Sonic games aren’t exactly known for their power-ups in the same way Mario games are—there isn’t any merchandise lovingly depicting a variety of monitors like there are T-Shirts and artwork featuring mushrooms and shells. At any rate, Sonic did have some decent power-ups (I loved getting the 10 Rings or Invincibility ones), but at the same time, the series boasted some pretty questionable ones as well. Here are five power-ups that you’d rather not get in the Sonic games.
5 – Power Sneakers/Speed Shoes
Growing up playing the first Sonic game on the Genesis, I learned quickly that some power-ups were not worth scouring for. Sonic’s Speed Shoes are the epitome of useless power-ups—the blue streak already runs faster than the speed of light, why does he need to go faster? Half the time Sonic would just fly off the screen anyway. Why would Sega put this trickery into the game to begin with? The Genesis was only 16 bits!
4 – Sonic 3: Fire Shield
Sonic 3 was an innovative game for its time. Besides the save game options, Sonic 3 also boasted a variety of special shields unique to different elements in each level. Sometimes, though, the shields didn’t last very long through no fault of the player. Once Sonic obtained a Fire Shield, he could double jump and bust through enemies like they were nothing… except if they were underwater, then the Fire Shield was put out immediately. It’s kind of emasculating for Sonic to have his big bad Fire Shield annihilated by a puddle.
3 – Sonic 2: One-Up for Other Player
Playing with a pal in the two-player mode is always fun, except for a few pesky monitors, one of which is the one-up box. One-up boxes are usually a welcomed bonus, except when you’re playing as Sonic and hit a one-up for Tails while you’re trying to beat him.
2 – Sonic 2: Dr. Eggman/Robotnik
After faithfully playing and completing the first Sonic game, you know that only goodness comes inside those little monitors (except for those questionable shoes, of course, but even then, are they really all that bad?) so you know you can comfortably jump on any monitor in the follow-up games for similar, if not improved, power-ups. Eventually, you’ll come across a weird face with Krusty the Klown hair inside a monitor. Looks like fun, let’s have a little jump and—oh, Robotnik inside a box. Who even put that there? Now all your rings are gone. Great.
1 – Sonic 2: Teleporter
Imagine this: you’re zipping your way through Mystic Cave. You’re beating the heck out of Sonic—more rings, more posts, more points—and you’re almost at the end when BAM! Sonic hits a Teleporter monitor and you change places. Sonic finishes ahead of you and if your time doesn’t run out, you’ll likely die from falling into a pit of spikes. The Teleporter is a damn bitch.
Honorable Mention: Super Sonic
Not a power up item at all, but Super Sonic is so annoyingly twitchy that I had to include him somewhere. Super Sonic made his debut in Sonic 2 where the player must collect all seven of the Chaos Emeralds in the bonus levels, then return to the regular game and collect 50 rings then jump to unleash the yellow fury. We used to call him “Sonic on Acid.” Even just resting, Super Sonic is still tweaking.
Are you angry about other Sonic power-ups? Hate those rings? Leave a comment!