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The Toxomisters consist of a vertical gray pole with an orange seal gap and a drooping black eye with a pink eyelid on the top of it.
In Sonic & Knuckles, and the lock-on game Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, the Toxomisters are only encountered in Lava Reef Zone. In gameplay, they remain stationary while blowing a pinkish purple, puffy cloud that floats up or down, depending on whether or not the Toxomisters are on the ceiling. If the playable character touches the cloud, even if they are invincible, in their Hyper/Super State or equipped with a Lightning Shield or Flame Shield, However, the Water Shield can repel this cloud. While this cloud sticks to the playable character, the player will lose one Ring per second. Additionally, the player's speed and jumping height will be decreased. The cloud also slows the player's descent and reduces vertical movement with springs. If the cloud touches a playable character without Rings, the player will lose a life. Touching multiple clouds will increase the rate at which the player loses Rings, speed, and jump height.
The player can get rid of the Toxomisters' cloud by either pressing left and right rapidly on or curling into a ball. To defeat a Toxomister, which will also dissipate any cloud it produces, the player can use a Spin Jump on it. Doing so will also release the Animals inside of them and award the player with 100 points.
Powers and abilities
Toxomisters can blow a special cloud of poisonous smoke from their orange seal gaps.