Video Game / Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble

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Released exclusively for the Sega Game Gear in 1994, Sonic Triple Trouble or Sonic & Tails 2 as it is known in Japan  is the sequel to Sonic Chaos, and is widely considered one of the best Sonic games to appear on the handheld, mostly due to it being the closest in feel to its 16-Bit brothers on the Sega Genesis. It features the debut of Fang the Sniper (or Nack the Weasel, as he was initially known in English versions).

Somehow finally collecting the six Chaos Emeralds without catching the attention of Sonic, Dr. Eggman (a.k.a. Dr. Robotnik) was testing his latest weaponry when suddenly an accident scattered them once more. Eggman was able to find one of them, but of course, Sonic and Tails learned about what happened, and now they're off to find the other five before Eggman can. Expecting this would happen, Eggman deceives Knuckles the Echidna into believing that Sonic and Tails are trying to steal the Emeralds. Thus, Knuckles becomes a nuisance that tries to inhibit the duo's progress. As all of this is happening, Fang the Sniper, a treasure-hunting wolf, has successfully located the other five during the commotion. Are you up to the challenge of thwarting this Triple Trouble?

In addition to the Pogo Spring and Rocket Shoes from Sonic Chaos, Triple Trouble also gives both playable characters (Sonic and Tails) their own special modes of travel. In Robotnik Winter Zone, Sonic can shred on a snowboard (far more flexible than in IceCap Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 3), and in Tidal Plant Zone, he can equip himself with scuba jets, which actually allow the blue hedgehog, well known for his super drowning skills, to swim, though for a limited time. Meanwhile, Tails in Tidal Plant Zone can pilot the Sea Fox submarine, which comes equipped with a torpedo launcher and easy up-and-down movement while underwater. Tails would use the Sea Fox again in Tails Adventure.

Amusingly, on the American and European boxarts, Robotnik is depicted in a slightly modified version of his Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog incarnation (this also happened on the North American boxart for the Game Gear port of Sonic Spinball, even though the Genesis original used the Classic Eggman; one of many reasons no one mentions the Game Gear version).

This game provides examples of:

  • Aesop Amnesia: Knuckles somehow got tricked by Eggman that Sonic is up to no good again, and not only constantly impedes Sonic's progress, but even fights him in a robot in Tidal Plant. Electrocuting him in the Hidden Palace must have fried a few brain cells...However 
  • A Winner Is You: Your reward for getting the five Chaos Emeralds (the sixth one is automatically given after defeating Eggman) is to see the ending credits with Sonic and Tails flying over the ocean, and the game thanking you for playing. The End.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Sunset Park Zone.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: Sunset Park Zone's third act and Tidal Plant Zone's third act when the boss fight with Knuckles in his submersible begins.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: After you defeat Metal Sonic in Atomic Destroyer Zone Act 3, a sleeping Fang awakens and it seems like you're going to fight him one last time, but then he panics and runs away from the true final boss, Dr. Eggman.
  • Bonus Stage: The Special Stages.
  • Boss Corridor: Each boss encounter has some sort of straight corridor prior to it.
  • Boss-Only Level: In keeping with the Game Gear tradition, the third act of each Zone is a very short or very straight running/platforming segment or just a Boss Corridor and then a boss fight; like Sonic Chaos, there are rings available for Sonic. The last level actually has Metal Sonic as a sub-boss between two platforming hallways, with the second hallway leading to Eggman.
  • Bottomless Pit: As usual, the game has these everywhere except the first Zone:
    • The pits in the final Special Stage will kick you out of the stage if you fall into them, and said stage is a bit of a puzzle.
    • Act 3 of Sunset Park Zone has Sonic running on a train, and there are two or three gaps between cars early on that count as bottomless pits if he falls into them.
    • Meta Junglira Zone has mud. Fall too far into the mud, you fall off the screen.
    • And a handful of ice pits in Robotnik Winter Zone have nothing below them, although some emit gusts of wind to take you up.
    • After defeating Eggman at the end of the game, Sonic/Tails smash his getaway platform and send him plummeting into a pit.
  • Classic Cheat Code: A very easy one to put in exists in the game; hold up on the D-pad as the game boots up and don't let go, and in the opening cutscene, press start at the exact moment Knuckles grabs the third Chaos Emerald (and we mean your timing has to be nearly frame perfect—if you're even slightly off, it won't work). If you do it right, you'll hear a subtle chime sound effect, and after you select Sonic or Tails, a level select screen will pop up.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: A 48-page special by Archie Comics.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Fang is willing to fight dirty to beat Sonic. His first boss fight has him attempting to activate a flame trap (which backfires on him). In his fourth fight, he fires a heat-seeking missile at you (which also backfires on him).
  • Cool Plane: The Tornado, which appears in the even-numbered, non-platformer Special Stages.
  • Cyber Space: Atomic Destroyer Zone.
  • Dimensional Traveler: Fang is actually from the same dimension that the game's Special Stages are set in.
  • Distressed Dude: After battling Dr. Eggman in Atomic Destroyer Zone, Knuckles is shown held in a small prison capsule (presumably since he failed to defeat the player back in Tidal Plant Zone), which Sonic/Tails then destroys, letting him free.
  • Dub Name Change: As mentioned above, Fang the Sniper is known here as Nack the Weasel in the English instruction booklet, and ditto for Dr. Eggman being known as Dr. Robotnik in western versions per classic series tradition. Averted in the name of Robotnik Winter Zone, which is the same for all regions.
  • Eternal Engine: Sunset Park Zone, Tidal Plant Zone and Atomic Destroyer Zone
  • Evil Overlooker: Robotnik in the North American and European box art.
  • Final Boss: As usual, Dr. Eggman is the last boss of the game, and like Sonic Chaos, he is not fought at all until the end of Atomic Destroyer Zone Act 3, the last stage of the game.
  • Floating in a Bubble: In Tidal Plant Zone, there are giant bubbles that Sonic and Tails can float in, activated by pressing giant switches.
  • Flunky Boss: The second phase of the boss in Great Turquoise Zone Act 3 and the entirety of the boss fight in Robotnik Winter Zone Act 3 are this. For the first, after 4 hits, it flies up and turtle spring Badniks will start rolling down both the initial arena and the higher arena. Sonic/Tails needs to use the Badniks to destroy the boss. For the second, it fires exploding penguin robots while it's being fought until the boss is down to the last hit.
  • Green Hill Zone: Great Turquoise Zone.
  • Harmless Villain: Fang. He serves as the boss of the Special Stages, but all of them are ridiculously easy. In the first boss fight, he presses a button to set a flame trap on you but then accidentally unleashes it on himself. In Atomic Destroyer, he reappears again prepared to fight you...and then promptly runs away in terror when Eggman approaches.
  • Hopping Machine: The first Fang contraption that the player actually does have to dismantle; it shouldn't be hard. Also, the first phase of the final boss involves Eggman in a spring pod of his own.
  • In Case of Boss Fight, Break Glass: The first part of the boss fight with Eggman at the end of the game requires you to jump on top of his spring pod enough to chase him out of the room.
  • Jungle Japes: Meta Junglira Zone.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Once Sonic destroys the caterpillar boss in Meta Junglira, he must then dodge the robot's falling body parts for the rest of the fight.
  • Locomotive Level: Sunset Park Zone Act 3.
  • Levels Take Flight: Special Stages 2 and 4.
  • Off-Model: For some reason, the overseas boxart uses the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog design for Robotnik, even though that design is not used in the game.
  • Only in It for the Money: Fang. He's a treasure hunter who wants the Chaos Emeralds not for their power, but because they would fetch him a hefty profit.
  • Pipe Maze: Tidal Plant Zone.
  • Sequential Boss: As per tradition, the final level of the game has five separate boss phases: first Metal Sonic, then after a short platforming segment and a checkpoint, four machines piloted by Eggman (a spring pod machine, a flamethrower machine, an electric machine, and then a laser trap room with the boss pod circling through pipes on both sides of the room).
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Robotnik Winter Zone.
  • Sound Test: Unlike in Chaos, the Sound Test in Triple Trouble does not require a cheat code to access it. Just press Up/Down until it appears.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: In Tidal Plant Zone Act 3, Sonic and Tails are in no danger of drowning until they fight Knuckles, and even then, air bubbles pop up occasionally in the fight so they don't drown.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss:
    • Happens to Fang in the last two Special Stage boss fights; the first one has him fire a giant missile that flies back and forth and eventually right into him if you last long enough. The last one has Fang in a drilling machine, and one of his drilling attempts gets him stuck in the floor; all Sonic/Tails have to do is pound him into the ground.
    • This also happens with the first level boss of the game; after delivering four hits to the turtle robot, it summons turtle spring robots, which Sonic and Tails then need to use to reach him for the second four hits to finish him off.
    • This also happens in the battle against Metal Sonic. If Metal had simply did his charge attack which makes him invincible throughout the battle instead of swooping down at the player, he would be impossible to defeat.
  • Temple of Doom: Special Stages 1, 3 and 5, and all Fang battle zones.
  • This Is a Drill: The last Fang boss fight in the Special Stages has him in a drilling machine that he tries to drill you into the ground with. Dodge it enough times, and he gets stuck on the last attempt. Then you can drill HIM into the ground.
  • Traintop Battle: Since Sunset Park Zone Act 3 takes place on a train, the boss is the engine itself, which fires spiked cannonballs at the player.
  • Turtle Power: The first boss of the game is a metallic flying turtle.
  • Underwater Boss Battle: Surprisingly, the first part of the first boss has you underwater, jumping out to hit a turtle robot. Tidal Plant Zone's boss much later in the game (Knuckles in a submersible with torpedoes and depth charges in a scrolling room) is entirely underwater.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The first boss, a flying turtle, is actually incapable of directly harming you—the only way it can is for you to get knocked into it by a spring moto-bug while being out of your ball form.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left!:
    • For no clear reason, Fang shows up one more time in Atomic Destroyer Act 3 to confront Sonic, but when Eggman shows up in his latest machine, Fang hightails it out of there. If you didn't collect the five Chaos Emeralds, the ending cutscene shows Fang laughing and escaping, but he trips up and drops the Chaos Emeralds the player didn't collect, prompting the game to tell you to Try Again.
    • Like the previous two games, Eggman attempts this after you get past his laser trap in Atomic Destroyer Zone's last Act. Unlike Sonic 2 and Sonic Chaos, he doesn't escape before the player dumps him into a bottomless pit.
  • You Have Failed Me: The obvious reason for Eggman imprisoning Knuckles in Atomic Destroyer Zone's third Act, after you already defeated him in Tidal Plant Zone.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: Some of the boss encounters with Fang in the Special Stages. In the first Special Stage, he hits a switch and fries himself.

Alternative Title(s): Sonic Triple Trouble

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