Green Hill Zone

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Green Hill Zone
Sonic the Hedgehog location
Green Hill Zone as it appears in the original Sonic the Hedgehog
First appearance Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
Created by Hirokazu Yasuhara [1]
Genre Platforming
Notable characters Sonic the Hedgehog, Doctor Eggman

Green Hill Zone(Japanese:グリーンヒルゾーン, Hepburn:Gurīn Hiru Zōn) is the first level of the 1991 Sega Genesis video game Sonic the Hedgehog . The level is grassy and lush, with environmental features such as palm trees, vertical loops and cliffs, and is the home of numerous forest animals. Like the game's other levels, Green Hill comprises three acts; in the third, Sonic fights antagonist Doctor Eggman before moving to the second level, Marble Zone. It was constructed by level designer Hirokazu Yasuhara and its musical theme was created by Masato Nakamura.

Japanese is an East Asian language spoken by about 128 million people, primarily in Japan, where it is the national language. It is a member of the Japonic language family, and its relation to other languages, such as Korean, is debated. Japanese has been grouped with language families such as Ainu, Austroasiatic, and the now-discredited Altaic, but none of these proposals has gained widespread acceptance.

Hepburn romanization is a system for the romanization of Japanese that uses the Latin alphabet to write the Japanese language. It is used by most foreigners learning to spell Japanese in the Latin alphabet and by the Japanese for romanizing personal names, geographical locations, and other information such as train tables, road signs, and official communications with foreign countries. Largely based on English writing conventions, consonants closely correspond to the English pronunciation and vowels approximate the Italian pronunciation.

Level (video gaming) in a video game, space available to the player in completing an objective

A level, map, area, stage, world, track, board, floor, zone, phase, mission, episode, or course in a video game is the total space available to the player during the course of completing a discrete objective. Video game levels generally have progressively increasing difficulty to appeal to players with different skill levels. Each level presents new content and challenges to keep player's interest high.


Green Hill Zone is considered to be a classic within both the Sonic the Hedgehog series and in video games in general. The level and its music have also received positive opinions from critics. It has appeared in other games, such as Sonic Adventure 2 , Sonic Generations , Sonic Mania , and Sonic Forces . Critics have noted a Green Hill-like aesthetic in levels of other games.

<i>Sonic the Hedgehog</i> Video game series

Sonic the Hedgehog is a media franchise owned by Sega, centering on a series of high-speed platform games. Sonic, the protagonist, is an anthropomorphic blue hedgehog with supersonic speed. Typically, Sonic must stop antagonist Doctor Eggman's plans for world domination, often helped by his friends, such as Tails, Amy, and Knuckles.

<i>Sonic Adventure 2</i> 2001 platform video game

Sonic Adventure 2 is a 2001 platform game developed by Sonic Team USA and published by Sega. The sequel to Sonic Adventure, it was the final Sonic the Hedgehog game for the Dreamcast after Sega discontinued the console. It features two good-vs-evil stories: Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower and Knuckles the Echidna attempt to save the world, while Shadow the Hedgehog, Doctor Eggman and Rouge the Bat attempt to conquer it. The stories are divided into three gameplay styles: fast-paced platforming for Sonic and Shadow, multi-directional shooting for Tails and Eggman, and action-exploration for Knuckles and Rouge.

<i>Sonic Generations</i> 2011 action adventure platform video game

Sonic Generations is a 2011 platform video game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, and Microsoft Windows. An installment in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, the game—which was produced in commemoration of its twentieth anniversary—follows Sonic and his sidekick Tails as they form an alliance with their past selves to stop an evil entity from erasing all time. It features two gameplay styles: "Classic", which plays from a side-scrolling perspective like that of the original Sega Genesis Sonic games, and "Modern", 3D levels similar to those in Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors.


Green Hill is the first level of Sonic the Hedgehog. Located on South Island, [2] :4 it is a lush, grassy stage with unique features like droopy palm trees [3] and crumbling cliffs. [2] :7 In addition, as with later levels in the game, Green Hill has environmental features and obstacles like ramps, [3] vertical loops, tunnels, spring-boards, spikes, [2] :7 and checkpoints. [2] :5 It is normally populated by woodland creatures, but antagonist Doctor Eggman imprisons them inside robots known as Badniks prior to the events of the game, so the player must destroy them to free the animals. [2] :2 Green Hill consists of three acts, and the end of Act 3 features a boss battle with Eggman. [2] :10 After beating Eggman, Sonic moves on to the second level, the lava-themed Marble Zone. [2] :7

Vertical loop basic roller coaster inversion

The generic roller coaster vertical loop, where a section of track causes the riders to complete a 360 degree turn, is the most basic of roller coaster inversions. At the top of the loop, riders are completely inverted.

Doctor Eggman Fictional character from Sonic franchise

Doctor Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik is a fictional character and the main antagonist of Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series. His original character designer was Naoto Ohshima, who created him as part of many design choices for the company's new mascot. After the creation of Sonic the Hedgehog, Ohshima chose to use his previous egg-shaped character to create the antagonist of the 1991 video game Sonic the Hedgehog, making him the archenemy of the series' eponymous main character.

Boss (video gaming)

In video games, a boss is a significant computer-controlled enemy. A fight with a boss character is commonly referred to as a boss battle or boss fight. Boss battles are generally seen at a climax of a particular section of the game, usually at the end of a level or stage, or guarding a specific objective; the boss enemy is generally far stronger than the opponents the player has faced up to that point, and is usually faced solo. A miniboss is a boss weaker or less significant than the main boss in the same area or level.. A superboss is generally much more powerful than the bosses encountered as part of the main game's plot and often optional to encounter. A final boss is often the main antagonist of a game's story and the defeat of that character provides ultimate satisfaction to the game player.

Sonic the Hedgehog was created by the newly formed Sonic Team, a 15-member Sega subsidiary formed to create a character that could compete with Nintendo's Mario. The game's level design was handled by Hirokazu Yasuhara, [4] and the musical theme was composed by Masato Nakamura from the Japanese band Dreams Come True. [5] In designing Green Hill, Yasuhara was inspired by the U.S. state of California, while the game's color scheme in general was influenced by the work of pop artist Eizin Suzuki. [6] While the original game was a 2D side-scroller, Green Hill was remade in full 3D as a secret level in the 2001 game Sonic Adventure 2 ; the player unlocks it after collecting all 180 of the emblems found by completing the game's many objectives. [7] The 2011 game Sonic Generations , a title that revisits past entries in the Sonic series, features both 2D ("Classic") and 3D ("Modern") versions of Green Hill, as well as of numerous other Sonic levels. [8] A reinterpretation of the level appears in the 2017 title Sonic Mania . [9] Green Hill Zone reappears in Sonic Forces , having partially turned to desert due to resource depletion by Eggman's industries. [10] In the 2020 film Sonic the Hedgehog, Green Hill Zone appears as a small town in Montana under the name of Green Hills.

Sega CS Research and Development No. 2, commonly abbreviated as Sega CS2 R&D and better known as Sonic Team, is a video game development division of the Japanese company Sega. Sonic Team is best known for the long-running Sonic the Hedgehog series and games such as Nights into Dreams and Phantasy Star Online.

Sega Japanese video game developer and publisher and subsidiary of Sega Sammy Holdings

Sega Games Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational video game developer and publisher headquartered in Tokyo. Its international branches, Sega of America and Sega Europe, are respectively headquartered in Irvine, California and London. Sega's arcade division, once part of Sega Corporation, has existed as Sega Interactive Co., Ltd. since 2015. Both companies are subsidiaries of Sega Holdings Co., Ltd., which is in turn a part of Sega Sammy Holdings.

Nintendo Japanese video game company

Nintendo Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company headquartered in Kyoto. Nintendo is one of the world's largest video game companies by market capitalization, creating some of the best-known and top-selling video game franchises of all-time, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon.

In addition, Green Hill appears as a stage in the 2.5D fighting game Sonic Battle , [11] in the tennis video game Sega Superstars Tennis , in the sports video game Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games , in the mobile title Sonic Dash , in the crossover adventure game Lego Dimensions , and in the crossover fighting games Super Smash Bros. Brawl , Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS , Super Smash Bros. Ultimate , and Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax . [12] [13]


The two-and-a-half-dimensional perspective is either 2D graphical projections and similar techniques used to cause images or scenes to simulate the appearance of being three-dimensional (3D) when in fact they are not, or gameplay in an otherwise three-dimensional video game that is restricted to a two-dimensional plane with a limited access to the third dimension. By contrast, games using 3D computer graphics without such restrictions are said to use true 3D.

A fighting game is a video game genre based around close combat between a limited number of characters, in a stage in which the boundaries are fixed. The characters fight each others until they defeat their opponents or the time expires. The matches typically consist of several rounds, in a arena, with each character having different abilities but each is relatively viable to choose. Players must master techniques such as blocking, counter-attacking, and chaining attacks together into "combos". Starting in the early 1990s, most fighting games allowed the player to execute special attacks by performing specific input combinations. The fighting game genre is related to but distinct from beat 'em ups, which involve large numbers of enemies against the human player.

<i>Sonic Battle</i> video game

Sonic Battle is a fighting video game developed by Sonic Team for the Game Boy Advance. It was published by Sega in Japan and THQ in North America and Europe. It is the second fighting game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, the first game being Sonic the Fighters. It is the sequel to 2002's Sonic Advance 2 and was released in Japan in December 2003 and in North America and Europe in early 2004.


Critical reception

Green Hill Zone has received consistently positive opinions from critics, particularly for its music. Craig Snyder at MakeUseOf named the level as one of the five best levels in video games, calling it "a great way to prepare for what’s to come". [14] Game Informer 's Tim Turi found the level's music "catchy", [15] and Wong ranked it as the thirteenth greatest piece of gaming music from the 16-bit era. [16] In 2010, Sega's community manager, Aaron Webber, returned from a vacation to find his cubicle redecorated to resemble Green Hill; IGN's Levi Buchanan claimed that "everyone wants to come back to" this, [3] and Owen Good of Kotaku exclaimed "I want to work in Green Hill Zone, too!" [17] Writing for the Sabotage Times , Carl Anka ranked the original Sonic the Hedgehog as having the greatest music of any video game, largely as a result of Green Hill's theme. [18]

<i>Game Informer</i> American-based monthly video game magazine

Game Informer (GI) is an American monthly video game magazine featuring articles, news, strategy, and reviews of video games and associated consoles. It debuted in August 1991 when FuncoLand started publishing a six-page magazine. The publication is owned and published by GameStop Corp., the parent company of the video game retailer of the same name, who bought FuncoLand in 2000. Due to this, a large amount of promotion is done in-store, which has contributed to the success of the magazine; it is now the 4th most popular magazine by copies circulated. Game Informer has since become an important part of GameStop's customer loyalty program, PowerUp Rewards, which offers subscribers access to special content on the official website.

In the history of computer and video games, the fourth generation of game consoles began on October 30, 1987 with the Japanese release of NEC Home Electronics' PC Engine. Although NEC released the first console of this era, sales were mostly dominated by the rivalry between Nintendo's and Sega's consoles in North America: the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Genesis. Handheld systems released during this time include the Nintendo Game Boy, released in 1989, and the Sega Game Gear, first released in 1990.

<i>IGN</i> American entertainment website

IGN is an American video game and entertainment media website operated by IGN Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Ziff Davis, itself wholly owned by j2 Global. The company is located in San Francisco's SOMA district and is headed by its former editor-in-chief, Peer Schneider. The IGN website was the brainchild of media entrepreneur Chris Anderson and launched on September 29, 1996. It focuses on games, films, television, comics, technology, and other media. Originally a network of desktop websites, IGN is now also distributed on mobile platforms, console programs on the Xbox and PlayStation, FireTV, Roku, and via YouTube, Twitch, Hulu, and Snapchat.

Critics have compared levels, particularly first levels, of later Sonic games to Green Hill. Turi considers Emerald Hill from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 , Mushroom Hill from Sonic & Knuckles , and Seaside Hill from Sonic Heroes to fit the same general mold as Green Hill, noting repetition in Sonic level design and stating that "gamers have played Green Hill Zone dozens of times." However, he has opined that the Sonic Generations version of the original Green Hill "trounces them all" in both its 2D and 3D incarnations. [15] Justin Baker of Nintendo World Report and Skrebels both analogized Windy Hill from Sonic Lost World to Green Hill, [19] [20] while Carter thought similarly of The Legend of Zelda downloadable content levels. [21] The decision to include Green Hill in other titles in the series, such as Sonic Forces , has been a source of debate among some fans, who believe that Sega has overused the stage since its debut. [22]

Impact and legacy

Green Hill as it appears in 3D ("Modern") form in Sonic Generations Green Hill Generations.png
Green Hill as it appears in 3D ("Modern") form in Sonic Generations

Green Hill Zone has also been recognized by critics as a classic, well-known video game level. It has been described as "classic" by Samit Sarkar of Polygon and by Jim Sterling and Chris Carter of Destructoid. [21] [23] [24] Comparably, Joe Skrebels of Official Nintendo Magazine called it "nostalgic", [20] while Christopher Grant from Joystiq considered it to have a place "in the center of your retro-gaming shrine". [25] Kevin Wong of Complex stated that the game's and level's popularity were such that "even if you didn't have a Genesis, this was the level you played at the department store while your parents went shopping." [16] Andy Kelly from Computer and Video Games called the Green Hill theme a "monumental slice of Sega nostalgia", [5] and GamesRadar writer Justin Towell also referred to it as classic. [26] Anka has summarized that "Green Hill Zone in the original game has gone down as an instantly recognisable piece of music in pop culture". [18]

To mark Sonic's fifteenth anniversary in 2006, Sega released a papercraft version of Green Hill as a PDF on its website. [25] In 2011, not long after the release of Sonic Generations, Sega held a contest inviting gamers to upload YouTube video playthroughs of the game's 3D version of Green Hill completed in less than one minute and fifty seconds; winners were eligible for Sonic merchandise. [27]

See also

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  13. Bandai Namco Games Inc. (October 3, 2014). Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS . Nintendo. Level/area: Stage select screen. Description: SONIC THE HEDGEHOG: GREEN HILL ZONE
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