Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble (ソニック&テイルス2 Sonikku to Teirusu Tsū?, lit. "Sonic & Tails 2"), also referred to as simply Sonic Triple Trouble, is a platforming game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series for the Sega Game Gear. First released in November 1994, it was developed by Aspect and published by Sega. Unlike many other Game Gear titles, an official Sega Master System port was never released. It acts as a standalone sequel to Sonic Chaos and features several gameplay mechanics and power-ups from that game.
Sonic Triple Trouble follows Sonic and Tails' adventure to gather six Chaos Emeralds before Dr. Robotnik manages to do so and involves two other adversaries, marking the first appearance of the semi-recurring character Nack the Weasel (later known as Fang the Sniper), and Knuckles' first appearance in a handheld game. Like many other Sonic-themed Game Gear games, Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble was re-released in numerous compilation titles and as an unlockable game within others. The standalone game was re-released on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console in March 2012.
Through unknown means, Dr. Robotnik manages to acquire six of the Chaos Emeralds without Sonic knowing. Unfortunately for him, an accident during the testing phase of one of his new weapons scatters all the Emeralds into the Special Stage, except for the yellow Emerald, which Robotnik manages to recover. Afterward, as Robotnik has anticipated, Sonic and Tails learn of the situation, and set out to retrieve the emeralds. In an effort to delay the duo, Robotnik tricks Knuckles into thinking that Sonic wants the Chaos Emeralds for world domination.
While running around and searching for information on the emeralds, Sonic and Tails encounter Knuckles, who loudly bickers with them before departing. Meanwhile, a treasure hunter named Nack the Weasel eavesdrops on the exchange between the hedgehog and the echidna, sneering at their argument. Unknown to them, he has already located and collected the five Chaos Emeralds in subspace.
Soon after, Sonic and Tails set off on their hunt for the Chaos Emeralds. They eventually encounter Knuckles again at Tidal Plant Zone, and defeat him, leaving the echidna to be captured by Dr. Robotnik. Sonic and Tails continue afterward on to Atomic Destroyer Zone, where they are ambushed by Metal Sonic. Fortunately, Sonic and Tails manage to defeat the robot. They are then approached by Fang, who quickly flees once Robotnik arrives in his newest creation. However, Sonic and Tails defeat the doctor, and take his yellow Chaos Emerald after he drops it. The duo then rescue Knuckles, and make peace with him by shaking his hand. The ending of the game will then depend on the player's progress:
- If the player has not collected five of the Chaos Emeralds, Nack will be shown escaping with the remaining uncollected emeralds.
- If the player has collected five of the Chaos Emeralds, Sonic and Tails will be shown fly off into the horizon in the Tornado.
|Sonic the Hedgehog||As usual, the familiar supersonic duo is back with another bang! In the previous game, Sonic was the only one who could collect the Chaos Emeralds, but in this adventure, Tails has grown strong and is now of age. He's become Sonic's best friend in both name and substance.|
|Miles "Tails" Prower|
|Dr. Robotnik||This is the same evil genius scientist that always causes trouble that we've all come to know and love. He never gives up on his dream of world domination... or so it seems. This time, he's a little disappointed because he had to fight Sonic due to his own screw-up. He plans to bring out his handmade ultimate robot, Metal Sonic, to fight him.|
|Knuckles the Echidna||Also known as "Knuckle". He is an echidna with a strong sense of justice. In fact, he was tricked by Robotnik into thinking that Sonic is a villain who wants to use the Chaos Emeralds to take over the world. He's short-tempered and rash, but he's pure and honest at heart. He'd be a great guy to be friends with, but...|
|Nack the Weasel||He's a treasure hunter who lives in subspace and collects Chaos Emeralds. He's a cunning scoundrel, but he's a cheapskate. Although he tries hard to sneak around and outsmart others, he often has a mischievous streak where he falls short in the end. He's proud of his flying motorcycle...|
Sonic Triple Trouble is a 2D side-scrolling platforming game like most other Game Gear Sonic titles. The main goal is to reach the end of each Act of a Zone (a level in the game) within a time limit. Many gameplay elements from Sonic Chaos are featured. The player can choose one of two playable characters, Sonic and Tails, each of them having different abilities. The player starts the game with four lives and one Continue.
Abilities for both Sonic and Tails are relatively the same as in Sonic Chaos. Alongside the regular Spin Jump, Spin Attack and Spin Dash maneuvers, the player can perform both the Strike Dash for Sonic and the Heli-Tails for Tails. The game also introduces the one-time ability called Flying Spin Attack, which can be performed in mid-air after bouncing on a Spring. The Flying Spin Attack is useful for attacking enemies from above or providing protection from damage in mid-air.
Like in previous games, Rings are found everywhere in the Zones and protect the player from taking damage. Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble is one of the first games in the series in which the player does not lose all their Rings after getting hit; instead, only thirty Rings are lost when the player gets hurt. The power-ups in the Monitors are mainly the same as in Sonic Chaos with Super Rings, Power Sneakers, Invincible, and Extra Lives. Like in Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit), when losing a life, the player is sent back to the beginning of the Act or the latest opened Marker. As for Sonic and Tails, Monitors may also contain power-ups exclusive to them. Many of these include the returning Pogo Springs and Rocket Shoes from Sonic Chaos as well the new Hyper Heli-Tails, Jet Boards and Propeller Shoes. In Tidal Plant Zone, Tails can also pilot the Sea Fox to travel through underwater sections without need for Air Bubbles.
The level design in Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble is more extensive in size compared to previous Game Gear titles in the Sonic series and includes alternative pathways and secrets in each Zone, while staying much closer to the first main installments for the Sega Genesis. The Zones' aesthetics are similar to those of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. Besides the traditional Springs and Boosters, each Zone features different types of gimmicks and contraptions.
|left/right + down||Super Spin Attack|
|down + /||Super Dash Attack|
|/ (midair)||Flying Spin Attack|
|up + /||Strike Dash||Heli-Tails|
|/ (while on the Spin Coaster)||Spin|
|N/A||Fire Sea Fox torpedoes|
- Air Bubble
- Chaos Emerald
- Star Circle
Gimmicks and obstacles
Bonus Panel rewards
Like in Sonic Chaos, Bonus Panels at the end of the first two Acts will grant different type of items for the player after they stop spinning. Occasionally, the Bonus Panel will point backwards, meaning the player has to dash towards it to make it spin again.
|Sonic||Extra Life (Sonic)|
10,000 points (Tails)
|Tails||Extra Life (Tails)|
10,000 points (Sonic)
|Emerald||50 extra Rings for the next Act|
- Nack the Weasel (Special Stages)
- Tart Turtle
- Wood Buttarundorf
- Giga Thomas "Pen"
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Metal Sonic
- Atomic Destroyer Zone bosses 1, 2 and 3
- Great Turquoise Zone
- Sunset Park Zone
- Meta Junglira Zone
- Robotnik Winter Zone
- Tidal Plant Zone
- Atomic Destroyer Zone
Additionally, keeping with the 8-bit tradition, there are five individual Special Stages in the game. These stages are accessed by collecting fifty Rings and breaking open the "Chaos Emerald" monitor, a portal will appear which leads to the Special Stage.
The first, third and fifth Special Stages are giant mazes with a countdown timer. The timer can be boosted with "Time Bonus" items scattered throughout the stage, but it can never exceed one and a half minutes. The second and fourth Special Stages involve flying the Tornado to collect Rings and avoid bombs. At the end of every Special Stage, Nack shows up and attacks with one of the Marvelous Queen's weapons to protect the Chaos Emerald. Clearing all five Special Stages unlocks the good cinematic ending of the game.
Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble features two other gameplay modes: Sound Test and Time Attack. Both modes are available on the game's title screen by pressing up/down. Time Attack features a single, separated Act of the Great Turquoise Zone, which lacks enemies and also holds different gimmicks from the gameplay. Due the Sega Game Gear's lack of a battery backup, none of the records made in Time Attack can be saved on the game's hardware. The Japanese release of the game features a "3D Stage" option to test run the second type of Special Stages.
|Computer and Video Games||68%|
|Electronic Gaming Monthly||6.75/10|
|Mean Machines Sega||85%|
|Nintendo Life||6/10 (3DS)|
|Sega Saturn Magazine (JP)||7.8736/10|
Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble received mixed to positive reviews from many published video game magazines. GamePro praised the game for graphics and new gameplay elements, but criticized it for being too easy therefore reducing its longevity and the slowdowns that lead to cheap deaths. Sega Magazine also described the game as being enjoyable, but too easy. Mean Machines Sega magazine gave an score 85 out of 100 in its December 1994 issue, praising for its graphics and gameplay. The Japanese Famicom Tsūshin gave the game a score of 21 out of 40 in its November 1994 issue.
The reception towards the game in compilation and re-releases has been worse, with Eurogamer calling the game poorly aged and "intolerable," while GamesRadar called it "reasonably competent, but no less tedious." IGN stated that the game was not "particularly stellar," while GameSpot criticized the poor Game Gear emulation in the Sonic Gems Collection release. Nintendo Life gave the Nintendo 3DS re-release a score of 6 out of 10, praising the solid level designs and graphics, while criticizing the lack of challenge and sluggish pacing.
Like other Sega Game Gear games, Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble has been featured on many re-releases and completion titles. It is featured as unlockable game after completing 160 missions in Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut for the GameCube and PC in 2003. The game was also released in 2005 as part of the Sonic Gems Collection for the GameCube and PlayStation 2.
Sonic Triple Trouble, along with 19 other Game Gear and Master System games, has also been released on the Coleco Sonic handheld game console by Coleco in 2006. In March 2012, Sonic Triple Trouble was re-released on the Virtual Console of the Nintendo 3DS with the price of 300 points.
The Sonic the Hedgehog comic series published by Archie Comics made a loose comic adaption based on the western storyline of the game. Released on August 1995, it is the third issue in Archie Comic's Sonic Special comic line published on every couple of months for two years. The comic adaption also introduced Nack the Weasel to the comic universe.
- Level Select: Hold up while powering on the Game Gear. Continue to hold until Knuckles grabs the third Chaos Emerald in the intro, then press START and the Ring chime will be heard. Proceed through the title screen and character select screens to reach the hidden Level Select menu.
- Producer: Motoshige Hokoyama (M. Hoko)
- Director: Katsuhiro Hasegawa (K. Hase)
- Staff: M. Sima, Nobuhiko Honda (N. Honda), Saori Kobayashi (Saori. K), Tadashi Ihoroi (T. Ihoroi), Shinichi Higashi (S. Higasi), O. Kodera, Toshiaki Araki (Toshiaki), Kazuyuki Oikawa (K. Oikawa), Hiroyuki Saigusa (H. Sai), Kojiro Mikusa (K. Mixa), Sukioka, Tatsuo Matsuda (M. Tatsu), Tomoko Sasaki (Tomoko), Fumie Kumatani (Fumi), Yoshiki Ooka (Yoshiki)
- Composer: Yayoi Wachi (Yayoi. F)
- Thanks: H. Kojima, Y. Furuta, Hayato Takebayashi (Hayato. T), N. Taidai, Kenei Unoki (K. Unoki), Ray. F, James Spahn (J. Spahn), Norihito Kato (N. Katoh), Masaaki Somaki (R. Somaki), J. Misima, Yoshiyuki Okitsu (Y. Okitsu), T. Tanaka, Manabu Morinaga (Manabu. M), and You.
- Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble (Sonic & Tails 2 in Japan) is a sequel to Sonic Chaos (Sonic & Tails in Japan). However, this was not emphasized outside of Japan due to the games' Western names.
- However, when the game was first previewed in a Mean Machines Sega article, it was called Sonic Chaos 2, with Nack originally being named "Jet." An early screenshot depicted in the article also shows Nack pointing a gun at Sonic, something that does not occur in the final game.
- Precisely where in Sonic's world the game takes place is never stated in the game's manual, in contrast to the previous 8-bit titles, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Sonic Chaos, which were all categorically stated to take place on South Island. It may be that Sonic Triple Trouble takes place there as well; alternatively, due to the presence of Knuckles the Echidna, the game may be set on Angel Island, although it remains altogether possible that Triple Trouble is simply set in an unspecified region not previously visited by earlier Sonic games.
- The localized, international version of the game is almost unaltered in comparison to the Japanese release, apart from the name change. The only notable differences are the alternate title screen and the removal of the "3D Stage" option, even though it is depicted in the instruction manuals.
- Unlike the previous 8-bit entries, this game was primarily designed around the Game Gear's hardware. The viewing area is thus much less of a problem, as the level designs accommodate the smaller screen.
- The game bears some similarities to Sonic the Hedgehog 3, particularly Knuckles' antagonistic role, appearing at several points during the game to hinder the player character's progress, and battling them himself in a boss fight. The game itself was originally released between Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. Like in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Knuckles is also tricked by Dr. Robotnik to work for him and against Sonic and Tails.
- Knuckles is also the only antagonist of the game to make peace and befriend Sonic and Tails, whereas Robotnik and Nack remained enemies.
- Several game elements such as the Strike Dash, the glass balls in Meta Junglira Zone, and the inclusion of Metal Sonic, are taken from Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
- The theme of Sunset Park Zone Act 3 is actually an unused track from Sonic Chaos except with a lower pitch.
- In Tidal Plant Zone, Tails can use a submarine named the Sea Fox, which would later appear as a transformation of the Remote Robot in Tails Adventure.
- This is the first game (barring the arcade-only Sonic the Fighters) in which Sonic fights Metal Sonic rather than racing him as in Sonic the Hedgehog CD and Sonic Drift.
- In the "Special Thanks" section of the credits, an "H. Kojima" is credited. This may refer to Hideo Kojima, the famed creator of the Metal Gear series, although this is not confirmed and may be coincidental.
- The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog incarnation of Dr. Robotnik, originally designed by Milton Knight, is seen on the North American and European front box cover. Milton's character design was heavily used for the character in many Western promotional and game artworks during that time.
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