Extreme Gear (エクストリーム・ギア Ekusutorīmu Gia?), sometimes referred to as Gear, is the main source of transportation and racing in Sonic Riders and its sequels, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity and Sonic Free Riders. Extreme Gear comes with in-game characters and can also be purchased with Rings earned in races and achieving certain requirements.
Powers and Abilities
Extreme Gears are capable of allowing their rider to fly, or at least hover, at high speeds and can reach speeds of 200 to almost 400 miles-per-hour. In Sonic Riders, Extreme Gear required the use of Air as fuel, but this concept was dropped in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity for the use of a Gravity Meter, though it was brought back for Sonic Free Riders and the Gravity Meter was dropped. This fuel is also used for using speed boosts to accelerate the rider to high speeds. Extreme Gear is also the way of transportation for the Babylon Rogues, as well as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy during the Sonic Riders games. The EX World Grand Prix is an international tournament, centered in Metal City, for Extreme Gear riders.
Extreme Gear each come with a variety of unique abilities such as the ability to grind on rails, glide through the air, smash obstacles in the rider's path or improve their own attributes (Limit/Top Speed, Dash/Acceleration, Curve/Handling and Power/Durability) etc. In Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity and Sonic Free Riders, Extreme Gear comes with components of such abilities called Gear Parts although in all Sonic Riders games, some Extreme Gear have their own abilities such as the Gambler, which can manipulate the number of Rings the player earns in a race based on the position he/she comes in.
Types of Extreme Gear
Extreme Gear comes in several different varieties, each with different ratings in the four attributes (Limit/Top Speed, Dash/Acceleration, Curve/Handling and Power/Durability) and some Extreme Gear comes with their own special abilities. Every character has a "starting Gear" with statistics specially designed for that rider, and in most cases only that rider can use that Gear.
Besides statistics and abilities, Extreme Gears also comes in many different shapes and sizes, and many unorthodox Gear are present in both Sonic Riders games. In fact, the first Extreme Gear ever made is actually a carpet, similar to one a genie would use. Other unconventional Gears include a flying broomstick, a cloud, and even the Opa-Opa spaceship. Despite their variating appearances though, all existing Extreme Gear fall into one of the six following classes listed below:
Boards are the most common Extreme Gear and the first available to the player in all three games. In fact, they are so common that almost every character's "starting Gear" is a board. In Sonic Riders, boards are the more balanced class of Gear, having average statistics and an average rate of fuel-consumption (in this case air), and is used in Story Mode by every character except Dr. Eggman. In Zero Gravity, Boards are again a balanced, middle class, with average statistics, and allow the rider to grind on rails (an ability previously restricted to characters, not their Gear). Every character in all three games rides a board (or can ride a board) except Dr. Eggman, who rides Bike-type Gear, SCR-GP and SCR-HD (robots who are Wheel-type Gear themselves). A side note is that Bean uses a board in Archie Comics.
Skates are a less powerful class of Extreme Gear, but are more agile and, in Sonic Riders, more fuel-efficient. In Zero Gravity, skates are one of the two classes of Gear that can allow their rider to grind on rails (an ability previously restricted to characters, not their Gear). In Sonic Riders, skates must first be unlocked by completing the Heroes Story Mode before they can be bought, much less used. Shadow the Hedgehog is the only character who rides skates as his "Starting Gear". All characters can use skates except Dr. Eggman (who rides bikes), the E-10000 robots (who can only ride boards), SCR-GP and SCR-HD (who both use Wheels). They resemble roller blades or inline skates.
Bikes are a more powerful but less maneuverable class of Extreme Gear. In Sonic Riders, Bikes are less fuel efficient. In Zero Gravity, bikes allow the rider to punch through obstacles and barricades (an ability previously restricted to characters, not their Gear). In Sonic Riders, bikes must first be unlocked by completing the Babylon Story Mode before they can be bought and used, much like skates are unlocked on the completion of the Heroes Story Mode. Dr. Eggman is the only character who uses a Bike as his "starting Gear". Every character can use bikes except Ulala, the E-10000 robots (who can only ride boards), and the SCR robots (who use Wheels).
Air Ride Gears are introduced in Zero Gravity. Air Ride Gears are similar in shape to the Greek letter Psi (Ψ), and is rode by kneeling or lying down on the Gear. Air Ride Gear allows the rider to fly until he or she loses too much momentum, then falls (an ability previously restricted to characters, not their Gear). Air Ride Gears are available from the start and does not need to be unlocked. Every character can use Air Ride Gear except Dr. Eggman (who rides Bikes and Wheels in Zero Gravity), and SCR-GP (who use Wheels). It should be noted though, that even though SCR-HD is a Wheel, it only has Air Ride capabilities.
Yacht Gears are introduced in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity. Despite the name, Yacht Gears are more reminiscent of windsurf boards than boats. Like Air Ride Gears, Yacht Gears allows the rider to fly until he or she loses momentum (an ability previously restricted to characters, not their Gear), and also allows the rider to draft or "slipstream" behind opponents, reducing drag and helping to increase speed. Every character can use Yacht Gears except Dr. Eggman, (who rides Bikes and wheels in Zero Gravity), SCR-GP and SCR-HD (who both use Wheels).
Wheels are introduced in Zero Gravity, based on Monowheels. Wheels are the largest Extreme Gear, as they need to be tall enough for the rider to sit inside and pilot. In addition to Bike capabilities, Wheels are the only Gear type in Zero Gravity with the ability to powerslide but at the cost of travelling minimal range when launched by Gravity Control. The powerslide feature is also in Sonic Riders which is available to all Gear but required extra air consumption. Not everybody can use Wheels. It should be noted though, that even SCR-HD is a Wheel, it only has Air Ride capabilities.
Extreme Gear Producers
While the creation of most of the Extreme Gear available to buy don't have much explanation on who made them, there are the few business corporations that were mentioned for the characters' own Extreme Gears as well as a few other Gears. Some of the Gears were redesigned by either Tails or Wave to fit their friends' skills.
Dr. Eggman's corporation that produces Extreme Gear. First appearing in Sonic Riders and responsible for the character boards, even Sonic, Tails and Knuckles' boards. However, Eggman may have provided, or at least sold the boards which Tails then modified to suit his friends' needs.
While the Babylon Rogues may be a band of thieves, they seem to have their own business in production of Extreme Gear. However, since the only Gears made by Babylon Standards are the Type Gears, these Gears are solely for themselves. In Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity it was never mentioned, just that Wave redesigned Type-J, S and W.
Introduced in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, this corporation is responsible for most of the Extreme Gear products Robotnik Corp. made in the last game except for Blue Star and Red Rock which were redesigned by Tails. (The Yellow Tail built anew from the ground up.) It could be a front by Dr. Eggman or that Robotnik Corp. and all its licensed Extreme Gear were sold or they simply continue production where Robotnik Corp. finished. Either way they now provide the character boards of the game.
Debuting in Sonic Free Riders, they created the Extreme Gears for the Xbox 360 Avatar as well as a few other major boards and perhaps the new design or line of Extreme Gears. While the name is similar to Accevive Corp and claimed the creation of its boards, it is unconfirmed if it's the same business under a new company name.
Lists of Extreme Gear
|Sonic Free Riders|