Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 - Progress Report I

Yeah! We're back with more Sonic. Now we come to our first big new feature as soon as we select '1 PLAYER'.

That's right, Sonic 3 comes with saved games! It automatically saves your progress so you can leave and pick up where you left off. Of course, I'm playing the Steam version which lets me save wherever I want and which means I can abuse it to make things easier to myself during hard levels is handy. Another feature here is you can select your character! You can play as Sonic with Tails, or just Sonic, just Tails and (since this is Sonic 3 & Knuckles) Knuckles! But for this run I will stick with just Sonic, but I will show off the rest when the time comes.

So we start where we left off in Sonic 2, with Sonic standing triumphantly on the Tornado while Tails pilots it. However, this does assume that Sonic collected all the chaos emeralds in the last game because suddenly...

He jumps off the plane and starts flying over the sea. However, his journey is cut short when he bumps into Knuckles and all his Chaos Emeralds fly out. Knuckles collects them all and then has the balls to laugh at us...

And then the level starts.

So, welcome to Angel Island. Or 'Green Hill Zone Jr Jr'. It's main purpose again is to settle you into Sonic 3. And there are secrets ahoy! I must of found three or four "giant rings", which takes you to the special stages in this game. I failed all of them. I'll talk about the special stages in their own post again.

So, there isn't much to report until a couple minutes in when OH NO!

Angel Island gets bombed to hell. Well, things just got serious now! But who could be behind this heinous attack? I mean, we just left Robotnik to blow up in space just a few minutes prior, so sure it can't be him! (it is him SPOILERS. Wait, should SPOILERS be first?).

Just before the end of the level I found the first of the elemental shields; the fire shield! It will fully negate fire damage (meaning we can walk on lava if we so choose) and if we press jump while we are in the air, Sonic will do a horizontal attack. Fire Shield is probably the least useful of the three, but it is definitely useful for our first mini-boss!

It's the machine that bombed Angel Island! Aw man and I just got an extra life, but surely Sonic cannot compete with something so destructive? Our journey is over before it could even...

Nah, it's a piece of crap. It's attacks includes a flamethrower which the shield completely ignores. I can't remember if it has any others because it took thirteen seconds to beat.

Unlike in Sonic 2, you do not get an extra continue for getting over 10000 bonus points in a level. Also unlike Sonic 2, the screen doesn't change for Act II, you start from where you are in Act I which, at time time I'm guessing was pretty neat!

Act II is more of the same, except we find our next shield: the water shield. However, it will make more sense to talk about that in the next level. You'll see why.

Near the end of the level we start getting chased by a giant ship dropping bombs at us:

Incredibly rude. It's easy enough to dodge if you just keep going fast. Eventually that will pass and you'll reach a forest area where we see a familiar face in the background:

Who could it be? (It's Robotnik. MORE SPOILERS!). And sure enough the boss for this level is...

It's Robotnik...and he's blowing up...erm...crap, I forgot to actually take any pictures of the boss battle. TO SONIC WIKIA!

So, the "Flame Mobile" as it is apparently called, will drop fireballs on to you and then go through the waterfall to prevent you from hitting it. However, it is still the first main boss of the game and it is an easy boss.

The capsule will appear from the sky for some reason, but as usual you just have to press the button to save all the animals. Now, we've already seen some story elements in-game and the level ends with one more.

Damn you Knuckles! Still, this handily brings us to the next Zone of the game...

Can you guess it's a water level?

Much of the level takes place underwater, and that's where the water shield really comes into play.

(Wrong zone, I know, but I was sloppy with my picture taking)
While wearing the water shield you can stay in the water for as long as you want without drowning, it acts as a permanent air bubble around you. It's unique ability when you press the jump button in the air is that you will bounce, which is always weirdly fun in video games. If you can bounce in it, it's a great game.

From Act 2

Occasionally these hands will appear from nowhere and grab you. Just hold the direction you want to go and when it lets you go you will go fast up a half-cut tube to where you need to be. Handy! (heh. heh. heh).

This is me, failing to take a picture of the mini-boss before I destroy it. So, here's one taken by my good bud Mr. Sonic Wikia

The 'Big Shaker'. Its worst attack is this, he will land on the pole and cause it to spin. You cannot attack him in this state as you are being spun with it. His four rocket boosters will also protect it by constant revolving around it. Just wait until they settle in place and you have the opportunity to attack it.

Whenever you beat a mini-boss, the goal gate will appear from the sky and you can juggle it by jumping into it. Sometimes it will reveal buried goodies, but it's quite rare. Still, it can create a mini-game inside the game by seeing just how many juggles you can get. My record so far is...uhh...one.

Zone 2 is quite long, but clearly nothing much interesting happened because I didn't take any other pictures until the end of the level. I am sorry about this, but sometimes this will happen, I'll forget I'm meant to write about this later. All you need to know is I got another extra life and that Knuckles is still a bastard.

He'll drop us right into the boss arena.

The 'Screw Mobile' (sounds more like something a pimp would call his car) is a rather annoying boss. He'll fly just out of reach and if you try to hit him you'll get hurt by his propeller. He'll create a vortex of water to try and suck you in, but this is easily avoided by staying as far away as possible. His other attack is this:

He'll drop a bomb, and a few seconds later it will explode. He'll drop many though, usually goes across the screen a couple of times. It is easy enough to dodge, but if you're reckless (and I can be, hence the lack of rings) then there's a chance you'll get hit. Still, they all die the same way...IN A FIT OF BOOMS!

Thus ends Act 2. Let's get the hell out of this joint. See you next time!


Angel Island Zone Acts 1 & 2

Hydrocity Zone Acts 1 & 2

Major Bosses Music

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