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Sonic the Hedgehog
Labyrinth Zone

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Explore an intricate maze filled with water. A countdown begins to let you know when you are running out of oxygen. Breathing in air bubbles keeps you from drowning.

— United States instruction booklet, Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)[1]

Labyrinth Zone (ラビリンスゾーン[2] Rabirinsuzōn?) is the fourth Zone in the original Sonic the Hedgehog. As with other Zones in the game, Labyrinth Zone is composed on three Acts, with a battle against the boss at the end of the third.


Labyrinth Zone is a large, underwater cave system located somewhere on South Island. It is full of orange stone, some of which appears polished. Additionally, plants and crystals decore the Zone.


Labyrinth Zone was one of the many regions on South Island affected by Dr. Robotnik during his quest for the six Chaos Emeralds. There, the doctor kidnapped the local Animals and used some of them to power his Badniks, while leaving the rest of them in huge Capsules. When Sonic the Hedgehog arrived at the Zone however, he saved the Animals and followed Robotnik in his Egg Mobile through the exit of the caves.


Labyrinth Zone is a slow-paced and straightforward Zone, with most of the action taking place underwater. The most dangerous threat here is the fact that the playable character can drown while underwater, meaning that they can only be submerged a short period of time unless they utilize air bubbles.

The main hazards in Labyrinth Zone are swinging iron balls and spikes, which frequently appear. The player can also stand on some blocks to make them fall down. There are also ocassionally Switches that allow the player to open gates to progress. Small platforms on moving chains also appear, working as small elevators. Commonly, gargoyle-like statues may also appear, which shoot small projectiles that will damage the playable character. There are also sections where the player automatically spins through long corridors. Some of these also feature iron balls, which can be avoided by grabbing onto poles and moving out of the iron balls' path.


Act 1

Act 2

Act 3


Main article: Labyrinth Zone boss

The Labyrinth Zone boss is Dr. Robotnik in his Egg Mobile. Robotnik himself makes his escape through a narrow vertical corridor laced with spears and other traps. Water is rapidly filling the passage from below, so dodge the obstacles and keep moving up. Survive all the way to the surface where Robotnik is helpless.

Other game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)

In Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit), Labyrinth Zone appears as the fourth Zone in the game. Most obstacles remain intact, though the level design and boss have been done from scratch.

Sonic Drift

Labyrinth from Sonic Drift.

In Sonic Drift, Labyrinth Zone (named Labyrinth) is the third track of the game, following Spring Yard and preceding Star Light (as in its original appearance).

In other media

Sonic the Hedgehog (promotional comic)

In the Sonic the Hedgehog promotional comic, Labyrinth Zone was where Sonic ended up in after getting out of the Warp of Confusion with one Chaos Emerald. There, he found Dr. Ivo Robotnik, whom he followed through the caves to Starlight Zone.

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog

In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog television series, Labyrinth is an underwater city in Mobius, ruled by King Saline. At some point, Dr. Ivo Robotnik tried to invade the city in his quest for the Power Pearls to conquer Mobius, only to be stopped by Sonic, Tails and Surff.

Sonic the Comic

In Sonic the Comic, the Labyrinth Zone appears as a network of tunnels dug by Badniks (lead by Arachbot) underneath half of planet Mobius.

Sonic X

In the Sonic X comic series published by Archie Comics, Labyrinth Zone appears as part of a virtual world resembling the original Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic, Amy, Knuckles and Rouge once traveled through the Zone.

Archie Comics

Labyrinth Zone in Archie Comics.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series published by Archie Comics, Labyrinth Zone was a Zone formed by Dr. Eggman during Operation: Clean Sweep. Sonic, Sally, Rotor, and Antoine traveled through the Zone after defeating Dr. Eggman in Marble Zone.

After the Super Genesis Wave re-wrote history, Labyrinth Zone became a permanent part of Sonic's World, with a history virtually identical to its game counterpart.


  • Labyrinth Zone was originally intended to be the second stage, but it was pushed back in the level order because the designers felt it would be too hard for so early in the game. This can be seen in the level select of the first version of the game, although the zones were corrected to their final order in the revision.[citation needed]
  • Goggles were intended to be featured underwater. While they have unused sprites on both Sonic's head and as a video monitor icon, it was eventually revealed that they were merely intended as aesthetics rather than a lost gameplay mechanic. In the 2013 re-release, the monitors can be placed in Debug Mode and act almost identical to an Aqua Shield.
  • In the original Sega Mega Drive version of Sonic the Hedgehog, if the player spins when they reach the end of Labyrinth Zone Act 2, the screen will freeze and the player will have to reset the game.
  • Act 5-1 of Game Land in Sonic Colors appears to be based on the Labyrinth Zone level layout.
  • This Zone appeared in the early Nick Arcade prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, albeit with its data partially overwritten. Eventually, this garbled zone got turned into the Oil Ocean Zone.
  • The Labyrinth Zone appears as a level in Lego Dimensions.
  • The character Longclaw in the Sonic The Hedgehog film bears a resemblance to the owl head-shaped tiles present in Labyrinth Zone. It is uncertain whether this was intentional, although one of said tile designs makes an appearance near the start of the film engraved into a rock.


Development images




Name Artist(s) Length Music Track
Labyrinth Zone Masato Nakamura 2:07


See also


  1. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) United States instruction booklet, pg. 7.
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction manual, pg. 33.

External links