Sky Base Zone is the sixth and final Zone in the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog. As with other Zones in this game, this Zone consists of two standard Acts followed by a shorter third Act which contains the Zone's boss. The unusual feature here is that the first two distinct Acts have completely different backgrounds and level designs.
At the end of the previous Zone, Dr. Eggman fled to an airship hidden in the smog clouds of Scrap Brain Zone. Sonic, obviously, pursues. Sky Base Act 1 sees the heroic hedgehog navigate his way through the exposed gantries and electric fields of the airship anchorage above Scrap Brain, speeding to catch the fat man's massive escape vessel before it departs. The electric fields will activate on set intervals, making the sky flash when they are fully active. This hazard would later be reused in Sonic the Hedgehog CD's Wacky Workbench.
In Act 2, Sonic must brave the fearsome defenses on board the zeppelin itself; cannons, propeller blades, and of course the ever-present threat of falling thousands of feet to hedgehog-y oblivion. This level sets itself apart from other second Acts in the game in that there are no Rings, meaning every mistake is fatal.
There is no Sky Base Zone in the 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog, but the design of the first Act is similar to Star Light Zone in the Mega Drive game. The premise of the second Act, meanwhile, is similar to that of Wing Fortress Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Mega Drive.
||Eggman sets-off into the smog in the sky. What in the world is in there? Sonic boldly leaps into the thundering clouds.!
— Sonic the Hedgehog JP Game Gear manual (translation by Vertekins)
||Fend off deadly laser beams and lethal missile shots. Now you've reached Dr. Robotnik's hideout — the blimp. Face him and erase him!
— Sonic the Hedgehog US Game Gear manual
||Orbinaut — Simple sphere bots that are protected by four, orbiting spiked balls.
||Bomb — Mindless kamikaze bomb bots that walk back and forth along a short plane.
Special item locations
The following are the locations of the Chaos Emerald and 1-Up monitors in each Act. Detailed maps featuring the locations of these items can be found here.
The Chaos Emerald for this Zone is located in Act 2. From the start, carefully jump from the left onto a floating platform, and ride all the platforms to the front of the zeppelin, where the final Emerald awaits. The Game Gear version makes this more difficult by adding extra cannons.
- Act 1: In the Master System version, the 1-Up is located on the lower paths shortly after passing the Shield monitor. In the Game Gear version, the 1-Up is located at the platform rides near the end of the Act.
- Act 2: The 1-Up is located en-route to the Chaos Emerald described above. Upon reaching the second floating platform, jump up the ladder to reach the 1-Up.
- Act 3: Placed right in front of Sonic at the beginning. However, this monitor will only appear if the player has broken every other 1-Up monitor in the game (Special Stage 1-Up monitors don't count).