[[quoteright:248:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sonic_advance_001_9621.png]]

The ''Sonic Advance'' trilogy is a trio of games in the SonicTheHedgehog series for the Creator/{{Nintendo}} GameBoyAdvance.

Co-developed by Creator/{{SEGA}} and Creator/{{Dimps}} and designed [[RevisitingTheRoots in the vein of the classic]] [[SegaGenesis Mega Drive/Genesis]] side-scrolling platformers, this trilogy is essentially lip-service for older fans, with some elements of ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'' thrown in.

The first game, ''Sonic Advance'' (2001), is perhaps the most reminiscent of the older games. The plot is very minimal (thwart [[BigBad Dr. Eggman]]!) and the gameplay is a bit slower than its successors but features a little more emphasis on platforming. This was the first 2D side-scroller in the series to feature Amy Rose as a playable character. It was also the first ever original Sonic/Sega game (Not counting ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2: Battle'' as it was a port) to appear on a Nintendo system after Sega's switch to software manufacturing. Was ported to the short lived Nokia UsefulNotes/NGage as ''Sonic N'', but suffered from being transposed from the horizontal screen of the GBA to the ''vertical'' screen of the N-Gage (it also removed the Tiny Chao Garden).

In ''Sonic Advance 2'' (2002), Cream the Rabbit and her chao companion Cheese join Sonic and friends in the battle against Eggman after he abducts her mother and Tails. The gameplay is definitely the most extreme in the trilogy; the focus on speed is greater (to the point of making all but one boss a running battle), all of the characters now have the ability to grind on rails, and they can perform tricks with a press of the R-trigger after going off a ramp/spring to gain more momentum.

The first two games both feature a special condensed Chao Garden (although for some inexplicable reason the developers made it so you had to unlock it in the second), and the {{Gamecube}}-[=GBA=] link cable can be used to import/export chao from and to the Gamecube ports of ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'' and ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2''.

In ''Sonic Advance 3'' (2004), Eggman literally splits Earth into seven zones through the power of the Master Emerald, and uses [[VideoGame/SonicBattle a familiar robot]] that can emulate our heroes' abilities to try and take over the shattered world. Sonic and friends must reunite with each other in order to bring the planet back together and stop Eggman. The gameplay focuses on teamwork (kind of like ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes'' or ''VideoGame/KnucklesChaotix'') by having you select a player character and a partner character out of five characters (Sonic, Tails, Amy, Knuckles, Cream); the different combinations have different abilities. The stage design is like a fusion of its predecessors, combining the platforming action of the first game and the high-speed hijinks of the second. This game was especially notable for its AllThereInTheManual story. The black robot Gemerl is actually the robo-reincarnation of VideoGame/SonicBattle's robot Emerl.

Followed by a spiritual successor of sorts in the ''[[VideoGame/SonicRushSeries Sonic Rush]]'' games for the NintendoDS, which were also critical successes.
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!!This trilogy provides examples of:
* AllThereInTheManual: The Japanese supplementary material for the first game reveals backstory on the Angel Island Zone boss, [[spoiler:Mecha Knuckles. Apparently, Eggman began making it in secret while he had the real Knuckles tricked into thinking Sonic was the bad guy in ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles Sonic The Hedgehog 3]]'', secretly examining the echidna behind his back, and it was finally ready to go in this game]]. Because not everyone has read this supplementary material, [[spoiler:Mecha Knuckles]] may come across as a GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere.
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler: Emerl, who was rebuilt as Gemerl by Eggman, then reprogrammed by Tails back into his Emerl personality]] in 3, cheering up everyone after [[DownerEnding the ending]] of ''VideoGame/SonicBattle''.
* BackThatLightUp: The third game had different color settings to suit different GameboyAdvance backlight arrangements.
* BandLand: Music Plant Zone in the second game.
* BonusFeatureFailure: In an odd example, Sonic Advance 2 let you unlock the Tiny Chao Garden by meeting certain conditions in the game... Even though the first Sonic Advance had the exact same mode available from the start. The third game doesn't even have this feature.
** Also from Sonic Advance 2, there is Amy, who is unlocked after the game is 100% completed. She (who in the first game was slow and couldn't roll, but had her own advantages) is little more than an alternate skin of Sonic.
** A glitch in Sonic Advance makes rings not transfer to the Tiny Chao Garden from the main game if the save data is deleted. Fortunately, ''VideoGame/SonicPinballParty'', which is in a CompilationRerelease with this game, does not have this glitch.
* BossOnlyLevel: The last [[spoiler: two]] zones in all three.
** Almost every boss in 2 and 3 have one. The only exceptions are the final boss in both 2 ({{BossRush}} level) and 3 (Fight with Gemerl before the fight) and the first boss in 3 (Fight with Gemerl again).
* BossRush: The first two game feature this. In the X-Zone in the first, before you fight the Egg X, you must go through [[NostalgiaLevel memory lane]] by battling the ball-and-chain mobile from ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog'' and the [[WarmupBoss infamous]] drill mobile from ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2'' in that order, both made easier by taking half the number of hits to beat (both bosses are accompanied by GBA-style rearrangements of the boss themes from their respective games). In XX (yes, it's really called that) in the second, you must go through ''all'' of the bosses you fought so far in the game before you get to fight the Super Eggrobo Z.
* BottomlessPits: Present in all of the regular levels of these games (the only exceptions being Neo Green Hill Zone in the first one, Leaf Forest in the second and Ocean Base in the third), though they are more common in the second and third games (looking at you Sky Canyon).
** Did we mention that these bottomless pits are insanely long? You find yourself falling for quite a while.
** The final Act of Chaos Angel from the third game is nothing but a bottomless pit, you just stand on a platform and avoid obstacles or die.
** The second game suffers from "Bottomless Pit Syndrome", mainly because most of the levels have that as the only obstacle with the occasional badnik or two.
* CasinoPark: Casino Paradise.
* {{Cyberspace}}/{{Tomorrowland}}: Techno Base from ''2'', Cyber Track from ''3''.
* DamnYouMuscleMemory: In the first game, pressing down while dashing throws the brake on Amy's momentum by making her crouch, as opposed to having her roll into a ball like it does for the other three characters (see also: like it does in ''every'' 2D Sonic game up until then). As you might reckon, this little handicap got removed in parts 2 and 3.
* DarkReprise: The theme of the third game's final zone, Altar Emerald, is an ominous remix of Holy Summit from ''VideoGame/SonicBattle''. [[spoiler:The music that plays during [[TrueFinalBoss Nonaggression]] likewise reprises Emerl's theme.]]
** Act 3 of Sunset Hill Zone tosses in [[MusicalNod bits and pieces]] of the melody from Central City in SonicBattle for it's remix, which ends up giving Green Hill Zone's normally upbeat melody a good dash of mystery and darkness.
* DownTheDrain / UnderwaterBase: Ocean Base in the third game.
* EarthShatteringKaboom: What Eggman does in the beginning of the third game.
* EnemyMine: [[spoiler:Super Sonic and Eggman team up for the third game's TrueFinalBoss, fittingly titled "Nonaggression", after Gemerl turns renegade and claims the Chaos Emeralds for himself.]]
* EternalEngine: It wouldn't be a Sonic game without such levels.
** Secret Base, Egg Rocket, and Cosmic Angel in the first game.
** Hot Crater and Egg Utopia in the second game.
** Ocean Base in the third game.
* ExcusePlot: The first two games (the plot for both is "Dr. Eggman is up to his old tricks again!"). The third game's opening cutscene is this (Eggman actually ''does'' use the emeralds, and splits the world into seven zones), but as AllThereInTheManual states, there's more to the plot than meets the eye.
* {{Expy}}: Mecha Knuckles, for SonicR's Metal Knuckles.
** The rabbit that sometimes pops out of badniks is an expy of Pocky, one of the animals from the Genesis games. See FurryConfusion below.
* FurryConfusion: Cream the Rabbit is a playable character in the second game. When the badniks are defeated, the animal used to power it pops out. One of the animals that can pop out is a significantly less anthropomorphic rabbit.
* GameBreakingBug: Erasing the save file in 1 or 2 (sometimes?) causes the Tiny Chao Garden to stop collecting rings. It can only be fixed by collecting as many rings as you had when you erased the file, or transferring your rings to a VideoGame/SonicAdventure game.
* GetBackHereBoss: Every boss except the last in ''Advance 2''.
* GravityScrew: Cyber Track in the third game, Egg Utopia in the second, and Egg Rocket and Cosmic Angel in the first game.
* GreenHillZone: Leaf Forest in the second game and Sunset Hill (which doubles as a NostalgiaLevel) in the third. Oddly enough, Neo Green Hill from the first is less like this and more like PalmtreePanic.
* GuideDangIt: Some Special Springs in 1 (protip: Ice Mountain has two), Special Rings in 2 (''especially'' them) and the Chao in 3 might be very difficult for the player to locate. Bottomless pits, pesky speed boosters and [[{{Backtracking}} unbacktrackable]] areas tend to make exploration even more difficult.
* HighTechHexagons: Two of the three games featured high-tech, futuristic levels, both of which featured hexagons ad nauseum.
* HoppingMachine: The Egg Press, one of Eggman's mechs in the first game. It returns in the third game; see RecurringBoss below.
* HubLevel: For all seven zones in the third game, in a style not too dissimilar to the hubs of the ''[[{{Kirby}} Kirby's Dreamland]]'' games.
* JackOfAllStats: Knuckles. The first game's game guide gives him slightly above average in each of the three stats (Speed, Jumping, Special Skills). It also [[JustifiedTrope makes sense]] when you consider that he's normally a LightningBruiser.
* LegacyBossBattle: A Pre-FinalBoss example. In Sonic Advance's [[spoiler: final stage, Dr. Eggman reprises the first bosses from both ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog1'' and ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2'', complete with the boss themes from both games, before the actual FinalBoss battle occurs. And there seems to be no other reason for Eggman to go to the trouble of reenacting fights that he had lost before]].
* LethalJokeCharacter: Amy Rose in the first game is slow and can't roll. However, she has a high jump and can attack from standing without needing to build up speed (this includes an absurdly fast dash attack.) She also has a better attack range due to her Piko Piko Hammer. She completely trivializes one of the bosses (who rely on SuperDrowningSkills) by high jumping to the top of the screen (and catching a breath) and smacking Robotnik on the way down.
* LethalLavaLand: Hot Crater Zone in the second game.
* MythologyGag: The first Sonic Advance has a cheat code that allows Tails to follow Sonic in normal play, ala [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2 Sonic 2]].
* NintendoHard: It is hard to meet the requirements to get to the special stages in all three, but this is compounded by:
** In the second game, you have to collect seven very well hidden SP Rings and not die at all before finishing a stage. Many of these rings were in difficult to access areas and backtracking was hard and, in some cases, impossible. Dying made you lose everything, forcing you to restart the entire stage. On top of that, you only got one shot a finishing the special stage; failing meant doing all of that over again.
** Sonic Advance 3, on the other hand, had you searching for ''ten'' well hidden Chao spread between the three zones and the area map. Fortunately, the Chao garden will tell you the number of Chao in each zone and the map. ''Un''fortunately, there was no official strategy guide for this game, unlike the other two, meaning you had to look online or explore almost every path to find them all. You permanently collect a Chao once getting it, which is fortunate, because some require specific teams or multiple playthroughs. When you have all 10, you have to find a key hidden ''somewhere'' in that game's considerably expansive levels and finish the stage with it (losing it if you die). They were mercifully often out in the open, they also had multiple locations within a stage making dying not as much of a problem (although you could only collect one per run through a stage), and you could have up to nine at once (nine separate tries).
** Sonic Advance 2 may have had the hardest activation of the special stages, but their stages were '''much''' easier than the ones in Sonic Advance 1 or 3. 3's stages were incredibly difficult compared to the previous game, especially the last one, and unlike the second game which had a strategy guide to walk you through the locations of everything important, the third game didn't have one to help you out, so you were completely on your own.
* NostalgiaLevel: Several from Sonic Advance: Neo Green Hill Zone, Casino Paradise, Cosmic Angel/X-Zone and The Moon are all obvious homages to [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog Green Hill Zone]], [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2 Casino Night]], [[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles the Death Egg and The Doomsday respectively.]]
** Sunset Hill in Advance 3 is what Green Hill became after Eggman's reality warping experiments at the beginning of the game.
* NotTheFallThatKillsYou: [[spoiler:If the Sonic 2-like rescue scene in Advance 1's ending wasn't enough, Advance 2's first ending shows the player character falling from space to the Earth without any injuries.]]
** For that matter, the true ending of Advance 2 [[spoiler: when you clear True Area 53. Is Vanilla really that much more likely to survive falling from space if she's in Sonic's arms at the time?]]
*** Considering that Sonic can survive free-falls from extreme heights, one could assume that if he lands feet-first and everything's fine. Though he does have a habit of falling face-first instead...
* OneWingedAngel: [[spoiler:Gemerl in the final boss of the third game, though granted he changes form for nearly every boss anyway.]]
* OxygenMeter: As is typical of 2D Sonic games.
* PinballZone: Casino Paradise in the first game.
* PlatformBattle: The Egg Chase from Advance 3.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: The gimmick of the third game.
* RecurringBoss: The Egg Hammer Tank from ''VideoGame/SonicPocketAdventure'' appears in both Sonic Advance 1 and 2, and gets a SpiritualSuccessor in 3.[[note]]The third game's hammer boss also shows up in ''{{VideoGame/Sonic Rush|Series}}''.[[/note]] The Egg Snake appears in Advance 1 and 3. There are other throwbacks as well: Advance 2's Techno Base Boss is a improved version of Pocket Adventure's Secret Plant Boss, for example.
** It also applies across the games themselves: The boss of Cosmic Angel from the first is slightly altered and appears as Chaos Angel's boss from the 3rd. Ocean Base's boss feels like a [[XMeetsY cross]] between the bosses of Secret Base in the first game and Egg Utopia in the second game.
* RingOutBoss: The boss in the third game's Toy Kingdom Zone.
* RiseToTheChallenge: The boss in Twinkle Snow (in the third game) does this with a [[BottomlessPits bottomless pit]]. It, along with the Toy Kingdom, Cyber Track and Altar Emerald bosses, are the only boss fights in the trilogy with Bottomless Pits involved.
* RoboticReveal: Metal Knuckles in the first game, halfway through the fight.
* ShoutOut: In ''Sonic Advance 2'', [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2 Tails is kidnapped by Eggman]]! Now where have we heard this before?
** For ''no particular reason'', characters '''must'' stay paired in Sonic Advance 3, which combined with the other gimmick of changeable movesets makes this game a spiritual successor to ''VideoGame/KnucklesChaotix''. Not to mention [[MechaMook badniks]] are powered by rings.
** It is much closer to the Sonic and Tails mode seen in Sonic 2 and Sonic 3.
** The icons replacing characters' portraits by the life counter in ''Sonic Advance 3'' are a stylistic throwback to the ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles Sonic and Knuckles]]'' logo. Selecting Knuckles as the main character and Sonic as the supporting character reconstitutes its horizontally mirrored version.
* SlippySlideyIceWorld: All three games feature this kind of zone, the one in the first (Ice Mountain Zone) doubling as a water level.
* [[SublimeRhyme Sublime]]/PainfulRhyme: Ice Paradise in the second game.
* SpaceZone: The TrueFinalBoss in all three, along with X-Zone from the first, and Egg Utopia and XX from the second.
* SpeedEchoes: Get fast enough, and a doppleganger follows you. The distance between the echo and the character depends on how fast they're moving.
* SpiritualSuccessor: The first game, to ''VideoGame/SonicPocketAdventure'', and the third game, to ''VideoGame/KnucklesChaotix''.
* TheStarscream: [[spoiler:Gemerl, similar to his original, goes berserk from the Emeralds' power and turns on Eggman in the climax of the third game.]]
* SuperMode: Super Sonic appears in every game to defeat the TrueFinalBoss.
* SuperTitle64Advance
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: If you select Sonic and Knuckles as a team in the third game, both of their expressions are rather uncomfortable and disdainful.
* TempleOfDoom: Chaos Angel in the third game. Includes LiftOfDoom in Act 3, but there is an alternate route...
* TennisBoss: The Cyber Track boss in the third game.
* TimedMission: As first seen in ''VideoGame/SonicPocketAdventure'', this series subverts the trope by letting the player disable the time limit at the options screen.
** Egg Rocket in the first game makes you go up a rocket and gives you five minutes to reach a certain point. When you reach that point, the timer resets and you now have five minutes to reach the next point. This continues until you eventually reach the goal.
* TitleScream: In the third game. And it is [[LargeHam hamtastic]]. The title was softly spoken in the second game.
** Not surprising considering the [[VideoGame/DukeNukem character the voice actor is famous for playing...]]
* ToyTime: Toy Kingdom in the third game.
* TrialAndErrorGameplay: A big complaint for the trilogy, but disproportionately so for some levels.
* TrueFinalBoss: All three have one if you collect the Chaos Emeralds.
* TubeTravel: Secret Base, Egg Rocket, Music Plant, and Ocean Base all have such a gimmick.
* UnderTheSea: Ice Mountain, Ocean Base and Twinkle Snow. Despite the names, Ocean Base has much less underwater platforming than Twinkle Snow does (both are from 3), and Advance 2 foregoes having a water zone entirely, with Leaf Forest Act 1 having a couple of pools of it making up all the water in the game.
* UnderwaterBase: Ocean Base in the third game.
* UnderwaterBossBattle: Ice Mountain in the first game.
* UnwillingSuspension: Tails in ''Sonic Advance 2'', at the boss of Music Plant Zone.
* UselessUsefulSpell: Played mostly straight in 2. When you go into boost mode, you can a special attack that would let you attack while losing a bit of speed and momentum. Most of these attacks were useless because there very rarely are any enemies in your path to use it on and since you're going that fast, you'll likely already be hit or react too late to use it. The only somewhat useful one (fittingly) is Cream's chao rolling attack, which gives you a split second barrier and attacks enemies while still running. Even still, there are very few points in the game where you'll ever use the attacks.
* WheelOFeet: Used only with Sonic, and only in the first game.
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