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The Special Stage Key (スペシャルステージキー Supesharu Sutēji Kī?), also called the Special Key, is an object that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a golden, sparkling key that allows entrance to a Special Stage once collected.

Game appearances

Sonic Heroes

Special Key in Sonic Heroes.

In Sonic Heroes, the Special Stage Keys can be found in various locations of the Stage where it is usually contained in a Cage. The player can collect the Special Stage Key by simply having the leading character touch it. Once the Special Stage Key is collected, its icon will appear in the HUD on the top-left corner of the screen. After completing the stage, the team is taken to the Special Stage. If the player is attacked (except if the leading character had a Shield upon being attacked) or loses a life (e.g. falling into a bottomless pit), the Special Stage Key disappears. There are no Special Stage Keys in Super Hard Mode.

Sonic Advance 3

Special Key Sprite.png

A similar key item called the "Special Key" appears in Sonic Advance 3, which can be found in certain areas in an act of a zone, when the player has found all ten Chao from the each zone. The player can collect the key, clear the act and then jump onto the locked Special Spring on the hub world to enter the Special Stage. Doing so uses one Special Key in the process.


  • In the early versions of Sonic Advance 3, the Special Stage does not need to be finished; the players could just exit the stage while retaining the Special Key in their possession.

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