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aka: Sonic Rush Adventure

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The Sonic Rush series is a pair of games in Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog franchise developed by Sonic Team with Dimps and released for the Nintendo DS: Sonic Rush (2005) and Sonic Rush Adventure (2007). Both games are similar to the Sonic Advance trilogy in that they are reminiscent of the classic side-scrollers for the Mega Drive/Genesis.

The two games have a storyline involving inter-dimensional travel in one way or another, and thus we are introduced to Sonic and Dr. Eggman's alternate dimension counterparts: Blaze the Cat and Dr. Eggman Nega. The Chaos Emeralds also have alternate dimension counterparts in the form of the Sol Emeralds, which Blaze must protect at all costs.

A gameplay feature introduced in this pair of games is the Sonic Boost; while holding down the X or Y buttons, your character will gain a boost of speed as long as the tension meter is not empty; the meter can be filled up by destroying enemies and performing tricks. The Boost would later be a major part of gameplay in later 3D Sonic games.

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Sega have all but admitted that the DS version of Sonic Colors (2010) can be considered an unofficial third installment in the series.note 

Playable Characters

  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Slightly faster and can perform the Homing Attack. Compared to Blaze, his running animation has smaller but faster strides.
  • Blaze the Cat: Superior airtime and distance with R-trigger tricks and can slow her descent by shooting flames from her feet. Her running animation is slower than Sonic's but she takes much larger strides.

These would notably be the last "original" Sonic games that Dimps made before they switched to making adaptations of Sonic Team-made console games for handhelds.


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The Sonic Rush series provides examples of:

  • 2½D: Everything except Sonic and Blaze in normal levels is a sprite, but the bosses, their arenas, and special stages use full 3D graphics and gimmicks that make use of 3D perspective. Some levels have 3D sections, like the platform in Mirage Road, hang glider in Altitude Limit, parallel rails in Plant Kingdom, and the mine cart in Coral Cave, all of which use a 3D perspective, but the obstacles (save the lava pits in the latter) are sprites.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: Altitude Limit in the first game takes place in a military base high in the clouds.
  • All Myths Are True: Lampshaded in Adventure, when the heroes are told of the legend of an ancient civilization that lived in a city in the sky, and Marine demands they investigate immediately.
    Marine: Think about it, mate: legends! When has a legend ever not been true, huh? HUH?!
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The True Final Boss of Rush is fought in a brightly-colored dimensional rift, the result of Sonic and Blaze's worlds merging together.
  • Amen Break: Used in the Final Boss theme "Bomber Barbara" in Rush.
  • An Aesop: Friendship is awesome! You can't do everything alone.
  • Anti-Grinding: If you attempt to bounce on the same spring multiple times in order to fill the boost meter, the game will give you less and less energy until you get none at all. In addition, you can only get the Animal bonus the first time you interact with any such setpiece. Rush Adventure adds to this by giving you bonus boost stars only after the first bounce off any spring.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Even without considering their Secret A.I. Moves, the opposing boss in the Sonic vs. Blaze fight is a massive step up from the ease of usual character boss fights in this series. The opponent does its best to not leave any openings, and so it will take quick thinking on the player's part to get in a hit during those short moments.
  • Attack Reflector: Super Sonic's boost does this against the True Final Boss of the first game, while it gets split off into its own move in the sequel.
  • Be Yourself: One of the lessons Blaze learns in the first game.
  • Big Bad: Dr. Eggman and Dr. Eggman Nega in the first game and Captain Whisker in Adventure. However, the former two are the true Big Bads in Adventure, and they serve as the True Final Boss.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": At the climax of the Sonic vs. Blaze boss fight in Rush, Blaze shouts "Enough!" at Sonic in response to him chipping away at her reasons for always fighting alone, which is followed by the resulting boost finisher.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The word "Sol" means Sun in Spanish and Portuguese. Blaze's emeralds are literally powered by the Sun itself.
  • Blade Lock: Sonic and Blaze do a variation with their heads by boosting into each other in the Sonic vs. Blaze boss fight.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: You wouldn't think Blaze would need one, but Rush Adventure introduces us to Gardon, a koala who serves as Blaze's personal guard. Possibly lampshaded though, as Gardon doesn't really do anything except inform Blaze of the locations of Sol Emeralds. He even asks Sonic to take good care of the princess.
  • Bottomless Pits: Loads in Rush, sometimes in the form of lasers that cause instant death on contact, but notably much less frequent until near the end of the game in Rush Adventure.
  • Call-Back: The cutscene leading to the Last Story in Rush calls back to the opening cutscene of the Perfect Chaos fight in Sonic Adventure, as the Sol Emeralds are reduced to ordinary stones due to Eggman and Nega draining their power, and Blaze's friendship powers them back up.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The origin of Eggman Nega being from the Sol Dimension has been rendered non-canon by Word of God. He's actually Eggman's descendant from 200 years into the future, the same time period that Silver is from as told Sonic Rivals, and that anything that says otherwise should simply be ignored. However, it's worth nothing that while in Rush, Eggman Nega referred to Blaze's world as "my world" or "our world", in Rush Adventure, which was released after Rivals, he simply refers to it as "this world". Considering the type of person Eggman Nega is, it's not too farfetched that he'd lie about his origins and masquerade as a dimensional counterpart of Eggman to hide his true identity.
  • Cats Are Mean: Blaze was a bit of a Jerkass when she was first introduced. She quickly got better, though.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Amy Rose got really pissed when she heard that Sonic was seen with a feline and only calmed down when told it wasn't like that.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • Rush Adventure has the Emerald Races against Johnny. He cannot be hurt himself, but can damage the player by dropping bombs and firing missiles in addition to his own boost gauge. Upgrading the jet ski is a necessity in order to obtain the final two Emeralds.
    • In Sonic and Blaze's boss fight, they both have moves you can't normally access in the levels. Obviously justified, as it is a boss fight and normally having those moves could make levels easier to finish.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Dr. Eggman and Dr. Eggman Nega describe the Chaos and Sol Emeralds as being sort of a north and south pole to each other in the first game. In Adventure, Sonic and Blaze describe it the same way after defeating the very men who first described it that way.
    • Huge Crisis in Rush features G.U.N. robots as enemies.
  • Continuity Snarl: This series says Blaze is from another dimension. Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) says she's from the future. Epileptic Trees tries to rectify this, with one theory stating that Blaze's world is really the future and she only thought she'd traveled to another dimension. With the release of Rush Adventure, however, this viewpoint holds little ground, as that game goes into further detail about the nature of her world and makes it clear that it is indeed a parallel universe.
    • In 2012, it was confirmed by Takashi Iizuka, the head of Sonic Team, that Blaze is indeed from another dimension, and that Sonic 06 should be ignored. Similarly, there is another conflict with Eggman Nega identifying himself as from another dimension in Rush and as his descendant in Rivals. Takashi Iizuka says that the latter origin is true, and that the former should be ignored.
  • Creepy Jazz Music: Adventure has a loud, jazzy tune play during the Dual Boss battle with Captain Whisker and his Dragon, Johnny.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Prior to becoming friends with Sonic, Blaze hated her powers, as they brought her nothing but loneliness and misery.
    Blaze: I am the guardian of the Sol Emeralds... It is a fate that forces me to live with my curse, my flames... Because of my powers, I have always been alone... It's also why I must do this alone! It is my responsibility!
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Blaze is cold and aloof at the beginning of her arc, but warms up to Sonic and his friends thanks to her growing friendship with Cream.
  • Deus ex Machina: Marine disrupting the Egg Wizard with a mysterious power. At no point in the game is it even hinted that she has offensive powers of her own.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Blaze and Marine to Sonic and Tails.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • A non-sexual example, but the Final Boss track Wrapped In Black, with the constant repetition of "Too black, too strong" had a lot of people making coffee references. note 
    • The official soundtrack version of Vela-Nova, the music that plays during the Duel Boss between Sonic and Blaze, also counts. In game, it legitimately fits the scuffle. However, the OST version sounds like they're fighting in a different way thanks to one small line at the end: "(sigh) Let's do it."
  • Dual Boss: Captain Whisker and Johnny team up as the penultimate boss fight in Sonic Rush Adventure.
  • Duel Boss: You face off against the other playable character as the boss of the first game's Dead Line.
  • Elemental Powers:
    • Sonic can stir up a tornado during the boss battle in dead Line. His boost is also implied to be so destructive because it conjures a shield by disrupting the air around him.
    • As guardian of the Sol Emeralds, Blaze was born with flame powers.
  • Eternal Engine:
    • Huge Crisis and Dead Line from the first game take place in a military naval fleet and a space station, respectively.
    • Machine Labyrinth from the second is an industrial complex powered up by steam.
  • Evolving Music:
    • In Adventure, the Windmill Village music speeds up and gains instruments every time you craft a new vehicle.
    • Downplayed in Rush. The world map music changes slightly once the Final Zone is unlocked.
  • Fate Drives Us Together: Blaze seems to suggest this to Sonic at the end of Sonic Rush Adventure.
    Blaze: Do you think that maybe you were brought here for a reason?
    Sonic: Brought here? By who?
    Blaze: (smiling) By the Emeralds.
    Sonic: (pauses, looking confused, then smiles) Heh, well, you never know.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Eggman and Nega engage in this during their monologue prior to Rush's True Final Boss.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Other than going faster, this is the boost's primary purpose.
  • Forgot I Could Fly: Subverted, Blaze is capable of flying by creating two small jets of flame under her feet, but she willingly avoids using this ability during the story because she is scared of heights. Cream decides to carry her around instead.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Rush Adventure's four-man band.
    • Sanguine: Marine.
    • Choleric: Sonic.
    • Melancholic: Blaze.
    • Phlegmatic: Tails.
  • Fungus Humongous: Plant Kingdom, the opening stage in Adventure, is filled with giant mushroom that Sonic and Blaze can bounce on to reach higher places.
  • Ghost Ship: Haunted Ship is the fourth level of Adventure. All the enemies and the boss are robots, but their designs are appropriately supernatural-themed.
  • Guide Dang It!: Sonic Rush seems to leave a lot to the player to guess, to the point that the game's own manual doesn't even explain game controls. Some basic moves like the various tricks aren't intuitive, and most interestingly Night Carnival Zone has a point that requires the use of a non-intuitive maneuver to move past (the player needs to gain extra height off a spring by performing an up-trick with R+Up), creating a trap point much like Carnival Night Zone and its infamous barrel.
  • Heroic Lineage: It's stated in Rush Adventure by Eggman Nega that Blaze's royal family has existed and guarded the Jeweled Scepter for generations.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: In Adventure, the Big Bad is initially believed to be Captain Whisker. After the credits, it's revealed that he was just a pawn and the real villains are Eggman and Eggman Nega.
  • Jungle Japes: In both games, the first zone takes place in a dense jungle.
  • Killed Off for Real: The Ghost Titan's explosion sank Whisker's ship to the bottom of the sea, implying that Whisker, Mini, Mum, and all the other pirates (excluding Johnny) have been killed.
  • Kill Enemies to Open: Some acts will trap the player in a certain area where several enemies appear. The player must then defeat all enemies to escape and continue through the level, with a counter showing how many of them are left.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In Adventure, the other three heroes are well aware of how annoying Marine can be. Blaze telling her off late into the plot is cathartic to most players as a result.
  • Land Down Under: The English-language version of Marine peppers her dialogue with many Australian expressions and slangs. Contrast with the original character, who speaks a dialect from Osaka, which is in the southern area of Japan.
  • Leader Wannabe: Marine thinks she's the leader, but her teammates only think of her as an annoying nuisance.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Deep Core, the setting for the final battle with Eggman and Eggman Nega in Adventure, is deep underground and above a river of lava.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Played with. Blaze knows Sonic isn't in league with Eggman, but fights Sonic anyway in an attempt to end his involvement in what she considers 'her problem'.
  • Loner-Turned-Friend: Blaze opens up considerably to other people thanks to Character Development in the first game, although she's still introverted.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Captain Whisker was actually working for Eggman and Eggman Nega.
  • Merged Reality: The plot of the first game sees Blaze's world being drawn into Sonic's due to the displacement of the Sol Emeralds. This is very much a bad thing, and Blaze is out to reclaim the Emeralds before the process is complete and both realities are irrevocably ruined.
  • Mile-Long Ship: There is one instance in both games. Unlike most other examples of the trope, which are spaceships, both of the Sonic Rush games' examples are nautical vessels, with Huge Crisis in the first game and Haunted Ship in the second.
  • Minor Insult Meltdown: When Blaze calls Marine a nuisance, the raccoon takes a severe blow to her confidence and runs away sobbing.
  • Mirror Boss: The boss in Dead Line has access to a similar moveset as the player character, namely a soin jump, spin dash and the boost. However, they also have unique powers of their own: Sonic can create tornadoes, while Blaze can raise pillars of fire.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: As Hideki Naganuma composed for the first game, it carries his trademark hodgepodge of genres and samples from other titles like Jet Set Radio and Ollie King. Rush Adventure didn't have him as a composer, though some of its soundtrack mimics his style anyway.
  • Nerf: The Rolling Attack's ability to pick up momentum from hills was massively nerfed in order to encourage more use of the new boost.
  • Nitro Boost: This game marks the first appearance of the Sonic Boost ability. It would later be introduced to the 3D series in Unleashed, Colors, and modern Sonic's ability in Generations.
  • Nostalgia Level: The final secret island in Adventure is a remake of the first zone from its predecessor.
  • One-Hit Kill: Most of the bosses in the first game have an instant-kill attack. Fortunately, they're usually heavily telegraphed, and Eggman prefaces them with a unique audio cue ("Get ready to be schooled!"). Adventure only has one from the final part of the Ghost Titan, though it is easily interrupted with a simple spin jump.
  • Opposites Attract:
    • In both games, there is the Big Bad Duumvirate of Eggman and Eggman Nega. Both share the same intellect, but while the former is a pragmatic villain, the latter is a cold sociopath with little regard to the lives of others and even his own.
    • The Chaos and Sol Emeralds are said to be like magnets, and can either attract or repel each other. Sonic and Blaze's personalities can be described the same way, and considering their connections to the emeralds, this parallel seems to be intentional.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Sonic and Blaze do this in Adventure after the Ghost Titan goes up in a massive explosion.
  • Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: Present in Rush as per usual, but unusually absent in Adventure. This isn't too much of a problem though, as while the latter game has more underwater sections, almost all of them are brief.
  • Palmtree Panic: The Hidden Island levels in Adventure that do not lift the themes from the game's first 5 stages take place in a tropical island similar to the hub world.
  • Parental Abandonment: In the first game, Blaze tells Sonic that she's always been alone, which would explain her emotional issues and why she's tasked with guarding the Sol Emeralds at the young age of 14. But in Rush Adventure, it's stated that she has a living family, though they are unseen.
  • Pause Scumming: In the special stages, you control Sonic using the touchscreen. By moving the stylus across the screen, you move Sonic around to the left and right. The thing is, Sonic doesn't actually move towards where you're touching, he just instantly appears at any spot you touch. So if you're having trouble, you can pause the game, touch the area you want Sonic to be at, and unpause to have him appear there much faster than you would normally be able to move your hand. You can also exploit this during the sequences when you're forced to tap spots in a specific order, since pausing the game does not obscure the action with a menu.
  • Pirate Girl: Marine the Raccoon from Adventure is a captain of her own pirate ship, whose group antagonizes Captain Whisker, an evil pirate.
  • Pirate Parrot: While Captain Whisker's sidekicks, Mini & Mum, don't particularly look like parrots, they share some traits with them, such as always being seen near their captain's shoulders. In the Japanese version, the only other parrot trait they have is repeating certain phrases twice.
  • Playing with Fire: Blaze, as the name implies, has limited pyrokinetic abilities which allow her to conjure flames, put away fires and rocket into the air. Her powers amplified by the Sol Emeralds let her hurl destructive fireballs which grow more powerful the longer she charges the move.
  • The Power of Friendship: The main theme of the series. In fact, like the Chaos Emeralds as discussed in Sonic Adventure, this is literally what powers the Sol Emeralds.
  • Prehistoria: Plant Kingdom in Adventure, while not this in time period, has this feel with giant plant life and all the enemies being prehistoric beings such as dinosaurs, including the stage's boss.
  • Press X to Not Die: In the zone 7 boss, on the final hit, mashing the B and A buttons would push Blaze (or Sonic) to the edge of the platform. If the player does nothing or mashes too slowly, they'll get pushed off and instantly lose a life. If the player mashes enough, they push their rival off, beating the stage.
  • Punny Name: The names of Captain Whisker's two little sidekicks are Mini and Mum.
  • Rank Inflation: Both games embrace this trope like their 3D brothers, awarding you a lettered rank based on your score in an act/boss fight. The levels are, from best to worst, S, A, B, and C. Furthermore, in the second game, ranks also serve a purpose besides bragging rights; the better your rank, the more of a mineral you'll get.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Just before the last world in Sonic Rush Adventure, a fed-up Blaze gives one of these to Marine when she's acting petulant about being advised not to come for her own safety.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Dr. Eggman is loud and excitable. Eggman Nega is very calm, cunning and cruel.
    • At first glance, in contrast to their actual colours, Sonic seems like a good fit for Red Oni (passionate, adventurous) while Blaze seems to be the Blue Oni (stoic, loner). This dynamic, however, is completely shattered during the Dead Line Zone boss fight. Blaze, with her temper finally at its limit, instigates the battle against Sonic, who originally had no intention of fighting her. Then, during the actual fight, Blaze is the one whose emotions explode while Sonic is the one who tries to calm her down.
      The same occurs at the end of Rush Adventure, where Blaze, in a moment of desperation, nearly blindly runs headfirst into danger, and Sonic has to calm her down and make her see reason. The developers likely did this on purpose, to provide a nice contrast between the two protagonists: Sonic is the free and adventurous, yet level-headed and cool one, and Blaze is the outwardly stoic and blunt, yet inwardly highly emotional one.
  • Repeat Cut: Every time you destroy a boss, the game shows the player character dealing the final blow from different angles for dramatic effect.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Sky Babylon is located on a continent floating within a clouded green sky. It holds the ruins of a city from a long-lost civilization.
  • The Rival: Johnny fancies himself to be Sonic's.
    • Blaze was also a bit of a rival during the first half of Rush.
  • Sampling: This is probably the first Sonic soundtrack since Sonic CD to have so much of this, thanks to composer Hideki Naganuma.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: Eggman Nega likes doing this.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: In Rush, the last stage is much easier than either of the ones preceding it, and the fourth stage is harder than stage five. For Blaze, the level orders are switched around, meaning one of the most challenging/cheap levels is the first one she plays!
  • Secret Final Campaign: In Rush, beating Blaze's story, collecting all the chaos emeralds in Sonic's story, and beating Sonic's story will unlock one last story which has Sonic and Blaze become Super Sonic and Burning Blaze for the True Final Boss.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: Adventure is easier and has shorter stages than Rush. The level design was improved to have less cheap enemy placement and bottomless pits, so it feels easier and more fair. However, 100% Completion is harder due to Mission Mode, which has many trial and error moments to itself.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Mirage Road from the first game takes place inside a pyramid.
  • Ship Tease: There's quite a bit between Sonic and Blaze. Especially Rush's true ending.
  • Shout-Out: The music for the true final boss stage in the first Rush game samples Malcolm X. Yes, that Malcolm X.note 
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Blizzard Peaks in Adventure is a snow-themed level where Sonic and Blaze must perform tricks while snowboarding.
  • Sole Survivor: In Adventure, before the Final Boss, Johnny leaves Captain Whisker behind, and is only seen again when you race against him for the Chaos Emeralds (which is required in order to face the True Final Boss), making Johnny the only surviving pirate, since the explosion of the Ghost Titan sank all the others.
  • Space Zone: Dead Line in Rush is set in a space station.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Some people still call Marine "Marin", maybe by relation with another character who woke up a shipwrecked hero.
  • Spiritual Successor: These games are pretty similar to the Sonic Advance series. They in turn inspired the handheld versions of Sonic Colors and Generations, and the Boost mechanic would be adopted by the mainline 3D Sonic games starting with Sonic Unleashed.
  • Theme Naming:
    • The names of the bosses in the first game start with the word "Egg" with the exception of the fight between Sonic and Blaze.
    • Likewise, the majority of bosses in Adventure start with the word "Ghost", with the exception of Captain Whisker and Johnny, as well as the True Final Boss, the Egg Wizard.
  • Stranger Danger: A downplayed example: When Cream first meets Blaze she tries to befriend her at first sight. While Blaze agrees she warns Cream she shouldn't be so trusting as not everyone is a good guy like her.
  • The Stoic: Blaze, although she does start to warm up to Sonic and friends by the end of the first game, and grows an especially powerful bond with Cream the Rabbit.
  • Tickle Torture: Strangely enough, the final boss from Adventure is a giant tickling machine which Captain Whisker intends to use on Marine.
  • Title Scream: In the first game, courtesy of Sonic himself.
  • To Create a Playground for Evil: Eggman Nega states this as his goal in the second game.
    "I shall bring about an age of fear and chaos! And it shall be glorious!"
  • Trapped in Another World: Sonic and Tails in Adventure. Also Blaze's predicament in Rush, which prompts her to recover the stolen Sol Emeralds.
  • True Final Boss: Both games have a final confrontation unlocked by collecting all of the Chaos and Sol Emeralds.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: The first boss of Adventure is a mechanized one.
  • Underground Level: Coral Cave in Adventure is set in a submarine cave littered with colorful gemstones.
  • Under the Sea:
    • Water Palace from Rush is the game's iconic water level, albeit it's not set in the ocean.
    • Adventure has two water levels in the shape of Coral Cave and Pirates' Island. The former has extended underwater segments in a flooded cave, while the latter has sections which must be traversed by riding a friendly dolphin.
  • Variable Mix:
    • The final battle theme of Adventure brings an extra instrument track to the foreground when you're in close proximity to the Ghost Titan.
    • The Invincibility Theme from both Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure changes depending on the stage you're currently in.
  • Was Too Hard on Him: Blaze is little quiet after she bluntly told Marine she was a nuisance and can't come with them. Sonic and Tails assure her that Marine will be okay.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After the Dual Boss fight against Captain Whisker and Johnny, Johnny flees the scene and is never heard from again (aside from the Emerald Races).
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Marine is convinced she's the hero and Sonic, Tails and Blaze are her sidekicks. Blaze gets fed up with it eventually.
  • Younger Than They Look: Despite her seemingly mature personality, Blaze is actually a year younger than Sonic. To be precise, she's 14 and Sonic is 15.

Alternative Title(s): Sonic Rush, Sonic Rush Adventure

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