Like many of us, I grew up playing Sonic on the Genesis. One day, my dad brought home a copy of Sonic 3, which I didn't know existed until then. When I started playing, I was a little confused by the menu. What are all these things supposed to be, I wondered? I soon figured out that there were multiple starting zones—most of them would start me in Angel Island Zone, but one or two of them would start me in Launch Base Zone instead, which looked pretty cool. Huh, I wonder what "CLEAR" means? Oh, it just makes text appear on the screen and plays some neat music. I didn't notice the arrows, so it never occurred to me to press Up or Down—something tells me I wouldn't have had an easy time in Carnival Night Zone. I played Launch Base more than I did Angel Island, initially. Partially because Launch Base Zone looked cooler, but also because my first time playing AIZ ended with me spending a bit too long in the pool of water near the beginning. Something about the appearance of the miniboss when it first shows up also kind of looked...unsettling, in a way I can't really describe. So I wasn't too fond of playing that level. Then one day I was messing around in the menus some more, and...well, I still didn't realize what a save system in a video game was. I was just messing around in the menu, trying to figure out what stuff did, and...well, you already know where this is going. Let's just say I experienced Dr. Robotnik's brand of destruction firsthand. This was when I started actually playing Angel Island Zone for real. I wasn't even thinking about completing it—to that day I'd never played a level in Sonic 3 to its end, so I wasn't sure what I was expecting to eventually encounter. And...whoa! There's a giant plane or something chasing me, trying to drop bags filled with something on me! That was unlike anything I'd seen in a Sonic game before. Then I went into some woods and...is that a police car? That's weird. Now...oh cool, I'm fighting Dr. Robotnik! I think I'm at the end of the zone! I don't remember the boss giving me any trouble. Then...oh look, it's the girl from the beginning of the game! (I know I'm not the only one who thought that.) As you might expect, I was intimidated by the next level. But I eventually got used to the beginning area. The alcove with the water shield early on was a welcome find. Then before long, I was out of the water, and actually found the water pretty easy to avoid. The miniboss gave me a bit of trouble though. The moving wall in Act 2 freaked me out somewhat, but it wasn't a big deal. Then, I was blown away. Act 2 looked so cool compared to Act 1. The music was amazing, and added so much to the feel of the level. The farthest I ended up getting was the boss at the end of Marble Garden Zone. I seem to remember dying when I fell off of Tails, but since that doesn't happen, I think it was just Robotnik killing me. I always thought it was a really cool boss fight though. Humorously, I assumed that the developers made a huge oversight: if you were playing as Sonic, without Tails, it would be impossible to beat the game because you'd just die when Robotnik destroyed the ground. As for Marble Garden Zone itself, I didn't really like it that much; the scenery was a little boring, the spinning top things were weird and annoying, and I didn't really like all the earthquakes, especially the one at the end where the ceiling threatens to crush you. Eventually, I was at the video game store with my dad one day, and I didn't see any games that really piqued my interest. Then I noticed Sonic 3, and it hit me: if I choose that game and my dad buys it again, I'll have a fresh copy with the "clear" save still there. (I had learned from the manual that you could use it to start from any level.) I explained to my dad why I wanted it, and he suggested we have them test it on one of the consoles in the store first, to make sure it does in fact come with that file. I didn't see the need because the first one did; why wouldn't this one? But I did anyway and...yep, there it is. Sold. I did notice that the other saves were a bit different than I remembered. Getting a second copy had another benefit as well: at that point, I had Sonic & Knuckles, and whenever I tried to lock on Sonic 3, it would just glitch out and crash. (Speaking of crashing, was anyone else fascinated as a kid by the error messages that appeared in Sonic 1?) This new copy worked fine with S&K. I know now, of course, that a new copy of Sonic 3 comes with blank save data—these were undoubtedly used copies, still with the previous owners' save files on them. Anyone else play a used copy as a kid and relate?