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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 Jam

A Balloon, from Sonic Jam.

First appearing in Sonic Jam, the Floating Item Boxes, here simply referred to as Balloons in-game, are one of items found floating in mid-air in the Sonic World hub world. In this game, they have a propeller attachment with yellow and black stripes on them.

In gameplay, one of World Missions involve touching all three Floating Item Boxes in Sonic World within two minutes using moving platforms or by having Tails lift Sonic into mid-air.

Sonic Adventure 2

In Sonic Adventure 2 and its remake Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, the Floating Item Box is referred to as the Balloon[2] IN this game, it 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

A Floating Item Box, from Sonic Rush.

In Sonic Rush, the balloon-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

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 Games

In the Nintendo DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, the Floating Item Boxes appear in the Dream Basketball and Dream Shooting events. In Dream Basketball, when popping one of the Floating Item Boxes, the various baskets will line up for the player to perform combo shots with them. In Dream Shooting on the other hand, when obtaining a Floating Item Box, the power of the player's shots are temporarily increased and deal double damage to targets.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games

Floating Item Boxes in the Dream Gliding (Individual) event, from the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games.

In the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, the Floating Item Boxes appear in the place of Item Boxes in the Individual and Team versions of Dream Ski Jumping and the Individual and Team versions of Dream Gliding. 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

A Floating Item Box, from Sonic Lost World (Wii U).

In the Wii U version and 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.

Gallery

Screenshots

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 booklet, pg. 23.

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