SONIC THE HEDGEHOG For Sega Genesis FAQ/walkthrough by William Walker 1. Introduction 2. Basic Information 3. Special Stage 4. Cheat Codes 5. Walkthrough 6. Conclusion This FAQ/walkthrough is copyright William Walker, all rights reserved. It was begun June 14, 2003. Please do NOT use any part of it on your site unless you contact be first and receive my permission (and give me due credit). I would probably be just fine with it, but be sure to contact me first. Also, you may never, ever sell it for commercial uses. 1. Introduction At last! I finally got around to beginning my mammoth FAQ/walkthrough project for Sonic Genesis games! I did FAQ/walkthroughs for each Sonic Game Gear game I own, most of them (Game Gear is a small portable unit, Sega's version of Game Boy). However, I was delayed from beginning the Genesis games, which was my real goal, by lack of interest - I'm not as wrapped up in video games as I used to be. I wrote a LOT of FAQ/walkthroughs long ago, although looking back, I think many were of substandard quality. I am rewriting FAQ/walkthroughs for most of my games, starting with the Sonic the Hedgehog series, since that is one of my favorite game series. I hope, eventually, to do FAQ/walkthroughs for the following games: Sonic 2, Sonic 3, Sonic and Knuckles, Sonic 3D Blast and maybe Sonic CD. Then I may move on to other games, like the Mario and Zelda series. But keep in mind those are ambitious goals, and require a large investment of time and energy. I may suddenly stop writing because I lost interest, and progress on future FAQ/walkthroughs may be slow or irregular. I want to make sure all who read this are aware of this and I hope you understand. Also, I already have a FAQ/walkthrough printed for this game on GameFAQs, but I would like this one to replace it. Now, if you say this is an old game, you're right. It is. It is over twelve years old now. If you think it already has enough material on it, you also have a point. There are at least five other FAQ/walkthroughs for this game on GameFAQs, but not all are complete or very detailed. I think a good, detailed walkthrough is a desirable commodity for this game. The Sonic the Hedgehog series is Sega's major series, and almost every Sega system on the market has a Sonic game. A lot of people probably own these games, either in the back of a drawer for an old, dusty system, or on a Sega Genesis emulator. I am playing this game off of cartridge (I am actually using the Sonic Classics cartridge, which comprises Sonic 1, Sonic 2 and Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine on one cartridge). I do not have any specific advice for people using emulators. I have even seen a cartridge that has seven Sonic Genesis games plus bonus features available for GameCube. Sonic might be old, but he's still going strong. The main aspect of Sonic the Hedgehog is the fact that the games are fast. Very fast. So fast you may need a while to get used to the new layout of levels and the new moves. Also, although most Sonic games are not overly challenging, this is one of the harder ones. It was the first Sonic game ever released for the Sega Genesis and in those days, a lot of games were supposed to be quite hard - like the older arcade games. Sonic 1 (the number is not part of the title, but I frequently use it to differentiate between Sonic 2, etc.) has a lot more opportunities to die instantly, and a lot fewer 1-UPS, than future Sonic games. This one is a challenge. As for its merit, this is not my favorite Sonic game for Genesis (I did its FAQ/walkthrough first since it was the first in chronological order) because of the difficulty and it doesn't have as many cool moves or characters as the future games. My favorite Sonic game for Genesis, by far, is Sonic 2. But this is still a good game with few flaws. If you wish to contact me with questions, requests or with more information regarding this game, I would very much like to receive your e-mails. I enjoy corresponding with other Sonic enthusiasts, if anything to remind me that some people still play these old games. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com . (Any e-mails containing ads, flames, strong language, etc. will not be replied to). Thank you. Sonic the Hedgehog hasn't got much of a story - in these times, video games were more a matter of getting through levels than getting wrapped up in a plot. I don't mind the lack of story at all, and I actually find the somewhat more complex stories of later Sonic games a bit annoying and taking away from the gameplay itself. Dr. Ivo Robotnik, the mad scientist, is trying to take over a utopian world by enslaving animals and turning them into robots. The only character who can stop him is Sonic the Hedgehog, a blue dude with fast feet and cool spiky hair. Sonic's sidekick, Tails the Fox, is NOT in this game; he is introduced in Sonic 2. So let us hop to it! 2. Basic Information After watching the Sega logo (and selecting your game if you're playing Sonic Classics) you see the title screen, which shows Sonic shaking his finger at you (that is one of Sonic's trademarks). Press start to begin the game, or wait a few seconds to watch a demo. Sonic the Hedgehog is divided into six zones. Each zone has three acts, which is the Sonic term for an individual level. All three acts are the same approximate length (unlike some Game Gear games, where the third act is very short). The acts have obstacles, enemies, power-ups and gold rings (more about these in a minute) and end in a turnstile (with acts 1 and 2) or a battle with Dr. Robotnik and one of his devilish inventions (with act 3). Gold rings are found in every act, except the final one. They float in the air, usually in groups. These are crucial to your survival in this game. If you have rings, and you get hit, you will lose all your rings*. Some of them will fly into the air, and you can re-collect some if you're quick. If you get hit with no rings, you die. However, the following all cause instant death: falling off the screen, drowning, getting crushed, or running out of time (do not worry - you get a full 10 minutes in each act, which is usually more than enough time). So be very careful. Also try to hold onto rings not just for your protection - you get bonus points for them at the end of each act. You can get hit an infinite number of times as long as you have at least one ring each time. *BUG: In Sonic the Hedgehog 1, there is a bug with the hit system. Usually if you get hit, you flash for a few seconds and are temporarily invincible. But if you get hit and get knocked back, and land on spikes, you get hit again. This usually means you die since you don't have time to recover any rings after the first hit. The first hit may or may not have come from touching spikes - just getting knocked back onto spikes will kill you. This is a very annoying bug and it is one reason you must take special care to avoid spikes when you see them. Luckily this does not happen with anything else (lava, etc.) If you lose a life, you return to the beginning of the act you were in. There are lampposts in most acts, however. These look like a pole with a blue sphere on the top. Touch one and the sphere will rotate and turn red, indicating the lamppost has been activated. If you die later on, you return to the last lamppost you activated (they can only be activated once) with no rings and the same time as you had when you touched the lamppost. This is usually helpful, but be aware of 'trap lampposts' - ones located right before a boss fight. These are supposed to help you, because they allow you to return right back to the boss if you die while fighting him. But sometimes, there are no rings between the lamppost and the boss, and you can't go back into the act to get any, so you must face the boss with zero rings (a very risky proposition). Sometimes it is better to avoid activating these lampposts. Such cases are mentioned in the walkthrough. You begin the game with three lives. If you run out, your game is over and you must return to the beginning of the game (unless you have a continue, see 3. Special Stage). However, you can get an extra life by obtaining 100 rings, 200 rings or by getting a 1-UP power-up. Getting 200 rings is only possible in one or two acts of the game, though. Getting 100 rings is also no small feat, since rings are less plentiful in this game than in future games. Now for how to control Sonic. It is really quite simple. Press the directional pad to walk left or right, duck or look up. You can use these buttons to see what is above or below you. The start button pauses/unpauses the game, and the A, B and C buttons make you jump. That's all there is to it. Well, there is one other move you should know about. When walking, pressing down causes you to roll into a ball (this is also called the Super Spin Attack). This is one way to defeat enemies. The other way is by jumping onto or into them. (You don't have to land on an enemy to defeat it, you just need to be rolling/jumping when you hit it and not touch a spikes part of the enemy). One cool gimmick is that whenever you defeat an enemy, a little animal pops out. If you have played future Sonic games before, you may have to get used to the fact that there is no spin dash in this game. There are a few power-ups in this game. These look like monitors. Jump on them or roll into them to break them open and collect them. Super Ring: Looks like a ring; worth ten rings. Speed Shoes: Looks like a red shoe; gives you extra speed for a short time. Invincibility: Looks like three stars; makes you immune to most attack (but NOT things that kill you instantly) for a short time. Shield: Looks like a blue energy pulse; activates a blue, pulsing sphere around you that remains until you get hit. When you get hit you lose the shield but don't lose your rings - it provides an 'extra hit'. 1-UP: Looks like Sonic's face; worth an extra life. That is about all you need to know, except for scoring. There is really no point to getting a high score except for bragging rights, but here is how you score points: -Every enemy you defeat is worth 100 points. If you destroy several in succession (without coming out of your roll or landing from a jump) you score 100 points for the first enemy, 200 for the second, 500 for the third, and 1000 for the fourth and each thereafter. I don't think it's possible to defeat more than four enemies at once. The same scoring applies for blocks. If you destroy more than fifteen blocks in succession, your scoring increases to 10,000 each, but this is only possible in one location in the game. -Each boss you defeat is worth 1000 points. -Each ring you have at the end of an act is worth 100 points. -You get a time bonus at the end of each act. This is a bonus of 50,000, 10,000, 5000, 3000, 2000, 1000 or 500 points depending on how quickly you made it through an act. If you take too long you may get no points at all. There is a system telling you how many points you get for each time, but I don't remember it at the moment. -Around the turnstiles of act 1 and 2 in the first five zones, there are 'bonus icons'. Basically, while the turnstile is spinning, before you head off the screen and your bonus points are awarded, jump around as much as possible, especially in out of the way places. If you touch an invisible bonus icon, it will appear with the number of points it is worth on it. Most are worth 100 or 1000, but there is usually one 10,000 one at the end of each act. -The pop bumpers in Spring Yard Zone are worth 10 points per pop until after a certain number of pops, at which point they cease to be worth anything. I forget how many pops they give you points for, though. 3. Special Stage This is called the Secret Zone in the game's manual, but I call it Special Stage because that's what it's called in nearly every other Sonic game. No Sonic game is complete without a bonus stage (some of the later games have more than one kind of bonus stage) of some sort. Usually the goal in this bonus stage is to collect the Chaos Emeralds. These magical gems Robotnik is supposed to be after to complete his world domination, but in reality, they are just an extra. In Sonic 1, there are six different emeralds to collect, and six different Special Stages (the Sonic the Hedgehog term for a bonus stage) to play. Unfortunately, unlike future games, there is no Super Sonic feature in this game. In future games Sonic could morph into a superhuman version of himself after collecting all the Chaos Emeralds, but here the only reward is some extra points, bragging rights and a slightly different ending. Sonic the Hedgehog 1 is a harder game than other Sonic Genesis games in many respects, and the Special Stage is no exception. It is very hard to collect all the Chaos Emeralds in this game. First some information on how to get to the Special Stage. To do this, you must have 50 rings at the end of one of the first two acts of the first five zones. If you meet this criteria, a giant ring will be floating in the air after the turnstile. Jump into this ring after you pass the turnstile and you will play a Special Stage after receiving your end of act bonus points. At the conclusion of the Special Stage, you will begin the next act of the regular game. This helps to explain one of the reasons why it is so hard to get all the Chaos Emeralds in Sonic 1. You only get ten opportunities to enter Special Stage in the game. Remember, the giant ring never appears after act 3 or in the last zone of the game, even if you have 50 rings. That's if you play perfectly and have 50 rings or more at the end of each act. But this is not guaranteed, since rings are often scarce, and you may have to do some searching to scrounge up 50. Also, remember you lose all your rings if you get hit (and don't have a Shield). This basically means you must get through an act without getting hit, which could be a tall order in the later zones. Another, less likely scenario is that you have 50 rings but somehow fail to jump into the giant ring in time (you only have a few seconds in which to do so). Also, as we shall see, when you enter a Special Stage, you are not assured of getting a Chaos Emerald - far from it. The Special Stages themselves are all large, rotating mazes with bright colors and strange walls. If you've ever played Sonic and Knuckles, it's very similar to the Slot Machine Bonus Stage. If you haven't it is pretty hard to visualize. You are constantly in ball form and there is no solid ground - you are just jumping from wall to wall. You can use the directional pad to steer, but it has little effect - your only real way of controlling yourself is to jump. You can stick to anything you land on unless you're on the bottom of it, in which case you fall off. Remember the stage is constantly rotating, so you cannot stay in one place very long. You must maneuver down corridors and around corners, trying to find the correct path. It goes extremely fast and you need lightning reflexes to stay in the stage. There are many different types of objects in the Special Stages, most of them blocks and such (with the exception of walls, every surface here is round): Red and White spheres: These are just floating things for you to grab and jump off. Up/Down Red and White spheres: Same as normal ones, but when you touch one it causes the stage to rotate faster or slower. When you touch an Up sphere, it becomes a Down sphere and vice versa. R spheres: Found sometimes in walls. R stands for reverse. When you touch one, it makes the stage rotate in the opposite direction. Trapdoor spheres: These look like Red and White spheres but are transparent until you go past them, then they become solid. They are usually found outside the room where the Chaos Emerald is and prevent you from falling back out of it once you're there, so they are actually helpful (plus when you see them, you know you've almost made it to the Emerald). Pop Bumpers: Look like pop bumpers in the normal game (a red sphere with a star). They bounce you off when you touch them. I generally avoid them, since they make you lose control of yourself easily. Rings: Abundant in each Special Stage, and very important to collect because they are worth extra continues (see a little further on). Unless you are gung-ho about collecting all the Chaos Emeralds, I recommend putting your priority on the rings, since continues are so valuable. At the very least, collect the required rings before trying to get the chaos emerald. On the other hand, they are not needed for survival in the Special Stage - just for bonus points and continues. Getting every last one is not recommended, either, since there are usually more further along and you must not get out of position to get a few rings. Diamonds: These are a real pain. They always surround the Chaos Emerald once you reach its chamber. Some chaos emeralds have more, some have less. They begin in one of four colors: purple, yellow, green or blue. When you come in contact with a blue, it changes to green. The change takes about a second. If you remain in contact with it or contact it again it changes to yellow, then purple. If you touch a purple diamond, it disappears. You must 'break through' them to reach the Chaos Emerald. Sound easy? Wait until you're in the stage itself and trying to remain in contact with them while the stage is rotating, and you'll see why I think they're such a pain. GOAL spheres: Avoid at all costs! These flashing red spheres are almost always found in groups at the end of a wrong turn, or in the corners of the Chaos Emerald's room. They can only be avoided by going slowly, though even then you may come across them and have to do some fancy footwork to escape. Touching them will end the stage instantly with you having not collected the Chaos Emerald. If you can memorize which way to go to avoid them, great. Why they have the world GOAL on them is beyond me. Chaos Emerald: The goal of every Special Stage, located in a chamber at the end of the maze (although Special Stages 3 and 6 are each basically large emerald chambers) surrounded by diamonds. Touching it ends the stage immediately with a nice 'victory' sound (which is the same in every Sonic game). The only reason you might not want it is if you want to get a continue first. These come in six different colors, but the colors do not matter. That's the Special Stage in a nutshell. Remember a few things. One, there is no time limit in the Special Stage. You have all the time you need. Also, you play the Special Stages in order from 1 to 6, even if you don't get each Chaos Emerald. For example, the second time you enter the Special Stage, you'll go to the second one, even if you didn't collect the Chaos Emerald in the first one. If you are lucky enough to enter Special Stage more than six times, the seventh times, you return to the first stage you did not collect a Chaos Emerald in, and it continues like that. Once you collect all the Chaos Emeralds, the Special Stage is inaccessible - no giant rings appear. Also, at the end of each Special Stage, you get 100 points for each ring you collected, even if you did not collect the Chaos Emerald. Chaos Emeralds are not worth any bonus points. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, if you collect 50 rings in a Special Stage, you'll hear a tune play. You have just earned a continue, which you will keep no matter what happens. But getting 50 rings in any stage, but especially the first few, is very hard indeed. At the end of the Special Stage, if you earned a continue, you'll see a Sonic figure dance and hear the tune again. If you run out of lives and have a continue, a continue screen appears. Press start before the countdown reaches 0 to begin in the act you lost your last life in with three lives but your score reduced to 0. Remember that the Special Stage is very hard. It will take a lot of practice and sheer dumb luck often to get all the Chaos Emeralds. If you are a beginner, I recommend aiming not to try to get all the Chaos Emeralds until you have completed the game, since the Chaos Emeralds are not necessary to complete the game. If you don't get a Chaos Emerald but earn a continue, you are a big step up. Do not get too frustrated with the Special Stage. 4. Cheat Codes Sonic the Hedgehog 1 doesn't have as many secrets as future games, but it does have a few. Here are the two main ones I know of: Demo Trick - Press and hold buttons A, B and C when a demo begins. Sonic will act very different from the way he usually does in the demo. You can try releasing and repressing buttons A, B and C and see what happens. Sonic will become hopelessly confused, and sometimes will die. Level Select/Sound Test - At the title screen, press up, down, left and right before the demo appears. You'll hear the sound of a ring being collected. Now press and hold A, and press start. The level select screen instead of Green Hill Zone should appear. If it doesn't, try again. You can begin the game in any act you wish, including the Final Zone, with three lives. If you select Secret Zone, you will play Special Stage 1, and whether or not you collect the Chaos Emerald, you will begin the game in Green Hill Zone, Act 1. This is a way to begin the game with one emerald, if you will. You can also listen to a sound test, which allows you to replay any of the game's music or sound effects. I myself don't believe in using level selects but if you'd like to, you're welcome to. And now, insert your cartridge (or turn on your emulator) enjoy the rocking music of the first zone and let the game begin! Without any further ado, the walkthrough! 5. Walkthrough Before we begin, a few things to mention. One, this walkthrough is not a complete guide to every act. It uses the easiest path to follow and the one with the least challenge, in my opinion, most of the time, sometimes branching off to get important power-ups (usually 1-UPS). Not every power- up and every game path is outlined here by a wide margin. Not every 1-UP is mentioned either. I feel some 1-UPS are too out of the way or hard to get to be worth bothering with. If you would like to explore each act more fully, you are welcome to and may find some interesting things... but you are on your own. Secondly, a few basic tips. One tip that applies to most Sonic games, but this one in particular: ALWAYS TAKE THE HIGH ROAD if feasible. There are exceptions of course, but taking the high road is usually the most desirable route, especially in an act where falling off the screen is a danger. Secondly, GO SLOWLY. You need to keep control of yourself well in this game because the action is so fast-paced. Zipping along like in the demos may seem fun but unless you are very experienced, you often wind up getting hit (or sometimes even worse). Also, AVOID INSTANT DEATH PERILS at all costs. Getting hit isn't too big a deal if you're not trying for a very high score and rings are fairly plentiful. But lives in this game are very precious since there are so few 1-UPS, and anything that can kill instantly is to be avoided at any cost. This also means BE VERY WARY OF FLOOR SPIKES, since they can kill if you get knocked onto them (wall and ceiling spikes do not have this problem). Also, KEEP YOUR WITS ABOUT YOU since most of the game requires you to use your brain at least somewhat, as well as respond quickly, and MASTER JUMPING AND LANDING ACCURATELY EARLY ON since this is crucial in the harder acts. Lastly, this is a hard game, so DO NOT GET FRUSTRATED. 5a. Green Hill Zone Act 1 Oh wow! The music of the first zone! It's just so hip! Anyway go right and jump to get the three floating rings. Jump to the ledge above and get the Super Ring. Avoid the enemy on the ground and the blue bee-type one in the air, who will approach you, stop, shoot a fireball, then fly away. There's a spring in the tree to the right of the ledge that has some rings above it. Further right is a bridge. Avoid the piranha jumping up in the middle of it. In the second tree after the bridge, jump into it. You'll uncover a hidden Invincibility. Go right a ways, defeating various enemies (crabs and bees are common here) and jumping over the rocks in the ground. Cross another bridge. Eventually you come to a spring at the edge of a cliff. Keeping with the rule of taking the high road, bounce on the spring and land on the cliff above and to the right. Be aware that the overhang on the cliff will collapse when you touch it (collapsing ground is a very common Sonic theme). Go right (don't worry about the rings on the overhang). Watch out for a nasty bee who will try to nail you with a fireball; there's a slim chance you could be knocked onto the spikes on the lower ledge and die! Go right and be aware of two overhangs facing each other that both collapse. After this you come to a lamppost. There are two moving platforms above the lamppost. Use them to reach a ledge with a Super Ring (watch out for the bee). Note that bees and other enemies will return if you leave the screen and come back unless you defeat them. From the Super Ring ledge to the right are three floating platforms. They drop, so jump across them quickly. From the third one jump to the right to land on top of the loop (another very common thing found in almost every Sonic game) where there is a Shield. If you fall, you have to run through the loop. This requires a running start and some momentum (getting through loops isn't as easy in this game as in others, because you can't spin dash). Go right from the loop (don't bother with the moving platforms above and to the right of it) and you come to a tunnel. Enter and you will slide down two tunnels, triggering another lamppost in between, and at the bottom go up a ramp and be shot into a large block of floating rings. You will also usually land on top of a bee if you press no buttons. From where you land go right, but avoid the enemies that appear out of nowhere and shoot fireballs. Cross the bridge (almost all the bridges in this zone have piranha below them, so I won't mention this in the future; jump over the bridge or roll across it). Continue right until you see a Super Ring on a ledge. Collect it and also the hidden one in the tree just to the right of it. Go right, drop down and go right to the goal. Hopefully that wasn't too hard. On to act 2... Act 2 Cross the bridge at the start. Bounce up on the spring to get the rings and continue right. Defeat the crab and cross another bridge. A bee comes next. Defeat him and go right until you see a platform on a chain swinging back and forth. There is a Shield in the last tree before the platform that can be reached by standing on the rock. If you hit it from below, you will knock it down. Ride the platform over to the right side of the ravine. If you fall, you can get to the other side by getting a running start and running up the side. Once on the other side jump over the spikes and cross the bridge. Go down the hill and through a loop. You will see a 1-UP on the top of this loop but I do not recommend trying to get it. You cannot reach the top of the loop from the ledge to the left or from the right, even with a running start. The only way to reach it is via a spring below the main path on a lower path. The spring is very difficult to reach alive. After the loop, collect the Invincibility hiding in the tree right after the small ramp. Go right some more. The next part is tricky: you must cross a series of gaps using vertically moving pillars that are fairly wide, but this is the first time you've needed accurate jumping skills. There are spikes in between the pillars, so a fall will almost certainly be fatal. Bees attack at several points, although if you're still invincible, it will protect you somewhat. The Invincibility will protect you from spikes, but don't try to put this to use - the spaces directly underneath the pillars are death pits. Luckily there is a lamppost on the second solid ledge. After that just one more jump and the section is behind you. Defeat the enemy who comes chugging along from the right and continue right. You come to an area with several enemies; if you climb to the top ledge on the left there is a Super Ring there. Cross a bridge and slide down a hill. You will slide over two collapsing overhangs side by side. Run right and go down a tunnel, which takes you to the goal. Act 3 Jump into the second tree. It contains one very valuable Invincibility. It is valuable because you begin this act with no rings and don't find any for a while, and there are several spikes and enemies near the start. Cross the spike pit to the right ignoring the moving platform with your Invincibility. You can use the spring to bounce up to higher ledges, but here the low road is perfectly fine. Continue right, get your first rings, and keep going along the bottom path. There's quite a few enemies but I won't mention every last one. Eventually you come to a wall. It's possible to break through this wall by rolling into it but that route is dangerous; instead, bounce on the spring above, and land on top of the wall. Go right and cross the bridge (don't bother exploring to the left; there's nothing much there). Activate the lamppost. Ignore the moving platforms above it and continue right. Avoid enemies who suddenly materialize out of nowhere and then drop down and begin moving like snakes. Enter the tunnel to the right. You go through a loop at the bottom. To the right are two small hills, a small descent, and a red spring. (There are two kinds of spring, red and yellow: red bounces you faster and farther). On top of the loop is a 1-UP. This one you will get. To get it, hit the red spring and jump when you are at the top of the small descent before it, but before going down the two hills. Then steer with the control pad so you land on the top of the loop. This is a bit tricky since you're going left at very high speed, and you can be difficult to control. But the top of the loop is a big target, and if you mess up, just go back to the right and try again. A 1-UP is quite valuable, so I suggest you keep trying until you get this. After obtaining the 1-UP (and enjoy the cool sound the game makes when you get an extra life), go right but jump over the red spring. You come to another lamppost and then a tricky obstacle: The rotating spike log. This is a long log with spikes rotating around it. To cross safely you must step into a point between the spikes and walk right slowly, keeping in step with the spikes. It takes practice since they move at a constant speed and you must go slowly and stay in a small space. If you get hit, while you are flashing, it is probably possible to get the rest of the way across. Once on the other side continue right. Go under the large waterfall and collect the rings. After this comes a tall wall with a spring. This time you want to break through the wall rather than go over it. To do this, get a running start, and roll right before you hit the wall. Sonic's legs must be whirling for you to break through. On the other side continue right. The next part is tricky: you need to cross a spike pit using a swinging platform. Take this slow - wait for the platform to come near the ledge to the left, and deftly jump onto it. You can jump the pit but both ledges you would use to do so collapse. It's safer to use the platform. Just make a good jump and you will be okay. After this continue right and get the Super Ring in the tree after the small ramp. Cross the bridge. There's an Invincibility in the tree before the bridge but it's so hard to get it's not worth it. On the other side of he bridge hit the lamppost and run right to the boss. Note that if you die while fighting the boss, which you shouldn't, and restart at this lamppost you should go back into the act to obtain some rings. This isn't really a trap lamppost since you can go back to get rings. Boss This is a classic Sonic boss battle. There are two stationary floating platforms, one on each side of the area. Jump on the one on the right and hit Robotnik in his cockpit about two times before he brings out his weapon, a huge brown ball on a chain. The ball will swing back and forth as Robotnik moves slightly back and forth in the top center of the screen. The ball will hit the entire screen except in the corners, below each platform. So after your initial hits, run under one ledge (I prefer the right one) and stay in the corner as the ball swings your way. As soon as it begins swinging the other way, jump to get onto the platform. Then quickly hit Robotnik and drop to the ground. Then run back under your ledge before the ball comes back. You need to do this quickly or the ball will hit you. Robotnik takes eight hits to beat. Once you beat him, go right and jump on the animal cage and it will explode, freeing many animals. Great work, you have completed Green Hill Zone! 5b. Marble Zone Act 1 This zone's music is quite different from Green Hill Zone's but I like it just as much. It does get repetitive though. In any event go right and notice the terrain. You're walking on ground above a large lake of lava. Some of the ground moves up and down, but is stable. There are a few gaps which must be jumped over, although the lava doesn't kill you - it merely damages you. Your enemies will be those bees again (they are very annoying) and robotic caterpillars. Do NOT attempt to defeat these. They are only vulnerable in the head. If you jump on them, not only will you get hit, but their spiked body will break up and bounce away. If you want to defeat one, roll into its head. They move very slowly. If you don't have enough room to roll into one or the ground is uneven, just jump over it. Keep going right until you come to larger pits of lava. Jump over these and beware of the fireballs that leap out of them (like Podoboos in Super Mario Brothers, if you've played that game). After the first two fireballs you'll go down a hill. Stop and wait for one of the pillars to go down. Slip into an alcove to the left which contains three Super Rings. Cool! Get them and continue right. Now for another test of your jumping. You must jump over four pits of lava in quick succession. The land between them is fairly large, but as soon as you touch it, fire begins to cover it, so don't stop for anything. Once on the other side, get the Shield, and go down underground. Underground is where most of this zone is. Your first obstacle is four giant green pillars which move up and down and, of course, are a threat to crush you. Don't rush and you'll have no trouble running under them. After this come an attack by three bats, and some spikes that extend and retract. Jump over them and you come to a button and a block on a spiked chandelier that blocks the path downward. You can use the switch to raise the chandelier but when you release it, it falls back into place. So push the block onto the switch to hold it down and drop down once the chandelier moves up out of the way. Descend the staircase below and drop by the spikes that appear and disappear out of the wall. Once below, activate the lamppost to the left and get the Shield if you've lost the first one. Now go right and cross the green pillar when it goes down. You come to a large underground lake of lava. Blocks will fall from the ceiling and fill in part of the lake, enabling you to cross. Be aware that to jump between some sets of blocks you may need to make a shorter than normal jump by tapping the jump button to avoid hitting the blocks still on the ceiling and falling into the lava. Once past the lava lake go right but stop when you come to the end of the hallway. Look up but don't jump to the little ledge to the right just yet. If you are too hasty you may smash your head on the spiked chandelier above, which automatically moves up and down. Once it comes down, jump onto the ledge when the coast is clear. When the chandelier comes down again jump on top of it. Jump to the right (all these chandeliers can squash you against the ceiling if you stay on them too long). Climb up to the next level using the two snakes of blocks that extend and retract from the walls. The next level is tricky. There's a spiked chandelier to the right. To reach it you need to use a block that goes up and down on a chain to the left. As soon as you land on the ledge, jump. Two bats swoop down and attack. Get rid of them but DON'T try to jump on the block before doing so. Then jump on the block when it comes down and then jump onto the chandelier. Their movements are irregular, so wait for a time when you can make the jump cleanly. Don't get crushed by the block or chandelier! After getting on top of the chandelier climb out of the underground. Go right, jump over two lava pits. Continue over the same kind of terrain you saw at the beginning (beware: two places will start covering with fire when touched) and avoid enemies, and soon you'll come to the goal, if you keep going right. Act 2 This act begins the same way as act 1. Go right and soon you'll go underground. Press the button to cause the green pillar to go down. Drop down and go left. Beware of the bat in the narrow corridor. You come to a lake of lava with a green block right before it. This is something you're going to do several times in the next two acts, so get used to it. Push the block into the lava and it begins floating across on its own. Jump onto it and ride it. You must jump off to avoid being pushed off by stationary blocks above the lava. Jump over these and stay on your block. In this lake there are several blocks above it so you can cross without the aid of your block except at the beginning. Also watch out for the torrent of lava that periodically comes down from the ceiling. Check to the top right of this torrent to find a Super Ring and a Shield. Then carefully cross the lava lake. Once to the left of it watch out for the three holes that shoots fireballs. Go left and down the stairs. Go slowly and avoid the fireball-spewing holes. Once past them push the block snake out of the way and drop down. Now run to the right ASAP! A large wall of lava will pursue you; if it catches you you're a deep-fried hedgehog. Jump over the first two bumps in the floor, but stop at the third. Cross your fingers and run by the spikes when they retract. You have a small window of time when you can do this. Once past them, jump out of the corridor and continue right. Avoid jumping since there's nothing on the platforms; you'll just rouse bats from their roost above to attack. To the right is another lake of lava, this one must be crossed by eight swinging platforms on chains. It's not as hard as it looks; the platforms swing up next to each other, so you can walk from one to the next; that's probably much safer than jumping since if you jump, the platform usually swings out of the way before you land. After this lake of lava go through the corridor and roll through the two caterpillars. Then stop quickly - that red spring is positioned to send you careening back into the lava lake. Jump over it, press the button and jump to the next level. Get the Shield. Push the block into the lava and jump onto it; it is your only means of crossing this next lava lake. Three flumes of lava will propel you up but do not be alarmed; they will not knock you off your block if you press no buttons. The large ledges, though, will. You must jump onto them and catch your block as it comes out from below them. It's a bit tricky; I recommend walking off the ledge onto the block rather than jumping since it's more accurate; you just have to time it right. When the third flume propels you up you'll see a path to the right, at the top of a wall. That's the path leading to the rest of the act, but stay on your block for the time being. At the end of the line your block will sink but another block is waiting fro you. It floats left. There seems nothing to this spot... but try running into the wall. It's got a secret passage! Run through to find a secret room with two Super Rings and a 1-UP! Get the goodies, then go out and ride the block back (if you accidentally trigger it as you go in, it'll reappear) jumping over the ledges again. The flumes will not appear if you're going left. Once back on the right, you'll find your original block is back. Ride it left again. This time, when the third flume propels you up, jump left to the ledge. It's a bit nerve-racking but not a hard jump. Go left on this ledge. You see a caterpillar in a narrow area. You can quickly jump down to him and roll through him, but you won't have much space. Or you can patiently wait for him to go left and either jump over him or roll into him when he turns back around. Anyway use the two extending/retracting block snakes to climb out of the underground. Go left to a lamppost and a Super Ring. Don't think you're almost done, though: you have to go underground again before you find the goal. Go right above ground. Jump over lava pits (you should know the drill by now). There is another alcove almost exactly the same as the one in act 1, concealed behind a moving pillar. It has two Super Rings. Eventually you come to a passageway back underground, blocked by blocks. You may not want to go back underground, but it's the only way to go, so break through the blocks. Try to break as many of them as possible. You must bounce on them in rows to do this. Your points will increase if you break many in succession. If you break through the five blocks below as well without touching the ground, it is possible to get 30,000 points if you break them all. Anyway break the blocks and go down. Get the Shield. Go left to find two torrents of lava falling from the ceiling. They are tricky to get by, but do a well-timed jump to the left and sail underneath them. To the far left is an Invincibility - just what you need! Go right swimming in the lava lake. There is a block you can use but why both? Go right, jumping over the blocks in your way, while invincible. After the lava lake go right. Climb some steps being wary of spiked chandeliers. Go slowly and assume there's a chandelier wherever you suspect one might be. When you come to the fourth chandelier, jump over it when it goes down, climb out of the underground, and go right to the goal. Act 3 Go right above ground like in acts 1 and 2. You'll see an alcove like in acts 1 and 2 behind a moving pillar, bu this one does not lead to Super Rings - it leads to an alternate path. I don't see any reason to recommend this, so continue along the normal path. Get the Super Ring to the right when you see the path underground. Then go below the surface. You first obstacle are three flame-shooting holes. Carefully creep past them (you are safe if you are one block below the level a holes shoots on; you don't need to duck). Next comes a tricky lava lake. To cross it you must make use of blocks that fall from the ceiling and metal blocks that rise and fall on chains. Each jump must be precise or you'll get a hit bath. Go slowly but don't stay on the metal blocks any longer than you have to - they can and will crush you against the ceiling. After several tricky jumps you'll make it across. The green ledge on the other side collapses, so beware and get to solid ground. Then continue left. Repulse an attack of bats, and you come to a green bridge. It collapses, as you probably guessed. To the left of it is a Shield, protected by two giant green pillars. The pillars are easy to negotiate if you want the Shield. Drop through the bridge after obtaining the Shield if you want, and use the green button to cause the green pillar below to drop, opening a path. Drop down, go right, wait for the caterpillar to face you and then roll through him. You come to a lava lake. Push the block onto it, then jump on the block. This lava lake is much like the one in act 2 with the 1-UP, but there isn't any secret passageway in the far wall. This area is rather difficult to pass. Jump over the first two blocks trying to knock you off your block. When a lava flume propels you up, you MUST jump to the left to a ledge sticking out of the wall. If you don't, you'll end up stranded in the lava when your block sinks. On this ledge wait for a single green block to emerge from the wall. Jump onto it. The tricky jump is jumping from this block, in the short moment that it extends, to the floating ledge to the right. It's a tough jump, and if you miss you end up in the lava. The jump from the ledge to the hallway to the right is also difficult. Make sure you hold to the right as you jump, and most importantly, wait for the caterpillar to clear before attempting the jump. Go right in the hallway, jumping over the extending/retracting floor spikes. You come to two spiked chandeliers near each other. You should drop down between them and go left, right? Wrong! This is a big shortcut that will save you a lot of time, but also bypasses a lamppost. It's well worth it though. I only recently discovered it. Jump on top of the right chandelier, and jump into the wall. It's false near the top. Run right (you won't be able to see yourself) and you come to a room with a 1-UP. Grab it and continue right through the hidden corridor, but slowly. You need to be carefully since on the other side is a spiked chandelier that could smash you! Observe this chandelier from inside the corridor and when possible, jump up out from under it to the ledge on the right. This is rather tricky - you don't have much time to get out from under the chandelier before it comes back down. Once safely to the right of the chandelier, jump over it to the left, and climb the steps. Beware of the extending/retracting spikes on some steps - avoid those steps. Get the Super Ring at the top and prepare for a tricky part. Jump up to the ledge above, but beware of the flame-shooting holes in the wall to the left. Also be very careful of appearing/disappearing floor spikes in this part; there are a lot of them, and bats; they are very annoying. You need to cross three chasms using small metal blocks that fall and then retract from the ceiling on chains. Falling will make you fall into a lake of lava below. Get to the left if that happens and minimize the number of hits you take. The third chasm has two blocks in succession. There are also spikes and bats on the ledges between each abyss. You can't take this slowly since the blocks will crush you against the ceiling if you stay on one too long. Just jump carefully and cross your fingers, and learn from your mistakes. Once you get passed the third hole, and jump over the three spikes in the right wall, the hardest part's behind you. Get back above ground. Get a running start and jump over the large lava pit. If you fall in, that's OK. Jump over a few smaller lava pits, avoiding fireballs. You come to a lamppost. This is a trap lamppost I think, even though you could go back into the act to get more rings, you'd have to go back into the part with the metal blocks. I usually don't bother jumping over it though, since the boss is fairly easy, and it's not the end of the world if you face him with no rings, just be extra careful. Besides, you risk going back to the BEGINNING of the act if you skip the lamppost and die at the boss. You decide whether that's worth having rings or not. Anyway after the lamppost go right, jumping over two more lava pits, to the boss. Boss This isn't that hard once you know what you're doing. There's two stone ledges with a lava pit between them. Stand on the right ledge. Robotnik will appear on the right first. Hit him once or twice. He will fly over to the left and drop a series of fireballs which will cover the left ledge in fire briefly. Then he flies back to the right. Jump and hit him as he comes toward you. If this is your first time playing, one hit is probably enough, but two hits are possible if you get them in quickly. More than two is not safe. After hitting him quickly jump over the lava pit to the left as he will cover the right ledge with fire next. The fire on the left will have disappeared by now. As he flies back to the left repeat the pattern, always staying one step ahead of him. Eight hits defeat him (eight hits is the usual number in Sonic the Hedgehog for some reason). Go right and destroy the animal prison. 5c. Spring Yard Zone Act 1 This zone has good music, but not quite as good as Green Hill Zone or Marble Zone. It is set in a city and has pop bumpers, springs and the like - a bit fast paced, even by Sonic standards. Begin by jumping onto the green thing on the ground. Jump to get the two rings. They are important because to the right are three crabs (like all crabs, these shoot fireballs from their claws, so be careful) and two bees. I HATE those bees, don't you? Don't worry, you won't see them after this zone. After this section is a red spring, hit it and run up the tall wall. Go right through a short tunnel to another red spring. This bounces you into an area of pop bumpers. Fool around if you wish, but don't bother trying to get all the rings. Bounce up to the right with the red spring and go right to a large area of moving blocks. Take out the two bees before attempting to descend since between the blocks, your movement is restricted and you're an easy target for fireballs. The blocks pose no threat to crush you*, they just slide back and forth, and you just have to take it slow and descend when the space between blocks opens. *BUG: Although you shouldn't be able to be crushed by the blocks, I have tried to jump in between two blocks and lost a life on occasion. It seems to happen when you try to jump through an opening barely wide enough for you. This is rare, but the point is don't rush. After going down through the blocks, go right down a hill. At the bottom of the hill a nasty enemy will come up behind you; he bears a striking resemblance to you, only he's a robot. Robo- Sonic (found in future Sonic games) may be based on this enemy. HE IS ONLY VULNERABLE WHEN NOT ROLLING. Jump over the spring at the bottom of the hill to avoid bouncing into him and he will jump over you and come out of rolling. You can take him out, or leave him alone and he'll roll into a ball again and roll away. Be aware that sometimes he'll transform right when you land on him, giving you a landing full of pain. This guy cannot be defeated permanently - he only appears in certain areas, often erratically, reappearing when defeated sometimes. I've even seen two at once on occasion. I recommend avoiding him as much as possible and keeping moving when in areas he appears in. Jump over the switch and go right. You come to two large spiked metal balls that slowly move up and down in a slanted hallway. Keeping control of yourself in this hallway can be hard since it's inclined - go slowly, that's always important. Simply wait for the balls to go up and run under them. After going past two, the hallway levels out. You're in a red area inside a building. Beat a crab, then you face a chain of spikes that rotates. Jump over it after it goes by, of course (this resembles a fire-bar in Super Mario Brothers 1). The green things with lights in them have no effect except as something to stand on. Now comes another spiked ball blocking your path; wait until it moves left then slip in front of it. Another similar one is at the other side of the narrow hallway. Avoid it the same way. Then comes another chain of spiked balls you dodge like the first one (don't bother trying to get the rings above it) and you come to a lamppost. Hit the spring and go right, back outside. You find a spring which will bounce you into a series of moving blocks. However, there is a false wall to the right; press against the right wall as you bounce up and you'll find a secret passage. It just has some rings, though. Walk back out and climb through the blocks. Again, don't go too fast and jump between the blocks as they move. At the top, go right and jump onto the stationary platform. Continue right and you meet a purple enemy with spikes on his back; you must roll through him to defeat him. Now comes a somewhat tricky part; you must get through two half-circle in the floor with a spiked ball rotating around each one. The best way to do this is to ignore the rings and jump onto the stationary platform in the center. It isn't going anywhere, so when the coast is clear, jump to that LITTLE space between the two half-circles. It's a tough jump. From there jump to the next platform, then to the right and out of that area. Use the six red springs to get the rings above, and to ascend the wall on the right. Once at the top, go right, defeat two crabs, and drop into another area with six springs. Get the Super Ring in between them. You can either bounce back up and go right, in which case you'll have to deal with some more purple guys and moving blocks, or jump into that little corridor at the foot of the right wall, over the three springs, from where the Super Ring was. You can try again if you miss the jump. In there is a yellow spring and a switch. Hit the switch and bounce right to the goal. Act 2 Go right (or hit the spring behind you). When you come to a cliff, drop down. You slide through a curved area and fly up. You will see a corridor with two spiked in it to the right and above it, above the ground, another path. You actually want to take the low path here usually (a peculiarity of this zone) so enter the lower corridor. It might be a bit tricky but the entrance is fairly wide. Keep control or you'll walk into the first spiked ball. Walk carefully under the two spiked balls, being aware of the slanted floor. After that go right, beat the crab and jump past the rotating spiked bar. Slip past two more slow-moving spiked balls by waiting for them to move out of the way, and go back outside. The next area has a big secret. You see a red spring on the ground and another one in the air. Inexperienced players are inclined to just bounce from one to the other, but instead, bounce on the bottom one and hold right - you'll go through the wall a short way up. If you don't at fist, keep bouncing and holding right. You come to a secret passage with nothing in it. Keep going even if the way seems blocked - there's more false walls. You come to a corridor with five moving blocks that attempt to crush you. Simply go slowly, one at a time and run under them when they move out of the way. At the end of this underground passage is a 1-UP and a spring that returns you to ground level. You come up next to a Shield; grab it and start trying to get out of this spring and pop bumper area. There are openings but it can be difficult to escape since you're hard to control. Once above the springs, try to get on the moving platform to the right. It may take several tries but you can keep trying as long as necessary. Once you make it out of here, go right, jump onto the platform and then to the ledge, and continue right. You come to another tilted hallway with two spiked balls; carefully go under them. Run by the lamppost and you encounter a spiked ball slowly moving back and forth over a spring. You don't need to bounce on the spring, so jump over it and keep going right along the path. Ignore the slanted ledge you see above. The enemy who looks like you may show up again; luckily he'll seldom ram into you from behind; he usually stops right before hitting you for some reason. It's usually best to take him out at this point or he'll ram into you after a few seconds. You come to a depression with a rotating spiked ball; just use the platform in the middle to cross and ignore the rings. Drop down when you come to the end of the path, walk off the ramp at the bottom, and go right to the goal. That act wasn't so long, was it? Act 3 Go right as usual. You come to a long hill. Do not worry about the bees; if you run straight on they won't get a chance to attack. You begin with zero rings, so it's in your best interest to avoid hostilities until you get your hands on some. Drop down into the center of the large gap, where there's some springs and a Shield. Get the Shield and bounce up to the right. Get the Super Ring in plain sight. Enter the hallway with the two spiked balls. Run under them carefully. Jump over the rotating spike bar and beat the crab. You come to a block series. If you go down, there's just a dead end, but there's a small secret passage in the left wall just below the hallway you were just in that contains some rings. Climb through the moving blocks. At the top, go left, beat the crabs, use the spring to bounce to the moving platform, and jump to the ledge. Ignoring the moving platform going up, continue, and hit the switch to open the door. Go right further. You come to two gullies, but these have TWO spiked balls rotating in them, not one. The same rules apply - ignore the rings and jump from the platforms in the middle of the gullies (which are quite safe) when the coast is clear. The jump to that tiny nub of land in the center is very nerve-racking - but you can make it. After that, keep going until you find an area of moving blocks. Going down just leads to a dead end so climb up. Again, don't rush. At the top (it's a fairly large area) go left. Jump on the first moving platform you see, and ignoring the ones leading to the left, jump to the ledge on the right and go right. Beat two purple guys by rolling. Pass the lamppost. You come to a cliff. Drop down and slide down the walls of this deep curved area. Keep your momentum with you and ignore the pop bumpers and platforms in the middle. Roll up the right side. You can just enter the first corridor to the right you see - that's the way you want to go. But above the entrance to this corridor, if you hold right, you can go through the wall and uncover a secret passage with a Speed Shoes and an Invincibility (this is one of the only Speed Shoes in the whole game!) It's not necessary to grab these but helpful. Anyway enter the corridor below, and carefully go past the two spiked balls (or if you're invincible just zip past them). You come to a switch and a large block blocking your path. Hit the switch and the block begins to move right, opening your way. You now face two depressions in the ground with a spiked ball slowly moving back and forth in each of them. After these is a spring and a narrow passageway to the right. You want to get through that passageway before the block gets there. If you got the Invincibility and Speed Shoes a minute ago, this should be nothing to worry about. Otherwise you'll have to quickly jump over the spiked balls and the spring to make it. If you do not make it you must bounce up on the spring. That is perfectly acceptable, but you'll be on your own for a short time since this walkthrough takes you to the right through the opening. After the opening comes your reward for making it - two Super Rings and a Shield. Nab them and continue right, past a rotating spike bar. Go back outside and up the short hill. You come to a red spring. Bounce on the spring and you run right on the ceiling and land on or near a pop bumper. This is kind of tricky - you need to land on the pop bumper (you may need to steer a bit with the directional pad to hit it) and then land on the moving platform to the right. This is tricky since you must often bounce straight up on the pop bumper (not an easy feat) several times before the moving platform moves close enough for you to land on it. If you fall, go back left and hit the spring. Do not give up. After finally landing on the moving platform (sometimes you get lucky and make it without really trying) jump to the right to two more moving platforms, then to the green path to the right. At the end of the path walk through the false wall and you find a Shield and 1-UP! Oh yeah! Snatch them and backtrack, and drop down. There's a large gap in the ground, at the bottom are some springs to bounce you back out (and collect the rings above) and an Invincibility. Get it and bounce out, go right and touch the lamppost. You are now at the last obstacle of the act, and it isn't as hard as it looks. You must cross a wide abyss vie five moving snakes of five blocks each. The block snakes shift back and forth; their movement is a bit tough to describe. Each block is quite small, though. To cross the abyss, jump onto the top block of the first block snake, and wait for it to move next to the top block of the second one. Then just walk between them. Only walk on the top blocks of each block snake, and never jump - it's much easier to walk between two blocks than to try to land on a small, moving target. The blocks remain next to each other for only a second but it should be long enough for you. Easy, right? Well... a fall will result in your death. That's okay, though, because if you die here or at the boss, you can go back and get the 1-UP any number of times. After the last block snake go right to the boss. Boss This is a tough boss. Robotnik will fly back and forth above you. He sort of hovers up and down a little; you can just barely reach him sometimes and other times you can't reach him. However, hitting him from below is not recommended, unless you do it below and to the side - not straight below. This is because sometimes when you move below him, he extends a spike out of the bottom of his ship and swoops straight down, jams the spike into one of the brown blocks in the bridge you're fighting on, shakes it loose, and destroys it, leaving a space. Falling into a space where a block was will kill you instantly. Try to hit him AT LEAST TWICE every time he comes down, more if possible, although be very careful not to be hit yourself, since there's a good chance a hit will knock you into a hole. Also try to hit him from below when he's hovering as long as it's not directly below. He destroys each block very rapidly, so you need to react fast and position yourself well to get him. Try to take him out as quickly as possible because once he destroys about two blocks, you're in trouble since your maneuvering room is very limited. This battle requires good jumping skills, quick reflexes, and some luck. Taking him out ASAP is also vital. He takes eight hits. You may need to jump over a hole or two after defeating him to reach the animal prison. Bust it open and congratulate yourself - you are halfway through the game! 5d. Labyrinth Zone Act 1 Ooooh... this is my least favorite zone in the whole game! It's hard, and I don't like that at all. There are a lot of ways to get hit here and relatively few rings. Getting to play Special Stage will be very difficult from now on. Getting crushed is also an ever-present threat here, and there's a lot of spikes. Also, most of this zone takes place underwater (you're in a huge underground maze). Water slows down your movement. You also need air, unlike most games. If you go for about 20- 30 seconds without air, a countdown appears next to you and you hear some 'panic' music. If you don't get air within five seconds, you drown (die). To get air you can jump out of the water, although that is usually not feasible. Also you can use air pockets on the floor. These look like a mass of bubbles on the floor. Stand on top of one for a few seconds and a large bubble will float up. Jump into it to refill your air. Be sure to do this often and go slowly. Do not try to stretch your air. Don't be too concerned, though, because in this zone, there are air pockets EVERYWHERE. The music in this zone I can't stand, although I suppose it isn't too bad. Begin the act by heading right. You'll encounter three enemies you need to get used to; they're little enemies who hide in the floor (you can see the top of them) and jump out and slowly roll toward you when you approach. They can be very annoying. After a while you come to a spiked ball moving in a circle on a chain. Deftly avoiding it, jump onto the ledge above it where a Shield is. After getting that, dodge the ball again and head down, into the water. At the bottom go left, beat the two enemies, and get the Super Ring. Hit the switch to open the door. Head right. I will not constantly tell you to use air pockets. As a general rule, stop at each one you come to and wait for a bubble. After a while this will become second nature. I only mention air when you have to go a while without it. Press the second switch to move the barrier, and climb out of the water. Get the Super Ring to the left and go right. (I won't inform you all the time when there are hiding enemies since there are so many of them; I only mention them when they pose a particular threat). Go into the water and head down. You meet some fish enemies, but these are slow and not too dangerous. You pass by some ceiling spikes. Once on the floor beware; there is a platform that will rise when you step on it and try to smash you into the spikes. Run off it as soon as you trigger it. You see two doors and two switches, one leading left and one right. Go left for a Super Ring if you like, but right is the path through the act. Beware that the rising platform reappears when you leave the screen and come back. Also the jump to the switch is harder than it looks; you must jump from a higher part of the floor to make it. Going through the door and a current sweeps you through a corridor. You land on a platform; there's another one just to the left. Both will try to smash you into spikes, so jump off immediately and trigger the other one. Jump off it too. Then head down where you see a rotating spiked ball. Time it so you don't hit it. Go right and you come to a staircase. This is a tough part; the staircase is very steep with tiny ledges, and there's a rotating spiked ball there. You need to jump from step to step without getting whacked by the swiftly spinning spiked ball. Most steps that aren't obviously unsafe are safe. Go slowly and carefully. After the first one you come to another one. After that you come out of the water and encounter some tiny ledges moving along a conveyor belt. This is another tricky part. Do NOT ride the ledges on the left going up since they will crush you into some spikes. Jump into the ledge in between the two sides of the conveyor belt. Then climb up the right side by jumping up the ledges as they go down. When you see a switch sticking out from the far right wall, make a SHORT jump (be very careful of the spikes just above it) and land on it. Then drop down into the water and go through the barrier you just opened. Go down. You come to a lamppost at last. After the lamppost go right and you face a new obstacle; white tridents that extend and retract. You need to jump over them, which is very difficult because of the low ceiling, when they retract. These are a real pain. After that go through the door (it closes behind you) and go past four more tridents, two on the ceiling and two on the floor. You may want to take your time but be aware that there are no air pockets in this section. After the tridents you come to a red spring, and the water level lowers dramatically. It will rise again as soon as you start climbing the steps. Unless you use the spring to get a head start you will immediately be submerged again; climb the steps quickly if that happens. At the top you come to a cork bobbing up and down on the surface; jump onto it (you must land as it bobs down). Then go left and back underwater. You'll come to another conveyor belt of small ledges. Beware of the spikes below it and the enemy in the bottom left corner; he will shoot the four spikes surrounding him at you. Get on a ledge and ride up. No spikes at the top this time, but when your ledges reaches the wheel at the very top, jump to the right. It's tricky because there's a gargoyle head to the right that will spit a fireball that will nail you unless you jump quickly. There's another gargoyle head above the first; jump between them and run right into the corridor. When you come to the first cork-type block, stop. Wait for the water to rise again and flood the corridor. Just make sure you are NOT on a cork when this happens because it will rise and crush you against the ceiling. Now that the corridor is flooded, go right and open the door. Get the Super Ring and jump past two more tridents, these going horizontally. I HATE these tridents, don't you? Unfortunately, there's many in this zone... climb out of the water and go right to the goal. Act 2 Go right and watch out for the spikes. You come to a water slide. Hop on and you slide, quite fast, into the drink. Once you land, you can go right to an Invincibility. Just be aware of the platform that tries to smash you into the spikes just to your right (you can sort of see it since it sticks up a bit from the floor). Go left to continue. I recommend getting the Invincibility, though. To the left a ways is a reddish brown enemy surrounded by spikes; he will launch them at you one at a time. He is very difficult to avoid and cannot be beaten until he is bereft of spikes, but if you're invincible, he's no trouble at all. Go left, get the two Super Rings, and drop down and head right. Don't go too fast, though, or you'll bump into a rotating spiked ball. Carefully run by it timing it well (depending on how good your timing underwater is, these balls can be a real pain). Another one follows. Run by it and climb the steps to the corridor. As soon as you approach it a current sweeps you through. You come out in a large area with several ledges. The only things to avoid in this area are a few ceiling spikes at the bottom and a fish enemy. I highly recommend beating him immediately so he doesn't get in your way. At the bottom is a spring. Use it to access the higher ledges. Most of this area is above the water. It is also very rich in rings: some of the ledges have rings on them, and there are FOUR Super Rings: two on the left (though one is a bit tricky to get) one in the center, and one on the right. There's also a Shield in plain sight on a low, underwater ledge. The Super Ring in the center conceals a switch that opens the door in the upper right corner. Bounce up there using the red spring. Just beware of the fireball-spitting gargoyle statue guarding it. Go through the door and activate the lamppost. You come to a spot with a way down and a way right, the way down guarded by tridents. Rather than deal with them, just jump to the right, avoid the rotating spiked ball, and grab the Invincibility. You now have a BIG chance to cover some ground fast, so do this next part quickly. While invincible, drop down the long shaft. You'll go back underwater and must hit two switches to open barriers. At the bottom run left through a swinging spiked ball. Keep running through a reddish brown spike enemy, until at the far left you see two blocks that look different from the rest of the floor. Step on one and it drops to the next level. Without even stopping for a gulp of air, run right past a gargoyle statue, two tridents and finally another spike enemy. Whew! I hope you made it this far invincible. Take a breather to get some air and look at your next challenge: a staircase guarded by a rotating spiked ball. Climb carefully, jumping past unsafe steps. At the top is a spike enemy, but this one is a little bit above the floor. His spikes can be avoided by ducking. Duck about where the air pocket is and stay down until you estimate the spikes are gone. Wait a few more seconds before getting back up. You may be short of air now, so take a breath and take out the enemy. Continue right. You are almost done. Your last obstacle is a pair of conveyor belts. Jump onto the first one. As soon as you see the second one come into view, jump to a ledge on it. The first conveyor belt's ledges pass through spikes so it is imperative that you get off them quickly. Land on the second ledge and ride it up out of the water. If you fall, try again. At the top of the second conveyor belt jump off and go right to the goal. Act 3 I hate this act. It is very hard all the way through. It does, however, have a major shortcut that will save you a lot of time, but carries its own perils. Begin by going right, through a hallway with four jumping enemies. Get on the water slide. The two water slides go on forever unless you jump off. When you are going down the water slide sloping left, jump off. Don't press any button besides the jump button and you will fly off to the left. If you jump right after you get on the slide, you'll land on a small ledge with a Shield. Jump off before the second ledge you see to the left. Land on the ledge, go left and hit the switch and collect the Super Ring. The switch causes a part of the slide to break away, creating a new path leading down and right. To reach it, though, you must jump right from the ledge, over the water and into the passageway. If you touch the water (you'll jump through a waterfall but that doesn't count) you'll go zipping back down the slide, and have to jump off at the ledge again and try again. Once inside the side passageway you'll soon hear a rumbling; this is just the way above closing again. Press the button to open the barrier and descend into the water. Watch out for the rotating spiked ball above the surface. Also watch out for the robot fish. Below you is a barrier, and the switch to open it is to the right. However, before you open it, you may wish to go left, to find an area filled with rings. Once you open the barrier, this area is inaccessible. After looting it, go back right, hit the switch and go down. Go right, two a row of four tridents on the floor. Note that the block in between the second and third ones will fall once you land on it. Once you land on it, jump straight up, then drop down through the hole. This leads to a great shortcut, but by jumping you ensure that you won't get hit by the fish below. Get a gulp of air at the bottom and go right. (Note: this next section must be done fairly quickly, since you can't get any air for a while) Climb the stairs defeating the enemies, and eventually you come to a pair of doors. As soon as you can see them they swing open, and a current catches you. Get ready for a wild ride. The current curries you right like the ones in acts 1 and 2, but this time, there are poles you will grab that stop you temporarily. You can slide up and down these poles, and press the jump button to let go of them and continue being swept along. But you need to use the poles to steer clear of spikes. There are five poles. Usually the spikes to avoid are in plain sight and you can dodge them by simply moving to the bottom of the pole before releasing. Between poles three and four, though, hold up to avoid hitting the wall and falling into the spike bed. After this ride you get sent out into a large open area. Go left down the staircase. At the bottom get some much-needed air. Then climb up to the red spring on one of the ledges. The switch you need to touch to open the door at the top of the staircase is near the ceiling to the left. Use the spring to land on it. It's tricky to land exactly on it, and after a few attempts you'll need to go back down to get more air. Make sure you always put air first, since you can take as many tries as you like with the spring and switch, and there's nothing here (besides a few ceiling spikes) to hurt you. After finally hitting the switch, climb the stairs and go right. Now for a tricky spot; to the right after the second air pocket is a spike enemy, who has you dead in his sights. To avoid him you must run at him then quickly jump up to the staircase to the left before he nails you. If you get hit, take him out while you're flashing. If you know he's there, you stand a better chance. Once past this spot climb the ledges, being aware of two enemies who jump out - they're precariously positioned above you. Hit the switch to open the barrier and climb above water. You are now at (in my opinion) the most aggravating part of the game. Prepare to die several times before you get out of this act in one piece. To the left is a lamppost at the foot of a water slide. This is where you'd come out if you'd taken the 'main' path through the act. Whether or not to hit this lamppost is very questionable. (If you take the normal route, you automatically hit it; you have no choice). On the one hand, if you do not hit it and die later on, you must return to the beginning of the act. If you do hit it, though, there are no rings between here and the boss, but there IS a Shield. So you'll fight the boss with a Shield, but no rings. I think it's best to hit the lamppost, since getting through the whole act again is quite frustrating, and probably the tougher route. To the right are three corks. As soon as you jump onto the first one, the water begins rising rapidly. The first two will crush you against the ceiling. You need to jump from the first to the second one, then to the third one, which won't be as difficult since it's rising next to the right wall. If you miss these jumps, you don't get another chance - just sit back and wait to drown. It's that simple. Don't make the first jump too fast, though, since there's a jumping enemy next to the second cork - if you land too early he may hit you, and knock you off the cork, on his jump. Once on the far right cork, you're pretty much okay until the boss. This cork also hits the ceiling as the water rises but it takes you up next to a staircase. Climb this staircase like there's no tomorrow. If the rising water catches you, you aren't dead, but you'll need to climb the rest of the way fast to avoid running out of air. There are some enemies along the way but they shouldn't pose much threat. If the water catches you early, you could be in significant trouble. Just climb quickly the stretches where there are just small ledges, but slow down at the wide ledges because that's where the enemies are. When you make it to the top, go left to get a Shield, then go right to the boss. Boss This is the hardest boss in the game. He is almost impossible if you don't know what to do. As soon as you begin Robotnik starts flying up through a jagged shaft. You do NOT need to hit him AT ALL to beat him. You just need to make it to the top of the shaft. Easier said than done, since it's chock full of gargoyle heads and tridents, all positioned exactly so they pose the most threat to you. This would be no problem if you could take it slow, but no such luck - the water is still rising, and if it catches you, you must hurry the rest of the way or you'll run out of air. You get a small head start on the water at the beginning which you must make the most of. Climb the first part fairly quickly but NOT haphazardly. Getting hit must be avoided at all costs since it will usually knock you down, sometimes quite far. When tridents get in your way, wait for them to retract rather than trying to pass them when extended with tricky jumps. If you see the water rising don't worry; climb as far as possible on dry land and let it overtake you when it does. Do not do a jump as it overtakes you because it can disrupt a jump. You need to be substantially up the shaft, which seems to go on forever, when the water catches you, otherwise you stand no chance. Do not jump aimlessly at any time, but never stay in one position too long. (I.e, when you see a trident ahead, wait for it to retract, but jump by at your first opportunity). The gargoyle heads can be avoided with a similar strategy. If you start to run out of air do not panic - keep climbing at the same rate, never willingly taking a hit, and hopefully you'll make it to the surface in time. Good luck. Once at the top, Robotnik flies away and you are done. 5e. Star Light Zone Act 1 This is one of my favorite zones. It is not very hard, for starters. The main thing about this zone is that it is vital to take the high road almost all the time. This is because you can very easily fall off the screen in this zone. Also the music is nice and peaceful, and the scenery is excellent. The first thing you face in the first act is a walking bomb. This is an invincible enemy who walks very slowly. When you get near him, a fuse begins burning on his head; when it burns down he explodes and shoots out four pieces of shrapnel, two in each direction, one flying farther than the other. The shrapnel's movement can be hard to predict - it's best to be as far away from these enemies when they explode as possible. Jump over him and move on. After the first one you come to a second one, then a bridge of blocks that stretches downward when you step on it, like a staircase. Unfortunately, it blocks your access to a 1-UP below the blocks. This 1-UP seems impossible to get but actually it's very easy; roll right down two hills, over the small gap in the floor (don't fall down there, whatever you do) and up the wall. Then roll back down the wall and up the hills, back to where you were - only now the blocks are gone, and you can get the 1-UP. Go back down the hills and up through the narrow shaft beside the wall, but this time, don't roll back down; hit the red spring to the left. You'll go flying up into the air and land on a walkway. To the left is a fan which prevents you form going back. To the right is the other enemy in Star Light Zone and he is also invincible. He looks like the reddish-brown enemy in Labyrinth Zone, but will not launch his spikes at you, just hovers slowly. He is invincible unless you want to take a hit to beat him or are invincible yourself, but he is also fairly harmless - he just gets in the way. Jump over him and continue right. You'll come to another bridge of blocks, also extending down when you step on it. A fan to the right prevents you from going further right, so go down and left, down another set of extending block-stairs. Go left on this lower level. You come to a difficult section; this has four sets of block stairs that extend downward, but as you descend, you must be very careful of the holes recessed into the left wall; they shoot fireballs. These are hard to avoid since it's hard to predict the blocks' movements. Watch out and go carefully. Once at the bottom go right. Beware that the slight depression in the floor has TWO flame- shooting holes, one on each side. Carefully pass by them. After this you can continue right but there's a block stair set above. Hit it from below and it will extend down to you, giving you a path to the higher level. Be sure to get back left after hitting it to make sure you can reach the stairs. A spike enemy waits for you at the top; simply wait on the stairs for him to hover over to the left before continuing. Go right past two red springs that serve no purpose; they just bounce you back and forth. On the next level is another red spring; hit it and get the Invincibility to the left. Go right and hit the block stairs from below to make them come down. On the next level go left to a Super Ring guarded by three walking bombs (since you're invincible they should be no problem) and then go right past a fan. Go right over a bridge (this one does not extend down as you might expect; it is only activated by hitting it from below) and down two hills like at the beginning of the act, over a gap in the floor and up a wall. Hit the red spring to the left and you'll go past a fan. Get the two Super Rings (the one to the left must be rolled into because of the fan) and go right, past another fan and across a bridge, to the goal. Act 2 Go right until you come to a large hill. Run down it. Go through two loops and you come to a bridge. This one collapses; drop down it and pass the fan below it to the right. Down another hill, through another loop and past another fan, to a yellow spring. Bounce up and go right through a hallway below three walking bombs. To the right, go up a small hill, under a spike enemy, down a hill, through a loop... stop. You come to a hill leading to the very bottom of the act, but above it there's a slanted walkway leading upward, with a fan on the level above. Get a running start and run up the walkway to the level above. If you don't make it to the top you can try again as many times as necessary. Once on the level above, go right to a super-secret area with a Super Ring, an Invincibility and a 1-UP! Cool! Grab the goodies and hit the red spring to be propelled up to a yellow spring on top of the left wall. Bounce up to the ledge on the right and go right. There are three walking bombs on the ceiling, but hopefully you're still invincible so they won't be a threat. Go right past a fan (ignore the block steps on the ceiling) and after a while you come to some catapults over a chasm. These floating gray catapults are fairly simple to use. One side has a mine. Jump on the other side and the mine flies up. The mine always comes down on the opposite side from which it was on before you landed on the catapult, so while it is in the air, walk to the other side, being careful not to fall off. When the mine lands it propels you up. How far depends on with how much force you landed on the catapult. If you don't bounce up far enough, land on the catapult again and you'll bounce higher. Use these two catapults to reach the ledge at the top right. If you fall, I am very sorry but I can give you no tips. The ledge has two walking bombs on the ceiling - watch out and be careful not to get knocked off. To the right of it are four platforms rotating in a circle. Jump on one (they don't move very fast) and when it rotates to the top, jump to the ledge above and to the right. There you'll find a huge cache: FIVE Super Rings! Wow! Gobble them up and drop down to the platform below. It will move down a short ways to a walkway. Run right to the goal! And you should get a last crack at the Special Stage! Act 3 Jump over the spike enemy at the start. Then you go down a very - I mean VERY - steep hill. At the bottom is a small depression, then a ramp to the right, with a fan. Go right and you come to a spike enemy over a block bridge. It collapses; drop through it and you'll be at the very bottom of the act. Don't worry; there's a 1-UP down here you'll want to get! To the left is a fan so that way is out. To the right are four walking bombs in a depression in the floor. Trigger them one at a time, then move away and jump when they explode to dodge the shrapnel. After demolishing them all go right, past four pointless springs, to a catapult. Falling below this catapult will kill you. Hopefully you know what you're doing. Jump on the catapult and use it to bounce up. To the right is a ledge guarded by two walking bombs. But land on the catapult again after bouncing up, and the second time it should bounce you really high, high enough to reach an alcove at the top of the wall to the left. There you find a Super Ring, Invincibility and 1-UP! Grab them all; you'll need all the lives you can get at this point in the game. Drop back down and land approximately on the ledge with the two walking bombs. They won't pose a threat since you're invincible. Be aware that your jump down is onto a narrow ledge with death pits on each side; if you aren't accurate you'll lose that life you just got. To the right are four platforms rotating in a circle over a death pit. They aren't really hard to handle; but the death pit below could break your concentration and cause you to fall. Just ignore the rings in the middle of the circle. To the right you must jump from one circle to another rotating in the opposite direction. Make the jump adeptly, then jump right to a ledge. Two sets of block stairs extend downward; unless you are still invincible, be very wary of the two flame holes, one on each level. Once on the lowest level go right. You come to a bridge. This one collapses so run full speed across it. The next spot is an almost sure hit. You come to a depression with four walking bombs with a fan on each side. Chances are the first fan will immediately send you careening right into a bomb. To escape you have to jump past the right fan after it turns off. I recommend trying to recover a ring after your first hit so you won't die if you get hit again. Once the four bombs explode and the shrapnel is gone, you are safe. Once past the fan on the right cross another collapsing bridge (death awaits below) and run up the walkway to the right, past a fan. To the right is a platform waiting in a gap. Jump onto it and it rises, to another level. To the left are two streams of platforms that rise from the ground in two separate steady streams, disappearing when they reach a certain height. Jump to the first one and right before it disappears, jump to the ledge to the right. The overhang collapses. To the right will be two catapults. The first one has two walking bombs below it. Don't panic; if you move to the right side of the catapult, you'll spring up and be in the air when they explode. To the right of the first one is a second catapult; bounce over to it, then to the ledge on the right (don't bother about the block stairs on the ceiling). Go right on the ledge, get the Super Ring and Invincibility, and run up to the next level. You now face a whole series of obstacles to the right, all of which can be passed while you're invincible, so like in Labyrinth Zone run like crazy to the right. First comes a spike enemy; this is one time you can actually beat one! Then come three flame holes, then you run past a fan. Run under six walking bombs on the ceiling and beat another spike guy right smack in your way. Run up the ledge to a fan and a lamppost. The fan prevents you from going back once on this ledge. Jump over the lamppost; it is a trap lamppost, but if you found the act rather difficult and really don't want to have to play it again, go ahead and hit it. It's a matter of judgement. If you hit it by accident, that's probably okay. Just try to beat the boss on your first try. Run right to the boss. Boss This guy isn't that bad. Robotnik will fly back and forth high above, out of jumping range, dropping mines onto the three catapults on the floor of the battle arena. The mines flash red; after a few seconds they will explode, sending out four pieces of shrapnel (although the shrapnel doesn't fly far). To hit Robotnik jump onto the open side of a catapult that has a mine on the other side. The mine will fly into the air, landing on the other side from where it started, so switch sides while it's in the air. You can hit Robotnik in one of two ways. One is to time it so the flying mine hits Robotnik in midair. The other is to use the mines to catapult yourself up to hit him. Be aware that if you try the second approach, you need to try not to hit him right before he drops a mine, since sometimes you hit the mine on the way down. Also, each mine explodes after one use, although the explosion does not send out shrapnel like it does when the mine sits for too long. Try not to send every mine Robotnik's way - you could never do that. I recommend confining your efforts to two catapults. There is an endless stream of mines so by all means take your time and wait for good hitting opportunities. Also be alert and be careful not to touch mines. Eight hits does this boss in, too. Run right, blow open the last animal prison and get ready to head to the last zone! 5f. Scrap Brain Zone Act 1 Welcome to the last zone of the game. Congratulations on making it here. I hope very much that you have some lives in reserve or better yet, some continues, because you will find Robotnik is not cutting you any slack here. He is quite ticked off that you have made it this far and you will find he is making every effort here to get you burned, electrocuted, crushed or ground into tiny pieces. The first act is the hardest, in my opinion, so take heart from that. And on the bright side, the music and scenery just plain rock. Begin by going right to two red and white bridges that constantly open and close. The best thing to do is just jump over them one at a time and completely forget about the rings; falling down will kill you. After this first obstacle you come to two broken pipes in the floor that periodically shoot jets of fire up. Jump over them or run by when they go down, but keep aware of these - they are common in this zone and hard to see until they flare up right underneath you. In between them is a robot caterpillar, back from Marble Zone. To the right is a rotating metal wheel with a hub for you to get in. When you enter the wheel, the direction it is rotating determines which way you get shot out. If it's going clockwise you go right, counterclockwise you go down. The button in front of it switches the direction it is rotating. The route down is darned near impossible to survive, so press the button once before getting in the wheel. After this comes a few blocks in the air that constantly flip over. You can only stand on them when they are still and not flipping, which they do constantly in a pattern. They are of no use right now but remember how they work for later. Go right into the hallway. A door closes behind you. You come to a giant metal machine that constantly moves in and out of the right wall and blocks your path. Here's how to deal with these things: As the machine moves right (back into the wall) hold to the left. When it moves down, slip into the space between it and the walkway to the left. Get to the left of it - it can't crush you there - and when it goes up and back right, slip below it and go down. It CAN crush you against the walkway if you don't hold to the left (remember, the machine is moving right as you're trying to go left at first). *NOTE: I read on GameFAQs that one of these machines (maybe one somewhere else) allows you to uncover a shortcut and/or a 1-UP (I haven't read the tip in a while) if you duck as it goes into the wall, and go into the wall with it. I tried this on several machines but usually ended up getting crushed. I also got permanently trapped one time. There are two more machines after the first one. At the third one, when you're standing in the safe alcove to the left, wait until there are no caterpillars on the floor below before dropping onto it. Go right through the narrow hallway. On the ceiling are two devices that shoot out bursts of electricity to either side periodically; etch them in your brain since you'll see many more of them. The three caterpillars on the floor are a real pain, since you have to wait for them to turn around before you can beat them. You can either wait for them to do so, which requires patience, or be a bit more daring and likely take a hit as you try to get by them. I often get hit here no matter what I do, so don't worry too much. Anyway at the right side of this corridor go through a door and you must climb up a shaft using some appearing and disappearing blocks. It's rather self- explanatory. At the top get the Shield to the left and go right. There are two electricity shooting devices on the floor and between them is a lamppost. Carefully dodge the electricity bursts and go right. Be careful of two broken pipes in the floor. To the right is a conveyor belt with some of the little yellow ledges you saw earlier riding along it. The ledges can only be stood on when on the top part of the belt. When they are flipping over, they are like empty air. Below here is an area with several electric devices. To get back on the conveyor belt if you fall you must press the switch to extend a bridge, then jump onto a ledge timing your jump just right before the bridge recedes. To make matters worse, once at the top right corner of the conveyor belt you must make a leap of faith to the right where the rings are. Hopefully you'll land on a set of three appearing and disappearing blocks. If you do jump right to two more sets that appear in succession (rings are positioned right above where they appear) and walk to the ledge on the right. This is a tough area to get by, but luckily if you fall you don't die - there are just electric devices below. To the right on the ledge is a bridge like those you saw at the beginning that opens and closes. Your first impulse may be to steer clear of it, but no - drop through it. Below is not death, but two Super Rings and two springs that will bounce you up to more rings! Grab them and go right down a tunnel. You come to an opening and closing bridge that opens and closes rapidly, with a ceiling above it. It is possible to make it across this bridge but the top path is no bed of roses, so just drop through. The bottom path, though, is heck. You land near (or on) a flaming pipe in the floor. Go right SLOWLY, spotting each flame pipe in the floor and walking over it when it is not active. Do not jump because there are electric devices on the ceiling. After about six pipes you come to an abyss spanned by two ledge conveyor belts. Falling will mean death. Jump onto a ledge on the first conveyor belt, then deftly to the second. Make sure you jump before you reach the top right corner of each belt, since that's when the ledge starts flipping over and will pitch you to your doom. From the second conveyor belt jump right to a white walkway that collapses. Dash across it to safe ground. Okay one last deep breath: almost done. Run right to find three Super Rings waiting to be grabbed. To the left, though is a weird, purple enemy who looks like a teddy bear and hops up and down, not moving. He looks kind of cute, but he'll drop a yellow energy orb that bounces down the walkway a while before exploding. Jump over his orbs and whack him. The key in this part is to go slowly and not do anything rash. Always assume there's a purple enemy waiting at the top of each walkway. After encountering two on their own, you come upon two together. Whack them, jump over one last flame pipe and run right to the goal. Breath a sigh of relief - that was hard! There is no way you can enter Special Stage even if you have 50 rings, and no bonus icons around the turnstile, but who cares, at least this act is over! Act 2 This act is not piece of cake, though. The main reason it's easier is that you're inside, so falling off the screen isn't a threat at all. You're getting really close to Dr. Robotnik's secret lab, so always think of that! The first threat you face is a flame pipe. Then comes a large open area with several magnetic wheels. When you jump onto one of these you start running around it. Press and hold down and right to rotate faster. Jump off whenever you want to and you'll fly in whatever direction you were last running. You can really have fun whipping yourself all sorts of directions, but don't fool around very much. Also don't go down to the floor because there are electric devices down there. About midway up you come upon a switch which makes a bridge extend to your right. You can take the path to the right or climb to the top of the area and take a different path. This walkthrough takes you on the first path, so jump onto the bridge and go right on the ledge. Beware of two caterpillars and a flame pipe, and go right until you come to a tube. Walk into it and it will send you to the other side of the tube. When you come out go left to three bridges of flipping blocks. Get the Super Ring and try to cross the bridges without falling through when the blocks flip over. They flip in a pattern in a row along the bridge, and you must jump when they do. These blocks can be a real pain, and below there are electric devices. Try to get across quickly if possible, but don't rush and fall in your haste. Once across avoid a flame pipe and enter a door. You encounter an old friend - a walking bomb from Star Light Zone - on the ceiling. Try to slip in between the shrapnel when he explodes, but don't run to get out of range. Once he's gone, look to the left: there's a conveyor belt moving right (against the way you want to go) with an enormous grinder wheel (that makes a great sound effect) in the middle, going up and down. You need to run under the grinder when it goes up, holding left since you're running against the conveyor belt. Left, past a pipe, to another tube. Go through it. On the next level go right, past a tube, to another conveyor belt with a grinder. This one is tougher since the belt is moving the way you want to go. Do not panic. Wait just off of the belt until the grinder goes up, then step on the belt and let it carry you underneath. Do not hurry because right after it is another grinder wheel over another conveyor belt. Jump in place when between the two wheels so you don't get pushed into the right wheel (that's a lot safer than trying to run against the conveyor belt) until the right wheel goes up, then go under it, too. Hopefully you won't get burned by the flame pipe on the ceiling. Now come two really tricky spots. You come to two bridges that open and close, with electric devices beneath each, in a row. You can't jump across the bridges because there's a low ceiling - you have to time a run across them. If possible run part of the way and jump the rest so the bridge doesn't open out beneath you. But to compound things there are two flame jets, one above each bridge, so you have to time your move both when the bridge is closed and when the flame jet is off. Even worse, if you fall the bridge will usually close over your head, trapping you down with nothing to protect you from the electric device. These are two really tricky spots, but try to run across them, timing it perfectly. By all means wait for a good opportunity. Take as long as you want. If you do fall if you're lucky you can jump back up immediately and will not get zapped (although that depends on whether the electric device just shot out a burst of electricity when you fall next to it). And it you do get hit, you can usually jump back up when the bridge opens again. Good luck. After these two bridges is a tube; enter it. Go right, avoiding the flame pipe on the ceiling. You come to some yellow flipping ledges over a gap. I HIGHLY recommend not going down there - just jump over it or cross after the blocks flip (jumping part of the way). If you go down there you find two Super Rings. But it's darned near impossible (not to mention ridiculously frustrating) to get out. Avoid that hole like the plague. To the right is a door; enter it (like most doors, it shuts behind you). Knock out the caterpillar when he turns around, and move right to a series of short conveyor belts. These conveyor belts seem very hard to get by, but don't worry too much. The first grinder you see, slip by it first, but then drop down. Don't bother trying to cross the belts with those grinders moving like that. You probably expect something bad below but no - just a swinging spiked ball and a red spring. Use the red spring to zoom up the hill to the right, timing it so you don't ram into the spiked ball (which briefly scrapes the floor). At the top of the wall go right to a turbo charged electric device (shooting electricity almost constantly) guarding a hallway. How on earth do you get by? Get a running start and roll beneath it. When rolling you'll be just low enough to avoid the deadly electricity. This is another nasty spot. After it comes an obstacle that'll send a chill up your spine: an enormous block that moves up and down rapidly, trying to crush intruders. No matter; just press against it when it's on the floor and run underneath when it's on the ceiling. Then comes four walking bombs in a corridor with a flame pipe. Avoiding getting hit with all that shrapnel is going to be mighty hard, so the safest (albeit still quite dangerous) thing to do is to jump over the second two and get past them before they blow up. Hit the switch on the edge to make a bridge extend outward. But first drop down to find a Shield (ride the moving platform back up). Then jump onto the bridge. Don't be too hasty to jump to the ledge above - there's a flame pipe guarding it. Stay on the bridge until the flame disappears. Go right to find a swinging spiked ball that doesn't touch the floor, but guards an upper walkway. That is where you want to go - carefully jump up there to avoid the spiked ball. Walk right but jump over an energy orb if one comes your way. Beat the purple enemy at the top and get what is behind him - an Invincibility. Get it and get ready to run! Dash back down the walkway to the one below. Then run right. Go down a whole series of walkways. Don't stop for anything, not even to take out the many purple enemies you meet. Ignore all swinging spiked balls too. About the time your Invincibility runs out, be on the lookout for a path to the right that leads to a different type of walkway than the ones you were just on. Go right and go very slowly to avoid the swinging spiked balls on the ceiling which scrape the floor. Go slow and you'll be okay. Eventually you come to the goal. The final battle music comes on and you meet Robotnik, but he's protected by a force field of some sort. You can do nothing as he presses a button that destroys the floor you're standing on, causing you to fall into... Act 3 You are in a weird version of Labyrinth Zone. The walls and background are white instead of yellow, and the water is an ugly purple, polluted, no doubt, by Robotnik's industrial waste. This is the last act of the game, and it is no pushover - rings are very scarce here for some reason, but even worse, though most of it is underwater, air bubbles are far and few between - likely your worst fear when you were playing Labyrinth Zone. But no worry; that is all for those who take the normal route. There is a huge shortcut in this act! Begin by pressing the switch to your left, which causes the large ledge to the left to begin sliding down the ramp. It hooks up with a stationary ledge to the left, which leads to the 'normal' path. But run left on the ledge once it starts moving as fast as you can. Before it moves into place, drop between it and the stationary ledge. Now you are on the secret path. Beware that as the ledge moves into place don't jump for joy - there are spikes above where you are standing, concealed by hanging vines, and if you touch them you'll die since you begin with no rings. Head left down the ramp, and press the switch to open the barrier. Descend into the murky water, being wary of tridents (look familiar?) Get a gulp of air at the first air pocket you see. To the right is a small section patrolled by two rotating spiked balls, each moving at a different speed. This spot is basically a sure hit so do not worry. Get past it, hopefully with at least one ring. Now comes a spot with a gap, an odd-shaped ledge in the middle of it, and two gargoyle statues above guarding it. You must make it to the right without falling to take the shortcut. This is challenging: Jump onto the left part of the ledge, and after two fireballs pass above you, make a short jump over to the right side. Then walk right over the gap. Note that you can stand on the top (middle) of the ledge without ducking and not get hit by the fireballs. As long as you make a short jump (just tap the jump button) you'll be okay. To the right are two more gargoyle heads. To get by them jump to the step they are aimed at after they spit a fireball and quickly jump again before they spit another fireball at it. Now out of the water, go right and run under the rotating spiked ball after it goes by. You come to a large gap; jump over it. It is somewhat difficult because of the low ceiling so get a running start. Run to the right and drop into the first gap into the water. Don't get all the rings to the right in case you need them later. You come down with two enemies who jump out of the floor, an air pocket, and to the right a rotating spiked ball. Take out the enemies and get a gulp of air. (The barrier below and to your right is where you'd come out if you take the 'normal' path). When you're ready for the final stretch, go right and jump to the hub on the rotating spiked ball. Climb the staircase to the right. Above the surface are the only things between you and the final battle - two rotating spiked balls, one on the left and one on the right. Almost none of these steps are safe. You can make it by jumping like crazy up the steps, timing it right, but I usually just get hit and go the rest of the way while flashing. Just make sure that you get hit by the top spiked ball, since it will knock you right, into the wall, rather than the bottom one, which will knock you left, back into the water. Once you make it to the red spring, jump on it and fly through the ceiling. You won't get any end of act bonus points like usual but who cares? Get ready for the final fight!! 5g. Final Zone 'Final Zone'? A bit unimaginative but it's okay I guess. The music is so upbeat, it drives you crazy. It's a cool tune, though. You begin on the right side of the force field Robotnik was behind at the end of act 2. Run right to the lab where Robotnik is waiting for you. You will have no rings for this battle, so any hit will kill you. You'll immediately notice that there are four pistons - two on the floor, two on the ceiling, and a red button in the top right corner. Here's how this battle works. When it begins, two of the pistons will move a little, then extend fully to the floor or ceiling (the opposite of where they come from). Always one of the pistons on the left will move, and one of the pistons on the right. Robotnik will be standing inside of one of them. You must hit him from the side to damage him. After the pistons go down the red button at the top right will shoot off four electric sparks. After they materialize on the ceiling, they move down and each moves a little bit toward you as it falls. Then the pistons move again and it keeps going on. The battle is really a total joke when you consider everything up to this point. There's two ways to go about it. The safe, time-consuming way I recommend if you're fighting this battle the first time or are low on lives is to simply stay on the far right when the pistons move. This place is completely safe, btu you only stand a 50% chance of being able to hit Robotnik (if he's in the piston that's closest to you). The other, faster way is to stand in the middle of the room when the pistons move, and get in between them. You can tell which two are about to move by looking for the two that move a little bit before they extend fully. This allows you to hit Robotnik every time without having to rely on chance (unless the pistons that move are right next to each other, in which case you must commit to one side or the other). But the downside to this method is that unless you have good reaction time, you stand a chance of getting caught on or beneath one of the pistons and winding up a two-dimensional hedgehog. Either way dodging the electric sparks is very easy too: just find the two with the largest gap between them and stand in the middle of it, and they should miss you. If they are very evenly spaced out, you may have to jump straight up as they fall down since the gap between them narrows as they fall. Make sure you jump late enough so that when you land, they are gone and you don't land on them. Robotnik takes eight hits, as usual. After beating him the path to the right opens. Robotnik jumps in his ship he flies in all the other boss battles and flies away. You can watch him escape in frenzied terror or hit him from below and watch him blow up as he flies away. Whether you hit him or not doesn't matter; all that matters is you do not jump into the pit on the right. Congratulations, you have completed Sonic the Hedgehog! And no, I am not revealing anything about the ending! You'll have to find out for yourself! Enjoy!! 6. Conclusion I hope you enjoyed Sonic the Hedgehog. Yeah it's a little hard, but not as hard as many other games for the Sega Genesis. I also hope my FAQ/walkthrough accomplished its sole purpose: to help you complete this game as easily and quickly as possible. I am quite open to updating it, to add things that I missed in the game or possibly even to do a Special Stage guide. Be sure to send in your e-mails! I love getting e-mails about video games! If you want more Sonic the Hedgehog and get tired of this game, there are EIGHT Sonic titles available for the Genesis and PC alone, plus AT LEAST eight for Game Gear, six of which I already have done FAQ/walkthroughs for! The Sonic titles for the Genesis are all great games, and I urge you to try them all! But the game I suggest you try next if you're not sure which to try, especially if you want a game fairly similar to Sonic 1, is Sonic the Hedgehog 2. That was the best game made for the Genesis and the best Sonic game period. I am doing a FAQ/walkthrough for it next. Again, my e-mail address is j-d- firstname.lastname@example.org . Send in your questions, additions or comments! (But not your ads, junk mail, etc.) I am here and waiting for you! Again, all copyright notices stated at the beginning of the FAQ/walkthrough apply: this FAQ/walkthrough is the copyright of William Walker, completed June 19, 2003, and you are not to sell it or post it on your website without first obtaining my permission. I hope you enjoy, enjoy Sonic the Hedgehog 1!!
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