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For the move in the Sonic Boom franchise, see Grinding (Sonic Boom).

Grinding[1] (グラインド Guraindo?) is a move in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a technique that encompasses the act of balancing on and moving down a Grind Rail.

Description

Grinding is the act of balancing on a Grind Rail and then moving down such rails at high speeds. Most practitioners grind with their feet on the Grind Rails while others grind using other parts of their bodies, like their rear. Extreme Gear practitioners on the other hand always grind with their Extreme Gears on the Grind Rails.

In gameplay, grinding is used by the player to move down Grind Rails. By doing this, the playable characters can gain more speed/momentum while grinding. Through grinding, the player can also take shortcuts or obligatory paths made up of Grind Rails through the levels. Grinding is typically as fast as or faster than running. Sometimes, while grinding, the player can also pull off special actions.

To start grinding in gameplay, all the player (normally) has to do is touch a Grind Rail. In some games however, the player is required to perform a certain action in order to interact with the Grind Rails.

Game appearances

Sonic Adventure 2

Grinding first appeared in Sonic Adventure 2 and its remake Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. In this game, it is a technique that only Sonic and Shadow can use (Amy Rose and Metal Sonic can also use it in the multiplayer). Grinding is relatively difficult in this game due to the fact that the Grind Rails are thin and do not "attract" the player when they approach them.

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Shadow grinding in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle.

In gameplay, the player can use crouch to achieve higher grinding speed. While grinding, the player also has to use the control stick to help the playable characters balance on the Grind Rails, which is important as not doing so will significantly reduce one's grinding speed or cause the playable characters to fall off the Grind Rail. The player can also jump between parallel Grind Rails while grinding with the Grind Step.

Some Grind Rails in the game allow the player to finish grinding with a trick; by pressing DreamcastA at the end of these Grind Rails, the character performs a trick that can be worth 200, 500, or 1000 points (Shadow occasionally gets a close-up on his body doing the trick). There is also a special Grind Race in two-player mode in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle.

Both Sonic and Shadow wore customized shoes (the Hi-Speed Shoes and Air Shoes) in this game that were suitable for grinding.[2] Grinding is an essential element in this game, and is not only useful for cutting time off one's record, but is also necessary for crossing certain paths in stages. It is also used as a mechanism by which to aid in defeating more difficult foes.

Sonic Advance series

Sonic Advance

In Sonic Advance, the grinding technique was featured for the first time in a 2D game. In this game, only Sonic and Amy are capable of grinding. When grinding, Sonic grinds on his feet while Amy grinds on her rear.

In gameplay, to start grinding on the Grind Rails, the player must first jump onto the flat portion of the Grind Rails at the beginning of them and hold Rgba. Sonic and Amy will then begin grinding down the Grind Rails. Also, pressing in the opposite direction the grinding playable characters are heading in with Controlpadds will cause them to slow down. Oppositely, pressing in the direction the grinding characters are heading in with Controlpadds will cause them to speed up.

Sonic Advance 2

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Sonic grinding in Sonic Advance 2.

In Sonic Advance 2, the grinding maneuver is available to all five playable characters. In gameplay, grinding is now fully automatic, meaning that simply jumping onto the Grind Rail will result in grinding. In addition, Amy grinds on her feet rather than her rear, something which she would do in all future games from then on.

Sonic Advance 3

In Sonic Advance 3, all five main playable characters in the game are capable of grinding. In gameplay, grinding works exactly like it did in Sonic Advance 2.

Sonic Heroes

Grinding (Sonic Heroes)

Sonic grinding in Sonic Heroes.

In Sonic Heroes, grinding is a technique that all playable characters can make use of. When the characters are in Fly Formation though, it is only the character on the bottom of the chain that grinds.

In gameplay, the player has to use the control stick to help the playable characters balance on Grind Rails while grinding in order to maintain their speed. The player can also use the Grind Step to switch between parallel Grind Rails and the crouch to increase the playable characters' acceleration while grinding (which is useful for when they are stuck at the bottom of a sloping or vertical Grind Rail). However, when in Fly Formation, the playable characters move much slower when grinding and do not make a noticeable trick when crouching (unlike the other formations).

Sonic Rush series

Sonic Rush

Leaf Storm Wait I'm A Fire Cat So...

Blaze grinding in Sonic Rush.

In Sonic Rush, both Sonic and Blaze are able to grind. Gameplay-wise, the grinding maneuver works like it did in Sonic Advance 2, except the player is now able to pull off Grind Tricks while grinding. In addition, the characters can use the Super Boost/Fire Boost move while on the Grind Rails.

Sonic Rush Adventure

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Blaze grinding in Sonic Rush Adventure.

In Sonic Rush Adventure, the grinding maneuver is again reserved for Sonic and Blaze. In gameplay, the grinding mechanics are the same as in Sonic Rush. Also, during the final grinding section in Plant Kingdom Act 1, the player is able to use the Grind Step.

Shadow the Hedgehog

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Shadow grinding in Shadow the Hedgehog.

In Shadow the Hedgehog, grinding is only useable to Shadow (and the Shadow Androids in the multiplayer). This is also the first 3D Sonic game in which no balance mechanic is used while grinding.

In gameplay, while grinding, the player can perform the crouch to gain an extra boost of speed and the Grind Step to jump to parallel Grind Rails. While grinding, the player can also use various weapons, but they can only be aimed in the forward direction.

Sonic Riders series

Sonic Riders

Egg Factory 02

Amy grinding in Sonic Riders.

In Sonic Riders, grinding is a Speed Type maneuver. As such, only characters that are classified as Speed Types, or are equipped with a special Extreme Gear that grant the Speed Type attribute, can grind.

In gameplay, grinding allows one to travel faster than the standard riding speed. One may only grind on a Grind Rail that starts with a blue light and ends with a red light. To connect to such a Grind Rail, the player must approach the blue light and press A Button GameCube v2/PSXButton/XboxA. Grinding surfaces must be approached from above, so it might be necessary to first jump or make use of a ramped surface

The player can also jump from one Grind Rail to another by jumping off at the red point and pressing A Button GameCube v2/PSXButton/XboxA while near a Grind Rail with a blue point. For every jump between Grind Rails the player makes, they earn one "link". While grinding, the player will also receive extra Air. The more links the player makes, the more Air they will receive.

Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity

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Sonic grinding in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity.

In Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, the users of the grinding maneuver depend on the Extreme Gear they use rather than the character. This means only characters equipped with Skate-type Gears or Gears with the Grind Gear Part are able to utilize Grind Areas. Skate-type Gears allows grinding by default while the Grind Gear Parts must be activated manually after collecting a certain amount of Rings.

In gameplay, grinding allows one to travel faster than the standard riding speed. Like in Sonic Riders, one can only grind on edges that glow blue at the start and red at the end. To start grinding on a suitable Grind Area, the player has to press one of the jump buttons below while close to the start of a Grind Area:

PS2 Wii (remote) - forward Wii (remote) - sideways Wii (Nintendo GameCube Controller)
PSXButton WiiDSA Snnwii2buttondisco A Button GameCube v2

When encountering a split in the Grind Areas, the player can simply jump across them to continue grinding, earning one "link" in the process. While grinding in this game, the player also earns Gravity Points. The more links the player makes, the more Gravity Points they will receive.

Sonic Free Riders

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Sonic grinding in Sonic Free Riders.

In Sonic Free Riders, every character is capable of utilizing the grinding technique, as long as their Extreme Gear is equipped with the Grind Skill Gear Part. This Gear Part can be activated at any time the player desires.

In gameplay, grinding allows one to travel faster than the standard riding speed. Like in the previous titles in the Sonic Riders series, grinding edges are marked with a blue glow at the start and a red glow at the end. To get on a Grind Rail and start grinding, the player must either cross over a Grind Rail, jump onto a Grind Rail, or reach a Grind Rail by successfully performing an Air Trick. While grinding, the player also gains more Air. Also worth noting is that the player can gain more grinding speed by accurately riding the Grind Rail by leaning left and right to follow the curves (as per the game's Kinetic controls).

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

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Sonic grinding in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).

In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), the grinding maneuver is mainly used by Sonic, Blaze, and Shadow in the game's Action Stages. In the game's multiplayer, Silver is able to grind as well for reasons unknown. This game also marks the time since Sonic Adventure 2 where sparks fly from the Grind Rail as the character grinds on it.

In gameplay, the grinding mechanic was given widely different behavior compared to previous games. In this game, a character's maximum grinding speed and acceleration is predetermined, although it can be sped up slightly by crouching. In addition, the player can now target the Grind Rails with the Homing Attack, thus allowing the player to zoom towards a Grind Rail and instantly grind on it, although the player can only target the middle of the Grind Rails rather than the ends. Also, starting from this game, merely jumping onto a Grind Rail will accelerate the player to a high grinding speed.

Sonic Rivals series

Sonic Rivals

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Shadow grinding in Sonic Rivals.

In Sonic Rivals, the grinding maneuver is used by all five playable characters in the game. In gameplay, the characters automatically accelerate to top speed when grinding. Also, by pressing down on Controlpadds and PSXButton at the same time, the player can jump off Grind Rails.

Sonic Rivals 2

In Sonic Rivals 2, all eight playable characters in the game are able to grind. In gameplay, grinding works just like in Sonic Rivals, except the player cannot jump off the grind rails like in Sonic Rivals.

Sonic Storybook series

Sonic and the Secret Rings

SatSR-Sand Oasis

Sonic grinding in Sonic and the Secret Rings.

In Sonic and the Secret Rings, the grinding maneuver is used only Sonic. In gameplay, one can equip Sonic with different Skills that allow him to increase his acceleration while grinding:

  • Quick Grind: Using Grind increases Grind speed
  • Fast Grind: Increases acceleration more than with Quick Grind.
  • Mach Grind: Increases acceleration more than with Fast Grind.
  • Sub M-Grind: Maximum grind speed increases but gradually consumes Rings when in use.

When grinding in this game, the player can press Snnwii2buttondisco to regain speed and Button1 to brake while Sonic grinds forward, although the latter can cause him to fall off if used severely. In addition, Sonic can jump between parallel Grind Edges using the Grind Step.

Sonic and the Black Knight

In Sonic and the Black Knight, only Sonic is capable of grinding. In gameplay, Sonic can, while grinding, swing his sword in order to grind faster and attack targets that appear along the Grind Rails. Also, by grinding continuously, the player will earn "Grind Bonus" points.

Sonic Unleashed

Apotos2

Sonic grinding in Sonic Unleashed.

In both versions of Sonic Unleashed, the grinding maneuver can only be used by Sonic in the daytime. In gameplay, the player can use the Grind Step to switch between parallel Grind Rails and the Sonic Boost (on most Grind Rails) to accelerate while grinding.

In the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed, Sonic can perform an 180 degree spin while grinding when the player presses XboxB/PSObutton. However, this action slows Sonic down slightly rather than giving him a boost of speed.

Sonic Colors

Sonic Colors Rail

Sonic grinding in the Wii version of Sonic Colors.

In both versions of Sonic Colors, the grinding technique is used mainly by Sonic. On the Wii version of the game, the Virtual Hedgehogs and Sonic's Super State are also capable of grinding. In their respective game, Sonic and the Virtual Hedgehog grind with their feet. When Super Sonic grinds however, he simply floats above the Grind Rails.

In gameplay on the Wii version of the game, grinding works much like in Sonic Unleashed: the player can accelerate by Boosting and jump between parallel Grind Rails by Grind Stepping. Also, on the Wii version, the player periodically earns 3,000 "Grind Bonus" points for some time by grinding continuously.

In gameplay on the Nintendo DS version, grinding works like in Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure, but without the Trick Action system.

Sonic Generations

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Sonic grinding in the console/PC version of Sonic Generations.

In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, the grinding maneuver is used by both Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic. While Modern Sonic grinds like he has always done, Classic Sonic grinds by rolling down the top of the Grind Rails instead of standing on them (bizarrely, this still causes sparks and metallic scraping). Modern Super Sonic also again grinds by floating above the Grind Rails. In gameplay, the grinding mechanics for Modern Sonic are the same as in Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed: the player can, while grinding, jump between parallel Grind Rails with the Grind Step, accelerate on most Grind Rails by Boosting, and perform an 180 degree spin by pressing XboxB/PSObutton. However, the last action, unlike the crouch, will only slow Modern Sonic down slightly. The player can also target the Grind Rails with the Homing Attack, thus allowing them to zoom towards a Grind Rail and instantly grind on it. Also worth noting is that grinding for Modern Sonic is slightly faster than running (without using the Boost).[3] For Classic Sonic, grinding occurs fully automatically once initiated.

On the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations, only Modern Sonic can grind since only his Acts have Grind Rails. In this game, the grinding mechanics are similar to how they were in the Sonic Rivals games; while grinding, the player can jump down from Grind Rails by pressing WiiDSA/DSB and down on Controlpadds at the same time. In addition to that, Modern Sonic can Boost while grinding. Also, during the final, non-Boosting grinding segment in Tropical Resort Act 2, the player can use the Grind Step.

Sonic Lost World

New badnik, more challenge

Sonic grinding in the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World.

In the Wii U/PC version of Sonic Lost World, Sonic, Super Sonic and the Virtual Hedgehogs are all capable of grinding. Like in Sonic Colors, Sonic and the Virtual Hedgehogs grind while standing on Grind Rails in this game, while Super Sonic simply floats above them. Other than that, the player has no special moves or tricks associated with grinding in this game, although they can still jump between parallel Grind Rails while grinding.

In the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World, grinding is reserved for only Sonic and Super Sonic, both of whom grind by standing on the Grind Rails. In this game, unlike its console/PC counterpart, the player has access to the Grind Step, which allows them to switch between parallel Grind Rails with a move. In addition, the player can target the Grind Rails' ends with the Homing Attack, thus allowing the player to zoom towards a Grind Rail and instantly grind on it.

Sonic Runners Adventure

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Shadow grinding in Sonic Runners Adventure.

In Sonic Runners Adventure, all the playable characters can perform the grinding maneuver. In this game, grinding is something the characters pull off automatically during the section transitions in the levels that feature Grind Rails. During such sections, the player has no control over the characters as they grind.

Sonic Forces: Speed Battle

In Sonic Forces: Speed Battle, every playable character in the game is capable of grinding. In gameplay, upon starting to grind, the player will grind at maximum speed. The player is also able to jump between parallel Grind Rail by using the Grind Step while grinding.

Sonic Forces

SegaAltus4

The Avatar grinding in Sonic Forces.

In Sonic Forces, the grinding maneuver is exclusive to Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Sonic and the Avatar. In this game, all playable characters grind with their feet on the Grind Rails, including Super Sonic.

In gameplay, grinding works similar to how it worked in Sonic Unleashed: while grinding, the player can perform both the Grind Step to switch between parallel Grind Rails and the Boost (Sonic only) to accelerate while grinding. Much like in Sonic Colors, the player also earns 1,000 points per second the playable characters are grinding.

In other media

Sonic X

Soapshoesx

Sonic grinding in Sonic X.

Grinding also appears in the Sonic X anime series, where it is only used by Sonic. Sonic's first usage of this move was in his battle against Chaos 6 when he grinds on his water tentacles. The move's next appearance was in "Desperately Seeking Sonic", only this time, Sonic used Chris' Hi-Speed Shoes to grind on long tree branches to reach Eggman.

Trivia

  • According to Sega, the grinding mechanic's addition to the Sonic series was heavily inspired by the fact that they were working on Jet Set Radio, which originally used the mechanic, around the same time Sonic Adventure 2 was in development.[citation needed]

References

  1. Sonic and the Black Knight (Wii) European instruction booklet, p. 7.
  2. Sega of America (March 2007). Sonic Central. Sega of America. “Darrell C: Why did you change your shoes in Sonic Adventure 2 Battle? / Sonic: Those were special shoes that were specifically made for grinding. It was something that I've always wanted to try and it sure came in handy! Look forward for some more intense and extreme grinding in my next adventure, Sonic Heroes.”
  3. BradyGames (1 November 2011). Sonic Generations: BradyGames Official Strategy Guide. BradyGames. p. 15. ISBN 978-0761555100.
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