Sonic 3 & Knuckles
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Title screen.
Developer(s) Sega
Publisher(s) Sega
LP'ed? Yes
Series Sonic the Hedgehog
Released 1994
Genre(s) Platformer
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Platform(s) Genesis

Sonic 3 & Knuckles is a video game released in 1994 for the Sega Genesis. It is a direct sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and introduces Knuckles. It was first released as Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and later on as Sonic & Knuckles but you can link the games together forming Sonic 3 & Knuckles.


Sonic the Hedgehog 3 As the player, the player controls either Sonic or Tails or both. The player's aim is to guide them through six zones, defeat Dr. Robotnik and collect all Chaos Emeralds along the way. The six zones are divided into two acts where, unlike previous Sonic games, each zone has a mini-boss at the end of the first act, and each first act connects directly to the second, preserving any shields the players may have. After a boss is defeated, a short cutscene is shown to segue into the next zone.

Basic gameplay remains unchanged from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, with the addition of a spin attack for Sonic (by double-tapping the jump button) and flight movement for Tails, enabling him to pick up and carry Sonic around the map. In addition, three new shields, each with their own special ability, are added to the item bonuses:

  • Flame Shield: absorbs all fire damage and enables the player to walk freely on lava. Sonic can use it to perform a horizontal charge in mid-air.
  • Water Shield: enables the player to breathe underwater. Sonic can use it to bounce on his enemies.
  • Lightning Shield: protection against all electrical damage. But more importantly, the electric shield will magnetically draw any rings nearby to the player. Sonic can use it to perform a vertical charge or double jump in mid-air.

Both the fire and electric shields cannot be used under water, and they will instantly fizzle when submerged in it. All shields deflect enemy shots.

Sonic & KnucklesEdit

Gameplays focuses on Sonic the Hedgehog and Knuckles; Knuckles was not playable in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 because he antagonized Sonic and Tails. In addition, Tails has been removed from play. Essentially there are two separate games to tackle, depending on which character is selected at the start of the game. Although the appearance of the Zones is the same for either character, their layout and some of the bosses' tricks differs noticeably at a number of points in the game (especially noticeable difference is that Knuckles fights EggRobo, who has different and particularly smarter strategies). Zone differences increase starting from the Lava Reef Zone onwards. Objectives, however, do not differ significantly from one character to the next as they do, for example, in Sonic Adventure.

Despite no save file slots, gameplay is much expanded than in other games, as Sonic and Knuckles do not play all of the same levels. A significant difference between Sonic and Knuckles is that they don't have all of the same moves: Sonic can jump higher and run a little faster than Knuckles, and Sonic has the Insta-Shield, while Knuckles can climb walls and break through some of the blocked entry ways. While Sonic has the gift of speed, Knuckles can glide through the air with the greatest of ease.

Although perhaps not intentionally, none of the zones of Sonic & Knuckles have water, which somewhat reduces the significance of the Bubble Shield, especially for Knuckles, and for Tails in the locked-on game Sonic 3 & Knuckles, as they cannot use any of the shields' abilities which can only be used by Sonic.

As in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, there are two types of Stages: Bonus Stages and Special Stages. The Bonus Stages are entered by collecting at least 20 rings (or at least 35 to access the second Bonus Stage), and jumping through the bright ring of stars that appears above each checkpoint in the Zones. This time however, the gumball stage has been replaced by two new Bonus Stages. The first combines the slot machines of Sonic the Hedgehog 2's Casino Night Zone and the 360° tumbling labyrinth Special Stage (to retrieve the Chaos Emeralds) of the first Sonic the Hedgehog. If three Robotniks appear on the slot machine, the player loses 100 rings, or all of your rings if you have 100 or less (this does not result in losing a life). The second Bonus Stage is a large vertical course with magnetic orbs that Sonic/Knuckles can use to propel himself upward. Along the way he can pick up shields, rings or lives. Many rings could be collected in this Bonus Stage due to the rising value of the ring gumballs as the player ascends the course - at the very top they can be worth as many as 80 rings. He is chased by a horizontal force field that slowly moves up and when Sonic is caught in it, the Special Stage ends. Reaching the top of the stage ends it as well.


Johnny reviewed this game during Month of Sonic 2, giving this game a perfect 10 out of 10, calling it his favourite Sonic game. It was the second perfect score he ever gave (the first going to Super Metroid, and the next being Metroid Prime) and the first for a Sonic game.


Johnny and Elliot played this game along with Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 back in 2010. Matt played as Knuckles in a hacked version, named Sonic 3 Complete, in 2012.

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