Actions

Giant Ring

From Sonic Retro

A Giant Ring at the end of Green Hill Zone Act 1 in Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit).

Giant Rings (also known as Warp Rings) transport the player to a Special Stage in early Sonic games. They have had other uses besides that as well.

Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)

In the original Sonic the Hedgehog a big Ring (大きなリングMedia:Sonic1_MD_JP_manual.pdf[1] ōkina ringu) appears at the end of a Zone's Act 1 or Act 2 if the player has 50 or more Rings. Jumping into one will take the player to a Special Stage for a chance to obtain a Chaos Emerald. They appear in all Zones except Scrap Brain Zone and Final Zone.

Strangely, they aren't mentioned at all in the game's US manual.

Sonic the Hedgehog CD

The big Ring (大きなリングMedia:SonicCD_MCD_JP_manual.pdf[2] ōkina ringu), now known as a Special RingMedia:SonicCD_MCD_US_manual.pdf[3] in the US, returns in Sonic the Hedgehog CD, serving the same function it did in Sonic the Hedgehog. A Special Ring appears at the end of a Round's Zone 1 or Zone 2 if the player has 50 or more Rings. Jumping into one will take the player to a Special Stage for a chance to obtain a Time Stone.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Now known as a Special Ring (スペシャルリングMedia:Sonic3_MD_JP_SonicJam_manual.pdf[4] supesharu ringu) in Japan and simply a giant Gold RingMedia:Sonic3_MD_US_SonicJam_manual.pdf[5] in the US, their function in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 differs slightly from previous games. This time Special Rings are hidden in secret rooms throughout the whole game, with no prerequisite to make them appear. Like before, touching one will take the player to the Special Stage for a chance to obtain a Chaos Emerald. After collecting all seven Chaos Emeralds, touching a Special Ring will grant the player 50 Rings.

Sonic & Knuckles

In Sonic & Knuckles the Special Ring (スペシャルリングMedia:S&K_MD_JP_SonicJam_manual.pdf[6] supesharu ringu) functions the same as in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, with multiple hidden throughout the first four Zones of the game. Touching one will transport the player to the Special Stage for a chance to obtain a Chaos Emerald. There are no Special Rings to be found in Hidden Palace Zone, Sky Sanctuary Zone, Death Egg Zone or The Doomsday Zone.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles

In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles the Special Rings function the same as in Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

Exclusive to this version of the game is the Super Ring (スーパーリングMedia:S&K_MD_JP_SonicJam_manual.pdf[7] sūpāringu). Super Rings flash multiple different colors, but are otherwise identical to Special Rings. Touching one will transport the player to the Emerald altar of the Hidden Palace. Once there, any Chaos Emeralds that the player has collected will be transformed into large gray Emeralds. If the player jumps onto one of these Emeralds, they will be transported to one of the Special Stages from Sonic & Knuckles, for a chance to obtain a Super Emerald. If the player successfully completes a Special Stage, a short cutscene will play, in which color is restored to the gray Emerald, making it a Super Emerald.

The first Super Ring is found at the beginning of Mushroom Hill Zone Act 1, in an area not accessible in the stand-alone version of Sonic & Knuckles. Further Super Rings only appear if the player has collected all seven Chaos Emeralds, after which they will replace Special Rings. If the player has collected all seven Super Emeralds, touching a Super Ring will grant them 50 Rings.

Chaotix

In Chaotix the Special Ring (スペシャルリングMedia:Chaotix_32X_JP_manual.pdf[8] supesharu ringu), simply called a giant RingMedia:Chaotix_32X_US_manual.pdf[9] in the US, has two different functions. There are several Special Rings hidden throughout each Level of the game, but they will only appear if the player has 20 or more Rings. Touching one of these Special Rings transports the player to the Bonus Stage. Additionally, a Special Ring will appear at the end of each Attraction's Level 1, 2, 3 or 4 if the player has 50 or more Rings. Touching this type of Special Ring takes the player to the Special Stage for a chance to obtain a Chaos Ring.

In the Japanese release, the Special Rings also play a large role in the game's story. Dr. Eggman discovers a Super Ring, an ancient Special Ring, identical to those on the Floating Island. The Special Ring was supposed to lead to the Master Emerald, but the Emerald had already been relocated to the Floating Island since ancient times. However, the dimensional space created by the Special Ring was filled with Master Emerald Pillar energy, some of which had crystallized into six Chaos Rings. After studying the Special Ring, Eggman manages to crystallize the energy himself, creating the artificial Dark Rings, which he uses to power his machines. In a cutscene before the final boss, Eggman transforms his Special Ring into a giant Dark Ring and uses it to change Metal Sonic into a powerful new form.

Sonic 3D Blast

In Sonic 3D Blast, there are Dimension Rings over transport tubes and the goal. You need to throw all the Flickies in the area into the ring to warp them to their dimension. Once done, the ring will disappear and the path will open.

Sonic Blast

In Sonic Blast the Special Ring (スペシャルリングMedia:SonicBlast_GG_JP_manual.pdf[10] supesharu ringu), or Big RingMedia:Sonic_Blast_GG_US_Manual.pdf[11] in the US, functions similarly to those in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, but is much smaller. There is one Special Ring hidden in Act 1 and Act 2 of every Zone. As with previous games, touching one will transport the player to a Special Stage. Unlike Sonic the Hedgehog 3, where Special Stages cycle in a set order, Sonic Blast's Special Stages are specific to the Zone and Act they are entered. Successfully completing an Act 1 Special Stage rewards the player with a 1up, whilst successfully completing an Act 2 Special Stage rewards the player with a Chaos Emerald.

Sonic Chaos

Not a transport feature, these oversized rings appear inside the first special stage and are worth 10 standard Rings each. A similar item crops up in the night levels of Sonic Unleashed, where larger, thicker rings are worth 10.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 takes cue from Sonic 1 and Sonic CD. Giant Rings appear at the end of every Zone's first three Acts, allowing access to the Special Stage provided Sonic has at least 50 rings in hand. Unlike previous games however, when all the Chaos Emeralds are collected, they won't appear after collecting 50 rings, as they can be accessed from the Level Select screen.

Sonic Mania

The Giant Rings in Sonic Mania act similarly to the ones from Sonic 3 & Knuckles. They appear as three-dimensional, polygonal rotating rings, as opposed to the sprite-based rings of the classics. They are found hidden throughout the zones, and when entered, transport the player to a Special Stage. After the Special Stage is cleared, the ring that was entered becomes wire-frame and can no longer be entered until the player completes the game and revisits the zone through a completed save file. In addition, the giant ring cannot be entered in Time Attack mode or Competition mode. If all Chaos Emeralds are collected, the giant Ring will give 50 Rings when collected.

3D Sonic Games

These games don't use them in the way the Genesis games do. Instead, they act as Signposts in the form of Goal Rings.

References

Items in the Sonic the Hedgehog Game Series
Collectibles   Ring | Red Star Ring | Emblem | Chaos Drives | Material
Power-ups   Shield (Water, Lightning, Fire, Gold) | Invincibility | Power Sneakers | Combine Ring | Power Core | Light Cores
Level Objects   Monitor | Spring | Spikes | Checkpoint | Time Warp Plate | Signpost | Goal Ring | Giant Ring | Capsule | Button | Bumper | Speed Booster | Air bubbles | Chao container
Powerful Items   Chaos Emeralds | Super Emeralds | Master Emerald | Time Stones | Chaos Rings | Precioustone | Sol Emeralds | Jeweled Scepter | World Rings | Excalibur | Phantom Ruby
Weapons   Piko Piko Hammer | Chaos Energy Cannon | Caliburn | Wispon
Devices   Remote Robot | Combi Confiner | Mother Computer | Nega's Camera | Arks of the Cosmos | Miles Electric
Other   Chili Dog | Scepter of Darkness | Cacophonic Conch