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Sonic & Knuckles Collection

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This page is for Windows 95 compilation port. For the emulated re-release, see Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

Sonic & Knuckles Collection
Sonic & Knuckles Collection cover
Sonic Team
Sega Technical Institute
Windows Sega PC
Expert Software
Release dates
Windows March 20, 1997
Monetization One-time game purchase
Perspectives Side view
Genres Platform
Series Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic & Knuckles Collection on MobyGames
Sonic & Knuckles Collection on Wikipedia
Sonic the Hedgehog fangames (series)
Sonic CD 1995
Sonic's Schoolhouse 1996
Sonic 3D Blast (series)
Sonic & Knuckles Collection 1997
Sonic R (series)
Sonic Adventure (series)
Sonic Heroes 2004
Sonic Mega Collection Plus 2006
Sonic Riders 2006
Sonic Racing (series)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2010
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine 2010
Sonic Spinball 2010
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 2011
Sonic 3 & Knuckles 2011
Sonic Generations 2011
Sonic CD (2012) 2012
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I 2012
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II 2012
Sonic Dash 2014
Sonic Lost World 2015
Sonic Mania 2017
Sonic Forces 2017
Sonic the Hedgehog (Mobile Decompilation) 2021
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Mobile Decompilation) 2021
Sonic Colors: Ultimate 2021
Sonic Origins 2022
Sonic Frontiers 2022
The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog 2023

Key points

This collection includes Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and the Blue Spheres lock-on game (listed as "Special Stage Mode").
Allows the choice of playing Sonic 3 or Sonic & Knuckles standalone, the way they were initially released.
The original Genesis/Mega Drive music has been replaced by synthesized MIDI. Use S&KC Mod Loader to restore the original Genesis/Mega Drive music.

General information

The official developer website
Sonic Retro - A huge fan site for everything Sonic the Hedgehog. Mods for all the games can be found here.


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
Disc check; see Run without the CD.
This game is not available digitally. This game was also included in Sonic Action Pack, Sonic Action 4 Pack, and Sega PC Mega Pack.[1]
A demo is available.

Essential improvements

Sega PC Reloaded

Simple and easy-to-use launcher with many options and tweaks.

Korama's Sega PC Reloaded is an installer, launcher, and patcher for some of Sega's older PC games. It currently supports Sonic & Knuckles Collection, Sonic CD (1995), Sonic 3D Blast, and Ecco the Dolphin (deprecated). It also fixes issues and/or broken functions of these games and allows them to run on Windows Vista and later along with some added improvements.

Installing the game with Sega PC Reloaded[2]
  1. Insert the Sonic & Knuckles Collection disc into your CD drive or copy the GAME folder from the disc into your computer.
  2. Download Sega PC Reloaded here, then run the launcher. From the launcher menu, select the Install Game option, and then select Sonic & Knuckles Collection.
  3. Select the Select source option from the menu to install from the disc or the folder containing the game's files, then you will be asked to find the drive letter where the disc is located (e.g. D:\) or the game folder, afterwards the launcher will then ask you to create a new folder to install the game with the patches.

    Alternatively, you can install the patches into <path-to-game> by selecting the Already installed option to patch the game.
  4. If the Sega PC Reloaded launcher has detected the game, you can adjust the settings as you see fit, then click Launch! to play the game. You should see "Korama's patches active!" appearing on screen when launching the game.

S&KC Mod Loader

Installing Sega PC Reloaded first is highly recommended.
Comes with SMPS Player which can restore the original Sega Genesis/Mega Drive music, if desired. SMPS-based fan recreations of the PC-specific music tracks are also offered.
Support for custom music.

The S&KC Mod Loader can allow tweaks and mods to be applied on Sonic & Knuckles Collection.

Use S&KC Mod Loader[2]
  1. Download S&KC Mod Loader here, then extract its contents to <path-to-game>.
  2. Run the SKCModManager.exe, then check any of the included mods with the file name [SMPS] if you wish to use the original Sega Genesis/Mega Drive version music, or check the MIDI Music mod if you use the synthesized MIDI music. Make sure to not mix the SMPS Player and MIDI music mods together.
  3. Click Install Loader to install the necessary *.dll files.
  4. Select the game mode of your choice (Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Sonic & Knuckles, or Sonic 3), then click Save & Play. You should hear the music of your choice when launching the game.

Run without the CD

Sega PC Reloaded includes this fix by default.
Create a S3K.INI file[3]
  1. Create a new text file with a text editor (e.g. Notepad, Notepad++).
  2. Copy and paste the debug configuration file's contents below into the text file.
  3. Set CDCheckEnable to 0.
  4. Save the file as S3K.INI (File → Save or Ctrl+S), then place this file into %WINDIR% or %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore\Windows. The game should be able to run without the disc.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Sonic3K\[Note 1]
If using Sega PC Reloaded, its settings will be stored in SONIC3K.ini under <path-to-game>.
The SonicGameMode variable changes which game will be played: 0 is Sonic 3 & Knuckles (default), 1 is Sonic & Knuckles, and 2 is Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\SONIC3K.BIN[Note 2]


General settings of Sega PC Reloaded launcher.
General settings of Sega PC Reloaded launcher.

Graphics feature State Notes
Widescreen resolution
Upscales from 320x240 (or 640x480 with Sega PC Reloaded). When using Sega PC Reloaded, the game can be either upscaled with nearest neighbor scaling or half-tone stretching, but the latter can cause the game to slow down; the game can also be either be rendered in 4:3 or stretched-to-fit.
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
2D game.
Toggle with F4 or set through Sega PC Reloaded.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Sega PC Reloaded runs in borderless fullscreen.[4]
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Anti-aliasing (AA)
High-fidelity upscaling
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Vsync is always on fullscreen mode, for better Vsync use Sega PC Reloaded; V-sync method can either be normal or reversed.
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Game speed is tied to frame-rate, anything higher than 60 FPS will be unplayable.
High dynamic range display (HDR)


Key remapping.
Key remapping.
Controller set-up.
Controller set-up.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Esc is bound to Jump and cannot be changed.
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse not used in-game.
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Full controller support
Exiting the game requires keyboard or mouse.
Controller remapping
Movement is bound to joystick and Jump buttons are bound to Buttons 1 and 2. Controls cannot be changed.
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Controller types
XInput-compatible controllers
DualShock 4 controllers
Generic/other controllers
Button prompts
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Simultaneous controller+KB/M


Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Partial with Sega PC Reloaded. Music volume can adjust through a slider while Sound Effects can either be enabled or muted.
Surround sound
No speech.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Only in the Japanese version.
Only in the Korean version.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
2 Co-op, Versus
Only Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles have multiplayer. For co-op mode, start a 1 Player game and play as Sonic & Tails; player 1 is Sonic and player 2 is Tails.
LAN play
Online play

Issues fixed

Game runs too fast

Use Sega PC Reloaded (recommended)[2]


The game may still run too fast, even when using Sega PC Reloaded. Try using Vsync (reverse) in case Vsync (normal) does not work.
Enable Frame-dropping[2]
  1. See Run without the CD.
  2. Set EnableFrameDrop to 1.
  3. Save the changes.


Noticeable frame-stuttering.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 3, 5
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 75 MHz
System memory (RAM) 8 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 20 MB
Video card (GPU) SVGA Video Adapter
1 MB of VRAM
DirectX 3 compatible
Sound (audio device) PC Speaker


  1. Applications writing to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE will be redirected to other locations based on various criterias, see the glossary page for more details.
  2. When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).