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Sonic News Network
Sonic News Network

The Horizontal Bar[1] (スプリングポール Supuringu Pōru?, lit. "Spring Pole"), also known as the Swing Bar,[2] is a gimmick that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. They are poles used to launch the player higher into the air in order to traverse distances or cross gaps.


Horizontal Bars are, as their name implies, normal and respectively thin, horizontal poles. They can either be placed between two walls or hang perpendicular from a lone wall or a vertical pole.

In gameplay, the Horizontal Bars are used to bring the playable character to other locations. By having the playable character swing around on the Horizontal Bar and then releasing it, the playable character will be thrown through the air as a form of transportation. This can be used to either reach otherwise unreachable areas, cross bottomless pits, take shortcuts or just get further down the path. Where the playable character is sent depends on when the player releases the Horizontal Bar during the swing. Sometimes, the player can grab onto multiple Horizontal Bars in succession. To grab a Horizontal Bar, the player usually has to either jump into it or use the Homing Attack, and to release it, the player always has to press the respective game's jump button.

In most cases, when grasping a Horizontal Bar, a circle with a densely colored front section will appear around it. The circle lights up according to the user's alignment with the bar, similarly to a plan position indicator. If the player presses the release button at the time the playable character is in the colored area, the user will be launched forward with optimal speed and height. In some games, the players fall to the ground if they release too early or too late.

Game appearances

Sonic Adventure 2

The Horizontal Bars first appeared in Sonic Adventure 2 and its enhanced port Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, where they are only encountered in Sonic and Shadow's stages. In this game, the Horizontal Bars have the ring indicators for an optimal jump, which are colored red, and they can be grabbed onto by touch.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), the Horizontal Bar's mechanics are exactly the same as in Sonic Adventure 2 with a red-colored ring indicators for an optimal jump, although some of them are not manufactured properly. The Horizontal Bars are a rare gimmick in this game, meaning it can only be found in a few Action Stages, like Wave Ocean and Shadow's version of Dusty Desert.

Sonic Unleashed

In the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version and the Wii/PlayStation 2 version of Sonic Unleashed, Horizontal Bars, called Horizontal Poles in the Wii/PlayStation 2 version, appear in both the nighttime and daytime Stages. In this game, there is no circle appearing around it to mark the ideal point to jump. In the daytime stages, the Horizontal Bars work like in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and Sonic Adventure 2, and the player can grab onto the Horizontal Bars by touch or targeting them with the Homing Attack.

Sonic the Werehog using a Horizontal Pole, from the Xbox 360 version of Sonic Unleashed.

In the nighttime Stages, Sonic can only swing back and forth on the Horizontal Poles. The ideal point to jump off the bars at this point on the game is usually on the apex of Sonic's swing. To get a hold on a Horizontal Bar in the nighttime Stages, the player has to use Grab when close enough to them.

Once grabbed onto the horizontal bar in the nighttime Stages, Sonic will keep hanging onto it. Note that when using the Wii remote for gameplay, the player has to shake the Wii remote to make Sonic swing on the bar, but with other controls or other versions of the game, Sonic will swing automatically. Additionally, on the Wii/PlayStation 2 version of the game, if the player uses Grab after jumping off the Horizontal Bar, Sonic will automatically grab the next Horizontal Pole/Vertical Pole within range.

Sonic Generations

In the console/PC version and Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations, Horizontal Bars make an appearance. Additionally, the player can target the Horizontal Bars with the Homing Attack in all versions of the game.

In the console/PC version, Horizontal Bars are usually seen in 2D sections, held in place by a pole in the background. These bars again have the ring indicators for an optimal jump, except that in this game, they are colored cyan. In the Nintendo 3DS version, the Horizontal Bars look like regular low-set jump bars, but lack a jump indicator (although a button prompt does appear when using it).

The only times Horizontal Bars appear in three-dimensional sections on the console/PC version are in the Challenge Acts "Cream: Helping Hand" and "Surf, Sea, and Sand". They function exactly the same, but the circle that appears is slightly harder to read due to the camera angle. There are no poles holding the bars.






  1. Sonic Team (4 November 2011). Sonic Generations. PlayStation 3. Sega. Area/Level: Topsy-Turvy (loading screen). "Use the Horizontal Bars and Spinning Platforms to reach the goal before time runs out."
  2. Prima Development (20 May 2001). "Interactive Objects". Sonic Adventure 2: Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Prima Games. p. 13. ISBN 978-0761536147.
Navigation templates to Horizontal Bar

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