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Come on Sonic, make up your mind!

The Continue screen as it appears in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.

Continue refers to the video game feature where, after losing all their lives, the player is given another chance to try and complete the level and continue their progress without having to start the game over from the beginning. Originating from arcade games, many Sonic the Hedgehog games also feature a Continue option, displayed before or after the player receives a Game Over. If the player has at least one Continue, they are given ten seconds to decide whether they want to use it. If they do, the player usually receives three extra lives and starts again from the level they lost their last life on, but their score is reset to zero.

In earlier Sonic games, the player had to earn Continues before they could be used. This was often accomplished through the Special Stages, with the player having to collect a certain number of Rings, points, or other objects. Completing the objective would cause the Continue jingle to play, and at the results screen, a flashing chibi-fied version of the player character would symbolize the newly-earned Continue. Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, Tails Skypatrol, and most Sonic games since Sonic Adventure give the player infinite Continues, allowing them to retry a level as many times as they wish.

Requirements in games

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

  • Collecting more than 50 Rings in a Special Stage earns the player a Continue.
Continue

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

  • If the player earns at least 10,000 points in the end of a standard Act, they will earn a Continue.
  • In the 8-bit version of the game, if the player finds one of the six Chaos Emeralds and completes the act, the player will earn a Continue. The player also earns a Continue if the signpost at the end of each act shows Tails on the plate.

Sonic Chaos

  • If the player is playing as Tails, they will start the game with three Continues. If Tails appears on the end-of-act signpost while playing as Sonic, or Sonic appears while playing as Tails, the player earns a Continue. Also, collecting a Chaos Emerald at the end of each Special Stage will earn the player a continue.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles

Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble

  • The player start the game with one Continue. If Knuckles' picture appears on the end-of-act signpost, the player will earn another Continue.

Sonic 3D Blast

Sonic Medal
  • In regular Zones, the player has to collect ten floating icons called Sonic Medals to earn one Continue. They are usually located above springs. Certain Sonic Medals cannot be reached if the player does not have enough Flickies following Sonic.

Sonic Blast

  • The player earns a Continue if a picture of a Chaos Emerald appears on the end-of-act signpost.

Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure

Continue Flower
  • In each of the game's Special Stages, there is a single flashing flower located somewhere on the tubular route. Collecting it will earn the player a continue.

Sonic Advance

Continue Chao
  • Floating Chao can be found in each Special Stage of the game. By collecting it and clearing the Special Stage, the player will earn a continue. The Chao's placement can sometimes be tricky, such as being set behind or in the middle of a set of bombs, which can require some skills from the player to get them.

Trivia

  • Similarly to how Continue icons appear in the results screen of earlier games, games like Sonic the Hedgehog CD (after Special Stage) and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I (after completing a Zone) show chibi-versions of the playable character should the player score enough points for an extra life. Misleadingly, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I uses the same Continue sprite from the original Sonic the Hedgehog after getting an extra life on the result screen, but this was changed to Sonic/Tails 1-Up icons in Episode II.
  • When Sonic gets shrunk by the shrink ray in Metallic Madness Zone 2, his appearance is similar to the chibi Continue icon.
  • The Game Over screen in the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World is heavily reminiscent of the Continue screen from the original Sonic the Hedgehog, while pressing B sends the player back to the title screen (without saving any data).

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