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Sonic News Network
Sonic News Network

The Seesaw[1][2] (シーソー[3][4] Shīsō?) also known as the see-saw[5] and catapult,[6] is a gimmick that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a metallic board with a damaging object on the other send, which is used to give the player an aerial boost to reach higher pathways.


The mechanics of the seesaw, from Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

In their numerous games appearances, the seesaws are usually depicted as gray metallic boards balancing on the middle on a differently colored cylinder base. On one side of the seesaw, serving as the counterweight, is placed either a bomb, a smaller iron ball, or an enemy that can damage the playable character upon touch. Seesaws are usually set on the ground, but can also be placed in mid-air.

When the player hops onto the open end of the seesaw, the object/enemy on the other end is flung into the air and falls back down, sometimes on the opposite end of the seesaw. In the latter case, the player must therefore move over to the other end. When the object/enemy lands on the seesaw again while the playable character stands on the opposite end, the playable character is thrown into the air. Sometimes, the player can reach higher elevations by consecutively repeating the process of bouncing the object/enemy off the seesaw.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)

A seesaw at Star Light Zone, from Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit).

In Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit), see-saws[5] appear in Star Light Zone, where a minature gray iron ball acts as a counterweight. While usually set on the ground, some see-saws were positioned in the air. During the Egg Spiker boss fight, Dr. Robotnik will drop mines onto the see-saws, which the player can launch back at the Egg Spiker or use to launch Sonic into the Egg Spiker.

Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)

In Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit), seesaws are featured in Bridge Zone. The object on these seesaws are light blue libra weights. The seesaw itself is set on a long pole with a brown orb on top of said pole.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)

Sonic using a seesaw, from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit).

In Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit), and the lock-on game Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Seesaws appear in Hill Top Zone. In this game, the seesaws have light blue boards, a green bottom base standing on small pole beneath them, and a red Gohla without fire projectiles as a counterweight. These seesaws are usually set on the ground, but sometimes float dangerously above lava pools.

SegaSonic the Hedgehog

In SegaSonic the Hedgehog, when the playable characters get chased by a large magma ball in Volcanic Vault, they will fall down on a Seesaw. Right after that, the magma ball will fall down on the opposite side of the Seesaw and launch the playable characters up through a steel plate on the edge of an upper pathway.

Sonic the Hedgehog CD

In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, a different type of seesaw appears in Metallic Madness. In this game, the player is only able to stand on the front end, as the other end is behind it with an iron ball on it. If the player jumps to the front end, it will launch the iron ball in the air and down on the front end. As such, the player must move before the spike ball lands.

Sonic & Knuckles

Knuckles using a mushroom-type seesaw in Mushroom Hill Zone, from Sonic & Knuckles.

In Sonic & Knuckles, and the lock-on game Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, mushroom-based seesaws appear in Mushroom Hill Zone. These types of seesaws consist of two mushrooms with a small metallic libra weight on one of them. In this game, the libra weight falls down on the end of the seesaw it was launched from when the playable character jumps on it. These seesaws also do not increase the height with each successive bounce.

Sonic Advance 3

In Sonic Advance 3, red and white seesaws with black iron balls as counterweights are featured in Route 99 and Chaos Angel. Some of these seesaws float in the air, which the player has to reach using the Spin Jump.

Sonic Generations

A seesaw in Rouge: The Bombardier Challenge Act, from the console/PC version of Sonic Generations.

In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, seesaws appear in a few Challenge Acts, such as Rouge: The Bombardier, Rescue the Animals 2! and the Flame Shield Challenge In this game, the seesaws have gray panels with a red base in the middle and back iron balls as counterweights, similar to the ones in the Star Light Zone. Seesaws there function like in the earlier games, where the player has use them to reach higher areas.

In the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations, different type of seesaws are featured as gimmicks in Mushroom Hill. These mushroom-themed seesaws function much like they did in Sonic & Knuckles.

Sonic Lost World

In the Wii U version and PC version of Sonic Lost World, seesaws[2] appear in the Circus tents for Tropical Coast and Sky Road. Seesaws in this game have light-blue plates and wooden wheel in the middle. In gameplay, the player is required to use Wii U GamePad to move the seesaw left and right. As Sonic and Tails (or Orbot and Cubot) jump on the seesaw, the player has to balance this gimmick around and make each of them land on the right side of the seesaw's plate to launch the other character up from other the end.

When bounced enough, the player can collect Rings or pop balloons to free Animals. The player has three attempts to use the seesaw in these Circus mini-games, where the player loses a try if the characters do not land safely on the seesaw, or until time runs up.

Sonic Mania

The seesaw in Mirage Saloon Zone Act 1, from Sonic Mania.

In Sonic Mania, and its expansion Sonic Mania Plus, the seesaw appears in Knuckles' version of Mirage Saloon Zone Act 1 in Mania Mode. It also appears in Encore Mode's version of Mirage Saloon Zone Act 1 in Sonic Mania Plus. In these games, the seesaws resemble how they looked in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, with a fireless Gohla being used as a counterweight. However, these Gohlas have a green color scheme and spikes around their bodies.

Another type of seesaws are featured as the main gimmick in Metallic Madness Zone Act 1. In Mania Mode, these seesaws have a blue and red color scheme, and in Encore Mode they have a dark green and red color scheme. These seesaws function much like they did in Sonic the Hedgehog CD, but with an additional twist: when launched into the mid-air by these seesaws, the playable character gets transported to the second layer of the Zone geometry in the background, thereby granting the player extra platforming segments. In order to return to the main layer, the player has to use another seesaw in the background's platforming section.

In other media

Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic

The seesaw, from Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic Volume 2.

In the story Clash!! South Island of Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic Volume 2, as Sonic, Ricky and Cucky try to reach a Capsule at the Star Land Zone, Sonic notices a seesaw with spike on its other side, as he knows it is hard to reach to the capsule. Sonic thus used seesaw to bounce straight up to capsule, but an Orbinaut gets in the way. Despite that, Sonic defeats the Orbinaut with the Spin Attack and lands near the capsule.

Sonic the Hedgehog Yearbook 1992

The seesaw, from Sonic the Hedgehog Yearbook 1992.

A single seesaw make a brief appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog Yearbook 1992' story "Space-Hedgehog", where Sonic escapes from a space rocket which Robotnik had locked him inside. However, Robotnik gets tied up with a rope from the launched space which only snaps shortly after taking the doctor into the air. Sonic soon after lands on an empty seesaw in Hill Top Zone, while Robotnik lands on the seesaw's other end, thus bouncing Sonic into the air while Robotnik is left unconscious on the seesaw.

Archie Comics

The seesaws, from Sonic the Hedgehog #227.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and it spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the seesaw was used by Sonic the Hedgehog, Sally Acorn and Rotor Walrus, when they were passing through Star Light Zone.



Concept Artwork





  1. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Game Gear) United States instruction booklet, pg. 9.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sonic Team (29 October 2013). Sonic Lost World. Wii U. Sega. Area/level: Circus. "Instructions: Touch the seesaw and slide left and right to move it."
  3. (in Japanese) ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2 メガドライブ公式ガイドブック. Shogakukan. December 1992. p. 86. ISBN 978-4091024145.
  4. Sonic Advance 3 (Game Boy Advance) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 36.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Christian Whitehead (15 May 2013). Sonic the Hedgehog (2013). Android, iOS. Sega. "Bombs Away achievement: Defeat the boss in Starlight Zone using only the see-saw bombs."
  6. (in English) Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 2: Sega's Official Player's Guide. Compute; Expanded edition. 1993. p. 45. ISBN 1-55958-335-5.
Navigation templates to Seesaw

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