Doctor Robotnik’s Jet Drill Pod (ドリルモービル Dorirumōbiru?, lit. "Drill Mobile"), or just Jet Drill for short, is a boss in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. The player will face the Jet Drill at the end of Marble Garden Zone Act 2, though they may also encounter it at some point earlier in the stage. Depending who the playable character is, the battle against the Jet Drill will be different. It takes eight hits to be destroyed.
The Jet Drill is created and piloted by Dr. Robotnik (or by EggRobo if the player is using Knuckles in the locked-on version), and is mainly composed of the Egg Mobile connected to a wide flying vehicle. The Jet Drill has two motors set on both sides and features a drill attachment on the bottom. Depending on where the doctor is flying the Jet Drill, the drill attachment can aim straight ahead, down, or up behind the mobile. During the battle between Knuckles and EggRobo, the Jet Drill is also revealed to have a chain of small iron balls connected between the cockpit and drill attachment.
Sonic and/or Tails
The first time the Jet Drill appears is near the beginning of Act 2, inside a small temple. There, as the surroundings begin to shake, the Jet Drill (with Robotnik piloting it) will pop out of the ground in the right side of the hall. If the player damages the Jet Drill once or leaves it undisturbed for some time, Robotnik will begin drilling into the ceiling with the Jet Drill and the player will be able to continue on normally through the Zone. However, the player can still take damage from the Jet Drill should the playable character touch its drill or engine part.
The Jet Drill and Robotnik will reappear later in the Act, inside another hall in a similar fashion to its first appearance, this time on the left. There, the doctor will cause the temple surroundings to crumble with the Jet Drill, and after the player hits the Jet Drill once, Robotnik will similarly start drilling into the ceiling and disappear again. However, the player must go through the following section of the Act before the crumbling ceiling collapses entirely and crushes the playable character.
At the end of Marble Garden Zone Act 2, the player faces Robotnik in his Jet Drill on a flat portion of ground. Here, Robotnik slowly descends from above Sonic/Tails and destroys the ground by smashing into it and causing it to collapse. The battle takes place in the mid-air, where the duo follows the Jet Drill through the air as Tails carries Sonic. The player can use D-pad to make Tails fly any direction indefinitely. After Robotnik has flown with the Jet Drill for some time, the doctor will fly off-screen. Depending on the side of the screen that Robotnik flies into as he moves into the background, he will re-appear from the same side of the screen and move in an almost straight line to the opposite side, with the drill attachment aimed in the direction the Jet Drill is heading. As mentioned earlier, the player must avoid the drill and active engine parts below the mobile in order to avoid taking damage.
When the player decides to attack, Sonic can jump regularly by pressing the jump button to perform a Spin Jump into the Jet Drill. If the player misses and falls off-screen, it will not count as falling into a bottomless pit, and Tails will instead follow Sonic to catch him and pull him back up to the screen. If the player has Tails as the playable character, the battle is more challenging since Tails cannot jump in mid-air. The only way to damage the Jet Drill as Tails is to go below the Jet Drill and attack it with Tails' spinning tails while he is flying. After landing eight hits, the Jet Drill will be destroyed and Robotnik will escape. After opening a capsule in the mid-air, the player will clear Marble Garden Zone.
In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, Knuckles confronts the Jet Drill earlier in Marble Garden Zone Act 2, where it is piloted by EggRobo. However, during the Act, Knuckles is unable to reach the last Relief on the wall. As such, the player must climb up and go down a different pathway which is meant only for Knuckles.
After getting inside the temple, the player meets EggRobo in the Jet Drill again who then flies up through the ceiling, causing the place to crumble. Like in Sonic and/or Tails' version of the fight, the player must eventually go through the section with collapsing ceiling. After this, the player will enter another temple, where they will fight EggRobo in the Jet Drill.
The EggRobo version of the Jet Drill battle is different from the battle with the Jet Drill featured in Sonic and/or Tails' version of the fight. In this battle, the Jet Drill will fire a chain of iron balls from one of four different locations (either from the ceiling or from the floor) which will then re-emerge from another location. The Jet Drill itself will then travel along this chain before repeating the process. The formation of the chain is different each time, with the player having to watch for where the chain will pop out. The Jet Drill can only be damage are when it comes out of the ceiling or the ground, although the player can take damage if they touch the engine parts of the Jet Drill. After hitting it eight times, the Jet Drill will be destroyed, and EggRobo will escape. After opening the capsule, the player will clear Marble Garden Zone Act 2.
- In the Sonic/Tails version of the fight, if the player moves below the collapsing pillar when Robotnik destroys the terrain, the player will eventually get crushed by the pillar's upper part despite the pillar itself being unable to do so.
- It is possible for Sonic (and Tails) to fight Knuckles' boss using Debug Mode and vice-versa. When Knuckles enters the Sonic/Tails version of the battle, EggRobo is seen piloting the Jet Drill, while Tails flies and carries Knuckles in the mid-air normally.
- Knuckles' version of Jet Drill fight has the mid-boss BGM playing in the background for an unknown reason.
- The Jet Drill makes a small cameo appearance in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, where it can be discovered wrecked near EggRobo, capsules and a Sega Genesis at the Metropolis.