Low score attack: Being pointless (literally)

Low Score - Low score attack: Being pointless (literally)

Submitted by SadisticMystic

Normally, when you think of scores in games, you like getting high scores. Except in games like golf, where low scores are good. But have you ever tried going for low scores in a game where they're so obviously not the goal, like this one? You have to be inventive to come up with ways to get around as many points as you can, while the game is trying to allure you with paths that seem so obvious--but give you high scores. (Of course to give low scoring a point, there's one rule that needs to be added: the score must be achieved in one continuous run, so that you can't hit the last checkpoint and simply die to start there with a fresh 0. If you die after a checkpoint, you must choose Restart from the pause menu to go all the way back to the beginning.)

Metal Harbor is a prime example of that. In this introduction to playing for low score, this level that seems linear and simple actually has more to it, but you never really think about it--until you're presented with an unorthodox objective. You can minimize your score here all the way down to the ultimate 0, and if that seems unbelievable to you then just read my guide (which was first written over two years ago), play along, and see for yourself.

Begin by simply running forward. There are no points to be had until the four rings after the loop.

These rings are on the left side, so dodge them simply by running right. Continue to the blast panel, and take the low road to bounce up to the next platform.

When you come to the first Light-Dash chain of rings, it's easy to avoid. Run under it and take the springs up. Blast forward so you don't keep bouncing off the same spring.

Now just run. You'll cross a checkpoint and then bounce through the springs.

Welcome to Obstacle #1. You face a series of enemies over an abyss, where the other side is at a higher elevation, and must score no points.

You could try spin-dashing, jumping at the very end, and hoping to land on the other side. Unfortunately, on its own, this approach requires that you attack one enemy (for 100 points). There's a trick involved for the 0-point solution.

Look at the upper-right corner of the platform you're on. See that red box?

Those last four words should have given away the answer to about half of you. For the rest, here's the explanation. Stand on the box. You're now three feet off the ground. Then do the Spindash-Jump as normal, and use blast attack at the end (but make sure you don't hit that enemy). The peak of your jump will be three feet higher, meaning you get more distance before falling to ground level...

...Just enough distance to land on the other side without incident.

However, you land right in the presence of Obstacle #2. Another chasm, with 19 rings to be Light-Dashed across, and this time the other side is at an even higher altitude.

The hint for Obstacle #2? Try retracing the steps of your first Metal Harbor run.

This platform is where the Level Upgrade was found. To get it, go up that pulley in the upper-left.

And now that you're up here, time for the trick. Use the bounce attack, and try to land on the platform that's covering up this hole you just ascended through.

Now, at this point, the camera remains in the same place it was before you bounced up, so the view of Sonic will actually be obstructed by the platform he's standing on. But you can still see the shadow. Tap Up on the stick to face forward, Spin Dash, and jump where the platform ends. Finish off the jump with a blast attack. You're way up in the air, so landing on the ship on the other side should be no problem.

One word of caution: Be careful crossing the ship. You should have 0 rings at this point, and the last thing you need is to have those last two stunning maneuvers go to waste just because a simple airplane drops a bomb on your head. At the end, you see obstacle #3: Another Light-Dash chain, this time 26 rings. There are TWO ways around it.

The first is to walk off the edge, just to the left or right of the rings. You'll see a rocket. I wonder where it leads?

The other technique is to bounce up to the Mystic Shrine. Play the Mystic Melody, and continue through the platforms as though you were playing mission 3. But once you land on the final platform, rather than get the Chao (which has been replaced by a 1-up, worth 200 points), face right and Spin Dash. You can make the walkways with ease.

Run through the checkpoint, jump across the 90º turn without getting any of the ten rings there, and keep going forward. After a lot of running, you'll arrive at Obstacle #4. A low-hanging barrier. You can somersault under, but doing so gives you 200 points. What to do?

Look to your left. You'll see a small platform moving back and forth. On the front half of the platform is a red box. I wonder what that means?

Jump on the platform, then move up to the box when it stops moving. As the platform moves forward, charge up a Spin Dash (make sure it doesn't charge long enough to become a Light Attack), and once it comes to a stop, release B. Jump immediately, and hopefully you did so before just shooting off into the water.

Now that you're in the air, it's time for a tricky move. You want to go forward, and AS SOON as you go past the back edge of the "pulley cage", move right and attempt to do a U-turn. Blast attack backwards...

...Congratulations! You just found the backdoor entrance into the cage, good for 0 points!

Take the pulley up, and it's not long before Obstacle #5. It seems the same as #4, but the somersault is only 100 points.

There's the same red box here, but it moves faster this time. You could play #5 exactly the same way (find the backdoor entrance), but in this case there's a safer solution.

Stand on the box, but this time face LEFT. Spin-dash and jump as usual, but no tricky moves this time. Just hold the control stick up-left.

You can shoot up right through the floor!

In this case, you run right into a set of blast pads, then a loop. Don't worry that you're going at such a high speed...there are no points to be had here.

Jump a gap, then you come to Obstacle #6. The traditional 100-point somersault barrier. At this point, it should be considered a non-obstacle. Take the red box, and you don't even need to do the U-turn. Just land past the barrier.

Continuing on, here's #7 right away. It looks like #1, except it's shorter, and there's no longer a disadvantage in elevation. There are no red boxes here, but you don't need one. Spin Dash, jump, and there's no need even for the blast attack. Make sure you don't land too fast, though, or you barrel into the 10-ring box up ahead.

Cross the checkpoint and hit the rocket. You're almost done!

The missile will be launched in 15 seconds, but that's plenty of time. Run up, and don't hit the spring just yet. Wait for the timer to count down below 1, then hit it. No bonus!

From here on, it's cake. Hold B down during the boardslide so you can see upcoming icons, then steer to avoid them. After you've passed four boxes, move either left or right, because the center has rings.

Now all you have to do to get 0 points is run out the clock so that you don't get a time bonus. I could tell you how the bonus is computed, but all you need to know for this is that a finish time of 9:20.00 or higher will give you 0. So find something to do that will kill 5 or so minutes (unless you just want to watch the screen for that long), then when the clock hits 9:20 all you need to do is run through the loop, blast, goal.

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