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Minecarts, also called as Railcarts and Trucks (トロッコ Torokko?), are either useful gimmicks or harmful obstacles through the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Making first appearance in 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the minecarts' roles in the games follows many of the same principles as those that appear in the real world and can as such serve as both assists or obstacles to the player.

Minecarts have varied with their designs and purposes thorough the series. Most have been used as possible vehicles by numerous different characters; however, sometimes they can be dangerous due their placement and the situation the player is in during the game.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Sensing deep trouble

Sonic on minecart in Under Ground Zone.

The minecarts are first used in the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, where Sonic eventually is able to ride through the Under Ground Zone and Gimmick Mt. Zone. These minecarts only seem to have one rolling metallic wheel below the cart itself, which appears to be made half of metal and wood. They are seen standing alone in rail sections of the zone until Sonic jumps on them. The player will move at a moderately fast speed on the minecart while small spikes can be seen falling down, missing the minecart completely.

After the player hops in, the minecart starts moving to the right direction. In the minecart, the player is able to press down on the D-pad, which makes Sonic look down (while it doesn't serve purpose in the game). However many cart sections end to the lava pits or crashing to falls, as the player has to jump off the minecarts to avoid falling the lava pool or crashing to falls. In Act 3 of Under Ground Zone, the player will be seen yet riding minecart before the boss fight against Antlion Mecha.

Sonic Spinball

Minecarting at the speed of sound

Minecart seen at Toxic Caves in Sonic Spinball.

Minecarts have made another appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball, where they are seen in Toxic Caves. There are only two railways to choose for minecart in the Toxic Caves, which both of them can lead to one of three Chaos Emeralds in the whole arena. Both of them are seen in different side of the open-plan hole. When the player reach to one of them, Sonic will start pull the handle, which makes the minecart go down on the rails.

The player has to switch the right railway by using Flippers to swing the minecart to an alternative railway. Doing this leads to one of the Chaos Emeralds. If the player collects both Emeralds from both sides, Sonic will down to the open-plan hole and gets the third, last Chaos Emerald of the arena.

Tails' Skypatrol

Hang On Tails!

Tails hanging on the truck in Training Area of Tails' Skypatrol.

In the spin-off title Tails' Skypatrol, Minecarts are one of the most generally used obstacles in the game, this time titled as Trucks (トロッコ Torokko?) according the japanese manual. In the game's storyline, Tails notices that island has numerous mine cart tracks that are weaving around the landscape. The game's antagonist, Witchcart is seen using the minecart as his main transportation vehicle.

Minecarts in Tails' Skypatrol are all standing on railway sections on each stage of the game. They are round-shaped metallic carts with small details and two wheels below the cart. When the player throws the ring to the minecart, the player gets a ride as being latched on the cart itself. If the player wants to let go off the minecart, press 1 or 2 button again to move off.

Sonic Adventure

Minecarts are seen as minor transportation vehicles in Sonic Adventure. They can only be found in Mystic Ruins. When the player jumps in the minecart, he/she is automatically moved to the other section on the Mystic Ruins, which there two major railways to lead different sections. The first railway is right left side of the lake and leads to the another section of Mystic Ruins, where ancient echidna town was originally located and where the house of Big the Cat and Eggman's Final Egg base can be found. The second railway can be found near of Tails' Lab from cave, which leads the Chao Garden of the Mystic Ruins.

Sonic Advance 3

Minecarts also appear in Sonic Advance 3, where they are minor, useful obstacles at Twinkle Snow. There are small railway sections in the stage, which the player can go through by using wooden minecarts. They move at a slightly moderate speed, but are able to pass through a steep uphills. The railway ends to the small wall, which destroys the wooden minecart, while the player is fine about the crash and able to progress in the stage.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

Minecart (06)

A Minecart in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).

In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), there are numerous rusty and realistic-looking minecarts lying around Radical Train. Silver the Hedgehog can use minecarts as projectiles against enemies with his Psychokinesis.

Sonic Rush Adventure

Mincart Rush Adventure

Blaze riding a minecart in a 3D section.

In Sonic Rush Adventure, minecarts appear in Coral Cave and Hidden Island 8. In this game, they are used by the player to ride through sections of the Stages. The minecarts are also always full of colorful gems due to the mining operations carried out in their locations.

In gameplay, the player can ride minecarts through 2D sections and 3D sections exclusive to them. To utilize a minecart, the player must push it forward until the characters climb onboard it (this can be done quicker with the Super Boost/Fire Boost). The minecart goes forward automatically, but can be slowed down by pressing left on Controlpadds. While riding the minecart, the player can press WiiDSA/DSB to jump with it. At forks in the track in the 3D sections, press left or right on Controlpadds to choose a different track. At the end of the minecart sections, the characters are automatically thrown out.

Sonic Rivals 2

In Sonic Rivals 2, minecarts appears in Frontier Canyon Zone Act 3, two minecarts appear two times in the act (one for the player, an the other for the rival). Unlike the previous games, it doesn't ride automatically, instead the player have to press the bottom O repeatedly to ride it with the lever. There some boxes as an obstacle, and if the minecart destroys a box slows the speed, so the player has to press the X botton to jump.

Sonic and the Black Knight

In Sonic and the Black Knight, minecarts are shown to look almost identical as to the real world counterparts. They appear in the Molten Mine stage, typically only on a grinding segment of the stage.

In this game, minecarts are obstacles that will be heading towards the player while grinding on rails. Only jumping or moving to a nearby rail will the minecart be avoided. If not avoided, the player will either fall off the rail and/or lose a life or stop grinding if hit.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I

Splash Hill Zone - Screenshot - (07)

Sonic on a minecart as seen at Lost Labyrinth Zone.

Minecarts also made an appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, where they are featured only in the second act of Lost Labyrinth Zone. Because the second act of the zone is different in console and mobile phone versions, Minecart is the main gimmick in mobile phone versions of the game, while in console versions, the minecart is not that much big role in the whole zone and moves automatically straight forward, while there are moments when the player has to jump with minecart. The player crashes with minecart to the railway's ending with Eggman Empire sign on it and the player is able to move normally.

In mobile phone versions of the second act, the player is seen having Sonic with lighting stick on the minecart. The player is able to jump with minecart, while the jump height is very short enough to get over small step. The player has also used the screen identification feature to balance the minecart's direction.

Sonic Free Riders

Minecarts appeared in Sonic Free Riders only in one course: Rocky Ridge (both Standard and Expert). In one major section of the course, it features a minecart section. They are controlled by the player's body motions to steer to accelerate or switch railtracks. Switching railtracks can help avoid obstacles that will slow down the minecart when touched or to collect an Item Box.

Sonic Lost World

Minecarts and rails

Sonic grinding behind a minecart in Silent Forest, from Sonic Lost World.

In Sonic Lost World, Minecarts have more of a simpler tone to it instead of the real world-esque version from Sonic and the Black Knight. Minecarts are also heavily featured in grind rail-themed Zones, such as Tropical Coast Zone 3, Silent Forest Zone 1 and Lava Mountain Zone 2, where they can be obstacles moving along grind rails. Sometimes, Cluckers ride the minecarts and shoot at Sonic while he is grinding.

Regular minecarts and those with missiles on them move slowly in the right or left direction, and can damage the player upon contact. To avoid them, the player either has to jump over them at right time or chain the Homing Attack on Badniks above them to cross them. Lava Mountain Zone 2 in particular features bomb-type minecarts, which cause instant death by touching them, even when using Super Sonic. There are also golden minecarts, which, by grinding onto them, drop Rings on the grind rail.

Variants

Spin Coaster

Main article: Spin Coaster

Spin Coasters are different functioning variants of normal minecarts, which are only seen in Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble. They are seen usually being used by Moto Bug-looking Badniks at Sunset Park Zone and move on freely without using any railways below on it's way. The player is able to use them by performing Spin Dash on it, that makes it to move forward.

Bobsled

Heroes bobsled

A Bobsled in Sonic Heroes.

Main article: Bobsled (kart)

Bobsleds are another different types of transportation during a stage, that are first seen in Sonic Heroes and later in Sonic Generations as totally different go-kart vehicle. Bobsleds do not move on railways all the time, but in Bullet Station they are mostly seen on one-lined railways and later at Mystic Mansion they move along railways inside large caves.

Trivia

  • After first episode of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 was leaked to the internet, the functionality of the minecart caused a minor indignation to the fanbase due its clunky gameplay. After the leak of the first episode Dimps, the developer team of the game, modified the second act of the zone, while the leaked version of the act has been used on mobile devices.

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