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Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Mystic Cave Zone

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Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2013 remaster)
Mystic Cave Zone

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Robotnik's been digging for Chaos Emeralds in this eerie forest of flickering lights, glow-worms and stinging centipedes. Hang onto the ivy to discover escape routes.


— Description, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit) United States instruction manual[1]

Mystic Cave Zone (ミスティックケイブ[2] Misutikku Keibu?, lit. "Mystic Cave") is the sixth Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, its various powers and remasters, and the lock-on game Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. As with most other Zones in this game, Mystic Cave Zone consists of two standard Acts with a boss fight at the end of Act 2.

Description

Mystic Cave Zone is a huge, dark cave in West Side Island with purple stone. The background features a minecart system above some light green crystals. The platforms in the foreground are these minecart systems and green crystals, decorated with some hanging vines and torches.

Story

During his hunt for the Chaos Emeralds, Dr. Robotnik would invade all of West Side Island, including Mystic Cave Zone, which he kidnapped the local Animals from while filling said Zone with Badniks.[3]

Mystic Cave Zone soon after became the sixth Zone that Sonic and Tails would travel through to put a stop to Robotnik's operations. From there, there are two different outcomes for the Zone:

  • By continuing their journey through Mystic Cave Zone, Sonic and Tails eventually locate Robotnik in the Egg Digger, which they have a battle against. After his vehicle is defeated, Robotnik flees, while Sonic and Tails continue onward to Oil Ocean Zone.
  • By falling down a bottomless pit in Mystic Cave Zone in the 2013 remaster of the game, Sonic and Tails abandon Mystic Cave Zone and enter Hidden Palace Zone.

Gameplay

Mystic Cave Zone is a slow-paced Zone that usually branches into various paths. Common elements for this Zone include moving floating platforms and large boxes that fly around to crush the player, usually in groups of two. Other recurring gimmicks are vines the player can hang onto to go down. Usually, these gimmicks are placed so that the player can avoid falling into hazards, or to open up bridges and access new paths. Similar gimmicks also featured here are levers the player can hang on to to open up new paths, most of which are obligatory to use in order to continue.

Less commonly, the player will find sets of platforms with spikes inside the walls. Once the player gets near, these platforms will slowly go outside of the walls, starting with the one on the bottom, forming some sort of staircase. Mystic Cave Zone Act 2 also features black iron balls spinning around floating blocks.

Overview

Act 1

There are many Rings to collect here. The road splits into two paths, both of which end in the same tunnel before splitting up again. The player will firstly encounter some disintegrating platforms. The lower route has a hidden Shield monitor parked on the left. Spikes protect the next section: an area with a long spike pit at the bottom covered by some disintegrating platforms with a lever. This lever will open a drawbridge blocking the tunnel. Around the slant, a Crawlton will emerge from the ceiling to attack the playable character. After the next set of spikes is a disintegrating platform leading into the pit below, where another Shield monitor can be found. An ivy can be used to send the player upwards. The player can either take the red Spring, or try and time their run well to get past the crushing vine on the right.

Taking the disintegrating platforms will lead to the higher section: The player will encounter a crushing vine, followed by a Flasher. After two quarter slants, the player will land on a platform where a spiked block will protrude through the wall. Three more disintegrating platforms above will lead to a Star Post and a Super Ring monitor. Beyond the short tunnel to the right is a yellow Spring, which the player could take to reach the next high section, or drop down a level.

The next lower section has a Star Post to the right of a blocking drawbridge. The lever will lower the player down while opening the drawbridge to the next road. To the left is a Super Ring monitor and a red Spring, sending the player past a Flasher through a slant. The road then bends upwards to the next area: a group of small floating platforms with a pit surrounded by spikes in the corners. Ascend right and the player will see some spike-edged blocks coming through the wall.

The second high section has a group of Rings. To the right is a series of rotating crush blocks in mid air with a drop point leading to the lower section as explained earlier. Past that is a short platform with a Spring parked on a short wall. A Flasher will be encountered there. Beyond there is a group of spikes followed by an ivy, which opens a drawbridge and lowers the playable character down safely. To the left of the spiked pit below is a Super Ring monitor. Jump over the gap with the disintegrating platform and the player will encounter the same spiked blocks, terminating the split.

The narrow tunnel itself bends down, where the player will encounter a Flasher. They can then choose to pass the vine and take the ivy on the right, during which the player has to watch out for the Flasher there, or ascend some steps up the higher route.* From the ivy the player can either pass the next crushing vine, or drop down to the route below, where there are two red Springs facing each other along at the ends of a long pit. Nevertheless, a Flasher will be encountered regardless of the chosen path. Past that Spring on the right is an Invincible monitor followed by three moving crush blocks. Beyond there is another red Spring pit, but with two Flashers. Then, there is a long quarter slant leading to a wall up to an inverted crushing vine, with a Star Post immediately to its left on a floating island. To the right is another pit, with a Crawlton. The player will then notice a drawbridge blocking the path across. The player must head downwards from there. There, they will pick up a hidden Invincible monitor. Trails of Rings and a Super Ring can be picked up along this route. A Spring will take them up the quarter slant to a moving floating platform, a disintegrating platform on the side, and a lever at the top which opens a drawbridge on the left.

*The higher route is described as follows. The player must go up some stairs on the left. A series of long spiked blocks will emerge from the wall on the left. A lever hanging from the top will open a drawbridge. Past the Flasher is a unique obstacle: a platform with spiked sides on a swing. Jump over the first gap and the player will encounter a swinging iron ball (any fallers will need to refer to the paragraph described above). Once this gap is crossed, another Flasher will appear along with spikes guarding the next set of gaps. Cross the three gaps and the player will encounter a crushing vine, a disintegrating platform and an ivy which sends the player down and opens a drawbridge on the right. Past that point are two Crawltons and a Shield monitor.

The highest point on this floating island in the last section has a lever which protrudes a platform. An ivy sends the player up over the wall, where they will encounter two inverted crushing vines. Below the disintegrating platforms are two Super Ring monitors, with a yellow Spring helping them back up, where the road reaches the Goal Plate.

Act 2

Act 2 is notorious for having a particular part in which the player must grab a vine or else drop into an inescapable pit of spikes, which would be troublesome even for Super Sonic. However, in the 2013 remaster of the game, the spikes were removed to reveal a special secret passage underneath a wide drop: Hidden Palace Zone.

Act 2 starts with a lever which opens a drawbridge. The Act splits into two paths: The top route has moving platforms, a disintegrating platform, and a Crawlton from the ceiling,* While the lower route has trails of Rings with a group of spikes and another lever which opens another drawbridge, but closes off the spike pit with a red Spring below. The lower section has a crushing vine to the right of a downward slope, with spikes on the left. Through the tunnel with spikes on the ceiling is a Flasher, followed by two disintegrating platforms and a pit below which has spikes, an Invincible monitor and a red Spring. This spring can be used to reach the disintegrating platform above and reach the upper section. A well placed landing and jump will help them reach the ledge where a Super Ring monitor can be found.**

The tunnel past the pit on the right has two Crawlton hanging from the ceiling, with the road bending up to a wall twice. Two Flashers will appear adjacent as the road meanders upwards. The ivy on the right can be used to descend safely. Otherwise, the player will get hurt by the spikes in the corner. Three crush blocks will rotate about counter-clockwise. There is also a Super Ring and Invincible monitor in the two safe areas on the left. Descend down and the player can use the lever to turn the next wall into a bridge. The descent continues with two disintegrating platforms, with a spike pit on the left corner. A Flasher will then appear to the right, followed by a long road along a tunnel with three trails of Rings. They will then encounter a crushing vine from an upward slope. At the end of the road is a disintegrating platform leading to a spike pit below. The player must use the yellow Spring. They can then either use the ledge on the right, where another crushing vine is located, or grab hold of an ivy to go up instead.****

To the right of the crushing vine are four Flashers along the next road. At the end of this road is a bottomless pit. The lever hanging on the ceiling will open a drawbridge, closing the gap. The next gap has disintegrating platforms, fall down this pit and on the right is a One-Up monitor sitting on top of a red Spring. The final gap has a swinging iron ball rotating around a block. The road bends up to a yellow Spring on the right corner, with an ivy to help ascend up to the next ledge. A Flasher will intercept. Afterwards, the player can then pick up the Shield monitor, the route closes out one the player touches the ivy, or the next vertical yellow Spring.

At this point, the road splits into two. The player can choose to jump off the disintegrating platform and go higher*** or ignore it and go lower instead. The lower route starts with a crushing vine in which the player has a smaller opportunity to get past, followed by two Flashers and a Super Ring monitor. The Star Post can be found in the lower part of a T-junction, leading to a long road towards the boss.

*After a few steps, the player will encounter two swinging platforms that bounce off one another. Across there is a disintegrating platform on the side of the ledge with a yellow Spring, allowing them to reach the lever and make a platform with the drawbridge to the left. Along the quarter-slant up the wall is a Spring. The left side is a hidden area leading to a Star Post. To the right on the other hand, the player can jump off the disintegrating platform to the next ledge, where there is a backwards Spring and some Jump Panels up some steps. To the right is a Power Sneakers monitor parked in the corner and a lever which opens a drawbridge. Two vines help the player descend safely. To the left of the first ivy is a Star Post, while the second ivy stops before a spike pit. Jump off the left and the playable character will be able to break the Super Ring monitor.

**The player must use the moving platform along the spike pit to avoid losing Rings. The platform leads to the next obstacle: A spike swinging around a stationary block. The upper ledge can be landed on by jumping off this block. It leads to a long road with various quarter slants and trails of Rings, but watch out for Flashers along the way. The road ends with a gap of two disintegrating platforms. After the gap is crossed, a long spike-edged block will protrude out from the wall. The player will then encounter three rotating crush blocks, splitting the road into two once again. The lower route has a gap with a low hanging ivy. This route is then the same as described in the fourth paragraph.

The upper route has a series of long spike-edged blocks that will help them ascend the wall.*** A long quarter-slant leads to the upper section. The road slopes down a bit, with a Crawlton emerging form the ceiling. This is followed by two gaps closed off by Jump Panels on either side; using them earns the player a maximum of fourteen Rings. More Rings, a Super Ring and an ivy can be found in order to descend past the drawbridge. The bottom is closed off with a spike pit with a Super Ring in the right corner and a disintegrating platform covering the left side. The road descends to the left where another ivy must be used. A Shield monitor is parked in the bottom right corner. The player will need to pass the crushing vine down to the Star Post, leading to the boss.

****If the player takes this ivy, they will find another vertical Spring leading to the next section: another trio of rotating crush blocks. To the left is a Star Post and a Super Ring monitor located in the same place. A well-timed jump to the right side of these blocks will help them reach the lever, opening a drawbridge. Along this road are two Crawltons emerging from the underground. Past them is a gap with a swinging iron ball around a block. If they fall through this gap they, will go back to the route described in the third paragraph. Past this gap is a Super Ring monitor in the corner. The next pit below has a yellow Spring, leading the player up a quarter slant towards the yellow Spring and ivy. The route is then similar to the one described in the fourth paragraph.

Boss

Main article: Egg Digger

The Egg Digger, from Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

Mystic Cave Zone's boss is the Egg Digger, a double-barreled drilling machine. This burrowing mech tunnels into the roof of the cavern, dislodging rocks and stalactites which rain down injuriously on the player. After bombarding the heroes with debris, the Egg Digger will descend and come at the playable character with its drilling arms.

In the 2013 remaster of the game, the Egg Digger boss fight can be skipped if the player enters Hidden Palace Zone.

Other game appearances

Sonic Drift 2

In Sonic Drift 2, Mystic Cave is the fifth track of the White Grand Prix (White being the intermediate of the three available tournaments), coming after Hill Top and before Emerald Hill. Unlike the majority of races in the 2nd Chaos Grand Prix, this is not a three-lap circular course; the objective is simply to get through the tunnel system ahead of everyone else.

In other media

Books and comics

Sonic the Comic

The Mystic Cave Zone, from Sonic the Comic.

In Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions, the Mystic Cave Zone is an underground Zone on Mobius. In addition to being used once by Dr. Robotnik to host a cult of his, the Mystic Cave Zone served as a hideaway for Captain Plunder and his Sky Pirates.

Archie Comics

The Mystic Cave Zone, from Archie Comics.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Mystic Cave Zone is an underground region on Westside Island. Team Dark, Knuckles and Amy came here towards the end of the Shattered World Crisis in order to check out a unique energy signature. While there, they found a passage into Hidden Palace Zone.

IDW Publishing

Mystic Cave Zone, from Sonic the Hedgehog: Imposter Syndrome #4.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing, the Mystic Cave Zone is an underground region on Sonic's world. Its past is virtually identical to its game counterparts', up until after the events of Sonic Forces.

Trivia

  • In a prototype version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Mystic Cave Zone is labeled "Dust Hill Zone" in the level select.
  • The 2-Player music of this Zone, "StH2 Mystic Cave Zone (2P) ~Mega Drive Version~", was originally used for Hidden Palace Zone. It is unclear if this was a placeholder theme as there is a unique track assigned to it in the final version, but it ended up also being used for the restored Zone in the 2013 remaster of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

Gallery

Gallery

Music

Name Length Artist Music Track
"StH2 Mystic Cave Zone ~Mega Drive Version~" 2:07 Masato Nakamura
"StH2 Mystic Cave Zone (2P) ~Mega Drive Version~" 2:05 Masato Nakamura

Video


References

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis) United States instruction booklet, pg. 14.
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 35.
  3. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pgs. 4-5.

Main article (Knuckles in Sonic 2) | Staff | Manuals | Glitches | Beta elements | Gallery | Pre-releases (Nick Arcade, Simon Wai) | Re-releases (2006, 2013, 3D, Sega Ages)
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