Casino Night Zone

Places 
Casino Night Zone 
Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Casino Night Zone is part of the segmented world of Mobius, taking place in an expansive, glitzy casino city at night. The zone is an electronic mecca filled with gaudy neon signs and decorations; glowing skyscrapers stand in the background, against a black sky filled with twinkling stars. Shimmering street lights can be seen spread out before these towering buildings, whilst much larger, more detailed landmarks covered in signs and patterns are set right in the foreground. The palm trees and shrubs of previous zones are replaced with neon imitations, electricity flowing steadily through them, producing a soft pulsing effect. Even the ground Sonic races across flickers electronically.

The zone often encourages rapid movement, and features huge, spring-loaded plungers that fire Sonic off into expansive rooms and gargantuan pinball tables filled with bumpers and springs, sending him on a twisting, break-neck trajectory through the level. Spinning treadmills float in the sky, either speeding Sonic up further or slowing him to a crawl. Massive slot machines are found in the zone, allowing the player to gamble their rings in the hope of gaining more, as well as elevators that allow for speedy vertical transport and huge moving blocks that funnel the player into various paths, most of them filled with enemies or spikes. There’s also a notable amount of secret rooms containing 1-ups that can be accessed by hopping through invisible openings in the walls.

It’s not surprising that similar night-time casino levels regularly show up in other Sonic titles, given the strength of the concept in terms of both gameplay and identity, as it plays to Sonic’s strengths as a character that shoots through levels at the speed of sound, whilst also presenting a very different aesthetic when compared to the typical levels of a Mario game. Springyard Zone in the original Sonic the Hedgehog could be viewed as a progenitor to this level, although it was Casino Night Zone that really presented the concept in a less abstract and more relatable manner, and the theme will doubtlessly continue to show up in future instalments of the series for years to come.

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