The Rock Drill[note 1] is a robot built by Dr. Robotnik, that appears at Lava Reef Zone in Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic Mania. The robot serves as an minor obstacle during the gameplay, as it seems to be a larger variation of the Tunnelbot seen in Marble Garden Zone with four drill attachments.

Game appearances

Sonic & Knuckles

Knuckles encountering the Rock Drill in Lava Reef Zone Act 1.

In Sonic & Knuckles and its add-on game Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, the Rock Drill appears three times in Lava Reef Zone Act 1, once in Sonic's story and twice in Knuckles' story (depending on if the player takes the upper pathway behind the robot). In both stories, when the player faces it in the open area, the robot is about to start the drilling process, which makes the ground below collapse. The player can hit it with a Spin Attack an arbitrary number of times but cannot be defeated this way.

In Sonic's story, the robot falls into the lava pool, and in Knuckles' story, it attempts the same process but stays on the edge of the upper platform where it remains intact.

Sonic Mania

In Sonic Mania, and its expansion Sonic Mania Plus, Rock Drills appear again in Lava Reef Zone Act 1. Once again, the player can land numerous hits on it, but the Rock Drill cannot be defeated by regular means.

In gameplay, the player faces off with the Rock Drill in the iron fence area. Once again by drilling at one place, the drone causes the floor to crumble, while falling down to the lava pool. Midway through Act 1, one Rock Drill is seen causing the lava pool to raise, as the player has to escape it, while the Rock Drill once again falls down to the pit.

The boss of Lava Reef Zone Act 1, Drillerdroid, is an advanced model of the Rock Drill with a heavily-armed head drone and bulkier parts around its drill attachments.


See also


  1. While not listed in any instruction manuals, the internal files in the PC release of Sonic Mania refers to this enemy as "RockDrill".

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