Sega Roms Information

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Sonic the Hedgehog 3, or simply Sonic 3, is a platform game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It was released as a sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

The game was released for the Sega Genesis in the United States on February 2, 1994. The European Sega Mega Drive release came later that month. The game was released in Japan for the Mega Drive on May 27, 1994. It was re-released for the Sega Saturn in 1998 as part of Sonic Jam, the Nintendo GameCube in 2002 as part of the Sonic Mega Collection and Sony PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Xbox in 2004 as part of Sonic Mega Collection Plus.

At the end of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the evil Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik had his Death Egg downed from orbit by the heroes, Sonic the Hedgehog and his companion Miles "Tails" Prower. Having not been completely destroyed, after all, the Death Egg has crash-landed on Angel Island. This island has special properties - not least the ability to float - which it gets from the magical jewel called the Master Emerald. When Dr. Robotnik learns of the Master Emerald, an all powerful jewel upon which the Chaos Emeralds base their powers, he tries to steal it to repair his Death Egg.

Of course, Sonic and Tails have to put a stop to this, collecting Chaos Emeralds as they go before Dr. Robotnik does. Unfortunately, Dr. Robotnik has tricked the guardian of the Master Emerald, an echidna named Knuckles, into thinking that Sonic and Tails are the thieves, so he tries his best to stop them.

Overview of play
As the player, you control either Sonic or Tails. Your aim is to guide them through six zones, collecting all the Chaos and Super Emeralds on the way via special 3D stages. The six zones are divided into two acts, and unlike previous Sonic games, each zone has a mini-boss at the end of the first act, and each Act 1 connects directly to Act 2, preserving shields the players may have. After a boss is defeated, a short cutscene is shown to segue into the next zone.

Angel Island Zone: A tranquil jungle island that is set ablaze by Dr. Robotnik after Sonic and Tails arrive. The mini-boss is one of the hovering flame drones that burned the jungle. Sonic and/or Tails faces off against Dr. Robotnik's own flame-wielding vehicle at a waterfall.
Hydrocity Zone: The inner workings of a complex hydroelectric dam. After tangling with a mini-boss that can spin Sonic and Tails in a whirlpool, Dr. Robotnik tries to stop them with his own whirlpool inducer as well as depth charges.
Marble Garden Zone: The marble ruins of an ancient civilization. The mini-boss uses a pair of drills to attack Sonic and Tails, both directly and by drilling into the rock above and raining debris on their heads (reminiscent of Dr. Robotnik's own vehicle in the Mystic Cave Zone of Sonic 2). Dr. Robotnik attempts to crush the pair under the collapsing ruins, and when Tails airlifts Sonic out of danger, charges at them directly with his drill. This is the only zone without any water to drown Sonic or Tails.
Carnival Night Zone: Tails drops Sonic into a playful carnival filled with ballons, pinball bumpers, and cannons to launch from, although unlike Casino Night Zone in Sonic 2 there are no slot machines. After Sonic and Tails survive the mini-boss on a slowly eroding platform, they face Dr. Robotnik, who this time drops a large sphere and uses it to create an electric storm that draws the pair towards its discharge.
Ice Cap Zone: Sonic and Tails chase after Dr. Robotnik, travelling through ice, snow, and sometimes bottomless pits. The level begins with Sonic going down a slope on a snowboard. The mini-boss attacks with an orbiting belt of ice chunks. Dr. Robonik uses a "freeze-thrower" (a flamethrower that freezes rather than burns the victim) to fight Sonic and Tails. This is the only zone that does not have an easily-comparible equivalent in Sonic 2 in terms of environment.
Launch Base Zone: Dr. Robotnik's site that houses the stricken Death Egg, with spinning elevators for facilitation of travel and alarms to keep out intruders. The mini-boss uses two flailing arms. Dr. Robotnik uses three different weapons to stop Sonic and Tails: first, a static projectile launcher at the foot of the Death Egg. When that fails, Robotnik flees to the Death Egg and Sonic chases after, leaving Tails behind. After boarding, Dr. Robotnik employs a rocket armed with lasers to fight Sonic, and then finally resorts to a large pair of arms to grab Sonic in a ball and slam him into the floor (as well as the rather impressive ability to damage even Super Sonic, though taking Super Sonic to the final battle is rare).

Sonic 3 retained head-to-head racing introduced in Sonic 2, although instead of using levels from the single player game, five entirely new tracks were created for competitions. Knuckles was added as a selectable character. Players could select to play a Grand Prix of all five tracks, a single track to race on, or race the clock in time trial mode.

The five tracks are:

Azure Lake
Balloon Park
Chrome Gadget
Desert Palace
Endless Mine
The first letters of the track's names make up the sequence A, B, C, D, E.

Technical specifications
Sonic 3 had the option, unseen at that point in the Sonic series, to record the game level where a player had been and resume it at a later date - which increased the replay value tremendously as several levels sport secret passages and, although not vital to the ending of the game, allowed the collection of 7 Chaos Emeralds at a later date.

A closer inspection of the ROM by fans provides some details on the marketing scheme pulled by Sega with the release of Sonic & Knuckles. While Sega originally stated that the new "revolutionary" lock-on technology literally transformed the secondary game (i.e. Sonic 3 or Sonic 2), the analysis of the rom reveals that Sonic 3 was produced with full knowledge and possibly even having most of Sonic & Knuckles already completed to as far as Lava Reef Zone, as it provides a whole second version of the game, not an "add-on".

3:35 AM


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