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Bonus Stage (Sonic 3 & Knuckles)

From Sonic Retro

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles both contain individual Bonus Stages which are accessible only by passing a checkpoint. Sonic 3 & Knuckles contains all 3 of these stages, which are still accessible by passing the checkpoint with a certain number of rings.

Sonic 3 bonus stage

Gumball Machine

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Accessed by passing any checkpoint with 50 rings or above, this bonus stage consists of a large vertical space with a gumball machine at the top, one-time-use Metropolis Zone-style bumpers on the sides, and springs at the bottom. It is possible to turn Super in this Bonus Stage by jumping at the right time, just when the stage loads, but only in Sonic 3 alone. Spheres come out of the gumball machine and have a variety of effects:

  • Clear Balls - Nothing
  • Black Balls - Bounces Sonic off of ball
  • Pink '1-Up' Balls - Gives an extra life
  • Green 'REP' Balls - Replaces the springs at the bottom
  • Blue 'B' Balls - Gives a water shield
  • Red 'B' Balls - Gives a fire shield
  • Yellow 'B' Balls - Gives a lightning shield
  • Grey Ball with Ring - Gives 10 rings


Sonic & Knuckles bonus stages

Glowing Spheres

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Entered by passing a checkpoint with 35 rings or more, the Glowing Spheres special stage features bumpers and flippers on the sides, magnetic balls, star bumpers, rings with grey orbs in the middle, and a rising laser that will knock the player out of the stage when touching it. Touching one of the grey orbs will change it into one of the following spheres:

  • Clear Balls - Nothing
  • Black Balls - Bounces Sonic off of ball
  • Pink '1-Up' Balls - Gives an extra life
  • Blue 'B' Balls - Gives a water shield
  • Red 'B' Balls - Gives a fire shield
  • Yellow 'B' Balls - Gives a lightning shield
  • Grey Ball with Ring - Gives 5 to 80 rings. The closer to the top of the stage the player is, the more rings it will give.


Rotating Maze/Slot Machine

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Entered by passing a checkpoint with between 20 and 34 rings, the Rotating Maze is like a Sonic 1 special stage, but without the up/down circles and with a ring gambling machine like the ones in Sonic 2's Casino Night Zone. Ring combinations are:

  • 1 Bar: Win 2 Rings
  • 2 Bars: Win 4 Rings
  • 3 Bars: Win 8 Rings
  • 3 Rings: Win 10 Rings
  • 3 Tails: Win 20 Rings
  • 3 Knuckles: Win 25 Rings
  • 3 Sonics: Win 30 Rings
  • 3 Jackpots: Win 100 Rings
  • 3 Robotniks: Lose 100 Rings


Getting 1 Jackpot and 2 others gives double what would be given if 3 of those others were collected (i.e. Sonic + Sonic + Jackpot gives 60 rings). Does not apply to Robotnik; the player will still only lose 100 rings.

Getting 2 Jackpots and 1 other quadruples the effect of 3 of the others (i.e. Sonic + Jackpot + Jackpot gives 120 rings, the highest possible payout.). As above, this does not apply to Robotnik; the player will still only lose 100 rings.

If a player enters this bonus stage with 50 or more rings, collecting one standing ring in the stage gives a continue. This could be a code leftover from Sonic 1- in which collecting 50 rings in the special stage there offers a continue also. This only works the first time as losing rings then getting your ring count to 50 again will not grant another continue.


Sonic the Hedgehog 3






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Sonic & Knuckles






Sonic & Knuckles title.png

Main page (Blue Sphere|KiS2|S3&K)
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