Sonic The Hedgehog (2006) - Last Episode FAQ http://www.sega.com/sonicnext (This FAQ is designed for the Xbox 360 version, but to my understanding, the content of the PS3 version is identical.) FAQ created by Kulock, November 20th, 2006 http://www.mooglecavern.com/ Currently posted to MoogleCavern.com and GameFAQs.com. Check version posted to MoogleCavern.com or GameFAQs.com for most accurate list of approved sites. If a site is not listed, they posted the FAQ without asking permission. Copyright 2006, 2007 David Eggleton Apparently FAQs for Sonic The Hedgehog (2006) are in high demand, last I checked GameFAQs only listing my Demo FAQ several days after release. I didn't want to get into writing a full-blown FAQ, especially when much of the game doesn't require your hand being held (although people could do with a few warnings of specific things, like "Don't go running out onto that sand without holding the R Trigger, trust me"), but I realized that I'd probably reached the Last Episode (the final story segment after all three main episodes, Sonic, Shadow and Silver are beaten) faster than some others, and that some aspects of that one ARE pretty vague... so what the heck, let's go for it. Keep in mind that this FAQ is designed around the gameplay of this segment, not about spoiling the plot and cinematics (and especially that nifty ending). You want spoilers, go look for them on YouTube or something. I can't guarantee that I won't drop information on one or two aspects because they do pertain to the gameplay, but they're lightweight, and I'm leaving more out than you'd think. [Revision History:] 11/20/06: FAQ started. First FAQ version completed (v0.90), submitted to GameFAQs. Silver Medal and Ranking Breakdowns still incomplete. 01/21/07: Been a long time. I've been meaning to get back to this for weeks, but I just couldn't force myself to sit down and do it. Anyway, I've since S-Ranked the Last Episode, so I can actually explain how to do that now. This is not a completed version, just work toward one. (v0.93) 02/06/07: Completed Silver Medal guide to the best of my ability, and researched the ones I already collected. Mostly finished the EotW segment rewrites, just needs a little polishing, and the Ranking points listed.(v0.95) 03/14/07: I've been putting this off way too long! Just for some closure, the rewrites are finished and the ranking information is added. (v1.00) [Table of Contents:] Search using the codes (#XX#) to find the section you want to jump to. #01# The Situation: End of the World #01a# Basic Description #01b# Guidelines for S-Ranking EotW #02# Yellow Chaos Emerald: Tails #02a# Playing as Tails #02b# Normal (Safe) Path Through #02c# S-Rank Path Through #03# Green Chaos Emerald: Omega #03a# Playing as Omega #03b# Normal (Safe) Path Through #03c# S-Rank Path Through #04# Light Blue Chaos Emerald: Knuckles #04a# Playing as Knuckles #04b# Normal (Safe) Path Through #04c# S-Rank Path Through #05# White Emerald: Silver #05a# Playing as Silver #05b# Normal (Safe) Path Through #05c# S-Rank Path Through #06# Purple Chaos Emerald: Rouge #06a# Playing as Rouge #06b# Normal (Safe) Path Through #06c# S-Rank Path Through #07# Blue Chaos Emerald: Amy #07a# Playing as Amy #07b# Normal (Safe) Path Through #07c# S-Rank Path Through #08# Red Chaos Emerald: Shadow #08a# Playing as Shadow #08b# Normal (Safe) Path Through #08c# S-Rank Path Through #09# Solaris: Part 1 #09a# Basic Description #09b# Playing as Super Sonic #09c# Playing as Super Shadow #09d# Playing as Super Silver #09e# Normal (Safe) Path Through #09f# S-Rank Path Through #10# Solaris: Part 2 #10a# Normal (Safe) Path Through #10b# S-Rank Path Through #11# Your Rewards #12# Silver Soleanna Medals [Incomplete] #13# Is there More? #14# Ranking Breakdowns [Incomplete] #15# Contact the Author #01# [The Situation: End of the World] #01a# Basic Description You've started the episode; you've watched the cinemas. You should already have a vague idea of what's happening, particularly if you've played Sonic Adventure 2, but basically you'll be playing through level segments of moderate length as each character involved in turn. Each is a remixed version of a level you've previously been to, but maybe not as that character before. Your goal is to find a Chaos Emerald that'll be floating around, you'll know you're getting close because you'll hear its hum. There's some pretty beefy enemies about, but you can just run past them most of the time, right? Enter the power of Solaris. You can see little puffs of colored smoke hanging around for areas he'll appear. Avoid these the best you can (but in some spots you have very little room to keep away), because the purple ones function as gravity wells, and if you're touched by one without already being hurt (and sometimes even that doesn't save you), it's instant death. These things can pull at you pretty strongly, but if you just keep running away, or use a glide move or equivalent, you can break away. Just be wary about falling or using melee attacks, because that's when they can best yank you toward them. On one bright side, they will take out any enemies that are near them. Considering you'll probably be pulling away as hard as you can, that's one less thing to worry about. And the red ones? They like chucking things at you. Sometimes it's innocuous like a wooden or steel box that doesn't really bother the character, but sometimes it's an exploding box, to give one example. The first time I got to the Rouge segment I'd climbed to the top of a rock formation, paused to get a look around, and got taken out with one. So these generally won't be a concern if you keep moving, but they will randomly toss stuff in your direction, so keep that in mind. Progressively things will get worse and worse, with more gravity wells and a colored haze flooding over everything. The solution? Eagle statues! Just touching one will reset things and delay the return of the purple and red death. But it will wear out fairly quickly, and you'll sometimes have to go long periods of time between them. And as for finding the emeralds, some of these segments are a bit maze-like, and you've not been granted anything akin to emerald shard radar in this game. Some of these segments will be pretty linear and obvious, but don't feel embarrassed or frustrated if you can't figure out where the heck it is in Knuckles' or Rouge's areas, because trust me, those only seem obvious once you've found them. Oh, and the Emerald colors don't always look the way I described them; this is partially because of the ambient lighting, including the purple haze that falls over and washes out everything. I went by the order listed in the Audio Room, which seems to match a couple that I could visibly check. I could be wrong (for example, I was pretty sure Omega's looked purple), but I don't want to receive a lot of e-mails on the subject if I am, especially since it could get into a messy debate simply because they're so hard to properly see. #01b# Guidelines for S-Ranking EotW Going for that Knights of Kronos Achievement, huh? This will be more annoying than you'd think, but not impossible. Again, just reeeally annoying, and here's why: dying anywhere past Omega's segment really shoots your chances in the foot, and you can't restart from the beginning using the pause menu, you have to exit out to the Act Select, then go back in, and reexperience all that wonderful loading. And it's... sometimes unfairly easy to die, since not only do you have those pockets of instant death (most of the time), but other charming ones chucking objects your way, including exploding boxes. (Which never hurt you once until this very point of the game. Yay.) But it's doable if you know the tricks. So make sure you can get through the segments without dying first (at least most of the time), then make a go of it. You'll get it eventually. #02# [Yellow Chaos Emerald: Tails] #02a# Playing as Tails Tails can be frustrating to play if you're walking him around, trying to throw Dummy Ring Bombs (often in first person). And slow. So don't. I'm not joking. Tails flies much faster than he can walk. And considering your choices are standing still and awkwardly throwing ring bombs, no attack while jumping (poor planning on the developer's part), and raining down constant ring death while flying, which do you think I recommend? Just make sure you've gotten some practice in with Tails enough to know how to "pad out" his flight with short presses to get the most distance, rather than just holding the button down and maxing it out in a hurry. #02b# Normal (Safe) Path Through Start moving forward, ignoring the enemies, until you get to a sizable gap. Midway across is a Flight Ring, so just fly into that for a boost, and then activate Tails' flight again to reach the other side. You'll see a small Eagle statue (and a Silver Medal if you want it). If you touch it, it removes the gravity wells for a short while, but they'll slowly leak in again, so get moving. Turn to the left, watch out for three worm creatures popping up, and that 20 Ring Item Box off to the left is close enough and relatively hassle-free. Fly upward as best you can, and continue in the same direction, you'll find a downed building, set up in a similar way to Silver's Crisis City, including the precarious pipe. You'll see enemies spawn on it, knocking it down and actually aiding you, but what you'll want to do is veer around the now-spawning gravity wells, and try to aim for the left raised piece where the pipe was propped. 1up! You'll appreciate it. Heck, Tails already does. Continue down and over the gap, flying liberally since Tails moves faster that way. You'll see an eagle statue just after the gap between the two walkways, tag it, and from here you have a choice: (1) Easy Finish: See that building off to the right, that corner closest to you? Get to the edge of the one you're currently on and fly for it. The Chaos Emerald is right there. Grab the monitors nearby for another 1up and some rings if you're feeling brave. (2) Stock Yet Another Chance: If this is your first time through, or even if it's not, there's two easy 1ups you'll be missing out on. I'll continue this section describing how to get them, then over to the Emerald. Keep continuing down the building until you see a chunk of floating roadway with a few cars on it. Get on the right edge of it (wary of gravity wells), and Dummy Ring Snipe (hold the Attack Button until you go into first person view) the window out of the building across the street. Jump in, and tag the Eagle statue for more forestalled death. Fly over the gap, and a 1up will be right there, waiting for you. Worth the side trip if you've not used to this level. Now jump out and fly slightly to the right to find that building I told you about. Go left if the gravity wells aren't in your way, and either smack down that piece of wall with a Dummy Ring Bomb or just fly around it. Two Ring Item Boxes and another 1up! The Chaos Emerald is in plain view; snag it. #02c# S-Rank Path Through You're going to do exactly the above, but with two small differences: You're obviously not going to veer out of the way for that extra 1up, and you're going to be constantly dropping ringy death on all those below you as you fly like a madman. When flying, Tails can drop tons of ring bombs effortlessly, and rings hurt enemies and break boxes, both of which net you nice points. You don't have to get everything that moves, just try to make sure to drop them over big clumps of enemies. Don't forget to chuck a few in the general direction of the Iblis Beasts lower down on the building than you're going to go (physics will make them drop and hopefully snag a few), and try to drop a bomb against the side of the building so you tag a few of the Beasts clinging on there. And absolutely get the two purple Golems. (You can even just Snipe them from standing if you find that easier.) Leaving the area with anything around 4,500 - 6,000 points is doing well. #03# [Green Chaos Emerald: Omega] #03a# Playing as Omega Omega's kind of quirky, but kind of fun. He "jumps" for longer than the other characters, and gets quite a bit of distance out of it. You can extend this even further by peppering his hovering move, instead of just holding it down. Each time you pepper it, he gets a very slight upward boost. You're not going to fly with it or anything, but with a little practice you can skip many of the platforms here. Just make sure you have momentum going into the gliding, because he doesn't pick up much of any in the air. (A warning: Apparently the PAL versions of the game may not include the same "peppering" effect, or so I've read.) He's got a couple of different moves relating to his blaster. Tapping Attack on the ground results in the Omega Shot: a weak pepper that only reaches a very close range. This is OK for if you're trying to get an enemy right in front of you or are worried about jumping, but don't specifically run up to an enemy to use it if you can help it. Tapping Attack while jumping gives you the Omega Launcher: a sizable energy shot that homes in on something nearby, if it can. The good thing about this move is that it repeatedly hits, which can chew through the lifebar of a stronger enemy more quickly. Holding Attack while either on the ground, jumping, or gliding, will cause Omega to silently target anything currently on-screen and in-reach (make sure the camera "sees" what you want to target, it doesn't have to stay on-screen for the actual shot, though), and releasing the button shoots multiple smaller shots out to home in on the enemies. It only counts as a single hit, but it's great for the orange Bats, since you can target the lot of them and fire off a single shot to clean house. Similar idea for any of the orange Iblis Beasts. (The ones that breathe fire.) The purple bats and worms take multiple hits, however, and you may find that while you're dallying targeting and firing at them, Solaris is going to toss an exploding box your way. Finally, if you send Omega running into a direction long enough, his booster kicks in and he starts running even faster. Unfortunately, you won't see this that much in the level. #03b# Normal (Safe) Path Through You're pointed in the right direction, jump your way over to the second platform, then face left, and you'll see a third with a Triple Spring. Jump and Glide over to it, and bounce up. There'll be some nasties around here and the path is slightly confusing, but just weave around them (or take them out with an Omega Launcher, tapping the Attack button while jumping) and head straight, watching out for the gravity wells popping up, and another Triple Spring will bounce you up to a familiar area. (And that 1up is a bit of a tease, if you really want it, open the way to the next statue first, tag it, then double back for that.) You've got to trash most of the enemies in this area to open the door on the left, but the gravity wells will actually help you out. Just make sure you steer clear of them, and pick off the remainder with your Lock-On Shot (jump and hold the Attack button, spin around a bit as if you had a reticule, then release) or whatever you find works best for you. Once they're gone the door will open. There's an Eagle statue here. Tag it, because things are probably getting pretty rough for you by now. Jump and glide over the gap, making sure to tag that 20 Ring Item Box (why not, it's right along the way), and you'll reach another wide-open area set over lava. There's an Eagle statue in sight, glide over to that if you must, but at this point you can just fight the wells. (Besides, you might find yourself getting hit with a projectile if you go for it.) Glide toward the back left of the area, to a Triple Spring and some worms. Go to the right side of that platform, and there'll be a small platform going up and down the lavafall (the vertical wall of it). Jump onto it and ride it up, and the Chaos Emerald will be waiting for you on the platform you reach. #03c# S-Rank Path Through You'll be primarily using Omega's Lock-On Shot to boost your score. Omega can target a lot of enemies with it in a hurry. The problem is that Omega can be pulled at by Solaris when using the Lock-On Shot or Omega Launcher, and Omega just has a tough time with Solaris while gliding or falling anyway. Right at the beginning, target and shoot the orange bats with the Lock-On Shot. Glide over to the spring, bounce up, and go around the worms. (It's tempting to shoot them, but not worth your time, since you miss an easier opportunity for it.) Spring up, and quickly use the Lock-On Shot to target and blast a bunch of orange bats and Iblis beasts, the type that get taken out in a single shot. Be wary, because pretty soon Solaris gravity wells will appear and pull at you in various annoying ways. Usually there's just a single Iblis beast left, then a golem: Lock-On Shot them from the ground, then head in the door and tag the statue. Don't miss the Item Box with rings in it, and now you have a choice: there are purple bats here you can Lock-On Shot, which will net you a fair bit of points, but they take three shots, so you'll lose time, and Solaris will take this opportunity to make his presence known. You might just skip them and beeline for the platform on the left. If you want to stay away from the worms to try to avoid being hit, you can jump off the platform and pepper Omega's glide to wait roughly in place until the platform hugging the wall slides down to you. Follow it up, and obviously stay clear of the flame jet by the Emerald. #04# [Light Blue Chaos Emerald: Knuckles] #04a# Playing as Knuckles Ah, Knuckles. So awkwardly implemented. Ironically, he's the one you'll want to fight with the least. Seriously, why make his Ground Shaker (pressing Attack while jumping, that annoying, hard-to-control move that you've been hurt or died using more than you probably care to admit) just STUN things? At any rate, all you'll be pretty much doing here is gliding. If things go awry, don't forget that he can cling onto and climb most solid things (but not all of them, annoying). #04b# Normal (Safe) Path Through This one's a headache if you don't know where to look. I found it my first time by accident, then spent life after life trying to find it the next time. To give you the shorthand version, you start in what was the Goal Ring area of Tropical Jungle, and you're aiming towards the very back left of the area from here. Run forward, grabbing the rings, and jump to the slight left of the raised pillar you see in front of your starting position. (Slight left because an Iblis beast will pop out of it.) Now glide over to that boxy arch on the left with a stack of crates on it. Then jump off again and start gliding in that diagonal-left direction. Not too far away you'll see an Eagle statue on a raised pillar. Veer toward it and land on it to stall for time. Now keep looking in that same direction, see that L-shaped piece of pier attached to some ground, which will spawn purple giants on it once you're near enough? That's where it is. Glide over, avoid the enemies, and you've got the Chaos Emerald. Trust me, this sounds like the easiest one, and it is once you know where to look, it's the knowing where to look part. #04c# S-Rank Path Through ...No, seriously, I really don't think you should waste time doing anything here you don't have to. There are no big point cache's that I know of, and there's plenty of empty space for the Solaris gravity wells to either pull you awkwardly (either into them or water), or throw something at you. So you're pretty much going to touch ground three or so times: Jump up onto the platform, jump and glide over to the eagle statue, then jump and glide over to the pier in the back-left where the Chaos Emerald is. S-Ranking is not dying here. #05# [White Chaos Emerald: Silver] #05a# Playing as Silver Unless someone else has been playing through the game for you, you're probably very familiar with Silver's mechanics by now. Remember to pad out his Levitation to make some of the lengthier jumps, and make sure you have PSI Energy for them, too. Sometimes it's easy to get carried away hopping through a level, then realize you're over a large pit and you've just run out of Energy. You won't be fighting most of the enemies here: it's just not worth it, and Silver can be pulled toward gravity wells while his throwing animation plays. The only exception is recommended for S-Ranking, which requires you use the Psycho Shock (jump, then hold the Attack button in the air while Silver shoots down and creates a shockwave, stunning nearby enemies). I don't think Silver can grab the things Solaris throws at him, but other than brief protection, it wouldn't matter much if you could. #05b# Normal (Safe) Path Through Although Shadow's segment is potentially longer, and Rouge's more spacious, I'd call this one quite the marathon, especially with Silver's slow pace. Don't be ashamed, you'll die once or twice at least your first time here, even if you read this section through beforehand. Like Sonic and Shadow's time in the sands, if you try to walk on any of the patches of sand (save a bit that's cropped up on the curving stone pathway), Silver will face a quick death. And trust me, there's a lot of quick death around. Hop across onto the second pillar, then the third, and use your PSI powers to raise it up. (Tap or hold the R Trigger when over the symbol.) There's a Silver Medal to the right on a piece of archway if that's in your interest, otherwise head toward the eagle statue on the left and forestall the purple death. Jump and glide over to the next platform, but be CAREFUL of this and other jumps: It's very easy to lose track of your PSI Energy and run out mid-jump if you don't give Silver time to recharge beforehand. It'll refill quickly once you stop or walk, but it's just not going to refill if you're jumping, gliding, or holding something as ammo. (Or even just trying to grab something.) Veer left or right (your preference), around the boxes and hopping up the raised stone until it dead-ends, and you'll see the route continue with an Eagle statue across the way, and a spring below. And sandy instant death surrounding it. Fun. You're going to burn out your PSI Energy making this jump, but by now you've already had to learn how to pad out Silver's Levitation the most you can (brief bursts of gliding and using momentum to the fullest). Just remember that spring below if you don't think you're going to make it. If you're SURE you won't make it, save a little energy for a last-minute adjustment to hit it. Anyway, once you're across, tag the Eagle statue, and start up the ramp on the left, pretty much ignoring enemies as you can. Unfortunately, the gravity wells come back quickly this time, but they're in very specific spots you can memorize. Veer around them as you can (just hold in a direction away from them until you break free of their pull, or use Teleport Dashes), and keep making your way up, hopping over batches of enemies and pits, and watching for objects like spike balls being pulled in your direction. Make sure to tag the upcoming eagle statue on the left so your jump isn't impeded. You're reaching the end of this section, but don't let your guard down completely yet. Those platforms that pop out of the walls, by the red Golem? Jump on those. The camera will be terrible for this part, but there's only four, and it's sort of a "back-forth" jumping pattern. If you aren't going to make it up all the way, know that you CAN jump and stand on the ridges where the platforms come out of the wall. You can even continue jumping up on these if you so desire. But when you get to the top, be EXTREMELY careful to jump either onto the lip of the building, or glide over to the stairway, because there's a patch of instant kill sand placed between the two. Up the stairs... you're nearly there! Pick a side, hop up it, follow it until it dead-ends, then jump to the platform in the middle, where the Chaos Emerald awaits. #05c# S-Rank Path Through Another "do it quickly!" recommendation, but with two hints: when you cross that early, wide gap, you'll see five or so worms spawn below you. Get in the middle of them, quickly make a LOW jump, then use the Psycho Shock (hold Attack while jumping) before you land. You should stun all of them. Use your PSI to grab the lot, then stand in place so they bunch together, and throw one. It SHOULD take out the others, and net you a score bonus for taking out multiple enemies at once. This one's quick to do, which is why it's the only one I recommend here. Second hint? Silver's Teleport Dash (double-tap jump very quickly from the ground) does speed up Silver's ascent, and it works very well when dealing with upward curves (since it otherwise slows down during the "fall"). Don't burn out your energy so much that you can't make the jumps across the gaps, but you'll find this can shave a few seconds off your time if used well. #06# [Purple Chaos Emerald: Rouge] #06a# Playing as Rouge Rouge is a glider like Knuckles, and sometimes runs into the same problem of "sticking" to things when she climbs on them, but you'll have less problems with it here because you can simply climb to the top if you have problems, or just bomb the pillar you're climbing on. Even when going for the Silver Medal, you won't have to fight a single enemy, but if you need a reminder, she can lob bombs singly from the ground or while jumping by tapping the Attack button, you can place them on walls when climbing (in the case of the rock pillars, they'll immediately break), and should you feel the need, jumping and holding the Attack button for a second, then releasing will result in a shower of bombs, which you can aim to some degree. Holding the Attack button while on the ground will result in her going into first-person aiming to lob a bomb, akin to Tails. The only other thing to keep in mind is not to overestimate her gliding ability. She can make fairly lengthy distances, and won't "tire," so to speak, but these pillars and platforms can be deceptively far apart. Try to climb fairly high before you make jumps inbetween them. #06b# Normal (Safe) Path Through Welcome to vague city. The area you're in is based on Wave Ocean, but with almost all of the walkway removed. What this means is you'll probably have NO friggin' clue where to go, where the emerald might be, or even if you're doubling back on yourself while you search. So I'm going to take you on a pretty straight trip, but Solaris isn't going to be happy about this and will be chucking things your way, so try not to slow down. You're faced with one nice thing about this area: you've never been here with a climber before, and those giant rock spires are climbable. Rather than kill yourself trying to get from tiny wood pathway piece to tiny piece, mucking with enemies and a confusing layout, jump and glide over to the first spire you see on the left, climb to the top, and repeat, keeping toward the left. The colors will tint to purple, but you should still be able to see the shoreline off on the diagonal-left, eventually. It's a big patch of beach, with a lighthouse on the left. The Chaos Emerald is close to the shoreline, on the side closest to you, away from the side with the lighthouse. One thing to keep in mind that the rock spires are breakable, not just by you, but by Solaris too. There'll be a "stump" you can safely land on if you must, but you should just be ready to start gliding to the next spire if you find your footing suddenly gone. If you must, there are two eagle statues you can tag to push away Solaris for a bit (one to the far right, near the beginning, and one more toward the middle near the end, on a taller island), but you'll have to glide through more open air to reach them, which makes you a pretty prime target, so I wouldn't recommend it. #06c# S-Rank Path Through The same thing. Honestly. There's little point for detours in this level (even the single Silver Medal is close to the Chaos Emerald), so just make a straight shot for that back-left. If you DESPERATELY want some padding points, bomb the rock spires as you go, but it's almost not worth it, and it means you shoot yourself in the foot if you need to double-back for any reason. #07# [Blue Chaos Emerald: Amy] #07a# Playing as Amy Amy Rose is here! She's... very slow and can't attack while jumping. No, seriously, this is easily the most crippled appearance she's made in a long time, and she's made some rough ones. A pathetic moving speed, and her only attack requires her to be on the ground and completely still. You can't do it while jumping, and if you do it while run- er, walking, she stops dead. Entertaining, fast-paced gameplay, ladies and gentlemen. She also has two other moves. The first is a Double Jump, which is triggered by pressing the Jump button a second time while leaping. This can be helpful for scaling things vertically, but as you may have noticed when playing her previously, she loses a huge amount of forward momentum when performing it, so try to do it at the END of your jumps, not the beginning. But there's no gaps to worry about in this segment. The other I initially ignored, including in the original (0.90) version of this FAQ, but I've since discovered something fantastic about it. By holding the Attack button for about a second, Amy will go invisible. Enemies _and Solaris Gravity Wells_ will not see her. This is all well and good, but you can still be hurt (and killed by the wells), and the animations that play when she first goes invisible and when she reappears leaves her wide open to attack and being "pulled in" toward Solaris-y death. Useless move, right? Wrong, and here's why: you can prime more invisibility WHILE INVISIBLE. This is a major difference from how this sort of thing usually works in games (hence the punishing "revealed" animation), and frankly, I beat the game without knowing she could do it. This increases the ease of passing this segment DRAMATICALLY. It'll take a little practice for you to get the hang of the timing to max out your jaunt, but basically you'll walk about 2/3rds through an area (notice how the segment is set up kind of like rooms without ceilings), then start holding Attack. Soon Amy will stop, and re-prime her invisibility. Repeat as you feel necessary, just make sure never to appear if you can help it, because then enemies and Solaris Wells in the area will see you again, and sometimes they'll continue to see you even after going invisible again. Also, do be warned, searchlights seem to still see you, annoyingly. So basically you'll be taking it a bit slow through this area. But the only things you'll have to attack are a pile of rocks blocking a spring, and two Iblis Beasts guarding a gate near the end. And you don't even have to be visible to do that, nor will you lose the effect. #07b# Normal (Safe) Path Through Start forward, you're going to be climbing the ridges in front of you. There's a spring under those rocks if you want to take the time to clear them off, but Solaris is already throwing things at you, so my advice would be to use the Double Jump, then either Double Jump again or use the shorter ridge on the left to hop up to the Eagle statue. With Solaris stalled, start forward and keep to the right. Avoid searchlights if you can, don't stress if you can't. Hop up, and Solaris will probably be back by now. Past the tower on the right side is another Eagle statue, tag it if you want the assistance. Drop down, another search light and a pair of Golems to avoid, and a single spring to bounce you up to a dead end. See those two Iblis beasts? Trash them with your hammer, and the door on the right will open. Head on in. Worms and Solaris gravity wells, whee. Hug the left wall and keep running down the hallway as best you can, and the Chaos Emerald will be just at the end of the hallway. Again, being invisible will make your life so much easier here. #07c# S-Rank Path Through Really no different, except you're going to make darned sure that Invisibility is primed all the way through. Don't worry about the time so much, just make sure you're not in sight. Because once you are, the things that see you will most likely continue to "see" and attack you. #08# [Red Chaos Emerald: Shadow] #08a# Playing as Shadow All Hail Shadow! Sorry, it needed to be said. Like Silver, you've probably put in some serious playtime with this one already, so you shouldn't need much of a description. One thing that may surprise you is that I recommend you really don't focus on killing things so much here. You pretty much just want to rely on Shadow's Homing Attacks, don't waste time meleeing things, especially when you're over pitfalls. You have a unique advantage with this section: if you haven't already, go onto Live and download the Sonic The Hedgehog demo; it won't mess up your game's save file or anything. It's this very segment! No more, no less. Enemy layout is different, and there are no Solaris gravity wells to complicate things, but it's close enough. And Sonic, in the demo, plays more like Shadow does in the final game, including the way he can Light Dash almost any ring line. (Which further confuses why Sonic is so finicky about the rings he can Light Dash in the final game. Odd, huh?) #08b# Normal (Safe) Path Through I'll be blunt. After some of the struggles the previous segments were, getting here and seeing this put a smirk on my face. I wrote a fairly extensive FAQ on this very level section (as it was featured in the demo), so if you're going to send me some place to save the world, this'd be a good one to pick. Let's take you through here fast for now; you can always come back and explore later once you've gotten the hang of the level. You're just after the first wind grind in the stage. Jump and Homing Attack onto the suspended rope, and you'll launch up to where you can Homing Attack an Iblis bat, but the bridge has probably already collapsed. So just land on it, go left to where the suspended rope is, and jump and Homing Attack over onto it (use the nearby bat if you have to, but it might just throw you off). Bounce up (you can get the Item Box if you want, but there's no spring to take as a shortcut), and Homing Attack to the second rope and spring up. Homing Attack the line of purple bats until you're on solid ground, right by an Eagle statue. Be CAREFUL with this part, because they'll be shooting small wells at you (the exploding kind), and getting hit here means a fall into a pit and your score lost (not to mention your current life). Quick taps of the Jump button (to Homing Attack) while holding forward will most likely zip you past fast enough. Because this is a bad place to dally (and potentially be hit by the projectiles). Continue the normal path across the bridge, leaping over the boxes and avoiding the various things that want to make yummy Shadow Chow out of you. On the other side, hit the Dash Panel and run up the wall. Have Shadow run up to the top, where he'll find a cave. Be wary, because three big worms will appear out of the ground in various spots, and it's easy to plow into them if you aren't careful. Make your way out, tag the Eagle statue if you want, hit the Dash Ramp, and you'll launch over to the Spring which bounces you up to an Eagle statue, except it's the kind with a green globe attached on a pole. Hit that green globe with a jump, jump on the wind trail to grind, and if you want, jump and Homing Attack into that Trick Ring for a little flourish and extra pointage. Or just ride the wind out and run up the ramp it leads you to. Where the Goal Ring was in the demo, and the eagle was in Sonic's level, now rests the last Chaos Emerald. Congratulate yourself. #08c# S-Rank Path Through Be warned: it is very easy (and very frustrating) to blow it in the first 20-30 seconds of this segment, and have shot 10 minutes of work down the drain (loading included). Be cautious with how you proceed. Mostly the same, until you start running up the wall. Instead, head down the middle, following the rings. Worms will burst out of the wall, and the shockwaves will probably get you. This is OK (I mean, not great, but it's OK), whether they get you or not, at that point start hammering the Attack button, and you should Light Dash via a ring line across to the end. Tag the Eagle statue, and continue on. You'll hit a booster, and have to quickly Light Dash again over a pit. Then head down the bridge (again, ignore enemies), and start up the second wall. You know that big string of rings you could Light Dash as Sonic that curved up and off the wall? Oh yeah, it's still there. Hanging onto these will create a MAJOR bonus for you to finish with, and really help push for that S-Rank. So grab them, then hit the Spring and launch up. Yeah, the green globe statue is still there. Tag it for a path of wind, then ride it down, and jump off and into that suspended Trick Ring for another 1,000 points. Veer away from landing on the Chaos Emerald if you can help it, or just go ahead and land on it if you want to be done. But want to improve your chances even further? Remember where that 1up was in the level in the demo, and a Silver Medal in Sonic's version in the final game: on that small island with the tree right by the Goal Ring/Eagle? Turn around. Oh, my, there's a few Item Boxes over there now, and they're worth a fair amount of rings. There's two ways to do this: Either step carefully onto the rectangular outcropping closest to it (with the torch on it, I believe), then make the jump and try not to hit the Spring, or jump off your current platform, and use a Homing Attack when you _know_ that the Item Box on the right will be closer than the Spring, making sure to aim for it. Otherwise Shadow will tag the spring and just bounce right back, seconds wasted (and maybe even causing you to tag the Emerald or die). Once you've gotten the first Item Box, it should be easy for you to maneuver around and grab the other two. Then just take the spring back, and enjoy the meaty Ring Bonus. Suddenly things just got a little more doable, haven't they? #09# [Solaris: Part 1] #09a# Basic Description The Real Super Power of Teamwork has kicked in, and now all three hedgehogs are chaos-infused. This really works out to your benefit, in that the boss sequences you face are virtually impossible to die in if you're paying attention and give yourself enough leeway. All you need to do is press Y when you're low on rings, and you'll switch to the next character, who's been collecting rings while you're away. (Thus if you drain a character, then switch back around to them quickly, they won't have as many as if you left them alone for a little while.) If you forget, the characters will even warn you around the 10 ring mark. (You really should change once you hit this, since that's about how much one of Solaris' attacks can knock out of you.) You're circling Solaris from a fixed distance, able to circle him and fly up and down to some degree. All three can dash in a direction by pressing the Jump Button, and each character has a new, specific method of attacking. None of them are explained to you, so here we are. #09b# Playing as Super Sonic Pressing the Attack Button causes Sonic to dive in for a ram attack. He'll do it rather slowly by default, but you can charge up his gauge by holding the R Trigger, and once it shines and makes a noise, he'll do the attack swiftly upon tapping the Attack button. This won't be very effective against Solaris at first, but it'll take fairly nice chunks of health off of him by the end. #09c# Playing as Super Shadow Chaos Spears, and lots of them. You can fire off individual spears, DBZ-style, by hammering down the Attack Button, but your best course of action is to charge your gauge by holding the R Trigger. Once it's full, tapping the Attack button releases a burst of Chaos Spears. Do note that if you hold down the Attack Button, Shadow acts like he's going to focus/charge the attack further somehow, but I've not noticed any difference or benefit, and this makes you more of a sitting duck for Solaris. It's really to your benefit to just keep dashing around him, holding the R Trigger and shooting off a burst of shots as you charge it. It's great for chipping him down, but first you'll want to use... #09d# Playing as Super Silver His move looks different, but it's actually the same PSI grab you've been using with him to pick up anything. Just hold the R Trigger, and Silver can grab the objects Solaris chucks at him. (This isn't obvious at first because your range for grabbing is pretty limited. You often have luck gaining ammo by staying still.) Don't go overboard grabbing stuff, because if your PSI doesn't pick up one of the objects before it hits one of the others you already have, they'll explode and hurt you. Also, chucking your ammo can sometimes result in it just hitting something else he threw, so just strafe a bit to the side before throwing and time it as best you can. Remember not to let go of the trigger unless you want to drop your ammo. #09e# Normal (Safe) Path Through To start with, you'll need to target Solaris' core, which you'll be doing automatically, but your attacks will be impeded by Solaris' arms. You need to chip away at those, and early on, no method seems effective until you do some work with Silver. Use his PSI grab to collect some ammo, slide to the side a little so your shot is clearer, and chuck away, and with a little luck, he'll block it, but his life bar will whittle down. Repeat (switch away to regain rings if necessary), and eventually you'll notice an outer shell breaking away on one of his arms. "A super-dimensional being? This might even be a fair fight!" Shadow's the one to take over now. Use the R Trigger to charge up his bar, and when it's ready, tap the Attack button to release a volley of shots that'll chew at his lifebar. Just keep dashing to one direction using the Jump button while you're doing this, and eventually his other arm's shell will break away. Now he can't protect himself from Sonic's ram, so switch to him and charge up his gauge with the R Trigger, then hit the Attack Button when it's ready and Sonic will smack away a healthy chunk of Solaris' health away. Repeat. "Is it over?" "No, it's not over yet." "I guess it's not gonna be that easy." #09f# S-Rank Path Through This won't be tricky. Switch to Silver as fast as you can, grab stuff and throw away. (As tempting as it is to grab large groupings of projectiles, you'll find them less likely to make that way.) Once an arm guard starts to visibly shatter, switch to Shadow. Just start dashing around Solaris in a circle motion (just pick a direction, left or right, and just keep dashing with the Jump Button), while holding the trigger to charge up your gauge. Unleash a volley as soon as it's full, and repeat. Once the other arm guard crumbles, switch to Sonic (yes, they arranged this for the maximum amount of button presses, it seems), then start charging up his gauge while doing the same circle-strafing dashes. Once it's ready, release the attack, and repeat until the segment ends. The only thing tricky about this is if you lose track of your rings because you were hit by something. Always switch away from your current character when at or below 10 rings. Don't worry, you won't be too strapped for time. #10# [Solaris: Part 2] #10a# Normal (Safe) Path Through Solaris is out-of-control! This means he actually has a vaguely effective attack or two now (like a group of beams that surround you, and more projectiles he'll be throwing at you), but as long as you don't lose track of your rings and try to push things too far, a win will come easily. There's some chatter going on while they add a little more plot to the mix and tell you about the core, but you've already been attacking that anyway. Switch over to Shadow, and start laying in with Chaos Spears. Soon you'll notice that Shadow's shots will be blocked by a sort of shield bubble and won't be taking off life, so swap to Silver and start grabbing and chucking those spines. Be careful, though, you're going to get hit a bit, particularly by Solaris' laser, so the second your rings hits 10 or any lower, swap to Sonic. He might be ineffective, but by now Shadow may be able to chip away at Solaris' life. This could be randomized, so you might just need to keep mixing it up until you notice you're doing some damage. (Often there's audio hints shouted out to tell you who'll best be effective at the moment.) Just keep it up, and soon Solaris will... well, he doesn't die. You'll just have to see what happens. #10b# S-Rank Path Through A helpful post to the GameFAQs forums pointed this out (relayed from someone else): Solaris only block for two or three attacks before going back to taking damage, and he'll always take the damage if he's in the middle of attacking. So to really get this through fast, after you do an attack as Sonic to start things off with (he does a good chunk of damage with his ram move), switch to Shadow and pretty much sit on him. Keep circle-strafing and laying out fully-charged Chaos Spear volleys. Even if Solaris blocks it sometimes, he won't always block it, and this IS the fastest way. But you will probably need to switch away from Shadow eventually (remember, at 10 rings or below is the rule for this, because that's pretty much what he can hit you for in one attack), so chip away a bit with Silver, then pretty much switch back to Shadow and he should have his rings back to full before you know it. Also, if anyone calls out a character's name (or a character speaks up talking about how ready they are to take Solaris on), that character's got a 2-3 attack window without blocking at the moment, so don't forget that if you happen to be playing that particular character at the time. (Sonic especially.) One last thing: you will get a ring bonus, so try to switch to a different character before dealing the final blow. It's silly, but it helps. #11# [Your Rewards] A very pretty and kind of clever ending that is complicated by some of the loose ends caused when trying to integrate it with other games, particularly Sonic Rush and Sonic Rivals. Besides that and the requisite Gold Medals, you'll unlock all of the cinemas for the theater (try switching your 360's console language to Japanese and booting the game back up, you can rewatch them with the Japanese voices and see if you like them better that way, now that you know what they'll be saying), in addition to the extra music from Last Episode, including the theme for Elise. (The one that played first during the credits.) And if you got this far, it means you braved some really glitchy and hellish levels, but probably played some you found fun along the way. Congrats. #12# [Silver Soleanna Medals] Like the other stages, there are 10 Silver Soleanna Medals scattered through the segments in End of the World, the nabbing of which will get you a Gold Medal, and nudge you toward the Silver Medalist achievement in the 360 version. Unlike the other stages, there will be constant attempts made on your life while you go for these, and you've still got to beat the stage with the ones you do nab. Thankfully, most of these aren't too much of a pain once you've gotten a handle on the level. Remember the golden rule of Silver Medal hunting: turn off the music! This can be done either by lowering the volume in the Options menu, or if you're playing the 360 version, just by opening up your Guide with the Guide Button (the central X), starting any music, then pausing it. (Not stopping it.) This level has particularly distracting music (and irritating if you're spending a long time there, since it's meant to keep you going at a frantic pace), and it's easier to hear the sometimes-subtle chime of a nearby Silver Medal that way. Special thanks to Angnix, who's Silver Medal FAQ I needed to refer to for the two Silver Medals I had already collected before starting to write down locations. This section is not lifted or a rewrite, however; most of them I did locate myself and have tried to give detailed descriptions to reach. (01) Tails: Right when the path turns to the left by the first eagle statue, you can see it hovering in the air. Just fly out then loop back to solid ground. (02) Omega: When you first spring up into that open "battle" area you often see in flame core, it will be behind the pillar on your right. Be warned, the gravity wells will probably be going nuts by the time you reach it, so beat the area's remaining enemies first, tag the eagle statue inside the cave, then go back out and circle around the pillar to your forward-right. (03) Knuckles: Start the level with the normal diagonal-left path toward the first eagle statue. But from there, climb the nearby taller pillar, then turn and tag the second eagle statue on top of the central pillar. (Hard to miss.) From there, instead of heading left, look towards the "back" of the level (from where you started), and glide forward and to the right a little, over the wooden pathway. You'll see a raised platform with a stone plate embedded into it. Smash that with the Ground Shaker and collect the Medal below. (04) Silver: Raise the first sunken pillar with a telekinesis mark on it, and off on the right side you'll see a piece of archway with a silver medal on it. Make sure your PSI power has recharged, then glide out to it. (05) Silver: If I recall correctly, it's floating over one of the pits on the spiral path upward on the right side. Not hard to find, so it's a little trickier to get. Especially if Solaris is pulling at you. (06) Rouge: Beside the final patch of sand with the Chaos Emerald, on that side, are two pillars of rock you can climb up. About 2/3rds of the way up you can see a Silver Medal floating between them. Make SURE these pillars aren't destroyed. There's an eagle statue on a nearby island if you need to get Solaris off your back for a little while. (07) Amy: At the start, tilt the camera slightly to the right. See it up on that raised platform? This one's not hard. (08) Amy: (The other one, again, might be slightly off.) It should be in the second wide-open area with a searchlight. Smash the ice on the ground with your hammer and you should find it. Remember that searchlights can still "see" Amy. (09) Shadow: Ignore the breakable bridge, head on the more grounded path to the right, past the worms, and wait for the eagle. This is annoying, because Solaris will be chucking stuff your way and probably hit you. Follow the path like "normal" up to the second eagle ready to carry you, but notice the white pillar suspended in the air on the far right? It had an item box on it originally, now it has a Silver Medal on it. Just jump down to a lower pillar, tag the Iblis Bat to ensure a safe landing, jump over to the spring, and you should land right on it. Whee! Now here's an issue: to get the last one, you're either going to have to do another playthrough, or die. It's possible you could get there with some serious backtracking (which this area does allow, for example by running on the second wall in the opposite direction than you normally do), but that's a lot of work, and you will probably die in the process of trying anyway. Your call, really. (10) Shadow: No love for the broken bridge again; this time, take the same route up to the second ridable eagle, except this time grab on and ride to the next segment. Take the spring, and tag that Rainbow Ring if you can. (If you miss it, use one of the worms to bounce yourself back up and try again.) Land on the next section, tag the eagle statue to delay Solaris oh so briefly, then the green-globed statue and grind the wind path that appears. You'll hit a spring, then be up at the point where you fought a large mech in the original level. Now you'll probably just be staring at a gravity well to your left. Give it a wide berth, and tag the green-globed statue not once, but TWICE. (If you mess up and start to grind after only one tag, jump and Homing Attack in the opposite direction.) Doing this in the original level led to several Item Boxes, doing it here gives you a wind path to the final Silver Medal. Once you land back on the platform again, just tag the green-globed statue once more, and ride it to the end. #13# [Is There More?] You can always go to Trial Select in the main menu, and replay either End of the World or the Solaris boss fight for S-Ranks, in addition to getting all of the Silver Medals in End of the World. There is no Hard Mode version, unfortunately. Sadly, even though the Achievement talks about unlocking a "Complete" ending by S-Ranking, I saw nothing added after S-Ranking the levels, receiving the Achievement, and rebeating the game. However, I didn't actually S-Rank concurrently in the actual Episode, so there's still that left to try. But I really doubt there'll be anything more to see, as even the Achievement text just talks about S-Ranking the episode now; I have a feeling it was just written in a misleading manner by accident. #14# [Ranking Breakdown:] These are the scores required for the various letter grades available, and the ring reward for each letter grade. Obviously, this will not look so hot if you aren't viewing this FAQ in a fixed-width font. End of the World: Rank Score Req Ring Reward ---- --------- ----------- S 50,000 3,000 A 45,000 2,000 B 25,000 1,000 C 5,000 800 D 0 500 Solaris: Rank Score Req Ring Reward ---- --------- ----------- S 30,000 3,000 A 27,500 2,000 B 25,000 1,000 C 5,000 800 D 0 500 I'm unsure whether the "zero score" ranking glitch that occured in the demo can still be recreated in the final game, but I don't believe it can be. Pity. #15# [Contact the Author:] If you wish to contact me, first, make sure it's not about any of the following: -Spam (like spammers care) -Sonic Hatred (like the haters care) -Author Hatred (because I won't care) -Posting your Times/Scores (because this is a FAQ, not a Leaderboard) If you still have an applicable e-mail, you can contact me at sonicthehedgehogfaqs/at/mooglecavern/dawt/com . That's annoying, I know, but you can thank spammers for that. It should be obvious what you need to replace there.