Special Stage (Sonic Heroes)
From Sonic Retro
|Special level, Sonic Heroes|
|Number of Acts: 7|
Like many Sonic games, Sonic Heroes has its own Special Stage. They can be accessed after obtaining a Special Stage Key and completing the stage with it. The player must avoid damage or else the key will be lost. Heroes was notable as the first post-Sonic Adventure 3D game to have Special Stages.
The Bonus Challenge, very similar to a Bonus Stage, can be played when the player obtains the Special Stage Key in any one of the seven first Act stages: Seaside Hill, Grand Metropolis, Casino Park, Rail Canyon, Frog Forest, Hang Castle, and Egg Fleet.
The object of the Bonus Challenge is to collect the multicolored Spheres to gain power to initiate the Power Dash to get to the end of the stage. The Power Dash Meter is divided into three sections. After filling it to the second section, a button sign will flash letting the player know when to use the Power Dash by pressing and holding (GCN)/ (Xbox)/ (PS2). Spheres will also give the player extra stage time. A higher score can be obtained if links are created. It's zero points if 2-9 Spheres are linked. After 10, the points increase by 60.
There are three kinds of Spheres found in the Special Stage:
|Normal Spheres: The most common type of Sphere, which comes in multiple colours.|
|Score Spheres: Awards larger quantities of points when collected.|
|Power Spheres: Awards twice as much dash power than other Spheres.|
|Bombs: These are traps. Hitting them will not only slow the player down, but take away some power in the Power Gauge.|
At some point in the stage, the player will be met by a Neutral Chao and a Dark Chao riding in a Chao Balloon. The Speed character is the only character that can be used for this part. The Chao will either throw out Score Spheres, Power Spheres, or Bombs at random.
In the last three Special Stages, there is a section that only involves the Fly character, although it is completely optional. The team will hang from a pulley and must swing left and right to collect Power Spheres.
Each Special Stage becomes more difficult with each level, with the first Special Stage being the easiest and the last Special Stage being the hardest. An extra life is awarded for every 10,000 points scored, up to a maximum of 50,000 (ie. A score of 60,000 will still only award 5 lives).
The Emerald Challenge can be played when the player obtains the Special Stage Key in any of the seven second Act stages (Ocean Palace, Power Plant, BINGO Highway, Bullet Station, Lost Jungle, Mystic Mansion, and Final Fortress).
The rules are pretty much the same as the Bonus Challenge. Only this time, the player is racing to catch a Chaos Emerald. These stages are crucial for completing the game. Neither the Chao Balloon nor the pulley appear in these stages. Formation Change Gates are also removed. About over halfway through the stage, lines of many Power Spheres will appear to help the player catch up to the Emerald if it has gotten a huge lead, usually in sections that featured the Chao Balloon or pulley.
It is largely recommended that Team Rose should be used in the Emerald Challenge because of their simple and short Action Stages. It is much easier for them to keep a Special Stage Key than any other team.
The Special Stage can also be played via the Special Stage Race mode in 2P Play, requiring 40 Emblems to be collected in order to unlock it.
The rules of Special Stage Race are the same as those used for the Emerald Challenge, except two players must race each other for the Chaos Emerald. The first team to reach the Emerald is declared the winner. If the Emerald reaches the end of the stage first, then the team who was closest to the Emerald is declared the winner. There are three Special Stages available to choose from for this mode.
The Special Stage is used as part of the Dream Bobsleigh event in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games that takes place at the Nocturnus Gate. Though, the stage also uses some elements from Mario Kart Wii's Koopa Cape circuit. Players must use the Power Spheres to make their bobsleigh increase in speed. If attacked or if an obstacle is hit, the bobsleigh's speed gets set back to the default.