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Sonic the Hedgehog CD
Tidal Tempest

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Quotation1 As you dive into this underwater adventure, remember that you'll need air once in a while. If you go too long without it, a countdown appears. When the countdown reaches zero, you lose a Life.

Take a deep breath from air bubbles that drift up from certain blocks. Switches activate propellers, and the current will send you spinning. Grab onto the nearest pole to save yourself from steel spikes!

— US instruction manual, Sonic the Hedgehog CD[1]

Tidal Tempest (潮の嵐[2] Shio no arashi?) is the third round in Sonic the Hedgehog CD. The boss of the third zone is Dr. Robotnik in his Egg Mobile, attacking underwater.



Tidal Tempest is an underwater region that strongly resembles Labyrinth Zone. It rests at the base of many volcanoes and rocky structures only seen at the very beginning of the Present zones. Pipes carry water from one area to another, with stone pillars adorning certain parts of the zone. The water elevation is normal in the Present, giving the zone a greenish/clear tint when entered.


In the past, Tidal Tempest is an underground cavern that has been untouched by mankind or machinery; strangely, it features pipes similar to those in the present. Stone pillars take a different shape here and the water level is fairly low, giving the caverns a darkened tint if stepped into.

Bad Future

The Bad Future shows Tidal Tempest as an over-industrialized, non-functional and corroded water plant. Broken-down machines, ruined stone pillars depicting Robotnik's face are featured here, and years of pollution have made the water toxic and unsafe (resulting in a reddish tint when entered). The water level is at its highest point in this timeline.

Good Future

In the Good Future Tidal Tempest is a fully operational, turquoise aquarium that harbors much plant life in hydroponic cases. Fish swim freely through the water, which features a pleasant light-turquoise tint when entered. Just like the Bad Future, the water level is at its highest point in this timeline.

In other media

Archie Comics


  • The miscolored water of the Present in the re-release.
  • The miscolored water of the Past in the re-release.
  • The miscolored water of the Bad Future in the re-release.
  • The miscolored water of the Good Future in the re-release.
  • If Sonic time travels while underwater, his palette will remain colored during the time travel cutscene.
  • Due to a flaw in emulating the graphics card, the Sonic CD port in Sonic Gems Collection made the water of the Present timeline clear as opposed to green from the original and 2011 re-release versions.
    • A similar issue is present in the 2011 re-release of the game. When played on certain mobile devices, the underwater palette in all time periods appears much more transparent than it should be.
  • The music for Tidal Tempest (Past) is remixed as the music for Metropolis Ground Zero in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.
  • Tidal Tempest is the only Round in the game that wasn't shown in ending.


Name Artist(s) Length Music Track
Tidal Tempest "P" mix Masafumi Ogata 2:29
Tidal Tempest 'P' Mix
Tidal Tempest (US) Spencer Nilsen, David Young 3:40
Tidal Tempest US
Tidal Tempest - Bad Future Spencer Nilsen, David Young 2:29
Tidal Tempest 'B' Mix US
Tempest Good Future Spencer Nilsen, David Young 3:06
Tidal Tempest 'G' Mix US
Tidal Tempest (JP) Masafumi Ogata 3:35
Tidal Tempest JP
Tidal Tempest "B" mix Masafumi Ogata 2:55
Tidal Tempest 'B' Mix JP
Tidal Tempest "G" mix Masafumi Ogata 3:05
Tidal Tempest 'G' Mix JP


Sonic CD Stage 3 - Tidal Tempest Zone

Sonic CD Stage 3 - Tidal Tempest Zone


  1. Sonic the Hedgehog CD (Sega CD) United States instruction manual, p. 13.
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog CD (Sega CD) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 27.

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