Published on October 15th, 2016 | by Fifties
Vintage Video Games #35 – Sonic the Hedgehog 3
Everyone has their favorite in the Sonic series and here’s mine! Sonic 3 was released for the Sega Megadrive worldwide in February 1994. It was developed simultaneously with Sonic & Knuckles. As the games were originally developed as a single title until time constraints and cartridge costs later forced the team to split them in two projects. The Sonic & Knuckles cartridge features “lock-on” technology that allows it to be physically attached to the Sonic 3 cartridge, creating a combined game, Sonic 3 & Knuckles. It sold 1.02 million copies in the United States; though this makes it one of the best-selling Genesis games.
Dr Robotnik is at it again. His space station, the Death Egg, crash-lands on a mystical floating landmass called Angel Island after Sonic and Tails defeat him at the end of Sonic 2. As Robotnik begins to repair the damaged station, he meets up with Knuckles the Echidna. Knuckles is the last surviving member of an ancient echidna civilization that once inhabited the island, as well as the guardian of the Master Emerald, which grants the island its levitation powers. Knowing Sonic and Tails will try to track him down and realizing he can use the emerald to power the ship, Robotnik dupes Knuckles into believing Sonic is trying to steal the Master Emerald.
Meanwhile, Sonic and Tails approach Angel Island in their biplane the Tornado. Sonic, possessing the emeralds from the events of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, jumps off the plane and turns into Super Sonic, zooming towards the island. When they arrive, Knuckles ambushes Sonic from underground and knocks the Chaos Emeralds from him, returning him to normal; he then steals the emeralds from them and disappears inland. As Sonic and Tails travel through the levels, they frequently encounter Knuckles, who hinders their progress with various traps.
The music, the speed, the lush, colorful environments! Everything you could want from a good platformer. Interesting fact … Former director Roger Hector stated that Sega brought in Michael Jackson to compose music for Sonic 3, but following the allegations of sexual abuse against Jackson, his involvement was terminated and the music reworked. In a 2009 interview with French magazine Black & White, Buxer (Jackson’s tour keyboardist and songwriting collaborator) stated that Jackson was involved with some Sonic 3 compositions, but chose to remain uncredited because he was unhappy with the sound capabilities of the Genesis.