Asteroid Coaster (アステロイドコースター Asuteroidokōsutā?) is the sixth Area of Sonic Colors. Asteroid Coaster takes place in an asteroid field with toxic green acid pools, several gravity-defying, high-speed roller coasters (hence the name) and even several Saturn-like metal planets.
The coaster has a prehistoric theme, with the track made from bone-shaped pieces, and various fossils decorating the surrounding asteroids. The coasters have suicidal tendencies, and frequently launch themselves into pits, so the player should be ready to jump out at all times. The Purple Wisp is unlocked by completing Act 1 in the Wii version and the Violet Wisp is unlocked by entering the zone for the first time in the DS version. The Egg Pawns in this stage are dressed as club-wielding cavemen to fit with the prehistoric theme.
Acts (Wii version)
Sonic starts off emerging from a giant asteroid onboard a coaster. There are Rings that can be grabbed by jumping at the right timing. Shortly afterwards he must jump through some rainbow rings to prevent being thrown into a pit. The Purple Wisp is then introduced and Sonic uses this to chomp his way through obstacles. A secret path can be exploited by breaking the obstacles to the right at the end of the path.
Sonic must then negotiate gaps leading down to pools of green sludge before being catapulted into another coaster. Another pit is coming up, but luckily there is another train to the right which Sonic can jump onto to escape death. There are two paths that can be taken after jumping through the booster rings, either the fans or using the Homing Attack on the Egg Pawns on a nearby platform. After exploring the Nega-Wisp Factory once again, he is thrown outside where he must Homing Attack some asteroids to keep going before eventually reaching the Goal Ring. During this section there is a part involving some platforms and gravity that inverts above a certain height.
In this Act Sonic makes his way up a kind of tower. There are sections of wall here which will push Sonic off of certain platforms, either individually or in pairs if he stays on them for too long so he has to move quickly. Some act as platforms which must be carefully jumped on to progress. The Purple Wisp reappears in this Act. After leaving the tower there is another section involving being launched between various objects, during which Sonic must be ready to Homing Attack springs and asteroids. There will then be some more pusher walls and confusing gravity flips before reaching the Goal Ring.
This Act has Sonic starting off close enough for the Goal Ring to be heard, but he must go out of his way in order to reach it. There are numerous Egg Pawns that must be defeated first without any Rings, so take care. Sonic will come to a section with a yellow tri-spring. The stomp action must be used with care to avoid being pushed off by the pusher walls. A switch at the other end will reveal a Pink and a Blue Wisp Capsule. The Blue Wisp is unnecessary, but the Pink Wisp can be used to reach an area above with an extra life and can also be used to exit the area, collecting all the Blue Rings along the way for extra points. Sonic can then make his way to the Goal Ring with the aid of the Wisps, or optionally reach secret areas by going back to the start and then using Wisps to obtain rings and points.
This short Act is a simple race around a planet-like object with some Moto Bugs. A switch on the outside of the track will activate the Goal Ring. This Act is the shortest of the stage and is purely 3D. There are no Wisps other than White Wisps from destroying the Motobugs.
Another short Act which takes place indoors, Sonic must use switches to rotate scorching hot barriers like those found in Sweet Mountain. The Cyan and Purple Wisps must be used to progress here. The Goal Ring is reached upon using Purple Frenzy to destroy some enemies and boxes at the end of the act.
This Act starts off similarly to Act 1, only this time the system of tracks is much more complex with several parallel trains to jump onto instead. Rainbow rings can be jumped through to access alternate paths. Eventually, Sonic finds himself in freefall navigating through spiked balls and collecting Rings on the way down. The indoor section coming afterwards has platforms helping Sonic up, but there are spikes at the top so he must be ready to step off. There are strange parts involving water suspended in mid-air which must be passed through, which can be done with the aid of Purple Wisps. A 3D section ahead contains many Badniks, but once again the Purple Wisp can enable Sonic to deal with them with ease.
Towards the Act's end, a strange enemy is encountered—a robot which can generate spatial rifts around it. To defeat it, Sonic must jump away from the rift and use the Homing Attack at the right time to get through gaps in the shield surrounding it. The robot takes three hits to defeat and the shield rotates faster with each hit, making it more difficult to hit. Once it is destroyed, a trap door opens up which Sonic can fall through, leading to the Goal Ring and ending the Act.
Acts (DS Version)
The DS version of Asteroid Coaster looks very different to the Wii version. Firstly, the fact that it is set in the middle of space is less obvious and it has a more rocky feel. There are no parts in which you are in space with a bunch of asteroids; controversially, it seems to have a more steel-based design than rock. This zone features the Violet Wisp, which can suck up almost all objects except walls and objects which the Violet Void can use (such as fans). The Cyan Wisp also appears, however, there are not as many shortcuts it enables you to go and in some cases the Violet Void route is actually faster. Asteroid Coaster for the DS also features roller coasters in the shape of dragon skulls, however they are more limited due to the 2D gameplay. Green acid also appears in chunks and if Sonic touches the acid he loses a life regardless of rings.
Act 2 is the same as Act 1 in design, however, there are more sections which use the Violet Void and other gimmicks. One added gimmick is the use of moving skulls on board the roller coaster. The first time this appears, there is one skull which moves between the three cars. It will slow down before striking and Sonic should move to a car it is not attacking. The second time this happens it is exactly the same, only this time there are two skulls. There are also sections in which a giant skull chases Sonic, killing him if touched. Such sections require you to boost out of the way, which is why a capsule containing a White Wisp will appear before this gimmick starts. Be careful during these sections as there are parts where you must slide, and this catches people off guard. There are also numerous sections which use the Violet Void. In such sections you must pilot the Violet Void around areas with lots of acid, and this can be frustrating due to the Violet Void's obnoxious handling.
Frigate Skullian is similar to Frigate Orcan from Starlight Carnival but upgraded. Frigate Skullian differs from its predecessor because it is considerably larger than Frigate Orcan, having two machine guns and two eyes. It has the ability of teleportation and is able to transport asteroids out of the riffs. After taking a few blows the warship's covering reveals twelve robots powering the vessel (as opposed to Orcan's six), along with showing the face of the ship, which is rather menacing compared to Frigate Orcan's sad-looking appearance. While damaged, the machine will start smoking; the eyes on its back will glow red as the ship tries harder to defeat Sonic. After taking the final attack, it explodes, drops a cargo of boxes filled with Rings, Rings pop out of the vessel itself and then finally explodes with a fiery blast.
Frigate Skullian is vulnerable to the effect of Orange Wisps. During the 2D sections, if Sonic transforms into the Orange Rocket while he is underneath the ship, he can launch himself into its undercarriage, dealing massive damage.
Although hitting any part of the ship deals damage, hitting a part that has already been destroyed does not grant any points to the player. Care has to be taken not to hit the same part more than once when attempting to achieve an S rank.
Frigate Skullian is considerably smaller in the Nintendo DS version. Also, unlike the Wii version, Frigate Skullian lugs 4 huge boxes around and in contrast to the Wii version, a mechanical tentacle extends from its undercarriage, attracting asteroids into a coating around an orb, it then rises the tentacle and slams in down to create a shock wave. Hitting it will result in the tentacle bouncing around, accidentally hitting one of the cargo boxes and then come down to fire laser from its guns. After hitting the yellow weak spot on its undercarriage, it'll explode.
Occasionally, Eggman will make the following announcements over the loudspeakers:
- "In space, nobody can hear you scream. Except for the person sitting next to you, so please be considerate of others, no one likes a screamer."
- "The Black Hole Parade starts in 5 minutes. Don't miss it! It's so entertaining, that it sucks you right in!"
- "Welcome to the Asteroid Coaster, now with 32% more asteroids."
- "This coaster is not for small children. Or big babies."
- "Welcome to the Asteroid Coaster, accident free for 45 minutes!"
- "Would the owner of a yellow car, license plate 1NOM155, please report to the front gate, your vehicle is in a path of an asteroid and it's about to get smashed.. Oh... er, never mind."
- "Please be sure your safety belt is properly buckled, or you at least have a really good grip on something."
- "Attention, if you find a gold ring, please return to the lost and found. Thank you."
- "Please keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times, because there are tiny asteroids travelling at incredible speeds, hurtling through space. Keeping your hands and feet in the car won't prevent you from being hit, but our lawyers tell us we have to say it anyway."
- "Every visitor in the park gets a free blue hedgehog! If you can catch one, please feel free to bring it home or destroy it. Our choice."
- "Please beware for the spikes on the asteroid coaster! They are sharp! Really! We have to warn people about spikes! Like they won't notice the spikes! I mean, come on! The cars are nothing but spikes! Unbelievable! Wha...! Uh... My... my what is still on?"
- "The space sickness you will eventually get is not the responsibility of Eggman's Incredible Interstellar Amusement Park or its subsidiaries. Send any complaints to the inventor of space. Thank you."
- "Remember to try out one of the new space pops, all the flavor of outer space with only half the radiation."
- With hacks or glitching, players can see that Acts of Asteroid Coaster are actually loaded as part of one single map. Depending on which Act the player chooses to play first (for example, Act 1), any gimmicks such as ramps, rings, Wisp capsules, springs, and enemies are not loaded for any other Acts/segments of the map.
- The beginning section of Act 2 can be seen the background once the player approaches the area where the Goal Ring of Act 1 is located
- When Eggman announces the yellow car, the license plate number, "1NOM155", is a reference to Crazy Taxi's Axel.
- This is the only place in the game besides Game Land where the Sandworm Badnik is seen.
- Eggman tells people to refrain from screaming on the ride because of the person sitting next to them, but the cars are all one-seaters.
- Asteroid Coaster is based off of Eggmanland from Sonic Unleashed. One noticeable concept taken from Eggmanland is the square platforms in the background in 2D sections. When they flash red, they move forward and can knock Sonic off of the 2D plain, costing the player a life.
- At the end of Act 6 there is a mini-boss of anti-gravity ball device (detailed in the Acts section here), which is similar to the Tropical Resort and Planet Wisp bosses. This stage is the only one to feature a mini-boss.
- The music for Act 1 is very similar to the theme of Sky Deck from Sonic Adventure.
- The music is a similar style to Mario Party 8's 'It's a Dead Heat'. However, it could be coincidental due to both tracks using similar instruments.
- Asteroid Coaster and Terminal Velocity are the only areas in Sonic Colors not mentioned in Sonic Generations. The Nintendo 3DS has Tropical Resort as its focused stage and has Aquarium Park and Starlight Carnival as unlockable music. The console version has Planet Wisp as its featured stage and has Sweet Mountain and Tropical Resort as unlockable music.
- Going into a rollercoaster as Super Sonic deactivates the Super State. This forces Sonic to have to collect more Rings if his Ring counter is below fifty, in order to go Super again.
- Eggman announces that "this ride is not safe for small children. Or big babies." This may be a reference to the warning on a flash cartoon entitled Happy Tree Friends. This is likely considering Kenn Navarro and Warren Graff are the writers for both the game and the cartoon.
- While the player can choose to play Asteroid Coaster before Planet Wisp or Aquarium Park in the Wii version, the Nintendo DS version keeps Asteroid Coaster locked until the player beats both levels.
- If Super Sonic mode is turned on, then all levels in the game will feature added springs to help Sonic get through sections where Wisps are mandatory. In the case of Act 3 of this level, a spring is present right by the start of the stage, which can take Sonic to a small side-route, allowing him to clear the level in under 10 seconds.