The Gondola is a gimmick that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a form of platform that works like a cable car, and is used for transportation over pits and gaps.
The Gondolas mostly resemble primitive cable cars. Overall, they are solid platforms for the playable characters to stand on that are hanging from a single cable tied between two tall poles. The platforms themselves are attached to the cable through smaller cables.
The Gondolas are used by the player to cross over large chasms, bottomless abysses or lava pits. To start riding a Gondola, the player simply has to step onto the platform of the Gondola; it will then immediately start moving forward while descending until it reaches the other end of the cable. When riding a Gondola, the player is usually taken through floating clusters of Rings. When reaching the end of the cable, the Gondolas will detach and fall off the cable, so the player has to be quick to jump off them.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
The Gondolas were first introduced in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, where they only appear in Hill Top Zone. In this game, the Gondolas are blue platforms with low railings, and the cable they hang from and move along are green vines. The Gondolas mainly serve as the main gimmick in Hill Top Zone and appear both above ground and in caverns. Once they reach the end of their cables, the Gondolas will immediately fall off.
The Gondolas reappeared in the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, where they only appear in Rooftop Run Act 1. In this game, the Gondolas' platforms are flat yellow and blue cuboids, and the cables they move along are simple ropeways. The platforms themselves hang from the ropeways on four metal chains with hooks.
In gameplay, the Gondolas function much like they did in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, except that they are more wobbly, meaning that the player has to make accurate jumps on them to reach other parts, and they make a slight movement before they fall off once they reach the end of the ropeways.
- In the Nick Arcade prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the Gondola does not break off after reaching the end of its path.