Special Stage (Sonic the Hedgehog CD)

From Sonic Retro

Sonic Retro emblem.svg Sonic the Hedgehog CD
Special Stage
SCD special.png
Special Stage
Special round, Sonic the Hedgehog CD
Number of Acts: 8 (including a hidden one)

The Special Stages in Sonic CD are slightly different from most others in the series, although they are accessed in the same manner of those in Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit): by collecting at least 50 Rings and jumping into the Giant Ring that subsequently appears behind the end-of-stage signpost. In each of these stages, Sonic must attempt to collect one of the seven Time Stones (Sonic CD's equivalent of most other series games' Chaos Emeralds).


These Special Stages use a pseudo Mode 7 effect, and parallax backgrounds. Rather than collect a certain amount of Rings or items, Sonic must destroy all of the UFOs flying around in the sky. Sonic is constantly moving forward, so the player must control him by using Left and Right to steer, and press any of the face buttons to make him jump. Each stage has a time limit, from which touching the water will remove 10 seconds, and even more time will be taken away for continuing to run in the water. When only 20 seconds remain on the timer, a blue UFO will appear; if Sonic can destroy it, 30 seconds will be added to the timer.

Once all UFOs are destroyed within the given time limit, Sonic will receive a Time Stone. If all of the seven Time Stones are acquired by the end of the game, all Futures automatically become Good, and as such the player will have achieved the good ending on completing the game. (The good ending can also be achieved by destroying Dr. Eggman's robot transporters in the past of each regular stage.)

Promotional art for the Yuusei Sega World event was used as the basis for the fourth special stage's background.[1]

Time Attack mode

Sonic CD also features a Time Attack mode for Special Stages. To unlock it, the player should simply get a low enough total time in the normal Time Attack, then hit Left on the Time Attack screen. In Time Attack mode, the timer counts up, there is no time limit, and touching water has no effect. Complete each stage fast enough to get the top spot!

In the 2011 remaster, achieving a low-enough total time for the Special Stages will unlock the Sound Test and Stage Select in the Extras menu.


SonicCD MCD Sprite SpecialStageObjects.png
Chopper BlockMedia:SonicCD MCD US manual.pdf[2]/Damage block (ダメージブロック)Media:SonicCD MCD JP manual.pdf[3]: Cause Sonic to fall over and lose rings.
SonicCD MCD Sprite SpecialStageObjects.png
Fan BlockMedia:SonicCD MCD US manual.pdf[2]/Senpuuki Block (扇風機ブロック)Media:SonicCD MCD JP manual.pdf[3]: Send Sonic spinning into the air.
SonicCD MCD Sprite SpecialStageObjects.png
Spring BlockMedia:SonicCD MCD US manual.pdf[2] (スプリングブロック)Media:SonicCD MCD JP manual.pdf[3]: Send Sonic higher into the air.
SonicCD MCD Sprite SpecialStageObjects.png
Dash ZoneMedia:SonicCD MCD US manual.pdf[2] (ダッシュゾーン)Media:SonicCD MCD JP manual.pdf[3]: Cause Sonic to speed forward in the given direction.
SonicCD MCD Sprite SpecialStageObjects.png
Mini Dash Zone (ミニダッシュゾーン)Media:SonicCD MCD JP manual.pdf[3]: Smaller versions of the above. The English manuals don't make a distinction between the two.
SonicCD MCD Sprite SpecialStageObjects.png
SonicCD MCD Sprite SpecialStageObjects.png
BumpersMedia:SonicCD MCD US manual.pdf[2]: Cause Sonic to bonuce - the closest the Special Stages get to solid walls.
SonicCD MCD Sprite SpecialStageObjects.png
WaterMedia:SonicCD MCD US manual.pdf[2]: Causes the timer to decrease rapidly.


Three items are available in the Special Stage, each of which are hidden inside UFOs:

SonicCD MCD Sprite SpecialStageItems.png
Super RingMedia:SonicCD MCD US manual.pdf[4]/Special Ring (スペシャルリング)Media:SonicCD MCD JP manual.pdf[5]: Gives the player 20 Rings, or a multiple of 20 Rings if the player hits more than one Ring UFO in succession. (Identified by yellow stripes.)
SonicCD MCD Sprite SpecialStageItems.png
SneakersMedia:SonicCD MCD US manual.pdf[4]/Speed Up (スピードアップ)Media:SonicCD MCD JP manual.pdf[5]: Makes Sonic run faster. (Identified by white stripes.)
SonicCD MCD Sprite SpecialStageItems.png
Time BonusMedia:SonicCD MCD US manual.pdf[4]/Time Up (タイムアップ)Media:SonicCD MCD JP manual.pdf[5]: Extends the time limit by 30 seconds. This is only available in a blue UFO that appears in the center of the stage once the time limit drops below 20 seconds, and is not available in Time Attack mode.

List of Special Stages

Stage Screenshot Time Stone
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SonicCD MCD Sprite TimeStones.png
SonicCD MCD Sprite TimeStones.png
SonicCD MCD Sprite TimeStones.png
SonicCD MCD Sprite TimeStones.png
SonicCD MCD Sprite TimeStones.png
SonicCD MCD Sprite TimeStones.png
SonicCD MCD Sprite TimeStones.png


Sonic the Hedgehog CD
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Main page (2011)
Comparisons (2011)

Promotional material
Magazine articles
Video coverage

Hidden content (2011)
Hacking guide