|Sonic Advance 3|
Yuji Naka & Hiroshi Matsumoto (Producer)
Single player, multiplayer
Sonic Advance 3 (ソニックアドバンス3 Sonikku Adobansu 3?) is a platform game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, developed by Dimps and published by Sega resp. THQ for the Game Boy Advance. It was first released in North America on 8 June 2004, later in Japan on 17 June 2004 and finally in Europe on 18 June 2004. The game uses elements from Sonic Advance and Sonic Advance 2, as well as allowing the player to choose an additional partner, who augments the player's actions. The Chao Garden mode from the previous Advance games has been removed, and the Chao Garden in this game serves to help the player view the Chaos Emeralds and Chao they have collected.
Doctor Eggman tears Earth apart using Chaos Control and Sonic and Tails are separated from Knuckles, Amy and Cream. The two begin to search for their friends and the source of the trouble (which is the separation of the Chaos Emeralds). But like always, Eggman is making everything from doomsday devices to kooky contraptions and is trying to vanquish Sonic once and for all. The most dangerous of these is Gemerl, a super fighting robot made from the data of Emerl.
- Sonic the Hedgehog is playable from the start.
- Miles "Tails" Prower is playable from the start.
- Knuckles the Echidna can be unlocked by completing Sunset Hill (Zone 2), Act 3 with Sonic as team leader.
- Amy Rose can be unlocked by completing Toy Kingdom (Zone 4), Act 3 with Sonic as team leader.
- Cream the Rabbit can be unlocked by completing Cyber Track (Zone 6), Act 3 with Sonic as team leader.
- Dr. Eggman can only be played by the second player in Nonaggression.
Basic gameplay is identical to Sonic Advance and Sonic Advance 2. This time however, Sonic Advance 3 introduces a new game feature. Sonic Advance 3 requires the player to select a playable character and a partner character to assist them. This is similar to Sonic the Hedgehog 2: the player picks two characters and controls one while the other will just follow along controlled by the computer (or player two in multiplayer mode).
Additionally, players can use a special ability known as Tag Action; the player can pick up the teammate by holding R, and then release it for special action.
Character team actions
- Sonic - Gives a super burst of speed, as if walking over a speed booster.
- Only having Sonic as a partner (or being Sonic) will let the player enter Boost Mode.
- Tails - A super high jump aided by Tails. (ground action)
- Tails can fly around while holding his partner just like in Sonic The Hedgehog 3 (& Knuckles). (air action)
- Knuckles - Can be thrown forward at enemies. (ground action)
- Glides forward with his partner riding on his back. (air action)
- Cream - Cheese becomes a character Chao and can used by the player in the same way Cream uses Cheese. (air and ground action)
- Amy - A super high jump aided by Amy's hammer. Can be used repeatedly to escape deep water.
- A small double jump, which can be made into an abnormally high bounce if the player times it right. (air action)
Besides the Character actions, a partner affects the way the leader acts, for example, Amy will act similar to the way she did in Sonic Advance, but when teamed with Sonic, she will play the way she did in Sonic Advance 2, with an automatic Spin Attack and a Spin Dash. Each team-up will be given a categorization showing its strength, which is either Flying, Power, or Speed.
Character partner effects
- Sonic partnered with:
- Tails - Similar to Sonic Advance, but he loses his Insta-Shield and Jump Dash. Sonic gains the air tricks he was able to do in Sonic Advance 2 (propelling him upwards, left, right or downards), but have a more precise timing and are colored yellow instead of blue.
- Knuckles - Sonic gains some aerial moves, such as the Bounce Attack and an upward dash. His somersault attack also becomes fiery and more powerful.
- Cream - Sonic gains a forward dash attack similar to the Fire Shield dash from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (& Knuckles) and the Homing Attack in later games. He also has unlimited air underwater via a bubble that surrounds him, much like the Aqua Shield's effect from Sonic the Hedgehog 3. However, it disappears upon leaving the water and doesn't protect him from damage.
- Amy - Sonic's ground attack becomes a hammer attack, Sonic does not curl up into a ball when he jumps and must use his air attack to curl up. Amy's animations change to reflect her crush on Sonic. Sonic grinds rails on a snowboard.
- Eggman - Only available in the Nonagression zone as Super Sonic. Super Sonic charges Eggman as a fireball. The strength of the attack varies according to how long the button is pressed.
- Tails partnered with:
- Sonic - Tails behaves the same way he does in Sonic Advance 2, including the aerial tricks.
- Knuckles - Tails' ground attack becomes Tornado Attack. Tails gains the Insta-Shield attack like Sonic's. Tails flight becomes a gliding attack like Knuckles', though he cannot climb walls.
- Cream - Tails flies with his tails underneath him, he flies for a shorter time and gains more height per press of the A button similar to Cream's flight. His horizontal distance is also greatly impaired and he gains the Homing Attack.
- Amy - Tails' ground attack becomes a hammer attack, Tails does not curl up into a ball when he jumps and the player must press B in mid-air curl up, Tails also flies holding his hammer, which can be swung without interrupting his flight. Also, Tails flight speed increases.
- Knuckles partnered with:
- Sonic - Similar to Sonic Advance, except his gliding ability becomes a head first aerial dash (similar to his forward trick ability from Sonic Advance 2).
- Tails - Knuckles' punch attack becomes an uppercut, Knuckles also takes a small jump before gliding, and glides with his fist extended forward.
- Cream - Knuckles behaves the same way he does in Sonic Advance, except that he can use a homing attack while gliding.
- Amy - Knuckles' ground attack becomes a hammer attack, Knuckles does not curl up into a ball when he jumps, and must use his air attack to curl up, Knuckles gains his downward punch attack from Sonic Advance 2. After gliding into a wall, Knuckles can dash up walls in a similar style to a spin dash.
- Cream partnered with:
- Sonic - Instead of a homing attack, Cheese dashes forward a short distance for an attack. Like Knuckles, she also can tread water in this match-up, in her case using a floating ring.
- Tails - Instead of flying, Cream pulls out an orange umbrella and floats.
- Knuckles - Cheese by default flies defensively in circles around Cream, automatically damaging any enemies in range.
- Amy - Cream's ground attack becomes a hammer attack. Cream does not curl up into a ball when she jumps, and since her aerial attack is to throw Cheese, she cannot curl into a ball while jumping. She also gains the aerial tricks from Sonic Advance 2 and a hip drop attack.
- Amy partnered with:
- Sonic - Amy behaves the same way she does in Sonic Advance 2, but with an aerial forward dash added by pressing A while jumping in mid-air.
- Tails - Amy behaves the same way she does in Sonic Advance, except that she can glide slowly down with balloons, and her aerial hammer attack gives her an extra upward boost.
- Knuckles - Amy's standard ground hammer becomes huge. Amy has a forward dash similar to her Sonic Advance 2 spin dash, but she does not curl up into a ball when she uses it. This is essentially her Super Peel Out. In addition, by pressing down and B on the ground, she will do a forward flip with her hammer, and pressing it in the air will use her Spinning Hammer Attack (that she also has with Sonic).
- Cream - Amy behaves the same way she does when partnered with Tails, but her aerial hammer attack gains her no extra air. Instead, she has the aerial tricks from Sonic Advance 2.
- Eggman partnered with:
- Eggman is only playable in 2-Player mode. He can not tag action with Super Sonic in 2-Player mode. Holding the R button as Eggman causes the same effect as if Super Sonic tagged Eggman in 1-Player mode. Super Sonic can not tag at all in 2-Player mode when partnered with Eggman.
In contrast to other side-scrolling Sonic games, the first Zone is a man-made urban city, not an unspoiled nature area. Rails, construction and switches litter the Acts. The boss is a giant hammer that you must hit after it tries to crush you.
A tribute to Green Hill from the original Sonic the Hedgehog. The music is even similar to the original (with different variations between the three Acts). Hourglass-like structures can spring you in an upward direction. There are poles to swing on, water slides, and bottomless pits as well. The boss is a giant wheel that rolls around the boss room, even on the ceilings.
Eggman's base under the sea. Players can climb waterfalls similarly to climbing sand columns in the Sandopolis Zone from Sonic & Knuckles. The second and third acts each have areas with water. There are many platforms that try to crush you, some with spikes that pop out of the top. The boss is similar to the Egg Frog from Sonic Advance 2.
A happy land filled with toys, balloons and castles. Clowns, toy soldiers and wind up tigers will attack you as well as piggy banks that suck up your rings. The boss is a giant jack-in-the-box that attacks in unpredictable ways when hit. The boss must be defeated by being pushed into a bottomless pit.
The ice-based Zone, containing platforms that must be crouched upon to lower and spring upward. All three Acts of this zone have water. The northern lights appear above the mountains in the background of this cold zone. The boss chases you up falling platforms in a giant igloo. Using Tails for this battle is best as you can try to fly to the next platform in case you fall.
A cyberspace-based Zone. This is the first appearance of inverted gravity in this game. Moving platforms are everywhere, some travel along set paths, and some collapse after a bit. It is possible to fall up and die if the gravity is switched. The boss hides below a platform and can only be hit by knocking back the colored balls it shoots.
Eggman has taken control of Angel Island. This is one of the few final standard Zones from a Sonic game not to take place in a man-made base. The boss of this zone attacks by knocking you into spikes and there is switched gravity to make it more difficult. Cream's Chao is good as you can use it from a distance.
The altar that holds the Master Emerald. Here you fight Gemerl and Eggman's final boss robot. He uses robot hands and balls to attack. It is difficult to do but you have to ride the balls up or ride on the robot hands as they rise up again after destroying two platforms and hit him on his weak spot. This battle is easier with Tails as you can just fly directly to attack the cockpit without using the balls.
Unlocked upon collecting all seven Chaos Emeralds and completing the Altar Emerald stage as Sonic. Gemerl disobeys Eggman and transforms into Ultimate Gemerl, forcing his master to team up with Super Sonic to stop his creation. The background is strange and slightly demented, too.
Many of the songs in the game are remixes of earlier songs. Most are from Sonic Battle, namely: Route 99 is a remix of Tails' Lab, Altar Emerald is a remix of Holy Summit and Nonagression is a remix of Emerl's theme. The main menu music is remixed Chao Race music from Sonic Adventure 2. As aforementioned above, the music of Sunset Hill is a remix of Green Hill from Sonic 1. The sound test in the options mode is unlocked after the boss in Alter Emerald is defeated.
A few months before this game was released, a leaked ROM of it appeared on various Sonic-based ROM sites. Not long after it was discovered, SEGA sent out warnings to all the sites that had it up telling them to remove it immediately; however, it was still being distributed around after that.
- Strangely, this game is not mentioned on Sega's American Sonic Website (Sonic Central).
- The music for Sunset Hill Zone is a remix of the original music for Green Hill Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog for Genesis/Mega Drive.
- The partner aspect was taken from Knuckles' Chaotix.
- The planet was also split apart in Sonic Unleashed. However, Dark Gaia doesn't exist in this game.
- If Knuckles is a player character and Sonic is a partner, the life symbol will look like the cover of Sonic & Knuckles.
- This is the only Sonic Advance game where the Tiny Chao Garden does not exist.
- This is the only Sonic Advance game where you can use two characters (unless one counts the cheat code in Sonic Advance where you can have Tails follow Sonic)
- If you get all the Chaos Emeralds, a code will pop up for the Secret Stage Mode. the player has to go to the main menu and press "Up, R, Down, L, Right, Left". Once that's done, the player can play the Special Stages.
- Unbreakable bond - Sonic & Tails
- Fighting buddies - Sonic & Knuckles
- Lovely couple - Sonic & Amy
- Team jubilee - Cream & Amy
There are some differences from the last Sonic Advance Games:
- The first zone is in a city location not a grassy one.
- There are now 2D explorable hub worlds and a Sonic Factory.
- There is no Chao Garden.
- There are now three acts (not including the boss act).
- There is a whole new gameplay with a partner now.
- The seventh and final zone is not in space.
- The extra boss is not Eggman.
- The playable characters are given recorded voice clips.
- Omochao is now in the game.
- The player gets a gold, silver or bronze medal after clearing a stage based on the time the player took to complete that stage.
Sonic Advance 3 is notably the final English Sonic game to use the Adventure cast voice actors before being replaced by the 4Kids voice actors.
|Role||English Voice Actor||Japanese Voice Actor|
|Sonic the Hedgehog||Ryan Drummond||Jun'ichi Kanemaru|
|Doctor Eggman||Deem Bristow||Chikao Ohtsuka|
|Miles "Tails" Prower||William Corkery||Ryo Hirohashi|
|Knuckles the Echidna||Scott Drier||Nobutoshi Canna|
|Amy Rose||Jennifer Douillard||Taeko Kawata|
|Cream the Rabbit||Sarah Wulfeck||Sayaka Aoki|
|Menu announcer||Jon St. John|
In 21 June 2004, just around three months before the release of the game, a prototype of this game was released to a few. This version was nearly completed but contained many glitches so it had to go through a final bug testing phase with the levels' designs mostly finished. 
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