There are two types of Special Stage within Chaotix, your usual 'collect 50 rings and jump in the giant ring at the end' deal is still there, but with an additional bonus round accessable by having 20 or more rings, and jumping into one of the giant rings located in hidden areas throughout the stages.
The end-of-stage special stages are finally in a proper, although rather bland, 3D environment, this time throwing you into a hexagonal tube. It's your duty to run through, collecting a certain amount of blue spheres scattered about the stage. You're unable to turn around and backtrack, as you're constantly running forward, however all sides of the tube are accessible for your animal legs. If you reach the checkpoint without the required number of sphere, be prepared to play that section over again until you do. Occasionally the tube will open up into a large plane offering various routes, so keep going. Your rings act as a timer in the stage, counting down at 1 per second, so be sure to pickup all rings dotted about the course to increase your time. The stage is over if you run out of rings, fall out of the course, or, of course, beat it. Nasty spiked balls are also in the way to slow you down, and take away a precious 10 rings. Collect all 6 Chaos Rings, and you can replay the Special Stages in a rather sexy looking wireframe mode.
The other Special Stage is, again, more 3D lark, as you're lobbed into a never-ending free fall universe. Here, you can gain items that make life in the World Entrance infinitely easier, such as an item that makes the Combi-Catcher user controllable, and one that slows down the stage select machine to a fat, purple cat's pace. "Up" and "Down" either increase or decrease the speed of your fall, and those nasty looking blocks with teeth are there to eat away some rings. Go through the stage hitting the many, many, Ring boxes to increase your total amount of golden jewellery. Like the other Special Stage, your time here is controlled by the amount of rings you have, with your total ticking down at 1 ring per second, like a certain glowing hedgehog. Hitting an "Exit" block will cause you to leave the stage, taking any items and rings you may have collected with you.
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