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Sonic News Network
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Small totem pole as it appears in Green Hill, from the console/PC version of Sonic Generations.

Totem poles are objects that appear in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. They are rocky or wooden sculptures that mostly serve as part of a level's background, though they are sometimes obstacles that may harm the player. Usually seen as part of nature in the world of Sonic the Hedgehog, they are first seen in Green Hill Zone in the 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog and have reappeared in numerous games since, particularly to those that feature Green Hill Zone or similar levels. Totem poles have several blocks with different facial expressions.


Totem poles with wings in Green Hill Zone, from Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit).

In the 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog, there are two variations of totem poles in Green Hill Zone. One pole has four blocks with two wings on the top and the other only has three blocks without wings. The 8-bit version of the game with same name has similar totem poles with three blocks with wings. These totem poles are also seen in maps of Green Hill tracks in Sonic Drift, Neo South Island Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure (colored either as brown or purple), the 3D variation of Green Hill in Sonic Adventure 2 and in the background of the Green Hill stage of Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 features two different looking totem poles / pillars that surrounds the player during the boss fight of Aquatic Ruin Zone. After the battle, the totem poles will go down. These pillars return briefly at the beginning of the Egg Serpentleaf fight in Sonic the Hedgehog 4, but are quickly destroyed by Eggman. There are larger, rocky totem poles seen as part of the Whale Lagoon background in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. Different, larger totem poles are part of Dr. Eggman's Incredible Interstellar Amusement Park's structures, as seen in Tropical Resort of the Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colors. These totem poles also work as elevators and repeat their roles in Tropical Resort in the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations. There are also specific Totem Poles in the modern act of Tropical Resort which are formatting gates, which shoot lasers to each other.

A giant totem pole, from the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations.

Stony and wooden totem poles (small and tall) are seen in Green Hill in Sonic Generations. In the Nintendo 3DS version, totem poles can fall onto players in Act 2. There is also a giant totem pole that the player must evade before it falls down and crushes Sonic, causing him to lose a life. Totem poles appear in Green Hill Zone of the 2012 remake of Sonic Jump. In the 1.2 version update, totem poles now react to the player's moving. In Sonic Dash, rocky totem poles are in player's way. He or she must avoid them or crashing into them ends the endless running. Flatter looking totem poles next to walls appear in Windy Hill in the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World, while the Nintendo 3DS version features totem poles with large mouth holes, where platforms move out and enter another one. They can only be destroyed by using the Indigo Wisp's Color Power. Regular, wooden totem poles are also seen at Tropical Coast in Wii U version of the game which can be carve out by large, following fruits, while fruits themselves also got wrecked into pieces at the same time.


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  • In the original Sonic the Hedgehog, there are few, different and unused in-game sprites inside of the game's code that are colored grey and red.
  • Totem poles are based on the real-life ones, which are common in Native American tribes.


Concept artwork


Navigation templates to Totem pole

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