THIS IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you experience audio lag when playing the web version on PC with Firefox, please try another browser like Chrome/Opera/Vivaldi, or download the standalone version.
If you experience audio crackling when playing the web version on mobile with Chrome/Opera/Vivaldi, please try another browser like Firefox or download the standalone version.
The 8 Pico Emeralds have been scattered! Sonic arrives on Pico Island, ready to collect them all!
pico sonic is a partial demake of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 made with PICO-8. It features a simplified version of Angel Island Act 1 with some tweaks. Various classic Sonic games were used as reference, including the 8-bit games (Game Gear and Master System), which have sprites closer to PICO-8's resolution and color palette, and the GBA titles, which have more clear-cut graphics.
The project was started as a personal challenge and was meant to be a fully-fledged fan game, but I eventually dropped many features to focus on Sonic's main movements and the exploration of the stage. Consider it a technical demo with some exploration challenge.
Disclaimer: the game runs on a patched version of PICO-8 that doesn't have the original token count limitation. However, I do respect the (compressed) characters limit for each cartridge.
pico sonic is a fan game distributed for free and is not endorsed by Sega. Sega Games Co., Ltd owns the Sonic the Hedgehog trademark and copyrights on the original assets.
Sonic has all basic movements from Sonic 1 but lacks look up and double-jump powers (there are no item boxes for shields anyway).
There is also no timer (sorry speedrunners!).
More info on the repository page.
- Attract mode (wait until end of music)
- Cinematic + stage intro before stage starts
There is a single demo stage which covers the first part of Angel Island Act 1. Scale is close to 1:1, but Sonic is slightly smaller (relatively to the environment) than in the original game.
The game uses a custom map "streaming" system to allow a bigger map than PICO-8's standard tilemap. There are no enemies, hazards, rings nor item boxes. Rocks are not destructible.
Some enemies have been replaced by static obstacles, and most importantly some items have been replaced by emeralds that can be collected to make the stage more interesting.
- Launch ramp
You can play with keyboard or gamepad with those inputs:
|Left/right arrows||D-pad left/right||Move|
|Down arrow||D-pad down||Crouch, Roll (during run)|
|Z/C/N||Face button up/down||(PICO-8 button O) Jump, Spin Dash (during Crouch)|
|X/V/M||Face button left/right||(PICO-8 button X) Cancel (menu)|
|Enter||Start||Open pause menu|
|Ctrl+R (standalone only)||Restart current cartridge (title, intro, stage or stage clear sequence)|
If you gamepad mapping is not correct when playing with the native PC binaries, you can customize it with SDL2 Gamepad Tool and copy-paste the configuration line into sdl_controllers.txt in PICO-8's configuration directory. For instance, the Logicool Gamepad F310 had Open PICO-8 menu mapped to Right Trigger, so I remapped it to Start instead.
In the pause menu (toggled with Enter/Start), if you are in-game, you can select the following options:
- Warp to start: restart stage from beginning keeping collected emeralds
- Retry from zero: restart stage losing emeralds collected so far
- Back to title: go back to title menu
Character can get stuck inside ground when landing on curves and inside loops(fixed)
Known technical issues
- The player cannot control the character until the stage intro is over
- The game pauses to switch to another cartridge, esp. at the end of the stage intro (only memory reload has been patched on PICO-8 to be instant)
- Web version: audio lag on Firefox on PC, audio crackling on Chrome (and other WebKit/Blink browsers) on Android
- Web version: high-pitched sounds in BGM do not convey the same as in desktop/cartridge versions
Known design issues
- The stage feels a bit empty and too big due to the lack of items, enemies and hazards
- Scaling is slightly inconsistent as the tilemap is 1:1, but the Sonic sprites are slightly smaller than they should be (rocks in particular look very big)
- Some ugly sprite / sprite transitions and SFX too far from the original sounds
You can download the latest release below, and any released version on the repository Releases page. If you own PICO-8 and want to run the .p8 or .p8.png cartridges directly, download the pico-sonic-p8.zip or pico-sonic-png.zip respectively. However, please note that you will need a patched version of PICO-8, and must extract the cartridge files under your local PICO-8 carts folder (see README).
In addition, you can download the background of the itch.io page below as "picosonic itch.io page background 4x.gif".
- Sonic Team - Original games
- danooct1 - 8-bit remixes of Sonic 3 BGMs
- Leyn (komehara) - Programming, Sprite/SFX/jingle adaptation, BGM adjustments
Please ask me before redistributing this game on a free game online platform! (linking to this page is OK, embedding is not)
|Updated||19 days ago|
|Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux, HTML5|
|Made with||PICO-8, Audacity, Aseprite, Sublime Text|
|Tags||2D, Demake, PICO-8, Pixel Art, Retro|
|Asset license||Creative Commons Attribution_NonCommercial v4.0 International|
|Average session||A few minutes|
|Inputs||Keyboard, Gamepad (any)|
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This is really cool! I did find a bug (I think it's a bug but there's always that small chance it's intentional) that allows the player to screen warp all the way to the end of the stage, it happened at the ramp after collecting the brown/8th emerald. again this demo is really cool and I'm glad it was made!
Wow, okay, I just fixed the bug that allowed you to fall below the ground and move to the end of the stage, but I didn’t know about this one. How do you do it?
You’re talking about the curved wall after the spring after the 8th/brown emerald right? (not the launch ramp before the yellow emerald)
Is it similar to the “wall escape” technique used by speedrunners on the Genesis games, which consist in entering a wall and running toward the left to get projected toward the right?
Yes I am talking about the curved wall after the brown/8th emerald, and yeah it was exactly like screen warp/ wall escape technique, it was the first thing I thought when I understood what happened and that's why I was unsure if it was intentional or not. The bug only happened on my first playthrough and unfortunately I haven't been able to recreate it since, I'll let you know if I do it again. but I remember using a spin dash while holding towards the right of the wall, I hope this works
is there some type of way to go super sonic if you restard the game with all emeralds?
That was the super nice-to-have feature on the list, but got dropped… Data change (increase speed) would probably be cheap, and it’s super cheap to recolor Sonic’s blue in yellow (as in the original game), but in reality you’d need dedicated sprites for most poses due to hair spikes change, and that would go out of budget (unless it was distributed on a separate cartridge!)
that seperate cartridge thing is actually a good idea
Time for some "Lock-on Technology"
In fact, PICO-8 uses that (almost), you can grab data from other cartridges, just not code! In fact, I’m already at the limit, using all 16 cartridges… But I guess I could merge a few of them.
This is such a good demake! Fantastic job
we need a tails version (not saying you have to)
It was in the original plan, but dropped when I hit PICO-8’s code limit and realized the Fly mechanic would go over the limit (also I’d have to adjust levels to make emeralds harder to get, unless I make playing with Tails the “easy” mode).
How did you know about my secret plan?! It turns out that after Sonic Mania, both Sonic Team and Evening Star will be working on 3D platformers, and I won’t be applying to them any time soon… But I’m glad that what started as a “tech demo for my portfolio” ended up as a proper experience with an actual level to play through.
Good! But there is no full screen
There is! Just click on the rectangle on the bottom-right
where is the red white and black emerald.
Red should be near the start of the level, but there is no black and white emerald, just a grey one.
I’ve never actually PLAYED Sonic before, but this game kinda, kinda makes me want to. (Get the reference?)
Thanks! Hm… I remember hearing this kind of sentence, but I don’t have a particular reference in mind.
The sprites are ADORABLE- If I had the skill, I'd want to swap the ones in Sonic Mania for Sonic's sprites from this
Well, Sonic Mania went the opposite direction, increasing color palette and sprites count, but it also give it its charm.
In fact, I’m still jealous of Sonic Mania walk and run cycle sprites count, which is 2x of Sonic Master System, 1, 2 and pico sonic, and 1.5x of Sonic 3! PICO-8 having limited resolution and color palette, most games stand out thanks to leveled-up animation.
But due to limitations of spritesheet (and my own ability to draw many sprites), I had to stick to Sonic 1 run cycle and art style; which ended up quite nice in the end.
bro my teacher played this
o_O in which context?
Wow I didn't know you could make something this cool in PICO-8 !! Amazing work!
Wow, this is so freaking impressive!
I love it. Amazing job
i wanna do games like you... but looks like i will never be able to make a game...
There are many resources available for that, and also schools if you want to go professional. I was doing web programming before, but I started working on standalone games 10 years ago with resources like Game From Scratch (https://www.youtube.com/c/gamefromscratch/) and later, Brackeys (https://www.youtube.com/c/Brackeys/). I’m on the code side of things but you can find your own field(s) of speciality. But more importantly, stay with the community: in the case of PICO-8, looking at other devs’ work and talking with them about how they do it is very instructional.
1: no badnik
I LOVE IT. I really hope for a fully fledged game. :)
i wanna die.
You can't release pico games as executable ? right ?
I definitely can, with the EXPORT command. The Windows, OSX and Linux executables you see have been produced like that.
In reality, they are just a common PICO-8 runtime executable (+ some shared library e.g. DLL depending on the platform) + a .dat file which contains the compressed Lua script + assets data.
So it’s just the .dat file that characterizes the game, while the pico8 runtime binary is just a common file for all games exported on a given platform, with a certain version of PICO-8.
WOAW your demake is so fantastic, i love it :)
But i'm really so sad ... i can't play it with my real PICO8 engine on my Batocera PC :(
If i understand fine i must use your modified version, but i can't ... i can only use the real engine :(
Is it really impossible to make a version working fine on the real engine please ?
Thanks a lot
(Note: some technical stuff below, I don’t know if you’re a PICO-8 programmer or just using it from the player side, but I put them in case you’re interested)
Ah, an enthusiast!
Let’s see… The biggest issue is the token limit. The most direct way to cut that is to remove all the backgrounds and foregrounds… I can try, but I’m fearing for the visuals.
The second issue is the “fast reload” patch. Unlike the token limit, it will not prevent you from running the game, but the game will freeze for up to 1s every time you change region (128x32 tiles). A true fix would be to store all the regions in Lua tables, and copy them myself instead of relying on PICO-8 reload. I believe it would be faster, not because of the implementation (Lua iteration may be slower than the engine’s C code even adding I/O operations).
An alternative could be to make a special reduced version of the level for vanilla PICO-8. This would fix the complex background code and the region loading issue (Bonevolt did it on Sonic 2.5 so I know it can be done, with the slight difference that my OOP code tends to be bigger).
For better results and in the spirit of PICO-8 I’d go with the second solution. Unfortunately I’m working 1 day/week on the project now (spending other days on new projects), mainly to complete the intro sequence, so I don’t think I’ll be able to make that happen any time soon.
Thanks a lot for your answer. I m not a développer. But i will stand for your update. Take your Time ... 😉
hey can i use the sprites in my gameboy sonic game?
OK! I cannot give you an exact license since it’s already fan art; just credit me and notify me when the game is out (consider it a kind of CC-BY-NC as mentioned in the itch game metadata, except that it only applies to my work of adaptation).
I don’t know if they will work in 4 colors though, you’ll have to try. If it fails, you can always ask pixel artists for help (I’m not 100% satisfied of my sprites, so if you find one maybe they can make nice sprites specifically for this color palette).
To extract the sprites:
- download the cartridge release (.p8.zip) and extract it
- open data_stage_sonic.p8 in PICO-8
- check the spritesheet and run
If you don’t have PICO-8 I can upload it directly on this page too.
could you upload it please? thanks
Yes, actually I’ve noticed that the exported spritesheet from PICO-8 misses one foot in the fall sprite due to it sticking out.
So I’ve uploaded the arranged spritesheet with the fixed foot as “picosonic sonic spritesheet (arranged) - pink background v6.0.png” (mostly useful for PICO-8 users; they should set transparency color to pink) and a variant “… transparent background v6.0.png” with a transparent BG (you’ll probably want that considering you’re gonna change the colors anyway).
From my 4 year old son:
Thank for making this. I liked how you can go really fast most.
Cheers, mate. Cracking job. Between us we got all the Emeralds. 🥳
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh i cant start
Which platform are you using? Where are you stuck?
Basically if you press C 3 times on the keyboard, you should immediately show the menu, start the Start Cinematic and then skip it to immediately start the level.
you will need hydro city and super sonic (if you collect the all)
It was planned initially, unfortunately, after a year or two I realized it was getting out of budget… (not just time but also code size limitations of PICO-8)
Maybe one day, someone will redemake it in Pixel Vision or something and go even farther… ?
It's an impressive work and has a very nice graphic design, it really looks like an official game! ;D
very cool game, didn't know Pico-8 is capable of such games! great pixel art too
Found this through SAGE. This is great!
Even got all the emeralds!
Do you have the cartridge image? If so, just reply with the image. (for P8 Player)
Yes, they are in the downloadable files, in pico-sonic-png.zip. It’s a multi-cartridge game so it’s actually a set of many cartridges (for code and data).
However, to run the game you need a patched version of PICO-8, because I went overboard and the ingame cartridge has more tokens than allowed. The patch would extend the number of tokens allowed (and also doing fast reload of data to avoid a short freeze each time you change level region). That’s cheating in a sense, but I’m still following the (compressed) characters / cartridge size restriction.
Unfortunately that prevents me from posting the game as a proper cartridge on the BBS, and you from playing the game from your player… Sorry for the inconvenience.
Note: there are more info on patching on https://github.com/hsandt/sonic-pico8#releases but it’s still incomplete (missing patches for Windows editor, etc.), and I don’t expect people to go to that length either. So the binaries are still the definitive version for this game.
i tought this was pico, from new grounds....Im stupid
bro they took pico as an 8 year old and mad him make this game
but i clipped into ground
Was it in a slope like the first curve, or inside a loop?
If so, that is a known issue although hard to reproduce, I will add it to the list of known issues and try to fix it in a future patch.
If it was in another place though, please tell me where so I make sure to fix this location too.
i cant find the first emerald
but this is good
Ok for find The red emerald (first emerald) go to The part what in Sonic 3 are speed monitor AND ring monitor upper (only in sonic 3 AND pico Sonic)
nice dude i beat it
I can never find that white emerald.... I got all the rest.
It’s well hidden, but follows some logic… I’m considering adding better visual cues in a future update, though.
jogo top adoro jogos do sonic marco infacia de todos sempre marcara
completed the demo!
This is a great game! kinda short, but collecting the emeralds proves timeworthy
Also I like the background gif on the page, and I was wondering if you could post it
You can get the background image in Firefox with right-click > View Background Image, but with Chrome you’d have to check the page source code. So I uploaded it along the game executables as “picosonic itch.io page background 4x.gif” to make it easier. Enjoy!
I finally got some time to listen to it. Thanks for taking the time to cover it!
The two other games you covered on this episode also caught my interest, I’ll check them out!
I like this and the thing I really like is that it is Dualshock 4 compatible!
Thank you! I didn’t do anything special to support DS4 (I tested Xbox-like controllers though) so I guess the PICO-8 web template was just good enough. Reminds me of InfernoPlus saying he can’t play most games on Steam with DS4, but he managed to make Mario Royale work with it. Maybe web tech has just something that makes it easier (that said, I managed to use all of my controllers including DS4 on PC when using Steam Big Picture)
Super cool work! The movement feels so good, and I like the Chaos Emeralds being scattered around (reminds me of Sonic 1 on Master System). Great job!