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In Sonic the Hedgehog games, pinball obstacles are bouncy obstacles that can bounce the player in different directions simply by touching them. They are most of the time featured in casino, amusement park or other related stages. In these stages, large amounts of them are usually featured in the amusing sections in the area, making it resemble a huge pinball table. Aside from bouncing the playable characters, some pinball obstacles can reward the player with a small amount of points or nothing. Many of them are based on known layouts featured from real-life's pinball machines.
The following article lists many of the pinball obstacles featured in Sonic the Hedgehog series. There are several variations of obstacles in the list are never mentioned or named in any form, and because of this, some of them are named after their real-life pinball machine layout counterparts.
Bumpers are the most general and well known variation of pinball obstacles in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Like their real-life counterparts, Bumpers function by bouncing the player backwards when they are touched. Throughout the series, their appearance is changed numerous times, though their key features include a round shape, red edges with a blue inner area and a yellow or white colored five-pointed star in the center. Additionally, Bumpers can also reward the player with certain amount of points every time when he/she bounces on one certain amount of times.
Bumper Pillars have only appeared in 8-bit version of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, where they serve as huge obstacles for the player in the game's Special Stages. They are depicted as cylinder pillars of light green and yellow lines that twist around each other. Touching them will send the player flying backwards so the player has to either cross over or below them, as getting bounced by them at thigh speed can easily make the player lose the control over the playable character.
Hexagonal Bumpers are a variations of regular pinball obstacles which function like regular Bumpers. The only noticeable differences between this variation and regular Bumper is its hexagonal shape and that they do not give points. Hexagonal Bumpers also come in two types: the normal ones, which are hovering one place, and those moving to the left and right in a linearly pattern.
Both types of Hexagonal Bumpers first appeared in Casino Night Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, where they are depicted as blue and orange-colored blocks. Both types of obstacles later reappeared in Sonic Advance, where they are featured in Casino Paradise Zone. In this game, they are somewhat flatter and have a red color scheme with a yellow five-pointed star on them. Hexagonal Bumpers are also seen hovering in one place in Casino Street Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, where they have a yellow and blue color scheme. Hexagonal Bumpers reappears at Casino Night in the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations. Red and light yellow flashing Hexagonal Bumpers are also seen in separated pinball tables at Frozen Factory Zone 3 in Sonic Lost World for Wii U.
Triangle Bumpers are a type of pinball obstacle that usually come in two types. The first type is usually large and wide plates set on the ground, walls, ceilings or even against each other. The second type is smaller, but have a more triangular look. The second types of triangle bumpers are usually set in the corner sections of the areas they are present in. Both types made their first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, where they are featured in Casino Night Zone. Here, wider triangle plates are colored red and blue, while triangle bumpers in corners are colored red and green.
Wide triangle plates are later featured in the Glowing Spheres type of Bonus Stage in Sonic & Knuckles, where they are set on walls instead of being separated obstacles. In Sonic Drift 2, Casino Night has smaller triangle bumpers as obstacles, which can push racers sideways. Gray colored triangle bumpers are featured on corner sections of Spring Stadium Zone, while wider variations are seen at Gene Gadget Zone in Sonic 3D Blast. Wider triangle plates reappeared in Cosmic Casino in Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure where they reprised their role from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Both types are also seen in Casino Paradise Zone in Sonic Advance, where both wider and smaller triangle bumpers have red and yellow color schemes. In Sonic Heroes, wider triangle plates are featured in the Casino Park and BINGO Highway where they are colored black and green. Also, in Casino Street Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, wider triangle plates have yellow and blue color schemes, and corner triangle bumpers have red and green color schemes. Both types of triangle bumpers appeared in Casino Night in Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations where their roles remained the same, and wide triangle plate appeared on the side walls in Frozen Factory Zone 3 in the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World.
Drop Targets are a different and unique type of pinball obstacle that first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. They are much smaller than regular bumpers or other obstacles, and float in mid-air in straight lines. Drop Targets come in three different colors, depending how many times the player has jumped on them; Before jumping on them, they are green colored, which then turn into yellow and red after the second jump. After the third jump, the Drop Target will then disappear. For every jump on the Drop Targets, the player earns points.
Bumper walls are loose variations of regular Springs that debuted in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. They consist small and different colored series of bouncy plates set on narrow routes and in gaps. They are not as wildly featured as other pinball obstacles in casino-themed or amusement park-themed themed Zones. They appear in Carnival Night Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Casino Paradise Zone in Sonic Advance. In Sonic Heroes, white bumper walls appear on the pinball tables in Casino Park and BINGO Highway.
Sling Shots, also called Drain Bumper, made their first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball. They function similarly to the wide triangle plates, but their placement and shape is different. Sling Shots are usually positioned in traditional places that equals to that of real-life pinball machines, like together with flippers between a kickout hole. Sling Shots' key features includes red, blue and white color schemes with a five-pointed star on their plate.
Sling Shots are featured in more 3D games than most other pinball obstacles. They are featured in both the Sonic and NiGHTS pinball tables in Casinopolis in Sonic Adventure. In Sonic Pinball Party, they appear on all pinball tables, though Samba de Amigo board has cardboard bananas instead of regular slingshots, where they give 50 points per hit. Large, green sling Shots are also seen on the pinball tables in Casino Park and BINGO Highway in Sonic Heroes, Casino Night DLC pinball table in console/PC versions of Sonic Generations, where each hit on the slingshot gives 20 points. They also appear in the separated pinball tables in Frozen Factory Zone 3 in the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World.
- ↑ "Hit a Bobbin and you bounce off it like a pinball. A Triangle Bumper sends you reeling sideways when you hit one." - The description of Casino Night from US manual of Sonic Drift 2, page 19.
- ↑ The name of the obstacle variation is never mentioned and has given the title after one of their real-life counterparts.
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Mega Drive) North American instruction manual pg. 21.
- ↑ Instruction manual of Sonic Pinball Party, page 13.
- ↑ Instruction manual of Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball, page 8.