Sonic the Hedgehog travels through the Tropical Jungle along with Elise in order to escape Doctor Eggman's robots. This stage has two acts, while Sonic carries Elise throughout this stage. The stage begins with Sonic running through the inside of a tree trunk and bouncing off of springs. Sonic will occasionally grab onto vines with purple flowers on the end to swing to a higher elevation. There are also occasions where Sonic runs across giant turtles.
Shadow the Hedgehog never plays through this level in his story. Instead the player flies through as Rouge the Bat searching for Omega. It is a relatively short stage. You never really have to use the vines to swing onto a higher platform due to Rouge's ability to climb walls and glide. This stage is simply a maze of platforms.
Tropical Jungle is Silver the Hedgehog's first zone after traveling to the past, in which he attempts to escape the Jungle Ruins and find the Iblis Trigger. Silver's version of Tropical Jungle is more involved then the other two. Not only does he swing on vines and run along platforms, but occasionally he'll have to actually ride on the giant turtles to get to a new area. Other times, Silver will be expected to fling giant logs through wooden blockades in order to proceed.
After Sonic completes his fight with the Egg Genesis and rescues Elise, they proceed into the forest to escape the onslaught of Eggman robots headed their way. Sonic carries Elise for the entire level.
Rouge comes back from the future with Shadow's Chaos Emerald. She's now worried about him as he no longer has a means of returning to the past. She then gets a contact from G.U.N. asking her if she had recovered the Scepter of Darkness (the game screws up and says "book" of darkness). Rouge says she needs to get into contact with E-123 Omega. Once his location is pin-pointed she goes off into the forest to find him. When she finds him the situation is told to him and Omega heads off to complete his new mission.
Silver, after defeating Iblis, is told by Mephiles the Dark that in order to save his future, he must head into the past and find the Iblis Trigger. Silver gets a vision from a Chaos Emerald that shows him the Iblis Trigger is none other then Sonic the Hedgehog. Mephiles then takes it upon himself to send them into the past. Silver is thrown into the past where the forest is located. He looks around and realizes that he's been separated from Blaze and Mephiles. That's when he notices his surrounding and is transfixed by its beauty. With that he heads off into the forest to complete his mission and find the Iblis Trigger.
Tropical Jungle is one of the Action Stages that is not used in tag mode.