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Sonic & Knuckles
Flying Battery Zone

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Go flying on Robotnik's warship. Watch where you step - sneaky traps are everywhere!


— United States instruction booklet, Sonic & Knuckles[1]

Flying Battery Zone[1] (フライングバッテリー ゾーン[2] Furaingubatterī Zōn?) is the second Zone of Sonic & Knuckles, and the eighth of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. It is Dr. Robotnik's airship, filled with Badniks and traps.

Description

Overall, Flying Battery Zone is a massive airship that is heavily fortified with traps.[2] In Act 1, the local platforms are made of light gray metal with darker scar-like spots on them, and are covered in orange metal. There are also dark purple walls with lavender lines covering various sections of the blimp. Outside, a clean, light blue sky with large clouds within it is shown.

In Act 2, Flying Battery Zone looks mostly like it did in Act 1, except that the inside of the vessel features various sets of large Capsules, and the platforms are now light gray metal-pinkish metal with a few machines on them.

Story

After defeating Dr. Robotnik in Mushroom Hill Zone, Sonic and/or Tails find Flying Battery Zone passing by, which they board on as it leaves. There, they overcome the various traps and Badniks present, including a Gapsule. Eventually, they enter a room where Robotnik tries to destroy them with the Laser Prison, only to end up damaging the airship in the process, causing it to slowly fall. After ending up on a platform on which they are safe, Sonic and Tails are attacked by Robotnik once again, this time with the Egg Hanger. Regardless, the duo defeats him, and subsequently break through a door on the Flying Battery, through which they plummet down into Sandopolis Zone.

Some time after, Knuckles infiltrates Flying Battery Zone when he finds the airship passing by in Mushroom Hill Zone. There, he overcomes the various obstacles present, and eventually encounters an Eggrobo, who traps him in a room with the Laser Prison. However, it ends up damaging the Flying Battery in the process, causing it to fall. Soon after, Knuckles has a fight against Robotnik himself (Eggrobo in Sonic Origins) and his Egg Hanger. After defeating it, Knuckles breaks through a door on the Flying Battery and falls down to Sandopolis Zone.

Gameplay

Both Acts of Flying Battery Zone are mostly linear and closed in terms of level design, with few alternate routes to take. Most of the Zone takes place inside of the airship, with few sections at the top and bottom taking place outdoors. Notably, the Zone features different-looking spikes, although they behave the same. Some of these spikes can be pushed by the player to drop down into secret areas. There are also hangers which the player can grab onto and move along by pressing Controlpadds.png left/right. Some of these hangers can also pull the playable character either upwards or downwards.

The outdoors sections on the top of Flying Battery Zone Act 1 typically feature rocket launchers that the player can avoid rather easily. At the end of these sections, the player must wait for four rockets to fall so that they can blow a hole in the floor and allow them to continue. Near the start of Act 1, there are also poles that the player can grab onto and press the jump button on to be sent flying sideways with a lot of speed. However, these poles have propellers attached to them which can harm the playable character if they touch them.

The bottom sections of Flying Battery Zone that takes place outdoors consist of platforming. While they are short and rare, they are notable for being very dangerous and risky, as the player can fall into bottomless pits rather easily.

A very common obstacle in Flying Battery Zone includes a landmine, which will explode when the player steps on it. These obstacles are usually not very dangerous and their explosions can be avoided with ease. Another recurring obstacle is an electromagnetic surface placed on the ceilings. When active, they will pull Badniks, iron balls and metallic spiked weights to them, the latter having the potential to crush players to their death. The common moving platforms can also damage the player if touched from below. Platforms with flamethrowers are also common. If the playable character stands on these obstacles for a second, their platforms will send them flying upwards, similar to a Spring. On very rare occasions, they also work as a switch to open doors.

Less common obstacles include pink-colored, metallic mesh cylinders that rotate, similar to those featured in Metropolis Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. These cylinders can be aligned vertically or horizontally, the latter of which are commonly seen in the bottom sections of the Zone, sometimes making them tricky to travel through. Flying Battery Zone Act 1 also has a high quantity of Capsules, which can release Rings or Badniks, or, less commonly, have their switches act as Springs. One Capsule (near the end of the Act) releases Animals, in the manner they are released when an Act is cleared. In Act 2 on the other hand, there are gigantic screw-like platforms, which the player can stand on to go either upwards or downwards. A less common gimmick also featured in Act 2 is a Grabber-like robot, which grabs the playable character and sends them to another portion of the Act they would normally be unable to reach.

Overview

Act 1

Flying Battery Zone Act 1 begins on a platform outdoors. Next to the playable character is a Dash Panel, which they must use to proceed to the next section, which is a ramp that leads to a loop. Following this, the player will pass through a metallic cylinder aligned vertically. If they lose speed, they will be taken upwards by a set of yellow Springs that will allow them to leave the cylinder and continue with the Act. Later, the player will find a platform that will go downwards upon stepping on it. Also, by going up using either Tails or Knuckles, two monitors - one with a Lightning Shield and the other with Invincibility - can be found.

After this section, the player will have to go to the left, while overcoming a few Blasters and a flamethrower at the end. Following this, the player will need to grab a hanger at the far left to go down, where they will find two more flamethrowers and three hangers, the third of which will send them downwards once again. There, they will find a Technosqueek and, on the left, a Super Ring and Flame Shield monitor. There is also a 1-Up monitor hidden within the ceiling. The player will have to go to the right, where they will find two more Technosqueeks and go outdoors, where they will have to do some platforming on some platforms and hangers to avoid falling into a bottomless pit. At the end of this section, there is a Dash Panel that will send the playable character to another section upwards, where the player has to go to the left and avoid a flamethrower. Next to this, there are three horizontal cylinders. Underneath them, two Capsules with six Rings each can be found.

The propeller section of Flying Battery Zone Act 1, from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.

After the cylinders section, the player will continue going upwards, this time using a flamethrower as a Spring. Afterward, they will have to do some platforming on some moving spheres to go upwards and to the left. There, they will find a flamethrower, a Capsule with two Blasters and two Technosqueeks, and another flamethrower which they will have to use to proceed through the Act, this time to go upwards, where they will find two poles with propellers and two missile launchers on the right. After this, there are four more poles with propellers. By switching between the last two while going upwards, the player will find a Super Ring and 1-Up monitor. After this section, the player will go down once again, where they will find two iron balls and two Blasters underneath an electromagnetic surface which they will attracted to if it is activated. After this, the Act will branch into various paths:

  • The missile launcher section in Flying Battery Zone Act 1, from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.

    By taking the upper path (using Tails or Knuckles), the player will go up, through a loop, and then down again through another vertical metallic cylinder. If they do not lose their speed, they will head outdoors, with various missile launchers along their way. By using Tails or Knuckles, they can also collect various Rings by going to the very top. On the far right, they need to make five missiles hit the ground to make a hole through which they can continue the Act. After this, they will pass through a corridor with a Lightning Shield monitor and pass through a similar section, except that this one now features rotating iron balls. They will later go to a ramp that will lead them through another vertical metal cylinder.
  • By taking the bottom path, the player will have to press a switch to open a horizontal door and fall down a hole. There, the path will split into two other paths:
    • The section at the very bottom part of Flying Battery Zone Act 1, from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.

      If the player steps on a platform at the left, they will be taken downwards, to the very bottom of the Act, where they will have to pass through some horizontal metal cylinders and a few platforms to avoid falling into a bottomless pit. After this, they will have to step on another platform that will take them to a room inside the Flying Battery, where they will be able to press a switch to open a door and continue with the Act.
    • The section with the moving spheres in Flying Battery Zone Act 1, from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.

      By simply falling down, the player will land in a corridor split into two paths. On the right, there are a Super Ring and Invincibility monitor after a series of iron balls and electromagnetic ceilings. On the left, the player will find three Blasters. After this, they will have to go upwards while avoiding being crushed by spheres moving horizontally. After this, they will be able to continue by being launched upwards by a fake Capsule and passing through two horizontal cylinders. Later, the path will split into two again:
      • By taking the upper path across some moving platforms, the player will end up in a room where they will have to do some platforming on some moving spheres. In this room, there is a 1-Up monitor, and a set of spikes they can push to the right to fall into a hidden room with a Giant Ring. They can leave this hidden room by going to the right. If this section is ignored, and the player passes through the moving spheres section, they will end up in the first missile launcher section.
      • By going straight to the right, the player will fall down and end up next to the room at the end of the platforming section at the very bottom of the Act.
    • Next, there is a section with an electromagnetic ceiling with a few iron balls and two Blasters underneath. By going upwards using some red Springs to boost themself, the player will end up in a section with iron ball platforms and electromagnetic ceilings. At some point, there is also a set of spikes that can be pushed aside so the player can fall down into a room with a Giant Ring. If the player ignores this passage however, they will arrive in the second missile launcher section.

After this, the player will end up in a large room with some obstacles and platforms. At the bottom left, there is also a corridor that leads to the aforementioned Giant Ring room. By going to the top right, the player will initiate the fight with the Gapsule, which must be defeated to finish the Act.

Act 2

Flying Battery Zone Act 2 begins where Act 1 left off. After going to the right, the player will find a Dash Panel that will lead them upwards through a vertical cylinder, and then to an orange Spring that will continue to take them upwards. After a few loops and ramps, the player will end up in a small room with two Technosqueeks and three hangers on the right, the first and third of which will take them downwards. After that, they will have to jump to the middle to avoid two sets of spikes, each on both sides. The next room is a corridor with a Lightning Shield monitor on the left, with a Dash Panel underneath it that will take the playable character to the right, on some landmines and through a loop that leads downwards.

From here, the player will fall through a vertical cylinder and into a room with a ledge on each side. By going to the left, the player can open a door using a switch before going down through a large, screw-like device. They will then go down a pathway, open another door, and go down even further using another screw. Along this road, the pathway will spit in two:

  • By going to the right when the opportunity is presented, the player will head down using a platform, which will lead them outdoors at the very bottom of the Flying Battery. There, they will have to go to the right, through two horizontal cylinders and cross a platform in the middle. After this section, they will head up using a Dash Panel, where they will go to the left underneath a electromagnetic ceiling while encountering two Blasters. Next, they must continue going up using another Dash Panel, this time into a corridor with a 1-Up and Flame Shield monitor on the right. On the left, the player will have to avoid being crushed by a screw. Next, they must open a door using a switch and go up through another screw. Next, the player will be continuing going up using a flamethrower.
  • By ignoring this pathway and continuing going down, the player will end up heading to the left, through a short corridor, up using a ramp, and further to the left, where they will find a Capsule with two Blasters and two Technosqueeks. There the player must open a door using a switch and go up using a screw. They must then continue going up using two orange Springs, which will take them up into a corridor where they must go to the right and be grabbed by a Grabber-like machine that will send them through the second vertical cylinder at the start.

The next room the player enters is a corridor with various iron balls and an electromagnetic ceiling. From there, the Act will split into two pathways once again:

  • By going up using a few platforms, the player will find two Blasters underneath an electromagnetic ceiling. Next, there is a breakable floor with a Spring that will lead the playable character through some ramps at full speed. After this, the player will continue going up using two more orange Springs, where they will find a flamethrower and, on the left, a Super Ring and Invincibility monitor. After this, they must open a trapdoor using a switch and go down through some ramps at full speed, and then head to the left to open two doors with a switch, where they will continue going down using a screw.
  • By opening a trapdoor using a switch, the player will go down a ramp and through a loop. The path will then split into two again:
    • By falling down a breaking platform, the player will go to the right through a corridor with a Blaster and a breakable floor at the end. The latter leads them to two ramps, one of which sends them up. The path will then split into two once again:
      • By activating a switch with a Lightning Shield monitor next to it, the player will be able to jump onto some platforms and go up using a screw. By going to the left, they will be able to find a hidden Giant Ring. On the right, they can continue with the Act.
      • By ignoring this path and going to the bottom right, the player can open a door using a switch and go up through a screw. Next, they will pass through a corridor with an electromagnetic ceiling and two iron balls with platforms, before going up even further through another screw.
    • By ignoring the breaking platform, the player can go up using a vertical cylinder before heading to the right. There, they must open a door using a switch and pass through a corridor with some Blasters, a few iron balls, and an electromagnetic ceiling. Next, they will have to step on a flamethrower to activate a switch and open a trap door.

The next section, after any of the aforementioned sections, is a tall room with two spikes on the sides and a platform with an iron ball at the center, with an electromagnetic ceiling. Next, after going through a gigantic room with electromagnetic ceilings, spikes, iron balls with a platform surface, and hangers, they will find another Grabber-like machine that will lead them through a vertical cylinder. After this, they will find a Technosqueek and five hangers, the third of which will send them down to a small room with a flamethrower and three hangers, the third of which will continue sending them downwards into a corridor. Here, the player will have to go to the left, through two iron balls with platforms underneath an electromagnetic ceiling. After this section and a Blaster, the player will go up using a screw, and then to the right, using a Dash Panel to go up a ramp and a vertical cylinder, where they will end up in a large room. By going to the left here, the player will find a hidden Giant Ring. From here, on the right, the player will have to go up using two iron balls with platforms and an electromagnetic ceiling. After jumping to the right, the player will proceed to enter the room with the Laser Prison, initiating the boss fight.

After the Laser Prison boss fight, the player must go to the right, where a platform will constantly go up and to the right. First, the player must go to the right, through a corridor and up a ramp, where they must take an orange Spring that can send them to the left at full speed. After this section, the player must continue moving to the right. At the end, they will find a Super Ring monitor underneath some spikes. Once the rising platform has stopped moving up, the player will fight the Egg Hanger.

Bosses

Gapsule

Main article: Gapsule

The Gapsule is a robot that resembles a normal Capsule. The player cannot directly damage the Gapsule and can only do so by having the Gapsule attack itself with its two large spiky arms. The player needs to stand on the switch on top of its head and wait for it to rear back and swing one of its maces at them, indicated by when its eyes flash to indicate it has locked-on to them. They then need to get off the Gapsule and jump to the side in order for the machine to damage itself in the process when it brings the mace down on the plunger. After six hits, it will be destroyed.

Barrier Eggman

Main article: Barrier Eggman

Barrier Eggman is very similar to the boss of Wing Fortress Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Dr. Robotnik appears behind a barrier on one side, and a barrier on the other is activated once the player enters the arena. He'll control a laser cannon that moves along the roof, that attempts to home in on the player. Every time it attempts to do so, the barriers will close in one space. There is no special technique required for this "boss", as it eventually self-destructs after a few tries. Upon this, the player needs to escape part of the Flying Battery and avoid being crushed, eventually encountering the second boss.

Egg Hanger

Main article: Egg Hanger

Dr. Robotnik appears in a lanky-armed machine that has spikes covering both arms. He'll spend time swinging around, and eventually hang below the floor, inching about with the arms. If the player jumps over the width of the machine, Dr. Robotnik shoots a blast of fire from the top. The trick is to hit the glass area -the vulnerable part- when he takes time to swing up and down around the floor. After eight hits, the scientist will speed away.

In other media

Books and comics

Archie Comics

Main article: Flying Battery

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin offs published by Archie Comics, the Flying Battery is a warship once used by Dr. Eggman. Its past is virtually identical to its game counterpart's. Currently, its wreckage can be found on Angel Island.

Trivia

Flying Battery, featured on the stage select in Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

  • According to the level select in Sonic the Hedgehog 3's secret Sound Test mode, this was supposed to be the fifth Zone in the game. At the end of the Zone, Sonic was supposed to break the door of the battery blimp and use it as a snowboard in IceCap Zone (Tails and Knuckles would not have this scene, since they can fly and glide, respectively). The Sound Test option in both Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 places Flying Battery Zone's music after Sounds #7 and #8 (Carnival Night's BGM). There is even an unused icon of Flying Battery Zone leftover in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 that was supposed to appear between Carnival Night Zone and IceCap Zone.
    • Interestingly enough, while Sonic was meant to break out of Flying Battery Zone and use a part of it as a snowboard, it was later on reused in Sonic Adventure 2, where in the intro Sonic escapes from a G.U.N. helicopter and uses the door as a skateboard.
  • The Flying Battery may have attacked Sonic and Tails in Angel Island Zone before the boss. While it is identified in the manual as the "Flying Battery blimp", the size of the green underside is much smaller than the orange airship seen later.
  • This is the only Zone where the playable characters are standing still at the start of the Zone. This is due to the fact they got on the ship before act 1 started.
  • Both a classic mix and a remix of "Flying Battery" are on the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations and Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, respectively. A remix of "Flying Battery" also appears in Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and the betas for Sonic 3: Limited Edition, there was a bug in "Flying Battery", that caused the echo part of the music fall behind the song more each time the song looped.
  • The music for Flying Battery Zone Act 2 was remixed as the music for the fight against Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure.
  • Tee Lopes (the composer for Sonic Mania) mentioned during a YouTube Gaming live stream that he used to absolutely hate Flying Battery Zone.

Gallery

Concept artwork

Sprites

Screenshots

Music

Name Artist(s) Length Music track
"Flying Battery" Tatsuyuki Maeda, Tomonori Sawada, Sachio Ogawa, Masayuki Nagao, Masanori Hikichi 1:29
N/A (Act 2) Tatsuyuki Maeda, Tomonori Sawada, Sachio Ogawa, Masayuki Nagao, Masanori Hikichi 1:29

S&K Collection

Name Artist(s) Length Music track
Flying Battery act 1 (FM Synthesizer) 1:27
Flying Battery act 2 (FM Synthesizer) 1:25
Flying Battery act 1 (General MIDI) 1:25
Flying Battery act 2 (General MIDI) 1:24

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Sonic & Knuckles (Sega Genesis) United States instruction booklet, pg. 12.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sonic & Knuckles (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 34.

Main article (Blue Sphere, Knuckles in Sonic 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles) | Credits | Manuals | Beta elements | Gallery
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