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Sonic 4 - Oil Desert Act 1 - Through the Sandstorm





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Published on May 28, 2012

The third Zone in Sonic 4 Episode II (and the 8th Zone in Sonic 4 overall) is Oil Desert, Dr. Eggman's latest refinery. What was once a pretty featureless sandy wasteland is now covered with metal machinery stamped with Eggman's insignia all over. According to the website, the oil Eggman gets from this refinery is used for his robots. Makes sense.

Something about video game villains: They each have their own unique architectural approach that seems to suit the heroes quite well. Imagine if Ghetsis and N had the same ideas for how to build their bases as Eggman does--ever seen a Pokémon trainer run an external loop the way Sonic does here?

Since this is in a desert, we have to have sandstorms, which is unique to Act 1: In certain areas, some gusts will whip up, which greatly affect his airborne trajectories and will slowly move Sonic in some certain direction while on the ground too. Naturally, the immediate surroundings tend not to be too helpful for Sonic when these winds kick in.

Especially not when Scarabesques are around, Badniks themed on dung beetles who create a spherical bomb and kick it away with their rear legs. The bomb effectively protects Scarabesque from Homing Attacks when it's still nearby, and the bomb is not affected by the wind, so it becomes tricky to dodge the bombs when they roll around. (If you've played Sonic Rush, then Scarabesque may remind you of the boss of Mirage Road.)

You'll see another enemy near the end, known as Flamer. I'll explain them in more detail in the next Sonic 4 video, as they feature more prominently in Act 2.

By the way, if you listen carefully, you might make out the percussion in Metropolis Zone in Sonic 2 (16-bit).

Following Oil Desert Act 1 is Special Stage 7, the final Special Stage and, logically, the toughest of them all. A tendency I noticed with Sonic and Special Stages, especially the ones created by Dimps, is that the last one is always a lot more difficult than any of the previous ones. You'll see here that the Ring requirements of 120, 350, then 500 Rings are the highest of each respective section, and you need to know the layout down cold in order to pass it.

The first section gives Sonic and Tails the rope tying them together that collects Rings as they pass by, which is normally reserved for the third. They then throw Ring formations at you that stretch across the halfpipe, requiring you to make precise movements so that you can match Tails's delayed movements to Sonic's own.

The second then gives you strips of Rings surrounded by bombs. If you can avoid hitting any of them, though, you can get a lot of Rings in this stage. Once you get the last rope powerup in this section, be sure to start dasing and head left immediately to run across the top of the upcoming fullpipe and collect as many Rings as you can, because you will need them for the third part.

The last section of this Special Stage is all about those glowing Rings with the bonuses. This section consists of five consecutive sets of these Rings and no other--that means that you have 144 Rings to collect if you do them all perfectly. (The first four sets have 8 Rings and the last has 12, with a bonus of 20 Rings for each.) Because you need 150 more Rings between the second section and this one, you need to have exceeded your quota for the second section if you're going to pass this Special Stage.

By getting this last one, however, Sonic can now turn into Super Sonic by grabbing 50 Rings and pressing Y. I will refrain from using Super Sonic at all in this run though, as I don't like using Super Sonic, especially not in Sonic 4 with his godlike powers.


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