Sonic The Hedgehog (2006) - Last Episode FAQ
http://www.sega.com/sonicnext

(This FAQ is designed for the Xbox 360 version, but to my understanding, the
 content of the PS3 version is identical.)


    FAQ created by Kulock, November 20th, 2006
    http://www.mooglecavern.com/


Currently posted to MoogleCavern.com and GameFAQs.com. Check version posted to
MoogleCavern.com or GameFAQs.com for most accurate list of approved sites. If
a site is not listed, they posted the FAQ without asking permission.

Copyright 2006, 2007 David Eggleton


Apparently FAQs for Sonic The Hedgehog (2006) are in high demand, last I
checked GameFAQs only listing my Demo FAQ several days after release. I didn't
want to get into writing a full-blown FAQ, especially when much of the game
doesn't require your hand being held (although people could do with a few
warnings of specific things, like "Don't go running out onto that sand without
holding the R Trigger, trust me"), but I realized that I'd probably reached
the Last Episode (the final story segment after all three main episodes,
Sonic, Shadow and Silver are beaten) faster than some others, and that some
aspects of that one ARE pretty vague... so what the heck, let's go for it.

Keep in mind that this FAQ is designed around the gameplay of this segment,
not about spoiling the plot and cinematics (and especially that nifty
ending). You want spoilers, go look for them on YouTube or something. I can't
guarantee that I won't drop information on one or two aspects because they do
pertain to the gameplay, but they're lightweight, and I'm leaving more out
than you'd think.




[Revision History:]

11/20/06:  FAQ started. First FAQ version completed (v0.90), submitted to
           GameFAQs. Silver Medal and Ranking Breakdowns still incomplete.
01/21/07:  Been a long time. I've been meaning to get back to this for weeks,
           but I just couldn't force myself to sit down and do it. Anyway,
           I've since S-Ranked the Last Episode, so I can actually explain
           how to do that now. This is not a completed version, just work
           toward one. (v0.93)
02/06/07:  Completed Silver Medal guide to the best of my ability, and
           researched the ones I already collected. Mostly finished the EotW
           segment rewrites, just needs a little polishing, and the Ranking
           points listed.(v0.95)
03/14/07:  I've been putting this off way too long! Just for some closure,
           the rewrites are finished and the ranking information is added.
           (v1.00)


[Table of Contents:]

Search using the codes (#XX#) to find the section you want to jump to.

#01#  The Situation: End of the World
  #01a#  Basic Description
  #01b#  Guidelines for S-Ranking EotW

#02#  Yellow Chaos Emerald: Tails
  #02a#  Playing as Tails
  #02b#  Normal (Safe) Path Through
  #02c#  S-Rank Path Through

#03#  Green Chaos Emerald: Omega
  #03a#  Playing as Omega
  #03b#  Normal (Safe) Path Through
  #03c#  S-Rank Path Through

#04#  Light Blue Chaos Emerald: Knuckles
  #04a#  Playing as Knuckles
  #04b#  Normal (Safe) Path Through
  #04c#  S-Rank Path Through

#05#  White Emerald: Silver
  #05a#  Playing as Silver
  #05b#  Normal (Safe) Path Through
  #05c#  S-Rank Path Through

#06#  Purple Chaos Emerald: Rouge
  #06a#  Playing as Rouge
  #06b#  Normal (Safe) Path Through
  #06c#  S-Rank Path Through

#07#  Blue Chaos Emerald: Amy
  #07a#  Playing as Amy
  #07b#  Normal (Safe) Path Through
  #07c#  S-Rank Path Through

#08#  Red Chaos Emerald: Shadow
  #08a#  Playing as Shadow
  #08b#  Normal (Safe) Path Through
  #08c#  S-Rank Path Through

#09#  Solaris: Part 1
  #09a#  Basic Description
  #09b#  Playing as Super Sonic
  #09c#  Playing as Super Shadow
  #09d#  Playing as Super Silver
  #09e#  Normal (Safe) Path Through
  #09f#  S-Rank Path Through

#10#  Solaris: Part 2
  #10a#  Normal (Safe) Path Through
  #10b#  S-Rank Path Through

#11#  Your Rewards
#12#  Silver Soleanna Medals [Incomplete]
#13#  Is there More?
#14#  Ranking Breakdowns [Incomplete]
#15#  Contact the Author



#01# [The Situation: End of the World]

  #01a#  Basic Description
You've started the episode; you've watched the cinemas. You should already
have a vague idea of what's happening, particularly if you've played Sonic
Adventure 2, but basically you'll be playing through level segments of
moderate length as each character involved in turn.  Each is a remixed version
of a level you've previously been to, but maybe not as that character before.
Your goal is to find a Chaos Emerald that'll be floating around, you'll know
you're getting close because you'll hear its hum. There's some pretty beefy
enemies about, but you can just run past them most of the time, right?

Enter the power of Solaris. You can see little puffs of colored smoke hanging
around for areas he'll appear. Avoid these the best you can (but in some spots
you have very little room to keep away), because the purple ones function as
gravity wells, and if you're touched by one without already being hurt (and
sometimes even that doesn't save you), it's instant death. These things can
pull at you pretty strongly, but if you just keep running away, or use a glide
move or equivalent, you can break away. Just be wary about falling or using
melee attacks, because that's when they can best yank you toward them. On one
bright side, they will take out any enemies that are near them. Considering
you'll probably be pulling away as hard as you can, that's one less thing to
worry about.

And the red ones? They like chucking things at you. Sometimes it's innocuous
like a wooden or steel box that doesn't really bother the character, but
sometimes it's an exploding box, to give one example. The first time I got to
the Rouge segment I'd climbed to the top of a rock formation, paused to get a
look around, and got taken out with one. So these generally won't be a concern
if you keep moving, but they will randomly toss stuff in your direction, so
keep that in mind.

Progressively things will get worse and worse, with more gravity wells and a
colored haze flooding over everything. The solution? Eagle statues! Just
touching one will reset things and delay the return of the purple and red
death. But it will wear out fairly quickly, and you'll sometimes have to go
long periods of time between them.

And as for finding the emeralds, some of these segments are a bit maze-like,
and you've not been granted anything akin to emerald shard radar in this game.
Some of these segments will be pretty linear and obvious, but don't feel
embarrassed or frustrated if you can't figure out where the heck it is in
Knuckles' or Rouge's areas, because trust me, those only seem obvious once
you've found them.

Oh, and the Emerald colors don't always look the way I described them; this is
partially because of the ambient lighting, including the purple haze that
falls over and washes out everything. I went by the order listed in the Audio
Room, which seems to match a couple that I could visibly check. I could be
wrong (for example, I was pretty sure Omega's looked purple), but I don't want
to receive a lot of e-mails on the subject if I am, especially since it could
get into a messy debate simply because they're so hard to properly see.

  #01b#  Guidelines for S-Ranking EotW
Going for that Knights of Kronos Achievement, huh? This will be more annoying
than you'd think, but not impossible. Again, just reeeally annoying, and
here's why: dying anywhere past Omega's segment really shoots your chances in
the foot, and you can't restart from the beginning using the pause menu, you
have to exit out to the Act Select, then go back in, and reexperience all that
wonderful loading. And it's... sometimes unfairly easy to die, since not only
do you have those pockets of instant death (most of the time), but other
charming ones chucking objects your way, including exploding boxes. (Which
never hurt you once until this very point of the game. Yay.) But it's doable
if you know the tricks. So make sure you can get through the segments without
dying first (at least most of the time), then make a go of it. You'll get it
eventually.



#02# [Yellow Chaos Emerald: Tails]

  #02a#  Playing as Tails
Tails can be frustrating to play if you're walking him around, trying to throw
Dummy Ring Bombs (often in first person). And slow. So don't.

I'm not joking. Tails flies much faster than he can walk. And considering your
choices are standing still and awkwardly throwing ring bombs, no attack while
jumping (poor planning on the developer's part), and raining down constant
ring death while flying, which do you think I recommend? Just make sure you've
gotten some practice in with Tails enough to know how to "pad out" his flight
with short presses to get the most distance, rather than just holding the
button down and maxing it out in a hurry.

  #02b#  Normal (Safe) Path Through
Start moving forward, ignoring the enemies, until you get to a sizable
gap. Midway across is a Flight Ring, so just fly into that for a boost, and
then activate Tails' flight again to reach the other side. You'll see a small
Eagle statue (and a Silver Medal if you want it). If you touch it, it removes
the gravity wells for a short while, but they'll slowly leak in again, so get
moving. Turn to the left, watch out for three worm creatures popping up, and
that 20 Ring Item Box off to the left is close enough and relatively
hassle-free. Fly upward as best you can, and continue in the same direction,
you'll find a downed building, set up in a similar way to Silver's Crisis
City, including the precarious pipe. You'll see enemies spawn on it, knocking
it down and actually aiding you, but what you'll want to do is veer around the
now-spawning gravity wells, and try to aim for the left raised piece where the
pipe was propped. 1up! You'll appreciate it. Heck, Tails already does.
Continue down and over the gap, flying liberally since Tails moves faster that
way. You'll see an eagle statue just after the gap between the two walkways,
tag it, and from here you have a choice:

(1) Easy Finish:
    See that building off to the right, that corner closest to you? Get to the
    edge of the one you're currently on and fly for it. The Chaos Emerald is
    right there. Grab the monitors nearby for another 1up and some rings if
    you're feeling brave.

(2) Stock Yet Another Chance:
    If this is your first time through, or even if it's not, there's two easy
    1ups you'll be missing out on. I'll continue this section describing how
    to get them, then over to the Emerald.

Keep continuing down the building until you see a chunk of floating roadway
with a few cars on it. Get on the right edge of it (wary of gravity wells),
and Dummy Ring Snipe (hold the Attack Button until you go into first person
view) the window out of the building across the street. Jump in, and tag the
Eagle statue for more forestalled death. Fly over the gap, and a 1up will be
right there, waiting for you. Worth the side trip if you've not used to this
level.

Now jump out and fly slightly to the right to find that building I told you
about. Go left if the gravity wells aren't in your way, and either smack down
that piece of wall with a Dummy Ring Bomb or just fly around it. Two Ring Item
Boxes and another 1up! The Chaos Emerald is in plain view; snag it.

  #02c#  S-Rank Path Through
You're going to do exactly the above, but with two small differences: You're
obviously not going to veer out of the way for that extra 1up, and you're
going to be constantly dropping ringy death on all those below you as you fly
like a madman. When flying, Tails can drop tons of ring bombs effortlessly,
and rings hurt enemies and break boxes, both of which net you nice points.

You don't have to get everything that moves, just try to make sure to drop
them over big clumps of enemies. Don't forget to chuck a few in the general
direction of the Iblis Beasts lower down on the building than you're going to
go (physics will make them drop and hopefully snag a few), and try to drop a
bomb against the side of the building so you tag a few of the Beasts clinging
on there. And absolutely get the two purple Golems. (You can even just Snipe
them from standing if you find that easier.) Leaving the area with anything
around 4,500 - 6,000 points is doing well.


#03# [Green Chaos Emerald: Omega]

  #03a#  Playing as Omega
Omega's kind of quirky, but kind of fun. He "jumps" for longer than the other
characters, and gets quite a bit of distance out of it. You can extend this
even further by peppering his hovering move, instead of just holding it down.
Each time you pepper it, he gets a very slight upward boost. You're not going
to fly with it or anything, but with a little practice you can skip many of
the platforms here. Just make sure you have momentum going into the gliding,
because he doesn't pick up much of any in the air. (A warning: Apparently the
PAL versions of the game may not include the same "peppering" effect, or so
I've read.)

He's got a couple of different moves relating to his blaster. Tapping Attack
on the ground results in the Omega Shot: a weak pepper that only reaches a
very close range. This is OK for if you're trying to get an enemy right in
front of you or are worried about jumping, but don't specifically run up to an
enemy to use it if you can help it. Tapping Attack while jumping gives you the
Omega Launcher: a sizable energy shot that homes in on something nearby, if it
can. The good thing about this move is that it repeatedly hits, which can chew
through the lifebar of a stronger enemy more quickly. Holding Attack while
either on the ground, jumping, or gliding, will cause Omega to silently target
anything currently on-screen and in-reach (make sure the camera "sees" what
you want to target, it doesn't have to stay on-screen for the actual shot,
though), and releasing the button shoots multiple smaller shots out to home in
on the enemies. It only counts as a single hit, but it's great for the orange
Bats, since you can target the lot of them and fire off a single shot to clean
house. Similar idea for any of the orange Iblis Beasts. (The ones that breathe
fire.) The purple bats and worms take multiple hits, however, and you may find
that while you're dallying targeting and firing at them, Solaris is going to
toss an exploding box your way.

Finally, if you send Omega running into a direction long enough, his booster
kicks in and he starts running even faster. Unfortunately, you won't see this
that much in the level.

  #03b#  Normal (Safe) Path Through
You're pointed in the right direction, jump your way over to the second
platform, then face left, and you'll see a third with a Triple Spring. Jump
and Glide over to it, and bounce up. There'll be some nasties around here and
the path is slightly confusing, but just weave around them (or take them out
with an Omega Launcher, tapping the Attack button while jumping) and head
straight, watching out for the gravity wells popping up, and another Triple
Spring will bounce you up to a familiar area. (And that 1up is a bit of a
tease, if you really want it, open the way to the next statue first, tag it,
then double back for that.)

You've got to trash most of the enemies in this area to open the door on the
left, but the gravity wells will actually help you out. Just make sure you
steer clear of them, and pick off the remainder with your Lock-On Shot (jump
and hold the Attack button, spin around a bit as if you had a reticule, then
release) or whatever you find works best for you. Once they're gone the door
will open. There's an Eagle statue here. Tag it, because things are probably
getting pretty rough for you by now. Jump and glide over the gap, making sure
to tag that 20 Ring Item Box (why not, it's right along the way), and you'll
reach another wide-open area set over lava. 

There's an Eagle statue in sight, glide over to that if you must, but at this
point you can just fight the wells. (Besides, you might find yourself getting
hit with a projectile if you go for it.) Glide toward the back left of the
area, to a Triple Spring and some worms. Go to the right side of that
platform, and there'll be a small platform going up and down the lavafall (the
vertical wall of it). Jump onto it and ride it up, and the Chaos Emerald will
be waiting for you on the platform you reach.

  #03c#  S-Rank Path Through
You'll be primarily using Omega's Lock-On Shot to boost your score. Omega can
target a lot of enemies with it in a hurry. The problem is that Omega can be
pulled at by Solaris when using the Lock-On Shot or Omega Launcher, and Omega
just has a tough time with Solaris while gliding or falling anyway.

Right at the beginning, target and shoot the orange bats with the Lock-On
Shot. Glide over to the spring, bounce up, and go around the worms. (It's
tempting to shoot them, but not worth your time, since you miss an easier
opportunity for it.) Spring up, and quickly use the Lock-On Shot to target and
blast a bunch of orange bats and Iblis beasts, the type that get taken out in
a single shot. Be wary, because pretty soon Solaris gravity wells will appear
and pull at you in various annoying ways. Usually there's just a single Iblis
beast left, then a golem: Lock-On Shot them from the ground, then head in the
door and tag the statue. Don't miss the Item Box with rings in it, and now you
have a choice: there are purple bats here you can Lock-On Shot, which will net
you a fair bit of points, but they take three shots, so you'll lose time, and
Solaris will take this opportunity to make his presence known. You might just
skip them and beeline for the platform on the left. If you want to stay away
from the worms to try to avoid being hit, you can jump off the platform and
pepper Omega's glide to wait roughly in place until the platform hugging the
wall slides down to you. Follow it up, and obviously stay clear of the flame
jet by the Emerald.


#04# [Light Blue Chaos Emerald: Knuckles]

  #04a#  Playing as Knuckles
Ah, Knuckles. So awkwardly implemented. Ironically, he's the one you'll want
to fight with the least. Seriously, why make his Ground Shaker (pressing
Attack while jumping, that annoying, hard-to-control move that you've been
hurt or died using more than you probably care to admit) just STUN things? At
any rate, all you'll be pretty much doing here is gliding. If things go awry,
don't forget that he can cling onto and climb most solid things (but not all
of them, annoying). 

  #04b#  Normal (Safe) Path Through
This one's a headache if you don't know where to look. I found it my first
time by accident, then spent life after life trying to find it the next time.

To give you the shorthand version, you start in what was the Goal Ring area of
Tropical Jungle, and you're aiming towards the very back left of the area from
here. Run forward, grabbing the rings, and jump to the slight left of the
raised pillar you see in front of your starting position. (Slight left because
an Iblis beast will pop out of it.) Now glide over to that boxy arch on the
left with a stack of crates on it. Then jump off again and start gliding in
that diagonal-left direction. Not too far away you'll see an Eagle statue on a
raised pillar. Veer toward it and land on it to stall for time. Now keep
looking in that same direction, see that L-shaped piece of pier attached to
some ground, which will spawn purple giants on it once you're near enough?
That's where it is. Glide over, avoid the enemies, and you've got the Chaos
Emerald. Trust me, this sounds like the easiest one, and it is once you know
where to look, it's the knowing where to look part.

  #04c#  S-Rank Path Through
...No, seriously, I really don't think you should waste time doing anything
here you don't have to. There are no big point cache's that I know of, and
there's plenty of empty space for the Solaris gravity wells to either pull you
awkwardly (either into them or water), or throw something at you. So you're
pretty much going to touch ground three or so times: Jump up onto the
platform, jump and glide over to the eagle statue, then jump and glide over to
the pier in the back-left where the Chaos Emerald is. S-Ranking is not dying
here.


#05# [White Chaos Emerald: Silver]

  #05a#  Playing as Silver
Unless someone else has been playing through the game for you, you're probably
very familiar with Silver's mechanics by now. Remember to pad out his
Levitation to make some of the lengthier jumps, and make sure you have PSI
Energy for them, too. Sometimes it's easy to get carried away hopping through
a level, then realize you're over a large pit and you've just run out of
Energy.

You won't be fighting most of the enemies here: it's just not worth it, and
Silver can be pulled toward gravity wells while his throwing animation plays.
The only exception is recommended for S-Ranking, which requires you use the
Psycho Shock (jump, then hold the Attack button in the air while Silver shoots
down and creates a shockwave, stunning nearby enemies).

I don't think Silver can grab the things Solaris throws at him, but other than
brief protection, it wouldn't matter much if you could.

  #05b#  Normal (Safe) Path Through
Although Shadow's segment is potentially longer, and Rouge's more spacious,
I'd call this one quite the marathon, especially with Silver's slow pace.
Don't be ashamed, you'll die once or twice at least your first time here, even
if you read this section through beforehand.

Like Sonic and Shadow's time in the sands, if you try to walk on any of the
patches of sand (save a bit that's cropped up on the curving stone pathway),
Silver will face a quick death. And trust me, there's a lot of quick death
around.

Hop across onto the second pillar, then the third, and use your PSI powers to
raise it up. (Tap or hold the R Trigger when over the symbol.) There's a
Silver Medal to the right on a piece of archway if that's in your interest,
otherwise head toward the eagle statue on the left and forestall the purple
death. Jump and glide over to the next platform, but be CAREFUL of this and
other jumps: It's very easy to lose track of your PSI Energy and run out
mid-jump if you don't give Silver time to recharge beforehand. It'll refill
quickly once you stop or walk, but it's just not going to refill if you're
jumping, gliding, or holding something as ammo. (Or even just trying to grab
something.)

Veer left or right (your preference), around the boxes and hopping up the
raised stone until it dead-ends, and you'll see the route continue with an
Eagle statue across the way, and a spring below. And sandy instant death
surrounding it. Fun. You're going to burn out your PSI Energy making this
jump, but by now you've already had to learn how to pad out Silver's
Levitation the most you can (brief bursts of gliding and using momentum to the
fullest). Just remember that spring below if you don't think you're going to
make it. If you're SURE you won't make it, save a little energy for a
last-minute adjustment to hit it.

Anyway, once you're across, tag the Eagle statue, and start up the ramp on the
left, pretty much ignoring enemies as you can. Unfortunately, the gravity
wells come back quickly this time, but they're in very specific spots you can
memorize. Veer around them as you can (just hold in a direction away from them
until you break free of their pull, or use Teleport Dashes), and keep making
your way up, hopping over batches of enemies and pits, and watching for
objects like spike balls being pulled in your direction.  Make sure to tag the
upcoming eagle statue on the left so your jump isn't impeded.

You're reaching the end of this section, but don't let your guard down
completely yet. Those platforms that pop out of the walls, by the red Golem?
Jump on those. The camera will be terrible for this part, but there's only
four, and it's sort of a "back-forth" jumping pattern. If you aren't going to
make it up all the way, know that you CAN jump and stand on the ridges where
the platforms come out of the wall. You can even continue jumping up on these
if you so desire. But when you get to the top, be EXTREMELY careful to jump
either onto the lip of the building, or glide over to the stairway, because
there's a patch of instant kill sand placed between the two.

Up the stairs... you're nearly there! Pick a side, hop up it, follow it until
it dead-ends, then jump to the platform in the middle, where the Chaos Emerald
awaits.

  #05c#  S-Rank Path Through
Another "do it quickly!" recommendation, but with two hints: when you cross
that early, wide gap, you'll see five or so worms spawn below you. Get in the
middle of them, quickly make a LOW jump, then use the Psycho Shock (hold
Attack while jumping) before you land. You should stun all of them. Use your
PSI to grab the lot, then stand in place so they bunch together, and throw
one. It SHOULD take out the others, and net you a score bonus for taking out
multiple enemies at once. This one's quick to do, which is why it's the only
one I recommend here.

Second hint? Silver's Teleport Dash (double-tap jump very quickly from the
ground) does speed up Silver's ascent, and it works very well when dealing
with upward curves (since it otherwise slows down during the "fall"). Don't
burn out your energy so much that you can't make the jumps across the gaps,
but you'll find this can shave a few seconds off your time if used well.


#06# [Purple Chaos Emerald: Rouge]

  #06a#  Playing as Rouge
Rouge is a glider like Knuckles, and sometimes runs into the same problem of
"sticking" to things when she climbs on them, but you'll have less problems
with it here because you can simply climb to the top if you have problems, or
just bomb the pillar you're climbing on.

Even when going for the Silver Medal, you won't have to fight a single enemy,
but if you need a reminder, she can lob bombs singly from the ground or while
jumping by tapping the Attack button, you can place them on walls when
climbing (in the case of the rock pillars, they'll immediately break), and
should you feel the need, jumping and holding the Attack button for a second,
then releasing will result in a shower of bombs, which you can aim to some
degree. Holding the Attack button while on the ground will result in her going
into first-person aiming to lob a bomb, akin to Tails.

The only other thing to keep in mind is not to overestimate her gliding
ability. She can make fairly lengthy distances, and won't "tire," so to speak,
but these pillars and platforms can be deceptively far apart. Try to climb
fairly high before you make jumps inbetween them.

  #06b#  Normal (Safe) Path Through
Welcome to vague city. The area you're in is based on Wave Ocean, but with
almost all of the walkway removed. What this means is you'll probably have
NO friggin' clue where to go, where the emerald might be, or even if you're
doubling back on yourself while you search. So I'm going to take you on a
pretty straight trip, but Solaris isn't going to be happy about this and will
be chucking things your way, so try not to slow down.

You're faced with one nice thing about this area: you've never been here with
a climber before, and those giant rock spires are climbable. Rather than kill
yourself trying to get from tiny wood pathway piece to tiny piece, mucking
with enemies and a confusing layout, jump and glide over to the first spire
you see on the left, climb to the top, and repeat, keeping toward the left.
The colors will tint to purple, but you should still be able to see the
shoreline off on the diagonal-left, eventually. It's a big patch of beach,
with a lighthouse on the left. The Chaos Emerald is close to the shoreline, on
the side closest to you, away from the side with the lighthouse.

One thing to keep in mind that the rock spires are breakable, not just by you,
but by Solaris too. There'll be a "stump" you can safely land on if you must,
but you should just be ready to start gliding to the next spire if you find
your footing suddenly gone. If you must, there are two eagle statues you can
tag to push away Solaris for a bit (one to the far right, near the beginning,
and one more toward the middle near the end, on a taller island), but you'll
have to glide through more open air to reach them, which makes you a pretty
prime target, so I wouldn't recommend it.

  #06c#  S-Rank Path Through
The same thing. Honestly. There's little point for detours in this level
(even the single Silver Medal is close to the Chaos Emerald), so just make a
straight shot for that back-left. If you DESPERATELY want some padding points,
bomb the rock spires as you go, but it's almost not worth it, and it means you
shoot yourself in the foot if you need to double-back for any reason.


#07# [Blue Chaos Emerald: Amy]

  #07a#  Playing as Amy
Amy Rose is here! She's... very slow and can't attack while jumping. No,
seriously, this is easily the most crippled appearance she's made in a long
time, and she's made some rough ones. A pathetic moving speed, and her only
attack requires her to be on the ground and completely still. You can't do it
while jumping, and if you do it while run- er, walking, she stops dead.
Entertaining, fast-paced gameplay, ladies and gentlemen.

She also has two other moves. The first is a Double Jump, which is triggered
by pressing the Jump button a second time while leaping. This can be helpful
for scaling things vertically, but as you may have noticed when playing her
previously, she loses a huge amount of forward momentum when performing it, so
try to do it at the END of your jumps, not the beginning. But there's no gaps
to worry about in this segment.
The other I initially ignored, including in the original (0.90) version of
this FAQ, but I've since discovered something fantastic about it. By holding
the Attack button for about a second, Amy will go invisible. Enemies
_and Solaris Gravity Wells_ will not see her. This is all well and good, but
you can still be hurt (and killed by the wells), and the animations that play
when she first goes invisible and when she reappears leaves her wide open to
attack and being "pulled in" toward Solaris-y death. Useless move, right?
Wrong, and here's why: you can prime more invisibility WHILE INVISIBLE. This
is a major difference from how this sort of thing usually works in games
(hence the punishing "revealed" animation), and frankly, I beat the game
without knowing she could do it. This increases the ease of passing this
segment DRAMATICALLY. It'll take a little practice for you to get the hang of
the timing to max out your jaunt, but basically you'll walk about 2/3rds
through an area (notice how the segment is set up kind of like rooms without
ceilings), then start holding Attack. Soon Amy will stop, and re-prime her
invisibility. Repeat as you feel necessary, just make sure never to appear if
you can help it, because then enemies and Solaris Wells in the area will see
you again, and sometimes they'll continue to see you even after going
invisible again. Also, do be warned, searchlights seem to still see you,
annoyingly.

So basically you'll be taking it a bit slow through this area. But the only
things you'll have to attack are a pile of rocks blocking a spring, and two
Iblis Beasts guarding a gate near the end. And you don't even have to be
visible to do that, nor will you lose the effect.

  #07b#  Normal (Safe) Path Through
Start forward, you're going to be climbing the ridges in front of you. There's
a spring under those rocks if you want to take the time to clear them off, but
Solaris is already throwing things at you, so my advice would be to use the
Double Jump, then either Double Jump again or use the shorter ridge on the
left to hop up to the Eagle statue. With Solaris stalled, start forward and
keep to the right. Avoid searchlights if you can, don't stress if you can't.
Hop up, and Solaris will probably be back by now. Past the tower on the right
side is another Eagle statue, tag it if you want the assistance.

Drop down, another search light and a pair of Golems to avoid, and a single
spring to bounce you up to a dead end. See those two Iblis beasts? Trash them
with your hammer, and the door on the right will open. Head on in.

Worms and Solaris gravity wells, whee. Hug the left wall and keep running down
the hallway as best you can, and the Chaos Emerald will be just at the end of
the hallway. Again, being invisible will make your life so much easier here.

  #07c#  S-Rank Path Through
Really no different, except you're going to make darned sure that Invisibility
is primed all the way through. Don't worry about the time so much, just make
sure you're not in sight. Because once you are, the things that see you will
most likely continue to "see" and attack you.


#08# [Red Chaos Emerald: Shadow]

  #08a#  Playing as Shadow
All Hail Shadow! Sorry, it needed to be said. Like Silver, you've probably put
in some serious playtime with this one already, so you shouldn't need much of
a description. One thing that may surprise you is that I recommend you really
don't focus on killing things so much here. You pretty much just want to rely
on Shadow's Homing Attacks, don't waste time meleeing things, especially when
you're over pitfalls. You have a unique advantage with this section: if you
haven't already, go onto Live and download the Sonic The Hedgehog demo; it
won't mess up your game's save file or anything. It's this very segment! No
more, no less. Enemy layout is different, and there are no Solaris gravity
wells to complicate things, but it's close enough. And Sonic, in the demo,
plays more like Shadow does in the final game, including the way he can Light
Dash almost any ring line. (Which further confuses why Sonic is so finicky
about the rings he can Light Dash in the final game. Odd, huh?)

  #08b#  Normal (Safe) Path Through
I'll be blunt. After some of the struggles the previous segments were, getting
here and seeing this put a smirk on my face. I wrote a fairly extensive FAQ on
this very level section (as it was featured in the demo), so if you're going
to send me some place to save the world, this'd be a good one to pick.

Let's take you through here fast for now; you can always come back and explore
later once you've gotten the hang of the level. You're just after the first
wind grind in the stage. Jump and Homing Attack onto the suspended rope, and
you'll launch up to where you can Homing Attack an Iblis bat, but the bridge
has probably already collapsed. So just land on it, go left to where the
suspended rope is, and jump and Homing Attack over onto it (use the nearby bat
if you have to, but it might just throw you off). Bounce up (you can get the
Item Box if you want, but there's no spring to take as a shortcut), and Homing
Attack to the second rope and spring up. Homing Attack the line of purple bats
until you're on solid ground, right by an Eagle statue. Be CAREFUL with this
part, because they'll be shooting small wells at you (the exploding kind), and
getting hit here means a fall into a pit and your score lost (not to mention
your current life). Quick taps of the Jump button (to Homing Attack) while
holding forward will most likely zip you past fast enough. Because this is a
bad place to dally (and potentially be hit by the projectiles).

Continue the normal path across the bridge, leaping over the boxes and
avoiding the various things that want to make yummy Shadow Chow out of you. On
the other side, hit the Dash Panel and run up the wall. Have Shadow run up to
the top, where he'll find a cave. Be wary, because three big worms will appear
out of the ground in various spots, and it's easy to plow into them if you
aren't careful. Make your way out, tag the Eagle statue if you want, hit the
Dash Ramp, and you'll launch over to the Spring which bounces you up to an
Eagle statue, except it's the kind with a green globe attached on a pole. Hit
that green globe with a jump, jump on the wind trail to grind, and if you
want, jump and Homing Attack into that Trick Ring for a little flourish and
extra pointage. Or just ride the wind out and run up the ramp it leads you to.
Where the Goal Ring was in the demo, and the eagle was in Sonic's level, now
rests the last Chaos Emerald. Congratulate yourself.

  #08c#  S-Rank Path Through
Be warned: it is very easy (and very frustrating) to blow it in the first
20-30 seconds of this segment, and have shot 10 minutes of work down the drain
(loading included). Be cautious with how you proceed.

Mostly the same, until you start running up the wall. Instead, head down the
middle, following the rings. Worms will burst out of the wall, and the
shockwaves will probably get you. This is OK (I mean, not great, but it's OK),
whether they get you or not, at that point start hammering the Attack button,
and you should Light Dash via a ring line across to the end. Tag the Eagle
statue, and continue on. You'll hit a booster, and have to quickly Light Dash
again over a pit. Then head down the bridge (again, ignore enemies), and start
up the second wall. You know that big string of rings you could Light Dash as
Sonic that curved up and off the wall? Oh yeah, it's still there. Hanging onto
these will create a MAJOR bonus for you to finish with, and really help push
for that S-Rank. So grab them, then hit the Spring and launch up. Yeah, the
green globe statue is still there. Tag it for a path of wind, then ride it
down, and jump off and into that suspended Trick Ring for another 1,000
points. Veer away from landing on the Chaos Emerald if you can help it, or
just go ahead and land on it if you want to be done.

But want to improve your chances even further? Remember where that 1up was in
the level in the demo, and a Silver Medal in Sonic's version in the final
game: on that small island with the tree right by the Goal Ring/Eagle?
Turn around. Oh, my, there's a few Item Boxes over there now, and they're
worth a fair amount of rings. There's two ways to do this: Either step
carefully onto the rectangular outcropping closest to it (with the torch on
it, I believe), then make the jump and try not to hit the Spring, or jump off
your current platform, and use a Homing Attack when you _know_ that the Item
Box on the right will be closer than the Spring, making sure to aim for it.
Otherwise Shadow will tag the spring and just bounce right back, seconds
wasted (and maybe even causing you to tag the Emerald or die). Once you've
gotten the first Item Box, it should be easy for you to maneuver around and
grab the other two. Then just take the spring back, and enjoy the meaty Ring
Bonus. Suddenly things just got a little more doable, haven't they?



#09# [Solaris: Part 1]

  #09a#  Basic Description
The Real Super Power of Teamwork has kicked in, and now all three hedgehogs
are chaos-infused. This really works out to your benefit, in that the boss
sequences you face are virtually impossible to die in if you're paying
attention and give yourself enough leeway. All you need to do is press Y when
you're low on rings, and you'll switch to the next character, who's been
collecting rings while you're away. (Thus if you drain a character, then
switch back around to them quickly, they won't have as many as if you left
them alone for a little while.) If you forget, the characters will even warn
you around the 10 ring mark. (You really should change once you hit this,
since that's about how much one of Solaris' attacks can knock out of you.)

You're circling Solaris from a fixed distance, able to circle him and fly up
and down to some degree. All three can dash in a direction by pressing the
Jump Button, and each character has a new, specific method of attacking.
None of them are explained to you, so here we are.

  #09b#  Playing as Super Sonic
        Pressing the Attack Button causes Sonic to dive in for a ram attack.
        He'll do it rather slowly by default, but you can charge up his gauge
        by holding the R Trigger, and once it shines and makes a noise, he'll
        do the attack swiftly upon tapping the Attack button. This won't be
        very effective against Solaris at first, but it'll take fairly nice
        chunks of health off of him by the end.

  #09c#  Playing as Super Shadow
        Chaos Spears, and lots of them. You can fire off individual spears,
        DBZ-style, by hammering down the Attack Button, but your best course
        of action is to charge your gauge by holding the R Trigger. Once it's
        full, tapping the Attack button releases a burst of Chaos Spears. Do
        note that if you hold down the Attack Button, Shadow acts like he's
        going to focus/charge the attack further somehow, but I've not noticed
        any difference or benefit, and this makes you more of a sitting duck
        for Solaris. It's really to your benefit to just keep dashing around
        him, holding the R Trigger and shooting off a burst of shots as you
        charge it. It's great for chipping him down, but first you'll want to
        use...

  #09d#  Playing as Super Silver
        His move looks different, but it's actually the same PSI grab you've
        been using with him to pick up anything. Just hold the R Trigger, and
        Silver can grab the objects Solaris chucks at him. (This isn't obvious
        at first because your range for grabbing is pretty limited. You often
        have luck gaining ammo by staying still.) Don't go overboard grabbing
        stuff, because if your PSI doesn't pick up one of the objects before
        it hits one of the others you already have, they'll explode and hurt
        you. Also, chucking your ammo can sometimes result in it just hitting
        something else he threw, so just strafe a bit to the side before
        throwing and time it as best you can. Remember not to let go of the
        trigger unless you want to drop your ammo.

  #09e#  Normal (Safe) Path Through
To start with, you'll need to target Solaris' core, which you'll be doing
automatically, but your attacks will be impeded by Solaris' arms. You need to
chip away at those, and early on, no method seems effective until you do some
work with Silver. Use his PSI grab to collect some ammo, slide to the side a
little so your shot is clearer, and chuck away, and with a little luck, he'll
block it, but his life bar will whittle down. Repeat (switch away to regain
rings if necessary), and eventually you'll notice an outer shell breaking away
on one of his arms.

"A super-dimensional being? This might even be a fair fight!" Shadow's the one
to take over now. Use the R Trigger to charge up his bar, and when it's ready,
tap the Attack button to release a volley of shots that'll chew at his
lifebar. Just keep dashing to one direction using the Jump button while you're
doing this, and eventually his other arm's shell will break away.

Now he can't protect himself from Sonic's ram, so switch to him and charge up
his gauge with the R Trigger, then hit the Attack Button when it's ready and
Sonic will smack away a healthy chunk of Solaris' health away. Repeat.

"Is it over?" "No, it's not over yet."
"I guess it's not gonna be that easy."


  #09f#  S-Rank Path Through
This won't be tricky. Switch to Silver as fast as you can, grab stuff and
throw away. (As tempting as it is to grab large groupings of projectiles,
you'll find them less likely to make that way.) Once an arm guard starts to
visibly shatter, switch to Shadow. Just start dashing around Solaris in a
circle motion (just pick a direction, left or right, and just keep dashing
with the Jump Button), while holding the trigger to charge up your gauge.
Unleash a volley as soon as it's full, and repeat. Once the other arm guard
crumbles, switch to Sonic (yes, they arranged this for the maximum amount of
button presses, it seems), then start charging up his gauge while doing the
same circle-strafing dashes. Once it's ready, release the attack, and repeat
until the segment ends. The only thing tricky about this is if you lose track
of your rings because you were hit by something. Always switch away from your
current character when at or below 10 rings. Don't worry, you won't be too
strapped for time.


#10# [Solaris: Part 2]

  #10a#  Normal (Safe) Path Through
Solaris is out-of-control! This means he actually has a vaguely effective
attack or two now (like a group of beams that surround you, and more
projectiles he'll be throwing at you), but as long as you don't lose track of
your rings and try to push things too far, a win will come easily.

There's some chatter going on while they add a little more plot to the mix and
tell you about the core, but you've already been attacking that anyway. Switch
over to Shadow, and start laying in with Chaos Spears. Soon you'll notice that
Shadow's shots will be blocked by a sort of shield bubble and won't be taking
off life, so swap to Silver and start grabbing and chucking those spines. Be
careful, though, you're going to get hit a bit, particularly by Solaris'
laser, so the second your rings hits 10 or any lower, swap to Sonic. He might
be ineffective, but by now Shadow may be able to chip away at Solaris' life.
This could be randomized, so you might just need to keep mixing it up until
you notice you're doing some damage. (Often there's audio hints shouted out to
tell you who'll best be effective at the moment.) Just keep it up, and soon
Solaris will... well, he doesn't die. You'll just have to see what happens.

  #10b#  S-Rank Path Through
A helpful post to the GameFAQs forums pointed this out (relayed from someone
else): Solaris only block for two or three attacks before going back to taking
damage, and he'll always take the damage if he's in the middle of attacking.
So to really get this through fast, after you do an attack as Sonic to start
things off with (he does a good chunk of damage with his ram move), switch to
Shadow and pretty much sit on him. Keep circle-strafing and laying out
fully-charged Chaos Spear volleys. Even if Solaris blocks it sometimes, he
won't always block it, and this IS the fastest way. But you will probably need
to switch away from Shadow eventually (remember, at 10 rings or below is the
rule for this, because that's pretty much what he can hit you for in one
attack), so chip away a bit with Silver, then pretty much switch back to
Shadow and he should have his rings back to full before you know it. Also, if
anyone calls out a character's name (or a character speaks up talking about
how ready they are to take Solaris on), that character's got a 2-3 attack
window without blocking at the moment, so don't forget that if you happen to
be playing that particular character at the time. (Sonic especially.)

One last thing: you will get a ring bonus, so try to switch to a different
character before dealing the final blow. It's silly, but it helps.


#11# [Your Rewards]

A very pretty and kind of clever ending that is complicated by some of the
loose ends caused when trying to integrate it with other games, particularly
Sonic Rush and Sonic Rivals. Besides that and the requisite Gold Medals,
you'll unlock all of the cinemas for the theater (try switching your 360's
console language to Japanese and booting the game back up, you can rewatch
them with the Japanese voices and see if you like them better that way, now
that you know what they'll be saying), in addition to the extra music from
Last Episode, including the theme for Elise. (The one that played first during
the credits.) And if you got this far, it means you braved some really glitchy
and hellish levels, but probably played some you found fun along the way.
Congrats.


#12# [Silver Soleanna Medals]

Like the other stages, there are 10 Silver Soleanna Medals scattered through
the segments in End of the World, the nabbing of which will get you a Gold
Medal, and nudge you toward the Silver Medalist achievement in the 360
version. Unlike the other stages, there will be constant attempts made on your
life while you go for these, and you've still got to beat the stage with the
ones you do nab. Thankfully, most of these aren't too much of a pain once
you've gotten a handle on the level.

Remember the golden rule of Silver Medal hunting: turn off the music! This can
be done either by lowering the volume in the Options menu, or if you're
playing the 360 version, just by opening up your Guide with the Guide Button
(the central X), starting any music, then pausing it. (Not stopping it.) This
level has particularly distracting music (and irritating if you're spending a
long time there, since it's meant to keep you going at a frantic pace), and
it's easier to hear the sometimes-subtle chime of a nearby Silver Medal that
way.

Special thanks to Angnix, who's Silver Medal FAQ I needed to refer to for the
two Silver Medals I had already collected before starting to write down
locations. This section is not lifted or a rewrite, however; most of them I
did locate myself and have tried to give detailed descriptions to reach.


(01) Tails: Right when the path turns to the left by the first eagle statue,
you can see it hovering in the air. Just fly out then loop back to solid
ground.

(02) Omega: When you first spring up into that open "battle" area you often
see in flame core, it will be behind the pillar on your right. Be warned,
the gravity wells will probably be going nuts by the time you reach it, so
beat the area's remaining enemies first, tag the eagle statue inside the cave,
then go back out and circle around the pillar to your forward-right.

(03) Knuckles: Start the level with the normal diagonal-left path toward the
first eagle statue. But from there, climb the nearby taller pillar, then turn
and tag the second eagle statue on top of the central pillar. (Hard to miss.)
From there, instead of heading left, look towards the "back" of the level
(from where you started), and glide forward and to the right a little, over
the wooden pathway. You'll see a raised platform with a stone plate embedded
into it. Smash that with the Ground Shaker and collect the Medal below.

(04) Silver: Raise the first sunken pillar with a telekinesis mark on it, and
off on the right side you'll see a piece of archway with a silver medal on it.
Make sure your PSI power has recharged, then glide out to it.

(05) Silver: If I recall correctly, it's floating over one of the pits on the
spiral path upward on the right side. Not hard to find, so it's a little
trickier to get. Especially if Solaris is pulling at you.

(06) Rouge: Beside the final patch of sand with the Chaos Emerald, on that
side, are two pillars of rock you can climb up. About 2/3rds of the way up you
can see a Silver Medal floating between them. Make SURE these pillars aren't
destroyed. There's an eagle statue on a nearby island if you need to get
Solaris off your back for a little while.

(07) Amy: At the start, tilt the camera slightly to the right. See it up on
that raised platform? This one's not hard.

(08) Amy: (The other one, again, might be slightly off.) It should be in the
second wide-open area with a searchlight. Smash the ice on the ground with
your hammer and you should find it. Remember that searchlights can still "see"
Amy.

(09) Shadow: Ignore the breakable bridge, head on the more grounded path to
the right, past the worms, and wait for the eagle. This is annoying, because
Solaris will be chucking stuff your way and probably hit you. Follow the path
like "normal" up to the second eagle ready to carry you, but notice the white
pillar suspended in the air on the far right? It had an item box on it
originally, now it has a Silver Medal on it. Just jump down to a lower pillar,
tag the Iblis Bat to ensure a safe landing, jump over to the spring, and you
should land right on it. Whee! Now here's an issue: to get the last one,
you're either going to have to do another playthrough, or die. It's possible
you could get there with some serious backtracking (which this area does
allow, for example by running on the second wall in the opposite direction
than you normally do), but that's a lot of work, and you will probably die in
the process of trying anyway. Your call, really.

(10) Shadow: No love for the broken bridge again; this time, take the same
route up to the second ridable eagle, except this time grab on and ride to the
next segment. Take the spring, and tag that Rainbow Ring if you can. (If you
miss it, use one of the worms to bounce yourself back up and try again.) Land
on the next section, tag the eagle statue to delay Solaris oh so briefly, then
the green-globed statue and grind the wind path that appears. You'll hit a
spring, then be up at the point where you fought a large mech in the original
level. Now you'll probably just be staring at a gravity well to your left.
Give it a wide berth, and tag the green-globed statue not once, but TWICE.
(If you mess up and start to grind after only one tag, jump and Homing Attack
in the opposite direction.) Doing this in the original level led to several
Item Boxes, doing it here gives you a wind path to the final Silver Medal.
Once you land back on the platform again, just tag the green-globed statue
once more, and ride it to the end.



#13# [Is There More?]

You can always go to Trial Select in the main menu, and replay either End of
the World or the Solaris boss fight for S-Ranks, in addition to getting all of
the Silver Medals in End of the World. There is no Hard Mode version,
unfortunately.

Sadly, even though the Achievement talks about unlocking a "Complete" ending
by S-Ranking, I saw nothing added after S-Ranking the levels, receiving the
Achievement, and rebeating the game. However, I didn't actually S-Rank
concurrently in the actual Episode, so there's still that left to try. But I
really doubt there'll be anything more to see, as even the Achievement text
just talks about S-Ranking the episode now; I have a feeling it was just
written in a misleading manner by accident.



#14# [Ranking Breakdown:]

These are the scores required for the various letter grades available, and the
ring reward for each letter grade. Obviously, this will not look so hot if you
aren't viewing this FAQ in a fixed-width font.


End of the World:

Rank  Score Req  Ring Reward
----  ---------  -----------
   S     50,000        3,000
   A     45,000        2,000
   B     25,000        1,000
   C      5,000          800
   D          0          500


Solaris:

Rank  Score Req  Ring Reward
----  ---------  -----------
   S     30,000        3,000
   A     27,500        2,000
   B     25,000        1,000
   C      5,000          800
   D          0          500


I'm unsure whether the "zero score" ranking glitch that occured in the demo
can still be recreated in the final game, but I don't believe it can be. Pity.



#15# [Contact the Author:]

If you wish to contact me, first, make sure it's not about any of the
following:

-Spam (like spammers care)
-Sonic Hatred (like the haters care)
-Author Hatred (because I won't care)
-Posting your Times/Scores (because this is a FAQ, not a Leaderboard)


If you still have an applicable e-mail, you can contact me at
sonicthehedgehogfaqs/at/mooglecavern/dawt/com . That's annoying, I know, but
you can thank spammers for that. It should be obvious what you need to replace
there.