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The high-speed spiral tube (高速らせんチューブ[1] Kōsoku rasen chūbu?) is a gimmick that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a variant of the high-speed warp tube that can be used for transportation.

Description

Overall, the high-speed spiral tubes are very similar to the high-speed warp tubes both in appearance and functionality. They are either opaque or transparent tubes that are curved to form a helix-like spiral.

In gameplay, the high-speed spiral tubes can be entered from the top. Once used, they force the user into a Spin Attack and take them to a different location, sometimes unreachable, that is below them. The high-speed spiral tubes cannot be entered from the bottom, however. Sometimes, they can be connected to high-speed warp tubes.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog CD

In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, the Windows 95 version, and the 2011 remaster, the high-speed spiral tubes only appear in Zones 1 and 2 of Quartz Quadrant. Esthetically, their appearance varies depending on the time frame: in the present, they are covered in a transparent material; in the bad future, they are tinted olive green and have a few dents on them; in the good future, they are tinted blue; and in the past, they are completely exposed with no cover.

In gameplay, the player can only access the high-speed spiral tubes from above. Once they step over them, the playable character will automatically be forced into a Spin Attack and be sent through the tube downwards. Sometimes, their entrances are inside of a funnel-like set piece, while other times, they do not give a hint of their location, making the player enter them by accident.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles

A high-speed spiral tube in Carnival Night Zone Act 1, from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.

In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and the lock-on game Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, the high-speed spiral tubes only appear in Carnival Night Zone Act 1. In these games, they are opaque, orange-colored tubes.

In gameplay, the high-speed spiral tubes have two entrances on them: one on the left and one on the right, though taking either does not affect much. When the player enters through either of these entrances, they will be forced into a Spin Attack and be sent downwards, until they find themselves between two high-speed warp tubes, which are connected to the high-speed spiral tube. At that point, the game will randomly choose between either warp tube and send the player through it.

Sonic Mania

In Sonic Mania, and its expansion Sonic Mania Plus, the high-speed spiral tubes only appear in Chemical Plant Zone Act 2. Design-wise, they look like how they did in the present timeline of Quartz Quadrant in Sonic the Hedgehog CD, but their functionality is the same as the one they had in Sonic the Hedgehog 3; like in that game, they are connected to two different high-speed warp tubes, and have two entrances on the left and the right. Additionally, in-between both entrances, there is a yellow Spring.

References

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog CD (Mega-CD) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 27.


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