- For the Sonic Drift racetrack, see Star Light (Sonic Drift).
Star Light Zone is the fifth Zone in the 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog. After braving the waterlogged struggles of Labyrinth Zone, Sonic arrives at a more relaxed urban environment.
Star Light Zone is a rather peaceful Zone set in an urban environment at night, under the stars, and contains many loops (claimed in the UK Sonic the Comic series and a few unofficial American works to be 'unfinished highways'). There aren't many enemies here, or at least not many which can be destroyed by Sonic. The most prominent of these foes are smart walking bombs — these walk along the floor or ceiling, and will explode a few seconds after Sonic approaches them. A play mechanic introduced in this level was that of dropping staircases — some 'staircase' blocks can be hit from below, causing them to wobble and fall into a new position. This opens up a new route through the level.
The greatest hazard in this level are giant drops into which Sonic can fall to his death. Fans which prevent the player from moving (reappearing in Sonic the Hedgehog 2's Oil Ocean Zone), flame-shooting vents and see-saws hanging in thin air make navigation harder.
It seems that the development team tried to raise the difficulty of the stage by removing the checkpoints in this stage. There is only one Post in the entire zone, directly before Dr. Eggman, but most people never notice this due to the Zone's simplicity. Ironically, since there are no Rings after it, hitting it might not even be a good idea if the player finds the boss difficult.
Act 2 marks the last chance for the player to enter the Special Stage, as no more Giant Rings will appear once the player reaches the next Zone, Scrap Brain Zone.
||Speed through the stars like a roller coaster in a world that twists like a corkscrew.
— Sonic the Hedgehog US manual
||While designing stages, I had the image in mind of something like outer space, or a starry night sky. I was thinking there should be a place where you run through a scenic night-time location. By the time we were done with these last three stages, Labyrinth, Star Light, and Scrap Brain, we had a really good understanding of the system and had become somewhat fanatical about elaborate moving platforms.
— Naoto Ohshima, Sonic Jam Official Guide
||Bomb — Mindless kamikaze bomb bots that walk back and forth along a short plane, either on the ground or ceiling.
||Orbinaut (Uni-uni) — These Badniks, palette aside, look exactly like the Unidus variety. They're a bit more cool-headed, though, and won't fire off their shield of spikes.
In other media
Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog television series, Star Light Zone is featured in "Spaceman Sonic", though it is not a city located on Mobius but rather an area of the cosmos which Scratch and Grounder become stranded in after Sonic and Tails sneak on-board their spaceship. The four of them end up in the Abandoned Space Station, where a Space Monster resides.
Sonic the Comic
In the Sonic the Comic series, Star Light Zone was a location that Sonic briefly visited in his mission to secure the Chaos Emeralds before Dr. Robotnik could get his hands on them.