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Sonic News Network
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Oh, it's you! The one... who sealed Chaos... in the Master Emerald! Tikal!

Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Adventure

The Hint Orb[1][2] (ヒントポ一丿レ[3]?) is a gimmick that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is an alternate state of Tikal, attained through her spiritual powers that she acquired during her time of being sealed in the Master Emerald. The first variation of the Hint, it provides the player with instructions during gameplay.


Tikal communicating with Sonic as the Hint Orb, from Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut.

The Hint Orb is a floating white and red sphere of light that leaves small sparkles in its trail. Though it appears as an inanimate object, it is actually the spirit of Tikal in a different form. As the Hint Orb, Tikal retains her consciousness, awareness of the surroundings, and her spiritual powers, most prominently her ability to induce visions in others by sending their minds to the past and teleport others. She is also able to move around using levitation and is capable of speech.


Chaos released alongside Tikal in her Hint Orb form, from Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut.

It is never mentioned how Tikal achieved her Hint Orb form, though she acquired it during her 3,000 year self-imprisonment in the Master Emerald. When she and Chaos were released from the Master Emerald by Dr. Eggman, Tikal emerged as the Hint Orb and got away unnoticed. Knowing that Chaos would seek the destruction of the world like it did millennia ago, Tikal enigmatically appeared before Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Big and Gamma in her Hint Orb form to guide them in their fights against Eggman and Chaos, and impart her history with Chaos to them in the form of visions. It was only until Perfect Chaos attacked Station Square that Tikal shredded her Hint Orb form to appear before Sonic.

In the gameplay of Sonic Adventure and its enhanced port Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, the Hint Orb can be found in several places across the Action Stages and Adventure Fields. When touching it, Tikal will provide the player with information about the surroundings, gimmicks, objects, enemies, and strategies on how to play the game. The Hint Orb will follow the player while relaying its information before floating away when finished. The Hint Orb will also usually appear whenever the player receives a Level Up Item to explain how it works.

In other media


Sonic X

Sonic with the Hint Orb, from "Revenge of the Robot".

In the Sonic X anime series, the Hint Orb is not referred to by name. Like in the games, this was the form Tikal would assume for Sonic and his allies before fully revealing herself.

This form of Tikal first appeared before Knuckles when he was on the Egg Carrier and showed him a vision of the aftermath of Perfect Chaos' uprising. She also appeared in this form before Sonic, guiding him to a shrine with a picture of Perfect Chaos inside before showing a vision similar to Knuckles'.

Books and comics

Archie Comics

Knuckles with the Hint Orb, from Sonic Super Special #13.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the hint orb is the form Tikal would assume for her allies before fully revealing herself.

Unlike the games, the Hint Orb is not referred to by name, and is colored yellow instead of the usual red.


  • Due to being the same character, the Hint Orb shares the same voice actor as Tikal.

Two Hint Orbs in Knuckles' cutscene, from Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut.

  • Sometimes, the player can see two Hint Orbs in the same place, indicating that Tikal can exist in multiple places as the Hint Orb. This may also just be a glitch.
  • The Hint Orb in the Xbox 360 version of the 2010 remaster of Sonic Adventure seems to be larger during cutscenes and its upgrades inputs.
  • Excluding Gamma, all characters who use the Hint Orb will keep looking toward it, even when they are running.


  1. Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) United States instruction booklet, pg. 11.
  2. Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut (Nintendo GameCube) United States instruction booklet, pg. 28.
  3. Sonic Adventure (PlayStation 3) Japanese digital instruction booklet, pg. 8.

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