Catapults (カタパルト,Kataparuto?), also called as Ramps and Jump Panels, are another variations of Springs. Catapults are first seen in the 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, as they have flat plate on the bottom, while on the plate is another one, that is colored red and white.
Between the plates is small spring set to make above plate bouncy. These plates are most of the time seen on the edges of small or large cliffs, while even hanging on cliffs as the lateral rod behind two plates is hanging the object on near edge. Looking from the side of the small rod can be notice a familiar symbol on it as well.
While it functions more differently than normal Springs, Catapults are still able to bounce its user, but only to the different direction. The player is able to be launched far or short distance depending on, if the player is running. If the player stops and jumps directly to the Catapult, it only launches poorly high.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Catapults are seen to be featured at Chemical Plant Zone, Aquatic Ruin Zone and Mystic Cave Zone. While running towards the catapult, the player flies straight ahead without have to stop or jump on it. The closer the player gets to the end of the catapult, the further he/she bounces. If the player bounces on a catapult at one point, it also gains more bounce power.
In Aquatic Ruin Zone, Catapults are seen to be placed either on top of loops, wide inconstant places or underwater sections, where they are able to bounce the player really high enough to dive out the underwater section to the soil.
Completely different looking and with functioning Catapults are seen in Tails' Skypatrol, in which they have four blue blocks with white right arrows and single handle on them. When the player touches the handle, Tails will got fly forward at high speed, similar to Dash Panels.
Sonic Pocket Adventure
Many years later, traditional catapults make another appearance only in Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure and where they can only be found at Aquatic Relix. Catapults function identically like they did in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but they are much more rare objects than in previous appearances.
In Sonic Runners, Catapults appear as regular objects in the game where they are named Jump Panels. Like in previous games, Catapults are placed on the right edges of the pathways. the player has to tap the screen at the right time to make them launch the playable character. Occasional times, Catapults can be used to reach lines of Crystals or higher pathways.
In the instruction manual for PC version of Sonic Generations, both Catapults and Ramps are listed and called as Ramps in their item description. While having a slightly similar role in the game, both Catapults and Ramps function differently than it is entrusted to.