Sonic & Knuckles
Go flying on Robotnik's warship. Watch where you step - sneaky traps are everywhere!
— Instruction manual
After damaging Dr. Robotnik's Egg Mobile in Mushroom Hill Zone, he will try to fly away with the Flying Battery. The playable character will jump at the ship and grab onto an engine as it flies away (Tails will fly up after Sonic if playing as Sonic and Tails). They then climb up onto an actual foothold and the Zone begins.
After defeating Eggman, the ship begins to explode and the player breaks through a door, plummeting into Sandopolis Zone.
The level, or rather the warship the level was based on, also made a brief appearance nearing the end of Act 2 of Angel Island Zone, where it attempted to bomb the player to smithereens. It also appeared green instead of metallic gray in this instance, due to the level undergoing a massive forest fire at the time that darkened the environment thanks to the earlier fire-bombing done by the fleet of Flame Crafts.
This Zone takes place on Dr. Robotnik's gigantic metal blimp. The blimp is powered by rotating drills and machines that send out worm-like bridges. Flame jets can act as springs if the player stands on one for long enough, which will cause the pressure to send the character upwards; sometimes they even act as hidden switches. The mini-boss, Gapsule, is a machine that looks like a normal animal capsule. It has two huge ball-and-chain arms. The player needs to stand on the switch on top of its head and wait for it to rear back and swing, indicated by when its eyes flash to indicate it has locked-on to them. They then need to get off the machine and jump to the side in order for the machine to damage itself and not the player in the process when it brings the mace down on the plunger.
Despite the Zone being one of Dr. Robotnik's contraptions, there are some Warp Rings in the level, most of which are accessed by pushing certain groups of spikes. These can be identified by a vertical pipe leading down from the floor where the spikes are, which the player can fall through.
The second Act basically starts out the same, but with slightly different music.
The Gapsule is a robot that resembles an animal 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 must stand on top of the Gaspsule and stay there until it prepares to attack. The player has to get out of the way to avoid taking damage while the Gapsule damages itself. After six hits, it will be destroyed.
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, player needs to escape part of the Flying Battery and avoid being crushed, eventually encountering the second boss.
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
- 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's music after Sounds #7 and #8 (Carnival Night's BGM). There's even an unused icon of Flying Battery leftover in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 that was supposed to appear between Carnival Night Zone and Ice Cap Zone. [http://info.sonicretro.org/Flying_Battery_Zone
- Dr. Robotnik appears in the second phase of the boss battle for both Sonic and Knuckles, despite Knuckles' boss battles usually being against Eggrobo. The sprites for the pilot character were different for this boss battle than for any of the others, facing towards the screen instead of side-on. Since the game features no sprites for Eggrobo in this new position (for unknown reasons), Robotnik appears instead.
- Supposedly, this flying fortress of metal may be used to carry Capsules trapping captured animals inside. The line of capsules in the background of this stage provide evidence to this theory.
- 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.
- Both a classic mix and a remix of Act 1's music is on the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations and Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, respectfully. A remix of Act 1's music 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 Act 1's music, that caused the echo part of the music fall behind the song more each time the song looped.
- The music for Act 2 was remixed as the boss fight music for Aquatic Relix Zone 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.
|Flying Battery Zone (Act 1)||Tatsuyuki Maeda, Tomonori Sawada, Sachio Ogawa, Masayuki Nagao, Masanori Hikichi||1:29|
|Flying Battery Zone (Act 2)||Tatsuyuki Maeda, Tomonori Sawada, Sachio Ogawa, Masayuki Nagao, Masanori Hikichi||1:29|
|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|