Cryptic Castle

From Sonic Retro

Sonic Retro emblem.svg Shadow the Hedgehog
Cryptic Castle
Shadow cryptic castle.png
Cryptic Castle
Dark Third stage, Shadow the Hedgehog (game)
Level theme: spooky/supernatural
Boss: Egg Breaker
Prerequisite: Glyphic Canyon (Dark) or Digital Circuit (Dark)
Dark mission: Light all giant lanterns (5 total)
Dark companion: Eggman's Drone
Leads to: Central City
Ending quote: "I'm one step closer to getting the truth from the doctor! I will not let him interfere with my plans!"

Rank A 14,000 points
Rank B 12,000 points
Rank C 8,000 points
Rank D 5,000 points
Rank E Finish the mission

Normal mission: Escape the mysterious castle
Normal companion: None
Leads to: The Doom
Ending quote: "The doctor's got to be this way!"

Rank A 18,000 points
Rank B 16,000 points
Rank C 12,000 points
Rank D 8,000 points
Rank E Finish the mission

Hero mission: Find Cream (2 total)
Hero companion: Amy Rose
Leads to: Sky Troops
Ending quote: "If you want to stay clear of trouble, then stay away from that doctor."

Rank A 18,000 points
Rank B 16,000 points
Rank C 12,000 points
Rank D 8,000 points
Rank E Finish the mission

Cryptic Castle is one of three possible third levels of Shadow the Hedgehog; in the game's branching path structure, it follows from taking a more evil, Black Arms-aligned path through the previous levels. A haunted castle under the control of Dr. Eggman, the fortress is being assaulted by Black Doom's troops, and the ghosts in the basement are acting up too. Thrown into the middle of this evil vs. evil warzone is not just Shadow, but also Amy, Cream, and Cheese, who have become lost in the castle and need rescuing.

Travel around the level involves pumpkin-shaped balloons that Shadow can grab on to, as well as making use of Black Arms fluid trails and Black Hawk enemies to fly between the battlements. Blue-fire braziers must be used to activate secret passages, as well as Eggman's lanterns in the Dark mission.


In the cutscene before the level, the President of the United Federation recieves a call telling him about a data attack on the govenrment mainframe - one perpetrated by Shadow himself if the player has completed Digital Circuit. Next, Shadow pops out of said computerised world from an Eggman terminal, unintentionally finding himself within the depths of Cryptic Castle. Spotting the Egg Mobile through a skylight, the black hedgehog decides that the world's smartest man is probably a good person to interrogate about his origins, and races off in pursuit of Eggman.

Shadow immediatly runs into Amy Rose, who reports that Cream and Cheese have become lost somewhere in the castle. Finding the rabbit and her Chao, who have both somehow managed to get themselves stuck behind false walls, serves as the Hero mission. Alternatively, Shadow can acquiesce to the demands of Eggman's Drone and light five giant lanterns, which are in some unexplained way a part of the Doctor's defense strategy. In this stage, it is considered an evil act to destroy Eggman's robots (as it fills the Dark Gauge), even though he is on the Dark side of the mission. Amy will urge Shadow to just leave the robots alone if he attacks them.

Eggman has several Chao kept in a large room near where Cheese is found. Fans speculate that these may be somehow related to the Team Chaotix missions in Sonic Heroes where Eggman assigns the detectives to collect Chao for him. When Shadow comes near the Chao, they will cheer with joy, but if he attacks them it fills his Dark Gauge. If Eggman accompanies Shadow to the end of the neutral route, he will state that he was unaware of not only the underground rail area, but also the large skeleton within.

Whatever Shadow chooses, he and Amy exit the stage to find the grey Chaos Emerald abandoned on one of the battlements. The black hedgehog picks it up, only to be waylaid by Eggman in person, riding his newest killing machine, the Egg Breaker. While Shadow protests that he has no quarrel with the Doctor, Eggman isn't about to let a Chaos Emerald get snatched right from under his nose, and launches into battle with the Egg Breaker.

Secret door location

At the trio of grindrails that lead into the destroyable walls segment before the chao room, take the upper route by jumping on the skull sphere. The door is on the higher ledge.



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