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Sonic News Network
Sonic News Network

Sonic and pals are gearing up for some brawling action!

— Tagline

Sonic Battle (ソニックバトル Sonikku Batoru?) is a fighting game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series that was developed by Sonic Team for the Game Boy Advance. The gameplay consists of 2D sprites fighting in three dimensional environments. Unlike traditional fighters, it is beginner-friendly and easy to play, featuring no complicated combos or button inputs that need to be memorized to perform special moves.

Sonic Battle is the second fighting game in the Sonic series, the first being Sonic the Fighters. It is also the first Sonic fighting game to be on a handheld.


Spoiler warning: Plot, ending details or any kind of information follow.

The title screen of Sonic Battle.

Many years ago, a sentient weapon was created by an ancient civilization. After being lost for millennia, the weapon, known as the Gizoid, was unearthed and researched by Professor Gerald Robotnik. It remained dormant for another half century before being discovered by, of all people, Gerald's grandson, Dr. Eggman. Frustrated at his inability to get the dormant Gizoid to work properly, Eggman dumped it at Emerald Beach where it was found once more, this time by Sonic the Hedgehog.

Sonic names the Gizoid "Emerl," who gets wrapped up in the affairs of Sonic's friends, both allies and rivals. Through his encounters with Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Cream, Gamma, Rouge, and Shadow, Emerl turns from a soulless robot into a fun-loving mech with personality traits from all of those he had met. But while the gang is having fun raising their new mechanical friend, there are those who recognize Emerl's true power. Now that Emerl is working again, Eggman has his eye on it, Rouge wants to turn it into a master thief, and Shadow feels that, despite Sonic's efforts to humanize him, Emerl is still a weapon of mass destruction.

The story comes to a close when Dr. Eggman challenges Emerl to a battle aboard his new Death Egg. While Emerl is able to defeat the mad doctor, Eggman takes advantage of Emerl's core programming - to obey who is the strongest - by using the Death Egg's Final Egg Blaster to destroy several stars. However, the conflict between Emerl's new personality and his programming causes Emerl to lose control. He knocks out Eggman and turns the Final Egg Blaster towards the earth. Sonic tries to use the Master Emerald to neutralize Emerl's Chaos Emerald powers, but when that fails, he is forced to defeat him in combat. He does so, and with one last goodbye, Emerl is destroyed, but Sonic believes that they will see him again someday.


Image Character Biography
Char emerl big.png Emerl Emerl is capable of strengthening himself by adquiring his opponent's moves. Collect as many moves as possible and customize Emerl's fighting skills![2]
Sonic pose 61.png Sonic the Hedgehog Sonic is a hedgehog who runs at supersonic speed. Check out his excellent balance of attack, defense moves and ability to run at super-sonic speeds. Knock-out opponents by using a snappy dance-inspired move![2]
Tails 44.png Miles "Tails" Prower "Tails" has invented a number of unique combined moves. Create a variety of combos with his consecutive attacks and inventions.[2]
Knuckles 23.png Knuckles the Echidna Knuckles is an enthusiastic fighter who can knock down opponents with a single hit. Keep punching opponents to defeat them quickly![2]
Amy 21.png Amy Rose Amy is a cheerful and energetic girl who attacks opponents with her Piko Piko Hammer. You may win a battle simply by swinging it around.[2]
Shadow 7.png Shadow the Hedgehog Shadow can move from place to place without being detected. He will vanish and attack, and then appear again. Watch out for his ultimate speed![2]
Cream 16.png Cream the Rabbit Cream always has a constant companion in her best friend, Cheese. Joining hands, Cream and Cheese not only work well together, but also give each other courage![2]
Rouge 10.png Rouge the Bat Rouge is the "world's greatest thief." There's no doubt that her battle style will rock your world![2]
EggmanBattle2.png Dr. Eggman Dr. Eggman, a genius scientist, is always hatching plots to take over the world. He was allegedly in the process of attempting to use Emerl for an unknown purpose....[2]


Sonic Battle is very different from normal Sonic games in terms of gameplay, being a fighting game instead of a fast-paced action-adventure platformer. In story mode, players can explore the overworld, which is made up of Emerald Town, Holy Summit, Central City, Night Babylon, and Gimme Shelter, though during some parts of the story only certain maps can be visited. However, every map can be accessed during Emerl's story. By going to a selectable area, the player may train with other characters, fight E-121 Phis, or continue the plot.

Battles take place on three dimensional arenas with 2D sprites and are split up into Point, Survival, and Time modes. Point Battles require the player to be the first to get a certain amount of points by KO'ing other characters participating in the battle. Survival requires the player to defeat all opposing characters by KO'ing them until they run out of lives. Time Battles require the player to reach a certain objective within a certain amount of time.

Before the battle starts and before the player re-enters the battle after being knocked out, they are able to select from three different Special Attacks:

SB shot icon.png
  • Shot: Long-range Attack.[3] attacks are mid-to-long range attacks which can be directed in any of the eight directions (with the exception of Shadow's Chaos Magic, which can only be aimed in the four primary directions).
SB power icon.png
  • Power: Direct Attack.[3] These attacks are typically signature attacks of the character and vary between each character. These attacks normally focus a lot of damage in one go.
SB set icon.png
  • Set: Mine Blast.[3] This attack involves the character placing or releasing an explosive trap which launches the opponent upward and briefly blinds anyone hit.

The player can also use Special Moves, which can be selected from the following options before the battle begins or while paused:[4]

  • Ground is the basic Special Attack, used when the character is on the ground.
  • Aerial is a variant of a special attack used while the character is in the air and is often an air-to-ground attack.
  • Guard automatically protects the playable character from opponents' moves in the same category. For example, if Guard is on Shot, all Shot moves are automatically blocked until the character die and resets the Guard.

All characters are also capable of healing themselves at varying speeds. Defending from special attacks and healing allows characters to fill up the Ichikoro Gauge. When this gauge is full, the character flashes and their next special attack will be a one-hit K.O. if it hits. However, it will instantly fill the gauge of anyone who blocks the attack.

In Story Mode, after a battle when Emerl is present, Emerl gains Skill Points based on how well the player fought: winning earns 1 point; winning without losing a life earns 2 points; exiting at one point in Tails' story or winning without losing a life while battling two optional Phis earns 3 points; winning without getting hit earns 5 points; and winning without getting hit while battling two optional Phis earns 6 point. Giving an Emerald Shard or a Chaos Emerald to Emerl gives him 10 points. These points allow skills that Emerl has copied from the battle to be selected as part of Emerl's moveset. These skills are ranked one to six stars, with each star being worth five points. The total point worth of the skills cannot exceed the total number of Skill Points Emerl has, and the maximum amount of obtainable Skill Points is 500.


Button formation Movement[4]
Controlpadds.png Move
Controlpadds.png x2 Dash
GameboyA.png Jump
Lgba.png Guard
Hold Lgba.png HP Recovery
Lgba.png x2 Rotate Map
GameboyB.png Light Attack
GameboyB.png x3 Combo
Controlpadds.png + GameboyB.png Heavy Attack /
Upper Attack
Jump > GameboyB.png Air Attack
Dash > GameboyB.png Dash Attack
Rgba.png Special Move
Controlpadds.png during Heavy Attack Chase opponent
Chase > GameboyB.png Chase and Attack
Chase and Attack >
Controlpadds.png towards opponent
Wall Counter


Playable characters

Non-playable characters


All arenas except for Death Egg can be used in Battle Mode.

Other Modes

Besides the main Story Mode and Battle Arena fights, there are a number of other game modes available for single or multiplayer by connecting the Game Boy Advance with up to three others via a link cable.


The Edit Screen[5] allows the player to configure the attacks and appearance of Emerl for use in the game's Story Mode. Skill Points are needed to adjust these settings, with the following options available to adjust:

  • Move[5]
    • Running Skill: A skill related to the velocity of Map movement.
    • Dashing Skill: Captured skill of a Character's dashing movement.
    • Jumping Skill: Captured skill of a Character's jumping movement.
    • Air Action: Captured skill of a Character's aerial action.
    • Guard Skill: Captured skill of a Character's Guarding movement.
    • Heal Skill: Captured skill of a Character's movement when the HP is being recovered.
  • Attack[6]
    • First Attack: First attack made when executing a combo.
    • Second Attack: Second attack made when executing a combo.
    • Third Attack: Third attack made when executing a combo.
    • Heavy Attack: Skill to blow opponents away.
    • Upper Attack: Skill to knocking [sic] opponents upwards.
    • Dash Attack: Skill to attack while dashing.
    • Air Attack: Skill to attack while jumping.
    • Pursuit Attack: Skill to inflict Pursuit Attack.
    • Ground Shot: Special move in which Shot has been added to a Ground Attack.
    • Air Shot: Special move in which Shot has been added to an Air Attack.
    • Ground Power: Special move in which [Power] has been added to a Ground Attack.
    • Air Power: Special move in which Power has been added to an Air Attack.
    • Ground Trap: Special move in which Mine is set to a Ground Attack.
    • Air Trap: Special move in which Mine is set to an Air Attack.
  • Others[7]
    • Fighting Pose: A skill shown when a character is not moving.
    • Strength Support: A special skill to strengthen the internal defense ability.
    • Attack Support: A special skill to stimulate the internal attack ability.
    • Support of Others: A special, but mysterious skill.
    • Color 1: A skill to modify the color of the horn.
    • Color 2: A skill to change the body color.
    • Color 3: A skill to alter the color of details such as fists.

Battle Mode

In Battle Mode[8] players can select characters and arenas to spar in. It can be played in either single-player or multiplayer mode, with the latter using the Game Boy Advance Link Cable.

The players can alter the mode's rules to have unique gameplay styles, with the following options available:[8]

  • KO: Sets the number of opponents required to defeat in order to win. Options include 5, 10, 15, 30, and 99 enemies.
  • Time: Sets the game's time limit, with options of two, three, five, or ten minutes.
  • Survival: Sets the number of lives the player, or players, have when beginning Battle Mode. Options include 3, 5, 10, 15, and 30 lives.

Challenge Mode

Challenge Mode[9] allows the player to fight up to fifteen consecutive battles against computer controlled enemies, depending on how well they do. Any of the eight playable characters can be chosen, with the enemies varies depending on this choice. Three difficulty levels are able to be played, ranging from one ring (easiest) to three rings (hardest).[9] This mode is won upon the player winning five rounds, though the computer will win if the player looses ten.

Training Mode

Training Mode[10] is where the player can practice various battle styles and combo moves. The character, character's moveset, opponents, opponents movesets, and map can all be customized.

Mini Games

In Mini Games, two-dimensional mini games can be selected. These games are largely unrelated to the fighting motif, with them all being multiplayer unless noted otherwise. The mini games are as follows:

Image Mini game Unlock requirement Playable character(s)
Sonic battle soniclash!.png Soniclash! N/A Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Shadow
Sonic battle flying get.png Tails' Fly & Get Beat Tails' episode in Story Mode Tails, Cream, Gamma, Rouge
Sonic battle mine hunt.png Knuckles' Mine Hunt
Beat Knuckles' episode in Story Mode Knuckles
Sonic battle treasure island.png Amy's Treasure Island Beat Amy's episode in Story Mode Amy, Cream, Knuckles, Rouge
Sonic battle speed demon.png Shadow's Speed Demon Beat Shadow's episode in Story Mode Shadow, Sonic, Tails, Knuckles

Secret Combo Cards

Combo Cards representing each character can be obtained by entering a code at the Sonic Team building in the Central City area during Emerl's story. These skills are worth six stars (30 skill points). When activated, Emerl will perform a rapid combo consisting of that character's techniques. This assault cannot be cancelled once it's activated unless it's interrupted by an enemy attacking the user or blocking it.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 69.34%[11]
Metacritic 69%[12]
Review scores
Publication Score
Game Informer 6/10[13]
GamePro 3.5/5[14]
GameSpot 7.7/10[15]
GameSpy 3/5[16]
IGN 8/10[17]
Nintendo Power 7.4/10[13]
X-Play 3/5

The game received generally mixed to positive reviews from critics. According to review aggregator site Metacritic, the game has a score of 69 out of 100 based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[12] According to GameRankings, the game has a score of 69.34%.[11] While some critics praised the game's "surprisingly deep arena-fighting gameplay", graphics, and multiplayer mode, others dismissed it for its "limited moveset" and use of 2-D sprites on a 3-D fighting arena.

IGN gave the game a positive review, saying "It does try hard to be what Smash Bros. is, and even though the game doesn't quite reach the same status Nintendo and HAL created for the Nintendo consoles, Sonic Battle has enough stuff to make it one of the top original fighters on the Game Boy Advance system."[17] GameSpy also gave a positive review, saying "A solid and pleasantly deep arena beat 'em up with lots of longevity, and through the presence of [Sonic the Hedgehog] and his posse adds absolutely nothing to the game, it's nice to see them getting work in these tough economic times."[16] Nintendo Power gave a more mixed review, saying the "moves are limited, but the overall experience is tons of fun."[13] GamePro also gave a mixed review, criticizing the game's story mode, saying "The biggest problem with Sonic Battle is the poor game design in Story mode. Earning Skill Points, and thereby new abilities for Emerl the Robot, is a grueling ordeal."[14] GameStyle gave a more negative review, saying that "fighting really isn't Sonic's strength - at least not with regard to good gameplay."


Sonic X

Knuckles and Emerl battling, from "A Wild Win."

The storyline of Sonic Battle was loosely adapted for TV in episodes 45 and 46 of Sonic X, entitled "Prize Fights" and "A Wild Win," respectively.


  • Oddly, the seven Chaos Emeralds are all green in this game, and the Master Emerald does not have its own separate sprite. Meanwhile, Emerald Shards have their own sprites.
  • Strangely, when Sonic gets the Master Emerald, he states "A Master Emerald," though this is most likely a typo.
  • When Chaos Gamma appears before Sonic, Tails, and Emerl, Sonic and Tails quickly mistaken him as Gamma, whom they haven't seen since Sonic Adventure. Knuckles and Amy also mistake him as Gamma. Rouge notes that he looks similar to Omega.
    • Even though Knuckles seems to remember Gamma, the two have never actually met. Knuckles merely followed him to get to the Egg Carrier.
  • The Japanese version has a language option where players can switch between Japanese to English. Some differences and mistranslations can be seen.
    • One example is in the beginning of Rouge's story where she calls the hacker, who is Eggman, a "dirty bastard" for hacking the Central Computer.
    • Another example is the menu, where the game asks if the player is going to continue the story or play a different episode. The whole menu text itself is different in the English releases of the game and has a massive mistranslation (pictured on the right).
  • This is the first post-Sonic Adventure game with 2D artwork on the front cover not illustrated by Yuji Uekawa.
  • Although this game was released before Sonic Heroes, there are several references to the game including Rouge mentioning Omega and Shadow's presence there. Therefore, it can be inferred that this game appears to take place after the events of that game.
    • If that is the case, it is unknown how Shadow remembers his past, given that during the events of Sonic Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog he could not remember anything beside Maria. This probably means that the game takes place sometime after Shadow the Hedgehog.
  • Dr. Eggman's base in the game, "Gimme Shelter," shares the name with the popular Rolling Stones song.
  • In the Shibuya Downtown course in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, Sonic Battle artwork can be seen on a plane.
  • In Virtual Training, even though the player receives the same amount of lives as the opponents, getting K.O.'d once will end the Virtual Training session.
  • This is the first time that Shadow, Rouge, and Chaos are featured playable characters on the Game Boy Advance.
    • This is also the first time they make an appearance on a handheld system.
    • This is the only handheld system Chaos was featured on before being on the Nintendo Switch.



Sonic Battle E3 2003 Trailer


Sonic Battle Game Boy Advance Retro Commercial Trailer 2004 Sega Japan


Sonic Battle Commercial Jap 2


  1. ソニック バトル (Japanese). Sega. Archived from the original on 8 December 2003. Retrieved on 25 December 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Sonic Battle (Game Boy Advance) United States instruction booklet, pgs. 3-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Sonic Battle (Game Boy Advance) United States instruction booklet, pg. 16.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sonic Battle (Game Boy Advance) United States instruction booklet, pgs. 7-9.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Sonic Battle (Game Boy Advance) United States instruction booklet, pg. 17.
  6. Sonic Battle (Game Boy Advance) United States instruction booklet, pg. 18.
  7. Sonic Battle (Game Boy Advance) United States instruction booklet, pg. 19.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Sonic Battle (Game Boy Advance) United States instruction booklet, pgs. 25-27.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Sonic Battle (Game Boy Advance) United States instruction booklet, pg. 28.
  10. Sonic Battle (Game Boy Advance) United States instruction booklet, pg. 30.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Sonic Battle for Game Boy Advance. GameRankings (5 January 2004). Retrieved on 9 April 2013.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Sonic Battle for Game Boy Advance Reviews. Metacritic (5 January 2004). Retrieved on 9 April 2013.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Sonic Battle Critic Reviews for Game Boy Advance. Metacritic. Retrieved on 9 April 2013.
  14. 14.0 14.1 GamePro Media (13 January 2010). Sonic Battle Review. GamePro. Retrieved on 9 April 2013.
  15. Sonic Battle Review. GameSpot (5 January 2004). Retrieved on 9 April 2013.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Sonic Battle. GameSpy. Retrieved on 9 April 2013.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Sonic Battle. IGN. Retrieved on 9 April 2013.

External links

Sonic Battle

Main article | Scripts (Sonic, Tails, Rouge, Knuckles, Amy, Cream, Shadow, Emerl) | Staff | Gallery
Sonic the Hedgehog handheld games