Leaf Storm (リーフストーム Rīfusutōmu?) is a Zone in Sonic Rush. It is the first Zone for Sonic and the second Zone for Blaze. Like most other Zones in Sonic Rush, Leaf Storm consists of two normal Acts and a separate Boss Act devoted to the local boss. It takes place in a giant forest with colossal trees.
Leaf Storm is a giant forest area. Leaf Storm takes several inspirations from previous Sonic the Hedgehog video games, namely the Sonic Advance trilogy. The Zone features tree-top shuttle loops among other things.
After arriving at the end of Leaf Storm, Sonic encounters Dr. Eggman and his Egg Hammer Mega in the treetops. Sonic asks the doctor what the doctor is up to this time, but all Eggman stays that he will soon possess the "ultimate power" and become invincible. Hardly fazed by this treat and certain that he can stop him, Sonic battles Eggman and defeats his mech. Afterward, Eggman escapes in the Egg Mobile, and Sonic calls out for him. However, Sonic then notices a mysterious blue gem on the battlefield. Before he can pick it up however, a female cat appears in a column of fire and takes the gem. Thanking Sonic for defeating him, the cat takes her leaves, leaving Sonic confused over who that was.
Outside Leaf Forest, Sonic meets Tails and tells him about his meeting with Sonic and the cat girl. Although Sonic is beginning to find things interesting, Tails is both worried and curious about what kind of power Eggman was talking about. Sonic, however, tells Tails not to worry and is certain that they can stop him together before running off, with Tails trying to follow and keep up with him.
While on her search for the missing six Sol Emeralds, Blaze and Cream the Rabbit, whom Blaze "befriended" after visiting Cream's home, move along to Leaf Storm to find the second Sol Emerald. After Blaze arrives at the end of Leaf Storm, she encounters Dr. Eggman in his Egg Hammer Mega mech and defeats him. After the battle, Eggman leaves the battlefield in his Egg Mobile, with Sonic the Hedgehog nearby calling out to Eggman as he leaves. Just then however, Sonic notices the blue Sol Emerald on the battlefield. As he reaches for the Sol Emerald however, Blaze suddenly appears in a column of fire and swipes the gem. Relived to have finally retrieved the second Sol Emerald, Blaze spares Sonic a glaze before leaving the scene.
As Blaze runs through the forest, she does not allow herself to rest, as she quickly reminds herself that she still have five Sol Emeralds to find, and thus heads for her next target: Mirage Road.
Leaf Storm has only two Acts per story mode, and both story mode Acts are identical. There are no differences between the levels, other than the music, which is the song "Right There, Ride On", being different depending on the character the player has chosen.
The player can grind on Grind Rail that are essentially made of vines of trees, swing on vines to avoid bottomless pits, and can run through corkscrew loop tree branches. There are even points where the player will run down on a vine-branch, but will then be saved by Bungee Rop that will launch them up into the air.
When playing as Sonic, Special Generators appear throughout this Zone which can warp the player to the first Special Stage for a chance to collect the red Chaos Emerald. As Blaze, the blue Sol Emerald can be found after defeating Egg Hammer Mega.
In the beginning of Act 1, the player runs through a long narrow platform until the player reaches several springs to use to get through the Act. While grinding on Grind Rails, as well as performing Trick Actions in the process, the player will encounter several enemies, the majority of them being Egg Pawns. Corkscrew vine rails and tree branches are somewhat tricky, but can be easily forgettable if the player uses the Sonic Boost. Using bungee ropes to provide the player to launch in the sky helps with avoiding bottomless pits, while Winding Ropes will spin the player around until reaching a spring which will then launch the player in the air. Shuttle loops in the Act provide the player more time to speed up through the level. The final area of this Act has the player move downhill to the Goal Ring, which will then indicate the player finishing the Act.
Act 2 begins with the player, who controls Sonic or Blaze, moving upward through platforms with help from nearby springs and ramps. This Act has some similarities between Act 1, such as the robots and gimmicks used in this Act, but precise platforming skills are put to the test in the latter half of this Act. This Act provides more points where the player can perform Trick Actions, as in the final part of the Act, a giant wheel with Eggman's face will chase the player through a long descending platform in which the Boost technique will need to be used. It is possible, however, not to use the boost up until the part where a ramp will send the player to the Goal Ring, though. A Goal Ring will mark the end of the Act.
The first or second boss in the game for Sonic and Blaze, respectively, Egg Hammer Mega is essentially the easiest boss in Sonic Rush. The boss is also simple, as the Egg Hammer Mega boss will target the player by heading towards the player's location, and will smash its head down, giving the player the chance to jump and hit the Egg Mobile on its head. Egg Hammer Mega, towards the point where the boss needs to be hit four or three times, will then put its head down on the rock platform during the boss fight, and will spin back and forth along the platform, hoping to knock the player off. This boss only needs eight hits to defeat if the player had selected the story settings to normal mode, while if the player put the story settings on easy mode, it will lower the boss fight to six hits.
- Act 1 of this stage has an interesting section where multiple platform steps appear with springs on the far right of each platform. However, in the video game Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, in the Zone Splash Hill Zone, a section just like the section in Leaf Storm in Sonic Rush appears. Whether this is a coincidence is anyone's guess.
- At the E3 2004 demo of Leaf Storm, the music for the stage was different from the music used for Leaf Storm on the final product of Sonic Rush. However, this music would later be used for the cutscene where Blaze retrieves the Sol Emerald right in front of Sonic, which coincidentally, happens at Leaf Storm.
- It could be a possibility that Leaf Storm might take place at the Mystic Ruins jungle that appears in several Sonic the Hedgehog video games, as it can be told by Tails' laboratory nearby Leaf Storm and a nearby desert location called Mirage Road in which matches up with Mystic Ruins being right next to a desert level called Sand Hill.
- This is the only stage where Tails will not assist Sonic, which is caused by the story mode where Sonic meets up with Tails after the Leaf Storm stage.
- In the sequel to Sonic Rush, Sonic Rush Adventure, the layout of Hidden Island 16 has the exact same stage layout as of Leaf Storm's Act 1 layout.
- There is a glitch that occurs at Act 1 while playing as Sonic; when Sonic uses the Invincible item, if Sonic makes it through the last section of the Act, there will be no music to play after the invincibility theme ends.
|"Right There, Ride On"||Hideki Naganuma||2:36|
|"Right There, Right On (Blazy Mix)"||Hideki Naganuma||1:51|