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

The zip line[1] is a gimmick in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a basic pulley suspended on a cable mounted on an incline that can be used as a quick and easy way to reach far away areas.

Description

The zip line's appearance is exactly like their real-life counterparts', but with some slight design differences occurring between each game. Overall, they consist of a pulley (which is typically colored red) suspended on a long cable mounted on an incline. These cables usually stretch across a long 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 letting them ride down the zip line's cable with the aid of its pulley. When using it in gameplay, the user grabs a hold of the pulley which will then cause said pulley to automatically roll down the zip line's cable from one end to the other at high speed. In some chases, the zip line serves as a shortcut, and in others cases, it is necessary to proceed through a level.

To use a zip line in in gameplay, the player just has to touch its pulley. In some games, the player can even zero in on it with the Homing Attack. Also, once a zip line has been used, it (usually) cannot be used again.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Swing me to the other side

Sonic riding a zip line in Angel Island Zone Act 1 of Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

The zip lines made their first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. In this game, they appear in Angel Island Zone and Launch Base Zone Act 2, with the zip lines' appearance and functionality differing between the two Zones.

This one can be moved to any direction

Sonic riding a zip line in Launch Base Zone Act 2 of Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

In Angel Island Zone, zip lines are long, horizontal rope-rides set over long gaps. To ride it, the playable character must touch 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 however, 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-based 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 also move the playable character left and right.

Sonic Adventure

RMSONIC16

Sonic using a zip line in Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut.

In Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, the zip line only appears in Sonic's version of Red Mountain. In this game, the zip line's pulley consist of a single rust-brown wheel with a small gray handle bar attached to it, 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, with their appearance differing between each Zone.

Secret Base II

Knuckles riding a zip line that connects to a transverse zip line.

In Secret Base Zone, the zip lines have gray cables that are connected between simple gray poles, and their pulleys each resemble a gray wheel with a metal handle attached. In Ice Mountain Zone on the other hand, the zip lines have white cables that are connected between pillar-like poles that are colored red, blue and yellow, and their pulleys each consist of a blue and red wheel with a handle attached.

In gameplay, the playable character automatically catches onto the zip line's pulley once they get below the latter and rides down it while accelerating. In some cases, a zip line will even connect to a transverse zip line, causing the playable character to ride down the latter in the opposite direction upon touching it.

Sonic Heroes

Ps2 sonic heroes 65

Team Rose using a zip line in Sonic Heroes.

In Sonic Heroes, different types of zip lines appear. In this game, they are encountered in the Bonus Challenges for the Special Stages. These zip lines have metallic red and white cables for their pulleys to move down along. The pulleys themselves are large red hoops with rainbow-colored inner rims. Tying the pulleys to the cables are rainbow-colored treads, which connect to the pulleys via a red block emblazoned with a bumper symbol.

In gameplay, while riding a zip line, the player can move the playable team left and right with the analog stick to swing around and collect Power Spheres in the air.

Sonic Rush

In Sonic Rush, zip lines appear in Mirage Road and Altitude Limit, with each Zone having their own designs for the zip lines.

ZipLineAltitudeLimitSRush

A zip line in Altitude Limit in Sonic Rush.

In Mirage Road, the zip lines have green cables that are connected between simple multicolored poles, and their pulleys each resemble a golden and blue wheel with a golden handle attached. In Altitude Limit on the other hand, the zip lines have white and red-striped cables that are connected between high-tech gray poles, and their pulleys each consist of a blue and red wheel with a gray handle attached.

In gameplay, the playable characters are able to ride the zip lines both ways. Also, if the playable character builds up enough momentum when making contact with a zip line, they will be able to ride it up an incline.

Shadow the Hedgehog

GUN Fortress Screenshot 10

Shadow using a coaster in Shadow the Hedgehog.

In Shadow the Hedgehog, the zip line is occasionally referred to as "coaster".[2] In this game, the zip lines are encountered in Stages such as Circus Park, Cosmic Fall, Space Gadget and The ARK.

In each of the Stages, the zip lines possess a unique design. In general however, they have metallic cables that are kept suspended from above and possess large mechanical pulleys that serve as high-speed transport mechanisms. In Stages such as Circus Park, the zip lines' pulleys are large gray handles that rest top of the cables (with wheels between them) and red, box-shaped rockets on the sides of the handles that emit blue exhausts with white stars. Then there are the zip lines in Stages such as GUN Fortress, whose pulleys possess a gray open handle and have both two gray wheels on top of them that keep them connected to the cables and a rocket on the left side that emit a blue exhaust. There are also the zip lines in Stages such as Cosmic Fall and Space Gadget whose pulleys are green-yellow blocks that rest on top of the cables and have both a handle connected to them on the bottom and a rocket on the right side of the handle that emits a yellow exhaust.

In gameplay, the player can move the Analogue Stick left or right to tilt the pulley left or right while the playable character is holding onto it.

Sonic Rivals

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Shadow riding a Zip Line in Sonic Rivals.

In Sonic Rivals, the zip line is a common gimmick that appears in every Zone in the game. In terms of design, the color of the zip lines' cables depend on the Zone. However, the zip line's pulleys are all consistently portrayed as white miniature vehicles with a black windshield, small yellow front wheels, large blue rear wheels, and a gray handle hanging from the bottom.

In gameplay, the zip lines are mainly used to travel across bottomless pits safely and take shortcuts.

Sonic and the Secret Rings

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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. It can also 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. They usually appear in the game's Act 2 stages, although they also appear in the game's Act 1 stages on a few occasions.

Sonic Mania

The Zip Line reappears in Sonic Mania, and its expansion Sonic Mania Plus. It only appears in Green Hill Zone Act 2.

Sonic Forces

ZipLineForces

Sonic using the Zip Line in Sonic Forces.

The Zip Line makes another appearance in Sonic Forces. It appears and functions exactly as it did in Sonic Generations.

Gallery

Models

Screenshots

Gallery

See also

References

  1. Damien Waples; Off Base Productions (18 November 2008). "Spagonia • Head for the goal ring!". Sonic Unleashed: Prima Official Game Guide. Prima Games. pp. 51. ISBN 978-0761560005. "After the camera changes perspective, hit the spring and perform a midair dash to make it through the rainbow ring. If successful, you’ll grab a zip line and travel down a taut rope."
  2. 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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