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Zip Line

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For the gimmick in Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, see Ener-Rail.

The Zip Line is a reoccurring gimmick in the Sonic the Hedgehog series that first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. It is a basic zip line the can be used as an easy and quick way to reach far away areas.


The Zip Line's appearance is exactly the same as those in real life, but with some design differences between each game. It consists of a pulley (usually in the color red) suspended on a long cable stretching over a certain distance through midair. The pulley on an unused Zip Line can always be found at the cable's beginning.

The Zip Line's purpose is to help the player reach far away areas by riding the cable through midair. When using it, the user grabs a hold of the pulley which will automatically cause the user to ride down the cable from one end to the other at high speed. In some chases it can serve as a shortcut while in others it is necessary to proceed through a level.

To use it in gameplay, the player just has to touch the Pulley, though for some games, the player can even lock onto it with the Homing Attack. Once a Zip Line has been used, it cannot be used again.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Swing me to the other side

Sonic riding Zip Line in Angel Island Zone Act 1 of Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

Zip Lines are first seen in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, where they appear in Angel Island Zone and Launch Base Zone. Its appearance and functionality differs between the two Zones. In Angel Island Zone, Zip Lines are long horizontal rope-rides set over long gaps. The player can ride on it by grabbing the wooden handle at the top left end of the Zip Line. After reaching the bottom end, the playable character swings around 360 degrees on it before jumping off it. In Angel Island Zone Act 2, one Zip Line has fire on the rope that makes it break, causing the player to fall off before reaching the end.

In Launch Base Zone Act 2, there are different, steel Zip Lines which use hooks. When the playable character hops into the hook, it will settle and then move straight forward to the end. While riding it, the player can move playable character left and right and jump off after reaching the end of the line or hop onto another Zip Line below.

Sonic Adventure

The Zip Line also appeared in Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut where it was only used in Sonic's version of Red Mountain. In this game its color is grey and when using it, Sonic holds onto it with his right hand.

Sonic Advance

In Sonic Advance, Zip Lines appear in Secret Base Zone and Ice Mountain Zone. In this game, the playable character automatically catches onto the Zip Line's pulley once entering it and rides down it while accelerating. In some cases, one Zip Line connects to a transverse Zip Line, causing the player to ride down the latter in the opposite direction upon touching it.

Sonic Heroes

Different type of Zip Lines are seen in Sonic Heroes, where they can be found in the Bonus Challenges for the Special Stages. These Zip Lines move in certain patterns inside the circular tube tunnels. The player can move the playable team left and right with the analog stick to swing while collecting Power Spheres in the air.

Shadow the Hedgehog


The Coaster in Shadow the Hedgehog.

In Shadow the Hedgehog, the Zip Line is called "Coaster".[1] In this game, the Coaster is encountered in Stages such as Circus Park, Cosmic Fall, Space Gadget and The ARK where it is used as a high-speed transport mechanism. The player can also tilt left or right while holding the pulley in this game.

Sonic Rivals

PPSSPPWindows64 2015-07-19 22-57-01-691

Shadow riding a Zip Line in Sonic Rivals.

In Sonic Rivals, the Zip Line is used to travel across bottomless pits safely. Unlike in the previous games however, the player cannot change the direction of it.

Sonic and the Secret Rings

Dolphin 2016-03-17 22-01-56-972

Sonic riding a Zip Line in Sonic and the Secret Rings.

In Sonic and the Secret Rings, the Zip Line resembles a real-life axe-like carriage attached to a long rope. Their mechanics are the same as in Shadow the Hedgehog. When riding it in gameplay, the player has to tilt the Wii Remote left or right to move it.

Sonic Unleashed

In Sonic Unleashed, the Zip line's coloration is red and it appeared in both versions. When using it, Sonic will hold the pulley with both of his hands.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4

The Zip Line also appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, II and Metal where it can be used by all playable characters. Its coloration is the same as it was in Sonic Colors. In this game though, the player can control one's speed when moving along the Zip Line by moving left or right and it can be used again after using it. As Sonic or Metal Sonic, they can also be targeted with the Homing Attack.

Sonic Colors

In Sonic Colors, the Zip Line's coloration is red. When using it, Sonic will holds the pulley with both his hands.

Sonic Generations

The Zip Line also appeared in Sonic Generations. In this game, its coloration is red and it has all of its standard functions. Once again, they can be targeted by the Homing Attack.




See also


  1. Sonic Team (15 November 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. GameCube. Sega. Area/Level: Circus Park. "Dr. Eggman: You can move this coaster to the left and right."

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