Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Wing Fortress Zone (ウィングフォートレス Wingu Fōtoresu?, lit. "Wing Fortress") is the tenth Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Unlike the earlier Zones, Wing Fortress only consists of one Act, with a boss fight at the end of the Act.
After his defeat in Metropolis Zone, the evil Dr. Robotnik flees to the skies in his secret stronghold, which is a flying battleship. Sonic and Tails pursue in the Tornado, chasing the mad scientist through the skies and catching up with the Wing Fortress. However, just as our heroes are getting close, Robotnik opens fire with a laser barrage, blasting Sonic's biplane out of the air. Whoever the player is controlling (Sonic or Tails) will make a leap from the little plane's wings onto the rear gantries of Robotnik's aerial stronghold. The player will have to explore Wing Fortress alone, even if playing with Sonic and Tails.
The beige aircraft contains all too many opportunities for Sonic to fall to his death, be it swinging hand-over-hand on the bars right next to the flaming booster engines, or jumping along retractable platforms set in the side of the ship, or being thrown over wide, open spaces by the launcher chairs which lie amidst the steel rigging. Vertical propeller blades are also on hand to chop the player up into pieces when they run into them.
In this Zone's boss fight, Dr. Robotnik eschews his usual Egg Mobile and attacks with the level itself. After breaking into the interior of the airship, Sonic (or Tails, if the player is using the latter as the playable character) finds himself trapped by a pair of forcefields, while Robotnik deploys cruelly spiked platforms and a laser beam to cut the hedgehog down. This is quite a difficult one, the trick is to jump atop the floating platforms when the laser opens its shield casing, and wallop it before it fires. After enough hits, the machine overloads, blowing up the forcefields and sending Robotnik running.
After defeating the boss, Sonic/Tails chases Robotnik onto an exterior gantry as the scientist makes his escape aboard a docked one-man spaceship. This marks the timely reappearance of Tails (or Sonic, if the player is playing as Tails) in a (now rocket-powered) Tornado. Once again pursuing through the skies, Sonic/Tails leaps onto Eggman's spacecraft before Wing Fortress Zone falls from the sky, hitching a lift to the final stronghold.
In other media
Sonic the Comic
- One of the more difficult portions of this level, the handrail section close to the beginning, can in fact be bypassed entirely, which is a great help both to Sonic's life count and to the player's time if they're an aspiring speed-runner. After the player destroys the very first Clucker chicken Badnik, balance on the extreme right of its emplacement, the player can jump up to a platform containing a Shield TV. From here, jump straight up, and an overhead propeller sweeps the player further upwards to the higher level, thereby avoiding one of Wing Fortress Zone's more annoying segments. The area where this shortcut is found is actually seen in the Sky Chase Zone as the Wing Fortress comes into view.
- Dr. Robotnik's Japanese name is written on the Zone, despite being called "Robotnik" elsewhere at the time.
- Note also in the picture to the right the early symbol of the Eggman Empire. Instead of a cartoony depiction of his face, the mad scientist instead used a stylized "EG" on the bulkheads of Wing Fortress.
- This zone is an inspiration to Sky Fortress Zone Act 2 and 3 from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II.
- Interestingly, in the Beta 4 build of Sonic 2, Wing Fortress Zone was called "Sky Fortress Zone" on the stage select screen.
- Strangely, the two parts of the Wing Fortress Zone are not properly connected, not even through frame.
- In the 2013 re-release when playing this Zone in Time Attack, the section after defeating the boss does not trigger the cutscene transitioning from Sonic to the Death Egg. Instead, a Capsule appears which marks the end of the Zone.
- During the cutscene transitioning the player to the Death Egg, if the game's timer exceeds 10 minutes (the timer will still count as normal during the cutscene), the player will still die because of this. In the 2013 re-release version though, the player will not die and the timer will remain at 9:59.
- Despite not appearing in the Simon Wai prototype of Sonic 2, the music for this zone did, suggesting that it was intended for another zone.
- Due to the Tornado being shot down by the eponymous ship, this level is one of only two levels in the game to have only one character present throughout the entire game, the only other being the immediate next level.
|Wing Fortress Zone||1:59||Masato Nakamura|