By Harder Project

Sonic And The Mystic Gems (previously known as Sonic 1 Harder Levels) is a Sonic 1 rom-hack that began in 2005 with the simple purpose of being a generic Sonic 1 for Sega Genesis with increase difficulty and revamped versions of the original levels. But now, it's going to present a completely new gaming experience with a new style of level layouts full of paths everywhere among new enemies, new objects, new character abilities, new menus, completely different styles of the Sonic 1 special stages and much more!

This time, the Sonic 1 original zones gave place to new zones with unique art and a different pleasure to the eyes. The music is also being reformed to give a better ear-hearing experience, now less amateur and more like what a Sonic game must be.

Charactes can glide, climb, fly, swim and homing attack everywhere but the same time these are their generic abilities, they work slightly different to make the levels more explorative and fun to play. Smashing blocks, smashing ceilings, smashing walls and smashing enemies is what will make you positively shocked with how the game has absolutely nothing to do with its predecessor "Sonic 1 Harder Levels".

Gameplay now focuses in the new "characters alternation" gameplay methodology, so to proceed in the game you'll need to know each behavior from each of the three characters available on it if you don't want to be completely stuck or lost into the mazes of the game's explorative sections.


Although the game is about to show a different gaming experience, it should be borne in mind that the current version is in an alpha prototype state and a lot will be modified until the next versions are released in the future.

Many objects, screens and cutscenes are currently under development and may have been cut from this demo; and that includes enemies, bosses, badniks, new mechanics and even stages. Currently only a total of 5 acts and special stages are available to play. The project is not being developed quickly, so be patient and understand that a lot will be improved over time. However, we at Harder Project are open to constructive suggestions and comments that will surely help us in the evolution of the project.


Programming: HPZMan & Hcktrox (The main ones), Disco The Bat, Vladikcomper, Genesisfan64, Esrael Neto, Eduardo Knuckles, Selbi

Level layout design: Eduardo Knuckles, MightyArnold

Sprite artists: Eduardo Knuckles, Dolphman and Anne/Sketch (from The Spriters Resource), Prilix Bokun, Mr. Cat

Level artists: Eduardo Knuckles, The Spriters Resource, Estlib

Music department: Eduardo Knuckles, Valleybell (because this work wouldn't be possible without his awesome tools), Hardline Team

Additional support and feedback that's helping the project to improve since the past until the current days: Erik JS, Esrael Neto, Tornado, MarkeyJester, Natsumi, SonicVaan, Megalomania, Stephen UK, Bennascar, LordXernom, Spanner, Tweaker, nineko among others that I don't remember right now (sorry! :/ )


File Type: rom/mega-drive

File Size: 2.16 MB

Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-11-11 08:07:01

Comment deleted by Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-11-11 10:01:41

Natsumi @ 2019-12-02 06:50:44

The art is great and some of the music is good, but I hate everything else about this hack

Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-02 15:47:41

Comment deleted by Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-07 04:20:38

MightyArnold @ 2019-12-03 10:13:50

Comment deleted by MightyArnold @ 2019-12-04 17:43:17

Romulok77 @ 2019-12-02 10:07:36

I liked the art of the game, the music, the animations of the characters was what caught my attention. Other than that the layout and level design of the acts are not good.

Last modified by Romulok77 @ 2019-12-02 10:11:33

Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-02 16:06:04

What I can do to improve'em? I'm accepting suggestions.

Sonic_the_dutch_hedgehog @ 2019-12-02 10:55:34


Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-02 15:48:54

Thanks. A new release with more features and more fixes will be coming soon.

Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-02 15:43:51

Comment deleted by Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-02 15:46:55

ElectricSparx @ 2019-12-02 16:48:20

Art and music is good, no problems there. Level design is... not that great. It's confusing, and most of the levels feel like classic "WHERE THE FUCK DO I GO" levels. Overall, not that enjoyable. At least there weren't a lot of dick moves? The boss is awful, but I can't say I was surprised, because I knew as soon as I heard Advance 2's boss theme, I was in for a real treat. This is bad difficulty, and I hope you adjust this for future versions to be less what we call "fucking bullshit."

FireRat @ 2019-12-02 17:12:34

How is the boss bullshit? all you need in order to find out the pattern is move left/right through the right half of screen. When boss is on "idle" state, you can walk back, hit it 1 or 2 times from underneath, then quickly move to the screen's right half again. All 3 attacks have a prior "warning", and overall I tried to keep them fast enough so you don't get bored from waiting the hit windows

Romulok77 @ 2019-12-02 17:43:29

Parte dos inimigos da Marguerite garden act3 parecem piabas..... PIABAS mano. Kkkkkk

Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-02 18:19:08

Qualquer coisa é só ir lá e desenhar uns melhores. E só pra você saber, aquilo lá é uma carpa. Muito obrigado pelos seus comentários nada construtivos, tanto sobre minhas fases quanto sobre o badnik que eu fiquei dias para elaborar.

Last modified by Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-02 18:30:50

Romulok77 @ 2019-12-03 03:07:00

Era so zuera :(

MightyArnold @ 2019-12-03 10:23:08

Desenha e programa um badnik melhor que esse e talvez a gente leve teu comentário em consideração.

Romulok77 @ 2019-12-04 15:15:36


Romulok77 @ 2019-12-04 15:48:37

Ate pra zoar precisar saber programar.... Internet ta fo*a em. -_-

Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-06 03:43:15

É, só que isso aqui é uma disputa e esse tipo de "zoeira" aqui não tem graça alguma. Pois essa sua "zoeira" poderia terminar influenciando na votação e naquilo que o público pensa sobre o jogo. Se você não tinha o que falar, o melhor que poderia ter feito era ter ficado quieto em vez de ter vindo aqui querer dar o ar da graça. Porque até onde sei, isso aqui não é lugar para memes e para "zoeira".

Last modified by Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-06 03:48:44

Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-07 04:21:40

Mas tudo bem, de qualquer forma eu entendo que é uma brincadeira portanto sem problemas.

Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-06 03:47:40

Comment deleted by Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-06 06:01:00

Skrillthemaster @ 2019-12-02 19:25:43

This hack is great, the sprites are amaizing. But the level are confusing like the first one and the tails stage especialy. Exept of that, I like the idea

Dashaque @ 2019-12-02 23:10:39

I have to echo what everyone else is saying. The hack looks, sounds and plays great but the level layouts just make it less fun. I had to give up on Tails' level because when I wasn't completely lost I was dying too often to obstcles that just shouldn't be there. There's also a lot of springs... I'd try to cut back on the srpings. You have potential here so I hope you don't give up or anything. Just work on the layouts and it'll be better.

Last modified by Dashaque @ 2019-12-02 23:11:40

Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-03 03:17:06

I will change the level purposes (...and even the art) in the next updates. I'm going to do (yet) another overhaul in this project to make it better, though.

While this, all I could say is that you could try this one here.

Tails swimming graphics are kinda glitched in this one, so please ignore this detail.

Last modified by Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-03 03:18:17

lordxernom @ 2019-12-03 08:34:07

I really like this hack, art and music are amazing. About level design, I love alternative pathways, new enemies and ideas. MGZ3 isn't that bad, but it needs changes to make it easier to explore imo (less dead-ends and art/other pieces that would make each pathway less same-ish). Overall I'm fan of this project for a long time and I would play even more in potential next version.

campbellsonic @ 2019-12-03 14:55:22

My opinions on this are pretty much the same as everyone else's: It looks and sounds great, but the level design needs a lot of work. I spent far too long trying to find the Mystic Gem in MG2 and just gave up in MG3 because I had no idea where I was going and it just wasn't fun. Regarding the boss fight, the only issue with it is that you don't have any rings; it's a great boss otherwise. So, pretty solid entry overall, just a bit rough around the edges. Looking forward to future updates!

campbellsonic @ 2019-12-03 14:55:45

Also I found a bug, you can play as any character in Blue Lake Paradise by going to a level with the character you want and quiting to the main menu, then going to Blue Lake Paradise (both from the Start Game button and the level select).

Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-03 15:03:17

This isn't exactly a bug. The idea of the game is that you could play with any character in the first act, but the others will force you to exchange between the characters. I'm going to give it a look, though. Thanks for mention this one!

Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-03 15:05:38

Comment deleted by Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-03 15:41:48

Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-03 15:42:06

I fixed MGZ3 in a new patch and this one will be available for download soon.

Diacute @ 2019-12-03 18:28:06

The level art, music, and sprite. They all look great. I do like the ideas like character specific levels. The level layout is very lackluster. For a lack of a better term, too “Open?”. There’s a lot of neat ideas like boosters, the loops in the Blue lake zone. But they don’t offer a lot of ways to build up speed. Not that you should do stuff like make a super powerful Air dash for movement, I like your implementation of it in this hack. IMO it needs variety and more of a pronounced ABC path.

Diacute @ 2019-12-03 18:28:44

Though for knuckles you can just tweak the level philosophy for it to flow better and possibly a Crystal Radar like in SA2. As for the boss, it’s great though the idle state should last like 1 second longer to offer more breathing room, I find myself just skimping eggman’s Arm. The hack could use more badniks but you said that you’re developing more so I’m excited to see when the come out. From a mechanical side of things, Sonic picking up speed feels pretty sluggish, though it’s probably me.

Diacute @ 2019-12-03 18:29:13

I do like that you’re going for more than a simple Hold right sonic game. The progress you’ve made is great, though there’s room for improvement, I’m excited to see the next version.

Eduardo Knuckles @ 2019-12-05 09:28:45

Hey, guys. According to all the feedack given, I did a improved built of the game. If you guys wanna give it a try, here it is.

Diacute @ 2019-12-06 05:30:05

Okay I gave the new build a try and so far.Blue lake is shaping up a bit. It could use some more badniks when those do get developed (Same for the rest of the levels) Idk if the Red Star mechanic was meant to be in this build or not but it did help a lot. It made the level design feel a lot more natural like they're meant for exploration. Though it could use some slopes, maybe a traditional loop or two.

Diacute @ 2019-12-06 05:30:47

MGZ act 1: I'm not sure if you removed the Gen finding mechanic because I finished the level without it. The level design there IMO feels fine as long as there's a hunting system to finding the gem. MGZ Act 2 Feels Okay as well I'm only one person so Idk how the rest feels. MGZ3 Feels a bit more open, some of the dead end spots as I said before made a lot more sense now since the red star finding is there. Neon Star A1 was a pleasant surprise it felt a lot more like Star Light in a good way.

Diacute @ 2019-12-06 05:31:00

There's room for improvement but the backbone is there and it's a good improvement. The Boss: Adding rings made the boss feel better. Idk if it was a placebo effect but the boss' down time felt just a second slower giving me more head room to make a break for it before robotnik wings his arms. So far with the quick time you whipped the revision up, it's a great starting point

Jdpense @ 2019-12-06 11:42:44

I think the level design is alright, but I think there are some parts that can be a tad confusing.

I.E. In the very first level, there was a half upside-down loop which required me to use a spring, but I got stuck at that section, since I didn't know I had to hold right on the d-pad in order to get across.

Overall, the music in this hack had some of the best tracks in this contest imo, and I would like to see more of this project in progress!

ShyToad @ 2019-12-10 17:03:15

I like this hack