The Green Hill Zone is the first world that Sonic the Hedgehog
must journey through in the 1991 Sega Genesis
platformer masterpiece Sonic the Hedgehog
. Composed of three acts, the zone is a lush, green paradise full of rings, loops, and plenty of robotic badniks. Levels in most Sonic
games follow a steady progression, starting with the lush forests and gradually degrading into a machine nightmare. The Green Hill Zone represents the purity of Sonic
's world. What makes the zone worth mentioning is that it has reappeared over the years in several other Sonic
games, typically as a secret bonus meant to incite excitement among nostalgic gamers.
The level's first reappearance came in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Master System and Game Gear. Midway through the game the Green Hills level appears, and although it is not called Green Hill Zone per se, it is reasonable enough to believe that the game's creators meant to pay homage to the original zone. In Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Adventure 2 Battle players are challenged to collect emblems by completing each and every one of the game's objectives. Players who complete them all and earn all 140 emblems unlock a 3D remake of the Green Hill Zone, Act 1. This little gift from Sonic Team to fans is complete in every detail, although it does lack a few of the memorable badniks. Once unlocked the zone can be replayed at any time from the level select screen. 2002's Sonic Advance challenged Sonic and friends to complete the Neo Green Hill Zone, and although not identical to the original zone, the similar name again calls forth remembrances of the original Green Hill Zone. In the 2004 Game Boy Advance release Sonic Battle the Green Hill Zone is reborn as one of the locations in which to brawl. While it is not found in the main game, it is selectable for use in multiplayer battles. The zone is unlocked by completing each and every episode of the game's Story Mode.
There are a number of zones in various other Sonic games that, while similar to the Green Hill Zone, are not actually the original zone. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 featured the Emerald Hill Zone as its first world, while Sonic CD's grassy green zone was entitled Palmtree Panic and Sonic Adventure 2 required a romp through Leaf Forest. Rounding out the similar zones is Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure for the Neo Geo Pocket Color in which there is a Neo South Island that is layed out similar to the aforementioned Emerald Hill Zone and the Sega Master System/Game Gear Sonic Chaos's Turquoise Hill Zone and Mecha Green Hill Zone. Furthermore, the zone that became the Aquatic Ruin Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Genesis was originally entitled Neo Green Hill Zone in the beta version of the game. Insist on the quality and nostalgic factors of the original Green Hill Zone in all of your Sonic adventures; accept no substitutions please.
Did I miss an appearance of the Green Hill Zone? Please let me know.