Zone: 0 Guides Complete!
Thursday, 30th August 2012, 8:00pm (UTC), 51 Comments
Update: Sonic & Knuckles guide complete: Death Egg Zone added, The Doomsday Zone and game endings added to the Stages and Stories page, and Downloads page added.
Thanks for Playing!

The final guide update is complete, Sonic & Knuckles is now wrapped up with Death Egg Zone, and the Stages and Stories, and Downloads pages. This is where, sadly, Zone: 0 must draw a line under its new guide content and ride off into the sunset.

I sat down and started writing these guides eight years ago this very day. My projects at that time had a history of fizzling out after a few months, and I don't quite know how this one has managed to hold itself together for this long. But I'm grateful that it's received as much support and respect from fans and the Sonic community that it has done, which has allowed me to keep going when it's been a chore as much as it has a complete joy. Although I've said my interest has dwindled in it in the past, I never failed to feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment with every new level guide that I've published, and I hope you've enjoyed reading them as much as I have writing them.

I can't deny a big part of me wants to carry on, my love of Sonic level design and the series as a whole begs me to appreciate more of the games in the same way, and I'm sure getting back into writing (since I haven't actually done a great deal of it in years) would be really fun and invigorating. But there are so many more projects I want to do, and I can't just leave this place hanging, waiting for a promised guide that takes ages to come because I'm doing so many other things, and I have very limited free time anyway. Never say never, I may get the itch again and decide to write up Sonic Adventure or something, but don't hold your breath - at least not any time in the next few years. I just don't want to tie myself down to any more of it right now, I'm sure you'll understand.

What's next? Well, I don't know exactly. As well as being a web developer I also make small games as part of my day job, so a mobile phone game app is something I've been thinking about for some time now. And then of course there's also my ultimate dream - to use my knowledge of Sonic level design to create my own original fan game levels; something I've always wanted to do, and I hope to make at least one of them (and I mean a really awesome one) during my lifetime. However, before you think I'm trotting off to pastures new forever, remember that all I've said so far is that there won't be any new guides written for the forseeable future - that's not to say that guides won't be amended and updated with new pieces of information that you guys have provided me with over the years, or new downloads. Sonic CD for instance is desperately in need of an update to account for the popular 2011 re-release, and I hope to get around to everything that needs amending in due course, after a short break. I would also like to see what I can do about a new look and some new site features, now that I've developed a few new tricks since 2009, when I launched the current design. This blog will also remain in regular use too, for any further Sonic musings I may have or project updates you might be interested in. So if you think I'm now just going to allow this place to gather dust and rot away, think again. At the very least, it will definitely stay online for as long as I can afford to host it (and on that note, may I highlight the new ad banners and invite you to click on a few should they peak your interest.. cough cough).

Zone: 0, now and then

I thought it would be nice at this point to include some fun stats, including visitor analytics since the current design launched on February 22nd 2009:

- Total number of page views: 1,011,342
- Total number of unique Sonic fans that have visited Zone: 0: 134,372
- Total number of images across the guides: 4558
- Total number of words across the guides: 254,061 (wow)
- Number of community awards won: 3 (I think)
- Number of Zone: 0 maps that have appeared in gaming magazines: 2
- Total time taken to get this far: 8 years on the dot.

Not bad going for a hobby, especially the fact that I've written over 25 times the typical length of a University dissertation just on five Sonic games - that's pretty scary in fact. Why did I do it? How did I do it? Simple really; I love Sonic. I want to tell you everything I can about Sonic because I love it that much, and I wanted a site like this to exist, so I made it exist. I hope that's come across in everything you see here, from the amount of detail I've put into writing about the level structure and visual iconography of Marble Garden Zone, to the placement of every last ring on the map of Spring Yard Zone.

The overall concept has changed a little since my original vision of it came to me - it's more of a strategy guide now than I had originally intended - but I think if the me eight years ago, with his sudden passion for his brand new project idea were to be able to glance ahead into the future and see the final outcome of his wildly ambitious ideas, I would hope that he would be pretty amazed. I would hope that he would put aside the mild disappointment of the fact that I'd covered only five out of sixty-odd Sonic games, and instead see that it's not the quantity but the quality that makes Zone: 0 what it is. I would hope that he would be amazed that a little idea that popped into his head one day had gradually evolved, appeared on screen and slowly grew into a huge virtual library, something truly unique in the community and respected and praised as such, and is only just now coming to an end, as all good things must do at some point. This has not been a flash in the pan, this has been an unlikely idea turned into a reality, after an immense amount of work.

I'm truly grateful that since launching the site, I haven't heard a bad word about it. Everyone genuinely seems to love what I've done here, and I couldn't be more proud about that. It's been my biggest undertaking and it's easily the greatest thing I've ever accomplished. I'm not happy unless I'm working on some sort of significant project, and if this place inspires anyone at all to take up a similar philosophy with their hobbies and passions then that would fill me with joy. I encourage you all to do something, big or small, that makes you feel good and gives you pride to say, "I made that. It took me ages, but I think it's awesome." It doesn't have to be a massive website that takes nearly a decade to make, it can be anything. Don't just play and watch and read without comment. Do something to make people see how it makes you feel and how it inspires you. Those of you loyal readers who have been following the site for a while know that it definitely can take me a little while to get things done around here, but at no point did I want to give up until it was done. Trust me, when you keep going even when what you're doing is tough or tedious, being able to step back from it when it's all done and look at what you've accomplished is so worth it. It makes you glad that you persevered, and made something worthwhile. I love these games, they are my childhood and for me, they're icons of all that is fun and great in life. To think that I have made something personal, yet useable, something that demonstrates my passion, yet something that helps and hopefully inspires, fills me with a special satisfaction that money can't buy. Get out there and show us what you're passionate about!

I want to thank every single one of you that have passed through this site during the last five years that it's been live, and have found it even a little bit useful or interesting. I want to thank anyone who has ever sent me an email or message saying how much they've enjoyed my work - these have been from kids, parents, young people who grew up with Sonic as I did, but have found things here they never knew about (as I did too during my research), new fans experiencing the games for the first time, and Sonic fans who already know everything but love seeing it written and mapped, and who are always eager to add information and make this place the best it can be. I want to thank the regular posters who have always been keeping an eye on my rambling blogs and adding their voices to the comments sections. I won't name you all because I don't want to miss anyone out, but you all know exactly who you are and you should know that I appreciate all of you.

There are two people I will name though, whom I've thanked before but will thank again regardless. Ricky Earl for his outstanding artwork contributions to the Sonic 1 and 2 guides, a brilliant artist and an all round great guy to talk to - I wish him well with his art, and his new life in Sweden. And Mercury, whose talent for programming has made the maps for Sonic CD, and Sonic 3 & Knuckles not only possible, but so much easier. Good luck to him with his new AeStHete game engine and fan game projects. I suggest you click on the ad banner for that, which will remain in circulation.

So what more can I say? I've had a great time, and I hope you've enjoyed my contribution to the Sonic community. Though this chapter ends, it allows new ones to begin, and I hope that my contributions can continue further - I'm pretty sure I'll never stop loving Sonic, and as long as I have ideas, you'll be hearing a lot more from me..!


Comments   51 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by Abi on Thursday, 30th August 2012, 8:04pm
:-) x
#2. Comment posted by Adam Unknown on Thursday, 30th August 2012, 8:15pm
*Wipes tears*
#3. Comment posted by Brady Meyers on Thursday, 30th August 2012, 9:18pm
#4. Comment posted by Gemster on Thursday, 30th August 2012, 11:53pm
Ah, a beautiful wrap-up. Lovely to see it complete, sad to see it end...
LiQuidShade, goodjob, absolutely have loved this, and wish you the best of luck wherever next you are heading to :P
Oh, and if you are interested, Sonic3HD is on the lookout for any designers who would love to help me design a Hard Mode of the game, meaning 100% original level design. If you ever feel up for the task, just tell us :)
#5. Comment posted by Gemster on Thursday, 30th August 2012, 11:53pm
Ah, a beautiful wrap-up. Lovely to see it complete, sad to see it end...
LiQuidShade, goodjob, absolutely have loved this, and wish you the best of luck wherever next you are heading to :P
Oh, and if you are interested, Sonic3HD is on the lookout for any designers who would love to help me design a Hard Mode of the game, meaning 100% original level design. If you ever feel up for the task, just tell us :)
#6. Comment posted by Brady Meyers on Friday, 31st August 2012, 2:50am
Gemster, you said that 2 times already! fcol
#7. Comment posted by MoDaD on Friday, 31st August 2012, 3:11am
Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. I'm envious of the level of quality you've put into this site, both in terms of writing and design. I wish you luck in your future projects.
#8. Comment posted by EJ Phree on Friday, 31st August 2012, 3:23am
I would of loved a guide of knuckles' chaotix! Shame to see this go.
#9. Comment posted by Gemster on Friday, 31st August 2012, 7:31am
lol i realized this (and sorry glitch doublepost) xD
but i just wanted to make sure he knew cause he said here in this post that he wants to create awesome level design and such after all this research, and he would be perfect for the job. And its all on free time and he has YEARS of time for making it, so there aint no rush. Just want to make sure he sees the opportunity if he wants it :P
But still, cant believe this is over :P
#10. Comment posted by Smiley225 on Friday, 31st August 2012, 9:17am
Congratulations! Your project was / is really great =)))
greetings from austria ^^
#11. Comment posted by m on Friday, 31st August 2012, 11:51am
the dedication shows! well done!
#12. Comment posted by AquaRuin on Friday, 31st August 2012, 4:15pm
I remember the time I first came across Zone 0, sometime during October 2010. And since then Zone 0 has continued to be very useful help for me, and undoubtedly many others and it's always fun to re-read. Thank you, LiQuidShade for dedicating what ultimately turned out to be eight years to this project. I wish you good luck for whatever you do in the future! :-)
#13. Comment posted by Fossil on Friday, 31st August 2012, 9:35pm
Really incredible work, well done indeed. All the best for the future.
#14. Comment posted by Kabam! on Saturday, 1st September 2012, 1:00am
I may have missed out on a lot of the site's development, but ever since I joined in mid 2011, it immediately made it onto my favorites list. I have never been more astounded by a website, in fact it is probably the only one good enough to make me have on my iPhone and visit it every day. Yes, this site has also been very helpful for example, that chemical plant zone act 2 passage way around that really hard part was an incredible help along with every special ring location in sonic 3& knuckles and not to mention the amazing way you were able to define the Beautiful graphics of the act that you have made me appreciate so much more. Most importantly, I thank you tremendously for finding every metal sonic hologram and every badnik generator in Sonic CD, that is one of the most amazing things there is in a guide! There is nothing you haven't covered about the original 5 and the fact that you had the strength to not give up is very noble. You are an amazing role model to me and any other visitor on this website! Yes, I know I didn't add too much help to the site but there is hardly anything you haven't covered! I will spread the word to every sonic fan I know of and tell them that this site is the place to be! Congratulations! Enjoy your break and never forget about your efforts and what they came to be! Three Looooong cheers for LiQuidShade indeed! And you bet I am very very welcome for Playing!!! I bet if sonic himself could see this site, he'd be prouder than you an even imagine!! Take Care!

P.S. If you actually read this, thank you for making it worth my while.
#15. Comment posted by Cybershell13 on Saturday, 1st September 2012, 9:17am
I just gotta say I appreciate all the effort you've put in and I truly feel your passion for awesome Sonic games. Been coming to this site every couple months for four years to read your awesome guides, and it'll always remain in my bookmarks.
#16. Comment posted by Brady Meyers on Saturday, 1st September 2012, 12:01pm
As a true sonic fan, I believe that whenever evil strikes again, sonic will be there to put the evil into despair; ultimately becoming world savior. Plus, sonic & his friends will not tolerate being tied down by any evil that gets in their way, big time. I hope that one day soon, sonic & his friends will visit us in our world, through a time portal. If that happens, then we'll fall in love with them, very easily.

To wrap it up, it's an awesome journey for zone:0, and I give LQS my best wishes in his upcoming future; warts & all. Good health, LQS!

#17. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Sunday, 2nd September 2012, 12:05pm
Thank you all, your comments mean a great deal to me, it makes me feel great that this site has had such a positive impact. Thanks a lot for letting me know.
#18. Comment posted by MoDaD on Monday, 3rd September 2012, 3:06am
Hey Cybershell13, when's that Sonic 2 bonus video coming out? :)
#19. Comment posted by Hyper_Sonic on Monday, 3rd September 2012, 6:30am
Good luck for future eandevours LQS!
#20. Comment posted by Sleebo on Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 3:50am
Wow, it's always so weird stumbling upon a site that's reached its end. I just got done using your Sonic CD guide to get the most outta this game I've been wanting to play for years. I let the credits roll and the sort of "aftermath-y" version of Sonic Boom was playing while I read this. Seemed so fitting.

The amount of dedication you've put into this project is inspiring. I didn't even know about you before today, but you already seem like a pretty awesome guy. Best of luck in whatever you choose to do next -- I'm sure it'll be as amazing as this seems to have been. Hell, why not use your eight years' knowledge to make or help make a knockout Sonic game that leaves as much of an impact on us as the Genesis titles did back in the day? Even if it took another eight years, I'd like to see what you could come up with.
#21. Comment posted by Michael on Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 9:25pm
Rather late to the party, I only found this site a couple of weeks ago, but it's been an enormous help to me in finding best routes through the levels, and I love the sheer amount of detail and discussion of every facet of the games, and the beautiful, crystal-clear presentation. Sonic (2 in particular) was part of my childhood and you helped me rediscover its magic :)
#22. Comment posted by Kabam! on Thursday, 6th September 2012, 7:45pm
Yeah cybershell, what about that video? And I totally agree with Brady Meyers. One more thing, if you read this while listening to volcano valley act 2 genesis version, it almost makes you cry. Once again good job.
#23. Comment posted by Brady Meyers on Monday, 10th September 2012, 8:18am
This aeSTHete web site is actually quite interesting to look at. LQS, what do you think of aeSTHete?
#24. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 29th September 2012, 1:41am
Your site is AWESOME! Thank you!
#25. Comment posted by Kenny Hulpach on Saturday, 29th September 2012, 2:02pm
Thank you so much for creating the beautiful site that will forever remain as my homepage. Please pursue your dreams in making custom sonic levels. I look forward to playing them.
#26. Comment posted by WaddleDee on Monday, 1st October 2012, 10:53pm
Congratulations on this giant site as a whole! This is such a great passion-filled look at some of the best games ever made. I'm sure someone out there with the time will make a guide similar to these on a recent Sonic title. Hopefully this isn't forgotten and can be remembered as a high point for Sonic projects.

Hope you succeed in whatever you plan to do in the future. Whether Sonic related or not I'm sure it'll be loved just as much if not more so. See you later for now!
#27. Comment posted by Thony on Wednesday, 10th October 2012, 10:39am
Sigh... I wish i could to something like this.
congratulations! I am very happy for you. I love your work!
#28. Comment posted by Sparragow on Saturday, 10th November 2012, 10:06pm
This is my first comment. I found Zone:0 maybe a couple years ago, don't remember exactly how. I have to congratule you man, 'cause this is one of the most beauty, polite and light websites I've seen in my life! And one of the best Sonic websites too. I didn't used your guides too much because I'm a hardcore Sonic fan but I really enjoyed them with such nice details (captions, mouseover text, great selection of colors, etc.). So, I shall thank you for all the work you've done here. I'm very grateful. It's sad this is over, but I hope you'll do some updates soon, after a good rest hiatus, of course. Greetings from Barcelona.
#29. Comment posted by Anonymous on Sunday, 11th November 2012, 5:40pm
Why not do Knuckles Chaotix!?!?
#30. Comment posted by Kabam! on Tuesday, 20th November 2012, 9:13pm
It's amazing how people are still commenting on this post! :D I guess this website is just that great!
#31. Comment posted by Pete C on Sunday, 25th November 2012, 12:55am
Just wanted to congratulate you on your informative, well-written and very well designed website. The level maps (which led me to your site) are great as well. Well done on all your good work, LiquidShade!
#32. Comment posted by SomeRandomGuy on Tuesday, 11th December 2012, 11:52pm
Same here Pete C! The maps were very heplful (Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles maps mostly) This site has given me tons of help on my sonic games. And just coming here a few weeks ago for some tips and cheats, not know the site was at its end. :( LQS, you have done a great job with the site and with that, thank you! (may the comments on here live on :D )
P.S. this is on my favorites list!
#33. Comment posted by Brady Meyers on Wednesday, 12th December 2012, 10:28am
Today is the 12/12/12, presumably the last of the "same 3 numbers" we'll see. The next "same 3 numbers" date is 1/1/2101. I don't know if Sonic would make it through that long length, not to mention his other friends. But this is a once in a lifetime date for us all. Need I say more? :)
#34. Comment posted by Eclebright on Wednesday, 19th December 2012, 9:06pm
I commend you, LiQuidShade. Very few Sonic projects are ever seen completed, and this was a huge undertaking. Thanks so much for showing a love for Sonic that few have ever shown in the franchises history.

This is true love for Sonic, and the people that play them. Thank You. =)
#35. Comment posted by Ditto on Saturday, 22nd December 2012, 3:57am
Thanks for the help dude. Ill be waiting for that fan game of yours to come out. No rush of course.
Just do what you want to do.

#36. Comment posted by Tim333 on Wednesday, 2nd January 2013, 6:32am
Thanks so much for this site. The Genesis Sonic games are so, so good, and so packed with secrets. This really is the ultimate guide to them and will continue to be a valuable resource for all Sonic fans.
#37. Comment posted by SonicTailsKnuckles on Wednesday, 16th January 2013, 9:53pm
Your game guides make Zone: 0 worth loving. I have read all your guides, but I definitely will not stop visiting Zone: 0. Thank you so much.
#38. Comment posted by Jake on Monday, 28th January 2013, 3:31am
Hey you think you could make a fan game which involves elements of sonic the hedgehog1-3, knuckles, and cd because i for one would love to see that. I've tried to download sonic worlds but it needs some additional stuff to get it to open and also I'd love a "easy to use" level editor with all the graphics in the games if you can and if you can't I understand that cause it's time consuming. Please respond to this :)
#39. Comment posted by mrspell23 on Sunday, 17th March 2013, 8:29pm
We've all had a great run, but now it's all done...
#40. Comment posted by mrspell23 on Sunday, 17th March 2013, 8:29pm
Get it? Run? *Laughs*
#41. Comment posted by SonicTailsKnuckles on Monday, 18th March 2013, 7:19pm
Oh, and LiQuidShade: What is your favourite game out of the five original amazing guides you made? My favourites are probably Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles.
#42. Comment posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, 20th March 2013, 7:21am
Congratutionatl this is a cool site.
#43. Comment posted by Henry on Wednesday, 15th May 2013, 7:37am
Man, this is awesome! Congratulations!
I really loved the site, so many useful and fantastic things! :D

But how about Knuckles' Chaotix and Sonic 3D Blast? Do you intend to make a complete guide for them too?

#44. Comment posted by Derrick on Thursday, 13th June 2013, 3:02am
Ive been using your guide to pass every classic sonic game since 2008, the only ones I didnt beat with the emeralds were Sonic 1, and Sonic 2, it takes forever to get those emeralds lol. Anyways I really LOVED your blog and you really helped me out. If I wouldve talked to you earlier, I wouldve asked for you to make a Knuckles Chaotix guide. I think you are an ULTIMATE Sonic fan. Rock on bro ✌
#45. Comment posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 2:59pm
What About Sonic [4 episode 1, 4 episode 2, Advance 1, Advance 2, Advance 3, Spinball, CD 2011, 1 2013, 2 2013, Lost World Yoshi and Zelda Zones] ?
#46. Comment posted by El'endia Starman on Saturday, 30th August 2014, 8:37pm
Thank you so much for making this site and these guides. They're very well-made, and very helpful. I myself am also actively interested in recreating the Sonic games and then making a game like them, so I've really enjoyed the resources you've got here in the way of maps, and explanations of level design features. I hope that by understanding what made the old games so great, I can make more similarly great games, and your guides have been and will be invaluable to my efforts. Again, thank you.
#47. Comment posted by Cullen on Saturday, 13th September 2014, 5:16pm
This doesn't need to be the end of Zone: 0! You could make game guides for OTHER Sonic games, like Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations! Oh, and maybe even game guides for DIFFERENT GAME SERIES!! Please don't tell me that it's a bad idea. In fact, that idea is the opposite of bad! LiQuidShade, this website of yours is awesome and very informational; you even have put some of your small thoughts about those games in and I think some of them are funny. I mostly like looking at the Special Stages for Sonic CD here, and I'm certain that if you heed my advice, even more amazing things will be here! I wouldn't bear it if you gave up on this website-I'd try to give your computer(s) a virus if you did>:[. I won't let you stop on Zone: 0's life, so you must add more to it! The only thing that i'm unhappy about is the fact that you've cussed several times on here. I want only that to stop. THANK YOU.
#48. Comment posted by Dan on Tuesday, 23rd December 2014, 6:42pm
Just dropping in to revisit this site and I can't believe I haven't already commented here. Two years later but maybe you still get messages, and I just feel like saying what has already been said by others. This site is just amazing; the work you did and the polish you gave it are just phenomenal. This is pretty much my most enjoyed and respected website of the internet. Just such an amazingly thorough, massive, and fun piece of work. Now I understand the expression "Huge thanks from all Sonic fans." Every Sonic fan has to gush at what you've done. It's just too good.
#49. Comment posted by Henry on Monday, 27th April 2015, 4:38pm
Just wanna say thanks for your passion and dedication. A true labor of love, no doubt about it.

Makes me nostalgic of the good old days. All this well written polished material in easy, pleasant to read format.
#50. Comment posted by ThatOneBFDIFan on Friday, 17th March 2017, 8:22pm
So sad :(
#51. Comment posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 12:49pm
what happens if super sonic gets grabbed by big arms in sonic 3 and knuckles
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We've finally done it! The Zone: 0 guides have reached their last big update. Owner LiQuidShade has new projects on the horizon, but this site will always remain in his heart.