| Fast Facts on Sonic 3 Complete
Last Release: April 2nd, 2012
System: Sega Mega Drive
Original Game: Sonic 3 & Knuckles
Additional contributions from flamewing, That One Jig,
Neo, Hayate, shobiz, Tribeam, MoDule and LOst;
Disassembly and tools by Stealth, Puto, Xenowhirl,
Erik JS, snkenjoi, Hivebrain, AamirM, jman2050,
Andlabs, Robjoe, MarkeyJester, Linncaki, Cinossu,
Malevolence, Alriightyman, nineko
Sonic 3 Complete is a hack of Sonic 3 & Knuckles by Tiddles. It began primarily as an alteration of the musical configuration of that game to to more closely resemble that of the original Sonic 3. It also contains bugfixes and other additional features, and provides versions of Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles and Blue Sphere with these same additions and fixes, essentially providing a console version of Sonic & Knuckles Collection. Additional menu options and ROM patches are available to reverse some of these changes, or make others, to provide a version to match the player's own preference.
Initially developed privately for his own use, it was posted to the public in December 2009 following positive reaction to a similar hack posted by Hayate. Tiddles received Tech Membership for this hack not long after its initial release. Hayate's hack Sonic 3 Customizable is based upon the Sonic 3 Complete code, and bugfixes are shared between these hacks; however, Sonic 3 Customizable has not yet been updated with any Sonic 3 Complete changes since 2009, and hence does not contain every change listed here, though it contains additional features of its own.
- Tracks for title screen, invincibility, Knuckles' theme, miniboss, 1UP, Sonic 3 ending, continue/race results, and data select are the Sonic 3 versions by default.
- 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 Sonic & Knuckles miniboss theme.
- Hidden Palace plays Sonic 3 miniboss for Knuckles fight, Sonic & Knuckles miniboss for Emerald theft.
- The Sonic 3 credits music plays during the ending before the main credits begin (replacing Sky Sanctuary)
- The Blue Sphere difficulty screen now plays the Gumball Bonus music.
- Many of the Sonic 3 levels use their original Sonic 3 object layouts by default, most notably Hydrocity 2 and Launch Base.
- Knuckles' routes in these layouts were incomplete, but additions have been made to allow them to be played through.
- Sonic 1-3-style monitor behaviour - jumping under the base of a monitor will make it fall.
- 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 sweeping behaviour.
- The ability to hit characters out of their super form has not been reintroduced.
- In a Sonic and Tails game, Tails does not appear for the final Launch Base bosses. Player 2 can press a button to make him appear.
- Knuckles' version is unaffected.
- The Special Stage results screen for Chaos Emerald stages is now styled much more like the version from Sonic 3 alone.
- The Continue screen uses title card-style text as it did in Sonic 3, rather than end credits-style text as it did in Sonic & Knuckles.
- Flying Battery shows up with its unused Sonic 3 icon in Data Select.
- Mushroom Hill is now named Mushroom Valley, as it was in the Sonic 3 level select screen.
- All references to "& Knuckles" removed, title screen positioning realigned to original setup. Zone title cards restored to Sonic 3's style.
- The logo in the all-super emeralds ending now drops in from the top of the screen as in the Sonic 3 credits
- Playing as Sonic and Tails, Tails now arrives slightly later at the start of AIZ and faces right, as in Sonic 3, and cannot move until Sonic can.
- Emeralds on the save screen now use the Sonic 3-style flash cycle in all modes.
- The egg prison at the end of Hydrocity is now correctly centred for Sonic and Tails. (Sonic 3 & Knuckles regression)
- Tails alone no longer has extra tails in the Launch Base Zone 2 ending cutscene. (Sonic 3 & Knuckles regression)
- Tails' tails no longer disappear while he is jumping after the credits
- 2P Tails is less prone to suicide before the final battles of Launch Base Zone.
- Knuckles appears in the same colours throughout the game, both in cutscenes and as a playable character.
- Fixed Knuckles being unable to jump off underwater objects
- 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 (Angel Island Zone 1, IceCap Zone 1).
- Workaround added to Mushroom Valley 2 and Sandopolis 2 bosses to prevent Knuckles from sometimes seeing Robotnik.
- Knuckles now fights EggRobo in Flying Battery 2.
- Many player sprite and mapping issues have been fixed, and remaining Sonic 2 sprites have been replaced.
- 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.
- Collecting extra lives will not increase the counter past 99.
- Fixed possible Marble Garden 2 boss corruption after killing a Spiker with hyper dash.
- The normal super transformation sound effect is now used in Doomsday.
- Fixed HUD shadow colour in burnt area of Angel Island.
- Fixed spring artwork occasionally not being loaded for the Gumball Bonus Stage.
- Knuckles no longer shifts forward a pixel when looking up.
- The underwater character palette now reverts properly when Tails or Knuckles lose their super form.
- It is no longer possible to gain additional lives for having 100 and 200 rings in the Lava Reef boss area if those lives were already earned earlier in act 2.
- The Lava Reef and Death Egg boss areas will remember their starting timer if you die and restart (unless you die from a time over)
- Robotnik's bald shine on the save screen is no longer red.
- Stopped running animation being displayed in place of victory or super transform animation when in front of a solid object
- The Launch Base music now only restarts once after Knuckles defeats the Act 1 boss.
- Knuckles is no longer blocked from his normal Carnival Night exit when arriving from above
- Drowning timer resets when turning hyper, along with music if necessary
- The slot machine bonus stage now awards a continue through rings collected in the slot machine as well as around the sides.
- Knuckles no longer turns into Sonic at the end of the slot machine bonus stage.
- Various double jump fixes for Sonic, mostly involving unintentionally going into a slow bubble bounce by double jumping right before a bubble shield activated.
- Fixed bug where a time over would not restart the starpost timer after continuing from a game over.
- Fixed final Launch Base boss code to release Sonic from the arm after the boss is defeated - this was firing in the wrong situation, making Sonic always drop to standing after clearing the boss, but leaving him stuck if Tails killed the boss while Sonic was held.
- Fixed object and ring layout oddities in various zones, including the infamous double ring in AIZ1 and the improperly retracting spikes in CNZ2.
- Super Tails' flickies no longer ruin the Sandopolis miniboss
- Fixed duff palette cycle when retransforming into super/hyper form
- Fixed Tails using the wrong sprite when hit by the boulder in Lava Reef.
- The Death Egg no longer appears in the background of Lava Reef when playing as Knuckles.
- Tails will drop out of flight mode if he is tired and hits a diagonal spring in Carnival Night, preventing him from getting stuck.
- Insta-shield now deflects projectiles, as appears to have been intended all along
- Tails' flight now only deflects projectiles if they hit his tails. (Previously he could deflect anywhere, but only if falling.)
- Prevented super transformation during snowboard sequence
- Fixed odd palette on HUD lives numbers in some levels
- Fixed issue with continues not being saved unless a special stage is completed
- Fixed Sonic incorrectly appearing as Hyper Sonic briefly during the ending when he shouldn't be able to.
- Fixed occasional misalignment of continue screen
- Fixed wrong tiles on Continue screen if you hit Game Over with Super/Hyper Sonic
- Fire sprites no longer appear underwater in Angel Island
- It is no longer possible to repeatedly double-jump in the Hydrocity fan tubes
- Incorrect grabber arm sprite on DEZ final boss fixed - now uses the latched rather than open variant.
- Fixed jittering screen lock after Marble Garden 1 miniboss
- Workaround added to avoid occasional loss of music track change if requested during the 1up sting.
- Added MoDule's bugfixes for jumping out of shallow water, roll jump hitbox and Tails' camera height
- Added flamewing's bugfix for transforming as the timer runs out
- Fixed Knuckles' socks and pink palette in continue icon in Super Emerald special stage results
- Fixed wrong colours on Super Emerald 6 (the leftmost one) as Sonic or Tails in Special Stage results
- The Sky Sanctuary main melody is no longer muted by ring collection.
- It is no longer impossible for Knuckles to defeat the Death Egg miniboss.
- Debug: Hyper Knuckles can now wall smash when turned hyper by a monitor.
- Debug: Tails' ring counter now falls in Doomsday.
- Debug: Characters other than Sonic appear correctly in Doomsday.
- Debug: Knuckles exits Doomsday to the title screen instead of a broken Sonic ending.
- Debug: Going into debug when dead now restarts object processing.
- Debug: The debug cursor now respects screen locking.
- Before the original title screen appears, a game menu has been inserted to select between Sonic 3 Complete, Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles and Blue Sphere.
- Pressing from the title screens of any of these games will return you to this game menu.
- An Options menu has been provided to reconfigure many aspects of the game.
- Sonic Jam's Easy and Normal modes are available, complete with their unique features and level layouts.
- Many of the music changes designed to make the game more Sonic 3-like can be altered.
- Level layout can be switched between Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles versions.
- The game can be set to boot straight into one of the game modes, bypassing the game selection title screen.
- Knuckles' introductory cutscene now plays in Angel Island rather than Sonic & Knuckles' first zone, and feeds directly into the level rather than fading out and restarting.
- Tails now has an introduction sequence.
- Tails now has his own colours in the results screens.
- Knuckles has improved and more consistent underwater colours.
- The Mushroom Valley demo sequence now plays as one of the Sonic 3 demos.
- Sonic's Angel Island intro can now be skipped using the button (only until Knuckles interjects).
- For Super/Hyper forms to be invoked, you must press any button to jump, followed by a different button to double-jump.
- To transform with debug mode enabled, you need to double-jump by pressing while is held down.
- This allows Tails/Knuckles to play without powering up after having all emeralds.
- Sonic can now transform even if he has a barrier.
- Using the super transformation move while already transformed will allow you to turn back to normal.
- While in super or hyper form, sped-up level music plays instead of invincibility music.
- Super music changes now consistently have no effect during bosses.
- Speed shoes monitors now have no effect when collected in super or hyper form.
- You now need to collect 50 rings within the slot machine bonus stage itself to get a continue.
- Rings lost within the bonus stage will not take away from your collection total for the continue.
- You can now do this in every slot machine bonus stage. Originally, you needed to wait until a new act or lose your rings in the main level.
- Added a HUD element to the Slot Machine bonus stage to show progress towards a continue.
- Added an extra cutscene after Launch Base, showing the Death Egg crashing, based on the Sonic & Knuckles title screen.
- Separate title card icons for each zone, by Neo.
- After Hidden Palace, Knuckles is replaced by Robotnik on Sonic's continue screen
- Minor alterations to the Icecap intro to maintain day-night cycle consistency.
- The screen now pulls up after Carnival Night 1's miniboss, to make the signpost easier to control.
- New credits font designed to better fit with the title card style.
- The existing Sonic 3 & Knuckles cheats work, plus:
- 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
- With debug enabled, all restrictions on zone access and character choice are lifted, even in Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles modes.
- 02 04 05 06 on sound test gives all Chaos Emeralds
- This will not reset the status of anything done with Hidden Palace Zone/Super Emeralds
- 12 14 15 16 on sound test gives all super emeralds
- When paused and level select is enabled, the button now exits to different places:
- 1P level/Special Stage: level select
- Grand Prix: GP results
- Match Race: Match Race setup
- Time Attack: Time Attack setup
- "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.
- In Sonic & Knuckles mode, the Blue Sphere background is used instead.
- Added entries to Level Select for the Gumball Bonus Stage and the Hidden Palace Special Stage entryway.
- Level Select has been rearranged to better reflect the actual zone arrangement.
- New icons have been added to the level select screen to better display character selection.
- New level select and data select font, designed to be similar in style to the title card font.
- This rectifies text spacing issues when displaying the final zones in data select.
- Sound effect E3 will now speed up music as if speed shoes were active when used in the level select.
- E4 returns to normal speed, as does starting another track.
- The sound test will always play Sonic 3 tracks from their original slots. The alternative versions can be played from entry F0 upwards.
Changes specific to Blue Sphere
- Tails has been added as a playable character in Blue Sphere.
- While playing a special stage through Blue Sphere, pressing while paused will return to the Blue Sphere select screen.
- Pressing on the Blue Sphere menu screen will now return to the title screen. Your progress will be retained until you reset or turn off the game.
Changes specific to Sonic 3
- The included Sonic 3 runs completely on top of Sonic 3 Complete's engine, and hence inherits all relevant improvements from Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Sonic 3 Complete, while retaining its own layouts, save files, bonus stage structure, etc.
- The credits list used is from Sonic 3 & Knuckles to reflect the integration of the games in this collection.
- On the "Try Again" ending screen, the emeralds juggled by Knuckles are now coloured correctly.
- The Death Egg's behaviour at the end of the game has been slightly altered to match the complete story.
- Tails retains his unique game clear icons on the save screen.
- If no saves are present for Sonic 3 mode, the game will attempt to import data from the complete game where appropriate.
Changes specific to Sonic & Knuckles
- The credits list used is from Sonic 3 & Knuckles to reflect the integration of the games in this collection.
A selection of patches has been provided to allow some of the hack's changes to be reversed, or provide alternative configurations, according to player preference. The following options are currently available:
- Use player sprites and palettes styled based on Sonic 1 or Sonic 2. The sprites were created by That One Jig and the palettes adapted by Neo.
- Use monitor sprites based on those seen in the first two games, also edited by That One Jig.
- Remove elemental shields and replace them with Sonic 1 or Sonic 2-style shields.
- Change the moves and abilities available, so that the game plays more like the first two Sonic games.
- Use the original Sonic 3 & Knuckles double-jump/transformation button setup (any double-jump invokes a super form transformation, if available, unless Sonic has a shield, which prevents transformation).
- Disable the ability to cancel out of super or hyper forms.
- Disable the Big Arm boss in Launch Base 2 (use the Sonic 3 & Knuckles sequence).
- Skip the new cutscene following Sonic and Tails' Launch Base
- Continue Knuckles' fight music throughout the remainder of Hidden Palace
- Use the original ending music (Sky Sanctuary instead of Sonic 3 Credits) - this can be set separately for Sonic's and Knuckles' endings.
- Start the Sonic 3 Credits music with the credit sequence (best used when the ending music has been changed back to Sky Sanctuary, otherwise the below patch is more useful) - this can be set separately for Sonic's and Knuckles' endings.
- Allow the ending music to continue through both into the credits - this can be set separately for Sonic's and Knuckles' endings.
- Revert to the original method of gaining continues from the slot machine bonus stage
- Remove the extra continue counter HUD from the slot machine bonus stage
- Rename Mushroom Valley back to Mushroom Hill
- Revert to the old daytime-ish Icecap intro colour scheme
- Go back to using the invincibility music for super/hyper transformations. (It still doesn't play during a boss.)
- Require 50 rings in Complete mode instead of 20 at a starpost in to access a bonus stage, as in Sonic 3.
- Always play Gumball bonus stages in Complete mode, as in Sonic 3.
- Use "cutscene pink" for Knuckles' main colours
- Use S&K monitor behaviour (monitors break from any direction)
- Use the Sonic 3 credits music as the level music for Hidden Palace.
- Revert to using the original title card act icons for every zone.
The full set of these patches in IPS format can be downloaded in a separate archive below. Alternatively, an online customiser is available which allows for customisations to be selected and applied to a custom downloadable copy.
Some options can now also be changed using the in-game menu and saved to SRAM:
- Skip the game select screen and start one of the individual games immediately on boot up.
- Play through the "Easy" and "Normal" versions of the game introduced in Sonic Jam.
- Play Sonic 3 music when playing Angel Island through Launch Base; use Sonic & Knuckles music for the rest of the game.
- Always play Sonic & Knuckles music in the Sonic & Knuckles game mode
- Use the slow act results theme from Sonic 3D (similar to Sonic & Knuckles Collection)
- Use Sonic 3 music when playing as Sonic/Tails, and Sonic & Knuckles music when playing as Knuckles.
- Use the full set of Sonic 3 or Sonic & Knuckles level layouts.
- Use the Sonic & Knuckles versions of the title screen, invincibility, game clear and 1UP tracks. (The selected title theme will also be used at the end of whichever zone medley credits theme is used).
- The 1UP track can be set separately to override the above.
- Use the Sonic & Knuckles midboss track exclusively. The Sonic 3 midboss theme will still be used when fighting Knuckles unless the following option is also enabled.
- Use the Sonic & Knuckles Knuckles track exclusively.
- Use the slower Sonic & Knuckles continue/race results/Blue Sphere music.
- Use the original Sonic & Knuckles credits music instead of the Sonic 3C 0517 version.
- Bring back the Sonic & Knuckles-style music fadeout before the results screen.
- Resume Act 2's music after the zone results screen in cases where Sonic 3 & Knuckles did this.
- Disable all music (useful to set a gameplay video to an alternative soundtrack)
Known Issues in the Current Release
- Changes made in the Options menu will not be saved to or loaded from SRAM when using the Regen emulator. This problem does not affect flashcarts or any other tested emulators. Additional IPS patches have been provided in the downloadable zip package to set the default options for Regen users. It is still possible to use the menus if desired, but changes will not be saved between sessions.
- Many known issues in Sonic 3 & Knuckles continue to be present.
The following contains IPS patches for the 120402 version as documented above.
- Sonic 3 Complete v120324 (info) (2.09 MB) (2.09MB, released 03/24/2012)
- Optional customisation patches for v120324 (info) (185 kB) (184KB, released 03/24/2012)
- Sonic 3 Complete v120304 (info) (2.09 MB) (2.09MB, released 03/04/2012)
- Optional customisation patches for v120304 (info) (171 kB) (170KB, released 03/04/2012)
- Sonic 3 Complete v110706 (info) (1.98 MB) (1.97MB, released 07/07/2011)
- Optional customisation patches for v110706 (info) (9 kB) (9KB, released 07/07/2011)
- Sonic 3 Complete v110623 (info) (1.98 MB) (1.97MB, released 06/23/2011)
- Optional customisation patches for v110623 (info) (8 kB) (9KB, released 06/23/2011)
- Sonic 3 Complete v101226 (info) (2.3 MB) (2.3MB, released 12/26/2010)
- Sonic 3 Complete v101222 (info) (2.3 MB) (2.3MB, released 12/25/2010)
- Optional customisation patches for v101226 or v101222 (info) (11 kB) (11KB, released 12/25/2010)
- Sonic 3 Complete v100404 (info) (1.88 MB) (1.88MB, released 04/04/2010)
- Optional customisation patches for v100404 (info) (7 kB) (7KB, released 04/04/2010)
- Windows command-line customiser for v100404 (info) (16 kB) (16KB, released 04/04/2010)
- Sonic 3 Complete v091230 (info) (1.88 MB) (1.88MB, released 12/31/2009)
- Optional customisation patches for 091230 (info) (8 kB) (8KB, released 12/31/2009)
- Sonic 3 Complete v091224 (info) (1.88 MB) (1.88MB, released 12/25/2009)