The Super Emeralds
Larger versions of the Chaos Emeralds which activate a character's Hyper Form.
The Super Emeralds are a set of seven Emeralds that are transformed from the Chaos Emeralds with the help of the Master Emerald, and are basically an enhanced version of the Chaos Emeralds. These Emeralds made their first and only appearance in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, in which they were the collectible items (replacing the Chaos Emeralds) in the second half of the game (the Sonic & Knuckles levels).
The Super Emeralds are shaped in a brilliant diamond cut. The color of the Super Emeralds match the colors used in Sonic 3. The only difference between this and current canon colors is that an orange Emerald is used in place of yellow. The Super Emeralds are also much larger than the Chaos Emeralds, also just as big as the Master Emerald.
In Sonic 3 & Knuckles, when a player enters a flashing giant ring for the first time, they are transported to the Hidden Palace Zone, where a number of giant, dull gray Emeralds will appear depending on the number of Chaos Emeralds that the players have collected to date. When the players step on these dull Emeralds, they are transported to a new Blue Sphere-style Special Stage (identical to those that appeared in the unconnected Sonic & Knuckles), where they have a chance of winning a Super Emerald. If they succeed, the Emerald in the Hidden Palace that they originally stepped on will light up to their original colors. Jumping through another flashing giant ring will again transport the player to the Hidden Palace for a chance to win another Super Emerald, until all seven Super Emeralds have been collected. (Note that traveling to the Hidden Palace for the first time disables the player's ability to activate a super transformation, if all Chaos Emeralds had already been collected.)
Getting all the Super Emeralds makes the Master Emerald glow, and enables Sonic to transform into Hyper Sonic, Tails to transform into Super Tails, and Knuckles to transform into Hyper Knuckles. These "Hyper" forms are improvements over the usual "Super" forms, with increased speed and power, along with powerful new abilities.
- The Super Emeralds are the first instance of Emeralds in the Sonic the Hedgehog series having brilliant diamond cut (the Master Emerald, which also has a brilliant diamond cut, was also introduced in Sonic & Knuckles).
- In Mushroom Hill Zone, it is possible to collect all 7 Super Emeralds. 3 in Act 1 and 4 in Act 2.
- Strangely, when you get the red Emerald, then either the blue or yellow Emerald, the red Emerald appears dark violet.
- The Super Emeralds can be very easily gained by activating the Level Select code and choosing "Special Stage 2" and you'll play the same stage repeatedly, and gain the Super Emeralds easily. The Emerald itself would be yellow but the game would think you gained the other ones and you will still be able to get the Hyper forms after it says the character got all the Super Emeralds, despite gaining the same yellow Emerald. They won't appear in the Hidden Palace with the Master Emerald though, but you will still get the best ending.
- In Sonic Adventure, when the player sees the past Emerald Shrine, the Chaos Emeralds shown there are, in comparison to the Master Emerald, about the same size as the Super Emeralds. They are also larger than the Chaos Emeralds in the rest of the game, and referred to simply as "the Emeralds". It is highly likely that these are the Super Emeralds, though they are never referred to as such.