Video Game: Sonic Labyrinth

Released in November 1995, Sonic Labyrinth is the eleventh title in the Sonic series released on the Sega Game Gear.

One day, Dr. Robotnik had an epiphany: if Sonic's speed was removed from him, taking over the world would be like taking candy from a baby. So, later that night, Robotnik had one of his robots sneek into Sonic's house and, rather than just kill him in his moment of weakness, replace Sonic's normal sneakers with a pair of supposedly-identical-looking Speed-Down Boots. Next morning, Sonic woke up, slipped on the shoes and found out that he couldn't run or even jump. Robotnik made himself known and gloated that the boots can only be removed by Chaos Emerald energy. He also claimed that the miracle gems are all hidden in the Super Labyrinth, his latest base. So, in a nutshell: Robotnik took Sonic's speed; Sonic must go through a dungeon to get it back.

As far as gameplay is concerned, the best way to describe it is: Marble Madness with Sonic as the playable character. Sonic can't run or jump, only walk and your only means of fast locomotion and offense is the Spin Dash. There are four "worlds" in the Super Labyrinth: Labyrinth of the Sky, Sea, Factory and Castle, and they each have three acts and a boss battle. The main objective in each main act is to collect three keys and make it to the goal in three minutes. Get hit, and you lose time and the keys fly out of you; don't grab the keys in time and they'll pop right back in their original spots. Fall down a pit or run out of time, and you die. With boss battles, rather than collecting keys, you must first go down a chute and collect rings on the way down. Once you reach the end, you'll actually fight the boss. Get hit once, and you lose all of your rings - even if you manage to get 99 rings in the tube - get hit again, you lose a life. If you lose all of your lives, you must start from the beginning of the game.

This game provides examples of:

  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Spin Dash can be charged up to four levels, but at that point it just badly bounces Sonic all over the place. The game can be played just fine by doing small spin charges and braking when you need to make a turn.
  • Big Bad: Dr. Ivo Robotnik, aka Dr. Eggman.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Played with; thanks to Robotnik's Speed-Down Boots, Sonic is unable to move at any more than a snail's pace and cannot jump. Fortunately, he can still use his Spin Dash.
  • Diagonal Speed Boost: For some reason, Sonic walks faster if he moves horizontally.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: Anytime a item is in use, unfortunately. In some levels, getting a invincibility or speed power up makes the game practically unplayable due to all the flashing.
  • Everything Is Better With Spinning: You do remember that Sonic can roll, right? This game won't let you forget that.
  • Excuse Plot: Dr. Robotnik slowed Sonic down with heavy boots. You must go through his labyrinth to remove them.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Dr. Robotnik tries to do this to Sonic by removing his speed, but Sonic gets creative.
  • The Hero: Sonic the Hedgehog, naturally.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: The Twinkle powerup.
  • Isometric Projection
  • MacGuffin: The five/six Chaos Emeralds.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Dr. Robotnik's minions.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • Ending 1: You've cleared the game, "BUT IT IS NOT PERFECT!" Even though Sonic looks like he can run normally again, the game implies that you missed something in Zone 2-3.
    • Ending 2: You've finished the game and got through the secret level. "IT IS PERFECT! WONDERFUL!" The ending is pretty much the same, but you get the Level Select code and no "TRY AGAIN" message.
  • Oddball in the Series: A Sonic game where the titular protagonist can't even run.
  • Pinball Zone: The whole game consists of this type of level, seeing as Sonic must use his Spin Dash to get around quickly. Some levels also use pinball flippers as gimmicks.
  • Rolling Attack: The gameplay focuses on this technique.
  • Secret Level: Hidden in Zone 2-3.
  • Springs Springs Everywhere
  • Sprint Shoes: The Sneakers power-up.
  • Super Speed: Unlike almost every other Sonic game before and since; the whole plot centers around Sonic's forced inability to go fast and his quest to regain it. Subverted in that he can still roll around pretty darn fast.
  • Video Game Settings:
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: The game ends with Sonic chasing after Dr. Robotnik, but when the doctor drops his Chaos Emerald, Sonic turns towards a exit and leaves him alone.
  • A Winner Is You: Clearing the game after seeing the short, boring secret level in Zone 2-3 just makes the credits congratulate you for it.
  • X Meets Y: Sonic meets Marble Madness.