Rings (リング Ringu?), also known as Gold Rings or Power Rings, are the most distinct items in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Rings serve as a unique health system in gameplay throughout most of the series; in most cases, as long as the players hold even one Ring, it will protect them from losing a life upon taking damage. Instead, the players lose a portion of their Rings, though the amount varies between games. Aside from this, Rings has serve many other purposes in different games, and collecting them grants things like extra lives, Continues and points.
Though of unknown origin, Rings can be found everywhere on Earth and other places beyond time and space. They are most commonly found everywhere in the Zones/Stages, but can also be obtained from Item Boxes, Badniks or other sources.
Appearance and background
In almost every game appearance, the Rings's design is based on either the basic and round-edged wedding rings or solid brass round rings. The size of Rings varies in certain games; in-game sprites and models show them being as about half the size of the playable characters, while certain cutscenes or promotional material show them being small enough to be hold in the palm of the hand. Often the most common item in the games, Rings can normally be found everywhere in the game's primary playable levels where they spin around in one spot and either lie close to the ground or float in midair. Generally, they are placed in large clusters or in strings on pathways, ramps, above Springs, around shuttle loops, along grind rails, or simply in midair.
It is not known where Rings originally come from, and no backstory has been given for them in any game, except that they are spread all over the world of Sonic the Hedgehog. Aside from the main setting on earth, Rings are known to exist in underground caverns, onboard space stations, in outer space, on natural satellites and alien planets, inside cyberspace and even in alternate dimensions.
Unlike any other item in the series, Rings have the recognizable attribute of preventing its holder from being defeated. In most cases, possessing even a single Ring keeps the player from losing a life upon taking damage from things such as impacts from enemies and their attacks or damage-inducing obstacles. By simply touching a Ring, it disappears leaving small sparkling behind. When this happens, the player instead drop their Rings which are scattered in a circular pattern and bounce around the environment, while the player gets stunned and pushed backwards. However, there are certain dangers that cannot be prevented when holding a Ring, which include being crushed by obstacles, falling into a bottomless pit, failing a mission with a time limit and drowning in underwater sections. In the pre-mentioned cases, the player's Ring count will be reset to zero should they resume the level.
During the brief period where the player drop their Rings after taking damage, there is a change to collect the scattered Rings, but they will eventually all disappear after bouncing for a while. Also, upon taking damage once and dropping the Rings, the player is given a momentary period of invulnerability (represented by the playable character rapidly flashing between visible and invisible). The amount of Rings the player drop when taking damage varies between games. In most cases, the player will drop all their Rings when taking damage just once and are thus vulnerable to attacks, while in some other games the player only drops a portion of them. The Rings' scattering pattern also varies in many later games, like in Sonic Rush where they bounce far wider when the player takes multiple hits. However, the player does not usually lose Rings if the playable character possesses any type of Shield and Invincibility.
In several games, fewer "recoverable" Rings are displayed on-screen when they are dropped than the number actually lost. While this amount varies, the maximum is usually around twenty; fewer are dropped in games on the Master System and Game Gear, about fifty are dropped in Sonic Rush, and about thirty-two in all the episodes of Sonic the Hedgehog 4.
Rings are normally earned by picking them up from the levels, but can also be earned in other ways which depend on the game. Various games has Super Rings which grant multiple, Badniks in Sonic Advance 3 release Rings upon defeat, and completing Stages Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) will give Rings for the Town Stages as award. Many Zone gimmicks can as well reward the player with Rings. Once the player collecting 100 Rings, the player is awarded with an extra life and even sometimes with another one after collecting 200 Rings. Likewise, the player earns points or continues by collecting Rings. The player can also complete certain requirements to unlock extra features by obtaining Rings. Collecting and holding fifty Rings in several games will summoning Star Circles or Giant Rings to enter Special Stages, and in many other games collecting enough Rings will unlock the next Stage or Chaos Emerald in the Special Stages.
Aside from negating damage, granting awards and unlocking levels, the Rings serve other purposes. In the various games, they have been used as currency in Shops to buy their products, be used as payment to unlock special moves in the gameplay, or fill the Boost Bauge for the Sonic Boost. Even in some cases, Dr. Eggman has used Rings as power sources for his Badniks. Rings are as well essential to using a Super State (which in many cases can be activated after collecting fifty Rings). Using this state requires that the player possesses Rings, as the player's Ring count decreases by one for every second the Super State is active and once it reaches zero, the playable character reverts to his normal state.
Sonic the Hedegehog (1991)
In their first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), all the player's Rings will be scattered when taking damage. Additional Rings can be found inside Super Ring Video Monitors which are worth ten Rings each. Collecting 100 or 200 Rings grant an extra life, and each Ring held gives 100 points to the player's score at the end of an Act.
Holding fifty Rings at the end of the first two Acts of each Zone summons the Giant Ring above the signpost that lead to the Special Stage. Rings are also found in the Special Stages, where they give the player points, a Continue by collecting fifty of them, and an extra life by collecting 100 of them.
In the 8-bit version of the game, Rings share many of their attributes from the 16-bit game. However after earning an extra life by collecting Rings, the Ring count will reset from zero. Also, when Sonic takes damage, all the Rings will fall off-screen, making them irretrievable. Usually, Rings are not found in the third act of each Zone. The Goal Plate also sometimes rewards the player with ten extra Rings. By holding over fifty Rings at the end of each Act, the player enters the Special Stage where a huge amount of Rings are scattered and can be collected for extra lives.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the Rings' mechanics are the same as in the original Sonic the Hedgehog. Collecting 100 or 200 Rings gives an extra life and at the end of an Act, the player receives 100 points for each Ring held. Also, in addition to Monitors with Super Rings that grant ten Rings each, Casino Night Zone has the Slot Machine gimmick which rewards the player with different amounts of Rings (or takes some away) depending on the slot combinations. If the player manages to collect all the Act's Rings and finish without losing any, the player receives a Perfect Bonus of 50,000 points.
When the player has both Sonic and Tails out, only Sonic can lose Rings from damage. Tails can collect Rings, but both of them share the same Ring count. In the game's multiplayer mode, both playable characters can collect Rings for their score. The total score after the race depends on how many Rings each player possesses.
By obtaining fifty Rings, the player can use the Star Circle at a Star Post to enter the Special Stage. Here, the player has to collect a certain amount of Rings on the stage's route within its different sections to get a Chaos Emerald. Inside the Special Stage however, both Sonic and Tails can lose Rings.
In 8-bit version of the game, Rings function like in the previous 8-bit installment, including the Ring score restarting from zero after getting 100 Rings. However, unlike in the previous game, the player can pick up Rings after dropping them. At the end of the first two Acts of each Zone, the Goal Plate can randomly reward the player with ten extra Rings. However, Rings are not featured in the third Act of each Zone.
SegaSonic the Hedgehog
In SegaSonic the Hedgehog, Rings are used to fill the playable characters' health gauge rather than protecting against damage. When the player completes the stage with over 50% of the Ring score, they are rewarded with a Ring Bonus and a pre-amplified health gauge.
Sonic the Hedgehog CD
In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, the Rings' mechanics are the same as in the previous main installments. Numerous Rings can be found inside ceilings or behind walls which can only be collected by entering another timeline of the Act with Time Warp Plates. In this game, the player must hold fifty Rings at the end of the first and second Zone of each Round to summon the Giant Ring at the Goal Plate and enter the Special Stages. There, the player is sometimes rewarded with ten extra Rings for destroying UFOs.
Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball
In both the 16 and 8-bit versions of Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball, Rings' only function is to bestow points, and grants 12,500 points each when collected. Collecting all Rings from the Stage summons the star circle that leads to the hidden Bonus Stage.
In Sonic Chaos, Rings function much like in the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. If the player collects 100 Rings as Sonic, he will be transported into a Special Stage. Special Stages have both regular Rings and Giant Rings, the latter which grants 10 regular Rings each. Because Tails is unable to enter Special Stages, he instead earns extra life which makes the Ring count restart from zero.
At the end of the first two Acts of each Zone, the Bonus Plate randomly rewards the player with ten extra Rings. However, the third Act of each Zone has Rings spread out in certain places to prevent protection in boss battles.
Sonic Drift series
In Sonic Drift and Sonic Drift 2, Rings are spread out over all the race tracks. After the player collects at least two Rings (three if playing as Metal Sonic), they can perform the character's Special Power by pressing up on the D-pad. The player can lose Rings by drifting into obstacles, or getting hit by mines or the race course's exclusive obstacles.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles
In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and its add-on continuation Sonic & Knuckles, Rings function like in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Monitors in these games include Super Rings that are worth ten Rings each, and each Ring obtained adds 100 points to the player's score after completing an Act. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 also introduces the Thunder Shield which can attract nearby Rings. In the Competition mode of Sonic the Hedgehog 3, the player can only hold one Ring at a time which is generally used to defend against Self-Propelled Bombs.
In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, collecting fifty Rings summons the Star Circle at Star Posts which transports the player to the Gumball Machine-type Bonus Stage. In Sonic & Knuckles however, collecting fifty Rings in the same case sends the player to the Glowing Sphere-type Bonus Stage, while twenty Rings leads to the Slot Machine-type Bonus Stage. In the locked-on version, all three types of Bonus Stages can be unlocked in the same case with the right amount of Rings: the Slot Machine with 20-34 Rings, the Glowing Sphere with 35-49 Rings, and the Gumball Machine with 50-120 Rings. The Glowing Sphere- and Gumball Machine-type Bonus Stages in particular feature yellow gumballs, which each grant ten extra Rings. Meanwhile, Slot Machine-type Bonus Stages normally include gimmicks that, like in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, will grant Rings when getting the right formations.
In Special Stages, Rings can also be found. Collecting fifty Rings grants a Continue and collecting all Rings in the Special Stage gives a Perfect Bonus. Also, if the player collects blue spheres from the edges of sphere clusters, all the spheres turn into Rings.
Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble
In Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble, each Ring adds 100 points to the player's score after completing an Act. While collecting 100 Rings will grant an extra life, it keeps the Ring count from increasing further. This game is also the first in the Sonic the Hedgehog series where the player does not lose all their Rings when taking damage, instead only dropping thirty Rings. Also, getting the Ring panel on the Bonus Panel grants ten extra Rings.
To enter the game's Special Stages, the player must hold fifty Rings while breaking a Chaos Emerald Monitor. Additionally, Rings are spread out in platform- and plane-type Special Stages, where it is required in the latter that the player collects a certain amount of Rings to get a Chaos Emerald.
Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld
In the Japanese version of Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld, Rings are featured in the "Slot Machine" and "Poker Game" minigames, where the player can put bets by inserting Rings. Also, in the "Roulette Game" minigame, getting one of five images that show the Ring symbol double the amount of points. None of these three minigames are featured in the international versions though.
In the "Sonic vs. Robotnik" minigame, attacks have been altered in the international versions to both Sonic and Robotnik tossing Rings at each other, depending on what picture the game randomly selects.
in Knuckles' Chaotix, the Rings' mechanics are slightly different. In this game, Rings scatter from the immediate propinquity after being dropped, meaning the player can only recover a few of them. Both the player and Combi Partner can lose Rings when taking damage, and without Rings, the player can lose the Combi Partner for a short time. The player can call their Combi Partner back to his position, though at the costs of ten Rings. The Ring count can also become negative if the player uses the call command without sufficient funds. Additionally, because the game does not use the life system, the player is sent back to Newtrogic High Zone after taking damage without Rings.
Badniks in this game are powered by normal-sized, synthesized Dark Rings, which will disintegrate and cannot be collected. The game features Super Rings in Item Boxes, along with the exclusive Combine Ring power-up which combines all the player's Rings into a single large one. When taking damage with this power-up, the player will drop one large Ring which will fully restore the player's Ring count when picked up. However, this Ring will eventually implode and release all the Rings around the arena.
To access the game's Bonus Stages, the player must obtain twenty Rings and find its hidden Giant Ring. To access the Special Stages, the player must obtain fifty Rings to summon a Giant Ring that leads there above the Signpost at the end of each Act. Both Stages have Rings spread around in string formations and collecting them will extend the player's time limit in these Stages.
In Tails' Skypatrol, Tails wields a single Ring in his hand which he can use as a boomerang-based weapon in gameplay. This Ring has multiple functions, such as knocking down breakable daruma blocks or enemies, flipping switches, and latch on poles or bars.
In Tails Adventure, Rings are used to replenish Tails' health meter rather that protecting from attacks. The player is unable to recover dropped Rings after taking damage, and different weapons or attacks will take different amounts of Rings from the player. If the health meter reaches zero, the game ends.
The player starts the game with a health meter that can only contain ten Rings, but collecting a Chaos Emerald will increase the health meter by ten points. One of the game's equippable items, Fang, can make every destroyed enemy drop a Ring. Rings usually drop out of breakable walls and defeated enemies, but can also in very rare cases be found in certain sections of the Stage.
Sonic the Fighters
In Sonic the Fighters, Rings are spread everywhere from the playable characters whenever they get hit. However, they are only animations and thus have no impact on the gameplay.
In Sonic Labyrinth, Rings grant an extra life after collecting 100 of them. They only appear in long string formations in the Scroll Zones for the fourth round of each Zone, where they are used to protect Sonic normally during boss battles. Despite that, Rings cannot be retrieved after dropping them due to damage. They also appear in the game's Bonus Stage where every regular Ring is worth twenty-five Rings.
Sonic 3D Blast
In the first two Acts of each Zone, Tails and Knuckles can be found standing around and bringing fifty Rings to one of them, the player is transported to the game's Special Stages. Even if the player doesn't have enough of Rings, Tails and Knuckles can deposit them, while the player can find more. In Special Stages, the player has to collect a certain amount of Rings within different sections to ultimately receive a Chaos Emerald. In Sega Saturn version of Special Stages in particular, there are plates that reduce the required Ring amount on each point of these Stages' routes. If the player can jump through this plate, it will grant an extra amount of Rings.
In Sonic Blast, Rings work much like in Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble. When taking damage, the player loses ten Rings, and collecting 100 Rings grants an extra life, but also restarts the Ring count from zero. Bonus Panels also grant different amount of Rings depending on the playable character; its Ring panel grants ten extra Rings, while both the Sonic and Knuckles panels grant thirty Rings if playing as the respective character.
In Sonic Jam, Rings are spread around the hub area known as Sonic World. There are Time Attack Games, with two challenges centering around collecting a certain amount of Rings around the area and returning them to the Jump Stand-looking switch within the shortest time.
In this game, Rings are used to unlock special features while racing. When trading a certain amount of collected Rings, the player can unlock Ring Gates that lead to hidden Chaos Emeralds or detours, or use Accelerators for a short burst of speed. Dr. Eggman and Eggrobo can also use the Homing Missiles on rival racers by paying at least ten Rings for each shot.
In Sonic Adventure, Rings function much like in earlier main installments; they grant extra life after collecting 100 of them and each Ring adds 100 points to the score at the end of an Action Stage. Item Boxes with Super Rings also appear which grant multiple amount of Rings, and when Knuckles use Dig, multiple Rings can pop out the ground. Sonic Adventure also introduces the iconic Light Speed Dash which lets Sonic dash along strings of Rings. Some switches also summon shinning Rings, which can be used for the Light Speed Dash. Like in the 2D games, Rings scatter in a circular pattern when taking damage. For Sonic, Tails, Amy and E-102 Gamma in particular, B-rank missions in Action Stages require the player to finish with a certain amount of Rings.
Rings have different purposes in the various Action Stages. Sonic's version of Casinopolis, where the player has to collect at least 400 Rings to reach the Chaos Emerald/Capsule in a chamber, has several gimmicks related to gathering Rings. Here, there are both special Slot Machines that drop Rings when bouncing on them, and traditional one on Sonic-themed pinball tables that grant different amount of Rings (or take them away) depending on the formations. There are also two pinball tables where the player has to gather 100 Rings to be transported back to the main hall or fall into the Action Stage's sewer section. Hitting a Bumper on pinball tables grants one Ring, and on the NiGHTS-themed table there are cards that grant different amount of Rings as well. Additionally, there are floating crown that drop Rings after scoring on bowling lane in Twinkle Park, and the Hanging Bell in Speed Highway drops Rings when hit.
In Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, there are several missions based around collecting Rings in certain situations.
Sonic Pocket Adventure
In Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, Rings function like in the main 2D games. Getting 100 Rings grants an extra life and each Ring adds 100 points to the player's score at the end of each Act. Item Boxes with Super Rings also appear.
Cosmic Casino Zone features Slot Machines which grant different amount of Rings (or takes them away from the player), depending on the slot combinations. To enter the Special Stage, the player must have fifty Rings on hand at the end of first Act to summon a Giant Ring leading there. Like in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the player must collect certain amount of Rings within different sections of the Special Stages to get a Chaos Emerald. Also, in the game's Advanced Time Trial mode, the player must clear the Act with at least fifty Rings to record the score. Additionally, in the Duel mode "Get the Rings", two players compete by collecting Rings.
In Sonic Shuffle, playable characters can win or lose Rings by participating in mini-events or mini-games. When a game ends, all collected Rings are saved in a score tally to be used to buy art and special features from the Sonic Room. Rings also affect the player's overall rank after clearing the board.
On every board, there are two spaces: blue Plus Ring Spaces and red Minus Ring Spaces, which namely adds or subtracts three Rings from the player's score. When Precioustones appear on the game board, the amount of the Ring gained or lost is doubled on both spaces and if the player continues landing on either spaces for consecutive turns, it will multiply the Ring amount up to five times. If the player lands on too many Minus Ring Spaces or Plus Ring Spaces, Dr. Eggman will activate Light Mode or Darkness Mode, where the former turns all Minus Ring Spaces into Plus Ring Spaces and the latter vice versa.
In Battle Spaces, the player loses Rings if they do not pick up a card of higher value than the opponent's. Many regular and "Accident" mini-games reward the winning with the most Rings, while those on the 2nd and 3rd place lose most of their Rings, and the fourth player earns nothing. Rings are used as currency to buy Force Jewels from Jewel Shop Spaces. If the player picks up Dr. Eggman Card, one of the doctor's roulette choices involves taking all the player's or opporments Rings. For stepping on the Void Precioustone Space, the player can pay fifty Rings to have Void steal a Precioustone from an opponent and give it to the player.
Sonic Adventure 2
In Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, Rings appear in strings and clusters. Collecting 100 Rings grants extra life, and each Ring grants 10 points to the score right after collecting it. Collecting Rings also affects to total score and the rank in the end of each Action Stage. Like in Sonic Adventure, different amount Rings are found as items inside Item Boxes and their balloon variations. In Action Stages for Sonic, Shadow, Knuckles and Rouge, Rings protect normally the player from taking damage. However, Tails and Dr. Eggman use Rings to refill their Health Gauge, although ten Rings only restore a small portion of it.
Passing Point Markers with a certain amount of Rings grants the player an item:
|90+||Barrier/Magnetic Barrier (unless already using Barrier)|
Pressing switches or using the Mystic Melody at Ancient Ruins sometimes summons Ring strings for the Light Speed Dash. In this game, there are also secondary missions based around clearing the Action Stage with 100 Rings in order to receive A rank.
In Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, all Rings collected from a cleared Action Stage are used as currency to purchase items from the Black Market. In the original and expanded multiplayer mode of Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, having different amount Rings enables the playable character to use special moves against their opponent.
Sonic Advance series
In all three Sonic Advance titles, Rings function like in earlier main installments. Collecting 100 Rings grants an extra life and each Ring adds 100 points to the score at the end of each Act. They are also Super Ring Item Boxes, but they grant different amounts of Rings like in Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2. Additionally, the Special Stages for all three games require the player has collected a certain amount of Rings within different sections to get a Chaos Emerald.
Because Sonic Advance 2 is more fast-paced compared to previous games, Rings affect the playable character's acceleration, causing the running speed increase as more Rings the player collects. In the Special Stages of Sonic Advance 2 in particular, the player can collect Rings consecutively to form combos, which can double, triple, quadruple and beyond the Rings the player obtains. There are also red and black pods called Extra Rings (エクストラリング Ekusutora Ringu?) scattered around the stage, which each one of them grant five extra Rings.
In Sonic Advance 3, all robots created by Dr. Eggman are powered by Rings, which can be collected after destroying them. An piggy bank-type enemy called Bu-bu also appears which absorbs all the player's dropped Rings when taking damage.
Sonic Pinball Party
Rings appear in all the stages of the Sonic-themed pinball table. By swinging the ball through the Ring Loop in the right upper corner four times and then into the Feature Hole, the player can activate Ring Mode, which will make Rings appear all around the table which are worth a huge amount points. Ring Mode lasts for 120 seconds and every ring collected will respawn.
In Sonic Heroes, Rings function like in Sonic Adventure 2. Collecting 100 Rings grants an extra life and each Ring adds 10 points to the player's score after collecting one. Different sets of Super Rings can be found in Item Boxes, their balloon variations, and Target Switches. Bouncing on all three circles on the Wide Spring also rewards with a Super Ring bonus.
Casino Park and BINGO Highway feature singular and traditional Slot Machines, which grant Rings or take them away, depending on their formation. BINGO Highway also features the Bingo gimmick, where the player can collect neon chips along the routes to fill the bingo grids and earn huge Ring bonuses. In terms of enemies, the Egg Magicians are capable of absorbing Rings from the player. Also, many secondary missions for Team Rose, and the missions for Team Chaotix in Casino Park and BINGO Highway, involves clearing the Stage with a required amount of Rings.
One of the game's multiplayer modes, the Ring Race, involves collecting more Rings than the opponent within the time limit.
In Sonic Battle, Sonic throws a temporary Ring out of nowhere when he performs Sonic Drive, which he will then Spin Attack towards, damaging all foes in his path. Emerl can copy this skill, and E-121 Phi can perform it as well.
Sonic Rush series
In both Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure, Rings work almost like in the Sonic Advance games. Collecting 100 Rings grants an extra life and each Ring adds 10 points to the player's score after completing each Act. Sonic Rush is the first game where the dispersion of the Rings occurring when taking damage becomes greater for each hit, making it harder to recover them. The games also include Super Rings that grant different amounts of Rings, which can be found inside Item Boxes or their balloon variations (Sonic Rush only).
In the Special Stages of Sonic Rush, the player has to collect a required amount of Rings within their different sections to get a Chaos Emerald. Along these routes, there are both regular Rings and metallic Rings with "5" in their middle on the edges of the routes which grant five Rings each. There are also Dash Panels which guide Sonic through strings of Rings automatically. If the player hits the Trick Spring, it will send Sonic into mid-air where the player can complete a quick time event to earn five, ten, or twenty extra Rings, depending on how quickly the player executes this. Also, destroying Flappers grant three Rings each.
On the Sail Routes in Sonic Rush Adventure, Rings lie across the water surface along with Super Ring Item Boxes (each Ring grants 100 points). Collecting Rings fills the Boost Gauge and keep the combo going while using Wave Cyclone or Aqua Blast. Rings can also be picked up from far distance by using stylus while piloting Ocean Tornado and Deep Typhoon, and shooting enemies or obstacles with these vessels grants four extra Rings.
Shadow the Hedgehog
In Shadow the Hedgehog, Rings function most like in Sonic Heroes, as collecting 100 of them grants an extra life and each Ring adds 10 points to the player's score. In this game, Shadow drops only ten Rings when taking damage. Super Rings are also found in yellow and grey-colored Item Boxes. The game also introduces transparent Rings placed along with regular ones or in trails, which cannot be collected normally or grant points, but still enables the Light Speed Dash.
The Hero Mission of Circus Park involves collecting 400 Rings to complete the Stage. In the same Stage, hopping through flaming tires or hitting bells grant Rings. When the player gets the Ring combination from the slot-machine mechanism on the Egg Dealer during the battle with it, Eggman's Rings will spray out in the center of the arena.
Sonic Riders series
In Sonic Riders, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity and Sonic Free Riders, Rings are scattered across all the tracks in formations or as Super Rings inside Item Boxes. In Sonic Riders and Sonic Free Riders, collecting Rings allows the player to increase their parameters (as well as attacking abilities in Sonic Riders) by leveling up; getting thirty Rings raises the player's level from one to two, and getting sixty Ring raises it from two to three. In Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, the player can pay a certain amount of Rings to activate a Gear Part during a race.
After the player clears a race in each one of the three games, all the accumulated Rings from the race can be used as currency to purchase Extreme Gears from the shop.
Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Rings have their standard attributes and are found in Action Stages, Town Missions, and occasionally Town Stages. Collecting a single Ring adds ten points to the player's score, while getting 100 gives an extra life, and after completing an Action Stage, the player gains 100 points to their total score for each Ring in their possession. Super Rings are also featured inside Item Boxes and grant different amount of Rings.
Unlike in previous games, enemies like the Egg Gunner can fire rounds that only make the player drop one Ring per hit, without the player receiving any invulnerability as a side-effect. Additionally, when completing Action Stages or Town Missions, the player is rewarded with a different amount of Rings, depending on the rank they receive:
|Rank Bonus||Points required||Rank|
All residual Rings from the Action Stage and Rank Bonuses will be deposited in the player's total Ring score, which can be used for purchasing items available at Shops. In gameplay, the player is also able to use the Light Speed Dash for Sonic and Shadow to travel along strings of Rings.
Sonic Rivals series
Sonic Storybook series
Mario & Sonic series
Sonic the Hedgehog 4
Sonic Jump series
Sonic Lost World
Sonic Boom games
Appearances in other media
Sonic the Comic
In Sonic the Comic, the Golden Rings are an apparently naturally-occurring phenomenon on Mobius. They were used by Doctor Ovi Kintobor in conjunction with his Retro-Orbital Chaos Compressor (ROCC) to transfer most of the evil energy on Mobius into six Chaos Emeralds. They possessed strange properties (possibly inherently or as a result of their use in the ROCC) and emitted special Ring Energy. Robotnik was able to use the rings to power his Neutrino Accelerator. According to Tails, this Ring Energy was also responsible for Sonic's first transformation into Super Sonic, although Sonic had absorbed so much Ring Energy over the years that later transformations were caused purely by stress.
Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs, Power Rings were originally natural byproducts of Chaos Emeralds. They were artificially created by the brilliant Overlander scientist Nate Morgan as a clean alternative to fossil fuels to protect Mobius' environment. After Morgan's banishment from his home city, when his original tests failed, the Mobian Sir Charles Hedgehog aided him in mass producing Power Rings to be used by the Kingdom of Acorn. Following this, the city of Mobotropolis entered a new Golden Age as the Power Rings had brought their kingdom out of the medieval ages. After that, Power Rings was used not only as power supplies for technology, but also as a means to increase the power and capabilities of certain individuals such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower and Knuckles the Echidna.
Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series)
In the Sonic the Hedgehog television series, the Power Rings were invented by Sir Charles Hedgehog for Sonic to battle villains. They are generated by a machine, powered by the Power Rock, which is located in the Power Ring pool in the Great Forest. One Power Ring rises to the surface every day (two very day later on) and if not caught, it sinks back underwater.
The Power Rings' energies can only be harnessed by Sonic, which he can use to temporarily boost his speed. Additionally, they can be used to temporarily restore the free will of a roboticized victim and block a Roboticizer.
In the anime series Sonic X and its comic series published by Archie Comics, the Rings are used by Sonic and his allies to give Sonic a power boost, much like the Power Rings in the Sonic the Hedgehog television series and the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs. Tails usually has them loaded into his various aircrafts so he can deploy them to Sonic during battle.
- The familiar sound effect used for collecting rings has been adopted for use in cash registers.
- Rings can form a significant formations in several games, usually being arrows pointing to the direction. Examples include the first Special Stage of Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit) having further section with Rings formatting "SEGA" and one point at Sonic's Final Egg in Sonic Adventure having Rings formatting silhouette of Sonic's head.
- In Sonic Colors (Wii version only), Sonic Unleashed (PS2/Wii versions) and Sonic Lost World (temporally on the Wii U version only, later fixed via downloadable-content), the player is not awarded an extra life if he/she collects 100 rings, unlike the rest of the Sonic series.
- A joke was made in Sonic Generations in which both Classic and Modern Tails were discussing about how many rings Sonic collects and where he puts them.
- Rings are mentioned in the cartoon Gravity Falls by the character Dipper Pines. In episode 10 (Fight Fighters), he rattles off a string of different video game power-ups, one of which happens to be "rings".
- In Wreck-It Ralph, rings also appear; first when Sonic gets hit by an escape pod Ralph is piloting and later during the credits when it shows Sonic battling Eggman and also getting hit.
- The ring collecting sound seems to be reused in every game that has them since the original Sonic the Hedgehog, only at a slightly different pitch, especially Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut which notably has a lower pitch.
- Rings are not the only form of currency in Sonic's world - for instance, when Sonic Colors is set to Japanese, the cutscene before the Tropical Resort boss has different dialogue in which Dr. Eggman, Sonic and Cubot haggle the price of the ride using yen. Yen is also referenced in some of Eggman's in-game announcements.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, if Sonic collects more than 999 rings, the counter will use letters in place of numbers in the hundred spot. (i.e A93 rings instead of 1,093 rings)