Hidden Palace Zone (Sonic & Knuckles)

From Sonic Retro

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Hidden Palace Zone
Hidden Palace Zone
Fifth level, Sonic & Knuckles
Number of Acts: 1
Level theme: underground/cave
Boss: Knuckles
Maximum rings: 33 + 40
Non-English names:
Lava Reef Zone | Sky Sanctuary Zone
For the Hidden Palace Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, see Hidden Palace Zone. For drx's website, see Hidden Palace.

Hidden Palace Zone is the fifth zone in Sonic & Knuckles (the eleventh zone in Sonic 3 & Knuckles). Hidden Palace Zone houses the shrine where Knuckles hides and protects the Master Emerald. As Sonic, it is the setting of a major turning point in the game's storyline.

The level begins at the end of Lava Reef Zone Act 2. After a few steps, the scenery changes into that of Hidden Palace. Depending on the character being used, one of two scenarios will unfold shortly within the stage.

As Sonic and/or Tails, a confrontation with Knuckles will occur. After this fight, a cutscene occurs in which Dr. Robotnik steals the Master Emerald using a giant claw-arm attached to his Egg Mobile. Knuckles attempts to save it, but Robotnik shocks him into submission. After this, Knuckles will lead the way to a teleporter that sends the player to the next Zone, Sky Sanctuary.

As Knuckles, the Zone merely acts as a pass-through to access the Sky Sanctuary Zone, albeit a different area than Sonic and Tails are sent to -- it is an upper route through the first half of the level. The transporter that Sonic and Tails land on before they go to face Knuckles is where he teleports to Sky Sanctuary. He cannot reach the area where the Master Emerald is except through the giant rings of Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

All characters enter from tunnels from Lava Reef, and exit through transporters to Sky Sanctuary. In the game data, Hidden Palace is listed as Lava Reef Act 4 in the Stage Select menu, as it is placed in the 2nd act of the 2nd level slot reserved for Lava Reef data. This is not an unreasonable jump by in-game standards either, as it shares music and overall appearance with Lava Reef Act 2, although the backgrounds are different as the Death Egg can be seen leaving the mouth of the volcano in Hidden Palace, while it was still stuck there in Act 2.


Some mysteries are solved! Robotnik makes his big play, and Knuckles finds out who is the REAL bad guy is!


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Trivia sections are bad
Try and incorporate this information into the main article. See the manual of style to find out why.
As Knuckles, the Death Egg is gone from the background.
  • The mural in the background where Sonic and/or Tails fight/-s Knuckles depicts/predicts the final battle in the Doomsday Zone.
  • If one is playing Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and has collected one, some or all the Super Emeralds, it/they can be seen placed around the Master Emerald. Oddly, if you reach this Zone in S3K and have all the chaos emeralds, and avoid S&Ks glowing special stage rings, it will still depict your emeralds as super emeralds. Despite this, your emerald count is unchanged, and you can still turn super.
  • In addition, this is the area in Sonic 3 & Knuckles where the player is warped after taking a giant special ring like the ones near the start of Mushroom Hill Zone, which appear in every level until Lava Reef Zone's Act 2.
  • Hidden area in Hidden Palace Zone


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