- For the Sonic Mania version of this stage, see Lava Reef Zone (Sonic Mania).
The longest level in any Mega Drive Sonic game, Lava Reef Zone is an underground labyrinth of crystals, magma and general chaos. There are three acts to this level. The first act is a mine-type level, the second act is a crystal wonderland with flamethrowers and spiky things and the third act (only playable with Sonic or Tails) is a giant boss fight with Dr. Eggman. The stage is entered by Sonic falling in or by Knuckles just walking (both from the same spot in Sandopolis Zone), and is exited by Knuckles climbing steps to get to the Hidden Palace Zone, while Sonic is knocked into a separate boss arena when Knuckles throws a crystal boulder into him. He then leaves for Hidden Palace after the lava in the boss arena has cooled.
To beat the boss in the first act, stay in a corner and dodge the lasers from the orbs. Try to hit them if you can, as that will eventually destroy them and that will be one less distraction from the real boss. A giant hand will follow you around, but when you see it stop, or start blinking, get away. It will come down trying to squish you, which at this point you attack the hand while it's down. Hit six times to defeat... the orbs will die in four hits, but it's not needed to destroy them to end the level.
To beat the second boss, avoid being on a platform that Dr. Eggman's missiles hit. You'll eventually get to waterfall of magma. Follow your way down and you'll get to a boss with Eggman in a tank-type machine. If you can, get a fire shield before this (there is one on a static platform of the magmafall), or go super, as it will make this a LOT easier. You'll want to jump from platform to platform to avoid falling into Dr. Eggman's ship. The machine will shoot mines into the air and if you just keep jumping platforms, the mines will hit Eggman. This has to happen 14 times before this boss is defeated.
||Enter the biggest, hottest Zone on Floating Island! Beware of exploding rocks, spiked balls, and Toxomisters that poison the air!
||This is the last stage a Special Ring appears in. I suppose you noticed that in both acts of this stage, the Death Egg's face appears. In the act select for Sonic 2 you could see a bit of a scene like this, but this is where you'll see the real thing.
— Takashi Iizuka, Sonic Jam Official Guide
- Iwamodoki - Badniks posing as rocks.
- Fireworm - Caterpillar that shoots fire from his back and has spikes on his belly.
- Toxomister - Smokestack that releases poisonous clouds.