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The Cannon[1] (大砲 Taihō?) is a gimmick that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a type of propulsion device that can shoot the playable character(s) as if they were a cannonball to help them traverse through the different Zones.


When the player is using the Cannons, they can help them reach higher areas, cross bottomless pits or move over parts of the Zone quickly. When the playable characters enter the cannon, they curl into a ball and are launched from the cannon as living cannon balls to another location. Certain Cannons lead to alternate pathways as well, but these are not easy to locate. When using floating Cannons, they typically launch the player to another one, which is used similarly to launch the playable character to another location.

Since their debut in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the functionality and appearance of Cannons have varied, though their purpose remain the same. Usually, Cannons are either placed on the ground or in-between walls, or floating in midair to shoot the player through a chain of Cannons.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Cannon Sonic 2.png

First appearing in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the Cannons are only found at Oil Ocean Zone. In this game, the Cannons are spherical with no steps and a short barrel, and are colored in yellow and green check patterns.

To use Cannons, the player has to break a cork on top of certain furnaces. This will propel the player into a floating Cannon that will shoot the player across other Cannons to another area, much like the pipes in Chemical Plant Zone. In some cases, the player will be launched upward by the last Cannon to collect Rings above. In Oil Ocean Zone Act 2, the player can also enter floating Cannons by flying below the hatches of floating furnaces, which will then shoot the player to the nearest Cannon.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Cannon Sonic 3.png

In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and the lock-on game Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, Cannons are black circus cannons with red and white mouths. They are only found in Carnival Night Zone. Oddly, there is no sound effect when these Cannons fire.

When the player enters a Cannon, it will swivel 180 degrees. Once it is in the desired direction, the player has to then press the jump button to fire the Cannon. Also, after completing Carnival Night Zone Act 2, Sonic or Tails uses a Cannon to shoot themselves to the next zone. During this event, this transition to the next zone is done automatically.

Sonic Labyrinth

A Cannon, from Sonic Labyrinth.

In Sonic Labyrinth, Cannons are black circus-like cannons with gray mouths, red inner barrels, and orange hinges that they stand on. In this game, they are only encountered in the Labyrinth of the Sea.

In gameplay, these Cannons automatically turn themselves around, altering the direction they are facing, so the player as to wait for it to turn in the direction they want to be fired. When entering these Cannons, the player can then fire them by pressing Game Gear I Button.png/Game Gear II Button.png.

Sonic 3D Blast

One of hidden cannons that can be found at Green Grove Zone Act 1, from Sonic 3D Blast.

In Sonic 3D Blast, only two Cannons can be encountered, both of which are located in hidden places in the Green Grove Zone. They are similar to ones in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, except they are brown and their mouths are blue. They primarily serve as shortcuts in this game.

The first cannon is found in Act 1, where the player has to Spin Dash through the breakable wall to enter the hidden place with the first Cannon. This Cannon in particular leads to Knuckles. The second Cannon can be found in Act 2, where the player first has to got to the second room with the Giant Ring and go through the breakable wall at the left side. The player will then find another hidden room with the second Cannon on top of a hill, which will launch the player back to the first room with the Giant Ring.

Sonic Adventure

A cannon on the Egg Carrier, from Sonic Adventure.

In Sonic Adventure, the Egg Carrier has Cannons resembling Eggman on the main engine deck and several other places. These Cannons have a small hatch of the top, which only Sonic can hop into. After getting in, these Cannon will instantly shoot the player out. Using the Cannons on the main engine deck will shoot the player into one of the nearby metal boxes, breaking them, one of which hides an emblem.

Sonic Advance series

Sonic Advance 2

In Sonic Advance 2, the Cannons appear several times in Egg Utopia. After getting in, the player must press GameboyA.png to be launched out of the Cannon. While inside, the Cannon's aiming angle will constantly change, so the player will need to decide in what trajectory to be launched towards.

Sonic Advance 3

Advance 3 cannon.png

In Sonic Advance 3, the Cannon appears in Ocean Base. In this game, the Cannons use water pressure to fire the player. When entering them in gameplay, they automatically launch the player to higher areas.

Sonic Heroes

A Cannon firing Team Sonic, from Sonic Heroes.

In Sonic Heroes, Cannons are major gimmicks which appear in most stages and during a few boss battles. In this game, the Cannons are dark grey with red and yellow details.

The Cannon functions in three different ways, depending on the playable team's formation. Sometimes, using the right Team Formation can make the Cannons shoot the player to alternate pathways. When in Speed Formation, the Cannon will launch the player forward at a high speed; when in Fly Formation, the Cannon aims upwards and launches the player to higher places; when in Power Formation, the Cannon can be aimed by the player, though it cannot be aimed upward. The third firing method is particularly useful for blowing up Floating Item Boxes from afar, attacking enemies or breaking down obstacles. With the exception of Power Formations, the Cannons fire automatically. While inside a Cannon, the leader is invulnerable so the player may use the Cannon as a shelter of protection against enemy attacks.

When in Power Formation, the player can fire the Speed type teammate and Fly type teammate on the team from the Cannons independently before the Power type teammate by pressing XboxA.png/Cross. During this phase, the player can cancel out of the Cannon formation by pressing XboxX.png/Square/SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png, causing the character(s) to be launched a short distance.

Sonic Rush

In Sonic Rush, Cannons are featured only in Dead Line. In this game, they function like they did in Sonic Advance 2. While the player is spinning inside the cannon, they have to press WiiDSA.png to fire the Cannon.

Sonic Rivals 2

In Sonic Rivals 2, the Cannon appears in Sunset Forest Zone and Chaotic Inferno Zone, with different designs per zone. In this game, they work much like they did in Sonic Advance 2, though more so for the Cannons in Sunset Forest Zone. In Chaotic Inferno Zone, the Cannons only toggle between two different trajectories to fire the characters at.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I

In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, Cannons appear exclusively in Casino Street Zone Act 3 as the Act's main gimmick. In this game, they resemble circus cannons, like in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, except that they are blue with a red-starred yellow ring around the cannon barrel and are set on round wooden plates.

The Cannons work much like the ones in Carnival Night Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, except they can be manually aimed by the player. In this game though, the Homing Attack can be used to enter a Cannon. While inside, the player may move Controlpadds.png left or right to adjust the cannon's aiming angle and press the jump button to be shot out of it. When shot from the Cannon, the player can spin through and destroy breakable blocks. After being shot, the Cannons return to their original, upwards orientation.

Sonic Generations

A Cannon, from the console/PC version of Sonic Generations.

In the console/PC versions of Sonic Generations, Cannons have the exact same design as in Sonic Heroes. They can be found in Seaside Hill, Crisis City Act 1, Rooftop Run Act 1, and Planet Wisp. They are also used in numerous Challenge Acts.

Both Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic can use the Cannons to reach sections of the Acts that the player is unable reach by other means but generally cannot be backtracked against. After entering the Cannon by touching it, the player has to press XboxA.png/Cross to fire it.

Sonic Lost World

A golden Cannon, from the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World.

In the Wii U version and PC version of Sonic Lost World, cannons[2] are one of main gimmicks throughout the game. Their appearances are similar to that of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but are now colored red and blue. There are also hidden, golden variations of the Cannons, which can shoot the player to special alternate pathways.

More basic-looking blue cannons with wheels are featured in the Circus tents of Desert Ruins and Silent Forest. Right from the start, the player has to move these cannon towards the playable characters to make Sonic and Tails leap into them. The player then has to slide the cannon left/right into a straight up position with the Wii U pad to set and launch both playable characters into mid-air. Cannon must also be slid to the sides in order to catch Sonic and Tails when they fall back down in order to launch them again; failing to do so restarts the Circus tent mini-game. If the player does not catch Sonic and Tails up to three times, the mini-game will end.

Sonic Runners series

Sonic Runners

In Sonic Runners, Cannons have the same basic look from Sonic Lost World. They are found floating in midair and when the playable character enters one, the Cannon's direction tilts up and down. To fire the character from the Cannon, the player has to tap the screen when in the desired direction.

Sonic Runners Adventure

In Sonic Runners Adventure, Cannons have the same basic look from Sonic Runners. They are found either floating in midair or lying on the ground and when the playable character enters one, the Cannon's direction tilts up and down. To fire the character from the Cannon, the player has to tap the screen when in the desired direction.

Sonic Mania


In Sonic Mania and its expansion Sonic Mania Plus, Cannons return with a function and design nearly identical to those they had in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit). In gameplay, they can be found floating in mid-air in both acts of Oil Ocean Zone. Like before, to use Cannons, the player has to break a cork on top of certain furnaces. This will propel the player into a floating Cannon that will shoot the playable character across other Cannons to another area.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Could use this gimmick in Sonic Runners.


  1. Sonic Team (25 February 2015). Sonic Runners. iOS. Sega. Area/level: Episode 3. "Tails: Look, Sonic! What's that Cannon doing here? / Narrator: Run up to a Cannon to jump inside. The barrel will start to turn-tap to send your character flying!"
  2. Sonic Team (29 October 2013). Sonic Lost World. Wii U. Sega. Area/Level: Circus. "Instructions: Touch the cannon and slide left and right to move it. Once Sonic and Tails are in, touch the cannon again to fire!"
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