So You Decided to Take the Long Way After All, but Still Break 1:40

Non-freestyle time - So You Decided to Take the Long Way After All, but Still Break 1:40

Submitted by SadisticMystic

This is my second guide for Cannon's Core. The first, , is about a way of tricking the game into starting Cannon's Core with a character other than Tails, shortening the level dramatically. Note: at TSC, there's a separate "Freestyle" chart to be used when you perform that trick; it isn't allowed on the primary chart. This guide covers the more "conventional" path, through all five characters, but some of the things to be done are rather unconventional.

A nice target time for this level is 1:40.00--100 seconds. Obviously it's a lot longer in real time, but only the game time matters.


Lock onto one dynamite pack on the left, and one on the right. Residual damage will take out the other two (provided you have the Laser Blaster; go get it if you don't!) and open the door. You can ignore the enemy ahead; go through the next door and fire a shot left to stop time. Under 6 seconds at the switch is good. Pass it and the stopped spikeballs, then fire a shot backwards to hit the time stop switch again. Run through the curve, shoot the stationary hiding Chaos enemy, then go through the door and jump off the balcony.

You'll want to avoid breaking out the hover as long as you can. The camera makes that hard to judge, but keep locking on down the middle until you lock on to the center dynamite pack on the door. If you're lucky, you can lock on to the next time stop switch before the door opens. Hover when you get the lock-on so that you don't fall into the pit, and go through the door when it opens. If you haven't already, stop time at the switch. Proceed through this curve, and turn backwards to lock on again so that you can have time stopped for the next segment. Walk out into space, fall down until you're level with the dynamite, and hover as you lock onto those.

You can even have time stopped long enough to dispose of the Chaos enemy ahead while it's still in its shell. Try jumping and locking on to the robots that are about to fall. Time will restart, so dispose of both robots then run through the door to shoot the next switch. When time stops here, you can finish this section with whatever the time reads, which should be under 15 seconds.

In the last room, shoot the Hornet to get it out of the way, then shoot the switch to keep the clock stopped. Jump on one of the (non)moving platforms, then onto the raised blocks, from there to the platform floating in front of the switch, shoot the switch again for good measure, jump onto the rail of this platform, and jump from there to the top. Now you can fire shots into the door, then after a few shots turn around and shoot the switch to keep the clock stopped. Repeat until you've shot the door 12 times, destroying it.


Clock-wise, this is easily the longest section of the stage. Skip the shielded enemies at the start, and head to the center of the next room to get all four enemies to drop. Dispose of them quickly to open the door. Kill the Hornet, then before you get on the platform, hover a bit past and to the right of it, holding B to lock on. You should pick up at least one lock-on here; release B then hover back to the platform and ride it up.

There are two Chaos enemies that need destroying to unlock the next door. There are a variety of ways to dispose of them: lock on to both then run behind them and shoot once they get out of hiding (slow), let them attack you and shoot them while they're attacking (fast but requires you take a hit), or even get up close to one of them, punch to hit through the shell, and create an explosion that takes out the other one in the process (fast, but very rare). Get rid of them in some way, then go through the door and jump down.

The lock-ons you made before hovering to the rising platform earlier on should, ideally, have taken out the two enemies down here through a wall, opening the door immediately. If there's still an enemy alive, you'll have to destroy it to open the door, wasting time. Continue forward through the curved hall, and jump and hit the switch above the lasers as soon as you can, then pass through now that the lasers are gone, take out the hiding Chaos, and hit the next switch to keep time stopped.

In the acid room, hover forward, using the blocks or even the short walls that denote where blocks will pass through in order to advance. After the drop, you'll want to continue to the vertical-path blocks. Remember that the outer ones move up and the center one moves down. See if the outer block isn't so high that you can't hover onto it, but isn't so low that it wastes time for it to move up to the next door. Let time restart, then ride it up to the next door.

This curved hallway plays a lot like the one in Tails' section. Stop the clock once (it should be under 52 seconds here, but it can be in the 40s), then when you're a good deal past it, turn around and shoot the switch again. Go through the door, and don't hit the checkpoint or else you'll lose time if you die in the remaining part of this section. The clock should be stopped as you start the long fall, and start up when you're partway down. When the clock starts, the lasers reappear, so take care to avoid them as you fall at full speed. At the bottom, there are three time stop switches on the wall. Either lock onto them, or just fall through and have Eggman's machine knock the switch well out of place, then continue forward. Defeat the two hiding Chaos enemies, then continue to the next room and try to hit the switch to keep time stopped before it can restart. Under 0:57 is a fair target.

The last room can end up taking quite a bit of real time, but no game time. Make your way to a raised floor on the side. Jump, and at the peak of the jump fire a volkan cannon shot. You may see it crash into the wall; this is no good. You want it to hover just above the higher floor, and hit the door for a hit. Throw in a shot at the time stop switch every so often so the clock doesn't start running again, and keep trying shots at the door until you hit 12 of them to advance.


Start this section out by trying to glide as soon as you can. Usually you can only make it unobstructed to pillar #2 (ahead and to your left), but occasionally you'll gain control fast enough that you can get to pillar #3 (ahead and to your right). Climb up and glide to pillar #4 which is diagonally across from 3. Hit the time stop switch, but don't drop just yet. There's going to be a trick to the drop.

Displace the switch a bit. Make sure it's lined up between you and the edge of the pillar. Run through it to displace the switch more, and when you reach the edge, do a very short jump followed by a dive off the edge as soon as you can.

At this point, the switch is rocking back and forth, reacting to the displacement you gave it. It'll try to come to a standstill, at which point it starts beeping to give you the duration it stops time for. Now, you're plummeting to the ground at full dive speed. The game only draws objects that are so close to your current position. When you arrive on the ground, the top of pillar #4 is so far away that it's considered out of draw distance. The switch at the top doesn't even exist to the game at that point.

What does this mean? If you can get the switch to disappear out of draw distance before it comes to a complete stop, it never gets a chance to start beeping. That means that unless you bring the switch back within draw distance (or hit another switch later on), the duration of the time stop is permanent, or at least until the end of Rouge's section.

Now that you don't have to worry about the clock, proceed through the stopped waterfall of Kool-Aid. Your clock stoppage might have been for naught, as you're about to find out. Drop down in the next room, and look for the moving black block that can block the passage. If the block is in the way, this is no good. You'd have to hit the switch here and have time restart in order to unclog the path, but it's better for your time to just die and try stopping the clock at a different time so the block isn't in the way.

When you finally get the clock stopped and the block in a good position, head forward, hit the Chaos in the middle, press the switch under it to open the liquid-draining button in the middle of the starting area, and head back out into that room to hit the switch and move on. This segment should take about 10 seconds of game time, bringing you to 1:07 or less.


Dive down into the Kool-Aid, holding left and slightly down, and aim for the time stop switch atop pillar #4. Don't resurface; you're going to take a different path that laughs at everything you normally have to do in this section, and that leaves the "normal" path in the dust. Head forward--not into the lasered-off entrance, but to the entrance below it (the one that Rouge went through). Dive down to the time stop switch just below the moving-block path. You don't actually need to hit the switch, but it saves time. Shoot back up with A, and move into the right corner at the top of the room. It's covered in acid, so you'll take a hit, but that's okay. After being hit, move back to the same corner and press A to shoot up through the ceiling!

Now you're gliding around (not swimming) out of bounds. Glide forward, and eventually, next to a room full of lasers, you'll see a cubical room. Aim for the right side of that room, and enter the wall to go back in bounds and back to being considered as swimming. This is the room that holds the final security door switch, so swim over to the switch and press it.

In order to beat 1:40.00, you need to finish Knuckles' section before 1:34.70. The "system alert" cutscene takes 9 seconds, so hit the switch before 1:25.70 to be on pace for the target.


The relevant part of this stage is extremely short, as like Rouge, Sonic can stop the clock forever. You gain control of Sonic after landing from the overhead rail. Push forward, and shortly after you start to do that, tap B and then A. This will do a somersault jump, which is the fastest way to boost that bit forward into the first switch. Be careful--it takes you a bit beyond that switch and into the air, and you have to land back on the small ledge to avoid dying. If you do, take out the first Chaos enemy in front of you, then return to the switch. Stand on the switch's base and do a single spindash jump across the gap. This will put the switch out of draw distance, and you shouldn't hear beeps starting up again. Now you can do everything else in the stage at your own leisure, as long as you don't hit the remaining switches, and claim your time (preferably under 1:40, or any other target you may have decided on).

There is one thing to watch out for: as you go down the (nonmoving) slide of orange Kool-Aid, the first downslope takes you through a small opening that takes the form of a snake's mouth. If you're not going fast enough through this opening, Sonic will just stop right there...and you'll be unable to control him. He's considered to be underwater, so you have no choice but to wait until drowning and start over from the beginning of segment 5 (or, I guess, you could pause and choose Restart, but that takes you back to the beginning of segment 1, and why would you want to do that?)
Game ID: 4
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