* AntiClimaxBoss: Metal Overlord. While Metal Madness is mildly challenging due to having one instant-kill attack, Overlord is one of the easiest bosses in the game--you can't even be directly harmed by him, and the only danger is running out of rings, which can be periodically refilled during the fight.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: [[AwesomeMusic/SonicTheHedgehog This game has its own section on this page.]]
* BaseBreaker: This game was pretty much the catalyst for Shadow's BaseBreaker status ([[VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog his self-titled game]] would break it even further): did bringing Shadow back cheapen [[spoiler:his HeroicSacrifice in ''Adventure 2'']], thus turning him into a CreatorsPet, or was it good just to see [[EnsembleDarkhorse Shadow]] [[TheBusCameBack make a reappearance]]?
* BrokenBase: The game itself caused a sizable rift in the fandom. Depending on whom you ask, it's either a fun and engaging platformer with a nice variety of characters and the last good game before the franchise's DorkAge, or an unplayable mess with awful controls and the very game that ''started'' the DorkAge.
* [[Awesome/VideoGameLevels Best Level Ever]]: Many players hold Egg Fleet as the favorite, not only for the sheer sense of vertigo of being high up in the air (even compared to other airship levels in the series), but for the challenge offered by having to constantly dodge gunfire from the ships, and the sheer amount of alternate paths available. To put the cherry on top, the level features the playable trio creating a chain reaction that destroys ''an entire battleship'' with Rocket Accel. And Team Sonic's version allows you to do it ''three times'', with the third time standing in for the Goal Ring. Quite expectedly, there are a number of fans who are disappointed that Seaside Hill, essentially the GreenHillZone throwback of the game, was picked to represent ''Heroes'' in ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations'' over Egg Fleet when, one, ''the'' [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog1 Green Hill Zone]] was already in the game, and two, [[WolverinePublicity Seaside Hill had already made countless appearances in many spin-offs]].
* CharacterRerailment: The ''[[VideoGame/SonicAdventure Sonic]] [[VideoGame/SonicAdventure2 Adventure]]'' series turned Knuckles into a dead-serious guardian, in sharp contrast to what the artwork for the first game showed, and to his ''VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles'' portrayal of laughing at Sonic at every turn. This game was able to reconcile the two portrayals into a deceptively stoic yet laid-back [[TheLancer Lancer]] who gets smug at getting one over Sonic.
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Team Chaotix has the least role in the story, but are far more popular than most of the other teams storywise (gameplay-wise, however, their "search mission" gameplay tends to be near-universally despised).
** E-123 Omega is pretty popular as well, both for his amazing power and his awesome (though somewhat hammy) quotes.
* FridgeBrilliance:
** Metal Sonic copies Chaos's data from Chocola and Froggy. Chao are very closely connected with Chaos, and Froggy was once possessed by Chaos. When Metal Sonic enters his OneWingedAngel transformation, he does so by merging with one of Eggman's battleships. This is because he copied Chaos's shapeshifting powers. However, while Chaos is made of water, and thus merged with Station Square's reservoirs, Metal Sonic is made of metal, so he used a battleship to gain mass.
* GoddamnedBats: In the Hang Castle and Mystic Mansion stages, the ghosts that pop up everywhere.
** Egg Bishops/Egg Sorcerers, one enemy with two different forms distinguishable by color. Egg Bishops (orange) have the ability to heal themselves and any enemy nearby. Egg Sorcerers (purple) can cast a spell that steals all your rings. And the worst part is if you use a tornado attack on them, it just flips them over to the opposite form, making a bad situation potentially even worse.
* HarsherInHindsight: In this game, Metal Sonic ends up backstabbing Eggman and trying to defeat Sonic himself by gaining more abilities with implied modifications. Three years later out-of-universe, Metal Sonic does it again in ''WebAnimation/SuperMarioBrosZ'', only it ends up being far worse than before, where he (presumably) murdered Eggman while backstabbing him, demolished a large percentage of the planet's ecosystem, and also murdered all of Sonic and Shadow's friends.
* HilariousInHindsight: It's hard to hear Shadow saying "Space... Did you say SPACE???" nowadays without thinking of ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}''.
* ItWasHisSled: Metal Sonic was the real villain of the game, while Eggman was locked up the whole time. The trailers didn't even ''try'' to hide that Metal was making a comeback. His trophy description in the fourth ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' doesn't help.
* {{Mondegreen}}: Several gamers thought that Knuckles said "Shit!" during the first of his combo punches.
* MostAnnoyingSound:
** "MUST BE MY LUCKY DAY!!!"
** "Take this! Take this! Take this! Take this! Take this! Take this! ''CHARGE!!!''"
** ''Anyone'' who is the point man when you go into the cannon in Bullet Station. The team is shot out of the cannon and can pick up item balloons as they go through the air, subjecting the player to the snippet they say over and over.
* {{Narm}}: "[[{{Anvilicious}} We'll show that creep the REAL SUPERPOWER OF TEAMWORK!]]" among several other lines involving such.
* NarmCharm: The game has quite a bit of charm, but most notably the team songs are what make it. Team Chaotix is [[EarWorm especially fun]].
-->''TEAM CHAOTIX!! They're detectives you want on your side!''
* NewbieBoom: As with ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'', which was the first ''Sonic'' game to be released on a Nintendo console, this game was the first ''Sonic'' game to be released on Sony and Microsoft consoles.
* PortingDisaster: The [=PS2=] version. It's not unplayable, but it suffers from low-resolution textures, clipping, and frame-rate drops.
* ScrappyMechanic:
** Rails, which began to be overused and often have BottomlessPits under them. This game was also the first in the series to have the characters talk about the scenery and their current situations, a source of many [[MostAnnoyingSound annoying sounds]], CaptainObvious statements, and {{Narm}}, which people often complained about.
%%** The level system was considered highly annoying to many as well.
** When hit by an enemy, a character gets stunned for a second, giving you less time than usual to collect your rings before getting hit again.
** Enemies having life bars were a constant early complaint, since they messed up the flow of the game (especially if your characters weren't leveled, which meant that only Power-type characters could reduce their HP without additional effort, and later enemies carried HUGE life bars AND barred progress until defeat), and turned parts of the game into a crude BeatEmUp instead of a traditional speed-based puzzle/platformer.
** Flying formation can be a pain, as you're forced to carry your teammates and speed is reduced greatly is this formation. And if your fly meter depletes fully, you sink like a rock, which can be frustrating if there's a BottomlessPit below you, which is to say, quite often in fly specific areas. Also, there's an inexplicable height cap when you attempt to fly that is all too easy to reach, which really ruins the point of a "Flight" formation. Attacking in flight formation can also be rather tricky, as it can be hard to aim.
* SpecialEffectFailure: The CGI in the cutscenes was low budget and generally mediocre, even for the time of its release. It's tolerable for most of the game, but the ending cutscene really takes a nosedive in quality in compared to the others--one glaring failure is Rouge floating across the ground when she's clearly supposed to be walking in the ending cutscenes (her body moves before the legs do, which makes it look like she's skating on ice).
* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''VideoGame/KnucklesChaotix'' in some ways. Not only does ''Heroes'' reintroduce the Chaotix characters themselves, it is also the first major game in the series since ''Chaotix'' to feature a teamwork-style multi-character gameplay dynamic. [[spoiler:And of course, it is the first game after ''Chaotix'' to feature Metal Sonic as a primary antagonist and involve a OneWingedAngel form of him as the final boss.]]
* TearJerker:
** In the cutscene where Team Rose were tricked by an Eggman decoy, Big sadly utters out "Froggy, where are you? Let's go home." You have to feel sorry for him since it looks as though he's failed to rescue Froggy and he's given up in doing so in the process.
** The Team Dark scene where Shadow spots a Shadow android, which gives him the thought that he may be an android as well. The shot where Rouge sympathetically looks at Shadow really tells the story.
* ThatOneLevel:
** Final Fortress, for its multitude of mandatory enemy gauntlets involving the strongest enemies in the game.
** Mystic Mansion, which is also a MarathonLevel. Bonus points for Team Sonic's final room especially, where you have to cross all three gaps with the different mechanics.
** The Special Stages, too, especially where you have to catch the flying emerald. Doubly so as Team Rose, which is a little bit slower than the other teams.
** Rail Canyon and its following level, Bullet Station, for consisting of little more but rail grinding and virtually zero safe ground below you.
** BINGO Highway, for similar reasons to Rail Canyon. Just replace "rail grinding" with "pinball tables". Especially the latter part of the level, which is very generous with BottomlessPits that can be difficult to avoid with the pinball controls and can send you back quite a long way if you die.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: Some people are ''not'' fond of the designs for Tails' and Knuckles' SuperMode (more akin to a "Super Shield" than their actual transformations from ''[=S3&K=]'') in this game.
* ToughActToFollow: Since this game followed the immensely well-loved ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'' (both the original Dreamcast version and its [=GameCube=] ''Battle'' port), ''Heroes'' did, and still does to this day, get a lot of bile from fans for really slippery controls and its utter repetitive structure compared to ''Adventure 2''.
* TheUntwist: There wasn't really any effort to hide the fact that Metal Sonic is the real villain; he makes several, albeit brief appearances throughout the game, including the opening cutscene. Yet when he finally introduces himself, it's still treated as a shocking revelation.
* SugarWiki/VisualEffectsOfAwesome: Metal Sonic's OneWingedAngel, which involves a fast-paced sequence of parts of a blown apart tower assembling together into his new Metal Madness form, with Metal's head morphing into some... ''thing'' that completes his transformation, all lasting for circa 50 seconds.
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