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For general objects, see Barrel (object).

The Drum (ドラム[1] doramu?, lit. "drum") are gimmicks that appear in Sonic the Hedgehog series. They are cylinder-shaped barrels that are normally found floating in midair and can sometimes be used to progress with the Zones.


Drums are found in amusement park-themed Zones. Its general appearance seem to be based on real-life circus cylinders and barrels used by clowns or trapeze performers. The Drum functions differently depending the game, though the common feature is to stand on it and being capable of moving it.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog 3

The infamous Drum room in Carnival Night Zone Act 2.

Drums in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 are the main gimmicks of Carnival Night Zone. These rotating Drums are red with rows of white diamond shapes on them and generally float in midair. While the player stands on them, the playable character will rotate with them. There are two types of this gimmicks. The first type work as moving blocks. Like the rotating pillars in Hydrocity Zone, they can move in all four cardinal directions, sometimes in square formations. However they can as well crush the characters if the player get stuck between them and an incoming surface.

Another type of Drum works as a stationary platform until the player interacts with it. By jumping on it and then pressing up and down on Controlpadds.png, the player can make this Drum swing up and down. Depending on how long the player moves the Drum, its swinging area will increase and when the playable character gets off it, the Drum will steadily return to its original position. There are also sections in the Zone where the player has to move these Drums to reach pathways above or below them.

Sonic Advance


In Sonic Advance, yellow Drums with a blue background and yellow stars on them are found in Casino Paradise Zone. They are not common gimmicks and remain stationary. When the player stands on it, the Drum moves only slightly. However, the player can make it launch them up a little bit by pressing up and down on Controlpadds.png, like in Sonic the Hedgehog 3.


Shadow standing on a Drum in Circus Park in Shadow the Hedghog.

  • Near the end of Carnival Night Zone Act 2, the player comes to the room with a single Drum placed in a shaft (see the image on left of "Game appearances" section). Instruction booklets and the game itself do not give any hints to the Drum's functionality, giving the players a hard time understanding how it works. Because of this, this Drum has received the nickname "Barrel of Doom" from the fan community. A fan question related to the Drum was presented to the game's senior level designer Takashi Iizuka at the Summer of Sonic event in 2011. Iizuka mentioned it was an idea from Hirokazu Yasuhara, the lead game designer. After giving this statement, Yuji Naka commented his understatement for many players finding it hard to understand the Drum's functionality and gave his official apology for including it in the game.[2]
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, Knuckles skips this section completely by using his lower pathway to reach the end of the Zone.
    • Omega blowing up a Drum in Sonic Universe #67.

      The fan community's dislike of the Drum was referenced in Sonic Universe #67 where E-123 Omega blew up said Drum while passing through the Carnival Night Zone.
    • In LEGO Dimensions, the Drum appears several times and its infamy in the fanbase is referenced on several occasions. Omochao even refers to it as the "Barrel of Doom" in the Sonic the Hedgehog Adventure World.
    • The official barrel mug.

      An official mug based on the Drum was revealed during the official Sonic panel at SXSW 2019. It was soon available to purchase from the Sega Shop.
  • In Shadow the Hedgehog, there are floating Drums in Circus Park that are almost identical to the ones in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Despite their appearance, they function as normal tubular platforms without any features.


  1. (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. 16. ISBN 978-4091024794.
  2. Summer of Sonic 2011: Sonic Team on Stage. The Sonic Stadium (18 July 2011). Retrieved on 20 November 2015.

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