This game was the first Sonic game to use Time travel – they scrapped the idea on Mega Drive. Bookended with fab Sonic anime intro and outro sequences, Sonic CD’s story sees you rescuing Amy Rose from the clutches of Metal Sonic, Eggman’s newest creation built to eradicate Sonic and the world.
But instead of trying to conquer the world the old fashioned way, Eggman decides to be cheeky and use time travel. Consequently, Sonic must stop this too – he has to travel back in time, make GOOD futures in the levels, collect Time Stones to help defeat Eggman, and rescue Amy. OK. Maybe this is sliiiightly confusing…
A great little game this, and just right for the Mega CD – at least we can say the ill-fated add-on had one decent game now. The concept of SEGA using time travel in a Sonic game is not a new one – they almost included it in Sonic 2 for the Mega Drive, but it was canned. WHY?
Anyway, throughout each level in Sonic CD you can hit special ‘Past/Future’ posts, and when you do, either a ‘Past’ or a ‘Future’ icon will appear next to your lives counter. Go fast enough and you’ll warp to the same level, in the same place but either in the past or future respectively. When in the past, everything is Jurassic-era-like (unless you hit the ‘Past’ post when you are in the future, in which case you’ll go back to the present, and vice versa), whereas the future is roaming with robots and it’s quite clear that Eggman has meddled with the level.
Your aim here is to go back to the past and destroy a large teleporter hidden somewhere in the level. You can see it in the Present and Future but you can only destroy it via the Past. Do that and you’ll create a ‘Good Future’ on that Stage. Great. Just watch out for many more evil traps in the Future than the present or the past has.
You can always rely on Eggman to be there at the end of each Zone, and this game is no exception. In Act 3 of every Zone, you are sent to the future to destroy a boss that Eggman has so cunninly devised for you. You know the deal with these bosses, only they are much easier compared to bosses in past Sonic games; Eggman only needs to be hit three times to be beaten. There’s no doubt he has a surprise waiting for you at the end of the game. But what is it though? Ah, the very idea… Metal Sonic makes several appearances during your travels, and in the first Zone you find Amy Rose, the game’s damsel in distress. Metal Sonic will, every now and again, swing by and snatch Amy from under your nose, leaving you to save her along with the rest of the planet.
Just like in Sonic 1, collect over 50 rings and you are treated with a nice big shiny gold ring at the end of the Act. Jump through it to enter the Special Stage. This is where you play for not Chaos Emeralds, but Time Stones, which you will need to help defeat Eggman. You are placed in a 3D style world, where you have to destroy a certain amount of, erm, UFO’s to gain the prize you desire. If you touch the water in the Special Stage, your time will go down incredibly quickly. When running out of time, get the blue UFO’s that appear in the centre of the stage. Get all seven Time Stones and all the Stages will become Good Futures – no need to find the teleporters. Yay!
The graphics are really nothing special – souped up Sonic 1 sprites – but what there is of it is definitely worth getting a Mega CD for alone. This game is possibly one of the rarest next to Sonic Spinball and Knuckles Chaotix, and for that it’s worth the investment. There are secrets to unlock within the Time Attack mode, and the different timelines of each level are gorgeous to look at and explore. The only thing lacking here is a two-player, and some kind of extra lasting appeal other than the Time Attacks. Other than this, Sonic CD is definitely worth getting.