Sonic CD Good Ending Strategy Guide
With the dance floor from hell behind us, we continue on toward our good ending into a level that’s almost as unpredictable horizontally as the previous level was vertically. The “speedway” portion of this level’s name is very appropriate, as it has a habit of propelling you forward whether you were planning on it or not. This level is somewhat easier than Wacky Workbench, but by no means does that mean that it’s easy. It’s a fun level to blaze through if you’re not worried about endings, but with our specific goals in mind, I recommend taking your time and being very careful about your footwork.
As the realization slowly sets in that you’ve entered some sort of brass instrument fantasy land, jump over the first gap and let the launcher blast you forward. Don’t touch the controls as Sonic flips a past Post; a yellow spring just ahead perfectly stops him before he’s in danger of time travel. Use this spring to hop up to the upper-right platform.
Watch your head for the badnik and walk SLOWLY down the hill in front of you. At the base, look up at the sign over your head. If it appears to be in the background, jump into it to knock it into the foreground. This is critical, as the positioning of the signs determine which path Sonic lands on when he jumps. With the sign properly set, walk back up the hill a few steps, then run to the bottom and jump to the curved upper ledge.
Make your way over the sliding mace and watch out for three flying badniks as you jump the gap, then double back to the very edge of the right side. Turn to the right and dash down the curved ledge. DO NOT touch the controls as Sonic falls down; instead, wait until he hits the loop to start holding right. The time travel begins just as you head up the next slope.
Luckily for us, an invincibility box is waiting directly in our path to stop us from flying into oblivion. Crack open that beautiful ring of stars, then backtrack to the left through the loop you just used. Just as you automatically spin up the hill ahead, the generator will come into view on the left; however, tap the controls gently to the right to land on the floating blocks instead. From here, you can now easily cross into the cavern to destroy the generator.
Exit the cavern the same way you entered and jump to the ledge with the yellow spring. DO NOT bounce into the launcher directly overhead ; instead, hold right as you bounce into the spring to land on an upper ledge. Use the first red spring in your path to bounce upward. As you hit the peak of the hill, jump quickly to cross the large gap, then immediately slow to a stop on the other side. Set the sign to background and continue right behind the wall.
Take the downward slope and allow the launcher to send you careening forward. Just like before, an invincibility box is waiting to stop you. Claim it as your own, then back up a bit so you can jump hard to the right onto a platform with a red spring. Use the red spring to fly up to a yellow spring just above, which you can then use to propel yourself onto an upper ledge to the right. Metal is back to his bunny-squashing ways at the bottom of the hill.
If You Hit the Launcher Over the Yellow Spring…
As the launcher spits you out, don’t touch the controls until after you’ve hit one of the red springs. At that point, immediately press and hold left. Look up to the sign where Sonic stops and set it to foreground, then backtrack up the hill and fall through the first gap. After landing on the platform below, jump to another one on the left, and from there you can jump back to the platform with the yellow spring to try again. Watch out for the Future post in your path!
If You Miss the Platform with the Red Spring…
Drop down to the bottom of the arena and make your way to the left of the two diagonal red springs. Overhead, flip the sign to the background setting, pass behind the wall, and then flip another sign on the other side to foreground. Do a short dash up the wall you just sneaked behind and stop at the top. You are now directly below the platform that had the invincibility. The floating block just ahead has a hidden red spring, which you can use to cross the gap and make your way to the platform. In fact, you can probably go straight to the yellow spring from here if you have enough distance!
This is probably the only section of this level where you’ll be able to move in a relatively straight line. Continue to the right after destroying the projector and set the signs to background to pass behind the wall. On the other side, ignore the slope downward and jump to the next ledge. Repeat the same process to pass behind the next two walls.
At the end of the road, jump to the path just above your head and leap over the mace and the Future post. Continue right along the path on the other side. As you come across the intertwining hills, stay on your own path. At the downward slope, either jump to the right or let the diagonal red spring below push you there. The only thing between you and the goal post now is one more wall, which you can use the signs to pass behind one more time.
Start out by stepping down one level and heading to the right. Go through the short tunnel and allow it to thrust you around the curve, then fall down the wall (don’t worry about the Past post just yet) and run right along the ground. At the tunnel ahead, start pushing left as you land on the red spring on the bottom to eject yourself back out the way you came at high speed. Jump at the peak of your ascent back up the wall, but counter the force by holding left so you can land on the platform with the Past post. (You can grab the shield just below you if you want it, but you’ll lose it as soon as you time travel, so there’s not much point.)
From here, simply drop back down along the wall and go back into the tunnel with the springs. This time, don’t touch the controls and allow Sonic to bounce up and down between the two until he warps to the past.
Push to the left to eject yourself from the spring nook and watch out for the two lightning bugs as you settle out on the ground floor. Jump onto the short ledge just above the spring nook to find a red spring on the next step up. Just beside this spring is the robot generator, hiding in a loop just like the one it used in Act 1; however, a mace is protecting it from this side. Instead of trying to pass the mace, which is more trouble than it’s worth, I recommend approaching from the other end.
Hop up to the red spring and push gently to the left to first collect the shield, then use the same red spring and lean to the right to land on top of the loop housing the generator. Watch out for two more lightning bugs as you drop down off the right side, then turn around and dash back up the slope. (I recommend using a spin dash instead of a peel out, as there are a lot of flying enemies here.) Plant yourself on the ledge to enter the loop and destroy the generator.
Face the mace to the left and prepare a dash. Wait for it to pop up, then release your dash once it’s ducked back into its hiding place to safely cross. Now you must make the only really annoying jump that I’m going to ask of you: Using the same red spring that you used to get on top of the loop, push gently right and then back to the left. Your target is a vertical passage in the ceiling that, when it’s hit dead-on, accelerates Sonic upward and spits him back out where you started the level. It takes a few tries, but I promise that this is the easiest way to get to where Metal is hiding. I apologize for the irritation, but no one ever said that the best road didn’t have a toll booth. (NOTE: If you’re making it into the passage but getting stuck and falling, try releasing the controls instead of holding left.)
Once you land, jump up two ledges and follow the curve downward onto the diagonal yellow spring. Release the controls and allow it to bounce you among four more yellow springs, and finally a red spring. As you hit the red spring, hold left to slow the force and land on top of the high hill; if you didn’t catch it in time, just peel out up the wall from the bottom (a spin dash will be too slow). Head to the left and jump across the gap, and just watch out for the mace as you collect a 1-Up hiding in the corner. Use one of the red springs to get yourself back on track and continue to the right.
At the gap, jump to the upper ledge and continue up the next hill. Watch out for the spiked platform sneaking around in the gully as you keep going right. When you come across the yellow and red diagonal springs, jump over both and set the overhead sign to background to enter the loop. Once inside, pause for a moment to flip the sign over your head back to foreground. You don’t actually need it that way, but there’s another sign in the gap right below you that you’ll probably hit anyway, and that would just mess us up. Once you’ve reset the one above you, jump into the gap and fall in the middle to flip the other sign on your way down.
At the bottom, use the red spring to propel yourself up the steep incline and release the controls. Upon landing, position yourself on the left side of the platform you’re standing on and flip the sign back to foreground, then jump on top of the loop and continue right. As the passage narrows, allow it to accelerate you once again. After bouncing off of four red springs, a final yellow spring is waiting to catch you at the exit – right next to Metal Sonic.
If you’re quick enough, hold left after you hit the fourth red spring to counteract the momentum of the yellow at the bottom and land next to the projector. If you missed it, fear not, because it’s easy to get back. Use the red spring in the pit and lean to the right as you ascend to land on the sloped platform. Next, walk to the left and jump just as Sonic’s starting to face downward to land right next to the final projector in the game.
After sufficiently patting yourself on the back, drop back down into the pit and lean left as you hit the red spring to catch the floating launcher. After it sends you to a second launcher (which is spinning, so it may take a couple of tries until you get a good direction), push to the right to land on the curved platform with a yellow spring at the top. Pass over the spring (a short spin dash works best) and drop down to the very bottom level. There are a lot of springs and launchers in this area, so if you get knocked around, just keep countering the force and heading down. Once on the lowermost route, head to the right and jump over the launcher in the floor, then dash up the slope to fly over the diagonal red spring without hitting it.
Continue to the right up another slope and around a loop. At the fork in the road, follow the curve downward and cross the hill. As the path narrows, allow yourself to be propelled forward into the spring passages. Hold right to exit the repeating loop between the first two springs; after the third spring pushes you to another repeating pair, take the second right on your way up the long vertical passage. From here, all that stands between you and the goal post is one last diagonal yellow spring that trolls you from the middle of the road.
This is the most straight-forward level in the game. Unlike the other third acts, you won’t be fighting Robotnik at all here; instead, you’ll be up against Metal Sonic in a head-to-head race. Like Act 3 of Collision Chaos, there’s really only one route, and it’s too quick and chaotic for me to really give you a step-by-step instruction, so I’m going to take a similar approach and mostly offer a set of tips.
However, first thing’s first: Let’s get some rings!
Start by taking the ring box immediately behind Sonic’s back, then head to the right and make your way through the loop. At the peak of the next hill, turn around and charge up a dash, then jump as soon as you release it to land on top of the loop. Repeat this process to make your way to the platform on the far left of the screen, which holds a 1-up and a super sneaker. The sneakers really don’t matter, because they’ll expire before the race with Metal Sonic anyway, but the 1-up is handy in case this fight gives you some trouble.
After collecting your prizes, resume heading to the right and pick up three more ring boxes directly in your path before you meet up with Robotnik and Metal Sonic. While waiting for the race to start, I personally like to charge up a dash so I’ll be ready the instant the gate opens; I prefer to use the peel out over the spin dash, since it has a higher take-off speed and there won’t be any other enemies in your path. (Fun fact here: If you do nothing, Metal Sonic will do nothing, but if you prepare a dash, he’ll wag his finger at you for trying to get an advantage.) As soon as the gate opens, release your dash and jump when you hit the peak of the small hill to clear a set of spikes just ahead and give yourself a head start.
Now, from this point, I’m not going to stress you out even more with small details. I think it’s more productive to just give you some very important advice.
#1) It’s okay to let Metal Sonic get ahead of you sometimes! He has two main behaviors, both of which revolve around his electrical shield. If Sonic is ahead at the time Metal Sonic charges up, he’ll flatten his posture and blaze forward to take the lead. It’s VERY difficult to stay ahead of him when he does this, so it’s usually best to just jump and let him pass, then regain your lead once he cools down. (It’s also handy because Metal Sonic destroys any spikes in the path when he does this, which will make catching up easier.)
#2) Similarly, it’s okay to NOT pass Metal Sonic at certain times. This is particularly useful if you’re just a bit behind him when he’s about to use his electric shield. When Metal Sonic is ahead of you at the time that he turns his shield on, he’ll continue to drift along at his standard pace. If you have the opportunity to pass him, but you hang back for just a moment as he raises his shield, you can easily jump past him and take the lead when he’s not prepared to follow.
#3) You DO NOT have to jump over Metal Sonic when he’s NOT charging his shield. So long as Metal’s shield is down, you can run past him without taking damage. This is something I didn’t realize for years, and it made my life a lot easier once I figured it out.
#4) If you’re playing the 2011 release, TURN ON THE FIXED SPIN DASH! There are a LOT of short uphill slopes and 90 degree curves on this race track, many of which have spikes at the top, and it’s just enough to slow Sonic down and send him stumbling backwards. Robotnik is chasing after you with a big insta-death laser, so it’s vital that you dash whenever you get held up by one of these inclines. Seconds can really count in this race, and the fixed spin dash will make it a lot easier on you.
#5) That having been said, always opt for a peel out over a spin dash if you can. The spin dash is good for getting out of a tight spot quickly, such as getting stuck on a slope with Robotnik closing in fast, but always keep in mind that the peel out gives you more speed. If you have enough time to use the peel out instead, use it. It can help you gain a lot of ground, especially right at the beginning.
#6) Don’t bother with the upper route. It takes a lot of precision to even make it up there, let alone stay up there, and overall I just don’t find it to be worth the effort. I often find that my attempts to get up there just result in me losing my pace and getting killed. If you can get up there and make use of it (especially near the end), I say go for it, but if you miss it, just keep pushing forward.
HERE’S HOW TO TELL YOU’RE AT THE END: The short floating platforms overhead are the first indicator that you’re almost there, and when the ground suddenly flattens out, you’re in the home stretch. Use this time to pull ahead of Metal Sonic if you’ve fallen behind, but be very careful, because there are two sets of spikes in your path just waiting to screw you over at the finish line. If you’re fast enough to actually count the purple pillars in the background, you’ll pass 5 of them (6 if you count the one at the base of the hill) before you make it to the end.
Remember, it’s not important that you stay ahead of Metal for the entire race; it only matters that you get ahead of him at the end of it. Once you cross the finish line, the door slams shut, and Metal Sonic shatters upon impact with the wall (assuming Robotnik’s not right behind him with the laser, that is). All that’s left to do is let Amy down and hope she doesn’t break one of your ribs in her fit of gratitude.
Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic CD, and all related images and assets are © SEGA. SEGA and the SEGA logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of the SEGA Corporation.
This guide, however, is © me. I wrote the entire thing from top to bottom, and you may not repost it anywhere without my written permission in advance. I took all of the screenshots myself, but the content of those images is still the property of Sega.