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The Conveyor Belt (ベルトコンべア[1] Berutokon be a?) is a gimmick that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a type of long, infinitely moving assemblies that can carry objects along their surfaces.

Description

Based on two or more rotating wheels with a long belt set on to move endlessly between them, conveyor belts are recurrently featured in numerous machinery and air fortress-themed Zones. When Sonic or any other playable character runs on a conveyor belt, their moving speed either heavily decreases or increases, depending on the direction the belt is moving. In some games, the movement speed of conveyor belts can also be either slow or extremely fast. Should the playable characters stand still on a conveyor belt however, it will simply carry them along, often off the edges of themselves.

It is also common for conveyor belts to have items, obstacles and enemies placed on top of them, causing them to be carry along on the conveyor belts so that the player will be forced to either avoid or interact with these objects.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

Conveyor Belt Sonic 1 SBZ II

Smaller conveyor belts in Scrap Brain Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog (1991).

In the original 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog, conveyor belts are only featured in Scrap Brain Zone Act 2, where they can be found in halls and along routes. Along them are also dangerously-placed circular saws, swinging spiked balls, and crusher tubes. Moving on the conveyor belts is also very difficult due their high speed and obstacles.

Conveyor belts are also seen in Scrap Brain Zone in the 8-bit version of the game with same name, where most of them float in mid-air. In Scrap Brain Zone Act 2, there is also a large room with a lot of conveyor belts, which the player has to climb to reach the upper route.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Conveyor Belt Sonic 2 CNZ

A Conveyor Belt in Casino Night Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Casino Night Zone and Metropolis Zone have singular conveyor belts floating in their Zones. In the Metropolis Zone, the conveyor belts sometimes have crushers above them. There is also a vertical conveyor belt at the mid-point of Wing Fortress Zone.

Conveyor belts are also featured in Gimmick Mt. Zone in the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. In this Zone, they are either floating in mid-air or placed in-between small pits full of spikes.

Sonic the Hedgehog CD

Conveyor Belt Sonic CD QQ I

A conveyor belt on the ground in Quartz Quadrant.

In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, conveyor belts are featured as the main gimmicks of Quartz Quadrant. These conveyor belts are set everywhere, both on the ground and on platforms. In Quartz Quadrant, there are also small Switches with arrows on them that point in the direction the conveyor belts move. The direction of these conveyor belts can be changed by touching the aforementioned Switches. There are also tunnels through Quartz Quadrant's underground whose walls are covered in conveyor belts; by changing the belt direction, these tunnels can suck the player either up or down through them. Outside of Quartz Quadrant, Metallic Madness also features several suspended conveyor belts.

During the boss encounter in Quartz Quadrant, Dr. Robotnik will use a conveyor belt covering the boss arena's floor to keep the playable character from getting close enough to his cockpit, all while dropping bombs on the playable character from above. While on the this conveyor belt, the playable character must keep running to the right, or risk getting pulled into the spikes on the left side of the arena. To win, the player has to survive this battle long enough for Robotnik's cockpit to overheat from the friction caused by the conveyor belt it sits on.

Sonic & Knuckles

Danger Zone

A conveyor belt elevator in Sonic & Knuckles.

In Sonic & Knuckles, conveyor belts are featured in Death Egg Zone, where they can be embedded in the road. This Zone also has elevators consisting of long, active conveyor belts, on which the player has to balance their movements while avoiding missiles that are launched from the walls. These conveyor belts change direction at random, and can force the player into the spikes laced on the walls if they are caught off guard.

Besides the standard conveyor belt that double as moving platforms, there are similar moving plaforms with conveyor belts on the bottom. These conveyor belt-plaforms slowly descend through midair while moving left and right, and when they touch the ground, they crawl along the ground. As such, the player can ride on these plaforms through midair and across electrified floors.

Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble

ConveyorBeltTripleTrouble

A conveyor belt in Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble.

In Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble, conveyor belts are featured in Tidal Plant Zone. In this Zone, they are only set on the ground, like in Quartz Quadrant in Sonic the Hedgehog CD. They also appear both above and in the underwater sections of the Zone. While moving on them, the player has to avoid small bombs that fall down from small tubes in the roofs and onto the conveyor belts.

Tails Adventure

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Tails on a conveyor belt in Tails Adventure.

In Tails Adventure, conveyor belts are common gimmicks in Coco Island and Battle Fortress 2. Due to Tails' and Remote Robot's medium walking speed, crossing conveyor belts can be extremely tricky. Making these belts even more difficult are the enemies, electric generators and spikes that appear along the conveyor belts.

In Battle Fortress 2, certain machines drop non-functional Battle Kukku Empire droids on the conveyor belts. As a result, these droids will be carried along on the conveyor belts until they fall off of them and get destroyed. When encountering these droids, the player's only option is to dodge them. In Battle Fortress 2, there are also machines that can reverse the moving direction of the conveyor belts when using the Wrench on them..

Sonic 3D Blast

Conveyor Belt Sonic 3D GGZ

A wide conveyor belt in Gene Gadget Zone Act 3.

In Sonic 3D Blast, the boss fight in Gene Gadget Zone takes place on a wide conveyor belt. This conveyor belt runs in the opposite direction the player must move, towards a set of spikes at the end of the boss arena. While running along the conveyor belt, the player also has to avoid spiky blocks that are placed on the conveyor belt by a machine in front of the arena. When Robotnik lands above the conveyor belt to shoot missiles from his Egg Mobile, the player can attack Robotnik.

In the last Zone of the game, Panic Puppet Zone, there are also slow-moving conveyor belts that can transport Sonic to the other part of the Zone. Some conveyor belts go in the wrong direction however, and must have their direction changed by pulling nearby Switches to the other side.

Sonic Adventure

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Conveyor belts in Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut.

In Sonic Adventure and its remake Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, the conveyor belts appear in one of the rooms in Final Egg. These conveyor belts are extremely fast-moving, and the player has to jump on them to get to the other side of their room or risk falling into a huge bottomless pit. At the same time, the player also has to avoid large moving spike attachments above.

Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure

ConveyorBeltPocketAdventure

A conveyor belt in Cosmic Casino Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure.

In Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, the conveyor belt are somewhat less frequently encountered. In this game, they can be found floating in midair in Cosmic Casino Zone and Gigantic Angel Zone. In both Zones, they work much like they did in Casino Night Zone and Metropolis Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

Sonic Advance

ConveyorBeltAdvance

A conveyor belt in Cosmic Angel Zone in Sonic Advance.

In Sonic Advance, conveyor belts are featured in three different Zones: Secret Base Zone, Egg Rocket Zone and Cosmic Angel Zone. In all three Zones, the conveyor belts have slightly different designs based on their Zone's environment. Secret Base Zone has rusty-looking ones, Egg Rocket Zone conveyor belts are more bright, and Cosmic Angel Zone conveyor belts are the most colorful of all three variations. The direction of the conveyor belts in Cosmic Angel Zone is also easily recognized, as the belts have arrows pointing in the direction they are moving.

Sonic Heroes

ConveyorBeltHeroes

A conveyor belt in Sonic Heroes.

In Sonic Heroes, extremely fast-moving conveyor belts are featured on the Egg Fleet. These conveyor belts are located inside the halls on the large battleships. Because the conveyor belts move quickly in the opposite direction the player must run, the player should use Rocket Accel repeatedly to cross them and charge towards the end of the hall. Once there, the playable team will automatically destroy the battleship itself and move on to the next part of the stage.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

ConveyorBelt06

Conveyor belts in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).

In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Radical Train has conveyor belts on wooden scaffolds. They come in sets of two and switch between going forwards and backwards. Their pattern changes as the player progresses on the wooden scaffolds.

Sonic Rivals

ConveyorBeltRivals

A conveyor belt in Sonic Rivals.

In Sonic Rivals, conveyor belts are featured in Death Yard Zone. These conveyor belts are mainly colored gray with yellow arrows on them that indicate the direction they are moving in.

Sonic Unleashed

ConveyorBeltUnleashed

A conveyor belt in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed.

In the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed, conveyor belts appear exclusively in Eggmanland. These gimmicks are featured in both the 2.5D and 3D daytime sections of the stage. Conveyor belts in the 2.5D sections either move in or against the direction the player is heading in (albeit rather slowly), but they all have laser fields along them that serve as hazards. In the 3D sections, the conveyor belts are much wider and move in the opposite direction the player is heading in at such high speeds that Sonic barely moves forward when running forward on them. In addition, these conveyor belts have walls of Laser Block Fields along them and will be carrying obstacles like Containers, Bombs and blocks with spikes on top of them.

In the Wii/PlayStation 2 version of the game, the conveyor belts also appear only in Eggmanland, except they are only featured in the nighttime Acts of the stage. In this version, they are narrow and normal-looking, with yellow/blue and grey treadmills. They also have arrows on them that show the direction they are moving in.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I

Mad Gear Zone - Screenshot - (4)

Conveyor belts in Mad Gear Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I.

In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, conveyor belts appear in Mad Gear Zone where they float in midair. They also appear either individually or in small groups. These conveyor belts do not move very fast, but they usually have Badniks on the other side waiting for the player. Also, unlike in previous games, the player is able to jump through conveyor belts from below.

Sonic Lost World

ConveyorBeltLostWorld

Conveyor belts in the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World.

In the Wii U/PC version of Sonic Lost World, conveyor belts only appear in the interior sections of Lava Mountain Zone 3. These conveyor belts make up the floors through narrow corridor that the player has to pass through. However, these conveyor belts usually carry several spiked balls along on top of them, creating moving obstructions that the player has to get past.

Sonic Mania

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Conveyor belts in Press Garden Zone.

In Sonic Mania, and its expansion Sonic Mania Plus, Press Garden Zone Act 1 makes heavy use of the conveyor belt mechanic. The conveyor belts there in particular have been modified so the player can bounce off their belts. By holding down the jump button when touching the belts, the player can even increase their bounce's height. Also, touching the conveyor belts' wheels will catapult the player in the direction they are moving.

Lava Reef Zone Act 2 also features conveyor belts. These conveyor belts are more like the regular ones encountered in previous games, except their direction can be changed by Switches that appear along them. They also occasionally carry obstacles on their belts, such as spiked balls and Iwamodokis.

Sonic Forces: Speed Battle

SFSB Conveyor Belts

Both kinds of conveyor belts as seen in Spiral Heights.

In Sonic Forces: Speed Battle, conveyor belts take the form of long, metal belts with either red arrows facing backward, or green arrows facing forward on them. The green conveyor belts will greatly accelerate the player while they are on them, while the red version will greatly slow the player down for as long as they are on it, even sending them slightly backward if they are moving slowly enough (such as when frozen).

Sonic Forces

ConveyorBeltForces

Conveyor belts in Sonic Forces.

In Sonic Forces, conveyor belts (floating and otherwise) only appear in the Death Egg stage. In this game, they mirror their role in Sonic & Knuckles by serving many of the same purposes they had back then, like being embedded in the roads and having cannons that fire energy blasts across them. Egg Pawns will also occasionally drop down on the conveyor belts and let them carry them forward, creating obstructions for the player.

Much like in Sonic & Knuckles, Death Egg features moving platforms that double as conveyor belts. These conveyor belt-plaforms can float through midair in different patterns and crawl along the ground upon landing on it. Like before, these platforms can be ridden through midair and across superheated surfaces by the player. Unlike in Sonic & Knuckles however, these platforms also have moving belts on top of them, leaving players with the extra task of balancing on them while riding them.

Trivia

  • In the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog, when the player sees the first conveyor belt in Scrap Brain Zone Act 1, one of them is seen to have 1-Up monitor moving to the edge and falling to the bottomless pit. The player is able to pick the extra life from the monitor if they are fast enough.
  • In Simon Wai's prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Wood Zone originally was supposed to have wooden conveyor belts. In the prototype, they are shown to be active, but do not function normally at all.

References

  1. "Gimmick" (in Japanese). ソニックアドバンス必勝パーフェクトガイド. Aspect. 8 February 2002. p. 27. ISBN 978-4757209145.
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