Concept art of Strange Relief from Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode II.

The Strange Relief[1] (レリーフ Rerifu?, lit. "Relief"), also known as Arrow-Shooting Heads,[2] is a wall-mounted stone statue of a human face with a red gem on its forehead. When it sees the player, it will start to shoot arrows at them.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Strange Relief first made an appearance at Marble Garden Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, where it is carved into walls from both ruined temples or outside as well, while remaining motionless. When the player comes into its range, it starts periodically firing arrows from its mouth in a straight line. Hitting the red gem on its forehead three times will deactivate the relief and open a wall or floor nearby, that leads to the route to progress in the game. While playing as Knuckles in the locked-on version of the game, who cannot climb on these reliefs, there is one part of Marble Garden Zone Act 2, where Knuckles is unable to reach and destroy the Strange Relief, as the player has to use an alternative pathway, that is located upper part of the zone.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II

In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, Strange Relief appears in Sylvania Castle Zone where it shoots darts at the player as it did before. It is invincible however, as hitting its gem will not destroy it. Strange Reliefs also appear in underwater segments, though these statues blow the player different directions rather than firing arrows.

In other media

Sonic the Comic




  1. Kellie (16 March 2012). Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II – Concept Art Friday. Archived from the original on 23 March 2016. Retrieved on 6 February 2015.
  2. Sonic the Comic #34, "Sonic 3 Part 1 - The Zones"

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