Introducing...

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-_

----------Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Competition Mode Guide
----------------Brought to you by Ste C (Stephen Child)
-----------------------Email: twotiminwiseguy(at)hotmail.com
----------------------------------Version 1.7
--------------------------------------------Last updated: 23rd May 2005

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Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles 'Tails' Prower, Knuckles the Echidna,
Doctor Robotnik and all other names are copyrighted (c) by SEGA
Enterprises 1994, 2005. All rights reserved.

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Contents
========

1. Version History
2. Disclaimer
3. Intro
4. Story
5. The Courses
6. Grand Prix
7. Match Race
8. Time Attack
9. Hints and Tips
10. Submitted Tips
11. Credits

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Version History
===============

23th May 2005 - A new section is added for anyone who sends me
                anything to do with the sections in the guide.
                It's called the 'Submitted Tips'.
                Also, Mike Cote sent me the fastest time possible
                for Azure Lake and how to get it - found in the
                Tips and Time Attack sections.
20th May 2004 - Incoming! A couple of neat tips from Perin that are
                found along the bottom of the Hints and Tips
                section.
4th  May 2004 - Eventually have time to include a Tip from budding
                fan, Rob White. Now, a lot of people ignored my plea
                to make this guide a FINAL update so I changed the
                current version to 1.5 to avoid the hassle of
                annoying GameFAQs by submitting numerous final updates
                that were never supposed to be. I presume it's
                a sensible way of doing so, no?
22th Apr 2004 - Aahh, so THAT'S what the Arrow sign does...
                thanks to Noriman Johan for sending the item's function.
24th Feb 2004 - Phew! Time to make this my final update. The
                whole FAQ is now copyrighted for this year (I know I
                left it far too late! Look in the Disclaimers
                section). Happy gaming!!
24th Jun 2003 - Got bored. Changed the Credits section a little.
                Maybe I'll include some cheats and codes next
                time, eh? Only kidding!
14th May 2003 - Sorta improved grammar really, nothing else.
13th May 2003 - Found details of the Ring item under the Items
                section, thanks to George Martin whom I added
                in the Credits section. Thanks!
4th  May 2003 - All done! Now to post.
3rd  May 2003 - Everything done, except for the Credits. Nearly
                there folks!
2nd  May 2003 - All of Time Attack and Items are now complete.
1st  May 2003 - Well, part of Time Attack is typed up. Bound
                to improve guide layout also.
30th Apr 2003 - Wrote everything up til the Story section.
                I also finished planning through the entire
                guide and am ready to type up notes. I later
                wrote all til the Items section.
29th Apr 2003 - First day of FAQ. Planned most of the guide.


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Disclaimer
==========

Now I may not own the Sonic series or even SEGA corporation, but I 
do own this guide! Yep, this guide is Copyrighted 2005 and cannot
be used for the public for legal reasons. You can however print
this for personal use (i.e. home, friends), only if permission
may or may not be granted. Use my email to contact me for any 
problems regarding to any section of the guide, or any
mistakes and nothing else. As in, no spam or I will ignore
your emails.

NOTE: this guide is not only available for the SEGA Genesis,
but also for other formats as well, including:
- Sonic and Knuckles Collection (Genesis/PC)
- Sonic Jam (Saturn)
- Sonic Mega Collection (Gamecube)
- Sonic Mega Collection Plus (PlayStation 2/X Box)

Although Sonic and Knuckles (Genesis) looks very similar to
Sonic 3 you CANNOT play Competition on the game. There are no
cheats whatsoever to unlock it and you should have both copies
to play the mode.

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Intro
=====

Hi, and welcome to the prestigious Sonic 3 (and Knuckles)
walkthrough for the Competition Mode, exclusively for the SEGA
Genesis (where I come from, this is known as the Mega Drive).
Sounds irrevelent, eh? Well you won't find anything much
revelent in this guide, except for the Competition itself. For
other info like stages, bosses and secrets, visit the other
walkthroughs for this great game.
Anyways, let's begin the guide!!

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Story
=====

Doubt that you are new to the story of Sonic and so on, but
here's a special bonus to this guide to jog your memory.
NOTE: All the Sonic games from 1 to 3 are rolled up into one
fully detailed and explanatory "chain of events that made
Sonic and friends a classic and worthwhile icon..." - Ste C

Well actually, it started like this.
The evil scientist, Dr Ivo Robotnik (aka "Eggman" to Sonic and
pals) has hatched a plot to dominate the world by launching his
giant 'Death Egg' to the skies into space. In order to do so,
he must gather the Chaos Emeralds, seven precious gems to power
up the Death Egg and conquer the earth. If you think that's a
disaster, then think again!
Robotnik also captured many creatures in the animal kingdom to
'roboticise' them into manical 'Badniks' that can only obey him
and follow his commands to build his own wicked empire. During
this madness, Robotnik will stop at nothing to find the Chaos
emeralds and launch his Death Egg into the skies...

But it's not all doom and gloom here!

Your true, blue hero Sonic the Hedgehog heard about the sudden
disappearence of his animal friends and setted out on a roller-
coaster ride to fight the forces of Robotnik's tyranny. Before
the Death Egg has even been constructed, Sonic eventually 
reached to the twisted doctor's hideout and foiled his first
attempt to rule the world. Also, Sonic's friends were rescued
and six of the seven Chaos emeralds were out of reach from the
fallen doctor...

Until Robotnik returns to finally launch the Death Egg!

The fun has just begun! The sinister scientist's army of animal
controlled Badniks have resurfaced once again to regain the
Chaos emeralds that Robotnik needed for his evil empire.
Meanwhile, Sonic later heard the news and set off
immediately to stop Robotnik again. This time, he was
accompanied by Miles "Tails" Prower, a cute fox kid with two
tails. However, the adventure was more difficult than before
as the dynamic duo must gather all seven Chaos emeralds to
wipe out Robotnik once and for all (again!). With these
gems, their powers combine and turned Sonic into 'Super'
Sonic! This was too much for Robotnik and his patented Super
Suit and he went down with the destroyed Death Egg...

Another victory for Sonic and Tails!

Or is it...?

Moments after the Death Egg declines from space, it crash
landed on the mysterious Floating Island, home of the great
'Master Emerald' - the vital source for the island's floating
ability. Upon realising this, Robotnik decided to use the
Master emerald to repair his Death Egg and finally take over
the world. However, before he could even search the unknown
land, he was stopped by Knuckles the Echidna, who earned his
reputation as Guardian of the Master Emerald; and an easily-
tricked mammal. Robotnik told him that Sonic and Tails are
coming to the island to 'steal' not only the Chaos emeralds
but the Master Emerald itself! Immediately, Knuckles trusted
the manipulating Eggman and waited for our heroes' arrival,
despite being fooled.

Meanwhile...

Robotnik had set out to repair his fallen Death Egg on a
remote part of the island not known to Knuckles, hoping to
get HIS hands on the Master Emerald... but how? And also, 
what are Sonic and Tails thinking about by the time they
reach the Angel Island, only to get their Chaos emeralds
taken from Knuckles himself? That's just the beginning of a
new adventure in... Sonic 3 (and Knuckles!)!!

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The Courses
===========

Once Competition mode is selected on the title screen, three
different modes of play are found:

Grand Prix  - challenge a friend and race through all five
              courses. The player who won the most races wins!

Match race  - up to two players can race through any of the five
              courses.

Time attack - one player can select a character and gain the
              fastest time in any course.

After deciding on your mode, you and/or a friend can choose their
favourite character. Choose from who else but the Triple Threat
themselves, Sonic, Tails or Knuckles! Each character have totally
different strenghs and weaknesses which can affect the outcome of
the race.

Sonic    - the fastest of the bunch and also has the highest jumping
           height. Possibly the best of the three and great for
           beginners and experts alike.
           Overall - ****

Tails    - not as fast as Sonic but he's the only character to fly
           around the course using his trademark tails. Use this as
           an advantage over your challenger!
           Overall - ***1/2

Knuckles - also not known for his speed and can't jump as high
           either. Plus, his ability to glide has mysteriously
           disappeared from the Competition. When playing as
           Knux, always rely on your tactics instead and you can
           get the best out of him.
           Overall - ***

After selecting from one of the three, decide which environment
you will race on. NOTE: this does not apply in Grand Prix mode. 
Skip this step and move on to the courses below. On ALL these
modes, race through 6 laps to successfully finish each course.

Azure Lake    - a particularly easy course to learn the ropes. From
                the start are two loops followed by a ramp-like 
                patch that might send you flying over a pit of that
                'lake'. Ahead is a switch that brings up a spring
                between the two loops to trap your opponent. Two
                platfroms down leads back to the post - simple as
                that.

Balloon Park  - a 'Carnival Night'-themed course starting with a
                giant half-loop with a bumper on the end. Dive
                through a narrow moving gap before the loop and
                emerge through three awkward bumpers to clear the
                way. Jump on two huge balloons to bounce higher
                and will take you back to the beginning. One lap
                done!

Chromo Gadget - introducing the dodgy platform! Step on it to
                descend to the next passage and move out of it
                to rise back to its original position. There
                you may drop down the hole near the bumper or
                use the bumper to fall down the hole from the
                other side. BEWARE! If you spin toward the
                bumper from the platform too soon and you'll
                get killed by the energy below the plat.
                Anyways, float up onto the step with a switch
                on - press it and it will operate a spring
                sticking out of the alcove - another useful
                trap. Either run round the half-circle and into
                the alcove or jump over and down the drop to
                finish a lap.

Desert Palace - from the start, sprint across the half-loop and
                run through a huge loop after that steep slope.
                Sometimes, if you spin whilst going through this
                part of the course, you'll be sent backwards by
                a hidden spring of some kind. Just run to avoid
                that dodgy problem. Jump over a pit of sand and
                quickly bounce over to the switch before a 
                platform of sand crumbles. This switch calls up
                a spring after the end of the giant loop - again
                useful for gaining the oposition in a race. Now
                race up the slope near the end and pass through
                the post. A bridge of sand will crumple to dust
                before the post when stepped on - also ideal to
                send your opponent way back from the winning
                player!

Endless Mine  - like Azure Lake, this is another easy runthrough
                of a course. Down the steps leads to a spring,
                taking you through a short tunnel. To proceed, 
                jump on the yellow rocks to break through them
                and breeze down the slope. Use your speed to run
                up the wall and through what seems funnily enough
                looks like a wall, but in fact, takes you to a
                single loop and a post. Now go finish the race!

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Grand Prix
==========

One or two players can pit their favourite characters through
all five races in the Competition. The winner depends on the
time taken to complete each course and mainly who won the most
races. The stages are automatically selected in the sequence
above, starting from Azure Lake and finishing at Endlesss Mine.
Have fun!!

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Match Race
==========

Basically, after choosing your player, you can then select one
of the five races to play on. After completing that course, you
may choose another course or, even better, invite a friend along
to play!

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Time Attack
===========

Pretty much like Match Race, except that you can only play as
one human player. After completing a race, your new time will be
saved into the game pack: up to three best times can be saved each
stage. If a better time is earned, one of the poorer records will 
have to be erased to give space for the new time.

Exclusive to this 'Competition' guide, here are some tips and
tricks for each of the courses that will give you the BEST
possible time!

HINT: to start you off, be sure to collect items such as the red
      shoes whether you can. That ought to give you an impressive
      time than predicted on each stage.

Azure Lake    - rather than 'spin dashing' at the start of this
                course, just run up the first slope - you'll waste
                precious time whilst waiting to land beside the
                tree.
              - if you're lucky, you might miss a wedge of the
                course if you lightly run up that slope and onto
                the patch of land beside the 'lake'.
              - it's possible to get a quick time of about 8
                seconds on each lap, depending on how you progress
                along throughout the race.
              - A new time-saving trick is found in the Tips
                section, but I'll tell you anyway. As you go round
                the first loop, after the starting line, hold
                down to spin through the second loop and you'll
                land right onto the path just over the button.
                This saves much time than doing a really strong
                spin at the start of the race (not too fast or
                you'll fly above the screen for approx. 4-5
                seconds, thus wasting time!!).

              - A new trick from Perin! Jumping ON the ramps
                rather than running through them saves some time.

              - The total lap for the stage of 17''14 can be
                achieved by Mike Cote's tip in the Submitted
                Tips section.

Baloon Park   - like before, don't 'spin dash' right up the loop -
                instead, hold the forward button down and drop to
                the area below, hoping not to hit those bumpers.
              - jump onto the balloons and pray that you have
                gained or even beaten the proximate time of 10-11
                seconds.

Chrome Gadget - 'Spin dash' to that odd platform; it sure is
                quicker than sprinting across, and you won't
                get hurt... yet.
              - don't dash towards the bumper from the
                platform, otherwise you will rebound back and
                get killed by the energy from the ascending
                spot.
              - for the best possible time, I suggest that you
                run up and hit the spring that knocks you down
                to the hole behind you.
              - before floating on the pair of fans, jump as
                high as possible so you can reach the space
                without having to float up there and waste
                precious time.
              - if you're Sonic or Tails, you'll have an easier
                time reaching that small alcove by jumping or
                flying over the pit and drop down to gain one
                lap.
              - as Knuckles however, it's not as simple as it
                sounds, especially that you cannot glide in
                Competition. Avoid pressing the button and
                jump down to the pit and run up the wall and
                onto the alcove.
              - for this rather complex course you should get
                no less than 9 seconds for each given lap time.

              - according to Perin, Tails is best suited for
                this stage for he can time his jumps or even
                fly from the pillar to that alcove after the
                fan.

Desert Palace - for the third time (gasp), do not attempt to
                dash down the ramp-like land, otherwise you'll
                be sent flying and wasting valuable time. 
              - You may spin round the loop and jump once it's 
                been done (did I mention the odd reverse thing 
                near the end of the loop? Keep that in mind).
              - Try not to hit the button and carry on til you
                reach the goal.
              - Using these tips. this should give you an
                impressive 10 seconds each lap.

              - as before in Azure Lake, Perin says that you
                can just jump ON the ramps and over dips to
                save a little time than running through them.
                Sonic is the best character for this level.
                
          
Endless Mine  - seeing as this is almost easier than Azure Lake
                this is straightforward. The only hazard is to
                not dash up that wall with the tiny gap leading
                to the post. Run up and you'll reach there in
                no time.
              - it's possible to get 10-11 seconds for each lap.

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Items
=====

Items in Competition can have a great or worse effect of the
outcome of a race. Fortunately, some can even help you win the
overall contest just by passing through them. There are a total
of 7 items in all and are always found in circling pairs. Note
that most of these have a temporate effect and appear after the
first lap of every race.

Red Shoes  - ah yes, Sonic's special trademark sneakers, ideal
             for super-sonic velocities. Touch these and you'll
             temporarily run twice the speed.

Grey shoes - they may look a little like Sonic's red shoes but
             they in fact have the opposite effect. Instead of
             speeding up, you'll slow down!

Ring       - it took me a while to figure out what it does
             until I was given an email about it. It says that
             as long as you have it with you, you will be
             protected from damage such as bombs. This comes
             incredibly handy against tactical folk. If you
             don't have the Red Shoes, use this - it will save
             you from losing 1 lap from bomb damage.

Spring     - seems pointless having a spring in a middle of a
             course, but it's a good way to lose your opponent
             in Desert Palace or Azure Lake. One of these drops
             down when touched and can only be bounced on once.

Banana     - handy by two ways. 1) trodding on this makes you
             slip at super-speed - great for long way courses
             or 2) making your opponent hit a wall and unable
             to move for a couple of seconds. Shame you can't
             control yourself in this state!

Bomb       - once this is dropped, it travels backwards through
             out the whole course until it touches any player,
             including the person that found it before. They
             have a real devastating effect on the race, as when
             hit, you'll be sent back to the post minus 1 lap.

Arrow sign - I also had trouble to figure out what this one does,
             until Noriman Johan told me that "when both you and your
             friend has an item, they will be switched around". Thanks
             a buzz, Johan!! Now to summarise this - the item can ONLY
             be used when playing against a partner.

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Hints and Tips
==============

Now, follow the wise words of wisdom. Ahem! Now that you know
pretty much everything about the courses, here are some more tips
on how your skills can be improved.

1. Master the Art of the Flying Kitsune

For Tails, try to use his flying manoeuvre in any open area as
possible. This mainly applies to Azure Lake and Desert Palace;
any other courses aren't as easy, except for Chrome Gadget,
another good place to fly.

2. Speed is the Essence

Use springs as often as you can, only if you haven't got the red
shoes item that is. It's a good idea to pick this up as many
oportunies as you can. Try finding the item somewhere visible
on your opponent's screen - it's a steal!

3. Stuck? No Problem!

If you somehow get yourself stuck in a particular part of a
course, don't hesitate to get back into the race. In other
words, don't give up: you'll never know, maybe the second
player may get caught in the same trap! After that, you will
know what to look out for next time.

4. Take a Detour

Even though some very effective tips are shown, you should also
try to use your skills as well. Now don't get me wrong on this.
I'm not saying your techniques are bad or one-off, but they can
be improved when you try out your moves and follow some examples
shown. Don't use the same old tricks over again - be versatile 
and think of a different idea, maybe even more effective than 
the last! And don't forget, my ideas can be as good as yours.

5. Look Before you Leap

When you see a bad object laid on the floor by your opponent racer
take a look on his'/hers' screen. Take note of that and avoid it
by jumping when approached; dealing with bombs however, this is
not as easy! Also, concentrate on both screens and you'll know
what to watch out for, inluding items and other traps.

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Submitted Tips
==============

This new section lists all the tips that were sent to me by people
who discovered quicker ways in finishing the courses in the fastest
time possible - or anything else to do with the other sections in
the guide.

=============

Mike Cote gave me this trick to save wads of time in Azure Lake.
According to him, it's possible to beat the time in 17''14. Here's
how:
"My original record, that on my original Genesis cart, was 0'17''14.
To get such a fast time, I suggest the following tips,
- During the preliminary countdown, lightly tap forward to be as close
as possible to the checkflag. Saving precious milliseconds is key
when competing against your own record.
- Use Sonic.
- Start the race with a spindash, but not maxed out. Two or three
laps should do it.
- Right after the second loop, tap the jump button to hop over the
ramp, but under the elevated ground. Hop again after this is jump the
ramp at the end.
- Starting from the second lap, use this trick to gain extra speed on
the first high loop. Start the loop by hlding forward until you reach
the top-middle part. Quickly let go of the forward button and hit
jump, launching you into the bottom-right of the loop. If you get
the angle right, you will get a speed boost."

He actually sent me proof of the quickest time through email,
although it reads 19''93 next to Azure Lake, it's still a very
impressive time:
"The enclosed png is my best record on Azure Lake using an
emulator."
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to put the image up somehow.

=============

Here's a tip I got from Rob White, a fan of this fab game:
"Hey man, just thought I'd let you know a cool tip on Sonic 3's
competition. At the Azure Lake level, as you go round the loop hold
down to put Sonic into a spin. He'll go through the loop faster than
normal and improve your time."
I've tested this trick a while after I recieved this email, and it
works too!! Apparently, it works best with just any character other
than Sonic, but on one condition; as long as you DON'T spin dash 
through the first loop right after the starting point, you'll manage
to pull this one off with no problem. Thanks, Rob!

Yet new time-saving tips were given to me by Perin just recently.
Here's what he found out on these three zones:

-_-_ Azure Lake -_-_

"Azure Lake can be finished very quickly. Whenever there's an upward
ramp (right after the loops [befire the water/oil/whatever pit], and
right before you end a lap), jumping the ramp instead of running up
the ramp cuts a lot time (I usually have a time of about 25 seconds --
usually Knuckles -- when I do this for time attack)."
Like he said, this tip is best done with Knuckles to beat Perin's
time of 25 seconds.

-_-_ Desert Palace -_-_

"Jumping dips and ramps (obviously, this includes jumping the sand
pit) can also bring Desert Palace time down really low too. My best
is 33 seconds, and Sonic is the best player at this. There are a bunch
of places that are best jumped over instead of ran through."
Hmm, this explains Sonic's speed. Tails is the second fastest so he's
okay to use as well. Be brave when using Knuckles though...

-_-_ Chrome Gadget -_-_

"Also, Tails is really good at Chrome Gadget. I'm not sure, but I
always whoop my sisters' butts when I play them and they stupidly
choose Sonic for Chrome Gadget. =P"
He does have a point! When I played Sonic on this stage, he usually
took a teeny bit longer to time his high jumps from the platform to
that small alcove after the fan. This is due to Sonic's inconsistency
of his jumps (as he is super fast) so Tails is by far the best
character to use on this stage.

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Credits
=======

Now in which situation would I be without anyone to thank for in
the making of this guide?

SEGA and Sonic   - for creating the blue madness of Sonic for well
Team               over a decade, despite some of its ups and downs
                   along the way.
            
GameFAQS.com     - for providing the BEST video game database on the
                   internet and for probable posting of my guide.

Ryan (RHarrison) - who first lured me back to Sonic since after all
Harrison           these years! I recently turned back to the craze
                   after playing Sonic Adventure 2: Battle! Check
                   it out.

Sonic fans       - who've supported this true, blue craze since
worldwide          the early Nineties - you're reading at one of
                   them. If it wasn't for us, the fans, the madness
                   would never have started...

Sonic 3 Genesis  - the 'Competition' mode provided plenty of ideas
                   for making this guide, for which is why there is
                   an FAQ put up in this section.

George Martin    - he helped me explain what the ring item is for
                   in the races. I got the info from email, thanks
                   again George!

Noriman Johan    - another individual fan told me the use of the
                   arrow symbol for the races. Sorry it took so
                   long to update this!

Rob White        - our third budding fan gave me a great time-
                   saving tip for Azure Lake. It can be found on
                   both Tips and Time Attack sections, thanks!!

Perin            - two time-saving tricks was what I've been
                   given by this fan; Azure Lake and Chrome Gadget.
                   Thanks! They're in the new Submitted Tips
                   section.

Mike Cote        - a lot of time in Azure Lake has been saved when
                   he gave me a screenshot of the completed stage
                   in 17''14. The trick can be done in the Submitted
                   Tips section. Thanks!

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End of guide. I hope you enjoyed it!!

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