Green Hill (グリーンヒル Gurīnhiru?) is the tenth stage in Sonic Forces, and the second stage in the game to be played as Classic Sonic. This stage is a re-imagination of the Green Hill Zone from the original Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Mega Drive.
The stage features the picturesque paradise with green fields that Green Hill is known for. After the area fell under Dr. Eggman's rule however, it has become dry and sandy due to the heavy desertification caused by Eggman's industries.
Green Hill is an overall peaceful and natural landscape with block-based brown mountains in the background and a lightly clouded blue sky. Like its original incarnation, the stage features countless blocky hills in all manner of sizes and arrangements. Most of the stage's ground is covered in green-striped grass (including on shuttle loops) that moves with the wind, and the soil itself is covered in checkerboard patterns in different shades of brown. There are also several log bridges over chasms, tall palm trees, bright flora that include purple flowers and moving sunflowers, hard-pointed bushes, square-leafed ivy, and different types of Totem Poles with all manners of facial expressions. There are also a couple of wooden scaffolds.
Green Hill has one major difference from its original incarnation: the bright lake that dominated the scenery in the background has been replaced with a sea of scorching sand, and all the stage's waterfalls have turned into sandfalls, as if a desert is sprouting from the stage itself. Also, the dried-out lake has formed deep canyons and caves in-between the hills that are nearly obscured from light. What looks like pyramids can also be spotted in the background. Other than that, the region remains relatively undamaged.
Lamenting that he failed Sonic when Infinite caught him in the City six months ago at the breakout of the War to Take Back the Planet, but taking solace in knowing that another Sonic has arrived to fill out for him, Tails continues his hunt for Dr. Eggman alongside Classic Sonic so they can defeat the doctor for good and win the war, while also seeking out the secret to Eggman's new power so they can get Classic Sonic home to his dimension. Their search takes them to Green Hill, where Tails guides Classic Sonic through the relatively undamaged landscape, although the sight of the area's new desert where the lake should be puzzles Tails. It is not long before Tails detects Eggman close by.
Green Hill is a fast-paced stage. However, most obstacles just include spikes and bottomless pits. Gaps that lead into bottomless pits are marked with wooden crosses on the soil next to them. There are many pathways in the stage to choose from, whether if the player wants to go along a higher route with numerous floating platforms, the center route, or a lower pathway. There are also a lot of shuttle loops.
Many bridges and cliff edges in the stage's structure are weak and will collapse when the player steps on them just once. There are also platforms attached on chains that swing in horizontal directions. These platforms are useful when the player has to cross gap sections or reach higher ground. There are as well landmasses that move up and down, and Winding Tunnels through the hills.
Being a Classic Sonic stage, Green Hill is played entirely from a 2.5D perspective, and include Item Boxes for Classic Sonic to utilize. In addition, there are invisible Springs that only show themselves when the player steps on them.
When beginning the stage, start by going right. After the second log bridge, one can either take a Spring on an incoming cliff to reach a higher path, or skip the Spring and follow the lower path. Regardless, the paths will eventually rejoin and lead across some moving landmasses and into a Winding Tunnel. Afterwards, the path will divide again, leaving the player to either follow a higher path or lower path. Like before, these two paths will eventually come together, just before the player has to descend down some land layers to reach a Winding Tunnel at the bottom. It should be noted though that among those layers are a hidden shortcut through the walls.
After said tunnel, the player can either follow the path along the bottom or take a higher path across some floating platforms and swings. After these paths rejoin, the player has to cross a log bridge that crumbles behind Classic Sonic while Choppers jump up from below to reach the Goal Plate.
After Sega had released the first trailer showcasing footage of Classic Sonic's gameplay in Green Hill Zone, fans on social media began criticizing the stage's presence in Sonic Forces. Some claimed that the implementation of the stage in recent Sonic games has been kind of repetitive, especially after it was reintroduced in several modern games, and particularly Sonic Generations. However, some fans defended the stage implementation.
- After clearing this stage for the first time, SOS Missions will start to appear.
- After Green Hill was revealed to be in Sonic Forces, Shun Nakamura would state on his Twitter account that this stage was "not Green Hill" but something else.
- A segment of the theme for Green Hill is a remix of Splash Hill Zone's theme from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I.
- Green Hill was the first stage in Sonic Forces to be shown for Classic Sonic during pre-release, and the first stage to be shown in its entirety.
- The area of Green Hill where this stage is located in is referred to as "Faded Hills" (色あせた丘 Iroaseta oka?) in Sonic Forces Original Soundtrack - A Hero Will Rise.
|"Faded Hills - Green Hill"||Tomoya Ohtani||2:47|
|"Faded Hills - Green Hill" (Speed Shoes)||Tomoya Ohtani||0:16|
- Sonic Forces - Classic Sonic Green Hill Gameplay. YouTube. Sega (25 April 2017). Retrieved on 26 September 2017. “Classic Sonic discovers Green Hill Zone is looking more dry and sandy under Eggman's rule, from the heavy desertification caused by his industries.”
- Sonic Forces - Classic Sonic Green Hill Gameplay. YouTube. SEGA (25 April 2017). Retrieved on 26 April 2017. “Classic Sonic discovers Green Hill Zone is looking more dry and sandy under Eggman's rule, from the heavy desertification caused by his industries.”
- Sonic Team (November 7, 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Area/Level: Green Hill: Green Hill. "Tails: This area is still relatively undamaged, but the enemy is here somewhere."
- Sonic fans are getting a little tired of Green Hill Zone. Polygon (26 April 2017). Retrieved on 28 April 2017.
- Shun Nakamura on Twitter (Japanese). Twitter (16 April 2017). Retrieved on 26 April 2017. “Nakamura_Shun: グリーンヒルじゃなくて○○○○○だぜ”
- Sonic Forces Original Soundtrack - A Hero Will Rise, Disc 2, Track 4 - "Faded Hills - Green Hill"