Sonic Rush Adventure
Pirates' Island (パイレーツアイランド Pairētsu Airando?) is the seventh stage of Sonic Rush Adventure. It is located in an ancient city from a long-lost civilization north of Sky Babylon in Blaze's world which was taken over by Captain Whisker and his band of pirates. Black Material can be earned by completing this stage's Acts.
Pirates' Island takes place within a large undersea cave housing an entire city. The entrance is through a near-impenetrable door which can only be open once the bits on the middle of the door are aligned properly.
The ancient city is in remarkably good condition. It has various, though often tall, Venetian Gothic buildings and surprisingly deep water canals instead of streets with bridges across them. Due to the pirates' remodeling however, there are also cannons on the buildings, menacing iron gates, and skull and crossbones symbols here and there.
According to legend, Pirates' Island was once a continent floating in the sky which was inhabited by a long-lost civilization. One day, however, it fell from the sky and crashed into the ocean, becoming an island. Abandoning their former home to live on the surface, the civilization left behind three stone markers showing how unlock the underwater entrance to their homeland in hopes that their descendants could one day return to the sky with Pirates' Island.
Pirates' Island was eventually found by Captain Whisker and his pirate crew with the aid of Eggman and Eggman Nega. Establishing their hideout here, the pirates filled the ruins with weaponry and remodeled the archeologically-valuable relics.
Having found the stone markers, Sonic, Blaze and Tails came to Pirates' Island to take down Whisker for good. Unlocking the entrance, the trio traversed the ruins to find Whisker, who gave them a rather bellicose introduction upon finding him. Wasting no time, Blaze demanded that Whisker returned the Jeweled Scepter. Instead, Whisker challenged Sonic and Blaze to combat, along with the newly-arrived Johnny.
Upon the pirates' defeat, Johnny left Whisker behind to escape. As Blaze again demanded the Jeweled Scepter, Whisker remained oddly reluctant, fearing his master's wrath if he lost the scepter. Fortunately for Whisker, Mini & Mum provided him with an escape route, and Whisker left Sonic and co. behind in the ruins. To everyone's surprise however, Marine arrived, having seemingly followed her friends, and chased after Whisker, prompting Sonic and co. to follow Marine to Big Swell.
Large sections of Pirates' Island are designed to punish the player who recklessly speeds about. Unique to this stage, the player must solve a door puzzle when entering Pirates' Island in the game's story for the first time. Here, the player must turn three bit symbols so they match the ones shown on the screen.
Being the final "regular" stage of the game, Pirates' Island features a large number of gimmicks. First, there are trebuchets that, when approached, will launch the characters towards the sky at an angle, usually into a breakable wall. If the rock from the trebuchet fails to leave an opening, the characters will break through without a noticeable decrease in speed. While in the air due to the trebuchets, Trick Actions can be performed. Then there are high-pressure water cannons that the characters will alternatively turn upwards at an angle and horizontally straight ahead upon arriving at them. Pressing will make the cannon shoot a stream of water in its direction that can be used as a Grind Rail (and destroy any enemies in the way). However, these streams will eventually cease and even lead into spikes if misaimed.
Other gimmicks include large anchors that can both assist and hinder the player. If the characters get caught underneath them when they fall, they will be crushed. However, there are flat platforms on the bottom of the anchors which can be used to travel to higher elevations as the anchor retracts. Anchors fall and retract at various speeds, and some only fall as the characters approach. There are also small rectangular-shaped fountains that either remain stationary or move left and right at a slow rate, generally near the water's surface. Hop onto them to be launched into the sky on a burst of water, like a Spring.
Pirates' Island has a few underwater sections, though they have no Air Bubbles, leaving the player at greater risk of drowning. In these waters dwell stationary dolphins. As soon as the characters grab onto their tails, they will automatically swim forward, carrying the player with them. Control the dolphins using ; Up and Down will make the dolphin surface and dive, respectively, while Left and Right makes the dolphin swim slower or faster. Aim to navigate the dolphin through blue hoops. They will accumulate Trick Action combos. When the characters make it through a gold hoop (or miss it), the dolphin will release the character above the water's surface, during which Trick Actions can be performed. To manually get off a dolphin, press /.
Unique obstacles found in Pirates' Island are timed gates. If the player manages to pass beneath these gates before the timer reaches a certain amount (indicated by the numbers above the gate), the player can reach a shortcut with beneficial Power-Ups. Take too long, and an impenetrable column of water will flow from under the gate, forcing the player to take a longer route.
This is a somewhat unique boss in the Sonic series as the player faces two opponents at the same time. In battle, Whisker breaths fire, launches his fists and creates shockwaves by stomping, while Johnny fires himself as a projectile. The duo also has a co-op attack where Whisker throws Johnny as a faster, ricocheting projectile. In addition, sweeping saw blades will start appearing around the arena as the battle progresses. To defeat the duo, keep hitting them until the health of each character is depleted.
- Pirates' Island is seemingly inspired by Venice, a real-life Italian city where there are buildings with canals, instead of streets.
- ↑ Sonic Team, Dimps (September 14, 2007). Sonic Rush Adventure. Nintendo DS. Sega. Level/area: Pirates' Island. "Captain Whisker: Whisker: Indeed! Arr, and ye'll not be gettin' in through this here door, neither, ye troublemakers! It be far too strong to just blow down with any of your crafty little weapons! / Tails: He's right. If the door can withstand the water pressure at this depth, then..."
- ↑ Sonic Team, Dimps (September 14, 2007). Sonic Rush Adventure. Nintendo DS. Sega. Level/area: Sky Babylon. "Blaze the Cat: Yes. The ancient texts speak of an old civilization. That civilization existed on a continent that floated in the sky, just like Sky Babylon... But one day, it fell from the sky and crashed into the ocean and became an island."
- ↑ Sonic Team, Dimps (September 14, 2007). Sonic Rush Adventure. Nintendo DS. Sega. "Blaze the Cat: After the floating continent fell to earth, the people had to live down here among us. But they longed one day to return to the sky, so they left keys to point the way. So that, one day, their descendants might regain what they had lost."