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Video Game / Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble

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Prepare for trouble! And make it triple!

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 the English version).

Somehow finally collecting the six Chaos Emeralds without catching the attention of Sonic, Dr. Eggman (a.k.a. Dr. Robotnik) was testing his latest ultimate weapon 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 "weasel" (or half jerboa, half wolf), has successfully located the other five during the commotion and plans to nab them to sell to the highest bidder. 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.

Like the rest of the Sonic games at the time, the Western box art based Robotnik's design on the cartoons, specifically a slightly modified version of his Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog incarnation.

In August 2022, Sonic Triple Trouble 16-Bit, a Fan Remake using the 16-bit style, was released. It has its own page.

This game provides examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: The Japanese manual reveals various lore pertaining the game's zones, such as Sunset Park being an abandoned amusement park, Meta Junglira being an ancient jungle dating back 1 billion years, and the icy conditions in Robotnik Winter being a result of Eggman testing his atomic weapon. It also names the game's bosses, but not all of the game's enemies, which is where 2021's Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia picked up the slack.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Sunset Park Zone is an abandoned amusement park filled with traps and Eggman's Mecha-Mooks.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level:
    • Sunset Park Zone Act 3 takes place on a train, with flying enemies dropping mines on the player.
    • Tidal Plant Zone Act 3 when the boss fight with Knuckles in his submersible begins.
  • Badass in Distress: At the end of the game, the player finds Knuckles trapped in a cell, having been betrayed by Eggman.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: After the player character defeats Metal Sonic in Atomic Destroyer Zone Act 3, a sleeping Fang awakens and seems like he's going to fight the player character one last time, but then panics and runs away from the true final boss, Eggman.
  • Bonus Stage: The Special Stages are bonus challenges that can be accessed upon hitting a Chaos Emerald monitor with 50 rings.
  • Boss Corridor: Each boss encounter has some sort of straight, empty 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: The game has pits everywhere except in Great Turquoise Zone:
    • Instead of killing them, the pits in the final Special Stage will simply kick the player character out of the level if he falls into them.
    • Sunset Park Zone Act 3 has the player character 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, and the player character falls offscreen and loses a life.
    • A handful of ice pits in Robotnik Winter Zone have nothing below them, although some emit gusts of wind to take the player character up.
    • After defeating Eggman at the end of the game, the player character smashes his getaway platform and sends him plummeting into a pit.
  • Classic Cheat Code: A very tricky one 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 - the timing has to be nearly frame perfect, it won't work even if you're just slightly off - 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: The game had a loose adaptation in a 48-page special by Archie Comics.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Fang is willing to fight dirty to beat the player character; his first boss fight has him attempting to activate a flame trap, though it backfires on him. In his fourth fight, he fires a heat-seeking missile at you, which also backfires on him.
  • Cool Plane: The Tornado appears in the even-numbered, non-platformer segments of the Special Stages. The player uses it to collect a certain amount of Rings in the first half of said Special Stages.
  • Covers Always Lie: The Western cover depicts Robotnik in his design from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, despite the game using his classic game design.
  • Dimensional Traveler: Fang is actually from the same dimension that the game's Special Stages are set in, leaving the place to find the Emeralds.
  • Distressed Dude: After battling Dr. Eggman in Atomic Destroyer Zone, Knuckles is shown contained in a small prison capsule that Sonic/Tails then destroys, setting him free.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • As with the rest of the Classic series, Dr. Eggman is referred to as Dr. Robotnik outside of Japan.
    • Fang the Sniper is known as Nack the Weasel in the Western instruction manual. This was also a case of a dub species change, as he's a jerboa/wolf hybrid in Japan, explaining why his design doesn't display any weasel features (though his designer intended him as just a jerboa, and Sega of America once called him a "wolf weasel"). More recent materials stick with jerboa/wolf, making Nack the Weasel an Artifact Name.
    • Averted with Robotnik Winter Zone, which has the same name in all regions, even Japan.
  • Doomsday Device: While doubling as Eggman's base of operations, the Atomic Destroyer is what he refers to as his ultimate weapon. Testing it ended up creating the Robotnik Winter Zone.
  • Endless Winter: Robotnik Winter Zone is this. It was formerly an island of everlasting summer, but a test of the Atomic Destroyer led to it becoming consumed in snow and ice.
  • Eternal Engine: Sunset Park Zone, Tidal Plant Zone and Atomic Destroyer Zone all have industrial elements in their levels.
  • Evil Overlooker: Eggman appears as one in the North Western box art.
  • Fan Remake: A remake for PC and Android in the style of Sonic 3 by Noah N. Copeland was released in August 2022.
  • Final Boss: 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:
    • After taking four hits, the Tart Turtle boss of Green Turquoise Zone flies up and Springshells will start rolling down both the initial arena and the higher arena. Sonic/Tails needs to use the Badniks to reach the boss.
    • The Giga Thomas "Pen" boss of Robotnik Winter Zone fires exploding Penguin Bombers while it's being fought until the boss is down to the last hit.
  • Grand Finale: The game was designed as the finale of the main Game Gear Sonic series, featuring a conclusive ending by contrast with the previous installments' cliffhangers.
  • Green Hill Zone: The first stage is Great Turquoise Zone, which is a southern, tropical island filled with waterfalls, Springshells, and palm trees that have springs on their tops.
  • Harmless Villain: Fang serves as the boss of the Special Stages, but all of them are ridiculously easy; during 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. He then promptly runs away in terror when Eggman approaches.
  • Hopping Machine:
    • In the second Special Stage, the first battle against Fang involves him piloting the Marvelous Queen with a spring attached underneath it.
    • The first phase of the final boss involves Eggman in a spring pod of his own.
  • Human Cannonball: In Meta Junglira Zone, there are baskets that Sonic or Tails can jump inside, which launch them into the air.
  • In Case of Boss Fight, Break Glass: The first part of the fight with Eggman requires you to jump on top of his spring pod enough to chase him out of the room.
  • Jungle Japes: The third stage, Meta Junglira Zone, takes place in an uncharted, billion year-old jungle. This stage has hollow logs, bouncy fruits, mud that acts as quicksand, and baskets that act as cannons.
  • Kaizo Trap: The Goal Plate for Tidal Plant Zone Act 2 is underwater. You'll most likely reach the sign just as the drowning countdown timer begins, and if you don't spin the sign fast enough, you can actually drown and lose a life just before the victory jingle can finish, as shown in this video.
  • King Mook: The Tart Turtle and Giga Thomas "Pen", the respective bosses of Great Turquoise and Robotnik Winter, are this to the Springshell and Penguin Bomber Badniks. Both are giant badniks who serve as their bosses. In Great Turquoise Zone, Sonic or Tails need to use the Springshells to propel themselves up to the Tart Turtle, while Pen tries to attack Sonic or Tails by launching Penguin Bombers at them.
  • Levels Take Flight: The first segment of Special Stages 2 and 4 has the player character flying the Tornado.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Once the player character destroys the Wood Buttarundorf boss in Meta Junglira, they must then dodge the robot's falling body parts for the rest of the fight.
  • Locomotive Level: Act 3 of Sunset Park Zone takes place on a train, and the Marve Shupopolos-gou boss is the engine itself.
  • Logo Joke: When you start up the game, the Sega logo appears. Sonic runs past it to the left side of the screen, then past it again to the right, then the "SAYYYYYYY-GUH!" soundbite plays.
  • Market-Based Title: Just like Sonic Chaos prior, which was originally titled Sonic & Tails in Japan, this game was originally titled as Sonic & Tails 2 in Japan, before it was renamed to Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble when it arrived in the West.
  • Mosquito Miscreants: The Kameka Badnik is a robotic mosquito that plunges down at Sonic or Tails if they get near him.
  • Only in It for the Money: Fang is a treasure hunter who wants the Chaos Emeralds not for their power, but because they would fetch him a hefty profit.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Similar to the previous two 8-bit Sonic games, the Master Robots serve as this game's bosses, while Eggman is only fought as the game's Final Boss and not several times beforehand.
  • Pipe Maze: Tidal Plant Zone and Atomic Destroyer Zone have mazes where you have to travel through the pipes in order to proceed.
  • Pre-Final Boss: In Atomic Destroyer Zone Act 3, Sonic or Tails first battle Metal Sonic. After Metal is defeated, they come across a sleeping Fang, and when he awakens, it seems like they're going to fight him one last time, but then he panics and runs away from the true final boss, Eggman.
  • Sequential Boss: 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: The fourth stage, Robotnik Winter Zone, takes place in icy mountains, with Penguin Bombers, spikes, and ice blocks that can be destroyed by spin dashing. As Sonic, you can use the snowboard to shred across the icy terrain.
  • Sound Test: Unlike in Chaos, the Sound Test in Triple Trouble does not require a cheat code to access it. Just press Up/Down on the main menu until it appears.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: In Tidal Plant Zone Act 3, the player character is 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:
    • In the second to last Special Stage fight, Fang fires a giant missile that flies back, forth and eventually right into him if Sonic last long enough.
    • The last Special Stage 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.
    • After delivering four hits to Tart Turtle, it summons Springshells, which Sonic and Tails then need to use to reach him for the second four hits to finish him off.
  • Temple of Doom: Special Stages 1, 3 and 5, and all Fang battle zones takes place in a temple filled with obstacles.
  • This Is a Drill: The last Fang boss fight in the Special Stages has him in a drilling machine that he tries to drill Sonic into the ground with. Dodge it enough times, and he gets stuck on the last attempt. Hitting him afterward will cause him to get drilled into the ground.
  • Took a Level in Badass: While none of Fang's bosses are exceptionally difficult, he does get progressively more challenging and in control of his devices, compared to the Epic Fail of his first couple of tries.
  • Traintop Battle: Since Sunset Park Zone Act 3 takes place on a train, the Marve Shupopolus-gou boss is the engine itself, which fires spiked cannonballs at the player.
  • Under the Sea: Much of the fifth stage, Tidal Plant Zone, takes place underwater, with two different types of Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles; normal ones you can breathe in, and giant ones you can float in by activating switches. As Sonic, you can use the Propeller Shoes to swim, or as Tails, you can use the Sea Fox to navigate the area (and can even use it during the battle against Knuckles, who serves as the stage's boss).
  • Underwater Base: The Atomic Destroyer Zone is housed underwater, which Tidal Plant Zone immediately leads to.
  • Underwater Boss Battle:
    • The first part of the first boss, Tart Turtle, has Sonic underwater, jumping out to hit the boss.
    • Tidal Plant Zone's boss, Knuckles in a submersible with torpedoes and depth charges in a scrolling room, is entirely underwater.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left:
    • Fang shows up one more time in Atomic Destroyer Zone 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.
    • Eggman tries to escape after Sonic get past his laser trap in Atomic Destroyer Zone Act 3. Unlike Sonic 2 and Sonic Chaos, his attempt is foiled by Sonic, who manages to destroy his escape platform and dump him into a bottomless pit.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The first boss, Tart Turtle, is actually incapable of directly harming the player—the only way it can is for you to get knocked into it by a Springshell while being out of your ball form.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The Western box art has Robotnik in his design from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. His in-game sprite, however, uses his game design.
  • You Have Failed Me: Knuckles is found imprisoned after defeating Eggman, implied to be because he failed to defeat Sonic and Tails in Tidal Plant Zone.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: Some of the boss encounters with Fang in the Special Stages are just cutscenes of him trying and failing to fight Sonic. For example, in the first Special Stage, he hits a switch and fries himself.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Sonic Triple Trouble


Triple Trouble Bait-and-Switch

After Sonic defeats Metal Sonic in Act 3 of Atomic Destroyer Zone, he comes across a sleeping Nack the Weasel. Nack awakens, and it seems like Sonic is going to fight him one last time, but then Nack panics and runs away from Dr. Eggman, the actual final boss in the game.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / BaitAndSwitchBoss

Media sources: