Cannon's Core

From Sonic Retro

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Cannon's Core
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SA2 Cannons Core Knuckles.jpg
Cannon's Core
Final stage, Sonic Adventure 2
Location: Space Colony ARK
Level themes: space station, lava/volcano, ancient ruins, underwater
Mission 1: Get to the core of the colony!

Rank A 29,000 points
Rank B 27,000 points
Rank C 25,000 points
Rank D 20,000 points
Rank E Finish the mission
(total rings: DCicon.png Tails 42 + Eggman 72 + 1 point marker
+ Rouge 36 + Knuckles 162 + Sonic 106 (total 418) GCicon.png Tails 49 + Eggman 73 + 1 point marker +
Rouge 37 + Knuckles 173 + Sonic 107 (total 439))

Mission 2: Collect 100 rings!

Rank A 3:30
Rank B 4:00
Rank C 4:30
Rank D 5:30
Rank E Finish the mission

Mission 3: Find the lost Chao!

Rank A 7:30
Rank B 8:00
Rank C 8:30
Rank D 9:00
Rank E Finish the mission

Mission 4: Reach the goal within 7 minutes!

Rank A 29,000 points
Rank B 27,000 points
Rank C 25,000 points
Rank D 20,000 points
Rank E Finish the mission

Mission 5: Clear Hard Mode!

Rank A 29,000 points
Rank B 27,000 points
Rank C 25,000 points
Rank D 20,000 points
Rank E Finish the mission
(total rings: DCicon.png Tails 39 + Eggman 88 + 1 point marker
+ Rouge 36 + Knuckles 146 + Sonic 95 (total 404);
;GCicon.png 409 + 1 point marker (character breakdowns))

Cannon's Core is the final stage--actually five separate stages played in sequence using Tails, Dr. Eggman, Rouge, Knuckles, and Sonic--which, combined with the final two boss fights, comprises the entirety of the Last Story in Sonic Adventure 2.

Level layout


The major gimmicks of this level are being divided into five sections each with specific character and time switches scattered in each part. The characters are as follows: Tails, then Eggman, both sent to destroy doors, Rouge and then Knuckles, both sent to hunt for switches (but with no radar) and finally Sonic, who runs trough the level. About the time switches, touching or shooting one will freeze the timer as well as all non-player objects for a few (real-time) seconds. The stage provides many different challenges where the ability to stop time comes in handy, from landing safely amid fast-moving platforms, to bringing a torrential flow of liquid under control, to safe passage through laser barriers (which disappear entirely during a time stop). Although in the pre-level cinema, Gerald Robotnik warns of impending doom when ARK crashes into Earth in the next 27:53; nonetheless, Cannon's Core doesn't have a time limit and you can play for as long as you like. Speaking of level mechanics, an interesting part of Cannon's Core scoring system is the special retention of score. When you die in a section, the score, instead of resetting to zero like normal checkpoints, goes to the score that the player had at the end of the previous section. For example, if you had 7,899 points at the end of Tails' section, and died in Eggman's section, your score at any checkpoint you respawn at in the section will go back to 7,899.



Tails first starts by falling down a shaft to a small room. Busting the dynamite packs will open the door that leads to a hallway. After this there’s a time switch before a set of rotating spikes and another hallway, with a door locked at the end. Destroying the Artificial Chaos will open the door and beyond there’s an elevator platform that will bring Tails to a lower level. Past the locked door there’s a hallway with lasers blocking the way, but a second time switch will make them disappear and allow Tails to continue. There’s also a third time switch above the door at the end, which leads to an outside ARK area. Here there’s a locked door below, which will open after busting the dynamite packs attached to it and past this there are two hallways with a locked door between, which will open after destroying the three enemies. Beyond there’s a hallway with crushers and a fourth time switch above them and past this there’s the final room. Here there’s the fifth time switch that stops the lasers and the crushers in the room, allowing access to the security door at the end, which needs to be shot at until it’s destroyed to finish the section.


Eggman first starts at the beginning of a hallway and at the end there’s a locked door, that will open after destroying the four Hunters that fall from above. Past this there’s an elevator platform that will reach a level above and past another locked door, after destroying two Artificial Chaos. Here there’s a downreel leading to a locked door below that will open after destroying the two Hunters. After there’s a hallway with lasers, a time switch at the end and a Artificial Chaos that destructed opens the door. Here there’s a green liquid room filled with shafts and cubes shooting out from it, along with a time switch right on front. Using the cubes to reach a level above, there’s a hallway with more cube shafts and a time switch on top of the door at the end, which leads to the Point Marker.

After there’s a shaft and door right in front of the Point Marker, which is hard to access, though b standing on the rail before and hovering from there works. Here there’s a room with some cages and steel containers and past them, there’s a Mystic Melody, that makes a shield box appear. Back at shaft and going down it there’s a lot of lasers and Artificial Chaos. Close to the end there’s three time switches and past some platforms there’s a locked door guarded by two Artificial Chaos and past this there’s the final room. It’s filled with green liquid and cube shafts, otherwise it has the same layout as Tails’ final room, and the objective is exactly the same, shooting at the security door at the end until it’s destroyed.


Rouge first starts by dropping down from above to a large circular room filled with doors and openings and with four pillars of different heights surrounding a locked large switch at the bottom. There are only three entrances here that are important. The first is one to the bottom and after a Mystic Melody door that only opens if Eggman has activated his, and that access another Mystic Melody, making a shield box appear. The second is one halfway the wall and protected by bars, that is important for Knuckles and won’t open up on this section and finally a third, down at the bottom and with a waterfall closing the way, which streams from the second opening. By hitting the switch on the higher pillar, the stream will stop and Rouge can enter this hallway, that leads to a shaft with radioactive liquid on the bottom and ceiling, and some cube shafts. There’s a second time switch here, that hit at the right time will allow Rouge to squeeze past the cube shooting off from the hallway, and access a small room where the switch that frees the giant switch at the first room is. After a small cutscene Rouge has to make all the way back to the first room, hitting the time switch on the way so the stream of water is stopped, and then she has to it the giant switch for the section to end.


Knuckles starts in a level above where Rouge’s section take place. There’s two ways here, one that has the final security door that he’s supposed to open and to the opposite of him, a passageway guarded by some enemies and lasers. If Rouge’s Mystic Melody was activated, there’s some Mystic Melody platforms above where Knuckles first starts, that lead to a opening in the ceiling, to reach a room with another Mystic Melody that will make a magnetic shield box appear. Back at the room below, there’s a pool where Knuckles first starts, that leads to where Rouge’s section now filled with water, complete with the shaft with the switch at the bottom, but not the one with the Mystic Melody. Knuckles’ objective is to access beyond the laser passageway on the room above, so hitting the time switch on the highest pillar will do the trick. Quickly doing this and past the lasers, there’s some steel containers, blocking the way to a spring that launches Knuckles to a level above, where a switch that deactivates the bars on the entrance shaft seen in Rouge’s and Knuckles section. Past this shaft there’s a room equivalent to Rouge’s switch room, with another one to open the bars blocking the waterway and there’s time switch close to the ceiling and to the south, which will stop the water stream and allow Knuckles to swim beyond the water flow. Past this there’s a shaft with lasers, radioactive green fluid on the ceiling and bottom and a time switch on the bottom, that will stop the water flow from yet another waterway filled with cages. Halfway down there’s another time switch that needs to be hit and beyond it another room similar to the switch room, though there’s a large switch at the bottom and end of it, that will open the security door.


Sonic first starts going down a rail inside a tunnel, and being dropped close to a time switch. Hitting the switch will make the lasers disappear of the hallway entrance beyond, and from here there’s two doors, one to the left and one to the right, unlocked by destroying the Artificial Chaos P-100. At the end of this right hallway there’s another Artificial Chaos, that destroyed opens the left door. Here there’s a hallway with lasers and a second time switch that will deactivate them and past this there’s a large room with cogs rotating on the ceiling. The water here won’t allow Sonic to move properly, but hitting a third time switch in an upper ledge at the end will make it stop and allow Sonic to somersault past the fence below. Past this there’s another tunnel with a ceiling rail, which will end at a larger room with a two-way waterfall. The way to the back will lead to an endless pit, but it also has two time switches, which will stop the water flow and will make Sonic’s way up the waterfall easier, and the forward path will take Sonic to the room beyond. If every previous Mystic Melody was activated, a trail of rings exists on top of the waterfall, which leads to an upwards room. The Lost Chao is in this room normally; in Hard Mode, the shrines to get there don't exist, but using infinite time stop and spin dash jumping up to the room reveals 5 1-Up Capsules. Past the waterfall room there’s another large room where the water is being dropped onto, a long tunnel beyond and at the end there’s the Goal.



Cannon's Core is divided into two animal counters, one for the four first characters and the other for Sonic only.

Character Animal Number Location
Tails Gorilla.png
Circling the rotating spikes.
In the room with the two crushers, to the left (inside the Artificial Chaos in Hard Mode).
In a pipe close to a platform, located halfway down the south wall of the outside ARK section.
In a pipe, below the crusher to the right on the final room.
Eggman Seaotter.png
Over the cube shutes at the end and the left in the large cube room
In the southeast corner of the last room, halfway up the wall.
In a steel container to the right after the first shaft.
In a pipe close to a cube hole, located at the two time switch room.
Rouge Condor.png
Circling above the water switch, accessible after opening the structure holding it.
By whistling closer to the wall decoration in front of the balloon switch.
Circling to the right of the bottomless pit in the main room.
In a pipe in the second section of the tallest pillar.
Knuckles Seaotter.png
In Rouge's hallway switch room, close to the wall decoration.
In the upper ledge of the opposite pillar with has the time switch.
Over the two vertical cages stacked together, at the hallway with a time switch in the middle.
In the northwest steel container, after the lasers in the upper room (disappears in Hard Mode).
Sonic Parrot.png
Circling above the time switch between the lasers.
Circling above the entrance to the long water tunnel.
In a steel container, to the back of the platform where Sonic first starts.
In a pipe on the cube hole to the right, in the hallway with the second time switch.
Total ?

*The Bear and Skunk appear randomly.
**The Bear, Seal, and Raccoon appear randomly.
***The Cheetah, Boar, and Skunk appear randomly.
****The Cheetah and Raccoon appear randomly.
*****The Cheetah, Rabbit, and Skunk appear randomly.

  • The level specific animal (third Chao container) is a Dragon.

Chao containers

  • Eggman: In a room directly on front of the Point Marker.
  • Rouge: In the left corner of the switch room.
  • Sonic: At the back of the platform Sonic starts in after the tunnel. In Hard Mode, it switches to the foot of the waterfall, on the room before the long tunnel leading to the Goal.

Gold Beetle

The Gold Beetle can be found in Sonic's section, in the last part of the hallway before the big room. It appears to the right, near the fence.

Lost Chao

In Eggman's section, in the area with the falling platform, jump on the guardrail and hover across to the door on the other side, then destroy the iron containers and activate the ancient ruin. In Rouge's section, there is a tunnel on the left of where Rouge's fall, which has been opened by Eggman's Mystic Melody. Run to the end of the tunnel to find another Ancient Ruin, play the Mystic Melody again, then complete this section as normal. At the beginning of Knuckles' section, a few new platforms will have appeared if the player activated the Ancient Ruin in Rouge's section. Follow the platforms up to a pulley, and you will be taken to Another Shrine. Play the Mystic Melody and finish the section.

Finally, proceed through Sonic's section as usual until the waterway. When the player reaches the peak, you will see that a row of rings has appeared. Use the Light Speed Dash to transport Sonic to a platform with two enemies and a door. When the player destroys the enemies, the door opens and the lost Chao is waiting on the other side.

Big the Cat

Because Cannon's Core is actually five stages, it makes sense that there are five locations for Big.

  • In Tails' section, after the platform ride down, Big is hanging onto the wall to the right of (and below) the door up ahead.
  • In Eggman's section, go down the long drop with lasers. At the bottom there will be some time switches on the wall, and Big is sitting above the switch on the left fishing.
  • In Rouge's section, Big is found jumping close to where Knuckles starts, by climbing up to the top of the accessible level and looking further up.
  • In Knuckles' section, descend through the laser-filled room. Look ahead at the next tunnel, then turn right. Big can be seen behind the right wall, close to floor level.
  • In Sonic's section, play to the start of the long slide. Go backwards and hit the last time switch on the left, then look forward and left. Big will be sitting on a pillar out in the open.


Sonic Retro emblem.svg Main article: Sonic Adventure 2/Comparisons/Cannon's Core


Information icon.svg
Trivia sections are bad
Try and incorporate this information into the main article. See the manual of style to find out why.
  • In the Prima Strategy Guide for the Dreamcast version, it states that the stage doesn't have any special missions other than the story mission, an obvious mistake. Despite this, in the rank requirement pages (which shows the necessary scores needed to obtain a rank of any kind, as well as state the times needed to complete a Mission 4), they show the rank requirement scores for all of the stage's missions (including the time limit for Mission 4). A similar mistake is also made for Metal Harbor in the strategy guide.


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