- For other uses of the term, see Wing Fortress (disambiguation).
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Wing Fortress Zone (ウィングフォートレス Wingu Fōtoresu?, lit. "Wing Fortress") is the tenth Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (or Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 if locked on to Sonic & Knuckles). Unlike the earlier Zones, Wing Fortress only consists of one Act, with a boss fight at the end of the Act.
After his defeat in Metropolis Zone, the evil Dr. Robotnik flees to the skies in his secret stronghold, which is a flying battleship. Sonic and Tails (Or Knuckles) pursue in the Tornado, chasing the mad scientist through the skies and catching up with the Wing Fortress. However, just as our heroes are getting close, Robotnik opens fire with a laser barrage, blasting Sonic's biplane out of the air. Whoever the player is controlling (Sonic, Tails or Knuckles) will make a leap from the little plane's wings onto the rear gantries of Robotnik's aerial stronghold. The player will have to explore Wing Fortress alone, even if playing with Sonic and Tails.
The beige aircraft contains all too many opportunities for Sonic, Tails or Knuckles to fall to their death, be it swinging hand-over-hand on the bars right next to the flaming booster engines, or jumping along retractable platforms set in the side of the ship, or being thrown over wide, open spaces by the launcher chairs which lie amidst the steel rigging. Vertical propeller blades are also on hand to chop the player up into pieces when they run into them.
In this Zone's boss fight, Dr. Robotnik eschews his usual Egg Mobile and attacks with the level itself. After breaking into the interior of the airship, Sonic (Tails or Knuckles if the player is using 1 of them as the playable character) finds himself trapped by a pair of forcefields, while Robotnik deploys cruelly spiked platforms and a laser beam to cut the hero down. This is quite a difficult one, the trick is to jump atop the floating platforms when the laser opens its shield casing, and wallop it before it fires. After enough hits, the machine overloads, blowing up the forcefields and sending Robotnik running.
After defeating the boss, Sonic/Tails/Knuckles chase Robotnik onto an exterior gantry as the scientist makes his escape aboard a docked one-man spaceship. This marks the timely reappearance of Tails (or Sonic, if the player is playing as Tails) in a (now rocket-powered) Tornado. Once again pursuing through the skies, Sonic/Tails/Knuckles leaps onto Eggman's spacecraft before Wing Fortress Zone falls from the sky, hitching a lift to the final stronghold.
In other media
Sonic the Comic
- One of the more difficult portions of this level, the handrail section close to the beginning, can in fact be bypassed entirely, which saves a lot of time in completing the stage. After the player destroys the very first Clucker chicken Badnik, balance on the extreme right of its emplacement, the player can jump up to a platform containing a Shield TV. From here, jump straight up, and an overhead propeller sweeps the player further upwards to the higher level, thereby avoiding one of Wing Fortress Zone's more annoying segments. The area where this shortcut is found is actually seen in the Sky Chase Zone as the Wing Fortress comes into view.
- "Eggman" is written on the Zone in all worldwide releases of Sonic 2, despite the character being called "Robotnik" in western nations at the time.
- Note also in the picture to the right the early symbol of the Eggman Empire where instead of a cartoony depiction of the doctor's face, a stylized "EG" is seen on the bulkheads of Wing Fortress.
- This zone is an inspiration to Sky Fortress Zone Act 2 and 3 from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II.
- Interestingly, in the Beta 4 build of Sonic 2, Wing Fortress Zone was called "Sky Fortress Zone" on the stage select screen.
- Strangely, the two parts of the Wing Fortress Zone are not properly connected, not even through frame.
- In the 2013 remaster when playing this Zone in Time Attack, the section after defeating the boss does not trigger the cutscene transitioning from Sonic to the Death Egg. Instead, a Capsule appears which marks the end of the Zone.
- During the cutscene transitioning the player to the Death Egg, if the game's timer exceeds 10 minutes (the timer will still count as normal during the cutscene), the player will still die because of this. In the 2013 remaster though, the player will not die (though the timer remains at 9:59) and the cutscene will still play as normal.
- Due to the Tornado being shot down by the eponymous ship, this level is one of only two levels in the game to have only one character present throughout the entire game, the only other being the immediate next level.
- This Zone, along with Death Egg Zone, is one of the only Zones in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to have a singular Act.
|Wing Fortress Zone||1:59||Masato Nakamura|