Sonic 1 Definitive

By Inferno

Sonic 1 Definitive is a hack named by RadiantNexus Team, which seeks to reimagine Sonic 1 by rearranging levels. remixing music, adding features from future games, and readding scrapped ideas in new and interesting ways.

Major features:

  • 3 acts of reimagined level design, including one act that has yet to be fully reimagined in any other hack.
  • A miniboss.
  • Massive art overhaul all over the place.
  • Music made by ProjectFM and MechaKnuckles.
  • Menus!
  • A custom splash screen.

There's been massive engine overhauls as well, including the Sonic 3 level layout format for massive levels, and the Sonic 3 object manager to go alongside this.

This has been in development for over a year, so we at RadiantNexus Team hope you enjoy!

  • Inferno: Director, main coder, level designer.
  • BladeOfChaos, ManiacShard: Main artists.
  • MrLordSith: Some art, pre-rendering.
  • Rivet: Secondary coder, responsible for menus and splash screen, hardware testing.
  • MCTravis: Sound porting, beta testing, hardware testing.
  • RandomName: Help with Sonic 3 level layout format.
  • ProjectFM: Music, object and ring managers.
  • MechaKnuckles: Music.
  • NatThePorcupine: GHZ grass.
  • KrazeeTobi: Beta testing, archiving.
  • Somario: Beta testing.

File Type: rom/mega-drive

File Size: 811.74 KB

DeltaWooloo @ 2021-10-11 02:25:17

I've dreamed of someone or a team making Sonic 1 look refreshed. "Dreams Come True," said RadiantNexus. This hack is excellent in terms of its presentation and hard work from the team. I won't spoil it for now, but this is a hack I'd recommend playing. 9/10 for me, keep up the work! =D

Last modified by DeltaWooloo @ 2021-10-11 02:29:04

DeltaWooloo @ 2021-10-15 04:14:45

Comment deleted by DeltaWooloo @ 2021-10-15 04:14:53

SunkythePootis @ 2021-10-11 10:02:49

I was expecting some graphical edits and minor level design tweaks when seeing that "Definitive" name, but once I saw the fancy menu I was amazed with what was on offer. Like I felt completely refreshed playing Green Hill Zone for the first time in years, which is something not even Sonic Mania was able to do. This was incredible and I can't wait to see more!

TargetToad @ 2021-10-11 10:56:30

This hack is excellent, easily the best of what I've seen so far from SHC2021. It made Green Hill feel exciting & new. GREEN HILL. Absoutley incredible job, I can't wait for what this team has in store heading into the future.

Giovanni @ 2021-10-11 11:05:39

What can I say? This is so far one of my favorite reimaginations of Sonic the Hedgehog. You blew it out of the park with the presentation, the level design, the music, almost everything that exists in this ROM hack was polished to a great degree. I look forward to seeing future versions of this ROM hack!

Herobrine100x @ 2021-10-11 14:53:51

One of the best Sonic 1 hacks I've played so far.

Donovan_Aesland12 @ 2021-10-11 16:19:11

this looks incredible, i wish we could play with tails and knuckles too!

MCTravisYT @ 2021-10-13 17:31:21

I don't think we're planning on doing that.

dilworks @ 2021-10-11 16:28:21

Oh man, this hack feels so refreshing! Love the 8-bit Sonic love on these 16-bit stages. Love the 8-bit inspired special stages. The visuals are simply right!

The sound effects could use some polish, but in general, the only negative here is that it's too short - definitely want to follow this one on future contests!

dilworks @ 2021-10-11 16:29:44

Word of warning: this hack doesn't seem to play nice with TMSS: some emulators that support TMSS (notably BlastEm) won't boot the hack (black screen) if set to a TMSS-enabled console revision (I was testing with Model 1 VA6) - you will want to switch to a TMSS-less revision (VA0) for this hack!

Inferno @ 2021-10-12 09:28:39

Strange... we never encountered this during BlastEm AND hardware testing. I'll verify later today if this is the case.

Inferno @ 2021-10-15 14:05:54

UPDATE: IT isn't TMSS itself: it's something regarding BlastEM's March 2021 build having quirks. In other words, BlastEM is at fault. We've gotten it onto a real cart for hardware testing, and it runs fine on Model 1. And we've tested the Feb 2021 latest nightly build and it works fine.

Further stuff:

Last modified by Inferno @ 2021-10-15 14:38:00

MrSkittles420 @ 2021-10-11 17:40:28

Theres some wierd glitch I found in the bonus stages that corrupted the palettes


Inferno @ 2021-10-12 09:23:50

Known and being resolved for next demo. As far as is known, it is exceedingly rare to have it trigger, but the cause itself is known in this context.

Last modified by Inferno @ 2021-10-12 09:24:38

Dashaque @ 2021-10-12 22:34:42

lol I had this too. Freaked me out for a second, thought the game would crash

Floofboy @ 2021-10-12 08:37:18

Ah yes bridge zone. amazing

Inferno @ 2021-10-12 09:30:07

I forgot to add this person to the credits when originally making this page, and they originally didn't want credited at all, so I'll just put it here:

JayKuriN: Some lended art, some sound design ideas, the first bits of GHZ2. (up to the cave bit, which has been mostly redone since he took a wack at it.)

Last modified by Inferno @ 2021-10-12 09:30:57

Mohamad20ZX @ 2021-10-12 10:47:45

love this hack

Dima Cool @ 2021-10-13 01:00:03

It beautiful..

No, I'm not crying

TheFieldWarrior @ 2021-10-13 14:33:03

This was amazing, I had to try it out after I saw it on stream. I love all of the QOL changes made (Slow ducking, no Air jump control lock, Elemental shields etc), the extended level designs and the prototype/8-bit references. With everything here already being amazing I'm really looking forward to future releases of this hack. This has the potential to be the Ultimate Sonic 1 experience

Inferno @ 2021-10-13 15:38:58

Here's some random Big Ring hints:


Throw yourself down at your first chance

Observe an unusual wall to your left

Think like KawariNo

Or fly upwards from the incline


To the right of the spring

It is in plain sight

One side brings good luck

What does the other side bring?


Just above the watery abyss

Find a passageway blocked within

Remember those times of playing on the Game Gear

And ride a bridge downwards.

Last modified by Inferno @ 2021-10-13 15:40:05

Jdpense @ 2021-10-13 16:27:02

The game seems to crash for me at Bridge Zone on blastEmu. ;-; Other than that, great hack overall!

MCTravisYT @ 2021-10-13 17:27:53

Use the latest nightly build of that emulator. It works fine on there.

Inferno @ 2021-10-14 04:33:53

As Travis has said, use the latest nightly build. BZ1 runs fine on hardware and most other emulators, so this is believed to be some fault of BlastEM itself.

E-122-Psi @ 2021-10-14 07:17:20

I'm loving the concept of this hack. It's almost like a long lost arcade version of Sonic 1 that the Megadrive and Master System versions are ported from in different ways.

I also love some of your level design for Bridge Zone, which was an admitedly bland level originally. Some really clever tune ups here to give it more unique flair.

JayKuriN @ 2021-10-15 11:35:51

Y'all did an excellent job while I was gone. Absolutely enjoyed every second of it and was glad to be a part of it!

qgray14 @ 2021-10-16 16:08:37

I've been listening to Green Hill Act 2's music all week.

Coconut78 @ 2021-10-17 06:08:49

I ran this hack first and liked it wildly. Ideally, this is the first sonic I will present.However, I would like to scold for this: bugs with a ball in the GHZ; waterfalls under water; bugs with a rabbit in BZ; the forest in the background in the BZ looks too much like crystals. (what I would like to add I will write under my comment)

Coconut78 @ 2021-10-17 06:21:03

What I wanted to add: More settings in the settings; add more labels to the menu; a pre-story, a window with text or a cut-scene, at least from manuals (ONLY JP, DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER US VERSION); South Island map, just in front of levels, not acts + you can stylize the level select for it; transitions between acts, as in Sonic 3 (& knuckles); future level order - GHZ -> BZ -> MZ -> SYZ -> JZ -> LZ -> SLZ -> SBZ -> SBZ (Sky Base Zone)

Inferno @ 2021-10-17 11:16:12

Bugs are known but made it in anyways, and we have our own plans, so don't be worried.

donus87 @ 2021-10-17 08:50:34

Dearest Radiant nexus, this hack is really nice, long but nice, especially Yuji Naka's very first Green Hill you put. congratulations I sincerely hope that you go on with this work, my compliments. keep it up, you and your collaborators.

Ps. I have tried it on my MD asia pal + MED pro and it works fine

Last modified by donus87 @ 2021-10-17 09:48:42

QueenNeptunia @ 2021-10-17 16:11:33

Amazing demo, I can't wait to see this finished.

goodegames @ 2021-10-17 16:48:19

Amazing hack!

ClockworkBastard @ 2021-10-18 13:49:22

My gosh! Since I was kid, and my first Sonic game was S&K!... I always felt like Sonic 1 was an cut-down alpha-demo of the future games!!! And since I know the truth for decades (and never doubed it of course) I dreamed of someone would make some plastic surgery over Sonic 1 and YES! THEY DID IT!!! I'll give it a try immidiatelly!

ClockworkBastard @ 2021-10-18 15:15:34

PS Great! But I already got used to rendom geniuses popping out from where I never looked to.. I did hoped there is entire game here... That's a pity, and yes, I do understand the uspeakable hard work made!.. Hope you will grow the project to a very final stage, so we can really get a Sonic 1 re-release that we deserve.

Last modified by ClockworkBastard @ 2021-10-18 15:15:57

GameMaster1 @ 2021-10-19 13:21:58

For years, I wanted to see a hack that adds in the 8-bit content in 16 bit. And having the beta stuff included is a good addition! I like how you guys took the level design from both versions of green hill and put them together into a expansive 2 acts. It feels like all the memorable parts of both versions are all there. By the way, I hope you guys plan on bringing back the map system from the 8 bit cversion. That feature alone helped give Sonic 1 it's own identity.

Odorlessmink600 @ 2021-10-24 10:34:16

I FOUND THE specila ring AND THE 5 chaos emeralds

MGaming99 @ 2021-10-25 04:08:45

Check out my video about this hack:

EddyTF @ 2021-11-14 00:39:24


Last modified by EddyTF @ 2021-11-14 00:40:50

joshua_tree @ 2022-01-11 05:46:16

It would be awesome getting this animations in sonic 1 and sonic 2