- For other uses of the term, see Angel Island (disambiguation). For the Zone in Sonic Advance, see Angel Island Zone (Sonic Advance).
Sonic the Hedgehog 3
Welcome to the Floating Island. Things will really heat up once Dr. Robotnik sets fire to this area of the island. Beware of the Flying Battery blimp.
— Instruction manual
Angel Island Zone (エンジェルアイランド Enjeruairando?, lit. "Angel Island") is the first Zone of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (or Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles). The Zone is set in a tropical jungle with waterfalls on the Floating Island.
When playing as Sonic, Angel Island Zone begins with a short introduction sequence. Sonic and Tails discover the Floating Island in their biplane, the Tornado. With the Chaos Emeralds from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 still in his possession, Sonic leaps off the plane and becomes Super Sonic, skimming across the sea and onto the island, where he bumps into Knuckles the Echidna and drops the Emeralds. Knuckles steals Sonic's Emeralds before laughing and running off. When playing as Tails or Knuckles, this intro does not play.
Halfway through Act 1, a horde of Flame Crafts appear and set the Zone on fire. This completely changes the background of the level, from its lush peaceful surroundings, to a flaming inferno. One of the Flame Crafts returns as a mini-boss at the end of Act 1. In Act 2, a huge warship known as the Flying Battery flies overhead and attempts to kill the player by dropping large bombs. The player must avoid these bombs and outrun the ship until it flies away. When playing as Knuckles, the Flying Battery is not encountered. As Sonic and/or Tails then pass through a forest, Doctor Robotnik can be seen making his way ahead of them through the trees in the zone's boss vehicle.
After facing Dr. Robotnik in his Flame Craft and opening the Zone's Capsule, Sonic and Tails again encounter Knuckles, who presses a switch that breaks the bridge they were standing on in order to send them falling into the next zone of the game, Hydrocity Zone. When playing as Knuckles, he simply jumps off the bridge to enter Hydrocity Zone.
Giant Ring locations
- Instead of going to the right at the first set of vines, the player should go down and to the left. The player must Spin Dash into the wall there to find the Giant Ring.
- After the Flame Crafts bombard the island, the player must go down into the gap by the springs and then spin dash into the left wall. They must then take the spring, break the top and fall back down, and a Giant Ring will pop up.
- At the start of the Sonic/Tails path, the player should slide into the Ring's room.
- After the switch that lowers the water in the Sonic/Tails path, the player must go down both flipping platform sets. They should continue until the characters hit the two disappearing platforms. The player must then go into the water and Spin Dash up the right wall while holding right to find the Ring.
A Flame Craft is the sub-boss of Angel Island Zone. It is a robot that uses flame jets to hover around. It is equipped with a flamethrower and rocket launchers. It takes six hits to be destroyed.
The boss for this level is Dr. Robotnik, flying in a modified Egg Mobile also called the Flame Craft. The Flame Craft has two aiming weapons on either side that shoot fireballs across the arena. It takes eight hits to destroy the Flame Craft.
- There is a glitch in this level that causes the Act 1 music to change to the Act 2 music after the completion of a Special Stage or Bonus Stage in Act 1, but this only happens after the area is set ablaze. This was partially fixed in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, where the Act 2 music would only play after the completion of a Bonus Stage.
- A remixed version of the music from this Zone was composed by Jun Senoue for the True Blue: The Best of Sonic the Hedgehog album, and was also used in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The remixed version in Super Smash Bros. Brawl is the only remixed Sonic song in that game.
- Additionally, the retro version is used in Sonic Generations (Nintendo 3DS version), while the remixed version from Super Smash Bros. Brawl appears in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii version), Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
- When moving on to Act 2, the player still has access to a large portion of Act 1.
- After defeating the Act 2 boss, when Knuckles destroys the bridge, Sonic or Tails can jump off just as it falls apart and roam around on the ledge where the boss battle was fought. Additionally, Tails can fly on the platform where Knuckles is standing. In co-op mode, it is possible for him to carry Sonic up to this area as well. Knuckles' theme music repeatedly plays, and Knuckles just stands there laughing. The Zone does not end until Sonic or Tails falls down either of the two gaps where the bridges were and into Hydrocity Zone.
- An alternate version of the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 intro featured Sonic surfing onto the island, which was replaced in favor of Knuckles knocking the Chaos Emeralds from Super Sonic. The Sonic surfing sprites can be viewed in Debug Mode.
- When playing as Knuckles, one can see the sky in some parts of the background in Act 1, where when playing as Sonic and/or Tails the player could see the ocean. This suggests that Knuckles' story takes place after Sonic and/or Tails' version.
- The music for Act 1 was remixed as the music for Act 2 of Neo South Island Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure.
- The music for Act 2 was remixed as the music for Act 1 of Secret Plant Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure.
- The Zone briefly appears in the first cutscene of Sonic Mania, in which Sonic, Tails and Knuckles encounter the Hard Boiled Heavies retrieving the Phantom Ruby, in a very similar sequence to the original introduction of Sonic the Hedgehog 3.