The Special Stage in Sonic Advance 2 is a 3D arena filled with Rings. To access it, the player must collect all 7 Special Rings in either Act of a Zone, then reach the end of the Act.
The player controls their character in a 3D Mode 7-style environment. To move their character, the player has to press to move forward, or to steer, to screech to a halt, and to Spin Jump. The objective is to collect 300 Rings in 2 minutes. However, trying to get every single Ring in the Special Stages within such a time limit is very difficult to do and therefore not recommended, but if Rings are collected in a fast succession, the value of each collected Ring will gradually increase, rising to double, triple, quadruple, and even quintuple the value of each Ring, up to a maximum multiplier of x9. This multiplier increase is only temporary, as it will reset back to x1 if the player goes for too long without picking up a Ring. It is up to the player to work out the best route within the Special Stage to quickly and efficiently reach the quota.
The Special Stage presents danger to the player in the form of ZERO from Sonic Adventure, who is referred to in this game as "Dr. Eggman's Guard Robot". The Guard Robot will relentlessly pursue the player throughout the Special Stage, and if it catches up to the player, they will lose 10 Rings. If the player is caught by the robot when they have no Rings, the Special Stage will immediately end in failure. The player can ward off the robot by knocking it down with a Spin Jump, but they will not be able to destroy it. At all times, an arrow will appear around the player's character that indicates the direction and proximity of the Guard Robot; green means it's far away, yellow means it's close, and red means it's dangerously close.
When time runs out, the Special Stage ends. If the player has met the 300-Ring quota by the time it ends, they will be awarded a Chaos Emerald. Collecting all seven Chaos Emeralds with Sonic is one of the requirements for accessing True Area 53, but doing it with each character will unlock bonus features.
|Ring: The player needs to collect 300 of these within 2 minutes to clear each Special Stage.
|Extra Ring (エクストラリング): These little pods are worth 5 Rings each.
|Speed Boost / Speed Up (スピードアップ): Step on this for a burst of speed.
|Trampoline / Jump Dai (ジャンプ台): Step on this to be catapulted into the air.
|Dr. Eggman's Guard Robot / Guard Robo (ガードロボ): Chases the player around the arena, and must be avoided at all costs.
List of Special Stages