Hidden platforms (見えない足場 Mienai ashiba?, lit. "Invisible foothold") are gimmicks that appear in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. They are a type of floating platform that harbors additional properties when stood on, depending on the time zone.
Hidden platforms are platforms shaped like gemstones. The color varies based on the time zone the player is currently in; they are orange in the Present, brown in the Past, purple in the Bad Future, and golden in the Good Future.
In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, hidden platforms make their first and only appearance in Palmtree Panic. They are always found floating in the air, though some are placed in rows to connect two platforms with one another. Unlike most other objects in the game, hidden platforms are always found in the exact same locations in every time zone, even if the level layout around them changes. Also worthy of note is that depending on the time period the player is in, the hidden platforms will act differently when stood on:
- Present: The hidden platforms are completely invisible, only revealing themselves when stood on by the player. When the player steps off of them, they will phase out of existence again.
- Past: All of these platforms are completely visible and can be stood on as long as the player wishes.
- Future: In both the Good and Bad Futures, these platforms are visible like in the Past, but will slowly sink downwards once the player steps on them, and will continue doing so even if the player steps off.
- Sonic the Hedgehog CD (Sega CD) North American instruction booklet, pg. 14.
- "ROUND 1 PALMTREE PANIC ZONE 2" (in Japanese). ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグCD ガイドブック. Tokuma Shoten. October 1993. p. 16. "スタートしてから、下へ行かずに上のほうを進んでいくと、上下左右に動<足場があるのがわかる。 足場と足場の間がかなり広いところもあるが、思い切って飛び込んでみよう。 そこには見えない足場があるはずだ。 失敗して落ちたときに、下にいる敵に当たらないように注意しよう。 移動していくと無敵とリングが置いてある。"