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Grinding

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Grinding
New badnik, more challenge
Sonic grinding in Sonic Lost World.
Statistics and Overview
First appearance

Sonic Adventure 2

Other appearances
User(s)
Description

The method of balancing on and moving through thin beams.

Grinding (グラインド Guraindo?) is a recurring gameplay technique in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Grinding is the act of balancing on a rail or some rail-like object. By doing this, playable characters can gain more speed/momentum while on the rail or take shortcuts through the levels.

Overview

History

Grinding first appeared in Sonic Adventure 2 in which the only characters who could perform the technique were Sonic and Shadow. Even then, they wore customized shoes similar to the Soap shoes to allow them to do so. Grinding is an essential element in this game, and is not only useful for cutting time off ones record, but was also necessary for crossing certain points in levels and was also used as a mechanism by which to aid in defeating more difficult foes.

In all succeeding games, starting with Sonic Adventure 2's immediate console sequel, Sonic Heroes, virtually all physically able characters have made use of the technique, and have done so with ease. Moreover, Soap Shoes are no longer needed to facilitate the process. However, conscious effort in balancing on the grinding surface is required in order to maintain speed. By the time of the debut of Shadow the Hedgehog, this was no longer necessary.

In Sonic Riders and its sequel, grinding is present as well. However, in a case similar to Sonic and Shadow's when grinding on foot was first intoduced, only Speed type Extreme Gears (gear with the Grind Gear Part) could utilize it. In Sonic Free Riders, the grinding Gear Part alone can be set for almost every Gear (except for the Beginner as it cannot have any Gear Parts) including Bikes.

Recurring Mechanics of Acceleration

In Sonic Adventure 2, if pressing DreamcastB, the character will crouch in order to gain speed. However, in Sonic Heroes, Shadow the Hedgehog, and Sonic 06, if the player presses XboxX/SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO/PSSquareButton, the character will do a 180 degree spin which will accelerate them on the rail. In Sonic Unleashed, Colors and Generations, Sonic can move through rails fast by using the Sonic Boost. In Sonic Unleashed (PS3/Xbox 360 version) and Sonic Generations (PC/console version), the 180 degree spin can be performed while grinding for no effect by pressing XboxB/PSObutton.

Grinding once again appears in all versions of Sonic Generations. However, it not only appears in stages that originally had rails, it appears in some stages without it in the past, such as Mushroom Hill.

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.
  • Classic Sonic doesn't "grind" in Sonic Generations, more he just rolls along the rail. Bizarrely (and somewhat painfully), this still causes sparks and metallic scraping. This is more noticeable in Crisis City and City Escape.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Silver cannot grind in single player, but he can in multiplayer.

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