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Quotation1 Why don't you try using that ring to leap over to the other side. Quotation2
Maria Robotnik, Shadow the Hedgehog

The Dash Ring[1] (ダッシュリング Dasshu Ringu?), or Speed Ring, is a gimmick that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. They are the airborne counterparts of the Dash Panels, that give those that pass through them a boost of speed through midair.

Description

The Dash Rings are basically large rings, up to a couple of meters in diameter, whose primary function is to send the playable character flying through the air. In gameplay, as soon as the playable character enters the middle of a Dash Ring or touches its edges, they will automatically be shot directly through midair with a short burst of speed, with the direction of the burst depending on the Dash Ring's angle. However, the Dash Rings can only launch the playable characters in one direction.

Dash Rings can always be found floating in midair and serve primarily as a way for the player to move across gaps, get through small passages in the walls or even reach otherwise unreachable areas. As such, they are usually found at the edges of gaps, above Springs or platforms, or just beyond roads and Grind Rails that abruptly end.

Though Dash Rings can provide a necessary boost to proceed, they also serve to guide the player down certain pathways in automated sections of the levels. Commonly, the Dash Rings are aligned in tube-like formations, so when the player enters one of these Dash Rings, the playable character will automatically be guided through the Dash Rings one by one to the intended location.

The Dash Rings' design has been changed frequently over the course of the series. In the initial games, they looked like metal rings with a glowing inner rim (often green) and three or two plates on the edges that show arrows pointing into them. These types of Dash Rings are referred to as Mechanical Rings.[2] Even so, these rings' appearance would differ slightly between games. In Sonic Advance 2 though, the Dash Rings were given a more simplistic design, resembling thinner and smaller red-orange rings. This design was initially restricted to handheld games, but was later implemented into the main series in Sonic Unleashed. From then on, the Dash Rings would have this design as their standard design.

Game appearances

Sonic Adventure

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Dash Rings in Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut.

The Dash Rings first appeared in Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut. In this game, they look like Mechanical Rings with green-glowing inner rims and two arrow plates on the edges.

In gameplay, the Dash Rings only appear in Tails' Action Stages where they help increase his flying range by boosting him towards areas he cannot reach otherwise. However, they cannot keep Tails flying once he reaches his flying limit.

Sonic Advance series

Sonic Advance 2

Dashcircle

In Sonic Advance 2, the Dash Ring is referred to as the Boost Ring[3] (ダッシュサークル Dasshusākuru?, lit. "Dash Circle"). In this game, the Dash Rings were also given a completely new design, resembling simple red-orange rings, albeit with flat edges. In addition, after using them in gameplay, the player can pull off Mid-Air Trick Actions.

Sonic Advance 3

In Sonic Advance 3, the Dash Rings are identical to those that appeared in Sonic Advance 2, both in terms of appearance and game mechanics.

Sonic Heroes

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The Dash Ring in Sonic Heroes.

In Sonic Heroes, the Dash Rings again look like Mechanical Rings, except they are slightly smaller than the ones in Sonic Adventure. They also have three black, rectangular plates with red arrows on their edges, and their inner rims glow yellow and green. Also, whenever a playable character passes through one, the characters will be surrounded by their respective aura.

In gameplay, the Dash Rings appear in almost every Stage. While every character in the game can use them, they are most frequently used by Fly Type characters to help them get through midair sections. They are also sometimes found around Grind Rails and small roads to give the player a speed boost.

Shadow the Hedgehog

In Shadow the Hedgehog, the Dash Rings look exactly like they did in Sonic Heroes. In this game, they only appear in the sections of the Stages where Shadow is riding flying vehicles, and around Grind Rails to boost Shadow's Grinding speed.

Sonic Rush series

Sonic Rush

Dash Ring SR sprite 2

In Sonic Rush, the Dash Rings look like the red-orange rings from Sonic Advance 2 and 3, except their angle had been shifted slightly so their inner hole can be seen. In this game, they are usually placed so they lead the player into a Rainbow Ring. Also, besides giving a boost through midair, they allow the player to perform Trick Actions as soon as they pass through them.

Sonic Rush Adventure

In Sonic Rush Adventure, the Dash Ring look and work exactly like the Dash Rings in Sonic Rush.

Sonic Riders series

Sonic Riders

In Sonic Riders, the Dash Rings are referred to as Accelerators.[4] In this game, they look identical to how they appeared in Sonic Heroes.

In gameplay, only Flight Type characters or characters with Extreme Gears that grant Flight Type attributes can use the Dash Rings. Launching into a Dash Ring will propel the player forward at a higher speed than normal, sometimes as a shortcut bypassing part of the course. When sent flying through one of these Dash Ring, the player can often steer themselves through multiple sequential Dash Rings, thereby allowing the racer to maintain maximum speed. This is called Air Riding. To reach a Dash Ring, the player has to take off from a Catapult or a Trick Zone. In addition, flying through Dash Rings will replenish a racer's Air Tank.

Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity

In Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, the Dash Rings are referred to as Dash Rings instead of Accelerators.[5] In this game, they look exactly like they in Sonic Riders.

In gameplay, only characters equipped with Yacht-type Extreme Gears or Gears with the Air Ride or Yacht Gear Parts are able to utilize Dash Rings. In this game, Dash Rings serve the exact same purpose they had in Sonic Riders, and are reached in the same way. They also function in the same way too, the only difference being that the Dash Rings in this game replenish the racers' GP Gauge.

Sonic Free Riders

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A Dash Ring in Sonic Free Riders.

In Sonic Free Riders, the Dash Rings are referred to as Dash Rings once more.[6] In this game, they look identical to how they appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).

In gameplay, every character is capable of utilizing the Dash Rings, as long as their Extreme Gear is equipped with the Air Ride Skill Gear Part, or they are using the Omnitempus. In this game, Dash Rings serve the exact same purpose they had in Sonic Riders and Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, and are reached in the same way. Also, like in Sonic Riders, utilizing Dash Rings will replenish a racer's Air Tank.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

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The Mechanical Ring

In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), the Dash Rings are referred to as Mechanical Rings.[2] In this game, their design is similar to the one they had in Sonic Heroes, except that their inner rims glow blue, the plates on their edges are more triangular, and their edges have outward curves.

In gameplay, the Dash Rings are primarily used by Tails, sometimes by Silver in multiplayer mode, and sometimes by Rouge in the game's Very Hard mode. They are mainly used to give Tails and Silver a boost through midair. However, the former cannot keep flying after using this gimmick.

Sonic Unleashed

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Dash Rings in Sonic Unleashed.

In both versions of Sonic Unleashed, the Dash Rings were designed like red-orange rings with round edges. This marked the first appearance of this particular design for the Dash Rings on the home console Sonic games. In gameplay, whenever the player passes through the Dash Rings, they briefly contract and emit some sparkles.

Sonic Colors

In Sonic Colors, the Dash Rings retain the appearance of red-orange rings, though their details differ slightly between the versions of the game. In the Wii version, they look and behave like they did in Sonic Unleashed. In the Nintendo DS version on the other hand, they look and behave like they did in the Sonic Rush series, except that they do not allow the player to perform Trick Actions.

Sonic Generations

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A Mechanical Ring in Sonic Generations.

In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, two versions of the Dash Ring appear. The first version are the red-orange rings. These objects look and behave like the Dash Rings in Sonic Unleashed, and will occasionally appear in trails that lead to a Rainbow Ring. The second version resembles the Mechanical Rings in Sonic Adventure (except smaller). These ones only appear in the Tails: Toxic Skies Challenge Act, where they help the player fly through the air with Classic Tails.

In the Nintendo 3DS, only the red-orange Dash Rings from the console/PC version appear. These Dash Rings are only encountered in Modern Sonic's Acts of the stages. Also, when passing through these Dash Rings, they give off some sparkles, but they do not shrink briefly.

Sonic Lost World

In the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World, the Dash Rings made a reappearance. In this game, they possess their modern red-orange circular ring design. In this game however, the Dash Rings have a slightly more bright coloration. Also, like in Sonic Unleashed, they will briefly shrink and give off sparkles whenever the playable character passes through them.

Sonic Runners

Dash Ring in Sonic Runners

A Dash Ring in Sonic Runners.

In Sonic Runners, the Dash Rings retain their basic red-orange ring design. However, these Dash Rings have flat outer edges that point inward. Also, when passing through a Dash Ring in this game, there will be a shock effect, followed by a small burst of sparkles.

In gameplay, Dash Rings are mainly used by the player to dash through strings of Crystals and/or Rings.

Sonic Forces

In Sonic Forces, the Dash Rings retain their basic red-orange ring design, which looks like how it appeared in Sonic Unleashed. In this game, it is an exclusive gimmick that appears in every type of stage except for those Classic Sonic is playable in.

Trivia

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The Dash Ring-like item in the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World.

  • In the Wii U and PC versions of Sonic Lost World, there is a ring resembling the Dash Ring, but with three orange arrows in its center found in Hidden World Zone 2. When collected, it gives a significant boost in speed, akin to the Dash Rings in previous games.

References

  1. Sonic Generations (Xbox 360) United Kingdom instruction booklet, p. 10.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Black, Fletcher (14 November 2006). Sonic the Hedgehog: Official Game Guide. Prima Games. pp. 69. ISBN 978-0761555100.
  3. Mylonas, Eric (11 November 2003). Sonic Advance 2: Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Prima Games. p. 34. ISBN 978-0761540083.
  4. Sonic Riders (Nintendo GameCube) United States instruction booklet, p. 20.
  5. Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (Wii) United States instruction booklet, p. 16.
  6. Sonic Free Riders (Xbox 360) United States instruction, p. 15.
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