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Sonic & Knuckles
Mushroom Hill Zone

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Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles
Mushroom Hill Zone

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Fantastic mushrooms cover the lush hills deep in Floating Island's interior. Many useful kinds of plants grow here. See how they can help you.


— United States instruction booklet, Sonic & Knuckles[1]

Mushroom Hill Zone[1] (マッシュルームヒル ゾーン[2] Masshurūmuhiru Zōn?) is the first Zone of Sonic & Knuckles, and the seventh of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. It is a lush forest notable for its giant mushrooms that can be used as various springs and platforms.

Description

Mushroom Hill Zone is a forest-covered region on the Floating Island filled with extremely tall and straight trees with brown bark and lush tree crowns. However, this Zone is best known for the multicolored mushrooms that grow there. While some of the local mushrooms are small, most of them are colossal in size, with the largest of them being at the size of buildings. The soil here is also olive green-colored with diagonal lines on it.

During Act 2, the background and foreground of Mushroom Hill Zone changes as a result of Robotnik using a weather manipulation device to rapidly progress the seasons from spring, through summer and autumn, and into winter, going from the normal green with red mushrooms to tan with blue mushrooms to gray with green mushrooms.

Story

Mushroom Hill Zone was amongst the Zones on the Floating Island that were invaded by Dr. Robotnik while he was trying to repair his Death Egg, filling the Zone with traps and Badniks to stop Sonic when he would arrive on the island.[3]

Having witnessed the Death Egg fall back onto the Floating Island after crippling it during its relaunch, Sonic and Tails head through Mushroom Hill Zone to ensure the space fortress's destruction once and for all. However, just after landing in the Zone, the duo notices Knuckles sneak out of a hidden passageway, sealing it behind him after checking to see if the coast is clear first. After investigating the passageway, Sonic and Tails proceed through the lush forest, eventually overcoming Hey Ho. After that, Knuckles appears and activates a powerful gust of air to blow Sonic and Tails into another part of the Zone where the seasons seem to be changing unnaturally. Proceeding further in, Sonic and Tails find a machine that is the source of the disruption, and destroy it, causing Dr. Robotnik to reveal himself upon being compromised, and attempt to flee in his Egg Scrambler. While Sonic and Tails destroy the doctor's Egg Scrambler, Robotnik uses his still-intact Egg Mobile to escape aboard the Flying Battery, forcing Sonic and Tails to climb aboard themselves to continue the pursuit of Robotnik.

Having fallen down into Mushroom Hill Zone after escaping the EggRobo's attempt to destroy him with the remains of Launch Base Zone, Knuckles makes his way through the Zone, fighting Hey Ho along the way, before continuing onward. Eventually, he also stops the changing of the seasons by the EggRobo in the Egg Scrambler, whom he cases after. Though the Egg Scrambler is destroyed along the way by Knuckles, the EggRobo escapes to the passing Flying Battery in the Egg Mobile. However, Knuckles jumps aboard the Flying Battery himself to continue his pursuit of the EggRobo.

Gameplay

Mushroom Hill Zone has a rather open level design, offering many alternate paths and secrets to find. The Zone is filled with obstacles and sudden curves, which the player cannot traverse through unless they have enough speed.

Common gimmicks in this Zone include horizontal and vertical bars, which the playable character will grab onto and swing on for a second before releasing themselves at high speed, and hidden rope-like objects that will grab the character upon touching them, making them unable to advance unless they use a Spin Dash to break free. Another recurrent gimmick is a crane with two handles, which the player can grab onto and hold and release down on Controlpadds.png repeatedly to make the crane go up. Less commonly, the player may also find umbrella-like mushrooms hanging on the ceilings. If the playable character touches one, they will grab onto it as it slowly descends. During this descend, the player can move left and right or jump to release it.

Mushroom Hill Zone Act 1 is fairly easy, except for the recurring obstacles the player has to watch out for. Many alternate paths with many secrets are found as well. Monitors can be found on high platforms that are difficult to reach, while Giant Rings are most commonly found in hidden rooms. As Knuckles, the Act is mostly the same. Some secrets, however, are added for him to find.

Overview

Act 1

The short cutscene at the start of Mushroom Hill Zone Act 1, from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.

In Sonic & Knuckles, Mushroom Hill Zone Act 1 starts with a short passage that leads to the rest of the Act. In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles however, the Act starts with a short path that leads to a short sequence, in which Sonic and/or Tails crouch to see Knuckles beneath them leaving a hidden passageway and blocking it using a switch. After this "cutscene", the player is able to use the switch to open the door and enter the hidden room, which leads to a Giant Ring. As Knuckles, the Act is mostly the same, except that it starts out at a different point, in which he enters the hidden room with the Giant Ring and then proceeds.

Act 2

Mushroom Hill Zone Act 2 starts with Knuckles repeatedly activating a level to send Sonic and/or Tails flying. At this point, the background of the Zone changes for a more autumn-like appearance, but the gimmicks remain the same. However, the level layout is much more linear compared to Act 1. Approaching the end of the Act, the background will change once again after passing through a corridor, this time to a winter-like appearance. Shortly later though, the player will destroy the Egg Scrambler's antenna, return the background back to normal, and face the boss.

Bosses

Hey Ho

Main article: Hey Ho

The mini-boss of this Zone, Hey Ho, wields an axe and chops sections of tree trunks to throw at the player. It is a large forest filled with hills and giant mushrooms.

Egg Scrambler

Main article: Egg Scrambler (boss)

Dr. Robotnik will appear after the weather-changing satellite is destroyed, rising up from his hiding spot underneath where the satellite was. Upon this, he will fly backward past trees that hold spikes at varying heights from one end to another while running after the mad scientist. Occasionally, Dr. Robotnik will activate the jets in the front of his machine, either one, the other, or both simultaneously. After enough hits, he'll crash into a large tree with a small tunnel at the bottom which Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles can run through to reach the animal capsule on the other side.

Trivia

  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Sound Test screen, there is an unused level slot called Mushroom Valley. This may have been the original title for this level.
    • In addition, trying to play the Zone in the standalone Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (without Sonic & Knuckles) will result in a title card for the Zone with the name missing, and then the game crashes with garbled graphics. The theme for the Zone will still play, though.
  • The satellite whose destruction restores the state of Mushroom Hill Zone is likely the same environment-changing device mentioned in the Japanese manual of Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
  • In Sonic & Knuckles standalone, there are exactly nine Giant Rings in both Acts of Mushroom Hill Zone (two of them can only be accessed with Knuckles, though), making it possible to get all the Chaos Emeralds before fighting the boss. In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, there are eleven Giant Rings, due to two added areas at the beginning of the level, one for Sonic and/or Tails and two for Knuckles (if he back tracks on Sonic's route).
    • If the save data is carried over from Sonic the Hedgehog 3, there is a glitch in which some of these Giant Rings will not appear.
  • "Mushroom Hill", the music for Mushroom Hill Zone Act 1, was remixed as the music for Aquatic Relix Zone Act 1 in Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure.

Music

Name Artist(s) Length Music track
"Mushroom Hill Zone Act 1" Sega 1:50
"Mushroom Hill Zone Act 2" Sega 1:44

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Sonic & Knuckles (Sega Genesis) United States instruction booklet, pg. 12.
  2. Sonic & Knuckles (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 33.
  3. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pgs. 4-6.

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