* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Did Metal Sonic really "betray" Eggman? Considering that he locked Eggman away safely in a room when he could have done much worse, and his goal was to defeat Sonic (what Eggman created him to do) and build a robot empire (Eggman's goal), it's possible that he simply deemed his creator to be unable to accomplish their goals himself and [[LeaveHimToMe took matters into his own hands.]]
* 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.]]
* BaseBreakingCharacter:
** This game was pretty much the catalyst for Shadow's status as this ([[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]]?
** On the more upward end of the trope, Big managed to ascend out of TheScrappy status for some fans due to being boosted into an impressive Power type with the same speed and capability as the standard characters. His dopey ManChild personality still remains to polarise the others though.
** Those that don't consider E-123 Omega as a CrazyAwesome EnsembleDarkhorse tend to view him as a flat ReplacementScrappy for E-102 Gamma.
* [[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]].
* BreatherBoss: [[MultiMookMelee Robot Carnival and Robot Storm]] for Team Chaotix. Their [[LimitBreak Team Blast]] gives you rings for each enemy it kills. Collecting rings fills the Team Blast meter. These fights throw a lot of enemies at you. Do the math.
* 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.
* CaptainObviousReveal: 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.
* 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 smallest 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 awesomely 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.
* GameBreaker: The [[LimitBreak Team Blast]] mechanic makes it a bit too easy to deal with enemies. Frustrated with having to use the speed characters to tip the armored mooks over? Just Homing Attack them for a minute and watch as your meter fills up and simply let's a team wipe out an entire room of enemies. With a little patience, you can brute your way through the levels. Team Rose takes this to hilariously awesome extremes, giving them speedup, basic shields, and invincibility, while maxing out their power levels along with the usual room's worth of destruction from the animation itself. Even better is Team Chaotix's, as it provides the team with rings with every enemy killed... which makes it a cakewalk to get another Team Blast.
* GoddamnedBats: The Hang Castle and Mystic Mansion stages feature the return of the ghosts from ''VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles'' and ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'', and they aren't any easier to deal with here. They pop up everywhere and can easily mess with the flow of speed. Given the latter is a very long stage, this'll get frustrating.
** 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.
* GoodBadBugs:
** The infamous "Team Blast glitch". Switch to Fly Formation, then hold a Formation Change button and the Attack button at the same time. If you do it right, your Fly character will attempt to perform a Thunder Shoot, but with no ally to shoot, the Fly character will shoot "nothing" for a brief period of time, causing your Team Blast Gauge to accumulate at an insane rate. Perform this glitch thrice to get instant Team Blasts on command.
** It's tough, but if you perform an action in a Story Mode team battle and restart the fight, it's possible to force the hitbox of said action to stay active through the restart. You can hit the other team through their opening animation and [[OneHitKill send them all off the edge and kill them instantly.]]
* HarsherInHindsight: In this game, Metal Sonic ends up backstabbing Eggman and trying to defeat Sonic himself by gaining more abilities with implied modifications. in ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog4: Episode 2'', Eggman rescues and fixes Metal Sonic. Knowing how little the scientist cares for his creations, that says a lot. Makes you a little sad for the doctor.
* 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!''
** Similarly, Team Rose's anthem Follow Me is so peppy and rocking it's hard to hate.
--->Follow me inside, outside, through the stratosphere!\\
The moon is shining for you, knows that I adore you!
* NeverLiveItDown: Amy trying to force Sonic to marry her by beating him to a pulp, mostly because it signaled the start of her {{Flanderization}}. Tragically so, since the rest of the game applies as valid CharacterDevelopment due to her leader role and improved competence and abilities.
* PortingDisaster: The [=PS2=] version. It's not unplayable, but it suffers from low-resolution textures, clipping, frame-rate drops, and a [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking part of the audio clip when selecting Team Sonic being cut off]].
* RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap: Big at the very least ascended to more a BaseBreaker status due to having TookALevelInBadass and gaining a more conventional move set compared to his ''Adventure'' gameplay.
* 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.
** 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).
* SuspiciouslySimilarSong: The theme for the Egg Emperor boss sounds exactly like "Perfect Crime" by Music/GunsNRoses.
* 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." Even those who aren't big fans of Big have got to feel for him since he realizes that he's failed to rescue Froggy and is in the brink of giving up 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.
*** Then at the end of Team Dark's story where Rouge finds rows and rows of Shadow Androids... good god... [[https://youtu.be/sbzWokzUoto?t=3m27s The expression on her face and the delivery of that line really sells it.]] Poor girl just wants her old friend/teammate back...
* 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 were ''not'' fond of the designs for Tails' and Knuckles' [[SuperMode super forms]], (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''.
* 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.
** The general art design and stage layout is very pretty. Colorful, expressive backgrounds with plenty of detail, smooth character models, and expansive views as you dash through stages gave the game the feel of a 3D conversion of the Genesis art.
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