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For other uses of the term, see Marble Zone (disambiguation).

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Sonic the Hedgehog
Marble Zone

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Leap across pools of red-hot lava and shifting islands. Then find the way to the underground palace where massive weights and flying balls of fire block your path.


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

Marble Zone (マーブルゾーン[2] Māburuzōn?) is the second Zone of the original Sonic the Hedgehog. It is an ancient underground complex, flooded with boiling lava pools.

Description

Marble Zone is a mountainous Zone located under a blue sky with clouds dotting it. Near these mountains, many ruins covered in tall grass can be spotted, along with several lava lakes. Under all of these ruins, underground purple dungeons can also be found, featuring large lava pools, torches lighting the dungeons up, and decorative prison cages.

Story

Marble 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 defeated Robotnik in his Egg Mobile.

Gameplay

Marble Zone is a slow-paced Zone, requiring the player to wait to pass through some obstacles. Pools of lava also appear everywhere which the playable character can take damage from when touched, although they will not sink into it. The top sections of the Zone are less traversed and feature grassy platforms that, when the playable character stands on them, will cause them to sink and touch the lava below, thereby setting themselves on fire. Touching these fires will damage the playable character. The dungeon sections are more frequently traversed however. These sections feature platforms to help the player cross lava pools, spikes, chained platforms with spikes on them that rise and fall in intervals, and small chained weights. The Zone also includes movable boxes that are used to cross lava pools. In some sections though, cyan blocks can appear blocking passages, which the player must use the Spin Jump on to break them and progress.

Overview

Act 1

Act 1 is slow-paced, with the first part taking place on the top surface of Marble Zone, and the rest of it in the dungeons. The outdoors part is a short, introductory path where the player must use grassy platforms to cross a large lava pool before entering the underground dungeons through a moving platform. A notable section here includes a movable box that the player needs to push into a recess to activate a Switch to advance. After some puzzles, the player will exit the dungeons and end the Act.

Act 2

Act 2 is similar to Act 1, though much longer. A notable section in the dungeon part features flowing lava that will try to catch up to the playable character. Eventually, the player will exit the dungeons, ending the Act.

Act 3

Act 3 features more alternate paths to take, some of which work as shortcuts. A section in this Act also features a hidden room with a single One-Up monitor, which the player can use to skip some of the Act's sections. Once outdoors, the player will fight Dr. Robotnik in his Egg Mobile. After clearing this boss, open the Capsule on the right to end the Act.

In the 2013 re-release, there is a secret pathway that can only be acceded by Tails and Knuckles. To access it, the player must fly or climb through a large wall at the beginning. If the player succeeds, they will end up on the pathway, which features some puzles that require them to use their abilities. Later on, the player will fight Robotnik.

Boss

Main article: Marble Zone boss

At the end of Act 3, the player will fight Dr. Robotnik in his Egg Mobile. This time around, the Egg Mobile can shoot fireballs at one of the two platforms that the playable character can stand on, briefly setting it on fire.

Other game appearances

Sonic Drift

Main article: Marble (Sonic Drift)

The Marble Zone from Sonic Drift.

In Sonic Drift, Marble Zone (named Marble) is the second track of the game, following Green Hill and preceding Spring Yard (as in its original appearance).

In other media

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog

The Marble Zone is also featured in the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog television series where it appeared in the second episode, "Subterranean Sonic". Despite the location being named Marble Zone, however, it looks completely different than it did in the video game. In this media, the Marble Zone is the home of Spelunk, a cranky mole who mines the underground tunnels for treasure.

Sonic the Comic

In the Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions, the Marble Zone appeared in the story "Mayhem in the Marble Zone" in the third issue. In this story, Sally Acorn's brother Tufftee ran off to Marble Zone to be a hero, only to captured by Badniks and eventually rescued by Sonic.

Sonic X

Main article: Marble Zone (Sonic X)

Archie Comics

Marble Zone in the Archie Comics.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Marble Zone appeared during the "Genesis" story arc: Here, Sonic, Sally Acorn, Boomer, and Antoine traveled across Marble Zone to try and locate Dr. Eggman after Sonic freed the trio in the Green Hill Zone.

After the events of Worlds Collide, Marble Zone became a permanent part of Sonic's World with a history virtually identical to its game counterpart.

Trivia

  • An early version of this Zone featured UFOs in the sky, but they were dropped for the final release. They can be activated through Debug Mode of the 2013 re-release.
  • Marble Zone also had a hazard which behaved similarly to the dropping crushing hazards, except it shot out horizontally instead of vertically and had three spikes on the end of it. However, it was removed upon the final release.
  • At the area where Sonic needs to outrun flowing lava in a hallway, there is a set of spikes located at that area. But the spikes will not crush Sonic against the ceiling after poking out of the floor. Sonic would be pushed to the sides and receive damage but would not show his hit sprite.
    • This was fixed in the 2013 re-release; if the spikes crush Sonic, he will instantly lose a life.
  • This is the third Zone listed in the original version's level select, likely a remnant of an earlier Zone order.
  • Remnants of Marble Zone can be found in the code of Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Master System as this Zone was originally supposed to be part of the game but was cut from the final release. One remnant is the track for the 8-bit variation of the Zone's 16-bit theme that still exists in the final game code.
  • Marble Zone Act 1 was replicated in Stage 2-1 of Game Land from Sonic Colors.
  • Marble Zone appears as a level in Lego Dimensions.

Music

Name Artist Length Music Track
Marble Zone Masato Nakamura 2:07

Videos


References

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) United States instruction booklet, pg. 7.
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 30.

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