Sandopolis-Sonic & Knuckles
Sandopolis Zone
Flying Battery has taken our heroes to a dry, isolated desert region of the island, home to ancient Egyptian buildings and artifacts. Act 1 takes you through the sunset labyrinth of crumbling structures, where sand slides, crushing blocks and quicksand are the order of the day. Act 2 is based solely inside a huge pyramid - keep it well lit to prevent the ghosts from appearing, and doors only open when you press against timed switches, closing slowly while you make your way towards them. One of the most puzzle-based levels ever, with all kinds of traps and tricky features. A long and difficult zone for any player.

Game: Sonic & Knuckles

Stage Number: 3

Level Division: 2 Acts

Boss: End of Act 1. End of Act 2.

Playable Characters: Sonic, Knuckles. Sonic & Tails, Tails (Sonic 3 + Sonic & Knuckles only).

Difficulty Rating: 5

Music: The various components of these tunes successfully capture the appropriate elements of menace, searing heat and mysticism with a melody that's familiarly Egyptian-sounding, and a deadly slow-paced beat underneath. Act 2 reduces the pace and adds considerably to the spooky feel, though remains loyal to the tune.

Typical Length:

Act 1: 4 minutes - 6 minutes
Act 2: 5 minutes - 7 minutes

Available Items:

Rings Checkpoints 10 Ring Item Box Fire Shield Item Box Water Shield Item Box Lightning Shield Item Box Invincibility Item Box Speed-Up Item Box Extra Life Item Box Eggman Item Box Special Stage Ring
Act 1 383 5 22 3 1 2 5 0 3 0 7
Act 2 284 4 8 2 2 2 1 1 1 0 4

Sandopolis Zone Downloads:

Level Maps: Act 1 map (.png)
Act 2 map (.png)
Art: Official badnik art (.jpg)
Official concept art (.jpg)
Art found in the Japanese instruction manual
Top Tips
- If you're looking to cut down on your time for this level, in Act 1 particularly, try to avoid using the long ropes to scale down the walls, because it's usually easy enough to just leap down by yourself and aim for the bottom right side of the area. In Act 2 it can be a bit more complicated, because you need to land at an exact point or you'll have to take a detour or try again. Beginners should probably stick to the ropes though. Hence the expression "learning the ropes"... ha.
- The Skorp badniks are particularly nasty fellas, and among the most deadly accurate of Robotnik's creations, as that spiked tail is very tough to dodge. The top strategy is to try and sneak up on them, made easier if they're on a slightly higher step than you are, then try a quick spin dash before they can react to you.
Skorp is one of Eggman's most accurate creations to date.
- Be very careful of getting caught by the many crushing blocks that often move up and down over entrances and exits to passages. If you blast on through, you might not be able to stop if a crusher suddenly appears and catches you in its path. Leave the speed for external sections, and keep it fairly slow when inside enclosed spaces.
I didn't do this deliberately just for the screen shot you know, this crusher genuinely did catch me off guard. Just goes to show. Watch out!
- In Act 2, treat the light switches like you would air bubbles in water levels of other games; always give them a tug whenever you see them, because you don't know how long it'll be until you see the next one. Well, realistically, they are quite regular, and it takes quite a while before the ghosts actually start trying to attack you, but when they do, it is a bit annoying. It's good to keep the place well lit anyway.
- Also in Act 2, push on the black switches all the way to the end in order to allow the maximum amount of time to get through the door it links to, and while you can still hear that switch ticking down, get a move on!
- There are tons of Special Stage rings in this level, and rather than being accessible through hidden tunnels in the walls like they usually are, you're more likely to find them in their tiny rooms, tucked away in normally ignored corners, so don't be afraid to explore this vastly complicated level.
Each section of this page allows users to add their own notes to fill in any missing details or supply additional research etc.
View general notes for Sandopolis Zone (9)
#1. Comment posted by 3ach on Sunday, 14th August 2011, 6:21am (UTC)
5-7 minutes on act 2? More like 7-9 minutes!
#2. Comment posted by 3ach on Sunday, 14th August 2011, 3:16pm (UTC)
I also noticed that on the act 2 map, there are at least 5 checkpoints.
#3. Comment posted by andy on Tuesday, 30th August 2011, 4:49am (UTC)
You can get the 2nd big ring on Act 2 with Sonic just by using the lightning shield.
#4. Comment posted by Anonymous on Monday, 17th September 2012, 12:52pm (UTC)
I hate this level. The creator of this level is a 9.
#5. Comment posted by some1 on Saturday, 20th July 2013, 12:28pm (UTC)
I hate this level too. Every time I play it I feel sick...
#6. Comment posted by Anonymous on Monday, 26th August 2013, 12:41am (UTC)
Used to love this level... until I got to act two
#7. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 21st December 2013, 2:50am (UTC)
There are excactly five checkpoints in act 2 and the second "knuckles only" big ring can be obtained with a flame sheild, thunder sheild, of tails when playing as sonic, but you can just fly over as tails.
#8. Comment posted by Teslamania on Saturday, 7th January 2017, 3:14am (UTC)
In Act Two, the speed of the music slows down slightly. I figured this out when I listened to a faster version of the theme
#9. Comment posted by Creepsterthecreep on Monday, 31st July 2017, 2:04am (UTC)
It was gonna be in sonic 3 grade can you believe it D:
Hide Notes
Act 1 takes you through the sunset dunes, with pyramids and sandy hills in the distance, beyond the dry desert. The sky above turns from bright yellow to purple, to blue, and the whole environment shimmers in the heat.
Internal tunnels are backed by black brick walls supported by paired pillars, and all of the foreground consists of brown and yellow stone blocks and thick layers of sand.
The pyramids of Sandopolis are based in the middle of nowhere. Presumably on a far, remote edge of Angel Island, there's little else but miles of empty desert wasteland around. It's sunset though, which is always nice, and the sky is purple at the very top, gradually turning to bright yellow along the horizon. There are rows of sandy hills far in the distance and an occasional pyramid in front of them. It's hard to make out, but I believe there are some palm trees spaciously distributed just in front of them, and then simply semi-flat, dry land separating all of that from you. One neat graphical feature you may spot is that the whole background shimmers slightly in the hot, desert air. Act 2 takes place exclusively inside a large pyramid, and like Labyrinth Zone, the background is simply a huge wall of blocks, not too far away from the foreground. They're a kind of dirty yellow colour, illuminated by the torches, which are arranged in threes in certain places across the wall. The blocks vary in size and shape, but they're all very old and crumbled and some even have little Egyptian hieroglyphics on them. It's always the same image though - a man on the left and what appears to be a bird on the right, with some other stuff in the middle. Of course, as the lighting dies down and the ghosts appear, the background, and all of your surroundings get darker, and you can see the torches getting less powerful on each phase.
Frequently, the level layout is supported by these huge turquoise pillars, many of which have sections cut out of them, either partially or all the way through.
Yellow and brown stone blocks, crumbled and uneven, make up most of the ground surrounding you with occasional Egyptian symbols on some of them. When outside, in Act 1, this ground shimmers a little just like the background does, and thick chunks of solid sand provide for most of the floor and walls. In some sections, you can also find yourself in large pillar structures. Here, the ground is based within a large cylindrical construction of cracked old turquoise coloured blocks and the floor is solid yellow ground, with a zig-zag pattern running through it. It has a high ceiling above it, made up of the same thing, and long thin yellow pillars on either side of the path hold it all up. Other sections in both acts place you inside small rooms, where the walls in the background are of plain black bricks. There are also pairings of dark red-ish pillars supporting it.
Explore the deadly hidden pyramid of Act 2. In here, only the background really changes, and becomes a solid wall of large stone slabs, illuminated by rows of torches and decorated by hieroglyphic symbols.
Act 2 also has a lighting system throughout. Keep the place well lit, or it'll begin to get darker, as the whole environment goes down a few shades..
..Leave the lights untouched for long enough and it'll start to get very dark indeed! Oh, and mind those freaky looking ghosts too.
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Hide Notes
Now this is one big level, so get ready for quite a long experience. At a glance, the map of Act 1 mainly takes place on a series of platforms in a very complex design, some with curved roads on the floors and ceilings and occasionally connected by long diagonal sand slides. There are corridors, often located inside the brief internal sections, but a lot of open spaces as well, usually between huge turquoise pillars that your character can scale their way down using the hanging ropes. Being based mainly on sand, the roads are full of lumps, bumps and steps along the way, and short curves in the road, loop-de-loops and catapult devices regularly send you hurtling through the air. Those loops are always against the wall, by the way, and rather than coming in one side and exiting the other, you have to spin round and round it a few times before it finally throws you upwards. Sand slides occasionally force you the other way, but your main direction is right in Act 1, and each route mostly sticks to its own large horizontal segments of the map.
Sandopolis contains quite a mix of structural features, but is perhaps best known for its notorious internal corridors of deadly traps that weave their way around the massive level.
Loop-de-loops operate differently to most. They always take you from a horizontal path to a vertical one, but will force you to go round and round through them a few times first, building up more and more speed.
Act 2 is generally more enclosed, with the action all taking place in a series of corridors and rooms, except for large open areas for more sand slides. The pieces of ground seem to be more connected here, with less emphasis on crossing gaps in the path, and more on working your way through trap-filled passageways and figuring out little puzzles at a generally slower pace. This act uses the looping system on several occasions, where a path or drop will carry on at the opposite end of the map when you reach the top or bottom of it, at certain points. This is used to either create a seemingly longer vertical route, or by means of a detour, to get you back onto a previous ledge you may have missed. Most other structural elements are the same as Act 1.
The sandy paths are extremely bumpy and curvy in the more open spaces across both acts.
Slower corridor segments are balanced out by short bursts of speed, and you're often even flung through the air by sudden ramps in the road or frequently by other objects such as catapults.
As for routes, the two acts are rather different. Sticking with Act 2, this mostly has one long, single route, except for a couple of occasions where Knuckles is able (or is forced) to break down blocks to find his own brief, and often more difficult path toward the end of the level. He can also access an alternate start of the act (and an exclusive big ring) by simply climbing the wall to the left of the entrance. The other detours mainly occur at a couple of points where you have to scale down between two huge turquoise pillars from the top of the left one to a platform at the bottom of the right one. If you miss this, you'll need to carry on with the route downwards to either find an alternate path, or keep dropping to loop back up to the top and try again. Act 1 meanwhile is a mass of routes, sub-routes, shortcuts and hidden rooms and it'll take you ages before you explore all of them. Essentially, there are two main routes that branch off from each other fairly early on. The top route is quite vast, splitting and rejoining multiple times across most of the map, but with easily missed entrances and connections, it's harder to get on, and as a result most players will remain near the bottom of the act, oblivious to what's going on above them. Knuckles can gain access to the above areas early by climbing the very first straight wall at the start, and as discussed by Point #4, the upper middle of the act splinters confusingly into an array of sand pits, with sub-routes emerging from them at different floors. A few shortcuts or hidden areas at the very top of the stage are designed specifically for Tails' flight ability when playing S3&K, including one of the big rings, and several barriers along the brief upper sub-routes prevent access to anyone but Knuckles.
Finally, this stage is absolutely packed with well hidden Special Stage rings. There are seven in Act 1 (often hidden in secret little rooms to the left of an area, which you don't normally notice while heading right) and four in Act 2, though of course some are only in places accessible to certain characters so I doubt it's possible to pick up all of them in one go by fair means.
View Notes(3)
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#1. Comment posted by MoDaD on Monday, 1st August 2011, 12:22am (UTC)
Both acts of these zones just seem way too long. Still fun, but not as fun as some other levels.
#2. Comment posted by Mike on Thursday, 11th August 2011, 4:41am (UTC)
Fun compared to what? A root canal? :) The puzzle at the end of act 2 for Knuckles is extremely difficult if you don't know what you are doing
#3. Comment posted by Ratchet 0203 on Tuesday, 23rd December 2014, 11:34am (UTC)
In some parts of act 1, I can't even keep track of how many floor divisions there are, dispite me having debug mode on. Even though it gives me hieght coordinates, I can't keep track of that.
Hide Notes
Obstacles and Features
Thin waterfalls of sand (or, if you will, "sandfalls"), pour from long diagonal sand slides or frequently just edges of platforms or ceilings. If you jump into them, they will move you slowly either up or down. You won't be able to move left or right very quickly, but you can repeatedly jump upwards, regardless of the direction of flow to get yourself to the top ledge. These sandfalls are usually vertical, but you can also find them curving round into horizontal ones across ceilings that carry you along, and you can jump out at any time. When you see a small yellow stone block on the edge of a platform, go up to it and push it off over the ledge, by holding the direction button towards it. It's heavy but it eventually tumbles, and lands on a series of small wheels suspended in the air, which move it along the path. Jump on it to be carried along to the following area, but make sure you jump off when you see the next ledge, because the block usually falls off into the quicksand below.
'Sandfalls' will carry you, quite slowly, either upwards or down, in narrow or thicker streams. Even if they're leading downwards, you can still jump up through them to get to the top.
Some streams travel along the ceiling and curve around, flowing in a particular direction. You can push against this to slow down, but you can't move against it, horizontally.
Push toward this small stone block and it'll slowly move along the ground. Try to push it off the ledge to land on the small spinning circles below..
..When the block falls on the wheels, they'll carry it along easily. The idea is that you drop down after it, and use it as a moving platform. They typically drop straight into quicksand at the end mind!
This quicksand works just like the oil in Oil Ocean and the sludge pits in Marble Garden. If you fall in, simply keep jumping to stay on the surface, and then make your way to whatever platform is around. Otherwise, it'll drag you down and one of two things will happen - you'll die, or sometimes you'll actually survive and find a hidden area down there! If you can see a solid piece of ground or some sort of platform below it, you should be alright, so it might be worth just dropping down and having a look. Many sand pits are near the bottom of the level, but unlike Oil Ocean Zone, their method of killing you isn't just about trying to drop you off the stage, you can still die just as easily within large pits near the top of the level too. Even more threatening are the incredibly plentiful long yellow crushing blocks with thick black edges, particularly in small rooms and corridors, so be very wary of them. They move up and down or left and right, often very slowly, and sometimes have sets of spikes on their tops or bottoms. They can easily lurch out on top of you when you least expect it, though they can also be completely stationary on occasion as well.
When in quicksand pits, keep jumping to prevent sinking through. Sometimes there's another route down there that you can fall through into, though more often than not you'll just die if you sink too far down.
These long thin blocks are everywhere, used both as moving platforms and deadly crushers.
As if they weren't terrifying enough, some blocks contain spikes along the edges. Spikes or not, getting suddenly crushed by these in tight corridors is no rarity.
Diagonal sand slides tip your character from top to bottom forcefully. Jumping your way back up them is difficult, though Knuckles can overcome them by gliding.
Some, gentler slides start you off at the bottom, and provide a series of platforms that fall from the ceiling and slide down. Use them as stepping stones to hop to the top.
Catapults can be found as strings of circles in corners. Simply jump on them to be flung in the air shortly afterward.
Long, diagonal sand slides are fairly self-explanatory features, and simply drop you down from the top to the bottom, sometimes arranged on opposing sides over a large area. They're difficult, if not impossible to climb back up just by jumping, except for those smaller ones that feature a series of small platforms that are released from the ceiling above the top of the slide. Coming down the sand and dropping away at the bottom, they form convenient stepping stones for you. Catapults are formed from strings of circles that are spread diagonally across some corners of walls. Jump on them and they'll throw you across a large distance or to a higher ledge on the opposite side. In wide, open areas in both acts, you'll be able to take a rope ride across from one wall to the other or to scale down one of them. Simply grab hold of the hanging hook at the top and you'll drop down a little way on it. From there, use the jump button to kick away from each wall until you get to the bottom, where you can jump off.
Grab hold of hanging rope handles to start scaling down the wall. Jump to kick off from it.
Some rope rides stretch across a wide area, as you twist toward an opposite wall and then back again.
Platforms on arms swing around to carry you between ledges. Some will do this when you step on only, others do so continuously.
These rising walls of sand just slow you down a bit. Jump to go through them.
Destroy simple brown blocks by jumping on them.
These barriers of small shiny blocks can only be broken by Knuckles, allowing access to exclusive routes or hidden areas.
These ledges crumble once you've stood on them for a short time.
Taking you up and down, platforms on the ends of long arms swing 180 degrees from one point on the wall to the other, with the base of their arm in the middle. Stand on them to make them move, and then they'll swing back when you get off. You can also get horizontal ones suspended in the air that just swing back and forth of their own accord. When walls of solid sand reach up out of the ground and uselessly try to block your path, just simply jump up over them. Jump on brown blocks that stand in your way to crumble them, though some of them may in fact be a badnik in disguise (see the last paragraph for those). When you see a barricade of small silver cubes blocking an entrance to a corridor, that's a Knuckles-only route you've got there, and Sonic is incapable of breaking through it. Also watch out for basic slotting spikes on the ceilings and floors and the good old crumbling ledge trick too.
Act 1 is all relatively straightforward and there's not too much to worry about. Act 2, unfortunately, is the exact opposite, incorporating almost all of the above, and adding some impressively tricky ideas. First thing you'll notice is that it's nearly pitch black inside the temple. You'll find grey hanging light switches on the ceilings at regular intervals throughout the act, and you'll need to jump and pull these to fully restore the lights. However, this is not permanent and the lights gradually die down all the time, which is when the ghosts begin to appear. They're harmless to start with, but if you go too long without turning the lights back on, spending time with them won't be a picnic. They'll start appearing halfway through the fully lit phase, when a single, small white ghost will patrol back and forth along the top of your screen, following you wherever you go, but you can't interact with it just yet. Allow another 15 seconds or so and the lighting will drop down to medium, where another ghost will join the party and do the same thing, both looking larger and more evil now. 30 seconds later, and it becomes almost pitch black again, and you should probably start getting concerned now, as a third ghost appears and all three develop mean, pointy ears, though still continue hovering across the top of the screen. After 15 seconds of this, they'll finally begin to unleash their fury by continuously diving at you from either top corner. You'll take damage if you get hit, and if you jump into them, they'll disappear and then reappear back at the top and continue the assault. The only way to relieve yourself of them is to find one of those light switches and quickly. Fully restoring the lights will always make them vanish, no matter what phase they're in. Fortunately, light switches are quite frequent and in obvious places, so it shouldn't be too difficult to ensure that you don't allow them to grow that big. As Sonic, ghosts will only start appearing after Point #6. for Knuckles, they'll be there right from the start!
In Act 2, a single little ghost will begin to follow you around the top of the screen..
..Allow the lights to dim, and a second will appear, both now looking slightly more menacing, though still essentially harmless.
As soon as the lights go out, you should start getting worried. Soon enough, three terrifying ghosts will begin dive bombing you relentlessly. If you're not jumping or rolling upon impact, they'll cause damage.
The only solution is to restore the lights by tugging on the many hanging switches about the place. The ghosts will disappear - for now. But the lights will forever be on a timer, so you must keep doing this to keep them at bay.
Another regular feature of Act 2 are the heavy black door switches. Push them all the way to the right to fully open up the nearby doorway, but when you release it, it'll move back to the left at a certain speed, which in turn gradually closes the door. The long thin doors open either vertically or horizontally, and after pushing the switch, you sometimes have to quickly make your way through a brief obstacle course in order to get through the door in time, as the switch and the door are not always right next to each other, unfortunately. They can also open more than one door at a time, and have a fairly annoying sound that plays continuously while they close, even after leaving the vicinity completely. Don't get caught too tightly beneath a closing door, or it'll crush you. And then there's the sand-release hatches, which are located on the ceiling in certain areas. Jump to break them and streams of sand will begin to flood the room, which will either immediately create a plain of stable sand to walk on below, or more famously a long, ever-rising bumpy mound of it that'll carry you upwards, and can crush you into ceilings if you don't move fast across it or the corridors that it's chasing you up through. See points 10, 11 and 12 for all the section-specific details.
Push these heavy black switches toward their opposite end to open up a doorway nearby..
..After being opened, the door closes gradually, with a constant sound to remind you of its closure. Hurry through quickly, and watch out, as you can get crushed underneath if there isn't enough space.
These are sand release hatches..
..Destroy the block underneath them, and a stream of sand will begin to pour out..
..The sand will begin to rise as a bumpy mound that keeps climbing up the narrow corridors. Hurry along it or it'll crush you into the ceilings! Later on, it can also form a simple straight plain of sand that doesn't rise.
Skorps are scorpion badniks that crawl around a small area. They are particularly evil, because as soon as they see you, they'll throw their long, stinging tail directly at you with pinpoint accuracy, even when you're a fair distance away. By badnik standards, this is a very hard attack to avoid, so if you can't sneak up on them stealthily, make sure you strike before they do. Meanwhile, Sandworm is another robot based on the classic Caterkiller design from Sonic 1. These ones lurk inside pits of quicksand, swimming back and forth close to the surface (you can see the sand splashing just above them), and then periodically leap out, in an effort to catch you off guard. Bop them on the head only, as the other parts of their body are protected by spikes. A badnik apparently named "Rock'n", (though it isn't officially recognised by the game's instruction manual) disguises itself as a standard chunk of rock lying on the ground. When you step near, the eyes at the front open and legs at the bottom lift the block up, and it starts walking around. This odd looking thing doesn't actually hurt you though, it instead simply pushes you along, potentially into danger. You'll stand on it if you attempt a regular jumping spin attack, so only a spin dash will destroy it. I'd hesitate to even call it a badnik if it didn't produce the customary trapped animal upon destruction.
Badniks Skorp, Sandworm and Rock'n
View Notes(5)
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#1. Comment posted by Mike on Thursday, 11th August 2011, 4:48am (UTC)
Rock'n is my favorite badnik in the series. So incredibly goofy
#2. Comment posted by 3ach on Sunday, 14th August 2011, 6:24am (UTC)
The lighting can also be reset if you enter a bonus stage.
#3. Comment posted by Anonymous on Friday, 19th August 2011, 12:00am (UTC)
A good strategy for Skorps (as Sonic anyways) is to slash attack right before the tail hits you to make yourself invincible. Doesn't always work, but handy in a pinch!
#4. Comment posted by GoldenDelicious on Sunday, 9th December 2012, 3:48pm (UTC)
@Anonymous, do you mean insta-shield?
#5. Comment posted by skittycat on Thursday, 21st November 2013, 11:22pm (UTC)
HATE the scorpions!
Hide Notes
This is an alternate way up to the upper routes, if you miss out on the opportunity in Point #2. From those initial sand slides, carry on over the various sand pits on the bottom of the act. Eventually you'll reach a brief internal section that redirects the route back to the left. If you take the sandfall up, and go left instead of right, you'll find this other sandfall that will take you up, toward Point #4. This whole area is a real junction of different routes, sub-routes and directions, in fact.
This tricky block moves horizontally along the ground, trying to force you into the sand pit to the left. You won't die in there, but the pit does drop you down to a far more precarious path, so it's usually in your best interest to try and get over it to the right. There's a sandfall in the middle, tumbling from the sand slide above, so you just need to jump up along this, which allows you to essentially jump over the block as it moves past.
It's worth investigating the hidden corners of these big turquoise pillars, a couple of them actually conceal an item box.
As Tails, in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, it's worth staying as high as you can. Like the one mentioned in Point #3, there are a few shortcuts and interesting hidden areas along the very top of the map that only he can fly to.
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Special Stage Rings
Special Stage Rings
Take the upper path from the sand slides of Point #2 and you'll soon find this ring tucked away in a left hand corner shortly afterwards.
At Point #2, take the upper path from the sand slides, and continue along the bumpy path, past the spikes, and drop to the area below. From here, wander to the left to find the first of a few big rings that are simply tucked away in discreet corners.
This ring can be found at the bottom left corner of the entrance sand pit to Point #4.
If you go to the maze of sand pits in Point #4, drop down into the very first one, which is just next to the checkpoint, and underneath a swinging platform arm. You'll land safely on the ground below, but instead of going right, explore the area to your left and you'll find this ring in another hidden room, beyond a crusher.
On the lower path, when taking this moving block, look out for the platform arm on the upper right..
..If you take that platform, it'll bring you up to a short alternate route that features a big ring on the way.
If you follow the bottom route, which takes you underneath the sand pits of Point #4, you'll eventually push another block onto a series of small wheels, where the backdrop is partly based on the internal walls. Here, look out for a platform arm on the right hand side, which you'll need to jump to from the end of the first row of small circles, before it falls. The arm will swing up toward an short alternate sub-route that contains the big ring.
This one can only be accessed with Tails. If you take the highest route, above the sand pits in Point #4, then after the tall turquoise pillar, fly toward the highest path to the right, you can find this room.
This is only accessible if you're Tails, or have Tails to hand as Sonic. You need to take the highest route and go to Point #4, but don't drop in the sand pits, stay above them. This path takes you toward the top, past a tall turquoise pillar. From there, fly to the right and you should find a route above the pushable block. Fly up here into this room, and keep going up, past all the moving crushing blocks to the big ring, in a small room on the left. Knuckles can also reach this area, but he can't get to the ring.
An alternative to the previous big ring. From the top of the big pillar, take the regular route with the pushable block. You'll find this big ring room soon after, in a gap in the bumpy road.
Instead of the last Tails-only ring, you could go for this one on the main part of the upper route, accessible to all. Follow the path above the sand pits as with the last ring, and go to the top of the turquoise pillar. From here, you can drop below, and take the route that begins with the pushable block. There's a high ledge from there that takes you on a bumpy road, and eventually a gap appears. Drop down this gap and head left.
The next ring is found on the bottom route, towards the end of the act. Look for this swinging arm over a long sand pit, while on a moving block, and jump on it as soon as you get the chance..
..The platform takes you on a brief route upwards. Keep heading to the right along it, and you'll come to a tall internal room, where a Special Stage ring floats in the middle.
The second to last Special Stage ring is on the lower route, though it can be accessed from any point, beforehand. It occurs after you make your way up a tall pillar on its left side, then drop down the right side of it to a long sand pit. From the upper route, you can drop down here shortly after the last big ring. On this pushable block that allows you to cross the pit, look for the horizontal swinging arm above you, and jump to it before the series of small wheels end. Follow the route, heading right at the top of it to find the ring floating inside a tall internal room. It's safe to drop down from here afterwards.
The last Special Stage ring can be found at the top of the second to last pillar of the act, which is just to the left of the final checkpoint. It's accessible to Knuckles only.
The final Special Stage ring is located at the top of the second to last tall turquoise pillar, which, conveniently is right next to the last tall turquoise pillar, with the final checkpoint being between them. It's very high, just out of Tails' reach in fact, so it's a Knuckles only one this time. Climb the pillar, but you'll find a ledge at the top actually prevents you from clambering onto it. Glide to the right hand pillar from there, climb a bit higher, then glide back.
View Notes(2)
Go to..
#1. Comment posted by Kyle on Tuesday, 19th November 2013, 12:53am (UTC)
The final Special Stage ring in Act 1 can also be reached with Tails. In order to do it, you must charge up a spin dash before the slope with the final Star Post, and time your jump on the slope so that you get some added jump height (that's why you need to give the spin dash a good charge-up). From there, you can use the extra momentum to fly up and left to reach the ring.
#2. Comment posted by Shadow on Monday, 15th January 2018, 2:20pm (UTC)
Knuckles can reach Tail´s exclusive Special Stage Ring as Super/Hyper Knuckles.

Just stand above the moving plataform with the set of spikes and jump to the wall above on the left side. You must time it right but it´s not hard. Then just climb the wall and you can get the Special Stage Ring.
Hide Notes
Point #1
When you kick off Sandopolis, you'll be falling through the sky and land straight in the sand. Leap out and carry on forward, and keep jumping up the first sandfall you come to. Next, Sonic has no choice but to carry on into the passageway, but Knuckles has another, hidden option. He can climb up the wall directly above the entrance and find his way through an exclusive route for the first brief portion of this act. Here, go through a loop and then shortly afterwards, let the catapult fling you as far as possible across the wide gap. You can also get here by taking the normal route, and climbing the walls immediately after the upper route from the sand slides mentioned in the next point. This takes you on one of the many higher paths through the act, and allows you a chance at an extra life as you then pass through a barrier that only Knuckles can destroy. Look for the life hidden on an upper left platform shortly after you come out of a short internal shaft.
Dig your way out of the sand from the start by jumping out.
Knuckles has early access to the top routes by climbing this wall, just beyond the sandfall near the start.
..This route flings you across a wide open gap by catapult. Eventually Knuckles barges his way through these blocks, which only he can break.
Don't miss this extra life on a high left platform, after the internal area that the barrier leads into.
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#1. Comment posted by Flamewing on Friday, 12th August 2011, 7:58pm (UTC)
That early route can hardly be said to be Knuckles-only as Tails can also go there (and Sonic, in a Sonic + Tails game).
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Point #2
If you carried along the main route at the start, you'll soon find yourself falling down a diagonal sand slide. When you reach the other end, you'll normally fall back down another slide facing the other way, carrying you along the main route on the bottom of the map. If you'd prefer early access to the alternate top routes at this point, use your momentum from the first slide to head on up the curve at the end of it. At the top of this bit is a moving vertical block and if it happens to be low enough at the time, you might be able to land on top of it, and continue the act along the following path instead. If you don't make it, try to stop yourself from heading toward the lower slide and spin dash up the curve where the ground is stable.
The regular route from the start leads into a diagonal sand slide..
..The slide forces you up a curve where a moving block attempts to prevent access to the upper routes. You may have enough momentum to make it over, otherwise you'll fall back..
..If you do fall back, another slide will carry you down toward the main route. If you prefer the upper one, stop yourself as soon as you can, and a spin dash toward the curve should get you back up there.
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Point #3
As Tails, you can take Knuckles' Point #1 shortcut by flying. After the catapult takes you across the long gap, look for this high entrance on the right that can only be flown into..
..Complete this short, spiky aerial course in the following room..
At the top of this area above, fly all the way to the top left corner of the tall room, ignoring the catapult below for the moment, and a valuable 1-up is yours for the taking.
Tails actually has access to a couple of interesting routes of his own along the top of the act, if you're playing Sonic 3 + Sonic & Knuckles. Be sure to make use of them also if playing as Sonic with Tails and you have a friend/lacky to hand. You can actually take Knuckles' hidden route described in Point #1 by flying up the wall instead of climbing. When you're flung across the wide gap shortly afterwards, you may be able to notice a hidden entrance near the top and to the right of the area in which you land, which is guarded by a crushing, spiked block. Get past this and in the room that follows you'll notice another large block moving left to right. It doesn't go all the way to the edges of the room, but it does touch two sets of horizontal spikes on either wall. An interesting trap in itself in that it prevents Knuckles from climbing up here. Fly to the top left of the room above for an extra life! Similar areas for Tails are used a couple of times later along the top route for further rewards and shortcuts, so stay high!
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#1. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 24th November 2012, 5:44pm (UTC)
That extra life looks just like the Knuckles one you described in Point #1. xD
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Point #4
Around the middle point of the act, the upper route brings you to a small labyrinth of sandfalls and quicksand, right after its first checkpoint. Sand from the top floor tips into a series of small rooms, where quicksand forms at the base. Luckily, none of this quicksand actually kills you if you allow yourself to sink into it, you simply drop to another floor below, so in each room you can either just do this, or you can jump to stay on top of it and make your way to the exit on the right. There's a route open on the top if you stay above all the sand entirely, and another on the right of the third floor down. Alternatively one final pit here simply drops you right down to the lowest, main route, running parallel below and rather oblivious to all of this. Along the way, watch out for Sandworms when in these pits, however the threatening-looking block on the second floor that moves up and down in the quicksand won't actually kill you if it presses you into it, but it will force you to drop through.
The middle part of the act has the upper route leading into a labyrinth of platforms across multiple floors, split by pits of quicksand, being poured into by the floors above. Sinking into the pits leads you to the lower ones, and three different exits can be found to the right, depending on the floor you're on.
It's all very compact and a bit claustrophobic, though you don't need to be too worried about this block crushing you into the sand, it just forces you to sink into it toward the floor below.
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Act 1 Boss
Enter the Act 1 boss arena, which is below a wide sandfall, and a huge pyramid will begin to emerge from the ground, all around you..
..A doorway appears, and opens, revealing an unassuming lump of grey rock..
..This block then grows arms and legs and a head, and becomes a rather intimidating rocky guardian of the ancient pyramid. Oh dear.
At the end of Act 1, you'll be in a wide, open area at the very the bottom of the level. Sand is cascading down all across the background and there's some rumbling going on. Huge yellow stone blocks are slowly rising out of the sand just behind you, as a great lost pyramid is being revealed! You'll notice a doorway emerges in the center, which then opens and a chunk of grey rock appears from the darkness within. This chunk of rock is actually a large stone guardian, and you quickly notice that he's now got the arms, legs and head to prove it. The guardian's main attack is to jump across the ground towards you, hoping to land right on top of your head. That's easy to avoid, but unfortunately, hitting him will just be a waste of time, as he's impenetrable to any of your normal attacks. Whenever you hit him on the head, he'll be knocked down and backwards a little bit, but he'll just repeatedly get right back up again afterwards and continue chasing you. Hitting him anywhere else will just cause you damage. Over in the far left corner, you'll find a small pit of quicksand however. It probably doesn't take a genius to figure out that if you can't land a successful hit on him, you can try luring him over here. Just hop into it and keep jumping, or stand on the ledge until he gets close enough, and then ensure that you're right up against the left side of the screen, jumping in and out of the pit. He'll foolishly jump right in and get sucked downwards, defeated. Jump back onto the ledge and after your score is tallied up, the door to the temple will re-open, this time allowing you access inside...
You'll soon find that hitting him at all proves to be ultimately useless, as well as time consuming. Though he immediately breaks up into pieces, those pieces soon magically rejoin with each other, and this will happen no matter how many whacks he receives.
His main method of attack is to jump towards you. Wander back to the left though and you'll find a small sand pit. Aha. Suddenly all becomes clear..
..Lure him towards the sand pit by getting in there yourself and keep jumping to prevent being sucked down. The guardian is not gifted with intelligence, so will jump right in and never see the light of day again.
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#1. Comment posted by Oobo on Thursday, 15th September 2011, 9:51pm (UTC)
I spent half an hour and three lives on this boss, then I realized that all I needed to do was jump into the sandpit. STUPID DUMB IDIOTIC WORTHLESS...
#2. Comment posted by Anonymous on Monday, 19th November 2012, 12:46am (UTC)
LEss tiring way to do it is activate the boss, wait on the edge until he is one hop away from the edge, let him jump, move where he used to be. Soon as he reverses direction jump and hit him and he'll be knocked into the sand.
#3. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 22nd December 2012, 5:11pm (UTC)
When the signpost falls, hit around close to the temple door. If you're lucky, it may land on a spot that'll make an extra life monitor pop out! I only just recently discovered this!
#4. Comment posted by tom on Wednesday, 24th July 2013, 3:40pm (UTC)
why does some sort of bomb keep killing me??
#5. Comment posted by theblackferret on Tuesday, 3rd December 2013, 9:32am (UTC)
Considering how late in the day this stage is, Rocky is a joke boss. You almost feel sorry for him.

Think they should make him a character to fight through from STH instead & put a 3-headed,6-tailed skorp in here instead.
#6. Comment posted by Shadow on Monday, 15th January 2018, 2:49pm (UTC)
Funny thing with this boss is, if you hit him in the head while you´re gliding, you´ll start gliding the opposite direction you´re turned to. Even if you change directions, Knuckles´s gliding will switch too, making you always glide backwards.
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This act has a number of long-term traps, as opposed to simple individual obstacles that are dealt with as soon as they've left the screen. Not only do you have to worry about the ghosts and increasing darkness, but you must frequently open remote doorways with timed switches, and then make a dash for it across a short obstacle course before the door closes. This horizontal one is actually one of the easier examples.
On the way to the third Special Stage ring as Knuckles, the corridor toward it should be taken with caution. Every sand pit bar one in this act will kill you if it sucks you down, and this one is not the exception. Moving blocks and sandworms forcing you down make the situation tricky. Try to use the blocks as platforms and not fall in at all, but if you do, it can be hard for Knuckles to jump up onto that right block, as the window of opportunity to do so is brief.
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Special Stage Rings
Special Stage Rings
Knuckles can find this first ring by taking his alternate route from the start in Point #5.
The first of the Knuckles-only Special Stage rings in this act. Simply take the alternate route described in Point #5, in which Knuckles can climb the left hand wall from the start. Keep going, and the big ring can't be missed!
Knuckles must jump and glide up this sand slide in Point #7 in order to gain access to the next Special Stage ring.
Another one just for Knuckles, although you might be able to get here with Tails as well, however I think it's a bit too much for Sonic by himself. At Point #7, there's a seemingly endless series of alternating sand slides, but in reality, there's only two different slides that go diagonally from top right to bottom left. The one we're interested in here is not the one that has a swinging platform above it (from which you would normally jump to make your way out of this endless cycle), it's the one just below that. If you can get to the top of this slide, by constantly jumping and gliding against the flow of sand, you'll find that it leads to a Special Stage ring.
Knuckles only, once again I'm afraid. Following Point #10, you'll find a long turquoise pillar to scale down, using the rope ride. If you successfully find your way to the opening in the pillar below, then a loop will soon drop you off onto a moving block above a sand pit. Look to your right to see another of those barriers that only Knuckles can break. This is an optional route, which rejoins the main one quickly. Climb the following walls and carefully negotiate the spikes and more moving blocks in quicksand, until you come to a long drop in a corridor, beyond a crushing block. Don't drop, glide onto the far wall and climb up to find the hidden ring.
This ring, just for Sonic, can be found at the very end. Use the switch in Point #11 to open the door to this room, then hurry through and find it on a high right hand ledge.
Somewhat slim pickings for Sonic in this act, admittedly, but he does get this exclusive one at the very end. There's a hidden room, just above the area where you drop into the boss, that's guarded by a door. This door is opened by the switch mentioned in Point #11, in addition to the one in Sonic's puzzle room itself. Push the switch, as explained, and hurry through the first door, past a few more obstacles and leap up to the right hand ledge at the end. Another switch next to the ring will allow you to exit.
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#1. Comment posted by Tiddles on Friday, 12th August 2011, 7:17pm (UTC)
Sonic can indeed get to the second one, with a lightning or fire shield or Hyper powers (possibly Super too?) It's easiest if you jump from the slide above rather than waiting until you fall. Tails can also get there just fine.
#2. Comment posted by Michael on Wednesday, 3rd October 2012, 3:01am (UTC)
Sonic can also get to the first one! When the long slides (point 7) take you to the loop that throws you straight up, go left to the door just above it. Hold down until the screen scrolls as far down as it goes, then release and jump. This causes the "screen wrap glitch", during which you can move through objects. Fall through the door to the ring.

But how to get back up? You can't, but with two more uses of the glitch to get through the Knuckles-only walls, you can backtrack all the way back to the start of the level. The appearance of the ghosts' capsule when you reach it a second time is... interesting :)
#3. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 22nd December 2012, 5:20pm (UTC)
I've gotten to the second ring with Sonic just fine. He can't get there without a shield or super/hyper power though, as Tiddles mentioned. :)
Hide Notes
Point #5
Beginning Act 2, you'll find it pitch black inside the temple. Chronologically, Sonic enters this temple first, so there are initially no ghosts until he inadvertently releases them in the next point. As latecomer Knuckles however, you'll be ambushed almost immediately by these three terrifying ghouls, who have been terrorising the temple ever since Sonic was here. They hover around the top of the screen, and when they swoop in for you, make sure you jump, as they'll be able to hurt/kill you otherwise. Look for the nearby switch hanging from the ceiling, past the large moving block on your right, and jump and pull on it. This restores all the lights, and makes the ghosts vanish - for now. Every 30 seconds thereafter the lights will get dimmer and ghosts start to re-emerge, one by one, until they begin attacking you again, and only regular tugs of the light switches throughout the act will keep them at bay. Obviously you have no rings from the get-go, so they are an immediate danger for Knuckles. Curiously however, if they do kill you, when you restart, the lights will be on anyway.
As you enter Act 2, the pyramid will be plunged into darkness, and as Knuckles, you're immediately ambushed by three ghosts. Be sure to avoid their attacks or, ringless, you'll die immediately.
To rid yourself of these annoying ghouls, simply seek out this light switch on the other side of the moving block to your right. This will need to be done continuously throughout the level, unfortunately.
As Knuckles, you can return to the starting point if you like and climb the left hand wall of the initial room. carefully pass these moving blocks in the shaft above and continue up for a hidden Special Stage ring and other goodies on a secret route.
Now that the basics are covered, here's something a little more advanced. Knuckles actually has the option of an alternate start right off the bat, with several extra rewards. Best to switch the lights back on first, but once that's done, return to the starting point and climb the wall to the left. Eventually you'll come to a couple of moving horizontal blocks within the tight shaft above, where you must exercise quick timing in order to climb past them. Keep going, by climbing the walls above, for a well hidden Special Stage ring along the route, and you'll eventually rejoin at the top of one of the long sand slides at Point #7.
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#1. Comment posted by SonicTailsKnuckles on Friday, 31st October 2014, 8:44pm (UTC)
I've died many times with Knuckles at the start of Act 2 because of those pesky ghosties.
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Point #6
On the main route, which is Sonic's only option, you'll soon roll through a loop and down straight onto the release button of one of Eggman's capsules. This unleashes the ghosts, who promptly fly away, but will return regularly to torment you across the whole act, if you don't keep the temple well lit. It's designed to be unavoidable through normal means, however I do have some vague memory of going through the loop and missing it on one occasion. That was a long time ago now though, if it even actually happened, and I've gone through that loop many times since, so I wouldn't count on such a glitch reappearing too many times. I'd be interested to know if anyone else has ever witnessed that too though?
Soon enough, Sonic is forced to open a capsule that releases the ghosts that then stick around for the rest of the act.
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#1. Comment posted by Anonymous on Friday, 19th August 2011, 12:04am (UTC)
Count me in as someone who skipped the capsule once. That was on the PC version though, so I can't vouch for the original game. And I was like 7, so who knows?
#2. Comment posted by Green Knuckles on Wednesday, 24th August 2011, 9:25pm (UTC)
I once tried to circumvent this using the debug code, but the ghosts appear anyway after you pass the capsule.
#3. Comment posted by AquaRuin on Monday, 29th August 2011, 5:57pm (UTC)
There is a Sonic 3 & Knuckles glitch finder on Youtube called ORKAL, his videos show a very large amount of S3&K glitches. And in ORKAL's Sandopolis video, the "miss-the-ghost-capsule" glitch is shown. So it is indeed possible to dodge the ghost capsule. Hitting a checkpoint makes the ghosts appear though.
#4. Comment posted by A Name on Monday, 17th December 2012, 12:33am (UTC)
Count me in. I got it on the original game. I can also vouch for the other ports.
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Point #7
When tumbling down these eternal sand slides over and over again, you need to look for the point where they cross over, signified by a swinging platform. You'll be coming down on the right hand one, just jump over to the left and you'll be on your way.
Just after the capsule, you'll find yourself sliding back and forth across a series of diagonal sand slides. They intersect each other and you need to jump from one to the other at the right moment to progress, otherwise you'll just be falling down them endlessly, as the level loops vertically here. Whether you came from the main route or Knuckles' alternate one, look out for a point where the two slides intersect and there's a swinging platform directly above the intersection. You'll be on the slide that leads towards the left at this point - you want to just jump and switch to the one that leads to the right, using the platform to help if you like. This will lead you straight down to the next area. If you miss it, just keep sliding and you'll eventually make your way back there to try again.
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#1. Comment posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, 16th January 2013, 8:30pm (UTC)
You've gotta love infinite and vertical looping levels. :)
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Point #8
Immediately after that, you're presented with your first tricky switch-based puzzle, which is really more about completing a short course with speed, before the doorway closes at the end, than it is about solving a logic problem. Press the black switch all the way to the right and then (without dordling) run to the right, where you'll be sent up to the top left hand corner by catapult. Push another block off the ledge, down to a line of small wheels that move it along, as usual. Stand on it as it goes, and pull on the light switch en route if necessary. At the end, you'll find the door that you opened with the switch, but by now it's nearly closed, so squeeze underneath it very quickly, perhaps by rolling. If you're not fast enough it can crush you into the floor.
After the sand slides, this switch challenges you to pass a brief obstacle course quickly in order to get through the closing door at the other end.
More pushing required here as you must get this block moving post haste!
The block delivers you to the door at the end, which will be nearly closed shut. It might be advisable to even roll underneath it just to make sure you don't get squished.
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#1. Comment posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, 19th September 2012, 12:19am (UTC)
Do you mean "dawdling", perchance? ;)
#2. Comment posted by Michael on Friday, 5th October 2012, 11:28pm (UTC)
You can take a shortcut to the door by spin dashing up. Start from next to the switch, so that the downward slope gives you that little extra momentum.
#3. Comment posted by Anonymous on Monday, 19th November 2012, 2:18am (UTC)
This puzzle is a bit of a let down if you use your head just a little. Knux can just climb up as soon as the timer is initiated. Tails can fly and carry Sonic. In the likely event Sonic has a lightning shield he can double jump off the very top of the springy thing, removing all challenge this puzzle would have had. If you're Sonic playing alone and have no shield you're screwed. Sonic truly gets left out of lot of shortcut opportunities due to a lack of means of going very high, even with the double jump.
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Point #9
Next, you're presented with the first of two or three situations in which you must use a long hanging rope to scale down a wide vertical shaft, against a long turquoise pillar, or swinging between two of them. Though it can be slow, you need to take the rope to guarantee that you get safely into an alcove on the bottom right. If you just drop down and land at the bottom of the shaft, you may not be able to get into the alcove, as it's positioned too high to jump up to. Knuckles can climb up there, but as Sonic, unless you have a suitable shield, you'll need to head left from there, where a short course will result in you either continuing your descent through the level, in which case you'll simply appear back where you started as it loops round endlessly, or, you can find a completely alternate route down here as well. In this particular instance, a moving block sits between two sandfalls, each of which curve around the walls and across the ceilings of the area below. Step into the right hand one to be carried along with the flow of the sand. A spiked block here will create a crushing hazard - hold the left button to slow yourself down and hopefully not get caught underneath it. Jump off before this to fall and return to the original rope ride, or keep going past the block to find another way. This too has a rope ride funnily enough, which you might want to actually take, this time, in order to avoid spikes at the bottom. The original route, from the alcove, will involve another timed-switch-closing-door scenario, albeit a slightly easier one than in the previous point.
One of two or three cases where you must traverse down a long shaft, ideally by rope ride because although it takes longer, you'll land safely into the open section of the pillar at the bottom.
Should you simply drop down the shaft, you'll probably land below the edge of the pillar platform, which will be too high for you to reach (if you're Sonic). In this particular case, you can find an alternate route by heading to the left. Step into the right hand sandfall here, when on this platform..
..The curving sandfall takes you around the ceiling, where a crushing block threatens. You can hold left here to slow yourself and avoid its grasp. Carry on past it to find an alternate route, or just drop down to loop your way back to the top of the map and try and the whole thing all over again.
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Point #10
You open Pandora's box by releasing this flowing sand from the ceiling. Unfortunately, for Sonic alone, it's necessary to progress..
..It quickly begins to rise, and the mound of sand takes you up with it. You must move through the following shafts and corridors before the sand crushes you into the ceiling!
As Knuckles (and the same for Tails for that matter), releasing the sand is optional, as you can always just climb up all of the walls.
The middle portion of the act is home to a truly challenging and somewhat iconic segment, and one of my favourite "difficult bits" in the early Sonic games - lightweight players, be warned! You'll come to a series of internal corridors and shafts, snaking their way up the level. Early on, you'll happen across a curious small yellow block on the ceiling, protruding from a grey hatch. There's a wall on the left that Knuckles can climb and Tails can fly to, but as Sonic alone, you've no other option but to jump at it and remove the obstruction, releasing a sudden torrent of flowing sand that pours from the hatch. After a moment, it'll begin to build up very quickly, rising up into the corridor, and you'll stay on top of its uneven, bumpy surface as it continues to rise further. You need to use this rising sand to make your way up the following vertical course, through a series of internal rooms, but naturally, the catch is that it can easily crush you into a ceiling or moving block. Of course, this only applies to Sonic, as for once, Knuckles gets off easy because he can just climb all of the walls himself, without having to bother with any of the sand at all. The option to release it though is still there of course, and once you've done that, there's no way to stop it!
Horizontal moving blocks in large rooms along the way aren't quite as threatening as they look, because they don't go all the way to either wall. You can still get crushed underneath though, so be careful.
The sand stops after a little while, but don't relax just yet, there's another hatch to be opened shortly afterwards, and then it doesn't get any easier.
Don't forget about the ghosts, as they are still very much in action throughout, so it's well worth stopping briefly to tug on this light switch and get rid of them for a while.
From the start, move over to the vertical shaft on the left and the sand will take you up it. Continue along the corridor at the top until you reach a larger room. Stay up against the right wall here, but don't worry too much about that long block that's moving across in the middle, as it won't go far enough to crush you into the wall. Still, make sure you don't get caught underneath it. You get a quick break at the top, where the sand stops, but continue upwards and press the switch all the way to the left to open the door on the right. Along the next corridor, you'll find another sand release hatch on the ceiling, so hit it to continue upwards, where you'll find a light switch that I recommend you use, as the ghosts won't be taking any breaks during any of this unfortunately. In the next large room, if you think you have enough time, you might like to go and grab a helpful speed-up item in the far right corner, beyond some blocks, though you'll have to be quick about it. I'd say it's unnecessary, but it might make things less stressful for you. Ride the sand all the way up to the top, staying up against either the left or right wall until you clear the large moving block in the middle, then head into the top right corner. Here, you can open two horizontal doors via the black switch, but do so quickly, before the sand catches up with you and squishes you into the bottom one. Also, don't jump onto the top of the switch. Due to a quirk of positioning, the gap between it and the lower door is small enough to fit you in when jumping, but not when standing, so as soon as your character stands in there, he's crushed immediately!
In the large room after the light switch, you could go for this speed up item in the far corner, before the sand catches up with you, though it's not particularly necessary.
This is an odd one. You must push this switch to open the above doors, with the sand coming up behind you. However, whatever you do, don't jump over the switch and land on top of it. There's not enough room in which to fit your character's standing sprite, so you'll instantly be crushed.
Hurry through the spiked corridor and push the switch at the top of the next shaft. It opens two doors, one next to you on the right, and the other on an upper left ledge. You need to take the one next to you, unless you're feeling daring, in which case you can quickly go through the left one and grab a handy extra life before returning to the right. Through here, you'll reach the final large room, and the sand will stop at the top, ending this fiendish segment. Open the horizontal door at the top, and jump down through it quickly because it closes damn fast. Don't let your guard down completely, because there's a crusher in the lower corridor, which leads back out into the open space of the pyramid. Phew!
Another switch to push, under pressure. As well as the obvious door to the right, it also opens another to the left which contains an extra life, though you'll have to be wiling to live on the edge a bit, in order to go for that one. There's not a lot of time!
Finally, the sand stops. Just open this last, horizontal door and you'll be out! But be quick, it closes much much quicker than all the others!
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Point #11
Eventually, a long sand slide leads you to the final series of corridors of the act, and Sonic and Knuckles take alternate routes at this point. Here, the leap between two moving blocks is high enough only for Sonic to jump to, while below, the route is blocked by a barrier that only Knuckles can break. Continue on Sonic's route and you'll come across a fairly large internal room with a door switch by the entrance. When you push it all the way to the right and carry on past it, you'll notice the door that it opens is positioned too high off the ground for Sonic to reach.
At this point, at the start of the final segment of the act, the routes are forced to split, with only Sonic able to jump up here.
Pushing this switch opens the door on the other side of the room, but...
..The door is perched on a ledge, out of jumping range. Hmm...
Do a little investigating though and you'll find that a swinging platform by the switch takes you up to an area that has a closed hatch on the ceiling. Break the block to allow the familiar sand to pour out of it, but don't worry, it's nice and easy this time. If you drop back down, you'll see that the sand has immediately flooded the bottom of the room, raising the surface and allowing you to jump from it, through the door before it closes. If you hurry through the following corridor, you'll get a chance at a Special Stage ring, which is in an upper room at the end, whose door is also being manipulated by the switch you just used.
In order to be able to reach the door, return to the switch, and use the platform on a swinging arm to get a lift up to the top floor, where you'll find another sand release hatch..
..This sand doesn't rise continuously, it appears immediately on the floor below, and remains at a certain height - high enough to allow you to jump to the ledge after pushing the switch.
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#1. Comment posted by DigitalDuck on Wednesday, 14th September 2011, 8:47pm (UTC)
While Knuckles can't normally reach Sonic's path, as Super or Hyper Knuckles, he can reach it by performing a spindash at the bottom of the quarter ramp directly below.
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Point #12
Take the Knuckles option at the split in the last point, and you'll be faced with a similar puzzle to the one Sonic faces, but rather more complicated, even quite clever actually. There are several floors to this room, and as you enter, in front of you is a pushable block. Unlike others in the level though, the few spinning circles just below that would normally catch it and carry it somewhere interesting seem apparently useless in this instance. On the platform next to this, there's a black switch on a central platform, which opens a door across a gap further to the right, but this closes very quickly before you can get anywhere near it.
Knuckles takes his own route through a barricade, and finds himself at a similar puzzle to Sonic's, though it's actually in a different room, and it's a bit more complicated. This switch will open the door over to the right, which of course Knuckles can reach, but unfortunately it closes far too quickly!
Note this seemingly useless block on the ledge to the left that, initially, does pretty much nothing if pushed over the edge here. All will become clear in a minute. Though if you're interested in that lightning shield down there, you should get it now before it becomes inaccessible. Careful of the horizontal crushing block.
In order to solve this problem you need to head over to the wall with the door and climb up it, where you'll find a vertical shaft and a hidden area above. Here, you'll spot another sand release hatch on the ceiling, so hit it, and then drop back down to the lower area. You'll notice that sand has already filled up half of the room, completely covering the lowest floor, but it doesn't rise any further, so go back over to the switch. You can now push that previously useless yellow block across the surface of the sand (which takes a little while!), and up against the switch so that it actually holds it open for you. Run through the door on the right, which will then close behind you.
You can actually climb up the door itself while on its wall. Keep going all the way to the top.
On the top floor, as with Sonic's puzzle, you'll find another sand release hatch that floods the lower floor with sand instantly, but doesn't rise any further..
..Return to the switch. You'll find that the sand has filled up the small gap between the two ledges here perfectly, allowing you to push the block across the sand (which takes a while..), right up against the switch, to hold it open..
..Then simply walk across the sand, through the open door, which then closes behind you.
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#1. Comment posted by Mike on Thursday, 11th August 2011, 6:17am (UTC)
Knuckles area here is the part thats hell if you don't figure out that you can climb that wall
#2. Comment posted by Adam on Tuesday, 6th September 2011, 3:26pm (UTC)
I was stuck here for about a minute working out what to do and had no idea you could climb that wall.
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Point #13
Immediately after this, Knuckles will move into a room with a switch and a high ledge on the right, above it. Move the switch all the way to the right, and you'll need to do all of the following quite quickly, as the switch opens a doorway at the end that will, of course, start to slowly close as soon as you've stopped pressing it. Just under the ledge are some spikes, preventing you from climbing the right wall up, so you'll need to use the left wall, opposite. Stand on top of the switch for extra height, but even from here, you can't jump over those spikes, so jump and glide to the opposite wall. Now, you need to jump and glide off of this so that you land above the spikes, and in order to do this, you need to be in the correct position on the wall. If you climb too high, the ceiling will force you downwards a bit, and you'll glide right into the spikes, so where you actually want to be is just above where the spikes are, putting Knuckles' head just about in line with the rings in the middle, and leaving enough room above you to glide into. Hopefully, you'll sail right into that barricade and break it, opening the corridor onwards. Next, you'll need to latch onto another left wall, in order to get over the big stationary block in your way, and then straight through the door.
Getting through that barrier above, past the spikes will be tricky. You need to stand on the switch, after pushing it, and jump to the opposite wall on the left..
..On this wall, your positioning needs to be perfect before jumping off and gliding back across, or you'll go right into the spikes. Aim to align Knuckles' head with the rings. If you go much higher, the ceiling will force you downwards..
..Hopefully you'll be able to glide straight into the barrier. Keep going, as the clock is still ticking, and the door is at the end of the corridor. If you fall back down at all, make sure to push the switch again, or you might run out of time.
Before you make it out through the door, you just need to pass this stationary block, by latching onto the left wall again, then jumping over it from there.
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Act 2 Boss
In the Act 2 boss, you face a large gold machine with arms swinging along the ground as it slowly limps its way towards you.
There are spikes all over it, but you can safely stand on its left arm when extended out. From here, you can jump and attack the head.
Hit the head of the machine to blast away the whole upper shell, revealing Eggman/Eggrobo sitting in its cockpit underneath. There's a surprise. You have a second or two to hit him before the shell returns.
At the end of Act 2, you'll drop down to a wide, open room, and any ghosts that happen to be around will disappear and the lights will be restored. Move over to the right side where you'll find a golden, spiked contraption, with two large arms resting on the floor below it. Once activated, this thing moves slowly from the right side to the left, sliding the huge arms from side to side with each step. Your character stands between the two hands, so you needn't worry about the right one, behind you. You do have to dodge the spikes on the end of the left hand though, but you can use the top of it as a platform, when it stretches out. Before the machine draws the hand back in, you need to jump up over the spikes on the chest and hit the head. This will cause most of the upper shell to fall off backwards for a moment, and surprise surprise, this will expose Eggman/Eggrobo sitting in the cockpit. The hand will stay still for the moment, so use it to jump from, and give him hell. You'd be wise to use Sonic's insta-shield as much as possible, especially when landing the first hit to remove the armour, as the insta-shield damages Eggman at the same time. You only get a couple of seconds at a time to do this before the armoured shell returns and the pattern resumes.
If you allow the machine enough time, it'll be able to charge up a diagonal laser beam from its head, between hits. You can hear this charging quite clearly though.
Make use of Sonic's insta-shield to defeat this boss quickly. If you use it when opening up the shell, you can make a bonus hit on Eggman at the same time.
Unlike most bosses, there's an ultimate time limit to this one. The arena is quite long, and the machine, quite slow (though a tad quicker for Knuckles), but if you allow it to get all the way to the far left, it can crush you into the wall.
In addition to the hands, an occasional laser beam is also emitted from the green eye at the top of the machine. It fires diagonally downwards at you, but takes a while to charge up and you can hear it. If you remove the shell while it's charging, the charge will cease altogether. Bear in mind you have something of a time limit to beat this boss, because there's a wall at the far end on the left. He's constantly moving towards it, one push at a time, so if you allow him to get all the way over there, he'll crush you into it as there's no way to get up and on the other side of him. Hit him eight times before this happens, and for Knuckles, the whole machine moves a little faster so you'll need to be a bit more careful.
After the boss, Sonic walks through a corridor, but then plummets down a long shaft, leading directly to the Lava Reef Zone...
Afterwards, you can walk through the doorway that the machine came out of and open the capsule on the other side. Another doorway can be found on the right, which your character will walk through. Knuckles manages to wander through safely, but Sonic falls straight through the floor for some reason, heading deep down into the volcanic underworld of Angel Island. Lava Reef Zone is where things really start to pick up...
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#1. Comment posted by Hyper_Sonic on Thursday, 11th August 2011, 9:15pm (UTC)
A quick note on the end bit. The scene looks sandopolis themed when you fall through, but lava reef themed halfway through the fall what was with that, couldn't they just stick with one of them, or have a smooth transition.
#2. Comment posted by Sonic on Wednesday, 7th September 2011, 5:36pm (UTC)
A little trick with debug on this; if you use it to get behind the boss, when it makes it to the other side of the arena, it will quickly return to the other side of the arena. It's a bit odd.
#3. Comment posted by Oobo on Thursday, 15th September 2011, 10:00pm (UTC)
When I first saw this boss, it scared the @#$% out of me! That feeling went away as soon as I landed the first hit and saw eggman.
#4. Comment posted by Anonymous on Thursday, 21st February 2013, 7:40am (UTC)
Breaking this boss as Super/Hyper Sonic is incredibly fun! Try it for yourself!
#5. Comment posted by Anonymous on Friday, 22nd February 2013, 1:48pm (UTC)
Eggman/Robo's Act 2 boss is called the "Egg Golem". Just figured i'd let you know.
#6. Comment posted by SonicTailsKnuckles on Tuesday, 9th April 2013, 2:46pm (UTC)
Here's another oversight - if you defeat the boss as fast as you can, the boss music will never start.
#7. Comment posted by angelthehedgehog on Monday, 26th August 2013, 12:52am (UTC)
I think that the pyramid that act two takes place in was built on top of a volcano inlet. Not nessecarily on the volcano itself, but on top of a tunnel that leads to it.
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#1. Comment posted by 3ach on Sunday, 14th August 2011, 6:21am (UTC)
5-7 minutes on act 2? More like 7-9 minutes!
#2. Comment posted by 3ach on Sunday, 14th August 2011, 3:16pm (UTC)
I also noticed that on the act 2 map, there are at least 5 checkpoints.
#3. Comment posted by andy on Tuesday, 30th August 2011, 4:49am (UTC)
You can get the 2nd big ring on Act 2 with Sonic just by using the lightning shield.
#4. Comment posted by Anonymous on Monday, 17th September 2012, 12:52pm (UTC)
I hate this level. The creator of this level is a 9.
#5. Comment posted by some1 on Saturday, 20th July 2013, 12:28pm (UTC)
I hate this level too. Every time I play it I feel sick...
#6. Comment posted by Anonymous on Monday, 26th August 2013, 12:41am (UTC)
Used to love this level... until I got to act two
#7. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 21st December 2013, 2:50am (UTC)
There are excactly five checkpoints in act 2 and the second "knuckles only" big ring can be obtained with a flame sheild, thunder sheild, of tails when playing as sonic, but you can just fly over as tails.
#8. Comment posted by Teslamania on Saturday, 7th January 2017, 3:14am (UTC)
In Act Two, the speed of the music slows down slightly. I figured this out when I listened to a faster version of the theme
#9. Comment posted by Creepsterthecreep on Monday, 31st July 2017, 2:04am (UTC)
It was gonna be in sonic 3 grade can you believe it D:
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Last Updated
Content for this page last edited:
9th August 2011

Files last uploaded for this page:
9th August 2011

Recent Notes
Act 1 Boss
Posted by Shadow on 15th January 2018

Special Stage Rings
Posted by Shadow on 15th January 2018

General Notes
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General Notes
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Level Struture
Posted by Ratchet 0203 on 23rd December 2014

49 notes posted on this page in total