Marble Garden Zone

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Sonic Retro emblem.svg Sonic the Hedgehog 3
Marble Garden Zone
  • Act 1
  • Act 2
Marble Garden Zone
Third Zone, Sonic the Hedgehog 3
Number of Acts: 2
Location: Angel Island
Level theme: ancient ruins
Sub-boss: Tunnelbot
Boss: Drill Mobile
Maximum rings, Act 1: 506 + 130
Maximum rings, Act 2: 352 + 80
Non-English names:
Hydrocity Zone | Carnival Night Zone

Marble Garden Zone is the third Zone of Sonic the Hedgehog 3. The player's character starts this Zone once again by falling from the sky after being launched by a water spurt in Hydrocity Zone.


Marble Garden Zone is an ancient ruin filled with plant life and an artistic look like one would see in a painting. Purple mountains and old temples choked with overgrowing foliage can be seen in the background from atop the Zone's many steep hills, which are filled with traps such as spiked pillars that can crush the player, swinging chains with giant spiked balls, and Oil Ocean Zone's "sinking pool" mechanic, only in a minor scale in the form of mud pools. There are also a variety of mechanisms dotted throughout the ancient city, some of which can be activated by performing a Spin Dash on wheel switches, or by taking out the Strange Reliefs that shoot arrows from their mouths. There are also spinning Tops which help to get around the vertically-orientated level, and downward pillars connected to downward loops where the player can access an alternate route if they jump from them with good timing.

The first Act contains the most Rings out of all the Acts in Sonic 3 with 636 in total, therefore, a Lightning Shield will prove useful if the player wants to get the most out of the Rings in the Act. By holding Down, one can obtain a Lightning Shield right at the start of the Zone. Act 1 also has eight Giant Rings, the highest number in a single Act of the entire game. Act 1 is also prone to earthquakes, as Dr. Eggman has dispatched the Tunnelbot to drill through the ceiling at specific points, causing earthquakes that make nearby pillars shift.

Act 2 takes the player closer towards the temples seen in the background of Act 1, filled with wheel pulley systems that the player can grab on to in order to scale steep slopes, and fast-moving tops being more common than in Act 1. Eggman/Eggrobo himself will also appear at certain points in the Act riding the Drill Mobile in search of jewels. Whenever he shows up, his digging will cause earthquakes to start that will cause the terrain to shift and crumble to greater extremes than those caused by the Tunnelbot, with Eggman completely leveling the Zone by the end. At the end of Act 2, Sonic and Tails fly into Carnival Night Zone as the sun sets, while Knuckles takes a tunnel from his boss area in Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Interestingly, if one uses Debug mode in Sonic 3 & Knuckles to take Sonic to Knuckles' version of the boss, Sonic will still enter the next stage by flying with Tails.


A zone with the remains of a civilization of legend.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 JP manualMedia:Sonic3_MD_JP_manual.pdf[1] (translation by Vertekins)[5]

Use Sonic's Spin Dash Attack to crash through marble barriers and propel Sonic up steep hills as he explores this ancient city.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 US manualMedia:Sonic3 MD US manual.pdf[6]

Even though we used this pattern once before, we wanted to do another stage where the ground shakes ever since Sonic 1. In the first Zone, where Eggman is digging for jewels, we wanted that machine to appear and chase after Sonic from behind, something like that, but we didn't get to it this time.

Yuji NakaSonic Jam Official Guide[7]


Bubbles — A blue, spike-wielding bubble.
Mantis — Green mantis with pointy (sharp) legs that jumps up at regular intervals.
Spiker — A Badnik with fake spikes that serve as a spring for Sonic.


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