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Lava Reef Zones: Fire Levels in Sonic Games


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(Concept Artwork of Crisis City unlocked in Sonic Generations HD)

Continuing with the elemental theme, up next is the Sonic fire nations. Fire is very dangerous in the Sonic Universe just as it is in our universe…unless you just so happen to have access to a fireproof mech, a Flame Shield, a friendly Red Wisp, or have the power of Pyrokinesis, like Blaze the Cat, and can start and put out fires with your mind. So for this month I want to look at volcanic regions, forest fires, smelter factories, timelines with bad futures dominated by fiery monsters of the week, and other cautiously hot levels in the Sonic Game Universe.


NOTES: 
1. All entries in the opening post are Fire Zones and Hubs from Official, licensed Sonic Games. This includes: 
•    The Lava Reef Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles
•    Levels with the words “Fire”, “Flame”, “Hot”, “Lava”, “Meteor”, “Red”, or “Volcano/Volcanic” in their names
•    Levels that use lava as an obstacle
•    Levels where characters use steam to travel except for the Oil Ocean Zone, Ocean Base Zone, and Huge Crisis Zone
•    Levels that have fire in the foreground and/or background

2. I was debating on including levels that have acid, such as the Ark levels from Sonic Adventure 2. However, I decided to save those for another topic.

3. If a brand new Fire Level is revealed for Sonic Mania, Sonic Project 2017, or a brand new Sonic game within a month after I post this topic, I’ll add it in later.

4. If you have a favorite Fire Level/Hub that fits Note #1, know an awesome level from a Sonic fan game that fits Note #1, have a level that follows the theme that I missed, or have a level you feel can be debated as a Fire level, feel free to talk about it in the topic.


Sonic the Hedgehog: Marble Zone

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The Marble Zone is a series of marble ruins surrounded by lava on South Island. The ruins themselves are filled with a number of amateur and sophisticated traps. There are also murals of unknown figures that appear on the walls in the backgrounds. The Badniks monitoring the Marble Zone are Buzz Bomber, a robot wasp that flies and stops to shoot Sonic with diagonal projectiles, Catakiller, a robot caterpillar with spikes protecting the majority of its body except its head, and Batbrain, a robot bat that’s seen in groups hanging from the ceiling, waiting to drop down once Sonic gets close. Despite being a fire level, none of the Badniks here use fire as a weapon. Fortunately, Eggman bought his fireball machine to turn up the heat.


Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Hill Top Zone and Metropolis Zone

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The Hill Top Zone is an Aqua Green volcano rising high above the clouds of Westside Island. Besides riding lifts to get over lava, Sonic and Tails will have roll and Spin Dash through Shuttle Loops to drill into the ground, use the seesaws that return from the Star Light Zone, and carefully navigate the area during earthquakes that cause the ground and lava to rise and fall. The first fiery Badniks that debut in the Hill Top Zone are Sol (aka Gohla), a fire version of Orbinaut, Spiker, an ground based Orbinaut with a spiked hat for a projectile, and Rexon, a dinosaur Badnik that swims in the lava spitting fireballs and can be used as a platform after its head is destroyed and its animal is freed. At the end of Act 2, Eggman tries to barbeque Sonic and Tails with a flamethrower submarine.

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The Metropolis Zone is a city-sized factory Eggman built on Westside Island. The Zone is filled with a variety of gimmicks and traps, including areas where Sonic and Tails will have to deal with lava. Sonic and Tails can avoid the lava by using the vertical conveyor belts with small platforms or the Spear Block platforms, that release a spear on 1 side in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion. The infamous Badniks of the Metropolis Zone are Shellcracker, an upgraded Crabmeat with a big grappling hook claw that sucker punches Sonic and Tails after they get over the lava, Slicer, a robot mantis that attacks with boomerang claws, and Asteron, a starfish robot that explodes when Sonic and Tails get too close and sends 5 spikes in 5 different directions. At the end, Sonic and Tails fight Eggman and his Eggs, which he uses as a shield and open to reveal mini Eggman decoys.


Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles: Angel Island Zone and Lava Reef Zone

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When Sonic and Tails first landed the Tornado on the Floating Island, they entered the Angel Island Zone, a tropical jungle filled with many plants and trees. However, halfway through Act 1, a group of flying robots armed with flamethrowers and bombs set the entire Zone on fire. Despite the flames, Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles can still navigate by grabbing swinging bars, Spin Dashing or Punching into rocks to find new paths, quickly jumping across early spiked Flip Platforms and rock platforms in a waterfall, and trying out the new Elemental Shields. The other Badniks in the Angel Island Zone are Rhinobot, a faster and more aggressive Rhino version of Motobug, Monkey Dude (this is seriously their official English name), an upgraded version of Coconuts that repeats the process of throwing fruit as projectiles from the safety of its trees, Catakiller Jr., an upgraded version of Catakiller that flies and is protected by electricity instead of spikes, and Bloominator, a spiky, robot flower that shoots spiked balls out of its top and can only be destroyed with a Spin Jump. The arsonist robot returns at the end of Act 1, acting as the Mini-Boss. If Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles have a Flame Shield, they will be protected from the flamethrower and bombs. At the end of Act 2, Eggman (or Eggrobo for Knuckles) comes in with a camouflaged, fireball machine.

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The Lava Reef Zone is a series of underground caves underneath the volcano on Angel Island, where the Death Egg recently fell. In Act 1, Sonic and Tails will run and Spin Jump over lava, Spin Dash to break down rocks and ride elevators, avoid lavafalls, flamethrowers, and fireball machines, Spin Jump to press switches and destroy turrets, and avoid getting crushed by spiked platforms with rockets. Once Act 2 starts, the lava cools down and becomes igneous rock and precious gems. However, it also introduces new traps and hazards, such as platforms with spiraling Spiked Balls, Spiked Balls propelled by heat updrafts, spiked platforms on conveyer belts, and getting crushed by the blue blocky platforms. The Badniks living in the reef are Iwamadoki (Pseudo rock), a robot disguised as one of the rocks and self destructs once Sonic and Tails get close, Fireworm, a fiery version of Catakiller that hides in walls and flies out spitting flames from its back, and Toxomister, a nozzle with an eye that spews toxic gas that slows characters down and slowly lowers their Ring supply. At the end of Act 1, Sonic and Tails fight 2 flame turrets and a prototype of the Death Egg Robot Mk 2’s hand. At the end of Act 2, Sonic and Tails get ambushed by Knuckles, watch the Death Egg get reactivated, and have to run and jump to dodge missiles from Eggman. Before confronting Eggman, Sonic and Tails can grab Rings and Elemental Shields by jumping across the falling platforms as they slowly slide down the lava. For the real Act 2 Boss Battle, Sonic and Tails have to jump across platforms on a lava current to avoid getting burned and impaled by spike balls until enough Spiked Balls destroy Eggman’s machine.


Sonic CD: Quartz Quadrant Zone (Bad Future)

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If Eggman succeeds in taking over the Little Planet, he will deplete the Quartz Quadrant Zone of all of its beautiful crystals and dig so deep that lava will emerge from the deposits.


Sonic 3D Blast: Volcano Valley Zone and Genesis Knuckles Special Stage

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The Volcanic Valley Zone is a volcanic region on Flicky Island. Sonic will have to jump over lava, Spin Jump onto breakable rocks, dodge flamethrowers, and use the Spin Dash Elevators from the Lava Reef Zone while collecting all of the Flickies. Flame Shields can be found to help protect Sonic. One of the pink Flickies that live here has turned red orange. Eggman tries to defeat Sonic with a homing flamethrower. Fortunately, he’s stationary and easy to hit.

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If Sonic finds Knuckles in a level and gives him 50 Rings, Sonic will go into a Fire version of the Special Stage.

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In the Sega Saturn Version of Volcano Valley Zone, there is a smoke and fog effect, trees act like chimneys and emit smoke and fire, and there are different lava animations. The music even sounds more dramatic.


Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Master System/Game Gear Version): Under Ground Zone

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The Under Ground Zone is a molten mine that Eggman recently took over, filled with Badniks, and rigged with traps. Besides being one of the first Level 1 Zones in the Genesis Era to not be a Green Hill themed level, it’s also one of the first times Sonic can jump inside of a minecart. At the end of Act 3, Sonic must dodge bouncing bombs being dropped down an incline into a robotic ant lion. There is still a question of why Eggman saves Sonic before falling into the lava pit in Act 3.

Fun Fact: The Under Ground Zone supposedly appears in the Sonic Underground Episode, “To Catch a Queen”.


Sonic Blast: Red Volcano Zone

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The Red Volcano Zone is actually a purple volcano, featuring the spin dash elevators from the Lava Reef Zone and Badniks from the Hill Top Zone. There is another Badnik that can be used as a Spring but it was never given an official name. The Boss has Sonic and Knuckles dodge and attack Eggman on a floating platform while he bounces up and down and tries to hit them with a rock fist.


Tails Adventure: Poloy Forest and Volcanic Tunnel

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Poloy Forest is a forest on Cocoa Island that suffers the same fate as the original Angel Island Zone in Sonic 3. Instead of Eggman being the cause of the destruction, the culprit is the Battle Bird Armada (aka Battle Kukku Empire). Tails investigates the forest fire while testing out the Regular Bombs he created. Before clearing the area, Tails fights the Kukku Walker, the first boss of the game that is a flamethrower robot walker controlled by 2 Battle Birds.

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Volcanic Tunnel is a cave on the southeastern side of Cocoa Island filled with lava, small flamethrowers, robot mice that drop bombs, robot bats that act like Batbrain, and a number of items Tails can grab on his first run and once he makes a return trip with the Large Bomb. Eventually, Tails will also have to fight an upgraded Mole Mech (aka Mecha Golem 5).


Sonic Drift: Marble

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The Marble Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog is featured as the second course in all 3 Chaos GPs. In the Red Chaos GP, lava is more visible in the background.


Sonic Arcade (aka SegaSonic the Hedgehog): Volcanic Vault

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The Volcanic Vault is the first area of Eggman Island that Sonic, Ray, and Mighty land in after escaping their cage death trap and being shot into the air by a giant water geyser. Now they will have to outrun a giant flaming boulder and use it on a giant catapult, run on treadmills to open iron gates, jump over lava pits, climb up a burned and broken bridge, and run across unstable molten rocks.


Sonic the Fighters/Championship: Dynamite Plant

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The Dynamite Plant seems to be a fusion of the Chemical Plant Zone and Oil Ocean Zone. In Arcade Mode, this is the signature stage of Bean the Dynamite (aka Bean the Duck), who fights using an endless supply of bombs and his beak.


Sonic Adventure: Red Mountain and Hot Shelter

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Red Mountain is a volcanic region on Angel Island that Eggman took over either before or sometime after Angel Island fell and fused with the Mystic Ruins. Whether that means Red Mountain is actually a part of the Lava Reef Zone is unknown. The outer parts of the mountain seem to be the most dangerous exercise/mountain trails ever created with handle bars suspended over lava and bottomless pits, stone skulls that breath fire, breakable bridges that fall apart when stepped on, giant hammers that protect switches and smash intruders, and rockets and ziplines that lead to different parts of the mountain. The interior of Red Mountain is filled with haunted elements including dancing tombstones, giant spiders, bats, spirits inside of jail cells, and even more stone skulls. Sonic tries to chase after the Egg Carrier on foot after Zero kidnaps Amy, Knuckles comes here to find 3 Shards of the Master Emerald and tryout his new Shovel Claws, and Gamma comes here to “free” his sibling Epsilon.

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The Hot Shelter is a collection of rooms and areas inside of the Egg Carrier accessible by elevator. This level is exclusive to Amy, Big, and Gamma. After escaping her jail cell, Amy outruns Zero while turning cranks and finding switches to open doors. Big travels to the aquarium to empty it out into one big room and fish out Froggy one last time. Gamma travels using a monorail train to find and “free” his sibling Zeta.


Sonic Adventure 2: Meteor Herd

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Meteor Herd is a space quarry in the middle of a meteor shower. Knuckles split up from the rest of Team Heroes to recover the Master Emerald shards that fell from the space shuttle after it crashed into debris. Knuckles has to constantly move to avoid falling meteors, punch exploding rocks to break open metal doors, and find his Sunglasses to help him find hidden items and clear the Hard Mode versions of his levels. At the end, Knuckles finally settles the score with Rouge and fully restores the Master Emerald.


Sonic Shuffle: Fire Bird

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The Fire Bird was a phoenix living in Maginery World, born from the dreams of those who love freedom. Void’s influence has trapped it inside of a giant airship, almost like a Badnik. As players collect more and more precioustone, parts of the ship will break off, injuring anyone who waited too long to get out of harm’s way. The ending minigame of this level has characters have a skydiving race into a hot air balloon.


Sonic Heroes: Power Plant

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The Power Plant is an area of Grand Metropolis, where most of the city’s energy is stored and transferred by HEXAeco. It seems Eggman has invaded the facilities and may have stolen some of the energy here to power his new Egg Fleet. Teams will have to destroy Egg Pawns and Badniks to restore power to paths and platforms, carefully avoid floating fireballs, ride a giant elevator, and try to escape the inside of a machine overflowing with magma. At the end, Team Sonic runs into Team Rose, and Team Dark runs into Team Chaotix.


Shadow the Hedgehog: Lava Shelter

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The Lava Shelter is another of Eggman’s bases, surrounded by lava and being infiltrated by Omega. It’s also 1 of 5 choices for the Non-Canon Multiple Ending Levels of the game, where Shadow believes he’s an android created by Eggman. Shadow can either help Omega by reaching the Goal Ring or help Eggman by activating 5 of his defenses. Regardless, Shadow will fight the Egg Dealer at the end and decide to take over the Eggman Empire….or become stronger than the original Shadow?


Sonic Advance: Secret Base Zone

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The Secret Base Zone is a hidden factory on the outskirts of a city. The beginning of the level and the music really emphasis the “secret agent” vibe of the level by having characters zipline into the factory. Characters can ride iron grates being propelled by steam as platforms, grab cranes, and something else. The Badniks in the Secret Base Zone are redesigned versions of.  At the end of Act 2, Eggman fights with a bouncing mech.


Sonic Advance 2: Hot Crater Zone

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The Hot Crater Zone is a quarry built into a crater outside foggy mountains. Here characters can grab cranes to get some air and do Aerial Tricks, avoid or destroy Sol and 2 unnamed Turtle and Jellyfish Badniks, and collect 7 Special Rings to go after the Blue Chaos Emerald.  At the end, Eggman rolls in with his Egg Bomber Tank, a fast moving vehicle fires bombs above and below. Even after destroying the cannon, it will still dispense bombs.


Sonic Rush Adventure: Machine Labyrinth Zone

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The Machine Labyrinth Zone is an island made up of factories and machines located in Blaze’s world. It was the second main island Sonic, Tails, and Marine reached using the waterbike, the Wave Cyclone. Sonic can boost through the area bouncing off of steam, rolling through pipes, and using steam powered hang gliders to get airborne and avoid spikes. At the end, Sonic plays an extreme game of tetherball with the Ghost Pendulum.


Sonic the Hedgehog 2006: Crisis City and Flame Core

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In Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, Team Heroes and Team Dark get sent into a bad future where the fire monster, Iblis, has turned the planet into his personal playground.

Crisis City is a burning, decaying city in this future.

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Flame Core is a volcanic region in this future where Iblis’ main “core” is located.

At the end of both Levels, all 3 Teams will have to fight 1 of Iblis’ 3 Phases.


Sonic Riders: Egg Factory

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The Egg Factory is a racecourse built through one of Eggman’s smelters where Knuckles races against Storm. 


Sonic Free Riders: Magma Rift

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The Magma Rift is a racecourse built through ancient ruins surrounded by fire and magma, possibly built by the Babylonians. During a part of the race, steam will make visibility a problem. 


Sonic Rivals: Death Yard Zone and Meteor Base Zone

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The Death Yard Zone is a factory built in the middle of a scorching hot desert. Lava, as well as other chemicals, is flowing in streams in the background and foreground.

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The Meteor Base Zone is a space station that was created inside of an asteroid belt. This is also the only level in the game where characters are not racing each other.


Sonic Rivals 2: Chaotic Inferno Zone

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The Chaotic Inferno Zone is a 2D remixed version of Crisis City, in the other of Silver’s bad futures we currently know of. Instead of Iblis causing trouble, the culprit in this time zone is the Ifrit, a dragon that breathes fire, control minds, and eats Chao for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


Sonic and the Secret Rings: Evil Foundry

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Evil Foundry was an abandoned castle style factory, filled with many rooms, halls, and machines. Sonic can use carefully timed Homing Attacks on exploding barrels to take out groups of enemies and the reactivated robots that roam the halls, grind on Rails while dodging and avoiding swinging doors that are sometimes covered in spikes, jump past giant machinery that rise and fall, and navigate over the usual bottomless lava pits. At the center of Evil Foundry is the Ifrit Golem, a giant robot Ezaror summoned that fights with 2 arms, which also act as its mobility since it has no legs, a combo of machine and magic fire abilities, including lasers and exploding barrels, and is secretly powered by the Red World Ring representing “Rage”. While Sonic will have to leave after clearing his first mission here, until he returns with the Water Blue World Ring, he does unlock his Speed Break and Time Break abilities.


Sonic and the Black Knight: Molten Mine and The Cauldron

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The Molten Mine is a mining town built in a volcanic region of Camelot. Sonic will have to grind on Minecart Rails while dodging minecarts and spiked walls that act as buffers, sidestep across walls similar to Sand Ruins, avoid lava spouts, lava leaks, and volcanic debris, and rush through several houses. Eventually, Sonic and Caliburn will find Percival, the last Knight of the Roundtable and the Camelot Version of Blaze. Defeating Percival will get Sonic Laevatein, Percival’s signature Sacred Sword, allowing him to have a final match against King Arthur and the power of Excalibur’s scabbard. Sometimes defeating Percival will give players the Medal of Percival, which plays Blaze’s theme song in the levels when equipped.

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The Cauldron is an abandoned area southeast of Molten Mine, surrounded by active volcanoes, and holds one of the barriers to seal the Dark Hollow. Sonic and the Knights of the Round Table will have to face off against the new spider soldiers, use timed jumps to avoid lava arcs and bottomless lava, lava surf using a boulder, use steam holes to get some air, and climb walls while avoiding falling rocks. Players can tackle this level as Sonic, Lancelot, Gawain, and Percival but it will only show Percival activating the barrier point in the cutscene. She may also have an easier time because of her double jump.


Sonic Chronicles The Dark Brotherhood: Metropolis, Metropolis Ground Zero, Kron Colony, and Nocturne

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In Chapter 5, Sonic, his friends, and Eggman team up to take on the Marauders by splitting into 2 teams. Sonic and Knuckles lead a team to reach Angel Island while Tails and Eggman lead a team to create a teleporter to send the Marauders away. It is possible to find Omega with Tails and Eggman’s team after a certain point.

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After Angel Island falls out of the sky, it crashes into Metropolis, destroying several buildings and causing several robots to go haywire. Now the team will have to savage parts for Tails and Eggman to create a time-spaceship to go after the Nocturnus and take back the Chaos and Master Emeralds. Players can now use Shade for the first time and use her powerful combo moves.

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The Kron Colony is the first place the team lands after entering the Twilight Cage. Here the Kron have been enslaved the Nocturnus to mine ore. After teaming up with their leader Foreman Krag, our heroes are able to take back their colony and discover a Chaos Emerald in the process.

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As the name suggests, Nocturnus is the home base of the Nocturne Clan. After teaming up with the colonies, Sonic and Knuckles split into 2 groups to inflitrate the area.


Sonic Unleashed: Eggmanland

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Unlike the other Countries in the game, this one was built over lava. The PS2/Wii Version Eggmanland Day Act 1 has Sonic jumping and grabbing cars on a Ferris wheel, riding a rocket into a wall, and having a final battle against the Interceptor on the ground and on the walls of the fire factory amusement fusion. Eggmanland Night Act 1 has the Werehog has some exclusive levels including an elevator section and an Egg Fighter Factory. Eggmanland doesn't have a Gaia Gate area.

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In the HD Version, Eggmanland is a harder and longer gauntlet where Sonic has to switch between Hedgehog and Werehog forms in 6 different areas.


Sonic Generations (HD/PC/PS3/Xbox 360 Version): Crisis City

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Crisis City is the first area of the Modern Era in the White Space, where Blaze has been trapped. In Act 1, Classic Sonic will have to chase after the Goal Post, which is being moved by the fire tornado. In Act 2, Modern Sonic will have to stomp his way through 2D sections while running towards the tornado that throws several cars at him. Missions include Classic Sonic teaming up with Vector and unlocking the Flame Shield Skill and Modern Sonic teaming up with Blaze and unlocking his Power Stomp Skill. Modern Sonic will also fight Silver in a Rival Battle here.


Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Mad Gear Zone

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The Mad Gear Zone is a factory Eggman created on Mirage Island, based on the designs of the Scrap Brain Zone and the Metropolis Zone. Its main purpose was to upgrade Classic Metal Sonic into Modern Metal Sonic after returning from the Little Planet.


Sonic Lost World: Lava Mountain

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Lava Mountain is the volcanic region of the Lost Hex, where’s Eggman’s strongest base is located. Sonic has final rematches against the entire Deadly Six in Zones 1 and 3, an underwater volcano Grind Rail section in Zone 2, and a no-surprise fight against Dr. Eggman in an upgraded Eggrobo during Zone 4.

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The 3DS Version is similar to the Wii version where Sonic fights against Zazz and Zomom in Zone 1, Zeena and Zor in Zone 2, Master Zik and Zavok in Zone 3, and a different version of the Eggrobo fight in Zone 4.


Sonic Runners: Lava Mountain

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In Sonic Runners, Lava Mountain is a level best suited for Power characters like Knuckles. Super Badniks are introduced here.


Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric: Crater Lake

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Crater Lake is a lake inside of a volcano where the elderly couple Pokey and Hokey lives. The Radiant Crystal is also here.


Sonic Boom Shattered Crystal: Volcanic Crater and Volcanic Caverns

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Volcanic Crater is the 5th island in the game, acting as a hub for several levels surrounding an active volcano.

Volcanic Caverns is the main level for Volcanic Crater, having characters use their abilities and enerbeams to explore the inside of the volcano.


Sonic Boom Fire & Ice: Ragna Rock and Fissure Tunnels (Frozen Pipeline, Tunnel of Treachery, etc.) 

Spoiler

Ragna Rock is the final island in the game, where Eggman has been mining Ragnium.

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Fissure Tunnels are remixed versions of the Worm Tunnels from Sonic Boom Shattered Crystal that can be found on each island. The levels are basically Mach Speed Minigames where Sonic runs through underground tunnels affected by Ragnium, switching back and forth between fiery and icy terrain. During these levels, Sonic will have to the use Fire Power to melt icebergs in the ice sections, use ice power to create bridges out of geyser water, avoid obstacles and lasers, use the enerbeam on cables when there’s no where left to run, and collect Dragon Rings for more Ragnium. There are no Checkpoints. 

 

Discussion Questions
1. If you had to choose, what would be the choices for your #1 Fire Level/Hub Area in a Sonic Game?

2. Would you like to see a remixed version of your favorite Fire Level/Hub Area, like Crisis City in Sonic Generations, in Sonic Mania or another future Sonic game?

3. What would be your least favorite Fire level in a Sonic Game?

4. What are your favorite Fire Level Music Tracks?

5. What are some old or new ideas you'd like to see in future Fire themed Levels in Sonic games?

6. What's another level theme you'd like to see fused together with the fire themed levels, that haven’t been done yet, in Sonic games?

7. Would you personally, like to see a fire Level/Hub Areas in Sonic Mania, Sonic Project 2017, or another future Sonic game?

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To me, the best will always be Lava Reef. It's a fun level, with nice gimmicks and badniks:

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^^^^ These smoke dudes, I used to call them "cigarretes" when I was young lol. Lava Reef is also a relief after Sandolopis Act 2.

It's funny, but what I really like about LRZ is how the lava cools down after you beat the boss and starts Act 2. While Act 1 uses the orange/red color palette, Act 2 goes with the perfect contrast using blue/green.

The music is undeniably great and memorable.

Also, having the fire shield on this level is a piece of cake! Speaking of it, one thing the lava level of Sonic After the Sequel did (and I found totaly awesome) was add lava as if it were water... like, you can DIVE in lava, but ONLY if you have a fire shield. Pretty sick idea. I once had a similar idea of having electrified water that Sonic could only dive without getting shocked if he had a electric shield.

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Discussion Questions
1. If you had to choose, what would be the choices for your #1 Fire Level/Hub Area in a Sonic Game?

I can't decide between Crisis City (Generations) and Lava Reef, so if I went with one it'd have to be Lava Reef.

2. Would you like to see a remixed version of your favorite Fire Level/Hub Area, like Crisis City in Sonic Generations, in Sonic Mania or another future Sonic game?

Mania is a good opportunity for a Lava Reef retune.

3. What would be your least favorite Fire level in a Sonic Game?

Marble. It's too fucking hard along with Labyrinth Zone.

4. What are your favorite Fire Level Music Tracks?

Lava Reef, Red Mountain and Crisis City.

6. What's another level theme you'd like to see fused together with the fire themed levels, that haven’t been done yet, in Sonic games?

Burning ruins. Think Hydrocity but with fire instead of water.

7. Would you personally, like to see a fire Level/Hub Areas in Sonic Mania, Sonic Project 2017, or another future Sonic game?

Well, for Sonic 2017 it's already been confirmed in the trailer, and I'd love to see one in Mania.

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Discussion Questions
1. If you had to choose, what would be the choices for your #1 Fire Level/Hub Area in a Sonic Game?

Lava Shelter, Molten Mine, Eggmanland (HD).

2. Would you like to see a remixed version of your favorite Fire Level/Hub Area, like Crisis City in Sonic Generations, in Sonic Mania or another future Sonic game?

I'd rather see new levels, but if Sonic Team is going to be remixing old ones anyway then why not?

3. What would be your least favorite Fire level in a Sonic Game?

Magma Rift and Evil Foundry. Mainly because playing them means you have to deal with Free Riders and Secret Rings' bullshit control schemes.

4. What are your favorite Fire Level Music Tracks?

Molten Mine, bar none.

5. What are some old or new ideas you'd like to see in future Fire themed Levels in Sonic games?

I'd like to see some more levels where the environment is being actively destroyed by flames a la Angel Island or Crisis City. I'd also like to see the destruction caused by the fire to directly impact the level itself, such as by having burning buildings collapse on the road in front to you, or a GUN truck-esqe set piece where you cross a wooden bridge as it's consumed by an ever advancing wall of flame. Fortunately it looks like Project 2017 is set to do just that.

6. What's another level theme you'd like to see fused together with the fire themed levels, that haven’t been done yet, in Sonic games?

How about water. For instance, how about a level set aboard a burning oil rig or pirate ship.

7. Would you personally, like to see a fire Level/Hub Areas in Sonic Mania, Sonic Project 2017, or another future Sonic game?

Sure. It looks like they've already got one lined up for Project 2017 anyway.

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Discussion Questions
1. If you had to choose, what would be the choices for your #1 Fire Level/Hub Area in a Sonic Game?

The Lava Reef Zone

The music, the challenge, the Badniks, and the transitions from Act 1 to Act 2 are really awesome to me.

2. Would you like to see a remixed version of your favorite Fire Level/Hub Area, like Crisis City in Sonic Generations, in Sonic Mania or another future Sonic game?

I would love to see the Lava Reef Zone get remixed in Sonic Mania.

3. What would be your least favorite Fire level in a Sonic Game?

Meteor Herd

Having a large level that has different areas that can only be accessed by specific means and where you constantly have to move to avoid getting hit by an rng'd obstacle is no fun.

Especially during Mission 2, where you have to find 100 Rings.

4. What are your favorite Fire Level Music Tracks?

Red Mountain's Interior BGM (aka Red Hot Skull)

5. What are some old or new ideas you'd like to see in future Fire themed Levels in Sonic games?

  • like the idea of lava surfing, as seen in The Cauldron
  • like the idea of the Flame Shield or Red Wisps being needed to power cannons and melt ice

6. What's another level theme you'd like to see fused together with the fire themed levels, that haven’t been done yet, in Sonic games?

I can't think of anything. I think the Fire Theme is one of the few themes that has fused with every other type of theme. 

7. Would you personally, like to see a fire Level/Hub Areas in Sonic Mania, Sonic Project 2017, or another future Sonic game?

If the area we see in the Project 2017 Teaser Trailer is an actual level in the game, I would love to play through it.

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Discussion Questions
1. If you had to choose, what would be the choices for your #1 Fire Level/Hub Area in a Sonic Game?

Hmm.. this is a tricky question. I think I'd split my answer into two categories, 2D and 3D. For 2D, I'd have to say Marble or Hill Top. Still I love Metropolis Zone and Lava Reef. For 2D, I like a lot of the fire levels. For 3D, I'd say Molten Mine and Evil Foundry. I'm a huge fan of the story book series and both of these zones were pretty fun with fun parts to the stories. 

2. Would you like to see a remixed version of your favorite Fire Level/Hub Area, like Crisis City in Sonic Generations, in Sonic Mania or another future Sonic game?

Eeehhh, as hard as it may be for Sega, I prefer new stages to old. If they'd have to include them, then I prefer they make enough changes to the level so that it is uniquely distinct from the original.

3. What would be your least favorite Fire level in a Sonic Game?

I'd say Mad Gear Zone. It just wasn't that fun of zone. Plus three full acts per zone is kinda maddening for me. Sonic 1 did it, but I felt like the third act was always shorter and harder than the other two. Sonic 4 made levels like these that were eh in terms of fun but long. Not my favorite. 

4. What are your favorite Fire Level Music Tracks?

I'd actually have to go with Marble or Hill Top for this one. I love most fire level tracks, but those stick out to me.

5. What are some old or new ideas you'd like to see in future Fire themed Levels in Sonic games?

Hmm.. new fire levels, Two ideas come to mind. One idea is sorta like a frost mountainous area with lava and fire gushing out of certain places. I'm thinking it'd bear resemblance to the WoW Frostfire zone. It'd be different of course, but I think the idea could be very interesting. Something like this also exists in the OVA movie where at the end it's a combination of ice and lava. My second idea for a level would be a sorta chemical level where at Sonic's running friction heats up certain chemicals causing a fire-y background. This idea is more of a 2D idea as the full spectacle of it would be released on 2D plane.

6. What's another level theme you'd like to see fused together with the fire themed levels, that haven’t been done yet, in Sonic games?

Ahh, well I think both of my ideas fuse level ideas together. The first is a fuse of ice and fire. The second a fuse of a chemical plant like zone with fire.

7. Would you personally, like to see a fire Level/Hub Areas in Sonic Mania, Sonic Project 2017, or another future Sonic game?

Absolutely. It just depends on what exactly this fire level is. I can't state enough that I want levels to be unique from one another. 

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