The Master System was thriving in Brazil at the time of its launch in that country on October 23, 1991. The Game Gear version was released in Japan on December 28, 1991. The game was released in the same month in North America and Europe.
The gameplay is similar to that of the Sega Genesis Version. The items used in-game are the same, but point markers are replaced by point arrows. One cannot grab back rings that he/she lost if she got hit. Chaos Emeralds aren't found in special stages. They are hidden in one stage in each of the six zones. Three of the zones came from the Genesis version of the game. The Bridge and Jungle Zones are considered unsual today for Sonic the Hedgehog zones. However, this was Sonic's second game, so such norms hadn't been established yet. Each zone had three acts. The first two acts had normal gameplay, but the third act had no rings and a boss fight. Trial and error were required for the player to defeat the bosses. The Special Stages are only there so players could collect Continues and Extra Lives.
The Game Gear version has a smaller screen resultion, but a higher color palette. Sonic's sprite is smaller and the control feels lighter. In the first zone, warning signs had been places because the high speed with the narrow screen could present problems. The Jungle Zone Act 2 allowed for vertical descent without losing a life, which made this stage easier in the Game Gear version. The Labryinth Zone level design was different in this version also, and the Chaos Emerald is in a totally new location. Several bosses, including the very last one, got modified or even replaced. The special stages also got redesigned, with all springs being of like color.
This is a list of the zones played: