|Final level, Sonic Adventure 2|
|Level theme: industrial|
|Secondary level theme: lava/volcano|
|Tertiary level theme: ancient ruins|
|Quaternary level theme: underwater|
|Mission 1: Get to the core of the colony!|
| Mission 2: Collect 100 rings!
| Mission 3: Find the lost Chao!
| Mission 4: Reach the goal within 7 minutes!
|Mission 5: Clear Hard Mode!|
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.
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. It’s worth noticing that if every previous Mystic Melody was activated, a trail of rings exists on top of the waterfall, which leads to an upwards room. 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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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).
|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.
*The Bear and Skunk appear randomly.
**The Bear, Gorilla (?) and Raccoon appear randomly.
***The Cheetah, Whartog and Skunk appear randomly.
****The Cheetah and Raccoon appear randomly.
*****The Cheetah, Rabbit and Skunk appear randomly.
The Gold Beetle can be found in the room with the cogs rotating on the ceiling, close to the fence.
Because Cannon's Core is actually five stages, it makes sense that there are five locations for Big.
|Sonic Adventure 2|