Containers (コンテナ,Kontena?) are cubic-shaped boxes, which are generally seen set around of stages in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Containers are made of a plurality of different materials, which may or may not be useful and therefore, they come in different variants; there are Wooden Container, which are just breakable objects and more heavy looking ones as Unbreakable Container, which are part of the level as indestructible objects. Others like Steel Container hide item boxes or switches inside them and which the player can take advantage of by breaking them. In numerous games, several containers grant points to the player's score after breaking them.
Containers are first seen in Sonic Adventure 2, where they are separated to five different materialized types of boxes. They have since then become some of the more generally seen objects in the series, with some of the games having introduced new types of containers.
There are several types of Containers that have different purposes in the games. While some of them are broken easily with certain attacks, some of them are more heavy and even impossible to interact with, making them part of the level itself. There are also a few types of containers that serve different purposes or include other level objects, and can be opened by destroying certain amount of enemies (Cases). Containers can also be used against enemies by certain characters, such as Silver the Hedgehog and Sonic the Werehog.
The basis appearance of the containers has remained largely the same since their debut in terms of the simple, cubic-shaped design. However, their superficial appearance has varied since Sonic Adventure 2, where all types of containers were marked with GUN logo. Since Sonic Heroes, the most common superficial appearance of the containers has replaced the GUN logo with a more colorful circle with a five-pointed white star in the middle, while Shadow the Hedgehog have logos of different enemy groups. Sonic Unleashed on the other hand, features simple crates with no unique logo.
Sonic Adventure 2
Containers first appeared as major gameplay objects in Sonic Adventure 2. Most of these boxes have the GUN-logo on them, though in stages with Badniks instead of GUN robots, they have the Eggman Empire-logo on them, and appear in five different variations, each of them serving different purposes in the game. They are commonly placed in rows or other formations in every Action Stage of the game. Some of them hide Item Boxes and other items, while others block obligatory or secret pathways. Breaking a container grants the player 20 points.
Wooden containers are the most basic Containers, and can be broken using any attack (excluding the Homing Attack and Spin Dash). Steel Containers are grey-colored and can only be broken with attacks that have been enhanced by certain Level Up Items. There are also darker, indestructible Containers that cannot be destroyed by any means. There are also Cages, which either block certain pathways or keep Animals imprisoned inside them. The only ways to destroy Cages are by hitting them with Missiles or a Kiki's bombs.
In addition to the regular containers, there are three Chao Containers in almost every Action Stage. These ones contain different items, such as Chao Keys, common local Animals, or rare local Animals.
In Sonic Heroes, the Containers were made more colorful in design. There are five variations of them in this game, and like in Sonic Adventure 2, Containers can hide Item Boxes inside them. However the player does not gain any points after breaking them excessively. Because they usually block pathways, they are often stacked in two-boxed towers, sometimes with different types of Containers added to their mix.
Wooden Containers can, like in previous games, easily be broken with any attack. The hardier Steel Containers can only be broken by Power Type attacks, and the darker Indestructible Containers cannot be broken by any means. There are also Cages which are sometimes flying in mid-air with the aid of a propeller. These Cages often contain a Special Stage Key that is needed to enter the Special Stage, making the Cages the rarest kind of Container in Sonic Heroes.
Sonic Heroes also introduces the Cases. These Containers function as high-tech prisons and have objects inside them, such as switches, springs, Item Boxes etc. The Cases are either guarded by enemies or requires a switch. If the player defeats all enemies around the Case or activates a nearby switch, it will automatically open the Case and its object can be used.
In this game, there are four types of Containers. The first three are the classic Wooden Containers, which have weapons from the Eggman Empire and additional handguns, Steel Containers, which have weapons from either the Eggman Empire or GUN (depending the logo on them), and Unbreakable Containers. The fourth one is a new type of Container called the Special Weapon Container. These ones hold special-class Weapons which are far more powerful and versatile than normal ones.
Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
Containers appeared as one of main level objects in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). The game itself features five different types of Containers. If the player is using Sonic or Shadow, Containers serve the same purpose as they did in previous games. If the player is using Silver the Hedgehog, they can utilize Containers to defend themselves and throw at enemies using Psychokinesis. Almost all Containers have their appearance taken from Sonic Heroes.
Normally, Containers lie around within Action Stages, although some of them can also be found in Town Stages and during boss fights. Wooden containers are the second most common, which easily break upon being thrown or attacked.
The most common Containers are Steel Containers. These Containers are resistant to breaking and bounce in a random direction upon hitting something. Silver can also cause a stack of Containers to float in the air in certain sections of the game. If the player drops a Steel Container in an inaccessible part of a stage, it will respawn. Additionally, in Silver's Radical Train, there is a Steel Container in one section that can be broken by activating a Switch. This Steel Container is used to add weight on a crane so that it can lift up another crane connected to it, much like how the other containers of the same kind work in the stage. The player must destroy this Container in order to traverse the cranes before it respawns. Excluding this instance, it is impossible for any character to break a Steel Container except for Shadow, who can destroy one with his Chaos Snap.
The game also features new explosive Containers. The first of these are explosive crates which can damage surrounding enemies with a short-ranged blast when broken. The second of these containers are blue crates which create a flash of light that paralyzes surrounding enemies when destroyed.
One of the Town Missions for Sonic called The Hotel's Festival of Rings requires the player to break all wooden containers that contain rings. Another Town Mission for Sonic is Aristo's Challenge, where the player must figure out how many containers are set on top of each other and destroy the crate displaying the player's answer. A Town Mission for Shadow called The Mathematician's Training features wooden containers that have numbers from one to nine. The player must destroy a certain number of these containers in a particular order that is given. In Shadow's version of Kingdom Valley, the water section which requires use of the Hover Craft to cross has moving Wooden Containers going up and down the surface. The player should time Shadow's movements correctly to avoid being lifted by them, or the player may flip and lose control of the vehicle.
Sonic Rivals 2
In Sonic Rivals 2, Wooden containers appear as breakable obstacles in some of the Zones. The other variants of Containers (Steel and Unbreakable) appear as collectible cards.
The Wooden Containers can be found nearly everywhere and are mostly set in rows or other formations. The explosive crates on the other hand, can only be found in a few of the Nighttime Action Stages on their own. Unbreakable Containers in this game either block paths or are used as weapons or weights for Switches.
The Wooden Containers and explosive crates can easily be broken by using any attack. The Wooden Containers' appearance however, differ between which continent they are located on.
In the Wii version of Sonic Colors, Wooden Containers, Steel Containers and Unbreakable Containers appear. Like in Sonic Unleashed, Wooden Containers are easily broken with any attack. Steel Containers can be broken as well by stomping on them, but there are occasions where they work much differently than in previous appearances; the player is unable to break them normally on narrow routes, but they are able to move them left or right by Kick boosting them, during which they will destroy any enemy caught in their path.
In both versions of Sonic Generations, Wooden and Steel Containers make an appearance. In these games, they work like they did in Sonic Colors, except Steel Containers can be broken normally at any time by stomping on them. In City Escape, numerous Containers share the same design with the G.U.N. logo that they had in their first appearance.
In the console/PC version of the game, the Unbreakable Containers possess special properties: they can fill up the Boost Gauge should Sonic collide with them at high speed or through a Jump Dash. In the latter case, a Jump Dash executed on an Unbreakable Container will turn into a Homing Attack, and Sonic will do his regular animation then. Sometimes, when hitting an Unbreakable Container at a certain point, a friction-like light will emit as if Sonic is kicking it.
In the Nintendo 3DS version of the game, the Containers can be targeted and destroyed by a Homing Attack. The most common type of Container is the Wooden one which appears in most stages. In Tropical Resort, the most common type is the Steel Container which takes the same shape it took in Sonic Colors. Due to Silver's boss battle taking place in Tropical Resort, the Containers he grabs to throw them at Sonic are the Steel Containers.
In Sonic Forces, both the Wooden Containers and Unbreakable Containers appear in the gameplay. Like in previous games, the Wooden Containers are mostly used to hide gimmicks from the player. They also received a simpler design and a dark brown coloration.
The Unbreakable Containers are similar in design to the ones from Sonic Generations, and are mostly used to reach higher areas.
Wooden Container (木製コンテナ,Mokusei Kontena?) is the standard variant of Containers, and has appeared in most games. It is the most easily breakable version out of all Containers, as it can be broken with any normal attack the playable character has. They usually also hide item boxes like other breakable Containers do.
In Sonic Adventure 2, the Wooden Containers are simple wooden crates with a black GUN logo on them. In stages with Badniks, however, they have a black Eggman Empire symbol instead. In Sonic Heroes and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), the logo has been replaced by one with a dark red center and a white five-pointed star on it. In Shadow the Hedgehog, the logo on the Wooden Containers varies depending which enemy group's weapons are inside it, which can either be the Eggman Empire's logo, a pistol, or the GUN icon, the latter of which only having regular handgun weapons inside of them. From Sonic Unleashed and onwards, the Wooden Containers have appeared as regular crates without having any specific hallmarks on them.
Steel Container (アイアンコンテナ,Aian Kontena?, lit. "Iron Container") is another common variant of Containers. These Containers are mostly made of steel or iron, which the player is unable to break under normal circumstances, requiring the use of stronger attacks while sometimes possessing a certain Level Up Item. Like other Containers, Steel Containers can also hide item boxes inside them.
In Sonic Adventure 2, the Steel Containers appear as grey heavy crates with the GUN logo on them, and can only be destroyed with attacks enhanced by an Level Up Item which the player can earn with their playable characters. In Sonic Heroes, Steel Containers are colored white and red with a round logo with white five-pointed star in the blue center on them. The only way to destroy them in this game is to use Power-Type character's attacks.
In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), the Steel Container's appearance is the same as it was in Sonic Heroes, although the player is only able to break them by using upgraded attacks. Silver can also use them repeatedly to attack enemies, and they respawn after disappearing. In Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, Steel Containers are solid, heavy white crates that can be pushed to left or right, and can be destroyed by stomping into them.
Unbreakable Containers (ブラックコンテナ,Burakku Kontena?, lit. "Black Container") are the heaviest variant of Containers and are virtually indestructible obstacles. These Containers are resistant to any possible attacks from both playable characters and enemies alike, meaning they cannot be destroyed by any of the player's means (they can be broken in Sonic Heroes using the Cannon). They are mostly set on the bottom of Container stacks.
In Sonic Adventure 2, the Unbreakable Containers are dark colored crates with fully colored GUN logos on them. In Sonic Heroes, they are dark grey and red in color with a grey five-pointed star at the center. Depending on the Stage in Shadow the Hedgehog, Unbreakable Containers are either yellow, grey and red colored with the Eggman Empire logo on it, or grey and brown with the GUN logo on them.
Cages (ケージ,Kēji?) are another variants of Containers, which are cubic shaped boxes and made of bars. These Containers usually have objects inside them that can be collected by the player, but can normally only be broken under special circumstances.
The Special Weapon Container is a variant of wooden containers that appear exclusively in Shadow the Hedgehog. They are distinguished from regular wooden containers by the icon of Shadow the Hedgehog on each of its faces. These containers hold special-class Weapons which are far more powerful and versatile than normal ones.
The blue crate is a special variant of containers that has only appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). Like the wooden containers, the Blue Crates can be destroyed by any normal attack that the playable character can have. When destroyed though, they releases a light that temporarily paralyzes all nearby enemies. In some cases, they also contain items and can even destroy enemies with their light.
The explosive crate is a special variant of containers that first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). Like the wooden containers, the explosive crates can be destroyed by any normal attack that the playable character can have. When destroyed though, they create an explosion of fire that deals one hit worth of damage to nearby enemies.
Chao Container (チャオコンテナ,Chao Kontena?) is a unique variant of Containers that has only appeared in Sonic Adventure 2. These Containers can contain Chao Keys and Animal friends, both regular and rare.
These Containers are less numerable than the other variants of Containers in the game, as there are only three Chao Containers within each Action Stage, each of them features different item; the first contains the Chao Key, the second five random animals of the stage, and the third the rarest animal found in the level.
Cases (入れ物,Iremono?) are a common type of Containers that first appeared in Sonic Heroes. It is slightly larger than normal Container, as it is high tech cage with either a switch, spring or other objects inside, that the player has to use to progress in the Stage. It is surrounded by numerous enemies, which the player has to destroy in order to open it.
The Spike Block is a variant of the unbreakable Containers that only appears in the console/PC version of Sonic Generations. It has a pink coloration with a metallic and crystalline-like structure. In gameplay, they cannot be destroyed by anything except the Pink Spikes.
The Black Mound is a variant of the unbreakable Containers that only appears in the Wii version of Sonic Colors. They are composed of black metal and are aligned with white lines and a bright core. In gameplay, they can only be destroyed by certain Color Powers and Super Sonic.