by Emerald Mentality in

Robotnik Returns

Creator: Pacguy

Classification: ROM Hack

Base Game: Sonic the Hedgehog 1 (1991)


Robotnik Returns was created and presented by Pacguy. This is a rom hack of Sonic the Hedgehog 1 which presents massive changes to the game. New zones, music ports, artwork, layouts, and many others are present.


Robotnik was getting frantic. Every plan he made seemed to be thwarted effortlessly by the blue hedgehogS, and his ideas were getting stupider and stupider by the week. Utterly confused and enraged, he looked back on some of his old files, and realized that his previous ideas were much better than his current schemes! They’d given Sonic a run for his money, and he had just barely escaped Robotnik’s seemingly fool-proof plans. Perhaps, if he lured Sonic back to South Island, he could get his old lairs back in working order. Of course, most of the ruins had been torn apart by the test of time and Dr. Robotnik’s “Modifications”. Green Hill Zone was protected by the lingering Chaos Emerald magic, and spring yard zone had to be left behind. He got lucky, though. Scrap Brain Zone was in working order, and he worked hard to make it as cruel and soul-crushing as Sonic could ever imagine…




  1. Ring: Sonic receives 10 rings.
  2. Shield: Sonic  receives a shield.
  3. Invincibility: Sonic becomes invincible for a short time.
  4. Speed Shoes: Sonic becomes faster for a short time
  5. S Monitor: Reveals secrets and gives the player 10 rings. If the player has all 6 chaos emeralds, something special occurs.
  6. Timer Monitor: All enemies on screen will freeze until the end of the level. Timer monitors are hidden very well and only exist in Lazy Field Zone and Technopolis Zone. (This is likely due to issues with Caterkillers and Orbinauts.)
  7. Ghost Monitor: An extremely secretive monitor that only appears once in the game. “It’s somewhere in Pollutant Plant Zone.”


Obtaining all six of the Chaos Emeralds provides a much easier experience in the game. Having all emeralds will:

  1. Remove the SPIKE BUG
  2. Allow Sonic to start with 10 rings when he starts a new zone.
  3. Allows entry to Hidden Palace through the Special Stage Ring
  4. Activate all S monitors, allowing them to execute their proper function


Sonic the Hedgehog

Lily the Flicky


Sonic the Hedgehog, of course, returns in this creative version of the game. Gameplay is pretty much the same.

Lily the Flicky is a flicky in a machine who is ready for her next adventure. She can Jump Dash and is immune to large spikes, but can not Spin Dash or roll, which makes navigation a little more challenging for her at times. Being inside of a mech, she can also breathe underwater.


  1. LAZY FIELD ZONE: The 1st zone in the game is largely based on art and visuals from green Hill. It is in the same general area as Green Hills as it shares many features. “It’s said that the original Green Hill zone is just beyond those far off mountains…”
  2. CONSTRUCTION ZONE: This is a construction site that serves to help build Technopolis. Contains a plethora of floating platforms and springs. Be prepared.
  3. TECHNOPOLIS ZONE: The huge city around Scrap Brain. Uninhabited for now, many floating platforms and springs seem to have bled over here from the construction site. Not to mention, the place is filled with rings to obtain.
  4. POLLUTANT PLANT ZONE: This place contains many pipes that transport hazardous chemicals and waste into the environment. Traps, spikes, and crushers inundate the the land. Act 1 contains 2 hidden exits. Stay Sharp.
  5. SCRAP BRAIN ZONE: Scrap Brain has been remodeled to be worse than ever before. Before there could be Eggmanland, this place had to be made first. Act 2 has a minimal number of rings and only one shield monitor.
  6. SCRAPPED RUIN ZONE: As water continued to flood from Act 3 of the original Scrap Brain, lower levels of the zone were completely submerged. Now the place has many broken wires, lost machinery, and Sonic’s favorite obstacle.
  7. FINAL ZONE: This is Dr. Robotnik’s very last attempt at defeating the hedgehog. Not fully expecting Sonic to get this far, the Doctor did not change much to accomodate. 
  8. HIDDEN PALACE ZONE: This is an eerie location that Sonic attempts to travel to with the 7th special stage. With loads of rings and lives to obtain, you may then leave at the top of the level to return to the zone you were just in. Interestingly enough, Hidden Palace magic seems to prevent Sonic from drowning….Not sure how helpful it is though.


When playing as Lily, the graphics for her skidding has not been created and is replaced with Sonic skidding.

Creator's Credits

  1. nineko, for all custom music besides the themes for Lazy Field and Pollutant Plant Zone, which are my own ports, as well as helping with code for Sonic’s level layouts.
  2. Xeta (Sonic Retro), for an edit of the theme used for Construction Zone (made by nineko) which uses Sonic 1’s default DAC
  3. LooneyDude (SSRG), who gave me some advice for art changes
  4. Professor Neo (SSRG), who helped with the special stage layouts
  5. The Sonic Retro wiki How to section, for lots of coding, and teaching me how to edit raw ASM
  6. The SSRG repository, where I found Nineko’s songs
  7. The Sonic Retro and SSRG forum members, for playtesting and general feedback

Sonic Metropolis Credits

  1. Pacguy for creation of this ROM hack of Sonic 1.
  2. Sonic Retro for information
  3. All parties that aided in the creation of this hack.
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