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Proto:Sonic & Knuckles/Sonic 3C 0517

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This is a sub-page of Proto:Sonic & Knuckles.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3-title.png
Download.png Download Sonic 3C (0517 Prototype)
File: Sonic 3C (0517 Prototype).bin (4 MB) (info)

Sonic 3C 0517 is a later prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 3: Limited Edition, and more or less everything is near complete. The following prototype, while still containing data from Sonic 3C, is a Sonic & Knuckles prototype.

Cheat Codes

  • Level Select: Enabled by default. Just scroll down on the title screen menu and select Sound Test.
  • Debug Mode: Debug is enabled by default. Press A while selecting a level on the Level Select screen. The ring counter will be replaced with a player sprite/frame counter.
  • All Chaos Emeralds: At the Sound Test, play songs 02, 04, 06, 08.

General Differences

Note: S3 = Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic 3&K = Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles

  • Knuckles can be selected in 1-Player mode.
  • The save format is identical to the one found in Sonic 3. You can play a saved game past Launch Base Zone, but when you exit the game, the save will be indicated as "Clear", and only Zones 1 through 6 can be selected. There are also only 6 save files as opposed to 8 in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and lives and continues are not saved or shown. (The final Sonic 3 actually had 14 save images; 6 for S3 only, 8 for Sonic 3&K.)
  • If the game is beaten with the seven Chaos Emeralds, at the end of the staff credits, instead of the Sonic 3 logo appearing the "TRY AGAIN" screen with Robotnik and Knuckles will still appear, but Knuckles will juggle no Chaos Emeralds.
  • When debug mode is active, the debug counters are always shown, unlike in Sonic 3C 0408 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles when they are only shown when in object placement mode. The timer displays the number of on-screen sprites, and the rings counter will display the ID number of the character's animation frame.
  • Pressing A while the game is paused returns you to the level select screen rather than the SEGA logo screen.
  • All the explosions are black when debug mode is enabled.
  • Monitor behavior is now like in Sonic & Knuckles where monitors can be destroyed from any side, even from underneath.
  • When playing as Sonic and/or Tails, Blue Knuckles can still appear on the signpost. Likewise, a red Sonic can appear when playing as Knuckles.
  • On a Japanese system, the trademark symbols are not removed from the SEGA logo and title screen, and Tails' life counter does not become "Miles" even though the results tally changes to "Miles".


  • The music for the title screen, mini-bosses, Knuckles, invincibility, and collecting 1-UPs are all from Sonic 3.
  • The Data Select music bug from Sonic 3 alone is still there.
  • The Continue music is about 7% slower than it is in Sonic 3 and Sonic 3C 0408. In Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic 3 & Knuckles, it is about 11.2% slower than in S3.
  • In the Sound Test, everything from D9 through FE are blank; the final sound, FF, is the "SEGA!" sound.
  • The music locations are almost the same; the only differences are that all of the songs (except the first occurrence of the Act 1 boss theme) use the Sonic 3 versions, and that the original Sonic 3 credits located at $26 is replaced with the new Credits medley.
  • The credits medley is longer and different than the one used in the final game. It uses a few additional segments from Sonic 3 Zones, but Marble Garden, Mushroom Hill and Lava Reef are missing from the medley. The sting at the end of the credits is a longer version of the victory jingle usually played after beating the Launch Base bosses before going to the credits in Sonic 3:

Super/Hyper Forms

  • The "S" monitor makes the characters take their Hyper form like in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, rather than Super as in Sonic 3 alone and Sonic 3C 0408.
  • Super forms accessed with the Chaos Emeralds seem to act like incomplete versions of Hyper forms:
    • Super Sonic uses Hyper Sonic's rainbow palette and also gets the dash attack, but doesn't get the star effect around his body or the flash and sparks when the dash attack is performed. He doesn't get the ability to breathe underwater, either.
    • Interestingly, Tails is able to achieve a Super form with only the Chaos Emeralds, but he doesn't get Super Flickies or the trailing sparks. However, using an "S" monitor will give Super Tails the Flickies (perhaps there was a Super and Hyper version of Tails planned at one point).
    • For Super Knuckles, he gets the ability to set off earthquakes by latching onto walls at high speed, but the trailing sparks aren't replaced with afterimages. He cannot breathe underwater, either.
  • Hyper Sonic's stars around his body are completely different than in the final and has no after-images:
Prototype Final
Sonic3C0517 HyperSonic.png Sonic3&K HyperSonic.png
  • Unlike in final versions, if the "S" monitor is used with Knuckles, Hyper Knuckles WILL cause an earthquake when gliding for a distance into a wall.

Zone Differences

Angel Island Zone

  • Act 1 will still play Act 2 music when returning from a Bonus Stage after the Zone has been set on fire, like in Sonic 3.
  • In this Zone (and maybe every other), when the mini-boss is destroyed and the signpost twirls down to the ground, if a power-up monitor shows up, sometimes it lands behind the signpost. In the final, if the monitor lands around the same spot as the signpost, it's in the front.

Hydrocity Zone

Sonic3C0517 HydrocityZone.png
  • One of the animation frames for the grabbable conveyor belts in Act 1 has somehow become corrupted in this build, showing garbled graphics. This would be fixed in the next prototype.
  • At the end of Act 1, you can die by drowning while it's tallying your score.
  • When fighting the Big Shaker, the game plays the Sonic 3 mini-boss theme instead of the Act 2 boss theme (Sonic 3 final plays the Act 2 boss theme, but switches to the Sonic & Knuckles mini-boss music if the drowning timer starts and you get out of the water; Sonic 3 & Knuckles final plays the Sonic & Knuckles Act 1 mini-boss theme.)
  • The spring that sends you backwards at the beginning of Act 2 is replaced with a 1-Up, which is the same as Sonic 3 & Knuckles final but not Sonic 3 final.
  • The Screw Mobile's twister can still glitch out Super/Hyper Sonic like it did in Sonic 3.

Marble Garden Zone

  • The Act 1 miniboss crash glitch from Sonic 3 that can be achieved with a second player is still present.
  • Knuckles' Act 2 boss doesn't play the "wall breaking" sound when the spikes penetrate the floor or ceiling.

Carnival Night Zone

  • Knuckles does not run in at the start of Act 1.
  • When playing as Sonic alone in Act 1, Tails randomly appears after the boss. (This randomly happens in the completed Sonic 3, but with a different frequency.)

IceCap Zone

Sonic3C0408 IceCapZone.png
  • In Act 1, when Tails first comes down when playing as Sonic and Tails, the graphics are screwed up. The snowboard intro overwrites Tails' tiles with the snowboard's, and when the snowboard disappears, Tails' tiles should load. However, Tails' AI doesn't allow this to happen fast enough, and thus proceeds to draw Tails with some of the snowboard's tiles still remaining. Only when Tails lands does the tile swap complete and Tails returns to normal.
  • The floating icicle spheres in one of Knuckles' routes can still hurt you when in Super/Hyper form.

Launch Base Zone

  • As soon as Knuckles defeats one of the Twin Hammers, the normal Act 1 theme resumes while the other Twin Hammer is still alive. If you are Super/Hyper Knuckles, defeating one of the Twin Hammers will cause you to revert to normal and play the regular Act 1 music, as if both were defeated.
  • In Act 2, the part between the boss on the level and the ones on the ship is not timed. The timer freezes upon entering the cutscene by stepping into the Eggmobile; it starts up again when you land on the ship. This behavior is exhibited by Sonic 3 & Knuckles, but not by Sonic 3 alone (the timer counts during the cutscene).
  • Knuckles does not fight the Big Arm at the end of Act 2, and the boss music does not stop playing when the Prison Egg appears.

Mushroom Hill Zone

  • Act 1 begins with Sonic and Tails falling from the sky in their standing poses, as was the case in Prototype 0408.
  • The first Giant Ring that Sonic and Tails can encounter in Act 1 now leads to Hidden Palace. However, if they have all the Chaos Emeralds, they will not warp to Hidden Palace and instead receive 50 rings. Strangely, the rest of the Giant Rings don't flash.
  • Knuckles' first Giant Ring in Act 1 does not yet lead to Hidden Palace, meaning he has to backtrack to Sonic's first Giant Ring to go there.
  • One of the Giant Rings in Act 1 isn't present, with a diamond pattern of rings in its place.
  • The Act 2 boss' starting position is shifted to the left slightly from the final. This allows you to score endless hits on the boss without destroying the satellite, and the battle won't start until you hit the satellite itself, thus it was changed in the final so the player cannot do this. Unlike in the 0408 build, the first 7 hits on the boss will count towards defeating it after destroying the satellite.
  • The boss does not explode when defeated until he crashes into the tree.
  • When playing with Sonic and Tails, Tails does not stop running to the right during the transition to Flying Battery. As a result, he will kill himself in the pit.

Flying Battery Zone

  • The echo track of Act 1's music will go off-sync after looping, and will slowly drag more and more behind the lead melody as it continues to play.
  • After defeating the Wing Fortress-style mini-boss, the floor begins to move up. In addition, there's a horizontal wall that moves right. Dying here not only garbles the clouds, but garbles the horizontal wall.
  • Your character does not automatically roll when he busts down the door during the transition to Sandopolis Zone. They appear to be rolling in the Sandopolis intro, though.

Sandopolis Zone

  • Your character enters Act 1 in a rolling state, but does not get stuck in the sand. The controls aren't even locked at all, meaning you are permitted to move left or right before you land.

Lava Reef Zone

Sonic3C0408 LavaReefZone.png
  • Tails seems to have quite a few collision problems in this Zone.
  • Knuckles doesn't run in at the start of Act 1. He just stands there, and there is a pile of rocks behind his starting position.
  • Shields do not protect you from the debris of the Iwamodoki enemies.
  • Act 2's palette now changes to indicate a freeze-over when starting the Act from Act 1, albeit the lava cools more slowly. However, if the Act is accessed via the Level Select, the player dies or returns from a Bonus or Special Stage, the old palette will be loaded instead.
  • When you encounter Knuckles, his theme doesn't play, and he laughs after punching the boulder at you. The boulder won't cancel your Super/Hyper form.
  • The Act 2 boss area does not play the boss theme at the start. It plays it as soon as the boss emerges from the lava.
  • The Act 2 boss area does not have a Lightning Shield. The ring pattern is also different.
  • The lava in the boss area does not cool after breaking the Prison Egg. Instead, once the results tally has finished, the platform you're standing on will drift to the right a bit, then you'll have to jump across more platforms as the lava can still hurt/kill you. The level music does not resume, either. This part is almost unchanged from the 0408 proto, except the transition to Hidden Palace does work.

Hidden Palace Zone

Sonic3C0517 HiddenPalaceZone.png
  • The player does not run in at the beginning.
  • The music is still Sky Sanctuary's theme.
  • A Fire Shield is provided in place of a Super Ring monitor before the fight with Knuckles.
  • The secret monitor stash still has an "S" monitor and extra 1-Ups.
  • Entering a Bonus Stage and coming back screws up the palette changes, causing areas to be purple when they shouldn't be (e.g. the teleporter and the Master Emerald's altar). It also allows Sonic to backtrack to Knuckles' entrance.
  • Knuckles can still hurt you when you have any form of invincibility state, including invulnerability states after getting hit, an invincibility powerup, and Super forms. He can even hurt you if you're in Debug Mode placing an object, at which point Sonic/Tails's graphics might be corrupted. (The corruption only seems to happen if you were Super/Hyper at the time.)
  • The Knuckles fight still plays the Sonic 3 miniboss theme and continues to play through the Master Emerald theft scene after Knuckles is defeated.
  • Various sound effects are still missing in the Knuckles fight and Master Emerald theft cutscene.
  • Even though the controls are locked during the cutscene, Tails' controls aren't locked, and he will continue to use his AI if Controller 2 isn't used.
  • The animation order for Knuckles punching the wall before the teleporter is different. He gestures for Sonic to follow after hitting the wall, instead of before.
  • Hidden Palace when accessed by a Giant Ring works exactly like the final, but with a number of differences:
    • The HUD is still present (it's green while playing as Knuckles).
    • Death Egg Act 2 music plays (this is due to it coming right after the Death Egg Final Boss level slot in the game).
    • The intro plays every time you enter the chamber.
    • The greyed-out Super Emerald locations don't save after you leave (They reappear after the intro).
    • The laser zaps all the Super Emerald altars even if you already have that Emerald (Although it still shows that you have that Emerald).
    • There is no Super Emerald screen after you beat a Special Stage.
    • There are color differences in the prototype, probably changed so they could correspond with the colors of the Chaos Emeralds.
    • The timer is not disabled, making it possible to get a Time Over.

Sky Sanctuary Zone

Note that Tails' tails are behind Angel Island.
  • After the Metropolis Zone boss has been defeated, the balloons don't pop until they reach the ground.
  • After defeating Mecha Sonic at the end of Sonic/Tails' Act, the results tally now appears, but Sonic and Tails won't do their victory poses and can still be controlled. Afterwards, the game cuts straight to Death Egg Zone without a cutscene.
  • Knuckles' Act does not have any rings, and the teleporter is absent.
  • When entering Act 2 with Sonic and Tails, Mecha Sonic has a glitch where there's an invisible wall in between the fighting area. When Mecha Sonic is defeated, the game acts like Act 1 was completed and doesn't continue to the next level.
  • Also, when entering Act 2 with Sonic and Tails, Tails is able to jump behind the Floating Island sprite.
  • Mecha Sonic is missing sound effects.
  • The Doomsday Zone music does not play for Super Mecha Sonic. The final boss theme just continues instead.
  • Mecha Sonic also freaks out when Tails is used.
  • When Knuckles defeats Mecha Sonic, the appropriate ending plays according to whether Knuckles has all the Chaos Emeralds or not. However, there is no credits sequence, and the Floating Island reaches the sea/stratosphere much more quickly. Afterwards, the game doesn't go anywhere, requiring you to pause and return to the Level Select.

Death Egg Zone

Sonic3C0517 DeathEggZone.png
  • The player does not run in at the beginning.
  • The overscan border color for Act 1 is red, instead of black like the other Zones.
  • The light beam transportation systems have a slightly different countdown tick. It's four low tones, instead of three low tones and one high tone.
  • Red Eye's pillar no longer overlaps the player, but it still has tile transparency issues.
  • Red Eye is somehow able to hit you and knock you out of your Super/Hyper form. This wasn't the case in Sonic 3C 0408.
  • The palette changes too soon when transitioning to Act 2. In Sonic & Knuckles 0525 and later, the palette is changed after the Act 2 transition completes.
  • Tails has an animation error during the Act 2 transition.
  • The final boss music does not play. Death Egg Zone Act 2's theme just continues to play.
  • The final boss' attacks can hurt Super/Hyper forms.
  • After the final boss machine collapses completely, everything stops rumbling.
  • If Death Egg's final boss is defeated while it's firing its laser, the laser stays on-screen while it explodes.
  • When Robotnik/Eggrobo flies away, everything is much slower than the final, and if no buttons are pressed it is possible to get stuck in the bottom left unless Debug Mode is activated.
  • After defeating Robotnik during the final chase, the HUD turns green. This is because the game has loaded the Angel Island intro palette into the second palette line for some strange reason.
  • The Sonic 3 final credits roll after defeating the final boss, but an extended Sonic 3 & Knuckles medley is played. Also, the medley is longer than the credits, but the credits automatically restart to the Sega screen a few seconds after "Try Again" appears.

The Doomsday Zone

Sonic3C0517 DoomsdayZone.png
  • Lots of rings are given at the start of The Doomsday Zone because there are none around when chasing Robotnik.
  • There are a lot more asteroids at the start and a lot more missiles before reaching Robotnik.
  • Various sound effects are missing.
  • The background palette for The Doomsday Zone is still the same as it was in Sonic 3C 0408.
  • During the first boss, if you move all the way to the left, two missiles can actually be triggered from the end of the asteroid field segment.
  • When the first phase of the boss is defeated, some badnik explosions are seen with a less than ideal palette. The final game changed this so that only boss explosions are used.
  • When you hit Robotnik while chasing him, you don't get knocked back like you do in the final.
  • There are no asteroids during the final chase.
  • When The Doomsday Zone is cleared, the game goes back to the Level Select.

Bonus Stages

While all three Bonus Stages are implemented and functional, you can access one randomly once you pass a Starpost with at least 50 rings. The color of the stars is always white.

Glowing Spheres

Sonic3C0517 GlowingSpheres.png
  • The Glowing Spheres Bonus Stage has a different layout and the items falling downward. The excess amount of rings causes the game to slow down at points.
  • There's a chance you'll get a green ball with an F on it in the Glowing Spheres bonus stage. It only makes the bumper sound the black ones make and has no other effect.
  • The score and timer are displayed in the Glowing Spheres Bonus Stage. This doesn't happen for the other two Bonus Stages, neither does it happen in Sonic 3C 0408.
  • Entering the Glowing Spheres Bonus Stage makes you lose all your rings.
  • Sound effects are missing here.

Slot Machine

Sonic 3C 0408 Sonic 3C 0517
Sonic3C0408 SlotMachineMap.png Sonic3C0517 SlotMachineMap.png
  • The Slot Machine Bonus Stage has had its layout changed from Sonic 3C 0408, but is still very different from the final. Again, there are no GOAL blocks (though the blue blocks will turn into GOAL blocks). There are a total of 112 rings in this layout.
  • The background in the Slot Machine Bonus Stage is still completely static. The little objects don't rotate and nothing scrolls.

Special Stages

  • The Super Emerald Special Stages are the same as the ones in the Sonic 3C 0408 prototype.
  • Super Emeralds are still referred to as Chaos Emeralds.
  • Collecting all the Chaos Emeralds as Knuckles does not display the "NOW KNUCKLES CAN BE SUPER KNUCKLES" message, though Knuckles can still become Super Knuckles.
  • Collecting all the Chaos Emeralds after having sent at least one Emerald to Hidden Palace will not display the "x CAN GO TO HIDDEN PALACE" message.
(Source: Sonic Retro)