- For Special Stages in general, see here.
Special Stages in Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble are a series of five special levels. These stages can be accessed by opening a Chaos Emerald Monitor whilst carrying fifty or more Rings and then jumping into the Star Circle that appears above it. If the player does not have enough Rings, nothing happens when opening the Chaos Emerald.
Special Stages come in two types: 2D Stages and 3D Stages. One features a maze to pass through within a time limit, and one where Rings must be collected using the Tornado. After clearing either of these sections, the player must then face Nack the Weasel in a boss battle for a Chaos Emerald. By beating all five Special Stages, the player will obtain five of the Chaos Emeralds. This will make Dr. Robotnik relinquish the sixth and final Chaos Emerald at the end of the game, allowing the player to see the game's real ending.
The 2D Stages (the first, third and fifth Special Stage) feature temple mazes with waterfalls emerging from walls. The 3D Stages (the second and fourth Special Stages) on the other hand, feature only the sky at different times of day; the second Special Stage takes place in a bright blue sky with a few clouds while the fourth is set in a black sky with stars that twinkle.
As mentioned above, entering Special Stages can done with the aid of the Chaos Emerald monitor. After a Special Stage has been concluded, be it either from failing or completing the Special Stage's challenge, the player will be returned to the location of the Chaos Emerald monitor in the Zone that the player broke in order to enter the Special Stage. Upon returning however, the Chaos Emerald monitor will have been turned into a Super Ring monitor. As a result, the player must either proceed to the next Act to either enter the next Special Stage or try the last one again.
The first, third and fifth Special Stages are designed like mazes, and are navigated like regular Zones. In addition, the playable characters retain all their regular abilities and moves for navigating them. Upon entering them, the player's goal is to reach the end of these stages where Nack the Weasel, who acts as a boss, will try to keep the player from collecting the Chaos Emerald. Right upon entering them, the player has one minute and thirty seconds to locate the end of these stages and Nack (the boss fights themselves do not have time limits).
2D Stages have both Rings and Super Ring monitors dotted around them. They can be obtained normally, and collecting one hundred Rings grants an extra life. Other power-ups include Pogo Springs, which are for reaching higher areas, and Time Bonuses, which reset the 2D Stages' time limit to one minute and thirty seconds. The main obstacles in them include breakable, round blocks that block the passages. There are also Springs that can be used to reach higher areas, but which can also be placed awkwardly to push the player backwards.
Each of the three layouts for this type of Special Stage is large and labyrinth-like, and each features its own sets of different gimmicks and obstacles. The first Special Stage has several hidden Springs, with the Super Ring monitors hiding Springs that provide higher elevation. The third and fifth Special Stage feature small invisible platforms that are placed in-between gaps and will become visible after the player lands on them. The fifth Special Stage consists of puzzles that involve standing on breakable blocks without breaking them, bouncing across stone bumpers that evaporate after the player's first impact with them, and dodging bottomless pits
Falling into a bottomless pit or running out of time before reaching the end of these Special Stages will transport the player back to the regular Zones empty-handed. However, reaching the end of them in time makes the player progress to the boss encounter of the Special Stage. The only exception is the first 2D Stage, which features no boss fight; upon finding Nack in that stage, he is repelled when he activates a Switch that backfires against him.
The second and fourth Special Stages feature Sonic or Tails flying the Tornado. Here, the player's objective is to collect eighty Rings over a short flying course. The player can move the Tornado in the eight lateral directions using the . The Rings are all arranged in specified formations, and once the player has been through all of them, the Ring patterns will repeat themselves a second time for an extra chance to collect Rings, essentially giving the player two rounds to collect the needed Rings.
In 3D Stages, the player has to avoid black or orange-colored bombs, which are arranged in specific formations, like the Rings. Crashing into one of these bombs will immobilize the Tornado for a few seconds.
If the player has not obtained enough Rings after the second round, they will be transported back to the regular Zones empty-handed. When the player collects their eightieth Ring however, they are warped to the same boss area as those in the 2D Stages, where they will have their boss fight with Nack.
Once the player reaches the goal of each Special Stage, the player usually has a short confrontation with Nack the Weasel. All Special Stages (except the first) feature a mini-boss in the form of the greedy treasure hunter attacking with small weapon attachments on his Marvelous Queen. When battling Nack, the gameplay follows the same mechanics as those in the regular Zones. Losing to him makes the player exit the Special Stage empty-handed.
After Nack is defeated, the player can enter the Emerald room where they can collect one of the six Chaos Emeralds.
List of Special Stages
|Sonic - Triple Trouble - 2D Bonus Stage||Yayoi F||2:28|
|Sonic - Triple Trouble - 3D Bonus Stage||Yayoi F||1:36|
- The United States' instruction booklet for Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble make incorrect descriptions of the rules in the different types of Special Stages:
- In the United States' instruction booklet, it is stated that in the 2D Stages, the player must collect 120 Rings in order to get to Nack. In gameplay, the real requirement is to reach the end of the Special Stage within the time limit. If the this requirement was actually implemented in the game, reaching Nack would be impossible, as the 2D Stages do not have enough Rings to fulfill that requirement.
- In the United States' instruction booklet, it is stated that in the 3D Stages, the player will lose some of their Rings if they get hit by a bomb. In gameplay, the player only gets stunned for a few seconds.