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The Jump Panel,[1] also referred to as the Ramp,[2][3] the Launcher,[4] and the Jump Plate,[5] is a gimmick that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a ramp-like object that combines the Spring and Dash Panel. When used, it launches the playable character forward and up at accelerated speed.

Description

The Jump Panel comes in two relatively distinctive designs: a classic and modern one.[note 1] The classic ones are based on the typical springboard, although their designs have varied slightly over the course of the series. The modern Jump Panels have varied in design over time too, although they are typically designed as large, blocky wedges with arrow symbols on top of them.

Jump Panels are typically set on the edges of large or small cliffs. Sometimes, they are also set before steps. In gameplay, interacting with a Jump Panel will sent the player flying forward and up through the air at accelerated speed for a short while, akin to a diagonally-aligned Spring. This mechanic is mostly used to help the player get across grabs or bottomless pits. They are also sometimes used to help the player reach objects or alternate pathways. In some games, using a Jump Panel also allows the playable character to initiate Trick Actions while they fly through midair.

The effects of a Jump Panel can usually be triggered by simply touching them. Sometimes however, they can only be triggered when the playable runs into them at a certain speed, meaning that sometimes touching a Jump Panel while moving at a low speed will not launch the playable character. The Jump Panels will also sometimes work in additional different ways, which depend on the game they are featured in.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

JumpPanelS2

In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the classic Jump Panels are featured. This version of the Jump Panel consists of a black plate base with a white and red-striped springboard above it. Between these two boards at one end is a small spring. On the other end, the two boards are held together by a red lateral rod. When viewed from the side, the aforementioned rod will display the Bumper symbol.

In gameplay, the Jump Panels are encountered in Chemical Plant Zone, Aquatic Ruin Zone and Mystic Cave Zone. The player can be launched either far or short distances by the Jump Panels, depending on how fast the player is running when touching them. Regardless, the closer the player gets to the front edge of a Jump Panel, the further the playable character will be sent flying. Also, if the player just jumps directly onto the Jump Panel, it will not launch the player very high or far.

In Aquatic Ruin Zone, Jump Panels are placed either on top of loops, wide inconstant places or in underwater sections, where they can sent the player flying out of the water and up on dry land.

SegaSonic the Hedgehog

RampSegaSonic

Jump Panels in SegaSonic the Hedgehog.

In SegaSonic the Hedgehog, an early incarnation of the modern Jump Panels are featured in Landslide Limbo. In this game, the Jump Panels resemble shoddily-made wooden ramps with red arrow marks on some of them. While they only send the playable character flying a short distance, it is enough to let them get past obstacles.

Sonic Drift 2

RampDrift2-1Sprite
RampDrift2-2Sprite

In Sonic Drift 2, there were some alternate versions of the Jump Panels. Such objects appear in Hill Top 1 and 2 where they are simply mounds of earth; driving directly over them will launch the racer into a flying leap, but grazing their sides will cause the racer to slow down. Similarly functioning objects called Triangle Bumpers also appear in Casino Night.

Sonic Adventure

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A Jump Panel in Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut.

In Sonic Adventure and its remake Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, the first modern Jump Panel appeared. In this game, the Jump Panels resemble wedge-shaped ramps with white inclined planes, red frames on the side, and blue front edges. Also, on the Jump Panels' inclined surfaces are elongated red and blue arrow marks.

In gameplay, the Jump Panels do little else besides launching the playable character a set distance through midair.

Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure

JumpPanelSPASprite

In Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, the classic Jump Panels make an appearance. In this game, they look exactly like they did in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

The Jump Panels can only be found in Aquatic Relix Zone. Jump Panels in this game function like they did in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but they are much more rare gimmicks than in previous appearances.

Sonic Adventure 2

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A Jump Panel in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle.

In Sonic Adventure 2 and its remake Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, the modern Jump Panels (which are referred to as Jump Plates this time around[5]) make an appearance. In this game, the Jump Panels resemble ramps with red sideframes and gray front edges with cyan arrow triangles on black spots. Meanwhile, their foot edges are blue, black and golden with red arrow triangles on them. Lastly, the Jump Panels' inclined surfaces have three rows of LED displays that show blue arrow marks.

Like in Sonic Adventure, using the Jump Panel in this game will only result in the playable character being sent a set distance through midair.

Sonic Advance series

Sonic Advance 2

JumpPanelSA2Sprite

In Sonic Advance 2, the classic Jump Panels make a reappearance, although this time, they are referred to as Launchers.[4] In this game, they feature new designs, being colored entirely orange with a light blue stripe on the side of their springboards, and having Phillips screws attaching their springboards to their base boards instead of star-emblazoned rods.

In gameplay, when launched into midair by Jump Panels, the player can perform different Mid-Air Trick Actions. However, the Jump Panels can only be triggered when the playable character runs into them at a certain speed, meaning that touching a Jump Panel while moving at a low speed will not launch the playable character.

Sonic Advance 3

JumpPanelSA3

A Jump Panel in Sonic Advance 3.

In Sonic Advance 3, the classic Jump Panels made a reappearance. In this game, they have the same design and mechanics from Sonic Advance 2.

Sonic Heroes

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A pair of Jump Panels in Sonic Heroes.

In Sonic Heroes, the modern Jump Panels made a reappearance. In this game, they resemble ramps with red sideframes and three rows of black treadmills on top of them, each having one line of red arrow triangles emblazoned on them. Lastly, the front edge on each Jump Panel consist of vertical gray and yellow stribes, while their foot edges are blocky and yellow-orange.

In gameplay, the Jump Panels do little else beside launching the player a set distance through midair.

Shadow the Hedgehog

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A pair of Jump Panels in Shadow the Hedgehog.

In Shadow the Hedgehog, the modern Jump Panels made an appearance. In this game, they look much like they did in Sonic Heroes, except for a few subtle differences: the sideframes are now orange and rusty, and their foot edges are now gray. They also lack frames on their front edges.

In gameplay, the Jump Panels do nothing else besides launching the player a set distance through midair.

ShTHJumpPanel

A wide Jump Panel exclusive to Prison Island.

Variations of the Jump Panel (which are also called "Jump Panel"[6]) are encountered on Prison Island. Despite their different design, they work much like the regular Jump Panels; by interacting with them, these gimmicks can sent the player flying through the air to other locations. When using them, these Jump Panels will expand upward and push the player through midair at incredible speed. To use these Jump Panels in gameplay, the player has to press the jump button while standing on them.

Sonic Rush series

Sonic Rush

JumpPanelSR

A Jump Ramp in Sonic Rush.

In Sonic Rush, the classic Jump Panels made a return. In this game, they are orange like in the Sonic Advance series, but with a blue stripe on the bottom and more ramp-like proportions. They also have thicker springs (both horizontally and vertically aligned) and a blue and yellow Bumper on the side.

In gameplay, when launched into midair by Jump Panels, the player can perform different Trick Actions. However, the Jump Panels can only be triggered when the playable character runs into them at a certain speed, meaning that touching a Jump Panel while moving at a low speed will not launch the playable character.

Sonic Rush Adventure

JumpPanelSRA

A Jump Panel in Sonic Rush Adventure.

In Sonic Rush Adventure, the classic Jump Panels reappeared. In this game, they have the same design and mechanics from Sonic Rush, including the mechanic that allows players to use Trick Actions when using them.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

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A Jump Panel in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).

In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), the modern Jump Panels made a return appearance. In this game, their design is similar to how it appeared in Shadow the Hedgehog, except the Jump Panels' sideframes are completely red and orange. In gameplay, the Jump Panels just send the playable characters through midair when used.

Sonic Rivals series

Sonic Rivals

JumpPanelSRivals

A Jump Panel in Sonic Rivals.

In Sonic Rivals, the modern Jump Panels made a return appearance. In this game, they resemble high-tech wedges with four thick prongs of increasing size aligned along both their sides. Their inclining surfaces are also black with yellow arrow marks on them and red edges on the side. In gameplay, they do little else beside launching the player through midair.

Sonic Rivals 2

In Sonic Rivals 2, the modern Jump Panels reappeared. In this game, they have the same design and mechanics from Sonic Rivals.

Sonic Storybook series

Sonic and the Secret Rings

JumpPanelSatSR

A Jump Panel in Sonic and the Secret Rings.

In Sonic and the Secret Rings, the modern Jump Panels reappeared once more. In this game, they look similar to how they appeared in Sonic Heroes, except for a few differences: their overall color scheme is now rusty-yellow and orange, their front edges are now dark gold with a row of three cyan lights on them, and their foot edges are dark gold with Arabian artistics to them. Also, in gameplay, they do nothing else besides launching the player through midair upon touching them.

Sonic and the Black Knight

JumpPanelSatBK

A medieval Jump Panel in Sonic and the Black Knight.

In Sonic and the Black Knight, medieval versions of the modern Jump Panel appeared. These Jump Panels resemble wide wooden waterwheels kept suspended at the edge of cliffs and/or drops by wooden frames, but otherwise work just like normal Jump Panels in gameplay when touching them. Also, when using a Jump Panel in this game, the player earns extra "Jump Bonus" points.

Regular modern Jump Panels also appear the Legacy Missions. These Jumps Panels strongly resemble those in Sonic Heroes, except these ones have black foot edges with yellow arrow triangles on them, thicker sideframes at the bottom, and completely red frames. Despite their different designs though, these Jump Panels work exactly like their medieval counterparts.

Sonic Unleashed

JumpPanelSUPS3Xbox360

Jump Panels in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed.

In Sonic Unleashed, the modern Jump Panels made an reappearance in the game's daytime stages. This time, they are referred to as Ramps.[2][3] They were also given a redesign that would become a mainstay in the series. In this game, they are black, ramp-like wedges with a wide inclining surface each and red edges on the sides. They also have a black treadmill each with evenly spaced yellow arrow marks on top of them that point in the direction the Jump Panels are facing, red triangular arrow marks on their foot edge, and metallic gray stribes between the treadmill's edges and the red outer edges. Noticeably, the Jump Panels in this game come in different sizes. Also, those in the Wii/PlayStation 2 version of the game sometimes have slightly different designs, being about two treadmill rows wider.

In gameplay, the Jump Panels only launch the player through midair. However, they can only be triggered when Sonic runs into them at a certain speed, meaning that touching a Jump Panel while moving at a low speed will not launch Sonic. Also, if Sonic boosts into a Jump Panel, it will launch him further than at normal running speed.

Sonic Colors

JumpPanelSCWii

A trio of Jump Panels in the Wii version of Sonic Colors.

In the Wii version of Sonic Colors, the modern Jump Panels made a return appearance. In this version of the game, they look exactly like they did in Sonic Unleashed. In gameplay, they do nothing else besides launching the player through midair when touching them. However, they are rarely encountered.

In the Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colors, the classic Jump Panels are used instead. In this version of the game, they look and behave exactly like they did in the Sonic Rush series, with the exception that these Jump Panels do not let the player use Trick Actions after setting off from them.

Sonic Generations

Sonic Generations Ramp (4)

A trio of modern Jump Panels in the console/PC version of Sonic Generations.

On the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, the Jump Panels appear in both their classic and modern iterations; the modern ones look like those in Sonic Unleashed, and the classic ones look like those in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. In the console version's manuals, this gimmick is referred to as the Jump Panel. However, it is referred to as the Ramp in the PC version's manual.

Keep spinning, who knows where you get crashed at right side

A classic Jump Panel in the console/PC version of Sonic Generations.

On the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, the modern Jump Panels are only encountered in the second Acts of the stages and Challenge Acts. The classic Jump Panels on the other hand are only found in the first acts of the stages (namely Chemical Plant, Speed Highway, City Escape, Seaside Hill and Rooftop Run) and Challenge Acts. In gameplay, modern Jump Panels do nothing else beside launching Sonic a set distance through midair when he touches them. Classic Jump Panels meanwhile work similarly to the ones in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. However, some of the classic Jump Panels behave more like the game's modern Jump Panels. Also worth noting is that some modern Jump Panels launch the player over a farther distance when boosting into it than just running into them, like in Sonic Unleashed.

On the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations, only the modern Jump Panels appear. These Jump Panels look exactly like how they did in Sonic Unleashed, and are encountered in both the first and second Act of the stages. In gameplay, they do nothing else besides launching the player through midair.

Sonic Lost World

JumpPanelSLW3DS

A Jump Panel in the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World.

In the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World, the modern Jump Panels appear. In this game, they resemble simple red, triangular wedges with a black a black treadmill on top of them. Also, emblazoned on the treadmills are red and yellow arrow triangles. In this game, the Jump Panels do little else besides launching the player through midair.

Sonic Runners series

Sonic Runners

JumpPanelSRunners

A Jump Panel in Sonic Runners.

In Sonic Runners, the classic Jump Panels made a return. In this game, they look just like they did in the original Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (except that they are missing the Bumper symbol on the side) and are referred to as Jump Panels by the game's cast. In gameplay, Jump Panels appear as regular objects on the right edge of the pathways. To make a Jump Panel launch the player high into midair, the player has to tap the screen when the playable character passes over the Jump Panel. If they do not, the playable character will briefly stumble when passing over the Jump Panel. Also, while launched into the air by the Jump Panels, the player can pull off Trick Actions.

Sonic Runners Adventure

JumpPanelSRunnersAdventure

A Jump Panel in Sonic Runners Adventure.

In Sonic Runners Adventure, the classic Jump Panels were reused. In this game, they have the design that was featured in Sonic Runners, and are referred to as Jump Panels again. In gameplay, Jump Panels appear again as regular objects on the right edge of pathways. To make a Jump Panel launch the player high into midair, the player has to tap the screen when the playable character passes over it.

Sonic Mania

JumpPanelSManiaSprite

In Sonic Mania, the classic Jump Panels reappear again. In this game, they look and behave exactly like they did in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. In this game, they only appear in Chemical Plant Zone.

RampManiaSpecialStages

Ramps in the Special Stages of Sonic Mania.

Similar gimmicks also appear in the Special Stages. They look like yellow ramps with orange-blue arrows on them. However, they make the same bounce sound as the regular Jump Panel in the game when using them. They are usually placed so the player can cross gaps and reach objects in the air (such as Rings). However, as the player increases their speed in the Special Stage, these ramps become a hindrance, and are best avoided to maintain speed.

Sonic Forces

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A modern Jump Panel in Sonic Forces.

In Sonic Forces, the Jump Panels appear in both their classic and modern iterations; the modern ones look like those in Sonic Unleashed, and the classic ones look like those in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The modern Jump Panels are encountered in the stages exclusive to Sonic, the Avatar and the Tag Team playstyle, while the classic Jump Panels are encountered in the stages exclusive to Classic Sonic.

In gameplay, modern Jump Panels launch Sonic a set distance through midair and nothing else. The classic Jump Panels on the other hand behave much like they did in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. However, some of the classic Jump Panels behave more like the modern Jump Panels in the game.

Variants

Kicker

Main article: Kicker

Kickers,[7] also known as Trick Zones,[8][9] are ramp-based gimmicks that appear in the Sonic Riders series. Kickers appear in the form of positive inclines in the road that lead to a drop-off, before which the player can jump and can perform Air Tricks. Passing through Kickers without pressing anything results in a trick with the lowest Rank rating, or the player not performing a trick at all. In Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, the player does not perform tricks in the air, but instead must press the jump button while they are as close to the edge of the Kicker as possible to get the highest Rank possible. In Sonic Free Riders, there are two types of Kickers; one of them allows the player to perform a trick at any rank while the other only allows the player to perform a trick and earn up to a S-Rank (or not at all if the player does not jump).

Trick Jump Panel

Main article: Trick Jump Panel

The Trick Jump Panels are variants of the modern Jump Panel. They are similar to the modern Jump Panels, except they feature a different color scheme, and sometimes a slightly different design. Also, when using them, the player must either time their jumps off them in order to earn extra rewards, or complete a Real-Time Interaction.

See also

Notes

  1. In the instruction manuals for the console/PC versions of Sonic Generations, the springboard-based gimmick from earlier (or classic) Sonic games and the ramp-based gimmick from recent (or modern) Sonic games at the time were listed under the name "Jump Panel", implying that they are the same gimmick.

References

  1. Sonic Generations (PlayStation 3) European instruction booklet, p. 11.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sonic Unleashed (PlayStation 3) European instruction booklet, p. 19.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sonic Unleashed (Wii) United Kingdom instruction booklet, p. 10.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sonic Advance 2 United States instruction booklet, p. 19.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Prima Development (20 June 2001). "Interactive Objects". Sonic Adventure 2: Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Prima Games. p. 12. ISBN 978-0761536147.
  6. Kaizen Media Group (22 November 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog: Prima Official Game Guide. Prima Games. p. 21. ISBN 978-0761551959.
  7. Sonic Free Riders (Xbox 360) United States instruction booklet, p. 14.
  8. Sonic Riders (Nintendo GameCube) United States instruction booklet, p. 19.
  9. Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (Wii) United Kingdom instruction booklet, p. 16.
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