I must have been wasted when I wrote this, but I haven't touched
alcohol in my life, sooooo...

         _________             .__           __  .__
        /   _____/ ____   ____ |__| ____   _/  |_|  |__   ____
        \_____  \ /  _ \ /    \|  |/ ___\  \   __\  |  \_/ __ \
        /        (  <_> )   |  \  \  \___   |  | |   Y  \  ___/
       /_______  /\____/|___|  /__|\___  >  |__| |___|  /\___  >
               \/            \/        \/             \/     \/
  ___ ___             .___             .__                    ________
 /   |   \   ____   __| _/ ____   ____ |  |__   ____   ____   \_____  \
/    ~    \_/ __ \ / __ | / ___\_/ __ \|  |  \ /  _ \ / ___\    _(__  <
\    Y    /\  ___// /_/ |/ /_/  >  ___/|   Y  (  <_> ) /_/  >  /       \
 \___|_  /  \___  >____ |\___  / \___  >___|  /\____/\___  /  /______  /
       \/       \/     \/_____/      \/     \/      /_____/          \/

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 3 Walkthrough                             A thanks to
Last Updated: December 9th, 2007                network-science.de/ascii
Written by: 1Macabre                                             for the
c a b i l a n 8 3 @ l i v e . c o m                           ASCII art!


1.0 - Introduction
    1.1 - Copyright Information
    1.2 - Version History

2.0 - Game Information
    2.1 - Controls
    2.2 - Rings & Monitors
    2.3 - Bonus Stages
    2.4 - Chaos Emeralds
    2.5 - General Hazards

3.0 - Zone Walkthrough
    3.1 - Angel Island Zone
    3.2 - Hydrocity Zone
    3.3 - Marble Garden Zone
    3.4 - Carnival Night Zone
    3.5 - Icecap Zone
    3.6 - Launch Base Zone

4.0 - Additional Information
    4.1 - Competition Mode
    4.2 - Cheats
    4.3 - Missing Zones
    4.4 - Sonic & Knuckles

5.0 - Closing
    5.1 - Acknowledgements
    5.2 - Contact

1.0 - Introduction

Thanks for choosing this FAQ! My name is 1Macabre, and I am pleased to
present to you this FAQ for Sonic the Hedgehog 3 on Sega Genesis! Hope-
fully, if you're stuck on that evil part of Carnival Night with the
bobbing barrels, can't locate the Chaos Emeralds, or any other problem
of the sort, this guide will lend a helping hand.

Allow me to give a brief history of Sonic. In 1991, a small company
known as Sonic Team, working for Service Games (Sega), developed a small
platformer to compete with Nintendo's mascot, Mario. To their astonish-
ment, their game "Sonic the Hedgehog" was tremendously popular in Japan,
Europe and North America. Since then, a long chain of sequels and spin-
offs (literally) were released, and over the years, the blue hedgehog's
reputation started to decay.

One of the solid sequels, however, was Sonic the Hedgehog 3. It offered
massive and lengthy levels, gameplay twists, unique character attributes
and a story that ties the levels together. It set a high bar for Sonic
games that no sequel has reached since.

1.1 - Copyright Information

This guide was written by 1Macabre. If you own a website and would like
to host this guide, it may be distributed as long as nothing is changed,
and I receive credit as author.

Additionally, if you are hosting this guide and would like a link to it
placed below, email me with the details.


Sonic the Hedgehog and all related characters and places are copyrights
(c) of Sega Enterprises 1994.

1.2 - Version History

Version 1.2 - December 09, 2007 - Almost two years has passed since the
last time I updated this, but it still feels like yesterday. Some small
updates this time, including my new email address.

Version 1.1.2 - January 23, 2006 - Added how to defeat MGZ's boss with
Tails, thanks to feedback from a reader. Though, I'm probably the last
person to learn how to do it :) I also made some typo corrections here
and there, and I plan on adding a few more sections to the "Additional
Information" category.

Version 1.1 - January 9, 2006 - I really wanted to have more done for
this update but I owe some people credit, including NeoSeeker.com. Add-
itionally, I cleaned up some typos here and there.

Version 1.0 - December 31, 2005 - First version complete.

2.0 - Game Information

Read the following carefully, so you will know how things work.

2.1 - Controls

The controls are all the same throughout the game. Give them all a try
when starting!

Start: Pauses/unpauses the game.

Jump! If you tap A as Tails, his two tails spin like a rotor blade and
allow him to fly. As Sonic, pressing A in mid-air will trigger what's
called "Insta-shield" a shiny wisp temporarily protects him. Useful in
boss fights.

Move in the corresponding direction, if applicable.

Your character will look up. If they stare up long enough, the camera
pans up a little, letting you see what kinds of obstacles are above.

Your character will duck. After a while, the camera pans down and lets
you see what sorts of nasty things await below. Also, ducking gets you
poised for spin-dashing.

Down + A/B/C:
This causes spin-dashing to occur. Keep pressing A, B or C to build en-
ergy (indicated by a squealing friction noise) then release Down to
launch Sonic and/or Tails with extra speed!

2.2 - Rings & Monitors

Rings, as in any Sonic game, are very important. Little yellow rings are
scattered everywhere throughout the level. At the end of an act, you'll
get 100 points for each ring you have.

When Sonic or Tails get hurt, every ring they have (if any) will spill
everywhere, giving you just a brief chance to gather them. However, if
you get hurt with zero rings, you die and lose a life!

Obtaining 100 rings will earn you a 1-up, as indicated by a crazy little
music cue.

As for the monitors, those are little television-looking devices that
you can break open and get an item. You will know what to expect by the
image that's on the monitor's screen. Behold:

Your character's face: Get a 1-up.

Shoe: Temporary speed-up. The music's tempo also increases.

Sparkles: Temporary invincibility accompanied by a crazy tune.

Bubble: Bubble shield. It deflects projectiles, allows Sonic to do a
bubble-bounce (enhanced insta-shield), and lets you breathe underwater!

Flame: Fire shield. It deflects projectiles, lets Sonic do a "meteor-
jump," and defends everyone from fire-related dangers.

Bolt: Electricity shield. It deflects projectiles, let's Sonic do a
"lightning jump," and projects everyone from electricity-related attacks
which, as far as I can remember, there aren't any. Also, if you are
close enough to rings, they will gravitate towards you!

Robotnik: Breaking this open will hurt you... so don't do it.

Letter S: Gives you 50 rings and turns you "super," even if you don't
yet have all the emeralds. Accessable only in debug mode.

2.3 - Bonus Stages

When you have at least 50 rings, run past a check-point lamp post and
a little ring of stars appear above it. Jump into the star-circle to
teleport to the bonus stage!

At the bottom is a row of red springs. If you hit these, they collapse,
making a bottomless pit. If you fall in, you exit the stage.

On the walls are yellow flippers that flick Sonic back and forth, grad-
ually going upwards. They disappear afterwards, though.

And at the top of the stage, there's a large gumball machine. Make
Sonic or Tails go past the crank to make a sphere with a power-up fall
out. The power-ups go like this:

Blue gumball with B: Bubble barrier, common.

Red gumball with B: Fire barrier, common.

Yellow gumball with B: Electric barrier, common.

Gray gumball with Ring: You will get 10 rings, rare.

Pink gumball with 1-up: You get a 1-up! This is rare.

Green gumball with Rep: Repairs the red springs at the bottom, if they
have already collapsed. Rare.

Black gumball: Bounces you away. This can be either good or bad depend-
ing on where you're at. It could bounce you to the bottomless pit or up
to the gumball crank. Moderate.

Clear gumball: You get NOTHING!!! Mostly serves as a false alarm to make
you chase after it only to realize it's empty. Moderate.

2.4 - Chaos Emeralds

In each act, there are (at least) 2 giant rings that will take you to
the Special Stage. In the Special Stage, you're on a pseudo-3D small
planet where you run around and pick up blue spheres, without touching
the red spheres. Every time you hit a blue sphere, it turns red, so you
can't retrace your steps.

If blue spheres are arranged in a formation, collect only the ones on
the outside edge. Doing this converts them all to rings that you can
collect. Speaking of rings, get 50 of them in the Special Stage to earn
an elusive Continue.

Here is the effect of the different spheres:

Blue sphere: It turns into a red one when you hit it.

Red sphere: Boots you out of the Special Stage empty-handed. :(

Orange sphere: Flicks you up into the air with a boing-noise. Land care-

White sphere with red star: With a ding, it bounces you backwards. This
is bad, because you can't see what you're about to hit, and chances are
it'll be a red sphere you hit next...

Ring: Gives you a ring!

After all the blue spheres have been collected, you get a Chaos Emerald.
There are seven in all, so you must locate and conquer all seven Special
Stages. After you do this, Sonic can become Super Sonic! Tails gets no-
thing for his efforts.

To become Super Sonic, collect the 7 Chaos Emeralds, get 50 rings in a
normal stage, and do insta-shield. With a flash, Sonic becomes Super
Sonic. This should help you out through the game.

2.5 - General Hazards

Water: You have a total of 30 seconds to live underwater. After about
15 seconds, Jaws music starts playing, and soon enough, a 10-second
count-down begins. If it reaches zero, you die!

You can extend your time underwater by looking around for cracks where
bubbles emerge. Look for large bubbles and jump into it, and Sonic or
Tails will inhale it, supplying oxygen.

Also, watch out for anything you could potentially get crushed in, hori-
zontally or vertically. If you get crushed, you die.

Be wary of bottomless pits. There aren't a whole lot, but they are still
there nonetheless. If you fall in, guess what happens... you die!

If you get hurt at all with zero rings, you die! If the timer gets to
10 minutes, you time out and die! If you sink in oil, you die! If the
game crashes, you die!

Also take note that Super Sonic, while invincibile to enemies and
spikes, can still die in the following ways: Drowning, getting crushed,
falling into a chasm, timing out, or sinking in oil.

3.0 - Zone Walkthrough

Detailed here are the six zones from Sonic 3. Note that the other eight
zones can only be accessed in "Sonic & Knuckles," described near the end
of this FAQ.

When the game first starts up, press Start to access the save selection
screen. Choose a file, preferably the first one, and choose your char-
acter. Your choices are: Sonic, Tails, or Sonic being followed by Tails.

3.1 - Angel Island Zone

Act 1

In the intro, Sonic is standing on the wing of Tails' plane, riding over
the sea. Sonic jumps off and disappears, then becomes Super and skims
over the sea's surface. He rips through some trees for a moment until
Knuckles the Echidna jumps up from the ground and knocks Sonic down,
then steals the emeralds.

You should take this small interlude of the level to get used to the
controls. Almost all basic land-forms are here for you to see how they
affect Sonic's movement.

The first entrance to the Special Stage isn't far off, either. When the
stage starts, keep going right until you go off a crumbling cliff with
some swinging vines after it. Drop down below them and then spin-dash
left, smashing through rocks and entering the Special Stage.

In the middle of the level, an army of Battery Blimps descends and
scorches the entire rain-forest. You can attempt to kill it, but it is
invincible at this time.

When gameplay resumes, go right until you see a path leading down. Go
down and then spin-dash left, smashing through more rocks. Jump on the
red spring to launch into another Special Stage entrance.

Act 1 Boss: Battery Blimp
The blimp that burnt the rain-forest returns at the end of the act. If
you grabbed the fire-shield just prior to the fight, this is even easi-
er. Don't hit the bottom because fire comes out; rather, hit the top of
it 6 times to win. Careful, It shoots fire.

Act 2

Act 2 isn't much different besides different music. From the start, go
through the wavy tube at high speeds and you'll be spit out right next
to another Special Stage entrance.

Continue on for a while. Notice the water; it's not deep enough to drown
you so don't worry. The path to the end is mainly linear. The fourth
giant ring can be found at the bottom of the last large waterfall before
the boss fight, hidden to the right a little.

When the Flying Battery descends and starts chasing you, just dash to
the right and keep going, so you don't get hit by the many bombs it
drops. If Tails is following you, he won't be so lucky. After that's
over, you'll see Dr. Robotnik flying behind the trees. Onward!!!

Act 2 Boss: Robotnik's Fire-Spitter
Robotnik emerges from behind the waterfall and blasts the bridge away.
He goes behind the waterfall to hide, but you can see his silhouette and
be able to tell where he's going. Hit him whenever he pops out, but
watch out for fire-balls. Hit him 8 times to win.

After that's over, a flying egg-capsule lowers, hit its button to free
the animals. After that, a bridge lowers, and Sonic tries to cross it.
Unfortunately, Knuckles stomps a switch and the bridge breaks, and
Sonic falls into the abyss of the waterfall.

3.2 - Hydrocity Zone

Act 1

This place, from what I can tell, is a remade version of Labyrinth Zone
from the original Sonic the Hedgehog. The waterfall swept you into this
weird underground cathedral that's flooded with water.

If you are Tails, hold Left when the level starts to land on a higher
platform. Then fly up and to the right to take a different route than
Sonic usually does. As for Sonic, hit the gray switch to open a hatch,
and the stream forces you through a tunnel filled with spikes. Navigate
up and down to avoid the spikes.

Along the way, there will be tiny piranha fish that latch onto you and
start draining your rings one-by-one. Shake them off by doing a spin-
dash, or jump out of the water.

There are also these strange hand robots that reach up to grab you, then
they launch you off at full speed. That's strange, considering Dr. Ro-
botnik's creations usually hinder you.

I can't remember the location of the first giant ring, but the second
one is just a little before the boss. If you've been finding all the
giant rings and getting the emeralds, you should now have 6 out of 7!!

Act 1 Boss: Spin-Cycle
A weird spherical robot surrounded by rockets appears. It can't be harm-
ed when the rockets are moving. The arena is bowl-shaped. Wait until the
robot tries to charge you, then spin-dash the opposite way and leap off
the wall to go over it. Do it again, the other direction. After that,
the boss stops the rockets and sits on the pole and spins it, making
Sonic get caught up in a water cyclone. When that stops, hit the robot
6 times to defeat it.

Act 2

Act 2 starts out with some funky James Bond-type music as Sonic is suck-
ed underwater and ends up in some deep tunnel. Proceed to the right a
tad until the wall suddenly starts shifting! You have to hurry and out-
run it before it crushes you. The path is linear, so you can't get lost.
Spin-dash through the big stone doors that block your path. After that
scary event is over, you're free to continue the stage without fear of
being crushed.

Little cylindrical rotating platforms hover around in patterns that can
help you up, but also crush you if you're not careful.

You will soon notice that this entire place is now a huge ancient water-
park. The slides are loopy, flowing with water and make Sonic slide
fast. Sometimes, you'll experience running across the surface of the
water gracefully. If you don't have enough speed at these areas, you
splash into the water.

After a while, you encounter old Knuckles again. You can't reach him be-
cause a wall divides the two of you. Watch in horror as he jumps onto a
switch, causing your platform to burst, making you fall into the flooded
tunnel below!

Act 2 Boss: Robotnik's Water-Slaughter
The water is just a little over Sonic's head, enough to drown in. Robot-
nik's machine starts by sticking its fan in the water and going up, cre-
ating a column of water. Sonic can use the column as a platform, so
quickly jump up onto it and hit Robotnik. He then starts dropping gre-
nades into the water. When they start blinking, jump right above them.
When they detonate, the water column launches Sonic up and gives you a
chance to hit Robotnik. Hit him 8 times and he'll get all fired-up.

After you bust the animals out of their confinement, the ground starts
to tremor... and a massive column of water launches Sonic out of the
cathedral, and high into the air!

3.3 - Marble Garden Zone

Act 1

You get sort of a crash landing. Though you start sprinting down slopes,
if you press and hold Down, you will roll and move twice as fast.

After the slope thing is over, you'll finally get a good view of the new
level which, in my opinion, is the most frustrating stage of the game -
Marble Garden Zone. Every step of this level is laced with spikes,
swinging spike balls, things that smash you, things that hurt you, oil
in which you can sink, and other terrible obstacles I can't even de-

Some places require you to stand up against a blue circular object, then
spin-dash. The circle object spins and then causes large steps to form,
which will get you to where you need to go.

Some walls can be spin-dashed through - others require something extra.
You must hop onto the blue frisbee-like platforms and hitch a ride on
them. The controls are simple - Left and Right go in the corresponding
directions, A, B or C make you jump off. The catch is that your altitude
is affected by how fast you're running on the platform. The faster you
go, the higher you go. The slower you go, the lower you go. This is more
difficult than it sounds. You must then use it to ram into those afore-
mentioned walls.

There are other times when a stone face spits arrows at you. The only
way to get past these guys is to hit the red jewel on its forehead 3
times, and it will die and reveal a new path.

I should also mention two bizarre enemies - the first is the blue orb
insect. While it looks harmless at first glance, watch out! In intervals
of 5 seconds or so, it will eject spikes all over its body. If you hit
it when its spikes are out, you take the pain. The other enemy is the
one that LOOKS like a bed of spikes - but when you jump on it, you will
bounce off. Then, it reveals itself to be a robot, and it tosses a pro-
jectile at you. Watch out for these.

Act 1 Boss: Drill Bot
This fight is easy, it only seems hard if you don't know what to do. The
Drill Bot will drill up into the ceiling, and debris rains down from a-
bove. The falling rocks won't hurt Sonic - but the falling stelactites
will. Navigate yourself out of the way until the drilling stops, then
take cover. The boss emerges from the ceiling for a brief second, spikes
down. Hit him several times, but be cautious, as his spikes will turn up
and the process repeats. Hit it 6 times.

Act 2

The second act of this zone is just more of the first, basically. The
only new obstacles are pulleys that you grab onto, and they tug you up
steep (and otherwise-unclimbable) surfaces.

Also, every now and then Dr. Robotnik will show up to cause trouble. He
drills his way into the ground, and the whole place starts to collapse!
You have to get from point A to point B quickly before you are crushed.

Act 2 Boss: Robotnik's Driller-Killer
At the end of the act, Robotnik returns and drills the ground, and it
all falls to pieces! Luckily, Tails comes to the rescue. He now carries
you around in the air with infinite flight. Jump out of his hands and
onto Robotnik's head whenever possible, until 8 hits when Robotnik bites
the dust. 

Update 1/25/06: In Tails' scenario, you must hit Robotnik with Tails'
'propeller' while Robotnik's drill is NOT pointing down! It's a bit
trickier. Thanks to one_heck_of_a_guy_13(AT)yahoo(DOT)com for sending
me this information!

After Robotnik's gone, the sun begins to set. Day becomes dusk, and dusk
becomes night. Just what awaits in the dark? ...

3.4 - Carnival Night Zone

Act 1

Why, Carnival Night of course! The funky beats here sound like something
straight from a michael jackson song. In fact, Whacko Jacko was origin-
ally to compose music for this game, but was unable to, due to a certain

But all madness aside, this is one of the best levels in the game, along
with Icecap Zone, which is up next.

Carnival Night is so decked-out in lights and pinball stuff, it almost
screams "CARNIVAL" right at you. The first thing you should know is
something that has caused mass confusion throughout nearly all gamers to
play this game - how do the bobbing barrels work? Incase you're lost, I
am referring to the pudgy, cylindrical rotating red-and-white platforms
with a very strange behavior. To control these, hop on top, then press
Up when it rises, and press Down when it sinks. It will start to lash
around and move more, letting you reach either a high platform or a low
underground area. Keep this in mind, because it's mandatory later.

Another cool device is the candy-cane-looking bars. When Sonic runs down
one of them, he goes in a swirling technique, regardless of physics.

Every now and then, you'll find anti-gravity pads that make Sonic hover
above them with a deep humming noise. When you follow a long line of
these, there are usually bumpers somewhere to ricochet you away, which
can get annoying sometimes.

Something else that should be mentioned is the "no back-tracking" door
ways that are moderately common. When you go in one way, it ushers you
to the other side. But if you try to go back, there's an annoying sci-
fi sound effect and it magnetically repels you, and effectively prevents
you from back-tracking.

There are also some neat circular objects which, when Sonic jumps on
one, he runs around its circumference clock-wise and gains speed. You
can also press Down to roll around them, increasing your speed. If you
go too fast, though, you're thrown off with a random trajectory.

Not so interesting, but still worth mentioning, is the tall cylindrical
grates that Sonic can grab on to and be taken either up or down, depend-
ing on its direction.

Finally are strange balloon-elevated platforms. When you stand on it, it
will slowly sink. But when you jump, it rises back up twice as far. You
use this method to go up on them; stand on it for 1 second, then jump,

Eventually you'll arrive at the first boss, which, in my opinion, is

Act 2 Boss: The Zapper
Like I said, this can be tough. You are on a row of breakable blocks
which are going down at a high velocity. The robot releases an independ-
ant drill which breaks through these blocks. Once they're gone, they
don't come back. If you fall into the abyss below, you'll die. Also, di-
rect hits won't work on this thing. You have to jump on it first, then
take cover. It will expose its weak point, the abdomin, and spew elec-
tricity. As it does this, the drill comes back and hits it. Do this 4
times and the boss will be dead.

The blocks come to a stop on the safe ground and the act ends.

Act 2

This act is mostly the same as the first, except with two differences:
The presence of water, and the absence of lights. About half-way through
the stage, Knuckles appears on the scene again, and hits a switch that
shuts off all power. Not only that, but the next area is completely
flooded, so you'll be playing in dark water for just a while.

About three-fourths into the stage, Sonic hits a gray button and the
lights come back on. Not only that, but the water lowers. However, if
you're going fast enough, it's possible to go right past the switch :)

You'll soon meet up with Knuckles again, and he'll be left open for
attack... the only problem is that before you can do so, he hits yet
another switch that activates the gravity tube just above Sonic, and so
you're pulled from the ground and sent UP to the boss fight!

Act 2 Boss: Robotnik's Ball-Bouncer
Here, Robotnik comes in on his new machine and starts bouncing his balls
against the walls. Well, he just drops the shiny green ball onto the
ground, and it bounces towards Sonic a little. Avoid that. Then he comes
down to scoop up the ball via magnetic force. Be careful, because this
causes Sonic to be magnetically pulled towards the good doctor. After
that, he lowers for a short time to pick up the green ball. Hit him 8
times and it's over.

After that, Sonic hops into one of those weird cannons. It rocks back
and forth a few times before finally shooting him out with MUCH more
force than he probably expected.

3.5 - Icecap Zone

Act 1

Ever since I was a wee lad, this has always been my favorite stage. When
I was that young, I was fascinated by how night becomes dawn. That's be-
cause I had always wondered how it works, and Icecap Zone starts off at
night, becomes early morning and finally turns into day-time in Act 2.
But also because it features snowboarding, great music (by Genesis stan-
dards) and the ice structures are just cool.

If you're playing as Sonic, he lands from the sky conveniently onto a
well-placed snowboard, and begins riding down the hill. You don't have
to press any buttons, just enjoy the ride. Then he crashes into a wall
and causes an avalanche which traps him down into a frigid cave.

First of all, watch out for the things on the ceiling that spit icy mist
at you. Sonic will get frozen in a block of ice, then lose all his rings
and we wouldn't want that!

Also, there are some cool platforms that are chained to the ceiling.
Spin-dash from the ground onto these platforms, and the momentum Sonic
created will make the platform swing over to another ledge.

There's one area where you have to walk up a snowy hill, nudge a plat-
form a little, then hop aboard as it starts to slide down the hill. It
then smashes through walls for you.

Act 1 Boss: Rock-Juggler
A weird little device arrives and picks up about eight rocks, then be-
gins juggling them weirdly. It's difficult to breath this layer of rock
in order to hit the boss, so time it well. Wait for the boss to come
down to the ground, then try spin-dashing into it. If too much time goes
by, it throws the rocks at you and then picks up more. Hit it 6 times to

Act 2

Dawn cycles into day, which happens to be the final day of Sonic's ad-
venture (considering Sonic 3 takes place immediately where Sonic 2 end-
ed, that is a long time!).

The new obstacles here include little platforms that are chained to the
two adjacent walls. Jumping on the platform makes it go down, but the
elasticity of the chains makes it launch you back up.

Also, this marks the first appearance of the Robotnik monitors in Sonic
3. If you hit these, you will lose all your rings. :(

Notice that the music's noises are high-pitched, and the ring sound eff-
ect completely drowns it out. When you're going through a trail of rings
the constant glinging noises cancel out the music entirely and there is
only silence in the background. I thought that was neat.

There are occasionally piles of snow that slow you down, or mess up your

Act 2 Boss: Robotnik's Ice-Spreader
This is a tough boss, mainly because it attacks in rapid procession. On
the bottom of Robotnik's vehicle, there's a platform jutting out. Icy
mist sprays out of the contraption in this order: left, center, right,
center, repeat. The best way to hit him is to wait until the ice spews
out the opposite end, then quickly run up and leap off his platform,
hitting him. It also helps if a friend is controlling Player 2 (Tails),
so that when you get frozen, they can smash open the ice before you get
hurt. Hit Robotnik 8 times to win this perturbing battle!

Sonic is close to the finale, the Death Egg's launch site. Run forward
and spin through the snowy tube.

3.6 - Launch Base Zone

Act 1

Well, here it is! Launch Base. It somewhat reminds me of Moscow, with
those cool castle-like towers. The background looks like it was a com-
plete rush-job, though, as it has very little detail, and dull colors.

There are some weird siren-looking objects that, when Sonic runs through
them, they buzz and alert a bird enemy to swoop down and attack. If you
want to rack a lot of points, stand between them and do a spin-dash.
Doing that will call an unlimited amount of birds, but they'll all hit
your spin-dash and die. The score you get for each consecutive kill gets
progressively higher.

There are some odd spoon-looking platforms that Sonic can jump into and
they'll pivot on a pole and take you either up or down safely. Sometimes
they spin out of control and launch you in a direction.

There are some places where a red-and-black-striped wall will block your
path. The only way to open these is to find little red boxes with a
green arrow, and bust them open. The wall will now be out of your way.

Near the end of Act 1, Knuckles returns yet again! After taking the
pivoting platform up, you spot the red echidna on a balcony. He tosses
a cliché spherical bomb down, and it detonates, covering the building in
flames. Jump out the window and off the balcony. The entire building im-
plodes on itself. :D

Act 1 Boss: Spiker
This is a simple boss, you just have to be careful. A sphere with two
spikeballs attached via chains is all this guy is. It periodically re-
leases the spikeballs and they flail around his circumference, while it
slowly moves towards Sonic. Just stay away from it until the spikeballs
stop, then hit him as many times as you can. After 3 hits, one of the
spikeballs breaks off, making this fight much easier. After the other 3
hits, its other spikeball breaks off, and then it just dies.

Act 2

Act 2 offers almost nothing new to the mix aside from some water, which
you hardly skim. Just keep going, the main attraction is the boss(es).
Oh, and hopefully by now you have all the Chaos Emeralds...

Act 2 Boss A: Robotnik's Cannon-Cruncher
This is an easy boss. Just watch the pattern. When the small bridge pops
out of the wall, the cannonball will either shoot out from above or be-
low the little bridge. It comes out from above first. When it shoots out
just jump over it, onto the bridge, and hit Robotnik. Next, the cannon-
ball shoots out from underneath the bridge, so jump over it and onto the
bridge, and again hit Robotnik. Also, if you're playing as Tails, you're
able to fly up over Robotnik and onto the stretch of land behind him.
Then just hit him until he fries. After 8 hits, his machine explodes and
he falls into the water!

Finally some pay-back. Jump over the ledge where the deranged doctor was
positioned at a moment ago, and keep going until you see his infamous
flying vehicle parked there, and the keys are in the ignition! Sonic
hops in to take it on a pleasure cruise.

Unfortunately, Knuckles shows up to ruin the day again. He's standing on
a lone pillar in the sea, and he bops the vehicle away, preventing you
from reaching the Death Egg. Just then, its engine roars to life, and
his pillar collapses! Knuckles also falls into the water.

Sonic continues riding until hopping out onto a platform, while Robot-
nik's hovering car just goes and crashes somewhere. All is calm until...

Act 2 Boss B: Robotnik's Laser-Blazer
Now Robotnik rides a rediculous laser-shooting column-esque device. Of
course, he doesn't stand a chance. Hit the top of the machine where he
sits as he comes by. Be careful of the spikeball that revolves around
the top! Also, jump over or duck under the lasers he shoots at you. Hit
him 8 times to succeed.

Final Boss: Robotnik's Squeeze Tag Machine*
It's time to face the Slayer! The demonic spike-covered machine crashes
down on the platform and cracks its knuckles. He will go off-screen,
then return quickly. It is then that you must jump and hit him straight
on. If you jump too high, you'll scrape the spikes on his head and get
hurt. If you don't jump high enough, he'll catch you in his hands and
bang Sonic against the ground. The problem here is that you won't have
any time to pick up your rings! Phase 2, he'll hover back and forth up
in the air, determining your position. Get out of the way, because he
slams back down, under the platform, and his spikes are all that stick
up. Then he flies back and forth some more; jump over the spikes. He
continues this pattern, and so should you. After hitting his final cre-
ation 8 times, wave goodbye to the good doctor!

*Thanks to Joe Rogers for the official name of the last boss!

Congratulations, you have beaten Sonic the Hedgehog 3!

4.0 - Additional Information

Everything else you need to know about the game!

4.1 - Competition Mode

There are three main modes of racing in Competition Mode:

Grand Prix:
You and a human opponent (or the computer) foot-race through all 5 zones
in order. Whoever won 3-out-of-5 or more races is crowned victor!

Match Race:
Two players can race through any of the courses at their choice.

Time Attack:
One player picks their character and speeds through the zones to earn
the fastest clear time possible.

You can choose from these three characters: Sonic, Tails, and even the
elusive Knuckles!

While usually he was ordinary and unskilled in the regular game, his
speed and raw jumping power have netted him the most useful role when
racing an opponent.

Nearly as fast as Sonic, though not quite. His tails allow him to fly,
but that isn't particularly useful when racing!

Kind of like drawing the short stick, Knuckles is slow and doesn't jump
very high. His gliding, climbing and smashing skills haven't been im-
plemented yet, either.

The five zones present are listed below:

Azure Lake:
A nice, serene little destination, this will get you accustomed to the
mechanics of split-screen (which makes it more difficult to control your
character). Watch out for the sinking mud pit. Just blaze through the
two cork-screws, fling up to the tree, then down two platforms and to
the goal.

Balloon Park:
A little Carnival-Night-wannabe, this zone is quite ornate and festive.
Go through the cork-screw, then between the two elephants' trunks. Hop
on the yellow balloons which will pop you up to where you need to go.
This zone is mostly for how well you can turn directions.

Chrome Gadget:
My particular favorite stage with groovy music and a nice back-drop.
Take the elevator down and and spin-dash off. Careful, because you may
spring backwards and hit the platform just as it ascends, killing you.
Just keep going until one lap is done.

Desert Palace:
This place is good for hindering your opponent. Go through the two cork-
screws and across a moat of sand, hitting a red switch to eject a spring
that will bounce your opponent back. Then go up the hill and across the
bridge (which will crumble) and back to the beginning. Because of the
way this stage intertwines, glitches can and will occur.

Endless Mine:
Run forward and propel yourself off the spring and through the shaft.
Jump on the yellow blocks to smash them and continue. Run up the wall at
the necessary point and down a little tunnel, through two cork-screws,
and back to where you started. Good stuff.

There are also some items that will either help or hinder you. These
items can be deactivated in the Competition Mode intro screen, though.

Red Shoes:
These will make you run twice as fast. Oh happy days!

Gray Shoes:
These things slow you down. No good.

This sucks. If it hits you, you lose a lap.

Protects you against bombs.

Generally bad for making you slip and lose control, but can prove useful
if you aim your trajectory well.

Causes a spring to drop down, and it can be bounced from but once.

If you and your opponent have an item, they get traded.

4.2 - Cheats

Ah, yes. I'm sure this is the first section everyone will be reading, I
considered putting another introduction here for that reason, but no one
reads those things anyway. :)

Level Select:
You know that quick drum line before the title screen? Well, if you have
the fastest thumbs in the west (or east), you must press Up, Up, Down,
Down, Up, Up, Up, Up right on the beat. After doing this, a third menu
will appear on the title screen called Sound Test. Don't let the name
fool you, it's the stage-select menu. You may also notice something odd
about it.

Level Select (alternate):
If that last one was too hard for you, there is an alternate method. But
you MUST be careful. Enter the Level Select cheat in Sonic the Hedgehog
2, then pull the cartridge out CAREFULLY, and quickly insert your Sonic
3 cartridge, then reset the game. Remember, you promised to be careful.

All Chaos Emeralds:
Once the Level Select and Sound Test menu is unlocked, play the follow-
ing tunes in Sound Test: 02, 04, 05, 06. You'll hear a neat noise if you
did it right.

Hidden Special Stage:
To find an eighth Chaos Emerald (which has no effect on gameplay) go to
Sound Test and play 01, 03, 05, 07. Then highlight Special Stage Act 2,
hold A and press Start.

Debug Mode:
Do the Level Select code (by now, if you still can't get the LS code to
work, this just isn't your day). Highlight a level and hold A and press
Start, and hold the two buttons until the level loads. Press B to turn
debug mode on or off. Whilst in debug mode, A lets you cycle through the
items and C pastes the item on-screen. The programmers used this to find
and eliminate glitches, or "bugs," hence de-bug. Have fun playing around
with it!

4.3 - Missing Zones

Earlier, I mentioned that the Level Select screen has something odd a-
bout it. It has three zones that aren't found in the game: Flying Batt-
ery Zone, Mushroom Valley Zone, and Sandopolis Zone. This was weird at
the time, but we soon found out why. These stages were originally to be
included in the game, but were held back to be released on the sub-se-
quent "Sonic & Knuckles," which does contain these stages.

4.4 - Sonic & Knuckles

Buying "Sonic & Knuckles" was actually worth it. With the little car-
tridge slot on top of the cartridge, you could stick Sonic 3 in there
and receive the "full version" one could say. This allowed you to play
as Knuckles in Sonic 3 stages, play as Tails in the S&K stages, collect
a second set of Chaos Emeralds and be able to save your progress through
all 14 of these massive levels. This guide only covers 6 of them. You
can also:

* Hook Sonic 1 onto S&K to play a virtually-endless series of Special
Stages, Sonic 3-style.

* Hook Sonic 2 onto S&K and play as Knuckles through the Sonic 2 stages.

* Hook Sonic Spinball onto S&K to play one massive and crazy Special

* Hook S&K onto S&K to have no effect (I was stupid enough to try it).

5.0 - Closing

It's that sad time once again...

5.1 - Acknowledgements

I'd like to thank...

Sega and Sonic Team. This FAQ would be pointless without the game, eh?

The fans that made Sonic 2 popular enough for Sega to make THIS game.

GameFAQs and any other website kind enough to host this guide.

www.network-science.de/ascii for the excellent ASCII-generator.

Joe Rogers <jamesjosephrogers AT gmail DOT com> for informing me of the
final boss' official name! I still like the name Slayer better though ;)

Peter Beloshitski <one_heck_of_a_guy_13 AT yahoo DOT com> for telling me
how to defeat Marble Garden Zone's boss with Tails!

Myself, for writing this... but now my wrists burn!

And most of all, I'd like to thank you, the reader, for reading this FAQ
and giving it a purpose! I also hope you check out my yet-to-be-created
FAQs in the future.

5.2 - Contact

I'm currently not needing updates to this age-old thing, but any words
you want to send are appreciated. My e-mail address is up at the top.

Well, it seems appropriate to bring this walkthrough to a close now. It
has been a lot of fun to compile and write, and I hope it helped ya's.

Goodbye goodbye.

© 2005-2010 1Macabre. All rights reserved.
Sonic the Hedgehog and related content are Copyright (c) Sega.