The Rank is a grading system used in the Sonic the Hedgehog series video games used to measure how well the player performed in a particular event of a game, the most common being completing a level.
Ranks are letter-grades that range from S or A to E which judge how well the player performed while completing a particular event in a game such as completing a level or mission. Ranks are usually given alongside after the score is given and the player must obtain a particular score in order to reach a rank and thus is influenced by common gameplay factors such as the number of Rings, time taken to finish the stage, number of enemies defeated etc. Some games though have certain levels and missions where ranks are not awarded by score alone and may only judge by one or few gameplay factors (usually just the time taken to complete a mission) depending on the level's specific objective. In games where their playable characters are present in the stage clear results, they will pose and/or comment based on the rank received.
Usually, the player has to attain the highest rank (usually an "A" or "S") for some or all stage missions of a game to receive special bonuses, unlock new gameplay features or game achievements (such as Xbox Achievements and PlayStation Trophies).
Rank list (in order)
The following list of letter grades used in the Sonic the Hedgehog games, listed from highest to lowest. The most commonly used ranks are in boldface.
- X Rank: Violet colored (Sonic Riders games only)
- SS/S+ Rank: Brass colored (Sonic Riders games only)
- S Rank: Crystal colored/Platinum colored/Gold colored
- AA/A+ Rank: Cyan colored/Purple colored (Sonic Riders games only)
- A Rank: Gold colored/Purple colored/Red colored
- B Rank: Silver colored/Red colored/Orange colored
- C Rank: Bronze colored/Yellow colored/Green colored
- D Rank: Steel colored/Green colored/Light Blue colored
- E Rank: Rusty metal colored/Blue colored
- F Rank: Purple colored (This was supposed to appear in Sonic Heroes, but it later got scrapped, so the E Rank is currently the lowest of them all.)
Sonic Adventure 2
Ranks are first featured in Sonic Adventure 2 and later on in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle in the stage/mission results and range from A to E. For all characters' Missions 1, 4 and 5 of all stages (except Route 101 and Route 280), the Rank is determined by the score but if the player obtains every single Ring in the stage and clears it, the player is awarded an automatic A-Rank regardless of the other score factors. For the remaining Missions, the Rank is solely based on the time taken to complete it. The player is required to earn an A-Rank in all missions of every stage in the game in order to obtain all of the Emblems (which also unlocks the "You Are The Legend" Achievement/Trophy in the 2012 HD port).
Besides the game's stages, the Chao's stats (Fly, Swim, Power, Run and Stamina) also has its own Rank system from S to E which determines how high the stat values increase by when they level up. These stat Ranks are randomized for each Chao the player owns.
In Sonic Heroes, Ranks return where they were given at the stage/mission results like with Sonic Adventure 2. Score-based Ranks were given for all teams' first Missions and all Extra Missions of Team Sonic and Team Chaotix while time-based Ranks were given for boss fights and all Extra Missions of Team Dark and Team Rose. In score-based missions, the character that comments on the rank the player received is the one who has the highest character score (if there is a tie, priority is given to the Speed character and then Fly) while in time-based missions, the character that was the leader when the mission was finished will comment instead. (It should be noted that comments for boss fights are always the same per character regardless of the received rank.)
The player is required to obtain an A-Rank of every Mission in the game to unlock Super Hard Mode. Ranks are not recorded for completing the Sea Gate tutorial stage or the Super Hard Mode stages. The game's save files display the number of stages/missions the player has an A Rank on.
Shadow the Hedgehog
Ranks appear in Shadow the Hedgehog where they also range from A to E. Stage mission Ranks are score-based according to the mission's alignment (Dark points for dark missions and hero points for hero missions, with neutral points counting for both), while the score of the opposite alignment reduces the final rank; having a higher hero score in a dark mission results in a automatic E-Rank, and vice versa. Neutral missions are based solely neutral score and boss fights have time-based Ranks. If the player obtains an A-Rank for every stage, Expert Mode is unlocked.
Sonic Rush series
In Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure, Ranks were given for all Acts (including boss fights) based on the score they obtained at the Acts result. However, the game's ranks now include from S to C (being the lowest).
In Sonic Rush Adventure, the Rank received also determines how many Materials the player receives when playing an Act or boss fight of a main island stage (stages that are not Hidden Islands or Deep Core).
Sonic Rivals series
In Sonic Rivals and Sonic Rivals 2, Ranks are present and function as they did similarly to the Sonic Rush games and also range from between S to C. In Sonic Rivals 2, some cards can be unlocked which require the player to obtain an S-Rank in specific acts and in the Act 2 Battle modes.
Sonic Riders series
For tricks, the player is ranked between X to C based on how well the player performed them. The higher the rank, the more Air (Sonic Riders and Sonic Free Riders) or Gravity Points (Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity) the player will be awarded. For the first Sonic Riders game, the Rank was determined based on how many Tricks the player performed when launched into the air but if the player did not land properly (eg. landed while in the middle of performing a Trick), they will be a given C Rank. This was not the case for the latter two Sonic Riders games where the player was simply ranked based on the timing of the jump prompt at the moment the player gets launched. In addition, the latter two Sonic Riders games also feature a unique sound effect whenever an X Rank trick is performed. All three games feature the Legend Extreme Gear which can allow the player to perform high-ranked tricks more easily.
All three games feature a mission-based gameplay (though the missions in Sonic Free Riders are required to be played as part of its story in Grand Prix Mode) where the player is ranked how well they performed in playing them depending on its objective, following the traditional stage/mission results ranking scheme in other games. Each mission has three different ranks which are differently named in each game: Bronze/Silver/Gold in Sonic Riders, Normal/Super/Extreme in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity and B/A/S in Sonic Free Riders. The player is required to obtain the highest Rank in all of the game's missions to obtain the game's respective Chaos Emerald Extreme Gear.
Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) features Ranks which function as they did with previous games, awarded when completing an Action Stage, Boss or Town Mission stage. Ranks range from (highest to lowest): S, A, B, C and D. In Story Mode, the player also earns additional Rings based on the Rank they received.
The player is required to obtain S-Ranks across all Mission to unlock Achievements in the Xbox 360 version of the game.
In the PlayStation 2/Wii version of Sonic Unleashed, Ranks are given only based on the time taken to complete the stage and features S to C. The game's HUD now displays the par time the player is required to finish the stage within to obtain a particular Rank starting with the S and if the time has elapsed beyond the threshold for S, the HUD will switch to display the par time for A and so on for the remaining Ranks.
The PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 version of Sonic Unleashed feature Ranks S to E as its Ranks based on the score received for an Act stage. Ranks are not recorded for clearing any Missions given by the game's human residents. If the player obtains an E rank "Results Screen - E Rank", an intentionally bad rendition of the normal Result Screen music track, will play .The "Getting the Hang of Things" and "Creature of the Night" Achievements/Trophies can be unlocked by obtaining an S-Rank for the first time on a day and nighttime stage respectively.
Sonic and the Black Knight
The Ranks are present in the results of Sonic and the Black Knight but it does not use letter grades. Instead, it uses a star rating with the number of stars determining its rank (1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest).
Ranks appear once again when clearing an Act in Sonic Colors and range from S to D based on the score received. Completing a stage with an A or S Rank now awards one or three 1-Ups respectively. In the Area Map, the game now displays how many S-Ranks the player has acquired in its HUD.
In the PC/PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 version of Sonic Generations, the game features Ranks from S to D but also features two separate ranking systems for the game's regular stage Acts and Challenge Acts. In regular stage Acts, they are given based on the score received but are given only between A and D. If the player finishes an Act without losing a life (excludes restarting the stage via the pause menu), the player can earn a Perfect Clear which raises their Rank up by one level. (Hence the player can only achieve an S Rank this way.)
While playing Challenge Acts, Ranks functions as they did with that of the stages in the PS2/Wii version of Sonic Unleashed; they are given solely based on the time taken to complete the level and the Rank and its corresponding clear par time is displayed in the HUD. The player is required to earn S Ranks in a certain number of stage Acts and Challenge Acts to earn various Achievements/Trophies.
Sonic Lost World
In the Wii U/PC version of Sonic Lost World, Ranks only appear in Time Attack mode and are given based on the time taken to complete the Zone. As with the stages of the PS2/Wii version of Sonic Unleashed and the Challenge Acts of the HD versions of Sonic Generations, the Rank is displayed alongside with the par time which the player needs to complete in order to obtain that Rank. Once the par time has being passed, the next lower Rank with its respective par time is shown in place of the former Rank (displaying from S to D). In the Zone Map of Lost Hex, each Zone in the game will show the player's best Rank they obtained in that Zone's Time Attack Mode.
The Rank system is present in the gameplay of Sonic Forces, in which, like before, is given based on the player's performance in the completed level. The player can also complete Daily Missions to activate a Daily Mission Boost that will temporarily boost the amount of points given at the end of a stage, making it easier for players who are struggling to get S Ranks.
Sonic Adventure 2
- A: "[Whistles] That was cool!"
- B: "Too easy! Piece of cake!"
- C: "Just made it."
- D: "Huh. No problem."
- E: "Barely made it."
- A: "I did it, Sonic!"
- B: "Very good."
- C: "That was easy."
- D: "That was a little tough!"
- E: "I gotta do better next time."
- A: "Yeah, this is perfect!"
- B: "Yeah, I feel good."
- C: "Not too bad."
- D: "Whew, that was tough."
- E: "I have to try harder."
- A: "Ultimate victory!"
- B: "Hmm, too easy for me."
- C: "That wasn't so hard."
- D: "Maybe I didn't try hard enough."
- E: "I guess I'm not at full power here."
- A: "Now you know why I am the best!"
- B: "Hahaha, piece of cake!"
- C: "Hmm. That wasn't so difficult."
- D: "I should have tried a little harder."
- E: "That was too close."
- A: "How was that? Perfect? Like me?"
- B: "It's all too easy for me."
- C: "Not too bad, I guess."
- D: "I guess I took a little too much time."
- E: "I'm ashamed to call myself a hunter!"
- Team Sonic:
- A: "[Whistles]. That was tight!"
- B: "Too easy!"
- C: "Barely made it."
- D: "Hm. No problem."
- E: "Shoot. Not my day."
- A: "Sonic! Knuckles! We did it!"
- B: "Not too shabby!"
- C: "Guess that's that!"
- D: "A bit tough!"
- E: "We can do better..."
- A: "Perfect!"
- B: "Hmm. Not bad!"
- C: "Guess that's about it!"
- D: "I didn't use all my strength!"
- E: "Just enough to pass."
- Team Dark:
- A: "Perfect as always!"
- B: "Piece of cake."
- C: "Just average."
- D: "Not taking this seriously."
- E: "What's wrong with me?"
- A: "Perfect! As usual."
- B: "Piece of cake."
- C: "Mmm. Not bad."
- D: "I can do better..."
- E: "I'm ashamed to call myself a treasure hunter!"
- A: "I am Omega! The ultimate E-Series robot!"
- B: "This proves my power!"
- C: "Satisfactory level."
- D: "Power balance adjustment needed."
- E: "I couldn't even beat Gamma or Beta..."
- Team Rose:
- A: "We're like awesome!"
- B: "I just knew we could do it!"
- C: "Just this will do..."
- D: "Guess we could've tried harder..."
- E: "We couldn't even impress Sonic like this..."
- A: "I'm so happy, I want to tell everyone!"
- B: "As long as we stay together, we can do anything!"
- C: "Cheese, you did great too. Thank you!"
- D: "That was pretty tough!"
- E: "Disappointing..."
- A: "Cause I'm super-duper happy!"
- B: "That was good!"
- C: "Not too bad, I guess."
- D: "We should try to do better next time."
- E: "I'm feeling a little blue..."
- Team Chaotix:
- A: "Impossible feat! Ultimate ninja power!"
- B: "Good job! Nothing more to be said."
- C: "Not bad. No complaints."
- D: "Be on guard! Focus, and prepare yourself."
- E: "Insulting. Your training has been a waste of time."
- A: "Awesome! Totally awesome!"
- B: "No problem!"
- C: "Not bad, don't you think?"
- D: "Maybe we could've done a little better!"
- E: "Ok, stop foolin' around!"
- A: "Perfect! The work of professionals, heh!"
- B: "No complaints!"
- C: "Not bad!"
- D: "Maybe... this wasn't our day."
- E: "Lackluster performance, I'd say."
Shadow the Hedgehog
- A: "Hmm. Perfect!"
Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
- S: "That was incredible!"
- A: "Too easy! No sweat."
- B: "Just made it."
- C: "Hmph. No problem."
- D: "Man! Today's not my day."
- S: "Great! I did it, Sonic!"
- A: "An "A" effort!"
- B: "Well, not bad!"
- C: "I had a bit of trouble there."
- D: "I've got to do better..."
- S: "Alright!"
- A: "That felt good."
- B: "Well, that wasn't too bad."
- C: "Hmph. That took longer than I thought."
- D: "Shoot! I still got a ways to go..."
- S: "I don't believe it!"
- A: "I'm so happy."
- B: "How was that?"
- C: "I'm a bit tired."
- D: "I need to try harder..."
- S: "Perfect."
- A: "Hm. Not even a challenge."
- B: "Guess that was alright."
- C: "Need to stay focused."
- D: "Maybe I wasn't strong enough."
- S: "What did you think of my beautiful technique?"
- A: "For me, it was a piece of cake!"
- B: "That was pretty good, I guess."
- C: "I guess I took a bit too long."
- D: "How can I call myself a treasure hunter?"
- S: "Perfect mission."
- A: "Good performance."
- B: "That was adequate."
- C: "Expected time frame: not met."
- D: "Has one of my systems broken down?"
- S: "Perfect!!!"
- A: "Looks like I'm on a roll!"
- B: "That was easy!"
- C: "That took too long."
- D: "I need to pull it together."
- S: "Can't complain."
- A: "All it takes is a little effort."
- B: "That was so-so."
- C: "I should have done better."
- D: "That was weak."
- S: "Just perfect!"
- A: "Aren't I just incredible?"
- B: "Yay! I rock!"
- C: "Phew. That was close."
- D: "I gotta do better than this."
Sonic and the Secret Rings
- Gold Medal: "That was tight!"
- Silver Medal: "Too easy!"
- Bronze Medal: "Phew, just made it!"
- No Medal: "Huh, no Problem."
- PlayStation 3/Xbox 360:
- S: "Piece of cake!"/"Beautiful!"/"Sweet!"
- A: "Yes!"/"Cool!"/"No problem!"
- B: "How's that?"/"Not bad."/"Ha ha !"
- C: "Eh, can't win 'em all."/"Yeah, I'm good."
- D: "Well that was lame."/"Aw, I've gotta try that again."/"Not my best run."
- E: "NOOOOO!"/"Aw No!"
- Sonic the Werehog:
- S: "Oh yeah! That's right baby!"
- A: (Howls)
- B: "Wow! I rule!"
- C: "Hmm, not so bad."
- D: "Augh! Can I start over?"
- E: "Darn!"
- PlayStation 2/Wii:
Sonic and the Black Knight
- 5 Stars: "(Whistles) That was tight!"
- 4 Stars: "Too easy!"
- 3 Stars: "Whew, just made it!"
- 2 Stars: "Hm, no problem"
- 1 Star: "Shoot! Not my day"
- Sir Lancelot
- 5 Stars: "Ultimate victory!"
- 4 Stars: "It was a trifling matter!"
- 3 Stars: "All's well that ends well"
- 2 Stars: "Not taking this seriously"
- 1 Star: "I have shamed myself!"
- Sir Gawain
- 5 Stars: "Perfect!"
- 4 Stars: "Hm, not bad!"
- 3 Stars: "Not bad"
- 2 Stars: "I didn't use all my strength."
- 1 Star: "Are you going to end like this?"
- Sir Percival
- 5 Stars: "Heh heh! What's wrong?"
- 4 Stars: "Done with nearly a bit of trouble."
- 3 Stars: "A performance fitting a knight"
- 2 Stars: "The time for practice is over"
- 1 Star: "What the..?"
Sonic Colors (DS)
- S: "Amazing!"
- A: "Great!"
- B: "Very good!"
- C: "Good!"
- D: "Don't give up!"
Sonic Lost World (3DS)
- In Sonic Generations, almost the entire total score (and Rank) is calculated by the time taken to complete the level. This means that, by completing an Act at a sufficiently fast time, it is almost always enough to earn an A or S Rank (assuming the player doesn't lose a life).
- However, an orange bar counting as rings will extend off of the green bar representing time.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), since Knuckles is the only character who cannot finish a stage under normal circumstances, his Rank comments cannot be heard unless the player performs gameplay glitches that allows them to finish a stage with Knuckles.
- Since Sonic Colors, after getting any rank, Sonic will do a pose for the player, but only when the time to interact with the results screen ends. In Sonic Generations, after getting the score results and rank, Sonic will do a pose, perform a move or just dance (depending on what rank the player receives).
- Rankings were supposed to be given in Sonic Adventure as well, but the concept was scrapped during development time for unknown reasons. However, the system was implemented into the next game, Sonic Adventure 2 and almost every other Sonic game released after.
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