Sonic the Hedgehog CD
Loop the loops, twist through corkscrew turns, find footing on hidden platforms, and spin the wheels to blast up vertical ramps. This Round promises plenty of action for a fleet-footed hedgehog! Hope you remembered to bring your mosquito repellent, 'cuz some of these enemies take a big bite!
— US instruction manual, Sonic the Hedgehog CD
It is a tropical region with sharp mountains and scattered waterfalls in the background. Hence the name, palm trees adorn the region, as well as star-shaped plants that seem to litter the tropic coast. This round shares similarities with Green Hill Zone.
The past features a more prehistoric coast as if in the BCE era, with short, purple mountains and a turquoise sky. Palm trees may even or may not share a light bulb-like feature on top. Where the star-shaped plants would be there are instead vine-like growths sprouting from the ground, presumably the early stage of the star-shaped plants.
The bad future has been completely mechanized. Palm trees are mechanical, but are broken down and feature an ominous red light glowing in each center. The star-shaped plants are also mechanical, but they are rusted, broken up, and share the ominous glowing that the palm trees have. The air has been polluted by smog just as the waters have been by oil.
The good future is also mechanized but is bright, vivid, colorful, and clean. The star-shaped plants and trees are both mechanical and seem to act as water transporters. Pipes run water through the area, sometimes making tiny waterfalls of their own. Many plants adorn the area as well, and the region seems to be entirely water-powered.
Palmtree Panic is a rather speedy level, taking numerous cues from Green Hill Zone while also putting a unique spin on them. One of its most iconic level set pieces is a giant shuttle loop present at the start of the first Zone, which Sonic runs through in a pseudo-3d perspective before being launched into the actual level. A similar path is present near the end as well, though this time it is simply a giant ramp that Sonic can run up. Winding Tunnels also return, but now feature many different formation that snake around and even loop in on themselves, and in one instance in Zone 1 even send Sonic zooming through an unseen tunnel inside the foreground, before bursting out of a wall and leaving behind a Sonic-shaped hole.
In terms of level design, Palmtree Panic is fairly fast and straightforward, though often features multiple routes that shake things up. The Round features very tall hills of varying height that Sonic can climb up from the main path, often using small Emerald Blocks to ascend, and are occasionally connected to each other via crumbling platforms. Lower routes that typically take place in internal cave sections are often much more mazelike in design, requiring the player to navigate through spikes, Springs, and other obstacles to reach their desired destination.
Palmtree Panic also features many gimmicks that make it stand out from other first levels in the series. Of note are the aforementioned Emerald Blocks that are not only present in the exact same spots across all timezones, but also feature different properties depending on the timezone as well. Also featured are Spring Poles, as well as spinning turntables that rotate the player around when stood on. Arguably the most iconic "obstacle" present in the level is Amy Rose, who appears at the very end of Zone 1 following Sonic around and latching onto him.
In other media
Sonic the Comic
- Palmtree Panic was originally named "Salad Plain" early in the game's development.
- With debug mode enabled, if the player goes below the boss arena after defeating the boss, 3 monitors are present, not normally obtainable, and two of them are unused. There is an extra life, the infamous "S" monitor, and a monitor with a timer on it- the "S" gives Sonic invincibility and super speed, and the timer freezes time and all objects for a few seconds, similar to Team Dark's Team Blast in Sonic Heroes.
- As with every other stage, the US and Japanese music for the past is the same track.
- Palmtree Panic, like many Mega Drive-era Sonic game first levels, is reminiscent of Green Hill Zone.
- The music that plays in this round during the Bad Future in the Japanese version of Sonic the Hedgehog CD was remixed for one of the boss battle music tracks in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.
- In Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, the music that plays in the stage's present time can be played in the Seaside Hill racetracks; however, it's based off of the Japanese version.
- The same applies for on Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, except 'Present' isn't in the name.
- The JP music of this round returns as an unlockable track in Sonic Generations, where it is listed as PalmTree Panic.
- The Japanese version of this round's music appears as one of the songs that can be purchased in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where it is listed as Palm Tree Panic. In Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, it is listed as Palmtree Panic.
|Palmtree Panic "P" mix||Naofumi Hataya||2:57|
|Palmtree Party||Spencer Nilsen, David Young||1:51|
|Palmtree Panic - Bad Future||Spencer Nilsen, David Young||1:26|
|Palmtree Panic (US)||Spencer Nilsen, David Young||1:22|
|Palmtree Panic (JP)||Naofumi Hataya||1:46|
|Palmtree Panic "B" mix||Naofumi Hataya||1:22|
|Palmtree Panic "G" mix||Naofumi Hataya||1:19|