Flying Battery Zone

From Sonic Retro

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Sonic & Knuckles
Flying Battery Zone
  • Act 1
  • Act 2
Flying Battery Zone
Second level, Sonic & Knuckles
Number of Acts: 2
Location: Above Angel Island
Level theme: flying fortress
Secondary level theme: industrial
Sub-boss: Gapsule
Sub-boss for Act 2: Barrier Eggman
Boss: Hang Mobile
Maximum rings, Act 1: 299 + 30
Maximum rings, Act 2: 259 + 20
Non-English names:
Mushroom Hill Zone | Sandopolis Zone
For the Sonic Mania version of this stage, see Flying Battery Zone (Sonic Mania).

Flying Battery Zone is the second Zone of Sonic & Knuckles (the eighth Zone of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles). It is entered when Sonic, Tails or Knuckles latch themselves to Robotnik's flying airship as it passes through Mushroom Hill Zone.


Set on board Dr. Eggman's flying airship, Flying Battery Zone sees the player running through trap-filled indoor sections as well as exploring the ship's deck and underside. The interiors of the ship are filled with sorts of contraptions, such as electromagnets that attract anything metallic, be it Badniks, platforms or spiked balls, huge mesh cylinders like those seen in Metropolis Zone, screw doors that are operated by pressing buttons, and flame jets that can be used as Springs by standing on them. The floors are also littered with Speed Boosters like those seen in Wing Fortress Zone, and mines that explode when passed over.

The deck of the ship features propeller poles that the player can swing from, providing they do not touch the blades themselves, and missiles that are fired from hatches in the walls or floors. In some locations, the player may have to wait for the missiles fired from the floor to break a hole in the floor in order to continue. The ship's underside often sees the player jump across propeller platforms and climb monkey bars to avoid falling into the giant bottomless pits beneath the ship.

The ship appears to also function as a transport carrier for Eggman's many Capsules, as rows of them can be seen in the interior background, and some of them even being placed around the first Act. Some of them can be opened, releasing Rings or even Badniks, while some are disguised Springs that bounce the player upwards. The sub-boss, Gapsule, is even a robot disgused as a Capsule.

Act 2 is mostly identical to Act 1, but with the addition of spiral elevators, swinging black orbs to run along on, and Grabber-like mechs that carry the player through vertical mesh cylinders. Act 2 also has its own sub-boss, which leads into a sequence where the floor is rising and the player must escape to the top of the ship to avoid being crushed. After defeating the Hang Mobile, all characters spin through a hatch to leave the airship for Sandopolis Zone.


Go flying on Robotnik's warship. Watch where you step—sneaky traps are everywhere!

Sonic & Knuckles US manualMedia:S&K MD US SonicJam manual.pdf[4]

This zone has particularly distinctive music, doesn't it. With Sonic 1 and 2, we were working with Nakamura-san, so we couldn't get any extra music, but since with 3 we had the music done in-house, we were able to have a whole lot of music made up for us. We picked out from that selection the music that fit each zone best.

Takashi IizukaSonic Jam Official Guide[5]


Blaster — Badnik that fires small projectiles.
Technosqueek — Small robotic rodent found on walls, floors and ceilings.


S2 flicky.gif
S2 ricky.gif

Connections to Sonic 3

This level was originally meant to be in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, taking place between Carnival Night Zone and IceCap Zone, as supported by the Zone order found in the Level Select and the Zone's enemies being mentioned in the game's US manual.Media:Sonic3 MD US manual.pdf[6]Media:Sonic3 MD US manual.pdf[7] The cannon at the end of Carnival Night would have launched Sonic and Tails to the flying fortress. Knuckles is speculated to have skipped this level entirely since he was being teleported directly to IceCap, explaining the lack of Knuckles-only paths. At the end of the Flying Battery, Sonic runs down a hallway and hits a panel off the ship, which would have been used as a snowboard by him at the beginning of IceCap Zone.[8]

It is believed that the level was moved over to Sonic & Knuckles to balance out the number of full levels in each game (six levels each, not counting Hidden Palace and Doomsday since they are sublevels.)

Sonic 3 Flying Battery icon.PNG
A custom icon has been found in Sonic 3, so it can be assumed it was near completion before it was moved.

With the use of an Action Replay, Flying Battery Zone is actually still accessible in the final version of Sonic 3 albeit in a corrupted form. To access Act 1, use Action Replay code FFFE10:0400, and for Act 2, use FFFE10:0401. For Act 2, the player needs to do this in a very specific way since just trying to access the Zone alone will freeze the game as soon as the data starts loading. In Act 1 of the corrupted Flying Battery Zone, a fully functional Gapsule mini-boss can be found using debug mode. In addition, an incomplete version of Flying Battery Zone can also be found in the Sonic 3 prototype, featuring a different background and an incomplete level layout.


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