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The Time Warp sign[1] (択マーカ[2] Taku māka?, lit. "Selection Marker") is an object that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a type of signpost found exclusively on Little Planet. An unique feature on the planet, Time Warp signs allow their users to enter the Time Warp using speed, to the past using the Past Time Warp signs (る過去連択マーカ[2] Ru kako ren-taku māka?, lit. "Past Selection Markers") and to the future with Future Time Warp signs (未来進択マーカ[2] Mirai susumu-taku māka?, lit. "Future Selection Markers").

Description

Appearance

Time Warp signs are tall, thin posts that resemble Star Posts in some ways. They have a yellow post in their bottom part, a long, gray rod, and a black sign in their with a word written in a yellow, cartoonish font. Past Time Warp signs have the word "PAST" written on them, while Future ones have "FUTURE" on them.

During the Phantom Ruby incident, Time Warp signs had a gray, hourglass-shaped post with a black center with a white star in it in the center of the yellow post.

Features and abilities

Time Warp signs allow their users to enter the Time Warp, a phenomenon which allows the user to travel through time by running at the speed of light for a short period of time.[2]

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog CD

Past Time Warp Plate.png
Future Time Warp Plate.png

In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, the Windows 95 version, and the 2011 remaster, Time Warp signs appear in Zones 1 and 2 of every Round, as unique features in the game. They come in two variants: the Past Time Warp signs (る過去連択マーカ[2] Ru kako-taku ren māka?, lit. "Past Selection Markers") and the Future Time Warp signs (未来進択マーカ[2] Mirai susumu-taku māka?, lit. "Future Selection Markers").

In gameplay, running past a Time Warp sign makes its signpost flip once while a voice states its particular name at the same time. Afterwards, the player must build enough momentum while the signpost's HUD symbol flashes. When they begin gaining speed, the playable character will have white stars trailing in their wake. During this state, the player gains temporary invincibility against Badniks, allowing the playable character to destroy them without getting hurt even while running into them on foot but it will not protect them from other harmful obstacles. If the playable character can then keep up their speed for a few seconds, the screen will fade out to white and the player will enter the Time Warp successfully. If the player fails to maintain enough speed for the required duration however, the symbol disappears and the player must try again with another Time Warp sign. It will also disappear if the player runs past the Goal sign before the Bonus Plate. When the player is transported to the past or future, the player's life icon is replaced with a P or F icon, representing past and future, respectively.

In the present time, both past and future Time Warp signs appear and are available to use. However, if the player is in the past or the future, only one type of sign will appear which can transport them back to the present. If the player uses a Future Time Warp sign in the present, and they have not destroyed the robot teleporter in the past or has not collected all the Time Stones, the signpost will take them to the bad future. Otherwise, it will take them to the good future.

Sonic Mania

A Time Warp sign, from Sonic Mania.

Time Warp sign - Sonic Mania.png

In Sonic Mania, and its expansion Sonic Mania Plus, a Future Time Warp sign makes a cameo, with a slight redesign given to it. It is seen during Stardust Speedway Zone's transition from Act 1 to Act 2. In this game, Sonic, Tails and Knuckles used this Time Warp sign to enter the Time Warp. Later, in Sonic Mania Plus' Encore Mode, the group, along with Mighty and Ray, used another Time Warp sign in Stardust Speedway Zone to enter the Time Warp and travel from the past to the present of the Zone again.

In other media

Archie Comics

Both types of Time Warp signs, from Sonic the Hedgehog #290.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, Time Warp signs appear as signposts that allow the user to travel through time in Little Planet. Sonic used these to archive "good futures" across the planet after its future was rewritten by Dr. Eggman and his machines.

Trivia

References

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog CD (Sega CD) United States instruction booklet, pg. 11.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Sonic the Hedgehog CD (Sega CD) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 16.


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