Bridge Zone is the second Zone in the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog. As with other Zones in this game, this Zone consists of two standard Acts followed by a shorter third Act which contains the Zone's boss.
Bridge Zone is the first of the three Zones that are unique to the SMS/GG game. Geographically speaking, it is located on the central river of South Island and, hence its name, is filled with wooden bridges, as Sonic crosses South Island's massive central river. Most bridges are slanted, making it difficult to stand still on them, while some will collapse when Sonic runs across them. There are also giant metal scales dotted around the level, which can be used to catapult Sonic up to higher platforms like a seesaw.
The Zone also differs from the level structure of traditional Sonic games and has an unusual feature in Act 2 where the screen will scroll automatically, like Sky Chase Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which controls the rate at which the player moves through the level (and makes it impossible to finish in less than 1:53). For better or for worse, it is a very memorable aspect of the Zone among fans.
||There are many small islands in the lake. The suspension bridges which link these islands together are damaged in places, making them hazardous! Even Sonic will be in trouble if he falls into the deep lake.!
— Sonic the Hedgehog JP Game Gear manual (translation by Vertekins)
||Quickly cross the bridges before they crumble, or else you'll end up in the bottom the the lake! Jump from seesaws to reach high cliffs. Good timing is the key to success.
— Sonic the Hedgehog US Game Gear manual
Special item locations
The following are the locations of the Chaos Emerald and 1-Up monitors in each Act. Detailed maps featuring the locations of these items can be found here.
The Chaos Emerald for this Zone is located in Act 1. Before walking over the final bridge (one whose planks fall down), the Chaos Emerald can be seen sitting on a ledge. Stand on the left most falling plank, and as it falls, jump on to the ledge and get the Emerald.
- Act 1: Located atop a hill after the second set of scales encountered in the Act. Use the scales to gain enough height to reach it.
- Act 2: Found bobbing about in the river shortly after the checkpoint. Hold or when jumping onto it to preserve enough vertical momentum to reach safety after destroying it.
- Act 3: Located right behind Sonic when the Act begins.