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Sonic News Network
Sonic News Network

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles (ソニック3 & ナックルズ[3] Sonikku Surī to Nakkuruzu?, lit. "Sonic 3 & Knuckles"), also known as Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Sonic 3 + Sonic & Knuckles (ソニック3+ソニック&ナックルズ[4] Sonikku Surī Purasu Sonikku to Nakkuruzu?), Sonic 3 Complete Version,[5] and Sonic 3 Complete Edition (ソニック3・完全版[6] Sonikku Surī Kanzenhan?), is a platform video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, which is the result of locking-on Sonic & Knuckles with Sonic the Hedgehog 3 using the former cartridge's unique lock-on technology. It is essentially a large combined game of its two lock-on components which contains all Zones from the said games and also contains special features unique to this game. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles is the original Sonic the Hedgehog 3 the developers intended to release but time constraints by Sega resulted in this game being split into two.[7]


Spoiler warning: Plot, ending details or any kind of information follow.


Following the West Side Island incident, Dr. Robotnik's Death Egg falls from orbit and impacts the Floating Island along the way, thus pushing the island into the ocean and creating a giant tsunami. Fortunately, the island does not sink into the sea; instead, it stays slightly above the sea as if nothing has happened. Having survived the crash, Dr. Robotnik is aware that the Chaos Emeralds are somewhere on the Floating Island. He also detects the energy of a giant Chaos Emerald on the island, which he can use to re-launch the Death Egg. With this new plan in mind, the doctor starts to build a base on the Floating Island while catching the local Animals to turn them into Badniks.[8]

Days later, Dr. Robotnik meets Knuckles the Echidna, the guardian of the Floating Island. Learning of Knuckles' position and duty, the doctor tells him that he is a scientist who has come to "investigate" the Death Egg. He also "warns" Knuckles about Sonic, who is an evil hedgehog that plans to steal the island's Master Emerald. Believing Robotnik, Knuckles teams up with him to stop Sonic. Meanwhile, Sonic is relaxing somewhere away from the Floating Island until his friend, Tails, detects a Chaos Emerald energy reaction out at sea with his Jewel Radar. As Tails ponders if this reaction has something to do with the tsunami that appeared days ago, Sonic finds a ring with ancient inscriptions on it that gives him a strong sense of nostalgia and prompts him to set out on another adventure. Eventually, Sonic and Tails head out to investigate the incident out at sea.[8]

Sonic and Tails

Sonic and Tails meeting Knuckles for the first time.

Arriving with Tails at the Floating Island in the Tornado, Sonic uses the seven Chaos Emeralds he had acquired prior to turn into Super Sonic and begins exploring the island while Tails tries to follow. Shortly after arriving on the island however, Knuckles pulls off a cheap shot on Sonic from below, causing him to lose his Super State and drop the Chaos Emeralds. Knuckles proceeds to take the Chaos Emeralds before running off.[9] Now having to retrieve the Emeralds again and stop Dr. Robotnik, Sonic and Tails make their way across the island, dealing with Robotnik and Knuckles' attacks along the way. Eventually, they arrive at Launch Base Zone, Dr. Robotnik's base where he has almost finished re-building the Death Egg. At the end of this Zone, the Death Egg is ready to take off. To reach the Death Egg, Sonic and Tails hitch a ride on a nearby Egg Mobile, though Knuckles keeps them from proceeding with it. Fortunately, local tremors causes him to lose his balance and fall down from the pillar he is on, allowing Sonic and Tails free passage. In the end, the duo manages to jump onto a platform on the Death Egg just as it starts to take off. There, Robotnik returns to defeat Sonic through excessive force with the Egg Rocket. As Sonic and Tails defeat Robotnik once more, the battle has already taken its toll on the Death Egg during a critical point of its launch, and the space fortress plummets back to the Floating Island while Sonic and Tails watch from afar.[9]

Immediately after, Sonic and Tails fall to Mushroom Hill Zone. Meanwhile, the Death Egg lands in the Floating Island's volcano, still intact enough for Dr. Robotnik to salvage it and re-launch it. Aware of this, Sonic and Tails continue their mission to destroy the Death Egg. However, their quest is suddenly interrupted when they spot Knuckles appearing from a hidden door in the thicket. After carefully examining the vicinity, Knuckles disappears into the forest. Once sure that Knuckles is gone, Sonic and Tails emerge from their hiding place and open the door from where Knuckles came out of with a nearby Switch. Inside the hidden room, they are caught in an overflowing, dazzling light. Taking a closer look inside the light, they see a Super Ring. Unable to quell their curiosity about what this ring could be, they touch it, causing them to be taken to Hidden Palace Zone, a giant solemn hall with a pristine altar. There, they see some pillars with the Master Emerald and some other stones, which use the power of their Chaos Emeralds to become inert Super Emeralds. Filled with questions, Sonic and Tails decide to set off to power the Super Emeralds, stop Dr. Robotnik from re-launching the Death Egg again, and discover the mystery of Hidden Palace Zone.[10]

Sonic watches the Death Egg take off from Sky Sanctuary Zone.

Making their way though the Floating Island, Sonic and Tails arrive in Lava Reef Zone, the location of the Death Egg. In an attempt to stop the heroes, the space fortress uses its laser eyes to reactivate the volcano. Surviving this attack, the duo arrives in Hidden Palace Zone again, where they have a battle against Knuckles. After Knuckles is defeated though, he, Sonic and Tails witness Robotnik stealing the Master Emerald with the Egg Mobile. Enraged, Knuckles tries to stop the doctor, only for the latter to electrocute him and escape. Realizing that Robotnik has lied to him and that Sonic and Tails are actually trying to save the Floating Island, Knuckles takes the heroes to Sky Sanctuary Zone, where Sonic and Tails continue onward, dealing with Mecha Sonic along the way, before managing to get onboard the Death Egg.

With the Death Egg having made it into space, Sonic and Tails pass though Dr. Robotnik's many contraptions, before fighting Robotnik and his Giant Eggman Robo, a mech powered by the Master Emerald. After losing the battle, Robotnik tries to escape in his Egg Mobile with the Master Emerald, only to be stopped, triggering a chain reaction that causes the Death Egg to crumble and explode. From here, the ending of the game will depend on the player's progress:

  • If the player has not managed to get all the Chaos Emeralds, they will fall down from space before being saved by either Tails or Sonic in the Tornado. Meanwhile, the Master Emerald will stay in space. After the credits, Dr. Robotnik is shown with the Master Emerald in his possession.
  • If the player has found the seven Chaos Emeralds, but not the Super Emeralds, Sonic will transform into Super Sonic and have a final battle against Robotnik in the Final Weapon in The Doomsday Zone. After defeating him, Super Sonic will fall down from space with the Master Emerald. Both will then be saved by Tails in the Tornado. Sonic and Tails will then take the Master Emerald back to the Floating Island, allowing it to float again. After the credits, an EggRobo will be seen emerging from scrap.
    • If the player is playing as Tails, he will skip The Doomsday Zone. Instead, he will fall down from space in his normal state with the Master Emerald before both of them are saved by Sonic in the Tornado. The rest of the ending will be the same from there.
  • If the player has collected the seven Super Emeralds, Sonic will transform into Hyper Sonic and battle Dr. Robotnik in The Doomsday Zone. The rest of the ending will be the same as Super Sonic's from there. After the credits, Sonic, Tails and Knuckles are shown posing around a "SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 3 & KNUCKLES" logo.
    • If the player is playing as Tails, he will transform into Super Tails, skipping The Doomsday Zone and repeating the ending.


While Knuckles is relaxing in Angel Island Zone with some Animals, they are attacked when a bomb thrown by an Eggrobo hits them. However, either by toughness or luck,[9] Knuckles survives the bomb attack and takes off after the EggRobo.

Knuckles battling Mecha Sonic.

Making his way across the Floating Island, Knuckles has many battles against the EggRobo. Eventually arriving in Sky Sanctuary Zone, where the Floating island is shown falling slowly from the sky, Knuckles is caught by the EggRobo using its Egg Mobile's hook, and is brought to a reactivated Mecha Sonic. As Mecha Sonic is about to attack Knuckles however, he frees himself in the last moment, making Mecha Sonic accidentally destroy the EggRobo. Immediately after, a battle between Knuckles and Mecha Sonic starts, with the former emerging victorious. However, Mecha Sonic uses the stolen Master Emerald and its power to gain an advantage with a Super State. Despite this, Knuckles still wins the fight. Immediately afterward, Sky Sanctuary Zone starts to crumble. From here, the ending of the game will depend on the player's progress:

The bad ending of Sonic & Knuckles, as Knuckles.

  • If the player has not managed to collect the seven Chaos Emeralds, an exhausted Knuckles is saved by Sonic in the Tornado, who will take him to the Floating Island, which is shown floating on top of the ocean. After the credits, Mecha Sonic is shown re-activating itself in front of the Master Emerald, which it will then stand on top of.
  • If the player has collected the seven Chaos Emeralds, but not the Super Emeralds, Sonic will show up in the Tornado and save Super Knuckles, who will be holding the Master Emerald. Sonic will then take Knuckles back to the Floating Island, which will start rising into the sky again.
  • If the player has collected all seven Super Emeralds, Sonic will appear in the Tornado to save Hyper Knuckles and the Master Emerald. He will then take Knuckles and the Master Emerald back to the Floating Island, which will start rising into the sky again. After the credits, Knuckles, Sonic and Tails are shown posing around a "SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 3 & KNUCKLES" logo.


Knuckles in Angel Island Zone, from Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles is a side-scrolling 2D platforming video game, which plays identical to Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. Players can control Sonic, Tails and Knuckles, each with their own abilities. They can also play as Sonic while being accompanied by Tails, who is controlled by either a second player or an AI. The most basic actions these characters can perform are running and jumping.

The main goal of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles is to pass a series of Acts in less than ten minutes for each of them. These Acts are designed so that they can branch into numerous pathways and have varied secrets for the player to find. At the end of every Act, a boss is encountered. After the bosses of the first Acts are defeated, a Goal Plate will fall. On the other hand, defeating the bosses of the second Acts will allow the player to open a Capsule. Either way, interacting with both of these gimmicks will automatically end their Act.

During gameplay, the player can find Rings, which basically work as the playable character's health. The number of Rings carried by the player is displayed in the top left corner of the HUD. As with past Sonic games, Rings serve as the playable character's main method of protection from damage; if the playable character takes damage while they carry at least one Ring, they will survive, though they will lose all their Rings. Taking damage while not holding any Rings will cost the player a life. The player will also lose a life if they drown underwater, get crushed, fall into a bottomless pit, or spend ten minutes in the same Act. After losing a life, the playable character will respawn at the latest Star Post they touched, or at the start of a Zone if they have not touched any Star Post. If the player runs out of lives, they will get a Game Over. Extra lives can be obtained by breaking Extra Life Monitors, collecting one-hundred Rings, or earning fifty-thousand points.

As a secondary objective in the game, the player can enter Special Stages through hidden Super Rings to collect the seven Chaos Emeralds. By doing so, they will be able to transform into either Super Sonic or Super Knuckles for Sonic and Knuckles respectively. In addition, they will also be allowed to enter seven additional Special Stages to collect the seven Super Emeralds, with which they will be able to transform into Hyper Sonic, Super Tails, or Hyper Knuckles. Depending on whether or not they have collected both the Chaos and the Super Emeralds will affect the ending of the game. In addition, by collecting a certain number of Rings and touching a Star Post, they will be given the option to enter a Bonus Stage and get Rings and Shields.

Scoring system

New features

  • The player can play as Knuckles in the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Zones, although his opening cutscene from Sonic & Knuckles has been removed in favor for transiting from Launch Base Zone to Mushroom Hill Zone.
  • Likewise, the player can play as Tails in the Sonic & Knuckles Zones (except for The Doomsday Zone) or have him follow Sonic throughout the entire game.
  • Passing a Star Post can now open up all three Bonus Stages, including the Slot Machine Stage (twenty-thirty four Rings required), the Glowing Sphere Stage (thirty five–forty nine Rings required) from Sonic & Knuckles as well as the Gumball Machine Stage (fifty–sixty five Rings required) from Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
  • Game progress can be saved in all Zones (including those from Sonic & Knuckles) using the save feature from Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

Super Emeralds

Main article: Super Emerald

The Master Emerald (center-top) surrounded by the seven Super Emeralds.

Super Emeralds are enhanced versions of the Chaos Emeralds. When the player enters the first Giant Ring in Mushroom Hill Zone, they teleport to Hidden Palace Zone where the Chaos Emeralds are taken from them and transformed into gray emeralds, thus beginning the Super Emerald quest. The player can step on one of the gray emeralds to commence a Special Stage for a chance to convert it into a Super Emerald. If the player does not have all of the Chaos Emeralds prior to reaching Mushroom Hill Zone, the acquired Chaos Emeralds will still become gray Super Emeralds and the player is given the opportunity to convert one of their Chaos Emeralds into a Super Emerald. However, the player will not be allowed to return to Hidden Palace Zone via the Giant Rings until they collect the remaining Chaos Emeralds. If the player has not collected a single Chaos Emerald by Mushroom Hill Zone (or has converted all of their Chaos Emeralds into Super Emeralds and not obtain the remaining Chaos Emeralds) and goes to Hidden Palace Zone via the first Giant Ring, the player must exit the area by jumping on the teleporter in the bottom central part of the room, directly below the Master Emerald.

Super/Hyper transformations

By collecting all seven Super Emeralds from the Special Stages, each of the three main playable characters (Sonic, Tails and Knuckles) will have access to more powerful forms upon using the power of the Emeralds. As with super transformations, the player must have collected fifty Rings and then press the jump button during a jump (as long as Sonic is not equipped with an elemental shield) to initiate the transformation. While under the transformation, one Ring is consumed per second and once the player has zero Rings, completes the Act or enters a Bonus Stage at a Star Post, the user will revert back to normal.

Name Image Description
Hyper Sonic Hyper sonic.gif Enhanced version of Super Sonic. While retaining all of Super Sonic's traits, including increased running speed, high jumping ability, the ability to smash through patterned walls (except for those that are intended only for Knuckles to break through) and invulnerability to enemy attacks and obstacles, Hyper Sonic's movements have been increased further, he has the ability to breathe underwater, and he gains a new ability (called the "Hyper Flash") which serves as a mid-air dash towards any direction and can also destroy all on-screen enemies at once.
Super Tails Super-Tails-Gif-2.gif Tails' super transformation. Following the regular traits of a super form, Tails' running speed, jumping height and flying speed are all increased and he is also invulnerable to enemy attacks and obstacles. In addition, Tails is aided by four "Super" Flickies who will automatically attack nearby enemies, including bosses, acting as bodyguards for him.
Hyper Knuckles Hyper Knuckles animated.gif Enhanced version of Super Knuckles. While retaining all of Super Knuckles' traits, including increased running speed, increased gliding speed, increased wall-climbing speed and invulnerability to enemy attacks and obstacles, Hyper Knuckles' movements have been increased further, he has the ability to breathe underwater, and he gains a new ability (called the "Gliding Shock Wave Attack") where whenever Knuckles glides into a wall at sufficient speeds, the impact will create a sudden tremor that destroys all on-screen enemies at once.


  • The Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Zones have the following differences when playing as Knuckles:
    • Most Act layouts are different.
    • Knuckles does not face the Egg Gravitron at Carnival Night Zone Act 2 and simply has to jump on the Capsule switch to clear the Act.
      • It is still possible for Knuckles to fight the Egg Gravitron (piloted by EggRobo). The transition from Carnival Night Zone to IceCap Zone with Knuckles still remains the same as with Sonic and/or Tails when he hops in the cannon, but when IceCap Zone starts, Knuckles will still be seen emerging from the teleporter instead as if he cleared the previous Zone normally.
  • After Launch Base Zone is cleared, the screen scrolls downward with the Death Egg falling rather than playing the normal ending animation and gameplay immediately proceeds to Mushroom Hill Zone.
    • The Big Arm boss fight at Launch Base Zone Act 2 is omitted for Sonic and Tails, while the Egg Cannon boss fight is omitted for Knuckles.
  • The save files now have the following changes:
    • The number of save files has been increased from six to eight.
    • Upon accessing 1 Player Mode for the first time, any existing save files from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 will be imported to Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. These will retain the character, last Zone (a completed save file in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 will become a Mushroom Hill Zone save file) and number of Chaos Emeralds, but will default to three lives and zero continues. This feature is missing in some later compilations.
    • Save files now display information about the number of continues, lives and the Chaos Emeralds surround the player's character as the player collects them (the Chaos Emeralds are replaced with their correspondingly colored Super Emeralds when the player collects them).
    • New character portraits displayed on top of cleared save files have been added: two for Knuckles (when his playthrough is finished with and without all seven Chaos Emeralds collected as well as not collecting all of the Super Emeralds) and one shared across every character when their playthroughs are completed with all seven Super Emeralds).
  • The BGM tracks that were different between Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles now use the Sonic & Knuckles ones. As such, the entire game now makes use of themes such as "Theme of "SONIC & KNUCKLES"", "The Boss", "Theme of "KNUCKLES""; and the Sonic & Knuckles tracks for the 1-Up jingle, and the Invincibility track.
  • All Act title cards now display a "SONIC 3 & KNUCKLES" text.
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Zones now have a slightly different layout to make them easier.
    • While the Sonic & Knuckles Zones have been left unchanged for the most part, a short sequence was added at the start of Sonic and Tails' version of Mushroom Hill Zone Act 1 showing Knuckles coming out from a hidden passageway and then proceeding to close it with a switch. A similar series of events was already mentioned in the Japanese manual of Sonic & Knuckles.
      • The way the Act starts is different as well, showing Tails carrying Sonic to the ground, in a similar way to how Carnival Night Zone Act 1 starts for them.
      • As Knuckles, the Act starts with him falling from the sky after what happened in Launch Base Zone. The next section is a small room with a Giant Ring, followed by where the Act would start when playing as him in Sonic & Knuckles.
  • The method of accessing the Level Select and Debug Mode is different.


Button formation Movement
Sonic-S3&K.png Sonic Miles-Tails-S3&K.png Tails K-T-E-S3&K.png Knuckles
Controlpadds.png left/right Walk/Run
Controlpadds.png up Look up
Controlpadds.png down Look down/Crouch
A Button (Sega Genesis).svg/B Button (Sega Genesis).svg/C Button (Sega Genesis).svg Spin Jump
Move + Controlpadds.png down Spin Attack
Controlpadds.png down + A Button (Sega Genesis).svg/B Button (Sega Genesis).svg/C Button (Sega Genesis).svg Spin Dash
A Button (Sega Genesis).svg/B Button (Sega Genesis).svg/C Button (Sega Genesis).svg x2 Insta-Shield N/A
Tapping A Button (Sega Genesis).svg/B Button (Sega Genesis).svg/C Button (Sega Genesis).svg N/A Propeller Flying/Swim N/A
A Button (Sega Genesis).svg/B Button (Sega Genesis).svg/C Button (Sega Genesis).svg > Hold A Button (Sega Genesis).svg/B Button (Sega Genesis).svg/C Button (Sega Genesis).svg N/A Glide
Controlpadds.png up/down while on a wall Wall Climb



Playable characters

Non-playable characters



No. Sonic & Tails Knuckles
1 Fire Breath
(Angel Island Zone)
2 Big Shaker
(Hydrocity Zone)
3 Tunnelbot
(Marble Garden Zone)
4 Bowling Spin
(Carnival Night Zone)
5 Big Icedus
(IceCap Zone)
6 Twin Hammer
(Launch Base Zone)
7 Hey Ho
(Mushroom Hill Zone)
8 Gapsule
(Flying Battery Zone Act 1)
9 Barrier Eggman
(Flying Battery Zone Act 2)
10 Guardian
(Sandopolis Zone)
11 Heat Arms
(Lava Reef Zone)
12 Egg Mobile-H
(Sky Sanctuary Zone)
13 Flying Eggman
(Sky Sanctuary Zone)
14 Red Eye
(Death Egg Zone Act 1)
15 Death Ball
(Death Egg Zone Act 2)


No. Sonic & Tails Knuckles
1 Egg Scorcher Mk III
(Angel Island Zone)
2 Egg Vortex
(Hydrocity Zone)
3 Egg Drillster Mk II
(Marble Garden Zone)
4 Egg Gravitron
(Carnival Night Zone)
Egg Froster
(IceCap Zone)
5 Egg Froster
(IceCap Zone)
Egg Cannon
(Launch Base Zone)
6 Egg Rocket
(Launch Base Zone)
7 Jet Mobile
(Mushroom Hill Zone)
Big Arm
(Launch Base Zone)
8 Hang Mobile
(Flying Battery Zone)
Jet Mobile
(Mushroom Hill Zone)
9 Egg Golem
(Sandopolis Zone)
Hang Mobile
(Flying Battery Zone)
10 Hot Mobile
(Lava Reef Zone)
Egg Golem
(Sandopolis Zone)
11 Knuckles the Echidna
(Hidden Palace Zone)
Mecha Sonic
(Sky Sanctuary Zone)
12 Mecha Sonic
(Sky Sanctuary Zone)
Super Mecha Sonic
(Sky Sanctuary Zone)
13 Giant Eggman Robo
(Death Egg Zone)
14 Final Weapon
(The Doomsday Zone)


  1. Angel Island Zone
  2. Hydrocity Zone
  3. Marble Garden Zone
  4. Carnival Night Zone
  5. IceCap Zone
  6. Launch Base Zone
  7. Mushroom Hill Zone
  8. Flying Battery Zone
  9. Sandopolis Zone
  10. Lava Reef Zone
  11. Hidden Palace Zone
  12. Sky Sanctuary Zone
  13. Death Egg Zone (Sonic & Tails)
  14. The Doomsday Zone (Sonic)

Special Stages

Bonus Stages

Competition Zones


  • Sound Test/Act Select: At Angel Island Zone, grab hold on a swinging rope and press the following in order: Left, Left, Left, Right, Right, Right, Up, Up, Up, with a Ring chime sounding if successful.) Then, pause the game and press A Button (Sega Genesis).svg to return to the title screen. The Sound Test option should be available to select below "Competition".
  • Debug Mode: After accessing the Sound Test, play through either act of Mushroom Hill Zone and grab a hold on one of the manual elevators and press the following in order: Left, Left, Left, Right, Right, Right, Up, Up, Up, with a Ring chime sounding if successful. Then pause the game and press A Button (Sega Genesis).svg to return to the title screen. Go to the Sound Test again then while highlighting any Act hold A Button (Sega Genesis).svg before selecting the Act to start the Act with Debug Mode.


Image Game Platform Description
SKC US Boxart.jpg Sonic & Knuckles Collection PC Released alongside Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic & Knuckles and Blue Sphere in 1997.
Sonic Jam USA Cover.jpg Sonic Jam Sega Saturn Released alongside other Sega Mega Drive games in 1997.
Sonic&GarfieldPack.jpg Sonic & Garfield Pack PC Released as part of Sonic & Knuckles Collection in 1999.
Sonic Mega Collection cover artwork.jpg Sonic Mega Collection Nintendo GameCube Released alongside other Sega Mega Drive games in 2002. It is unlocked after playing Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles twenty times each.
SonicMegaCollectionPlus.png Sonic Mega Collection Plus PlayStation 2/Xbox/Microsoft Windows Released alongside other Sega Mega Drive and Sega Game Gear games in 2002. It is unlocked after playing Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles twenty times each.
SFP PS2.jpg Sega Fun Pack: Sonic Mega Collection Plus & Shadow the Hedgehog PlayStation 2 Released as part of Sonic Mega Collection Plus, alongside Shadow the Hedgehog, in 2009.
N/A Xbox One Re-released in 2009 as part of the Xbox Live Arcade service. It is only available if Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles are both downloaded on the same account.
PC Re-released in 2009 alongside other Sega console games as part of the PlaySEGA website.
SonicPCCollection.jpg Sonic PC Collection Released as part of Sonic Mega Collection Plus, alongside Sonic Riders, Sonic Heroes and Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut; in 2009.
SCC FRONT 12 2 lrg.jpg Sonic Classic Collection Nintendo DS Released (as Knuckles in Sonic 3) alongside other Sonic Sega Mega Drive games in 2010.
N/A Wii Re-released in 2010 as part of the Virtual Console service. It is only available if Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles are both downloaded on the same account.
SegaMegaDriveClassicCollection3UK.jpeg Sega Mega Drive Classic Collection - Volume 3 PC Released alongside other Sega Mega Drive games in 2010.
SegaMegaDriveCollectionGoldEdition.jpeg Sega Mega Drive Classic Collection Gold Edition Released as part of Sega Mega Drive Classic Collection - Volume 3, alongside volumes 1, 2 and 4; in 2011.
Steampicturesonic3andknux.png N/A Released for the Steam service in 2011.
Sonic-Origins-Cover.png Sonic Origins Xbox Series X and Series S/Xbox One/PlayStation 5/PlayStation 4/Nintendo Switch/PC (Steam/Epic Games Store) To be released to celebrate the Sonic series' 30th anniversary in 2022.

Scrapped mobile re-release

On October 18, 2014, Christian Whitehead and Simon Thomley released a concept video showcasing a prototype of a remastered version of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 for smartphone devices they have worked on for a while (see video below). However, circumstances prevented the development from proceeding any further.[11]

As showcased in the video, the following aspects of the game were completed:[11][12]


Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles received critical acclaim from fans. On Metacritic, the game holds a score of 8.8 based on fifty fan ratings, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[13]


  • If using Debug Mode and a certain number of S monitors are destroyed at once (most effectively with the Insta-Shield), then the controls of the character will be locked and by pressing Start the game will turn back into Sonic & Knuckles. This is the only way to access Debug Mode in Sonic & Knuckles.
  • With Debug Mode enabled, the player can access any Act with any character, even those that cannot be normally accessed (such as Sonic and/or Tails in Knuckles' Sky Sanctuary Zone and vice-versa, or Tails or Knuckles in The Doomsday Zone).
  • In the game's Sound Test located in the Level Select menu, the player can choose number 26, which will interestingly cause the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 credits music to play, despite it not being used anywhere in Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Also, the other tracks that differ between Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles (1-Up, Invincibility, Knuckles' theme, Act 1 boss, Intro) use the Sonic & Knuckles version.
  • The "& Knuckles" part of the title spawned into a popular Internet meme in modern times.[14]







See also


  1. Sonic 3 & Knuckles on Steam. Valve. Retrieved on 26 January 2015.
  2. SEGA Mega Drive & Genesis Classics :: Free update with new features! - Steam Community (30 May 2018).
  3. (in Japanese) ソニックメガコレクション最強攻略ガイド. Shogakukan. 1 March 2003. p. 149. ISBN 978-4091060907.
  4. Sonic & Knuckles (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 38.
  5. Sonic Mega Collection Plus game description
  6. (in Japanese) ソニックジャム オフィシャルガイド. SoftBank. 2 October 1997. p. 76. ISBN 978-4797303377.
  7. Sega's Yuji Naka Talks!. GameSpy. Retrieved on 31 December 2014. "Sonic 3 is literally half a game. Sega management back then wanted the game out at a certain time and we only had half the stages done, so we had to put the leftovers into Sonic and Knuckles. So when you bought S&K and attached it to Sonic 3, you got the whole of what Sonic 3 was planned to have been."
  8. 8.0 8.1 Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pgs. 4-6.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Sonic The Hedgehog 4. Sega. Archived from the original on 12 May 2013. Retrieved on 27 October 2017.
  10. Sonic & Knuckles (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pgs. 12-13.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Mawson, Chris (2 April 2015). Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Remastered Interview with Christian 'The Taxman' Whitehead. Power Up Gaming. Retrieved on 19 April 2017.
  12. Stealth (18 October 2014). Sonic 3 (& Knuckles) 20th Anniversary. Tumblr. Retrieved on 29 March 2015.
  13. Sonic 3 & Knuckles for PC Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 29 October 2021.
  14. & Knuckles. Know Your Meme (26 December 2014). Retrieved on 4 December 2020.

Main article (Sonic 3 & Knuckles) | Credits | Manuals | Glitches | Beta elements | Gallery

Main article (Blue Sphere, Knuckles in Sonic 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles) | Credits | Manuals | Beta elements | Gallery
Sonic the Hedgehog console mainline games