Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 - Progress Report III - Ice Cap Zone

Due to the very long nature of these levels, I decided for the last few Zones to give them their own post. So, without further ado.

So, we got shot out of a cannon and...what's that? Could it be time to get...RAD!?

You bet your ass it's time to get rad! You literally do not have to do anything in this section, Sonic will automatically snowboard down the mountain. Which must have been right next to the carnival, or else that's one powerful cannon. Of course, all good things must come to an end eventually...

Sonic bumps into a wall and falls off his snowboard. And to add insult to injury...

A pile of snow lands on him. Poor Sonic. Still though, this is a rather cool level (heh, 'cool', heh). It's the penultimate of the main Zones of the game, it has nice music and, of course, gimmicks.

It's hard to convey through pictures and words alone, but this gave me a little fright. Basically, the two pillars will rise and fall. The idea is that you jump onto the furthest away pillar and then, when an opening appears, spin dash under the first pillar and you'll get back to the ground. Except I decided to try and spin dash as well on the ground, and I came within a split second of getting crushed by the second pillar (as it does go all the way up to the ceiling and all the way down to the ground).

First of all, EXTRA LIFE, WOO YEAH. Second of all, see the stalactite hanging there? If you've played any game that has a "snow/ice" level, you can already guess what we'll be using that for. Get close enough and it will fall and you can use them as platforms.

My gambling addiction came back, but on my very first try on the slots I got a jackpot. Meaning...wait for it...ANOTHER EXTRA LIFE! I got so much extra lifes, which is handy, since I'm so bad at the special stages I can't get any continues.

It's not quite a snowboard, but you push one of these and jump on and it will break through a seemingly impervious wall to let you proceed. Another thing Ice Cap likes to do is freeze things.

You have to jump on it to break it, it's as simple as that. Not the most exciting of features in this Zone.

This is one of the most common sights in Ice Cap. These swings will take you up, but you've gotta gather up some speed. Occasionally there are springs to help you, but you can also spin dash into them quite effectively. Now, I didn't know it at the time, but managing to keep the thunder shield is about to help me greatly.

The mini-boss ladies and gentlemen. It's another clone of a previous Robotnik boss. It will vacuum up some snow and use the snowballs as a shield. It will swoop down to attack you, but it moves quite slowly so you can dodge quite well. Eventually it will discard the snow leaving it vulnerable to attack. This is where the thunder shield shines. Pressing the jump button in the air will make Sonic do a sort of double jump attack. By repeatedly using this you can actually defeat this boss after his first wave of attacks (you can also get a couple of hits in the beginning of battle). So of course, we turn him into scrap metal...

So, Act II and I haven't mentioned any enemies yet. Well, I'll get right on that. The first enemy is a member of a familiar family of Sonic enemies...

This guy will shoot his spiky balls at you, but unfortunately for him...it doesn't work against the thunder shield. They literally just dissolve into thin air. 

And then there's this guy...


Yeah, a robot penguin. Oh, I bet you think that's awesome. Well, wait until you hear his name...the Penguinator. I know, it is the most awesome enemy so far. And you know what, Penguinator doesn't even seem to want to attack you. He'll waddle back and forth slowly and as soon you come near him, he'll do a belly slide in your direction. That's not an attack, he just wants to play!

I took this picture to show you that random spin dashing can lead to EXTRA LIVES, YEAH!

The next gimmick of the level are these bouncy things. For simplicities sake, I'll call them trampolines, and the work in the same way. Jump onto it and it will force you up, the more you jump into, the more momentum you will get. This section is simple, the next trampoline is right above, but there are some where you have to jump to the left, to the right jump up and to the knees (...I'm so sorry). I cannot lie, I love these things. It's the same thing with the bouncing of the water shield, bouncing in video games is just fun.

Now, we haven't seen these be(oh, by the way, EXTRA LIFE!)fore. Robotnik item boxes. Obviously, they hurt you like an enemy would. I know Robotnik promises there's sweeties inside, but don't listen to him! Listen to me! There are no sweets! And if they are they're probably covered in spikes or drills or something.

Speaking of Robotnik...

Here he is! Now, after being just five seconds away from instant death in the last level, I was not expecting the boss fight just then. So I stood there, like an idiot, waiting for the 'cutscene' to end. But nope, this is the boss battle already, Act II is obviously pretty short.

So, his attack at first is simply blowing steam. One vertically down the pole, the other shoots out of the little platform. The idea is to time it so you jump onto the platform just after the steam shoots down, and attack him while you have a shot. Except getting the timing down was something I'm rubbish at. See how Sonic is in ice? That's what happens when you touch his steam. Worst still, when the ice shatters you get hurt. 

Luckily, you have invincibility spell after just getting hurt, only a second or two, but it's enough to get at least one ring back. With a bit of patience, a bit of timing and a bit of a tight grip of one ring we eventually destroy half the boss...

At this point it's almost trivial. Just avoid the big puffs of steam and just relentlessly attack his head and he will fall, just like the others...

No interesting level transition this time, so we'll see you at the Launch Base Zone, the final zone of Sonic 3. We're almost half-way there.


Ice Cap Zone Acts 1 & 2

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