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Sonic News Network
Sonic News Network

The Bowling Spin[1] (ボウリングスピン[2] Bouringusupin?), also known as the Self D-Struct Machine,[3] or the D-Struct Machine for short,[3] is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a robot created by Dr. Robotnik, who used it during the first part of the Angel Island incident.


The Bowling Spin is a green and gray-colored hovering robot. It has small lamps on the top and below, a metal electric bar with a spinning top attachment that functions as a floating platform with a set of spikes spinning on its border.


Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles

In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and the lock-on game Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, the Bowling Spin was used by Dr. Robotnik in an effort to destroy Sonic the Hedgehog and Miles "Tails" Prower in Carnival Night Zone. The robot, however, was defeated by the heroes.

Some time later, a re-built Bowling Spin was sent to destroy Knuckles the Echidna in Carnival Night Zone. However, the echidna managed to destroy the robot on his own.

Powers and abilities

The Bowling Spin is capable of flight. The rod in the center can also be electrified to make it impervious to physical attacks. The machine's most dangerous weapon however, is its spinning spiked top, which it can detach and launch at opponents with enough force to destroy bricks.


The Bowling Spin is the boss of Carnival Night Zone Act 1 in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, and the seventh boss overall in these games. In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, it is battled by Sonic and Tails, while in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, it can also be battled with Knuckles.

Boss guide

The Bowling Spin is encountered in an elevator room with a floor made of yellow and green blocks that descend down a vertical tunnel. After landing in the arena, the Bowling Spin releases its twirling spike-covered top that will bounce around the room and destroy the yellow-and-green blocks on the floor upon contact with them. The rest of the mecha will hover from side to side constantly and will only stop when hit by the player. The spinning top also acts as a platform, while the player must avoid the bottom part and the spikes on the platform.

The player has a varied limited time to defeat the Bowling Spin, as the spinning top will eventually destroy the whole floor, leaving the player to fall to their death. To compensate for the limited time, the Bowling Spin is weaker than the other mini-bosses in the game and only has to be struck four times rather than six to be destroyed. However, the player cannot damage the Bowling Spin directly. After hitting the Bowling Spin once, the tube on its bottom will extend and surround itself with an electric field that will hurt the player if they touch it. At this point, the player must let the spinning top bounce back into it.

After the Bowling Spin has been defeated by hitting it four times, the arena floor will reach the bottom of the vertical tunnel and the Goal Plate will drop from the top of the screen. At this point, Sonic can fall down through any gaps that may have opened up in the floor at this point or be crushed by the rest of the blocks that are coming down due to the Bowling Spin leaving uneven holes between the blocks.

Knuckles' battle against the Bowling Spin is identical in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. However, in this version, Knuckles enters to the elevator from his own pathway in the Zone. During the battle, Knuckles is unable to climb on the elevator room's walls and, depending how long the battle lasts, the player may need to use the Bowling Spin spinning top to reach the Bowling Spin in order to hit it due Knuckles' low jumping height.


Name Artist(s) Version Length Music Track
N/A Sega Sonic the Hedgehog 3 2:13
"The Boss" Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles 1:05
Sonic & Knuckles Collection "FM Synthesizer" 1:22
"General MIDI" 1:24



Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Boss 7 - Bowling Spin


  • The Bowling Spin's ability to destroy the floor of the battle arena is heavily reminiscent of the Egg Stinger in the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • Strangely, a Lightning Shield does not protect the character from hitting the electric field that forms around the tube on the bottom of the boss (the shield is lost as soon as such a hit is sustained).
  • Spin Jumping up into the spinning top from below forces it upwards.
  • After both versions of the battle, when the signpost falls to the bottom ground, hidden monitors (Super Ring, Water Shield and Lightning Shield) can be found in the center part of the ground.
  • At the end of the battle, if the player remains ducking (while having the camera scrolled to the bottom), the signpost will fall below through the ground.




  1. Flynn, Ian; Sega (8 December 2021). Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia. Dark Horse Books. ISBN 978-1506719276. "Bosses: Act 1 - Bowling Spin. Lure the spinning disk into the exposed electrifiedcore before the floor gives out."
  2. (in Japanese) ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ3 公式ガイドブック. Shogakukan. 1 July 1994. p. 47. ISBN 978-4091024794.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sonic the Comic #37, "Sonic 3 Part 4 - The Bosses Cont'd"

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