Special Stage (Sonic Heroes)
From Sonic Retro
|Special level, Sonic Heroes|
|Number of Acts: 7|
Like many Sonic games, Sonic Heroes has its own Special Stage. They can be accessed after obtaining a special key and completing the stage. The player must avoid damage or else the key will be lost. Heroes was notable as the first post Sonic Adventure 3D game to have special stages.
The Bonus Challenge, very similar to a Bonus Stage, can be played when the player obtains the key in any one of the seven first act stages: Seaside Hill, Grand Metropolis, Casino Park, Rail Canyon, Frog Forest, Hang Castle, and Egg Fleet.
The object of the game is to collect the multicolored Power Spheres to gain power to initiate the Power Dash to get to the end of the stage. The Power Dash Meter is divided into three sections. After filling it to the second section, the button sign will flash letting the player know when to use the Power Dash. Power Spheres will also give you extra stage time. A higher score can be obtained if links are created. It's zero points if 2-9 spheres are linked. After 10, the points increase by 60.
There are three kinds of Power Spheres. The most common are the multicolored spheres. Blue spheres with star prints will award large quantities of points, but the red spheres with the star prints have double the dash power. Besides spheres, there are are also spike balls which are traps. Hitting them will not only slow the player down, but take away some power in the Dash Meter.
At some point in the stage, the player will be met by a Neutral Chao and a Dark Chao riding in a balloon. The Speed character is the only character that can be used for this part. The Chao will either throw out a Blue Sphere, Red Sphere, or Spike Ball at random.
In the last three Special Stages there is a part that only involves the Fly character. Although it is completely optional. The team will hang from a pulley and must swing left and right to collect Power Spheres.
Each Special Stage becomes more difficult with each level with the first Special Stage being the easiest and the last Special Stage being the hardest. An extra life is awarded for every 10,000 points scored, up to a maximum of 50,000 (ie. A score of 60,000 will still only award 5 lives).
The Emerald Challenge can be played when the player obtains the key in any of the seven second act stages (Ocean Palace, Power Plant, BINGO Highway, Bullet Station, Lost Jungle, Mystic Mansion, and Final Fortress).
The rules are pretty much the same as the Bonus Challenge. Only this time, the player is racing to catch a Chaos Emerald. These stages are crucial for completing the game. Neither the Chao or the pulley appear in these stages. Change gates are also removed. About over half way through the stage, lines of many red spheres will appear to help the player catch up to the Emerald if it has gotten a huge lead.
It is largely recommended that Team Rose be used in the Emerald Challenge because of their simple and short action stages. It is much easier for them to keep a stage key than any other team.
The Special Stage is used as part of the Dream Bobsleigh event in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games that takes place at the Nocturnus Gate. Though, the stage also uses some elements from Mario Kart Wii's Koopa Cape circuit. Players must use the Power Spheres to make their bobsleigh increase in speed. If attacked or if an obstacle is hit, the bobsleigh's speed gets set back to the default.