A large sprite of Ristar from the menu screen.
During the development of Sonic the Hedgehog,one idea SEGA came up with was a blue rabbit that could use its ears to pick up objects and throw them around. This idea was scrapped for the "Rolling Hedgehog Idea" that became the finalized Sonic. The idea for Stretchy Ears was remade into "Feel", but instead of using his ears, it was his arms. Feel's design was similar to Sonic with red-stripped shoes and ear-like points. His name was changed to Volt, then Ristar, then Dexstar, and finally back to Ristar, the final name.
Ristar is the main protagonist of the game, he is summoned by Oruto for a wish made from the plead of the elder and the tribe of planet Flora to save the six main planets, Planet Flora, Planet Undertow, Planet Scorch, Planet Sonata, Planet Freon and Planet Automaton and defeat the evil Kaiser Greedy and his minions to save the Valdi System. That was the story in the Japanese version.
Ristar is vulnerable to natural hazards like spikes and lava. He can also get hurt by enemy contact and by projectiles. Using his arms, you grab on to the enemies and send yourself onto them to knock them out. You can also use the Special Stage spinners to get to the Special Stage and collect the treasures or use the normal ones to turn yourself into a shooting star (press the direction Ristar is facing without letting go the Grab button). He can also climb ladders and climbing up or down on baskets. He does not drown when in water, unlike Sonic, he has a unlimited supply of air, surprisingly.
- Most of Ristar's idle animations have been removed in Western versions.
- A skiing sequence was added to the start of round five. Sprites for a skiing Ristar actually exist in the Japanese ROM, though it is completely unused.
- In the Western versions, Ristar's idle animation is giving a more angry appearance.
- In the Western versions, Ristar had a Skiing Segment at the beginning of Planet Freon, this was due to sport cutscenes/gameplay was popular to American audiences. the same sprites are in the Japanese Version, only unused, proving that there was going to be a Skiing cutscene in the Japanese version as well.
- In the Western versions, Ristar puts on Anti-Gravity Shoes in the English version in Planet Automaton. The same "Swimming in Midair" scene is in the japanese version, only lacking the shoes.The shoes were added to the American version to make it make the "Swimming in Midair" scene make sense.
- Ristar makes a cameo appearance in both Segasaga, Shenmue II (along with other famed SEGA characters) and Sonic & Sega Allstars Racing (in Death Egg circuit from download content)