Toxic Caves

From Sonic Retro

Sonic Retro emblem.svg Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball
Toxic Caves
Toxic Caves
First level, Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball
Location: Mt. Mobius
Level theme: underground/cave
Boss: Scorpius
Maximum rings: 58
Non-English names:
Lava Powerhouse
For the 8-bit version, see Toxic Pools.

Toxic Caves is the first level of Sonic Spinball for the Sega Mega Drive, leading on to Lava Powerhouse. As with other stages in this game, Sonic must bounce through the pinball-like level, acquiring Chaos Emeralds which are in turn used to access the boss, Scorpius. In this stage, there are three Emeralds to find.


Sonic the Hedgehog floating in a toxic waste canister.

Toxic Caves is a disgusting, slimy dungeon, filled to the brim (literally) with horrible green ooze which is lethal to touch. The level encompasses the half-submerged caves at the foot of Mt. Mobius, where Sonic washes up after being blasted off the Tornado during his and Tails's approach to the Veg-O-Fortress. In keeping with Dr. Robotnik's general ethos regarding environmentalism, the doctor is using the caves as a dumping ground for kilotonnes of radioactive slurry produced by the Fortress' cruel industry. Rusted sewer pipes snake through rocks dripping with florescent green pollution, and what slightly clean waters remain below are patrolled by an immense robotic sea-serpent.

Toxic Caves consists of two mini-tables along with a larger table that Sonic starts off in. To proceed further up the level, Sonic must shoot his way up and hit the targets by the first Chaos Emerald to drain the slime. Once that is done, the player can enter the pipes leading up to the higher tables which have the deadly slime at the bottom. In-between the flippers are steel drums that Sonic can use as a makeshift boat to reach the Emerald that was in the slime. If the drum is not there, the player can catch Sonic with the flippers to summon it. Once all the Chaos Emeralds have been collected, the drums will start moving left and right on their own, making them harder to land in. To progress further on upward, the player needs to destroy the barrels or perform three Worm Loops.

Sandwiched in-between these tables is a network of railways with a minecart, which Sonic will be dumped into when attempting to enter Scorpius' room without all the Chaos Emeralds. The minecart will take Sonic to the remaining two Emeralds, but the player will need to flip the switches on the sides in order for the minecart to continue. The player can also use the flippers to switch rails, but doing it too much will stop the minecart. When both Emeralds have been obtained, the minecart disappears.

The background art in this level was repurposed from the foreground for Hidden Palace Zone, the infamous cut level from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Both levels were designed by Craig Stitt.


Explore the super polluted caverns of the Veg-O-Fortress, where Dr. Robotnik dumps industrial waste. A wrong move here could mean being smothered in green slime, or - worse yet - chomped by a Rexxon!

Bash into barrels of waste, Cluckbirds, and Magma Worms. Getting one of the Emeralds could be draining. A Robotnik-faced killer bug named Scorpius bosses this level. Go for his stinger first!

Sonic Spinball US manualMedia:SonicSpinball MD US manual.pdf[3]


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Magma Worm — Robotic worm that pops out from the walls.
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Cluckbird — Bird Badnik that appears when dropping into return lanes.
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Rexxon — A ferocious, robotic monster that patrols the waters at the bottom.


Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball (16-bit)
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