The crank is a device that comes in different designs, but each shares the common feature of having a handle that can be rotated.
In gameplay, the cranks are used to operate mechanisms that are needed to progress within the stages. When moving a crank, it activates a reciprocating motion in the nearby environment that allows the player to progress, such as making platforms move into position or opening doors. Usually, the environments altered by the cranks move in accordance with the player's usage of the crank, meaning that when the player stops moving the crank, the environment stops too. To use the crank in gameplay, the player must grab onto its handle and rotate it using the control stick.
In Sonic Adventure and its enhanced port Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, cranks are small, grey, oblong panels with yellow hazard stripes on the top and a red turning handle. They only appear in Amy's version of Hot Shelter.
In this game, cranks can be turned left or right, depending on the door, though there will be a Hint Orb nearby to specify the direction. Sometimes there are doors that have black lines above them that will light when turning the crank. To turn the crank, the player must grab it by pressing /, though after turning it for a while, the affected mechanisms will begin moving on their own.
In both the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version and the Wii/PlayStation 2 version of Sonic Unleashed, the cranks are mechanisms embedded into the ground. They have a large circular metal plate on the ground and an axle sticking up from the center with a handle attached perpendicular to it.
The cranks can only be found in the game's nighttime Acts where they are located in relatively open areas. To utilize a crank in gameplay, the player must stand in front of the crank and grab onto its handle while rotating the following controls in a circular motion:
|Wii Remote||Classic Controller||GameCube Controller|
|Left analog stick||Control Stick||L Stick||Control Stick||Left stick||Left stick|
In the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations, the cranks only appear in Water Palace. Here, when the crank is turned, it will produce bubbles which the player can bounce on or use the Homing Attack on.