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The minecart, also known as the Railcart or truck (トロッコ[1] torokko?), is both a gimmick and obstacle that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Minecarts have varied with their designs and purposes thorough the series. Most have been used as possible vehicles by numerous different characters; however, sometimes they can be dangerous due their placement and the situation the player is in during the game.

Game appearances[]

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit)[]

Sensing deep trouble

Sonic in a minecart in Under Ground Zone, from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit).

The minecarts are first seen in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit), where Sonic is able to ride in one through the Under Ground Zone and Gimmick Mt. Zone. These minecarts only seem to have one rolling metallic wheel below the cart itself, which appears to be made half of metal and wood. They are seen standing alone in rail sections of the zone until Sonic jumps on them. The player will move at a moderately fast speed on the minecart while spikes can be seen falling down, missing the minecart completely.

After the player hops in, the minecart starts moving to the right direction. In the minecart, the player is able to press down on the D-pad, which makes Sonic look down (while it doesn't serve purpose in the game). However many cart sections end to the lava pits or crashing to falls, as the player has to jump off the minecarts to avoid falling the lava pool or crashing to falls. In Act 3 of Under Ground Zone, the player will be seen yet riding minecart before the boss fight against Pit Master.

Sonic Spinball[]

Minecarting at the speed of sound

A Minecart in Toxic Caves, from the 16-bit version of Sonic Spinball.

In the 16-bit version of Sonic Spinball, minecarts are are seen in Toxic Caves. There are only two railways to choose for the minecart, which both of them can lead to one of three Chaos Emeralds in the whole arena. Both of them are seen in different side of the open-plan hole. When the player reach to one of them, Sonic will start pull the handle, which makes the minecart go down on the rails.

The player has to switch the right railway by using Flippers to swing the minecart to an alternative railway. Doing this leads to one of the Chaos Emeralds. If the player collects both Emeralds from both sides, Sonic will down to the open-plan hole and gets the third, last Chaos Emerald of the arena.

Tails' Skypatrol[]

Hang On Tails!

Tails hanging on a truck in Training Area, from Tails' Skypatrol.

In Tails' Skypatrol, minecarts are referred to as trucks (トロッコ[1] torokko?) according the Japanese manual. In the game's storyline, Tails notices that island has numerous truck tracks that are weaving around the landscape. The game's antagonist, Witchcart, is seen using the truck as her main transportation vehicle.

Trucks in Tails' Skypatrol are all standing on railway sections on each stage of the game. They are round-shaped metallic carts with small details and two wheels below the truck. When the player throws the Boomering to the truck, the player gets a ride as being latched on the truck itself. If the player wants to let go off the truck they must press Game Gear I Button/Game Gear II Button.

Sonic Adventure[]

SAMinecart

A Minecart, from Sonic Adventure.

In Sonic Adventure and its enhanced port Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, the minecarts are only found in Mystic Ruins. When the player jumps into the minecart, they are automatically moved to the other section of the Mystic Ruins, where there two major railways to lead different sections. The first railway is right left side of the lake and leads to the another section of Mystic Ruins, where ancient echidna town was originally located and where the house of Big the Cat. The second railway can be found near Tails' Lab, which leads the Chao Garden of the Mystic Ruins.

Sonic Advance 3[]

In Sonic Advance 3, the minecarts are minor, useful obstacles at Twinkle Snow. There are small railway sections in the stage, which the player can go through by using wooden minecarts. They move at a slightly moderate speed, but are able to pass through a steep hills. The railway ends to the small wall, which destroys the wooden minecart, while the player is fine about the crash and able to progress in the stage.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)[]

Minecart (06)

A Minecart, from Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).

In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), there are numerous rusty and realistic-looking minecarts lying around Radical Train. Silver the Hedgehog can use minecarts as projectiles against enemies with his Psychokinesis.

Sonic Storybook Series[]

Sonic and the Secret Rings[]

Go! Mine Cart Race

Sonic, Tails, Amy and Knuckles in a Minecart, from Sonic and the Secret Rings

In Sonic and the Secret Rings, minecarts are featured only in Go! Mine Cart Race mini-game in Party Mode.

In this game, players race in a minecarts, all of which follow the same path.

Sonic and the Black Knight[]

In Sonic and the Black Knight, minecarts are shown to look almost identical as to the real world counterparts. They appear in the Molten Mine stage, typically only on a grinding segment of the stage.

In this game, minecarts are obstacles that will be heading towards the player while grinding on rails. Only jumping or moving to a nearby rail will the minecart be avoided. If not avoided, the player will either fall off the rail, lose a life or stop grinding if hit.

Sonic Rush Adventure[]

Mincart Rush Adventure

Blaze riding a minecart in a 3D section, from Sonic Rush Adventure.

In Sonic Rush Adventure, minecarts appear in Coral Cave and Hidden Island 8. In this game, they are used by the player to ride through sections of the stages. The minecarts are also always full of colorful gems due to the mining operations carried out in their locations.

In gameplay, the player can ride minecarts through 2D sections and 3D sections exclusive to them. To utilize a minecart, the player must push it forward until the characters climb onboard it (this can be done quicker with the Super Boost/Fire Boost). The minecart goes forward automatically, but can be slowed down by pressing left on Controlpadds. While riding the minecart, the player can press WiiDSA/DSB to jump with it. At forks in the track in the 3D sections, press left or right on Controlpadds to choose a different track. At the end of the minecart sections, the characters are automatically launched out where the player can perform Trick Actions.

Sonic Rivals 2[]

In Sonic Rivals 2, minecarts appears in Frontier Canyon Zone Act 3 where there are two sections appear two times in the act (one for the player and rival each). Unlike the previous games, it doesn't ride automatically, instead the player has to press Circle repeatedly to pump its lever in order to start moving the cart. While riding, there are wooden containers in the track that serve as obstacles and if the minecart destroys a container, the user will slow down so the player has to press Cross to jump.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I[]

Splash Hill Zone - Screenshot - (07)

Sonic in a minecart in Lost Labyrinth Zone, from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I.

In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, the minecarts are only featured in Lost Labyrinth Zone Act 2. Across the different console and mobile versions of the game, the gimmick features different mechanics.

In the mobile versions of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, the minecart serves as the main gameplay gimmick where Sonic must navigate through the entire level riding on a minecart. The player can tilt their device towards the direction they wish to move Sonic in the horizontal direction and tap the screen to jump

In the console versions of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, there are only short minecart sections much like previous games. To get a minecart to start moving, Sonic simply needs to jump into it where it will start moving automatically forward. There are pits (where the player will be warned off by signs with a red exclamation mark) where the player can jump over or fall into to take a different route. Minecart sections end with buffer stops with the Eggman Empire sign on it or with Sonic automatically jumping off the minecart (in the case of the final minecart section) and the player is able to move normally.

Sonic Free Riders[]

In Sonic Free Riders, minecarts are referred to as "carts"[2], and they are featured as the main off-Gear course section in the Standard and Expert versions of Rocky Ridge. The carts are controlled by the player's body motions to make their character steer by tilting the handle to accelerate or switch rail tracks.[3][4] Switching rail tracks can help avoid rock formation obstacles that will slow down the minecart when touched or to collect an Item Box.

Sonic Lost World[]

Minecarts and rails

Sonic grinding behind a minecart in Silent Forest, from the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World.

In the Wii U version, PC version and Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World, Minecarts have more of a simpler tone to it instead of the real world-esque version from Sonic and the Black Knight. Minecarts are also heavily featured in Grind Rail-heavy Zones, such as Tropical Coast Zone 3, Silent Forest Zone 1 and Lava Mountain Zone 2, where they can be obstacles moving along Grind Rails. Sometimes, Cluckers ride the minecarts and shoot at the playable character while he is grinding.

Regular minecarts and those with missiles on them move slowly in the right or left direction, and can damage the player upon contact. To avoid them, the player either has to jump over them at right time or chain the Homing Attack on Badniks above them to cross them. Lava Mountain Zone 2 in particular features bomb-type minecarts, which cause instant defeat by touching them, even when using Super Sonic. There are also golden minecarts, which, by grinding onto them, drop Rings on the Grind Rail.

Variants[]

Spin Coaster[]

Main article: Spin Coaster

Spin Coasters are different functioning variants of normal minecarts, which are only seen in Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble. They are seen usually being used by Moto Bug-looking Badniks at Sunset Park Zone and move on freely without using any railways below on it's way. The player is able to use them by performing Spin Dash on it, that makes it to move forward.

Bobsled[]

Heroes bobsled

A Bobsled, from Sonic Heroes.

Bobsleds are another different types of transportation during a stage, that are first seen in Sonic Heroes. Bobsleds do not move on railways all the time, but in Bullet Station they are mostly seen on one-lined railways and later at Mystic Mansion (where they are referred to as Trolleys), they move along railways inside large caves.

Trivia[]

  • After Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I was leaked to the internet, the functionality of the minecart caused a minor indignation to the fanbase due its clunky gameplay. After the leak of the first episode, Dimps, the developer of the game, modified the second act of the zone, while the leaked version of the act has been used on mobile devices.

Gallery[]

Screenshots[]

Gallery

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Tails' Skypatrol (Sega Game Gear) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 17.
  2. Sonic Team (4 November 2010). Sonic Free Riders. Xbox 360. Sega. Area/level: Rocky Ridge. "Omochao: Hop into that cart and go!"
  3. Sonic Team (4 November 2010). Sonic Free Riders. Xbox 360. Sega. Area/level: Rocky Ridge. "Omochao: Push the lever in the direction you're turning to maintain speed!"
  4. Sonic Team (4 November 2010). Sonic Free Riders. Xbox 360. Sega. Area/level: Rocky Ridge. "Omochao: Pull the lever left or right to jump to the neighboring track!"
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