small fanfare or sample can be heard in the background while the in-game music stops, but returns back to normal after it ends. The HUD usually shows the playable character's icon and the amount of lives that are left.

If a player gets hit and has one or more rings in their possession, they will lose all of their Rings or some of them, but will not die. If the player is hit when they have no Rings, they will lose a life and return to the last checkpoint or the beginning of the act. There are other ways to lose lives, such as drowning, falling into a bottomless pit, being crushed, or getting a Time Over, and in these cases, the player will lose a life regardless of how many Rings they have. If a player loses all their lives, it will result in a Game Over (unless the player has got Continues).

There aren't any specific, regular form for 1-Ups in the Sonic series, as the player gains them from specific items and objects. The most known, recurring form for 1-Ups are either variants of Monitors / Item Boxes, which contain an image on them, usually the head of the character who is being controlled. The variety of images on an 1-Up Monitor / Item Box depends on the number of playable characters available. In later games, mug-shots on the Item Boxes were simply replaced with a "1UP" picture, disregarding who the playable character is.

In more recent entries such as Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations which exclusively star Sonic as the player character, 1-Ups are not contained within Item Boxes and are simply a glowing icon of Sonic's head, floating on the ground; the physical appearance has been changed numerous times depending on the setting of the game's rules, however.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)

Extra life 01.png

In Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), the player starts off the game with three lives. The player is able to receive more lives with following requirements:

  • Breaking Video Monitors with Sonic icons on them grant One-Ups.[1] In 2013 re-release of the game, Tails and Knuckles receive extra lives from Video Monitors displaying icons of them.
  • Collecting 100 and 200 Rings in Zones or Special Stages rewards a an extra live.
  • Getting every 50,000 points in the Zone grants an extra live. This is only possible in the reissued versions (REV01) and certain re-releases of the game.

Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)

OneUpStH1GG.png

In the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog, the player starts off with three lives. Instead of fanfare track heard in 16-bit counterpart, the player can hear short jingle after receiving a One-Up. After clearing the game, each remaining life is worth of 5,000 points in the final score tally. The player can gain more lives in the game by:

  • Breaking Video Monitors with Sonic icons on them grant One-Ups.[2]
  • Collecting 100 Rings in Zones or Special Stages rewards a One-Up. Doing this also restarts the Ring count from zero.
  • Getting every 50,000 points.
  • Flipping the Bonus Panel at the end of each two Acts rewards the player with One-Up if the panel ends up displaying Sonic.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)

S2 Sprite 1UpSonic.gif
S2 Sprite 1UpTails.gif

In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, players starts off with three lives in single player and 2 Player VS Competitive mode. The player can earn more with following requirements:

  • Breaking Monitors with Sonic / Tails icons on them grant One-Ups. In Knuckles in Sonic 2 and 2013 re-release of the game, Knuckles receives One-Ups from Monitors displaying his icon on them.
  • Collecting 100 and 200 Rings in Zones.
  • Receiving every 50,000 points. This is also possible in Special Stages of the game, if the player manages to receive total score of over 50,000 points.

In the 2 Player VS Competitive mode, One-Up Monitors named Sonic Mark (ソニックマク) and Miles Mark (マイルスマク)[3] are found around each Act of the Zone. Sonic or Tails gets a One-Up, regardless of who opens the Monitor with the playable character's icon on it. Also exclusively in the multiplayer mode, Monitors with question marks on them can randomly grant One-Ups. The Mega-Tech version of the game does not feature live system and as such, One-Up Monitors are replaced with Super Ring Monitors.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit)

OneUpStH2GG.png

In 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the player starts off the game with three lives and more can be earned with following requirements:

  • Breaking Video Monitors with Sonic icons on them grant 1-Ups.[4]
  • Collecting 100 Rings in Zones rewards a 1-Ups. Doing this also restarts the Ring count from zero.
  • Flipping the Bonus Panel at the end of each two Acts, rewarding a 1-Up if the panel ends up displaying Sonic.

Sonic the Hedgehog CD

OneUpStHCD.png

Sonic the Hedgehog CD has the player starting the game with three lives. Instead of normal fanfare music from previous games, the player will hear Sonic yelling "Yes!" upon obtaining the extra life. Despite minor additions, requirements of receiving more lives are relatively same as in previous two console titles:

  • Breaking Monitors with Sonic grants an 1-Up.[5] In 2011 re-release of the game, Tails receives extra lives from Monitors with his icons on them.
  • Collecting 100 and 200 Rings in Rounds.
  • Receiving every 50,000 points in Rounds and Special Stages.

Sonic Chaos

ExtraLife1SChaos.png
ExtraLife2SChaos.png

Sonic Chaos has different ways receiving 1-Ups[6] depending on if the player has chosen Sonic or Tails. The player starts off the game with three lives, if Sonic is chosen to be the playable character, while Tails gets five lives and three Continues at the start of the game.

  • Breaking Monitors with Sonic / Tails icons on them grant 1-Ups.
  • Receiving 100 Rings as Tails in regular Zones. The player can earn 1-Ups with this method as Sonic only in Special Stages, where the player can gain huge amounts of Rings and Giant Rings. Doing this also restarts the Ring count from zero for both playable characters.
  • Receiving overall, tallied speed (in kilometers per hour) with 3 of the same numerals in a row (For example 222), the player receives 1-Up at the end of first two Acts of each Zone.
  • Flipping the Bonus Panel at the end of each two Acts, the player receives extra live depending on which of two playable characters is featured on the panel. For Sonic panel, Sonic gets a 1-Up, Tails gets a Continue. As for Tails panel, Tails gets a 1-Up, Sonic gets a Continue.

Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball (16-bit)

In Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball, the player starts off the game with three lives. More extra lives can be earned by gaining every 20,000,000 points.[7] In the end of the game, each remaining life is worth 5,000,000 points.

Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball (8-bit)

In 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball, the player starts off the game with three lives and methods of getting more lives are same as in the 16-bit counterpart. In Bonus Stages, the player can also open up treasure boxes to receive extra lives as well.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles

Extra Life.png
One-UpTailsStH3.png
One-UpKnucklesStH3.png

In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, its add-on continuation Sonic & Knuckles and their lock-on version Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, the player has three lives at the beginning of the game. The save feature in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles does not record any collected 1-Ups and Continues in the game's data, if the game is restarted. The player is able to get more lives with following requirements:

  • Breaking Monitors with Sonic / Tails / Knuckles icons on them grant 1-Ups.[8]
  • Collecting 100 and 200 Rings in Zones and Bonus Stages.
  • Receiving every 50,000 points in Zones. Getting Perfect Bonus worth of 50,000 points at Special Stages also automatically grants 1-Up.
  • Collecting 1-Up Balls in Gumball Machine and Glowing Spheres-types of Bonus Stages.

Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble

One-UpSonicSTripleTrouble.png
One-UpTailsSTripleTrouble.png

In Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble, the player has given four lives right from the start of the game. Methods of collecting 1-UPs[9] are relatively same as in the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic Chaos.

  • Breaking Monitors with Sonic / Tails icons on them grant 1-UPs.
  • Collecting 100 Rings in Zones or maze-type of Special Stages rewards a 1-UP.
  • Flipping the Bonus Panel at the end of each two Acts, the player receives extra live depending on which of two playable characters is featured on the panel. For Sonic panel, Sonic gets a 1-UP and Tails gets 10,000 points. As for Tails panel, Tails gets a 1-UP and Sonic gets 10,000 points.

Tails' Skypatrol

In Tails' Skypatrol, the player starts off with three lives. More lives can be earned either by picking up small yellow signs with "1UP" written of them[10] or getting every 10,000 and 30,000 points.

Sonic Labyrinth

In Sonic Labyrinth, the player has three lives in default in the beginning of the game, but from the options menu, the number of lives can be adjusted anything between 1 and 10 before starting off the game. The player is able to earn more lives in the game with following requirements:

  • Dashing towards purple triangle formations grant 1UPs.[11]
  • Collecting 100 Rings in the fourth Act of each Zone grants 1UP. Doing this also restarts the Ring count from zero. In Bonus Stages, each Ring is worth of full 25 Rings, as collecting four of them grant 1UP every time.

Sonic 3D Blast

ExtraLifeS3DBlast.png

In Sonic 3D Blast, The player has three lives in the beginning of the game. More lives are able to be earned with following methods:

  • Breaking Monitors with Sonic icons on them grant Extra Lives.[12]
  • Collecting 100 Rings in first two Acts of each Zone.
  • Clearing one of Special Stages after getting all seven Chaos Emeralds.

Sonic Blast

SonicTVBlast.png
KnucklesTVBlast.png

Sonic Blast has the player starting the game with three lives and Extra Lives[13] can be earned with following methods:

  • Monitors with either Sonic 1up (ソニック1up) or Knuckles 1up (ナックルズ1up)[14] have different functions depending on which playable character is being used. Sonic 1up grants Extra Life for Sonic and Knuckles doesn't get nothing, while Knuckles 1up gives Extra Life for Knuckles and Sonic receives nothing. Also, Monitors with question marks on them can ramdomly grant Extra Lives depending on the playable character.
  • Collecting 100 Rings. Doing this also restarts the Ring count from zero. 
  • Clearing the Special Stage, if the player enters the Giant Ring in the first Act of each Zone.

Sonic Adventure

Extra Life 03.png

In Sonic Adventure, each playable character gets four lives at the beginning of the story mode.[note 1] More lives can be earned either by breaking Item Boxes with Sonic / Tails / Knuckles / Amy / Gamma / Big icons in them or collecting 100 and 200 Rings in Action Stages.

Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure

OneUpSPocketAdventure.png

Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure has the player starting the single player mode with three lives by default. In the Game Option menu, the player can set the the number of lives Sonic begins with from 3-5. Much like in Sonic Adventure, the player earns more Extra Lives[15] either by breaking Item Boxes with Sonic icons of them or collecting 100 and 200 Rings in regular Zones.

Sonic Adventure 2

The Item Box with Extra Life in Sonic Adventure 2.

In Sonic Adventure 2, the player starts off either the hero or dark story with four lives. Methods of getting Extra Lives[16] are relatively same as in Sonic Adventure the player has either break Item Boxes with Sonic / Tails / Knuckles / Shadow / Dr. Eggman / Rouge icons in them or collecting 100 and 200 Rings.

Sonic Advance

ExtraTrySonicSAdvance.png
ExtraTryTailsSAdvance.png
ExtraTryKnucklesSAdvance.png
ExtraTryAmySAdvance.png

In Sonic Advance, the player starts off the game with three lives. Extra lives, now referred to as Extra Tries[17] can be obtained with following methods:

  • Breaking Item Boxes with Sonic / Tails / Knuckles / Amy icons on them grant Extra Tries.
  • Collecting 100 and 200 Rings.
  • Getting every 50,000 points in Zones.

Sonic Advance 2

OneUpSonicSAdvance2.png
OneUpCreamSAdvance2.png
OneUpTailsSAdvance2.png
OneUpKnucklesSAdvance2.png
OneUpAmySAdvance2.png

In Sonic Advance 2, the player begins the game with three lives. Here to referred to as 1UP,[18] they are obtained with relatively same way as in Sonic Advance.

  • Breaking Item Boxes with Sonic / Cream / Tails / Knuckles / Amy icons on them grant 1UP.
  • Collecting 100 and 200 Rings.
  • Getting every 50,000 points in Zones.

Sonic Advance 3

OneUPSonicSAdvance3.png
OneUPTailsSAdvance3.png
OneUPKnucklesSAdvance3.png
OneUPAmySAdvance3.png
OneUPCreamSAdvance3.png

In Sonic Advance 3, the game starts off with three lives. 1-Ups[19] are obtained either by collecting 100 / 200 Rings or breaking Item Boxes with Sonic / Tails / Knuckles / Amy / Cream icons on them in Action Stages. Also the player can optionally earn 1-Ups in amount of 1-5 from two different Mini-Games based on how quickly Badniks are destroyed or how many points are earned of pushing Switches on large Capsule.

Sonic Pinball Party

In Sonic Pinball Party, the player begins the pinball match with three balls. Extra balls can be obtained by shooting the ball through the center ramp lane 20 times at Normal Mode in Sonic table[20] or shooting the ball through the Inside Ramp Lane 10 times in NiGHTS table when not in Normal Mode.

Sonic Heroes

SH1up.png

In Sonic Heroes, each team campaign begins with three lives. 1 UPs[21] are obtained in the game with following methods:

  • Breaking Item Boxes with "1UP" icons on them.
  • Collecting 100, 200 and more Rings. Playing as Team Chaotix while performing their Team Blast titled Chaotix Recital rewards a large number of Super Ring bonuses when used near a crowd of enemies, which is an easy way to gain 1 UPs.
  • Getting maximum of five 1 UPs after clearing any Bonus or Emerald Challenge-types of Special Stages based on the amount of points, time and gauge bonuses.

Shadow the Hedgehog

Shadow 1UP(ShTH).png

Shadow the Hedgehog has the player with five lives at the beginning of the game. 1-Ups[22] can be obtained either by breaking Item Boxes with Shadow icon on them or collecting 100 and 200 Rings.

Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure

OneUpSRush.png

In both Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure, the player starts off the game with two lives. Much like in Sonic Advance games, 1 Ups[23] are earned with similar methods either by breaking Item Boxes with "1UP" text on them or collecting 100 and 200 Rings in regular Stages.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

An Item Box containing 1UP in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).

In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), each of main character's story begins with five lives. 1UPs[24] are obtained relatively the same way as in Sonic Adventure games and Sonic Heroes either by breaking Item Boxes with "1UP" written on them or collecting 100 and 200 Rings in Action Stages.

Super Smash Bros. series

While it does not have an actual function, a 1-Up Monitor makes a cameo in the Super Smash Bros. series, appearing in every appearance of Green Hill Zone in the background, sitting on top of a Shuttle Loop. Additionally, in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Sonic’s stock sprite uses the series’ icon for Extra Lives instead of the format for most characters.

Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors

The 1-Up card as it is seen in Sonic Colors.

Extra lives in Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors can't be collected by breaking Item Boxes or collecting 100 Rings. They are small, black and yellow colored floating cards, which have Sonic's logo on the plate. They are also usually located branching pathways and semi-hidden areas of day or night stages. By simply touching it, they will give an extra life. In the Wii/PlayStation 2 version of Sonic Unleashed, extra lives only appear in temple puzzles and grant a permanent extra life to the player's count.

Extra lives can be obtained similarly in the Wii version of the Sonic Colors. However, when the player clears a stage with an A/S Rank, the player will be awarded with one to three Extra Lives. In the Wii version, the lives must be collected in the result screen quickly before Sonic strikes a pose. If the player attacks the text in the result screens, sometimes extra lives pop out from the text. In the Nintendo DS version, the live(s) are simply given to the player. In the Nintendo DS version of the game, they can be obtained in a similar way to the Sonic Rush games, by collecting 100 Rings or breaking Item Boxes with "1-UP" on them.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4

Extra lives in Sonic the Hedgehog 4 are able to be obtained similarly to earlier installments. Both Episode I, Episode II and Episode Metal have Extra Lives in Monitors, which have once again the playable character's icon on the Monitor's power-up (Depending on the episode: it either shows Sonic, Sonic and Tails or Metal Sonic). The player is able to get an Extra Life by collecting 100 and 200 Rings. Note that in these games, the maximum number of lives obtained is 999 and in Episode Metal, Metal Sonic retains the same number of lives Sonic and Tails had in Episode II.

Sonic Generations and Sonic Lost World

Extra Life as seen in Sonic Generations.

Extra lives in Sonic Generations are featured similar in Modern acts for each stage like in Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors. However they are now illustrated as floating objects, which resemble Classic Sonic's head and can be collected by simply touching it. Extra Lives in classic acts can be obtained by collecting 100 Rings or breaking Monitors with Sonic's icon on it. Extra lives can be purchased in Omochao's Skill Shop.

Extra lives can be collected in a similar way in the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World, where they are represented as floating icons of Sonic's heads. There are also five Number Rings, which also by collecting them all at one place can reward with an extra life. Extra lives can sometimes also appear and be collected from the Lost Hex map.

In Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations, extra lives are referred to as 1-Ups[25] and are featured similar to the Classic acts in console/PC versions of the game, as they can be found in Monitors or can be obtained after collecting 100 Rings in both Classic and Modern acts at each stage. In the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World, however, they are illustrated and featured like in Wii U version as a floating icon of Sonic's head. The player is also able to make a 1-Up in Tails' Lab with one Green Material, one Yellow Material, and one Blue Material.

Originally in Sonic Lost World, collecting 100 Rings would not grant a 1-Up, and the normal starting life counter was at four (however, if the save file had less than four lives, and the game was closed, the life counter would reset to four when the game was booted up again). To make the game easier, the starting lives were later changed to nine, and collecting 100 Rings awarding a 1-Up was added later on in version 2.0.0.

Sonic Mania

In Sonic Mania, 1-Ups are featured and can be obtained in a similar fashion to earlier titles: Collecting 100 to 200 Rings can earn the player an extra life, as well as breaking Monitors with the current playing character's icon on it will grant one. Scoring a certain amount of points, like in the Genesis games, can grant an extra life.

Jingles

Game Artist(s) Length Music Track
Sonic the Hedgehog Masato Nakamura 0:06
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Masato Nakamura 0:06
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Sega 0:03
Sonic & Knuckles/Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles/Sonic 3D Blast Sega 0:03
Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble Yayoi Wachi 0:02
Sonic Blast Kojiro Mikusa 0:02

Trivia

  • The fanfare music that plays after getting an extra life can be a short variation of the game's main theme or title screen music. Since Sonic Adventure, it is heard to be a variation of the Chaos Emerald jingle from earlier games, while handheld games keep to use different, traditional short jingles.
    • Fanfare jingles are later reused, as the one in original Sonic the Hedgehog gets reused in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and the Sega Saturn version of Sonic 3D Blast. The Sega Genesis version of Sonic 3D Blast is the one reused from Sonic & Knuckles, while Sonic Mania and all episodes of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is actually reused, which is a remastered 1-Up jingle from Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, if the player clears the Act in exactly 9:59, the player earns a grand total of 100,000 points, which is the equivalent of two extra lives.
  • Getting a Time Over in certain specific Sonic games and in the early main installments of the Sega Genesis will cause an instant loss of life.
    • However, this is not the case in Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure: if the Time Limit is set to ON, and the player gets a Time Over, they will not lose a life.
  • In Launch Base Zone of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (& Knuckles), there is a trick to earn an infinite number of lives. By standing on one of the alarms and charging up a Spin Dash without releasing, a Flybot767 will fly over at Sonic. Because he is spinning, it will get destroyed and give points. The player can just simply remain charging for more Flybot767 robots to appear and be destroyed granting him a higher amount of points which will eventually turn into lives. 
  • Knuckles' Chaotix is notable to being one of the three platforming titles in the whole series to have infinite lives and to not feature the Game Over. When the player hits to the enemy without having shield or rings, he/she gets transported back to hub-world of the game, Newtrogic High Zone.
  • Sonic Adventure features unused music track, that possibly is meant to be an extended extra life jingle.[1] However it isn't used despite being listed in the music files of the game. It is later used in Sonic Adventure 2, while not being featured at Sound Test and years later a slight remix is featured in Sonic Generations, but becomes unused once again.[2] All three games used the Chaos Emerald jingle while getting an extra life.
  • Pre-ordering Sonic Lost World via Amazon in the U.S. will grant the player twenty-five extra lives.

Unused 1-Up

Notes

  1. The live counter in Sonic Adventure displays four lives at the beginning of the game, while the number 0 is considered the last remaining life in the counter. Starting with Sonic Adventure (console) and Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure (handheld), other games since then have followed this structure.

References

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) United States instruction booklet, pg. 6.
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Game Gear) United States instruction booklet, pg. 7.
  3. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 22.
  4. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Game Gear) United States instruction manual, pg. 9.
  5. Sonic the Hedgehog CD (Sega CD) United States instruction booklet, pg. 10.
  6. Sonic Chaos (Sega Game Gear) United States instruction booklet, pg. 8.
  7. Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball (Sega Mega Drive) United States instruction booklet, pg. 10.
  8. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Mega Drive) United States instruction booklet, p. 13.
  9. Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble (Sega Game Gear) United States instruction booklet, pg. 8.
  10. Tails' Skypatrol (Sega Game Gear) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 21.
  11. Sonic Labyrinth (Sega Game Gear) United States instruction booklet, pg. 8.
  12. Sonic 3D Blast (Sega Mega Drive) United States instruction booklet, pg. 7.
  13. Sonic Blast (Sega Game Gear) United States instruction booklet, pg. 8.
  14. Sonic Blast (Sega Game Gear) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 14.
  15. Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure (Neo Geo Pocket Color) United States instruction booklet, pg. 10.
  16. Sonic Adventure 2 (Dreamcast) United States instruction manual, pg. 19.
  17. Sonic Advance (Game Boy Advance) United States instruction booklet, pg. 18.
  18. Sonic Advance 2 (Game Boy Advance) United States instruction booklet, pg. 20.
  19. Sonic Advance 3 (Game Boy Advance) United States instruction booklet, pg. 22.
  20. Sonic Pinball Party (Game Boy Advance) United Kingdom instruction booklet, pg. 12.
  21. Sonic Heroes (Nintendo GameCube) United States instruction booklet, pg. 26.
  22. Shadow the Hedgehog (Nintendo GameCube) United States instruction booklet, pg. 21.
  23. Sonic Rush (Nintendo DS) United States instruction booklet, pg. 20.
  24. Sonic the Hedgehog (PlayStation 3) United States instruction booklet, pg. 12.
  25. Dimps (29 October 2013). Sonic Lost World. Nintendo 3DS. Sega. Area/level: Tails' Lab.
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