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 in December 2003 in Japan, then in the first couple of months of the following year in other countries. It would be later released for Microsoft Windows PCs in November 2004. As part of the PlayStation 2 Classics program, the PlayStation 2 version was re-released digitally for the PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network in 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.
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. Tails is disturbed by the message and unsure of what will happen, while 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.
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, and Amy has her team engage in a battle with them in an effort to make Sonic marry her. After eventually escaping Team Rose, Team Sonic continue their hunt for Eggman. The team eventually overcomes Eggman and his robot army in the casino city with only a day left to spare, and Team Sonic then follows Eggman to Rail Canyon. Having only until sunset to stop Eggman, Team Sonic hurries to the center of Bullet Station, where they destroy Eggman's base and defeat his Egg Albatross. However, 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. While 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 goes after Eggman, Team Sonic pursue Eggman and Team Dark to a spooky castle. After later escaping Mystic Mansion, Team Sonic overcome Eggman's next wave of robot henchmen, before going up to the Egg Fleet. They then infiltrate the Final Fortress and destroy its core. Soon after, Team Sonic finds Dr. Eggman in his Egg Emperor. After defeating Eggman, 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.
The story begins with Rouge sneaking into one of Dr. Eggman's bases after hearing that he has accumulated 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. As she awakens Shadow, E-123 Omega is accidentally activated by Rouge and attacks Shadow, thinking him to be an Eggman robot. Upon awakening, Shadow saves Rouge, who in turn breaks up Shadow and Omega's fight. Afterward, Rouge learns that Omega wants revenge on 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 involve Eggman, Rouge has the three of them team up to find the doctor.
Shortly after starting their search, Team Dark find Dr. Eggman and his Egg Hawk. Although they defeat the Egg Hawk, Eggman gets away. Pursuing the doctor to Grand Metropolis with renewed resolve, Team Dark crush the opposition in the city and escape its Power Plant. Afterwards, they meet Team Chaotix, whom they engage in battle over an assumption that Rouge makes about them. After the fight, Team Dark arrives in the casino area where they meet Eggman once again. Shadow asks about his past, but Eggman remarks that he has "no past to remember". Overcoming Eggman's robot hordes, Team Dark continue their pursuit of the doctor to Eggman's base at Bullet Station. After destroying Eggman's base, Team Dark faces the doctor and his Egg Albatross, defeating 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, whom they fight 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 his Egg Emperor. With Eggman seemingly destroyed, Omega considers his mission complete, but Rouge goes looking for 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 Dr. Eggman would need the original Shadow to make the Shadow Androids. She then leaves with Shadow, planning to steal the Master Emerald since Knuckles is preoccupied.
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 brother, Chocola. Furthermore, the only clue they have to their friends' whereabouts is a picture of "Sonic" with Froggy and Chocola in the local newspaper. As they ponder about their only clue on the coastline, Amy nearly loses the newspaper to a gust of wind. Cream and Cheese manage to catch it, but as the wind begins to blow again and the pair 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.
Shortly after starting their search, Team Rose have a run-in with Dr. Eggman and his Egg Hawk, which they manage to defeat. Team Rose proceeds to follow Amy's hunch to Grand Metropolis. There, after escaping the local Power Plant, they find Team Sonic. Amy, determined to make Sonic hers by force, has her team fight Sonic's, but Team Sonic manages to escape during the fight. Arriving in the big city, Team Rose change tactics: since Team Sonic are hunting Eggman, all they have to do is find the doctor as well. 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 into Eggman's base where they defeat Dr. Eggman and his Egg Albatross. After the fight however, the team discovers that the Eggman they just fought was a copy, and that Froggy and Chocola are nowhere to be seen. With Amy suspecting that Eggman is behind Froggy and Chocola's disappearance, Team Rose leave to find the real Eggman. Eventually, they meet Team Chaotix after escaping the jungle. However, they end up fighting the detectives over a misunderstanding. Afterwards, Team Rose enters a haunted castle and escapes a mansion before finding Eggman, who once again attacks them with his robots. Overcoming Eggman's robot hordes, Team Rose proceeds to travel to the Egg Fleet, where they find Eggman in his Egg Emperor and defeat him. While their opponent turns out to be another fake Eggman, they find Chocola and Froggy in its remains and have a happy reunion. No sooner, Amy sees Sonic nearby and quickly chases after him.
On a particularly dull day at the Chaotix Detective Agency's office, Vector is sitting at his desk listening to music while Espio is solemnly standing by. Suddenly, 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".
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. They then free the Power Plant from the control of Gold Camerons as instructed by their client. After that, they run into Team Dark, whom they fight after mistaking them for their client's adversaries. Afterwards, the client tests Team Chaotix's luck and have them look for casino chips in the casino city. Eventually, they meet Dr. Eggman again and overcome his robot horde. Team Chaotix then follow their client's instructions and infiltrate Eggman's base in Bullet Station where they destroy some capsules, before running into Eggman and his Egg Albatross, which their client tells them to destroy. After their victory though, Team Chaotix discover that the Eggman they just fought was a fake, although their client is already aware of this. 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 it 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. Next the team is instructed to enter a castle to retrieve some keys. After then escaping a spooky mansion, Team Chaotix has another run-in with Dr. Eggman and his robots. After defeating Eggman's robots, Team Chaotix reach the Egg Fleet, where the client instructs them to infiltrate the flagship and find the keys that will free him from captivity. Along the way, Team Chaotix defeat a second fake Eggman, this one armed with the Egg Emperor. Having deduced that their client is Dr. Eggman, Vector busts him out of his prison so he and Team Chaotix can talk, and the doctor tells them that he will pay them after he conquers the world. However, Charmy attacks him for making promises he will not be able to keep.
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, all four of the teams, along with Eggman, 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 and uses the debris from the Egg Fleet to become Metal Madness. As Dr. Eggman declares Metal Sonic unstoppable without the Chaos Emeralds to help them, the teams reveal that they have collected all seven along their respective journeys. With their chances of victory being slim even with the Emeralds, Sonic decides to go up against Metal Sonic alone, only for his teammates to join him. With the others 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 manage to 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 Dr. Eggman as he tries 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 for their next adventure.
|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.
Watch out for the patented Light Dash maneuver whereby Sonic hurtles along a path of illuminated Rings, even through mid-air!
|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 possesses martial arts skills.|
|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.
"Tails" can spin his tails like a rotor blade enabling him to fly.
|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.|
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.
His wide arms contain a manner of concealed weapons and machinery making him a powerful force to be reckoned with.
|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.
Her powerful wings enable her to fly with ease.
|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.|
|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.|
|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.
By flapping her huge ears, Cream can sustain flight. She also loves ice-cream cones.
|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.|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
|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.|
|Mystery Monster||A mysterious robot who holds the key to destroy the world.|
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 in Story Mode, which is divided into four main stories, along with a hidden 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 behind. 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, with blue for Speed, yellow for Flight, and red for Power. These also have elements associated with them, with Speed using wind, Fly using lightning, and Power using fire. These abilities 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. In addition to controlling three characters, the player selects one of the four teams to play as at the beginning of the game. Each team also has a unique Team Blast skill that has major power and additional effect.
Each stage has a different slightly layout for each team, providing different challenges for each story. The aspects of the stages for each team are as follows:
- Team Sonic: This team and their associated stages are designed to be of medium or normal difficulty, and contain some high-speed sections. This team's secondary missions involve reaching the goal within a time limit.
- Team Dark: This team and their associated stages are designed to be of hard difficulty, requiring skill and concentration to endure the heavy battles. This team's secondary missions involve wiping out 100 enemies in the stage.
- Team Rose: This team and their associated stages are designed for younger players, with shorter missions that allow them to bypass the more difficult sections of many stages. The secondary missions for this team involve the collection of 200 Rings.
- Team Chaotix: This team and their associated stages provide an entirely different experience than the other three teams, as most are mission-based and are only completed when the mission target is met. 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, with Chao often being 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.
|Keyboard (P1)||Keyboard (P2)||Mouse|
|Left analog stick||Control Stick||Left thumbstick||[T]/[F]/[G]/[H]||[↑]/[←]/[↓]/[→]||Hold left click||Move|
|[A]/[SPACE]||[END]||Left + right click||Jump|
|/||/||/||[SHIFT]/[CTRL]||Hold right click + scroll wheel||Move camera left/right|
|/||/||/||[Y]/[S] // [B]/[D]||[INSERT]/[HOME]||Scroll wheel||Change formation|
|Black button||[Z]||[PAGE UP]/[PAGE DOWN]||Scroll wheel click||Team Blast|
|START||[TAB]||[ENTER]||Left + right + scroll wheel click||Pause|
|Keyboard (P1)||Keyboard (P2)||Mouse|
|Hold while moving||Hold while moving||Hold while moving||Hold [X]/[Escape] while moving||Hold [DELETE] while moving||Hold right click while moving||Spin|
|Hold > Release when teammates gather||Hold > Release when teammates gather||Hold > Release when teammates gather||Hold [X]/[ESC] > Release [X]/[ESC] when teammates gather||Hold [DELETE] > Release [DELETE] when teammates gather||Hold right click > Release right click when teammates gather||Rocket Accel|
|Hold > Release before teammates gather||Hold > Release before teammates gather||Hold > Release before teammates gather||Hold [X]/[ESC] > Release [X]/[ESC] before teammates gather||Hold [DELETE] > Release [DELETE] before teammates gather||Hold right click > Release right click before teammates gather||Kick||Swinging Hammer Attack||Shuriken|
|(mid-air)||(mid-air)||(mid-air)||[A]/[SPACE] (mid-air)||[END] (mid-air)||Left click + right click (mid-air)||Homing Attack|
|Jump >||Jump >||Jump >||Jump > [X]/[ESC]||Jump > [DELETE]||Jump > right click||Blue Tornado||Black Tornado||Tornado Hammer||Leaf Swirl|
|Hold near trail of Rings||Hold near trail of Rings||Hold near trail of Rings||Hold [X]/[ESC] near trail of Rings||Hold [DELETE] near trail of Rings||Hold right click near trail of Rings||Light Dash||N/A|
|Hold (mid-air)||Hold (mid-air)||Hold (mid-air)||Hold [A]/[SPACE] (mid-air)||Hold [END] (mid-air)||Hold left click + right click (mid-air)||N/A||Propeller Hammer||N/A|
|Homing Attack towards wall > Jump while on the wall||Triangle Jump|
|Keyboard (P1)||Keyboard (P2)||Mouse|
|Jump > Hold||Jump > Hold||Jump > Hold||Jump > Hold [A]/[SPACE]||Jump > Hold [END]||Jump > Hold left + right click||Ascending Flight|
|Ascending Flight +||Ascending Flight +||Ascending Flight +||Ascending Flight + [A]/[SPACE]||Ascending Flight + [END]||Ascending Flight + Left + right click||Quick Ascent|
|with teammates gathered||with teammates gathered||with teammates gathered||[X]/[ESC] with teammates gathered||[DELETE] with teammates gathered||Right click with teammates gathered||Thunder Shoot|
|without teammates gathered||without teammates gathered||without teammates gathered||[X]/[ESC] without teammates gathered||[DELETE] without teammates gathered||Right click without teammates gathered||Dummy Ring Bomb||Cheese Attack||Sting Attack|
Gimmicks and obstacles
- Dr. Eggman
- Metal Sonic
- Shadow Android
|No.||Team Sonic||Team Dark||Team Rose||Team Chaotix||Last|
|1||Egg Hawk||Metal Madness|
|2||Team Rose||Team Chaotix||Team Sonic||Team Dark||Metal Overlord|
|5||Team Dark||Team Sonic||Team Chaotix||Team Rose|
- Sea Gate (Team Sonic/Team Rose)
- Seaside Hill
- Ocean Palace
- Grand Metropolis
- Power Plant
- Casino Park
- BINGO Highway
- Rail Canyon
- Bullet Station
- Frog Forest
- Lost Jungle
- Hang Castle
- Mystic Mansion
- Egg Fleet
- Final Fortress
Special Stage Race
- Special Stage 1
- Special Stage 2
- Special Stage 3
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'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. 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:
- 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, but after the developer meetings it was decided to bring the hedgehog back.
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 in February 2004. Another album featuring the music of Sonic Heroes titled Sonic Heroes Original Soundtrack 20th Anniversary Edition was released in 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.
|Electronic Gaming Monthly||8/10|
|Official PlayStation Magazine (UK)||8/10 (PS2)|
|Official Xbox Magazine (UK)||7.7/10 (Xbox)|
Reviews of Sonic Heroes were mostly mixed to positive, though this is dependant 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). GameRankings averages ranged from 60% for the PC version (based on 18 reviews) to 74.5% for the GameCube version (based on 96 reviews).
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 series, Sonic Heroes came close to the series' 2D roots. Sound design was also praised, described as "inexorably linked" to the experience  and "at least very pristine" with "perfectly implemented" sound effects, running in Dolby Pro Logic II. Graphics design and environments were also highlighted, described as colorful, vibrant and cheery, with consistent art design and an exceptionally vibrant color palette. Framerate was also consistent for the Xbox, GameCube and PC versions, although a drop in framerate in the multiplayer component was noted.
It also attracted several negative criticisms. Often cited were the game's camera control system, described as "uncooperative"  and "terrible". 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. Falling from the level's platforms into the deep pits below was also criticized. The game's voice acting also came in for criticism, described as "horrendous"  and "the biggest misstep in the sound design" such as the infamous line "What are we gonna do Sonic?" and Tails' "helpless" personality. Also, the third Chaos Emerald (yellow) has proved extremely difficult to get compared to the others. Some reviewers found the controls a negative feature, and the combat heavy sections were also cited as a negative point.
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. 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. The game was also released in a package with Super Monkey Ball Deluxe on Xbox. The game has sold 5.46 million copies worldwide.
- All the characters speak one at a time by team formation during the stages or bosses, for example: first Sonic talks, then Tails, and finally Knuckles.
- Knuckles is the only Power character who uses two hands to operate a pull switch.
- While selecting Shadow or Omega to be the leader in Team Dark, if the player stops and uses the first-person camera to look at Rouge, she will occasionally turn towards the player and wink at them.
- Tails incorrectly states "Look at all those Eggman's robots!", along with E-123 Omega who says "Must eradicate all Eggman's robots!".
- 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".
- No matter which team the player is playing as, after Robot Carnival and the Robot Storm Eggman will say "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!" while the subtitles read "This must Eggman's headquarters!"
- In Seaside Hill and Grand Metropolis as Team Chaotix, at one point when encountering Eggman's robots, Espio will say "Are those Eggman's robots?" while the subtitles read "Are these Eggman's assassins?" or "Are they Eggman's robots?"
- In Grand Metropolis, once at the cannon that leads to a Rail section as Team Chaotix, Espio will say "I'll handle it." while subtitles incorrectly read "Leave this to me!"
- In the English version of Team Dark's final cutscene, Rouge tells Omega that Shadow is a robot. In the Japanese version, she tells him that she believes Shadow is an android.
- 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 this game, Sonic's arms are not outstretched behind him while he runs, as 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 Sonic also spoke in Sonic Pinball Party and Sonic Generations, but both games contained no audio.
- This is the only main series Sonic game released on consoles in which Shadow is playable in but does not transform into his Super State, besides the Episode Shadow DLC in Sonic Forces.
- A misprint of certain English manuals state that Sonic is only eight years old.
- Team Chaotix is the only team without a hedgehog, or any mammal for that matter, on the team, seeing as Vector and Espio are reptiles and Charmy is an insect.
- In the opening cutscene of Team Chaotix's story, there are papers pinned on a notice board behind Vector that show concept drawings of the Badniks used in the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
- Although any team can get any Chaos Emerald during gameplay, the 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.
Differences between ports
- There are few technical differences between each version of Sonic Heroes:
- The PlayStation 2 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, but is the only version to contain freely selectable languages. This version supports "Dolby Digital Pro Logic II", with Dolby Digital for FMV cutscenes and Dolby Pro Logic II everywhere else.
- 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, this being Japanese in the Japanese release and English everywhere else. This version only features Dolby Pro Logic II for the sound.
- The Xbox version (and "Originals" release) also maintains a steady framerate, has the fastest loading times, contains dual languages dependent on system settings, and has a higher resolution (480p, mistakenly noted as 720p on the cover). This version uses Dolby Digital 5.1 for both gameplay and FMV cutscenes.
- The PC port that was released later is just a port of the Xbox version. There are only a few differences of its own, such as a new feature that allows the player to switch camera modes between Auto Camera and Free Camera, though this option is not always available. For the most part, it has a higher resolution than the other versions and features slightly enhanced shading. The downside is that has problems with certain gamepads, similar to the PC version of Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut. This version only contains one voiced language due to size concerns at the time.
- Big's character model in the PC version is missing its stripes in-game due to a graphical error.
- Metal Madness/Metal Overlord is shiny blue on the Xbox and PC versions, while on other versions he is just blue.
- The Speed Type 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, like the Team Blast glitch.
- In the PC version, Cream's "A-Rank" line and four of Amy's voice clip files for are empty.
- 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 of them.
- When playing the Xbox version on the Xbox 360, during the Credits the FMV cutscene audio will play back. This makes the credits roll slower due to the game's frame cap during FMV cutscenes.
- While battling another team, if the player looks at them with the first-person camera, the characters will be doing random things like spinning around in circles or star-jumping. However, they have to be on the platforms to do this, as by flying and looking down, they will only see the character on their foot, and not those on the ground. This can be worked around though if the characters aren't directly under them.
- In Final Fortress with Team Chaotix, the player's mission is to collect 5 keys to free the client. 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 will clip outside the tube and move in an uncontrolled state.
- Getting an A-rank on every level in the game unlocks Super Hard Mode, a mechanic that would be used again in the form of Shadow the Hedgehog's Expert Mode.
- While other Sonic games usually perform slower in PAL50 mode, Sonic Heroes was sped up to compensate for it. A PAL60 option was added as well, allowing for even faster performance by 20%.
- This is the first main series Sonic game where the Spin Dash cannot be performed since its introduction in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
- In the 2008 edition of Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition, Sonic Heroes is awarded for most playable characters in a platform game.
- In the PlayStation 2 version, the menu actions of and are switched; typically is select and is back. This is due to the Japanese versions of games doing this, and the American Sonic Heroes simply did not swap the buttons while localizing.
- This is the first Sonic game to have a simultaneous first-run release on more than one console.
- The game's sound test classes some of the levels as 'zones'.
- A remix of the "Battle: City Area" music can be heard in the Special Stages for the Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colors.
- Sonic Heroes was the first Sonic game to support High Definition display along with 5.1 Surround Sound, as these are in the Xbox and PC versions.
- 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 the console/PC version of Sonic Generations.
- A prototype version of the GameCube version showcases changes that occurred before the final release, including missing instruments in some background themes, such as like Casino Park's.
- When using the Metal Heroes cheat, the hems at the bottom of Amy and Cream's dresses, along with the buckles on Big's belt, become spiked.
- After clearing the Final story and as the credits begin to roll, the image that displays "Get all A-ranks!" is the title screen of the game's beta version.
- Prima's Official Strategy Guide's recommended order for playing the teams is: Team Rose, Team Sonic, Team Dark, then Team Chaotix.
- Sonic Heroes marked the first time that Crush 40 recorded more than one song for a single 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, where the in-games cutscenes were designed with Japanese in mind, and would become the standard for the rest of the series.
- An 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.
- Two different classic Hanna-Barbera sound effects are used in Team Chaotix's intro. When Charmy comes rushing in 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, this includes 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 Final Fortress or when Team Rose discovers a hidden power-up.
- Using these codes allows the player to become metal versions of their selected team in 2-Player Mode:
- Ian Flynn, the head writer of the IDW Publishing's Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, stated that the metal skins served as inspirations for the Zombots.
- According to the library version on the library ID stamp of Sonic Heroes' RenderWare engine. Library version uses hexadecimal 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 18.104.22.168 for instance would be encoded as 0x35000.
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