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Sonic Wiki Zone
Sonic Wiki Zone
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Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)
Green Hill Zone
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Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)
Green Hill Zone
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A field blessed with greenery and water. It's characterized by undulating terrain such as loops, sloping cliffs, and S-shaped tunnels. Let's run well with speed and timing.

— Description, Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)[1]

Green Hill Zone (グリーンヒルゾーン[1] Gurīn Hiru Zōn?) is the first Zone in the 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), and its numerous ports and remasters, as well as the 8-bit version of that game, and thus, the first Zone of the whole Sonic series. It is located around a bright lake on South Island. It contains three full-length Acts, which take place on steep hills of green palm trees, whose paths go through bright moving flowers, numerous loops and curling tunnels.


Green Hill Zone is a peaceful and natural region. The background of the Zone features sharp hills, green forests and waterfalls on the other side of a bright lake. Green Hill Zone also includes tall palm trees, bright moving flowers, hard pointed bushes and different types of totem poles with several facial expressions. There are also bright blue uncanny blocks set along the paths. Most of the ground of the Zone is covered in green grass and the soil itself is covered in checkerboard patterns in different shades of brown. There are also several log bridges, which can have waterfalls below them, stretching over gaps on the paths.

In the 8-bit version, Green Hill Zone looks pretty much the same, with the addition of caves with some water ponds.


Green Hill Zone was one of the many regions on South Island affected by Dr. Eggman during his quest for the six Chaos Emeralds. There, the doctor kidnapped the local Animals and used some of them to power his Badniks, while leaving the rest of them in huge Capsules. When Sonic the Hedgehog arrived at the Zone however, he saved the Animals and defeated Eggman in his Egg Wrecker.

Much time later, Sonic came back to Green Hill Zone, where he reunited with the Animals and used the six Chaos Emeralds he had collected to fill the Zone with flowers, thus ending his adventure.


Green Hill Zone is a fast-paced Zone in the game and has numerous features and obstacles. Some palm trees can contain hidden monitors and springs. Many portions on the cliff edges in the Zone's structure are weak and will collapse when the player steps on them just once. There are also platforms attached on chains that swing in horizontal directions. These platforms are useful when the player has to cross hazardous gap sections, such as spike fields. The player may also come across walls which can be broken through by gaining enough running speed and/or using the Spin Attack. Behind these walls the player can find hidden or alternate pathways.

There are many pathways in the Zone to choose, whether if the player wants to go along the higher route with numerous floating platforms, the basic center route, or the lower pathway which is the most dangerous. The player can reach the top of high hills by using higher pathways or climbing up from below using certain routes. The center route and the lower pathway contains more platforming sections that go over areas covered in spikes and bottomless pits.

There are automatic curling tunnels that go through large hills and sends the player curling through tunnels at high speed. Once getting out on the other side of these tunnels, the player cannot backtrack through them, unless they can gain enough speed by using red Springs or performing the Spin Dash in certain re-releases of the game. Green Hill Zone Act 3 features long, rotating spiked logs above waterfalls. Here, the player has to avoid the rotating spiky parts of the log by jumping. These sections have also horizontally swinging platforms to help the player over spiked logs.

The 8-bit version of the game features very few gimmicks compared to its 16-bit counterpart. However, there are special types of ramps on tall hills which can send Sonic flying by spinning. Act 2 also features water ponds, which are very shallow, meaning that they do not need air bubbles.

Overview (16-bit)[]

Act 1[]

The player starts out on a straightforward path that has first features log bridges, a small ramp and upward-going hill with two Crabmeats. It is not until when the player falls down after the second waterfall and log bridge that the lower pathway opens up with many sets of spikes and four monitors with Super Rings and Invincible near the end of the pathway. The higher pathway starts from the first lamppost, featuring many platforms and goes above the center route's loop which has a Shield monitor on it. The higher pathway then divides into two routes: the first route, which goes even higher, is on the top of the tall hill and features a long line of Rings before ending on a series of platforms on the other side. The second route has Newtrons and a small curling tunnel that leads to the other side of a large hill with the higher pathway.

If the player stays on the center route and goes through a loop and two curling tunnels, he/she gets sent high into mid-air by a small ramp. In the mid-air there are huge amount Rings floating. The player will then fall down on the higher pathway on top of the hill with a single log bridge. The lower pathway has several spike and Badnik placements and leads straight to the end of the Zone.

Act 2[]

Act 2 begins near a log bridge and waterfall. Below the log bridge, there are Super Ring and Shield monitors which the player can reach by doing a small jump between the spikes and the upper ground on the right side of the waterfall. The player can get out of the place with the hidden monitors by breaking the wall on the right. The upper pathway continues to a place with a horizontal platform and a large ramp by crossing upper and lower pathways. If the player backtracks on the lower pathway, he/she will end up on a more dangerous route with spikes and Badniks. The upper pathway continues through the loop and ends up on a straight and forward platforming section with moving pillars over spike fields.

After this section, the player travels through a large hill and another waterfall with a log bridge where the route again splits into two paths. However, the player can also keep going to the faster route to the right which leads into a curling tunnel and the end of the Act. The lower and serpentine route has dangerous spike pits and more Badniks to get through.

Act 3[]

The Act begins at the split of the path which leads to two higher paths and one lower path. While the higher route is faster and splits into two other routes at the mid-point, the lower pathway has a breakable wall and a long curling tunnel that go to the lower part of the act. There are numerous Badniks and spike placements, while one bottomless pit is set at the mid-point of the route. At the end of the lower pathway, if the player skips the yellow spring and jumps over the spring and the spikes to the waterfall, the player will end in a hidden place with several Super Ring monitors and a 1-Up monitor located on the right.

The two upper pathways have platforms and two rotating spiked log sections. After one of the spiked log sections on the center route, the player has to either break through a wall or use a hidden Spring and platform to get to the higher pathway in order to pass a tall hill. After crossing the last spike pit, the player enters a straight road to the boss, the Egg Wrecker.

Overview (8-bit)[]

Act 1[]

Act 1 is a linear track without alternate pathways. After climbing a huge hill and obtaining the Invincible, the player can roll down the hill slope and get sent into mid-air by a ramp. Picking up Power Sneakers nearby the ramp lets the player go through the Act even faster. There are also sections with wide pits of Spikes which the player has to cross using floating platforms.

Act 2[]


A Chaos Emerald in Green Hill Zone Act 2, from the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog (1991).

Setting itself apart from its 16-bit counterpart, Act 2 starts with the player falling into a cave complex that they must navigate to get out. It should be noted that a Shield can be found on the left side after falling in the cave. The lowest point of the cave is partly filled with low water and has Spikes on the ceiling. By using quick Spin Attacks, the player can defeat incoming Crabmeats. After finding the Arrow Monitor, the player then has to climb out of the cave complex. The player's next task is then to cross a pit using moving platform. Afterwards, the player can use Spin Attack to roll down a hill and get sent into mid-air, towards the end of the Act.

In Green Hill Zone Act 2, after the player comes across the Arrow Monitor and climbs further to the exit point of the cave complex, they have to keep going further left and then drop down to the underground waterfall. Inside a hidden cave, a Chaos Emerald can be found lying on the right side.



Main article: Egg Wrecker
Son1 04

The Egg Wrecker, from the 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog (1991).

The boss of Green Hill Zone in the 16-bit version is the Egg Wrecker, Dr. Eggman's Egg Mobile with a wrecking ball attached below it. The player has to avoid the wrecking ball by standing on two platforms and jumping over. The Egg Wrecker can be destroyed by jumping off of the platforms and hitting the Egg Mobile eight times.


In Green Hill Zone Act 3 in the 8-bit version, the player will be facing the boss of Green Hill Zone. This boss will be Dr. Eggman and his Egg Mobile. During this boss battle, Eggman will hover around at the top of the screen, occasionally dropping down to make a dash attack. Only during this attack does he put himself within the range of the player's Spin Jump. After eight hits, this boss will be defeated.


Early Green Hill 1

An early version of Green Hill Zone.

  • Green Hill Zone, while not the first level being under development, had heavy visual changes in development, as Sonic Team wanted to convey an eye-popping computer graphics look at the time. Because the level's graphics were redone several times, Green Hill Zone took half a year to be finished in terms of art and maps according to Yuji Naka.[2]
    • A few of these early concepts can be seen in some the earliest known images of the game, taken from an early prototype showcased at the 1990 Tokyo Toy Show. One such image features a sign with partially obscured text, though according to Yuji Naka, the sign reads "YOU ARE WELCOME NEVER SEEN."[3] This screenshot shows Sonic alongside a blue creature not seen in the final game, though its design originates from early concept art for the game.
    • Elements from these early designs were used for the second Act of Green Hill Zone from Sonic Mania.
  • A good deal of unused content of Green Hill Zone includes an unused Badnik called Splats and a separated wrecking ball that, according to magazine shots, show Sonic being able to walk on it and thus keep it moving. All of these later became functional though Debug Mode in the 2013 remaster of the game.
  • While the majority of the levels in Sonic The Hedgehog are designed in a linear way that generally discourage if not outright preclude attempts at backtracking, Green Hill Zone Act 1 actually allows players to travel back up the double tunnel by building up enough momentum with the help of a nearby hill and slope, making it possible to explore both the upper and lower paths and collect every Ring in the level.
  • As Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was built from the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Green Hill Zone remains as a playable level in the Nick Arcade prototype of that game. It can be selected from Level Select and, due to differences on how the game loads collision, sprite and monitor data and physics, some of the sprites are corrupted and incorrect monitors are used.
    • However, a large list of Game Genie codes will fix most of the physics issues. Despite that, the loops in the level still do not work properly.
  • Sonic was colored a darker blue due to his original color (teal) blending in with the water in the background.
  • The parallax scrolling of clouds is faster in the Japanese version of the game.
  • Each Act of Green Hill Zone has only one loop.


Name Artist(s) Length Music track
"StH1 Green Hill Zone ~Mega Drive Version~" Masato Nakamura 2:38




See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 28.
  2. "This is the stage that took the designers the longest to get properly arranged, and from the beginning of development the graphics were probably redone 4 or five times. The art and maps for this zone alone took half a year to produce! At the time, we were aware of computer graphics, but we tried to get that look by hand. (laugh)" - Yuji Naka, Sonic Team Commentary in Sonic Jam Strategy Guide.
  3. Yuji Naka / 中 裕司 on Twitter. Twitter. Archived from the original on 3 July 2022. Retrieved on 11 April 2023. "I think it says 'You are welcome never seen.'"

External links[]

Main article (Blue Sphere) · Staff · Manuals · Glitches · Beta elements · Gallery · Pre-releases (prototype) · Re-releases (2001, 2005, mobile, GBA, iPod, 2013, 3D, Sega Ages)