From Sonic Retro

Bumpers are items that deflect the player back in the direction from which they were hit. They have appeared, in one form or another, in all of the Sonic the Hedgehog games. Their first appearance was, unsurprisingly, in Sonic 1's Spring Yard Zone. Although their visual style has changed through the games' timeline, their basic function remains the same: to serve as an obstacle in a pinball/casino-themed level.

It should be noted that bumpers are closely related to springs, in that while springs only catapult the player in one direction, bumpers bounce the player off in the same direction that they encountered the obstacle.

When hit, bumpers (in the 16-bit games) generally give the player a point bonus unless the player hits one too many times.

Appearances in the series

BumperS1SYZ.png Sonic 1

Found in Spring Yard Zone (and in the Special Stage), the Sonic 1 bumper is a blue circle semi-covered by a yellow five-point star, with a thin red outer ring. When Sonic hits this obstacle, the bumper expands slightly and propels him backwards. These are commonly found in the more open areas of the zone, where Sonic is free to bounce around pinball-style.

BumperS2CNZ.png Sonic 2

Sonic 2 has a number of different bumpers, all found in Casino Night Zone:

  • Hexagonal: This bumper has a blue outer ring, and cycles through many colours on the inside. It is also capable of side-to-side movement; however, it does not give the player a point bonus when hit.
  • Star: This bumper is a blue circle with thin yellow and slightly thicker red outer rings. This bumper is similar to that found in Sonic 1; however, this bumper's star is white. This bumper gives a 10-point bonus to the player for each hit.
  • Triangle: This bumper is triangular, and has two forms. The first is an isosceles right-angled triangle found in corners; the second has a longer base and a shorter height, found on floors and walls. These differ in colour, too; the first is red and green, with a small white 'crown' insignia in its centre. There are also two "screws" at the end of the green band's hypotenuse. The second, however, is a blue triangle with an orange and a red outer band. Again, there are two "screws" at the ends of the longest side of the orange band. Again, neither of these bumpers gives a point bonus to the player.
  • Block: This bumper, which vaguely resembles a burger, stays in its place until it is destroyed after it is hit three times. Its first colour is lime green; after it is hit once, it turns yellow. After it is hit again, it turns red. After it is hit a third time, the bumper disappears. With each hit, the bumper gives the player the standard ten-point bonus - meaning the player gets thirty points for each 'block' bumper destroyed.
  • Special bumper: This bumper requires a "CNZ SPECIAL BUMPER" tag to function.

BumperS3CNZ.png Sonic 3 & Knuckles BumperS3BS.png

Found in Carnival Night Zone and the Special Stage, this level's bumper is a simple white orb with a red four-point star in the centre. These appear either alone or in groups, and are capable of movement in any direction. Some groups may rotate in a circle-like fashion, others form lines and spin parallel to a certain point.

A second kind of bumper can be found in the Slot Machine Bonus Stage.

BumperSCDCCZ.png Sonic CD

The bumpers appearing in this game can be found in Collision Chaos Zone.

Sonic 3D Blast

Spring Stadium had circular bumpers that have red/yellow alternating rings. The zone also has triangle bumpers on the corners of slanted areas in the zone.

Knuckles Chaotix

Bumper Balls appear in the Special Stage.

Sonic R

Bumpers appear in Radical City's pinball table section of the course.

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 | Power Core | Light Cores
Level Objects   Monitor | Spring | Spikes | Checkpoint | Time Warp Plate | Signpost | Goal Ring | Giant Ring | Capsule | Button | Bumper | Speed Booster | 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
Devices   Remote Robot | Combi Confiner | Mother Computer | Arks of the Cosmos | Miles Electric
Other   Chili Dog | Scepter of Darkness | Nega's Camera | Cacophonic Conch