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Sonic News Network
Sonic News Network
This is a Sonic News Network Featured Article

Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble, known in Japan as Sonic & Tails 2 (ソニック&テイルス2 Sonikku to Teirusu Tsū?), also simply known as Sonic Triple Trouble, is a platforming game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series for the Sega Game Gear. First released in November 1994, it was developed by Aspect and published by Sega. Unlike many Game Gear titles, an official Master System port was never released. It acts as a standalone sequel to Sonic Chaos, and features several gameplay mechanics and power-ups from that game.

Sonic Triple Trouble follows Sonic and Tails' adventure to gather six Chaos Emeralds before Dr. Robotnik manages to do so and involves two other adversaries, marking the first appearance of the semi-recurring character Nack the Weasel (later known as Fang the Sniper), and Knuckles' first appearance in a handheld game. Like many other Sonic-themed Game Gear games, Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble was re-released in numerous compilation titles or as an unlockable game. The standalone game was re-released on the Nintendo 3DS in March 2012.


Title screen in the international version of Sonic Triple Trouble.

Dr. Robotnik has finally managed to get his mitts on six of the Chaos Emeralds without Sonic knowing. Unfortunately for him, an accident during the testing phase of one of his new weapons scatters the Emeralds. He managed to recover the yellow Emerald, but could not track down the other five. As he anticipated, Sonic and his buddy Tails are now out to retrieve them, so he once again tricks Knuckles into working for him.[1]

Meanwhile, a treasure hunter named Nack the Weasel has eavesdropped on the exchange between the hedgehog and the echidna. Unknown to them, he already discovered the Chaos Emeralds in his home dimension. Now Sonic and Tails must fend off Robotnik and Knuckles while retrieving the Emeralds back from Nack.[1]

In western instruction manuals, the storyline is slightly different in terms of characters' descriptions. In the western storyline, Knuckles has been tricked into thinking that Sonic and Tails are out to steal the Chaos Emeralds, and Nack is not aware of the Chaos Emeralds' true power- only that they would be worth a lot of money- so he sets out to take them for himself before the others do.[2]


In-game screenshot from the Great Turquoise Zone, the first Zone in the game.

Sonic Triple Trouble is a 2D side-scrolling platforming game like most other Game Gear Sonic titles. The main goal is to reach the end of each Act of a Zone (a level in the game) within a time limit. Many gameplay elements from Sonic Chaos are featured. The player can choose one of two playable characters, Sonic and Tails, each of them having different abilities. The player starts the game with four lives and one Continue.

Abilities for both Sonic and Tails are relatively the same as in Sonic Chaos. Alongside the regular Spin Jump, Spin Attack and Spin Dash maneuvers, the player can perform both the Strike Dash for Sonic and the Heli-Tails for Tails. The game also introduces the one-time ability called Flying Spin Attack, which can be performed in mid-air after bouncing on a Spring. The Flying Spin Attack is useful for attacking enemies from above or providing protection from damage in mid-air.

Tails piloting the Sea Fox, an exclusive item in Tidal Plant Zone.

Like in previous games, Rings are found everywhere in the Zones and protect the player from taking damage. Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble is one of the first games in the series in which the player does not lose all their Rings after getting hit; instead, only thirty Rings are lost when the player gets hurt. The power-ups in the Monitors are mainly the same as in Sonic Chaos with Super Rings, Power Sneakers, Invincibility and extra lives. Like in Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit), when losing a life, the player is sent back to the beginning of the Act or the latest opened Marker. As for Sonic and Tails, Monitors may also contain power-ups exclusive to them. Many of these include the returning Pogo Springs and Rocket Shoes from Sonic Chaos as well the new Hyper Heli-Tails, Jet Boards and Propeller Shoes. In Tidal Plant Zone, Tails can also pilot the Sea Fox to travel through underwater sections without need for Air Bubbles.

The level design in Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble is more extensive in size compared to previous Game Gear titles in the Sonic series and includes alternative pathways and secrets in each Zone, while staying much closer to the first main installments for the Sega Genesis. The Zones' aesthetics are similar to those of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. Besides the traditional Springs and Boosters, each Zone features different types of gimmicks and contraptions.

Scoring system


Button formation Movement
Sonic-Icon-Sonic-Triple-Trouble.png Sonic the Hedgehog Tails-Icon-Sonic-Triple-Trouble.png Miles "Tails" Prower
Controlpadds.png left/right Walking/Running
Controlpadds.png up Looking up
Controlpadds.png down Crouch
Game Gear I Button.png/Game Gear II Button.png Spin Jump
Controlpadds.png right/left + down Super Spin Attack
Controlpadds.png down + Game Gear I Button.png/Game Gear II Button.png Super Dash Attack
Game Gear I Button.png/Game Gear II Button.png in the mid-air Flying Spin Attack
Controlpadds.png up + Game Gear I Button.png/Game Gear II Button.png Strike Dash Heli-Tails
Game Gear I Button.png/Game Gear II Button.png Spinning on the Spin Coaster
Game Gear II Button.png N/A Firing Sea Fox torpedoes
START button Pauses the game.



Gimmicks and obstacles

Bonus Panel rewards

Like in Sonic Chaos, Bonus Panels at the end of the first two Acts will grant different type of items for the player after they stop spinning. Occasionally, the Bonus Panel will point backwards, meaning the player has to dash towards it to make it spin again.

Dr. Robotnik Sonic Ring Tails Flicky Knuckles Emerald Backwards
Robotnik wants you to worship for him.png
Spin the plate
1-Up (Sonic)
10,000 points (Tails)
10 extra Rings.
1-Up (Tails)
10,000 points (Sonic)
50 extra Rings for next Act.
Spin the plate again


Character select menu.

Playable characters

Non-playable characters




Knuckles, about to spring a trap on Sonic in Great Turquoise Zone.

Sonic the hedgehog Triple Trouble consists of six Zones with three Acts each. The third Act is a short course, usually with a small cache of Rings followed by a boss. The zones' order are:

  1. Great Turquoise Zone
  2. Sunset Park Zone
  3. Meta Junglira Zone
  4. Robotnik Winter Zone
  5. Tidal Plant Zone
  6. Atomic Destroyer Zone

Special Stages

Additionally, and in keeping with the 8-bit tradition, there are five individual Special Stages in the game. Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble, however, sees these stages accessed in a unique way: by collecting fifty Rings and breaking open the "Chaos Emerald" Monitor, a portal appears which leads to the Special Stage.

The first, third and fifth stages are giant mazes with a countdown timer. The timer can be boosted with "Time Bonus" items scattered throughout them, but it never exceeds one and a half minutes. The second and fourth Special Stages involve flying the Tornado to collect Rings and avoid bombs. At the end of every Special Stage, Nack shows up and attacks with one of the Marvelous Queen's weapons to protect the Chaos Emerald. Clearing all five Special Stages unlocks the "good" ending of the game.

Other modes

The player can choose one of two other modes: Sound Test and Time Attack. Both modes are available on the game's title screen by pressing up and down on Controlpadds.png. Time Attack features a single, separated Act of the Great Turquoise Zone which lacks enemies, but also holds different gimmicks from in the game. Due the lack of battery backup of Game Gear games, none of the records made in Time Attack can be saved on the game's hardware. The Japanese release of the game features a "3D Stage" option to test run the second type of Special Stages.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 64.67% [3]
Review scores
Publication Score
Computer and Video Games 68/100[4]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 68/100[5]
Famitsu 21/40[6]
GamePro 80/100[7]

Sonic Triple Trouble received mixed to positive reviews from many published video game magazines. GamePro praised the game for graphics and new gameplay elements, but criticized it for being too easy, reducing its longevity and slowdowns leading to cheap deaths.[7] Sega Magazine also described the game as being enjoyable, but too easy. Mean Machines Sega magazine gave an score 85 out of 100 in its December 1994 issue, praising for its graphics and gameplay.[8] The Japanese Famicom Tsūshin gave the game a score of 21 out of 40 in its November 1994 issue.[6]

The reception towards the game in compilation an re-releases has been worse, as Eurogamer stating the game being poorly aged and "intolerable",[9] while GamesRadar calls it "reasonably competent, but no less tedious".[10] As IGN stated it being as not "particularly stellar",[11] Gamespot criticized the game for suffering the poor Game Gear emulation on Sonic Gems Collection release.[12] Nintendolife gave Nintendo 3DS re-release an score 6 out of 10, as praising solid level designs and graphics while criticizing the lack of challenge and sluggish pacing.[13]


Like other Game Gear games, Sonic Triple Trouble is featured on many re-releases and completion titles. It is featured as unlockable game after completing 160 missions in Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut for Nintendo GameCube and PC in 2003. The game is released in 2005 as part of the Sonic Gems Collection for the Gamecube and PlayStation 2.

Sonic Triple Trouble, along with 19 other Game Gear and Master System games, have also been released on the Coleco Sonic, handheld game console by Coleco in 2006. In March 2012 along with many Game Gear titles, Sonic Triple Trouble has been re-released on the Virtual Console of Nintendo 3DS with the price of 300 points.

Comic adaptation

The front cover of Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble.

The Sonic the Hedgehog comic series published by Archie Comics made a loose comic adaption based on the western storyline of the game. Released on August 1995, it is the third issue in Archie Comic's Sonic Special comic line published on every couple of months for two years. The comic adaption also introduced Nack the Weasel to the comic universe.

Cheat codes

  • Level Select: Hold up on the Controlpadds.png while powering on the Game Gear. Continue to hold until Knuckles grabs the third Chaos Emerald in the intro, then press START and the Ring chime can be heard. Proceed through the title screen and character select screens to get hidden Level Select menu.


  • Producer: M.Hoko
  • Director: Katsuhiro Hasegawa ("K. Hase")
  • Staff: M.Sima, Nobuhiko Honda ("N.Honda"), Saori Kobayashi ("Saori.K"), Tadashi Ihoroi ("T.Ihoroi"), Shinichi Higashi ("S.Higasi"), O.Kodera, Toshiaki, K.Oikawa, H.Sai, Kojiro Mikusa ("K.Mixa"), Sukioka, Tatsuo Matsuda ("M.Tatsu"), Tomoko Sasaki ("Tomoko"), Fumi, Yoshiki Ooka ("Yoshiki")
  • Composer: Yayoi Wachi ("Yayoi.F")
  • Thanks: H.Kojima, Y.Furuta, Hayato.T, N.Taidai, K.Unoki, Ray.F, James Spahn ("J.Spahn"), N.Katoh, R.Somaki, J.Misima, Y.Okitsu, T.Tanaka, Manabu.M and You


  • Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble (Sonic & Tails 2 in Japan) is a sequel to Sonic Chaos (Sonic & Tails in Japan). However, this was not emphasized outside of Japan due to the game's Western names.
    • However, when the game was first previewed in a Mean Machines Sega article, it was named as Sonic Chaos 2, with Nack originally named as Jet. An early screenshot depicted in the article also shows Nack pointing a gun at Sonic, something that does not occur in the final game.[14]
  • Precisely where in Sonic's world the game takes place is never stated in the game's manual, in contrast to the previous 8-bit titles, Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit), and Sonic Chaos, which were all categorically stated to take place on South Island. It may be that Sonic Triple Trouble takes place there as well; alternatively, due to the presence of Knuckles the Echidna, the game may be set on Angel Island, although it remains altogether possible that Triple Trouble is simply set in an unspecified region not previously visited by earlier Sonic games.

Title screen from Japanese version of the game.

  • The localized, international version of the game is almost unaltered in comparison to the Japanese release, apart from the name change. The only notable differences are the alternate title screen and the removal of the "3D Stage" option, even though it is depicted in the instruction manuals.
  • Unlike the previous 8-bit entries, the game was primarily designed around the Game Gear hardware. The viewing area is thus much less of a problem, as the level design accommodates the smaller screen.
  • The game bears some similarities to Sonic the Hedgehog 3, particularly Knuckles' antagonistic role, appearing at several points during the game to hinder the player character's progress, and battling them himself in a boss fight. The game itself was originally released between Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. Like in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Knuckles is also tricked by Dr. Robotnik to work for him and against Sonic and Tails.
    • Knuckles is also the only antagonist of the game to make peace and befriend Sonic and Tails, whereas Robotnik and Nack remained enemies.
  • Several game elements such as the Strike Dash, the glass balls in Meta Junglira Zone, and the inclusion of Metal Sonic, are taken from Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
  • The theme of Sunset Park Zone Act 3 is actually an unused track from Sonic Chaos except with a lower pitch.
  • In Tidal Plant Zone, Tails can use a submarine named the Sea Fox, which would later appear as a transformation of the Remote Robot in Tails Adventure.
  • This is the first game (barring the arcade-only Sonic the Fighters) in which Sonic fights Metal Sonic rather than racing him as in Sonic CD and Sonic Drift.
  • In the "Special Thanks" section of the credits, an "H. Kojima" is credited. This may refer to Hideo Kojima, the famed creator of the Metal Gear series, although this is not confirmed and may be coincidental.
  • The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog incarnation of Dr. Robotnik, originally designed by Milton Knight, is seen on the North American and European front box cover. Milton's character design was heavily used for the character in many Western promotional and game artworks during that time.



Sonic Triple Trouble Game Gear commercial


Dead Squirrel Game Gear vs. Game Boy


Sonic & Tails 2 Sega Game Gear Commercial Japan


Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble - 3DS Trailer


  1. 1.0 1.1 Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble (Sega Game Gear) Japanese instruction manual pgs. 4-6.
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble (Sega Game Gear) North American instruction manual pg. 2.
  3. Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble. GameRankings. Retrieved on 17 May 2016.
  4. Supershorts...: Sonic in Triple Trouble. Future Publishing. December 1994. p. 143.
  5. ProReview: Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble. Sendai Publishing. November 1994.
  6. 6.0 6.1 NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: ソニック&テイルス2. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.309. Pg.39. 11–18 November 1994.
  7. 7.0 7.1 ProReview: Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble. International Data Group. November 1994. p. 206.
  8. Merrett, Steve; Bufton, Paul (December 1994). Game Gear Review: Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble. EMAP. pp. 108–109.
  9. Bramwell, Tom (6 October 2005). Sonic Gems Collection Review • Reviews • GameCube •. Retrieved on 10 October 2015.
  10. Elston, Brett. Sonic Gems Collection. GamesRadar. Retrieved on 10 October 2015.
  11. Sonic Gems Collection - IGN. Retrieved on 10 October 2015.
  12. Sonic Gems Collection Review. (16 September 2005). Retrieved on 10 October 2015.
  13. Dillard, Corbie (20 March 2012). Review: Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble (3DS eShop / GG). Nintendolife. Retrieved on 10 October 2015.
  14. "Strangely Sonic". Mean Machines Sega. June 1994.
  15. Sonic Triple Trouble (Sega Game Gear) North American instruction manual pg. 1.

External links

Sonic the Hedgehog handheld games