Bugs:Sonic the Hedgehog 3
This page details bugs of Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
Due to a glitch, if one stays on the save screen for around 47 minutes, one of the instruments in the song will increase in volume. The bug was fixed in Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
Checkpoints and Debug Mode
Checkpoints can be toggled and "saved" with Debug Mode enabled, then re-used in different levels to various glitchy effects, from harmless palette issues to completely crashing the game.
Super Sonic Water Shield Bounce
It is possible for Super Sonic to bounce off the ground by holding any of the buttons upon landing on the ground if the player had picked up a Water Shield. This bug was fixed in Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
Marble Garden Act 1 Miniboss Crash
Upon reaching a certain point at the end of Marble Garden Zone Act 1, the miniboss is activated and the object is spawned offscreen. When playing as Sonic and Tails together, a player can have Sonic stand away from the boss, then have Tails hit it while it's offscreen until it explodes. When the goal signpost lands, the game freezes due to the game expecting the player to be within the right boundaries when it loads Act 2. This bug was fixed in Sonic 3 & Knuckles by forcing the camera to pan to the right if the miniboss was destroyed offscreen by Tails.
Ice Cap Act 1's Tails Trap
When playing Ice Cap Zone Act 1 as Tails alone, reaching the Y co-ordinates where the level would loop vertically will cause Tails to spontaneously die, and this will continuously happen unless the player has activated the Starpost at the start of the Act or has entered the Special Stage through the nearby giant ring. This bug was fixed in Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
The US and European manuals acknowledge the bug with the following statement in the "Even More Sonic Super Play Tips" section:
"In the IceCap Zone and throughout the game, avoid having Tails get stuck in passageways or get caught in traps. Have Tails activate Starposts or enter into a Special Stage as quickly as possible."