5. Extra Stages
Extra Stages are unlocked by collecting certain numbers of Red Star Rings that coincide with the amount in the Challenge Missions. Since you'll have to collect all of the RSR's anyway, these missions will act as a sort of bonus for your efforts. Completing all seven gives you a trophy, but you'll want to S Rank them all for the Challenge Missions.
Sonic Forces | S Ranks
Some Extra Stages have Challenge Missions associated with them that require you to beat a stage in a certain amount of time. These stages are already pretty short to begin with, but you'll have to know the stage very well or have some background information to get these times down.
Sonic Forces | Personal Best Times
If you've beaten all seven levels and the trophy isn't popping, replay all seven stages in order. That should fix things and give you the trophy.
Green Hill - Flying Pod
This stage is unlocked once you have collected at least 25 Red Star Rings, and is themed with some flying machines that they copied over from Sonic Generations. These flying pods, once called sprinklers, sprinkle spike balls onto the stage every once in a while. There are only a few that sprinkle rings, but since there are rings everywhere in this game, it's never worth the time to stand by one unless you have absolutely no rings on you. The platforming is easy enough, so the real challenge to the stage is getting used to the spike balls dropping down from above. There's some weird bug with the stage that makes your jumps stop prematurely if you're jumping into a flying pod. This only happens sometimes, so when it does happen, it can really destroy your run of the level.
As you go for 900,000 points and an S Rank (if you don't already have one), you may as well shoot for finishing the level in under 30 seconds for the related challenge. Along with knowing the level, you have to pray the weird jumping glitch doesn't come into play. You should also start boosting after you've hit the spring on the final stretch to save some time, and make sure you jump at the gaps.
Chemical Plant - Bomb Block 2
This stage is unlocked after you have 40 RSR's. This mission uses blocks that explode after a few seconds once you touch them, destroying nearby bomb blocks and other weak blocks. It takes a bit of practice to even get through the stage, especially since there's no way of telling which blocks are stable near the end. The last checkpoint is placed before two long, straight stretches of bomb blocks that lead to two normal blocks placed side-by-side. Only the one on the right is going to survive the explosions, so stand on that one and jump to the last set. The block that survives the explosions in the last set is the one in the top left corner out of a group of three normal blocks. From there, you can jump to the goal, but it doesn't hurt to get a bit of a running start from the far end of the block.
This S Rank also requires 900,000 points, and it should be a lot easier to pull off compared to the first Extra Stage due to not having to avoid spike balls. You should be able to score that high pretty easily, but if not, you can always use a daily bonus or check the playlists for tips. There isn't any time-based challenge related to this mission, so once you have the S Rank, you can leave this level for good.
Metropolis - Laser Cannon 2
The third stage unlocks after collecting 55 RSR's, and is focused on lasers that are shot constantly from little circular machines. Avoiding them is pretty easy, and even if you get hit, you'll very likely be within range of your scattered rings or rings that you just haven't picked up yet. You don't have to complete the level in any specific time frame for a challenge, so once you have an S Rank (900,000 points), you can be done with this stage for good.
Green Hill - Reverse Block 2
Reverse Block 2 unlocks once you have at least 70 RSR's. Reverse blocks can be destroyed by hitting them with a stomp, a slide, or by boosting into them, and will reverse back into existence after a few seconds. Don't worry about going fast your first time through, just use your first attempt to learn the level. You'll have to worry about speed when you want to tackle the challenge to complete the level in less than 35 seconds. Two incredibly helpful level "skips" really reduce your time. The first one you can do is in the first little staircase made of Reverse Blocks; once you're at the same height as the third stair, start boosting and you should land on the ground to the side of some spikes. Jump over them and stand on the far right edge of that same platform, jump in the air to the right, and boost again at the height of your jump. This particular skip lets you completely disregard a rather long stretch of the stage to navigate, and you can jump again after you land to skip over even more stuff. If you want a visual, you can always consult the second playlist at the top of the page. An S Rank, here requires 900,000 points.
Mystic Jungle - Vanish Panel 2
After collecting 85 RSR's, you unlock the Mystic Jungle's Extra Stage. Vanish Panels disappear a few seconds after you touch them for a short while, and you can jump through the thin ones to make your movements through the stage a bit faster. You just need to earn 900,000 points for an S Rank, which is really easy to do.
City - Fire Cannon 2
When you have 100 RSR's, you'll unlock the sixth Extra Stage. There are a bunch of fire cannons all over the place and the time you need to finish the level in is 45 seconds. There are so many things to keep in mind for that challenge that you may as well just check the video included in the playlist link, but there is one very important tip to use in the small underground room with a few small platforms inside. There's a hidden path in the top left corner of the room that you can use to skip a bunch of stuff, and it's practically required to go through there if you want to beat the level in less than 45 seconds. An S Rank, which should be the least of your worries, requires 900,000 points like the rest of these missions have.
Death Egg - Plasma Cannon 2
For this last stage, you need all 120 Red Star Rings available in the base game. By this point, you will have most likely already completed all six Secret Stages, so you should be at least somewhat familiar with Plasma Cannons. You'll practically always get an S Rank by earning 900,000 points, but the real problem is finishing the stage in less than 55 seconds. There aren't really any tricks to the level, since you won't be able to boost at all and your time in the level really depends on how well you know the Plasma Cannons and when they fire.
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