Sonic the Hedgehog CD

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"To live a life of power, you must have faith that what you believe is right, even if others tell you you're wrong. The first thing you must do to live a life of power is to find courage. You must be ready to reach beyond the boundaries of Time itself. And to do that, all you need is the will to take that first step..."
—Words taken from Japanese Cover of Sonic CD.

Released in 1993, Sonic CD was one of the better games that could be found on the Sega CD, an ambitious Sega Genesis add-on marred by its price tag and an over-saturation of "FMV games." Fortunately it saw a re-release on the PC three years later, then another in 2005's Sonic Gems Collection. Considered by many to be one of the best Sonic the Hedgehog platformers thanks to the time travel elements and complex level designs providing much replay value. This game introduced Amy Rose--Sonic's cute Stalker with a Crush--and fan favorite Metal Sonic. It also had an Anime opening and ending sequences with Sonic displaying his badassery; two of the few FMV's on the console to actually look good.

The story begins with Amy meeting Sonic, having used tarot cards to seek him out. When Amy inquires where he's going, Sonic says he's going to Never Lake, explaining that it's that time of the year when the Little Planet appears over the lake. Thanks in part to the seven Time Stones, the Little Planet does not abide by the passage of time familiar to Earthlings Mobians inhabitants of their world, making Time Travel possible should one reach high enough speeds on the planet's surface. Being the lightning-quick, risk taking daredevil he is, Sonic is looking forward to visiting the Little Planet to see if he's fast enough to break the world's time barriers.

After arriving at Never Lake, the two hedgehogs notice something amiss. The Little Planet was there, but it has been chained to a mountain and its surface covered in metal. Arriving on the planet's surface, Sonic and Amy investigate, but soon Amy is captured by a figure that quickly flies away. In his search for Amy, Sonic encounters Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik, the Mad Scientist he had defeated before.

Robotnik and his loyal Badniks are in the process of transforming the entire Little Planet into his own dystopian fortress, and once he collects the Time Stones, taking over the world will be a breeze. That is, after killing Sonic first. When Robotnik discovered that Sonic had arrived on the Little Planet, he sent Metal Sonic--a robot painstakingly modeled after its namesake--to kidnap Amy and lure Sonic. With Sonic taking the bait, Robotnik hopes to destroy his arch-enemy. Determined as usual, Sonic must collect the Time Stones, defeat Metal Sonic, rescue Amy, and liberate the Little Planet from Robotnik's tyranny.

Time Travel is the main gimmick of the game. The first two zones in each level have "Past" and "Future" signs, and after hitting one of the signs and gaining enough speed, you'll either travel to the past or to the future. By default, the future is always a bad one, a desolate wasteland with worn down technology that ruined the environment. By destroying the Badnik generator in the past, the zone's future automatically becomes a good one, with all advances in technology actually working to the environment's benefit, and the Badniks in all three periods are automatically destroyed. The boss fight in each level is in zone three and takes place in the future, and if you've destroyed the generators in the two previous zones, the future is an automatic good one. However, if you go to the Special Stages and collect all seven Time Stones, all of the levels will automatically have good futures.

In addition to the Spindash, the blue hedgehog can do the Super Peel Out, a technique that sends Sonic dashing off with super speed. The difference between the two is that SPO gives Sonic a greater burst of speed but leaves him vulnerable to enemy fire and collisions. The Spindash operates very differently than in subsequent games, probably because it was in its preliminary stages before Sonic the Hedgehog 2. It has to be "revved up" for several seconds before use.

And because of being the first in development, Sonic CD is often considered to be an in-between game, following the events of the first but taking place before the second; this is also backed up by the absence of Tails, who shows up in a secret picture with the caption "See you next game!", referring to Sonic the Hedgehog 2.[1]

The game was ported to the PC in 1996, and was later included in the Sonic Gems Collection in 2005, for the PlayStation 2 and Game Cube.

Sonic CD was remade[2] in 2011, for the Xbox 360 (through Xbox Live Arcade), Play Station 3 (through the Playstation Network), PC (through digital distribution, primarily Steam), iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android and Windows Phone 7 in HD with proper Widescreen support. It marks first time the Japanese soundtrack is officially available in the United States. It was also developed by Christian "The Taxman" Whitehead. It was actually in the works for a while.

The remake features Tails as a playable character. Also featured is an option to select either the Japanese or US soundtrack.


Sonic the Hedgehog CD is the Trope Namer for:
Tropes used in Sonic the Hedgehog CD include:
  • Alliteration: The level names.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: During the Metal Sonic boss race in Stardust Speedway Zone 3, Robotnik will chase after Sonic shooting a laser from the bottom of his pod. If he hits Sonic, or if Sonic loses the race, it's an instant kill. The pod itself is also invincible.
  • Airplane Arms: Sonic's max running speed has him do this, as well as his legs going into a infinity-symbol shape.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Elements from the Japanese soundtrack that were Lighter and Softer by comparison were replaced with something much creepier for the US dub. Nowhere is this more prevalent than the boss and Game Over music, which are both worthy of horror games.
  • Arc Welding: Because of this game's Wibbly-Wobbliness and never having had a place in the timeline, as of the remake, it is now officially considered a predecessor to Sonic the Hedgehog 4.
  • Artifact Title: The 2011 remake is not distributed on a physical medium, let alone a CD.
  • Bad Future: Trope Namer. The Good Future that Sonic's goal is to make inverts this.
  • Bottomless Pits:
    • One of the obstacles in Metallic Madness Act 3 is a large bottomless pit with some tricky platforming above it.
    • There's also one in the Present stage of Stardust Speedway Zone 1 right before the end of the level, but it's almost impossible to get down there and even if you do there is still a way back up. You have to deliberately kill yourself to fall into that pit.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: As usual, Sonic gets impatient if he's idle. Wait three minutes without pausing, and then he'll say, "I'm outta here!" and proceed to jump off the screen, netting you a Game Over regardless of how many lives you have left. He shoots you an angry glare the entire time.
  • The Cameo: Tails shows up in the D.A. Garden menu and in a secret artwork advertising Sonic Drift. For the 2011 remake, he is Promoted to Unlockable.
  • Comic Book Adaptation: In issues 26-28 of Sonic the Comic and issue 25 of the Archie comic.
  • Cosmetic Award: Destroying the Metal Sonic Hologram Projectors in the Past has no effect on the Futures or the ending, but it does make some animals appear.
  • Cut Song: The planned final boss music of the American soundtrack never made it into any version of the game because of a lack of time to get it in. Instead, a very slightly modified version of the regular boss music plays.
  • Darker and Edgier: In comparison to the Genesis titles, due to the presence of the Bad Futures.
  • Developer's Room: One of the cheat codes brings up a screen featuring the developers' time attack records.
  • Development Gag: During the Special Stages from early betas where they are unfinished, a Engrishy message appears on the screen, telling the programmers to wake up and finish their jobs.

The programmer has a nap!
Hold out! Programmer!

  • Damsel in Distress: Amy.
  • Downer Ending: In The Stinger of the Bad Ending, there's a time rift, and Little Planet reappears, covered in its metal casing and chained once more, implying Robotnik used the Time Stones to hit the Reset Button on his failure.
  • Dummied Out: "Round 2", which was, apparently, a Desert/Ruins stage; a Special Stage, which can be accessed with a code; and some items. The desert level, now named "Desert Dazzle, was supposed to appear in the remake, but all that remains of it is a secret teaser picture. The rumored Final Fever True Final Boss was scrapped again as well.
  • Easter Egg: A statue at Wacky Workbench [3], some artwork, and a Dummied Out Special Stage.
  • Efficient Displacement: Can happen in Palmtree Panic 1 Present if Sonic enters a tunnel in the middle of the level.
  • Eternal Engine: Metallic Madness and, to a degree, Wacky Workbench, as well as most of the Bad Future levels being combined with the current level trope.
  • Evil Knockoff: Metal Sonic.
  • Expy:
    • According to Naoto Oshima, most levels, with the exceptions for Quartz Quadrant and Wacky Workbench, were made as more surreal versions of Sonic 1 levels. Even the level theme order is the same. Sometimes the similarities are subtle, sometimes not:
      • In Palmtree Panic, the badnik Kamemusi looks like a Motobug and behaves like a Crabmeat.
      • Collision Chaos has a Spring Yard at the end of both Zones 1 and 2. The second zone also has two goals, just like Spring Yard Act 2.
      • Tidal Tempest's graphics resemble Labyrinth's. The water current gimmick, which sends Sonic spinning underwater is used in the second zone.
      • Stardust Speedway shares it's level theme and position with Star Light. It plays rather differently, though, besides being fast-paced.
      • Metallic Madness' spinning, disappearing and moving platforms and doors are all from Scrap Brain. There's also a Giant Mook version of the Bomb badnik called Bigbom and each Zone has a unique background, just like Scrap Brain.
  • Flower Motifs: The badniks contain seeds which sprout into flowers, as opposed to the typical "animal battery" motif the series uses.
  • Game Breaking Bug:
    • Move Sonic to outside the screen while using Debug Mode, and the game will crash. There is also a bug which stops the music from looping and the next level from loading should the player take too long.
    • Also, there's a point in the Past of Metallic Madness where you have to navigate some springs. The problem is that in the original Mega CD and emulator versions of the game, you cannot reach the top platform. The only way around it is to try to get back to the present. If you can't, you are stuck. Extra platforms were added in the 2011 release to remedy this issue.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: You can get the good ending without beating any special stages by going to the Past in every zone and destroying a unique machine, which also destroys all robots in the past. Doing so also lets you go to the Good Future in the same level.
  • Green Aesop: In the Bad Futures, it's notable that, because of Robotnik taking over, the environment is more or less in a state of disrepair, but in Good Futures, it's shown that nature and technology can indeed be in the same place without disastrous results. Contrast most Green Aesops, which try to pretend that harmony between nature and machine cannot exist, such as how the Good Future of Palmtree Panic is inhabited by small monkeys and has a system of pipes that regulate the clear water in the area instead of spreading polluted water as in the Bad Future.
  • Guide Dang It:
    • For players trying to destroy the Roboticizing machines in the past, Wacky Workbench Zone 1's device is infamously difficult to reach. In order to reach the machine, you have to jump on top of a crushing piston near the level's end, which sends you down the pipe where the machine is located instead of killing you.
  • Inconveniently-Placed Conveyor Belt: Everywhere in Quartz Quadrant. In the past they move fairly slowly, in the present they are average speed, and in either of the future stages, they move pretty damn fast, so getting past them can be a bit annoying. You can change the direction they go in, but it doesn't always help.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: During the bad ending, just look at the trajectory that Sonic's rock makes as he throws it at Robotnik.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • Whoever's behind the terminology in the series decided that what most games call an act, this game would call a zone.
    • What are usually zones are called "rounds". Act is nowhere to be found anywhere.
  • Leitmotif: The Japanese boss music for Robotnik, due to part of the lyrics:

The war began. Earth trembled in fear. Bald, brainy, and cold-hearted. The distance grows closer, little by little. Wow! The power he possesses is incredible! He doesn't stand a chance!

  • Loophole Abuse: Despite having a ten-minute limit per act, it's possible to spend far more time than that in any one level. A successful time warp will revert the stage timer back down to five minutes. If you've been playing for less than five minutes, the timer will be unaffected.
  • Macro Zone: Some of the end of Metallic Madness Zone 2 where Sonic goes tiny. He still retains normal jump height though.
  • Missing Secret: For those who aim for 100% completion, Metallic Madness can be puzzling at first when it comes to finding Metal Sonic projectors. In fact, it doesn't have any.
  • Mondegreen: The music with lyrics (which is several tracks except for past music) may end up getting misinterpreted since it was made for older hardware. For example, look up the Japanese boss music on YouTube and see how many people hear the lyric "Work that sucker to death" wrong, with mishearings such as "Work that toaster to death" and "Work that son of a bitch."
  • Mook Promotion: The Hotaru badnik from Stardust Speedway later shows up as the mid-boss before the final boss.
  • No OSHA Compliance:
    • Wacky Workbench, a factory where the first floor bounces things high up into the air at random intervals.
    • Quartz Quadrant wouldn't fit OSHA standards either with spikes everywhere.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Put the controller down. Three minutes and one "I'm outta here!" later...
  • Our Founder: The statues of Robotnik at Wacky Workbench and Stardust Speedway (Present and Bad Future), and the image on the mountain that appears in the opening.
  • Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: Present throughout Tidal Tempest. Robotnik uses them as a shield in that level's boss that you can breathe through and attack him for a One Hit KO.
  • Painting the Fourth Wall: The Present and Future music tracks are in Red Book audio (i.e. standard Compact Disc Digital Audio, or CDDA), while the Past songs are in the lower quality PCM format used by the Sega CD's PCM chip.
  • Pinball Zone: Collision Chaos.
  • Press X to Die: In the Sega CD version, pressing the A button while the game is paused will restart the level at the cost of one life -- provided you have at least two lives available. Otherwise, this reverts the player back to the title screen.
  • Promoted to Unlockable: Tails is unlocked in the 2011 remake just by beating the game once as Sonic, with no other criteria. He actually makes the game easier due to his ability to fly and swim taken from Sonic 3 and Knuckles, which raises the question of why they didn't have him there from the start for inexperienced players. As a tradeback, you can't earn Achievements using Tails.
  • Puzzle Boss: Many more compared to the rest of the series; while most of the bosses are of the "hit until he's dead" variety, all of them except the first (and, eventually, the last, which gets progressively easier to hit as the battle progresses) also require that you figure the "trick" to hurting them, from manipulative platforming to whittling down shields bit by bit.
  • Refrain From Assuming: "Sonic - You Can Do Anything," the opening theme song from the Japanese version, is often incorrectly cited as "Toot Toot Sonic Warrior."
  • San Dimas Time: With all of the time-travel involved, the game still has the 10-minute-limit in its stages. Going to the past, or future, Good or Bad Future, doesn't change this in the slightest.
  • Save the Princess: According to the American manual for the Sega CD version, the pink hedgehog you are saving is actually Princess Sally, presumably to tie into the cartoon she hails from, despite Amy Rose (the hedgehog in question) looking nothing like the already established character.
  • Save Scumming: The 2011 version of the game makes a save at the beginning of a Special Stage and doesn't save the results if the game is restarted before the results screen finishes. This makes it easier to get all seven Time Stones early, and doing it early enough would mean Quartz Quadrant Zone 2 and on automatically have good futures.
  • Scenery Porn: The environments are beautiful to look at, possessing a dream like quality to them. This especially holds true for the Good Futures, a mix of technology and nature in bright flashy colours.
    • Scenery Gorn: The Bad Futures. Eggman's corruption hasn't been fixed, and the world has become a nightmarish dystopia.
  • Science Is Bad: The Bad Futures, with all the broken machinery throughout them. Even Robotnik's Mecha-Mooks, and his own base are broken and rusted with neglected ruin.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Sonic's goal is to save the Little Planet's future by ridding it of Eggman's influence. He can achieve this by destroying the badnik generators in the past or collecting every Time Stone.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The "88 Miles per Hour" achievement in the 2011 remake.
    • The achievement for finishing any level in the Good Future is "Paradise Found".
    • The "King of the Rings" achievement is a call out to an old obscure Sonic song.
    • DJ Eggman wears a Jamaican headpiece on the Soundtrack Select screen.
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: The contrast between the good and bad futures.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: Real ones are found in Metallic Madness. Earlier, objects that look almost identical to these are found in Wacky Workbench, but they are completely harmless and actually drop you into secret areas if you stand on them as they slam into the ceiling. This is necessary to reach one of the Robotizers.
  • Speed Run: The first game in the series to feature a Time Attack mode. This is also how you unlock the extras.
  • The Spiny: The Noro-Noro badnik will occasionally show spikes on its back. And Kemusi, found in the same level, is an expy of Caterkiller from Sonic 1.
  • Stepping Stones in the Sky: In the intro movie, Sonic used the falling debris of the Little Planet as platforms to reach it.
  • Tagline: The page quote.
  • Techno Wreckage: The Bad Futures. Wacky Workbench and Metallic Madness especially.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: "Sonic - You Can Do Anything" is an updated version of the Green Hill Zone music from the Master System and Game Gear versions of Sonic 2.
  • Time Travel: A present mechanic of the game, inspired by various books and films, including Back to The Future.
  • Toy Time: Wacky Workbench's good future.
  • Underwater Ruins: Tidal Tempest.
  • Unique Enemy: The Taga-Taga enemy found in Tidal Tempest also appears in Palmtree Panic, where it jumps out of waterfalls like Chopper from Sonic 1. PPZ's Taga-Taga is rare enough that you won't meet it unless you explore the levels.
  • Unlockable Content: Special Stages in Time Attack, the D.A. Garden (The Incomplete Sound Test, plus a image of the Little Planet) and the Visual Mode (The Video Gallery).
  • Violation of Common Sense: The fake Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom of Wacky Workbench. Standing on one will take you somewhere. One is required to go to the robot factory in Zone 1.
  • Warmup Boss: Palmtree Panic's boss. You don't even need to dodge attacks. In fact, due to an invincibility box at the beginning of the level, you can actually defeat the boss without being in any danger at all of being hurt. It's easier than Drill Eggman.
  • A Winner Is You:
    • Finish the game with the good ending, or watch the good ending through Visual Mode. A screen will show up telling you that "YOU ARE SUPER PLAYER", and Sonic, Amy and Metal Sonic will run across the screen from time to time.
    • The Tails ending in the remake is probably even more this trope because all you get is some explosions and then a credits roll. You do not even get a congratulations. At the very least the credits for Tails are of the staff who worked on the remake but its still kind of disappointing.
  1. Word of God has recently stated that while it's canon, the game has no particular spot on the timeline, but has noted that CD will be closely tied to (and be the precursor for) Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, but that won't affect Sonic CD's spot in the timeline.
  2. Completely remade from scratch using a fan-made engine
  3. an angel statue in the past that gives rings, or a Robotnik statue that drops bombs in the bad future; finding the angel statue unlocks an achievement in the 2011 re-release