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Spikes (obstacle)

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For enemies or objects with the same name, see Spikes (disambiguation).

Spikes (スパイク Supaiku?) are obstacles that appear in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. They are one of the most common obstacles in the series, appearing in almost every game in some form. Usually set in places where the player would not expect to see them, touching the spiky points of these obstacles will inflict damage on the player.


Usually, a set of spikes consists of a grey base with five white metal spikes, more or less in some games. Depending on the zone in which they are situated, they may be colored differently to fit the zone's atmosphere or even incorporated into different obstacles (such as the spiked log in Green Hill Zone Act 3 or the icicles in IceCap Zone). Upon hitting spikes, the player will take damage and lose their Rings, Shield, or if they have neither, a life.

Like enemies or other obstacles, the player is able to collect rings that are lost after hitting spikes, and if they are invincible then they cannot get hurt by spikes at all (save for the first Sonic game). However, spikes cannot be destroyed by any means.

Spikes are usually placed in locations that can prove to be most hazardous to the player, such as on the floors of the path, walls or ceilings. Sometimes, there can be more than one set of spikes in a single location to create a wider field of spikes, or there can be chasms and holes in the path that are filled with a set number of spikes, sometimes with a moving platform over the top of them.

While spikes mostly stand out as stationary objects, there are instances where they are used in a more trap-like fashion, to make progress through the stages more difficult than normal. In such cases, spikes may pop in and out of the ground at set intervals, or be located on the crushing edge of a crusher.

Many of the enemies encountered in the stages, especially Badniks or other robots created by Dr. Eggman, defend themselves by using spikes as weaponry or even as part of the Badnik's body; Orbinauts for example have four spiked balls.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

Ouch, OUCH

Sonic losing a life by spikes in 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog.

Spikes first appear in the 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog, and are widely seen in every zone of the game. Unlike in later games, there are no bases for the spikes, as every single spike is erected separately in groups with small gaps. The original Sonic the Hedgehog also features an unexpected glitch that is often referred to as the "spike bug": when the player touches a set of spikes, Sonic does not receive mercy invincibility like he does after hitting any other obstacle, meaning that if he rebounds off the spikes into another obstacle (like another set of spikes), he will be killed instantly. In short, if Sonic were to fall onto a bed of spikes, he would lose all his rings, fall backwards and land on more spikes, losing a life. Later re-releases of Sonic the Hedgehog offer an option to toggle invincibility frames for spikes.

Over the course of the game, the spike obstacle is deployed in numerous ways across the zones:

  • In the third act of Green Hill Zone there can be found rotating tree trunks with sharp points that hurt the player, similar to the spikes.
  • Marble Zone features crushers that have spikes on the bottom, which can fall down at high speed.
  • In the game's underwater sections there are spiky spears set on tunnel walls and ceilings.
  • Star Light Zone has large platforms connected with chains, with their bottoms having large spikes.
  • Both types of Orbinauts in the game use spike balls to defend themselves or attack the player.

Spikes are also seen in the 8-bit version of the game, with a similar graphical appearance to their 16-bit counterpart (though they are larger in proportion to Sonic). However, unlike the 16-bit counterpart, the "spike bug" is non-existent as the player gets a few seconds' invulnerability after getting hit. Most other spiky obstacles from the 16-bit version are also seen in the 8-bit version. In the second act of Jungle Zone, there are also wooden spikes sticking out of fallen tree trunks. The Game Gear port also features "!" signs that warn the player about upcoming spike pits.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

These annoying spikes!

Few spikes at Hill Top Zone of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

Spikes Sonic 2

Sets of spikes are featured in the 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in almost every zone (with a few exceptions). Chemical Plant Zone has only one set of spikes, which are located in an underwater area in Act 2.  There are now four spikes per base, and the spike bug from the previous game has been removed. These sets of spikes can be located in groups or separately, and can also pop out of the ground. Mystic Cave Zone features spiked balls and pits of spikes, including an infamous one which has no escape (until the 2013 re-release). The Badnik Shellcracker, found in Metropolis Zone, has a large left claw with spikes. The Wing Fortress Zone boss has rotating platforms with spikes on the bottom of them. The Death Egg Robot also has three spikes on each hand, which it fires towards the player. As Super Sonic, spikes have no effect.

The 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 features sets of spikes in every zone. It is first game to feature different-colored spikes. Under Ground Zone has mostly dark yellow spikes on ceilings, and some of them can fall onto the player as they pass underneath. Sky High Zone has yellow spikes on small ravines and deep pits. White spikes can be found in underwater sections of Aqua Lake Zone and in the ravines and deep pits of Green Hills Zone. Cyan spikes are seen in ravines and hall walls of Gimmick Mountain Zone. White spikes are generally seen in Scrambled Egg Zone, while Crystal Egg Zone has pink and light yellow colored spikes.

Sonic the Hedgehog CD


Metal Sonic destroys spikes on its way during the race in Sonic the Hedgehog CD.

Spikes CD
Spikes are featured in every round in every timeline of Sonic the Hedgehog CD. Each base has four spikes and are mostly set separately over the zones. Spikes can often get in the way while building momentum to time travel. Sometimes two sets of spikes are connected to each other back-to-back. In Collision Chaos there are blocks with spikes attached to them that pop out from under the ground. Several rounds also feature spiked balls that spin around on chains.

During the Quartz Quadrant Boss battle, Robotnik tries to force Sonic, who is running on a conveyor belt, into the spikes that adorn the entrance. The Wacky Workbench Boss has a spinning set of spikes on top of it, used for drilling. Stardust Speedway features floating purple spike balls. During the race with Metal Sonic, normal sets of spikes can be in the way which Metal Sonic can easily destroy. Metallic Madness features rotating poles with four swinging blades on them. There are also halls with falling plates that have spikes at the bottom of them.

There are Badniks like Taga-Taga, Kemusi, Noro-Noro and Minomusi, that defend themselves with spikes on their bodies. Badniks like Mosquis, Mecha-Bu and some variations of Poh-Bees try to attack the player with spike-related weaponry.

Sonic Chaos

Sonic Chaos features different-colored sets of four spikes in every zone (expect Sleeping Egg Zone). Dark yellow spikes are seen in Turquoise Hill Zone, Gigalopolis Zone has light blue spikes, Mecha Green Hill Zone has white and dark yellow spikes, Aqua Planet Zone has white spikes and Electric Egg Zone has orange and white spikes. Spikes also normally pop out of the ground and retreat at set intervals.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles

Knuckles and his tough life with spikes

When the player chooses Knuckles, spike placement is more difficult and spikes are obstacles that appear much more frequently in the game.

Spikes Sonic 3
Spikes appear in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, its add-on continuation Sonic & Knuckles, and the combined Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, and can be found in every zone on floors, walls and ceilings. They are nearly identical to Sonic 2's spikes, but are whiter in color. Marble Garden Zone features crushers and rotating columns with thin spikes on them. IceCap Zone has rows of sharp icicles at caverns. Flying Battery Zone has slightly different looking spikes that can be moved in one direction. It is possible to push these spike sets in order to find hidden passages under obstacles.

There are also different sets of other obstacles. Spike balls can be found in Marble Garden Zone and Lava Reef Zone, spinning around central poles. Mid-bosses Twin Hammer and Gapsule have swinging spike balls as weapons, and the mid-boss Bowling Spin uses a spinning plate with spikes on its side. IceCap Zone has icy spheres with spiky points that float in the air. Flying Battery Zone features spiked hemispheres that move from floor to ceiling and back again as the ceiling magnets are switched on and off.. Moving platforms with chains in Sky Sanctuary Zone have spikes on their bottoms. The second phase of the Death Egg Zone mid-boss has spinning platforms with spikes on the bottom of them, and the Death Ball drops small rolling bombs with spikes on top of them which can damage the machine.

Many Badniks in both games are armed with spike-related weapons, such as Bloominators, Rhinobots, Dragonflies, Sandworms, Fireworms and Chainspikes. Pointdexters and Bubbles have spikes around their body. One notable Badnik, Spiker, has a set of spikes on top which look normal but are actually bouncy and do no damage. Variants of Orbinaut use four spinning spike balls, while Skorps and Spike Bonkers also utilize spike balls. Some of Robotnik's vehicles - Freezer Mobile, Big Arm, Hang Mobile, Egg Golem and Hot Mobile - have spike weaponry.

Sonic Triple Trouble

Spikes Triple Trouble
Sets of four spikes appear in every zone of Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble. White spikes are located on floors, walls and ceilings, while also popping out of floors. Bombaberry Badniks also carry spike balls in the air and drop them onto player's neck at Great Turquoise Zone and Sunset Park Zone. If the player is riding the Spin Coasters in Sunset Park Zone, they can easily run over and destroy spikes.

Knuckles Chaotix

Spikes make an appearance in Knuckles' Chaotix, and are featured in every zone of the game. Like in previous games, there are four spikes per base. However, the sets are generally separated rather than being in groups. Many Badniks in the game are armed with spikes such as Needlenose, Spiketower and Motorspike.

Sonic 3D Blast


Small row of grey plates with spikes on them in Sonic 3D.

Sonic 3D Blast features two types of spikes. The first type is featured more generally in the game, and are located on grey and red plates with five holes from which spikes protrude and retract. Spike plates are usually located in two rows. If the player steps on these plates, spikes will pop out to harm them.

In Gene Gadget Zone, these sets of spikes are also electrocuted. In the same zone, there is also a second type of spikes, which are taller and in a row. Rusty Ruin Zone features spike balls on chains connected to poles. Many Badniks in the game also are armed with spikes as well.

Sonic Adventure

Spikes make an appearance in Sonic Adventure, and are featured in every action stage of the game. There are usually four thick spikes on one plate. Like in Sonic 3D Blast, these spike plates are set as row carpets from which the spikes pop out, although plates are easy to recognize on the ground.

The game also features spike balls with different methods. Some spike balls are spinning around on chains wereas others merely float in the air. Some spike balls act as crushers, moving slowly up and then slamming down (however they will not kill the player outright like regular crushers). Some Badniks from the E-series are armed with spikes.

Sonic Pocket Adventure

Spikes Pocket Adventure

Spikes make an appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure. Most sets have four spikes, but there are also many sets with only two spikes, particularly in Sky Chase Zone and Aerobase Zone. Some of these spikes pop out and retract at set intervals. Spikes are featured in most of the main zones in the game with the exception of Secret Plant. However, Eggman's vehicle in Secret Plant uses two platforms with spikes on the bottom of them.

Sonic Adventure 2

Spikes make an appearance in Sonic Adventure 2, with a different appearance and movement style than Sonic Adventure, but grouped in a similar way. More conventional spikes are located in the unlockable Green Hill stage. Because this stage is a 3D variation of the zone from the original Sonic the Hedgehog, spikes are located in similar positions to their 16-bit counterpart. Spike balls are seen in normal action stages. One type of G.U.N. enemy, the Rhino Spike, has spikes on top of it to defend itself.

Sonic Advance games

Spikes Advance 2

Different types of Spikes in Sonic Advance 2.

Spikes appear in the three Sonic Advance games, with similar appearances and methods to earlier games. However, there are now five spikes in one set. Spikes can also pop out of the ground or ceiling. Casino Paradise Zone and Angel Island Zone feature moving platforms that have spikes on the top of bottom. Music Plant in Sonic Advance 2 has yellow and white colored spikes, while Techno Base features sets of three thick, electric spikes that can also disappear and comes back few seconds later. Ocean Base in Sonic Advance 3 has crushers that activate spikes on their tops if the player tries to move above them, while Toy Kingdom features colorful sets of spikes.

There are several other spike obstacles, including moving yellow spike balls and spinning wheels with spikes on them in Egg Rocket Zone, boxes that include springs or spikes in Toy Kingdom, and spike balls on seesaws. Several of Eggman's robots are armed with spikes, as well as many of Eggman's vehicles.

Sonic Rush games

Spikes Rush
Spikes are featured in both Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure, once again with five spikes per set. Spikes are located as separated obstacles or in large spike pits, which the player must cross numerous times with different gimmicks. Several boss machines use spikes as weaponry.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

Spikes make an appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), as four spikes will pop out from each black plate like in previous titles. Spikes can either be set in a row or in square formations. The game also features spike balls as separate obstacles, which Silver can use his Psychokinesis on to launch at enemies. Spiked traps are also featured in certain action stages.

Sonic Storybook Series

Spikes are widely featured in both Sonic and the Secret Rings and Sonic and the Black Knight, as there are now eight narrower spikes on one set. Spikes are mostly seen on floors and walls. As the player has to balance on walls at certain stages, they have to watch out for spikes coming out of plates. Spike balls are also seen moving in the air to certain directions.

Sonic Unleashed


Spiked fence at Quick Step section of Sonic Unleashed.

Spikes appear in Sonic Unleashed as one of the more general obstacles, appearing in almost every zone. These plates have 13 narrower spikes. Spikes can now also appear on grind rails, and the player has to dodge them by jumping to another grind rail. Some spikes are also set in fences which the player has to dodge during Quick Step sections. Spike balls and spiked traps also return in the game.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4

Spikes in Sonic the Hedgehog 4

Spikes as they appear in Sonic the Hedgehog 4.

Spikes make an appearance in both episodes of Sonic the Hedgehog 4, with each set having five spikes like in the Sonic Advance games. Spikes are located in every zone of the game and have the same methods from previous games, including popping out of the ground. Lost Labyrinth Zone Act 3 features an infamous spike placement, which is set in the upper corner of the water tunnel's end. It is hard to recognize, and the player is able to lose all their rings with none being available beyond that point. In Oil Desert Zone's boss battle, certain boxes contain spikes that will pop out if the player stands above it.

Sonic Colors

Spikes appear in both versions of Sonic Colors. The Nintendo DS version features sets with five spikes on them like in the Sonic Rush games, while the Wii version features sets with thirteen spikes on them, like in Sonic Unleashed.

Color Powers, with the exception of the Pink Spikes and Green Hover, make a player invulnerable to Spikes. In Sweet Mountain, there are Egg Pawns in the background that the player can destroy with Spikes by pressing Switches: the player can either activate plates with Spikes under Egg Pawns to skewer them, or drop Egg Pawns on platforms into Spikes.

Sonic Generations

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Sets of Spikes in the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations.

Spikes are seen in both versions of Sonic Generations, in both the Classic and Modern acts of stages. Like in Sonic Adventure, there are five spikes on one black plate. In Act 2, spikes are seen in Quick Step sections and are also set in grind rails, like in previous games. Rooftop Run Act 2 features a Quick Step section where Eggman's ship drops spinning barrels with spikes on them.

Sonic Lost World

Spikes in Sonic Lost World use the same design from Sonic Generations, with five spikes on each base. While spikes are set on walls and floors, spiked balls appear as well, set in rows or in narrow canyons, where the player has to use parkour movements to get through.

Sonic Runners

Stop hugging these Spikes!

Sonic getting hit by Spikes in Sonic Runners.

Spikes make another appearance in Sonic Runners, where they have the same design as in recent games. One or more sets of Spikes are placed (usually) on the lower pathway. Getting hit by them will make the player lose his/her Rings and the player character will get stunned while still moving forward. Edges of the screen also turn red as caution. Getting hit without any Rings causes the player to lose.

Sonic Mania

Other appearances

Spikes are set into the several crushers which appear in Trap Tower in SegaSonic the Hedgehog. Spikes are featured in a few levels of Sonic Labyrinth, where there are four spikes on each set. Spikes are also featured in every zone of Sonic Blast. This game only features three spikes on each set, while many zones also have floors and crushing walls with spikes. Spikes are also seen in Tails Adventure, where they are mostly part of the environment of the island itself rather than being separate structures set into the walls or floor. Spikes are featured in the Sonic Jump mobile games, as the player has to avoid platforms that have sets of spikes on them. Sets of five spikes are also seen in Sonic Dash, which can be dodged or jumped over while moving. Touching spikes makes the player lose any Rings that they have collected.


Spiked Balls

Main article: Spiked Ball

Spiked Balls, also known as Iron Balls (鉄球), are variants that are described as heavy black or grey balls that are covered in white- or grey-colored spikes. Like spikes, they are dangerous obstacles. They come in multiple sized and function differently in each Zone, either moving in a certain pattern in mid-air, or swinging around on chains. Since Sonic Adventure, spiked balls have become more common obstacles. These obstacles may be swinging around, or moving up and down on one spot.


Main article: Crusher

In many Sonic the Hedgehog games, crushers in certain Zones can have sets of spikes on their crushing edge. Despite this, they function just like any regular crushers.

Spike Traps

Main article: Spike Trap

Spike Traps, variants of Weights, are obstacles that appear in the console/PC versions of Sonic Generations. Spike Traps have sets of Spikes placed on their bottom surface. The player can jump on them but avoid getting crushed by them.

Giant spears

Main article: Giant spear

Giant spears are minor obstacles that work much like regular Spikes, except they protrude and retract in intervals. In several games, they are also thrown from midair.

In other media

Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic


Spikes in Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic Volume 2.

In Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic Volume 2 story "Clash!! South Island", spikes briefly ambushed Sonic during the dangerous tunnel sections in Marble Zone.

Sonic the Comic

In Sonic the Comic, Spikes are inexplicable hazards littered across Mobius in large pits placed near cliffs. In many instances, Spikes are traps as seen in Green Hill Zone,[1] Labyrinth Zone[2] and Casino Night Zone.[3] Occasionally through the comic's run, characters would be in danger to fall down into these spike pits, but it is usually Badniks like Rhinobot who fall into them.[4] In rare cases, the landscapes are littered with Spikes.[5]

Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie

There's no spike bug in this movie, hopefully

Sonic dodging spikes in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie.

In Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Spikes made a brief appearance. As Sonic and Tails travelled to Robotropolis, they came across numerous sets of spikes with yellow sharp heads in the forest. As Sonic dodges them, he also manages to destroy a few of them.


  • One of the scrapped gimmicks in the original Sonic the Hedgehog was a horizontal crusher with spikes, intended for Marble Zone. The object can still be placed in Debug Mode, but doesn't appear to have programming.


  1. Sonic the Comic #1, "Enter: Sonic"
  2. Sonic the Comic #5, "Lost in the Labyrinth Zone"
  3. Sonic the Comic #18, "Casino Night"
  4. Sonic the Comic #45, "Day of the Death Egg"
  5. Sonic the Comic #11, "Time Racer"

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