Rings (リング,Ringu?), also known as Gold Rings, are the most distinct items in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Rings serve as a unique health system in gameplay throughout most of the series; in most cases, as long as the players hold even one Ring, it will protect them from losing a life upon taking damage. Instead, the players lose a portion of their Rings, though the amount varies between games. Aside from this, Rings has serve many other purposes in different games, and collecting them grants things like extra lives, Continues and points.
Though of unknown origin, Rings can be found everywhere on earth and other places beyond time and space. They are most commonly found everywhere in the Zones/Stages, but can also be obtained from ItemBoxes, Badniks and other sources.
Appearance and background
The Rings' design is based on either the basic and round-edged wedding rings or solid brass round rings. The size of Rings varies in certain games; in-game sprites and models show them being about half the size of the playable characters, while certain cutscenes or promotional material show them being small enough to be held in the palm of the hand. On their own, they spin around in one spot and either lie close to the ground or float in midair.
While appearing nothing out of the ordinary, Rings contain an unspecified form of energy referred to as "Ring Energy" which has energizing effects on machines, living beings and Super States. Rings' unique properties also allow large amounts of them to carried at once, although it is not known where one puts them as they apparently disappear when picked up; not even a genius like Tails is sure where they go.
Often the most common item in the games, Rings can be found everywhere in the primary playable levels. Generally, they are arranged in large clusters or in strings along pathways, off ramps, above Springs, around shuttle loops, along Grind Rails, or simply in midair. In general gameplay, the player can collect Rings by simply touching them. When this happens, they disappear, only leaving behind a small sparkle effect while a chime can be heard.
The most recognizable and prevalent attribute of Rings is their function to prevent their holder from being defeated. In general, possessing even a single Ring prevents a character from losing a life upon taking damage from things such as impacts with enemies, enemy attacks or damage-inducing obstacles. If a (unshielded) character takes damage while holding Rings, they drop their Rings which are then scattered in a circular pattern and bounce around the environment, while the player gets stunned and pushed backwards. However, there are certain dangers Rings cannot protect against, such as being crushed, falling into bottomless pits, failing missions with a time limit and drowning. In the pre-mentioned cases, the player's Ring count will reset to zero should they resume the level. Taking damage without a Ring will result in the character's aforementioned defeat.
During the brief period where the players drop their Rings after taking damage, there is a chance to collect the scattered Rings, but they will eventually all disappear after a while. Also, upon taking damage and dropping the Rings, the player is given a momentary period of invulnerability (represented by the playable character rapidly flashing between visible and invisible). The amount of Rings the player drop when taking damage varies between games. In most cases, the player will drop all of them when taking damage, while in other games, only a portion of them will be dropped. The Rings' scattering pattern also varies in many later games, like in Sonic Rush where they bounce farther away the more hits the player takes. However, the player will not usually lose Rings if the playable character possesses any type of Shield and/or Invincibility.
In several games, fewer "recoverable" Rings are displayed on-screen when they are dropped than the number actually lost. While this amount varies, the maximum is usually around twenty; fewer are dropped in games on the Master System and Game Gear, about fifty are dropped in Sonic Rush, and about thirty-two in all the episodes of Sonic the Hedgehog 4.
Rings are normally earned by picking them up from the levels, but they can also be earned in other ways, depending on the game. Various games has Super Rings which grant multiple Rings, Badniks in Sonic Advance 3 release Rings upon defeat, and completing Action Stages in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) give Rings for the Town Stages as awards. Many Zonegimmicks can as well reward the player with Rings. Once the player collects a hundred Rings, the player is usually awarded with an extra life and even sometimes with another one after collecting two hundred Rings. Likewise, the player earns points or continues by collecting Rings. The player can also complete certain requirements for unlocking extra features by obtaining Rings. Collecting and holding fifty Rings in several games will summon Star Circles or Giant Rings that lead to Special Stages, and in other games collecting enough Rings when passing checkpoints in the Special Stages will grant a Chaos Emerald.
Aside from the aforementioned cases, the Rings serve other purposes. In the various games, they have been used as currency in Shops as exchange for items, payment to unlock special moves for gameplay, or assist with moves such as the Boost or Light Speed Dash. Rings are as well essential to fueling a Super State or similarforms oftransformations (which in many cases can be activated after collecting fifty Rings). While in this state, the player's Ring count will decreases steadily while the Super State is active, and once it reaches zero, the playable character reverts to their normal state.
Sonic the Hedegehog (1991)
In their first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), all the player's Rings will be scattered when taking damage. Additional Rings can be found inside Super RingVideo Monitors which are worth ten Rings each. Collecting 100 or 200 Rings grant an extra life, and each Ring held gives 100 points to the player's score at the end of an Act.
Holding fifty Rings at the end of the first two Acts of each Zone summons the Giant Ring above the signpost that lead to the Special Stage. Rings are also found in the Special Stages, where they give the player points, a Continue by collecting fifty of them, and an extra life by collecting 100 of them.
In the 8-bit version of the game, Rings share many of their attributes from the 16-bit game. However, after earning an extra life by collecting Rings, the Ring count will reset from zero. Also, when Sonic takes damage, not all Rings are scattered. Instead, only two rings were scattered, thus making the rest irretrievable. Usually, Rings are not found in the third act of each Zone. The Goal Plate also sometimes rewards the player with ten extra Rings. By holding over fifty Rings at the end of each Act, the player enters the Special Stage where a huge amount of Rings are scattered and can be collected for extra lives.
When the player has both Sonic and Tails out, only Sonic can lose Rings from damage. Tails can collect Rings, but both of them share the same Ring count. In the game's multiplayer mode, both playable characters can collect Rings for their own respective score. The total score after these races depends on how many Rings each player has.
By obtaining fifty Rings, the player can use the Star Circle at a Star Post to enter the Special Stage. Here, the player has to collect a certain amount of Rings on the stage's route within different sections to get a Chaos Emerald. Inside the Special Stage however, both Sonic and Tails can lose Rings. After getting all seven Chaos Emeralds as Sonic, the player can collect least fifty Rings to transform into Super Sonic. When using super transformation however, the Ring count will drop one Ring per second.
In the 8-bit version of the game, Rings function like in the previous 8-bit installment, including the Ring score restarting from zero after getting 100 Rings. However, unlike in the previous game, the player can pick up Rings after dropping them. At the end of the first two Acts of each Zone, the Goal Plate can randomly reward the player with ten extra Rings. However, Rings are not featured in the third Act of each Zone.
SegaSonic the Hedgehog
In SegaSonic the Hedgehog, Rings are used to fill the playable characters' Health Gauges rather than protecting against damage. When the player completes the stage with over 50% of the Ring score, they are rewarded with a Ring Bonus and a pre-amplified Health Gauge.
Sonic the Hedgehog CD
In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, the Rings' mechanics are the same as in the previous main installments. Here, numerous Rings can be found inside the ceilings or behind walls which can only be collected by entering another timeline of the Zones with the Time Warp Plates. In this game, the player must hold fifty Rings at the end of the first and second Zone of each Round to summon the Giant Ring and enter the Special Stages. There, the player is sometimes rewarded with ten extra Rings for destroying a UFO.
Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball
In both the 16 and 8-bit versions of Sonic the HedgehogSpinball, Rings' only function is to bestow points, granting 12,500 points for each collected. Collecting all Rings from the Stage in the 16-bit version of the game summons the Star Circle that leads to the hidden Bonus Stage.
In Sonic Chaos, Rings function much like in the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. If the player collects 100 Rings as Sonic, he will be transported to a Special Stage. Special Stages have both regular Rings and Giant Rings, the latter which grants 10 regular Rings each. Because Tails is unable to enter Special Stages, he instead earns extra life from getting 100 Rings, which makes his Ring count restart from zero.
At the end of the first two Acts of each Zone, the Bonus Plate randomly rewards the player with ten extra Rings. However, the third Act of each Zone has Rings spread out in certain places to prevent protection during boss battles.
Sonic Drift series
In Sonic Drift and Sonic Drift 2, Rings are spread out over all the race tracks. After the player collects at least two Rings (three if playing as Metal Sonic), they can perform the character's Special Power by pressing up on . The player can lose Rings by drifting into obstacles or by getting hit by mines.
Sonic 3 & Knuckles
In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and its add-on continuation Sonic & Knuckles, Rings function like in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Monitors in these games include Super Rings that are worth ten Rings each, and each Ring obtained adds 100 points to the player's score after completing an Act. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 also introduces the Thunder Shield which can pull in nearby Rings, though a Ring being pulled toward the player will fly away from the player if they are hit or grab a different shield just before the Ring is collected. In the Competition mode of Sonic the Hedgehog 3, the player can only hold one Ring at a time which is generally used to defend against Self-Propelled Bombs.
In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, collecting fifty Rings summons the Star Circle at Star Posts which transports the player to the Gumball Machine-type Bonus Stages. In Sonic & Knuckles however, collecting fifty Rings in the same case sends the player to the Glowing Sphere-type Bonus Stages, while twenty Rings lead to the slot machine-type Bonus Stages. In the locked-on version, all three types of Bonus Stages can be unlocked in the same case with the right amount of Rings: the slot machine with 20-34 Rings, the Glowing Sphere with 35-49 Rings, and the Gumball Machine with 50-120 Rings. The Glowing Sphere- and Gumball Machine-type Bonus Stages in particular feature yellow gumballs, which grant ten Rings each. Meanwhile, slot machine-type Bonus Stages normally include gimmicks that, like in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, will grant Rings when getting the right formations.
In Special Stages, Rings can also be found. Collecting fifty Rings grants a Continue and collecting all Rings in the Special Stage gives a Perfect Bonus. Also, if the player collects blue spheres from the edges of sphere clusters, all the spheres turn into Rings.
Once all Chaos Emeralds and/or Super Emeralds are collected, the Giant Rings used to access the Special Stage grant fifty Rings when touched instead of transporting the player to a Special Stage.
Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble
In Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble, each Ring adds 100 points to the player's score after completing an Act. While collecting 100 Rings will grant an extra life, it keeps the Ring count from increasing further. This game is also the first in the Sonic the Hedgehog series where the player does not lose all their Rings when taking damage; instead they only drop thirty Rings. Also, getting the Ring panel on the Bonus Panel grants ten extra Rings.
To enter the game's Special Stages, the player must hold fifty Rings while breaking a Chaos EmeraldMonitor. Additionally, Rings are spread out in the platform- and plane-type Special Stages, where it is required in the latter that the player collects a certain amount of Rings to get a Chaos Emerald.
Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld
In the Japanese version of Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld, Rings are featured in the "Slot Machine" and "Poker Game" minigames. Here, the player can put bets by inserting Rings. Also, in the "Roulette Game" minigame, getting one of five images that show the Ring symbol doubles the amount of points. None of these minigames are featured in the international version.
In the "Sonic vs. Robotnik" minigame, attacks have been altered in the international versions to both Sonic and Robotnik tossing Rings at each other, depending on what picture the game randomly selects.
in Knuckles' Chaotix, the Rings' mechanics are slightly different. In this game, Rings scatter from the immediate propinquity after being dropped, meaning the player can only recover a few of them. Both the player and Combi Partner can lose Rings when taking damage, and without Rings, the player can lose the Combi Partner for a short time. The player can call their Combi Partner back to his position, though at the costs of ten Rings. The Ring count can also become negative if the player uses the call command without sufficient funds. Additionally, because the game does not use the life system, the player is sent back to Newtrogic High Zone after taking damage without Rings or calling the Combi Partner back to the point that the Ring count reaches negative 99 or lower.
Badniks in this game are powered by normal-sized, synthesized Dark Rings, which will disintegrate when released and cannot be collected. The game also features Super Rings in Item Boxes, along with the exclusive Combine Ring power-up which combines all the player's Rings into a single, large one. When taking damage with this power-up, the player will drop one large Ring which will fully restore the player's Ring count when picked up. However, this Ring will eventually implode and release all the Rings.
To access the game's Bonus Stages, the player must obtain twenty Rings and find its hidden Giant Ring. To access the Special Stages, the player must obtain fifty Rings to summon a Giant Ring that leads there at the end of each Act. Both Stages have Rings spread around in string formations and collecting them will extend the player's time limit in these Stages.
In Tails Adventure, Rings are used to replenish Tails' health meter rather that protecting from attacks. The player is unable to recover dropped Rings after taking damage, and different weapons or attacks will take different amounts of Rings from the player. If the health meter reaches zero, the game ends.
The player starts the game with a health meter that only contains ten Rings. However, collecting a Chaos Emerald will increase the health meter by ten points. One of the game's usable items, Fang, can make every destroyed enemy drop a Ring. Rings usually drop out of breakable walls and a few defeated enemies, but can also, in very rare cases, be found in certain sections of the Stage.
Sonic the Fighters
In Sonic the Fighters, Rings are spread everywhere from the playable characters whenever they get hit. However, they are only animations and thus have no impact on the gameplay.
In Sonic Labyrinth, Rings grant an extra life after collecting 100 of them. They only appear in long string formations in the Scroll Zones of the fourth round of each Zone, where they are used to protect Sonic during boss battles. Despite that, Rings cannot be retrieved after dropping them when taking damage. They also appear in the game's Bonus Stages where every regular Ring is worth twenty-five Rings.
Sonic 3D Blast
In Sonic 3D Blast, Rings work like in previous main installments. Collecting 100 Rings grants an extra life and each Ring adds 100 points to the player's score at the end of each Act.
In the first two Acts of each Zone, Tails and Knuckles can be found standing around. When bringing fifty Rings to one of them, the player is transported to the game's Special Stages. Even if the player does not have enough Rings, Tails and Knuckles can deposit them, while the player finds more. In Special Stages, the player has to collect a certain amount of Rings within different sections to ultimately receive a Chaos Emerald. In the Sega Saturn version of Special Stages in particular, there are plates that reduce the required Ring amount required for the sections of these Stages' routes. If the player can jump through this plate, it will grant extra Rings.
In Sonic Blast, Rings work much like in Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble. When taking damage, the player loses ten Rings, and collecting 100 Rings grants an extra life, although it restarts the Ring count from zero. Bonus Panels also grant different amount of Rings depending on the playable character; its Ring panel grants ten extra Rings, while both the Sonic and Knuckles panels grant thirty Rings if playing as the respective character.
In each Special Stage, the player has to collect fifty Rings to receive a Chaos Emerald, or an extra life if the player enters the Special Stage from the first Act of each Zone.
In Sonic Jam, Rings are spread around the hub area known as Sonic World. There are also Time Attack Games, with two challenges centering around collecting a certain amount of Rings around the area and then return to the Jump Stand-looking switch within the shortest time.
In Sonic R, Rings are spread out on the racing tracks in string formations. They can also be collected from Item Panels, which grant either five, ten or twenty Rings.
In this game, Rings are used to unlock special features while racing. When trading a certain amount of collected Rings, the player can unlock Ring Gates that lead to hidden Chaos Emeralds or detours, or use Accelerators for a short burst of speed. Dr. Eggman and Eggrobo can also use Homing Missiles on rival racers by paying at least ten Rings for each shot.
In Sonic Adventure, Rings function much like in earlier main installments; they grant extra life after collecting 100 of them and each Ring adds 100 points to the score at the end of an Action Stage. Item Boxes with Super Rings also appear which grant multiple amount of Rings, and when Knuckles use Dig, Rings can pop out the ground. Sonic Adventure also introduces the recurring Light Speed Dash move which lets Sonic dash along strings of Rings which becomes necessary to reach areas that cannot be accessed otherwise. Some switches also summon shinning Rings, which can be used for the Light Speed Dash, to travel obligatory paths. Like in the 2D games, Rings scatter in a circular pattern when the player takes damage. For Sonic, Tails, Amy and E-102 Gamma in particular, B-rank missions in Action Stages require the player to finish with a certain amount of Rings.
Rings have different purposes in the various Action Stages. Sonic's version of Casinopolis, where the player has to collect at least 400 Rings to reach the Chaos Emerald/Capsule in a chamber, has several gimmicks related to gathering Rings. Here, there are both special slot machines that drop Rings when bouncing on them, and traditional one on the 777 Slots Pinball table that grant different amount of Rings (or take them away) depending on the formations. There are also two pinball tables where the player has to gather 100 Rings to be transported back to the main hall or fall into the Action Stage's sewer section. Hitting a Bumper on pinball tables grants one Ring, and on the Card & Pinball table, there are cards that grant different amounts of Rings as well. Additionally, there are floating crowns that drop Rings after scoring on the bowling lane in Twinkle Park, and the Hanging Bell in Speed Highway drops Rings when hit.
Cosmic Casino Zone features slot machines which grant different amount of Rings (or takes them away from the player), depending on the slot combinations. To enter a Special Stage, the player must have fifty Rings on hand at the end of first Act to summon a Giant Ring leading there. Like in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the player must collect certain amounts of Rings within different sections of the Special Stages to get a Chaos Emerald. Also, in the game's Advanced Time Trial mode, the player must clear an Act with at least fifty Rings to record the score. Additionally, in the Duel mode "Get the Rings", two players compete by collecting Rings.
In Sonic Shuffle, playable characters can win or lose Rings by participating in Mini-Events or Mini-Games. When a game ends, all collected Rings are saved in a score tally to be used to buy art and special features from the Sonic Room. Rings also affect the player's overall rank after clearing the board.
On every board, there are two spaces: blue Plus Ring Spaces and red Minus Ring Spaces, which namely adds or subtracts three Rings from the player's score. When Precioustones appear on the game board, the amount of the Ring gained or lost is doubled on both spaces, and if the player continues landing on either spaces for consecutive turns, it will multiply the Ring amount up to five times. If the player lands on too many Minus Ring Spaces or Plus Ring Spaces, Dr. Eggman will activate Light Mode or Darkness Mode, which turns all Minus Ring Spaces into Plus Ring Spaces and vice versa.
In Battle Spaces, the player loses Rings if they do not pick up a card of higher value than the opponent's. Many regular and "Accident" mini-games reward the winner with the most Rings, while those on the 2nd and 3rd place lose most of their Rings, and the fourth player earns nothing. During a game, Rings are also used as currency to buy Force Jewels from Jewel Shop Spaces. If the player picks up Dr. Eggman Card, one of the doctor's roulette choices involves taking all the player's or the opponents' Rings. When stepping on the Void Precioustone Space, the player can pay fifty Rings to have Void steal a Precioustone from an opponent and give it to the player.
In Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, all Rings collected from a cleared Action Stage are used as currency to purchase/sell items at the Black Market. In the original and expanded multiplayer mode of Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, having different amounts of Rings also enables the playable character to use special attacks against their opponent.
Because Sonic Advance 2 is more fast-paced compared to previous games, Rings affect the playable character's acceleration, increasing it as the player collects more Rings. In the Special Stages of Sonic Advance 2 in particular, the player can collect Rings consecutively to form combos, which can double, triple, quadruple and so fourth the Rings the player obtains. There are also red and black pods called Extra Rings (エクストラリング,Ekusutora Ringu?) scattered around the Zones, with each one granting five extra Rings.
In Sonic Advance 3, all Badniks created by Dr. Eggman are powered by Rings, which can be collected after destroying them. A piggy bank-type enemy called Bu-bu can also absorb all the player's Rings after dropping them.
Rings appear in all the stages of the Sonic-themed pinball table. By shooting the ball through the Ring Loop in the right upper corner four times and then into the Feature Hole, the player can activate Ring Mode, which will make Rings appear around the table which are each worth a huge amount points. Ring Mode lasts for 120 seconds and every Ring collected will respawn.
In X-Zone, the player has to gather at least 500 Rings and defeat Dr. Eggman to access the Moon Zone, the final stage on the Sonic pinball table.
Casino Park and BINGO Highway feature singular and traditional slot machines, which grant Rings or take them away, depending on their formation. BINGO Highway also features the Bingo gimmick, where the player can collect neon chips along the routes to fill the bingo grids and earn huge Ring bonuses. In regards to enemies, the Egg Magicians can drain Rings from the player. Also, many secondary missions for Team Rose, and the missions for Team Chaotix in Casino Park and BINGO Highway involves clearing the Stage with a required amount of Rings.
One of the game's multiplayer modes, the Ring Race, involves collecting more Rings than the opponent within the time limit.
In both Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure, Rings work almost like in the Sonic Advance games. Collecting 100 Rings grants an extra life and each Ring adds ten points to the player's score after completing each Act. Sonic Rush is the first game where the dispersion of the Rings occurring when taking damage becomes greater for each hit, making it harder to recover them. The games also include Super Rings that grant different amounts of Rings, which can be obtained from Item Boxes or their balloon variations (Sonic Rush only).
In the Special Stages of Sonic Rush, the player has to collect a required amount of Rings within the different sections to get a Chaos Emerald. Along these routes, there are both regular Rings and metallic Rings with "5" on their middle on the edges of the routes which grant five Rings each. There are also Dash Panels which guide Sonic through strings of Rings automatically. If the player hits the Trick Spring, it will send Sonic into mid-air where the player can complete a Real-Time Interaction to earn five, ten, or twenty extra Rings, depending on how quickly the player is. Also, destroying Flappers grant three Rings each.
On the Sail Routes in Sonic Rush Adventure, Rings lie on the water surfaces along with Super Ring Item Boxes (each Ring grants 100 points). Collecting Rings fills the Boost Gauge and keep the combo going while using Wave Cyclone or Aqua Blast. Rings can also be picked up from far away using the stylus while piloting Ocean Tornado and Deep Typhoon. Also shooting enemies or obstacles with said vessels grants four Rings each.
Shadow the Hedgehog
In Shadow the Hedgehog, Rings function much like in Sonic Heroes. Each Ring adds ten points to the player's score. However, simply collecting 100 Rings does not award the player with an extra life. Like in Sonic Adventure 2, touching a Save Point with a certain amount of Rings will reward Shadow, including an extra life if the player has 100 Rings. In this game, Shadow drops only ten Rings when taking damage. Super Rings are also found in yellow and grey-colored Item Boxes. The game also introduces transparent Rings placed along regular ones or in trails. These Rings cannot be collected normally or grant points, but they still enable the Light Speed Dash.
The Hero Mission of Circus Park involves collecting 400 Rings to complete the Stage. In the same Stage, hopping through flaming tires or hitting bells grant Rings. Also, when the player gets the Ring combination from the slot-machine mechanism on the Egg Dealer, Eggman's Rings will spray out in the center of the arena.
Sonic Riders series
In Sonic Riders, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity and Sonic Free Riders, Rings are scattered across all the tracks in formations or as Super Rings inside Item Boxes. In Sonic Riders and Sonic Free Riders, collecting Rings allows the player to increase their parameters (as well as attacking abilities in Sonic Riders) by leveling up; getting thirty Rings raises the player's level from one to two, and getting sixty Ring raises it from two to three. In Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, the player can instead pay a certain amount of Rings to activate a Gear Part.
After the player clears a race in each of the three games, all the accumulated Rings from the race can be used as currency to purchase Extreme Gears from the shop.
Unlike in previous games, enemies like the Egg Gunner can fire rounds that only make the player drop one Ring per hit, without the player receiving invulnerability as a side-effect. Additionally, when completing Action Stages or Town Missions, the player is rewarded with a varying amount of Rings depending on the rank they receive:
All residual Rings from the Action Stage and Rank Bonuses will be deposited in the player's total Ring score, which can be used for purchasing Level Up Items at Shops. In gameplay, the player can also use the Light Speed Dash as Sonic and Shadow to travel along trails of Rings.
Sonic Rivals series
In Sonic Rivals and Sonic Rivals 2, Rings appear in strings or cluster formations. When taking damage, the player only loses ten Rings. After completing an Act, each Ring adds 100 points to the player's total score.
Certain Zones in Sonic Rivals 2 require the player has collected a certain amount of Rings, depending on the playable character, to finish a Act. Sonic Rivals 2 also features "Knock Out" and "Ring Battle" Acts: in "Knock Out", the player has to make the opponent drop all their Rings, and in "Ring Battle", the player has to collect more Rings than their opponent.
Sonic Storybook series
In the Sonic Storybook series, Rings are presented in varying degrees. They retain their standard functions and appear in string formations. Whenever the player takes damage, they lose twenty Rings. The games also introduce the Rich Rings, which grants twenty Ring each.
In Sonic and the Secret Rings, Rings appear normally and can be found inside clay cups or treasure chests. From the start of the game, the player can only carry fifty Rings at most. However, the limit increases as the player progresses and Sonic's level rises. The player can also equip small Ring Bonus Skills that automatically give the player Rings when starting the Stage. Each World in the game includes missions involving collecting certain amounts of Rings.
In Sonic and the Black Knight, Rings are almost completely absent. Instead, they are replaced with yellow fairies in most of the Missions, which give the player a certain amount of Rings depending on the size of their clusters. However, Rings and Rich Rings appear normally in the Legacy Missions.
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Rings can be collected from trails or different formations around each of the game's overworlds; once a Ring has been collected, it will not respawn again unless the player deletes the current save profile and starts a new game. The player can see how many Rings they have collected from a particular area at the top of the screen. It also shows how many Rings that have been collected out of the total amount available in the area.
The player can use Rings as currency for purchasing items and upgrades from shops; Rings can also be obtained by selling items in shops. If every party character get knocked out in a battle, the player can retry at the cost of some Rings. Also in battle, when the team flees or has to chase opponents rings can be found on the ground or in the air and can be collected.
In Sonic Unleashed, Rings are found in both the daytime and nighttime Action Stages, as well as the Town Stages and Entrance Stages. The game also includes Super Rings, but without them being contained in Item Boxes. While Rings retain their basic functions from previous main titles, Sonic only drops fifty percent of his Rings in the daytime Action Stages when taking damage (provided he has forty or more).
In the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of the game, collecting the first 100 Rings grants an extra life, and the player earns 100 points for each Ring at the end of each Act. These mechanics do not apply in the Wii/PlayStation 2 version of the game. In the daytime Action Stages on all versions, the Rings can fill up the player's Ring Energy Gauge/Boost Gauge, which is needed to use the Sonic Boost, which can attract nearby Rings as a side effect. In the Wii/PlayStation 2 version in particular, collecting thirty, sixty and ninety Rings completely fills up the Boost Gauge and extends its size by one unit. Collecting Rings also increases Sonic's speed, though losing them will decrease the Boost Gauge level relative to the amount picked up.
In the nighttime Action Stages on all versions of the game, Rings function differently. As Sonic the Werehog, collecting Rings replenishes the player's Life Gauge. Also, the player does not drop Rings when taking damage. In these Action Stages, Super Rings can be found, though those on the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version only give ten Rings each, while those on the Wii/PlayStation 2 version can give up to 100 Rings each. Collecting Rings in the nighttime Action Stages also impacts the Rank for completing an Act.
In the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version, the Rings that the player collects during Acts and missions will be deposited in the player's total Ring score. They can then be used to purchase objects from Shops.
In all three episodes of Sonic the Hedgehog 4, Rings have similar attributes from earlier installments. Obtaining 100 Rings grants an extra life and each Ring is worth 100 points at the end of each Act. Like in Sonic Rush though, the Rings will scatter farther away each time the player takes damage. Super Rings are also featured as Monitor power-ups.
To enter episodes I and II's SpecialStages, the player must hold at least fifty Rings at the end of each Act to summon the Giant Ring. Both incarnations of the Special Stages have Rings scatter around, which must be collected in certain amounts to progress. In the Special Stages of Episode II, the player is required to collect set amounts of Rings within different sections to get a Chaos Emerald. Unlike in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the player's partner, Tails, does not lose Rings in the Special Stages when taking damage.
Casino Street Zone features slot machines, which give different amount of Rings or takes them away, depending the combination. Exclusively on the console versions, Casino Street Zone Act 2 includes card gimmicks which grant ten extra Rings. Additionally, depending on how well the player executes the Combo Attack from the Special Combination power-up in episode II, the player is granted a large amounts of Rings.
In Sonic Colors, Rings function like in earlier installments. In the Wii version of the game, each Ring is worth 100 points at the end of each Act, but the player is not rewarded with extra lives by collecting them. Aside from being found on the surface and in midair, Rings are also found in the soil sections for the Yellow Drill. Rings will also sometimes appear after pressing switches. Sonic Colors introduces as well Red Star Rings, which can be collected to unlock Acts at the Game Land. After unlocking Super Sonic, the player can transform into him after collecting at least fifty Rings, though the player will lose one ring for each second Super Sonic is active. At the score tally after completing an Act, if the player hits the score numbers and the Rank enough times, they drop Rings and extra lives. Similarly, bosses will drop Rings when they are defeated, though the Frigate Orcan, Frigate Skullian and Nega-Wisp Armor will occasionally drop Rings from breaking Containers or after taking a hit. The Game Land Acts likewise include several Ring-based gimmicks: Goal Rings drop Rings after touching them, the Punching Balls release Rings when attacking them, and the slot machines grant certain Ring amounts based on the slot formations.
In the Nintendo DS version of the game, collecting 100 Rings grants an extra life, and the Rings held at the end of each Act adds to the "Ring Bonus" of the total score. Several missions in the game are likewise based around collecting Rings. Additionally, the game include Super Rings in Item Boxes.
In both the console/PC and Nintendo 3DS versions of Sonic Generations, Rings are found in everywhere, except in the White Space. Collecting 100 Rings grants an extra life and holding Rings at the end of an Act earns the player a Ring Bonus. In this game, both Classic and Modern Sonic lose eighty percent of their Rings when taking damage (provided they have twenty or more). For Modern Sonic, collecting Rings also fill up the Boost Gauge. The game also features Red Star Rings (console/PC versions only) and Super Rings, which are worth ten Rings each, but as Monitor items in the first Acts and as separated items in the second Acts.
On the console/PC version of the game, there are Skills that center around Rings. For Classic Sonic, the Ring Time Skill lets the player turn every enemy on the screen into Rings for a short time. For Modern Sonic, the Ring Energy Bonus Skill makes Rings fill up the Boost Gauge faster, while the Endless Boost Skill lets the Boost Gauge stay full at the cost of preventing the player from obtaining Rings. Both characters can also use the Safety Net Skill that lets the player start an Act with ten Rings, the 10-Second Rings Skill that causes dropped Rings to remain for ten seconds before they disappear, and the Super Sonic Skill that lets the player use the super transformation after collecting at least fifty Rings. When using super transformation, the Ring count drops by one for each second, though it drops faster when using Super Sonic Boost as Modern Super Sonic.
During the rival battle with Shadow on the console/PC version of the game, Shadow, one of the game's bosses, can collect Rings. To defeat him, the player must reduce his Ring count to zero. Casino Night, featured as downloadable content in console/PC version and as a regular Stage in the Nintendo 3DS version, also has slot machines, which grant different amount of Rings depending the combination. In the Nintendo 3DS version, Bumpers likewise grant Rings when hit.
Aside from gameplay, the English version of the game also has Classic Tails asking Modern Tails where Sonic managed to keep all the rings he collected throughout his adventure, with the latter bashfully admitting that he doesn't know as he kept forgetting to ask Sonic himself during the ending.
Sonic Jump series
In both the original Sonic Jump and Sonic Jump 2, Rings are scattered around in cluster or trail formations, but otherwise retain their basic functions. Each Ring adds 100 points to the total score at the end of each Act.
In Sonic Jump (2012) and Sonic Jump Fever, Ring's functionality is expanded further. As well as protecting the player, remaining Rings can be stored outside gameplay by completing a Zone in Story Mode or losing the game in Arcade Mode. Within Zones, the player can also find Ring banks, where their collected Rings can be stored. These stored Rings can be used to purchase power-ups, upgrade the playable character or unlock new characters from the Shop. Because both remake games use free-to-play concept, the player can make in-app purchases to buy Rings.
In the games, there are two Monitor power-ups centering around Rings. The Magnet attracts nearby Rings, much like Thunder Shield, and Ring Time transforms all enemies in range into collectible rings for a short time.
In Sonic Jump Fever, the player loses Rings normally by taking damage from enemies, but hitting obstacles like Spikes or falling into the bottomless pit, allows the playable character to restart with all their Rings retained. Long strings of Rings can also be collected when the playable character enters Fever mode.
In Sonic Dash, Rings have their standard functions, except the player cannot recover dropped Rings due to the fast-paced gameplay, and collecting 100 rings will not lead to an extra life.
In gameplay, the player can collect Rings during each run to charge the Dash Meter and then bank them when moving between route sections using Springs. Banked Rings can be used to purchase upgrades for future runs. Also, one of the power-ups used in this game is the Magnet which can draw in Rings.
Sonic Lost World
In both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World, Rings have the same attributes. In Wii U version, each Ring grants 100 points to the player's score at the end of each Zone. During the initial release of Wii U version of the game, collecting 100 Rings did not grant extra life, but it was later fixed in the 3.0.0 version patch. Additionally, using running or Parkour will attract nearby Rings. The game also features Super Rings as both Item Boxes or separated items and missions that include collecting a certain amount Rings.
In the Wii U version's DLC level Yoshi's Island Zone, Rings are replaced by Coins, though they function like Rings. There are also enemies like the Sprinkler that drops Rings, and the Tarantula that summons Rings when defeated.
Sonic Runners series
In Sonic Runners, Rings retain their regular basic attributes, except each only grant a single point after being collected, and when dropping them, the player is unable to recover them. Additionally, Rings can be used to keep a combo going when collecting Crystals. The game also features Super Rings as separate items (or inside Item Boxes as rewards for completing an episode or as purchases from the shop).
When the player passes a Star Post, all the player's collected Rings are banked in the total score. Once done with a stage, all the Rings the player has collected are banked as well, and can be used to purchase items.
While the player advances through the Episode Maps, Ring bonuses sometimes appear, which the player can obtain upon reaching their points on the Episode Maps. The Item Box power-up Magnet and Color Powers, such as Cyan Laser and Indigo Asteroid, can attract nearby Rings for a short time as well. When the player performs the Spin Attack through Shuttle Loop, they will attract the Rings and Super Rings in the middle of the loop hole; otherwise, the player will miss them. During the battles against Dr. Eggman, Eggman also drops a huge amount of Rings from the Egg Mobile every time he is hit.
In like Sonic Runners, when the player passes a Star Post, all their collected Rings will be banked in the total score. Once done with a level, all the Rings the player has on hand will be banked as well. The game also has Bonus levels where the player can collect extra Rings after a level. The banked Rings themselves can be used to purchase Booster items, unlock and upgrade playable characters, and buy Buddies.
Whenever the player collects three hundred Rings during a run, they activate their character's special ability. The Magnet Booster item can attract nearby Rings for a short time as well. Much like in Sonic Runners, the player also attracts any Ring/Super Ring in the middle of a shuttle Loop when they run through said loops. The same attraction effect occurs when the characters pass through a Rainbow Ring. During the battles against Dr. Eggman, Eggman also drops a huge amount of Rings from the Egg Mobile every time he is hit.
In Looped levels, Rings do not respawn with every lap (unlike enemies and obstacles). As such, after the player has collected a Ring in a Looped level, they will see a shining sparkle in its place on the next lap.
In Sonic Mania, and its expansion Sonic Mania Plus, the Rings work pretty much like they did in the main Sonic games for the Sega Genesis. When dropping a large amount of Rings in this game however, several of them scatter from the immediate propinquity (like in Knuckles' Chaotix), meaning the player can only recover a few of them.
Collecting 100, 200 or 300 Rings in this game gives an extra life, and at the end of an Act, the player receives 100 points for each Ring held. Monitor power-ups in this game that affect the player's Ring count include the Super Rings that grant ten Rings each, and the Lightning Shields that draw in Rings. The game also reuses the Hyper Ring, which now causes the player to drop six slightly larger Rings (each one containing a fraction of the player's lost Rings) when taking damage, which are much easier to collect. Also, after completing all the Special Stages in the game, the Giant Rings that are found in the Acts will award the player with fifty Rings upon being touched.
Like in past games, when the player plays with both Sonic and Tails (or Knuckles and Knuckles in "& Knuckles" mode) in Sonic Mania, only the character the player controls can lose Rings when taking damage. The accompanying character can also collect Rings, but both of them share the same Ring count. In the game's Competition mode, both playable characters can also collect Rings for their own respective score. The number of Rings the players have after their multiplayer competition helps determine the winner.
By passing a Star Post with at least twenty-five Rings on hand, the player can access one of the game's Bonus Stages, which also contain Rings. Collecting all Rings in a Bonus Stage grants the player a "Perfect" score which awards a Gold Medallion. Also, if the player collects blue spheres from the edges of sphere clusters in a Bonus Stage, all the spheres turn into Rings. Also, by passing a Star Post after beating all Bonus Stages with a perfect rank while carrying at least twenty-five Rings in Mania Mode or fifty Rings in Encore Mode, the player will enter the Pinball Stage.
In Special Stages, the Rings serve as a timer which depletes over time. Once the player has no Rings, they will leave the Special Stage. Additional Rings can be collected in order to extend the player time limit, while touching harmful obstacles will take Rings away from the player.
Sonic Mania and Sonic Mania Plus also features the super transformation mechanic, which can be initiate by holding fifty Rings after unlocking the chosen character's Super State. Like in past games, using the super transformation causes the Ring count to drop by one for each passing second.
Sonic Forces: Speed Battle
In Sonic Forces: Speed Battle, the Rings work much like they did back in Sonic Dash. Like in the aforementioned game, the player here is unable to recollect dropped Rings due to the gameplay's fast-paced nature. Also, when taking damage in this game, the playable character will only lose ten Rings.
In gameplay, the player can collect Rings during each of their runs to improve their performance. Each playable character can carry up to one hundred Rings; the more Rings the characters hold, the greater their movement speed becomes. After a race, the players get to keep the Rings they have collected. These Rings can be used to buy power-ups and bonuses, or upgrade characters. Also, power-ups like the Electro Boost can be used to draw in Rings.
In Sonic Forces - Unlike in previous Sonic games, collecting 100 Rings does not give an extra life, as there is no extra life feature in the game. When playing the game on Normal difficulty, the max number of rings the player can collect is 100, and the player will lose 20 rings upon being hit (assuming there are more than 20 rings collected). In hard mode however, the max number of rings is 999, and the player will lose all of their rings upon being hit.
Sonic Forces has variations of Wispons equipped with skills that require collecting 100 rings. These skills range from:
Invincibility - Lets the player become invincible for a short amount of time.
Bonus Points - Gives the player a 2x points multiplier until they get hit.
In early demos and before the Day 1 Patch, players would not be able to recollect their rings upon being hit - regardless of which difficulty is selected. This was initially done to balance the game's difficulty, but was changed in the Day 1 Patch - most likely due to the response made.
Blue Rings are loose variations of Rings and objects that appear in Sonic Colors. They are found in Acts with Blue Wisps, and touching them will grant points. When the player uses the Blue CubeColor Power, Blue Rings will turn into Blue Blocks, which cannot be collected nor break, and vice versa.
Dark Rings are synthesized Rings that appears in Knuckles' Chaotix. Dark Ring come in either regular Ring or Giant Ring variations, which are reddish-brown, and are used by Dr. Eggman to power his Badniks and his mechs. When the player destroys a Badnik or one of Eggman's mechs, a Dark Ring will pop up and disintegrate completely.
Dash Rings are Ring-based game gimmicks. In gameplay, the player can use them to dash through mid-air by passing through them. Dash Rings are either designed as mechanical rings or simple orange-colored Rings. An sub-variation of the Dash Rings are called Rainbow Rings, which grant extra points or allow Trick Actions.
Giant Rings are larger variations of regular Rings. They can either be summoned at the end of each Zone's Act by collecting fifty Rings or be found behind in hidden areas. Giant Rings are used as transportation devices to Special Stages, or in veryfewcases grant a huge amount of Rings to the player.
Power Rings are special types of Rings which appears in Sonic Runners. They are regular Ring which have accumulated a special energy as a result of being out in nature for a long time, giving them special powers, like empowering beings far beyond what regular Rings are capable of and repairing machinery.
Red Star Rings are a more common variation of Rings which were introduced in Sonic Colors. Red Star Rings are slightly larger, red rings with a star in their center. Usually, Red Star Rings are collectible items found in each Act/Zone, which can be used to unlock different features upon collecting them, such as new Acts in Game Land, concept artwork, or music tracks. Sometimes, they are also used as a game's premium currency.
Special Rings only appear in Sonic Advance 2, where the player has to collect seven of them in each Stage to enter Special Stages. They are sligtly larger than regular Rings, with upward-pointing wings and a star in their center.
Super Rings are the most commonly used variations of Rings, which are often found inside Item Boxes. Such Item Boxes have a Ring icon on them, and breaking them will grant the player extra Rings. While Super Rings normally give ten Rings, from Sonic Adventure and onward, Super Rings can sometimes give up to fourty or even a random number of Ring bonuses. From Sonic Unleashed, Super Rings are sometimes separate items from Item Boxes, which are depicted as slightly larger variants of regular Rings with an indicative number in their center.
The seven World Rings are magical items in Sonic and the Secret Rings, which bind the reality of the world of the Arabian Nights together. During the game, the Erazor Djinn sought the World Rings to conquer the Arabian Nights, and used Sonic to get them. Each World Rings come in a different color and represent a different emotion. Like the Chaos Emeralds they can also empower beings, though their collector's life must be sacrificed to unlock their power.
In Sonic the Comic published by Fleetway Editions, Rings, here referred to as the Golden Rings of Mobius or Mobius Rings, are an apparently naturally-occurring phenomenon on Mobius. However, they only played a small role in the early issues before being nearly completely removed from the comics. The Golden Rings served as a vital component in the Retro-Orbital Chaos Compressor and were the catalyst for Sonic's first transformation into Super Sonic. Dr. Ovi Kintobor's mind was as well preserved by imprinting it on a Golden Ring.
In the Sonic the Hedgehog television series, the Power Rings were invented by Sir Charles Hedgehog for Sonic to battle villains. They are generated by a machine, powered by the Power Rock, which is located in the Power Ring pool in the Great Forest. One Power Ring rises to the surface every day (two very day later on) and if not caught, it sinks back underwater.
The Power Rings' energies can only be harnessed by Sonic, which he can use to temporarily boost his speed. Additionally, they can be used to temporarily restore the free will of a roboticized victim and block a Roboticizer.
In the Sonic Boom franchise, Rings appear in the series' video games where they serve the same role as their mainstream counterparts. In line with the series' primary focus on comedy, their functionality and purposes have occasionally been used for jokes.
Rings are featured as part of many action figures or collection releases, many of them being manufactured by Jazwares. "Single Figure Packs" line has Sonic action figure with two Rings as extras. For the release of Sonic Generations, Jazwares produced Commemorative Statue of Classic and Modern Sonic running on a large Ring base.
The "Collector's Edition" of Sonic Generations for PlayStation 3 includes collectible bronze Ring. For the "Roleplay" line, Jazwares produced a large Gold Ring toy, that make their sound effects from the games. Good Smile Company has produced Nendoroid figures of Sonic the Hedgehog with a Ring as one of its extra accessories.
The iconic Ring chime is heard in almost every game in the franchise, while being altered in several handheld games or having only at a slightly lower pitch in Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut. In early games for the Sega Genesis and its add-on accessories, the sound effect is programmed to be heard between the left and right speaker as the player keeps collecting Rings.
The Ring chime sound is made up of the Yamaha DX7 Sound Sources "ROM 128"B patch "Sloe Bells".
By using Debug Mode or cheat codes in early installments of the series for Sega Genesis and its add-ons accessories, the Ring counter's limit is seen to be 999 Rings or even beyond. In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, if the player collects more than 999 Rings, the counter will use letters in place of numbers in the hundred spot (i.e A93 Rings instead of 1,093 rings).
Rings can form significant formations in several games, usually being arrows pointing to the direction. Examples include the first Special Stage of Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit) having further section with Rings formatting "SEGA" and one point at Sonic's Final Egg in Sonic Adventure having Rings formatted as a silhouette of Sonic's head.
Rings are acknowledged several times as being part of storylines in certain games. These include games like Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic Rivals 2. A joke was made in Sonic Generations in which both Classic and Modern Tails were discussing about how many rings Sonic collects and where he puts them.
Rings are mentioned in the cartoon Gravity Falls by the character Dipper Pines. In episode 10 "Fight Fighters", he rattles off a string of different video game power-ups, one of which happens to be "rings".
Rings are not the only form of currency in Sonic's world - for instance, when Sonic Colors is set to Japanese, the cutscene before the Tropical Resortboss has different dialogue in which Dr. Eggman, Sonic and Cubot haggle the price of the ride using yen. Yen is also referenced in some of Eggman's in-game announcements.
Rings are also seen in Wreck-It Ralph; first when Sonic gets hit by an escape pod Ralph is piloting and later during the credits when it shows Sonic battling Eggman and also gets hit.
According to the promotional ad for Sonic Jump (2012), Sonic has collected 70 billion Rings since his debut in 1991, which are enough to ask 70 billion girls to marry him.
↑ 1.01.1Sonic Team (November 1, 2011). Sonic Generations. Console/PC. Sega. Cutscene: Ending. "Classic Tails: He collects how many? Wow, where does somebody put all those gold rings? / Modern Tails: You know what? I don't know. I keep forgetting to ask."
↑Sonic Team (November 15, 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. multiplatform. Sega. Story: Circus Park. "Tails: Look at that! It's Eggman's theme park. He made it out of the Rings he's taken from around the world. I've got to get those Rings back!"