From Sonic Retro
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Speed Boosters are objects in the Sonic games which give the player an instant burst of speed. These are usually placed where speed needs to be constant, like loops or corkscrews, however they can also be used to change direction quickly. While Springs do give a quick burst of speed, a speed booster works only in one direction, while Springs can be directed in many directions.
Mega Drive Games
In the old games, Boosters were modeled after the environment they were placed. The exception, Sonic 3D Blast had a unified booster, a Spin-Dash Launcher.
- Chemical Plant Zone - Twin-spinning posts
- Wing Fortress Zone - Plane Launchers
- Stardust Speedway - Speed Booster. Two-way boosters also exist.
Game Gear / Master System Games
The speed boosters in Sonic Chaos are all the same, with a different palette according to the zone.
With most modern titles, they have been unified into Dash Pads aka Dash Panels, which can be placed in any environment. Dash Pads also are capable of directing Sonic at high speeds as seen in Sonic Unleashed.
Modern titles also have Jump Plates, which are basically combining the Dash Pad and the Spring.
Speed Boosters also make appearances in titles developed by Dimps, using the Chemical Plant design.