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The saw[1][2] (ノコギリ[3][4] Nokogiri?), also known as the razor-sharp saw[5] or buzz saw,[6] is an obstacle that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a basic type of saw blades usually encountered in urban or industrial-themed Zones.


Based on circular saws, the patterns and appearance of saws have varied between Sonic games. However, common elements this object possesses include circular saw blades with sharp teeth set in rows. While they may appear hovering separately on a few occasions, some games feature them attached to mechanical bending poles that are attached to the floors or ceilings. In other instances, they are embedded in floor panels, similar to table saws.

In gameplay, saws are indestructible and will inflict damage upon the playable character if they touch them, meaning the player can only avoid them.

Over the course of the series, the saws have exhibited different behavior patters and served different purposes. Saws attached to poles can be aligned horizontal or diagonal and usually move towards the floor or walls, switching between moving closer and further away from them. Saws can as well appear by themselves on in groups. The saws' movability serves to have them collide with the playable characters or have them move around a designated area, which are marked by grooves in their surfaces, to make the environment more hazardous. Occasionally, they will even turn in place on platforms, making it difficult to stay on them.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)

Two types of saws, from Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit).

In Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit), and its numerous ports and remasters, razor-sharp saws[5] appear in Scrap Brain Zone. Here, they are noisy metallic saw blades with a light gray color scheme. In terms of size, they are about as tall as the playable character.

In gameplay, the saws appear on poles that are attached to the ceilings in Scrap Brain Zone Act 2. They typically appear in hovering positions above Conveyor Belts, either in large halls or narrow passages. The poles they are attached to slowly extend and retract their saw blades in linear patterns. To get past them, the player has to pass under the saws while they are ascending towards the ceiling. In addition, when stuck between two saws on a Conveyor Belt, the player also has to be mindful about not letting the Conveyor Belt pull them into the saws.

In addition to saws on poles, Scrap Brain Zone Act 1 and 2 feature a variant of the saws that does not have a pole attachment. These Saws are commonly encountered on narrow routes, hovering along the ground at high speed. To get by or avoid them, the player has to use the Spin Jump at the right moment in order to either leap over them or reach a higher vantage point in the Acts. In addition, backtracking or re-entering these routes makes these saw variants respawn.

SegaSonic the Hedgehog

Saws in Landslide Limbo, from SegaSonic the Hedgehog.

In SegaSonic the Hedgehog, saws appear in Landslide Limbo and Eggman's Tower. In this game, they are presented as plain and gray circular saw blades.

In gameplay, saws do not appear as an individual obstacles. Instead, it is a weapon utilized by the final opponent of Landslide Limbo, which takes the appearance of a stationary machine. Here, while the playable character is trapped within a force-field, the machine will flips its arms backwards, pick up spinning saw blades, position them in front of it and adjust their horizontal positions before launching them through midair and across the force-field in straight lines. Once the saws are gone, the machine will pick up a new set, and the process starts over. This will continue until the machine is destroyed.

Eggman's Tower features three saw blades that pop up on steel ladders and will attempt to catch up the playable character(s) while they climb said ladders. After the player reaches the top of the ladders, the saw blades will be left active in one spot.

Sonic the Hedgehog CD


In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, the Windows 95 version, and the 2011 remaster, saws appear in Metallic Madness Zones 1 and 3. Here, they are attached to long, thin poles that are connected to steep terrains. Saw blades in the present timeframe of Metallic Madness have greenish hue and dark gray poles. The past and good future timeframes on the other hand contain saw blades with green poles. Then there is the bad future timeframe, which has saw blades and poles that are colored light brown.

In gameplay, saws are noisy traps that usually appear by themselves or in pairs, and are typically placed on steep slopes and in ceiling corners. The poles the saw blades are attached to are always pointing diagonally, and will slowly extend their saws blades outward before retracting them in order to repeat this pattern. When this occurs, the player can pass under the saws in order to avoid them.

Knuckles' Chaotix


In Knuckles' Chaotix, Saws[2] are one of two obstacles (the other being Spike Balls) that appears in Special Stages. Here, they appear as hovering gray saw blades.

In gameplay, saws exhibit two different movement patterns: hovering around the walls of the hexagonal tubes of the Special Stages in a circle, or moving slightly back and forth at a rapid pace in open areas. In the Special Stages, the player will loses a total of eight Rings each time they touch a saw.

Two saw blades are also used by Metal Sonic during the game's penultimate fight. If the hijicked roulette machine in the Stage Select room ends up highlighting its fourth slot, saw blades will come out of the ground and move across the arena twice before retracting again. Getting hit by these saws will make the player lose his combi partner or restart the fight by sending the playable character to the starting point of the World Entrance.

Sonic Unleashed

Buzz saws on floor panels in Cool Edge, from the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed.

In the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version and Wii/PlayStation 2 version of Sonic Unleashed, buzz saws[6] or simply saws,[6] are common obstacles in the Nighttime Stages/Action Stages. In this game, they are depicted as medium-sized, moving saw blades attached to black floor panels with pink details. These black panels vary in length and determine the movement range of their saws.

In the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of the game, saws appear in Rooftop Run, Dragon Road, Cool Edge and Skyscraper Scamper. In Apotos and Shamar Adventure Pack DLC, they are also found in Windmill Isle. In each Nighttime Action Stage, saws are placed on either the ground or the walls, with the active saw blade moving back and forth on its panel in a linear pattern. The saws' movement speed varies however, being able to move at either medium or slow speeds. When placed on walls, saws will be encountered in tight platforming sections that the Hanging Ledges lead past, leaving it to Sonic the Werehog to slip past them without getting hit. Getting hit by saws at such critical moments often results in Sonic getting forced into a bottomless pit. Besides regular saws, Nighttime Rooftop Run Act 1 also features active saws on short panels that the saw blades do not move along at all. These saws are placed on the top part of the rock building towards the end of the Act. saws panels that have been placed on the ground are similarly found on the edges of different terrains or in the center of wide areas filled with enemies. The damage from each of these saws, however, can be negated if Sonic performs Guard at the right moment. Doing so costs, at minimum, one unit from the Shield Gauge, based on how close Sonic is when coming into contact with the saw.

The Wii/PlayStation 2 version of Sonic Unleashed features saws as obstacles exclusive to Rooftop Run. Here, the saws work much like in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version, but with slight alterations to them. Notably, when Sonic uses Switches to activate or deactivate floors of spikes in Nighttime Rooftop Run Act 2, it also activates fast-moving saws along the street routes.

Sonic Generations

Saws on floor panels on Planet Wisp, from the console/PC version of Sonic Generations.

In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, saws similar to those from Sonic Unleashed appear as obstacles in Planet Wisp. Here, the saw blades attached to ground and floor panels possess orange centers instead of gray. Despite this, they work much like they did in Sonic Unleashed, namely by moving back and forth on their panels at either slow or medium speeds. In addition, these saws can inflict damage on the playable character even if they are using the Pink Spikes Color Power.

In the same stage are also orange saw blades attached to mechanical arms that are connected to the floors, ceilings or sidewalls. These saw machines come in three sizes: small, medium or large. Their mechanical arms also move around much more erratically, namely by moving their active saw blades down to the left before then moving it up and rightward, for then to repeat this pattern. Some of these saw machines execute this pattern, for then to become inactive for about three seconds before repeating this pattern. Despite their large sizes though, these saw machines only deal damage if the playable character touches their saw blades.

Sonic Jump (2012)


In Sonic Jump (2012), saws appear in Jungle Zone, Blue Sky Zone and Mechanical Zone, as well in every Zone in Arcade Mode. Here, they are depicted as noisy, silver-colored saw blades with a small red generator attached to each of their blades. In gameplay, they move back and forth on semi-transparent tracks. These tracks are aligned either laterally, vertically or diagonally. These saws' movement speed varies based on how long their tracks are. Active saw blades are also placed on small, wide or moving platforms. On these platforms, they are either stationary or move along them in a linear pattern.

Sonic Runners

Dr. Eggman firing small saws during the Saw Arm Eggmobile fight, from Sonic Runners.

In Sonic Runners, saws have been altered to resemble small, black blade bases with four large silver teeth each. In this game, they appear in Windy Hill, Sky Road and Lava Mountain. They are also used by Dr. Eggman during the Saw Arm Eggmobile fight.

In gameplay, during the Saw Arm Eggmobile fight, Eggman drops two floating saw blades in either vertical or horizontal formations, with a yellow or black orb hovering between them. In these situations, the player has to leap into the orbs and avoid touching the saws. While touching the saws inflicts damage, hitting the black orbs will makes them and the saw blades next to them explode, while hitting yellow orb will knock both it and its saw blades back at Eggman.

Sonic Mania

Multiple saws in Metallic Madness Zone Act 2, from Sonic Mania.

In Sonic Mania and its expansion Sonic Mania Plus, Metallic Madness Zone features large, active saw blades connected to thin silver pole attachments, much like in Sonic the Hedgehog CD. In Mania Mode, the saws' saw blades have green hues, but in Encore Mode, their have a light brown color scheme.

In gameplay, their functionalities have been expanded upon in comparison to their appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog CD. Here, the saw blades on poles are placed diagonally on steep slopes and ceilings. These saws are either stationary or moving back and forth on steep terrains at medium or high speed. In addition, there are saws placed on the ceilings and floors that point up and down, respectively. These saws either slide back and forth or up and down repeatedly. In Metallic Madness Zone Act 2, saws are commonly found in the tight sections for the playable characters after they have been shrunk by the shrink ray.

While Press Garden Zone does not feature saws as obstacles, the boss of Press Garden Zone Act 1, Shiversaw, has extendable sawblades as weapons. These sawblades can be destroyed by Mighty's Hammer Drop or by making them collide with hard boxes, although these saws will regenerate shortly afterwards.

Like similar damage-inducing obstacles, saws cannot hurt Mighty if he is performing a Spin Attack-related move.

Sonic Forces

Main article: Eggman (Sonic Forces)

A saw blade connected to the Egg Mobile, from Sonic Forces.

In Sonic Forces, Dr. Eggman uses a huge, orange saw blade on a chain connected to the Egg Mobile during the first part of the game's third boss fight. This saw is swung back and fourth as the Egg Mobile makes passes across the arena.

In other media

Books and comics

Sonic the Hedgehog (promotional comic)

In the Sonic the Hedgehog promotional comic produced by Sega of America, Dr. Robotnik kidnapped Porker Lewis and tied him to a Conveyor Belt that slowly moved towards a large saw blade on a pole attachment in Scrap Brain Zone. Upon noticing this, Sonic had no choice, but to save Porker from getting sliced by the saw over allowing Robotnik to get away with a Chaos Emerald.

Archie Comics

Sonic dodging active saws, from Sonic the Hedgehog #288.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, saws were some of the many booby-traps in the Scrap Brain Zone, created by Dr. Eggman during Operation: Clean Sweep.[7]

After the Super Genesis Wave re-wrote history, Scrap Brain Zone and its booby-traps, including its saws, became a permanent part of Sonic's World, with a background virtually identical to its game counterpart.[8]

Sonic X

In the Sonic X comic series published by Archie Comics, the saws appeared as part of a virtual world that Sonic and the majority of his friends had been put in by Dr. Eggman. In this world, while Sonic and his friends passed through the Scrap Brain Zone, they would avoid multiple saws placed along a narrow route.[9]


  • In the Wii version of Sonic Colors and their subsequent appearances, the construction towers on Planet Wisp have gigantic buzz saw attachments for their mechanical arms. Despite this, they do not serve any purpose in gameplay.


  1. Prima Publishing (1993). "Sonic The Hedgehog for Sega Genesis". Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 2: Sega's Official Player's Guide. Prima Publishing. p. 53. ISBN 1-55958-335-5. "Conveyor belts mess up your timing. Sometimes conveyor belts team up with saws or other deadly devices to make a hedgehog's life even tougher."
  2. 2.0 2.1 Knuckles' Chaotix (Sega 32X) United States instruction booklet, pg. 23.
  3. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet pg. 35.
  4. "ZONE6 SCRAP BRAIN ZONE" (in Japanese). ソニックジャム オフィシャルガイド. SoftBank. 2 October 1997. p. 29. ISBN 978-4797303377. "ソニックをすいよせる歯車に、丸ノロギリにローラー床に・・・・・・と、目新しいトラップであふれている高難易度アクトだ。 エレベーターでしきられているため、 自分の位置をつかみにくい。上段・下段それぞれに 1upがあるぞ。"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Genesis) United States instruction booklet, pg. 8.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Waples, Damien (18 November 2008). Sonic Unleashed: Prima Official Game Guide. Prima Games. p. 36. ISBN 978-0761560005. "Step on this green button to lower the spikes and activate the buzz saws ahead. Hop over the saws or time your passing to escape unscathed."
  7. Sonic the Hedgehog #227, "Genesis Part Two: Fate and Friends"
  8. Sonic the Hedgehog #288, "Genesis of a Hero Part One: Where It All Began"
  9. Sonic X #11, "No Thanks for the Memories! - Part Two"
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