The goal is the end point of a playable level in video games. In the Sonic the Hedgehog series, the goal is the final destination of a level. Reaching this destination, and sometimes interacting with whatever devices are there, will end said level.
In the Sonic series, the goal is the end point of a playable level (usually known as a Zone, Act or stage in the Sonic series). At that location, the player either has to cross a certain spot (like a finish line) or interact with an object by either passing it, collecting it, touching it, or destroying it. After that, the gameplay in the level automatically ends and the player is taken to the Result screen, where their scores are tallied. This tally takes into account (for example) Rings collected, enemies defeated, points gathered, and the time taken to complete the level. Bonuses are also often provided depending on the score achieved or the speed of completion. For example, in Sonic Rush, the player can get a bonus if they cross the goal at high speed.
Some levels come without a physical goal. Instead, may take the form of a set of conditions that must be satisfied, such as collecting a certain number of Rings, defeating a number of enemies or finding hidden items. Once those conditions are met, the gameplay in the level ends automatically.
List of goal variants
The Capsule is a triggerable goal. They take the form of large metallic containers, and opening them (which is done by either pushing the button on top of them or breaking them with an attack) in regular levels will conclude their respective level. Also, by opening the Capsules, the player will set several Animals free from them. In some games, these Animals can be collected.
Originally, Capsules appeared at the end of final Acts in Zones, but in Sonic Adventure, they were used as the-end-of-stage goals of Action Stages for the first time. Since then, the Capsules have been reused as goals in both their original manner and their manner from Sonic Adventure in several games.
In Sonic Lost World, smaller Capsules can be found in the levels that will not end the level, but will reward the player with Animals for opening them.
Chaos Emeralds are usually the goals of Special Stages. Obtaining one of these Emeralds in a Special Stage counts as reaching the goal. In games like Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I and Sonic Colors (Wii), the Chaos Emeralds are usually ready for collecting somewhere in the Stages, and the player has to make their way to them. In other games, like Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, the player has to fulfil certain requirements before the Emeralds will appear for the player to obtain, like collecting enough Rings before crossing certain checkpoints or time limits, or obtaining all blue Spheres in a stage.
In more recent Sonic games, Chaos Emeralds can sometimes be the goal of certain regular stages due to collecting them being part of the game's story. However, the Special Stages still appear from time to time. In games like Sonic Heroes and Sonic Generations (Nintendo 3DS), rather than being at the end of Special Stages, the Emeralds first appear at the beginning of the stage, then flies away, leaving the player to chase them. In this kind of Special Stage, it is possible to reach the goal very early on if the player is fast enough. Also, Sonic Rush Adventure features waterbike races against Johnny. The winner of these races gets the Chaos Emerald at the end.
The Goal Balloon is a type of goal that only appears in Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, exclusively to Amy Rose's Action Stages. These goals take the form of yellow, star-emblazoned balloons with a handle hanging from them. Upon grabbing it, the player will have completed the Action Stage and the Goal Balloon will start floating away with Amy hanging onto it.
The Goal Medal is a type of goal that only appears in Sonic Advance 3. They are similar to the Goal Rings in terms of design, but smaller. Like the Goal Rings, touching a Goal Medal with automatically conclude the gameplay of a level. These Goal Rings appear at the end of most levels, including boss battles. The Goal Medals will also turn either bronze, silver or gold depending on the player's clear time of the level.
The earliest, yet most well-known goal in the Sonic series is the Goal Plate. They appear at the end of several levels in the games featuring them, and passing them will end their level. They take the form of signposts that spin around when passed. When a Goal Plate's spinning is initiated, it usually starts off by displaying Eggman's face, and switches to the player's character's face when it stops spinning. In games like Sonic Chaos and Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble however, the Goal Plate may show one out of several pictures, each one giving a different award when shown, after it finishes its spin.
In the games they appear in, the Goal Plates are not always used for the final Act of a Zone. In such cases, there will be a boss battle instead. Destroying the Capsule that appears after the boss fight will finish the Act.
In games like Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic Mania, the Goal Plate will drop down from above after the defeat of the sub-boss (Act 1) in a Zone. It will spin continuously until it lands. Jumping into it as it falls pushes it up into the air again, granting 100 points each time. If the Goal Plate lands on the ground, it will cause hidden Item Boxes to pop up, which can be collected before or after the score tally.
Goal Rings are one of the more modern goals in the Sonic series. They look like the Giant Rings from early Sonic games, but serve as the goal at the end of the levels. Just touching a Goal Ring will automatically conclude a level.
The Goal Rings' design has changed slightly over the course of the series. In Sonic Adventure 2, the Goal Ring is a giant ring with the words "GOAL" in it; Sonic Heroes introduced Goal Rings that have a star in them; and Shadow the Hedgehog's Goal Rings usually have a Chaos Emerald inside them.
The Prison Capsule is a type of goal that only appears in the Wii and Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colors. Resembling Wisp Capsules, they are ground-bound devices that hold numerous White Wisps inside two long tubes. By breaking the Prison Capsule with an attack, the player will conclude the level they are in. However, they are only encountered in a few levels.
In Sonic Rush Adventure, treasure chests serve as goal for each Act stage in the game. By attacking these objects, they will rotate briefly before opening, upon where they display a sparkling aura. Treasure chests contain different Materials, which the player is rewarded after clearing their Acts, or Medals.
Sonic Advance 2
In Sonic Advance 2, there is a unique type of goal gate, which is marked by a pair bars and three colored sectors of limited length behind them.
The player gets 300-800 points based on how fast they pass the threshold. Behind it, the player can brake at any of the colored sectors to earn bonus points by pressing in the opposite direction on ; the yellow sector grants 800 points, blue 500 points and red 100 points. If the character moves too slow when passing the threshold or decelerates without trying to stop, they will not receive points from the sectors. If the player collects all Special Rings and enters to Special Stage, bonus points are not earned either as the player just keeps running over the field to enter the Special Stage.
In Sonic Forces, the goal is presented as an animated hologram at the end of the level. It starts out as a red image displaying the Eggman Empire's logo. Once the player goes through it however, the player will have completed the level and the hologram will change into a blue-starred Resistance logo.
- Usually defeating the boss in the end of zone or in separate level.
- In Sonic Adventure, Big the Cat has to fish out Froggy to complete the stage.
- Missions such as completing the level in a certain amount of time, destroying all the targets, collecting a certain amount of a specific item, or finding a lost Chao.
- Sonic Rush Adventure feature goal area at the end of the Sea Stage or Johnny's Race, that the player has to pass through in order to clear it each time.
- The player has to find three Emerald Shards, three keys or three emeralds. This variation appears in Knuckles' and Rouge's levels in Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Adventure 2: Battle.
Starting in Sonic Adventure 2, the player is ranked on performance in a stage, but no actual bonuses were granted until one had completed everything with an "A" or "S" rank (depending on the game).
In the Storybook games, there are unique methods of ranking. The medal ranking system in Sonic Advance 3 was used in Sonic and the Secret Rings with three ranks: gold (highest), silver (2nd highest) and bronze (2nd lowest), introducing the "no medal" rank as lowest. In Sonic and the Black Knight, performance in a level is ranked by stars, where ★★★★★ is the highest and ★☆☆☆☆ is the lowest (though in some rare cases, one could get ☆☆☆☆☆ in a similar fashion to ★☆☆☆☆).