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!