The malevolently gifted scientist, Dr. Eggman Nega, is about to hatch his biggest scheme yet. "Hmph. Those idiotic, moronic, Southern Islanders. They hope that the "evil scientist" is dead, when I'm about to hatch my greatest plot! Soon I can create the ultimate utopia, Negaland! And Southern Island will be a mere stepping stone." Meanwhile, on Southern Island, the people are living their normal lives when an army of animal-shaped robots appeared and started destroying everything! And, far above, floating in the Negamobile, is the scientist Dr. Nega. "You think your puny technology can stop me? You can't stop me, no one can! There's not a being alive that can stop me!! Mwa ha ha!!" Now somewhere in the Blue Hills of Southern Island is a 13-year-old super anthropomorphic cat named Blaze. She saw helpless people being attacked by a robot. Blaze raced over at high speed and destroyed the robot. Much to her surprise, she saw an animal pop out of the robot. "Oh no. Someone's bullying animals and people alike. I... Hate... Bullies! It's time to pick on someone his own size!" ...And now the fight is on.
Blaze the Cat
The main and only playable character of the game. Blaze, living on Southern Island, is one of Eggman Nega’s victims. However, she fought back and, with her super speed and fire powers, was more than capable of destroying the robots, finding Nega’s base and rescuing the island’s inhabitants.
Dr. Eggman Nega
Eggman Nega, originally Namgge Agen, is the main villain of the game. Desiring world conquest, Nega builds his own army of robots and sends them to Southern Island, where they attack the inhabitants. After learning of super cat Blaze, Nega boards his offensive machines and constantly attacks the feline hero, only to be defeated.
In the game, Blaze has to prevent Dr. Eggman Nega from collecting the seven Sol Emeralds in an attempt to rule Southern Island. The player controls Blaze as she traverses seven zones of three acts each. At the end of the third act of each zone, the player faces Dr. Eggman Nega in one of his vehicles.
The game play centres on Blaze's ability to run, jump, and tornado-spin at high speeds. Levels include springs, slopes, high falls and loop-de-loops, to allow the player to achieve high speeds. Essential to the game play are the signature golden rings the player collects, which are regularly placed around the level map. While Blaze possesses at least one ring, the player will not lose a life when injured. Instead, the rings the player has collected will fly outward from Blaze which can then be retrieved before they disappear. If the player runs into an enemy without possessing any rings, he will lose a life.
If the player has at least 50 rings at the end of an act, a giant golden ring will float above the finishing sign which can be jumped through to enter one of the Special Stages (this excludes the final act of a stage, when Blaze will enter a boss fight). At the end of each act, the total number of rings the player has is multiplied by 100 and added to the player's score. During the score-tallying, the player can also jump through the air to find hidden emblems which can range from 100 to 10,000 points.
Several bonus items appear throughout each level. These include a shield, a 10-ring bonus, an extra life, temporary invincibility, and "Super Sneakers", which give the player a temporary speed boost. The item monitors have become another long-lasting feature in the series, though they have been changed to bubble-like containers in later games.
Despite the various types of protection available, neither the shield, rings nor invincibility will prevent the player losing a life if Blaze is crushed (by a trap or between a wall and a moving platform), drowned, passes the ten-minute time limit, or falls into a pit.
Progression through the game is made easier for the player by lamp posts that act as checkpoints. When Blaze passes a lamp post, the game will resume from that point when the player loses a life.
Hazards the player experiences include a wide variety of "badniks" - these appear as animals trapped inside mechanical bodies which are released the moment the player hits them. Each badnik takes one hit to destroy, but they vary greatly from Zone to Zone; some will walk in a set path, others will try blasting the player, and some cannot be avoided at all. The player must also avoid rows of sharp spikes, cliffs, and elaborate death traps. There is also the threat of drowning, as the player can only survive approximately 30 seconds underwater (locating air bubbles can extend this).
The game features no game saves or passwords, and the player is given a limited number of continues. When the player has used all of his continues, the game is restarted from the beginning.
The games levels are each played in a different zone on Southern Island.
- Blue Hill Zone
- Crystal Zone
- Summer Garden Zone
- Maze Zone
- Moonlight Zone
- Metallic Fortress Zone
- Concluding Zone