Sonic Riders

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SonicRiders title.png
Sonic Riders
Publisher: Sega
System(s): GameCube, PlayStation 2,
Xbox, PC
Genre: Action
Release Date RRP Code Rating
Nintendo GameCube
2006-02-23 ¥5,800 (6,090) GXEJ8P
Nintendo GameCube
2006-02-21[1]  ? GXEE8P
Nintendo GameCube
2006-03-17  ? GXEP8P
Sony PlayStation 2
2006-02-23[2] ¥5,800 (6,090)[2] SLPM-66281
Sony PlayStation 2
2006-02-21[1]  ? SLUS-21331
Sony PlayStation 2
US (Greatest Hits)
2007  ? ?
Sony PlayStation 2
2006-03-17  ? SLES-53560
Sony PlayStation 2
200x  ? ?
Sony PlayStation 2
KR (Big Hit)
2008-04-17[3]  ? ?
Microsoft Xbox
2006-02-23 ¥5,800 (6,090) 55A-00001
Microsoft Xbox
2006-02-21[1]  ? SKU-64063
Microsoft Xbox
2006-03-17  ? ?
Windows PC
2006-11-17  ? ?
Windows PC
2006-11-24  ? ?

Sonic Riders (ソニックライダーズ) is a hover-board based racing game released for the Sony PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Xbox. It is the fourth Sonic-related racing game, preceded by Sonic Drift, Sonic Drift 2 and Sonic R, and followed by two sequels, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity and Sonic Free Riders. For a short while the Xbox version of the game was released with a free Sonic X DVD, which contained five episodes from the first and second seasons.

This game introduces five new playable characters, the Babylon Rogues and the E-10000 series. In addition to the new characters, characters from other Sega games are also playable. This includes Ulala from Space Channel 5, NiGHTS from NiGHTS into Dreams, and Aiai from Super Monkey Ball.

The game differs from traditional racers (such as Sonic R) in its use of air-based travel with features such as "turbulence" affecting gameplay. Despite its uniqueness, it has been compared to other racers such as F-Zero, Kirby Air Ride, and SSX.

A Game Boy Advance version was in the works but ultimately cancelled.


Sonic, Tails and Knuckles are walking through Metal City one evening, and Tails detects a Chaos Emerald on his radar. Glass shatters and from Metal City Bank fall Jet the Hawk, Wave the Swallow and Storm the Albatross, who have the Chaos Emerald! Sonic and Knuckles manage to knock Storm off the hover board he was riding, but Wave catches Storm and gives him a lift. Sonic steals the board the clumsy albatross left behind and pursues Jet. However, Jet gives Sonic a taste of his own medicine, and the group, known as Babylon Rogues, escape. Wave slows down a bit, allowing Storm to grab his hover board, then they get away.

The next day, Sonic found that Doctor Eggman had set up a hover board racing tournament, with the prize being the very Chaos Emerald that was stolen, and the top three entries being the thieves! Sonic and his friends promptly pay the entry fee of one Chaos Emerald and take up the challenge. But what was Eggman's true motive, and what of the three thieving birds? Sonic and his friends must face off against the Babylon Guardian to find out.


The game is played entirely on hover boards. Players must race seven other competitors on a total of 14 tracks. A key component of the game is the air tank, which fuels the Extreme Gear (machines used for racing), and is depleted gradually as the race goes on or by performing certain maneuvers. These maneuvers include cornering, which involves using the air as a sideways force against the board, allowing the player to round sharp turns with ease, and building tension before a jump, which involves using the air to propel the player higher off of ramps. When airborne players can perform various tricks, which refill the air gauge according to their rating. Riding off the turbulence another board gives off will also refuel the air gauge. Building the tension before a jump will allow the player to perform more tricks before landing. Throughout the courses, there are many rings scattered around. Picking them will allow the player to reach higher performance levels. Players start races at Level 1 which can be maxed out to level 3 with 60-100 rings. Possibly the most costly maneuver in terms of air is boosting, by which a player greatly increases speed for a short duration. If a boost is performed when in close range of an enemy racer, the player will launch an attack against the racer, causing them to lose rings, and remain stunned for a short duration.

Player Attributes

Each racer in the game has one of three beneficial attributes: Speed, Flight, and Power. The Speed attribute allows players to grind along rails. The Flight attribute allows players to go airborne by going through a series of suspended hoops. The Power attribute allows players to knock certain obstacles out of their way. Each of these maneuvers will refill the air gauge partially when used.




Super Sonic has all three attributes thus can't be categorized into a single category. When using Super Sonic he will start off with 30 rings, instead of the usual 50 in other games. Also, when you lose all your rings, Sonic only needs one ring to change back to Super Sonic again. It is possible to ride Blue Star instead of just floating across the track with no board.

Other Characters

These are characters which play a role in the game but are not actually playable.

  • Omochao: Omochao is the announcer for the races. He has a new voice, along with the rest of the crew.
  • E-10000Y: A flight robot that appears in Egg Factory, and tries to thaw the ice in Ice Factory.
  • E-10000P: Purple robots that are in production. The production of the E-10000Ps stops when the factory is frozen.
  • Amigo: A monkey that plays maracas at a concert in SEGA Carnival.
  • Axel: A man with green hair who drives the Crazy Taxi.
  • Opa-Opa: Enemies in SEGA Illusion.

Gameplay Modes

Several gameplay modes are available. These include races with different level completion objectives and a Shop mode where the player can spend gathered rings.

  • Story Mode: Players take part in a series of races, one after the other. As the game goes on a story is unveiled via cutscenes. The objective of the mode is to defeat the Babylon Rogues. After the initial story is completed, another story is unlocked, in which players control the Babylon Rogues in a quest to find hidden treasures. The levels in this story are, altered and more difficult. These levels become unlocked after completing this story mode in addition to extra characters. At the end of this alternate story, players battle the only boss in the game. The Heroes Story contains six races; Babylon Garden is the final Heroes story mode stage. Babylon's Story contains 7, but the last race, Babylon Guardian, is played as Sonic.
  • Mission Mode: Only unlocked after successfully completing the original story. Players must complete various missions in order to unlock secret gears.
  • Survival Mode: A special mode of gameplay consisting of two separate modes: race and battle. Race mode requires players to grab a Chaos Emerald on the track and pass through five hoops while avoiding opponents whom will try to steal the Emerald. The Emerald is stolen by attacking the player holding it. Battle mode involves launching attacks at the three other racers on the track. Each racer begins with three health points. The racer loses a health point every time they are attacked. The last racer standing wins the match.
  • Shop: Players can purchase new Extreme Gear with the rings collected in previous races.

Interesting Facts

Character Trivia

  • This game, while technically developed by "Sonic Team" actually comes from the part of Sonic Team that used to be United Game Artists, who developed Space Channel 5 (the game Ulala comes from), and Rez along with Feel the Magic: XY/XX, and The Rub Rabbits!. United Game Artists eventually merged with Sonic Team.
  • The inclusion of NiGHTS, Ulala and AiAi was confirmed very early on at The GHZ, although some denied the reliability of the info.
  • The appearance of AiAi was officially confirmed by Nintendo Power magazine, however, many were in such disbelief, that they believed the report to be a mistake, and wanted to hear it from Sega and/or Sonic Team first. Nintendo Power also started a false rumor that Mario would appear as a racer on the GameCube version.
  • The Babylon symbol is a "magic lamp" with wind markings around it as a reference to being descendants of "real genies".
  • When watching the story cutscene before the Babylon Guardian race, Amy Rose is wearing her normal red dress, but when the race starts, she is wearing her pink racing clothes.
  • E-10000R is said to be made using the engine parts of Metal Sonic according to the Japanese Sonic Riders website.
  • In Rouge's official art her eyelids are blue, but in races, on the tailing map at the bottom of the screen Rouge's icon has pink eyelids, this could be because these images are just snapshots from other 3D sonic games, and Rouges image was ripped from Sonic Heroes.

Track Trivia

  • The design for Metal City looks very similar to Mute City, an area from the F-Zero series.
  • When starting a race in Metal City and an overview of the track is shown, during the second shot, a billboard is visible in the top right showing a picture of Sonic running from a whale in Sonic Adventure, next to that is a picture of Sonic's artwork from Sonic Heroes.
  • In the Sega Carnival, when entering Crazy Taxi's city a big sign can be seen indicating a right turn, but if you go in the small space (on the left) your character can get a free ride in a taxi with a man named Axel. He stops near the finish line and lets the character out, and during replays Axel can be seen pushing a button on the Taxi, then fling away... literally.
  • The Sega Carnival and Sega Illusion stages feature numerous references to several other Sega franchises, including Samba de Amigo, Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, NiGHTS into Dreams, Super Monkey Ball, Crazy Taxi, Space Channel 5, ChuChu Rocket!, and Fantasy Zone.

Story Mode Trivia

  • During the cutscene at the beginning of the Hero story, but before the Babylon Rogues interrupt, the Future City theme can be heard faintly. This is actually the basis for the music of the SEGA Carnival track.
  • In the Heroes Story opening scene, during Eggman's announcement, a city that appears to be "Central City" can be seen in some monitors behind him. Either that is the case or the monitors are actually windows.
  • In the CG introduction to the Heroes Story, the exhaust coming from the Type-S is green, as though Storm is at Level 1. After Sonic steals the board, the exhaust coming from the back is blue. Also, when Wave is using the Type-W, the exhaust is green, which changes to blue immediately when Storm grabs on.

Music Trivia

  • "High Flying Groove" is Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles' first instrumental theme song.
  • "Sonic Speed Riders" and "Catch Me If You Can" were performed by the same person/group (Runblebee).
  • The game is the first post-Sonic Adventure console game in which Crush 40 did not perform any theme songs, excluding Sonic Shuffle, which lacked a theme song entirely.

Miscellaneous Trivia

  • Speed, located in the bottom right corner, cannot actually refer to mph, otherwise this would mean that Eggman can run backward at 20 mph and forward at 150 mph (although he does run as quickly as Sonic in Sonic Adventure 2's Chao World minigame). The actual measure may possibly be meters per hour.
  • The Archie Sonic Comic issues #163 and #164 include an adaptation of Sonic Riders, even using the same art style that is used in the game's title sequence. Two characters are also seen riding Extreme Gear in issue #173. Bark the Polar Bear and Bean the Dynamite also use Extreme Gear in the Archie Comics.


Sonic Retro emblem.svg Main article: Sonic Riders manuals

Also Released On

Voice actors

Dr. Eggman is both voiced by Deem Bristow and Mike Pollock. However, most of his gameplay dialogue are actually voice clips that were recycled from Sonic Adventure 2. Deem Bristow died before the release of Sonic Riders. Wave uses some of Blaze the Cat's voice clips from Sonic Rush; they both are voiced by the same person.

Character English Voice Actor Japanese Voice Actor
Sonic the Hedgehog Jason Griffith Junichi Kanemaru
Jet the Hawk Jason Griffith Daisuke Kishio
Miles "Tails" Prower Amy Palant Ryo Hirohashi
Wave the Swallow Bella Hudson Chie Nakamura
Knuckles the Echidna Dan Green Nobutoshi Canna
Storm the Albatross Dan Green Kenji Nomura
Doctor Eggman Mike Pollock (cutscenes)
Deem Bristow (gameplay)
Chikao Ōtsuka
Amy Rose Lisa Ortiz Taeko Kawata
Shadow the Hedgehog Jason Griffith Kōji Yusa
Rouge the Bat Kathleen Delaney Rumi Ochiai
Cream the Rabbit Rebecca Honig Sayaka Aoki
E-10000G Maddie Blaustein
E-10000R Maddie Blaustein
AiAi Kaoru Morota
Ulala Apollo Smile
Omochao Liza Jacqueline Etsuko Kozakura

The PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC versions have both voice language tracks included in the game disc. The PlayStation 2 version, together with a multi-lingual text language option, features an additional option to switch between both English and Japanese voice language, though this is only present in the Japanese and North American versions. The EU/PAL PlayStation 2 version remove this feature and only has the text language option present, defaulting the voices automatically to the system language. The PC version has both a text and a voice language option which are present in all its regional variations, but these can only be found in the external game settings instead of the proper options menu of the game like in the JP and US PlayStation 2 versions. Since the Xbox version doesn't feature any language option at all, neither of text nor of voice, the only way to have the Japanese voices in this version is changing the console language to Japanese in order to set the game entirely in Japanese.

The GameCube version features only one voice track in the disc and according to the regional version, due to size constraints. The Western versions have the English voice language whereas the Japanese version has the Japanese one, while the text language is entirely multi-lingual and manually selectionable in all regional versions.

Production credits

For a complete list of the game's production credits, please click the following link: Sonic Riders credits

Sales data

Number of copies sold Sega IR Reference Platforms Regions Cumulative sales total Notes
590,000 FY2006 Full Year Results, FY2006 Full Year Appendix, FY2006 Annual Report PS2/XB/GC US (or NA) 590,000 The FY 2006 Full Year Results, which describe the individual amount of units the game sold in the United States and Europe, erroneously describe the game's platform for the Nintendo DS. The FY 2006 Full Year Appendix and Annual Report however do describe the game with the proper release platforms, and the amount of total sold units matching those in the Full Year Results.
340,000 " " EU 930,000
130,000 FY2007 1st Quarter Results PS2/XB/GC US (or NA) 1,060,000
290,000 FY2007 3rd Quarter Results " " 1,350,000
140,000 FY2007 Full Year Results " " 1,490,000


Concept Art




Physical scans

GameCube version

GameCube, US
Riders us boxart.jpg
Sr gc us disc.jpg
SonicRiders GC US manual.pdf
GameCube, US (Player's Choice)
Riders gc us pc cover.jpg
GameCube, EU (Promo)
Riders gc eu.jpg
GameCube, UK
Riders gc eu box full.jpg
GameCube, JP
SonicRiders GC JP Box Back.jpgRiders gc jp.jpg
Riders gc jp disc.jpg
Sonic Riders GC JP Manual.pdf
Sonic Riders GC JP Card.pdf
Reg Card
GameCube, DE
Riders gc de cover.jpg

PlayStation 2 version

PlayStation 2, US
Riders ps2 us.jpg
Riders ps2 us cd.jpg
PlayStation 2, US (Greatest Hits)
Riders ps2 us gh cover.jpg
PlayStation 2, EU (Promo)
Sonic Riders PS2 Promo Cover.jpg
Sonic Riders PS2 Promo Disc.jpg
PlayStation 2, JP
Riders ps2 jp.jpg
Riders ps2 jp disc.jpg
Riders ps2 jp manual.pdf
PlayStation 2, AU
Riders ps2 au cover.jpg
Riders ps2 au disc.jpg
PlayStation 2, UK

PlayStation 2, FR

PlayStation 2, DE
Riders ps2 de cover.jpg
PlayStation 2, ES
Riders ps2 es cover.jpg
PlayStation 2, PT
Riders ps2 eu.jpg
Riders ps2 eu disc.jpg
PlayStation 2, KR
Riders ps2 kr cover.jpg
PlayStation 2, TW
Sonic Riders PS2 TW.jpg

Xbox version

Xbox, US
Riders xbx us.jpg
Riders xbx us disc.jpg
SonicRiders Xbox US manual.pdf
Xbox, JP
Riders xbox jp back cover.jpgNospine.pngRiders xbx jp.jpg
Xbox, UK
Riders xbx eu.jpg
Riders xbx eu disc.jpg
Xbox, FR
Riders xbx fr cover.jpg
Xbox, DE
Riders xbx de cover.jpg
Xbox, ES
SonicRiders XBOX COVER IT ES.jpg
Riders xbx eu disc.jpg
Xbox, IT
SonicRiders XBOX COVER IT ES.jpg
Riders xbx eu disc.jpg
Xbox, TW
Sonic Riders Xbox TW.jpg

PC version

Riders pc us cover.jpg
Riders EU PC cover.jpg
Riders eu pc dvd.jpg
SonicRiders PC UK manual.pdf

PC, UK (White Label)
Sonic Riders PC White Label EU.jpg
Sonic Riders PC White Label EU disc.jpg

PC, FR (Hits Collection)

PC, FR (Le Club des Héros)


Riders pc pt cover.jpg
PC, AU (Gamer's Choice)

PC, AU (Five Star Games)


PC, TR (Best Hits)

External links


Sonic Riders
SonicRiders title.png

Main page
Cheat codes

Promotional material
Magazine articles

Hacking guide

Sonic games for the following systems
Nintendo GameCube
 2001  Sonic Adventure 2: Battle     2002  Sonic Mega Collection     2003  Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut | Sonic Heroes     2005  Sonic Gems Collection | Shadow the Hedgehog | Duo Pack: Sonic Heroes/Super Monkey Ball 2     2006  Sonic Riders    
Sony PlayStation 2
 2003  Sonic Heroes     2004  Sonic Mega Collection Plus     2005  Sonic Gems Collection | Shadow the Hedgehog     2006  Sonic Riders | Sega Genesis Collection     2008  Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity | Sonic Unleashed     2009  Sega Fun Pack: Sonic Mega Collection Plus & Shadow the Hedgehog    
Microsoft Xbox
 2003  Sonic Heroes     2004  Sonic Mega Collection Plus     2005  Shadow the Hedgehog | 2 in 1 Combo Pack: Sonic Heroes/Super Monkey Ball Deluxe | 2 in 1 Combo Pack: Sonic Mega Collection Plus/Super Monkey Ball Deluxe     2006  Sonic Riders    
Windows PC
 1996  Sonic the Hedgehog CD | Sonic the Hedgehog The Screen Saver | Sonic's Schoolhouse     1997  Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island | Sonic R     2003  Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut     2004  Sonic Heroes     2006  Sonic Riders     2010  Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing     2011  Sonic Generations     2013  Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed