Sonic & Knuckles
SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive
Welcome to the second half of 'Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles'. Sonic & Knuckles was released roughly six months after Sonic 3, though both games were meant to be played as one. In order to do this, you could 'lock-on' Sonic & Knuckles with the Sonic 3 cartridge to get the complete game. Most re-releases group them together. We are looking at seven more Zones, though only the first four have two Acts (five and six have one Act and the last technically has three). There is an eighth zone, but is is only accessable if you have at least all the chaos emeralds, and I have none. Damn.
So, let's get straight to it then!
So, after Tails flies away we're left to play in this mushroom playground. The best thing about mushrooms? They're bouncy. Jump on them and you'll get a little bounce! But first, PLOT!
Hmm, what could he be hiding?
A giant ring! But this one won't take you to a special stage.
It will take us to the place where we would see our emeralds if we had any. Once I'm done with this game, I will go back and get all the emeralds to get Super Sonic. I'll just spam saves and whatnot to make sure I actually get them.
Being technically the first level (again), Mushroom Hill is rather chill.
These fellas can be a bit annoying, Dragonflies. Sonic seems to be invisible, but I think I just lost my shield here. They fly up and down, you destroy them by hitting their heads (their bodies are full of spikes, as I demonstrated here, spikes hurt).
Ropes. Yes, swinging puzzles are in this game and I'm terrible at swinging puzzles. You know the kind, where you have to jump at a certain time to get max boost. I just never get the timing down whatsoever.
Oh, imagine if I had to play Sonic & Knuckles seperately? All of these poor extra lifes would go without a loving home. Come to me, my little pretties!
Naturally, Robotnik made mushroom-based robots for Mushroom Hill. They're called Mushmeanies. They just hop about, but they take two attacks to destroy so I usually just avoid them.
These mechanisms probably work best if I had a flying fox (but only a flying fox) with me, but sadly I'm all on my lonesome. It still works, just press down, Sonic will push down and the mechanism will lift up.
Now, it's time to meet our mini-boss for the day:
Say hey to hey ho, let's go beat him up.
He's not difficult, he'll chop down the tree into little logs and launch them at you, gradually getting lower until he reaches the stump where his axe will get stuck. This is your chance to get a couple of hits on him. If you want to play it safe, concentrate on dodging until he gets stuck and them wail on him, but if you're feeling frisky you can just attack him while he's chopping. Eventually you'll cut him down...
And he explodes.
Act 2 starts with, hold on, there's something in the way...
KNUCKLES!! So, he takes us into a less colourful mushroom playground. He is simply the most diabolical villain since Satan himself.
We meet a robot chicken in this level. He likes to blow us (easy, now) into obstacles. Just wait until he stops and jump on his head. There's not too much new in this Act, but eventually we do see a satellite dish...
Hmm...let's destroy it!
Ahh, bad timing on the picture, me! But yeah, apparently this is why it suddenly turned autumn when Knuckles forced us up here, Robotnik made a weather machine. We just destroyed it, now we shall destroy Robotnik!
In this battle we have to chase Robotnik through an obstacle course while catching up to him and hitting him. When he's shooting out flames from his exhausts it means he's moving away from you and I'm sure it hurts you as well. This always reminds me of those Crash Banicoot levels where you have to run away from giant boulders...except I am the giant boulders!
Eventually we destroy him (and his obstacles also blow up), but the tenacious bastard keeps going. At least until...
The fool hits a wall. FOOL!
Hmm, looks like we have a ship to catch...
Atta boy Sonic!
Next time: Flying Battery Zone!
Mushroom Hill Acts 1 & 2