A Quick Quadrant
Saturday, 6th June 2009, 10:16pm (BST), 0 Comments
Update: Quartz Quadrant added to the Sonic CD section
Quartz Quadrant now up! A lovely little level really - one of those that's perfect to wile away a lazy, sunny Sunday afternoon, I always think. My summer is now wide open, save for a bit of freelance work here and there, so I'm hoping to attain an average of a new level or page every one or two weeks until September. Don't hold me to that, but it's sigificantly more likely that updates will become much more regular during this time, anyway.

My campaign last month to try and drum up some interest from writers seemed to prove rather successful! I'm glad my big "dream" seems to have struck a chord with a lot people. Sometimes I do think I'm the only one, but then I guess I tend to be something of a reclusive Sonic fan, as I don't spend much time on forums. Perhaps I should, and perhaps the time is coming closer to a Zone: 0 forum of some sort. A simple one, but I think some potential for it is developing. Anyway, the quest for writers will continue and I'll advertise it a bit more around the various pages of the site too. Really looking forward to Monty Eggman's Tails Adventures guide. Admittedly, it's the game that I probably know the least about in the whole series really, so all the better to have a full guide all about it, I guess! From what I've read of it so far, we're in good hands for it. :) There's also a Sonic 3D guide coming too, and it would be great if there could be several more on the go too, so if you're interested, check out the previous post and please get in touch!

It's post-E3 and if you haven't checked out what has been revealed, see Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Sonic Unleashed Mobile. Racing seems something of a sequel to Superstars Tennis, which I wouldn't class as a Sonic game as such, but perhaps this one should be, depending on exactly how prominent Sonic-based material is in the game. Seems a nice enough little game but nothing to get too excited about. I'm more interested in the seemingly rather in-depth mobile phone take on Sonic Unleashed. Until now I've never thought of any mobile Sonic game as a legitimate entry into the series, but this one seems like it could be about as significant an adventure as pretty much any other 2D platformer really. I guess technology is moving in such a direction that you can no longer really go by the rule of "it's not a true Sonic game if it isn't on a machine that is primarily a games console" which is what I've been following thus far. One to keep an eye on I think, if only because there's always something particularly exciting about a new 2D platformer.

So two "maybe" Sonic games and Winter Olympics (speaking of which, it's nice to put the normally cult-character of Metal Sonic within eye shot of the casual gamer, but are these kind of activities not a teensy bit out of character for him?). It's funny, by this point after the most recent wave of titles, we normally have a somewhat more significant selection. Could be the 'ol economic difficulties, or maybe Sega are cutting back on having too many Sonic titles, and if that means spending more time and focus on fewer significant platformers then that's definitely for the best. I was hoping to have seen a third Sonic Rush by now though. Given the popularity of the first two, it's a no-brainer really and I hope the pint-sized Unleashed isn't some kind of replacement for it on the 2D arm of the franchise. The pirate themed Sonic Rush Adventure also opens up a lot of possibilities for each entry to have a theme, which keeps things fresh. "Sonic Rush Digital" is my proposal, in which Eggman has encased Sonic and Tails (and Blaze I suppose) in a virtual world. All levels look like any usual selection of locations except they're not real, revealing occasional glitches a bit like Assassin's Creed. Exactly like the alternate time zones of Sonic CD, some way in which to break through the barrier to reveal the reality behind each level - a digital "tron-like" version of itself, would be perfect. Something to consider anyway, Sega.
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WANTED: WRITERS!
Sunday, 24th May 2009, 11:39am (BST), 66 Comments
Lets show them the real power of team work!
Please read the updated version of the new writers post here for list of current writers and updated requirements. I will no longer respond to comments made in this post, please use the new one and email me if interested!

In 2004, I had a dream. It wasn't about equality for all races, it wasn't about a time where war and famine was over. No, it wasn't about any of that stuff. It was a dream about Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic the Hedgehog, in my opinion is the ultimate source of entertainment. In all of technology and modern popular culture there is no greater experience than bursting through a well designed, beautiful, colourful, melodic Sonic level with perfect physics and an adrenaline rush unmatched by any other gaming experience. The twists and turns and platforms are perfectly placed to leap from one to the other, the pace is exciting and the visuals, inspired. Sonic level design is my passion, I find myself almost every day thinking about it. The perfect traps, the ideal pathway formations and locales. I've tried finding other interests but it's no good - Sonic levels are an obsession and an inspiration to me. If you don't share these opinions, do carry on your way and enjoy the rest of the site for whatever other reason you're here. Otherwise, keep reading...

I had the dream of the perfect resource for Sonic levels. Every one of them in the whole series analysed and categorised. Wanted to make an underwater cavern level for your fangame? Perhaps a traditional tropical paradise stage or a factory environment. This was a resource where you could see how the pros have made those levels and what sort of designs and objects can inspire you, what particular elements should be in every instance of each level type. It was a way of mapping and predicting what locations could be employed in upcoming Sonic games and what sorts of ideas have barely been touched before. It was a place where I could bring order and structure to my passion, and before long, it was well underway. As Zone: 0 snowballed along, level guides swelled to the point where they were no longer humble sources of reference for the already knowledgeable - they had become complete strategy guides for the novice, just as useful as they could be to the pro. My work could take a level's beauty and preserve it in the form of literature and imagery for anyone and forever, and I had no doubt that this was the right evolutionary path to take.

However, guides of this size, as a hobby, take time. They always were going to take time but I must say my dream never said anything about there being only three or four games available online a full five years later. And that, dear follower and fellow fanatic, is where you come in. Ever since going live, I've often received the advice of seeking other writers to help me with my mission. I hesitated - worried I'd lose control of the project and what it stands for, but perhaps one day that is for the best, if my dream is to ever live on toward its full potential. If nothing else, the feedback I've received validates my belief that it should live on, it should be all it can be, with or without me behind the wheel - entirely or at all.

So, I am now looking for other writers. Passionate writers, passionate Sonic fans, researchers and game and level enthusiasts in particular. It's time to turn Zone: 0 into a community project! Please get in touch if you're interested in contributing a complete guide for a game or even just a contribution towards part of a game will probably be ok. A game guide in its entirety, written by just the one person would be good to keep consistency but whatever you're considering doing, I'll be interested in discussing it with you, I'm sure! No web development skills necessary - I have a very comprehensive custom-made page builder system that you could use if you wanted.

What are your options? Well Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles have already been written and although I'm still somewhat undecided, I would probably like to carry on with Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 after that. However, beyond that, the world is your oyster! I recommend, however, starting off with something small and simple, as this kind of collaboration is something of an experiment and it would be good to use a smaller game as a bit of a trial run. Because of where I am now with the guides (still firmly in the territory of the "first generation"), some of the Game Gear/Master System platformers, Sonic 1, 2, Sonic Chaos, Triple Trouble etc would be ideal choices. They probably require less in depth description, and mercury is expanding his family of map extractor tools to cover these games too, so it's almost a shame not to make use of it!

However, don't let me dictate. If you really really want to do a guide for any game in the series, old or new - perhaps you've already written an FAQ and would be interested in converting it - talk to me about it! Other great choices would be the Advance/Rush series, Sonic Rivals perhaps, Sonic 3D or Knuckles Chaotix would also be logical (though probably not popular) choices. It might take me a bit of figuring out as to the best way to represent them, but there's nothing that says they have to be platformers either. A guide for Sonic Chronicles would be brilliant! Sonic R, Sonic Battle, Sonic Spinball? All open for discussion!

Again, if you want to go bigger, that's fine too. Sonic Heroes, Sonic '06, Secret Rings, Black Knight, Shadow, maybe even either version of the mighty Sonic Unleashed. Just make sure you know what you're getting into before you agree to anything because as I'm sure you're aware, depth and detail are paramount around here and I would expect no less from guest writers, on huge games! I know I reserved SA1 and 2 for myself, but this is not set in stone yet, and honestly it's more important to me that these guides are done and done well than who does them. So if you love SA1 or 2 and feel like you could do a great job with them, and they're the only ones you would want to do, lets talk. Even just one aspect, like the chao modes, would be great! Only do what you will enjoy doing.

So this is all pretty open, however what I must be firm about, and I must make this perfectly clear, whatever you want to do, make sure it is not a one-off idea that you might get excited about at first but then lose all interest in, a few weeks later. If you're the sort of person who tends to do that, think about it a little more carefully. Whatever you tell me you can provide, make sure you are committed enough to provide it. Doesn't matter if it'll take you months and months and years, because that's how long I've taken with all this, just keep me updated on how it's going and if you can't finish something, it's no big deal, just tell me! You need to be thorough - look at levels from every angle, don't just tell people to go on a particular route, tell them about all the options - leave no stone unturned. I'm looking for really passionate, motivated fans who will stick with this and with whom I can build a new community out of this site. One where discussion and analysis of great level design is king. A foundation of the study of what has already happened, on which we can build a place where new, fan made levels, using high quality open source engines, are shared and appreciated. That's definitely an element of my dream, and the ideal place I would like to take my work towards.

Interested? Please email me rather than leaving a comment below from now on, as I'll be more likely to respond quickly to it - liquidshade-AT-soniczone0.com.
Thank you.
Comments   66 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by Meph on Sunday, 24th May 2009, 7:20pm
I wish I could help, but I wouldn't be able to give as much detail as you in my description. I just wouldn't know what to write. You have a really great dream and I'd be willing to help, but have a lot of other things to do in my "free time." Sorry about that.
#2. Comment posted by Anonymous on Monday, 25th May 2009, 8:57pm
I actually wrote a guide for Sonic 3 and Knuckles, which was published on Mahalo.com. Writing guides for Sonic games has always been an interest of mine, but my only real interest is in the 2D classic Sonic games and unfortunately you already said you had a Sonic 3&K guide written up. Even so, please e-mail me and let me know if you can still use me somehow for any writing related to the classic Genesis Sonic games. Here is a link to the guide I wrote: http://www.mahalo.com/Sonic_the_Hedgehog_3_Walkthrough

The level of detail is a notch below yours, but I am improving as a walkthrough author, I think. This was my first ever published strategy guide.
#3. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Monday, 25th May 2009, 11:22pm
Hi Anonymous - got your email too, for some reason couldn't send my reply to your address. Thanks for your interest! Yeah as you say, everything for S3&K is already written and ready to go so I probably won't need any more help with that. You've written a good guide though, it's more in depth than you normally find on other sites and interesting to see that we've both taken a similar approach (descriptions of music, specific objects for each level, and pointing out particular areas and tips etc). I like your writing style - keep up the good work!

Let me know if you change your mind and would be interested in tackling another game I haven't covered yet.


And no worries, Meph! Glad for your support anyway :)
#4. Comment posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, 26th May 2009, 12:12am
LiQuidshade: is there any other form of writing I could do that pertains to Sonic 1 through Knuckles on here? Unfortunately you seem to have covered it all but who knows?
#5. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Tuesday, 26th May 2009, 6:43pm
Not really I'm afraid. Only the other Mega Drive Sonic games like Spinball and Sonic 3D, but I guess you're not including them anyway. Still, really appreciate the offer nonetheless.
#6. Comment posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, 26th May 2009, 8:13pm
Hmm, either of those might work actually. Between the two, I'm probably more familiar with 3D Blast. Keep me informed.
#7. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Tuesday, 26th May 2009, 9:26pm
Oh well then, you're more than welcome to take on either if you wish! It's entirely up to you. I have maps to aid you in your writing for both, but I'm not sure if I can rip my own from anywhere to use on the site (I'd rather not steal maps from other places) so you might have to write under the assumption that maps won't be available in the final product. But anyway, go for it if you really want to - just let me know if you've definitely decided and if so, which one!

I'm sure you're more than capable of doing a really good, thorough job, but they do, ideally, need to be very detailed, as the others are, so it's a fairly big commitment. Still, Spinball is only four levels big and 3D is fairly straight-foward in that the different "Flicky areas" would make up most of your points in the guidance sections and there are few alternate routes to worry about. Either would be very good to have!

Thanks so much. Do let me know!
#8. Comment posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, 27th May 2009, 12:18am
Actually, I am currently working on a guide for Jak 3 for Mahalo as well as some other personal matters but after that's all taken care of, 3D Blast sounds like it would be fun to do a guide for
#9. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Wednesday, 27th May 2009, 6:59pm
Great! I'll pencil you in on the contributor's list then. No hurry, just let me know when you get started and we'll have a chat about it.

Thanks very much! This little campaign is all going rather well so far :D
#10. Comment posted by Anonymous on Thursday, 28th May 2009, 4:13pm
So you also said you wanted to work on fan-made Sonic games, right? If so, I could maybe provide some ideas if you wanted.
#11. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Thursday, 28th May 2009, 10:24pm
Yeah, it's not something I can really start on any time soon, but it's an ultimate goal of mine to design and construct a handful of completely original levels, the ideas of which have been floating around in my head for years now, but I'm basing them on the rules and knowledge of Sonic level design that I've learnt from this project. If I can incorporate that aspect into Zone: 0 and let the site become a place to share appreciation in level design, both official and fan made, that would be awesome.

Still, that's way off in the future yet, so I'd rather just focus on the guides for the moment. :)
#12. Comment posted by SkSonicSk on Saturday, 30th May 2009, 5:54am
Hi ^^
I am Brazilian, I would like help in this project, I access the site a few weeks and found it very interesting! I will send an E-Mail:)
#13. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 6th June 2009, 8:00pm
I'd be glad to contribute a guide for the 8-bit version of Sonic 1!
#14. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Sunday, 7th June 2009, 7:38pm
Great stuff, anon! You can go right ahead with the first level or page if you want, and email it to me so I can see what it's like. Thanks :)
#15. Comment posted by SkSonicSk on Monday, 8th June 2009, 6:04pm
Hey Liquid, what your Email?
I don't managed to send to liquidshade-AT-soniczone0.com. :(
#16. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Monday, 8th June 2009, 8:40pm
Try replacing -AT- with @ - sorry, I wrote it like that to prevent spammers picking it up.

Thanks!
#17. Comment posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, 10th June 2009, 6:04am
this site looks awesome,i love the game guides,and scrap brains,as thats my fav level in all the sonic games made to date!

i would love to contribrute to this,i have played the sonic advanced(1,2,3(just recently) games alot
#18. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Wednesday, 10th June 2009, 6:43pm
Thanks anon, have just sent you an email. :)
#19. Comment posted by Eggman123 on Thursday, 11th June 2009, 3:52pm
Keep up that good work! (=
And i feel the same like you about sonic games, it's good to see somebody else with the same thoughts about the blue blur
As soon as i have a better access to internet i'll give you a hand.
I will send you an e-mail as soon as possible.
#20. Comment posted by Ajavalo on Saturday, 20th June 2009, 10:26am
Hello! I'm a somewhat experienced Sonic player and I think I could help you in some way... Not too much, as you're awesomely experienced enough!
#21. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Saturday, 20th June 2009, 10:35am
Excellent! Yes, I believe I've seen you post several notes, great to hear you're interested! You're more than welcome to contribute, it's entirely up to you what game you want to do - what did you have in mind?
#22. Comment posted by Anonymous1 on Saturday, 20th June 2009, 10:21pm
So it's been awhile, been busy, but what can I contribute to a 3D Blast guide? My strengths, I think, would be enemy, zone feature, and boss battle descriptions.
#23. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Saturday, 20th June 2009, 10:48pm
Great! Well, you can do as much or as little as you want really, since it hasn't been started by anyone else yet. You can keep to particular sections if you want, but it'd be preferred if at least each page was written by only one individual, rather than a level being a conglomeration of different people's work. That way you'd be more able to cross-reference between other sections of that level if necessary and things would just feel more consistent. So you could do only a set amount of levels if you want? Or just the levels and not the general pages, or even better, all of it if you're happy to do so. Whatever you want really.

Let me know!
#24. Comment posted by Ajavalo on Monday, 22nd June 2009, 5:54pm
I could contribute in many old Sonic games. My best are Megadrive/Genesis games, but I'm also good in Game Gear, Game Boy Advance and some (not many) modern games like Sonic Heroes.
#25. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Monday, 22nd June 2009, 10:53pm
Hi Ajavalo, how would you feel about a Sonic Spinball guide then? If there's any others you'd prefer instead then that's fine - let me know!

For Spinball, I suppose you could still maintain the same basic appearance/structure/obstacles formula, and have each emerald as a specific point, in addition to any other bits that might be noteworthy. What do you think?
#26. Comment posted by Brandonthehedgehog on Tuesday, 23rd June 2009, 7:29am
Whoa, time out. You are trying to build a website for Sonic levels? Way past cool!
Maybe I could help I have made several "pretend" levels in the sonic stanza, so I have quite a bit of experience. One thing I like to do is make sonic cd "past, good future, and bad future" versions of already existing sonic levels. My e-mail address is below if you want to contact me:

fidthomas94@yahoo.com

Thanx! ^_^

P.S. write back.
#27. Comment posted by Ajavalo on Tuesday, 23rd June 2009, 11:19am
Sonic Spinball? Well, I know how pinball objects work and I know emerald locations and bosses very well. I could make a nice job!
#28. Comment posted by Ajavalo on Tuesday, 23rd June 2009, 11:23am
Hey Brandonthehedgehog! Nice idea trying to make alternate time versions of Sonic levels! I often imagine how would be Green Hill Zone in the past and future...
#29. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Tuesday, 23rd June 2009, 1:34pm
Ajavalo - Great, if you're happy with that then you could make a start on Toxic Caves, or any page you want to start with really, but email it to me so I can see what it's like, before pressing on with the rest. Just try and keep to the normal level formula I use and I'm sure you'll do a great job. Sounds like you know the game better than I do anyway, so I look forward to reading it! Thanks a lot :)

Brandon - Thanks for your interest, I'll be emailing you soon!
#30. Comment posted by Ajavalo on Tuesday, 23rd June 2009, 4:31pm
Hi LShade! Thanks for offering me such an opportunity, but... I have no web building skills... I look at many fan Sonic pages but I've never written in one.
#31. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Tuesday, 23rd June 2009, 5:12pm
Oh, no, you don't have to have any web building skills, you just need to write it out. I can add it myself, or I have a simple content management system that you can use yourself to build the pages, without any HTML knowledge necessary at all.
#32. Comment posted by Ajavalo on Wednesday, 24th June 2009, 10:05am
Ah, thanks a lot! I'm starting with Toxic Caves. I'll be e-mailing you soon!
#33. Comment posted by Ajavalo on Tuesday, 30th June 2009, 10:00am
Did you receive my e-mail?
#34. Comment posted by FallingDown678 from Youtube on Tuesday, 7th July 2009, 7:20pm
Hey!!
I WOULD LOVE TO DO THIS!
I LOVE SONIC!!!

I'll do Sonic Adventure 2 Battle!
PLEASE CONSIDER ME! I KNOW ALOT!!!
#35. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Wednesday, 8th July 2009, 8:05pm
Hey, I appreciate your enthusiasm, thanks! That's a big one, you're welcome to give it a shot if you really want to but I'll need assurance that you're capable of doing a good job. Why don't you try just writing City Escape or something else that's fairly small, at first, and send it to me and I'll let you know what I think. Just remember to be thorough and professional!
#36. Comment posted by A fan on Thursday, 9th July 2009, 9:32pm
I really love this website. It's such a creative idea! I wish I could help on possibly Sonic Heroes, but I have no experience with programing or making pages on the web. I'm an idiot when it comes to this stuff...

I could easily write down in-detail of the levels and story, but I wouldn't know how to make any maps or use screen shots...

I am going to be a senior by September, and I may not have a good deal of free time, and I am kinda busy in general, but if you are interested, please tell me.
#37. Comment posted by SonicObsessed on Tuesday, 14th July 2009, 2:56am
Can I help?
#38. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Tuesday, 14th July 2009, 11:53am
Hi A fan, I emailed you a few days ago, check your inbox if you're still interested!

SonicObsessed, it's up to you! What do you want to do?
#39. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Wednesday, 29th July 2009, 12:29pm
Attention GOLD_sonic/A fan! ..I got your email and have tried to send you a response to the email address you used but it keeps bouncing back! Could you provide me with a working email address (just leave a comment and put it in the email field, and I can pick it up there, if you like) so I can send you all the details?

Thanks!
#40. Comment posted by Anonymous on Friday, 31st July 2009, 11:13pm
I can't Find a Custom zone maker :(.However I know About Sonic Advance 2 GBA,Even Though I never played it.This Comment Has A walkthrough That Might help players Beat It.

WalkThrough:If This is Your very 1st Time,Then Here it is starting With Leaf Forest.

Head Straight Through Act 1 Collecting Many Rings.If You get hit By An Enemy Get Back Many Rings As Possible And Destroy It.Repeat On The Next Act.If You Acess The Special Stage Do It Sucessfully And Recevie an Emerald.Note:Collecting All 7 And Beating XX Will Unlock True Area 53.Part 2 Coming Soon!
#41. Comment posted by Anonycat on Wednesday, 5th August 2009, 9:35am
How essential do you think the maps are as part of the experience here, and how does that reconcile with the 3D games and their probably-unrippable maps?

I would be willing (and quite eminently able) to go for SA2 if only I had known-good maps to point things out on...the problem, of course, is that no such images exist. I've tried my hand at marking out three levels (with the simplest level layouts in the game) on maps made from scratch, but whatever details I can track down, it's still only a black box reverse engineering of the map, and I can't guarantee its complete veracity. And never mind the twenty-nine (or thirty-three depending on who's counting) levels that are even more complicated, even harder to get right...
#42. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Wednesday, 5th August 2009, 10:23am
When it comes to the 3D games, I would say on the whole, maps are not really that essential, purely down to their design. They could be important if they were more like the Mega Drive titles with multiple routes, but as they tend to be much more linear, I think you could probably just get away with screen shots and info indicating where any occasional brief branching route or hidden area may be.

In fact though, SA2 maps have been made, they appear in the Prima strategy guide for the Dreamcast version. They're mostly top down illustrations of all the rooms and paths and I can't say whether or not they're entirely perfect, but they do point out every line of rings, item box, animal and certain objects. I have the book here (when I started Zone: 0 I hit eBay and picked up as many strategy guides for the games as I could find - they can often be a little inaccurate but they at least provide useful points and maps to look over), so it's definitely better than starting from scratch. There is also a separate guide for the Gamecube release, though this doesn't have maps.

It's fantastic to hear you'd be willing to go for an SA2 guide, do you think with the aid of these maps it would be something you would like to do? What I could do is scan these in for you (or you might be able to get one on eBay for a fairly cheap price) and you could either use them just as an aid to writing your guide, or I see no problem in just linking to the scans on the site, or perhaps you would prefer to trace over them with your own versions and markings. Completely up to you!

Let me know what you'd like to do!
#43. Comment posted by Anonycat on Wednesday, 5th August 2009, 11:13pm
I looked into that guide and found that they distribute "eBook" guides online in PDF form, so I picked that up.

Right away I noticed several objects were left out of their maps, and some of the ring zones were marked with erroneous numbers of rings. Additionally, secret rooms in Knuckles and Rouge stages are marked on the map as being directly behind the walls you dig through, which I guess is convenient for presentation, but in Wild Canyon at least, this causes them to completely overlook the fact that two of the rooms they put down are in fact the very same room.

As such, I don't think I can just take down those maps and paste the connecting ends together (since we won't be limited by page structure). They'll certainly be useful for getting shapes and sizes correct, but there's far too much erasing that would have to be done, and being able to mark off individual rings with more specificity would be preferred. In addition, all three of the maps I've done so far are at the same scale and I'd like to keep that consistent in future stages.

So I'll eventually be able to write up the stages, but I'll have to construct new maps for them first. At least that's easier now than it would have been before.
#44. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Thursday, 6th August 2009, 12:02am
Ok, clearly you have strong determination to make high quality maps, which I admire! An original format for the maps as opposed to just scans of other people's would certainly be preferable anyway, so great to hear! There's no time limit on these guides, take as long as you need, providing you think that it's likely that you'll see it through to the end (and I'm sure you will). I'm unlikely to find the time to start adding them online for another year or so anyway.

Let me know when you get onto the actual write ups and we can discuss ideas for how best to represent them. I'm thinking they could mostly fit into the traditional structure I've employed (appearance, structure, obstacles, etc), but where the guidance sections are normally divided into acts, the SA2 stages could probably be divided into their five separate missions. Also the common objects information for the game in general will end up being rather chunkier as I'd suggest making a general enemies section to explain them all, and then just say what appears where inside the level pages. Additionally there could be two/three "stages and story" pages for Hero/Dark/Final, along with descriptions of cutscenes between the levels and I guess there's probably enough chao info for a page of its own too.

Do you have access to both the Dreamcast and Gamecube versions of the game? It would be best to note differences between them as you go along. Also is there any chance you could send me what you have of those three maps you've already made? I'd love to get a preview of the sort of thing you're aiming to achieve! My email address is listed above, in the blog post.

Providing you're happy to proceed, I'll add you to the list of contributors. Very much looking forward to your work, and really appreciate it! :)
#45. Comment posted by Anonymous on Monday, 7th September 2009, 8:47am
oooh, definately. if i cant do sonic advance, which i would like to do, i'll do Sonic Rush
#46. Comment posted by Impish on Monday, 7th September 2009, 8:49am
oh couldnt find the name option: i'm Impish.
#47. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Tuesday, 8th September 2009, 4:35pm
Hi Impish. Sonic Advance would be cool, I haven't heard from the guy who said he might be doing that one. Let me send him an email and ask if he's still doing it, and if not, you might be able to. Leave me another message here and include your email in the email field, and I'll get back to you soon.

Cheers!
#48. Comment posted by jarret on Friday, 11th September 2009, 7:27pm
hello iam intrested in helping. i am a sonic freak and id love to help
#49. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Monday, 14th September 2009, 1:23pm
Hi Jarret, what would game would you like to cover?

As a general note for everyone, I think it's best that if you're interested (and I must stress.. -very- interested) in writing a guide then you should send me an email from now on, as opposed to leaving a message here. That'll be easier for me to check, now that this post is quite old.

Don't forget to specify which game(s) you'd be interested in writing for!
#50. Comment posted by Manic the hedgehog on Sunday, 20th September 2009, 4:22pm
Hey I wont mind joinig... so ok Sign me up for it..
#51. Comment posted by tenaciouse422 on Friday, 2nd October 2009, 4:42am
hey, based on what I've seen, I'm guessing that we can add/contribute to the existing guides. In the meantime, I had a Sonic 2 guide published on Mahalo.com if you want to see it, but due to my work schedule I'm not sure when/if I can start on 3D Blast.
#52. Comment posted by Umiyuri on Sunday, 18th October 2009, 7:38pm
I think the best contribution I could make would be musing on the original character designs (damn it, that's not a pot leaf on Silver's head, it's a hand-shape representing his psychic abilities) as well as the changes made to Sonic and Amy especially... yeah, I'm useless.
#53. Comment posted by Terrell on Monday, 30th November 2009, 2:34am
#53. Sonic is my biggest and favorite number #1 hero in the world.I hope the Sonic Team keep up the good work.
#54. Comment posted by Jessi on Monday, 7th December 2009, 2:41am
Hello there! So you're looking for writers still, I take it? I just happened to come across this site and I think it's wonderful to write such detailed guides for all the gamers out there. I personally have beaten SA2 it's my absolute favorite game in the world. I would be very interested in helping write a guide for it. Obviously I don't have an account on here, but perhaps you can email me and we can discuss ideas? If you no longer need help writing a guide for this, then I am quite sorry to have wasted your time with this message. But if you still need someone to help out, please contact me and tell me what you'd like. :)
#55. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Wednesday, 9th December 2009, 12:14am
Thank you Jessi, unfortunately SA2 has already been taken, however if there's another game you're incredibly passionate about that you'd like to cover, and isn't among those in the contributors list, let me know!
#56. Comment posted by SONICDUDE on Friday, 1st January 2010, 3:06pm
What about Sonic unleashed? May i work on a walkthrough for that i have two games of it!
#57. Comment posted by Ty Sparks on Tuesday, 5th January 2010, 9:21pm
Hey, all you people I wanted to do SA2 (sonic Adventure 2 Battle Sonic Advance 2 has too many pathways) but it's taken so I'll do the next best thing Sonic Adventure 1 DX Plus there are no missions (find the lost chao collect 100 rings time limit etc.) so I can do that. I've been doing a Chao Walkthrough on SA2 (I wasn't attached to them in SA1 for some reason perhaps you do not enter after the stage), but besides that, This'll be perfect for me. I found th final bosses (Egg Viper Finalhazard Chaos 6 from Big's story Sonic Unleashed Boss 6 I forget his name or was that hte only hard boss no I believe level 1 boss was hard) easier than the 2D bosses especially the Giant Mecha Eggman from Sonic Advance 2 Sonic & Knuckles I haven't made it to Sonic 2 but it looks hard since its after Silver Sonic, Sonic 3D blast (this seems like its a real Sonic game instead of a game with Sonic in it) Choa!
#58. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Monday, 11th January 2010, 9:13am
Hi Ty Sparks. Do you think you could link me to your chao walkthrough for SA2 first please, so I can see what it's like? Thank you
#59. Comment posted by supersonicsmash on Sunday, 7th February 2010, 5:18am
Unfortuently its not on Youtube yet but its under edsandsonicatolympic short for Ed Edd n Eddy & Sonic at the Winter Olympic games. My dad and I are having trouble figuring out Youtube (amd uploading the videos its a little complex you need a firewire a some random other wire). Also, I've decided my name. supersonicsmash. Does it remind you of anything. Super Smash Bros Brawl. I was so mad when I found out Sonic was only in the final boss fight.
#60. Comment posted by supersonicsmash on Monday, 8th February 2010, 9:57pm
I jsut want to say I'm working on it but you have to do devolopement (what I don't know anything) also I will not do the story just yet. I will type all of the storyline and dialogue but I will give the jimmy of it. Is Jimmy of it a real word or did I just make it up, we'll never know.
#61. Comment posted by supersonicsmash on Wednesday, 10th February 2010, 9:04pm
#28 Neo Green Hill Aquatic Ruin is the past version of Green Hill/Emerald Hill Zone because of Sonic CD being one with Sonic 2. Perhaps the 2nd level in Sonic CD was the original version of Casino Night Zone with slightly altered designs. But I imagine my own. Hill Top does not have a bad future. Actually, they're all good futures because the bad ones don't exist unlike the Little Planet.
#62. Comment posted by SuperBragon on Friday, 26th February 2010, 7:20pm
Hi, Liquidshade. My name is SuperBragon and I would love to help you with your dream. I'm very familiar with the Sonic Genesis series, like Sonic the Hegehog 1, 2 ,3 , and S&K. This guide would be my first very big project so I'd love to do it. I would very much like to do Sonic the Hedgehog 2. I will be strapped for time slightly since I'm fourteen and in high school, but I can write a comprehensive guide for Zone 0. You can look at some of my work on http://superbragon.deviantart.com/. Get back to me as soon as you can!
#63. Comment posted by supersonicsmash on Monday, 15th March 2010, 10:53pm
Two things I'd like to add
- I'll do SOnic Spinball if no-one signs up for it but I will be hacking it and I'll try my best on htose special staes.
-I can help with the S3&K special stages but not Sonic 7 Knuckles there's no save feature.
#64. Comment posted by Raizaiel on Wednesday, 24th March 2010, 10:35pm
I was interested in finishing the Sonic 3 & Knuckles section for you, or at least contributing very deeply to it, but you mention here that it's already finished. The page itself appears to be empty beyond the third of the fourteen zones. Any news on what happened there?
#65. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Sunday, 28th March 2010, 2:34pm
Yeah, everything's already been written for both the Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles guides. All of the text that's currently on the site was originally written between 2004-2006. Since then I've actually been building the site, making maps, taking screen shots and assembling the pages, which is what I'm doing now with S3&K. After that though it's all new territory.

If you'd like to contribute anything else instead, let me know!
#66. Comment posted by Dan on Thursday, 22nd April 2010, 9:26pm
I'd love to help. It would be a great opportunity to help. I'm particularly interested in that Sonic 3D guide.
High Tide
Tuesday, 19th May 2009, 9:05pm (BST), 1 Comment
Update: Tidal Tempest added to the Sonic CD section
Now up, Tidal Tempest. Bit of a bitch to map out, this one. I was fussy and wanted to match up the full water palette as closely as I could to the actual level. Which I suppose is lost on you anyway if you only know Sonic CD through Sonic Gems Collection, in which this level is robbed of its interesting underwater colours for some reason. So I ended up having to do a few things the old fashioned way and cut out a few screenshots of some underwater-coloured objects. Obviously I was too lazy to do this for things like item boxes and rings so I just gave those a bit of a tint. Still, you get the general idea anyway but these did end up taking almost twice as long as the maps for the previous two levels, as a result. Very interesting structure this one, any fangamers currently working on any sort of underwater cavern levels would do well to give it a play, for some inspiration. Quartz Quadrant shouldn't be too far away now, and from then on I'm going into overdrive over the summer and updates and new levels will become much much more frequent, so stay tuned.

I'll keep this post short and sweet now, as there's something I've been throwing around in my head about the site for a little while now and assuming I don't back out of my decision at the last minute, I'll be posting a big announcement about it very soon. If you've been thinking that you'd like to get involved with the Zone: 0 project lately, you'll want to pay close attention!
Comments   1 Comment has been posted.
#1. Comment posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, 19th May 2009, 9:14pm
Congrats on finishing it. I'll check it out and take a look now.
Colliding with Chaos
Monday, 13th April 2009, 11:23pm (BST), 3 Comments
Update: Collision Chaos added to the Sonic CD section
Sonic CD's insane, slightly drug-induced second level now graces the long corridors of knowledge that is Zone: 0. Managed to get through this one quite quickly actually, which bodes well considering how many more levels I have to cover. Thanks, once more, to mercury who, upon reading my tweet for help about counting rings in these Sonic CD maps, has whipped up a new version of his Sonic extractor tool that automatically does it for me. This has removed a massive headache of mine, since Sonic CD famously tantalises you with rings all over the place and embedded in the foreground, only accessible in a certain time zone. So they're easy to miss sometimes, and I was not really that surprised to discover that not one of my own ring counts for any of the time zones in Palmtree Panic or Collision Chaos were bang on accurate, compared to the correct, mathematically-calculated totals. Not even the bosses, which should have been easy, so I don't quite know what happened there, and it makes me wonder how accurate my ring tallies for Sonic 1 and 2 have been. Rest assured though, ring tally corrections to Palmtree Panic have already been made.

I've got about 3 months or so off over the summer so I've been looking at how likely it will be for me to get Sonic CD, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles all done and dusted by the time I return to Uni (and from then on will have little time for numerous updates.) Ha! Impossible, surely. It's taken me two years (It was Zone: 0's online-birthday last week, don'tcha know) to get from nothing to not even half way to that point, how on earth am I ever going to finish the other half in five months? Well, you're probably right yes, it is a bit of a stretch, but it is also still very possible. You forget, my doubting friend, that everything is already written, and has been since 2006. I have eighteen more levels sitting in plain text format just waiting to go up online. Now that the mapping process has been made extremely easy by comparison, I reckon I could get most S3&K levels done within the space of about three full days each. I'll try my best to get as much Sonic CD done before my break starts too, hopefully at least Tidal Tempest and Quartz Quadrant, and then even if I only do typically one level per week, plus a little extra here and there, I could just about do it! ..I'm telling you I can!.. Fine, don't believe me. Oh well, even if I just get Sonic CD and Sonic 3 finished by September that will at least be something very significant. I know many of you, as am I, are looking forward to S3&K a great deal.

it's time I was honest with you though, the future of Zone: 0, after those five games, is uncertain. The plan, at first, was to cover absolutely every Sonic game ever, which currently stands at forty nine games.. In the space of four and a half years, I've written five, and published two and a bit. Sure, there was lots of site construction and planning going on there too, but if I write alone, I will never reach that target. Then the plan was to go as far as I could while I still enjoyed it and still felt it was worthwhile. While the site's been online, my web development and programming skills have increased dramatically, and I had a great time re-building the site. Now that I'm back to adding content however, I guess it's starting to feel like a little bit more of a chore than it did before. I'm absolutely going to publish online all that I have already written, it would be foolish not to, but after that, it remains to be seen whether I will still want to continue with Sonic Adventure 1 and 2.

Perhaps it's just Sonic CD. As much as I admire the beauty and complexity of the game, to me it doesn't strike the same nostalgic chord as the others, purely because, unlike those, I never played it in its own time. For that reason I'm expecting S3&K to be quite a bit more enjoyable for me to assemble, so hopefully that will kickstart my enthusiasm again, but for the moment, Sonic CD desperately needs a guide to be written for it, and that must be done.

So don't think of this as me throwing in the towel after five rounds. Think of it as me considering throwing in the towel after five rounds. The idea of beginning my research on Sonic Adventure is still an exciting one, but when I get to that point, which will probably be in about a year or so from now, I'll have to decide whether it's actually worth my commitment, given how much of my free time this place eats up, and whether I should move on to other things. I've got ideas and dreams of things to build, not least of all, my very own ideas for Sonic levels that I've always wanted to construct, supplied by the knowledge and conventions that I've learnt from my writing. There will come a time when I will have to move on - but Zone: 0 need not die. Not if I can find someone, or a group of people, very very committed and passionate people, willing to carry on where I leave off, and take the site into their own vision.

...Anyway, for now, I have screenshots to take, maps to make and layouts to organise.
Comments   3 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by Meph on Tuesday, 14th April 2009, 4:56pm
It's not surprising that Sonic CD is pretty boring when adding it to the site. Because the game has a past, present and future, it's like doing 9 acts rather than 2 or 3, so your writing about the same thing for a longer amount of time.
#2. Comment posted by 1963886 on Wednesday, 15th April 2009, 11:48pm
I really hope you can continue your work when you get to the Adventure series. It's understandable that you have a lot to do in "real life" but I'm sure a lot of people, including me, are very impressed with what you've done in relation to Zone:0.

I wouldn't say Sonic CD isn't nostalgic, it just has a different kind of nostalgia. I like Sonic CD.
#3. Comment posted by pokemega32 on Thursday, 16th April 2009, 8:12am
Well, if you do feel overwhelmed by the task of continuing past the original set of games, I would suggest finding others to help you. Even if you would like to write all of it yourself, there's no harm in having someone else format it all for you. Sites are always easier to maintain with multiple people!
Sonic and the Forever-Swinging Sword
Monday, 23rd March 2009, 8:40pm (GMT), 3 Comments
My apologies for the last month of silence. Things have been stupidly busy at work, plus I've actually been without an efficient way of making a new blog post until now. Finally got round to building a sleek new blogging system in my secret underground site admin bunker, plus I've put in a clever system that resizes any images in recent posts in order for them to squeeze in that little gap on the left in the home page, below the two newest ones. Javascript and I are becoming closer buddies every day it seems.

Hopefully those who have been patiently waiting for them will notice that Palmtree Panic is now fully mapped up, and has been for a week or so now, so go check out my handiwork - not possible of course (or, possible I suppose, but would be far too time consuming to even attempt), without the help of mercury's marvelous Sonic Extractor tools, which you can find out more about in the Recommended Links section of the home page. Still, even with all the objects placed for me, and even though the Good and Bad Futures are essentially the same, it was still a few hours of work just to place the arrows and time travel warps and things in. I'm wondering about my blue arrows, to be honest. In some cases they're essential for pointing out hidden passageways in walls, but I also use them to identify where multiple routes split and converge. A level like Palmtree Panic is massively loose and open with regard to its routes, so it was hard to determine how long a path should go on for before it should technically be classed as a route, and how thorough can I be with them before they get too pointless and distracting? I'd like your feedback on this, as obviously I need to be consistent across all of my maps with their use, but I also want them to still be a useful addition. It seems in this case, there's an awful lot of them flying around and its difficult for me, having made them, to decide whether they're worthwhile in such a loose structural layout. Blue arrows should be more useful when S3&K comes around, as those alternate routes are much more deliberate and complex. Anyway, let me know what you think about them.


Now. Sonic and the Black Knight. Hmm. Yes.. You may find some mixed opinions in my twitter feed recently as I've waggled my way through most of this game. Still haven't quite finished it but I'm near enough the end I think. First of all, Sonic with a sword doesn't really bother me inherently, and neither did Sonic as a werehog - I'm fairly open to new gimmicks if they can be handled well, but Black Knight sadly does not use its new found swordiness for good. Rather, it relies on it as the near-sole gameplay element in a game that I struggle to class as a true Sonic platformer.

Things start off interestingly enough. The game's illustrated interface is very contemporary and cool and the story scenes and dialogue are about as good as you can expect from the usual stuff in the series. Scenes are illustrated with storybook style animated stills just like Secret Rings. Oddly, credits appear smack bang in the middle of the game, after which the story takes on a whole new direction that's quite an interesting choice, unusual for the series, which is normally quite predictable in its plots. Still, it does place you under the illusion that the game is about an hour and a half long at best, when in fact there are a load more levels afterwards. I would liked to have seen them get more mileage out of Sonic being a villain to the townspeople, given that he's going against King Arthur.

Sonic is now armed with a talking sword named Caliburn. Inevitably this leads to levels filled with dialogue, but at least it's a lot more entertaining than it was with whats-her-name in Secret Rings (Sahra? Saria? Sharia?.. oh well, don't care), who made everything very difficult to enjoy. With self-aware sword in hand, Sonic traverses technically thirteen or so levels, although don't get too excited by this unusually high figure, as there's only about six or seven different environments, which double up into other, slightly altered stages much like in Sonic Adventure 2 or Shadow the Hedgehog. These include castles, woods, giant fields, caves and volcanic mountains. Some, in fact most games in the series let their story carefully meander around often imaginative, uninhibited levels and locations - others, such as this and interestingly SA2 again, let the story and theme dictate the levels, which in my opinion is the much less attractive option. Sure, things are more consistent, but part of the Sonic magic for me is dreaming up whole new, exciting ideas for level locations and gimmicks. Sure, there's some new stuff in here, but I longed for the imagination and innovation exhibited by this game's predecssor, which gave us likes of sunset ruins resting on the backs of giant stingrays in the sky, a stormy pirate ship and a dinosaur-infested jungle for God's sakes! The whole thing about delving into alternate storybook worlds gives us license to place Sonic in these slightly crazier situations, which this game does not take advantage of, and everything ultimately ends up looking a bit bland, uninspired and like any other bland and uninspired, non-Sonic game.

So that's my first, slightly geekish gripe. It of course doesn't stop the game from being graphically impressive, for the Wii. A much better and easier-on-the-eyes affair than the console's awful excuse for Sonic Unleashed (which I still haven't bothered to finish). There are some effects such as bursting and unudulating lava rivers that are fantastic, and of course those fields of long grass are a well-documented feat. The biggest problems though come when you start playing and realise how shallow and monotonous the whole thing is. The first few levels keep on throwing strings of very short challenges, either full levels or missions, some of which are straightforward enough to be able to complete without really being entirely sure what it was you had to do. It initially feels like a sequence of tutorial stages, but it becomes hard to decipher where the tutorials end and where the actual game begins, if indeed there were any tutorials in the first place.

The basic premise is that Sonic is set on a linear path around the level, with the camera mostly stuck behind him the whole way, like Secret Rings. Your control over him is a little more straightforward and traditional this time though, as the nunchuk's analogue stick is now used to run him forward, strafe left and right, and pull him back. This is ultimately better. Predictably, swinging the sword is accomplished by waggling the remote, which you'll do a lot. Except perhaps by introducing the odd jump and then waggle, causing Sonic to spin his sword round and round vertically with his spinning body, there's little art to it, and the real life waggle and in-game slice don't really feel connected. Just keeping it to a button would been less interesting, but at least saved me a week's worth of wrist pain, and otherwise would have made little difference.

As I've already mentioned, the game relies on this new activity a great deal - so much so that there is very very little good old fashioned platforming involved in this.. platformer. There are instead, enemies. Enemy, after enemy after enemy. And don't forget the occasional large enemy that won't move out your way until you slice him up good. What's more, very rarely did I ever gain any satisfaction from killing these lifeless drones - and when that's virtually the only thing that some missions offer you, it leads to a level of boredom that is not common in the series. It makes you wonder just what the hell they were thinking, if they ever thought they could get away with being lazy enough to fill the game with so much of this tedium. Some more interesting moves are acquired by charging up a gauge of power, but this doesn't exactly improve matters a great deal. More often than not I just wanted to jump right over each wave of enemies that came running towards me, and a double jump is in place, which would allow you to gracefully soar over them.. if of course it didn't transform into a homing attack when an enemy is nearby, which seems to be entirely ineffective in this game anyway.

Control over Sonic himself isn't exactly perfect either. He runs around winding roads, from one thing to another while you simply hold forwards and his speed seems to be dependant on however fast he feels like running. I would of course expect to be able to dart from one thing to another fairly quickly - but when he does it automatically, it all feels a bit empty. For example, when Sonic is flung towards a series of poles, he swings and flips between them without you having to do anything at all, completely ignoring the fact that the wii remote is specially designed for enhancing the interaction with elements like these.

I don't want it to seem like the game's level designs have absolutely nothing of merit. Molten Mine is actually a reasonably entertaining level, which includes hopping over runaway mine carts while grinding along train rails, splitting tumbling molten balls of rock in half with a jumping slice, and careful sidling along narrow ledges with obstacles. There are also scripted sequences where you ride on the back of a horse drawn cart, or boat or a floating rock on lava, and some levels actually have a decent supply of unique objects. These include hanging spikeballs or bee hives, bear traps, wooden cages that encase you until they're destroyed with your sword, crystals that you must reflect light onto with the sword, and even a magical dragon of light on the back of which you must run and keep up with before he flies away. So there is some variety here, it's just overshadowed by poor controls and lazy object and enemy placement.

Oh, and the who the hell had the idea of replacing rings with fairies? Seriously, this is pretty much a Sonic platformer that doesn't have rings. At least not in the conventional "lines of rings everywhere" sense - no, instead, yellow fairies provide you with various amounts (usually 1). How did that brainstorm go? "Hey! I know! Forget the rings. Rings are old. We're going medieval, right? ..FAIRIES! We can have yellow fairies for rings and blue fairies for springs and dash panels! It'll be AWESOME!". No, it won't, and isn't, and yes, they really have ditched springs and dash panels in favour of blue fairies. What happened to the apples as well? The first level uses apples as those little glowing soul spheres were used in Secret Rings, but then they don't appear for the rest of the game. Almost as if they completely forgot about them. Anyway, as far as I'm aware the moron who came up with the fairy idea, and whoever allowed it to be included in the game, are still allowed to live and breathe, but not if I had my way. Sacrilege.

It does however, get kudos from me for being the only 3D Sonic game to integrate the classic spinnable, end-of-act signpost to complete a level, let alone the only one to have used it at all since Sonic Advance, I believe. Don't think it makes up for the whole fairy thing though.

The music is a bit of a mixed bag. What you may or may not notice is that rather than the more varied and interesting scores of recent large 3D titles, some of it is reminiscent of a lot of Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, Heroes and Shadow, in its choice of instruments and samples. There's a lot of crazy guitar riffs in there, and most tunes are fairly forgettable to be honest. Favourites though include the lovely, calming music of Deep Woods and the dramatic, if slightly cheesy Molten Mine. Also look out for the reappearance of character themes of old for Sonic, Knuckles and Shadow. Always a pleasant treat.

So, what can we say in summary about the Sonic game who tried too hard to be different? The sad thing is, it's not really that far off from being a half decent game, if only they'd cut back on the pointless enemies, made the controls and pace a bit more consistent and included a bit more platforming. That said, I have managed to gain some reasonable enjoyment from replaying a few of the finer levels, so maybe in the future, a bit like Shadow the Hedgehog, it'll be one that I won't mind picking up every once in a while, just for something a bit different. Problem is, in the here and now, it's damaging for us, as Sonic fans. Just as we were starting to pick ourselves up off the ground with a series of games that have had a fair few good reviews, this thing comes along and at the very least, puts us in jeopardy of being knocked right back to square one.

Not good enough SEGA, not good enough at all. You've once again chased a crazy idea in hope of refreshing the series when all anyone really wants is something that is just Sonic as Sonic always has been.

I don't know if any of you share this view, but the perfect Sonic game for me is one that cares much less about grand plots in which the world is destroyed and characters that have feelings. The perfect Sonic game is one that puts all of its time and effort into cultivating interesting, fantastic and inventive levels, each filled to the brim with their own array of exciting features and challenges, exploring colourful, fantasy worlds, all backed up with a sturdy control system that can handle them all. Mario might be about inventiveness and innovation, but Sonic is, and always has been about the experience, the adrenaline rush you get by dashing between ledges and objects and on top of enemies along to a gorgeous and fitting piece of background music and amongst a massive level layout filled with options. Surely there is no experience in the history of gaming that is better than Sonic at his best. And the secret to getting him at his best is simplicity. Gimmicks are not required. Simple, pure Sonic is all you need.

For God's sakes SEGA, I know you want to make money and are willing to throw out endless filler material (like this), to take advantage of idiots (like me), but amongst that it all just give us one that is completely and utterly simple, and beautiful. Make it shine so brightly with pure Sonic goodness, that no amount of Black Knights and Zero Gravities will be able to distract anyone from its power.

"Only you can do this, stop the Chaos Emeralds lazy level design!"
Comments   3 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by xamoel on Wednesday, 1st April 2009, 6:37pm
What happens whit the 2d Sonic era? The best sonic games was in 2D.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcMrADQxk-4&feature=channel_page

Theres a fan drawing project, hope that you like it.
#2. Comment posted by Craig on Saturday, 11th April 2009, 8:55pm
I don't have anything to say about Black Knight, I avoided it after buying Secret Rings. Just wanna say this website is rather awesome. I never knew about the shortcut in Chemical Plant 2, that's pretty mind blowing.

Looking forward to 3&K :D Keep up the good work!
#3. Comment posted by Anonymous on Friday, 17th April 2009, 2:24pm
When will addtional Sonic games be added like Sonic 3 and so on?
Zone: 0.1
Sunday, 22nd February 2009, 8:40pm (GMT), 9 Comments
Update: The "Zone: 0.1" update. Massive visual overhaul, Sonic CD section added with Background Info and Palmtree Panic pages. New notes feature, new link submission feature, new downloads and much more!
After a lengthy redesign process of about 9 months, I am thrilled to say that the new look Zone: 0 is here! Not just a new look in fact but really, a full blown site launch. Of course we've been kicking around online for nearly two years now, but in all that time it was really only supposed to be a "pre-release", built on a very temporary visual design. As such, I've used that time to test the waters, see how the site structuring works and what you guys liked and wanted to see more of. As a result, what you see before you is pretty much a complete rebuild from the ground up. I don't think any piece of code from the old site has really remained.

What I wanted instead was something that looked good, essentially. Something that reflected my passion for the series and the writings I've created. Level pages should continue to look even more personalised and I wanted to really go all out with the overall design, have it flowing with effort and something approaching perfection. Something few of us, least of all me, can ever achieve, but as I often do, I've strived to get of it what I can. The original look was thrown together with my then more limited knowledge of CSS, PHP and whatnot - I was eager to get my game guides live and the overall packaging was less important. I've kept the basic content structuring because I feel that works, but I've tried to pack in much more visual flair in every nook and cranny I can find. I hope you like it. It's taken me far too long, I admit, but it's here now and I hope it makes your experience here more enjoyable.

Here's what's new..

Sonic CD! - At last. In the new Sonic CD section you will find Palmtree Panic, plus the Background Information page and the beginnings of the Stages and Story page. I'm afraid I have not been able to add the maps to the level in time for this update, which is unfortunate as I really wanted to pay tribute to the work Mercury has done on his map extractor utilities, without which Sonic CD maps are far too numerous for me to possibly make them in any significant detail. I didn't want to delay the update any further either, but the additional work still involved in identifying routes and ideal time travel locations was too much to fit in this weekend and I didn't want to rush it for fear of missing anything. They should be up within the next week or so.

New Notes feature replaces Page Replies - As opposed to keeping my content and your comments separate, you now have the ability to add your own notes to each individual section of a page. Submitted notes and entry fields open up in the page, just underneath the content, all in the aid of sharing information that is more accessible and relevant.

User Links - To the right of each page, there's an additional little box you can use to post up a relevant link to another page. These can be to things like speed runs through a level on Youtube, or perhaps someone's created a particularly snazzy artwork inspired by a level, an interesting tidbit of information - whatever you like really, within reason and relevance of course.

New downloads - Sonic's 1 and 2 now have a new Downloads page, where all of the files are dumped together in a handy one-stop-shop. You'll also notice new downloads in the form of music, art and manual scans.

Lightbox-powered full sized pics - Again, time restraints prevented me from fully implementing this feature throughout the site, but you'll see it on the Background Info pages and just Green Hill at the moment, as a sample. You'll be able to click on most images to reveal them full-sized and uncropped in an opening lightbox that appears on the page.

New image caption boxes - Over the years, captions that I've added to the images have got more and more detailed to the point where I now write them to aid skim-reading. Simply roll over an image to get the gist of what's going on, without needing to dive into the full text. With this in mind, I've improved the caption functionality with a specially designed caption box that appears over the images, as opposed to relying on the tooltips provided by browsers, which vary greatly. IE and Safari users, I may still need to tweak this in order that you don't end up with both.

Improved image compression - Screenshots are now in super-compressed PNG format, using PNGOUT, as opposed to gif. They're round about 50% lighter in file size, leading to pages that load in about half the time, but at no loss in quality! Sadly I could not get the maps down to a significant reduction without a loss in quality, so they remain. Thanks to Reckoner for the advice on that.

Content updates - Most of the existing content has remained unchanged. However, every page now exists in a dynamic form, and as such I've had the chance to tidy up all the Sonic 1 pages significantly, which you may or may not notice. In addition, look out for the following amends:
- Green Hill Zone Misc section has had things added.
- Scrap Brain Zone has had that much needed update to the hidden path along the top of Act 2.
- iPod info added to the Sonic 1 Misc section, under Ports.
- Various map updates including Chemical Plant, Scrap Brain, Oil Ocean and Labyrinth. All underwater areas are now properly coloured in their underwater palettes.
- Also, a long time ago, Flint kindly wrote some better descriptions of the Sonic 1 music tracks that I've been meaning to add ever since. I wanted to do something clever with them, but turns out they were better off just slotted in as normal, which I could have done anyway. They're now included - sorry for the long wait Flint!


So, if you've been following the site for a while, hopefully the new look and all the new features impress. I'm quite proud of it, this full rebuild has been my biggest and longest programming project yet, including a very clever new admin system which unfortunately you won't get to see, but trust me, it's a beaut'! On this side though, I am quite pleased with the level pages in particular, which is where most of my design attention has gone. Though all the information is drawn from databases into a single page, I really wanted to keep each level looking individual, with its own colour scheme and layouts that burst out of the page. I also do like this silhouetted banner and side designs of a big conglomerated level - "Zone 0", if you like. It's one of the first things I made and over time I've had other ideas for it, but I have to trust myself that I was impressed when I first finished it! I'm pretty sure that there is something in there, object or piece of scenery, from every level in Sonic 1, 2, 3, &K and CD. If you're looking for a challenge, try and spot them all!

But as I've said a few times, there were things that I couldn't quite finish in time that I really wanted to do, but I couldn't push the deadline back any further and so, my work is not yet complete! I'll be adding things one by one over the next two or three weeks to bring it up to where I wanted it, and I'll keep you up to date on those. But for now.. I need a rest..

Special thanks to..
Mercury for his excellent map extraction tools that are sure to save me hours of hard work.
Reckoner for diligently reading through my guides and highlighting errors, most of which have now been addressed.
Flint for providing me with far better descriptions of the Sonic 1 music tracks.
Everyone who's posted a comment about how my guides have helped you. Every time I read one it makes all the hundreds of hours of work worth it.

Apologies to..
Mercury for not getting his map work up in time!
Flint for taking FAR to long to get his descriptions online.
EVERYONE, for taking far too long with this redesign and only just getting round to Sonic CD! Oh well, now we can press on with the good work.


Welcome to Zone: 0. The Comprehensive Sonic the Hedgehog Game Guide.
Comments   9 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by Chosenoneknuckles on Monday, 23rd February 2009, 12:53am
Wow, I LOVE the new visual design overhaul! The background is a great artistic touch, and I haven't even got off the main page yet, but I will do. I never actually played Sonic CD [what? I already had a Megadrive and SNES!], so I'll be looking through that section shortly.

So my first sightings of Amy and Metal Sonic were in the UK Sonic comic [STC] and game-wise in SA1 [in the containment tubes]. So it'll be coolio to see Metal Sonic's first appearance finally [even if STC did loosely adapt it].

But I digress, not relevant at all...

But have a big pat on the back from me for the continued dedication to this site, though, goodness knows how long it takes to analysis every stage and then write about it and then all the extra noggins and everything else, making sure all the links work correctly etc.

I look forward to its continued progress and success.
#2. Comment posted by mercury on Monday, 23rd February 2009, 9:00am
Amazing... my hat's off to you for the new design. I absolutely love the new background picture with all the zone elements (now we know what took so long ;P)! No sweat about the late-in-coming maps, either - I know how it feels to be overworked!

Dig the RSS, the new blog layout, the new user notes and user links system, etc etc etc

*goes and re-reads the whole site again for sheer joy of clicking shiny new buttons*
#3. Comment posted by smiley225 on Monday, 23rd February 2009, 4:19pm
It's really great!!!!!!!!! Very well done!!! Amazing!!!!!!!! It's wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm really overwhelmed and speechless!!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS! ;-)
#4. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Monday, 23rd February 2009, 7:57pm
Thanks very much guys, I'm so glad you like it! Been a hell of a lot of work, but now I can finally rest!.. a bit.
#5. Comment posted by Anonymous on Monday, 23rd February 2009, 10:28pm
Well Done! I love the new download section on the individual games! All your work paid off.

I suppose Sonic CD will be a lot of work Good Luck! I personally can't wait until you get to Sonic 3 and Knuckles!
#6. Comment posted by iAUDiBLE on Thursday, 26th February 2009, 7:42pm
Oh wow, this widdle site is aww gwown up! *sniffs* I'm so happy.

Good luck with the whole thing, I'm going to go and check everything out. ;)
#7. Comment posted by murphy341 on Sunday, 15th March 2009, 6:57am
your site is probably the best I've seen! So in depth, I love that. Hope to see a sonic 3/knuckles section! keep up the awesome work
#8. Comment posted by NUFC-Dazzla on Wednesday, 18th March 2009, 11:02pm
Great job, the site looks awesome.

Like murphy said, hope to see a sonic 3&K section, keep it up, you;ve done a brill job
#9. Comment posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, 17th June 2009, 9:11pm
Dude. I absolutely love what you have done with the layout of this entire site. I love the references to Sonic 1, 2, 3, Cd, and Knuckles. You even threw in stuff from the Sonic Advance Games. There's hoops and rails, two things from the second Sonic Advance. Great and beautiful wrk. I also like the fact that the designs overlap. That means you get two very sweet images at once. I hope Zone:0 is a very sucessful Zone: 0.1. Keep up the terific work.
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