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Main page Manuals

We all want to travel on our own once in a while...

— Japanese manual, Tails' Skypatrol[2]

Tails' Skypatrol (テイルスのスカイパトロール Teirusu no Sukaipatorōru?) is a spin-off game of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, developed by JSH and published by Sega for Sega Game Gear. It is one of two handheld games on the Game Gear to feature Sonic's sidekick Miles "Tails" Prower as the main character. The game follows the adventures of Tails as he tries to save an island from Witchcart, who claims to be able to turn dissenters into crystals with her magic.

It was originally released on 28 April 1995 as an exclusive game to the Japanese market. However, Tails' Skypatrol later saw an overseas release as it was included as an unlockable mini game in the Nintendo GameCube's Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, and was re-released as one of the featured games in Sonic Gems Collection.


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

The title screen of Tails' Skypatrol.

One day, Tails sets off for his own adventure without the company of Sonic. However, he does not have a destination in mind, instead wanting to have a little adventure that is different from his usual ones. He flies aimlessly across the sky until he spots an isolated little island underneath the clouds in the middle of the sea. Hoping to find something interesting there, Tails lands on the island. To his surprise however, he sees that the terrain on the island is covered by steel rails and devoid of Animals. As Tails ponders about how it cannot be possible for Dr. Robotnik to be behind this, he feels a vibration in the rails under his feet. Scared, he hides in the grass nearby. He then sees a shadow moving across the rails. This shadow eventually turns out to be a trolley with a female human figure in it. The figure reveals herself as Witchcart, who proclaims herself the ruler of the island and threatens to turn strangers into crystal. She then sends her minions, Hocke-Wulf, Bearenger and Carrottia, to do their respective patrollings on the island. After the henchmen obediently leave in their flying machines, Tails decides to free the island from Witchcart's rule and energetically takes off.[2]

Exploring the island, Tails defeats Hocke-Wulf, Beareanger, and Carrottia. After that, he ultimately encounters Witchcart, whom he defeats as well. With the island freed from Witchcart, Tails takes his leave, flying happily through the sky as he departs.


Tails in Rail Canyon, the second Area in the game.

Tails' Skypatrol is a 2D side-scrolling video game, with a notably different gameplay from that from the traditional Sonic games. The player takes control of Tails, who is constantly flying. Areas are cleared simply by completing each course from left to right. Automatic scroll constantly moves Tails along the level; if he falls, bumps into objects or touches the ground, the player will lose a life.

Across each stage Tails carries the Boomering with him, which he can throw as a projectile to defeat enemies or break walls. Using the Boomering, he will also latch on to any number of devices the player will encounter in each Area, ranging from gymnastics bars to railcarts. It is Tails' only form of attack to damage enemies and it can even be used to grab bosses and other items in the area.

In order to stay afloat, the player must constantly watch Tails' flight meter, which slowly drops to zero. Scattered across the map are Mint Candies, which Tails can collect to replenish his stamina.

Scoring system


Button formation Movement
Controlpadds.png up/down/right Fly around
Controlpadds.png left Slow down
Hold Game Gear I Button.png/Game Gear II Button.png Swing the Boomering further forward
Game Gear I Button.png/Game Gear II Button.png rapidly Stop descending after taking a hit



Gimmicks and obstacles

  • Pole (first appearance)
  • Bar (only appearance)
  • Catapult (only appearance)
  • Daruma Block (only appearance)
  • Switchbolt (only appearance)
  • Switch
  • Weight (only appearance)


Playable characters

Non-playable characters



  1. Hocke-Wulf (Rail Canyon)
  2. Bearenger (Ruin Wood)
  3. Carrottia (Metal Island)
  4. Witchcart (Dark Castle)


  1. Training Area
  2. Rail Canyon
  3. Ruin Wood
  4. Metal Island
  5. Dark Castle


Tails' Skypatrol was originally developed by JSH as a game completely unrelated to the Sonic series. It was planned to be a launch title for another company's monochrome handheld video game system. The system was intended as a cheaper alternative to Nintendo's Game Boy, but with a more educational focus. However, the system was canceled before the company even put out a press release.

In order to recoup some of the costs of making the game, which had been completed, the developers were asked if they could get the game running on Game Gear, which had similar hardware specifications and screen resolution to the canceled system. JSH's business team approached Sega, who decided that Tails should be the star of the game. The gameplay remained the same, for the most part, but changes were made to the world design to better fit the new license, character graphics were redrawn and the game balance was adjusted for the new hardware. A training stage and demo scenes were also added.[3][4]

Disney Connection

The April 1995 edition of Sega Video Magazine featured gameplay footage of a prototype version of Tails' Skypatrol. In the footage of the second stage boss, Tails is shown fighting the popular Disney cartoon villain Pete, rather than Bearenger.[5][6] This suggests that the original version of the game used a Disney IP, such as Mickey Mouse.

In response to a comment on Twitter, observing that Tails' Skypatrol's villains look more like Disney characters than Sonic characters, programmer Alice Kagamino stated that they could not go into specifics, but that the enemy designs carry the same impression as the originals.[7]

In the released version of the game, the boss characters Hocke-Wulf and Witchcart bear a resemblance to the Disney villains the Big Bad Wolf and Mizrabel.


Tails' Skypatrol was included alongside 11 other Sonic Game Gear titles in Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, released for Nintendo GameCube and PC in 2003. A new Game Gear game is unlocked after collecting 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, 110, 120, and 130 Emblems and completing 20, 40, and 60 missions. After a game has been unlocked, it is available in the Mini-Game Collection, accessible from the main menu. Tails' Skypatrol is the 10th game in the sequence to be unlocked.

Tails' Skypatrol was also included in Sonic Gems Collection, a compilation of Sonic games, released for Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2 in 2005.



  • Character design: ©Sega
  • Game design: Kenichi Ono ("K3"), LR
  • Graphic: Mt. Emerald, Show
  • Sound: Chikayo Fukuda ("Chikayo"), Kazunechan
  • Programming: AT-AT, Alice Kagamino ("Captain Alice"), Bryan
  • Thanks to: Monty, Ezachan, Mr. Rental, Fine-Twig, SIMS All Staff, JSH All Staff, and You





  1. テイルスのスカイパトロール (Japanese). Sega.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Tails' Skypatrol (Sega Game Gear) Japanese instruction booklet, pgs. 4-5.
  3. GDRI (Game Developer Research Institute). Retrieved on 26 February 2019.
  4. A timeline of Twitter posts by @alice_kagamino relating to Tails' Skypatrol (Japanese). Twitter. Retrieved on 26 February 2019.
  5. Sonic The Hedgeblog. Tumblr. Retrieved on 26 February 2019.
  6. Sega Video Magazine April 1995 (Japanese). Youtube. Retrieved on 26 February 2019.
  7. Alice Kagamino on Twitter (Japanese). Twitter. Retrieved on 26 February 2019. "そうして出来上がったX版はもちろんキャラクターはテイルスではなく… あんまり詳しく書けませんが、敵のキャラデザはわりと印象が残っているのであとはご想像におまかせします。"

External links

Tails' Skypatrol

Main article | Manuals
Sonic the Hedgehog handheld games