Spinning Tops (コマ,Koma?, lit. "Top") are a type of gimmicks that first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and later in the console/PC version of Sonic Generations. They are located everywhere around the ancient ruins on Angel Island. When the player jumps on top of a Spinning Top, he/she can ride it through mid-air by running on it.
The Spinning Tops are mainly platforms with a flat top and a decorative bottom that the playable character can stand on top on. When standing on top of it, the player can make the Spinning Top move it in different directions by running on it, which can be done by using the game's directional controls. Whenever the player starts running on the Spinning Top, the playable character will stay on the Spinning Top's platform while the Spinning Top itself moves.
When standing on a Spinning Top while moving either left or right, the player will move in that direction while gaining altitude. To make the Spinning Top descend, the player has to stop moving in any direction. When having to change the direction, it is easier to do it during a jump than by waking on the Spinning Top. Also, the player traveling on the Spinning Top can jump off it at any time.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3
The Spinning Tops first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, where they serve as the main gimmicks of Marble Garden Zone. In this game, the Spinning Tops are blue platforms with a sharp point below them. Many of the Spinning Tops are set on the bare ground, while Marble Garden Zone Act 2 features several Spinning Tops with wooden support below the platform parts of the Spinning Tops. These wooden supports sink down once the player hops up on the Spinnning Tops and starts moving along the ground.
Though they are useful for moving through mid-air, the Spinning Tops can also in some cases move along the ground at the high speed and around large pillars. This is usually possible by the player touching the ground once after arriving on the ground with the Spinning Top, though this is hard to do on steep hills.
When riding a Spinning Top along the ground, its main use is to break down walls in the Marble Garden Zone that neither Sonic or Tails is unable to break. To do this, the player ride the Spinning Top along the ground and into the walls, breaking any of them in the way. In addition, the Spinning Top can also be used to break floor sections in order to reach lower areas
When the player jumps off the Spinning Top it will cause it to return to the section where it was found. Also, when the player crashes into or hits to Spikes or iron balls on chains while riding the Spinning Top, the player will knocked off the Spinning without taking damage and lose the Spinning Top.
In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, Spinning Tops are only featured in Sky Sanctuary Act 1 and several of its associated Challenge Acts. In this game, they are disk-shaped platforms with green orbs, surrounded by four floating yellow hedges, below them. When the player hops onto one, it will activate the green orb and hedges around it. The player is obligated to use it to reach higher sections of the stage. They are the main gimmick in the Challenge Act Amy: Topsy Turvy.
In this game, the Spinning Top functions as it did in Marble Garden Zone, except the player cannot travel along the ground on them. When the player is on the Spinning Top, Classic Sonic can do a Spin Dash to gain extra speed while on it or to turn in the opposite direction. Depending on how long the player keeps moving on the Spinning Top in mid-air, one of four hedges around the green orb will overheat and break apart one at a time. The platform and orb will collapse completely if all hedges break apart.