Sonic Jam: From Sonic Team - Sonic the Hedgehog 1

From the: Sonic Jam Strategy Guide
Translated by: G. Silver

Green Hill Zone
This is the stage that took the designers the longest to get properly arranged, and from the beginning of development the graphics were probably redone 4 or five times. The art and maps for this zone alone took half a year to produce! At the time, we were aware of computer graphics, but we tried to get that look by hand (laugh) — (Sonic Team, Naka)

Marble Zone
Early in production, Labyrinth Zone was going to be the second stage. But Labyrinth is much harder than the early stages, and it would have been a sudden spike in the difficulty. Sonic is really a different sort of action game compared to anything that had been made at that time, so we really wondered if it was ok to have him running through every stage so quickly, so we wanted there to be a moment for the player to catch his breath. (Naka)

Spring Yard Zone
This map was the first one to be drawn and finalized. Wanting to bounce around on the pinball-like bumpers in this stage really can't be helped! Because the star-patterned bumpers make a "Bo-bin!" sound when you bounce on them, in Sonic Team lexicon we call them bobins (laughs). (Sonic Team, Ohshima)

Labyrinth Zone
As for the air bubble idea, we were thinking of ways to make the character more unique, so we thought giving him some sort of weakness would be a good idea, and since there was a water stage, why not have him sink? So what to do when he gets in the water stage, we wondered, and after some deliberation we came up with the air bubbles. (Naka)

Star Light Zone
While designing stages, I had the image in mind of something like outer space, or a starry night sky. I was thinking there should be a place where you run through a scenic night-time location. By the time we were done with these last three stages, Labyrinth, Star Light, and Scrap Brain, we had a really good understanding of the system and had become somewhat fanatical about elaborate moving platforms. (Ohshima)

Scrap Brain Zone
Instead of going straight to the boss in the end, you get dropped down a level, and we wanted that feeling of fighting your way back up. I would have been nice to draw a specific background just for the final stage, but due to space and time constraints we just changed the background color and made the basement level the same as Labyrinth Zone. (Naka)


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