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Follow the dark path or use the light

Demo FAQ/Walkthrough

by Kulock

Sonic The Hedgehog - "Bringing it Home" TGS Demo (Xbox 360)

(Some aspects of this FAQ may also apply to the PS3 version.)

    FAQ created by Kulock, November 5th-6th, 2006

Currently posted to, and only.
Check version posted to for most accurate list of approved
sites. If a site is not listed, they posted the FAQ without asking permission.

Copyright 2006 David Eggleton

I've played the demo pretty regularly, learned all of the ins and outs I can,
and decided to use what I know to write a FAQ about it. Do you really need
assistance to get through the level? No, of course not. But there might be a
lot of small details you're missing, or a few control aspects you've yet to
work out. There's a surprising amount of detail in this demo that you don't
notice at first, and once you know what to look for and what to do, you'll
have a much easier time playing through without deaths. Ignore it, and you
look like a bad IGN video playthrough. "Light Dash whaaa?"

Sonic The Hedgehog, called Sonic Next internally by Sega (just check out the
site URL in the demo) and Sonic 2k6 by fans (because we still refer to the
original every now and then) is Sonic's first major foray into the world of...
well, "next gen consoles" won't be an applicable term pretty soon, but "really
fast machines that make the pretty happy" doesn't have the same ring to it. No
pun intended.

This demo was... well, it was cited as the TGS demo, but it has a scaled-down
enemy count versus the E3 demo, and I believe even compared to the actual TGS
demo. This is actually a little unfortunate, because I've found the enemy
balance is just about right in this demo, whereas they look a little too
lumped-in for the other revisions. It remains to be seen what the balance will
be in the final game. The demo was completed some time in August, so be warned
that it does not have the total polish the final version will receive. You
will run into glitches, you will run into awkward bits (like some crates
triggering or breaking before you even get near them, such as the stack that
explodes just before the first wall you can run on, due to an awkwardly-placed
bot). This is simply the nature of unfinished software, and even with that in
mind, this is a pretty polished presentation.

[Revision History:]

11/05/06:  FAQ started.
11/06/06:  First FAQ version completed (v1.00), submitted to GameFAQs.
11/12/06:  A few minor fixes, addition of counter overflow glitch that happens
           rarely. Approval of to post. (v1.01)
11/14/06:  Refined the counter overflow glitch to an exact method, with
           example video. Small note about the Cloaked Crab Bots. (v1.02)

[Table of Contents:]

Search using the codes (#XX#) to find the section you want to jump to.

#01#  The Controls
#02#  The Tricks
#03#  The Bots
#04#  Walkthrough and Path Branches
#05#  Speed-Run
#06#  Score-Run
#07#  Differences from the TGS Demo
#08#  Differences compared to the E3 Demo
#09#  Glitches
#10#  Tutorial Voices
#11#  Ranking Breakdown
#12#  Demo Specifics
#13#  Demo-Hacked Spoilers
#14#  Contact the Author

#01# [The Controls:]

Sonic has a repertoire of familiar maneuvers in this demo, most closely
relating to Sonic Adventure 2. In the final game, he'll be able to purchase
new and upgraded moves with the rings he earns from beating the levels with
a good ranking grade.

Jumping: Basic platformer logic, holding down the jump button (A on the 360
Controller) results in Sonic making a much higher jump than if you just tap
it. There is one specific thing about jumping that you should be aware of
before you continue: unlike previous Sonic games, if Sonic isn't actively
attacking a bot when he jumps into them (Homing Attack, Bounce Attack), Sonic
will actually be the only one hurt. It's unclear whether this will be changed
in the final game or not, but it seems like a strange design decision. This
doesn't affect gameplay nearly as much as you think it would, it just means
that you have to be careful to have enough attack room in the really up-close
encounters. (You can always turn a jump into a Bounce Attack, for one

Homing Attack: Unlike previous Sonic games, there's now much more leeway in
what Sonic can homing attack, including much less of a restriction on homing
in on things above Sonic. To Homing Attack, in the middle of a jump or
launching off a spring, either tap or hold the jump button again. If no enemy
is nearby, you'll just dash in the direction you're holding (or if you're not
holding a direction, the one Sonic is currently facing). If a bot or object is
close enough, and you've got Sonic pointed in the right direction, he'll dash
into it and rebound. How MUCH he rebounds is determined by whether or not you
held down the button. For quick Homing Attacks with short rebounds (like
you've seen in the trailers), make sure to just tap the button, and have it
released before you hit the bot or object. For the higher and slower rebounds
(which forces a lag inbetween your Homing Attacks, you've probably run into
these in your first playthrough by accident), you hold the button down.

You can only homing attack once per jump, unless you successfully hit
something that Sonic bounces off of. (An enemy, an object, et cetera.) Walls
don't count, but you can successfully Homing Attack into the walls designed
for Sonic to run up them sideways and return to that orientation to backtrack
or change routes, as explained in the Tricks section.

Bounce Attack: Much like the Bounce Bracelet move granted in Sonic Adventure
2, if you press the attack button (X on the 360 Controller) while jumping,
Sonic will shoot downward in a smashing move. He can rebound off the ground
with this, and even gain just a little extra height. Unfortunately, you'll
most often activate this move over pits when you haven't yet learned how far
away Sonic can be from a Light Dash ring line before he will successfully
follow it. Hopefully you will be able to upgrade this move to something more
useful and less potentially fatal in the final game.

Break-Out Kick: (Not an official name, obviously) Depending on your speed
(still to slow run), quickly pressing and releasing the attack button will
result in a sort of "breakdance" kick that is actually quite functional. This
is good for smashing boxes, rocks, et cetera. This will not hit things it
shouldn't be expected to hit; for example, tall robots won't really be
affected by a kick move that goes under their main body.

Sliding Attack: Depending on your speed (medium to fast run), quickly pressing
and releasing the attack button will result in a sliding move. Sonic will skid
across the ground in this attack, smashing boxes and whatever else is
reachable and in his way, fully controllable and aimable, until you let the
move time expire or press the attack or jump buttons again. He looks a little
silly being in place and "sliding" sometimes, but again, you can turn off the
move animation by just tapping the button again.

Spindash: Pressing and holding the attack button will cause Sonic to charge up
a spindash move (indefinitely, it's likely you'll be able to charge something
akin to the Light Speed Attack or something similar in the final game as an
upgraded move). Release the button to let Sonic shoot off in a direction.
There generally isn't much use for this in the demo, however, and it generally
isn't as reactive to controls as it was in previous games, so even in a
speed-run you probably won't be using it. It's also the single thing most
likely to accidentally kill you in the demo, especially if you go to tap the
attack button for a kick and end up doing a quick spindash.

Light Dash: Press the attack button (yes, the same button as all those other
moves) near a string of rings to perform a "Light Dash." This lets you zip
through the line of rings quickly, and gives you a score bonus. There are some
extremely obvious "follow this" ring lines in the game, and some you can just
find and combo nicely. There are also a few stray ones about that won't let
you Light Dash, even though it seems like they should. (One example is the
line of rings just after the first grind across a path of wind.)

Grind Stance Switch: You can speed up Sonic grinding on rails by tapping the
attack button in a certain rhythm. Do it wrong and he'll only do it once in a
certain period of time, do it right and you may be able to do it three. The
effect is subtle, but there. You can only learn the correct timing with

Camera Rotate: You can pan the camera around Sonic to the left or right, and
tilt it upwards or downwards by using the Right Stick. You can also use the
Left Bumper and Right Bumper (the smaller shoulder buttons in front of the
triggers) to rotate the camera. This is INCREDIBLY slow, though, which is why
I recommend that you instead use:

Camera Centering: Simply pull the Left Trigger, and the camera will zip right
behind your character. This is a lot faster and fairly useful. Either way,
don't panic about babysitting the camera; at least in the demo, it really
seems to do a good job with showing off the various routes and paths that are
available to you.

#02# [The Tricks:]

Some of the various special objects around, and things you can do to employ
them to your advantage:

Grinding: Jumping on to rails and special paths of wind lets Sonic grind. You
don't have to worry about keeping Sonic's balance or anything of that sort. If
you want to pick up your speed slightly while grinding, use the Grind Stance
Switch I mentioned above. If you want to get off a rail, just jump off, or
travel to the end of it.

Statues: These have a green globe attached to them. Simply jump or Homing
Attack into the green globe (not the statue body, which you can also do to no
effect), and it will create a path of wind for you to grind on. This path of
wind is temporary, but you should have plenty of time to get on and across. On
the right-most upper path near the end (the second place where you can face a
Giant Mech), if you hit the green globe a second time, an alternate path will
show up, leading you on a small loop through three ring bubbles and a 1up. Hit
it again to show the original route.

Exploding Boxes: These will not injure Sonic when they go off, but they will
destroy all the bots close to it. You often get a bonus for using one to beat
several robots, and one neat thing you can do is launch robots into one from a
distance with a carefully aimed homing attack. The wrecked bot will fly off in
that direction before exploding, and if it hits the box, it triggers an
explosion and takes out the others. There's two spots where this can obviously
be done, and one less obvious one with the second batch of crab bots after the
first eagle.

Static Boxes: I believe there's just one of these in the demo. You can find it
by taking the route to the right when you reach the breakable bridge. (The
route with the red missile launching robot.) Smashing the box (by you or a bot
with unfortunate aim) causes the bots nearby to be stunned and short out for a
moment, perfect for smacking about.

Trick Rings: Returning from Sonic Heroes (but much less of a PITA), these
rainbow rings mainly serve as shortcuts with a score bonus, in exchange for
finding and reaching them. Just get Sonic to touch them and he'll fly for a
bit of distance, safely landing at a slightly later part of the stage.

Rope Lengths: Extended between some pillars are lengths of rope. You can
Homing Attack or just jump onto these, and Sonic will spring upward. What you
may not know is that if you stay on them instead of continuing on, Sonic will
jump higher on the second bounce, and quite high on the third one. There's not
too much you can do with this unless you're just messing about the levels,
doing major back-tracking or what have you, but it's there, and it may lead to
bonuses in the final game.

Wall Running: There's two sequences in this level (not counting the Mach Speed
segment not present in the demo) where Sonic is launched up a wall and can run
up it. You have a surprising amount of control with this to loop around,
change your direction, and such, the only caveats are that you shouldn't stop,
and jumping off the wall or smacking into something "fixes" your gravity.
(Don't worry, in both cases there's a secondary route below.) What's even more
interesting is that even when you're off the wall (whether by jumping, or
back-tracking), if you jump and do a Homing Attack at the wall, you'll switch
to the alternative gravity and can run across it again. Again, not too useful
unless you're frustrated with missing the Crab Cavern, or just want to mess
about. It could also be helpful if you're trying to get as many rings as
absolutely possible in the level.

Chaos Gauge: It's difficult to see at normal speed, but those little bursts of
light you get from bots are Chaos Cores, again, like SA2 (but more
streamlined). You also get an equivalent version of the energy from the Iblis
beasts in the final game. This will be used for special moves, but the fill
rate was heavily scaled back for this demo, and even if you manage to fill it
to full using the few bots that specifically respawn (most notably those by
the second wall you can run across, right after the ropes leading you up from
the lower areas), it doesn't seem to allow any extra moves or abilities
currently, it just simply pulses red.

Disable Mechs: If you've played the demo before, when facing the really big
walker mechs (the ones that can shoot those twin lasers at you), you've
probably just run up to the mechs and smacked the cockpit three times, right?
You may not have realized that you can actually disable them strategically. If
you specifically attack a leg, it'll lose it's balance and drop to a kneel,
pausing for a moment. If you wait too long, it'll eventually get back up, but
what you can also do is attack the other leg. This makes the mech completely
fall over and stuns it (with blue, non-injuring electricity).  This seems to
take a hit away, as well, but at least in the demo, it's not that useful. It
may prove more useful in the final game, however, and it's just one more
example of a neat, strategic detail they included.

Torches Burn: This may be something you wouldn't ever notice naturally, but if
you do actually hit the small fire on top of torches, you will get hurt by it.
There's no use to doing this, but I certainly didn't expect it, I thought they
were purely decorative initially.

#03# [The Bots:]

This will be THE most different aspect in the final game. The robots have been
shown in trailers and trade show demos as being in far greater numbers, some
requiring more hits to defeat (unfortunately), and having many more attacks to
throw at you. On the plus side, they seem to be shying away from the machine
gun shots in favor of slower, blue energy shots, it's not clear whether this
was for game design reasons, or for possible concerns about how the US may

One mechanic carried over from Sonic Heroes is that certain large groupings
will contain a stronger "leader" bot that, if you destroy it before destroying
the rest of the nearby, related type, it will take the rest with it and give
you a score bonus. Most of these leader bots are excluded from the demo, but
there are two situations (just before the second Giant Mech, and the second
wall you can run on closest to the goal) where you'll find a cloaked crab bot
with more abilities and HP (health, I.E. requiring more hits) than the others
around it. If you smash that, the ones around it also explode. That's how
it'll work in the final game.

I apologize for not knowing the proper names of most of these enemies, but I
feel their description will suffice for now:

Grey Walker Bot:
These generally don't move around, and only take a single hit to destroy. They
simply pivot in place, or in a few cases hover, and shoot at you with machine
gun fire. This machine gun fire can travel LONG ways across the stages, so
don't be too surprise if you get tagged by a bot far away if you're not paying
attention. Thankfully, getting hit by it doesn't slow Sonic down a bit and
only makes him drop one ring for each shot that hits. They can also launch
vaguely homing missiles, usually if you're at a lower position than them (the
hovering ones near the one you can smack into the breakable bridge often fire
these), they're far more potent, but they also have a much shorter range.

Red Missile Bots:
These are designed to launch missiles at you that generally do a better job
homing in on you, but are still quite avoidable. They only take one hit in
this demo, but in videos of other pre-release versions I've seen, there's a
Yellow variant that takes three hits.

Red Crab Bots:
You'll find these both in trios walking around a small area, and also clinging
to the walls you run across. They lob small spherical bombs that are activated
by both touch and time, but you can disable them with a Homing Attack if you
feel the need. These bombs won't harm the other crab bots, but can break
nearby boxes.

Cloaked Crab Bots:
These are naturally blue, but are much more difficult to see than the red
version, with a sort of sheening Predator-like cloaking effect in place while
they're still functioning. They launch blue bombs that generate a small
electric pocket on detonation, and take two hits to defeat. But they are
leader bots, which means they'll take the other nearby crab bots with them
upon demise.

In lieu of anything else to call them, these resemble large versions of the
GUN drones in SA2. These can get you with stray shots every now and then, but
primarily they serve as Homing Attack stepping stones through an area. A
single hit is all they need.

Wasp Bot:
Hello. Other than the crabs, this is easily the most "retro" style bot in the
demo, and while it'll be placed more in the final version, in the demo it's
only located in one place: the area below the second wall you can run across.
Drop down and you'll find it there. The main body only takes 1 hit and has the
standard machine gun, but it has three replenishable satellite drones it can
use for several attacks, and to draw your own attacks away. It's not annoying,
it's just one of the trickier bots in the demo. Hitting the main body without
destroying the drones results in a small score bonus.

Giant Mech:
Remember how Sonic fought Big Foot as his first boss in SA2? This is like a
downscaled version of that. It can hit you with powerful twin lasers from a
fair distance away, so don't dawdle too long around one. Aim for the cockpit
three times to set the pieces scattering. As I mention in the Tricks section
above, you can also stun it by smacking the legs until it falls over.

#04# [Walkthrough and Path Branches:]

One pleasant thing about Sonic Next is that it looks like the game will
consistently include multiple, overlapping pathways throughout the level, and
in many cases, stacked areas (so if you fall down, you still can reach ground
below you). Sonic Heroes included this in early stages, but by the later ones,
the paths were directly obvious and widely separated, and if you fell, you
were over a pit and that was it. I'm not saying you're always safe to fall in
Sonic Next, but it's a far more natural arrangement than the way the previous
few games handled it, even Shadow.

I'll try to note as many of these alternate and variant paths as I can. Some
of them you'll need a little practice and familiarity to find.

[01] From the start, you can continue forward, or jump onto the eagle
immediately. If you jump on the eagle, you can use item bubbles (best
described in the speed run) to maneuver over to the first green-globed
statue [02] and save some time. Otherwise, just run forward, and Homing Attack
the lower right bot into the Exploding Box if possible, trashing them all for
a bonus. Turn left and start down the spiral, either using the Dash Pads or
grinding down the rails on the sides.

[02] You'll land on a small island with a tree, a single bot, and a wall of
gray stones. Homing Attack the bot (don't worry if the machine gun fire hits
you, it only takes a single ring away for each bullet, but it is avoidable
with some practice), then if you need to, Homing Attack or jump past the wall
of gray stones to a statue of an eagle, with a green globe on a pole sticking
out. Jump into or Homing Attack the green globe specifically (not the statue
base) and it'll spin around, creating a sort of half-pipe of wind. Jump onto
it, and Sonic will automatically grind. During this wind path, you'll see four
Hovercraft and a rainbow-colored circular ring (a Trick Ring for reference
purposes of this FAQ) suspended in the air. If you want, you can (optionally)
Homing Attack the four bots, then jump into the Trick Ring to receive a point
bonus and be flung towards the next island [03]. Otherwise, you can just
continue grinding the path of wind to reach the same destination.

[03] Here is your first major branch. I apologize if this gets confusing,
there is no easy way I know of to organize this in text. Jump onto the rope,
and when you launch up, you can either Homing Attack at the hovering Grey
Walker Bot, which will shatter a bridge, making a path to a suspended
rope [04], or wait a moment and Homing Attack toward (but not necessarily hit)
the Red Missile Bot to the right [13]. We'll assume you went with the bridge
path for now, use the blocked number to skip that section if you took the Red
Missile Bot route.

[04] The camera swivels to show you a path of rings leading to a rope, and a
tutorial message automatically plays. Jump close to the line of rings and then
press the attack button to Light Dash through them, to the rope. You'll spring
upward once, and you'll be facing another rope. This is the obvious way up,
just Homing Attack into it, spring up, and Homing Attack forward to the next
major piece of land [05]. You can also aim diagonally to the right after that
first rope, and Homing Attack into an item bubble. From there, you can Homing
Attack into a spring, which will launch you up faster (and with the extra
rings) to the same spot. It's simply a matter of preference.

[05] You've just landed on a small ledge connected to a wall, with two Crab
Bots climbing on the wall, and a path leading to a stable bridge. You can just
run across the bridge, hearing a tutorial about sliding and fighting a couple
of Grey Walker Bots to the next junction [06], or you can take a rewarded
shortcut. Make sure there's a bit of space between you and the wall, jump up,
and Homing Attack at least one of the Crab Bots. (As I mentioned above, the
Homing Attack is more forgiving about things above you in this game.) As you
bounce up, Homing Attack into an item bubble (a 1up!) you'll see, and the
camera will swivel around to show you a Trick Ring. Homing Attack into this
for a score bonus and to zip you past the robots on the bridge to [06].

[06] This is another major junction, but you may initially miss it. Hit the
first dash pad to begin running on the wall. (Don't worry too much, this
mechanic is fairly forgiving.) If you drop down, you'll just switch to the
path you would have reached going the way of the Red Missile Bot [13].
Continuing forward will take you through the route normally [07]. Veer upward
(this is sometimes difficult to do with the dash pads), and Sonic may make a
comment about going up. Whether he does or doesn't, keep running toward the
top of the wall and you should see a small circular cave. This is the Crab
Cavern I've made reference to several times. Taking this route [12] is a
little more boring than some of the others, but it can shave upwards of a
minute off your time. This can be extremely useful for Speed-Runs and getting
high Time Bonuses.

[07] You run down onto a small ledge with a dash pad. Hit this, and this'll
launch you over a pit. Tap the attack button to Light Dash through the ring
line and across the pit. You hit another dash pad leading you across a stable
bridge and between six wood boxes, and a Giant Mech drops down in front of
you. Simply Homing Attack or Bounce Attack the cockpit (or use the "Disabling"
trick if you want to do it with a bit of flourish), and continue past to a
checkpoint. This is the second wall you'll be running on. Watch out for the
crab bots, particularly one cloaked with invisibility, or you'll fall down to
a lower area [08], and need to fight or avoid some nasties (including the only
Wasp Bot in the demo) to make it back up. If you see those wooden boxes
stacked on a ledge above, you can take just the tiniest shortcut by running
directly up there to a spring that leads to [11], but you'll also find a
spring leading to that ledge at [09]. Otherwise, just keep running straight,
and use the Light Dash when you reach that giant curve of rings for a score
bonus and a fairly safe trip to [09].

[08] You fell down, you've gotta get up again. No, they're never gonna keep
you down. Depending on where you fell down, you've got some nasties to get by,
or maybe you're already in place to start back up. Of note is a Wasp Bot,
which has several attacks you should be wary of. It's actually one of the most
interesting enemies in the demo. If you're down on the lower part, break
through or jump past the stone wall, and hit the springs to reach the upper
section. Smash the Grey Walker Bot on the exploding box if he still lives, and
use the rebound to Homing Attack into an item bubble floating up above the
middle of that raise land. (If you miss this chance and still want it, get
just a little bit away from it, jump, use the Bounce Attack to rebound and
gain just a slight amount of height, then Homing Attack and you should get
it.) In front of you are three suspended ropes you can bounce off of, and from
there are two Hovercraft you can Homing Attack to help you reach land [09].

[09] There is a blatant spring there. It'll bounce you against two other
springs and to a short, safe upper route. [11] But let's keep walking the
"clear" path. Onoe! The bridge is tilting! The rocks are falling! The worst
thing that can happen with this is if you Homing Attack them, but skip off the
top instead of breaking them up. Just ignoring them or breaking them more
carefully is safer. What happens next depends on how long you wait to jump off
this bridge, or how bad your jumping skills are. If you go quickly, you can
jump to a suspended rope. Spring off that, Homing Attack into two Hovercraft
(I told you they're primarily stepping stones), Homing Attack to the next
rope, spring up, hit the next Hovercraft, then Homing Attack over to the Goal
Ring [GR]. Hooray! If you were slow, the bridge may tilt down too much for
you. You'll probably jump down and land on the platform the suspended rope is
above [10]. Don't worry, it's fairly big.

[10] You're on a fairly sizable platform. There is a gap and another platform
in front of you. Just jump the gap, and hit the dash pad to start running up
the ramp. (You can also just run up it with a reasonable amount of speed.) You
may miss the line of rings, don't worry about them. (If you're curious: if you
Light Dash them, you'll fall back down. And Bounce Attacking down won't
glitch, but it gets annoying slow to set you down because it doesn't like the
significantly ramped ground.) Bam, Goal Ring [GR].

[11] A small outcropping of land, an eagle statue. Tag the green globe like
before, and get on the path of wind. Just before the first bend to the left,
there's a Trick Ring you can jump into which will save you even more time and
shoot you right to the Goal Ring [GR]. Or just keep lazily grinding the path
of wind. You're dumped just after the gap of route [10], but it should be
pretty obvious that you just need to hit the dash pad, run up the ramp, and
you're at the Goal Ring [GR].

[12] Crab Cavern! Grrraaa, it broke my knife! *ahem* This cavern is fairly
friendly to you running up the walls, but you'll probably plow into crab bots
doing so. For example, you'll want to avoid ones on the right as soon as you
enter. There's a dash pad once you enter, which usually plows you through a
line of rings (skip that first pad if you want to Light Dash that line of
rings), then just hit the two pads out to be safely directed to the exit...
which is covered by rocks. But actually, there's a wide gap you can run
through, or you can run around them, or heck, jump over them. But if you
really must, a Break-Out Kick looks nice. (But it actually slows the game down
just briefly, and isn't advisable during a Speed-Run.) There's a dash ramp
just slightly to the left, and to the right... is a tempting bit of land
that's part of a different route, so don't worry about it. (But it's [17] if
you're curious.) So just hit the dash ramp and be launched over to a spring
with a trio of boxes, which sets you down right at [11]. You've just skipped a
large chunk of level.

[13] This is the path if you don't break or ignore the broken bridge just
after the first path of wind and suspended rope, starting with you facing a
Red Missile Bot. Homing Attack it, and it may plow into a wall of stone
blocks. If it doesn't, just Homing Attack into it, or jump over it, and hit
the first spring trio. Just Homing Attack into the second one, and you're
going to see two bots and a blue box. This is referred to as a Static Box for
lack of a better name. What will most likely happen is that you'll Homing
Attack the right-most bot, Homing Attack into the box which stuns the second
bot, then Homing Attack into that. Be CAREFUL that you don't just "skip" off
the wooden crate below instead of jumping off of it, otherwise you'll run into
the bot and take damage. And no, there is currently no score bonus if you hit
the Static Box first, then the two bots. Either way, just Homing Attack or
jump into the eagle's claws, and let it carry you to the next section [14].

[14]  You're going to immediately see two crab bots, but the stack of boxes is
obscuring a third to the right, so be careful. Bash them or run past, and
you'll be on a bridge that starts to tilt. (Don't worry, it won't completely
break off.) If you're quick enough, jump up and use a Light Dash to get a line
of rings and a 1up, leading you right to [15]. If you don't, the bridge will
tilt down more. There's a spring trio on the side of the island you're facing.
When you jump for it, be warned that there is some visible clipping through
the island that happens, but don't worry, you can hold right against the thing
and Sonic won't fall through, it's purely a visual goof on their part. The
spring trio will launch you to [15].

[15] A circular island with three crab bots on it. Depending on your luck
and/or timing, they may be huddled near one of the explosive boxes. Homing
Attack one of them into the box to take out the others, but sometimes there's
a straggler if he's far enough away. At any rate, Homing Attack or just jump
onto the suspended rope, then Homing Attack into the Hovercraft. Rope,
Hovercraft, then you land in front of a spring trio. When you launch up,
Homing Attack into an item bubble, then Homing Attack forwards, but carefully
to not fall off or plow into a missile coming at you. Homing Attack the middle
bot or just break the Exploding Box for a nice score bonus. Break through or
jump past the stone wall, and there'll be a spring trio hugging the left, by
the raised ground. (Your view might be temporarily obscured by a tree.) You'll
land on raised ground, with a single line of rings. (Which I don't think will
Light Dash properly, and it's not the safest place to try it anyway.) There's
an eagle that will be flying up. WAIT for it to arrive (unlike the first one,
Sonic unfortunately "misses" this one if you try to Homing Attack to it early
sometimes), and it'll fly you to [16]. Or, you get a little brave. Tilt the
camera, or face Sonic to the right and use the Camera Centering button 
(L Trigger). See those stone pillars? That's [19].

[16] Not brave, huh? That's OK, this route continue to be fresh while that one
leads you to the same ones you could end up on taking the broken bridge path.
You've just tagged a checkpoint. Rings (you can Light Dash them, potentially
continuing your combo from the bot quintet and the Exploding Box), then a
spring trio. There's a Trick Ring right in front if you, if you can Homing
Attack into it, you skip a trio of Grey Walker Bots and most of the tilting
bridge. Either way, don't worry about the large stones rolling your way, they
won't hurt you if they hit you, at least in the demo. Oh my, Ultimate Crab
Battle. There's three openly visible crabs here, and a stronger, cloaked crab
that takes more hits to defeat. This is a leader bot, and so if you can manage
it, trash this bot first (dare I say that the Bounce Attack is actually useful
here?), and the other bots will simultaneously go and you'll get a score
bonus. Otherwise, just take them out as you can. (You might also be getting
stray machine gun fire from pretty far away, so don't panic if you get those
random shots from seemingly nowhere.) Tag the green globe on the statue, and
take the path of wind to [17]. Ignore the Hovercraft that the path snakes
around, I think it's just there to make your life harder. You may be able to
Homing Attack it to bounce up the path of wind and scale it faster, but just
jumping can accomplish that too.

[17] This is that piece of land you could see at the end of [12], but not
reach. (Well, you're not supposed to, but you can manage it. More
interestingly, you can also easily backtrack from here and go back through the
Crab Cavern or take the dash ramp to [11], should the urge hit you.) The wind
pops you right onto a spring trio, and you're facing a Giant Mech. He's
probably already doing his twin beam attack, so just stay in the middle, lined
up with the cockpit, and he won't it you. Run up and thwack the cockpit,
disabling the legs first if the urge hits you. Now, there's an obvious method
to continue here [18], but to just plow on you'd be missing a 1up and
30 rings. First, to the right? see the steel crate on top of two wooden boxes?
The box you want to break is the lower left one, the one furthest away from
when you sprung up onto this platform. Sometimes the steel crate falls in the
way, and you'll want to nudge or Homing Attack it away, but generally you'll
have open access to 20 Rings. Then, go up to the eagle statue, and if you want
the 10 other rings and the 1up, hit the green globe once, do NOT get on the
wind ([18]), then hit it a second time, and the route will change to one
looping to the left. Jump on the wind and you'll take a small loop around to
the three item bubbles. Once you land, just hit the globe again to toggle back
to the original route.

[18] You're on a path of wind, grinding toward the Goal Ring [GR]. The only
reason I separated this out is because you pass a small island with a tree on
it. If you jump onto this island, around the tree is a hidden 1up. Sonic
comments on this triumphantly. Hit the spring to be launched right at the
Goal Ring [GR].

[19] You got brave, huh? Good, although this bit needs a tiny bit of
tightening up before release. Jump down, and if need be, or if you just want
to, Homing Attack into the Hovercraft to make your fall safer. Land, then jump
and Homing Attack the spring. This is important, you'll need to "pull back"
your bounce just a little bit to land squarely on the platform. If you just
let the momentum carry you like all the other springs, you won't land on the
platform, and no one wants that. But for your effort, you're rewarded with a
1up, and a spring to just after the pit in [07].

[GR] This is the Goal Ring. It is made of win and happy. In the trade show
demos, and probably the final game, this is replaced by a circle of rings, and
an eagle flying in. Jumping onto this eagle will take you to the "Mach Speed"
segment and the Goal Ring, but again, that segment is not present in this
demo. If you didn't take route [18], or just missed it, you can still walk
onto the small gray outcropping past the torch (near that small island off to
the left of the Goal Ring with the tree on it), and jump up and onto said
island. (If you try to do it from further away, or think you're going to miss
the jump, using a Homing Attack will generally home in on the spring and
bounce you back to the Goal Ring, unless you've had more experience.) Circle
around the tree and get the 1up and Sonic's quip, then return back to the Goal
Ring with the spring. Getting a 1up when the demo ends a few seconds later
isn't too important now, but in the final game, it will probably matter more.
Plus it's just fun to be a completionist when possible.

#05# [Speed-Run:]

Speed running doesn't require you to spindash constantly or anything of that
nature, it just means you often need to run past fights and take the obvious
shortcuts. Don't do things that slow you down. If you have to mess with the
camera (which actually, you don't normally), use the Camera Center button,
don't use the Bumpers or Right Stick to slowly rotate it around and wait on

It's possible that there are some really precarious and iffy ways to shave
your time down even further, but many times those rely on luck. Here I'm just
listing a reliable way you can always use to get a low time, with just a bit
of practice. There's no luck or uncertainty with this path.

First run forward, and Light Dash the ring line. (Hey, points and rings help,
and you have the time.) There should be an eagle flying above. Jump and homing
attack to latch onto it. It'll carry you around for a moment; look for a stray
Item Bubble floating in the air. Jump off and Homing Attack it when you're
close enough, then look for a second one in that direction and hit that as
well. There's a ring line you can homing attack into and Light Dash to help
your score just slightly, or you can just homing attack in that general
direction. You can just drop down normally, or do a Bounce Attack to go even
faster once you have an idea of where you'll be landing.

You plop down just on the other side of the first brick wall, shaving a good
20 or so seconds off the other route. If you haven't already, jump into the
green statue globe (you don't have to Homing Attack into it to activate it),
then continue the jump motion right onto the wind path. Use the Grind Stance
Switch move to speed things up, and ignore the bots. Just jump directly into
the Trick Ring (just be aware that you will have to jump sooner than you may
expect) and land on the next platform.

Run and Homing Attack the rope to spring up, then smack into the nearest
flying bot to smash the bridge down. Homing Attack toward the left of the
bridge that just fell (sometimes if you land between the broken pieces, you
get under them and it may take you a second to find your way out), then jump
and Light Dash the ring line right to a rope. You're bounced up once and aimed
toward another rope. Hold to the diagonal-right and instead homing attack an
Item Bubble, and from there, Homing Attack a spring. You'll be bounced up to a
ledge with two crabs on the wall above and a path to a bridge on the right.
Jump up and Homing Attack one of the crabs (this is the only iffy part of the
path, sometimes they get a little too high up, but this is rare), then aim in
the opposite direction to hit an Item Bubble (a 1up), then Homing Attack again
to hit a Trick Ring and shoot across the bridge area.

Hit the dash pad, and you'll start running up the side of the wall. Run
towards the top of the wall (he may comment on this), preferably hitting the
dash pad furthest up, and you'll see a small crab-filled cavern path. There
are dash panels in here that will lead you through, but if you skip the first
one, you can also Light Dash a ring line to add to your score, your choice. At
the end of the cavern there are rocks you probably should smash to get through
(using your Break-Out Kick), but the resulting rubble will slow you down just
slightly, and there's a wide crack you can just run through. You hit the dash
ramp and launch over to the final part.

Upon reaching the other side, you hit a spring automatically, and plop onto a
high stone outcropping. Just run and jump into (again, you don't need to
Homing Attack) the green globe, continue the jump into the wind path (even
Homing Attack into it if you're far away enough from the statue, but too close
and you'll aim back towards it), and use the Grind Stance Switch for a tiny
bit of extra speed. Right before the first curve, jump off, and Homing Attack
into a Trick Ring. From there, just aim Sonic as close to dropping on the Goal
Ring as possible (you don't even need to actually hit it, just get close).
Voila. With just a little familiarity you'll break a minute, and if you didn't
get hit or die along the way, you probably got a B or A Ranking, maybe even
an S. Congrats.

#06# [Score-Run:]

Getting a high score is a mixture of a good time mixed with heavy combos. It's
separate from the Speed-Run, because you basically have to make the choice
between 16-25K points and 20 seconds. Much of the rest is the same, since
you'll want as much of the Time Bonus as you can get, but don't skip smashing
large groups of bots quickly, especially if you get a bonus for it. Also,
dying resets your Score, so it's far more vital that you don't die than when
you're doing a Speed-Run. It's less important if you get tagged by a few shots
and lose a few random rings, just try to avoid it when possible, and don't
lose them all.

The most important part is the first pathway. To begin, run forward, and Light
Dash into the first line of rings. Slide (or Break-Out) into the boxes, get
out of the Slide if need be, and Light Dash the second line. See those bots in
front of you? Homing Attack the lower-right one into the Explosive Box
(sliding into it sometimes works too) and you'll get a bonus.

Now you've started down a curving stone path, and there's a trick you can do
with these lines in particular (since there's no bots nearby and your
maneuvering room is wide), which I'll mention at the end of this segment. What
you want to do is start down the path (hitting the grind rail right off of the
box area if you want the extra speed, jumping down when you reach the first
ring line), stay away from the dash pads, and Light Dash the ring line. Run
down and toward the left, around the dash pad, Light Dash the next line. Jump
up and homing attack onto the rail, grab the rings (use the Grind Stance
Switch for a little extra speed when you've got the timing down), then when
you're across the gap, jump down, Light Dash the next line, then the following
line, then jump almost straight right onto the rail, getting the rings there
and hitting the spring to launch across the gap.

Adjust your fall so you land before or just on the first ring of the following
grouping, and Light Dash that. (You'll probably want to continue your momentum
running toward the right a bit to avoid being shot by the bot, even though
that will only take away a ring or two at worst). Congrats, you're staring at
a combo score of somewhere between 16,900 and 25,000. Even more if you use the
tricks/glitches mentioned below.

Otherwise, it's pretty much a Speed-Run through the level. There are two short
ring lines following the wind grind you can't Light Dash for some reason, the
ones proceeding and following the long one the game directly tells you about
(to get to the suspended rope.) Most every other one on your path will work
fine, though. Smack both crabs instead of one when you go for the 1up and
Trick Ring; if you're lucky, that box on that bridge exploding will count
towards a combo for you. Hit the checkpoint, Light Dash the small line, run up
the wall, into the Crab Cavern, skip the first dash pad in there and Light
Dash that ring line, run out, ramp, spring globe, Trick Ring, ta daa.

I've scored as high as 69k-ish before, and I'm sure people out there can do
better than that. You can get a LOT more rings taking a more normal route
(such as not going up to the Crab Cavern), but they add about an extra minute
to your time, and I've generally not found them to be worth it.

This may or may not be fixed in the final version, but sometimes if you
repeatedly tap the attack button (and waggle the Left Stick to some degree,
but be careful about when the Light Dash ends), you get multiple credits for
the same ring line. This is mostly based on luck, and seems to be a tiny
glitch more than anything. (You're quickly starting a new Light Dash in the
gap between actually hitting the rings, and that's a small gap.)

There's also one quirk about how Light Dashes work in at least this demo: You
can get multiple credits for the same line if you break it up. This requires a
little practice and familiarity with the controls (so you don't go running off
of things), but basically, run into the middle of a Ring Line, and dash it in
one direction. Turn around, and dash the remaining half in the other
direction. Double credit. This does eat up time and makes for a dash to the
next actual line, but you could really extend out the initial segment into a
crazy score.

#07# [Differences from the TGS Demo:]
As I mentioned above, this "Bringing it Home" demo differs from the demo shown
at TGS, and in general similar demos of the game at other trade shows and
gaming events. (This does not include obvious beta-to-final aspects, like the
1up icon changing from red to yellow, or the missing 1up chime, merely stuff
that was omitted from the Xbox Live version of the demo.)

-There's no choice between Sonic (in Kingdom Valley) and Silver (in
 Crisis City), only Sonic is available.
-The stage Sonic plays (Kingdom Valley), nor the Mission ("Head for a Goal
 Ring!") are ever actually mentioned. That spot of the Score Tally Screen is
 simply blank.
-The enemy count has been significantly reduced. It's possible this is an
 early mission arrangement, and the groupings they're showing at the trade
 shows are for the harder missions.
-The enemies don't take as many hits to defeat.
-The circle of rings and eagle to the "Mach Speed" segment were taken out, and
 the Goal Ring was placed directly in the stage at that point.
-Because of the removed "Mach Speed" segment, presumably the score
 requirements to get a high rank were reduced.

#08# [Differences compared to the E3 Demo:]
This won't be a complete list, but if you're curious, most of the above
elements apply, and also:

-The HUD was more naturally mirrored on the top of the screen at two bars
 each, instead of being huddled over to the left.
-No Chaos Gauge in the E3 version.
-Different Music.
-The stage was shown with a bright, sunny sky at E3, but a darker,
 cloud-covered sky in the "Bringing it Home" TGS demo. One feature of the new
 game is that the time (and possibly weather) can change in-level in real
 time, so it's possible that both are correct, and take place during different
-Many of the trickier sections of the levels featured a pad of wind to keep
 the player from dying, such as the part where you Light Dash over a gap. Why
 this was removed from the TGS demo (or at least the "Bringing it Home"
 version), I'm unsure.
-The first ? Marker was initially off to the right, instead of being right in
 the way.
-The first few dash ramps didn't cut to a cinematic view of your jump.
-No small line of rings after the second dash ramp leading to the island.
-Sonic's "Yahoo" (if he even said it) was not displayed on-screen in text, and
 the Trick Ring didn't grant a score bonus, let alone show it and a combo
 description on-screen.
-Item bubbles hit don't show the icon at the bottom.
-The text for tutorials was much larger, and shown in a transparent gray box
 with no edging. The text was obviously under development as well, "Press X
 before the ring for light dash." There was no voicing.
-The 1up chime was the one used in more recent Sonic games. It's missing in
 the TGS demo, and is replaced by a new chime in the final game.
-The 1up icon was red at E3, versus the yellow in the "Bringing it Home" TGS
-The small ripple/shockwave of energy from Sonic's Bounce Attack hitting the
 ground was all blue, instead of the outer ring being white.
-The trick ring right before the Goal Ring/eagle area doesn't show the
 cinematic view.
-I can't comment much about the rest because I did not personally play version
 of the demo shown at TGS (only the Bringing it Home version), but in the
 GameTrailers video demonstrating a run through, he remarks that the midway
 portion of the "Mach Speed" area is someone empty and unfinished. This was
 most likely altered by the TGS demo.
-The Score Tally lists "RING", which is a mistake they've been making since
 Sonic 1. (I suppose it makes more sense to the Japanese developers?) This was
 changed to "RINGS" in the TGS version's score tally.

#09# [Glitches:]

Other than the occasional one-off geometry goofs (and some unpredictable
issues with the spindash shooting you through things), there are a few issues
that can be recreated fairly reliably. You probably won't run into or notice
most of these until you specifically look for them, and many of them exist
simply because this is a pre-release demo, not a finalized game.

-Sometimes if you repeatedly tap the attack button, you can get multiple
 credits for the same ring line. It won't be excessive, but for example, the
 initial 16,900 point combo can turn out as 25,000 this way, sometimes. This
 is explained more in the Score-Run section.
-The title screen menu (most likely a temporary demo inclusion) doesn't seem
 properly rigged for the control stick, and changes between the options too
 fast. The D-Pad functions just fine, however, and the only other option other
 than "Start Demo" is "Quit."
-If you hit A or Start too quickly, the "Press Start" text may show back up.
 It still functions normally.
-Occasionally the demo will start running at an insanely slow speed. It's not
 clear what causes this, but it might be more likely if you hammer your way
 through the first menu into the demo, and hold up or other directions going
 in. It probably tries to start moving Sonic before everything's ready every
 once in a while. The slowdown may increase or decrease slightly if you
 continue to play this, and you can beat the level normally, but take too long
 and it's possible your 360 could lock up. (I've only had that happen once,
-Simple S-Ranks: I've found at least two different ways to S-Rank without...
 S-Ranking. The first is easiest; get to the goal ring (or any spot, really),
 park yourself where you won't be hit by any stray shots, and wait out the
 timer until it maxes out at 99'99"999. S-Rank. Alternatively, hit the
 continue point nearest to the Goal Ring. Kill yourself, and make sure that
 when you restart not to touch or kill anything that will give you score. And
 make sure you wait out the Time Bonus. Finish with a score of 0, and... you
 S-Rank. Please note that the latter will be harder to attempt in the final
 version of the level, since there will be a "Mach Speed" section before the
 Goal Ring. Both are likely to be fixed, at any rate.
-Running on certain stone floors will result in little bits of grass still
 shooting up. Gasp, game breaking indeed! Hopefully it will be fixed in the
 final revision, though.
-Just after the rope (and spring) sequence following the bridge you smash with
 a flying bot, if you turn around and homing attack the last spring again,
 then hold forward toward the wall, it has a tendency to shoot you through.
 Just bad luck/geometry, this is easily avoidable by not aiming Sonic directly
 at a wall at high speed. (Even if you hit the spring, you can still just veer
 slightly to the right.) I think he'd appreciate that, anyway.
-On the bridge that collapses with a ring line to a 1up, if you use the spring
 instead, you can see Sonic clips through the ground in front of it a little
 when he falls down to hit it. You don't go through, though; I've never died
 from this once in all my playthroughs.
-Very rarely (and I do mean rarely) the Trick counter has trouble figuring out
 the combinations of combos and rewards to give you. There is one place where
 this can be replicated reliably. Take the Red Missile Bot route (the first
 major branch to the right), the eagle, and follow the path normally to the
 second eagle that drops you off high up on a gray rock outcropping, right by
 a checkpoint and a small line of rings. Tag the checkpoint, and if you've
 already got a combo going, wait it out for a few seconds or take a dive.
 You'll want to make a single combo out of these events: Light Dash the small
 string of rings in front of you, hit the bumper, Homing Attack into the
 Trick Ring. Avoid hitting any of the Red Crab Bots, and directly attacked the
 Cloaked Crab Bot in the back of the grouping. (Using a Bounce Attack is the
 easiest way to keep from targeting the wrong thing.) If you did it right, you
 will receive a lengthy negative Trick score accompanied by "RADICAL!", and
 your score will max out. Your rings will show up fine, but once you actually
 beat the level (without dying from here on out, obviously), they'll display
 as the maxed out, along with almost every other figure relating to score or
 rings. Amusingly, the game can visibly reward you more rings for your rank
 than it can actually display in your stock.
 You can see a video of this glitch here:

#10# [Tutorial Voices:]

Both Sonic and an unknown Narrator will provide information on the controls
and game mechanics, and Sonic will blurt out a quip in relation to some
specific events, like Trick Rings or successful use of Exploding Boxes to
destroy multiple foes. I've listed them here because someone, somewhere may
find it useful. Somehow.

When this text (primarily the Narrator) refers to the button, that button is
generally a colored icon, and will be different in the PS3 version of the
game, for obvious reasons.

-"While jumping, press the A button to perform a homing attack."
-"If you do a homing attack on the round part of this statue, it will create a
  path of wind."
-"Do a homing attack on that rope. 
  It should [fling/whip] you high into the air."*
-"When you are near a trail of rings, you can do a light dash by pressing the
  X button."**
-"While running, hold the X button and release after a while to perform a
  sliding attack."
-"Grab onto the eagle to take a shortcut."

*The voice says "fling", the text says "whip". Sometimes early text isn't
 modified to match changes made during voice acting sessions. They probably
 decided "fling" was a more neutral, less threatening word than "whip."

**This quip is peculiar, because it isn't triggered by collision with a
  visible ? icon like the others. It's quietly triggered by a much wider area.

-"Piece of cake!
  No sweat."
-"Let's try going up."
-"Gotta be careful not to fall off here."
-"Yes! I knew it."

#11# [Ranking Breakdown:]
These are the scores required for the various letter grades available, and the
ring reward for each letter grade. This will not look so hot if you aren't
viewing this FAQ in a fixed-width font.

Rank  Score Req  Ring Reward
----  ---------  -----------
   S     40,000        3,000
   A     30,000        2,000
   B     20,000        1,000
   C     10,000          500
   D          1          200 

As mentioned in the Glitches section below, a perfect score of 0 seems to
result in an S Rank. This will probably be changed to a D Rank in the final
game, but there is the vague chance it was intentional. I sincerely doubt it,

#12# [Demo Specifics:]


Sonic The Hedgehog redefines his trademark speed for the most intense,
high-velocity adventure yet!

314 MB

#13# [Demo-Hacked Spoilers:]

It was discovered by several sites that the demo contained left-over text and
possibly other materials from the full game, including all of the helper
characters, their moves, purchasable move upgrades, dialogue, level names,
et cetera. Much of the content can be considered a spoiler, and for this
reason, I will not be listing it here and I recommend you do not look it up.
I'm simply bringing this up for completion reasons, so people don't feel the
need to contact me about it.

#14# [Contact the Author:]

If you wish to contact me, first, make sure it's not about any of the

-Spam (like spammers care)
-Sonic Hatred (like the haters care)
-Author Hatred (because I won't care)
-Posting your Times/Scores (because this is a FAQ, not a Leaderboard)

If you still have an applicable e-mail, you can contact me at
sonicnextdemofaq/at/mooglecavern/dawt/com . That's annoying, I know, but you
can thank spammers for that. It should be obvious what you need to replace