Sonic 3 & Knuckles
Bonus Game Guide
Version 1.65
By FoxMcCloud0482 (Jacob Ryan Hoover)

Copyright 2006-2010 Jacob Ryan Hoover

This may not be reproduced in whole or in part under any circumstances except
for personal, private use.  It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise
distributed publicly without advance written permission.  Use of this document
on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited
and a violation of copyright law.

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
respective trademark and copyright holders.

Note:  This document assumes that the reader has at least a passing
familiarity of the Sega Genesis' "Sonic the Hedgehog" games.

Table of Contents
1 - Version Info

2 - Introduction

3 - Starposts

4 - The Bonus Games (and the starpost star ring colors that produce them)
     4.a - The Rotating Slot Machine (Yellow)
     4.b - The Magnetic Sphere Room (Red)
     4.c - The Gumball Machine (White)

5 - Ring Amount List

6 - Acknowledgements

1) Version Info
1.00 - Original version.
1.1 - Revised the "Magnetic Sphere Room", "Gumball Machine", and "Contact
Information" sections and added the "Version Information" section.
1.5 - Revised the "Ring Amount List" section.
1.51 - Revised the "Gumball Machine" section.
1.55 - Moved contact info to the beginning of the document, removed the
"Contact Information" section, moved the "Version Info" section to just after
the Table of Contents, and revised the "Rotating Slot Machine", "Magnetic
Sphere Room", and "Ring Amount List" sections.
1.6 - Revised the "Ring Amount List" section.
1.61 - Revised the "Magnetic Sphere Room" section.
1.65 - Revised the "Introduction" and "Starposts:  The Gateways to the Bonus
Games" sections.
1.66 - Revised the "Starposts:  The Gateways to the Bonus Games" section.
1.67 - Made minor spacing and grammatical changes to the "Starposts" and "Ring
Amount Lists" sections.

2) Introduction
This guide describes each of the three bonus games that appear in "Sonic 3 &
Knuckles", and it also tells the reader which ring amounts at starpost
activation will result in the correct star ring color to access each bonus

3) Starposts:  The Gateways to the Bonus Games
When playing "Sonic 3 & Knuckles", you won't get all that far without noticing
a lamppost-type device topped by a red circle with a star in the middle.  This
device is called a starpost.  If you touch a starpost, it serves as a point to
which you return when and if you lose a life.  Also, if you touch one when you
have 20 or more rings, there is an additional effect:  a ring of stars will
come into existence.  The stars will be either gold, red, or white, depending
on how many rings you had when you touched the post.  Jumping into the ring of
stars will transport you to one of three bonus games, depending on the color of
the stars.

4) The Bonus Games
4.a - The Rotating Slot Machine
Star Ring Color:  Gold

This bonus game will remind you of the Special Stage from "Sonic 1".  But,
there are a few differences:
--Instead of an Emerald, there is a slot machine in the center of the area,
  similar to the ones in Casino Night Zone in "Sonic 2".
--There are no blocks to break through to get to the center.
--The blue blocks around the edges change colors depending on how often they
  are touched:  once, they turn yellow; twice, red; and three times, they
  change into Goal Blocks.

If you move into the slot in the center of the area, you will activate the slot
machine.  The tumblers will spin and you may receive or lose Rings depending on
the picture combination the tumblers stop on:

Combination                                            Reward
-------------------------------------------------   ----------
1 Bar and 2 of any other picture (no Jackpots)         2 Rings
2 Bars and 1 of any other picture (not a Jackpot)      4 Rings
3 Bars                                                 8 Rings
2 Bars and 1 Jackpot                                  16 Rings
1 Bar and 2 Jackpots                                  32 Rings
3 Rings                                               10 Rings
2 Rings and 1 Jackpot                                 20 Rings
1 Ring and 2 Jackpots                                 40 Rings
3 Tails                                               20 Rings
2 Tails and 1 Jackpot                                 40 Rings
1 Tails and 2 Jackpots                                80 Rings
3 Knuckles                                            25 Rings
2 Knuckles and 1 Jackpot                              50 Rings
1 Knuckles and 2 Jackpots                            100 Rings
3 Sonics                                              30 Rings
2 Sonics and 1 Jackpot                                60 Rings
1 Sonic and 2 Jackpots                               120 Rings
3 Jackpots                                           100 Rings
3 Eggmans                                           -100 Rings
2 Eggmans and 1 Jackpot                             -100 Rings
1 Eggman and 2 Jackpots                             -100 Rings
Any other combination                                  0 Rings

4.b - The Magnetic Sphere Room
Star Ring Color:  Red

A/N:  This bonus game is my favorite among the ones that appear in Sonic 3 &

This bonus game might remind you of a pinball machine, but that's not how I see
it.  Anyhoo, a short list of all the things that appear in this bonus game is

Magnetic Sphere - When Sonic touches one of these, he will start to revolve
around it.  By pressing Left, the orbit will rotate counterclockwise, and Right
makes the orbit rotate clockwise.  Whatever direction Sonic goes when he jumps
off the sphere depends on the direction he is going just before he jumps, and
the strength of the force exerted on Sonic depends on how far on the sphere he
moved in that direction before jumping off.

Flipper - Just like the flippers that were introduced in "Sonic 2"'s Casino
Night Zone.  Need I say more?

Wall Bumper - If Sonic touches one of these, he will bounce off in a downward

Star Bumper - If Sonic touches one of these, he will bounce off.  The direction
of Sonic's movement in bouncing off will depend on where he hits the bumper.

Ring - No explanation is needed for this.

Small Dot - Touching one of these causes it to turn into an orb.  After turning
into an orb, it will start to rise toward the top of the screen, and it will
accelerate as it rises.  The only way to get rid of a dot for good is to turn
it into an orb and then collect the orb.  The orb's color is randomly selected
from a set of 7 colors (but see the note below), and the effect is different
depending on the color:

Color   Effect
------  -----------------------------------------------------------------------
Clear   No effect.  Too bad.
Black   Sonic bounces off.  However, if he is in contact with a magnetic
        sphere, nothing happens.  In any case, the orb disappears after
Gray    Gain 5, 10, 20, 30, 35, 40, or 80 Rings, depending on the height at
        which the orb appeared.  This orb has the picture of a Ring on it.
Pink    Gain an extra life.  This orb has "1UP" on it.
Orange  Fire shield.  This orb is marked with a B.
Gold    Electric shield.  This orb is marked with a B.
Blue    Water shield.  This orb is marked with a B.

Note:  Some dots never change into certain colors.  For example, the two
uppermost dots only turn gray or pink (and they're worth 80 Rings each when
they turn gray), and some of the dots near the bottom never turn gray or pink.
(If you're reading this and can think of any other examples, please e-mail me.)

Barrier - This thing lurks at the bottom of the area and steadily rises.  If
Sonic touches it (or if it touches Sonic), the bonus game ends.

As noted before, if the barrier touches Sonic, the bonus game ends.  But there
is another way to end the bonus game:  have Sonic successfully reach the top of
the area.  If you play this bonus game right and have a little bit of luck, you
can collect over 200 Rings.  The maximum possible Ring bonus is over 400.

4.c - The Gumball Machine
Star Ring Color:  White

This is the least complicated of the three bonus games.  There's a gumball
machine at the top, yellow springs on the walls, and four red springs at the
bottom.  When Sonic touches a yellow spring, it disappears.  When Sonic touches
any of the red springs, all of them will fall away.  When Sonic touches the
rotating handle, it turns once and an orb pops out.  The 7 possible orb colors
in the "magnetic sphere room" bonus stage also occur here, plus an exclusive
color:  green.  When Sonic picks up a green orb while the red springs are gone,
they will re-appear.  Also, the gray orbs only give Sonic 10 Rings each, and
the black orbs do NOT disappear when touched.  When Sonic falls past the place
where the red springs are, the bonus game ends.

5) Ring Amount List
This section lists the ring amounts that result in each star ring color.  It
would use up way more space than I would care to use if I listed each
individual ring amount, so the amounts are listed in ranges instead.

A/N:  I came up with these results when I decided to conduct experiments with
certain ring amounts.  During the course of these experiments, I noticed a
pattern.  Rather than conducting experiments all the way up to 999 Rings (too
time-consuming), I simply extrapolated the pattern, and, suprisingly (or
perhaps not so), the pattern holds!  Try it out for yourself!

Gold stars in S&K/S3&K:
020-034, 110-124, 200-214, 290-304, 380-394, 470-484, 560-574, 650-664,
740-754, 830-844, 920-934

Red stars in S&K/S3&K:
035-049, 125-139, 215-229, 305-319, 395-409, 485-499, 575-589, 665-679,
755-769, 845-859, 935-949

Gold stars in S&K, white stars in S3&K:
050-064, 140-154, 230-244, 320-334, 410-424, 500-514, 590-604, 680-694,
770-784, 860-874, 950-964

Red stars in S&K, gold stars in S3&K:
065-079, 155-169, 245-259, 335-349, 425-439, 515-529, 605-619, 695-709,
785-799, 875-889, 965-979

Gold stars in S&K, red stars in S3&K:
080-094, 170-184, 260-274, 350-364, 440-454, 530-544, 620-634, 710-724,
800-814, 890-904, 980-994

Red stars in S&K, white stars in S3&K:
095-109, 185-199, 275-289, 365-379, 455-469, 545-559, 635-649, 725-739,
815-829, 905-919, 995-999

6) Acknowledgements
The information on each bonus game is based on the information presented in the
"Sonic 3" and "Sonic & Knuckles" instruction manuals (copyright Sega 1994).