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While Sonic may have defeated Robotnik's Death Egg in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, good villains never die (at least not in video games), they only get nastier. Now Sonic must ensure the bald one doesn't cause any more trouble on Floating Island. He'll also have to deal with the island's guardian, Knuckles, since the echidna doesn't especially like Sonic poking his blue face around where he doesn't belong.
Thus begins the adventure of Sonic & Knuckles, where you'll be able to play as either animal through eight zones: Mushroom Hill, Flying Battery, Sandopolis, Lava Reef, Hidden Palace, Sky Sanctuary, Death Egg, and a special Doomsday Zone. While Sonic's moves have remained the same as others in the series, Knuckles can fly and climb walls. He also has his own storyline as you play.
The biggest feature of Sonic & Knuckles is a special slot at the top, referred to as Lock-On technology, where you can plug in either Sonic the Hedgehog 3 or Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (other cartridges are not supported). Adding Sonic the Hedgehog 3 to the top of the cartridge makes Floating Island a 34-Meg adventure complete with new areas and secrets to find.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will let you to play as Knuckles, although the rest of the game remains the same. Linking up Sonic the Hedgehog 3 also brings up a Data Select screen, which will save your progress, cleared zones (which can be replayed), the number of Chaos Emeralds you've found, and gives you the opportunity to play as Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, or both Sonic and Tails. Find all of the emeralds to become Hyper Sonic or Super Knuckles! ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide