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The Floating Item Box,[1] also referred to as the Balloon[2] or Item Box,[3] is an object that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a variant of the Item Box that resembles a balloon, but otherwise grants power-ups when popped. In other cases, they hide objects inside them.

Description

Design-wise, the Floating Item Boxes (typically) resemble large red balloons with the picture(s) of a blue circle containing a five-pointed yellow star emblazoned on them. Their design also sometimes includes a knot that closes the opening on each balloon's bottom and even a thread dangling from the knots.

In gameplay, Floating Item Boxes can always be found floating around in midair. They can also be popped upon touch with the playable character or when hit by a long-ranged attack. Like when opening regular Item Boxes, popping an Floating Item Box will in most cases result in the player receiving a power-up. However, because the Floating Item Boxes do not display the icon of the power-up they contain until they are popped, the player will not know what to receive until after the Floating Item Boxes are opened. In other cases, the Floating Item Boxes keep things inside them, hidden from view, until they are popped.

Like the Balloon gimmick, when opening a Floating Item Box through physical touch, the player will receive a small aerial boost.

Game appearances

Sonic Adventure 2

The Floating Item Box made its first appearance in Sonic Adventure 2 and its remake Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. In this game, it is referred to as the Balloon[2] and includes a knot on the bottom as a part of its design.

In gameplay, the Floating Item Boxes can contain the following power-ups: High-Speed Shoes, Invincibility, 5 Rings, 10 Rings, 20 Rings, Shield, Magnetic Shield, Extra Life, Health (Shooting Stages only) and Bomb. In addition, when a Floating Item Box is broken, the icon for the power-up it contained will be shown on the bottom of the screen.

Sonic Heroes

In Sonic Heroes, the Floating Item Box is referred to as the Item Box.[3] In this game, they are entirely spherical with no knot on their bottoms.

In gameplay, the Floating Item Boxes can contain the following power-ups: Rings, Power Core, High Speed, Invincible, Barrier, Team Blast Ring, 1 UP and Fly Charge. In addition, when a Floating Item Box is broken, the icon for the power-up it contained will be shown on the bottom of the screen.

Floating Item Boxes also appear during the battle with Metal Overlord. Although these ones only contain Rings power-ups, they are needed to maintain the playable characters' super transformation.

Sonic Rush

In Sonic Rush, the ballon-based item box is referred to as the Floating Item Box.[1] In this game, they are completely spherical again and include a knot on their bottoms and a thread dangling from each of them.

In gameplay, the Floating Item Boxes can contain the following power-ups in Gameplay mode: 5 Ring Bonus, Random Ring Bonus, Barrier, Magnetic Barrier, Invincible, Tension Bonus, Max Tension Bonus and 1 UP. In Battle Play on the other hand, they can grant the Random Ring Bonus, Slow, Max Tension Bonus, Confusion and Attract. In addition, when a Floating Item Box is broken, the icon for the power-up it contained will be shown on the bottom of the screen.

Shadow the Hedgehog

ShTH ItemBox

A Floating Item Box in Shadow the Hedgehog.

In Shadow the Hedgehog, the Floating Item Boxes received a significant redesign, making them resemble rusty metallic spheres with green-glowing lines around them.

In gameplay, the Floating Item Boxes can contain the following power-ups: Rings, Barrier, Heat Barrier, Magnetic Barrier, Invincible, Damage Recover and 1-Up. In addition, when a Floating Item Box is broken, the icon for the power-up it contained will be shown on the bottom of the screen.

Floating Item Boxes also appear during the battle with Devil Doom. Although these ones only contain Rings power-ups, they are needed to maintain Super Shadow's super transformation.

Mario & Sonic series

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games

In Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, the Floating Item Boxes appear during Dream Events. In those events, they contain power-ups like Bombs, Shields and Speed Shoes. They can also contain power-ups from the Mario games such as Super Stars, Mega Mushrooms, Green and Red Shells.

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games

In Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Dream Events feature Floating Item Boxes. Like in the previous game, they contain power-ups like Bombs, Shields and Speed Shoes. They can also contain power-ups from the Mario games such as Super Stars, Mega Mushrooms, Green and Red Shells.

Sonic Lost World

In the Wii U/PC version of Sonic Lost World, the Floating Item Box's design include a knot on its bottom.

In gameplay, Floating Item Boxes are featured in Tropical Coast Zone 2 and 4. In those Zones, the player can only reach the Floating Item Boxes with the Orange Rocket. If the player succeeds, the Balloon reveals a golden cannon inside it instead of granting a power-up, which they player can use to aim the Orange Rocket elsewhere.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Sonic Rush (Nintendo DS) United States instruction booklet, pg. 20.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Prima Development (20 June 2001). "Items". Sonic Adventure 2: Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Prima Games. p. 10. ISBN 978-0761536147.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sonic Heroes (PlayStation 2) United States instruction manual, pg. 23.
Item Box power-ups

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