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Sonic the Hedgehog 3/Beta Elements

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< Sonic the Hedgehog 3

This article pertains to the beta elements of Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

Red Revolving Spheres

Sonic3RedSpheres

This is a spinning mass of red spheres, placeable by debug mode in the first half of Angel Island Act 1. The spheres look similar to those appearing in the game's special stage, but the object itself seems to have no apparent gameplay purpose. When it is placed, many palette and VRAM complications occur in the level, and the game will lag. Player 2 can manipulate this object.

  • Up - rotates the object vertically.
  • Right - rotates the object horizontally.
  • Down / Left - moves the object up or down.
  • A / C - changes the object's size.
  • B - rotates the object sideways.
  • Start - toggles automatic rotation.

Unused Sprites

ArtworkNameDescription
S3-Sbored
"Bored" AnimationSonic in his signature "waiting" pose, but instead of pointing towards the direction he's facing, he falls asleep from boredom instead. Never used in-game.
S3-Swhistle
"Whistle" AnimationSonic whistling. Not used in-game.

Speculation reveals that this animation may have been paired with a "Help-Item" mentioned in a German magazine article. Sonic would have broken the monitor, used the whistling animation, and then Tails would fly in from offscreen to carry Sonic around as he pleased, similar to Player 2 controlling Tails while holding Player 1. A whistle sound which is probably related to this can be heard when breaking S-monitors and at the beginning of Doomsday Zone.

Sonic3-knuxmini
Unused 2P Knuckles SpritesUnused Gliding/Climbing animations exist for Knuckles in two-player mode, even though he doesn't have the ability to glide or climb while in two-player mode.
Sonic3leftoverTailsanim1
Leftover Continue AnimationLeftover animation from the continue screen in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
Sonic3Minideathegg
Mini Death EggSmaller rendition of the Death Egg. It seems to be part of a Death Egg hologram projector, which itself was unused in Sonic & Knuckles.
Sonic3pgn
Diagonal Penguin SpritesDiagonal frames of the penguin Badnik from IceCap Zone. These can be seen for a split second, if you place a penguin on the large hill at the beginning of the zone using debug mode.
Sonic3eggmanpanic
Unused Eggman SpriteUnused running frame where Eggman has a different facial expression.
Sonic3Surfboard
"Surfboarding" AnimationAn alternate animation for the intro. At one point, Sonic would have been surfboarding to Angel Island, rather than going Super Sonic. Interestingly, Sonic looks like his Sonic 2 incarnation. The surfing Sonic sprite can be placed in AIZ1 via debug. Also, the surfboard was reused as a Snowboard when the Ice Cap zone needed a new intro, considering the lack of Flying Battery.
Surfboard1
SurfboardThese sprites were probably used when Sonic jumps off the board.
Sonic3-eggmanlost
Eggman flying away

An unused Eggman object discovered by Nemesis. It appears to be nothing more than Eggman flying away towards the horizon. Its purpose is unknown, though it may have been intended for an early bad ending.

Sonic 3 Flying Battery icon
FBZ Data Select iconAn unused save file icon for Flying Battery Zone before it was re-ordered to be in Sonic & Knuckles, which is different than the corresponding icon in Sonic 3 & Knuckles. You can view this icon in the PC and Genesis versions by hacking the save data to access level slot, or by using the PAR codes to view it in a completed game save slot while scrolling through the levels.

Flying Battery Zone

As mentioned earlier, Flying Battery would have been played between Carnival Night and IceCap, but when the game was split into two that zone was moved into Sonic & Knuckles to give it more levels. Still, there are some leftovers in Sonic 3 – a data select icon, its music and even its bosses.
Sonic3-md-collection-hackingturd

Flying Battery Icon in Sonic 3 and Knuckles

While the player is able to access Flying Battery by way of PAR codes, it will be corrupted with IceCap tiles appearing all over the place. However, the player will need to do this in a specific way because alone, these codes will crash the game when trying to access that level data.

Even though the player can use codes to access other unused zones (such as Lava Reef), those will crash the game.
Sonic3-pc-collection-levelicon

Flying Battery level icon in Sonic 3 PC Collection through hacking

How to Access Flying Battery Zone in Sonic 308:37

How to Access Flying Battery Zone in Sonic 3

Tutorial for FBZ in Sonic 3

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