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Hardest Special Stages in a Sonic game?


Leon K Fox

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As the title suggests, this is a thread about what special stages people found the hardest in a Sonic game.

For me, it's got to be Sonic 3/Sonic 3 and Knuckles' special stages, as the screen begins moving faster it becomes almost impossible to judge where to run without hitting a red ball and ending the stage, when running into red balls while going through sets of blue ones etc, and it's generally quite nauseating.

So, which game had the hardest special stages to you?

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God, I hated all of them. XD Sonic 3 and Knuckles special stages made me miserable, and the harder ones in Sonic Heroes had me swearing out loud at the TV screen. Oh yeah, and Sonic Rush. It took me an eternity to get the last one.

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Sonic Advance and for all the wrong reasons. I congratulate anyone who can get more than one emerald on that abysmal special stage. I can get all 14 emeralds in Sonic 3 and Knuckles with almost no trouble, but have only ever gotten the first emerald in Sonic Advance.

The special stages premise is simple, you float down a corridor picking up rings. Not a difficult concept. But be damned if you can pick up the rings. Hit detection is so off that you have to be absolutely perfect to pick up any at all. You can improve that by performing a spin move, but this doesn't work either as you can't move while spinning so you miss rings on the other side of the corridor or fall into a bunch of spikes.

Sonic 3 and Knuckles had difficult, but possible special stages. Sonic Advance had just plain bad special stages.

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Pfft. S3&K is NOTHING compared to 16-bit Sonic 2.

If you took Tails with you, he WOULD lose all your rings and get you booted back to the normal Zone faster than you could say "Goddamit I hate you, you retarded fox."

On a happy note, I LOVED the Sonic Heroes ones. They were so trippy and tube-y. :lol:

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Pfft. S3&K is NOTHING compared to 16-bit Sonic 2.

If you took Tails with you, he WOULD lose all your rings and get you booted back to the normal Zone faster than you could say "Goddamit I hate you, you retarded fox."

I love Tails (he's my favourite character) but there's no denying that he DID fuck you over in those stages, but I got past that by playing as Tails alone, in Sonic 3 there isn't an option that lets you do that, it's hard no matter what you do. I'm only on emerald 3 and I'm RELIANT on the auto save feature of the XBLA version, I won't deny it.

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I hated the Sonic Heroes special stages for three reasons:

1. Team Rose have the shortest levels but the SLOWEST characters.

2. All other teams have faster characters but it takes longer to finish the level and reach the special stages.

3. When you finish number 2 and FAIL the special stage it makes you burst a blood vessel.

Yeah, they are not happy times for me. In addition to this you had to do them in order to achieve Last Story mode.

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At one point I would say one of them from Sonic Advanced 2 or 3 (don't remember SA1), but then I played Sonic Heros and those are the worst. You have to beat a whole level without getting hit (which isn't as easy as it sounds) and then loose the emerald do the fact you're floating in mid air for 30 seconds for no reason but bad controls. SA2-3 were better because you didn't have to work as hard during the level to earn the right to play the special stages. Sonic Advanced 2 was hard because you have to push really hard to make turns and your thumb is sore after pushing in one way or the other and the perspective was poor.

I liked the Sonic 2 ones. Fun and easy with catchy music, Sonic Rushes 1 and 2 are neat too because you're using the stylus.

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Sonic 2. The other Sonic games I really didn't have problem with, but Sonic 2 I never could get enough rings to play the special stage. Then when I had enough to play the stage, I would always have Tails screw everything up for me. To this day, I still haven't obtain all seven emeralds.

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Yeah, I've never got more than two emeralds on Sonic 2, but got them all on Sonic 1, 3 and Knuckles with moderate-difficult challenge (which is of course, good).

Sonic Advance 1-3 are also pretty damn hard, but yeah, that's more due to controls than anything else.

Heroes were frustrating but way more possible than the Advance games, which I'll say on the policy of the fact that I actually beat them.

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Hm, I don't remember seeing this topic before.

Like Cyber, I think the S3&K stages are easy as pie. I can get the 14 emeralds with no issue, and usually score a Perfect by clearing the stage of rings. I got good at it in the fourth grade, and I can't lose. It's one of my favorites.

The Sonic 2 stages are harder for me because of Tails, but also because I don't remember the patterns the bombs and rings are coming in each time I play the game. So I always have to remind myself by failing for a few tries.

But the definite hardest for me would be the Advance stages for just controlling wrong. Worse than even Sonic CD, which actually controls nicely, you just have to get used to the turning and jump distance in 16-bit "3D".

And another hard favorite of mine is the Chaotix stages you get after collecting the Chaos rings. All the special stages become transparent wireframe models, and it gets very easy to fall off the edge. Nice challenge, you really have to stay sharp for those.

Also, I could never get the last emerald in Triple Trouble. I always ran out of time or fell into a pit or something. Still can't do it.

Edited by Badnikz
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I would have to say Sonic 2. Or maybe Sonic Advance, but I never really bothered with that one. >_>

When I play Sonic 2, it's usually with my brother as Tails, but even so, the most Emeralds we ever got was about 3 or 4. It's sometimes hard to see the mines coming up with all the twists and turns in the stage. We were able to nab one Emerald every couple of zones if we were lucky.

In contrast, I love the premise and challenge of the Sonic 3 & Knuckles Blue Spheres stage. Those were the first Special Stages I actually tried on - when I first got Sonic Mega Collection and started discovering the Special Stages in the games, I usually couldn't really tell what was going on. I remember once trying to make a S3&K ROM Hack, and I liked changing the Special Stages around way more than actually designing the levels. Needless to say, I completed all but a couple of the new Special Stages, but the main game never got past Hydrocity Act 1. :P

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The big problem I have with the Special Stages in Sonic 1 and 2 is that they're all about trial and error, and a little bit of luck. At least in Sonic 3 you weren't always in immediate danger and you could beat them if you stayed sharp.

The Advance games were also mostly about trial and error since there are some things they expect you to know when it's never fully explained, e.g:

Advance 1: you can get bonus rings if you press B RIGHT AFTER you pass through those yellow glowing rings, and in Advance 3: you can actually jump and hit the gray enemies that appear in later stages which helps to get some rings.

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The S&K ones are rage, they pull some cheap shit on you.

The Advance series are annoying too, due to actually getting in - they're mostly easy once you're in. Sonic Heroes just control like shit, but I generally find them okay except for the last one ._. I also lost to Johnny in Rush Adventure many times, but then upgraded my ships, and proceeded to own him.

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Sonic Advance 1-3 are also pretty damn hard, but yeah, that's more due to controls than anything else
Still can't beat the last one in SA3. I think it's because of how unclear the graphics are in those stages.
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I have to say that the Sonic 3/Sonic & Knuckles Special Stages are the hardest ones for me. I've never even come CLOSE to getting an Emerald on one of them. Second place goes to Sonic 2. I ALMOST got the first Emerald once, but missed the last Ring quota and failed.

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I´m actually going to embarrass my self and say it: Sonic The Hedgehog (Sega Genesis version).

Man, those were some hard times for me. Sonic 2´s stages were easier.

I haven´t manage to get to the Special Stages of Sonic Advance 1,2 and 3. But, according to the people here, they must play like @$$.

Edited by Cany the hedge
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I'm not sure if most of you remember...but in Sonic Heroes, there was that one special stage that was rediculously hard. I believe it was the 3rd Special Stage with the Yellow Emerald. That took me too many tries, but the final Special stage took me about 10 seconds. o_O

Other than that, none of the other special stages were too difficult.

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I personally loved the Get Blue Spheres game and got really good at it, so I find the S3&K ones pretty easy...Sonic 2 was hard, but once you didn't take Tails with you and worked out the patterns of the rings and bombs it wasn't too bad.

Sonic CD I didn't do TOO badly at but still hated to death, not least because of the ANNOYING music in the US version. Overall I don't mind the USA soundtrack but just that ONE...SONG!

....I don't think I even want to mention Sonic 1, those stages gave me hell. I didn't get all the emeralds until I cheated with savestates >_>;;

The Advances I think are just plain impossible and so I gave up after a couple of tries, but right now what's really annoying me are the Heroes ones. I lost my save file a little while ago and I've been re-beating it....ugh, the last one is giving me hell right now. I can't work out whether it's better to use Team Rose and have slower speed, or Team Sonic and struggle through Final Fortress. I HATE that level.

But yeah, definitely the Advances. I even tried with savestates for those, and I STILL couldn't do it. Oh, Chaos Emeralds, can't it be EASY to get you...?

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Ashura: Dark Reign... what? It counts, right? In all technicality it IS a Sonic game, even if it's fan-made. Basically, it's the Sonic 3&K special stages, only full-3D instead of pseudo-3D. It also accelerates much faster and to greater speeds, and in my experience I even wonder if there's a speed cap at all. This makes the remakes of the original special stages a challenge all over again. And god help you if you stumble on one of the brand new ones. There's a video of it in action

at roughly the 5:10 mark, using the classic first Special Stage of Sonic & Knux for the layout. It's hard as fuck, but at least for a legitimate reason - which is more than what I can say for Sonic Advance 1 (I wish I could comment on the other two Advances, but SA1 was the only one I could even FIND and that was sheer dumb luck anyway).

Sonic 2's were pretty hard too, but as long as Tails wasn't an issue (either non-present, or controlled by a second player - incidentally has anyone out there ever gotten the double helix of rings on both lines that encircle the whole tube?) it was at least somewhat fair. Sometimes the bombs show up at very inconvenient angles (most notably on an inside curve), but in the grand scheme of things they usually follow very predictable patterns anyway, so they're not too hard to see coming beforehand. Sonic Rush gets an honorable mention - it isn't particularly stressful to begin with, but by the time you get to the elusive 7th stage, you'll be pulling your hair out because it demands ABSOLUTE PERFECTION. One wayward pixel can easily cost you the emerald most of the time.

Edited by Blacklightning
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Sonic 1 becomes difficult if I don't play it for a long time, but some time spent brushing them up and it's relatively easy.

Sonic 3& Knuckles is easy as pie, after you've trained a bit, and you never forget it. I can pick them up and do perfects even I haven't played them in awhile. I liked the level so much that I have a notebook full of Sonic 1 & Knuckles. Than I discovered it's code generated and I wept for all the hours lost.

I pick Sonic 2 as the hardest, I've got all the emeralds just a couple of times but I admit that I don't like Sonic 2 much, so I hardly ever play it.

Sonic 3D (SAT) has a wonderful variation of this, which is far easier as well, and that I like to play.

Sonic Heroes has one as well, I manage to get them with Team Rose. They're not hard and they're very fun (I usually get them with Amy alone, screw teamwork).

Edited by redmenace
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Ooh man, how could I forget Sonic Rush's special stages? The last Chaos Emerald on that game drove me BATSHIT insane, it took attempt after attempt after attempt and I almost felt like ripping my hair out x.x

...

It took me about 7 tries.../shot/

In all seriousness, I'm still stuck on the..5th Emerald? On Advance 3. Toy kingdom, I think. Either that one or the 6th.. It's really annoying that you have to keep getting the keys! Plus I keep DYING. >.<

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