Sonic The Hedgehog 3 takes place on the mysterious Floating Island which holds many special powers. The source of these powers are Chaos Emeralds. In Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Sonic and Tails thought that they had destroyed the Death Egg, which was Dr. Robotnik's heavily armored ship. Instead, Dr. Robotnik managed to crash land on the Floating Island. After learning that the island is able to float in the sky by harnessing the power of the emeralds, the Doc decides to steal the emeralds so he can repair his Death Egg ship.
To obtain the emeralds, Dr. Robotnik tricks Knuckles, the guardian of the Floating Island's Chaos Emeralds. He also tells Knuckles that Sonic and Tails are the ones trying to steal the emeralds.
Between battling the new types of Badniks and trying to outsmart Knuckles, Sonic and Tails have their work cut out for them once they arrive on the Floating Island and search for Dr. Robotnik.
--From the Genesis Sonic The Hedgehog 3 instruction manual.
Overview: The third in the "original trilogy" of Sonic The Hedgehog games, this one certainly delivers, and it remains a favorite to this very day. The graphics have been improved from the previous game in a few ways, Sonic sporting a brand new look as well as many other new enemies that just look great. Every stage is designed well. The music is just as great, fitting to the series, and enhances the gaming experience. From the original Power Shoe speedup music to the new stage tunes, it just rocks in general. Most important to any Sonic game, the speed is still there, even heightened a few notches. Bottom line, if you love Sonic and haven't even played this title, it's a must!
Directions: Everything that you love about Sonic is still there, along with a couple of additions. The object of the game remains: to reach the end of the level as fast as you can to advance. In order to effectively clear a level, you'll need to collect rings which will serve as a lifeline of sorts. As long as you hold at least one, you'll be able to be hit without dying. However, once you do get hit, your rings fall all over, which leaves you just a chance of retrieving them before they vanish. If you manage to keep them and reach a total of 100 rings, you have earned an extra life.
Just like the previous game, after the end of the two acts you are greeted to a fight with Dr. Robotnik and it's up to you to defeat him to move on. If you take the time to strategize his attack patterns, then you'll have an easier time.
Power-ups are scattered about in the levels in the form of computer monitors which you have to jump on to activate. While some monitors just give you rings, others have the infamous Power Shoe that grants you super speed for a limited time, or the Stars that grant you temporary invincibility. There are also ones that were new at the time, each one working as a defense shield, good for one hit. The Flame grants you a fire shield that you can also use in a fireball technique to zoom across, the Bubble which lets you breath underwater and gives the ability of a bounce jump, or the Lightning that causes you to attract nearby rings.
If you're spent on the single player adventure, you can go to a two player game where you and another player can compete head to head in different fields. You can choose from three characters: Sonic, Tails and Knuckles. The first to accomplish the set number of laps wins.