Sonic 3 & Knuckles: The Challenges is an hack by Tiddles which replaces several music tracks in Sonic 3 & Knuckles. It was inspired by a similar music hack by Sonic Retro scener, Hayate. In addition to the music changes there are also bugfixes and other features.
- Tracks for title screen, invincibility, Knuckles' theme, miniboss, 1up, S3 ending and data select are the Sonic 3 versions.
- Various music cues are flipped around to work with this:
- Marble Garden 2 boss for Knuckles plays the standard zone boss theme.
- Flying Battery 2 sub-boss plays the SK miniboss theme.
- Hidden Palace plays Sonic 3 miniboss for Knuckles fight, SK miniboss for emerald theft.
- Sonic 3 credits plays during the ending before the main credits begin (replacing Sky Sanctuary)
- The Blue Sphere difficulty screen now plays the Gumball Bonus music.
- Music no longer fades out before the Got Through screen
- Act music no longer resumes after the Got Through screen before a zone transition.
- Credits music has been replaced with the Sonic 3C 0517 version.
- Sonic/Tails have their final Launch Base 2 boss restored, with its Sonic 3 behaviour.
- Knuckles' version is unaffected.
- Flying Battery shows up with its unused Sonic 3 icon in Data Select.
- All references to "& Knuckles" removed, title screen positioning realigned to original setup.
- Tails no longer has extra tails in the LBZ2 ending cutscene. (S3K regression)
- The egg prison at the end of Hydrocity is now correctly centred for Sonic and Tails. (S3K regression)
- The correct music will resume after a drown timer while fighting the Hydrocity bosses.
- The boss music gives way to the act music at the end of Sandopolis 1 and Lava Reef 2.
- The correct music will always resume when coming back from a special stage or bonus stage (AIZ1, ICZ1).
- Workaround added to Mushroom Hill 2 and Sandopolis 2 bosses to prevent Knuckles from sometimes seeing Eggman.
- Knuckles now fights EggRobo in Flying Battery 2.
- You will no longer lose barriers if hit from the blue spinning platforms in Marble Garden.
- SONIC text is no longer backwards when the Tornado flies left during the ending.
- Sonic's exit from Lava Reef to Hidden Palace is now blue rather than red.
- The music tempo glitch at the beginning of Doomsday has been removed.
- Super/Hyper must be invoked by pressing + for a double jump (Megamix style).
- This allows Tails/Knuckles to play without powering up after having all emeralds.
- Sonic can now transform even if he has a barrier.
- Added ability to return to normal with a + double jump.
- While in super or hyper form, sped-up level music plays instead of invincibility music.
- Speed shoes monitors now have no effect when collected in super or hyper form.
- The existing S3K cheats work, plus:
- B+Start on 1 Player on the Sonic 3 title screen takes you to Sonic & Knuckles, with all the same changes, including music.
- Restrictions on zone and character selection from the level select in Sonic & Knuckles are removed if debug is enabled.
- + on the Sonic & Knuckles title screen takes you to back to Sonic 3.
- + on 1 Player on the Sonic 3 or Sonic & Knuckles title screen takes you to Blue Sphere
- Tails has been added as a playable character in Blue Sphere.
- on Sonic 3/Sonic & Knuckles title screen menu switches region graphics (Tails/Miles, TM signs)
- on Sonic 3/Sonic & Knuckles title screen menu enables level select.
- 01 03 05 07 on sound test enables debug
- 02 04 05 06 on sound test gives all Chaos Emeralds
- This will not reset the status of anything done with HPZ/super emeralds
- 12 14 15 16 on sound test gives all super emeralds
- "DEATHEGG" and "THE DOOMSDAY" changed to the more sensible "DEATH EGG" and "DOOMSDAY" in level select.
- Level Select now has the Data Select background, replacing the Sonic 2 SONIC/MILES pattern.
- Sound effect F3 will now speed up music as if speed shoes were active when used in the level select.
- F4 returns to normal speed, as does starting another track.
This version only works in some emulators.