Sunday, 22 May 2016

STAGE SUNDAY: Sonic 3 & Knuckles - Ice Cap Zone, Act 1

Hello!

Yes, I'm not dead, I was just away for a while, doing assignments and homework. And playing Rollercoaster Tycoon 2.

But that's not what I'm here to talk about today. Last Stage Sunday, we took a short look at a dark, spooky place from Ocarina of Time, and at the end, I mentioned that the next one will be a snowy level from a game split into two. And here it is!
All the cool kids are snowboarding down hills.
This level is fast-paced, like a Sonic level should be, although there are one or two bits where you have to wait around, but then again, a lot of classic Sonic stages do that. The stage begins with Sonic snowboarding down a large hill before colliding with a wall at the end of the slope and falling into a cave (or, in the Knuckles route, you simply enter the main cave from a tunnel). From there, it's pretty standard Sonic stuff, until about halfway through, where there's a large chunk of ice that slides infinitely downwards until you jump off at the right spot. Then, it's more standard platforming, until you reach the boss, which is Big Icedus, a spherical contraption with ice chunks orbiting it.
The three dots near the top of Big Icedus make it look like a fat, robot Shy Guy.
Then, the stage ends. Something interesting to note is that if you touch the checkpoint before Big Icedus, die, and continue the level, the game starts playing Act 2's music instead of Act 1. This is due to the game loading all the necessary assets for the exterior section of Ice Cap, and Act 2 mostly takes place on the exterior.

Ice Cap also made an appearance as a Sonic Drift 2 stage and more notably in Sonic Adventure, where snowboarding was also involved.

I don't have many noteworthy experiences with this zone in particular, but I will mention that the PC version (yes, there was a PC version of S3&K) changed the music for a few zones in the game, including this one, due to some controversy surrounding the music and Michael Jackson.

That's about it from me about this level, but don't forget to check back for more Stage Sundays, and more posts in general. The next Stage Sunday will be a trippy, confusing place from an SNES RPG.

Goodbye, and stay tuned for more!

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