Sonic and Knuckles

by Sonic Team

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Sonic 3 was a great Genesis game, but it always left me with a lot of unanswered questions. Why, for example, was the final battle with Dr. Robotnik so uninspired? What happened to Knuckles at the end of the game? More importantly, what were those three unattainable stages listed on the secret Sound Test/Stage Select menu?

My guess is that Sonic 3 wasn't really ready for release on Hedgehog Day in February, so Sega simply cut out the unfinished zones in order to get the game shipped on time. This is not an unusual practice; each of the previous Sonic games contained unfinished stages that were cut from the game before release.

This time, instead of leaving those zones on the cutting-room floor, Sega has used them as a springboard for the design of an all-new Sonic adventure, Sonic & Knuckles. Aside from the new bonus stage, new enemies and new zones, its most significant feature is the addition of Knuckles as a playable character. Last seen as a villainous henchman in Sonic 3, this fire-engine red echidna offers a totally different approach to the game because of his unique skills. He can climb walls, he can glide through the air, he can punch through rocks with his fists - each of these talents allows him to reach certain sections of the game which are completely unavailable when playing as Sonic.

Unfortunately, the two-player capabilities of Sonic 3 are missing. I never cared for the split-screen competition mode, but I did enjoy playing as Tails; it was a great way to introduce novice players to the system because you could follow them around and help them collect rings not to mention having the ability to pick them up and fly them out of danger.

Happily, Sonic & Knuckles has new features which completely outweigh such a minor complaint. While Sega has stubbornly refused to share specific details about how this works, the Sonic & Knuckles cartridge can be physically connected to existing Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 cartridges to create new and different adventures.

Connect Sonic & Knuckles to your Sonic 2 cartridge and you can play as Knuckles in the Sonic 2 game. You'll get a modified title screen and an adventure that's been slightly reprogrammed to allow for Knuckles' abilities - remember, he can climb walls and all that, so he can easily reach parts of certain stages which were originally designed for Sonic's limitations. The programming here is extremely clever; with Knuckles Sonic 2 is a very different game, and it even includes some new enemies in some areas.

Hook up Sonic 3, though, and the result is the longest, most option-filled Sonic game you could possibly imagine. You'll get to play as Sonic, Knuckles or Tails in an adventure that combines the zones of both games into a quest for 14 chaos emeralds with three different bonus stages.

The only disappointing aspect of Sonic & Knuckles is the fact that Knuckles - last seen as a troublemaking jerk in Sonic 3 - has essentially become the star of the game. Playing as Sonic yields, a longer adventure, but most players will be much more interested n the skills and variety of attack patterns of his former enemy. Fortunately, having such a wide variety of options makes Sonic & Knuckles a really tremendous value for your gamming dollar; now let' see what the little guy has to offer us in the 32 bit arena!

Graphics

While I'd rather see more of the game's 18 megabits of memory used to create a longer game with more puzzle-solving, you can't deny the universal appeal of the character animation and super-detailed back-ground graphics.

Sound/Music

Right up there with the rest of the Sonic carts. Those who discovered the themes from the Sandopolis, Flying Battery and Mushroom Valley zones in the hidden Sound Test/Stage Select menu of Sonic 3 will enjoy hearing them here at last.

Playability

As always, superb control response and an instinctive feel that never requires a peek at the instruction manual. Playing as Knuckles changes the game considerably; even the patterns of the boss characters' attacks are different.

Lowdown

If you think there's no room in your collection for another Sonic game, think again. Sonic & Knuckles stands on its own as another excellent action/platform game, but the "backward compatibility" features make it a must-have for players who own copies of Sonic 2 and 3. We may never know it these features were planned or if they're just a happy accident, but you gotta love the end result. Sega says this may be the last 16-bit Sonic game; if so, the hedgehog's gone out with a bang.

Sonic's back and this time, he has brought along someone new for the trip: Knuckles. Sonic & Knuckles is the latest action game starring our familiar friend. As reported back in the June 1994 issue of EGM,

Sonic & Knuckles is the add-on cart that plugs in-between the Sonic 3 cartridge and the Genesis. This activates more levels and features that weren't found in the previous cartridge. The most noticeable feature is that you can play as Knuckles the Echidna. What's an Echidna you ask? It's an egg-laying mammal with a shiny coat, slender snout, and a sticky tongue for catching insects. Sounds like a cool mascot to me! Anyway, Sonic & Knuckles features all new levels and new techniques like Knuckles' gliding and wall climbing abilities. Plus, Sonic still has his blistering speed and spindash abilities.

There are also new items to interact with throughout the game, such as a manual crank to climb up ledges and flower umbrellas that allow you to float to the ground safely. All this and more add up to yet another exciting adventure in the world of Sonic the Hedgehog. This add-on cartridge should breathe some new life into the Sonic genre.

Mushroom Hill Zone

The adventure begins in the land known as the Mushroom Hill Zone. Here is where Sonic and/or Knuckles can see what the levels have in store for them. Practice Knuckles' high-flyin' gliding technique and his wall-climbing skills. Of course, what Sonic game would be complete without 360 degree loops? The most interesting part of this level is the weather control station that constantly alters the environment from a warm, summer setting to a frosty winter environment. Dare to be different, I guess.

THE GOOD

Knuckles is a nice addition to the game and has some cool techniques to break up the monotony.

THE BAD

It's more Sonic. Again.

THE UGLY

Dr. Robotnik. Hasn't this guy had enough by now?

Continue: Sonic Compilation (arcade/action)

That's right: Sonic is back in yet another chapter of the Sonic saga. This time you can play as Knuckles, the guy that bugged you all through Sonic 3. Hey, he's got a right to his emeralds, doesn't he?

The basic game looks to be a typically solid and entertaining Sonic adventure, with seven all-new zones and plenty of hidden stuff. Play as Knuckles, though, and it's a whole new ball game. While the Knuckles adventure is shorter than Sonic's, the play is entirely different for two reasons. First, Knuckles has different skills than Sonic. He can glide through the air, scale walls and punch through certain walls that Sonic's spin-dash can't even crack. These abilities allow him to get to certain areas of each stage which Sonic just can't reach. Secondly, the enemies respond differently to Knuckles; the boss characters are noticeably tougher to defeat.

The globetrotting special stage of Sonic 3 is back, and there are two all-new bonus stages, which can be reached by touching the star post checkpoints with different numbers of rings. One is a rotating slot machine stage that plays like the dizzying bonus round of the original Sonic game, and the other has Sonic whizzing around glowing globes as he tries to climb out of a deep well.

Finally, Sonic & Knuckles is said to be "backwards compatible" with other Genesis cartridges. Sega's not telling us exactly what that means; the only thing we know is that if you own a copy of Sonic 3, you'll be able to plug both cartridges into your Genesis at the same time and do some interesting things, including playing as Knuckles in Sonic 3 or playing as Sonic's pal Tails in Sonic & Knuckles. Tails is nowhere to be seen in the standard, unmodified Sonic & Knuckles game. Sonic 2 cartridges are also compatible with Sonic & Knuckles, and it's rumored that the game can also be used with other, non-Sonic game cartridges. Sounds cool....

Dreaded red Meets True Blue.

The Bad Egg Returns: So you saw Robotnik's Death Egg bite the dust in Sonic3. Did you really think that would stop him? As it turns out, the doctor's fallen deep inside the Floating Island, and you've gotta face him down before he rebuilds his rocket ship and wreaks more havoc with the inhabitants of the Floating Island. So what do you have to do? It depends which character you play.

Sonic and Knuckles each have different games. That means different levels and different moves. Sure, they both cover some of the same territory. But each character has his own route, hidden areas, and personality.

Knuckles: Friend or Foe: Sonic knows who Robotnik is and why he must be stopped. But Knuckles has a mission of his own. After a bomb rudely awakens him from a peaceful snooze, he'll stop at nothing to stalk down the culprit. He'll glide, blast through rocks, and scale sheer walls to end the bad egg's reign. What else? Check out that hair.

Head to Dread: Die-hard Sonic fans get their share of special features as well. And when you play as Sonic, your story and Knuckles intersect. That's right. Sonic and Knuckles actually meet. How do they get along? What would you expect when two spinning blazes of attitude collide?

Overview: What's blue, red, and attitudinous all over? What else but Sonic & Knuckles? The world's fastest hedgehog stars in his boldest, wildest Adventure yet. But wait — who's the red guy with the dreadlocks? It's none other than Knuckles, a speedy echidna with some incredible new moves of his own. Sonic had better keep an eye on him! This one-player spin-fest is another giant leap forward in Genesis gaming. For those thumb wizards who've mastered Sonic 3, this one's packed with trickier puzzles, tougher enemies, bigger bosses, more weird contraptions, hidden areas galore, multiple endings, and awesome backward compatibility with Sonic 3 and Sonic 2. So what are you waiting for? Rev up that spin attack, and get ready for gaming like you've never seen before.

The Echidna: Exhibit A: What can an echidna do that a hedgehog can't? Knuckles has the answers. They don't call him Knuckles for nothing. His block-busting prowess can fake him places that Sonic can only dream about. Sure-footed? Knuckles is climbing the waits.

New Territory for Knuckles : For even more game-play options, check out Sonic & Knuckles' backward compatibility with Sonic 3 and Sonic 2. You should have guessed that Knuckles was too big to fit into one game! Sega's revolutionary Lock-On Technology lets Knuckles bust through totally new pathways and mazes in Sonic 3 and 2. He'll find scores of new hidden areas, power-ups, and adventures never seen before — not even by Sonic.

Breaking Down The Walls

Played the heck out of Sonic 3 and 2?

Prepare for all-new action when Knuckles bursts into the scene, courtesy of Sonic & Knuckles's revolutionary Lock-On technology.

That means new pathways, obstacles, power-ups, hidden areas, and other goodies that Sonic could only dream about.

Not to mention new moves — Knuckles's unique gliding, wall-walking, and rock-busting talents give you new ways to get places, new ways to collect rings and things, and new ways to bash Robotnik's techno-contraptions.

Of course, with the game boundaries busted, characters from Sonic 3 and 2 can spin their way into Sonic & Knuckles.

Sonic's already there (duh).

But now his bushy-tailed sidekick Tails can face down Robotnik too — either on his own or in partnership with the blue blaze.

With his high-gliding locomotion, you can expect to unearth lots of new routes and rings.

Still think Sonic & Knuckles is just a game?

Try telling that to Knuckles and Tails.

More Territories to Claim?

So we've convinced you that Knuckles is too big for just one game.

But would you believe that he's too big for three?

Take it from us: This guy's going places.

After his amazing backward-boundary-busting feats in Sonic 3 and 2, who knows what games he might burrow his way into next?

Stay tuned to Sega Visions to follow his adventures — we're keeping our eyes on the dreaded red one.

Overview

So you've met Knuckles.

Maybe you've even tried his trademark gliding, wall-crawling, and block-busting moves in the action-crammed new Genesis game Sonic & Knuckles from Sega.

Well, you haven't seen anything yet.

The dreadlocked Echidna from Down Under is so powerful that he's smashed his way into the worlds of Sonic 3 and Sonic 2.

Just lock on either of these games to Sonic & Knuckles to release the Aussie burrower in terrain that not even Sonic has seen.

Knuckles has also left the door wide open for Tails to wreak havoc in Sonic & Knuckles.

When you consider that Sonic & Knuckles already lets you play and save different games as each of its stars, it kinda makes you wonder if this guy knows any boundaries at all.

Hot Hints

  1. Knuckles's richest route usually isn't the same as Sonic's. See where your special skills can give you a boost.
  2. Sonic-style spin-attacks remain an option for Knuckles.
  3. Knuckles can glide underwater.
  4. Tails can fly in any direction. Knuckles glides from side to side.
  5. Low on lives? Fly over enemies instead of attacking them.

Me and My Shadow

New Tethering Technology Doubles the Action

You met the dreaded red one in Sonic & Knuckles.

You made him fly, wall-walk, and bust his way to places that f Sonic could only gaze at wistfully.

But if you think you know Knuckles, you've got another think coming.

Jaded, been-there-done-that gamers are in for a surprise in Knuckles' Chaotix from Sega, which marks the crimson echidna's debut on the Genesis 32X.

You get a whole new cast of playable characters, all with different personalities and skills.

You get game play that's 40 times faster than what a 16-bit system can deliver.

You get more colors, higher j resolution, and more animations than in Knuckles's last game.

And that's not the half of it.

It Takes Two To Tangle

What's really revolutionary about Chaotix is a new technology that ч hooks characters together in totally new ways.

Specifically, it tethers two characters together, giving you twice the talents of any one character but also twice the challenge in figuring out how they interact.

It works like this: a springy cord connects your character with a second combination character, or Combi.

A Combi can give you a hoist or a i speed burst that your own character couldn't pull off on his own.

You can fly over a particularly hazard-prone section, for example, while your Combi picks off enemies that get in the way.

If your Combi can't jump high enough to follow you onto a platform, just pick him up and toss him.

Fighting Robotnik while attached to an ally does present some complications.

The decisions that you must make in pairing up characters and combining their strengths add a heavy dose of puzzle solving to the world of Mobius.

As for plot, it's classic Robotnik.

You must sling, fling, lift, and snap your Combi through five enormous, graphically impressive levels to gather rings and confront His Eggness.

Unlike recent Sonic titles, Chaotix takes you through the levels in a random order.

Along with the plentiful bonus rounds hidden behind walls and among the plant life, the nonlinear story line makes for great replay value.

If you're ready to move on to a Mobius game that's graphically and strategically more sophisticated, Knuckles' Chaotix is just the ticket.

Hot Hints

  1. Beginners should use Charmy Bee. His ability to fly high above danger makes life a lot easer.
  2. Vector can get a little out of control in two-player mode when the other character files or jumps. Make the other character stop moving until Vector slows down.
  3. Espio's wall-walking talent can help you surprise enemies.
  4. In Tower, check behind the Dr. Robotnik signs. They become translucent when you walk behind them.
  5. Plug in a second control pad and go after the Egg Man with a friend. Just load a previously saved game, choose 1Р/2Р, and press Start.
  6. If one of your character dies while fighting a boss, find a safe place to chill for a moment. The other character will return, and you don't need to waste ten rings on call button.
  7. Use the hot hint above when playing alone against a boss. When your other character comes back, use him as a shield or weapon by holding him in front of you or throwing him at the boss. This gives you one more hit.

If you like Sonic and Knuckles, try other games: Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic Compilation, Sonic the Hedgehog.

Sonic and Knuckles rating

Sonic and Knuckles system requirements:SystemP-200.

Systems: Win9x Windows 9x, Windows 2000 WinXPWindows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.

Game modes: Sonic and Knuckles supports single modeSingle game mode

2006-05-09 Play as both Sonic and Knuckles in 8 new zones in two different adventures!

XNext game:Sonic Compilation

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