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Item Box

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Item Boxes
Item Box statue
The trophy of the Super Ring monitor in Sonic Generations.
Statistics and Overview
First appearance

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)


Gives items and effects to playable characters when destroyed by jumping on or simply touching it.


Monitors of unknown origin, which contain different sort of items to be utilized.

Item Boxes (アイテムボックス Aitemu bokkusu?), also called Video Monitors in the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Monitors in earlier games and Item Capsules are destructible containers that contain various power-ups or bonuses that can be collected by the player. They are placed on the ground, mid-air or hidden. The player can break open it to get power-up or item by simply jumping onto or doing other technique. After this, the item icon, that is seen in the monitor or item box will pop out and the player has gotten the power-up or item.

Since the first appearance in the original Sonic the Hedgehog, both monitors and item boxes have been stable and well-known items in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. In the early games and some of recent games, they took the form of grey, rectangular computer monitors with the icon of the power-up contained inside shown on the flickering screen, but in later games becoming more glass capsule looking and being usually called as item boxes. Both monitors and item boxes are not featured or mentioned in the game's storytelling, but it has been seen that objects belong to Sonic's world either as part of in-game objects or high-tech boxes with advertising.



The design of monitors.

In the early Sonic games and some of the later 2D games, they took the form of grey, rectangular computer Monitors with the icon of the power-up contained inside shown on the flickering screen. Usually empty monitors spawned through cheat codes only display static. Although item boxes have replaced them in later games, monitors sometimes have make appearances in recent games, such as Sonic the Hedgehog 4, Sonic Generations and Sonic Jump.

To break one of these monitors, the player should jump on it. Alternatively, the player can roll into the monitor from the side. Some Monitors can be found floating in midair in secret areas; hitting a floating Monitor from below will make it drop to the ground where it can be broken easily. If the player holds the jump button while destroying a Monitor, the bounce back is the same as that of a Badnik; that is, the longer the distance the player fell onto the monitor, the higher he will bounce back up. Monitors can be hidden at some places for example in palm-trees.

While some of these items are protective against hazards, spikes and enemies, they cannot protect the player from instant death such as being crushed or falling into a bottomless pit. Also, certain item boxes are traps that can cause damage to the player instead of helping them, like the Robotnik monitor found in the earlier games.

Item Box Adventure 1

An Item Box as it appears in Sonic Adventure.

Since Sonic Adventure, they had a redesign to look more like glass capsules with a picture of the item or power-up floating inside, and are now called Item Boxes or Item Capsules. These Item Boxes can be broken open by simply touching them (excluding Sonic Advance), as opposed to Monitors that had to be broken with an attack (breaking an Item Box by falling on it bounces the player upward). The Homing Attack will target Item Boxes the same way it will target enemies, and some chasms can be crossed by using Homing Attacks on a string of floating Item Boxes. Most of the 3D Sonic games use some form of the Item Boxes until since Sonic Unleashed, as being replaced with completely different items instead of item boxes such ten Rings and floating extra lives. Despite that, both usage of monitors and item boxes have been varied considerably at recent games in some form.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

It makes sure that you don't lose them.

Several monitors with Rings and Invincibility power-ups in original
Sonic the Hedgehog.

Monitors first appear in the original 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog, where these items were mentioned as video monitors in American instruction manual. Video monitors are illustrated as simple grey cubic televisions with static screen. In the game, the player can easily pick up power-ups by doing Spin Jump or Spin Attack. The game presented first time video monitor items being Super Rings, Shields, Power Sneakers, One-Ups and Invincibility.

Monitors also appear in the 8-bit version of the game with same name, also being called video monitors in American instruction manual and having all power-ups from 16-bit counterpart. However the game introduces to Arrow Monitors, which since then replaces Star Posts in Game Gear and Master System installments.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Monitors repeat their roles in 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, having a same appearance and same power-ups, although being called now just Monitors in American instruction manual. Monitors are also featured in multiplayer mode of the game, where monitor power-ups can be randomized and on-screen being just static. The multiplayer mode introduces to Teleportation monitor which only appears in this game and Robotnik monitor, which actually first appeared as an inoperable object from Debug Mode in the original Sonic the Hedgehog. In multiplayer mode, each of players can win the round depending on how much monitors are broken.

In the 8-bit version of the game with same name, monitors appear generally and having same power ups, excluding the Shield, which is not featured in the game. The game also keeps featuring Arrow Monitors as well.

Sonic the Hedgehog CD

In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, monitors appear normally, having also appearance and all power-ups from the original Sonic the Hedgehog. In the game's Special Stages, if the player blows up one of UFOs, the player can receive Rings or Power Sneakers like from monitors.

Sonic Chaos

Monitors appear generally in Sonic Chaos, having all power ups from the previous titles. However the game also features Rocket Shoes, which can only be used by Sonic and found monitors with Rocket Shoes icon on the screen. The game also doesn't feature Arrow Monitors, which were widely included in Game Gear and Master System titles. This is possibly due the fact that all zones are being quickly passed in the game.

Sonic Drift

Sonic Drift features two different coloring of monitors in racing tracks. Red monitors gives burst of speed to the player and blue monitors gives invincibility to the player with a 8-bit variation of neat and familiar song.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles

You got the all.

Almost all power-up monitors in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.

In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, the monitors repeat its role as having almost all power ups from previous games. However monitors now took the form of a light grey device instead of general grey cubic appearance. Monitors can pop out if the Goal plate falls down at a certain spot.

Despite having no normal shield, the game introduces three elemental shields, which are fire, water and lightning types. As the player enters to first and second Bonus Stages, many elemental shields and rings can be collected from multiple colored floating orbs. Both games also features Eggman monitors which are visible at some sections of the zones, where the player would not like to face them.

The Competition Mode features different kinds of items, having only rings and power sneakers being familiar ones. Competition Mode doesn't have monitors in it, as they are collected from small bubbles.

Sonic Triple Trouble

Monitors are featured in Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble, having appearance and power ups from earlier games. As featuring Rocket Shoes once again, there are monitors having power up which can make the player fly forward at high speeds. It can be only used by Tails.

The game also features Pogo Springs at Meta Junglira Zone, Jet Boards at Robotnik Winter Zone and Propeller Shoes at Tidal Plant Zone as the last two can only be used by Sonic. To enter Special Stages, the player has to find emerald monitors which are hidden in every first and second acts of zones. In Special Stages with platforming, there are also time monitors, which helps the player to reach to the end of the Special Stages.

Sonic Drift 2

Sonic Drift 2 features different colored Monitors lying on the tracks. Like in Sonic Drift, the red ones grant a boost in speed and the blue ones makes the racer invulnerable. There is also two new types of Monitors: yellow and black. The yellow ones makes the racer jump and the black ones allows the racer to set up Mines. To utilize the Monitors' effects in this game however, the player has to press up on the D-pad after obtaining them. The blue monitor's invincibility jingle in the game is one from Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

Knuckles' Chaotix

Monitors appear normally at Knuckles' Chaotix as with rings, shields, power sneakers and invincibility, the game also has even more obscure features. New monitor features are Combine Ring which obviously combines all collected rings to blue one if the player lose it, the one that changes to other character to another, swap monitor which swaps characters or making the second character big or small.

Sonic 3D Blast

Monitors are now featured at isometric perspective in Sonic 3D Blast (also known as Sonic 3D: Flickies Island), despite that having same role from previous games. As having rings, invincibility, power sneakers, 1-UP and shield, the game has two shields. Red Shield is like Flame Shield from Sonic the Hedgehog 3, although without quick jump dash and Gold Shield, that allows the player to perform Blast Attack.

Sonic Blast

Monitors also appear in Sonic Blast as there are 8 different power ups in the game. As giving rings, shield, power sneakers, invincibility and arrow monitors, there are now separate 1-UP monitors for Sonic and Knuckles, which do nothing, if the player has different character to collect 1-UP of another character. There are also Eggman monitor and monitor with question mark, which gives randomly one of eight power ups.

Sonic Jam

Monitors appear briefly in compilation Sonic Jam as hiding in Sonic World. Monitors included cheat codes and major information from games which are featured at compilation.

Sonic Adventure

Monitors are featured in Sonic Adventure as since this game, these objects are renamed as item-boxes. Instead of gray cubic design, item-boxes look more glass capsule with icon of power up floating inside of it which later is showed the screen below after braking the item box. If the player has Sonic, there are also easier to hit with Homing Attack.

Sonic Adventure features basic power-ups such as Power Sneakers, Invisibility, Shield, Magnetic Shield which actually is Thunder Shield from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 without double jump and extra life. However the game introduces concept of different set of rings, as there would be five or ten. There is also one with question mark, which could possibly give one, five, ten, fifteen, twenty or even forty rings. There's also a Bomb power-up which destroys all enemies nearby.

Sonic Pocket Adventure

Item Boxes appear in Sonic Pocket Adventure, where item boxes have the original grey television design but were called with the new name in game's instruction manual. The game has all five basic power ups from previous games.

Sonic Adventure 2

Item Boxes make another appearance in Sonic Adventure 2 where Item Boxes have slightly same look from Sonic Adventure. Power ups are almost the same from the previous game, however there are also twenty rings alone and health power ups from Tails and Eggman. Sonic Adventure 2 introduces to item box balloons (see below). Also many item boxes are seen floating in the air without footrests as well.

Sonic Advance series

Item Boxes appear in Sonic Advance games, including all basic power ups from Sonic Adventure. In Sonic Advance Item Boxes have a slightly different shape as its glass section is more cubic, but in Sonic Advance 2 and Sonic Advance 3 Item Boxes are more round-shaped. In Sonic Advance 2 the player can break open Item Boxes by simply touching them, marking the first game to do so.

Sonic Heroes

Sonic Heroes Item Box

The item box as it is seen in Sonic Heroes.

Item Boxes and its balloon variants appear in Sonic Heroes as normal item box's look is triangular prism shaped. It is more of mix of the original monitor from earlier games and item boxes from Sonic Adventure as having three screens of showing power up, but also having able to hover at one point. Item boxes can also found inside of small cages, that power-type characters can break.

Both of boxes and balloons have same power ups from Sonic Adventure 2. The game also features power cores which can be collectible by destroying item boxes and enemies, Team Blast, Rings and Fly Change, which is only available for fly-type characters which fills immediately flight meter fully. The game also features spin targets that only appear in this game.

Sonic Rush series

Item Boxes appear in Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure, as the appearance of the Item Boxes is different in the two games. Power ups in both games are generally five rings, random ring bonus (which gives one, five, ten, thirty or fifty rings), normal shield, magnetic shield, speed up, invincibility and extra life. Both games introduce Tension Bonus which fills the Tension Gauge to one level and Max Tension Bonus, which raises the Tension Gauge to maximum.

The multiplayer mode in both games features random ring bonus, a power-up which can slow down the other player, Max Tension Bonus which fully depletes the other player's Tension Gauge in addition to its single player usage, Confusion which scrambles the controls of  the other player for a short while and Attract which brings the other player to the place where the user is.

Shadow the Hedgehog

In Shadow the Hedgehog, item boxes have similar appearance from Sonic Heroes and having same power ups from Sonic Adventure 2. Many item boxes are also seen to be floating indirectly in the air. The game also features Heat Barrier that damages surrounded enemies and Damage Recover, which as the names says, recovers the health of the vehicle.

Sonic Riders series

All three Sonic Riders games features Item Boxes in tracks with different power ups that take advantages of the board's features. Item Boxes in these games also have a slightly similar appearance from Sonic Adventure 2. There are mostly eight item boxes in the row and all of them are shown to be randomized items with a question mark icon on the Item Boxes.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

Tails throwing an item box

Tails throwing item box of dummy rings in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).

Gauge up

Gauge Up item in Sonic The Hedgehog (2006)

Item Boxes appear in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), where look of them is more detailed and at same time similar for ones in Sonic Adventure. Also power ups are almost same. After getting item box with extra life and losing a life, these particular item boxes are completely empty.

Although the game features Gauge Up power up, which replenish the Action Gauge. Because the game's unfinished, it has no effect when it is picked up by Sonic. The game also features invincibility Item and High speed Item. Tails also got the ability to throw fake item boxes to enemies which then explode with dummy rings popping out of them.

Mario & Sonic series

Item boxes (especially balloon item boxes) are featured in Dream Events of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games and Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Power ups in these games are such as bombs, shields and speed shoes. There are also extra items from Mario games such as Super Stars, Mega Mushrooms, green and red shells.

Sonic Unleashed

Since Sonic Unleashed, Item boxes seem to be completely replaced by other items. The Super Ring Item Box is replaced by a ring with ten written in it. Extra Life is replaced by a square with Sonic's head symbol in it. They can't be targeted by a Homing Attack, and no other items remain in Modern Sonic's gameplay.

However unlike the PS3/Xbox 360 version, the Wii/PS2 version of Sonic Unleashed feature item boxes being called as Item Capsules. They are dispersed throughout the stages and puzzles in the Gaia Temples, and when broken, give Sonic an item. These items are extras like movies, hints, music, and pictures, but also sometimes give the player a permanent extra life. In the night stages, many item boxes contain Gaia Force which helps the Werehog build up his strength for Unleashed mode or contribute to the total at the end of the level.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing series

In Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, item boxes appear throughout the tracks. When collected, the player can get weapons, power-ups, or if they are lucky, an All-Star Move.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4

Monitors make a reappearance in all three episodes of Sonic the Hedgehog 4. Monitors have given a different design, but still having a small resemblance to the original design from earlier games. Despite the appearance, the power-ups are all similar to ones from original Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 games.

However in Episode II, there are some of monitors that hover in mid-air. There is also one special power up at golden monitors (called "Special Combination"), which includes a Combo Attack performed by Sonic and Tails that can be activated by destroying the golden monitor with the icon of it in Oil Desert Zone and Sky Fortress Zone.

Sonic Colors

Like in Sonic Unleashed, the Wii version of Sonic Colors doesn't feature item boxes. However, this is the opposite in the Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colors, as there are item boxes and they can also been opened by using homing attack that works for Wisp Capsules. Its appearance is similar to ones from Sonic Advance 2 and Sonic Advance 3.

In Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colors, there are ring, shield, thunder shield, life and invincibility capsules in the levels, but in versus mode, there are different capsules that the player can use to throw obstacles at the other player or reduce their speed. Those obstacles are springs, spike balls and Egg Balloons.

Sonic Generations

Monitors return in Sonic Generations as objects for Classic Sonic's acts, having similar appearance from earlier games. All power ups appear in the game such as rings, invincibility, power sneakers and extra life, although normal shield has to buy from store. The game also marks return of elemental shields, which only appears at item boxes in few challenges, but are only found at store like other items and features. Classic Sonic also has feature to use Skateboard, which can be found from a monitor in City Escape.

Monitors repeat its role in Sonic Generations for Nintendo 3DS, where also Modern Sonic can find Ring and Life monitors through the Classic and the Dreamcast Era.

Sonic Jump (2012)

Monitors appear yet again in 2012 remake of Sonic Jump. Monitors have many familiar power ups from previous games, but which also includes magnets, bombs and different set of shields.

Sonic Dash

Item boxes are featured in Sonic Dash, as the player runs towards it, they contain ten rings or magnets, that are similar to ones from Sonic Jump. The look of item boxes are identical to ones in Sonic & All-Stars Racing. Item boxes can be found at normally at corners, but also behind of walls, totem poles or any other obstacles as well.

Sonic Lost World

Item Boxes reappear in Sonic Lost World, where they are shown to have more basic appearance with large cup with red footset and top. While the Wii U version of the game only features item boxes for having Wisps, they are featured more generally at Nintendo 3DS version, where item boxes are able to give ten rings, elemental shields, power sneakers and invincibility. Item boxes can be found under rocks and other breakable objects and structures. In Wii U version, many of these power-ups can be rewarded by completing certain missions in Zones and used in regularly activate them in Zones at any time.

While many item boxes include Super Ring bonuses in both versions, there are also separated, floating five- or ten-ring bonuses and extra lives without item boxes in the Wii U version, similar to the previous installments such as Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations. Five-ring bonuses and extra lives also appear in the Nintendo 3DS version as well.

Item Box balloons are also featured in the Tropical Coast Zone 2 and 4 in Wii U version, which function differently from previous games. The player has to aim on them with Orange Rocket. If the player success, balloon reveals to have golden cannon inside and the player gets another chance to use Orange Rocket and aim to another location.



Item Box Balloon Adventure 2

Item Box Balloon.

There is one alternative form of item boxes: the balloons or floating item boxes in Sonic Rush. These balloons are red and they have a white and blue circles with a star on them. They act like capsules, except that they are always floating in the air. Since they don't have a picture, there is no telling what each one contains. Balloons sometimes contain special bonuses that do not appear in item boxes, like the wing, which gives Knuckles an extra boost into the air as he glides. They first appeared in Sonic Adventure 2, continued on Sonic Heroes, Shadow the Hedgehog, and Sonic Rush and has been used only in spin-offs such as Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games.

Target Switch

Main article: Target Switch
2011-01-22 080138

Spin target behind Rouge in Sonic Heroes.

Target Switch are one of variants of item boxes that only appear in Sonic Heroes. Spin Targets are round-shaped, flat plates that float in the air. Spin target has red background, white and blue circles with a star on it. If the player tries to fly too close to it, the target will spin and cannot be hit.

The flight-type character has to use Thunder Shoot to throw another character through to make it spin around and thus earning the power up after the spin target disappears after spinning an while. Spin targets usually contains power cores, rings.

Power ups


Name Description Picture
Super Ring Gives ten Rings. In later series different variety of Ring Power Ups were added with a number with the icon to tell how many rings will be added like one, five, ten, twenty or even forty. ? would mean random. Sonic 3 Ring
Invincibility Bestows an aura of sparkles (or, in later games, a shiny rainbow aura) upon the player character that grants the temporary immunity from damage and destroys opponents on contact. The invulnerability lasts twenty seconds, during which time the background music changes to an upbeat fanfare. This power-up does not protect the character from hazards that cause instant death, namely drowning, getting crushed and bottomless pits. Sonic 3 Stars
Shield Encases the player character in a defensive barrier that protects the player from a single attack or damage. Once damage is taken, the shield will disperse and the player will suffer knockback, but will lose the shield rather than his rings or life. Does not protect the character if he/she drowns, gets crushed or falls into a bottomless pit. The colour of normal shields was originally a transparent blue but later began to vary throughout the series. Shield
Power Sneakers Allows the player to accelerate much faster than normal and increases his top speed and jump height. While active, the background music plays at an increased tempo, except in certain games where a separate track plays like Sonic CD. The Speed Shoes wear off after roughly thirty seconds. Speed Shoes
Extra Life/1-Up Gives a player an extra life. The icon for this power-up is the head of the current player character, or in later games, a "1up" symbol. Extra Life
Static Does nothing. It’s an unfinished monitor found only by Debug Mode in the original Sonic the Hedgehog and early builds of Sonic Generations. Static
Goggles Unused in-game. In the original Sonic the Hedgehog it would appear to give Sonic unlimited breathing underwater; however, an interview with a former Sega employee revealed that the goggles were just a cosmetic feature for use when Sonic was underwater, and would be taken off when he resurfaced. Tv goggles
Arrow Monitor The checkpoints for 8-bit games for Game Gear and Master System, unlike 16-bit versions of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 which used Star Posts as checkpoints. Arrow Monitor
Continue Appears only in 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Chaos, this Monitor gives the player an extra continue if the player loses all of their lives, allowing the player to start the Zone over with three extra lives.

Note that an otherwise unused, but fully functional Continue monitor also appears in the 8-bit Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but it's locked in a wall so it's impossible to get without cheat codes.

Random Gives a random power up to the character. It only appears in the 2-player mode of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and additionally can give two extra power ups that don't appear in 1-Player mode: Robotnik and Switch / Teleport. Random
Teleporter Switches Sonic and Tails' position on the map. It only appears in the 2-player mode of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. It can only be seen normally by breaking a Random monitor, but using debug mode will allow you to gain access to a Teleport monitor. Breaking a teleport monitor with one player has no effect, but the bright screen and sound effect are still there. Teleport Monitor
Grey Shoes Unused in-game. Decreases your speed. Grey Speed Shoes
Rocket Shoes Appears in Sonic Chaos and Sonic Triple Trouble, the Rocket Shoes grant Sonic the ability to fly at high speed for about five seconds. Rocket Shoes
Pogo Spring Appears in Sonic Chaos and Sonic Triple Trouble which allows Sonic and Tails to use a Pogo Spring. With it, the Pongo Spring can bounce the player to reach greater heights. In Sonic Triple Trouble, they are featured as monitor items. Pogo Spring
Time Stop Appears only in Special Stages of Sonic Chaos, where it freezes time. The player can keep moving but everything else stops, including the HUD. Time Stop
Lightning Shield/Magni-Barrier Works like a Shield and attracts nearby rings. It also negates electrical-based damage and repels certain projectiles. In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, it would also give Sonic the ability perform a double-jump by pressing the jump button in mid-air (Tails and Knuckles fly or glide when pressing jump in midair, and do not gain the double jump). Once non-electrical damage is taken, the shield will disperse and the player will suffer knockback, but will lose the shield rather than his rings or life. The shield will also disperse if the character dives in water deep enough to drown in. Does not protect the character if he is crushed or falls into a bottomless pit. Electric Shield Thumb
Flame Shield A shield that negates any fire-based damage for the character wearing it, such as fireballs and lava, and repels certain projectiles. In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, it would also give the ability to perform a "Fireball Spin Dash" in the air by double-tapping the "A" button as Sonic (Tails and Knuckles already fly or glide when pressing jump in midair, and do not gain the Fireball Spin Dash). Once non-fire damage is taken, the shield will disperse and the player will suffer knockback, but will lose the shield rather than his rings or life. The shield will also disperse if the character dives in water deep enough to drown in. Does not protect the character if they get crushed or fall into a bottomless pit. Fire Shield Thumb
Aqua Barrier/Water Shield This shield allows the player character to breath underwater indefinitely without fear of drowning. It allows Sonic to quickly plummet downward and bounce by pressing the jump button in mid-air (Tails and Knuckles already fly/swim or glide when pressing jump in midair, and do not gain this bonus ability from the shield). It has the ability to repel certain projectiles, not including spiked projectiles (for obvious reasons) and explosives. Once damage is taken, the shield will disperse and the player will suffer knock-back, but will lose the shield rather than his rings or life. Does not protect the character if they get crushed or fall into a bottomless pit. Bubble Shield Thumb
Robotnik/Eggman Causes damage, similar from contact with a Badnik or hazard like spikes. The character either loses a barrier, rings, or a life. In some earlier games, it can be found with Debug Mode, and destroying it would do nothing. Robotnik
S Depending on game, it can give Speed Shoes and Invincibility or grant Super/Hyper form and fifty Rings. It only appears in the Debug Mode of Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic & Knuckles and 510 prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog CD. While being unused in original Sonic the Hedgehog, it does become used in 2013 re-releases of the game and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Smonitor
Super Heli-Tails Appears only in Sonic Triple Trouble, allowing Tails to fly forward at high speeds for about 5 seconds, equivalent to the Rocket Shoes. Tailsmonitor
Jet Board Appears only in Sonic Triple Trouble, allowing Sonic to travel fast downhill at Robotnik Winter. It disappears after certain time. Snowboard Game Gear
Screw Shoes Appears only in Sonic Triple Trouble, allowing Sonic to propulsion through Tidal Plant's underwater sections. Screw Shoes
Chaos Emerald Appears only in Sonic Triple Trouble which transports the player to the Special Stage. EmeraldMonitor
Jump Appears only in Sonic Drift 2 which allows the user to launch himself/herself through the air, similar to when touching a Spring. Drift 2 YellowMonitor
Mine Appears only in Sonic Drift 2 which allows the user to set up hazardous mines on the racetracks as traps for the player. Drift 2 BlackMonitor
Time Bonus Appears in Sonic Triple Trouble, where it reverts the timer back to a full 1:30 once picking it during platforming based Special Stages. Time
Combine Ring Appears only in Knuckles' Chaotix. Fuses the player's rings together as they are collected until he is hit. Upon taking damage, the player will release one ring equivalent to all rings lost. If the ring is not collected in a short time, it explodes into individual rings. Combine Ring
Swap Appears only in Knuckles' Chaotix. Switches the current character with its partner for twenty seconds. Swap
Grow Appears only in Knuckles' Chaotix. Doubles the player in size, thus increasing his weight and jump height, for twenty seconds. Grow
Shrink Appears only in Knuckles' Chaotix. Halves the player in size, thus decreasing his weight and jump height, for twenty seconds. Shrink
Change Appears only in Knuckles' Chaotix. After picking it up, it replaces your Combi Partner with one of other four characters for short amount of time. Change-Animated
Gold Shield Appears only in Sonic 3D Blast, the Gold Shield protects from a single instance of damage and allows the player to launch forward by pressing the jump button in midair, similar to the Flame Shield from Sonic 3 & Knuckles. However, it will target nearby enemies like the later Homing Attack. Once damage is taken, the shield will disperse and the player will suffer knockback, but will lose the shield rather than his rings or life. Gold Shield
Skateboard Appears only in Sonic Generations, as classic Sonic can used it to skate through the City Escape. The player can only jump forward while skating. It disappears when the player collides with an oncoming obstacle or wall. Skateboard Icon
Special Combination Appears only in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II on certain golden monitors. Activating it makes Sonic and Tails bounce around and destroy Badniks at the screen while the player is pressing A-button for five seconds. It rewards with certain amount of rings and points. When Rolling Combo wasn't enough..

Item Boxes

Key: SA1 = Sonic Adventure, SA2 = Sonic Adventure 2, SH = Sonic Heroes, ShTH = Shadow the Hedgehog, STH = Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), SR = Sonic Riders, SRZG = Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity

Name Game appearances Description Picture
Rings SA1, SA2, SH, ShTH, STH, SR, SRZG. They give a certain amount of Rings: five, ten, twenty or ?(which randomly gives one, five, ten, fifteen, twenty or forty Rings).
Extra Life / 1-Up SA1, SA2, SH, ShTH, STH.

Adds an extra life to the total number of lives. In the Adventure games the picture inside shows the head of the current player character, but in Heroes and onward (except Shadow the Hedgehog) it simply reads "1Up" (in Heroes, this is because the player controls a team of three characters).

1 Up (Head)
Power Sneakers / High Speed SA1, SA2, SH, STH, SRZG. Provides the character a boost of speed for a limited time, which increases max speed and acceleration.
Power sneaker
High Speed Sonic Riders Zero Gravity
Invincible SA1, SA2, SH, ShTH, STH, SR. Makes you invulnerable and damages enemies by touching them for a limited time (except Sonic 2006, where it makes you invulnerable but doesn't damage enemies).
Shield / Barrier SA1, SA2, SH, ShTH. Protects your character from damage once, much like the earlier incarnations. Doesn’t protect from bottomless pits.
Magnetic Shield / Magnetic Barrier SA1, SA2, STH, SR, SRZG. Protects your character from damage once and draws nearby rings to the player character, similar to the original Lightning Shield. Lightning Shield Adventure 2
Heat Barrier ShTH. Protects your character from damage once and damages surrounding enemies. Heat Barrier
Health SA2. Restores all of your character's Hit Points (HP). Only used by Tails and Eggman. Health
Damage Recover ShTH. Restores some of the Hit Points of the Vehicle you’re in command of. Damage Recover
Gauge Up STH. Chaos Drives that replenish the Action Gauge. It has no effect when picked up by Sonic. Gauge Up
Fly Charge SH. Sets the Flying Gauge to full.
Power Core SH. Comes in three colours: Blue (Speed), Yellow (Fly), and Red (Power). It Levels Up a character depending of his/her type.
Blue core
Yellow core
Red core
Team Blast Ring SH. Sets the Team Blast Gauge to full.
Team blast ring
Bomb / Explosion SA1, SA2, SR, SRZG. In the Adventure games it destroys all onscreen enemies. In the Riders games, it launches a bomb at players ahead knocking them off balance. Bomb
Time Stop SA1. Unused in-game. It may have been a time-stopping item with a similar effect to Chaos Control. It also could have been related to E-102 Gamma's levels in some way, which were based around a countdown timer. Time Stop
Air Boost / GP Boost SR, SRZG. Refills your Air Tank/GP Gauge by various amounts. Air Boost
Speed Down SR, SRZG. Slows you down to a crawl for a limited time. Speed DownSpeed Down2
Question Item SR, SRZG. Contains a random Power up (Rings, Magnetic Shield, Explosion, Air or Speed Down). Question Item
Attack SRZG. Makes you run at full speed on foot, attacking enemies that get too close and activating Springs and other special shortcuts for a limited time. Attack
Parts Lock SRZG. Deactivates all Gear Parts for a limited time. Parts Lock
Colorball SRZG. Obscures vision with a splash of colored paint for a limited time. Colorball


Introduced in Sonic Unleashed, Colors and Generations, some traditional power-ups are no longer contained in item boxes. Instead they can be collected simply by touching them.

Key: SU = Sonic Unleashed, SC = Sonic Colors, SG = Sonic Generations, SLW = Sonic Lost World

Name Game appearances Description Picture
Super Ring SU, SC, SG, SLW. Appear slightly larger than regular rings with the number five, ten or twenty to represent it's value.
Super ring
Extra Life / 1-Up SU, SC, SG, SLW. Adds an extra life to the total number of lives. Simply a black panel with a gold frame in the first game but replaced with simply Sonic's head with a blue aura.
Extra Life 07

Apperances in other media

Stay Sonic

Monitors have given sort of back story in Stay Sonic. As planning to use his Retro Orbital Chaos Compressor to contain all the negative energy of the planet within six emeralds, Doctor Ovi Kintobor required a seventh gem to stabilize the process, but could not locate one himself. To broaden his search, he set up a network of monitors across the entire planet that served as an interlinked communications system, allowing the people of Mobius to pass along any information to him that they could about the final emerald's potential whereabouts.[1]

Sonic the Comic

Monitors also appear in Fleetway's Sonic the Comic, as sharing the same kind of background from Stay Sonic. The another one of Kintobor's creations was an artificial duplicate of Sonic known as an Extra Life, which was stored within one of the planet's many monitors.

Unfortunately, the Extra Life was never needed and so remained trapped in its monitor for years, slowly becoming corrupted and bent on revenge, until it duped Tails into freeing it by pretending to be the real Sonic. After besmirching Sonic's name by causing chaos in the Emerald Hill Zone, the Extra Life was sucked back into its monitor by Tails, and the box was then kicked into space by the real Sonic.[2]

Archie Comics

In Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comics, monitors or item boxes hasn't been seen until one item box has been seen to being developed in Sonic Universe issue 38, which has been created by Hope Kintobor and possibly GUN. It was originally invented to be device to help E-123 Omega during combat battles.

However Snively teleported himself to the GUN laboratory and tries pleasing Hope being part of their family and rule the world with him and Regina. Hope disagrees to join him after the conversation and activates the item box which has Flame Shield in it, forces the Snively to leave him and activates the alarm. Snively leaves the place and Hope has been seen crying alone with Flame Shield still on it at the laboratory where later Omega finds him.


  • Monitors from original Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog CD are based on basic CRT monitors, while Monitors in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles bear resemble to Apple's Macintosh from mid 1980's. Later on Monitors in Sonic the Hedgehog 4 seem to loosely based on modern flat-panel LCD TV, while Sonic Generations brings back the original CRT design.
  • In earlier games, when the player has both Sonic and Tails, Tails couldn't destroy monitors as his own. This was although possible in early prototypes of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, as Tails was a "copy-paste" programmed character of the main playable character.
  • There are certain monitors at above sections that can't be reached with Sonic or Tails in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. However, with lock-on technology of Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Knuckles can reach these sections that have those monitors.
  • Although monitors don't appear at Competition Mode of Sonic the Hedgehog 3, one monitor can be seen at options menu of Competition Mode as items can be set on and off.
    • The same way, Tails Adventure doesn't feature monitors, although one can be seen upper left corner of gameplay hud, showing the amount of the rings that player has.
  • As it can be seen above, City Escape has advertisements of different things in Sonic Adventure 2 as one of them being item-boxes with ten rings and various other power-ups.
  • In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, an extra-life monitor can be seen at top of loop in Green Hill stage.





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