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Sonic News Network
Sonic News Network

The arrow column[1] ([2] Shǐ?, lit. "Arrow"), also referred to as the flame dart[3] (炎の矢[4] Honō no ya?, lit. "Flame arrow"), is an obstacle that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a basic pillar structure with arrow traps attached to it.


Arrow columns are disguised as regular ancient columns with gray traps attached to them. These traps have opening side hatches for firing gray arrows out of them. Most of them have a center sculpture depicting a face with glowing red eyes.

In gameplay, arrow columns fire fast-moving arrows in whatever linear horizontal direction they are facing. Making contact with these arrows will inflict damage on the playable character.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)

An arrow column trap detecting Sonic and Tails, from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit).

In Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit), from Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, arrow columns appear in Aquatic Ruin Zone. In this game, they have Dr. Robotnik's face sculptured on them.

In gameplay, when the playable character gets close to one, the eyes on the arrow column start glowing red. When the playable character then starts moving past the arrow column or turns around and walks back behind it, the arrow column's side hatch opens, and it will fires an arrow to the right at the medium speed. Eventually, the arrows will disappear after following the player's direction for a short time. However, it is possible for the arrows to catch up and hit the playable character at an unexpected moment after they pass their arrow columns.

There are a few sections in Aquatic Ruin Zone that feature arrow columns with either two or four different arrow traps situated on top of each other. When passing these arrow columns, all the traps on them will fire arrows at the same time. They are also found in the underwater sections or on the left side of tall loops. Also, the traps on arrow columns can sometimes be difficult to detect among the tree branches on the higher pathways in Aquatic Ruin Zone.

Sonic Adventure

Sonic encountering flame darts, from Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut.

In Sonic Adventure and its remake, Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, arrow-shooting obstacles called flame darts[3] (炎の矢[4] Honō no ya?, lit. "Flame arrow") appear in Lost World. In terms of appearance, the flame darts are generic, maya-themed pillar traps with tiny holes in them from where they fire flaming arrows.

In gameplay, during Sonic's story, flame darts are encountered in Lost World's dark room with the mirror gimmicks. When fired, the arrows will fly at medium speed across the paths with noticeable spaces between them. Because of their appearance, they are easily seen in their dark setting and the player can carefully use the Spin Jump to leap over them. The same flaming darts are later also encountered in Lost World's long hall with rolling boulder and large hall with Lit Panels. In Knuckles' portion of the Lost World on the other hand, one of three Emerald Shards can be found at the highest point of a large hall with three blocky platforms where multiple flame dart traps are set. The player has to reach this section from below by climbing and carefully catch the Emerald Shard without taking a hit from flame darts.[4]

Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure

In Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, arrow columns are found in Aquatic Relix Zone. In gameplay, they function much like they did in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit).

Sonic Mania

In Sonic Mania, and its expansion Sonic Mania Plus, arrow columns are found in Press Garden Zone Act 1, where they function like they did in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. However, in this instance, arrow columns shoot horizontally-facing Asterons when the player approaches.




See also


  1. (in English) Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 2: Sega's Official Player's Guide. Compute; Expanded edition. 1993. p. 91. ISBN 1-55958-335-5.
  2. (in Japanese) ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2 メガドライブ公式ガイドブック. Shogakukan. December 1992. p. 26. ISBN 978-4091024145.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Stratton, Bryan (17 June 2003). "Lost World". Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut: Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Prima Games. p. 48. ISBN 978-0761542865. "Flame darts crisscross the point from which you must Light-Speed Dash."
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "ロストワールド" (in Japanese). ソニックアドベンチャー オペレーションガイド. SoftBank. January 1999. p. 99. ISBN 978-4757203006. "天井近くのトラップの上。 炎の矢に注意して、取ろう。"

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