Tails' Skypatrol (テイルスのスカイパトロール Teirusu no Sukaipatorōru?) is a spin-off game of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, developed by JSH and published by Sega for Sega Game Gear. It is one of two handheld games on the Game Gear to feature Sonic's sidekick Miles "Tails" Prower as the main character. The game follows the adventures of Tails as he tries to save an island from Witchcart, who claims to be able to turn dissenters into crystals with her magic.
It was originally released on 28 April 1995 as an exclusive game to the Japanese market. However, Tails' Skypatrol later saw an overseas release as it was included as an unlockable minigame in the Nintendo GameCube's Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, and was re-released as one of the featured games in Sonic Gems Collection.
Tails decides to go on his own adventure, without his friend Sonic. He was flying aimlessly when he stumbled upon a solitary island with a huge steel railroad. He worried that Dr. Eggman was making yet another base, so he checked it out. When he arrived, he sensed vibrations on the railroad, so he jumped into the bushes to hide. To his confusion, an eccentric lady naming herself the great Witchcart rode past him and announced to no one in particular that she owns the island and claimed that dissenters will be turned to crystal. Tails was determined to rescue the Animals of the island, so he went to oppose Witchcart and her like-minded minions.
The gameplay of Tails' Skypatrol is less in line with the familiar platforming style of the traditional Sonic games. There are no rings or emeralds to be collected, Dr. Robotnik is entirely absent and Tails is constantly "suspended" in flight mode. Stages are cleared simply by completing each course from left to right. Automatic scroll constantly moves Tails along the level; should he fall, bump into objects or touch the ground, he loses a life.
Across each stage Tails carries a golden ring with him which he can throw as a projectile to defeat enemies or break walls. Using the ring, he will also latch on to any number of devices the player will encounter in each stage, ranging from gymnastics bars to railcarts. It is Tails' only form of attack to damage enemies and it can even be used to grab bosses and other items in the area.
In order to stay afloat, the player must constantly watch Tails' flight meter, which slowly drops to zero. Scattered across the map are mint candies which Tails can collect to replenish his stamina.
Tails starts off his adventure in the "Training Area", a colorful seaside highland without foes. If one manages to complete this introductory stage, Tails flies on to the first genuine level, RailCanyon Area.
|Miles "Tails" Prower|
|left||Slow down the pace of flight.|
|Hold / down||Swing the Ring further forward.|
|Press / rapidly||Stop the descent after taking a hit.|
|START button||Pauses the game.|
Gimmicks and obstacles
While the original release of the game only happened in Japan, Tails' Skypatrol has been released many years later on several game compilations and featured once as an unlockable content. The game was later featured as an unlockable minigame along with other Game Gear Sonic titles in Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut in 2003 for the Nintendo GameCube and PC. Another re-release of the game was added to Sonic Gems Collection for Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2 in 2005.
- Character design: ©Sega
- Game design: Kenichi Ono ("K3"), LR
- Graphic: Mt. Emerald, Show
- Sound: Chikayo Fukuda ("Chikayo"), Kazunechan
- Programming: AT-AT, Captain Alice, Bryan
- Thanks to: Monty, Ezachan, Mr. Rental, Fine-Twig, SIMS All Staff, JSH All Staff, and You.
- Tails' Skypatrol at Green Hill Zone - contains info, screenshots and a basic walkthrough.