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Sonic News Network
Sonic News Network

The key[1] is an object that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. They are used to unlock blocked paths and grant rewards.


Keys are small skeleton keys with round bows, although minor design details vary between games.

In gameplay, keys have served different purposes, although all for the reason of unlocking something specific. In the majority of the games they have appeared in, they are used to unlock essential paths in the Stages that are blocked by gates. These keys always come in a sets and lie scattered around for the player to collect by touching them. Only by collecting all these keys can their gate be opened. In other games, they are collectibles that grant extra rewards when collected.

Game appearances

Sonic Labyrinth

Key Labyrinth.gif

In Sonic Labyrinth, the keys have only one tooth and flash in different colors (a blue key, a red key, and a white key). Each level in the game has three keys scattered around them which are needed to open the gate to the Goal.

In gameplay, keys can either be found lying around the levels or carried around by enemies, the latter which must be destroyed to make them drop the key. Thirty seconds are added to the timer with each key acquired. Upon taking damage, all collected keys scatter in the immediate vicinity: grab them back quickly or they will warp to their original resting spot in the level. Note that retrieving a lost key does not add time to the countdown.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), the keys are golden with two small teeth, and have a white star surrounded by a blue and red circle within their bow.

In gameplay, Keys are only found in Shadow's version of Kingdom Valley and some of the Hard Mode Action Stages. In this game, three of them lie scattered around the general area of the gate they unlock, usually inside Cases or behind breakable ice walls. Once all of the keys are collected, their gate will automatically be opened.

Team Sonic Racing

A key in Team Sonic Racing.

In Team Sonic Racing, the keys are short, each with a round bow resembling a car's steering wheel and two small teeth.

In gameplay, keys appear in Team Adventure mode. Each chapter in Team Adventure has a set number of keys that the player can acquire. To collect them, the player has to fulfill certain racing conditions or goals within specific racing stages in the chapter. By collecting them, the player will rewarded with specific Mods for their race cars, namely Vinyls and Horns.



  1. Sonic Team, Blindlight (24 November 2006). Sonic the Hedgehog. Xbox 360/PlayStation 3. Sega. Area/Level: Kingdom Valley. "Rouge the Bat: It looks like you need to find three keys to move on. Leave it to me!"

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