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Flying Battery Zone

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Flying Battery Zone
  • Act 1
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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.

Overview

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.

Quotes

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]

Enemies

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

Animals

S2 flicky.gif
Flicky
S2 ricky.gif
Ricky

Connections to Sonic 3

This Zone 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 Sound Test 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] Knuckles is speculated to have skipped Flying Battery entirely due to being teleported directly to IceCap, which would explain why Flying Battery as a whole is the only full-length Zone Knuckles visits that lacks any Knuckles-only breakable wall objects.

At the end of the Flying Battery, Sonic runs down a hallway and breaks a door off the ship. This same door was originally planned to be used in place of the snowboard at the start of IceCap Zone.[8]

It is believed that the Zone was moved over to Sonic & Knuckles to balance out the number of full Zones in each game (six Zones each, not counting Hidden Palace Zone and The Doomsday Zone since they are the shorter single-act Zones.)

Sonic 3 Flying Battery icon.PNG
A unique Data Select portrait of Flying Battery exists, albeit unused in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, so it can be assumed that the Zone was near completion before being moved.

With the use of an Action Replay, Flying Battery Zone can still be accessed in the final version of Sonic the Hedgehog 3, but with all of its art and layout data stripped out. 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.

Despite having most of its data stripped out, a fully functional Gapsule mini-boss can still be found in the object layout for Act 1, with an incomplete version of the Hang Mobile boss being present in Act 2. Blaster and Technosqueek can also be placed with debug mode, albeit with their own bugs.

An incomplete version of Flying Battery Zone can also be found in the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 1993-11-03 prototype, featuring a different background, palette, and layout.

References


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