Information about the Zone
First appearance : Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles (1994)
Game appearances : Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles (1994), Sonic Mania (2017).
Zone description : Located somewhere in the depths of Angel Island, the Lava Reef Zone is a system of deep lava-flooded tunnels. It is here that the passage to the Hidden Palace Zone, the sacred altar where the most powerful artifact, the Master Emerald, is kept. Gradually, the lava rivers that illuminate the darkness of the caves are replaced by a crystalline encircling tunnels, illuminating the darkness with their blue glow. The depths of the Lava Reef Zone are mystical. They contain unknown ancient mechanisms from far times.
OSTs used in this Zone
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles (1994) [Act 1]
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles (1994) [Act 2]
Sonic Mania (2017) [Act 1]
Sonic Mania (2017) [Act 2]
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994)
After his defeat, Dr. Robotnik lands on Angel Island, where he finds an energy source even more powerful than the Chaos Emeralds, namely the Master Emerald. However, it was protected by the powerful guardian Knuckles the Echidna. Despite his power, Knuckles is rather gullible, so Robotnik convinces the echidna that Sonic and Tails are trying to steal the Master Emerald, thus turning Knuckles against the heroes. Soon, Sonic and Tails arrive on Angel Island and are immediately attacked by Knuckles, who takes the Chaos Emeralds from the heroes and hides them in Special Stages portals around the island. Sonic and Tails have to search all over Angel Island to find the portals in the form of giant rings while chasing Robotnik and Knuckles along the way. After successfully collecting all the Chaos Emeralds and destroying the Launch Base Zone, Sonic and Tails followed Knuckles into one of the portals, but it did not lead to the Special Stage. Instead, it led them to the Master Emerald altar. After placing the Chaos Emeralds around the Master Emerald, Sonic and Tails find the portals to the Special Stages again, where they energize the Emeralds, turning them into Super Emeralds with the power of the Master Emerald.
After being defeated at the hands of Sonic and Tails in the Sandopolis Zone, Dr. Robotnik escapes to the Lava Reef Zone caves, trying to find a way into the Hidden Palace Zone, where Master Emerald is kept. The heroes chase Robotnik as they make their way through the Lava Reef Zone’s lava-filled tunnels full with hostile robots and traps. After defeating the mighty Heat Arms robot, Sonic and Tails enter a luminescent crystals-lit tunnel. Here they encounter many working ancient mechanisms and traps, indicating the proximity of the Master Emerald’s altar. After fighting through the blue-lit caves, Sonic and Tails enter a vast lava-flooded cave, where they discover another Death Egg station under construction. In this cave, the heroes are attacked by Dr. Robotnik, who tries to drown them in the lava with his new machine called the Egg Inferno. Defeated again, Robotnik escapes to the Hidden Palace Zone, and the heroes rush in pursuit.
After upgrading all Chaos Emeralds to Super Emeralds, Sonic and Tails finally defeat Knuckles and Robotnik, returning peace to the Angel Island and making it fly in the sky again.
Sonic & Knuckles (1994)
After the defeat of Dr. Robotnik, however, many of the evil doctor’s robots and machines remained on the island. One robot, called Egg Robo, had enough intelligence to replace Dr. Robotnik and rebuild an army of robots and weapons itself. After dropping bombs on Knuckles, Egg Robo steals the Master Emerald, forcing the echidna to go in pursuit. Like Sonic and Tails, Knuckles also visits the Lava Reef Zone, where also battles the Heat Arms, though using a shortcut to Hidden Palace Zone manages to evade the battle with Egg Inferno.
On the way, Knuckles finds seven Chaos Emeralds and absorbs them, activating the form of Super Knuckles. After destroying Launch Base, Knuckles enhances the Chaos Emeralds on the Master Emerald altar, turning them into Super Emeralds. Using their power, Knuckles transforms into his Hyper Knuckles form. Eventually, Knuckles catches up with Egg Robo at Sky Sanctuary, defeats Neo Metal Sonic and retrieves the Master Emerald. After his victory, Knuckles returns Master Emerald to its altar and restores peace to Angel Island.