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    Expert Mode FAQ by Typical

    Version: 1 | Updated: 10/18/06 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    SHADOW THE HEDGEHOG
    EXPERT MODE FAQ
    
    SECTION 1. Introductory Things
    1-1 Unlocking Expert Mode
    1-2 How Expert Mode Works
    1-3 A Brief Note
    1-4 CREDIT where CREDIT is DUE
    
    SECTION 2. Walkthrough
    	W-A General Tips
    
    	STAGE 1
    	W-1 Westopolis
    
    	STAGE 2
    	W-2-1 Digital Circuit
    	W-2-2 Glyphic Canyon
    	W-2-3 Lethal Highway
    
    	STAGE 3
    	W-3-1 Cryptic Castle
    	W-3-2 Prison Island 
    	W-3-3 Circus Park
    
    	STAGE 4
    	W-4-1 Central City
    	W-4-2 The Doom
    	W-4-3 Sky Troops
    	W-4-4 Mad Matrix
    	W-4-5 Death Ruins
    
    	STAGE 5
    	W-5-1 The ARK
    	W-5-2 Air Fleet
    	W-5-3 Iron Jungle
    	W-5-4 Space Gadget
    	W-5-5 Lost Colony
    
    	STAGE 6
    	W-6-1 GUN Fortress
    	W-6-2 Black Comet
    	W-6-3 Lava Shelter
    	W-6-4 Cosmic Fall
    	W-6-5 Final Haunt
    
    	STAGE 7
    	W-7 The Last Way
    
    Section 2
    	2-1 What do you get for beating Expert Mode?
    	2-2 About the guide writer	
    
    ***
    SECTION 1
    
    1-1 UNLOCKING EXPERT MODE:
    
    For one, you must have beaten last story. For two, 
    you have to get A-ranks in all missions and all 
    bosses. That's 71 A-ranks in total. Earning those As 
    is the scope of another guide. 
    
    1-2 HOW EXPERT MODE WORKS:
    
    Expert mode is the ultimate training, several 
    characters put it. You go through every level of the 
    game (including Last Way, excluding bosses) in order. 
    You begin with Westopolis and then go to Digital 
    Circuit, progressing numerically from stage to stage 
    and then progressing from dark to light. You begin 
    with three lives, I believe and no continues, and you 
    can resume your game similarly to a normal one. You 
    CAN earn extra lives, but it is somewhat difficult. 
    Expert mode is a separate mode in the title screen, 
    not under Story Mode.
    
    All the keys you've earned in regular modes will 
    still work, but any you pick up in extra won't save.
    
    1-3 A BRIEF NOTE OR THREE:
    
    This guide will be written with the understanding 
    that you already know these levels. You had to get an 
    A-rank in each and every one of them to get here, so 
    you had better know their basic layout. My guide will 
    cover where they differ from normal mode, if 
    significantly. I may eventually decide to come back 
    and add those, so I will say that this guide is 
    incomplete.
    
    The chaos control notes I make will only appear for 
    certain stages where I feel it's important and had 
    the time and patience to work it out.
    
    Earlier stages have more summary because they're 
    harder. No joke. I didn't get lazy, Sonic Team did.
    
    TERMINOLOGY: I use some odd terms. "wall-crawl" is 
    what I use when you run along the wall, and I have 
    all sorts of derogatory names for the computer 
    defense units. Sorry if you get confused. Ask me to 
    clarify!
    
    One last warning: ALL OF THESE SUMMARIES HAVE 
    SPOILERS FOR BOTH STORY AND EXPERT MODE. If you don't 
    want spoilers, avoid looking at the character quote 
    for each stage (I transcribed them directly from the 
    game). I will try to restrict them to there.
    
    1-4 CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
    
    I used no outside resources in the creation of this 
    FAQ. However, I did use many of the FAQS available on 
    Gamefaqs site in my initial playing of the regular 
    game. However, I did not use these guides for my 
    playthrough of Expert Mode; I did that entirely by 
    myself. So, I thank the people who wrote all those 
    wonderful guides for putting me into a position where 
    I could pave my own path. However, since I did not 
    use their source material in my work, but rather used 
    it to get to the game mode I covered, I don't see a 
    need to credit them individually. I mean, I wouldn't 
    credit my elementary school teachers in a college 
    paper for teaching me to read. 
    
    Also, major credit to everyone who made the game. 
    Without them, this wouldn't be here. I make this 
    guide out of love and deep respect for the work of 
    art they've created, and a deep desire to share that 
    beautiful masterpiece in its entirety with all those 
    who are willing to earn it.
    
    SECTION 2
    THE WALKTHROUGH
    
    W-A GENERAL TIPS:
    -Move slowly. Very slowly.
    -Don't waste ammo.
    -Don't miss checkpoints.
    -Don't try funky acrobatics. Or, as Knuckles puts it, 
    "don't waste your lives."
    -Chaos Control is your FRIEND
    -If you have the secret keys earned, for GOODNESS 
    SAKE, USE THEM.
    
    STAGE 1
    W-1 WESTOPOLIS
    Mission: Hero/Dark (goal ring beyond last checkpoint 
    for hero mission)
    
    Eggman: Shadow, can you hear me? This is going to be 
    the ultimate test of your abilities. Now go! Head for 
    the Goal Ring!
    
    Westopolis starts much the same, but there are more 
    laser strikes. Don't worry about them, they're fairly 
    easy to avoid. Try to get as many rings as you can, 
    because you need to start stockpiling lives now. I 
    strongly recommend that you focus your attacks on 
    Black Arms troops because of Chaos Control. It will 
    help you. For my guide, I will be refraining from 
    using it, so I can tell you every little bind you 
    might get into. Continue on past the first checkpoint 
    until you get to the place with one soldier and three 
    aliens. There will be an extra soldier with a shield 
    there. Make sure to kill him and take his gun. It's 
    the "bigger gun" (I believe it's actually an mp5?) 
    with a higher firing rate.
    
    After this, be careful because there seem to be more 
    laser strikes. When you get to the crate that 
    normally has the faster, it doesn't seem to be there, 
    so just move along. Continue forward. In the area 
    with a lot of crashed cars, you'll find a soldier 
    with another of your gun. Kill him to get his weapon. 
    Then continue as normal until you reach the narrow 
    road with the laser strikes. There's an extra one, so 
    be careful. There's also a soldier with the larger 
    gun here. A laser strike up ahead will take out some 
    of the red fruit for you. When you kill the aliens up 
    here, if you killed the ones that came before, you 
    can use Chaos Control. Also, if you prefer the alien 
    gun, pick one up here.
    
    Anyway, There's a triangle jump ahead, followed by a 
    light dash setup. Go through it normally, and don't 
    be afraid to wall-crawl.  At the next checkpoint, 
    things are pretty normal. Until you get to the crane. 
    Instead of that, there's a moving platform. From 
    there, things are normal until you get up on the next 
    platform.  There's a small laser strike that you 
    probably won't hit. Don't go up the crane, you can't 
    get up. Instead, triangle dash across. I'm not 
    certain, but I suspect that there is no bottom 
    beneath you here. I didn't actually check--I have 
    lives to worry about, and I wrote the bulk of this 
    guide on my first playthrough. Anyway, this is 
    another area where you will need to wallcrawl/walk. 
    Remember, also, go right first, then left, just like 
    before. 
    
    After this there are a bunch of aliens, like normal. 
    Go to the dash panel. If you killed a lot of soldiers, 
    you'll run into a chaos blast soon. Remember that you 
    can't increase your hero bar when under Chaos Blast, 
    even if you're doing heroic things. Anyway continue. 
    Watch out for extra laser strikes. Up ahead, at the 
    third checkpoint, go right and get the balloon with 
    the shield (you'll need to shoot it) and the gun in 
    the crate. Up ahead, past the bus, is another gun in 
    a crate on the side. Then there's a shadow crate up 
    here. You really don't need any of its contents right 
    now unless you've run out of ammo-I only recommend 
    the Shadow rifle against the larger flying aliens and 
    worms, and higher-level GUN mechs. Anyway, continue, 
    watching for laser strikes, and flip the bus. Then 
    continue as normal until the next checkpoint.
    
    There'll be a bus, and gasp, your old keys still work. 
    Flip the bus to open another Shadow crate. The 
    soldier up ahead has one of the bigger guns, too. 
    Aside from increased weapon strikes, this level is 
    mostly the same until you get to the former location 
    of the goal ring.
    
    If you were diligent in killing aliens, you will get 
    another chaos control. This one will take you to the 
    ramp before the real goal ring. Anyway, continue to 
    the next checkpoint. There are two weapons crates 
    ahead but you won't need them, there's an alien there 
    too, so watch out for her... Go to the dash panel and 
    fall, being careful. Then avoid the aliens and 
    soldiers ahead, who are mostly the same, and BE SURE 
    TO HIT THE checkpoint. You need the extra lives, if 
    you have over 100 rings. Then go to the goal ring. 
    Congratulations. The game will save your progress and 
    you will move on to...
    
    STAGE 2
    
    W-2-1 DIGITAL CIRCUIT
    Mission: Dark (Goal ring at former location of target)
    
    Sonic: Hey shadow, how're you feeling? Your 
    training's just getting started. It might be a little 
    tough, but I know you can handle it. Now, you've 
    gotta get to the goal ring. Let's move it!
    
    QUICK Note: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you use 
    chaos control before the part where you have to 
    homing attack large chains of beetles to attract the 
    light. It will glitch out and waste your CC if you do.
    
    Hold a hard left when you first enter. You won't get 
    any of the nifty bonuses, but you will avoid 
    firewalls. What follows is normal until you have to 
    cross the gap. Be careful in homing the beetle so you 
    don't fall. Get directly in front of it and hit it. 
    You may want this weapon. Shoot the other one if you 
    do at all, and then continue. At the gap, instead of 
    two green barrier steps, there's one. You need to get 
    on that one, get to the very end, and homing attack 
    forward to make it. There are aliens ahead, but there 
    is a glitch in chaos control in this level, so I 
    advise you to skip one of the upcoming alien worms. 
    
    Now a bunch of the electronic enemies that split, 
    which I'm just going to call vegetables for my own 
    amusement, will be cropping up. Avoid them and 
    continue to the place that normally has the four 
    moving blocks. Wait until the block is close to the 
    rings to light dash up. When you light dash, press 
    forward moderately, not too much but not too little, 
    so you land on the next block. If you press to hard, 
    you'll overshoot and fall. This takes practice. 
    Didn't I tell you you needed lives?
    
    Then jump over, carefully, kill the aliens, and watch 
    out for the carrots. Kill one or both of the worms 
    that appear next and then go to the spring. Jump into 
    it, and try to get into the light. The light will 
    carry you. When you arrive out of the light, count to 
    two and homing dash forward to get a fire shield. 
    This will be handy. From here, all is normal until 
    you get to the lightspeed circuit. One of the 
    firewalls will be nearly unavoidable, I think you 
    have to tap right inside a one second interval. 
    Didn't I tell you to get that shield? You're just 
    going to need fast reflexes here to see and avoid the 
    firewalls. After the lightspeed circuit is some ammo. 
    Take it and go up, then avoid the carrots and get 
    back in to the circuit.
    
    You will end up in with a great divide to cross by 
    attacking beetles. Do it. Do not fall below. Do NOT 
    Pass up this Shadow crate, you need it to kill worms. 
    And of all the worms, this is one you want to kill. 
    Once you do, move up and get onto the die to be 
    carried across. From here things are pretty normal, 
    barring perhaps a few extra worms. An extra carrot 
    will pop up right in front of a barrier, so just 
    homing attack the heck out of it. There's another one 
    behind that, and then there's the thing where you 
    ride up the light. That's pretty normal, except that 
    you can jump forward right away now, instead of 
    having go to back and wait for the next die to come 
    down. The path to the keys will have holes now, so 
    jump carefully. Hit the checkpoint, go up, kill the 
    worm, etc.
    
    If you have keys, take that, but if not, get on the 
    left most bar of light. Either use the floating die 
    to get up to the next platform, or wait until you're 
    high up and homing attack the ring balloon.
    
    Homing attack the three beetles to get taken through, 
    and then follow the same steps as before to get a 
    fire shield. There's a beetle floating around in 
    there. Ignore it. Drop and go to the lightspeed 
    circuit. There's a small chance you can avoid all the 
    firewalls here, but don't count on it; just get the 
    shield. After the circuit, there is only one panel 
    where there should be three, so wait to land before 
    you homing attack it if you're not good at homing. 
    Then continue forward, pretty normally, until you get 
    to the single beetle floating beneath a searchlight. 
    You can kill one of the bipedal aliens without 
    activating chaos control.
    
    Here's the part I've been warning you about. You 
    should NOT have had a chaos control yet. So, homing 
    attack these beetles (the first one is hard, the 
    others are easy) and the light will take you. It's 
    just like before, only the chains of attacks are more 
    complicated, but if you got this far, you can take it. 
    When you emerge, homing attack the single green 
    vegetable, then the next, then make your way to the 
    lightspeed circuit. You'll find yourself where the 
    goal ring used to be. Hit the checkpoint and then act 
    like you're going to the real goal ring. There'll be 
    a worm there. If you kill it, it should activate 
    chaos control. The rest of this area is normal. 
    
    I'm not sure if the two beetles with electric powers 
    in beyond the portal (after the normal one) are as 
    they were in the regular game, but it really doesn't 
    effect gameplay much. Up head, you have to get into 
    the light, but there's no die to ride on. So you have 
    to take a real leap of faith. When you get up, press 
    forward, then homing attack at the last minute. You 
    will NOT get this right the first time. Then, when 
    you get to it, jump up and press forward, and homing 
    attack as necessary to get to the other side. From 
    here it's pretty straightforward until the end. 
    
    W-2-2 GLYPHIC CANYON
    Mission: Normal
    
    Tails: Shadow, can you hear me? This is going to be a 
    true test of your abilities. Good luck! Oh, by the 
    way, if you run out of lives, you won't be able to 
    continue. If you want to abort, go to the pause menu 
    and select quit.
    
    This one starts out normal until the top of the first 
    set of stairs (don't forget your Shadow rifle!). 
    Normally there'd be another loop here or something, 
    but instead there are platforms you need to jump 
    across. This is one level where you CANNOT rush. Be 
    sure to home at the last jump. Kill the aliens and 
    take the upper path. Continue normally, or fairly 
    normally, until the two loops. Another speed trap. Go 
    to the end and jump, then use light dash to cross. 
    This is annoying, isn't it? Keep going, grabbing 
    shadow crates (I recommend the Shadow Rifle) and 
    killing worms, and if you kill all the black arms 
    you've encountered on this route, you should be able 
    to chaos control sometime around the spring that 
    shoots you up to the next platform. Even if you don't 
    CC, you need that invincibility to get through the 
    winding path. That's pretty normal, though. Just keep 
    on going.
    
    Checkpoint number 5 yields the next trap, but all 
    that's different is that under the light dash area, 
    there's no panels if you fall. After that things are 
    normal (but don't forget the shadow crate!) until you 
    get to the area that normally has a jewel and a worm 
    and some platforms. Jump on the platforms, and don't 
    linger. I don't think they fall, but I'm not wasting 
    my lives to find out.
    
    Keep moving. What's ahead is normal except for some 
    small and harmless landscape changes and the absence 
    of a Shadow crate. Go in to the temple, kill aliens, 
    get the crate. The beat goes on. Things are pretty 
    normal, and if you kill all the aliens you'll get a 
    chaos control right about when you get the other 
    winding and windy path with all the debris. This 
    should bring you to the end of the level. Navigate 
    your way to the goal ring, and don't forget to hit 
    the checkpoint on the right.
    
    W-2-3 LETHAL HIGHWAY
    Mission: Dark
    
    Knuckles: Hey, Shadow! Don't tell me you're getting 
    tired already. Don't waste your lives, okay? Now, go 
    find the goal ring. Good hunting!
    
    Isn't this level so much better without that tank?! 
    But there are a lot more aliens who drop down at 
    random times, with shields and weapons. I won't tell 
    you where all of them are because that takes the fun 
    out of it. Just keep going like normal, but take your 
    time. Also, try to use the ramps to grab the item 
    balloons that are way up in the air. They'll help.
    
    In the area where you'd normally jump across, 
    there'll be a pully that takes you down. Watch out 
    for the alien that drops to your right. Go through 
    and kill soldiers and aliens alike until you get to a 
    section of road that's collapsed. Flip it to blow up 
    the fruits (after killing the alien spawn of course) 
    and dash past. Kill stuff (feel free to stop near the 
    beetle and the alien and watch their movements for a 
    few laughs) and then go up and kill aliens. You'll go 
    hero and be able to chaos control sometime soon. 
    Anyway, watch out for the alien that drops down on 
    the slime you slide on. Take it up, and there'll be a 
    black hawk there. Kill it.
    
    Up here, you'll have to kill the aliens in the room, 
    or at least the big ones, for the door to open. A lot 
    of aliens will drop down up ahead, near the really 
    big section of road that drops, where the tank 
    usually flies by. Expect to lose your shield. And 
    watch out for the alien that drops on you on the 
    narrow path, and the hoardes of alien spawn below. 
    There's a shadow crate, but you don't want to get it 
    unless you waste your other Ammo on the black hawk 
    you have to kill to progress.
    
    After this room, if you kill the three aliens 
    immediately afterward, you'll get chaos control (if 
    you didn't use it before and skip aliens). Kill them 
    to open up the box and spring up. On the next 
    platform there's a beetle behind the debris, shoot it 
    to open the cage. After that is a leap of faith. Jump 
    and light dash. Stock up on Ammo and then use the car 
    as a shield from the little aliens. You'll need to 
    hop out to take care of some obstacles, but it's 
    really fun. Don't forget to nab a shield near the 
    second ramp by shooting!
    
    Then comes the fun part. A homing attack setup 
    followed by a light dash. The first beetle is 
    electric, too, so time it right. If you miss, it's 
    okay, there's a path below you, but I'm going to 
    pretend you made it. You'll still end up on the path 
    below. Don't bother to open the box. Instead continue, 
    killing surprise aliens. There'll be a motorcycle up 
    ahead; use that too. In the room, kill the stationary 
    hawk and the bipedal alien to unlock the door. Make 
    your way to the rocket, and kill the two beetles 
    beyond the next platform. One is electric, so don't 
    waste ammo. The box will open and you will be shot up. 
    Do not stay in the center or you will lose your 
    shield to the electric beetle there; instead go to 
    the side and hop up. Homing attack through the fence 
    and then ride the red tendril.
    
    There will be a car. Go for a joyride. The road will 
    collapse and you'll fall; kill the GUN troops and 
    shoot the cage, kill the black hawk, and use the 
    spring to get back up. Another bomb will blow up the 
    road, but jump and press forward to get the pulley. 
    Get through the fence, avoid the gun soldiers, and 
    you'll find yourself in a blue tunnel. 
    Congratulations. The rest of the level is smooth 
    sailing, and you've completed stage two.
    
    STAGE 3
    
    W-3-1 CRYPTIC CASTLE
    Mission: Normal
    
    Rouge: Well, how's it going? You look a little beat. 
    You probably know this already, but if the game ends 
    during all this, you have to start all over. Now be 
    careful! Go and find that goal ring!
    
    Cryptic Castle starts out pretty normally, although 
    you need to watch out for additional enemies. When 
    you get to the trap door you flip, aliens will drop 
    down. Kill them and then open it up. When you drop 
    down, the checkpoint will be there, but the balloon 
    won't be. Kill the eggbot and then collect that 
    single ring. A balloon will pop up. Use that to get 
    up. Hold forward when you emerge from the hole to 
    land near the rail, and go down. Kill the bomb bots 
    and then go to the trees. The torches here are now 
    hidden inside the trees. So knock them down with your 
    roll attack until you can get to the torches.
    
    Continue, fairly normally, to the balloon. IT goes a 
    lot faster, but just hop off when you're over solid 
    ground. Hop on the rail, but watch out for the tiny 
    black bat on it. Continue as if you were on the hero 
    path until you run into Cream. You must touch her to 
    open the cage. Kill the monsters, and then hit the 
    spring. Jump to the platform and kill away. Get the 
    black hawk. This part is normal except for more enemy 
    hawks. Anyway, get to the checkpoint and take the 
    rails across. Watch out for the black birds and the 
    fire on the rail. Continue as normal until you get to 
    some moving platforms. Doesn't this bring back 
    memories? Get to the one that moves left to right.  
    Then homing attack the black bird there and use that 
    height to get to a light dash. It's hard, but I did 
    it on my first try. 
    
    When you get to the door that's in the "House" 
    portion of the castle, the door will be locked. You 
    need a torch, so go back up the rail to get one. 
    There's one there, and a bunch of aliens. Kill them 
    and get it. Then continue as normal. Wander around a 
    bit until you find a lantern. Light it. Then find the 
    other. They're on the rightmost forks of the path 
    beyond the broken wall. This will open the path on 
    the right. All the chao are in the fan area. Find 
    Cheese among them to progress. Then continue normally. 
    
    The chao room is full of alien slugs! Continue 
    through to the breakable doors and kill the bomb bot 
    with its own bombs. Then you get to a wall area with 
    alien spawn on the side. Go aross by wall walking and 
    jumping when you reach a cluster of aliens. Then 
    throw up the trap door and descend. Now the fun 
    begins. The chase isn't any harder than in the normal 
    mode, actually. Just go on ahead, hit the checkpoint, 
    and go for the goal.
    
    W-3-2 PRISON ISLAND
    Mission: Hero (Goal ring at location of last disk)
    
    Vector: Hey Shadow! You hanging in there? I know it's 
    tough, but training is training, after all. Now, be 
    careful, and go find that goal ring.
    
    This starts normally, except for the addition of some 
    extra gun mechs that drop down and the early 
    appearance of some worms. Don't forget to jump across 
    the gap on the left at a certain spot to get a fire 
    shield. I recommend you use the larger mech's guns. 
    When you go ahead, watch out for shield aliens, and 
    use the red slime to go up and get ammo for the big 
    gun. Move on. The landscape has changed a bit, but 
    nothing to be too nuts about. Just go slowly on the 
    green river. Be careful and use the spring to go up. 
    Up ahead there will be bars in the path that you 
    can't break. You'll have to jump over and around them, 
    risking a fall into the abyss. Use homing attack to 
    get back on track. It's fairly normal from here on 
    out, and if you kill like a nutter you should get 
    chaos controls and chaos blast capabilities right as 
    you reach the fire covered jump panels. When you get 
    to the area on the bottom with the slugs you'll have 
    to fight off like three aliens, spawns, and a worm. 
    Then it'll send you up. There'll be another spring 
    that you have to jump up and a ring trail. You need 
    to hold forward to get the ring trail and then light 
    dash across. Not hard.
    
    Continue, watching out for potshots by beetles and 
    dropping mechs. It's pretty straightforward. When you 
    get to the alien on the saucer, carefully use the 
    saucer and get it up top. It's sort of glitchy. Then 
    go down the green river. Be careful, and eventually 
    you'll get to the old goal ring area. Go up and shoot 
    all the aliens off the side of the walls, then 
    triangle jump across. When you get to the next area, 
    you have to go up on the red slime to get a 
    hovercraft. Kill the alien there and move on. Watch 
    out for worms popping out of the river, and make sure 
    you're fast enough on the parts of the river where 
    there are no jump panel, but slow enough with the 
    debris areas. When you get to the long area and then 
    the jump panel at the end, jump, and it'll send you 
    right to the goal ring, where the last secret disk 
    used to be.
    
    W-3-3 CIRCUS PARK
    Mission: Normal
    
    Amy: Hey Shadow! I heard you were doing some sort of 
    training. They say you need to make it to the goal 
    ring, right? Good luck!
    
    Go through like normal, but use the robot's lances to 
    kill the bomb bot. Continue as normal until you get 
    to the next set of balloons (for killing the next 
    bomb bot) and be very careful jumping onto the 
    barrels. Keep going, killing bots as necessary to 
    unlock new areas. Watch out for the electric bots. Be 
    careful in the next area after the roller coaster, 
    because bots will jump down after you where the GUN 
    mechs usually are. Use the turret to get the shield 
    in the balloon beyond the rings of fire. In the next 
    area, get to the balloons. They'll shoot you onto the 
    platform so you can catch the barrel. Just run 
    through the next area, avoiding things, until you get 
    to the check point. Make sure to hit the big thing 
    for 50 rings and then homing attack forward to get 
    more. Then go to where the electric shield is and get 
    that. Keep going, watching out for new robots. 
    There's really not much to say here. Be careful in 
    the area where you normally use the balloons, you 
    will hurt yourself on the bomb bot and there's a 
    crazy GUN beetle that will go after you. Expect to 
    lose your shield. But continue on, nabbing 50 rings, 
    and get to the checkpoint. Continue, but watch out 
    for bots that pop up on the ropes.
    
    Navigate the next area, with all the barrels and fire 
    hoops, VERY CAREFULLY. Expect to die at least once. 
    Try to get to the left, go center, then right, hop 
    through the hoops as the barrel approaches it, go to 
    the center, and then wait for the next center one. 
    The rest is pretty normal, except less bells and 
    whistles, and some more (and more conveniently 
    placed!) fire hoops.  Congrats. You beat Stage 3.
    
    STAGE 4
    W-4-1 CENTRAL CITY
    Mission: Dark
    
    Espio: Shadow, good job with your training here. 
    Every day brings new challenges, remember that. Your 
    task here is to destroy the city annihilator bombs. 
    Good luck!
    
    I hate this level. You have to destroy the bombs. Go 
    left and get a gun. Go up the spring and ill the 
    aliens. Watch out for the two giants who will drop 
    down. Kill them to open the cage and shoot up the 
    bomb. Keep moving, triangle jump across like normal, 
    and then use the dynamite to blow up the wall. 
    Keeping going until the next bomb and kill GUN mechs 
    until the cage opens (you may want to get the rocket 
    launchers.) Then boom! Find Checkpoint three and go 
    that way until you get to the gren river. Then follow 
    that river, going right, until you get to the next 
    bomb. Shoot up the mechs until the giants appear, 
    shoot up the giants until the cage opens, and boom!
    
    Climb the pole, go to checkpoint 4. Go forward until 
    you get to a rocket that takes you to checkpoint 5. 
    Use the car to drive across the green stuff.
    
    Now, you see that little platform with two rings on 
    it off to the left? Take that. Keep going until you 
    see checkpoint 6 and an explosion, and then there'll 
    be this stair looking thing with two rings each on it. 
    Reminds me a lot of the Chaotix's Rail Canyon in 
    Sonic Heroes, actually. Go up it. Kill the robots to 
    open the cage, jump on the spring, fall to the street 
    below. Use that spring to get up. Kill the aliens, 
    and then shoot the bomb. WIN!
    
    W-4-2 The DOOM
    Mission: Hero
    
    Maria: Shadow, how is your training going? I'll be 
    cheering you on!  Here you have to rescue all of the 
    wounded researchers. Good luck!
    
    Wow, a level whose "encouragement" character is the 
    same as in story mode. In The Doom you have to save 
    all the researchers. But none of them are in place. 
    So grab a heal gun from the Shadow container in its 
    usual spot and continue as normal Don't forget to use 
    the emergency panels to get to the other shadow crate 
    and get another heal gun. Really... just keep going 
    and expect harder enemies. At the very end, at the 
    top of the level, you'll find a room full of 
    scientists. Use your heal gun to save them all, and 
    voila. Done. But wasn't that scary, though, to think 
    you missed them all?
    
    W-4-3 SKY TROOPS
    Mission: Normal
    
    Charmy: Yahoo! It's me, Charmy? How's it going? Huh? 
    Huh? Me? I'm actually in the middle of running some 
    errands. See ya later!
    
    Just go for the goal. It's just like Glyphic Canyon 
    before, watch for speed traps, and don't be afraid to 
    hold forward after a light dash. I'm not going to 
    give you details until you need them, but if my 
    instructions are vague, ask me to clarify. But really, 
    this level is almost unchanged. Just go through it.
    
    W-4-4 MAD MATRIX
    Mission: Hero
    
    Omega: Shadow, I hear you're engaged in some training. 
    You know you'll never be stronger than me. If you 
    think so, then I challenge you to find and access all 
    four of the world's databases.
    
    Watch out" there's a worm under the ?. There are no 
    more purple dice on the introductory light shafts, so 
    you'll have to jump straight up to the platforms. 
    There is more stuff to shoot at.
    
    Be careful not to homing dash into one of the color 
    panels after you shoot it to bring the die down.
    
    When you're in the yellow tower, be careful on the 
    rising platforms. Turn all the red panels yellow to 
    progress. In the red tower, there's nothing there you 
    can't handle. 
    
    Green tower is extremely hard.  You have less room to 
    move around in or land on, and some of the patterns 
    are more complicated. Just be careful and practice, 
    and expect to go through five or so lives.
    
    W-4-5 DEATH RUINS
    Mission: Dark
    
    Black Doom: Shadow, I understand that you're training 
    to be the ultimate. As to be expected from my 
    bloodline. Now go! head for the goal ring!
    
    Man, this has the best intro ?. Anyway, just keep 
    moving. It's pretty straightforward. In fact, this is 
    even easier than the normal Death Ruins
    
    Congratulations! You've beaten Stage 4!
    
    STAGE 5
     
    W-5-1 THE ARK
    Mission: Hero
    
    Cream: Good day, Shadow! Thank you so, so much for 
    rescuing me the other day! Cheese and I will be 
    cheering you on during your training! Good luck!
    
    This level is essentially unchanged, except for a few 
    additional enemies. 
    
    W-5-2 AIR FLEET
    Mission: Normal
    
    President: Shadow? It's me. Word has reached the top 
    brass that you're doing well with your training
    Secretary: Mr. President, you're late for your tee 
    time with the chief cabinet secretary of Japan.
    President: Ah, yes. I almost forgot. Shadow, I'll 
    talk to you later.
    
    This level is also nearly unchanged. Even easier. 
    There is one area that normally has a lot of 
    platforms that no longer has them. You have to wall 
    crawl across. No biggie. After that, you have to take 
    the GUN side.
    
    Remember the 2D mini-game though? It got a lot harder. 
    Now there are weights you have to jump on. After that, 
    it's pretty much normal.
    
    W-5-3 IRON JUNGLE
    Mission: Normal
    
    Eggman: Shadow, it's me again! Are you upset with me 
    for something? Agh, very well! You're about halfway 
    through your training! Keep at it, and head for the 
    next goal ring.
    
    This level hasn't changed too terribly much. Go to 
    the GUN jumper and go up. Then follow the normal path. 
    You will want that Shadow rifle. Continue on until 
    you get to the next jumper mech, and take that. At 
    the next fork in the path, take the rails. Get as 
    many Shad rifles as you can and just plow through. 
    It's a joke.
    
    W-5-4 SPACE GADGET
    Mission: Normal
    
    GUN Commander: Shadow, do you read me? First, I want 
    to... apologies, for the other day... Actually, I 
    just became a grandfather last week, and I was 
    thinking of maybe having you over. I know that 
    training is tough, but try and do your best. 
    
    Yeah, this level has changed for the easier. 
    Therefore, I reserve the right not to comment. 
    
    W-5-5 LOST IMPACT
    Mission: Dark
    
    Gerald: Shadow? It is I. I hear that my research 
    experiments have escaped and are running lose. The 
    positive and negative electrode must have been 
    reversed! Guess I must be getting old. At any rate, 
    would you drop by my room? I'll be waiting for you.
    
    The level has turned into a freaking maze. Go out the 
    door to the gun lift and the platform will be there. 
    Hop up and take the rocket. Then land on the next 
    platform and use the dash panel. Homing attack your 
    way to the door.
    
    After that the level is fairly normal. Just keep 
    going. After you go through the meteor field, start 
    checking side rooms for the goal ring.
    
    Congrats. You've cleared stage five.
    
    STAGE SIX
    
    W-6-1 GUN FORTRESS
    Mission: Hero
    
    Sonic: Hey, Shadow! You've only got six stages left 
    in your training! Have you got enough lives left to 
    do it. Remember, once the game is over, it's all the 
    way back to the start. Be extra, extra careful. 
    Anyhow, keep going.
    
    There are some mild architectural changes. Just take 
    it slowly. The walker mech is missing up ahead, but 
    you won't need it. The hero path is pratically gone, 
    and there are a few speed traps and extra enemies. 
    Nothing to worry about. I got through without dying.
    
    W-6-2 BLACK COMET
    Mission: Hero
    
    President: Shadow? It's me again. Sorry about last 
    time. I've been busy planning the reconstruction
    Secretary: Mr. President, it's time for your karaoke 
    party with the minister of finance.
    President: Ah yes, I almost forgot. Shadow, I'll talk 
    to you later.
    
    Yet another level that's almost identical. There are 
    some pitfalls where oceans of goo should be, with 
    platforms across, and more enemies. It's almost 
    easier.
    
    W-6-3 LAVA SHELTER
    Mission: Dark (lava machines auto-activated)
    
    Rouge: So Shadow, how are you holding up? You're 
    doing great. Only four stages left.
    Omega: This is Eggman's secret base. I will defeat 
    him, and prove that I am the strongest.
    Rouge: Omega, cut it out. Don't you have anything 
    better to do?
    Omega: Oh.
    
    Basically, Dark path with the lava automatically 
    turned on. It sucks. But you can get through it.
    
    W-6-4 COSMIC FALL
    Mission: Hero (goal ring in computer room)
    
    The "script" for this stage is obnoxious chocola 
    singing, and then Cream saying "Cheese says, 'Good 
    luck, Shadow!'"
    
    The level is as normal until you get to the alien 
    birds to home to the next platform. They aren't there. 
    None of them. And it's harder to get the ring trail 
    to light dash. Otherwise, pretty normal.
    
    There's no backup area under the vertically flipping 
    platforms. You have to make your way across all of 
    them without falling, then the last one will drop 
    down past the one with the giant. You have to jump on. 
    I can't tell you how, it takes precise timing and 
    very good reflexes. You will lose at least five lives 
    on this.
    
    After where the goal ring usually is, you have to get 
    across this area by using these freaky platforms that 
    move funny. Then find the artificial chaos and 
    carefully get up the red stream. Then... lots of 
    leaps of faith. Count on losing like 10 lives. And 
    don't mess with your cameras! If you do, you'll have 
    even less a chance of seeing where you need to go. DO 
    NOT BE AFRAID OF WAITING. After the bajillion 
    attempts at this, you'll get to an area with large 
    gaps you need to jump across. Get a running start and 
    it'll be easy. Then the rocket area for the computer 
    room is normal.
    
    W-6-5 FINAL HAUNT
    Mission: Hero
    
    Vector: Hey Shadow, how's it going?
    Espio: You Feeling the pressure yet?
    Charmy: Training, training
    Vector: Charmy, I thought I told you to sit down and 
    be quiet.
    Charmy: Oh come on, leave me alone! Besides, you ate 
    my pudding, didn't you vector?
    Vector: Aww, busted
    Charmy: Now you owe me for that, and don't forget it
    Vector: Alright, alright, fine, do whatever the heck 
    you want!
    Espio: Sorry about that, Shadow.
    
    Everything is the same until the first triangle jump 
    area. Now the beams are criss-crossed. Just wallcrawl. 
    After that, follow the hero path.
    
    W-7 THE LAST WAY
    
    Eggman: This is the final stage!
    Sonic: Great job making it this far, shadow!
    Tails: Give it your best shot and make your way to 
    the last goal ring.
    Knuckles: You can do it!
    Rouge: Good luck, Shadow.
    Amy: Good luck shadow!
    Vector: Give it all you've got!
    Charmy: Fight!
    Espio: You're gonna do fine
    Cheese: Good luck!
    Chocola: Chao!
    Omega: Good luck.
    Black Doom: Now go, head for the goal ring!
    President: We're all counting on you, Shadow
    Secretary: Best of luck.
    GUN Commander: Good luck.
    Gerald: Good luck!
    Maria: Shadow, I believe in you.
    
    The area with the ? is full of enemies, so be careful. 
    There are some additional enemies, but again, nothing 
    you can't handle. Eventually, go right and get the 
    black volt (I hope you have a shadow rifle!).
    
    You HAVE to use Chaos control for this one. And there 
    are some more enemies. IN some places, though, those 
    enemies make the level SIGNIFICANTLY EASIER. 
    
    Congratulations!
    
    SECTION 2
    
    2-1 WHAT DO YOU GET FOR BEATING EXPERT MODE?
    
    The credits. Yeah, you don't get anything. Not even 
    extra sound test.
    
    2-2 About the Guide Writer
    Hi. I'm Typical. I'm a college student in Michigan, 
    and I love Sonic the Hedgehog. I've been a fan of 
    Sonic since I was 4, read the comics until I was 12, 
    and have been playing Sonic games since I was 9. That 
    gives me 10+ years of experience playing, as I am 19 
    of this writing. My favorite characters are Sonic and 
    Eggman (although in the old days it was Tails and 
    Knuckles). Strangely, though, my favorite Sonic game 
    is Shadow. That's because the alternate perspective 
    on Sonic in the game really brought me to love him, 
    and I found that the plot was captivating and nicely 
    wrapped up the lose ends left by SA2 and the nonsense 
    that was Sonic Heroes. Don't flame, it's just my 
    opinion. I wrote this guide because when I was stuck 
    on Cryptic Castle, I couldn't find anything to help 
    me.  I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you don't steal 
    it. 
    
    2-3 CONTACT ME
    
    Because of e-mail issues, I am only giving out a link 
    to a post in one of my blogs. This post has been set 
    aside for this FAQ only and any reply to it will go 
    straight to my e-mail, without actually revealing my 
    address. This is the URL:
    
    http://www.greatestjournal.com/users/_allthatsfake_/1
    332.html
    
    If you have any questions, comments, requests, or 
    data you want to share, PLEASE leave a message. I 
    make no guarantees that I will update the guide or 
    even get back to you. I am a busy woman with a busy 
    life. However, I intend to try. 
    
    FIN!