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The Spring Catapult,[1] also known simply as the spring,[2] is a gimmick that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It can usually be found in casino-themed Zones. In gameplay, as the playable character spins on a Spring Catapult, its spring will depress, then launch the player forward or upward at high speed.

Description

Spring Catapults work similarly to the plungers on real-life pinball tables. Spring Catapults are usually located in a sharp turn or at the other end of a tunnel. When the playable character enters the tunnel, they start rolling down it, before ending up on the top of the Spring Catapult's spring where the character continues to roll around in one spot. When the player holds down the jump button, the Spring Catapult's spring depresses. Once the spring is fully depressed, the player can release the jump button and launch the playable character forward or upward through the tunnel's most direct route.

If the Spring Catapult is not fully depressed, the playable character will only be launched a short distance and will fall back on the Spring Catapult. In a few games, the player does not need to load the Spring Catapult as it automatically launches the playable character itself.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

A Spring Catapult, from Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit).

The Spring Catapults were first seen in Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit). These objects are only featured in Casino Night Zone and are referred to as "springs" in the North American instruction manual.[2]

A Spring Catapult, from Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit).

In gameplay, the player can load and release the Spring Catapults by holding down and eventually releasing A Button (Sega Genesis).svg, B Button (Sega Genesis).svg or C Button (Sega Genesis).svg. After being launched from the Spring Catapult, the characters usually enter a shuttle loop or one of the pinball sections in the Zone.

Sonic Spinball (8-bit)

A Spring Catapult, from Sonic Spinball (8-bit).

In Sonic Spinball (8-bit), there are several large red Spring Catapults set around the Toxic Caves. In gameplay, the player can load and release these Spring Catapults by holding down and eventually releasing Game Gear I Button.png or Game Gear II Button.png. These springs will send Sonic back to the pinball sections.

Knuckles' Chaotix

A Spring Catapult, from Knuckles' Chaotix.

In Knuckles' Chaotix, there are several Spring Catapults featured in Speed Slider, despite the stage not being pinball-themed. In gameplay, the Spring Catapults will automatically launch the playable characters out of their tunnels once the playable characters land on their spring.

Sonic Adventure

In Sonic Adventure and its remake Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, Spring Catapults can be seen on the right side of the pinball tables in Casinopolis, though they are only used in Sonic the Hedgehog's story. In gameplay, these Spring Catapults automatically send Sonic into the pinball table.

Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure

A Spring Catapult, from Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure.

In Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, Spring Catapults are featured in Cosmic Casino Zone, which closely resembles Casino Night Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. In gameplay, the player can load and release the Spring Catapults by holding down and eventually releasing A Button (Sega Genesis).svg/B Button (Sega Genesis).svg.

Sonic Pinball Party

In Sonic Pinball Party, a single Spring Catapult is featured on the right side of all the pinball tables. Like in Sonic Adventure, the shooter will launch automatically in gameplay. Instead of launching playable characters however, it launches regular pinballs.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I

A Spring Catapult, from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I.

In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, Spring Catapults are featured as one of the gimmicks in Casino Street Zone. In this game, their appearance and mechanics are similar to the Spring Catapults featured in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. In gameplay, the player can load and release the Spring Catapults by holding down and eventually releasing PSXButton.png/PSObutton.png/XboxA.png/XboxB.png/Snnwii2buttondisco.png.

Sonic Generations

In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, two Spring Catapults appear in the DLC-exclusive Casino Night minigame. The first one is located in the lower right corner of the pinball table, where the player will start the minigame. Right next to the start-up shooter is the second Spring Catapult where the player can fall down from the higher level of pinball table. In gameplay, the player can load and release the Spring Catapults by holding down and eventually releasing PSXButton.png/XboxA.png.

A Spring Catapult, from the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations.

In the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations, Spring Catapults are featured in both the first and second Act of Casino Night. In this game, the springboard on the Spring Catapult has a red background, with a blue center with yellow star in it. It also loads much faster than it did in its debut game. In gameplay, the player can load and release the Spring Catapults by holding down and eventually releasing DSB.png.

Sonic Lost World

A Spring Catapult, from the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World.

In the Wii U version and PC version of Sonic Lost World, the Spring Catapults are seen in the casino-themed Frozen Factory Zone 3, where they are normally set around the pinball tables. They are very similar to the ones from the console/PC version of Sonic Generations. In gameplay, the player can load and release the Spring Catapults by holding down and eventually releasing WiiDSA.png/DSB.png.

Sonic Forces

A Spring Catapult, from Sonic Forces.

In Sonic Forces, the Spring Catapults are featured exclusively in Casino Forest. In this game, the springboards on the Spring Catapults have received an entirely different design. This time, they look like round stone slabs with yellow markings on them. In gameplay, the player can load and release the Spring Catapults by holding down and eventually releasing A button.png/PSXButton.png/Switch b.png.

In other media

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog

In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog television series, a single Spring Catapult is seen in "Robotnikland", where it is part of large pinball table called "Pin-Ball Blizzard" in a park that Dr. Robotnik has taken over. The Spring Catapult is first seen bursting Sonic into the pinball table. After a while, Robotnik sends a large pinball ball into the game with the Spring Catapult. After Sonic starts to rule the pinball game however, Robotnik sends Scratch and Grounder into the Spring Catapult and launches them onto the pinball table, only for the two of them to get bounced back and forth while Sonic escapes the "Pin-Ball Blizzard".

Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series)

In the Sonic the Hedgehog television series, in "Game Guy", Sonic gets launched once by a large Spring Catapult when he enters Robotnik's giant pinball table inside his Fortress.

References

  1. Sonic Team (1 November 2011). Sonic Generations. Xbox 360. Sega. Area/level: White Space. "Casino Nights controls menu: Spring Catapult."
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Mega Drive) United States instruction booklet, p. 13.
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