The stage takes place in space. The stage has three planetoids. There are also floating areas in the lower areas of this stage. Like Meteor Herd, the stage also has large containers and some of the space colony's platforms.
Rouge sets out to the outer perimeter of the Space Colony ARK to retrieve the rest of the Master Emeraldshards and then flee the ARK. She obtains three of the shards and is then confronted by Knuckles, causing the two to engage in battle. After their fight, Rouge runs at Knuckles in an attack, but slips and falls towards a lava-like substance. Knuckles (claiming he only did this for the Master Emerald), catches Rouge's hand and pulls her up. Rouge then pulls her hand away and gives Knuckles the rest of the shards, which he then fuses together with his own Shards to reform the Master Emerald. Knuckles apologizes for hurting Rouge and runs off.
In this stage, Rouge must collect three shards of the Master Emerald.
Rings are quite sparse in this stage, and collecting 100 of them in less than two and half minutes is extremely difficult. After grabbing the nine Rings in front of Rouge at the start of this stage, the player must use the rocket to reach the enormous space station first and collect thirty-five Rings up there. Next, they must drop down to the Capsule Planet and collect another fifteen Rings before dropping all the way back down to where the stage started. The player must grab the 20 Rings from the platform below and pick then up the final twenty-one Rings from the outlying platforms.
Find the lost Chao
This mission requires the Mystic Melody. First, the player should travel to the enormous space station and climb to the upper ledge with the five floating Containers. From there, they must drop down to the large platform below and approach the Ancient Ruin, then play the Mystic Melody and jump into the Warp Hole that appears. The player will then be transported to a hallway blocked off by six Steel Containers. They must smash the Containers and jump into the Warp Hole behind them. The player will then be transported to an identical hallway with an enemy instead of Containers which houses a third Warp Hole. The player must jump into it to be transported to the lost Chao's location.
Collect the missing Emerald pieces in 4:30
The enormity of Mad Space can make this mission rather difficult, so the player should memorize the stage's layout as much as possible. The best strategy is to head to the enormous space station where the player must work their way down until something comes up on the radar.
Clear Hard mode
The first Emerald Shard is floating beneath the Holy Planet. The player must climb down the side of the planet as far as Rouge will go, then glide underneath it and grab the Shard.
To reach the second shard, the player should glide to the Spherical Planet. The shard is here placed on the platform at the bottom, but it can be tricky to reach due to the mixed-up gravity. The player needs to get a running start to get to the shard's platform.
The final shard is located above the platform near the upper ledges of the enormous space station which have two pairs of rotating iron balls and a Meteorite on them. Once there,the player must perform a Screw Kick to get into the air and reach the shard.
Chao Container locations
The player should jump off the platform where this stage starts on and descend towards the platform below it. The first Chao Container can be found on a small platform beside the main platform.
On the Capsule Planet, the second Chao Container can be found on the highest platform of all, which is set on the upwards tip of the planet.
The final Chao Container can be found on the upper ledge of the space station which has a Hawk enemy, a Hint Box, and a Rocket on it.
Once on the enormous space station, the player should head towards the platform with the blue headlight and glide then toward the barrier of light. From there, Big can be seen sitting on top of the pillar.
Big's location in Hard Mode is unknown.
The hints in Mad Space are much different from those that are in other treasure hunting stages. The first hint is completely written in reverse while the last two are written regularly, but tell the exact opposite location of where the Emerald Shard actually is.
When translating the stage theme song "34°N, 12°E" into geographical coordinates, it is the location of the Mediterranean Sea, just north of the coast of Libya, Africa. It is unknown if this was an intentional reference.
In the original Dreamcast version of Sonic Adventure 2, the player must first travel to the Capsule Planet before going to the Spherical Planet where the Iron Boots are. This is because the rocket leading to the Capsule Planet can be activated without having to break a Steel container in this version. In all subsequentports of the game, the rocket leading to the Spherical Planet is the only one that can be activated without having to break an Steel Container.