It’s perhaps the most iconic level of its generation. Lush grassy hills, checkered soil, and abundant life: Green Hill Zone — the first area that players visit in the original Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis — is easily the most inviting level in the entire game.
Players become accustomed to the game mechanics without a formal tutorial. Green Hill Zone acts as a crash course on everything Sonic, introducing players to environmental features and hazards like loops, springs, ramps and spikes, as well as the robotic enemies — which are actually animals trapped by series villain Dr. Robotnik.
And then there is the music. Green Hill Zone sets the bar for what is one of the best 16-bit soundtracks with its fun tunes that seemingly push the player forward with upbeat, fast-paced sounds.
It’s hard to imagine Sonic the Hedgehog without Green Hill Zone, a level that has been replicated many times in subsequent Sonic games. It even has a special stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Whether you are a Sonic veteran or a young gamer who has yet to experience the classic Sonic on Sega Genesis, I hope you like my playthrough of Green Hill Zone and the other zones in Sonic the Hedgehog.
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