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This level is filled with G.U.N. security robots, all of which make excellent target practice for Tails. Despite the fact that it is quite large, the level is full of narrow passageways, causing it to sometimes feel cramped. The cells appear to be unoccupied for the most part, aside from the one occupied by Sonic and one that contains Big the Cat (Dreamcast version only). Eggman has a level somewhat similar in tone to this one, which happens to be the first Dark stage in the game, known as Iron Gate.
Like all of Tails' stages (save for Route 101, which takes place on a kart track), this level sees Tails piloting a mech while platforming and shooting enemies and obstacles. Chaining Homing Shots together awards the player with a certain number of points, the amount of which depending on how many enemies were destroyed in the attack.
1st Mission: Find the core of the prison!
The level starts out with Tails shooting enemies. Tails defeats G.U.N. robots for a time before he finds a rising platform. He now shoots enemies while on the platform, gets off, and does it again. After he reaches the checkpoint, Tails is faced with another obstacle; he must shoot all the enemies, then goes to another rising platform on which there are many boxes for him to destroy. Then he must shoot many enemies until he gets to a giant platform. He continues to go up for a while shooting many enemies. When he gets to the top, he faces more platform obstacles and a mini-maze. Once Tails reaches the end, he shoots many enemies and can finish the level by reaching the Goal Ring.
2nd Mission: Collect 100 rings!
This mission is not extremely difficult, as the enemies aren't aggressive enough for Tails to keep losing Rings. However, there are only a total of 124 Rings in the entire level, meaning that Tails must collect Rings as soon he sees them. Tails will always receive twenty rings after going through a checkpoint with less than 80 Rings. It is also recommended to get a shield to protect against taking damage.
3rd Mission: Find the lost Chao!
In order to get to the lost Chao, Tails must get the Booster from Mission Street and the Mystic Melody first. After the second checkpoint, there is a large room with an alternate roof path. Tails must hover up to it and look over to see a platform with the Ancient Shrine on it. Tails can then play the Mystic Melody to make a spring appear, and he must then destroy every enemy in the room to make the door with the lost Chao inside unlock.
4th Mission: Reach the goal within 3 minutes 0 seconds!
The player must go through the level while stopping to attack enemies as quickly as possible. The Booster level up item can assist in this process. All checkpoints are removed from the level for this mission.
Last Mission: Clear Hard mode!
Hard Mode for Prison Lane is not very different from the first mission, but there are more G.U.N. robots than usual and some weaker ones are replaced with stronger ones. Additionally, just after the third checkpoint, Tails must first destroy some robots in order to make the gate rise. Otherwise, Tails can proceed to the goal.
Level Up Item
Near the Goal Ring, there is a gate that can only be opened once all of the enemies in the room are defeated (including a Beetle that is hiding in a corner). After the gate is opened, Tails must use his Bazooka to break the steel containers. Proceeding straight ahead, Tails will receive the Laser Blaster.
Chao Container locations
To reach the first Chao Container, the player must destroy the Iron Containers in the right-hand wall of the room they start in. The container is hidden behind them.
After going out of the first locked prison, the player must take the lift on the left to go up to the roof, then walk toward the camera to make it reveal a side-way prison in view. The second Chao Container is inside it.
After the first Point Marker, it is on the first of the two rooms connected by an upper hallway, blocked by a gate.