* 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]]?
* [[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, Seaside Hill had already made countless appearances in many spinoffs.
* CharacterRerailment: The ''[[SonicAdventureSeries Sonic Adventure]]'' series turned Knuckles into a dead-serious guardian, in sharp contrast 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 [[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.
** Metal Sonic's OneWingedAngel form is ridiculously easy because his ego is three times larger than his size.
** Likewise, in a game running on the message of the power of teamwork, it makes sense that, once the four trios realized they really had no need to butt heads and united against a common foe, Metal Sonic's elaborate ploy was so quick to fail after he revealed himself to be the game's true mastermind.
** Metal Sonic's Neo Metal form is very nice to look at, but it may ultimately be a ClippedWingAngel form used more for looks than raw power. He was able to capture Froggy and Chocola to gain the shapeshifting power of Chaos, but with no more data to work from, he had to go with what was available in Eggman's resources: Data for the Shadow Android line and leftover E-Series data. Combining those, he made the Neo Metal form for sheer intimidation. This is supported by looking at the elements he adapts: He gains white streaks and a more upturned and bigger quill pattern from Shadow, thick armor and gauntlets from E-123 and he possibly owes his sleeker, spikier features to the remodeling data that was used to create E-101MKII.
* 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, decimated 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.
* {{Mondegreen}}: Several gamers thought that Knuckles said "Shit!" during the first of his combo punches.
** [[WebAnimation/SonicShorts The Sonic Paradox Team]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNwspV1x_gk had some fun with that one.]]
* MostAnnoyingSound: "Here we go!"
** That doesn't even cover that annoying "WHEEE!" noise that Tails makes when you boost through the air. Still, you have to give the kid a break; the boy who voiced Tails ([[TheOtherDarrin taking over from the VAs]] in the ''Adventure'' series, both of whom had hit puberty) was about 11 or 12 at the time.
** "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.
* 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, 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 also 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.
* SpecialEffectsFailure: The CGI in the cutscenes was low budget and generally mediocre, even for the time of it's 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).
* 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.
** 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.
*** This is especially jarring as there's a sudden and unexpected DifficultySpike between the 2nd and 3rd Emeralds. The Yellow Emerald somehow manages to be harder to obtain than all other Chaos Emeralds in the game barring the final one.
**** Until you realize [[GuideDangIt you can hold down the B button to continue boosting.]] This is hard to notice as working as you only have a boosting animation when you first press the button.
** Rail Canyon and its following level, Bullet Station, for consisting of little more but rail grinding and virtually zero safe ground below you.
* 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''.
* 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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