Sonic The 3D Hedgehog is a 3D platformer game originally developed by Fusion Thunder Games in 1997 for the Sega Saturn. Even though the game was finished, the Sega Dreamcast was on its way, so gamers lost interest in the Saturn, and 3D Hedgehog was shelved. Had it been released, it would've been Sonic's jump to 3D platforming, since another 3D Sonic game that was supposed to be released for the Sega Saturn, Sonic X-Treme, never saw the light of day. Because of the game being scrapped, not much info was known about it for many years, and even though development was finished, the final box art was never seen. The first concept box art was found, however. Many years later, on June 10, 2012, the game was finally shown, and it was a complete experience. It was on a disc that could only be played on a PC. The game was well received by the person who first played it. As of June 15, 2012, the game has been burned to other CD-ROMs, and even Wii discs and Nintendo 3DS cartridges, allowing Wii and 3DS owners to play the game on those systems.
The game starts out with Sonic, Tails and Amy relaxing on Westside Island after finally defeating Dr. Eggman. However, all balance falls apart on Mobius when an earthquake shakes up the land and destroys Emerald City, a civilization located in Emerald Hill. The earthquake came from the game's main antagonist (replacing Dr. Eggman), Ogarate. He appears to challenge Sonic, and Sonic accepts his challenge. Sonic manages to defeat him, sending him plummeting off a cliff and into the ocean. All of a sudden, a manx girl appears, and she seems aggrivated because of the fact that Ogarate got away after he lost against Sonic. Sonic gets her to calm down, and soon, she introduces herself as Tiara Boobowski (apparently, Fusion Thunder Games got permission from Chris Senn to use this character), a cool, efficient and hard headed teenage girl who has been hunting down Ogarate because of his presence on Mobius. Also, it seems that Ogarate killed Tiara's father, Gazebo, has destroyed most of the wildlife on many islands, and is headed for Tiara's home island of North Island to steal the Rings of Order, the most powerful Rings to have ever existed. Sonic and Tails agree to help her, but Amy is not too keen about Tiara being around, for she is concerned that Tiara may try to flirt with Sonic. Behind some bushes, Nack the Weasel, and his new lackey, Bean the Dynamite, are planning to take the Rings of Order for themselves to sell them for high prices.
After crossing the Opal Ocean to North Island, Sonic and friends traverse their way through many lands across the island, taking out Ogarate's minions along the way and having several tussles with Nack the Weasel and Bean the Dynamite. At the end of every place they visit, they find one of the Rings of Order and discover different things about the island's history, the Signs of Order that each Ring represents, and Tiara's character. The friendship of the two heroes and two heroines grows as they get farther and farther into their quest, with Tiara developing a romantic interest in Sonic, Sonic and Tails seeing more in each other, Sonic and Amy becoming more friendly towards each other and Amy and Tiara becoming friendlier as rivals.
After the last Ring of Order is collected at Tower Topaz, Tiara disappears and doesn't help Sonic, Tails and Amy at Magma Mines, the place where North Island's volcano is contained. At the bottom of the mines, the heroes run into Ogarate again, who has set the island to explode in a matter of minutes and now possesses enough energy from the rings to become powerful enough to destroy Sonic. He traps the heroes and heroine in the bottom of the mines with him, places Tails and Amy on the ledges around them and challenges Sonic once again, resulting in an epic battle, which led to Ogarate being pushed into the lava multiple times until he had enough and collapsed. Sonic, Tails and Amy celebrate their victory against Ogarate and leave the Magma Mines to put the Rings of Order back in their rightful places, averting the explosive crisis. As they leave, the game ends on a cliffhanger with a gloved hand next to 7 rings which look like the Rings of Order.
Later, North Island begins to have environmental collapse, and the molten rock from Magma Mines appears to be erupting from the ground. Sonic, Tails and Amy figured that the Rings of Order would fix everything, but it turns out that the Rings they've been collecting were fake, and the real Rings of Order are somewhere else. The heroes go back to the second acts of Beryl Bayou, Golden Garden, Sweet Sapphire, Jasper Junkyard, Pyrite Park, Copper Castle and Tower Topaz to recollect the fake rings and use them to enter the door to Dreaded Deep, which is in the center of the island. After passing through the first and second acts of the dark level, they reach the island's core. They see the real Rings of Order hovering in the air in a giant circle, powering a giant sphere. The sphere and the rings teleport out of the room, a bunch of candles light up, and Tiara appears before them. Being asked by Sonic, Tails and Amy what she's been doing down here, she reveals that the whole time, she had been secretly causing all the havoc that has recently happened. She reveals that she used her staff to release Ogarate from Mobius Prison. She reveals that she was the one that sent Ogarate to North Island. She reveals she created Ogarate's generals and lesser minions with her magic, hence why each of them exploded into shining dust when Sonic and friends defeated them. She reveals that she wanted Ogarate to steal the Rings of Order and put fake ones in the possession of the Generals to trick Sonic and co. and help her buy time to put her plans into fruition. Finally, she reveals to Amy that she does infact want to have something romantic to do with Sonic and plans to make him her boyfriend and trusted ally in taking control of Mobius and recreating it into a new world with a new beginning, bringing the current Mobius to an end. Tails and Amy are about to take on Tiara, but Sonic does not want to hurt her. Tiara has pity on Sonic, so she approaches Sonic and exhales a pink gas from her mouth, making Sonic fall in love with her. Amy gets mad and brings out her Piko Piko Hammer, swinging it at Tiara to make her back off and using it to bonk Sonic's head, making him come back to his senses. Tails and Amy convince him to fight with them, and ultimately, Sonic says "I hope we can still be friends when we make you realize the error of your ways." to Tiara, and the fight begins. After a mighty battle, Tiara brings out her secret weapon, the giant sphere from before, which turns out to be a control mechanism that can manipulate any form of mass on the island, whether it be on the surface or in the underground. Another battle begins, and as the heroes and heroine avoid Tiara's attacks and damage her vessel, she questions Sonic's choices in his life and begins to let out her growing hatred for him, even going as far as to insult his lifestyle. After the mechanism can't take anymore hits, Tiara falls out, looking badly injured. She gets back up as the heroes stand before her, only to stand completely still and close her eyes afterwards. Suddenly, she opens her eyes again, and sparks begins to burst out of her, and she says "Mission Failed, but destruction of hedgehogs and fox, inevitable!" in a monotone robotic voice, and before their eyes, cannons pop out of her eyes, chest, belly and legs. Sonic and co. realize that Tiara is a robot. More sparks fly out of Tiara as she says "I am T-T-Tiara Boobowski, k-k-kiling machine, s-s-state-of-the-art, queen of M-M-Mobius, e-e-e wishy washy hedehog foxies row row that boat boom O-O-Ogaraaaaaaate ru-ru-ru-ru...", and after she starts to become inaudible, she fires all her cannons like a maniac and rotates her torso clockwise and her head counter-clockwise, provoking Sonic and co. to run around, avoiding the shots. After a while, Tiara holds her fire, stops rotating her torso and head and succumbs to her damages, and she says "I love you, Son..." in a static-y voice, with more sparks flying out of her body, ends the sentence with a garbled "...ic.", and finally explodes. After Tiara is nothing more than a million inanimate burnt pieces of metal, Sonic begins to wonder "What just happened?", when all of a sudden, he and his friends begin to hear some beeping noises, and the room begins to light up.
A figure appears on a cliff after the lights turn on, and we see an old Mobian manx man holding a control panel that is making the beeping noises. He shouts "No!" as he throws the control panel in the air and watches it explode. He looks down at Sonic, Tails and Amy and begins to sob. He yells at them for ruining "his plans", and introduces himself as Gazebo Boobowski, Tiara's father, previously thought to have been dead. He tells the trio that all he wanted was to wipe a stain off of Mobius, and he's angry that the battle that happened earlier was how they thanked him. He reveals that Tiara was a robot daughter created by him to carry out his plans to unleash Ogarate and possess the Rings of Order so he could destroy Mobius. However, he vows to recreate his "child of gears" so he can start anew, and shows the mechanical skeleton of a new Tiara. Sonic demands to know what happened to the Tiara he became friends with, but Gazebo just replies with "She loved you, and you blew her up.", bearing a sinister grin. However, he starts to feel strange, and it looks like he's about to transform. His body begins to ripple and fangs start to grow in his mouth, and the room begins to shake. A coffin falls off the ledge Gazebo was on and it lands on the new Tiara, crushing it into pieces. Upon impact, the coffin opens up and a familiar characters pops out. This character turns out to be Tiara. Sonic and Tails wake her up as Gazebo continues to change. Tiara looks around and sees Sonic and Tails, and in relief, she hugs them with joy, only for Amy to push her away, since she didn't want her touching Sonic. After quickly telling them she had been kidnapped after the fight with the boss of Tower Topaz, she sees the now gigantic Gazebo, who begins to turn pale and dissolve into dust, but there happens to be another being underneath the disintergrating old man. This being turns out to be none other than the big bad himself, Ogarate, who apparently survived the battle at Magma Mines. He reveals to the heroes that he knew they would eventually find out about the fake Rings of Order, and he made a Tiara robot to make Tiara look like the real evil mastermind behind the whole game and kill the trio with the North Island's control mechanism when they eventually discovered their adventure wasn't over yet. He explains to them why the real Tiara was in a coffin, saying that her body would've been scanned to make a new Tiara robot if the older one were to be destroyed. He also says that he used a potion to turn himself into Gazebo in an attempt to ruin the Boobowski name. However, a miscalculation occurred, and now, his plans are pretty much in ruin, but he won't give up without a fight, so he turns the room into an elevator shaft and makes the floor move down, followed by him powering up using the combined powers of his defeated Generals, and he challenges Sonic to one final duel. Despite Ogarate's power, Sonic comes out on top once again. But Ogarate is a crafty monster, so he fakes his defeat and pounds Sonic and bowls him into his friends, knocking them out. He uses his scanner to copy the abilities from Sonic, Tails, Amy and Tiara and he finally has enough energy to reach the peak of his power with the Rings of Order. Finally, Ogarate circles the rings around him and glows a bright yellow, and soon after, he explodes in a burst of light. When the blinding white shine dispels, Ogarate shows himself, now having transformed into his ultimate form, Lord Etarago, a being that is far too dangerous to exist on Mobius. All hope seems lost for Sonic and his friends, as Lord Etarago fires a giant laser from his new staff at the four heroes, seemingly bringing them to their ends.
Luckily, Sonic, Tails, Amy and Tiara are saved by the Rings of Order, which have leaked some of their positive energy into the souls of the four heroes, and mixed with the Chaos Emerald energy that has rubbed off on Sonic and Tails, the heroes become more powerful. Sonic's eyes and Amy's eyes become green, Tails' eyes become blue, and Tiara's staff becomes a crystal blade. The heroes then stand against Lord Etarago and team up to face him head on and take him out once and for all. With their powers combined (without Sonic or Tails turning Super, due to not having the Chaos Emeralds), the foursome defeats Lord Etarago and powers him down back to Ogarate. Beginning to turn to stone, Ogarate declares that even though these are his dying moments, he's not truly dead, because he'll be returning from the grave soon to haunt Mobius and destroy all that live on it. After he becomes fully petrified, he is sealed in the bowels of Dreaded Deep as punishment for his misdeeds, and the heroes return to the surface to take the real Rings of Order back to their original places, restoring North Island back to normal. That night, Tiara confesses her love for Sonic, and the next morning, Sonic, Tails and Amy return to Westside Island to relax at home and wait for the next adventure. Tiara imagines that Sonic is still with her and she hugs the air, pretending that Sonic is standing in front of her. After that, the credits roll.
In a post-credits scene, a figure covered in darkness approaches the petrified Ogarate and holds up a diamond that shoots a beam of light at the fallen villain. Ogarate's body turns into a giant pillar of fire, and the game ends.
- Opal Ocean
- Beryl Bayou
- Golden Gulch
- Sweet Sapphire
- Jasper Junkyard
- Pyrite Park
- Copper Castle
- Tower Topaz
- Magma Mines
- Dreaded Deep
- Ogarate (first encounter)
- Nack the Weasel and Bean the Dynamite (first encounter)
- Nack the Weasel and Bean the Dynamite (second encouter) and Marvelous Queen
- Rister Moboto
- Sir Clings-A-Lot
- Grubby Rotten Astro Bear
- Nack the Weasel and Bean the Dynamite (final encounter) and Bomb Mecha
- Ogarate (second encounter)
- Tiara Boobowski(?)
- Tiara Boobowski(?) (piloting Ring of Order powered island control mechanism)
- Ogarate (final encounter)
- Lord Etarago (Ogarate's super form using the Rings of Order)
The game is a pure 3D platformer with the gameplay that is known by all who have played Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic can still jump, spin, Spin Dash, and use the Insta-Shield, the Super Peel-Out (from Sonic CD) and the powers of all the Elemental Shields (which return from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, along with a couple of new ones), but also, later in the game, he will find a power-up that will grant him the iconic move known as the Homing Attack (which acts as an Air Dash if its used while no targets are nearby). Tails plays the same as he did in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, only its in 3D, and he can now use the Super Propeller Dash, which is basically like Sonic's Super Peel-Out, only it allows Tails to fly through the air at a high speed temporarily. Also, Tails can use his own Elemental Shield powers with the Wind Shield and the Ice Shield (which are the two new shields added to this game). Amy cannot Spin, but she can deal damage with her Piko Piko Hammer by rolling in the air with it, pounding the ground while spinning it, using it to jump really high, and using some powers with it when she has the Fire Shield or the Wind Shield. Tiara does all sorts of acrobatic moves and attacks to get around and fight, and she can shoots laser boomerangs from her staff. Her Elemental Shield Powers come from the Bubble Shield and the Lightning Shield. She is the only character in the game to have a power-up gained later in the game aside from Sonic. Tiara's power-up is the Magic Missile, which allows her to shoot multiple laser missiles from her staff. In every stage, there are 3 acts (the third one being a boss battle, with the only exception being Opal Ocean Act 3). Before any act, the player can choose from one of the four playable characters. The boss battles in every third act usually consist of fights with Ogarate's finest men. Sometimes, Nack the Weasel and Bean the Dynamite will ambush the heroes near the end of certain second acts. For completing a zone (except for Opal Ocean and the final two zones), the player is rewarded with one of the seven Rings of Order, which have been moved from their rightful spots by the all-powerful Ogarate.
The person who first played the game and completed it has dubbed it "one of the greatest Sonic games ever released, even though it never saw the light of day until recently!", adding that the game "feels like a fresh and distinguishable experience that hasn't been replicated in any 3D Sonic game." and that "For a game made in 1997, it's way ahead of its time in terms of the graphics, the music, the level gimmicks and the creative methods for defeating the bosses, especially the way Sonic and his friends have to fight the main villain's final form.". His criticisms were reserved for the camera, which he noted as "shaky in some areas", and the occasional drop in framerate in Jasper Junkyard and Magma Mines.
Days later, the game was burned to multiple CD-ROMS and other people got to play it. The game was highly acclaimed and called "a near perfect experience of speedy momentum based platforming goodness that tops most other 3D Sonic games.", though many have questioned its long overdue release, when it probably could've been released on the Dreamcast, noting the game's amazing quality in sound and graphics.
- Even though Dr. Eggman isn't anywhere in the game, he is often mentioned and referred to by Sonic and friends.
- In the game on the CD-ROM released in 2012, Sonic maintains his voice done by Jaleel White, but Tails, Amy, Tiara and Ogarate's voices have changed since the 1997 footage of the game. Tails went from Bradley Pierce (his voice from Sonic SatAM) to Kate Higgins (who voices him in recent Sonic titles, as well as Classic Tails in Sonic Generations), Amy went from Lyn Harris (who did her few voice clips in Sonic CD) to Cindy Robinson, Tiara went from Kath Soucie (paying some tribute to Sally Acorn from Sonic SatAM) to Tara Strong, and Ogarate changed from an unknown voice actor to Kevin Michael Richardson. Recently, another version of the game was released with the voice audio of Bradley Pierce, Lyn Harris, Kath Soucie and the unknown voice actor of Ogarate restored.
- Magma Mines looks like a mix of Quartz Quadrant from Sonic CD, Lava Reef from Sonic & Knuckles and Underground from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear.
- Some of the junk in Jasper Junkyard appears to be broken Sega Genesis consoles, dusty pictures of Mario, pieces of the Triforce, Donkey Kong's tie and a Sega 32x that has been cut in half.
With the game getting more publicity since it was released to the public, it has been burned to other CD-ROMS, Wii disks and 3DS game cards, and since it was so well acclaimed, Fusion Thunder Games made a sequel. It was released for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS bearing the title Sonic the 3D Hedgehog: One World for All.
On June 23, 2015, in time for Sonic the Hedgehog's 24th anniversary, Fusion Thunder Games released a remake of Sonic the 3D Hedgehog, titled Sonic the 3D Hedgehog Rediscovered, which has actually been in development for three years, ever since the original game was played for the first time. According to Fusion Thunder Games, the remake was handled by the company's most talented team; the same which worked on the original Saturn version back in the 1990s. Presumably, this means a different team at Fusion Thunder worked on the sequels. Sonic the 3D Hedgehog Rediscovered was released exclusively for the Wii U. It features the same plot, characters, stages and bosses, with an expanded storyline, updated graphics, extra bonus content, new level designs, more epic boss battles, many of the original game's bugs fixed, and all framerate issues dealt with, causing the game to run at a consistent 60 frames per second.