Why is there a train station in the middle of the jungle?
Maybe the jungle is a tourist spot?
Archeologists use the train to commute between Station Square and the Mystic Ruins. It was probably integrated into Station Square for the sake of being a tourist destination.
The train is like the DC subway when you want to go in or outside the city limits. In this case, the Mystic Ruins are the city limits.
How did Birdie get a locket with a picture with his family in it, much less one with a Chaos Emerald? Did he purchase it? How can he even lift it?
It's been shown that all animals in the Sonic World are higher functioning than what would be expected of normal animals. Birdie's family probably got the locket and took a family picture to put inside it just like any human or anthro would. As for the Chaos Emerald inside...*Le-Shrug*
The Chaos Emerald is a shiny object, birds like shinies, and the Chaos Emeralds are hidden across the "world" anyway. The three birds find it, keep it, and then two of them get kidnapped by Eggman and the other one gets chased by Zero until it runs into Amy.
Sonic X has Eggman specifically accuse Lily/Birdie of stealing the Chaos Emerald from him, suggesting it may have taken an Emerald he had already obtained from his lair during it's escape.
Could Sonic have reached the last Chaos Emerald before Chaos if Tikal hadn't stopped him with that final vision?
Given how often Sonic lost the chaos emeralds every time by some contrivance, then no. Vision or not, Sonic or somebody in the game would've lost it to Chaos anyway.
Somehow the villain always manages to obtain all the Chaos emeralds before the heroes in the Sonic games.
Is Tikal sending the heroes back in time? Did those brief moments when they interacted with Tikal in the past actually happen?
It is either inconsistent writing, or some characters were sent into the past (Tails) while others only received images (Gamma)
Actually, at one point, Tails mentions that Sonic apparently was "out of it" during his visit. Course, it might mean that they'd have to have seen him standing there with a blank look while his mind was literally in the past.
Tikal's sending them back in time mentally, with their mental selves temporary manifesting a new body. Their original body goes into some sort of trance while this happens.
If that is the altar for the Master Emerald, then what is the Hidden Palace Zone?
Well given the name it's probably a place where the guardian hides the Master Emerald when they know there's danger.
Still counts as invoking the Chaos Architecture trope, since it was not confirmed that they're different locations within the game, nor that they're the same, for that matter.
Them being the same place would create a pretty damn big plothole in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, given how intrinsic Hidden Palace is to the story despite being one of the shortest levels in the game.
Maybe Hidden Palace was the original altar, but at some point it was decided to move the emeralds to a different location, and a new altar was built outside. If we go by Sonic 1's prologue, the emeralds give energy to all lifeforms, so they may have decided to move them to open air so that they would be able to better spread their energies. Or maybe the outside altar was the "regular" altar, while the Hidden Palace one was a separate altar whose function was transforming the emeralds into Super Emeralds, possibly as part of a ritual, explaining why they don't seem to be in Super Emerald form when seen in the outside altar in the flashbacks. As to why the Master Emerald switches places between S3&K and SA 1, it makes sense for Knuckles to move the emerald to a secret underground structure to hide it from Sonic, who was invading the island to steal it (at least that's what Knux was told by Eggman) during S3&K. After that, he probably moved it back to the outside altar so that he could easily check on it without having to get to Hidden Palace.
Regarding the Inferred Holocaust: Really, none of the characters give a shit about an entire metropolis destroyed and its population presumably killed? "All's well that ends well", Tails? What?!
Well, he is young and naive (He is only a little 8 year-old). Even though he is smart, he may not fully comprehend life & death.
All he comprehends is that the immediate threat has been dealt with.
I guess he felt that it could have been so much worse.
The people could have all escaped. It's not like we see any waterlogged carcasses floating about.
In the Sonic X anime, the following episode after the Perfect Chaos battle has the citizens fixing it up.
In the cutscene before the final battle, we hear several Station Square townies cheering for Sonic to defeat Chaos, so we can assume they survived somehow.
Eggman's goal. He didn't seem to think his plan too well. His plan in this game is to create the ultimate city over the ruins of Station Square. The...flooded ruins, that is. If his plan was to build a city over a flooded land mass, why not just build it in the middle of the ocean somewhere? And who other than Sonic does he expect to come to this city knowing that he just rendered countless people homeless in this act? And why need Chaos when he has his own military might? He's got a flagship, countless war machines and even a nuke at his disposal to do away with Station Square at any time and Chaos himself fails to defeat Sonic, Tails and Knuckles despite having the Emeralds to himself. But I guess my real gripe is: You've got an almighty morphing god of destruction entirely composed of a mixture of infinite energy and your archenemy's greatest weakness who grows stronger with each gem of infinite power you feed him. Why would you waste all of that on destroying a city just to make an apparently better one over it when you could hold the entire world under threat of global flood?
It's possible that after having Chaos flood Station Square to destroy it and kill everyone he would drain it and build Robotnikland IN the ruins of the city rather than atop it.
It's hilarious in hindsight because he actually does destroy Station Square in one game and builds Eggmanland on top of it.
Eggman tells Gamma "You're not as advanced as Beta is"; why make the second robot in the E-100 series less advanced than the first? If not better, why not at least make it as good?
Eggman knew Gamma would beat Beta, so he outfitted Beta with a new design to make him beat Gamma.
Resources/expense? Or maybe Gamma is designed as a production model - Eggman does seem surprised that Gamma wins at all, and he does go on to use him as a mass-production model with the similar robots in Adventure 2.
He may have meant advanced in experience and skill. Beta was built earlier so had taken in data from practice and input Gamma had only just started. What surprises Eggman is that Gamma learns so quickly and becomes more intelligent than his brethren.
Why make the first robot "Beta" and not "Alpha"? Is Zero supposed to be codenamed "Alpha"?
Zero was tasked with finding Amy so he could get intelligence from the bird she had.
But if you're going for theme naming, why start with the second letter of the Greek alphabet?
ZERO is E-100 Alpha. It's possible that he was built as an Alpha Version, or a prototype, of the E-100 Series. Eggman then went on to build the more advanced E-101 Beta, then started production on the E-100 Series with E-102 Gamma, E-103 Delta, E-104 Epsilon, and E-105 Zeta, and then on and on until E-123 Omega, after which point he moved on to the E-1000 Series.
Why does Eggman make his robots compete with each other and banish the losers (Beta after losing a fight to Gamma, and the other E-100s after Gamma finds Froggy)? Surely he could fight Sonic and co. better if he used all his robots, even if they're not all quite up to the same standard?
Eggman's empire has no room for failing robots.
Although to be fair, Beta only failed because Eggman created a Thunderdome situation between him and Gamma on some kind of whim. The winner decided the design model for the rest of the elite E-Series (though ironically Delta is given Beta's design after he fails).
Their failure wasn't rewarded with destruction, just removal... though apparently not necessarily from the ship, as seen in Zeta's case. Windy Valley and Red Mountain were places Sonic went, and Hot Shelter... well, Sonic might have gone there at some point, but he didn't. In any case, Sonic... probably had already gotten the Emerald from Windy Valley by the time Delta was sent there, and Epsilon's animal was likely already freed from the robot at Red Mountain by the time Sonic got there, so they didn't get a chance to encounter and battle him.
There's some added Fridge Horror, since in Gamma's story, he nearly defeats and kills Sonic on his own. Imagine how he would have fared against four identical E-Series models.
Note he didn't just banish them, he upgraded them before sending them to work in other locales. Also keep in mind he was still short one Chaos Emerald at the time and Sonic was on the attack. Keep his best bot close at hand to distract the main enemy and have the flunkies do the grunt work, that way Chaos is even more liable to be perfected before the heroes can intervene. Might also add Fridge Brilliance as to why ZERO and Beta are lurking in random areas afterwards, when Eggman was short all of the Emeralds.
What does the admissions office at Twinkle Park say to the couples who aren't cute enough?
Simple, go spend some time stuffing yourself silly at the local burger joint.
Nothing; the closest thing to human interaction being involved in letting prospective park-goers in is that the elevator comes down or doesn't. Or, in the case of those who have a cart pass but don't pass inspection to get into the normal park, the door to that part just doesn't open while the door to the cart section lets them in.
IIRC, the sign outside Twinkle Park that Amy was all excited over said "cute couples get in for free." It never says that single people or non-cute couples cannot enter. They just have to pay the admission fee before the door will open.
Before the Egg Hornet fight, Eggman says his plan is to use Chaos to destroy Station Square and build an empire over the ruins. Why spend so much time and effort harvesting Chaos Emeralds when he had a missile on standby the entire time, ready to launch on the city at a moment's notice?
Either that, or the missile was kept around as a "last resort" in case the Chaos Plan failed. We see Eggman, in this game, at least, is a fan of having contingency plans, even going as far as having an second Egg Carrier on standby just in case Chaos betrayed him (which he did).
Chaos was likely intended to be a more controlled method of destroying the city (had he been obedient). Eggman could have him destroy parts of the city systematically according to his plans and possibly to let people submit or evacuate in time. Not to mention at the end of it all, far more people are liable to obey your whim with a terrifying god of destruction at your side. Using the missile was the sign of his Villainous Breakdown and just deciding to screw it and blow everyone to smithereens.
Seconded; assuming the missile was nuclear, it would have rendered what remained of the city uninhabitable, leaving nothing for Eggman to rule over. By the time he decides to launch the missile, he's clearly having a Villainous Breakdown, and probably lost all inhibition or reason about how he was going to achieve his goals.
Likely just to set off the timer, even if that takes out some of the franticness of the race beforehand. In Sonic X it is indeed a timer bomb, and Tails was the only one there experienced enough to deactivate it in time.
Also, see above, but Eggman's clearly a bit unhinged when he tries to fire the missile, so he probably wasn't thinking straight.
Moments ago he had tried to nuke Station Square with himself in it. Clearly he had just gone through a Villainous Breakdown and didn't care about self-preservation.
The passageway to Angel Island never appears by the end of Amy's story because she's the only character that doesn't go to Ice Cap or Red Mountain, but chronologically it should have happened by that point in the timeline.
Yeah. I suppose with no means for her to destroy the monkey and thus enter Red Mountain, there'd still have to be some sort of barrier that's not there for other characters to keep her out of Ice Cap. You can't simply assume that the other characters got the Ice Stone and didn't use it for the rest of her story, especially since Sonic and Tails getting it doesn't stop Big from also getting it, and vice versa; similarly, you can't assume Cream hasn't left it there yet, particularly post-Final Egg. There's just no logical barrier that remains consistent with the other stories.
How does the Jet Booster allow Gamma and the others to hover when it's not connected to them?
It's probably an etheral connection, or the development team didn't care.
How much of the Mystic Ruins area is part of Angel Island? We know everything through the cave near the station is Angel Island because it leads to Ice Cap and the Master Emerald altar. But in the flashbacks the Lost World pyramid and the Emerald altar are on opposite sides of the same gate, yet in the present, the Lost World pyramid is in the jungle where Big already lives.
Just the Island is Angel Island. the ruins were part if the tribe of echidnas who worshipped Chaos.
But we know the tribe had access to the Emerald shrine, which is on Angel Island, and we know from the flashbacks that the shrine and the pyramid were originally in the same area, so logically the jungle area SHOULD be part of Angel Island. It wouldn't explain why Big lives there though, or why there's a connecting minecart line.
The border between what became Angel Island and the rest of the land must have been between the emerald shrine and the Knuckles clan's city.
After Gamma's younger brothers are banished from the Egg Carrier, how does E-105 not only end up back on board but also heavily upgraded?
Either Eggman willfully repurposed E-105 into something needed in the Hot Shelter, or he returned after the Egg Carrier crashed into the ocean, saw the upgrades E-101 Beta gave himself, and decided that two could play that game.
Notice all of Gamma's brethren are upgraded when you later face them. Beforehand they just have Gamma's hand and laser gun build. It's possible rather than just kicking them out, Eggman "demoted" them, giving them an upgrade and then giving them a less flattering job patrolling other areas for his benefit.
It's established in dialogue that the Tornado is Sonic's plane. Why did Tails slap his own logo all over it while it was in his workshop?
It is Sonic's plane, but Tails is the one who gets the most use out of it along with performing all the maintenance, so he probably feels he deserves a bit of recognition for his work. Also, to be fair, Sonic's name is still painted on the main body of the plane. Either that, or it could be symbolic of their relationship. Sonic's name is on the main body of the plane, he is the driving force of the two, Tails has his logo on the wings and the back fin. Without those the plane would just be a weird car instead of being capable of flight. The two different sections compliment each other just like the two friends.
How do people enter the casino if they can't fly, glide, climb walls or Light Speed Dash? Whose idea was it to install a switch that generates rings in order to open the door? And why did Sonic bother when he was already travelling with Tails?
Well, this is a world that changes in small-but-important ways depending on whose story it is. In Emerald Coast, Big doesn't get the spring at the top of the ramp, for example, and the dash ramp that shoots Sonic over the water isn't there for Gamma. (Good thing, too, as it'd cut him off from the end, which is just a few feet from that point.) One assumes that an ordinary person (such as the woman whose son is concerned about her) doesn't have these challenges to overcome, as good for her as it might be to make her entry somewhat hard.
After Sonic fights Knuckles, he says "Knuckles, don't tell me Eggman tricked you again?", and Knuckles responds "Me? What about you?!" How did Eggman trick Sonic?
He probably didn't mean Sonic was tricked, it was more like him calling Sonic out on never trying to explain that Eggman was tricking Knuckles, which can be seen when they both just get into the fight eagerly. Seriously, Sonic doesn't even try once. Basically Knuckles was saying: At least I THOUGHT I had a reason for fighting, why the hell did YOU accept for no real reason?
Also note that this is a deviation from the Japanese script. Knuckles' only answer there in all three renditions is a frustrated "S, shut up!".
After having examined the three different versions of the dialogue surrounding the confrontation again...
Knuckles has a big ol' blind spot in his common sense when it comes to the Master Emerald. Whenever he thinks someone has it or a piece, he goes after them without it even occurring to him that it might just be a Chaos Emerald. (Working with the idea that both the ME and the CEs give off the same signal, even his tracking ability was telling him there was an Emerald of some sort there, and putting that together with what Eggman — who, I might add, is a known villain to him, just powered up the monster he's been wanting to fight, and clearly said something with the express intent to "faze" him — told him Sonic was after, he came to the false conclusion.) But unlike with Eggman, where he demands it from across the room, here, he comes out punching before Sonic and Tails even have the honor of knowing why. That alone makes a fight understandable.
Knuckles never specifies which Emerald he wants, though in Sonic and Tails' stories, what he demands is "the Emeralds [they] have". However, most Japanese nouns have no plural form, so when Knuckles demanded the Emerarudo, he knew he meant the singular Emerald (as heard in his story), i.e., the Master, but they interpreted it as the plural Emeralds, i.e. Chaos Emeralds. Perhaps they remembered what happened last time Knuckles wanted Chaos Emeralds, and are determined not to let that happen again. Still, some communication could have resolved this point, forcing Eggman to gas them or grab them with that claw again:
Sonic: Huh? You mean these Chaos Emeralds?
Knuckles: ...Oh. Dang that Eggman! Sorry, Sonic, I'm actually after Master Emerald shards. Hey, if you see any around, lemme know, okay?
Sonic: You got it!
Plural emeralds still works in English, as the ME was broken in various pieces at that point, and there was no way Sonic had the whole emerald when Knuckles already had some of the shards himself.
Apparently somebody, somewhere, has approved a plan to build a highway with loops.
I have a theory about that, but nothing to really back it up. You may notice that for Speed Highway in this game and Radical Highway in the sequel, the parts of the "highways" with loops aren't driven on by normal cars and in fact, aren't connected in any car-accessible way to places where they do drive. Well, my thought is that the world is surrounded by Chaos Energy or something. It "likes" things like rings and loops, so it forms rings that hover in mid-air and spin, and for loops, if there are none around, it tries to make them, too, out of whatever it can find. After finding their roads and things bent, broken, and twisted in attempts to make loops, they decided to build loops themselves, out of everything's way, so the energy will leave the things they want to remain flat alone. And as an added bonus, they make neat things for Sonic to waste a second or more on while trying to get to the latest objective.
What on earth is that prison inside Red Mountain, and why is it full of weird dancing monsters?
They're the Sonic X Treme enemy designs that never saw the light of day outside of the drawing board. RIP.
Why did Zero have to travel from Station Square to the Mystic Ruins to rendezvous with the Egg Carrier, when it was already shown to be perfectly capable of flying over the city and dropping him off? (You could perhaps argue that the city is too crowded to be able to get a precise fix on him, but there didn't seem to be an issue regarding Sonic when he was in Zero's immediate vicinity.)
Possibility: Zero was returning with Amy and Birdie to Eggman's Base in the Mystic Ruins. The Egg Carrier, which had just taken off from Eggman's base earlier (see Knuckles' Story) picked him up on the way out.
Why did Zero chase Amy through Final Egg when Eggman had already taken Birdie's Chaos Emerald?
Zero wasn't there to see Eggman take the Chaos Emerald, and Eggman never cancelled his order to catch the bird. Zero was therefore still following his orders.
Either that, or It's Personal. Zero is shown to be fully capable of feeling emotion, such as when he gets incredibly frustrated at Amy evading him. Maybe after getting repeatedly bonked on the head with her hammer, Zero was just pissed at Amy and out for revenge?
Why didn't Tails change the Tornado 2 back to its original mode so that he could make a landing?
It depends on which version of Tails' mistake you go with. In Sonic's story, there was no landing gear in the Tornado 2's transformed mode. However, in Tails' Story, he didn't install the landing gear at all. The latter is supported by the fact that the Tornado 2 seems to be hovering, even before the takeoff, when Tails takes off with it.
How does Froggy survive in the salt-water around Emerald Coast?
The influence of Chaos' tail?
The dialogue is kind of odd in a couple of places, and I think somebody made a mistake somewhere. Interestingly, both involve dialogue spoken near the waterfall, and both involve Knuckles. First, in one version, Robotnik says the exact words, "You are so easily tricked!" which Knuckles later echoes by saying "Now we'll see who's so easily tricked!" when he's alone on the Egg Carrier. Thing is, Robotnik's line wasn't said in Knuckles' story, and it probably should have been, instead of what was said. The other part is that Knuckles says something about having "unfinished business" in both Sonic's and Tails' story, but not his own; there, he phrases it quite differently. But in his story, you can go over to NPC-mode Sonic, and he'll ask what happened to your "unfinished business". Weird.
Why did Chaos need his tail if Chaos 4 (a shark-like form) has a tail? And for that matter, since he's made of water, why couldn't Chaos just grow a new tail? While we're at it, why does Chaos even need a tail at all, since Perfect Chaos gets no benefit from having one?
Maybe the tail wasn't the main focus? Froggy did ingest a Chaos Emerald.
Either that orIt's Personal. It would be about the equivolent of chopping off someone's arm and running off with it.
Remember how Chaos forced himself into Froggy, who then stole the Chaos Emerald and ran off, trying to swallow more in the process. It was most likely Chaos using Froggy as a smaller vessel to bring him the Chaos Emerald, since a giant water monster probably wouldn't be the most stealthy way to get the last few chaos emeralds.
In Tails' story, why does it even matter who gets to the Emerald or Capsule first? Okay, it definitely matters if you beat Eggman to the missile. That I get. But Sonic is on the same side as Tails! They have the same goal! It's not like, in the boss and character battles, you have to hit the other guy more times or get the finishing blow; you just fight without Sonic even being involved! I do understand that "it's a video game, and they needed a slightly different goal to make his stages different from Sonic's, but, you know, in-universe. (And no, this is not someone who finds his stages hard. This is someone who routinely beats Sonic and Eggman even in the mission type where they're supposed to be faster.)
Tails' story is all about building his self-worth and proving he is a hero. He goes from being little more than Sonic's sidekick, to saving Sonic on Red Mountain and taking him to the Egg Carrier, To finally taking on Eggman himself in Station Square. The only reason he's able to do that is because he was able to face Sonic on equal terms and win, proving his own abilities and giving himself the confidence to save the day.
Gameplay and Story Segregation. Sonic's side of the story implies that there were no races involved in the levels shared by them, and they were just put in Tails' story to separate his gameplay from Sonic's.
How exactly did Eggman break the Master Emerald to free Chaos? I know the Egg Carrier has a huge powerful laser, but Knuckles was sitting right under it. Surely he would noticed or felt something happen to it rather than just hear a shatter.
You said it yourself. The Egg Carrier has a big, powerful fucking laser. Or maybe Eggman managed to plant some explosives around the Master Emerald while Knuckles was asleep or something.
Why did Tikal show the visions of the past as a bunch of inconsistent flashes without context? If she was really trying to tell Sonic and friends what Chaos was, wouldn't it make sense to show them all the visions in order? Or, rather, just retake her physical form and explain that Chaos would destroy the world if left unchecked?
Tikal did not know Sonic, or of his altruistic nature or power, so it may not have come to her that just pleading for his help would have gotten results like with every other character he meets, instead frantically trying to show as many people as possible what they are in for, while being in too much of panic to quite get how little context she is giving them.
A plot hole between at least three story arcs occurs when Gamma captures Froggy. In his own story, he is teleported by Tikal and is instantly in the Egg Carrier afterwards. In Big's story he is chased by Big all the way to the Final Egg launch base. In Knuckles' he's....leaving Red Mountain for some reason and Knuckles follows him with Big nowhere in sight. While the Rashomon plot style occurs a lot, it usually still leads to one same conclusion (eg. Sonic or Gamma winning their battle, but either one sparing the other and both continuing their mission the same way). With this plot change, neither of three can quite co exist.
Maybe Tikal has the ability to take over people's bodies while they're witnessing her visions, so she took Gamma to the Egg Carrier, and what Big and Knuckles saw was possessed Gamma. So she doesn't really teleport them, as much as she "guides" them. Or alternatively, Gamma's robot body is still functioning and following its coding even when he's "unconscious", and since his coding made him follow Eggman's orders, Gamma's body took the frog back to the Egg Carrier on its own. As for Knuckles and Big not seeing each other, Knuckles probably started tailing Gamma first, then Gamma found and caught Froggy, prompting Big to start chasing him, without noticing Knuckles who was sneaking around to avoid being seen. Knuckles' story just doesn't show the moment in which Big enters the scene, as it skips from the moment Knuckles starts following Gamma to the Egg Carrier's launch.
After the Egg Carrier starts falling, Sonic tells Tails to get Amy off, which he does. Problem is, from Sonic, Knuckles and Big's viewpoints the Egg Carrier somehow stays up in the air for enough time after this to allow them to go off and have a boss fight. The thing is, after Tails flies down and drops off Amy, the ship has already crashed, along with Eggman. So, what, were Tails and Amy just sitting around twiddling their thumbs for ages before jumping off? Because it's either that, or somehow the entire confrontation with Chaos 6 lasted on;y a few seconds.
Egg Carrier's altitude and fall speed is never specified. And although its large wings are folded at that point, a plane with all engines off can still glide for quite a while and cover some distance.
But Eggman got off the ship at the same time as Tails and Amy. But that's impossible with the events that took place, unless Tails and Amy were just standing there doing nothing for no apparent reason.
Nope, Eggman stayed there to aid Chaos during the boss fight, then left after this one was defeated.
That's the exact point I'm making. He stayed to aid Chaos, but he somehow still got off the carrier at the same time as Tails and Amy, even though they began getting off the carrier before the that fight even occurred. So unless Tails and Amy were just ridiculously slow with getting off it and flying down to earth, there's no way that Eggman could have been crashing to the ground at the same time.
Who told Eggman that Froggy had swallowed part of Chaos and had his tail? Chaos can't talk.
Dude's got security and sentry bots everywhere, he might have had some bot rigged for night reconnaissance that happened upon the moment when Froggy fused with part of Chaos. Or it's a plot hole that we shouldn't think too hard about.
In Super Sonic's story, why did Tikal give Sonic yet another vision just as he was about to look for look for the last emerald to prevent Chaos from getting it? He didn't need any more convincing to stop Chaos, and it was only due to her intervention that Sonic was late to the last emerald and Chaos got to attain his ultimate form. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!!
Why is there no one to say anything when you cheer on #'s 7 or 8 in a Chao race? Regardless of who you're actually playing as, #1 (the one you enter) is always backed by Sonic, with the next five being backed correspondingly by the other playable characters. You'd think the remaining two would have Eggman and Tikalnote Even though she is long dead physically, she still does speak to the playable characters as a spirit. Not like this whole thing is canon anyway, since you can still play as Gamma even though he, too, is supposed to be "dead" after his story ends., the only others with both names and voices, behind them?
Why does Amy appear in the wrong area when she goes to the past? Why is she the only one? All the other times, if the cutscene trigger is in the temple area, that's where they start, and if it's in the altar area, they start there, but for Amy, she starts in the temple area and has to (eventually) go through the door behind her.
My best bet is that the developers just wanted to give the players something else to do during these relatively action-free scenes. Plus, by giving the player the option to explore the temple in front of them, the player could learn more about the culture and circumstances Echidna tribe as a result. Or they just didn't care.
Possibly this was remnants of how Amy's story was meant to play out. Maybe she was supposed to obtain the Warrior Feather power-up (which would suit the theme of the ancient Echidna tribe) in that area before she could encounter Tikal, similar to how Tails gets the Rhythm Badge, but this was changed to being the first high score prize for Hedgehog Hammer instead.
What exactly caused the Egg Carrier to crash? It can't have been the engine damage from Sonic's fight with Chaos 6 because Eggman's flying fortress started falling before that happened. And if it was the destruction of the cannons in the Sky Deck, then why did it take so long for the ship to drop altitude?
Gradual damage from explosives, equipment destruction (be they robots or weaponry), the incredibly stormy weather, and the entirety of the cast generally wrecking havoc across the carrier.
Probably the damage sustained during Sonic and Gamma's fight. It was just after it that Tails claimed the ship was losing altitude, and the adaptation in Sonic X made it clear that it was the cause.