The Trick Action (トリックアクション,Torikku Akushon?) is a recurring technique in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It refers to different acrobatic maneuvers executed under special circumstances. These actions allow for different effects, like movement control, charging energy, or point gathering.
When performing a Trick Action, the users pull off a certain acrobatic maneuver. Some of these actions include the users thrusting themselves in certain directions, twisting themselves around or doing body flips. These maneuvers are normally executed while the user is thrown into mid-air, although there has been somecases where they can be pulled off while grinding or while setting off gimmicks. Each Trick Action is different in execution and is performed in accordance to the user's own unique style; while using the same Trick Action, Sonic may move his legs around while Knucklesstrikes with his fists.
In gameplay, the Trick Actions can be pulled off right after utilizing certain gimmicks. This mostly include gimmicks that launch the characters into midair, like the Spring, Ramp or Trick Jump Panel. Over the course of the series, the Trick Actions have serve a variety of purposes that depend on the game. Sometimes, they are little more than aerial maneuvers used for altering the player's flight path. Other times, they are mechanics used while the characters move through the air or down a set path to fill up the games' energy gauges for special actions and/or gain additional points. Only on a few occasions have they included multiple mechanics. In addition, some games only allow usage of one Trick Action per opportunity to use it, while other games allow multiple actions to be executed in succession. Occasionally, Trick Actions have also been known to exhibit unique traits exclusive to themselves; some may allow greater aerial ascend than others, some can double as an attack, some are executed faster than the rest, and others may create an aftereffect when the user touches the ground.
Sonic Advance series
Sonic Advance 2
The Trick Actions first appeared in Sonic Advance 2 where they are referred to as Mid-Air Trick Actions or just Trick Actions. In this game, they are usable to all playable characters (excluding Super Sonic).
In gameplay, Trick Actions allow the playable characters to suddenly move in one of the four cardinal directions once after being launched into the air with a brief and short-ranged dash. Certain Trick Actions in this game may exhibit unique traits; some may double as an attack, some are simply an extra jump, and others may create an aftereffect when the user touches the ground. Each Mid-Air Trick Action is an independent move and falls under one of the following maneuvers in accordance to the direction they move the user in:
Big Air: Thrusts the user upward. Most of these tricks have no offensive traits.
In practice, the Mid-Air Trick Actions are very useful when the player wants to manipulate the playable characters' mid-air trajectory or gain access to otherwise inaccessible areas. To use a Mid-Air Trick Action in gameplay, the player must press in the direction they want to go on (this is excluded for the Quick Reverse maneuvers) and the R Button at the same time after being thrown into the air by gimmicks, like the Spring or Ramp.
In gameplay, the Trick Actions work exactly like in Sonic Advance 2 and include all the maneuvers for the characters from back then, except the Quick Reverse maneuvers. To use a Trick Action in gameplay, the player must press in the direction they want to go on and the R Button at the same time after being thrown into the air by gimmicks, like the Spring or Ramp. Just pressing the R Button triggers the Long Wind Jump maneuver.
Sonic Rush series
In Sonic Rush, the Trick Action maneuvers are referred to as both Trick Actions and Tricks. In this game, these actions are only useable to Sonic and Blaze.
In gameplay, Trick Actions can be performed in succession and can generate increasing amounts of points for the player's score. Among the Trick Actions, the majority of them let the player charge the Tension Gauge when executing them. These include:
Basic Tricks/Advanced Trick: Tricks that can be performed in quick succession by tapping while launched into midair by gimmicks, like the Spring and springboard. Pressing after the third action or above triggers a combo finisher for an awesome finish. If the same individual gimmick is used repeatedly for these Tricks, the point reward and the energy for the Tension Gauge will halved until both only increase by one. Furthermore, these Trick Actions cannot be performed if the playable character takes damage or gets pushed away in midair.
Grind Tricks: Tricks that can be performed up to three times in succession by tapping while grinding across various rails. If the same rail is used repeatedly for these Tricks, the point reward and the energy for the Tension Gauge will be lowered drastically.
Just Trick: Tricks that can be performed by pressing as the player is about to take off from springboards or the edge of a rail. This is the most efficient way to charge the Tension Gauge.
In addition to the aforementioned Tricks, Sonic and Blaze can also use their Big Air (Hop Jump and Axel Tornado) and Long Wind Jump (Humming Top and Jump Step) maneuvers as part of their Trick Actions. These moves work much like those in Sonic Advance 2. To use these Trick Actions in gameplay, the player must press in the direction they want to go on and the R Button at the same time after being thrown into the air by gimmicks like the Spring or Ramp. Just pressing the R Button triggers the Long Wind Jump maneuver.
In regular Stages, the Trick system is almost the same as in Sonic Rush except for a few differences: Basic Tricks/Advanced Trick are now called "Air Tricks", and the combo finisher can be performed right after the first Air Trick (as opposed to after at least two actions in Sonic Rush). In addition, the maneuvers Hop Jump, Axel Tornado, Humming Top and Jump Step are also treated as combo finishers. Grind Tricks can be executed by pressing on rails, and can be used repeatedly without lowering their point rewards.
The game also introduces the "Trick Bonus" - a bonus gained for chaining multiple Trick Actions to gain extra energy for the Tension Gauge. The Trick Bonus is represented by a yellow star counter shown on the HUD when the player performs an Air Trick, and will increase each time a Trick Action is performed. The number and stars displayed show the number of Trick Actions performed in a single combo and the Trick Bonus awarded, flashing as the combo goes higher. The combo number can be incremented to higher values by using more than one gimmick within a single flight.
To gain a Trick Bonus, the player must perform a combo finisher (by pressing , or using one of the aforementioned maneuvers). Optionally, the player may continue to perform another combo of Air Tricks from a single gimmick launch; however if the combo finisher used in the first combo was a maneuver, it cannot be used to end the second. Conversely, if was used to end the first combo, the second combo can only begin if the player performs a maneuver after the first combo ends and must be used again to end the second combo.
If the player touches the ground, takes damage, does not perform a trick after a certain amount of time or performs tricks when launched from the same individual gimmick, the combo will end without any Trick Bonus awarded.
In Sea Stages, Trick Actions can be performed with the Wave Cyclone as well. When riding over a ramp with the Wave Cyclone, the player can perform a trick by tracing the Trick Marker on the Nintendo DS' Touch Screen in the direction it guides the player with the stylus. Successfully performing tricks will fill up the Boost Gauge.
Sonic Riders series
In Sonic Riders, the Trick Action maneuvers are referred to simply as Trick Actions. In this game, they are usable to all playable characters.
In gameplay, Trick Actions can be chained and are used during races to gather Air for the Air Tank. To perform a simple Trick Action, press // to jump as the playable character rides over a Trick Zone. For a longer jump that allows greater combos, hold down // to Charge as the playable character approaches a Trick Zone and release as they pass over it. Correct timing is crucial. While in the air, use the movement controls to perform spins in all directions as Trick Actions. Larger numbers of spins in a variety of directions will award a higher Rank, which replenishes a greater amount of Air. When the movement controls are neutral, the character will automatically return to the upright position facing forward ready to land. Failing to land correctly will get the player a lower Rank and less Air. Similarly, automatic Trick Actions can be achieved within Turbulences when Trick Areas appear.
There are two types of basic Trick Actions as follows:
Back Flip: Hold the movement controls down as // is released. Back Flips propel the player high into the air making it possible to reach shortcuts or bonus Items far above.
Front Flip: Hold the movement controls up as // is released. Front Flips propel the player further forward making it possible to reach distant shortcuts.
Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity
In Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, the Trick Action techniques are collectively referred to as Trick Actions or just Tricks. In this game, they are again usable to all playable characters.
In gameplay, Trick Actions are used during races to gather Gravity Points for the GP Gauge. Unlike in Sonic Riders, however, tricks can only be performed in one direction. To perform a Trick Action during a race, press the jump button as close to the edge of a Trick Zone as possible and use the controls to rotate the playable character in any direction to perform a mid-air Trick. Depending on the player's timing, a Rank is given which determines the amount of Gravity Points that is awarded. To raise the performance a maximum of two Ranks, the player must increase their approach speed and steer just as they press the jump button. Higher ranking Tricks will award a GP boost and also allow the player to reach shortcuts. A sound effect and a unique trick animation plays if the player successfully performs an X-Rank trick.
Sonic Free Riders
In Sonic Free Riders, Trick Actions are named Air Tricks. Like in previous Sonic Riders installments, these maneuvers are available to all playable characters.
In gameplay, like in Sonic Riders, Trick Actions are used during races to gather Air for the Air Tank, but they can only be performed one at a time. Due to the Kinect gameplay controls, the player must jump when on a Kicker and move their body in specific directions (e.g turning the body 180 degrees) to perform a Trick Action. If the player crouches down long enough while approaching a Kicker and jumps, the player will gain extra height to access higher routes. Depending on the timing and the tricks performed, a Rank is given which determines the amount of Air that is awarded. The characters' performance of the Trick Action depends on the racer's Rank.
In the Wii version of Sonic Colors, Tricks Actions are reserved for Sonic and Super Sonic. In gameplay, they are used exclusively for gathering points. To perform a Trick Action in an Act, the player must utilize a Trick Ramp and then press the jump button repeatedly to perform tricks. Once finished, the player's score will be tallied. As the player pulls of Trick Actions, the game announcer will shout "Good", "Great", "Awesome", "Outstanding" and finally "Amazing" in this order. Also, if the player pulls off a Trick Action as Super Sonic, the announcer will skip straight to "Amazing".
In gameplay, Trick Actions can be chained and are used to charge the Boost Gauge. To initiate a sequence of Trick Actions, the player must use a Trick Jump Panel or a Rainbow Ring. While in the air, the player must then move the movement controls in any direction to perform tricks. Each direction creates a different trick, and each trick grants Boost Energy. Pressing & / & at the end of a combo triggers a Finish Combo which grants extra Boost Energy. Also, the larger the Trick Action combo is, the more Boost Energy will its Finish Combo grant. It should be noted that performing enough Trick Actions will overcharge the Boost Gauge for extra energy. Additionally, the SkillTrick Mastery allows the player to perform tricks at a faster rate.
The Nintendo 3DS version contains a single scenario with Freestyle Tricks. At the end of Emerald Coast Act 2, Sonic bounces up from a spring and the player must perform three tricks by pressing the jump button to avoid being eaten by an Orca.
In Sonic Advance 3, although Knuckles is still incapable of using the Trick Actions, the player can hear Knuckles making sounds as if he was capable of using them in the Sound Test. This suggests that while there is game data for him to use the Trick Actions, the idea was scrapped in the final version of the game.
In Sonic Generations, the Finish Combo pose mirrors Sonic from the Sonic Adventure cover.
In Sonic Generations, if every Red Star Ring in Rooftop Run Act 2 is collected, the skill "Trick Mastery" is unlocked. With this skill, Trick Actions can be performed faster (nearly four tricks per second).
In Sonic Generations, when playing as Super Sonic, Trick Actions can be performed at a faster rate, though not as fast as when the "Trick Mastery" Skill is equipped.
In the demo version of Sonic Generations, holding the left analog stick in one direction provides more boost than moving it in a different direction. However, in the final build, moving the left analog stick in a different direction provides more boost than holding it towards one direction.