Flywheels[1] are recurring gimmicks in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Flywheels are floating wheels with their own central gravity, which can be used to build momentum and achieve distant jumps.


Flywheels are round wheels, rotating in midair, which are usually found in factory-themed Zones. Their cosmetic appearance is different for each game. When the playable character jumps onto these wheels, the player can move along the Flywheel's surface without falling to the ground, regardless of outside gravity, unless the player jumps off them.

Due to their hazardless and moving surface, the Flywheels can be used by the player to build up momentum by running around them. Then, by jumping off them at the right time, the player can fling themselves off the Flywheels to make significantly longer and higher leaps than normal, which is useful for crossing greater distances or reach higher areas in the different Zones. The Flywheels' purposes have changed slightly over the games though, as they can be automatic and are not always needed for momentum.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

Flywheel 1

Flywheels were featured for the first time in the original 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog, where they are only found in the large halls of Scrap Brain Zone Act 2. In this game, the Flywheels are grey with belts around them, which move clockwise faster than the wheels themselves.

If the player performs Sonic's Spin Attack on a Flywheel, they can quickly build momentum around the Flywheel for an enhanced Spin Jump.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit)

Flywheel 2

In the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Flywheels are major gimmicks in Gimmick Mt. Zone. In this game, Flywheels are grey and metallic. When Sonic jumps on it, he automatically performs a Spin Attack. The player can control the rotation speed of the Flywheel that Sonic is on with the Controlpadds: pressing right makes the Flywheel rotate faster and pressing left makes it rotate slower.

Slightly different Flywheels appear in Crystal Egg Zone Act 2. Here, the Flywheels are smaller bubble-looking wheels with blue, four-pointed stars in the middle. These wheels can be found above pits filled with Spikes where they constantly float left and right in midair. Despite their differences though, they work just like the Flywheels in Gimmick Mt. Zone.

Sonic the Hedgehog CD

Flywheel CD

In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Flywheels are only featured in Metallic Madness Zone 2. In this game, their color scheme depends on the timeline in the Zone.

The Flywheels function in the same way as those in Scrap Brain Zone. However, when Sonic starts performing his Spin Attack on the Flywheel, the camera direction moves to the right side. The Flywheels can also be useful when the player need to gain momentum to create a time warp in the Zone.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3

In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, the Flywheels are featured in Carnival Night Zone. They are much larger than in previous games, but function like those in the original Sonic the Hedgehog.

Sonic Advance 3


In Sonic Advance 3, the Flywheels appear in Cyber Track, where they have a grayish shell with a red lighting edge on the inner rim, and a dark green horizontal cube in the center. Unlike in previous games, the player can stand still on the Flywheel while it rotates in one place.

Sonic Lost World

In the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World, the Flywheels are featured in Sky Road Zone 1. In this game, they have a more mechanical appearance like in previous games, and they rotate in the right direction. Unusually, the player has to jump between Flywheels as part of the Zone while spinning around it. Unlike in previous games however, the player cannot build up momentum by spinning around the Flywheel.

Sonic Mania

In Sonic Mania, the Flywheels appear in Metallic Madness Zone Act 2. In this game, they behave and look like the Flywheels from the Present of Metallic Madness Zone 2. In gameplay, they serve as little else than difficult platforms for reaching ledges.

Sonic Forces

In Sonic Forces, the Flywheels appear in Iron Fortress and are used by Classic Sonic. In gameplay, like most other incarnations, the player can build up momentum in their spin to perform an enhanced Spin Jump.







  1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit) (Sega Game Gear) North American instruction manual pg. 6.

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