Sonic The Hedgehog 3 and Knuckles

DeveloperSonic Team
JP ReleaseFeb 2, 1994
US ReleaseFeb 2 1994
EU ReleaseMay 27, 1994
Platform(s) Sega Genesis/Mega Drive
Characters Sonic, Tails, Knuckles


Even though called Sonic 3 this is the fourth installment in his series of Sega Genesis games. This game was released on February 2, 1994, "Hedgehog" Day. The zones in this game may only be 2 acts, but the acts were twice as big as the ones in Sonic 2. Therefore there was a lot more to discover in this game. Just realize that if you're locking on Sonic and Knuckles you'll be heading over ground not mentioned in here sometimes. Doctor Robotnik has returned but this time he's not alone....this time he's brought Knuckles The Echidna and rebuilt his greatest invention - The Death Egg!!! Enjoy!


Whatever happened to the Death Egg after Sonic 2? After getting knocked out of the sky along with his entire Death Egg ship, Dr. Robotnik crash-landed on a mysterious Floating Island where he quickly meets Knuckles the Echidna, last of a lost civilization and guardian of the Floating Island - as well as a giant emerald better known as the mysterious "Master Emerald". The Eggman dupes Knuckles into thinking that Sonic and Tails are the bad guys, and learns that a giant Master Emerald keeps the island afloat. If he could get this Master Emerald, there would be no need for regular chaos emeralds as he would have a new source of Death Egg fuel - Forever! And while Knuckles is doing the rounds with Sonic and Tails, the Doc should have plenty of time to repair his Death Egg, as well as search for this Master Emerald.....

After knocking Robotnik's recently re-launched Death Egg back outta the sky before it even left the atmosphere, the explosion sent Sonic and Tails back down onto Floating Island. They landed deep in the Mushroom Hills, while the Death Egg crash-landed on the top of Floating Island's largest volcano. Now there is no choice: Robotnik needs the Master Emerald to get his Death Egg back up and running, and Sonic knows it.

While Sonic and Tails are off galavanting around the Floating Island, someone else is busy making sure they don't get thier hands on the master Emerald - his name is Knuckles and right now he doesn't realise he's being duped by Doctor Robotnik! Knuckles, a bit peeved with all the trouble by this point, decides it's time to stop taking names and start handing out punishments. Little does he know that even though he won't be battling Robotnik - he'll face a foe just as deadly! Follow Knux as he makes Sonic's life a living pain as youre introduced to the secret passages on the Isle unnaccessible by Sonic as well as later on chasing the mysterious "Eggbot" that is trying to do away with you....

Now it's a mad three-sided race to the Master Emerald, and there can only be one victor....

Box Art (Sonic 3)

North America



Box Art (Sonic & Knuckles)

North America




The Floating Island - Main Zones

  • Angel Island Zone
  • Hydrocity Zone
  • Marble Garden Zone
  • Carnival Night Zone
  • Ice Cap Zone
  • Launch Base Zone
  • Mushroom Hill Zone (Original Name - Mushroom Valley Zone)
  • Flying Battery Zone
  • Sandopolis Zone
  • Lava Reef Zone
  • Hidden Palace Zone
  • Sky Sanctuary Zone
  • Death Egg Zone
  • Doomsday Zone
  • The Floating Island - Special & Bonus Zones

  • Special Zone
  • Glowing Spheres Special Stage
  • Slot Machine Bonus Stage
  • Gumball Machine Bonus Stage
  • The Floating Island - Time Attack Zones
  • Azure Lake Zone - Time Attack
  • Balloon Park Zone - Time Attack
  • Chrome Gadget Zone - Time Attack
  • Desert Palace Zone - Time Attack
  • Endless Mine Zone - Time Attack
  • Lock-On Technology

    Released on October 14, 1994, Sonic and Knuckles was a revolutionary game because it was the first (and only game so far) containing Lock On Technology, which gave it the ability to hook up to other games. In this case, you could plug Sonic 2 or 3 into the top of the Sonic and Knuckles cartridge to play as Knuckles in those games. It boosted Sonic 3 even farther, Knuckles traveled over new ground in some zones and now there were 14 emeralds. Because of there being 14, you could now access Hyper Sonic, Hyper Knuckles, and Super Tails. You can also stick Sonic and Knuckles in the Genesis and play it on its own. The zones are about the same size as the ones in Sonic 3, and most of them have 2 acts. Some only have 1. Like Sonic 3, there is a boss in every act, except for Hidden Palace Zone.

    Knux isn't available in these two games - BUT GET THIS remember the special stages in Sonic 3? Well it seems that Sonic Team added a little secret - when certain codes are programmed into Sonic and Knux when attached to these two games you get a SLEW of special stages - in count there are possibly over 32,000 bonus rounds available for play seeing as how they take up little space to program!!!! To play the bonus rounds at any time, insert any game into your Sonic & Knuckles cartridge along with said cartridge - Sonic 1 or Sonic Spinball. (***NOTE*** - Only one bonus game is available with Sonic Spinball but its a doozy!!!!!!! ) When the "No Way" message appears, hold A + B + C and press Start. If you do this with the original Sonic game you can play the levels in order and will be given a password to save your progress. And heres one thing - they get harder and harder and harder the further you go - I specifically remember one where you have to do nearly 95% of the board backwards!!!!

    Note: In case you're wondering, I've left out the passwords deliberately. Like I said - there are possibly over 32,000 playable bonus levels encoded in Sonic & Knuckles. I can't possibly list them all on the page, nor is there much point to doing so since the levels are nearly identical even though they get harder and harder and harder. Thank you.

    You've met Knux in Sonic 3 but what if he was in Sonic 2? Could he handle being in Sonic's shoes on what is considered one of Sonic's greatest games? Thats the premise of Sonic 2 and Knuckles as Knux takes on the levels of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 !!!

    Basically there isnt much of anything different here except your piloting Knux through the levels instead of Sonic - however that doesnt mean you wont have problems. Knux can't jump near as high as Sonic so this makes it quite harder than before! MOST notably when you get to the Death Egg Zone. So for reasonably obvious purposes you can find the walkthrough of Death Egg located here and on the Sonic and Knuckles page.

    Death Egg Zone - Knuckles Only

    This is the ONLY way to beat Robotnik in his super suit using Knuckles - His jumping ability is not good AND time is NOT on your side so this is MUCH harder. Go to the 4th or 5th window from the left when the cross-hairs are on you. When he's ready to slam down, spindash to the right. He will land and try to shoot his arms at you, but they won't reach. He will fly back up, and do it again. Go back to the same place. When the cross-hairs are locked on, walk away to the right side. He will land and the top of the suit will come down. Hit him in the chest when it comes all the way down. Remember only attack Robotnik every other time he lands. After you've beaten him, sit back and watch the Death Egg explode and then the ending of Sonic 2.

    Level Select

    Level Select / Sound Test (Sonic 3 & Knuckles, or Sonic & Knuckles Alone)

    Start Mushroom Hill or Angel Island. For Angel Island grab a vine - For Mushroom Hill grab a Pull-Up machine. (An easy one to find is in Sonic and Tails' version of Act 1. It's just after the box with the power sneakers and the Madmole.) Hang from the vine/machine and press left left left, right right right, up up up. You should hear a ring sound. Pause the game and press A to reset to the title screen.

    Construction / Debug Mode (Sonic 3 & Knuckles)
    To activate Debug, siply do the Level Select code in both Angel Island and Mushroom Hill.
    Debug is not quite the same as it was in the previous Sonic games. You still press B to use Debug, A to place items, and C to cycle between items. However, when Debug isn't being use, the game timer is not messed up, and pressing A will cause gravity to reverse like it does in Death Egg Zone Act 2.

    Level Select / Sound Test (Sonic 3)
    When the Sega logo comes up, just after the "Sega" theme is sung and the screen begins to turn black, quickly press: Up, Up, Down, Down, Up, Up, Up, Up to the beat of the drums. You should hear a ring chime if you did it correctly. A new Sound Test option should appear at the title screen.
    The Flying Battery, Mushroom Hill, and Sandopolis Zones are visible on the Level Select screen, but can't be played without Lock-On. Those levels were originally intended for Sonic 3, but were pulled in order to release the game on time.

    Construction / Debug Mode (Sonic 3)
    Enter the Level Select code, then press A + Start to choose your starting level. Once the action starts, press B to change into an item, A to cycle between the available items, and C to place an item.
    Alternatively, turn on the Genesis and press Up, Up, Down, Down, Up, Up Up before Sonic gets fully on screen.

    Sonic 2 -> Sonic 3 Cheat (Sonic 3 - duh)
    If you can't do the super-tough Level Select code for Sonic 3, there is an alternative.
    (WARNING: I'm not sure if this code is healthy for your Genesis or not, but it is not representative of recommended use, so I strongly recommend that you do not use it. Keep trying the regular Level Select code, or just do themuch easier Sonic 3 & Knuckles Level Select instead.)
    Insert Sonic 2 and enter the Sonic 2 Level Select (play sounds 19, 65, 09, and 17). Return to the title screen, hold A and press Start. To transfer this to Sonic 3, hold A and carefully remove the cartridge without turning off the Genesis. Insert Sonic 3 and press Reset. Finally, release A and press Down twice at the main menu.