June 23, 2011

Why Carnival Night Zone Act 2 is the Greatest Troll Level in ALL of Video Games

So I'm playing through Sonic 3 & Knuckles for Sonic's 20th Anniversary, right? And I'm in Carnival Night Zone Act 2. I'm in this level having tons of fun. It took me 8 minutes to complete, not because the of that damn barrel, but because the level is actually really fucking fun.

And what makes this level so much fun? You might ask...

Well, it's the physics. You have the ball bumpers, the grounded bumpers, the bumper shelled badnik, the balloons, the speed, the anti-gravity platforms, the barrels... there are too many objects that just let you do too many stunts in this level.

But to the point... why is this level the Greatest Troll Level in ALL of Video Games?

Because of that infamous barrel that you know you couldn't pass when you were a kid.

Now here's the thing... it's not that barrel alone that makes it the Greatest Troll Level in ALL of video games, although that barrel alone definitely puts Carnival Night Zone up there. What really makes Carnival Night Zone Act 2 the Greatest Troll Level in ALL of Video Games is the fact that there are a number of barrels quite like the  one that you couldn't pass when you were a kid. The physics of the barrel itself has it such that you can bounce on it right and gain extra height in your jump when you bounce on it correctly. These barrels are found throughout the level, and the crazy thing is, there are certain parts of the level, especially in Act 2, where you need the barrel to go upwards. Without pressing up or down, you can bounce on the barrel, gain height, and boom, you can continue the level from there.

More than likely, you've encountered at least one of these barrels before the "impossible" one, and you probably played with it/them because they were fun. You pretty much figured out how the barrel works (barring the up and down button presses), and you go on about your day night, fairly confident in yourself and your ability to pass the level.

And then you get there... that impassible barrel that you don't know is impassible yet. You bounce on it, routinely at this point, thinking that you're going to be able to go down and continue. And it just doesn't quite get low enough. But you've played with the barrel just enough that you are absolutely sure that you can pass through.

But you don't pass through. Tails glitches through, though, and you think to yourself, Maybe I can glitch through. 99,999 times out of 100,000, you can't. And you don't. And that time started to count down. And Tails mocks you with every jump. He might even fly back up to you to revel in your misery. And then he might just glitch back down there just to ice the cake. And then the time runs out.

Repeat the contents of that last two paragraphs until you finally decide that Sega fucked up, and you can't pass it.

Years later, your heart breaks due to what you find out... a little something about pressing up and down... something that wasn't in the instruction manual that you read more than any textbook due to this level... something that wasn't even remotely implied within the level... something, in fact, that level anti-implied with the physics of the barrel itself.

You finally pass the barrel, and you can finally complete that part of your childhood.

Essentially, the game fucking lied to you, and used one of the many things that made those Sonic games so great (its physics) to deliver the lie. 

And that's why Carnival Night Act 2 is the Greatest Troll  Level in ALL of Video Games...


  1. nearby 15 years grabbing the bubble power and bouncing like an epileptic to reach ice cape zone (i thought i had discovered how to pass)! and today i found this...