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Special Stage Key

From Sonic Retro

The Special Stage KeyMedia:SonicHeroes GC US manual.pdf[1] (スペシャルステージキー)Media:SonicHeroes PS2 JP manual.pdf[2], also known as the Special KeyMedia:SonicAdvance3 GBA US manual.pdf[3] (スペシャルキー)Media:SonicAdvance3 WiiUVC manual.pdf[4], is a collectible item that appears in Sonic Heroes and Sonic Advance 3. This item allows entry to a Special Stage when collected.

Game appearances

Sonic Heroes

Throughout Sonic Heroes, Special Stage Keys are found within cages that are placed in several locations in each level. Once the player has collected a key, they must bring it to the end of a level without letting the leader drop their Rings from damage or lose a life (such as by falling into a bottomless pit), otherwise they will lose the key and will have to find another one. If the leader has a Shield, they will not lose the key if they take damage. If the player successfully brings a Special Stage Key to the Goal Ring, they will warp to the Special Stage.

In Super Hard Mode, all Special Stage Keys are replaced with Power Cores.

Sonic Advance 3

A Special Key in Sonic Advance 3.

In Sonic Advance 3, the key is referred to as the Special Key. In order to find a Special Key, the player must find all ten Chao hidden in a Zone. Once that is done, the player will be able to find the Special Key for that Zone in any of its Acts. Upon finding a Special Key, the player must then finish the Act in order to keep the key, then they can use it to unlock the Special Spring in the corresponding Zone's hub to access the Special Stage. Once a Special Key has been used, it disappears, and the player can retry the Special Stage as many times as they have keys remaining. If they have no Special Keys left, they will have to replay an Act to find another one.

In the EU prototype, the player doesn't need to finish an Act to keep a Special Key; the player could just exit the Act via the pause menu and they will keep the key.

References

Items in the Sonic the Hedgehog Game Series
Collectibles   Ring | Special Ring | Red Star Ring | Silver Moon Ring | Emblem | Chaos Drives | Special Stage Key | Material
Power-ups   Shield (Water, Lightning, Fire, Gold) | Invincibility | Power Sneakers | Rocket Shoes | Propeller Shoes | Eggman Mark | Combine Ring | Forcejewel | Power Core | Light Cores | Special Combination
Level Objects   Monitor | Spring | Spikes | Checkpoint | Time Warp Plate | Signpost | Goal Ring | Giant Ring | Capsule | Button | Bumper | Speed Booster | Air bubbles | Chao container | Item Panel
Powerful Items   Chaos Emeralds | Super Emeralds | Master Emerald | Time Stones | Chaos Rings | Precioustone | Sol Emeralds | Jeweled Scepter | World Rings | Excalibur | Phantom Ruby
Weapons   Piko Piko Hammer | Chaos Energy Cannon | Caliburn | Wispon
Devices   Remote Robot | Combi Confiner | Mother Computer | Nega's Camera | Arks of the Cosmos | Miles Electric
Other   Chili Dog | Speed Down Boots | Scepter of Darkness | Cacophonic Conch