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This is a list of the best ten sonic stages from the four main Genesis/Mega Drive games in my opinion. I also made a video of this on Youtube some months ago. I sort of redefined a zone as a location. This way the Scrap Brain zone and Final zone are one, sky chase and Wing fortress are one, lava reef and hidden palace are one, and the Death Egg zones from 2 and S&K are one.

10) Metropolis – I didn’t really have a reason. I just couldn’t decide what to put here.

9) Launch Base – I like the boss sequence of Sonic 3 version, but the stage can be fairly bland at times so that’s why it is low.

8 ) Sky Chase/Wing Fortress – This stage is here mostly because of the innovation. Fight from on top of a small plane grabbed my interests, and getting through the Wing Fortress requires a bit more strategy than the average level.

7) Green Hill – The first and, perhaps, the most identifiable zone. Alas, it is too short to move higher on the list, as all 3 acts can fly by in about a minute.

6) Starlight – The music is of this zone is well-liked by many, and the smooth gameplay of the stage allows some high-flying antics.

5) Scrap Brain/Final Zone – Here began the tough decisions. Arrival at the Scrap Brain zone always pumps some adrenaline with the knowledge that Robotnik is near. Speed here is not always wise, as it can result in death. The setting and the traps are memorable, along with the scene after the second act. Then there is the Final Zone. Probably the best name for any zone, but far too easy even without rings, for anyone willing to use the cheating corner.

4) Doomsday Zone – A true boss stage. An epic battle between Super Sonic and the creation of Robotnik. Unfortunately, since it is just a boss fight, it doesn’t quite measure to the following zones.

3) Ice Cap – Great level concept, great music. From the first sight of the snowboard, to the sequence after the boss of pummeling through the snow, this stage has “cool” quality.

2) Lava Reef/Hidden Palace – Again great level concept and great music. What sets this stage apart is the storytelling of the Hidden Palace Zone. To fight Knuckles, and finally understand why, then to team up with him is unforgettable. This is the zone that gives meaning to all of the previous zones, battles, and even the previous games.

1) Death Egg – The only zone to actually appear in 2 games (Three if you count the fact that it is visible in Sonic 3 and a battle commences from under it). The site of great battles; of triumph and defeat; of the greatest significance in the four games. The Death Egg Zone may be stolen from Star Wars, but thievery does not take away from the importance of this zone.

I recently made a Sonic Sez health tip video about seizures and epilepsy. I put good amount of effort into the construction of this video, and I had a fair amount of previous knowledge about the subject which I used. I wanted to project that seizures are not only convulsions, and that many of the causes are unknown.  I had a number of special reasons to learn about seizures, and having read a few books about them I probably know more about seizures than any of the other topics I tackled. The effort I put into this was well worth it from an educational and amusement standpoint (I hand made the set for this video). And of course the video isn’t too serious. I think the intro is enticing for anyone who likes sonic, and I still used a silly saying at the end.

The words of Michael Savage led me to creating another sonic sez (says) video. This time I wanted to contribute to the awareness of Autism. Certainly difficult to understand, a lot of people have misconceptions about what autism is. There is no excuse for what Savage said and my video will hopefully inspire some people to learn about autism. It doesn’t have in-depth information, but I think it suffices for a video done on a whim. The definition I use in the video is from http://www.assew.org/what_is_autism.htm. I think i have a little more humor in this one simply because Savage set himself up to be cracked on.

I knew the man went through the dangers of dark land to save the princess.

I knew the hedgehog came to to the Death Egg to stop evil.

It was no lie.

They were real; I believed they were real; I could feel that they were real.

A man did confront Bowser,

A hedgehog did face Robotnik.

Somewhere a plumber became a hero,

Somehow a blue blur became a legend.

They fought desperate battles and defined determination.

I saw the man pound his way through blocks,

I saw the hedgehog cruise through the green hills.

And for it they gained my admiration —

so that now I seek to make my own storyline.

-By Benjamin Collins

I made another sonic the hedgehog health tip video. This one has more information, and I took up my effort to the next level. I continue to try to maintain some humor and some lightheartedness, but the purpose of the video is clear; to educate. I tried to keep the main body, with the explanation, clear and concise. The transcript is as follows:

“Learning to deal with stress is one the best ways to stay healthy. The inability to resolve stress can result in chronic pain or sickness. The body system that controls reactions to stress, the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis is linked to the immune system and a number of other areas that can affect day-to-day well being. The Hypothalamus is located just above the brain stem…The Pituitary Gland is under the Hypothalamus…And the Adrenal Glands are on top of the kidneys. The processes of each organ rely on the others in a cycle. If one portion of the cycle has a problem, the entire cycle may have a problem. Insomnia, Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or other health problems can be the result. Stress management tactics can help avoid such issues.

I recommend expressing healthy anger. Battling Dr. Robotnik is certainly stressful so I often taunt him to make myself feel better. Experts list other ways to deal with stress as well:

 

1) Seeking out others with Similar Issues – My buddy Knux has had a few run-ins with eggman

2) Find a Hobby – Tails likes to work on his airplane, the tornado

3) Use a Mantra – I am the fastest thing alive…I am the fastest thing alive

4) Take a deep breath and count to ten – This works at the worst of times

5) Read a Book – I think a comic would do

6) Space out or use your imagination – (Hum)

7) Make Plans – One day I will defeat Eggman for good

 

Stress doesn’t have to last, Let it stay in the past.”

 

 

 

I recently put a youtube video up based on the short educational segments from the adventures of sonic the hedgehog. I wanted to do some type of informative series, but not boring or completely serious. I decided that I would do a Sonic Sez (says) series on health tips. Often, community service is viewed as something where you go out to a location and commit an onsite effort. However, if people watch the health tips videos, and learn from them, it too can be a form of community service, but at the same time it has the possibility of a far greater outreach. I plan to put forth hours of effort to these videos. The first one, about exercise, is a test, not the most informative and not the most work behind it, but I can see the concept might work. I plan on having some more significant tips in the future. Although I am using a video game character to output my message I certainly don’t think of this as a game. I welcome any comments and/or ideas, and please watch the videos too, the words of sonic the hedgehog have a way of lingering in the mind.  I have to fine tune the idea, but this seems to be an excellent way to reach out to other people and improve my own knowledge at the same time.