Mystic Cave Zone

From Sonic Retro

Sonic Retro emblem.svg Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)
Mystic Cave Zone
For the Sonic Drift 2 level, see Mystic Cave (Sonic Drift 2). For the scrapped level that was previously thought to be called "Dust Hill Zone", see Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit) scrapped levels.
Mystic Cave Zone
Sixth Zone, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)
Number of Acts: 2
Location: West Side Island
Level themes: underground/cave, spooky/supernatural
Boss: Drill Eggman II
Maximum rings, Act 1: 183 + 70
Maximum rings, Act 2: 220 + 70
Non-English names:
Hill Top Zone | Oil Ocean Zone

Mystic Cave Zone is the sixth Zone of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.


After braving the volcanic chaos of Hill Top Zone, Sonic and Tails venture into an eerie network of mines located within a vast cavern inside West Side Island's mountain range, with man-made passageways leading the heroes around walls of moss-covered rocks. The player can pull down on some of the ivy hanging from the ceiling to form bridges to cross over as well as to ascend or descend to other routes, and ride across platforms that knock into each other like a pair of clackers. Two dangers to watch out for are thin rock pillars and moving stacks of wooden crates that can easily crush the player if they are not careful. Other dangers can include spinning spiked balls as well as spikes that protrude from the walls (though they can be used as stepping stones to reach high ledges).

This Zone is infamous for having an inescapable pit of spikes in Act 2 that is very easy for players to fall into. Should a player fall in there as Super Sonic, they will be waiting down there for a potentially long time. In the 2013 version, the spikes in the pit have been removed, thus falling down there will lead to a pleasant surprise: the secret entrance to Hidden Palace Zone.

At the end of the Zone, the player will encounter Dr. Eggman in the Drill Eggman II, which he has been using to dig into the caves in search of the Chaos Emeralds.


A mysterious cave that spread-out underground.
Open the gates by hanging onto the ivy!
Be careful and watch out for the crumbling platforms and use springboards to jump over spikes that pop-out.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 JP manualMedia:Sonic2 MD JP manual.pdf[1] (translation by Vertekins)[6]

Robotnik's been digging for Chaos Emeralds in this eerie forest of flickering lights, glow-worms and stinging centipedes. Hang on to the ivy to discover escape routes.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 US manualMedia:Sonic2 MD US manual.pdf[7]

The feel here is a haunted-house (obakeyashiki), isn't it. But we ended up making a cave stage instead. When making this map, first we had drawn the island, there was a cave, there was a lake, a mountain, a construction site, we were thinking of all these areas. Like Sonic would be here at first, and then he'd go someplace else. That was part of the cave.

Yuji NakaSonic Jam Official Guide[8]


Crawlton sprite.png
Crawlton — Centipede Badnik. Fixed to the wall and extends to attack the player when they approach.
Flasher sprite.png
Flasher — Firefly Badnik, which moves around slowly and is invincible when flashing. Referred to as "Frasher" in Sonic Jam, which is Engrish for "Flasher".


MCZ with "Dust Hill Zone" title card in the pre-beta.

During development, Mystic Cave Zone was referred to as Dust Hill Zone, appearing with that name in the Simon Wai prototype, alpha and pre-beta prototypes, and thus being reported with this name in several video gaming magazines of the day.

Technical information

Offset Description
0B Mystic Cave Zone level value
$2D42 MCZ Palette (0F)
$CD2C MCZ layer deformation info
$3FD24 Dynamic pattern reloading for 01, 02, 03, WFZ, 09, MCZ, SCZ (empty)
$407BE 01, 02, 03, WFZ, 09, MCZ, SCZ misc sprite mappings (empty)
$421F2 MCZ object debug list
$45200 MCZ primary 16x16 collision index
$452A0 MCZ secondary 16x16 collision index
$47B24 MCZ Act 1 level layout
$47D24 MCZ Act 2 level layout
$A8D04 MCZ 16x16 block mappings
$A9D74 MCZ main level patterns
$AD454 MCZ 128x128 block mappings
$E5998 MCZ Act 1 ring locations
$E570E MCZ Act 2 ring locations
$E986E MCZ Act 1 sprite locations
$E99A0 MCZ Act 2 sprite locations

In other media

Sonic the Comic

In the Sonic the Comic series, Mystic Cave Zone was originally used as a hideout by Captain Plunder and his Sky Pirates, marking their debut in the comic series. These pirates kidnapped Amy Rose, prompting Sonic and the Freedom Fighters to travel into the cave and rescue her.

Dr. Robotnik would later enter the Zone and set up a cult under the disguse of "Doctor Sun", installing many traps and tricking many children into becoming Badniks. Sonic and Tails later entered the cave and evaded the death traps, eventually exposing Robotnik and putting a stop to the cult.

Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie comics)

In Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs, Mystic Cave Zone was visited by Knuckles, Amy and Team Dark near the end of the Shattered World Crisis in pursuit of a unique energy signature, which leads them deeper underground into West Side Island's own Hidden Palace Zone.


Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)
Sonic2 title.png

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