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Sky Chasing Zones: Air Levels in Sonic Games


Sonictrainer

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The skies of Sonic’s Game Universe are filled with just as many wonders as the lands and seas. Over the past 25 years we’ve flown using body parts, planes, rocket boots, and Extreme Gear to Floating Islands, flying ruins, and many of Eggman’ signature airships. As we look up into the sky be careful not to fall into any bottomless pits.

NOTES: 
1. All entries in the opening post are Air/Sky/Wind Zones and Hubs from Official, licensed Sonic Games. This includes: 

  • All Versions of the Sky Chase Zone
  • Levels with the words “Air”, “Angel”, “Flying”, “Sky”, “Windy”, and “Wing” in their names
  • Levels where Sonic and Tails’ biplane, the “Tornado”, is used

2. If a brand new Air/Sky/Wind Level is revealed for Sonic Forces or a brand new Sonic game within a month after I post this topic, I’ll add it in later.

3. If you have a favorite Air/Sky/Wind 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 Air/Sky/Wind level, feel free to talk about it in the topic.


Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit/Genesis/Mega Drive Version): Sky Chase Zone and Wing Fortress Zone

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The Sky Chase Zone is technically Act 1 of Zone 9, where Sonic and Tails chase after Eggman in the Tornado over Westside Island. The Badniks waiting to Sky Block Sonic and Tails in the Sky Chase Zone are Balkiry, a eagle Badnik that tries to kamikaze into the duo, Nebula, a slow moving helicopter Badnik that drops spiked bombs, and Turtloid, a tag team of turtle Badniks where the big one flies and the smaller one other rides.

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The Wing Fortress Zone is a giant airship that acts as the locale for Act 2 of Zone 9, where Eggman is making his final preparations before going to the Death Egg. Sonic and Tails will split up here, even if you’re playing in Co-op, going solo to take on the level. Sonic or Tails will have to jump across floating platforms, gunners that act as platforms, and small rotating propellers, get propelled by mini flatbeds on wheels that act similar to boosters, ride vertical conveyor belts, hang from bars and crane hooks, float across fans and a section similar to the Labyrinth Zone where they grab panels while being blown by the wind, and dodge side turrets. Like the Casino Night Zone, there is only one Badnik protecting the Wing Fortress Zone and its called Clucker, a chicken Badnik that pops in and out of a cockpit and operates a turret but only fires in one direction. At the end of the Zone, Sonic or Tails will have to dodge and attack a ceiling laser while balancing on 3 small levitating platforms with spikes on the bottom. After destroying the laser, Sonic or Tails will catch a ride on Eggman’s rocket into space and onto the Death Egg.


Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles: Flying Battery Zone and Sky Sanctuary Zone

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The Flying Battery Zone is a giant airship traveling across Angel Island to bring supplies to the Death Egg. After hitching a ride while it flew through the Mushroom Hill Zone, Sonic and Tails will carefully jump across floating platforms over bottomless pits, grab and hang from monkey bars, and avoid flame turrets, which can sometimes be used as springs, and spike weights, which move up and down during the electric magnet sections. The 2 Badniks charging around in the Flying Battery Zone are Technosqueak, a computer mouse Badnik that moves quickly on the ground and ceilings, and Blaster, a insect Badnik that uses a cannon but is slow and is also affected by the electric magnets. The Mini-Boss in Act 1 is a fake Prison Capsule armed with 2 long arms and Spiked Balls for hands. Our heroes can make it hit itself by standing on top and moving out of harm’s way once the hands come down. In Act 2, Eggman and Egg Robo appear with a… very suggestive fire mech.

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The Sky Sanctuary Zone is a series of ruins and temples that float over Angel Island. There is only 1 Act here and it plays out differently for Knuckles. Sonic and Tails try to rush through the area to catch up to the Death Egg all while hanging onto elevator poles, riding turntable platforms, jumping across floating and unsturdy pillars, bouncing off of clouds, using Warp Points to teleport to new areas, and facing 3 Boss Battles against Mecha Sonic. The only Badnik that appears during Sonic and Tails’ version of the level is Eggrobo, a Badnik based on Classic Eggman that has a jetpack and is carrying a laser gun. In Knuckles’ Version of the level, the Eggrobo that’s been taunting Knuckles the entire time gets surprise Spin Attacked by Mecha Sonic, who can now use the Master Emerald to transform into Super Mecha Sonic for a brief amount of time.


Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit/Master System/Game Gear Version): Sky Base Zone

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The Sky Base Zone is an exclusive Zone of the 8-bit Version of Sonic the Hedgehog and the game’s last Zone instead of the Scrap Brain Zone. It’s a giant blimp Eggman created, armed with lasers, missiles, and electric fields, that flies above the Scrap Brain Zone on South Island, but is hidden by the storm clouds. In Act 1, Sonic will have to navigate around the electric field to avoid getting shocked. In Act 2, Sonic will have to jump and dodge while auto-scrolling without any Rings and maybe grab the Chaos Emerald. In Act 3, Sonic will fight against Eggman similar to the final boss in the 16-bit Version but instead of crushing pillars, it uses electricity.


Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit/Master System/Game Gear Version): Sky High Zone

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The Sky High Zone is an area accessible by high mountain peaks where people can actually walk on clouds. Sonic will have to use Hang gliders to glide through the air (if you understand the control scheme), navigate a cloud maze (where it’s very hard to tell which clouds Sonic can walk on since they all look the same), and avoid the spike pits and bottomless pits. In Act 3, Sonic will fight Goose Mecha and her chicks in a farm of clouds.


Sonic Chaos: Sleeping Egg Zone and Special Stages

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The Sleeping Egg Zone appears to be a set of sky ruins Eggman created for some reason (and the level shown on the US Boxart). Sonic and Tails can break through the ruins just by using regular Springs, bounce around using the Pogo Springs, and carefully go through a maze of transparent blocks. In Act 3, Sonic and Tails will fight a Pogo Mech with a turret. 

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Some of the Special Stages in Sonic Chaos take place in the sky and will require Sonic to use power-ups, like the Rocket Shoes, in order to collect the Chaos Emeralds.


Sonic Triple Trouble: Special Stage 2 & 4

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2 of the Special Stages in Sonic Triple Trouble will have Sonic or Tails pilot the Tornado while collecting Rings.


Sonic Labyrinth: Labyrinth of the Sky

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The Labyrinth of the Sky is the first area of Eggman’s Super Labyrinth, where Sonic collects Keys on floating mazes, fights the Mecha Gorilla, and gets closer to removing the Slow Down Shoes from his feet.


Tails Skypatrol: Metal Island Area

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The Metal Island Area is a giant airship where Wendy Witchart’s minion, Carrotia the Rabbit, was stationed.


Tails Adventure: Battle Fortress

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The Battle Fortress is the main HQ for the Battle Bird Armada (aka the Battle Kukku Army). After using the Seafox to get aboard, Tails infiltrated the base, fought Speedy one final time, and took on Speedy’s father, the Battle Lord (aka Lord Kukku XV).


Sonic the Fighters/Championship: Flying Carpet and Giant Wing

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The Flying Carpet is an arena made on a giant carpet flying through a desert. This is Stage 2 in Arcade Mode, where Amy uses a Hammer for the first time.

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The Giant Wing is an arena on a giant plane. This is Stage 8 in Arcade Mode and is Sonic’s signature stage.


Sonic Adventure: Windy Valley, Sky Chase (Act 1 & 2), Egg Carrier Adventure Field, and Sky Deck

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The Windy Valley is a magical area that Eggman took over and filled with Badniks. It can only be accessed in the Mystic Ruins after finding the Wind Stone. The first area of the Windy Valley is an actual valley with areas where Sonic can run on wind, miniature windmills that Sonic can Home Attack, unsturdy bridges that can break, and trampolines that can bounce characters higher. Sonic and Tails found out about the second area of Windy Valley when they got sucked into a giant tornado. After escaping the giant tornado, it’s revealed that the other half of Windy Valley is a series of floating ruins and bridges that lead to the Blue Chaos Emerald. E-102 Gamma’s younger sibling E-103 Delta is also located somewhere in the valley part of the area.

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During Sonic and Tails’ Stories, they will ride the Tornado after the Egg Carrier in a 3D remixed version of the Sky Chase Zone. In Act 1, Sonic and Tails are almost able to aboard until Eggman destroyed the Tornado with the Egg Carriers’ laser. In Act 2, they ride the Tornado 2, which has a regular mode and a fighter mode, and destroy the Egg Carrier’s main cannon.

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The Egg Carrier was Eggman’s mode of transportation during Sonic Adventure, besides his Egg Mobile. This airship was bigger and better than his Wing Fortress and Flying Battery, actually blocking out the sun when it flew over Station Square. Unfortunately, it became shipwrecked and is now floating somewhere in the middle of the ocean. Despite the crash into the sea, it’s still fully functional…

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The Sky Deck is the exterior of the Egg Carrier, where Sonic and Tails dodge and destroy giant turrets, run across bridges and plane runways, cling to handles to avoid being swept away by the wind, and use a lever to change the level’s angle. Knuckles also explored the cargo area for the last 3 pieces of the Master Emerald.


Sonic Adventure 2: Sky Rail

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Sky Rail is a system of rails built high above a few mountaintops where Shadow shadowed behind Team Heroes. Besides grinding and switching rails, Shadow can use a Homing Attack on Propeller Springs to reach higher areas, avoid the returning flamethrowers from Red Mountain, and grab the Ancient Light Power-Up Item to unlock his Light Attack ability.


Sonic Shuffle: Fire Bird

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The Fire Bird is a massive Phoenix acting as the 2nd Dream Zone the team travels to in Maginery World, born from the dreams of those who love freedom. Void’s influence has trapped the Fire Bird inside of a machine like a Badnik and it’s starting to lose control. As players collect more and more Precioustone, parts of the ship will break off and hurt any characters standing on them. The ending minigame of this level has characters skydive into a hot air balloon.


Sonic Heroes: Egg Fleet and Final Fortress

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The Egg Fleet is an array of giant airships shaped like fish that Eggman plans to use to takeover the world in 3 days. Teams will use the helicopter pulleys to reach other airships, fight against the new E-2000, a iron man colored humanoid mech that has a arm cannon, shield, and can transform between a offensive form and a defensive form, and take down 2 of the main flagships by using Sonic, Shadow, Amy, and Espio’s Rocket Accel. Instead of a Goal Ring, the stage ends with the dynamic freeze frame of the Team flying out of the exploding flagship.

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Final Fortress is the largest ship in the Egg Fleet shaped like a whale shark and housing Eggman, Froggy, Chacola, a factory of Shadow Androids, and Neo Metal Sonic. Teams will have to move quickly off of collapsing platforms, fight the E-2000R, a stronger Version of the E-2000, press a giant self destruct switch, and dodge lasers while grinding on rails. At the end, all Teams will have to face off against the Egg Emperor, Eggman’s strongest Egg Pawn series robot armed with a strong shield, an energy lance, and has the ability to boost, which he only uses if Teams get too far away.


Shadow the Hedgehog: Sky Troops and Air Fleet

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Sky Troops is a series of floating ruins that are actually ancient Black Arms technology. As Shadow explored the area, he had 3 choices:

  • Destroy Eggman’s airships for Black Doom
  • Destroy the jewels powering the ruins for Eggman
  • Ignore both sides and reach Eggman’s flagship

As he decides on which villain to help or hinder, he’ll ride a Black Hawk and one of GUN’s vehicles that can space jump and hover.

Fast Fact: This is the only level in the game where helping Eggman is considered the Heroic thing to do.

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Air Fleet is fleet of GUN planes escorting the president to a safer location. As Shadow navigated the main plane, he had 3 choices:

  • Protect the President with Tails
  • Kill the President
  • Steal the Cyan Chaos Emerald from GUN

The president’s escape pod will be hanging from a rail throughout the level and Shadow can change its path using a lever. Each path will have either Black Arms or GUN’s defenses, turrets Shadow can man in some areas, and electrified Grind Rails that only a saucer or Chaos Shadow (aka his Hero/Dark forms) can use.


Sonic Pocket Adventure: Sky Chase Zone and Aerobase Zone

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After receiving an uppercut by Knuckles, Sonic ends up in the sky with Tails and the Tornado. The only difference in this Version of the Sky Chase Zone is that platforms appear in the higher part of the level that have Ring Item Boxes, Pop-Up Spikes, and sometimes nothing. It is possible to enter a Special Stage at the end.

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The Aerobase Zone is a remixed version of the Wing Fortress Zone from Sonic 2, with Silver Sonic as the Boss at the end.


Sonic Advance: Angel Island Zone and Egg Rocket Zone

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The Angel Island Zone in Sonic Advance is more of a sky ruin than a rainforest. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy will have to jump across platforms and clouds, ride platforms down hills, spin around in giant bowls, grab pulleys and ride wind currents to higher areas, slide down and swim through quicksand, run on wheels to move up and get across gaps, and find the Special Spring in Act 2 to get the Cyan Chaos Emerald. At the end of Act 2, they will have to face off against Mecha Knuckles, a robot duplicate of Knuckles Eggman designed differently from Metal Knuckles in Sonic R.

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The Egg Rocket Zone is technically Act 1 of Zone 6, a space shuttle heading for Eggman’s new space station, the Cosmic Angel Zone. Characters will have to quickly get through 3 areas of the rocket in 5 minutes before it breaks off. Fortunately, reaching each new area counts as a Checkpoint.


Sonic Advance 2: Sky Canyon Zone

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The Sky Canyon Zone appears to be a high, mountainous region on Angel Island (at least according to the Map). Here characters can use small fans returning from the Star Light Zone to instantly enter Boost Mode, use big windmills to change direction and get some air, do Aerial Tricks to get across pits and reach Dash Rings to new paths, ride gusts of wind like in Sonic Advance’s Angel Island Zone, and collect 7 Special Rings to go after the Grey Chaos Emerald. As Sonic ran through, he runs into Knuckles piloting the Egg Wheel, a massive spinning wheel carrying a breakable laser, a giant hand that can PIMP SLAP YOU INTO INSTANT DEATH, and the cockpit, which can only be damaged from the top and not the sides. Just another reason I turned Time Limits off during my playthroughs of this game.

Fast Fact: In the cutscene after the Knuckles Egg Wheel Boss with Sonic, Knuckles’ eyes are sky blue instead of purple.


Sonic Advance 3: Chaos Angel Zone, Emerald Altar Zone, and the Special Stages

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The Chaos Angel Zone is a set of floating ruins with a dark sky (or maybe even space) that’s the last empire of Eggman’s new world and where the Master Emerald Altar was relocated. 

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Before Knuckles can return to guarding the Master Emerald, Eggman and Gemerl try to stop our heroes one more time with the Hyper Eggrobo.

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The Special Stages in Sonic Advance 3 will have characters ride the top of the Tornado 2 and try to collect Rings.


Sonic Rush: Altitude Limit Zone

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The Altitude Limit Zone is a giant construction project reaching high into the sky. What makes this zone a challenge are the instant death lasers located under and above certain parts of the zone, causing 1 mistake to cost you a life. Sonic and Blaze can use cannons that supply them with height and parachutes, jet powered platforms to reach higher areas, and hang gliders in a few 3D sections. At the end, Sonic and Blaze fight the Egg Eagle, a robot bird that tries to shoot them from long distance and blow them away at a shorter distance.


Sonic Rush Adventure: Sky Babylon Zone

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The Sky Babylon Zone is a floating island in Blaze’s world. Sonic and Blaze will grind on vines, use gems and gem powered pulleys to reach higher areas, burning paths that Blaze can go through but Sonic has to Boost through in order to not be injured, and collect Gold Material. Unfortunately, the instant death lasers from Altitude Limit Zone return. They do look cooler though. At the end, Sonic and Blaze will fight the Ghost Condor, a flying robot that can be reached by bouncing off its minions.


Sonic Riders: Babylon Garden and Sky Road

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The Babylon Garden is a massive ruin floating in the sky thanks to the treasure cube of Team Babylon and the Chaos Emeralds. As the last racecourse for Team Heroes, Sonic raced against Jet on a new Extreme Gear, the Blue Star Mk.II.

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Sky Road is another area of the Babylon Garden, where Wave the Swallow races with Storm, Tails, and Knuckles to avoid Eggman’s Egg Riders.


Sonic Rivals: Sky Park Zone

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The Sky Park Zone is a county fair themed amusement park with a roller coaster racecourse built through its attractions. It also appears to be a future version of the Carnival Night Zone on Onyx Island, a future version of Angel Island. As Sonic races against Shadow and Knuckles challenges Silver, they’ll use Spin Dashes to power strength testers that act similar to springs, move a giant Jack-In-the-Box and use it to reach a higher path, and launch and avoid roller coaster cars. After the first race, everyone will have race against Metal Sonic in a fiery version of the Zone instead of a Boss Battle.


Sonic and the Secret Rings: Levitated Ruin

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Levitated Ruin is a school of flying fossils called Rukh where Sinbad the Sailor, the Arabian Version of Knuckles, is being held captive. Sonic will ride ziplines to collect Rings and dodge drill missiles, running on highways made of light, avoid getting turned into stone by Gargoyles, navigating 2D areas inside towers, locating levers to release the locks on Sinbad’s cage, and collecting the Blue World Ring, which represents “Hope/Prayers”. After freeing Sinbad, he tells Sonic and Shahra about the Water Blue World Ring and its power to weaken the Ifrit Golem in Evil Foundry with rain and about its location in Pirate Storm.

Fast Fact: Levitated Ruin is the only level in the game without vocals in its music.


Sonic Chronicles The Dark Brotherhood: Angel Island Zone

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Sonic and Knuckles led a Team through the Metropolis Zone and hitched a ride on one of the Marauders’ airships to reach Angel Island.


Sonic Unleashed (HD/PS3/Xbox 360 Version): Tornado Defense and Empire City/Skyscraper Scamper

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As Sonic, Tails, and Chip fly to Spagonia and Eggmanland, they will have to deal with Eggman’s flying Egg Fighters. As Tails flies, Sonic will man the guns. It is basically a QTE Minigame, where you try to see how many enemies you can take down in a row and keep the combo going. At the end of each Act, they will have to fight the Egg Cauldron, a giant pot shaped airship that can only be hit when it opens its hangar doors. If Sonic can’t take it down before time runs out in Tornado Defense Act 2, it will explode taking one life.

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Empire City is an exclusive Country to the PS3 and Xbox 360 Versions of the game. It’s based on American cities like New York City and Chicago.

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Skyscraper Scamper is a set of highways and rooftops in Empire City that are so high up, clouds block the view of the ground. During the day Sonic runs through unfinished highways and the sides of buildings while taking out Egg Fighters and dealing with both the Aero Chasers and Interceptor. At Night, he tightropes on support beams while knocking out Dark Gaia Minions, including 2 Titans.


Sonic Generations (HD/PC/PS3/Xbox 360 Version): Sky Sanctuary

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The 3D remix of Sky Sanctuary appears as the last level of the Genesis/Mega Drive Era. Act 1 has Classic Sonic balance on Spinning Tops while taking one of 3 different paths to the Goal Post, each with 1 Red Star Ring at the end. In Act 2, Modern Sonic can take a number of routes in much wider areas to reach the Goal Ring while facing Eggrobos with upgrades including guns that shoot 3 way lasers and black Eggrobos that launch homing missiles. The Death Egg still watches both Sonics in the background as they soar through the sanctuary.


Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Sky Fortress Zone

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The Sky Fortress Zone is an upgraded version of Eggman’s Wing Fortress from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which is now bigger, armed with giant missiles, and protected by Metal Sonic and his new aircraft, the Metal Carrier. Act 1 is another remixed Sky Chase Zone except with the Tornado getting its own Boost Attack, that allows it to smash through Boxes and deflect certain projectiles but makes Tails dizzy and stuns the Tornado briefly, Sonic will split up and reunite with Tails at certain points, and Metal Sonic will ride the Metal Carrier in at some points to release and lead Badniks and shoot cannonballs and energy balls at Sonic and Tails. In Act 2, Sonic and Tails will speed through the deck and running on sideways walls similar to the ones in the Ice Paradise Zone in Sonic Advance 2 and Dead Line Zone in Sonic Rush. In Act 3, Sonic and Tails avoid thrusters, spikes, and bottomless pits and use cannons similar to the ones from the Death Egg Zone in Sonic 3 & Knuckles. The Badniks flying around the Sky Fortress Zone are Balkiry, which flies out of the Metal Carrier to dive bomb the Tornado in Act 1, Turtloid, which can still be used as a platforms once the smaller one is gone and they can now be crushed by the Tornado’s weight, Clucker, who can now shoot faster, and Fullboar, a new wild boar Badnik that rolls around on wheels. In the Boss Act, Metal Sonic tries to shoot Sonic and Tails down with the Metal Carrier’s laser system before using a tailwind and rotating giant missiles as a last resort.


Sonic Lost World: Windy Hill, Sky Road, and Hidden World Zone 2

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Windy Hill is the Green Hill region of the Lost Hex. While looking for one of the Prison Capsules Eggman dropped, Sonic will Parkour up trees and hillsides, team up with the Cyan and Indigo Wisps, bounce across clouds, jump around giant windmills, and take on Zazz and his Moon Mech.

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In the 3DS Version, Sonic teams up with the Red Wisps alongside the Cyan and Indigo Wisps.

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Sky Road is the highest area of the Lost Hex, carrying terrain from Windy Hill, Desert Ruins, and Silent Forest. In the Wii U Version, Sonic will fight against bigger Catakillers and giant Pink Catakillers that head-butt the ground to create shockwaves, Parkour or team up with the Crimson Wisps to cross gaps, fight a Tank Turtle in a cloudy arena, avoid fireballs and lasers from Zavok’s dancing dragon mechs, soar through the air while dodging and spinning into Turtloids and deflecting missiles at a giant puffer fish Badnik, and climbing a dark Desert Ruins temple to have a rematch with Zavok. There’s even a “Zone ?” where Sonic has to quickly run across disappearing blocks while dealing with Sprinkler, Buzz Bombers, and Orbinauts.

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In the 3DS Version, Sonic goes through a Casino, with elements of the Casino Night Zone and Casino Street Zone, surf on top of rockets to fly through the sky, carefully maneuver around burning blocks, and team up with the Cyan Wisp to fight Zavok in a skydiving Boss Battle.

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The Hidden World is an extra world, exclusive to the Wii U Version, featuring Zones that can only be unlocked after Sonic saves a certain amount of Animals. In Hidden World Zone 2, Sonic and Tails ride the Tornado through an aerial obstacle course. Unfortunately, they can’t attack any of the Badniks here.


Sonic Jump/Jump Fever: Blue Sky Zone

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The Blue Sky Zone is a series of clouds and balloon bundles that Sonic and other characters can bounce on to reach the Goal Ring. The only Badnik that appears here is Spinner.


Sonic Runners: Windy Hill and Sky Road

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Coming Soon

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In Sonic Runners, Sky Road is a level best suited for Flight characters like Tails.


Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing: Turbine Loop, Dark Arsenal, and Thunder Deck

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Turbine Loop is a racecourse based on the Final Fortress from Sonic Heroes, where racers will have to avoid wondering Egg Pawns and Egg Pawn Hammers in sleep mode being carried on a conveyer belt.

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Dark Arsenal is similar to Turbine Loop except that it has an area that has an optional shortcut where racers can try and use a ramp to get over a huge gap. It requires enough speed or the Power Sneaker item.

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Thunder Deck is similar to Turbine Loop and Dark Arsenal, except racers now have to dodge turrets and mechanical hands.


Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed: Sanctuary Falls

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Sanctuary Falls is a racecourse based on the Sky Sanctuary Zone, from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles and the remixed Version from Sonic Generations, where racers will start with planes and switch into cars.


Super Smash Bros. for Wii U: Windy Hill

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The Windy Hill stage is Sonic’s signature stage for the Wii U Version. 


Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric: Sky Citadel

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Sky Citadel is a floating city where the last Chaos Crystal is located.


Sonic Boom Shattered Crystal: Cloud Sanctuary and Air Fortress

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Cloud Sanctuary is the 6th and final island in the game, acting as a hub for several levels on a floating island.

The Air Fortress is Lyric’s HQ where Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Sticks try to break in to save Amy.


Sonic Mania: Flying Battery Zone

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The Flying Battery returns to the skies in Sonic Mania. While not much is known at the time of writing this, we do know that using the Thunder Shield will allow Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles to be affected by the electro magnets in the level. Also, there appears to be a garbage disposal area where Badnik parts and Goal Posts can be found.

 

Discussion Questions
1. What is your number 1 BEST Air/Sky/Wind Level in a Sonic Game? Or if you can’t pick one, what are your top favorites?

2. What is your number 1 WORST Air/Sky/Wind level in a Sonic Game? Or you can’t pick one, what are your least favorites?

3. What are your favorite Air/Sky/Wind Level Music Tracks?

4. What are some old or new ideas you'd like to see in future Air/Sky/Wind themed Levels in Sonic games?

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

6. Would you personally like to see a new or remixed returning Air/Sky/Wind Level in Sonic Forces or another future Sonic game?

Special Questions
S1. Who are your favorite flying and gliding Characters in the Sonic Games? (Examples: Tails, Knuckles, Charmy, Rouge, Cream, etc.)

S2. Are you glad to see the Flying Battery Zone getting remixed in Sonic Mania? If not, would you have preferred a brand new Air/Sky Wind Zone? Or were you hoping for another Zone from Sonic & Knuckles?

Help me choose a Theme for the Next Topic
The next topic after this one was originally going to be an Earth Themed Sonic Levels Topic. However, after doing research and putting a list together, I found out that way too many Zones could be defined as Earth themed levels. Also, I’ve covered some of them before in the Ruins Topic. So I’ve split them up into 3 categories: Desert Zones, Mountain Zones, and Cave Zones. Also, if you don’t want to explore the lands of Sonic’s Game Universe, we can also shoot for the stars and take a look at some of the many Space Levels.

  • Dusty Desert Zones (Deserts, Pyramids, Sand, etc.)
  • Gimmick Mountain Zones (Canyons, Hills, Mountains, etc.)
  • Mystic Cave Zones (Caves, Mines, Tunnels, etc.)
  • Mad Space Zones (Space Levels in Sonic Games)
  • Thumbs Up 8
  • Nice Smile 1
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1 hour ago, Sonictrainer said:

Discussion Questions
1. What is your number 1 BEST Air/Sky/Wind Level in a Sonic Game? Or if you can’t pick one, what are your top favorites?

2. What is your number 1 WORST Air/Sky/Wind level in a Sonic Game? Or you can’t pick one, what are your least favorites?

3. What are your favorite Air/Sky/Wind Level Music Tracks?

4. What are some old or new ideas you'd like to see in future Air/Sky/Wind themed Levels in Sonic games?

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

6. Would you personally like to see a new or remixed returning Air/Sky/Wind Level in Sonic Forces or another future Sonic game?

1. Sky fortress for Sonic 4  episode 2.  Obviously unoriginal, but I had fun with the music, vertical running and loopty loops to care. I also think the level design is better than wing fortress.

2. Altitude limit from Rush. Three words, 'cheap enemy placements'. 

3. Sky Babylon and Wing fortress.

4. Non that i can think of really.

5. I wish the propellers that made you float return as introducing alternate pathways if you manipulate it well.

6. ABSOLUTELY! Invading Eggman's fleet to destroy his supplies with a dynamic consequences of your actions on the airship can make for some awesome set pieces.

1 hour ago, Sonictrainer said:

Special Questions
S1. Who are your favorite flying and gliding Characters in the Sonic Games? (Examples: Tails, Knuckles, Charmy, Rouge, Cream, etc.)

S2. Are you glad to see the Flying Battery Zone getting remixed in Sonic Mania? If not, would you have preferred a brand new Air/Sky Wind Zone? Or were you hoping for another Zone from Sonic & Knuckles?

1. I liked tails' flying. Knuckles' was really fun to use, and I enjoyed Cream's broken gameplay in advance 2.

2. Kinda disappointed since I was hoping for lava reef, ice cap or hydro city, but the stage looks fun and I'm hoping my stage lists make a debut.

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I'm sure I've said it before, but Sky Chase itself holds a special place it my heart simply because they made the concept of a flying stage work with absolutely zero bullshit. They could easily have made the stage work as a generic shmup and I doubt many people would have complained (hell, they did exactly that for SA1), but the simple act of using the Tornado as a consistent platform means you can play through it almost exactly the same way as any other stage bar the ability to move up and down, and it still kind of blows my mind that they made a sky stage function as a platformer when there's only one actual platform, plus the enemies in it.

It's this kind of design philosophy that I wish was done more often these days, you know? Each stage had its own quirk or gimmick that set it apart from the rest, that made it memorable in its own right, and Sky Chase is far from an exception - these days the gimmick tends to be spread evenly across the entire game and there's usually not much more besides aesthetics to separate the stages within, which gets kind of annoying and bland after a while.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here are my answers:

1. What is your number 1 BEST Air/Sky/Wind Level in a Sonic Game? Or if you can’t pick one, what are your top favorites?

Egg Fleet from Sonic Heroes. From the beginning, where all the Teams hear Eggman boast about the fleet, strike a pose, and make quick comments, to jumping, flying, and gliding across airships, and finally from taking out enemies, turrets, and the flagships from the inside out, Egg Fleet is an awesome first Act of the final level in the game.

 

2. What is your number 1 WORST Air/Sky/Wind level in a Sonic Game? Or you can’t pick one, what are your least favorites?

The Sky High Zone from Sonic 2 8-bit. Ugh, the controls for the hang glider, horrible cloud maze, combo of spike pits and bottomless pits, and Boss Fight with no Rings is completely rage inducing.

 

3. What are your favorite Air/Sky/Wind Level Music Tracks?

I'm really enjoying the Sonic Mania remix of the Flying Battery Zone. Hope to hear the full versions of Act 1 and Act 2 soon.

 

4. What are some old or new ideas you'd like to see in future Air/Sky/Wind themed Levels in Sonic games?

-using the Tornado but something similar to Adventure's Version of Sky Chase or another Special Stage where it's used

-I would like to see Extreme Gear being used outside of the Riders Games.

-I really liked the Egg Fighter Blimps in Generations' Version of Rooftop Run

-if hang gliders return, they should be easy to control like in the Altitude Limit Zone

 

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

I think a ice and wind fusion level would be interesting. It could be called the Frigid Flight Zone.

Also, a weather factory Zone would be a cool idea.

 

6. Would you personally like to see a new or remixed returning Air/Sky/Wind Level in Sonic Forces or another future Sonic game?

Yes, especially since Eggman has conquered 99% of the world in Sonic Forces, that means both Sonic will have to fight Eggman's Sentinel Forces on land, sea, and sky.


S1. Who are your favorite flying and gliding Characters in the Sonic Games? (Examples: Tails, Knuckles, Charmy, Rouge, Cream, etc.)

While I enjoy all of the characters who are able to naturally get through the sky, Tails would have to be my number 1. Being able to fly, swim, and smack Badniks with your tails is so satifisying. 

 

S2. Are you glad to see the Flying Battery Zone getting remixed in Sonic Mania? If not, would you have preferred a brand new Air/Sky Wind Zone? Or were you hoping for another Zone from Sonic & Knuckles?

YES

Besides Green Hill Zone and it's First Level Ever status, I'm glad they chose a level that wasn't remixed in Generations (other than an unlockable music remix) or other Sonic Games. I also have to applaud Aaron Webber for how he revealed the level to us by playing the music first to see if we could recognize it. I'm hoping they continue this trend of with their Sonic 2 picks with Mystic Cave, Hill Top, or Oil Ocean. 

 

Also, unless someone votes, the next themed topic will be Dusty Desert Zones (Deserts, Pyramids, Sand, etc.)

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  • 1 year later...

I agree that these are great when they feel like a taste of what will come, but I appreciate subversions like Flying Battery. I also think you should consider Hot Shelter (inside of the Egg Carrier) and the entirety of SLoW as sky levels. And Mirage Saloon Act 1. 

Of these, I like how unconventional Hot Shelter is compared to the others. It was an odd duck in general. Egg Fleet and Sky Troops were also rather interesting. Especially with Sky Troops’s epic music and having a battle going on. 

 

While Sky Road does have a kitschy charm with all the misplaced objects, overall it’s an unappealing stage that barely fits the narrative at the current time. Very cheery music just after Tails was captured and shortly before Amy is rubbed out?  The same game also contains my most hated stage of all time so...

 

I’d eventually like to see more stages that have you start on the exterior of the ship before going inside, and then making your way to the core. Or attacking ships head-on, like Adventure Sky Chase. 

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On 4/7/2017 at 10:48 PM, Sonictrainer said:

. What is your number 1 BEST Air/Sky/Wind Level in a Sonic Game? Or if you can’t pick one, what are your top favorites?

2. What is your number 1 WORST Air/Sky/Wind level in a Sonic Game? Or you can’t pick one, what are your least favorites?

3. What are your favorite Air/Sky/Wind Level Music Tracks?

4. What are some old or new ideas you'd like to see in future Air/Sky/Wind themed Levels in Sonic games?

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

6. Would you personally like to see a new or remixed returning Air/Sky/Wind Level in Sonic Forces or another future Sonic game?

Special Questions
S1. Who are your favorite flying and gliding Characters in the Sonic Games? (Examples: Tails, Knuckles, Charmy, Rouge, Cream, etc.)

S2. Are you glad to see the Flying Battery Zone getting remixed in Sonic Mania? If not, would you have preferred a brand new Air/Sky Wind Zone? Or were you hoping for another Zone from Sonic & Knuckles?

1. Flying Battery Zone from Sonic and Knuckles and the remixes version from Sonic Mania would be my all time favorite. I like the design and the gimmick. I especially love the storm sections in the Mania version. The music track is also one of my favorite tracks from the 2D games. I also really enjoyed all versions of Sky Sanctuary Zone. 

2. Least favorite? Maybe the ones from Shadow the Hedgehog. I can't really recall being a big fan of anything from that game.

3. As mentioned on the first question, Flying Battery. Sky Deck and Sky Sanctuary as well.

4. I mentioned I enjoyed the storm sections during the Mania version of Flying Battery. So maybe something like that, have the rain and high wins.

5. Not sure, maybe snow and ice? I mentioned I like storms a few times so perhaps an airship level that's flying through a blizzard.

6. N/A

S1. Knuckles who is also my overall favorite character.

S2. Oh yeah.

Also I noticed Rail Canyon from Sonic Heroes missing from the list. Wouldn't that count?

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When I was first compiling a list of Zones for this topic, the first question I asked myself is 

"How high in the sky should the Zone be to be considered for this topic?"

If I said, "Well, if you can see clouds or mostly sky in the background of the level, it is a sky level", that would be a good factor right?

However, that would mean that Highway Zones, which are literally just roads in the sky like Stardust Speedway, Speed Highway, and Mission Street are sky levels, although some of those levels have segments where characters are on ground level.

So my first actual rule for this list was "Zones that are literally floating in the middle of the sky, to the point that Zones are not too low that they're physically connected to the ground and not too high that they're physically connected to Outer Space".

On 9/30/2018 at 10:13 PM, Miragnarok said:

I also think you should consider Hot Shelter (inside of the Egg Carrier)

Although Hot Shelter takes place on the Egg Carrier, a flying ship, there are times in the game where characters access it when the Egg Carrier is not flying in the sky.

Also, because it's indoors most of the time and there are no windows or views of the outside, it's not easy for anyone who has not played "Sonic Adventure" to know that Hot Shelter is inside of a massive airship.

On 9/30/2018 at 10:13 PM, Miragnarok said:

the entirety of SLoW as sky levels.

The reason I didn't include all Lost World Zones is because they either took place on the ground most of the time or had too many similarities to Space Themed Levels.

On 9/30/2018 at 10:13 PM, Miragnarok said:

And Mirage Saloon Act 1.

I made this topic 3 months before we knew Mirage Saloon Zone Act 1 ST was a remixed version Sky Chase Zone.

3 hours ago, Shaun Shikeishuu said:

Also I noticed Rail Canyon from Sonic Heroes missing from the list. Wouldn't that count?

Most Mountain Zones weren't included this time around because I'm still working a topic that covers all of them in the future, which will be longer than the Green Hilled Zones I covered previously.

Plus, not all Mountain Zones were tall enough to reach the sky.

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1. What is your number 1 BEST Air/Sky/Wind Level in a Sonic Game? Or if you can’t pick one, what are your top favorites?

Sky Sanctuary, what a gorgeous level that one was, and then Generations came along and translated it to 3D without losing an inch of what made it pop. Sure, the original level proper was a short boss rush intermission but it has a look unique to itself.

I'm also a fan of SA2's Sky Rail because of the little detail of location. It's in the same region as Pumpkin Hill and I just love seeing the same environment take on a different tone from day to night. Just a nifty example of recycling assets to create something fresh.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/8/2017 at 4:48 AM, Sonictrainer said:

Discussion Questions

 

1. What is your number 1 BEST Air/Sky/Wind Level in a Sonic Game? Or if you can’t pick one, what are your top favorites?

2. What is your number 1 WORST Air/Sky/Wind level in a Sonic Game? Or you can’t pick one, what are your least favorites?

3. What are your favorite Air/Sky/Wind Level Music Tracks?

4. What are some old or new ideas you'd like to see in future Air/Sky/Wind themed Levels in Sonic games?

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

6. Would you personally like to see a new or remixed returning Air/Sky/Wind Level in Sonic Forces or another future Sonic game?

Special Questions
S1. Who are your favorite flying and gliding Characters in the Sonic Games? (Examples: Tails, Knuckles, Charmy, Rouge, Cream, etc.)

S2. Are you glad to see the Flying Battery Zone getting remixed in Sonic Mania? If not, would you have preferred a brand new Air/Sky Wind Zone? Or were you hoping for another Zone from Sonic & Knuckles?

Help me choose a Theme for the Next Topic
The next topic after this one was originally going to be an Earth Themed Sonic Levels Topic. However, after doing research and putting a list together, I found out that way too many Zones could be defined as Earth themed levels. Also, I’ve covered some of them before in the Ruins Topic. So I’ve split them up into 3 categories: Desert Zones, Mountain Zones, and Cave Zones. Also, if you don’t want to explore the lands of Sonic’s Game Universe, we can also shoot for the stars and take a look at some of the many Space Levels.

  • Dusty Desert Zones (Deserts, Pyramids, Sand, etc.)
  • Gimmick Mountain Zones (Canyons, Hills, Mountains, etc.)
  • Mystic Cave Zones (Caves, Mines, Tunnels, etc.)
  • Mad Space Zones (Space Levels in Sonic Games) 

It's very interesting that you consider Empire City to be an air/sky level, though if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.

1- I really like Sky Base from Sonic 1 8bit, I like how the 2 acts are a big level transition and the level design itself tells a story. That's very clever integration of narrative in gameplay and level design, and I don't care that the airship is a rip-off of Super Mario Bros 3, it still works nice as a concept. Some years after, Sonic 3 reused this style of narrative and was awesome.

For a similar reason s Sky Base, I also like Egg Rocket from Sonic Advance, though the level design is a bit gimmicky and slow paced, and there are a couple of annoying sections.

I also like Windy Valley, especially the first section, though it lasts a few seconds. I wish that huge unreleased version was finished and used in the final game.

Sky Rail from Sonic Adventure 2 is also nice, especially if you try to jump from rail to rail to take shortcuts, though it's very hard to perform and a bit trial and error (Final Rush uses the same concept but its way bigger and has many more alternative routes, so I think it's a better level overall, but that's a space level not a sky level).

2- Without any doubt, Sky Chase from Sonic 2 and all its recreations (including Sonic 4 and Mania). I just think that the controls in that type of levels are bad and unintuitive, they just don't work well IMO.

3- Windy Valley for sure, both musics. Chaos Angel from Advance 3 has a nice music too.

4- The wind currents from Windy Valley would be nice, but used over alternate routes instead of over bottomless pits. If you are fast enough, you can run though all the current and reach the end; if you are slow, at a certain point you fall to the lower route: it's up to the player to build enough speed before entering the current.

Another nice gimmick for 2D games only, are those windmills from Sky Canyon in Sonic Advance 2; they launch you in a different direction depending of your initial direction before entering it.

As for a new concept, I don't know... maybe a sky luna-park level were you can interact with attractions based on the concept of going up and down; Sonic Rivals already explored this concept to an extent, but I suggest to focus more on the concept of implementing the attractions into level design rather than having them in the background.

5- Well, that's hard. Maybe Water? Some games have already done this occasionally. A level where occasionally you enter a big bubble of water and you can exit it from any direction, even from below; maybe you can run on the surface of the water thing despite not being flat? That would be cool!

6- I'm personally sick of old stages returning and being remixed, though, I'm not against it as long as it's a long time unused level and not the usual Sky Sanctuary.

S1- I assume you are asking favorite characters gameplay-wise, since the fact that they fly or glide is a gameplay property; anyway, I usually give more priority to gameplay in any case. Usually, flying characters aren't my favorites, not because I don't like the concept of flying in a platformer, but because usually the flying move of those characters breaks momentum and makes the pace slower (worst offender: Knuckles). Anyway, there are a couple of flying characters who I like, and those are:

-Cream the Rabbit (more specifically, Sonic Advance 2 Cream): She can fly just like Tails, so what's special about her? Unlike Tails she can also stop flying at will and drop on enemies with her feet, bouncing on them. It may seem an useless feature at first, but when you get used to it, it's a nice and very fun ability that lets you exploit the physics of the game. Classic-styled Sonic games always had those bouncing mechanics, but they were very rarely used in level design and gameplay (I remember a monitor in Sonic 1 8bit that required you to bounce in order to get it and not fall into the river/pit). Cream is the only character so far who offers a tool for playing with the bouncing mechanics. By flying, you can place the character in air, gain some horizontal momentum and find the best position; then, you drop, and you can bounce on several enemies at once, like in a Mario game. This is only possible in Sonic Advance 2, because in Advance 3 they removed the bouncing mechanics from her drop move, and she now falls through the enemies destroying them (such a downgrade). In order to make this bouncing gimmick more intuitive, accessible and central in the moveset, I suggested several times to redesign her flying ability to be more like a multi-jump instead, so that when you stop jumping, she automatically drops and bounces on enemies, without the need of an attack button.

-Ray the Flying Squirrel (Sonic Mania Plus): His gameplay may be unoriginal, it's based on Super Mario World's cape and New Super Mario Bros U's acorn power ups... but he's incredibly fun! His fly doesn't break the flow, you can even exploit it in order to gain more height and reach higher routes. This character's skill is based on the concept of risk-reward: you get close to an enemy by gliding. The closer you get, the more you will be precise in hitting it, though, if you get too close, you will take damage and lose the rings; as long as you have got the correct trajectory, just release the jump button and he will turn back into a ball, attacking the enemy. He's also great for boss fights. His gliding skills are so precise that you can even use them for platforming, as long as you have the skills, you can even land on some very small floating platform.

S2- I'm indifferent. It's the same zone, it got a music remix and some new level design, ok, but i'd rather have new zones completely... or at least I would like the return of the zone to be justified with a jump to HD graphics or something... bringing back a zone as it is with little additions doesn't appeal me at all.

-----------------------------------------------------

I think cave/mine levels is an interesting subject.

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