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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 in the Dreamcast version. Dr. 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, other than Route 101, this level sees Tails piloting a mech while platforming and shooting enemies and obstacles. Chaining Lock-on 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 finding a rising platform. He then shoots enemies while on the platform, gets off, and continues on to do it again. After reaching the Point Marker, Tails is faced with another obstacle; he must shoot all the enemies, then goes to another rising platform on which there are many Wooden Containers 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 more 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 are not aggressive enough for Tails to keep losing Rings. However, there are only a total of 124 Rings in the level, meaning that the player must collect Rings as soon they see them. Tails will always receive 20 rings after going through a Point Marker with less than 80 Rings. It is recommended to collect a Shield to protect against taking damage.
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 BoosterLevel Up Item can assist in this process. All Point Markers are removed from the stage in this mission.
Last Mission: Clear Hard mode!
Hard Mode for Prison Lane does not vary much from its appearance in the first mission, but there are more G.U.N. robots than usual, along with the weaker ones being replaced by stronger ones. Additionally, just after the third Point Marker, Tails must first destroy the robots in order to make the gate rise. Otherwise, Tails can proceed to the Goal Ring.
To reach the first Chao Container, the player must destroy the Steel Containers beside the right-hand wall of the room they start in. The container is hidden behind them.
Past 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-ways view. The second Chao Container is hidden inside it.
After the first Point Marker, the container can be found on top of the first of the two rooms connected by an upper hallway, blocked by a gate.