Sky Sanctuary Zone

From Sonic Retro

Sonic Retro emblem.svg Sonic & Knuckles
Sky Sanctuary Zone
"Sky Sanctuary" redirects here. For the Sonic Generations level, see Sky Sanctuary (Sonic Generations).
  • Act 1
  • Act 2
Sky Sanctuary Zone
Sixth Zone, Sonic & Knuckles
Number of Acts: 2 (The first for Sonic, the second for Knuckles)
Location: Above/in front of Angel Island
Level themes: ancient ruins, sky
Boss: Mecha Sonic
Maximum rings, Act 1: 179 + 80
Maximum rings, Act 2: 3 + 0
Non-English names:
Hidden Palace Zone | Death Egg Zone

Sky Sanctuary Zone is the sixth Zone of Sonic & Knuckles (the twelfth Zone of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles). It is the penultimate Zone for Sonic and Tails, containing three bosses, and the last for Knuckles, who has one to fight against (two phases of the same boss).

The Zone itself is a collection of floating ruins suspended in the sky above Angel Island, and is a sacred ground which is forbidden to all but Knuckles.[4]


Sonic and Tails' level (technically Act 1) has a very complex design that goes upwards and contains several Eggrobos, big spinning platforms, crumbling bridges and pillars, Warp Points, and clouds on which the player can bounce off. Sonic and Tails enter from a Warp Point found deep in Hidden Palace Zone and observe the Death Egg taking off into the stratosphere and releasing many Eggrobos throughout the Zone before Knuckles activates a bridge. On their way up the Sanctuary, they have to face Mecha Sonic, who's riding Dr. Eggman's Egg Mobile and using the Doctor's old tricks to stop them. They eventually face Mecha Sonic himself at the end of the level, and after defeating the robotic hedgehog (though not destroying him) the Sky Sanctuary will begin to fall apart. The heroes have no choice but to escape as fast as possible from there, and they finally jump into the Death Egg.

As for Knuckles' level (technically Act 2), there seems to be only one platform left after the destruction of the flying temple; it's short, straight and it has no enemies or gimmicks. Knuckles enters from a different Warp Point, also from the Hidden Palace, and as soon as he gets to the Sanctuary he is grabbed by the Egg Mobile (this time driven by the lone Eggrobo faced throughout the echidna's story) and taken to the boss, Mecha Sonic, who was not completely destroyed in Sonic/Tails' story and has somehow acquired the Master Emerald. Sky Sanctuary is apparently destroyed at the end of Knuckles' playthrough, with the explosion of Mecha Sonic consuming the floating ruins entirely.

Sky Sanctuary is apparently supposed to hover at relatively the same height of Angel Island. As revealed by the good ending for Knuckles, Angel Island floats high above where Sky Sanctuary was. It is possible that the reason for this is Eggman's crash landing on Angel Island somehow affected Sky Sanctuary's height as well. This would make sense as in Knuckles' final boss features the Master Emerald on Sky Sanctuary's remains but Angel Island is still (barely) floating. This could mean that through Angel Island, the Master Emerald originally kept both Angel Island and Sky Sanctuary at a stable and similar height.


Take the battle to the clouds when Sonic fights Robotnik's Badniks on the floating ruins of an ancient time!

Sonic & Knuckles US manualMedia:S&K MD US SonicJam manual.pdf[5]

From here on out, it's the holy territory that is forbidden to all but Knuckles. Hidden Palace is where the Master Emerald is stored, and Sky Palace is the sacred precinct in the sky above Angel Island where no one is allowed to enter. I'm digressing, but scaling of the Eggrobos emerging from the center is managed internally by the software.

Takashi IizukaSonic Jam Official Guide[6]


Eggrobo — A robot with a laser pistol that resembles Dr. Eggman.


S2 cucky.gif
S2 pocky.gif

Hidden gimmicks

The hidden Easter egg in action.

When playing as Sonic/Tails in their version of the Zone, Knuckles will remain tired and gasping for breath after he has jumped across onto the button that extends the bridge. However, if the player positions Sonic/Tails on the right side of Knuckles, and ducks by pressing Down on the D-Pad, Knuckles will begin pointing right as if telling the player to continue without him.

Other game appearances

Sonic Generations

A reimagined Sky Sanctuary appears in Sonic Generations, representing Sonic 3 & Knuckles in the Classic Era of the game. Bouncy clouds, Eggrobos, teleporting beams and temples above the skies return with breathtaking views and gimmicks from other past stages, such as the floating spinning-tops from Marble Garden Zone.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Angel Island's overhead sanctuaries are the setting for one of the racing circuits in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, known as Sanctuary Falls. The course features both an aerial segment based on passing between temple columns and a land segment set in the sanctuary's interior.

Sonic Runners Adventure

Sky Sanctuary is the setting for the final 11 stages in the game's story, ranging from 37 (Sweet Home) to 48 (The Last Refuge).

Sonic Forces: Speed Battle

Sky Sanctuary appears in this game as one of 3 stage themes, with the same aesthetics of previous versions. During the Christmas event, Sky Sanctuary acquires a night-time style similar to that seen in Sonic Generations.

In other media

Sonic the Comic

Sky Sanctuary falling apart, as seen in Sonic the Comic #50.

In the Sonic the Comic series, Sky Sanctuary Zone was visited by Sonic and Knuckles as they pursued the Death Egg. Held aloft by the power of the Chaos Emeralds, these floating ruins served as the battleground for the battle against Metallix, who has stolen the Master Emerald and has used it to power up, taking out Knuckles. Sonic then used the Master Emerald himself to become Super Sonic and destroy the Metallix. While Super Sonic was beating up Knuckles, Grimer beamed the Master Emerald up to the Death Egg, causing Sky Sanctuary to fall apart, with the heroes making their way up the ruins' tallest pillar.

Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie comics)

In Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, Sky Sanctuary was used as the location of a memorial shrine for Knuckles after his death at the hands of Mammoth Mogul. The echidna would come back to life during the Xorda's attack on Mobius, though Remington believed that he was an impostor until he and members of the Echidna Security Team checked his shrine and found it was empty.


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