Sonic News Network

Know something we don't about Sonic? Don't hesitate in signing up today! It's fast, free, and easy, and you will get a wealth of new abilities, and it also hides your IP address from public view. We are in need of content, and everyone has something to contribute!

If you have an account, please log in.


Sonic News Network
Sonic News Network
"Sonic & Tails" redirects here. For the Sonic Mania Adventures episode, see Sonic and Tails.

If the Rocket Shoe fits, wear it.

— Tagline, Sega Game Gear version.

Sonic Chaos (ソニック&テイルス Sonikku to Teirusu?, lit. "Sonic & Tails"), also known as Sonic the Hedgehog Chaos, is a platforming video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series first seeing release on the Sega Master System exclusively in Europe, followed by a worldwide release for the Sega Game Gear in 1993. Developed by Aspect and published by Sega, the game was the last platform-based Sonic title for the Master System in Europe.

Sharing many gameplay elements with Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit), the game features new movesets for the playable characters, new power-ups, and different mechanics. Sonic Chaos is notable for being the first 8-bit Sonic title to feature Tails as a playable character.


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

South Island is a peaceful island, where the six mystical Chaos Emeralds of infinite power that give life to all things lay dormant. Depending on their use however, they can become fearful weapons used for nuclear bombs and laser weapons.[6] It is this potential that has prompted the evil genius scientist Dr. Robotnik to take action once more.[7]

One day while out on an adventure, Sonic the Hedgehog and Miles "Tails" Prower hear a nasty rumor that Robotnik has gotten his hands on one of the Chaos Emeralds. Hurrying back to South Island, they discover that the once peaceful island is in a state of chaos. As it turns out, when Robotnik took one of the Chaos Emeralds, the rest were scattered and the island has begun sinking into the sea, as it is usually held together by the power of the Emeralds. While Robotnik is sure that he has won this time, Sonic resolves to regather the Chaos Emeralds and save South Island. As such, he sets out on his new adventure, with his sidekick Tails right by his side.[7]


Image Character Biography
Sonic-and-tails.png Sonic the Hedgehog No matter what, Sonic is very cool! For that reason, the people who play him are high class… don't you think? Only Sonic can collect the Chaos Emeralds.[8]
Tails 2.png Miles "Tails" Prower Miles is my real name, but everyone calls me Tails. My goal is to be Sonic! But I still don’t have enough training...[8]
Sonic-Chaos-Dr-Eggman.png Dr. Robotnik Robotnik doesn’t lose heart whether he loses or loses… He’s incorrigibly appeared three times!! What he likes are the Chaos Emeralds. What he hates is Sonic. His hobby, after all, is world domination![9]


Sonic in Turquoise Hill Zone, the first Zone in the game.

Sonic Chaos is a 2D side-scrolling platforming game with similar gameplay to the previous 8-bit Sonic the Hedgehog games. The player can choose between Sonic the Hedgehog or Miles "Tails" Prower to play as. With Sonic, the player gets three lives and no Continues from the start, while Tails grants the player five lives and three Continues.[6] By comparison, Tails moves slower than Sonic. The main goal is to reach the end of each Act of a Zone (a level in the game) within a time limit.

The characters can use the basic Spin Jump and Super Spin Attack maneuvers, along with the Super Spin Dash introduced in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. From Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Sonic has also been given the Strike Dash to dash off at maximum speed. Tails has similarly been given a separate ability called Airman Tails which lets him fly in mid-air for a short time.

Rings are found in every Zone and, like in other Sonic games, collecting them protects the player from taking damage. Receiving a harmful hit will make the player drop all their Rings, though some can be recollected before they disappear. Getting hit a second time without any Rings causes the player lose a try and make them restart the Act. A character will also lose a try if they spend too long underwater without replenishing their air supply, fall into a bottomless pit, or run out of time. If a character loses a try when the number of Continues remaining is zero, the game will end. For Sonic, collecting 100 Rings transports the player into a Special Stage. For Tails, who cannot enter the Special Stages, he instead gains an extra life after collecting 100 Rings. Also, each Ring grants points at the end-of-Act tally for each character.

Like many other Sonic games, Sonic Chaos features Video Monitors that contain power-ups, such as Super Rings (grants ten extra Rings), Speed Shoes (increase acceleration briefly), Invincibles (grants temporary invulnerability) and Extra Lives. Exclusive power-ups to Sonic are the Rocket Shoes, which let him fly in the air for a short time. For Tails, any Video Monitors with Rocket Shoes in his Acts are replaced with Super Rings.

Each Zone in Sonic Chaos is quite short, with a linear design and few alternate routes, making progressing through the game rather simple. Zones contain structures like loops, corkscrews, and high-speed warp tubes, along with a few other gimmicks. Generally, Springs are hidden in the ground for the player's surprise and the new Pogo Springs can be activated from metallic boxes. The latter gimmick lets the player bounce around on a mobile Spring for higher elevation.

Aside from the game's main goal, the player can collect the six Chaos Emeralds for Sonic. The first five Emeralds can be collected from the Special Stages while the sixth is obtained automatically after the game's final boss. Collecting all six unlocks the game's cinematic good ending. When playing as Tails, the player gets the good ending either way.

Scoring system

Main article: Point#Sonic Chaos


Button formation Movement
Master System[10] Game Gear[11] Sonic-Icon-Sonic-Chaos.png Sonic Tails-Icon-Sonic-Chaos.png Tails
Controlpadds.png left/right Walk/Run
Controlpadds.png up Look up
Controlpadds.png down Look down/Crouch
Game Gear I Button.png/Game Gear II Button.png Jump
Controlpadds.png left/right + down Super Spin Attack
Controlpadds.png down + Game Gear I Button.png/Game Gear II Button.png > release Controlpadds.png Super Spin Dash/Super Dash Attack
Controlpadds.png up + Game Gear I Button.png/Game Gear II Button.png Strike Dash Airman Tails/Helicopter
Pause START Pause



Gimmicks and obstacles

Bonus Plate rewards

Like in previous games, Bonus Plates appear at the end of the first and second Act of each Zone. Upon passing them, the player's speed, which is seemingly based on an Act's completion time, is tallied in kilometers per hour. The highest possible speed is 999 km/h. Having three of the same numbers in the measurement, such as 555 km/h, grants the player an Extra Life. Also upon being passed, the Bonus Plates will spin and give awards based on the image they show. The rewards are:

Image Name Reward[14][15]
Smilling Chaos.png Dr. Robotnik
STsign-Sonic.png Sonic Extra Life (Sonic)
Continue (Tails)
STsign-ring.png Ring 10 Rings & 100 points
STsign-Tails.png Tails Extra Life (Tails)
Continue (Sonic)
STsign-Flicky.png Flicky Nothing
STsign-back.png Backwards Spin plate again


Player select screen.

Playable characters

Non-playable characters



  1. Lady Bug Boss
  2. Bead Worm Boss
  3. Bouncy Boss Robot
  4. Tree Crawler Boss
  5. Sphere-o-Bot Boss
  6. Laser Walker


Sonic in Mecha Green Hill Zone.

Sonic Chaos contains a total of six Zones, each split into three Acts. After clearing the first two Acts, the player encounters the Zone's boss in the third, shorter Act. Defeating the boss allows the player to progress onto the next Zone. The Zones in their order are:

  1. Turquoise Hill Zone
  2. Gigalopolis Zone
  3. Sleeping Egg Zone
  4. Mecha Green Hill Zone
  5. Aqua Planet Zone
  6. Electric Egg Zone

Special Stages

Special Stages are extra levels where the player can collect five of the six Chaos Emeralds. To access one of the five Special Stages, the player has to collect 100 Rings as Sonic during an Act.

The Special Stages in Sonic Chaos are unique amongst the Sonic the Hedgehog games due to how each Special Stage has its own level design where the player has to either fly through the sky, navigate high-speed warp tube mazes, scale platforms, or speed-run an area. In general, the player has to cross each Special Stage's obstacle course within sixty seconds to earn its Chaos Emerald. The Special Stage ends when the player runs out of time, fall off the screen, or reaches the Emerald (which also earns them a Continue). The player will then be sent to the next Act in the Zone. If the player already has all the Chaos Emeralds, collecting 100 Rings will no longer warp Sonic to the Special Stage and will instead reward him with an Extra Life.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 56.67% (Wii)[16]
Review scores
Publication Score
Electronic Gaming Monthly 8.25/10 (GG)[17]
Eurogamer 7/10 (Wii)[18]
GamePro 18/20 (GG)[19]
IGN 6/10 (Wii)[20]
Mean Machines Sega 71% (SMS)[21]
Mega Zone 94% (SMS)[1]
Nintendo Life 6.3/10 (SMS)[22]
4/10 (Wii)[23]
Sega Power 93% (SMS)[24]
94% (GG)[25]
Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) 7.3202/10 (GG)[26]
Sega Magazine 80% (SMS/GG)[27]
Entity Award
Electronic Gaming Monthly Best Sega Game Gear Game of 1993[28]

Sonic Chaos received generally positive reviews during its release. GamePro praised the game's graphics and gameplay, stating that while the game was "not as tough as some of the other Sonic adventures, it's still a cart that fans of the hogmeister are gonna wanna roll with."[19] Sega Magazine also praised the Master System version of the game for its polished graphics and playability while stating that it was "very entertaining, this had us coming back for more even when we'd finished it."[27] Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the game an 8.25 out of 10, commenting that it retains all the elements that made the 16-bit Sonic games fun while also praising the graphics and the ability to play as Tails.[17] Mean Machines Sega gave a mediocre score of 71%, praising the graphics and gameplay, but concluded the review by stating that it was "a very weak Sonic game that combines lack of originality with complete absence of challenge."[21]

Over the years, the game received more mixed reviews. Lucas M. Thomas of IGN gave the Virtual Console re-release score a 6 out of 10, noting that the game "isn't total retread of territory covered before in earlier Sonic titles -- but it's pretty close."[20] Dan Whitehead of Eurogamer gave a score a 7 out of 10 for its Virtual Console re-release, stating that "perhaps the strongest argument in favour of Sonic Chaos is that it's a relatively unseen entry in a franchise where most of the attention was directed at the [Mega Drive] titles. For Sonic fans who know most of the games inside out, this one will probably still seem quite fresh."[18] Darren Calvert of Nintendo Life criticized the game for being uninspired and lacking of discernable challenge, saying that "hardcore Sonic fans might get a kick out of this lesser known incarnation, but for most there will be no reason to bother with this."[23]

Sonic Chaos was awarded "Best Sega Game Gear Game of 1993" by Electronic Gaming Monthly.[28]


After its initial release, Sonic Chaos was re-released for the Sega Game Gear by distributing company Majesco in the United States. Because of this, the game is one of the first Sonic titles to be re-rated "E for everyone" by the newly established Entertainment Software Rating Board. Years later, the Game Gear version was featured as unlockable content in Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut. To unlock it in the game, the player has to collect either a total of 60 emblems or complete 60 missions with all the playable characters. The game was also included in Sonic Mega Collection Plus in 2004.

Sonic Chaos and the Game Gear version of Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball were featured in Sonic the Hedgehog Chaos & Spinball, a plug and play console released in 2005 by Techno Source. Sonic Chaos is also one of the Game Gear titles to be featured on Coleco's plug and play console "PlayPal Plug & Play" released in 2006. The Sega Master System version of Sonic Chaos would not see a re-release until 2009 when it was ported for the Wii's Virtual Console. Over ten years later in 2020, the Game Gear version was included in the blue Game Gear Micro.

Platform differences

The Sega Master System and Game Gear versions have a number of differences between them that were made between their respective releases, these include:

  • The resolution was lowered with little regard for the overall viewing area - for instance, a Ring that flies straight into the air upon taking damage will hit the "out of bounds" area at the top of the screen, resulting in it disappearing.
  • Compared to the previous entries, this game takes slightly more advantage of the Game Gear's increased color range - for instance, the unique peach and brown checkered soil of Turquoise Hill Zone was changed to the series' now-familiar orange and yellow pattern, and the green skyline with pink streaks of Mecha Green Hill Zone was changed to a pink hue with green streaks.
  • The title screen and character select screens were changed, as well as the Zone title card fonts.
  • Some of the music was mildly rearranged, with this being most noticeable when listening to the Turquoise Hill Zone, Sleeping Egg Zone, and Aqua Planet Zone themes back-to-back.
  • The bosses appear to be redrawn to make up for the smaller viewing area, as they are stretched a bit taller.
  • There are layout changes in Act 3 of most, if not all, of the Zones.
  • The Bead Worm Boss no longer shoots a spiked ball upon defeat.
  • The Tree Crawler Boss is no longer over a pit of spikes and is instead fought over flat ground.
  • The first four Master Robot bosses take eight hits to defeat in the Master System version. On the Game Gear, the first and third bosses take five hits, the second boss takes three hits, and the fourth boss takes ten hits. The fifth boss also takes fifteen hits to defeat in the Game Gear version rather than the original eleven.
  • After the final boss is cleared and Dr. Robotnik escapes, the usual victory animation and theme plays rather than the screen simply fading to white.
  • Sonic originally rolled during the bad ending, but in the Game Gear version that was changed to Sonic instead walking then tripping as he begins to run after Robotnik.
  • In the Master System version, Tails' name is written as "Miles Power" instead of "Miles Prower" during the credits. The Game Gear version corrects this mistake.
  • The Japanese version of the Game Gear release changed the font yet again, as well as the title screen, and replaced the Robotnik name with Eggman in the cast roll. However, it retained Gigalopolis Zone's name, as other regions changed it to Gigapolis Zone.

Cheat codes

  • Level Select: As the "Press Start" text appears on the title screen, input the following:
    • Game Gear: Controlpadds.png up, up, down, down, right, left, right, left, START.
    • Master System: Controlpadds.png up, up, down, down, right, left, right, left, Game Gear I Button.png, Game Gear II Button.png.
  • Sound Test: As the "Press Start" text appears on the title screen, input the following:
    • Game Gear: Controlpadds.png down, down, up, up, left, right, left, right, START.
    • Master System: Controlpadds.png down, down, up, up, left, right, left, right, Game Gear I Button.png, Game Gear II Button.png.

Sonic firing a fireball, from the Sega Game Gear version.

  • Hadoken easter egg: In either version of the game's Sound Test, press: Controlpadds.png down, down-right, right, Game Gear I Button.png/Game Gear II Button.png. Sonic will then shoot a fireball from his hands, similarly to the Hadoken from the Street Fighter games.


  • Game design: M. Shima, Ray, Tadashi Ihoroi (5OOZO)
  • Art: Hisato Fukumoto (7LY.BigKing), Gen Adachi (GEN♥), Nobuhiko Honda (Noburin), Shinichi Higashi (East)
  • Sound: Kojiro Mikusa (Mix), Masayuki Nagao (Nagao N.Gee)
  • Program: Koko, Hiro 777, Toshiyan, Tomoyan
  • Thanks to: Hitmen, Katsuhiro Hasegawa (The Hase), Kensan, Gadai, Mika Nishida (Mikarin), LLG, James Spahn (J.S), K.Dash, Hasuwo, Yuichiro Yokoyama (Yokoyamasan), Tomozou Endo (Tomozo), and You.
  • Sega Game Gear version only[29]
    • SOA producer: Steven Apour
    • Lead tester: Richie Hideshima
    • Sega testers: Mike Baldwin, Dianna Boundy, Janine Cook, Mark Dawson, Ivan Foong, Rick Greer, Lawrence Jeung, Tracy Johnson, Jason Kuo, Mike Madden, Bill Person, Siegie Stangenberg, Kurt Tindle, Maria Tuzza
    • Product manager: Cristine Huneke
    • Manual: Neil & Carol Ann Hanshaw
    • Special thanks: Steve Patterson




  1. 1.0 1.1 "What's in store for SONIC?". MegaZone (33): 36-37. November 1993. Archived from the original.
  2. ゲームギア カートリッジ(セガ発売) (Japanese). Sega. Archived from the original on 7 December 2018. Retrieved on 23 December 2021.
  3. Virtual Console, page 9 (Japanese). Nintendo (JP). Archived from the original on 28 January 2018.
  4. Sonic Chaos. Nintendo (US). Archived from the original on 22 November 2010.
  5. Sonic Chaos™. Nintendo (UK). Archived from the original on 22 January 2019.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Sonic Chaos (Sega Game Gear United States instruction booklet, pg. 4.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sonic & Tails (Sega Game Gear) Japanese instruction booklet, pgs. 4-5.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Sonic & Tails (Sega Game Gear) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 11.
  9. Sonic & Tails (Sega Game Gear) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 26.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Sonic Chaos (Sega Master System) Australian instruction booklet, pgs. 3-4
  11. Sonic Chaos (Sega Game Gear) United States instruction booklet, pgs. 6-7.
  12. Sonic Chaos (Sega Game Gear United States instruction booklet, pg. 8.
  13. Sonic Chaos (Sega Master System) Australian instruction booklet, pg. 5
  14. Sonic & Tails Sega Game Gear Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 16.
  15. Sonic Chaos (Sega Master System) Australian instruction booklet, pg. 6
  16. Sonic the Hedgehog Chaos. GameRankings. Retrieved on 27 January 2016.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Review Crew: Sonic Chaos". Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM Media, LLC) (54): 52. January 1994.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Whitehead, Dan (4 December 2009). Virtual Console Roundup • Page 4. Eurogamer. Retrieved on 27 January 2016.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Game Gear Pro Review: Sonic Chaos". GamePro (International Data Group) (52): 40,41. November 1993. Archived from the original.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Thomas, Lucas M.. Sonic Chaos Review. IGN. Archived from the original on 20 July 2012. Retrieved on 27 January 2016.
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Master System Review: Sonic Chaos". Mean Machines Sega (14): 98,99. January 1994.
  22. Sonic Chaos (SMS). Nintendo Life. Retrieved on 24 February 2022.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Calvert, Darren (3 Febuary 2009). Review: Sonic Chaos (SMS). Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on 7 July 2014. Retrieved on 11 March 2022.
  24. Davies, Jonathan (December 1993). "Master System Review: Sonic Chaos". Sega Power (49): 40-42. Archived from the original.
  25. Mortlock, Dean (January 1994). "Game Gear Review: Sonic the Hedgehog Chaos". Sega Power (50): 84,85. Archived from the original.
  26. "GAMEGEAR SOFT READERS RACE for GG USER" (in Japanese). Sega Saturn Magazine: 86. September 1995. Archived from the original.
  27. 27.0 27.1 "Sonic Chaos". Sega Magazine (1): 126. January 1994. Archived from the original.
  28. 28.0 28.1 "Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide". Electronic Gaming Monthly. 1994.
  29. Sonic Chaos (Sega Game Gear United States instruction booklet, pg. 16.

External links

Sonic the Hedgehog handheld games