Knuckles the Echidna must find three shards of the Master Emerald, having recently shattered it due a verbal fight with Rouge the Bat and the appearance of Dr. Eggman. The stage takes place in the desert close by where Eggman's secret base is. It is equivalent to Rouge's stage, Dry Lagoon where she also searches for the pieces of the Master Emerald.
The upgrade for this stage is the Mystic Melody, which is required for completing the third mission of most stages. It is hidden in a chamber which can only be accessed by digging through a special wall located above a statue's head. Knuckles must have the digging tool to reach the area.