<< Previous round

Sonic the Hedgehog CD
Tidal Tempest

Next round >>

Quotation1.svg 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. Located near Palmtree Panic and Metallic Madness, it rests at the base of many volcanoes and rocky structures only seen at the very beginning of Zone 1 in the Present. 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 pinkish 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 Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Dr. Robotnik invaded Little Planet and its regions, which included Tidal Tempest. He installed robot transporters in the past and infested the region with Badniks. He also placed down some Metal Sonic Projectors to terrorize the animals that lived there. With this, he managed to conquer the future of the planet and write history to his own image. Tidal Tempest was transformed into a broken down, non-functional water plant, whose water was polluted.

When Sonic the Hedgehog arrived in this region, he started to re-write history, reverting the doctor's effects in Tidal Tempest. Later, he found Robotnik in his Egg Mobile. The two had a battle underwater, with the doctor having Air Bubbles around him. Using these for his advantage, Sonic defeated Robotnik.



Zone 1

Zone 2

Zone 3


Main article: Tidal Tempest boss

In Zone 3, the player will battle Dr. Robotnik in his Egg Mobile. This battle has two phases: in the first, the player will have to hit Robotnik four times while chasing him in a maze-like Zone, while in the second, they will both be in a flat, underwater field. Robotnik will use Air Bubbles to protect himself while shooting projectiles often.

Robot transporter locations

  • Zone 1: A robot transporter is found near the end of the Zone. It is located in a platform under a pipe.
  • Zone 2: A robot transporter is seen near the end of the Zone, in a long, flat platform. One easy way to reach it is by pressing a Switch located in the top point at the end of Zone 2. It should open a gate that will have the machine nearby.

In other media

Archie Comics

Tidal Tempest, from Sonic the Hedgehog #290.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, Tidal Tempest appeared as a Zone on Little Planet. Its history was mostly the same as its game counterpart.


  • 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 the Hedgehog 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 appear much more transparent than it should be.
  • The music for the past of Tidal Tempest was remixed as the music for Metropolis Ground Zero in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.
    • Additionally, a remix of the theme appears as one of the enemy battle themes.
  • Tidal Tempest is the only Round in Sonic the Hedgehog CD that is not shown in the credits sequence when beating the game.


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



  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.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.