A high-tech device.
Ring Shooters are gimmicks that appear in  and later in Sonic & Knuckles . They are devices created for taking the playable characters to different sections in the levels.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II
The appearance of the Ring Shooters varies between games. However, its standard feature is sending the users traveling short distances through midair by making them pass through yellow rings that they generate. All the while, the yellow rings will guide the users to a different area in the level, often in erratic patterns. This event occurs automatically, leaving the player unable to control the characters.
Sonic & Knuckles
and the lock-on game Sonic & Knuckles , Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles Death Egg Zone features Ring Shooters. These ones look like Spin Dash launch pads next to a cyan-colored gates which have a three-second timer and high-voltage fuses on side. When the countdown hits zero, the player is launched through a line of yellow electricity rings at high speed while in Spin Attack mode. The areas where the player flies around are large, and the ring paths will occasionally loop around amongst other things until the player arrives at their destination.
Ring Shooters are usually found in huge open areas of the
zone. All of these sections can be skipped altogether if the player chooses so, and sometimes, it is necessary to collect certain power-ups.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II
, Ring Shooters appear in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II Sky Fortress Zone Act 3. In this game, they are redesigned as yellow, bizarre-looking cannons with a plastic cover over the top. When Sonic and Tails use the Homing Attack on a Ring Shooter, they jump into it and get launched through yellow rings before being deposited into a cylinder that then rotates and dumps them into another Ring Shooter in a different section of the zone.
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