Both sides of the goal plate as it
appears in Sonic Generations.
Goal Plates, known as Bonus Plates (ボーナスプレート Bōnasu purēto?) in Japan, Bonus Panels and Signposts, are signs that serve as the end of an act in the earliest games of the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Goal Plates are simple looking grey sign with different plates on both sides. The plate part in signpost starts to spinning, when a player moves past the signpost and after for while it stops while having something different image on the plate part, meaning the completion of the act/zone.
Making its first appearance in original Sonic the Hedgehog, signposts can be found normally at every first, second or sometimes third act of zone or even one time at Special Stage. It can have several different gimmicks that can be utilized.
Appearance of the goal plates is usually seen to be grey signpost with post past and spinning plate with many different images, although the look of object has be changed to different one in few titles. It is unknown, if these objects are normal or mechanized, because Game Gear titles reveal signposts having empty, back plate section, which makes the player to spin signpost again for completing act. This implies that the picture on the front plate changes to different one while spinning at one point or during flying in the air.
The goal plate in first titles for Genesis / Mega Drive have very basic gimmick as being standing still at the end of acts, usually set on the a straight route. After running past of the goal plate (or even just run and stop in front of it at one time), the player has passed the one act and as well getting the image of the playable character to the plate. Several games including Game Gear titles, have more different gimmicks to player to may contain giving bonus points, rings, extra lives or even to enter the Special Stage. Sometimes pictures on plates are seen living for odd reason.
After several main appearances, signposts are seen to be replaced by Capsule at one time and for Goal Ring since Sonic Adventure 2. Despite that, signposts have made several appearances in spin-off titles and one main title of the series.
Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)Edit
The signpost has been first featured in both 16- and 8-bit versions of original Sonic the Hedgehog. In 16-bit version, which they are situated at first and second act's end for each zone. The front display has the face of Doctor Robotnik until the player runs past them. This causes them to spin, and the image on the sign changes to a picture of Sonic doing V sign pose as having yellow background on both pictures. On right above of signpost can be seen giant ring floating in the air if the player has over 50 rings. There are also invisible bonus points floating in the air too, that can be worth 100, 1000, or 10,000 points. Spring Yard Zone act 2 features two signposts, as the one is at the down route while other one is at higher alternate route with queue of rings to lead to the goal. The player has to jump at right time to reach higher route.
The 8-bit version of the game with same name also features signposts (being called as "Bonus Panel") at the end of first two acts of each zone in the game. However it works slightly differently, as the player moves past of the bonus panel with question mark in, it starts spinning in the air and falling down with randomly different picture in it. The picture of Robotnik gives nothing, picture of Ring gives 10 bonus rings to the score, Sonic's picture gives extra life and picture with exclamation mark (if the player has 50 rings), which transport the player to Special Stage. Bonus panels are also be seen at the end of Special Stages as well. However the player has to get bonus panel before the 2-minute timer runs out or the player don't got special bonus.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2Edit
Signposts are seen next in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, having really similar appearance and method from original Sonic the Hedgehog. However signpost is now only seen at the end of zone's first act, but it is seen at first and second acts of Metropolis Zone. The signpost is not seen at all at Sky Chase Zone, Wing Fortress Zone and Death Egg Zone, which only have one act. As the player controls Sonic, the plate normally has Sonic with V pose on it after running past the signpost and with having Tails as playable, the signpost picture changes to one with Tails.
However in 8-bit version of the game with same name features signposts (renamed again as "Bonus Panels") at the end of first and second acts. The posts section have red, blue and grey colored stripes and as the player runs towards it, yellow plate has orange question mark already. While rotating, it gives randomly different pictures. Robotnik one gives nothing, Ring picture gives 10 extra rings, Sonic picture gives extra life and picture with Tails gives continue to the player. First act of Aqua Lake Zone has two bonus panels at one at upper section and one underwater tunnel while Gimmick Mountain Zone act 1 has bonus panel at the left side of the act.
Signpost has be featured in Sonic CD while having same method from original Sonic the Hedgehog at first and second zones of each round. While having slightly similar appearance, the post has now wide initialization support at the bottom. There's picture of Robotnik thumbing downright before and after rotating it has Sonic thumbing upright with attitude smile. At the right, there are also giant ring floating in the air, if the player has 50 rings and thus able to enter the Special Stage. Before signpost, the player also runs past the smaller post stating "Goal" on plate, which precludes time travelling on the right side of the post.
The game also features similar posts called Time Warp Plates, that used to certain timeline of the round. The game has two different plates which state "Past" or "Future" on plates.
Bonus panels are also featured at first and second acts in Sonic Chaos, while having now similar appearance from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. While the player runs past the signpost (having Robotnik's picture on it) which starts rotating in the air and lands back, player's overall speed is seen tallied as in kilometers per hour, which apparently is based on completion time of the act. The highest overall speed able to get is 999km/h, while earning extra life from that. If the bonus panel is shown the back plate after rotating, the player has to rotate it again.
The plates features different gimmicks: plate picture with Flicky on it does give nothing and picture with ring gives 10 extra rings. However if the player has Sonic as playable, the sign with picture of Sonic gives extra life and picture of Tails gives the continue. While having Tails, Sonic plate gives continue and Tails plate gives extra life.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & KnucklesEdit
Signposts made another appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and its add-on continuation Sonic & Knuckles, where signposts (called as end level markers in instruction manuals) are no longer situated at the end of the act. Instead, these objects drop down from the top of the screen following the defeat of the first act's sub-boss (and, in most Zones, at the position of the sub-boss when it was destroyed - one exception is the Carnival Night Zone, in which the signpost always drops in the middle of the screen). Instead of Robotnik's face, (which can only seen while rotating), after spinning the signpost shows either V posing Sonic, smiling Tails or serious Knuckles showing his fist, depending on who is the playable character.
The player can also earn extra points by jumping into the underside of the signpost, knocking it upwards. Knocking the signpost in this way earns 100 points each time. The act ends when the signpost touches the ground. Making the signpost land in certain locations will make a monitor appear, containing either rings or one of elemental shields.
Sonic Triple TroubleEdit
Signposts, now recalled again as "Bonus Panels" made appearance in Sonic Triple Trouble, as being once again featured at first and second acts of each zone. These bonus panels have post grey post with blue winder at the bottom of plate. Like in Sonic Chaos, the player also has to run past the bonus panel again, if it shows plate's back. As the Sunset Park Zone's act 2 ends and after the bonus panel getting rotated once in the air, it however starts spinning down and the screen starts to move right automatically, moving on to the third act.
Bonus panel shows Robotnik fully posing before it gets rotated to another plate picture. Like in Sonic Chaos, Flicky plate does nothing and Ring plate gives 10 extra rings. As with Sonic being playable, Sonic plate gives extra life while Tails plate gives now 10,000 points. While having Tails, Sonic plate now gives 10,000 points and Sonic plate gives contunue. The game also has Knuckles plate that gives continue and plate with Chaos Emerald on it, the player earns 50 rings for next act automatically.
Sonic Drift 2Edit
The signpost is seen dropping down at the end of every race of Sonic Drift 2, when the player wins the race. Signposts have normal, grey looking appearance and having now Sega logo on its back. Depending who's the playable character, as it drops down while finishing the race, it either shows pointing Sonic, Tails holding his hands, blew kisses giving Amy, laughing Eggman, boxing Knuckles, egoistic Fang and Metal Sonic with creepy stare while everyone having "WIN" on the plate at same time.
Knuckles' Chaotix features completely different looking signposts, possibly having the feel of three dimension and fit to the Robotnik's built Newtrogic High Zone. Also unlike other games, Signposts are now featured at the end of four acts in each zone, while fifth act usually ends after defeating the boss. It is also seen at the end of Isolated Island, which only has single act. Second kind of special rings are also seen above the signpost leading to the Special Stage, (if the player has 50 rings during completing act) which will also disappear if the player doesn't enter in it.
Before getting spin around for while, it shows right-angle head of the plate having yellow Robotnik silhouette on black background standing on red sharp post. As the player touches the signpost and spins for while, it shows its front side which has green background, white spiky center with "GOAL" in the middle with yellow, blue and red colors.
Signposts made appearance in first and second acts of each zones in Sonic Blast, as having similar look from Sonic Triple Trouble with blue winder at the bottom of plate despite being more lighter. Before plate gets spinning, it is shown to have empty back. Yellow Desert Zone act 2 has signpost being set on the left side of entire act. Like in Sonic Triple Trouble, the plate with Robotnik gives nothing, Plate with Ring gives 10 extra rings and Chaos Emerald gives continue. As the player has Sonic, plate with Sonic gives extra life and plate with Knuckles gives 30 rings, while playing as Knuckles, the signposts does the opposite thing. The game also features plate of Super Sonic, which gives both extra life and 30 rings at same time.
Sonic Pocket AdventureEdit
Signposts are seen in Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, as being featured at the end of major zone's first acts. It however drops down to the ground for rotating around for few seconds until revealing Sonic with V pose on the yellow plate, like in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. It apparently makes the game only in series, that has no Eggman in the plate. There are also giant rings on the right floating if the player has 50 rings during that time, as he would be enter to Special Stage.
Different signposts are seen in Sonic Advance. It appears at the end of first act of most zones in the game, but this time, it was grey with an Eggman Empire symbol on one side. The image on the back is not shown due to the characters running past it after hitting it while the camera follows it while results pop up. Signpost is not featured at Egg Rocket Zone as the player completes first act by jumping in the turbine inside on top of the rocket.
Sonic and the Black KnightEdit
Another different variations of signposts are featured at most of levels in Sonic and the Black Knight. These signposts are wooden and stating GOAL on the plate. As the player only has to run in front of it for completing certain levels in the game. As for that, the other side of the signpost is not seen.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4Edit
Normal looking signposts made appearance at major zone's first, second and third acts in all episodes of Sonic the Hedgehog 4, while having simple grey look with different plate pictures at each episode. In Episode II, there are also wide initialization support at the bottom, like in Sonic CD. First and second episodes also have giant rings leading to Special Stage while floating right in the air, if the player has 50 rings on the hand. Only first acts that doesn't feature signposts are Sky Fortress Zone and Death Egg mk.II Zone.
The first episode has already Eggman posing on the plate while it reveals Sonic with V pose after spinning for while. The second episode has different poses of Eggman and Sonic on plate while it can also include one with Tails (it is only possible to get on online co-op multiplayer). However in Episode Metal, it has Sonic posing on the plate before being spinning and changing the image for one with Metal Sonic in it.
Goal plate makes appearance in both console and Nintendo 3DS versions of Sonic Generations at the end of Act 1 in every level, so Classic Sonic can complete the act. In the console versions of the game, the Goal Plates are very similar to those in original Sonic the Hedgehog, while having extra animation for Sonic's plate. For some reason, Nintendo 3DS version's Goal Plates have one side showing Classic Sonic and the other side showing Modern Eggman, while the console version's Goal Plates show Classic Doctor Robotnik instead.
In console versions of Sonic Generations, there are two missions that involve taking the Goal Plate to the end of the mission. In both missions, if the Goal Plate lands on the ground or on a platform, it adds five seconds to the player's time. After that, if Sonic doesn't jump over the Goal Plate, Classic Eggman starts laughing at the player in the signpost.
Sonic Jump gamesEdit
Signpost is also seen in all three Sonic Jump, Sonic Jump 2 and 2012 remake of the game with same name, as the player has to get upper end of each act to change the plate of Eggman for one with Sonic after while spinning.
Time Warp PlateEdit
Time Warp Plates are signposts being only found at Sonic CD. Unlike other normal signposts, these variants can be found around the every first and second zones of each round. There are two ones as some of them states "Past" and second ones are stating future; by choosing the way which timeline of zone the player wants to go. After running past of one the player has to build enough of momentum to transport in time and it is possible to travel back by using another one.
The goal signpost is another variation of signposts, that are also seen in Sonic CD. It seen moments before the player is coming running past the signpost, as the purpose of goal signpost is to prevent the time travelling on the right side of the post and locking the screen, as the player is unable to turn back to the zone.
In earlier game appearances, there are unused contest related to the signpost inside of game's coding, including other signpost pictures that could be seen in the game. Sometimes usage signpost pictures are slightly different at prerelease version of game. Many of them are included:
- The Nick Arcade prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has completely different signpost plates of Sonic and Tails, who look directly to the viewer, simiaraly to the Robotnik one.
- Sonic's posing at signpost in Sonic CD 510 prototype is slightly different, while having more nicer look and different hand pose at the same time.
- By using Game Genie codes ASCA-AAHC + ASCA-BA9Y in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 allows the player use Knuckles, who however turns out the be just like Sonic. However the signpost at the first act changes to the Knuckles with Sonic's palette set. This is also able to do by glitching and restarting the game in locked on versions of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.
- Sonic Triple Trouble would have featured a plate with Fang posing on a red background. The purpose of this plate variation is unknown.
Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)Edit
Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)Edit
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)Edit
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit)Edit
Sonic the Hedgehog CDEdit
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & KnucklesEdit
Sonic Triple TroubleEdit
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode IEdit
- Similar wooden signs are seen in episode Eggman for President of Sonic X anime, which main characters hold for Eggman, Decoe and Bocoe, who are being chased. They answered correct for questions of Chris, Tails and Amy, until they fail to answer Sonic's question "Who's the coolest guy around? Me or You?", thus getting sent to the jail.
- If the player moves beyond the signpost in the air, the plate of signpost still starts rotating around in original Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic Advance. However in Game Gear titles, the player is able to move on the right side of signpost without touching it.
- In original Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the player has possibility to move around at the background while score results being calculated at same time. It is possible as the player jumps at the right time on off-screen while results music starts playing. However at the onscreen, the player is normally forced to move to off-screen for results.
- In both versions of original Sonic the Hedgehog, Robotnik's yellow cape is not seen at the signpost, possibly due the palette issues.
- Sonic Blast is the only game, that has Super Sonic making appearance on bonus panel at any Game Gear/Master System title.