Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Robotnik's been digging for Chaos Emeralds in this eerie forest of flickering lights, glow-worms and stinging centipedes. Hang onto the ivy to discover escape routes.
— Sonic the Hedgehog 2 manual description
Mystic Cave Zone (ミスティックケイブ Misutikku Keibu?, lit. "Mystic Cave") is the sixth Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. As with most other Zones in this game, Mystic Cave Zone consists of two standard Acts with a boss fight at the end of Act 2.
After braving the subsurface magma chambers of Hill Top Zone's volcanoes, Sonic now descends deeper underground to the dark, yawning caverns beneath West Side Island's mountain range. Mystic Cave features moss-covered rocks and dangling plant tendrils within these dimly-lit subterranean spaces. Impassable walls can be lowered to form convenient bridges if you are sharp-eyed enough to spot the hidden switches within the slimy vines that hang from the ceiling.
Dr. Robotnik has deployed a variety of fiendish Badniks within the caves to slow our heroes down. Crawlton snake-bots are particularly frightening; like a scaled down version of Gigalopolis Zone's Bead Worm Boss, the blue-yellow segmented worms spring out at you from hidden nooks, with their heads being the only weak point. Flasher firefly-bots hover around enveloped in forcefields of light and the only way to destroy them is to wait until the shield peters out.
The second act is notorious for having a particular part in which the player must grab a vine or else drop into an inescapable pit of spikes, which would be troublesome even for Super Sonic. However, in the 2013 re-release of the game, the spikes were removed to reveal a special secret passage underneath a wide drop: Hidden Palace Zone.
In this Zone's boss fight, Dr. Robotnik attacks with a double-barreled drilling machine. He's been mining in the caves in search of the Chaos Emeralds. This burrowing mech tunnels into the roof of the cavern, dislodging rocks and stalactites which rain down injuriously on Sonic and Tails. After bombarding the heroes with debris, Dr. Robotnik's mecha descends and comes at them with its drilling arms. Dodge and jump on Dr. Robotnik to defeat him.
Other game appearances
Sonic Drift 2
Mystic Cave also appears as a racecourse in Sonic Drift 2 for the Sega Game Gear. This stage is the fifth track of the White Grand Prix (White being the intermediate of the three available tournaments), coming after Hill Top and before Emerald Hill. Unlike the majority of races in the 2nd Chaos Grand Prix, this isn't a three-lap circular course; the objective is simply to get through the tunnel system ahead of everyone else.
In other media
Sonic the Comic
In Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions, the Mystic Cave Zone is an underground Zone on Mobius. In addition to being used once by Dr. Robotnik to host a cult of his, the Mystic Cave Zone served as a hideaway for Captain Plunder and his Sky Pirates.
- In a prototype version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Mystic Cave Zone is labeled Dust Hill Zone in the level select. This was probably a mistake, since Dust Hill Zone is one of the scrapped levels from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Mystic Cave Zone probably didn't have an actual name at that point.
- The 2-Player music of this Zone was originally used for Hidden Palace Zone. It is unclear if this was a placeholder theme as there is a unique track assigned to it in the final version, but it ended up also being used for the restored Zone in the 2013 mobile re-release of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
- This is the first Zone to feature a boss that forces spiked debris from the ceiling.
- The spike pit in Act 2 of Mystic Cave Zone gets removed and becomes the entrance leading to Hidden Palace Zone in the 2013 re-release of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
- The riff in Mystic Cave Zone's music was reused as that, slowed down, for Hang Castle's music in Sonic Heroes.
|Mystic Cave Zone||2:07||Masato Nakamura|
|Mystic Cave Zone (2-Player)||2:05||Masato Nakamura|