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This article's name is conjectural.
Although this article is based on official information, the actual name of the article's subject is pure conjecture.
For general objects with same name, see Barrel (object).

The barrels are gimmicks that appear in Sonic the Hedgehog series. They are cylinder-shaped barrels that are normally found floating in midair and can sometimes be used to progress with the Zones.


Barrels are found in amusement park-themed Zones. Its general appearance seem to be based on real-life circus cylinders and barrels used by clowns or trapeze performers. The barrel functions differently depending the game, though the common feature is to stand on it and being capable of moving it.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog 3

The infamous barrel room in Carnival Night Zone Act 2.

Barrels in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 are the main gimmicks of Carnival Night Zone. These rotating barrels are red with rows of white diamond shapes on them and generally float in midair. While the player stands on them, the playable character will rotate with them. There are two types of this gimmicks. The first type work as moving blocks. Like the rotating pillars in Hydrocity Zone, they can move in all four cardinal directions, sometimes in square formations. However they can as well crush the characters if the player get stuck between them and an incoming surface.

Another type of barrel works as a stationary platform until the player interacts with it. By jumping on it and then pressing up and down on Controlpadds.png, the player can make this barrel swing up and down. Depending on how long the player moves the barrel, its swinging area will increase and when the playable character gets off it, the barrel will steadily return to its original position. There are also sections in the Zone where the player has to move these barrels to reach pathways above or below them.

Sonic Advance


In Sonic Advance, yellow barrels with a blue background and yellow stars on them are found in Casino Paradise Zone. They are not common gimmicks and remain stationary. When the player stands on it, the barrel moves only slightly. However, the player can make it launch them up a little bit by pressing up and down on Controlpadds.png, like in Sonic the Hedgehog 3.


Shadow standing on a barrel in Circus Park in Shadow the Hedghog.

  • Near the end of Carnival Night Zone Act 2, the player comes to the room with a single barrel placed in a shaft (see the image on left of "Game appearances" section). Instruction booklets and the game itself do not give any hints to the barrel's functionality, giving the players a hard time understanding how it works. Because of this, this barrel has received the nickname "Barrel of Doom" from the fan community. A fan question related to the barrel was presented to the game's senior level designer Takashi Iizuka at the Summer of Sonic event in 2011. Iizuka mentioned it was an idea from Hirokazu Yasuhara, the lead game designer. After giving this statement, Yuji Naka commented his understatement for many players finding it hard to understand the barrel's functionality and gave his official apology for including it in the game.[1]
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, Knuckles skips this section completely by using his lower pathway to reach the end of the Zone.
    • Omega blowing up a barrel in Sonic Universe #67.

      The fan community's dislike of the Barrel of Doom was referenced in Sonic Universe #67 where E-123 Omega blew up said barrel while passing through the Carnival Night Zone.
    • In LEGO Dimensions, the barrel appears several times and its infamy in the fanbase is referenced on several occasions. Omochao even refers to it as the "Barrel of Doom" in the Sonic the Hedgehog Adventure World.
    • The official barrel mug.

      An official mug based on the barrel was revealed during the official Sonic panel at SXSW 2019. It was soon available to purchase from the Sega Shop.
  • In Shadow the Hedgehog, there are floating barrels in Circus Park that are almost identical to the ones in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Despite their appearance, they function as normal tubular platforms without any features.


  1. Summer of Sonic 2011: Sonic Team on Stage. The Sonic Stadium (18 July 2011). Retrieved on 20 November 2015.

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