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Bombs (爆弾,Bakudan?), also called Obstacles (障害物,Shōgai Butsu?), are obstacles that appear in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Touching a bomb with a playable character will cause it to explode and damage and/or halt the player.
The bombs have made numerous appearances in almost every game in the series since their introduction. While the appearance of these obstacles has differed between many games, their purpose is similar to spikes and iron balls, which is to inflict environmental damage to the reckless player.
The bombs are usually found in different zones or Special Stages where they serve to complicate the player's progress. They are located in numerous places along the pathways where they either block the player's path or hide from view to take the player by surprise. They are often arranged in specific formations that makes it difficult for the player to pass through without touching them. Many bosses and different enemies have also been known ti use bombs as their weapons.
Touching a bomb with a playable character, either when attacking or just moving into one, will cause it to explode instantly, with the following explosion inflicting damage on the unprotected player and/or slowing the player's movements down.
The bombs' appearance and size have varied between games. In some games, bombs and iron balls are closely similar in appearance and share numerous features; both obstacles have been known to be spiky, black or dark grey, and often appear in groups. In most cases however, bombs are small or medium-sized, whereas iron balls can be large and spinning around in one place. In recent games, both obstacles have been separated more clearly in terms of design.
Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
Bombs made their first appearance in the original 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog, where they had a completely identical look to the iron balls on the seesaws in Star Light Zone. During the boss battle in this zone, Dr. Robotnik will drop bombs on seesaws from his Egg Mobile which has a small pipe attachment. These bombs will start flashing for several seconds after being dropped down, before exploding and releasing small, but harmfuill, red projectiles that will fly everywhere, similar to Badnik with same name. The player can use these bombs to either send them flying back into the Egg Moblie by using seesaws, or to send Sonic up into the air to reach the Egg Mobile by using them to shift the seesaw.
In the 8-bit version of the game with same name, Robotnik is seen dropping exploding balls during his encounter with Sonic in Jungle Zone Act 3. These balls keep moving around the vine until they explode, which leads to Robotnik dropping another more to take their place. In the 8-bit variation of Scrap Brain Zone, Ball Hogs are also dropping exploding balls into the player's face.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, bombs are featured most of the time in Special Stages, where the player has to avoid them. In these stages, the bombs are black spheres with white spikes around them and red center lines and orb on the middle of it. Touching one will cause them to explode, which will make the player lose 10 Rings and cause Sonic/Tails to fishtail for a second. Bombs in these stages are usually arranged in strings, but they can also be arranged as large Rings in midair, which the player has to jump through without touching them.
In the boss encounter at Casino Night Zone Act 2, Robotnik will drop small spiky bombs from his Egg Mobile if the player run past him below, which will then explode and release two small projectiles. During the boss battle with the Death Egg Robot, if the player goes behind the large robot, it will launch small Robotnik-looking robot bombs, which will explode after standing for while.
Sonic the Hedgehog CD
In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, bombs can be encountered during some of the boss battle segments of the game, through their appearance differs between each boss battle.
Robotnik's pinball attachment at Collision Chaos can drop flashing blue bombs from the bottom hatch. These bombs does not damage the player when they make contact and explode, though they can change Sonic's flying course then trying to reach the boss in the pinball arena. Also, on Robotnik's conveyor belt trap in Quartz Quadrant, the doctor starts dropping black spiked bombs down on the player, which, after crashing to the ground, will separate into four smaller iron balls that can damage the player upon contact.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles
In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and its continuation Sonic & Knuckles, bombs are a little more featured. The large battleship at the end of Angel Island Zone Act 2 will drop flat bomb missiles from ship's bottom tubes down on the player, which the player can avoid by keeping on running straight forward.
In the boss encounter for Sonic and Tails in Lava Reef Zone Act 2, Hot Mobile can shoot magma-resistant mines into the air, which will then drop down nearby. These spiked mines however, will move with the lava flow towards the Hot Mobile, while the player has to avoid them by jumping from one platform to another. In order to defeat the Hot Mobile, the player must allow eight mines to crash into the Hot Mobile.
Eggrobo is seen dropping two different kinds of bombs that is only seen in Sonic & Knuckles alone during Knuckles's storyline: one at the beginning cutscene and near the end of the Launch Base Zone. Both of these bombs are seen to have Eggman's face on it.
In Sonic 3D Blast, there are numerous purple colored mines, with yellow and black stripe around them, set in few of the zones in the game, and can block some of pathways. If the player gets too close to them, they will explode and release small projectiles in their wave that will fly around the area.
Mines can also be found in the Special Stages of the game, though their appearance and effects differs between the versions of the game. In the Sega Genesis version, the mines have slight different coloring for each Special Stage. While they do not blow up when the player touches them, they will cause the player to lose 10 Rings each time. If the player has no Rings in his/hers possession when he/she makes contact with a mine, the player will lose in the Special Stage. In Sega Saturn version, they are similar to the bombs from the Special Stages in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, resembling the bombs from that game instead of mines, and will explode if the player touches them, causing the player to lose 10 Rings in each time.
Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure
In Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, bombs repeat their role in the Special Stages. In this game, they are identical in appearance to the bombs seen in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and are as well arranged in the same string and ring formations. When the player touches these bombs, he/she will lose 10 Rings.
In Sonic Battle, Bombs are black spiked orbs with a red light running along their middle. They appear exclusively in the Tails' Fly & Get mini game, where they make the player lose five points whenever their playable character touch one.
Bombs later made a reappearance in Sonic Heroes, where they are once again featured once in the Special Stages in the game, and can be found in both the Bonus Challenge and the Emerald Challenge. In this game, they are black, floating orbs with yellow and red spikes around them. They are usually arranged in large string rows, often creating a wide fields of bombs. Some of the bombs also spin around the tube of the Special Stage as well.
In this game, touching the bombs will cause them to explode and set off a chain reaction that will set off other bombs nearby, though they will not damage the player. Instead, they will decrease the player's speed considerably and the playable character will fishtail for few seconds after the bombs have exploded. This can be a great hindrance to the player, as high-speed movements are essential to these Special Stages.
Sonic Rush series
In Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure, bombs are variable obstacles that can be seen in few stages. In the underwater sections of Water Palace, water mines can be seen hanging on the bottom from a rope. The player can then grab onto the rope at the bottom of these water mines, which will then start pulling the player towards the surface. However after grabbing it, the player has five seconds to let it go before the mine explodes and damages the player.
In Sonic Rush Adventure, numerous enemies are carrying bombs as weapons. In the Johnny's Race levels and general sea routes, there are also a huge amount of water mines lying on water, which can damage the sea vessel that the player is currently riding upon contact. These mines, however, can be destroyed by attacking them with the vessel's means of offense.
In Sonic Riders, bombs appear in Wave's and Jet's Missions of Mission Mode, where they appear as multi-colored spheres with spots all over it that constantly flash red. If the player touches them, they will slow down and lose some Air but will not lose Rings. In gameplay, the bombs are also indicated by a purple arrow pointing downwards, allowing the player to note where the bombs are in the course.
Bombs are featured as one of the obstacles in Sonic Unleashed. In this game, they appear as black-colored, spiky spheres with red round center and lines. If the player touches these bombs, he/she will take damage and Sonic will lose balance while running. Bombs are only featured at Day Stages of the game, where the player has to avoid them during Quick Step sections with Aero-Chasers and Interceptors. They also appear in several of the game's missions.
In the Wii version of Sonic Colors, and the remaster Sonic Colors: Ultimate, the Bombs look and function the same way they did in Sonic Unleashed. In gameplay, the Bombs can be found in the underground sections of the Acts where the Yellow Drill is usable. Touching these underground Bombs while using the Yellow Drill will cause them to explode and inflict damage on the player. However even with zero Rings, the player does not die when making contact with a Bomb.
The game also features timer Bombs, which are similar to regular Bombs, but are cubic in shape. After touching these Bombs once, they will start to beep and flash for a few seconds, before they explode and inflict damage to player, if nearby. If other cubic timer Bombs are caught within the blast radius of another detonated cubic timer Bomb, they will automatically detonate as well.
In the console/PC version of the game, the bombs have the exact same appearance, functionality and effects as in Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors. They are mostly set around in both the classic and modern Acts, where the player has to dodge them in order to avoid damage. They are also featured in several of the game's Challenge Acts. There are also special bombs called Dimensional Bombs which appear in the Death Egg Robot fight. They look like regular bombs, but with countdown timers. These must be used to stun the Death Egg Robot in order for Classic Sonic to damage it.
In Nintendo 3DS version of the game, bombs can be found at certain stages, as similar water mines with pulleys are featured again at Water Palace. Bombs are also featured in the game's Special Stages, where their appearance, functionality and effects are the same as in Sonic Heroes. Like in Sonic Heroes, the player has to avoid the bombs prevent Sonic from slowing down while trying to catch a Chaos Emerald.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II
In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, bombs are once again featured as one of main obstacles in the Special Stages. In this game, their appearance is that of a black and grey colored balls with red spikes on them, while their functionalities and effects are the same as those they had in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Like in previous games, they are arranged in strings, ring formations and other different types of clusters.
In mobile phone game Sonic Dash, the bombs made another appearance, where they serve as some of the main obstacles that the player has to avoid when he/she makes his through the level. In this game, their design is identical to that seen in Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, and like in previous games, touching the bombs will cause them to explode and make the playable character lose Rings. Doctor Eggman also uses them against Sonic during the game's boss battle.
Sonic Lost World
In Wii U version of Sonic Lost World, bombs are set underground in planetoid-shaped underground sections in Silent ForestZone 4 when the player is utilizing the Yellow Drill. Once getting close, they start ticking for several seconds before they explode. Here, Bombs are surrounding the obstacles resembling ancient faces.
In the Nintendo 3DS version of the game, there are water mines which are set in the underwater sections of Tropical Coast Zone 3. When the player gets close to one of them, the water mine will start counting down from five. After hitting zero, they will then explode and deal damage, but will explode earlier if the player touches them.
In Sonic Runners, Bombs are only seen briefly being used by Dr. Eggman, who drops one from Egg Mobile after the player has hit him enough times or misses him. This bomb will transport the player to the next segment of the game.