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Sonic News Network
Sonic News Network

A Tough Team for a Tough Job

— Tagline

Sonic Heroes (ソニック ヒーローズ Sonikku Hīrōzu?) is a 3D platformer video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. It was first released on December 2003 in Japan, then in the first couple of months of the following year in other countries. It would then be later released for Microsoft Windows PCs on November 2004. As part of the PlayStation 2 Classics program, the PlayStation 2 version was re-released digitally for the PlayStation 3 via PlayStation Network on September 2012 in Europe, and January 2014 in Asia. Sonic Heroes is noteworthy for being the first Sonic game to be released on Sony and Microsoft gaming consoles.

This game differs from other Sonic games by allowing the player to take control of one of four teams, each with three characters, who each have unique abilities to use. The game received mixed reviews from critics but it performed commercially well, becoming a million-seller and making the best-selling lists for all three of its original platforms.


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


Team Sonic

While running around on his own, Sonic meets Tails and Knuckles in the Tornado 2. They reveal that they have received a letter from Dr. Eggman telling them of a new ultimate weapon that will be ready within three days to help the doctor conquer the world, and that he challenges them to stop him. Sonic, competitive as ever, accepts the challenge. Unlike Tails, who is disturbed by the message and unsure what will happen, Knuckles is confident that there is nothing to worry about. Sonic, however, tells them that he would not miss this adventure and the three heroes band together once again to foil Eggman's plans.[2]

After traveling along the coast, Team Sonic comes across Eggman in the Egg Hawk and defeat him. However, Eggman manages to escape. After that, Team Sonic track Eggman to Grand Metropolis. After liberating the city from Eggman's control and escaping the Power Plant, Team Sonic come across Team Rose, with Amy having her team engage in a battle with them in an effort to make Sonic marry her. Eventually escaping Team Rose, Team Sonic continue their hunt for Eggman. After overcoming Eggman and his robot army in the casino city with only a day left to spare, Team Sonic follow Eggman to Rail Canyon. Having only until sunset to stop Eggman, Team Sonic hurry to the center of Bullet Station where they destroy Eggman's base and defeat Eggman and his Egg Albatross. However, upon Eggman's defeat, they discover that the Eggman they have been chasing is a fake and that their challenge letter was meant to distract them while Eggman launched his Egg Fleet. Chasing Eggman through the jungle, Team Sonic encounter Team Dark, and the team members are amazed to see Shadow alive and well. After the two teams fought to decide who went after Eggman, Team Sonic pursue Eggman and Team Dark to a spooky castle. After then escaping a haunted mansion, Team Sonic overcome Eggman's next wave of robot henchmen, before going up to the Egg Fleet. After infiltrating the Final Fortress and destroying its core, Team Sonic find Dr. Eggman in his Egg Emperor and defeat him. Afterward, Team Sonic set off a chain reaction that destroys most of the Egg Fleet. With their mission complete, Sonic thanks his teammates before running away when he sees Amy arriving.

Team Dark

The story begins with Rouge sneaking into one of Eggman's bases after hearing that Dr. Eggman is accumulating a valuable treasure collection. To her shock however, she instead finds Shadow the Hedgehog, who was thought to be dead, encased in a stasis capsule inside the base. As she awakens Shadow, she accidentally activates E-123 Omega. Upon being activated, Omega attacks Shadow, thinking him to be an Eggman robot. Right after awakening, Shadow saves Rouge, who in turn breaks up Shadow and Omega's fight. Afterward, Rouge learns that Omega wants revenge at his creator, Dr. Eggman, for sealing him in the base and to prove his superiority by destroying all Eggman robots. Shadow, on the other hand, is suffering from amnesia, being unable to recall anything prior to his release by Rouge. Realizing that all their problems lead to Eggman, Rouge has the three of them team up to find Eggman.[3]

Shortly after starting their search, Team Dark find Eggman and his Egg Hawk. Although they defeat the Egg Hawk however, Eggman gets away. Pursuing Eggman to Grand Metropolis with renewed resolve, Team Dark crush the opposition in the city and escape its Power Plant. Afterward, they meet Team Chaotix, who they engage in battle over an assumption Rouge make about them. After the fight, Team Dark arrive in the casino area where they meet Eggman again. Shadow asks Eggman about his past, but Eggman remarks that he has "no past to remember". Overcoming Eggman's robot hordes, Team Dark continue their pursuit of Eggman to Eggman's base at Bullet Station. After destroying Eggman's base, Team Dark face the doctor and his Egg Albatross. Upon beating him however, Team Dark sees that the Eggman they have been chasing is a fake, much to Omega's fury. Furthermore, they find the remains of a Shadow Android, making them question whether Shadow is the genuine article or merely a replica. Continuing their hunt, Team Dark eventually come across Team Sonic and fight them to see which one of them can go after Eggman. Afterward, Team Dark continue their hunt through a spooky castle and mansion before coming across Eggman again. After overcoming Eggman's robot swarm, Team Dark venture to Eggman's headquarters among the Egg Fleet where they defeat Eggman and his Egg Emperor. With Eggman seemingly destroyed, Omega considered his mission complete. Soon after, Rouge goes looking for Eggman's treasure, only to find a warehouse full of Shadow Androids. As Omega prepares to destroy the warehouse, he reassures Rouge, who does not know if Shadow is real or not, that Eggman would need the original Shadow to make the Shadow Androids. Afterward she leaves with Shadow, planning to steal the Master Emerald since Knuckles is preoccupied at the moment.

Team Rose

The story begins with Amy, Big, Cream, and Cheese meeting each other by chance at the local news publisher. A quick exchange of stories reveal that all four of them are searching for someone; Amy is looking for her missing Sonic; Big is looking for his missing best friend Froggy; and Cream is looking for Cheese's missing twin, Chocola. Furthermore, the only clue they have to their friends' whereabouts is a picture of "Sonic" with Froggy and Chocola in the local newspaper.[4] As they ponder about their only clue in the newspaper at the coast, Amy nearly loses it to a gust of wind. Cream and Cheese manage to catch it, but as the wind begins to blow again, Cream and Cheese are blown away. Fortunately, Big manages to catch them with his fishing rod. Reconvening, the quartet look over the newspaper with longing until Amy encourages them to head out with her to find their lost companions.[4]

Shortly after starting their search, Team Rose have a run-in with Dr. Eggman and his Egg Hawk. After defeating Eggman, Team Rose follow Amy's hunches to Grand Metropolis. After escaping the local Power Plant, Team Rose finds Team Sonic. Amy, determined to make Sonic hers by force, then has her team fight Sonic's. However, Team Sonic soon escape. Arriving in the big city, Team Rose change tactics: since Team Sonic are hunting Eggman, all they have to do is find Eggman. After overcoming an attack from Eggman's robots, Team Rose come to Rail Canyon. With Big and Cheese sensing that their friends are close, Team Rose head to Eggman's base. There, Team Rose defeat Eggman and his Egg Albatross. After the fight, however, the team discover that the Eggman they just fought was a copy and Froggy and Chocola are nowhere to be seen. With Amy suspecting Eggman is behind Froggy and Chocola's disappearance, Team Rose leave to find Eggman. While later entering and escaping the jungle, Team Rose meet Team Chaotix, who they end up fighting over a misunderstanding. Afterward, Team Rose enters a haunted castle and escape a mansion before finding Eggman, who attacks them with his robots. Overcoming Eggman's robots, Team Rose travel to the Egg Fleet, where they find Eggman in his Egg Emperor, whom Team Rose defeat. Though their opponent turns out to be another fake, they find Chocola and Froggy in its remains and have a happy reunion. No sooner, Amy sees Sonic nearby and quickly chases after him.

Team Chaotix

On a particularly dull day at the Chaotix Detective Agency's office, Vector is sitting at his desk listening to music while Espio is standing solemnly by. Suddenly, however, Charmy comes crashing into the office with a mysterious package, claiming that they have gotten a job. Inside the package, the team finds a walkie-talkie, with a stranger who gives the team instructions through this device. The stranger claims that if the job he has for them is completed, Team Chaotix will be "rewarded handsomely". Espio is wary of their client, but Vector and Charmy, with dollar signs in their eyes, reminds him that they "never turn down work that pays".[5]

During their client's tests of their skills, Team Chaotix run into Dr. Eggman and his Egg Hawk. After making Eggman retreat, Team Chaotix arrive in Grand Metropolis where they clear out the Eggman robots occupying it as their client requests. After then freeing the Power Plant from the control of Gold Camerons as instructed by their client, Team Chaotix meet Team Dark, whom they fight after mistaking them as their client's adversaries. Afterward, the client tests Team Chaotix's luck and have them look for casino chips in the casino city. Eventually, they meet Eggman again and overcome his robot horde. Afterward, Team Chaotix follow their client's instructions and infiltrate Eggman's base in Bullet Station where they destroy some capsules. They then run into Eggman and his Egg Albatross, which their client tells them to destroy. Afterward, Team Chaotix discover that the Eggman they just fought was a fake, something their client is aware about. As Team Chaotix are instructed to head to the jungle, they begin to wonder about their client's identity, which Vector is slowly able to piece together. After making it through the jungle undetected and protecting some Chao from Eggman's forces, Team Chaotix meet Team Rose, whom they end up fighting due to a miscommunication. Afterward, the team are instructed to enter a castle with some keys. After then escaping a mansion, Team Chaotix have another run-in with Eggman and his robots. Afterwards, Team Chaotix make it to the Egg Fleet, where the client instructs them to infiltrate the flagship and find the keys that would free him from captivity. Along the way, Team Chaotix defeat another a fake Eggman and his Egg Emperor. Having deduced that their client is Dr. Eggman, Vector busts him out of his prison so he and Team Chaotix could talk. Dr. Eggman tells them that he will pay them after he conquers the world, only for Charmy to attack him for making promises he will not be able to keep.

Last Story

Back with Team Chaotix and Dr. Eggman, Vector asks the doctor about who locked him up for trying to conquer the world, something which Eggman is reluctant to say. Soon after though, all the teams race outside to find Neo Metal Sonic declaring himself the ruler of all living things before initiating his final transformation. Having copied the lifeform data from the teams during their adventures, Neo Metal Sonic combines them with the data on Chaos that he got from Froggy and Chocola, allowing him to use the debris from the Egg Fleet to become. Metal Madness. As Eggman declares Metal Sonic unstoppable without the Chaos Emeralds to help them, the teams reveal that they have gotten all seven. With their chances of victory being slim even with the Emeralds though, Sonic decides to go up against Metal Sonic alone, only for his teammates to join him. With the other teams agreeing to help as well by slowing down Metal Madness while Team Sonic gets ready, the heroes set out for their final battle.

Though Team Rose, Team Chaotix and Team Dark manage to delay Metal Madness, he soon completes his transformation and becomes Metal Overlord. Team Sonic then uses the Chaos Emeralds to achieve their Super States and defeat Metal Overlord, returning Neo Metal Sonic to his regular form. As Amy comes running, Sonic tells Metal Sonic that he will be ready for a rematch anytime before running off. Tails and Amy subsequently chase after Sonic while Metal Sonic shuts down and Amy's teammates wave goodbye to Amy. Meanwhile, Knuckles goes after Rouge when she heads out to steal the Master Emerald. As for Team Chaotix, they go after Eggman when he tried to get away from paying them. Lastly, Shadow and Omega hold up the defeated Metal Sonic and look at each other.

Sometime later, Team Sonic is seen running together, heading out in search of their next adventure.


Image Character Biography
Sonic heroes 32.png Sonic the Hedgehog

The world's fastest supersonic hedgehog unrivalled in speed returns once more. Always the drifter, Sonic goes whenever the wind takes him, and lives life according to his own rules rather than the standards of those around him. He's basically easy-going, but when he gets fired up over an injustice, his anger explodes with surprising consequences. Always at the receiving end of this aggression is arch-enemy Dr. Eggman, whose fiendish ploys to take over the world are constantly being foiled by Sonic. Saving the world is a nice distraction, but Sonic is soon off to find his next adventure.[2]

Watch out for the patented Light Dash maneuvre whereby Sonic hurtles along a path of illuminated Rings, even through mid-air![2]

Knuckles heroes 32.png Knuckles the Echidna An egotistical dreadlocked Echidna from the Angel Island, and appointed guardian of the Master Emerald. Sonic may be a drifter, but Knuckles' home is firmly fixed in the mountains. Wild, tough, stubborn and inflexible, Knuckles sees himself as Sonic's rival, perhaps because of his own dreams of a free lifestyle. He's also known as a treasure hunter, and posseses martial arts skills.[6]
SonicTailsInHeroes.png Miles "Tails" Prower

Don't let his docile appearance deceive you. This cute twin-tailed fox is an absolute mecha-maniac with skills rivaling those of Dr. Eggman. Humble about his abilities, he always does his best to help out Sonic, who sees him as something as a cute kid brother.[6]

"Tails" can spin his tails like a rotor blade enabling him to fly.[6]

SHShadow.png Shadow the Hedgehog Created by the renowned scientist Professor Gerald at the peak of his career, this black hedgehog is the dark incarnation of Sonic, matching him in both speed and abilities. Shadow never ages, and can use a technique known as "Chaos Control" to distort time and space using the Chaos Emeralds. Since his fall at Colony Arc[sic] (Sonic Adventure 2 Battle) he was presumed dead, but has since been discovered by Rouge, alive and in suspended animation at Eggman's base. He now suffers from amnesia and has no memory of events prior to his release.[3]
Sonic Heroes E-123 Omega.png E-123 Omega

The last and most powerful of Eggman's E-Series robots. Decommissioned and left imprisoned at the base, Omega was reactivated by mistake as Rouge released Shadow. From that point, Omega decided to destroy all of Eggman's machinery to take revenge for his imprisonment, and to prove once and for all that he is the strongest.[7]

His wide arms contain a manner of concealed weapons and machinery making him a powerful force to be reckoned with.[7]

Rouge heroes 32.png Rouge the Bat

Rouge is a professional treasure hunter, forever in search of the world's most precious stones, and part time government spy. Fearless, be witching, and overflowing with feminine charm, Rouge is dedicated to her work, and never leaves a task empty-handed. Her external appearance suggests a careless character, but she is actually calculating and manipulative, basing her actions on potential actions rather than abstract morality or manners.[7]

Her powerful wings enable her to fly with ease.[7]

Amy heroes.png Amy Rose An overly cheerful and slightly erratic girl that poor Sonic just can't seem to shake off. Amy uses her natural initiative and positive attitude to pull the team together, and her weapon of choice, the Piko Piko Hammer, helps her to maintain authority. Despite her clearly defined goal to one day marry Sonic, he treats her as a little more than an annoyance. In his heart he probably doesn't dislike her that much.[4]
Big heroes.png Big the Cat A huge feline that lives with his best friend Froggy, peacefully in the middle of the jungle. His hobby is fishing, and he always has his favourite rod handy. Big is strong, but gentle, and very easy-going as is reflected in his carefree speech manner. He also does his best to help his best friends. On this occasion, his best friend Froggy has gone missing, so Big sets off to try and rescue him.[8]
CreamCheeseSH.png Cream the Rabbit

A cute little rabbit that takes her tiny Chao "Cheese" with her whenever she goes, and at just 6 years old, is even younger than Tails. Brought up like a princess, she is a little naive and simple minded at times, often getting herself wrapped up into other people's problems. Cream never forgets her manners, and often offers a polite curtsey[sic] before attacking Dr. Eggman, with extreme prejudice.[8]

By flapping her huge ears, Cream can sustain flight. She also loves ice-cream cones.[8]

Espio heroes..png Espio the Chameleon Opinionated and self obsessed chameleon at the Chaotix Detective Agency. He has a militaristic discipline despite being quiet and laidback, and thanks to extensive ninja training, he can face trouble head-on unconcerned by danger. His characteristics include a protruding horn, coiled tail, and a stealth camouflage trick that renders him invisible to enemy eyes allowing him to pass by unnoticed.[5]
Vector 2.png Vector the Crocodile

Outlaw detective and head honcho of the Chaotix Detective Agency. He can always find peaceful solutions to problems, providing an aggressive method cannot be found. Despite this, he's the brains behind the detective operations. He'll do almost any kind of work providing the payment is right, but won't get involved with anything dirty. His charitable nature sometimes leads him to take unpaid work, such as finding lost toys for crying children.[9]

Vector can effortlessly defeat enemies by crunching them between his powerful jaws, a formidable weapon with a dazzling smile. His trademark is a set of headphones.[9]

Charmy heroes.png Charmy Bee

The scatterbrained funny-kid likes nothing more than fooling around, and making the remaining Chaotix staff look professional. Seen by the others as more of a cute mascot, he's generally good-natured and light-hearted, but when he gets angry he often introduces the source of his anger to his stinging tail.[9]

Charmy is neither clever nor powerful, but excels in following hunches and uncovering hidden objects. He is also able to mysteriously warp between flowers. His flying helmet is his trademark.[9]

Sonic Heroes Eggman.png Dr. Eggman As his name implies, Dr. Eggman is a Doctor that looks like an egg. As well as having an unfeasibly high IQ of 300, Eggman is a romanticist, a feminist, and a self-proclaimed gentleman. Sadly, his charms are often difficult to spot through the abominable laughter that accompanies his maniacal declaration of world domination. Sonic is always finding ways to stop his diabolical plots, but as with great arch-enemies Eggman now sees Sonic as more of a rival than a threat.[10]
Heroes Neo Metal Sonic.png Mystery Monster A mysterious robot who holds the key to destroy the world.[10]


Sonic Heroes is a 3D platforming video game with similar gameplay elements from Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2. The main story of the game takes place within Story Mode, which is divided into four main stories, as well as a fifth, final one.

The game introduces several new gameplay elements. Unlike most Sonic games, where players control one character, three characters are available at any time to choose from, as the player may switch the party's leader freely, whilst the other two characters follow.[11] Each character has an individual ability: speed for clearing stages fast, power for breaking objects and combat, or flight for reaching higher platforms. Each ability is also represented in the interface by color; blue for speed, yellow for flight, and red for power. Each ability also has an element associated with it: Speed uses wind, Fly uses lightning and Power uses fire. These can be used to solve various puzzles necessary to progress through stages, most notably in Team Chaotix's Mystic Mansion. The player must use these abilities to traverse the fourteen stages.[11] In addition to controlling three characters, the player may select one of the four teams available to use at the beginning of the game. Each team also has a unique Team Blast skill that has major power and additional effect.[11]

Each stage has a different layout for each team, providing different challenges for each story.[12] The aspects of the stages for each team are as follows:

  • Team Sonic: This team and the associated stages are designed to be of medium or normal difficulty, and contain some high-speed sections.[2] Their secondary missions involve reaching the goal within a time limit.
  • Team Dark: Team Dark and the associated stages are designed to be of hard difficulty, requiring skill and concentration to endure heavy battle.[3] This team's secondary missions involve wiping out 100 enemies in the stage.
  • Team Rose: Team Rose and the associated stages are designed for younger players, with shorter missions, which allows them to bypass the more difficult sections of many stages.[4] The secondary missions for this team entail the collection of 200 Rings.
  • Team Chaotix: Team Chaotix and the associated stages provide a different experience, as most are mission-based, and are only complete when the mission target is met.[5]> Because of this, their stages frequently loop back to the start so that players can scour the stage for anything that may have been overlooked. The missions mostly consist of collecting or destroying stage-specific items (Chao are often the target for collection). The secondary missions usually add an extra challenge to the normal goal, such as collecting or destroying twice as many targets or completing the mission without being seen by the enemies or elements inside of a stage (for example, the Giant Frogs in Frog Forest).

Scoring system

Main article: Point#Sonic Heroes



Button formation Character movement
PlayStation 2 Nintendo GameCube Xbox PC
Player 1 Player 2 Mouse
Left analog stick Control Stick Left thumbstick Holding [T]/[F]/[G]/[H] Holding cursor keys Holding left click Move
PSXButton.png A Button GameCube v2.png XboxA.png [A]/[Space] [End] Left click + right click Jump
Playstation-Button-L2.png/Playstation-Button-R2.png Lgame.png/Rgame.png L/R [Shift]/[Ctrl] Holding right click + Wheel rotate Move camera left/right
PSTriangleButton.png/PSObutton.png Gamecube Y Button.png/Gamecube X Button.png XboxY.png/XboxB.png [Y]/[S] // [B]/[D] [Insert]/[Home] Rotate wheel Switch character
R1ps3.png Gamecube Z Button.png Black button [Z] Page Up/Down Wheel click Team Blast
START START/PAUSE START [Tab] [Enter] Left click + Right click + Wheel click Pause the game

Speed Formation

Button formation Character movement
PlayStation 2 Nintendo GameCube Xbox PC Sonic Shadow Amy Espio
Player 1 Player 2 Mouse
Moving + Holding PSSquareButton.png Moving + Holding SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png Moving + Holding XboxX.png Moving + Holding [X]/[Escape] Moving + Holding [Delete] Moving + Holding right click Spin
Holding PSSquareButton.png > Releasing PSSquareButton.png when all teammates gather Holding SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png > Releasing SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png when all teammates gather Holding XboxX.png > Releasing XboxX.png when all teammates gather Holding [X]/[Escape] > Releasing [X]/[Escape] when all teammates gather Holding [Delete] > Releasing [Delete] when all teammates gather Holding right click > Releasing right click when all teammates gather Rocket Accel
Holding PSSquareButton.png > Releasing PSSquareButton.png before all teammates gather Holding SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png > Releasing SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png before all teammates gather Holding XboxX.png > Releasing XboxX.png before all teammates gather Holding [X]/[Escape] > Releasing [X]/[Escape] before all teammates gather Holding [Delete] > Releasing [Delete] before all teammates gather Holding right click > Releasing right click before all teammates gather Flying Kick Swinging Hammer Attack Shuriken
PSXButton.png in mid-air A Button GameCube v2.png in mid-air XboxA.png in mid-air [A]/[Space] in mid-air [End] in mid-air Left click + right click in mid-air Homing Attack
Jump > PSSquareButton.png Jump > SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png Jump > XboxX.png Jump > [X]/[Escape] Jump > [Delete] Jump > right click Blue Tornado Black Tornado Tornado Hammer Leaf Swirl
Holding PSSquareButton.png near a trail of Rings Holding SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png near a trail of Rings Holding XboxX.png near a trail of Rings Holding [X]/[Escape] near a trail of Rings Holding [Delete] near a trail of Rings Holding right click near a trail of Rings Light Dash N/A
Holding PSXButton.png in mid-air Holding A Button GameCube v2.png in mid-air Holding XboxA.png in mid-air Holding [A]/[Space] in mid-air Holding [End] in mid-air Holding left click + right click in mid-air N/A Propeller Hammer N/A
Homing Attack towards a wall > Jump while on the wall Triangle Jump

Fly Formation

Button formation Character movement
PlayStation 2 Nintendo GameCube Xbox PC Tails Rouge Cream Charmy
Player 1 Player 2 Mouse
Jump > Holding PSXButton.png Jump > Holding A Button GameCube v2.png Jump > Holding XboxA.png Jump > Holding [A]/[Space] Jump > Holding [End] Jump > Holding left click + Holding right click Ascending Flight
Ascending Flight + PSXButton.png Ascending Flight + A Button GameCube v2.png Ascending Flight + XboxA.png Ascending Flight + [A]/[Space] Ascending Flight + [End] Ascending Flight + Left click + right click Quick Ascent
PSSquareButton.png with all teammates gathered SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png with all teammates gathered XboxX.png with all teammates gathered [X]/[Escape] with all teammates gathered [Delete] with all teammates gathered Right click with all teammates gathered Thunder Shoot
PSSquareButton.png without all teammates gathered SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png without all teammates gathered XboxX.png without all teammates gathered [X]/[Escape] without all teammates gathered [Delete] without all teammates gathered Right click without all teammates gathered Dummy Ring Bomb Cheese Attack Sting Attack

Power Formation

Button formation Character movement
PlayStation 2 Nintendo GameCube Xbox PC Knuckles Omega Big Vector
Player 1 Player 2 Mouse
Moving nearby enemies Auto Homing
PSSquareButton.png SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png XboxX.png [X]/[Escape] [Delete] Right click Forward Power Attack
Forward Power Attack > PSSquareButton.png Forward Power Attack > SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png Forward Power Attack > XboxX.png Forward Power Attack > [X]/[Escape] Forward Power Attack > [Delete] Forward Power Attack > Right click Remote Power Attack
Remote Power Attack > PSSquareButton.png Remote Power Attack > SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png Remote Power Attack > XboxX.png Remote Power Attack > [X]/[Escape] Remote Power Attack > [Delete] Remote Power Attack > Right click Volcanic Dunk Omega Arm Big Fishing Vector Breath
Holding PSSquareButton.png Holding SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png Holding XboxX.png Holding [X]/[Escape] Holding [Delete] Holding Right click Fire Combination
Fire Combination > Holding PSXButton.png Fire Combination > Holding A Button GameCube v2.png Fire Combination > Holding XboxA.png Fire Combination > Holding [A]/[Space] Fire Combination > Holding [End] Fire Combination > Holding left click + Holding right click Fireball Jump N/A
Fire Combination > Jumping > PSSquareButton.png Fire Combination > Jumping > SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png Fire Combination > Jumping > XboxX.png Fire Combination > Jumping > [X]/[Escape] Fire Combination > Jumping > [Delete] Fire Combination > Jumping > Right click Fire Dunk Fire Launcher Jump Fire Knock Jump Fireball
Jumping > PSSquareButton.png Jumping > SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png Jumping > XboxX.png Jumping > [X]/[Escape] Jumping > [Delete] Jumping > Right click N/A Body Press Hammer Down
Holding PSXButton.png while in mid-air Holding A Button GameCube v2.png while in mid-air Holding XboxA.png while in mid-air Holding [A]/[Space] while in mid-air Holding [End] while in mid-air Holding Left click + right click while in mid-air Triangle Dive Umbrella Descent Bubblegum Descent



Gimmicks and obstacles


Playable characters

Non-playable characters



No. Team Sonic Team Rose Team Dark Team Chaotix Last
1 Egg Hawk Metal Madness
2 Team Rose Team Chaotix Team Sonic Team Dark Metal Overlord
3 Robot Carnival N/A
4 Egg Albatross
5 Team Dark Team Sonic Team Chaotix Team Rose
6 Robot Storm
7 Egg Emperor



  1. Sea Gate (Team Sonic/Team Rose only)
  2. Seaside Hill
  3. Ocean Palace
  4. Grand Metropolis
  5. Power Plant
  6. Casino Park
  7. BINGO Highway
  8. Rail Canyon
  9. Bullet Station
  10. Frog Forest
  11. Lost Jungle
  12. Hang Castle
  13. Mystic Mansion
  14. Egg Fleet
  15. Final Fortress


Action Race

  1. Seaside Hill
  2. Grand Metropolis
  3. BINGO Highway


  1. City Top
  2. Casino Ring
  3. Turtle Shell

Bobsled Race

  1. Seaside Course
  2. City Course
  3. Casino Course

Expert Race

  1. Frog Forest
  2. Rail Canyon
  3. Egg Fleet

Quick Race

  1. Road Rock
  2. Mad Express
  3. Terror Hall

Ring Race

  1. Egg Treat
  2. Pinball Match
  3. Hot Elevator

Special Stage

  1. Special Stage 1
  2. Special Stage 2
  3. Special Stage 3

Special Stages

Special Stages in Sonic Heroes are a series of optional levels that take place inside of circular tubes with the playable character running forward. To enter them, the player has to find a Special Stage Key and finish the Mission without having lost it. The Special Stages themselves are divided into two types: "Bonus Challenges", which allow the player to get more points; and "Emerald Challenges", in which the player can get a Chaos Emerald. There are seven Special Stages for both types, which makes a total of fourteen Special Stages overall.

In Bonus Challenges, the player has to gather the most amount of points before they run out of time. This is done by collecting spheres that will add to their score tally. They can also get Power Spheres to fill the Power Dash Meter, with which the player can Dash to gain more speed at the cost of draining the meter. Emerald Challenges play similar, except that the player has to reach the Chaos Emerald before it reaches the end of the tube. Obtaining all seven Chaos Emeralds with any team and completing all four stories will unlock the last story of the game.


The game uses the RenderWare engine so that the game could be programmed and ported easily to the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC CD-ROM.[13]

The game's designer, Takashi Iizuka, stated that he did not want to make Sonic Heroes another Sonic Adventure title, as he was worried only core gamers would buy the title, instead preferring to create a game for general users to adapt to.[14] According to Shiro Maekawa, six teams were planned during the early stages of development, but it was decided that 18 playable characters is "too many". Originally the teams were planned to be:[15]

  • Sonic, Tails and Knuckles
  • Amy, Cream and Rouge
  • Chaos, E-102 Gamma and Big
  • Espio, Charmy and Vector
  • Fang, Bean and Bark
  • Metal Sonic, Ray and Mighty

Initially Maekawa did not plan to include Shadow as he was considered to be dead. After the developer meetings, it was decided to bring the hedgehog back.[16]


The cover of Complete Trinity: Sonic Heroes Original Soundtrax.

Complete Trinity: Sonic Heroes Original Soundtrax is the soundtrack of Sonic Heroes. It features in-game music on two discs and was released on March 2004. Triple Threat: Sonic Heroes Vocal Trax is the vocal soundtrack of the game, which contains the themes of the game and characters and was released on February 2004. Another album featuring the music of Sonic Heroes titled Sonic Heroes Original Soundtrack 20th Anniversary Edition was released on August 2011 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sonic franchise. The main theme of the game, "Sonic Heroes", is featured to the right.

The in-game music was composed by Jun Senoue.


Role English voice actor Japanese Voice Actor
Sonic the Hedgehog Ryan Drummond Jun'ichi Kanemaru
Metal Sonic
Dr. Eggman Deem Bristow Chikao Ōtsuka
Miles "Tails" Prower William Corkery Ryo Hirohashi
Knuckles the Echidna Scott Drier Nobutoshi Canna
Shadow the Hedgehog David Humphrey Kōji Yusa
Rouge the Bat Lani Minella Rumi Ochiai
E-123 Omega Jon St. John Taiten Kusunoki
Amy Rose Jennifer Douillard Taeko Kawata
Cream the Rabbit Sarah Wulfeck Sayaka Aoki
Cheese Ryō Hirohashi
Big the Cat Jon St. John Takashi Nagasako
Espio the Chameleon Bill Corkery Yūki Masuda
Vector the Crocodile Marc Biagi Kenta Miyake
Charmy Bee Emily Corkery Yōko Teppōzuka
Omochao Lani Minella Etsuko Kozakura


Reviews of Sonic Heroes were mostly mixed to positive, depending on the platform; Metacritic averages range from 64% for the PlayStation 2 version (based on 29 reviews) to 73% for the Xbox version (based on 28 reviews).[17] Game Rankings averages ranged from 60% for the PC version (based on 18 reviews) to 74.5% for the GameCube version (based on 96 reviews).[18]

Reviewers noted several positive aspects to the game. These included the gameplay style; whilst the transition to 3D has been noted as rough for the Sonic franchise,[12] Sonic Heroes came close to the series' 2D roots.[12] Sound design was also praised, described as "inexorably linked" to the experience [12] and "at least very pristine" with "perfectly implemented" sound effects, running in Dolby Pro Logic II.[11] Graphics design and environments were also highlighted, described as colorful, vibrant and cheery,[12] with consistent art design and an exceptionally vibrant color palette.[11] Framerate was also consistent for the Xbox, GameCube and PC versions, although a drop in framerate in the multiplayer component was noted.[11][12]

It also attracted several negative criticisms. Often cited were the game's camera control system, described as "uncooperative" [12] and "terrible".[19] Camera control compounded an additional problem regarding the controls relative to the camera's position, such that pushing forward may or may not move the character in the same direction the camera is facing.[12] Falling from the level's platforms into the deep pits below was also criticized.[12][19] The game's voice acting also came in for criticism, described as "horrendous" [11] and "the biggest misstep in the sound design" such as the infamous line "What are we gonna do Sonic?" and Tails' helpless personality.[12] Also, the third Chaos Emerald (yellow) has proved extremely difficult to get compared with the others. Some reviewers found the controls a negative feature, and the combat heavy sections were also found as a negative point.

In addition, the PlayStation 2 version received lower average scores.[20][21] Clipping and graphic faults were cited, whilst the framerate was also lower than the other versions.[22]

But despite all of the negative criticisms, in 2004, Sonic Heroes was the sixth bestselling game in the United Kingdom overall, and a full year after its release, was still at number eight in the all-price chart.[23] The game ultimately sold well enough to enter all three consoles' "best-sellers" lists: Greatest Hits/Platinum for the PlayStation 2, Platinum Family Hits for the Xbox, and Player's Choice for the GameCube.[24] The game was also released in a package with Super Monkey Ball Deluxe on Xbox.[25] The game has sold 5.46 million copies worldwide.[26]



  • All the characters speak one at a time by team formation during the stages or bosses (for example: first talks Sonic, then Tails and finally Knuckles).
  • Knuckles is the only power character who uses two hands to operate a pull switch.
  • Tails incorrectly states "Look at all those Eggman's robots!".
  • E-123 Omega also incorrectly states "Must eradicate all Eggman's robots!"

Rouge winks (Sonic Heroes).png

  • While selecting Shadow or Omega to be the leader in Team Dark, if the player uses the first-person camera to look at Rouge, she will occasionally turn towards the player and wink at them.
  • In the cutscene before playing Robot Carnival as Team Chaotix, when Dr. Eggman says, "You've made quite of a mess here," the subtitles read, "You've made quit of a mess here." .
  • Whether you are playing as Team Rose or Team Dark or not, Eggman/Metal Sonic will say after Robot Carnival/Storm: "Don't get too excited, boys! Those were the easy ones!".
  • When entering Final Fortress as Team Sonic, Sonic will say "This must be Eggman's headquarters!". However the subtitles read "This must Eggman's headquarters!".
  • In the opening scene of Team Rose's story, Amy is seen with a newspaper clipping showing a photograph of Sonic carrying Chocola and Froggy. The article on the newspaper appears to be an AD for a "Palm OS" port of the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • In Seaside Hill and Grand Metropolis as Team Chaotix, when encountering Eggman's robots at one point, Espio will say, "Are those Eggman's robots?". However, the subtitles say, "Are these Eggman's assassins?" or "Are they Eggman's robots?".
  • It should be noted that in this game Sonic's arms do not outstretch behind him while he runs. In other words, whenever he runs he is always swinging his arms.
  • Sonic Heroes is the first and so far only time Metal Sonic has used a voice actor for dialogue (Metal's voice actors also both voiced Sonic the Hedgehog in their respective languages). Metal also talked in Sonic Pinball Party and Sonic Generations, but both games contained no voice clips for Metal.
  • In Grand Metropolis, when you get to the cannon that leads to a rail section as Team Chaotix, Espio says, "I'll handle it." The subtitles incorrectly say, "Leave this to me!".
  • This is the only main series game released on consoles in which Shadow is playable in (besides the Episode Shadow DLC in Sonic Forces) but does not transform into his Super State.
  • In the English version of Team Dark's final cutscene, Rouge tells Omega that Shadow is a robot. In the Japanese version, she believes Shadow is an android.
  • A misprint of certain English manuals state that Sonic is only eight years old.


  • Team Chaotix is the only team without a hedgehog, or even any kind of mammal on the team since Vector and Espio are reptiles and Charmy is an insect.
  • In the opening scene of Team Chaotix's story, there are pinned papers on a notice board behind Vector, showing concept drawings of the Badniks used in the original Sonic the Hedgehog.

Differences between ports

  • There are few differences in each version. The PS2 version is usually considered the least favorable port, having lower quality textures and some graphical glitches as well as more framerate issues due to graphic memory being lower than the other versions,[27] but is the only version to contain freely selectable languages. The GameCube version maintains the steadiest framerate, has the best shadows and has a unique Anti Flicker option, but only has one voiced language available (Japanese in the Japanese release, English elsewhere). The Xbox version (and "Originals" release) also maintains the steadiest framerate, has the fastest loading times, contains dual languages dependent on system settings as well as a higher resolution (HDTV 720p). Each console version also has its own take on surround sound - the PS2 version supports "Dolby Digital Pro Logic II" (Dolby Digital for FMV cutscenes and Dolby Pro Logic II everywhere else), the GCN version only has Dolby Pro Logic II, and the Xbox version uses Dolby Digital 5.1 for both gameplay and FMV cutscenes. The PC port released later is a port of the Xbox version and is basically the same version with few differences of its own - a new feature including switching camera modes between Auto Camera and Free Camera (though it is not always available). For the most part, it has higher resolution than even the Xbox version and features slightly enhanced shading in comparison. The downside is that has problems with certain gamepads (similar to the PC version of Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut) and only contains one voiced language due to size concerns at the time. There is also at least one known graphical oversight - Big's character model is missing its stripes in-game due to a simple error, prompting some fans to patch the problem.
  • Metal Madness/Metal Overlord is shiny blue on the Xbox and PC versions, while on other versions he is colored blue.
  • The Speed characters lack the falling animation in the PC version and only lose Rings, making it harder to defeat them in Team Battles.
  • Some glitches are only possible for the consoles versions, but not the PC version, like the Team Blast glitch.
  • Mostly in the PC version, Cream's "A rank" line and four voice clip files for Amy are empty (for example, the Hint for the trolley in Mystic Mansion).[28]
  • The PC version's Formation screens are clear, while in the other versions they are disarrayed.
  • In the PC version of the game, the "All" selection in Multiplayer was supposed to play all the courses listed on each type of Multiplayer game mode, but instead it only plays two instead of all due to a mistake on the game's programming.
  • When playing the Xbox version on the Xbox 360, during the Credits, FMV cutscene audio plays back. This makes the credits roll slower because of its framerate during FMV cutscenes.


  • If the player is battling another team (any team) and they look at them with the first-person camera, they will be doing ridiculous things (like spinning around in circles or star-jumping) However, they have to be on the platforms to do this, as when they are flying and looking down, they will only see the person on their foot, and not the people on the ground. However, when they are flying and looking down and the team they are facing isn't directly under them, they can see the team doing the same things, spinning around etc.
  • In Final Fortress with Team Chaotix, the player's mission is to collect 5 keys to free Chaotix's client (Eggman). However, in the last cutscene, Vector opens the door by breaking it.
  • Strangely, during the Special Stages, there's a slight chance that the player can go outside the tube but moves in an uncontrolled state.
  • This is first time to feature three bosses with counterparts as the three next bosses, the second was the Wii version of Sonic Colors and the remastered version Sonic Colors: Ultimate.
  • While other Sonic games usually perform slower in PAL50 mode, Sonic Heroes was sped up to compensate it. However, PAL60 option was added anyway, allowing for even faster performance by 20%.
  • This is the first main series Sonic game where no character cannot perform the Spin Dash since its introduction in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.


In the PS2 version, the menu actions of PSXButton.png and PSObutton.png are switched; in PS2 games PSXButton.png is typically select and PSObutton.png is usually a back button, but this isn't the case. This is because all Japanese PlayStation games do this, and the American Sonic Heroes did not switch PSXButton.png and PSObutton.png for the menus, making it one of the few games released in America to have this quirk.

  • The game's sound test classes some of the levels as 'zones'.
  • Although any team can get any Chaos Emerald during gameplay, Last Story shows that Team Sonic got the blue emerald, Team Rose got the yellow and purple emeralds, Team Dark got the green and white emeralds, and Team Chaotix got the red and cyan emeralds.
  • Getting an A-rank on every level in the game unlocks Super Hard Mode, a very hard play through of every level (minus the boss battles); the mechanic would be used again in the form of Shadow the Hedgehog's Expert Mode.


  • In the 2008 edition of Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition, Sonic Heroes is awarded for most playable characters in a platform game.
  • This is the first Sonic game to have a simultaneous first-run release on more than one console.
  • A remix of the "Battle: City Area" music can be heard in the Special Stages for the Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colors.
  • This is the first Sonic game to be released on a Microsoft console and a Sony console.
  • This is the first Sonic game to support High Definition display (Xbox and PC versions).
  • This is the first Sonic game to support 5.1 Surround Sound (Xbox and PC versions).
  • The Xbox controller's face button colors (XboxX.png, XboxY.png, and XboxB.png) match the colors of the formation types.
  • This is the only Sonic game to have its theme song named after the game's title.
  • A remix of the Quick Race music can be heard during Cream: Chao Hunt mission in Sonic Generations.
  • There is a prototype version of the game that has differences between the final and the original releases of the GameCube games including music that has missing instruments on some background music like Casino Park.
  • When using the Metal Heroes cheat, the hems at the bottom of Amy's and Cream's dresses become spiked. The same thing happens to the buckles on Big's belt.
  • After the player clears the Final Story and watches the credits, the image that displays "Get all A-ranks!" is the title screen of the game's beta version.
  • Prima's Official Strategy Guide for the game has left out some information.
    • Team Sonic's Team Blast is not named nor described.
    • It doesn't mention that Sonic and Shadow can't stay on walls infinitely during Triangle Jump or that Espio can.
    • It also doesn't mention the Metal Heroes cheat for 2P Battle.
    • Egg Pawns are called "Socio Pawns".
  • Prima's Official Strategy Guide's recommended order for playing the teams is Team Rose, Team Sonic, Team Dark and then Team Chaotix.
  • This game marked the first time that Crush 40 has recorded more than one song for one game.
  • In the Japanese version, the characters' lip syncing noticeably does not mesh well. This is because the pre-rendered cutscenes were designed with English in mind, and it would be cheaper to have uniform visuals than to render two separate renditions of the same storyline. This is in contrast with the previous games (the in-games cutscenes were designed with Japanese in mind), and would become the standard for the rest of the series.
  • The "F" Rank was supposed to be in the game, but was scrapped for unknown reasons.
  • The teams and ability formations featured in Sonic Heroes would return in future installments of the series, although the ability to control three characters at once in normal gameplay would not.
    • An exception to this is made in the final boss of Sonic Forces, where the player is able to control three characters all at once, possibly as a reference to this game.
      • The "tag" gameplay, also present in Sonic Forces, shares similarities to the three-character team gameplay from Sonic Heroes.
  • The developers of Team Sonic Racing, Sumo Digital, have stated that they used Sonic Heroes as a point of reference for the development of that game.
  • Two different classic Hanna-Barbera sound effects are used in Team Chaotix's intro, when Charmy Bee comes rushing and collides with Vector, The sound effects "Broken Skid" and "Boom Crash" (according to the Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Sound FX soundtrack by Rhino Records) are paired and used in that order.
  • Most of the textures come from the Japanese stock image library including the sky background used for the title screen.
  • This is the second Sonic game to feature profanity, as Amy will sometimes exclaim "Oh my God!" upon entering a certain a section of Team Rose's version of Final Fortress or when Team Rose discovers a hidden power-up (like the 1UP Item Box in Ocean Palace before the sea turtle segment).

Metal Heroes

  • Using these codes allows the player to become metal versions of their selected team in 2-Player Mode.
    • Nintendo GameCube: Hold A Button GameCube v2.png+Gamecube Y Button.png after you select a level in 2-Player Mode.
    • Xbox: Hold XboxA.png+XboxY.png after you select a level in 2 Player Mode.
    • PlayStation 2: Hold PSXButton.png+PSTriangleButton.png after you select a level in 2 Player Mode.
    • PC: Hold A-keyboard-button-hi.png+Y-keyboard-button-hi.png after you select a level in 2 Player Mode
  • Ian Flynn, the head writer of the IDW Publishing Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, stated that the metal skins served as inspirations for the Zombots.

Metal Versions




Sonic Heroes Trailer-1


Sonic Heroes Trailer (Characters) HD


Sonic Heroes 'League of Superheroes' Nintendo Gamecube Video Game TV Commercial


Sonic Heroes short commercial 2


Sonic Heroes Japanese Commercial 2


Sonic Heroes Commercial


Sonic Heroes (Playstation 2) - Retro Video Game Commercial


  1. According to the library version on the library ID stamp of Sonic Heroes' Renderware engine. Library version uses hexademical numbers and has the form 0xVJNBB where V (3 bits) is the Renderware version, J (4 bits) is the major revision, N (4 bits) is the minor revision and B (6 bits) is the binary revision. Version for instance would be encoded as 0x35000.


  1. ‘Heads-Up’ Game Store Update 22nd February 2012. PlayStation.Blog.Europe (22 February 2012). Retrieved on 3 January 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Sonic Heroes (PlayStation 2) United States instruction manual, pg. 4.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Sonic Heroes (PlayStation 2) United States instruction manual, pg. 6.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Sonic Heroes (PlayStation 2) United States instruction manual, pg. 8.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Sonic Heroes (PlayStation 2) United States instruction manual, pg. 10.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Sonic Heroes (PlayStation 2) United States instruction manual, pg. 5.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Sonic Heroes (PlayStation 2) United States instruction manual, pg. 7.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Sonic Heroes (PlayStation 2) United States instruction manual, pg. 9.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Sonic Heroes (PlayStation 2) United States instruction manual, pg. 11.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Sonic Heroes (PlayStation 2) United States instruction manual, pg. 12.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Casamassina, Matt (2004-01-05). IGN: Sonic Heroes Review. IGN. Retrieved on 2008-07-08.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 12.9 Sonic Heroes for GameCube Review. GameSpot (2004-02-06). Retrieved on 2008-07-08.
  13. Sega Chooses RenderWare For The Creation Of Sonic Heroes (2003-05-29). Retrieved on 2008-07-08.
  14. INTERVIEW: Nights Watchman : Next Generation - Interactive Entertainment Today, Video Game and Industry News - Home of Edge Online. Next Generation Magazine. Retrieved on 2008-04-17.
  15. Shiro Maekawa on Twitter (Japanese) (26 April 2018). Retrieved on 5 May 2018.
  16. Shiro Maekawa on Twitter (Japanese) (26 April 2018). Retrieved on 5 May 2018.
  17. Search Results from - Sonic Heroes. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2008-07-08.
  18. Game Rankings - Search - Sonic Heroes. Game Rankings. Retrieved on 2008-07-08.
  19. 19.0 19.1 1UP Staff. Sonic Heroes Review from 1UP. Retrieved on 2008-07-08.
  20. Sonic Heroes (ps2: 2004): Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2008-07-08.
  21. Sonic Heroes - PS2. Game Rankings. Retrieved on 2008-07-08.
  22. Lewis, Ed and Casamassina, Matt (2004-01-23). IGN: Sonic Heroes Review (PS2). IGN. Retrieved on 2008-07-08.
  23. An Unlikely Hero. Edge (February 2005). "Sonic Heroes was the sixth bestselling game in the United Kingdom overall, outperforming big hitters like Burnout 3 and Spider-Man 2. Are you very surprised? How about this: The same game, a full year after its release, it is still at number eight in this week's all-price chart."
  24. Cook, Chris (2005-03-28). Sonic Heroes Goes "Greatest Hits" On Home Consoles. GameInformer. Retrieved on 2008-07-08.
  25. Sonic Heroes/Monkey Ball - XBOX. Game Rankings. Retrieved on 2008-07-08.

See also

External links

Sonic Heroes

Main article | Scripts (Team Sonic, Team Dark, Team Rose, Team Chaotix, Last) | Staff | Glitches | Beta elements | Gallery
Sonic the Hedgehog console mainline games