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Sonic News Network | Pink Army
Sonic News Network | Pink Army

Item Box

The Item Box[1] (アイテムボックス[2], Aitemu Bokkusu?), also referred to as the Video Monitor[3] (アイテムボックス[4], Aitemu Bokkusu?, lit. “Item Box”), Monitor[5] (アイテムボックス[6], Aitemu Bokkusu?, lit. “Item Box”), Item Capsule[7] and TV[8] (アイテムボックス[9], Aitemu Bokkusu?, lit. “Item Box”), is an object that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Having been featured frequently in the series since the very beginning, Item Boxes contain various kinds of power-ups or bonuses which can be used by the player. Placed on the ground, in mid-air or even hidden in different places in the various levels, the player can open Item Boxes in order to obtain their power-ups.

Description

The Item Boxes’ classic “monitor” design.

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The appearance of Item Boxes has changed on several occasions throughout the Sonic series. In the early games of the series, they took the form of gray and rectangular/cubic television monitors with the icon of the power-up contained inside shown on said monitors’ black screens. Even though they were replaced in later games, classic monitor Item Boxes have made appearances in recent games, mostly in those that feature 2.5D gameplay, such as Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, II and Metal, and Classic Sonic’s levels in Sonic Generations and Sonic Forces. Otherwise, since Sonic Adventure, modern Item Boxes were designed to look like ellipsoid glass capsules with a red cap on the top and an icon inside them that identifies the power-up they contain. In games such as Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Lost World, the appearance of modern Item Boxes has been simplified so that they resemble round glass capsules with red top and bottom covers.

Located in levels, Item Boxes are usually placed on the ground. However, they can also be hidden in a level’s environment (i.e. in palm trees). They can also be found suspended in midair, particularly those designed without a base. In some games, when a classic monitor Item Box is hidden in the air (like when hidden in palm trees) or stuck to the ceiling, striking it from below will cause it to fall to the ground.

A modern Item Box as it appears in Sonic Adventure.

A classic monitor Item Box can be broken from directly above or from the sides with different attacks. This usually involves the player having to Spin Jump onto them, roll into them with the Spin Attack or Spin Dash, or attack them with similar ground-bound or aerial attacks. The Homing Attack can also target and break Item Boxes the same way it targets and destroys enemies. Certain playable characters can also use weapons to break Item Boxes. In several 3D games and certain 2D games since Sonic Adventure however, the modern glass capsule Item Boxes can be broken by simply touching them. After breaking open an Item Box, the icon that is seen in the Item Box will pop out and the player receives the power-up or item. Once an Item Box is broken, it will remain as such until the player loses a life or starts the level over.

If the player holds the jump button while destroying a classic monitor Item Box from above, the playable character will bounce back as if they hit a Badnik; that is, the longer the distance the player falls onto the classic monitor Item Box, the higher the higher will bounce back up. The player can land normally on the Item Box, if the playable character does not perform a Spin Jump or any other variations of the move.

In the classic Sonic games, there is a brief delay between the moments where the player breaks the Item Box and when the player receives the power-up. For example, if the player gets a Shield or Invincible item, it is still possible for the player to take damage before the power-up’s effect is received.

The usage of Item Boxes has varied considerably through the series, being present in most 2D as well as 3D titles until Sonic Unleashed and its succeeding Boost-style games, in which they were replaced with different methods of getting power-ups, such as floating Super Rings and 1-Ups, which can be obtained by simply touching them. Despite this, Item Boxes continue to appear as a semi-regular feature in the series.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)

Super Ring and Invincibility Video Monitors, from in Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit).

The Item Box first appeared in the original 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog, where it is called the Video Monitor[3] (アイテムボックス[4], Aitemu Bokkusu?, lit. “Item Box”). In this game, the Video Monitors are presented as simple, gray cubic televisions with a base below them, a red button on their lower left, and a static screen that displays the icon of the power-up the Video Monitor contains.

In gameplay, the Video Monitors can only be opened by attacking them. The Video Monitor power-ups featured in this game are as follows:

Sprite Name Notes English Japanese Invincible[3] Invincible (無敵, Muteki?)[4] N/A One-Up[3] 1 up[4] N/A Power Sneakers[3] High Speed (ハイスピード, Haisupīdo?)[4] N/A Shield[3] Barrier (バリア, Baria?)[4] N/A Super Ring[3] Big 10 Ring (ビッグ10リング, Biggu 10 ringu?)[4] N/A “S” N/A An unused S Video Monitor hidden in the game’s files. It is only viewable via hacking and does nothing in gameplay. N/A N/A An unused Video Monitor hidden in the game’s files. This power-up’s purpose is unknown and its functionality was not programmed into the final game; it can only be implemented through hacking and does nothing. In the 2013 remake of the game though, this power-up can be placed in Debug Mode, where it behaves like the Shield, but only underwater. N/A N/A An unused Video Monitor hidden in the game’s files. N/A N/A Only available in Debug Mode. The Video Monitor itself is non-functional.

Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)

In Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit), the Item Box is referred to as the video monitor[10] (アイテムボックス[11], Aitemu Bokkusu?, lit. “Item Box”). In this game, they look like basic, gray cubic television sets with a base below them and a static screen that displays the icon of the power-up the video monitor contains.

In gameplay, the video monitors can only be opened by attacking them. The video monitor power-ups featured in this game are as follows:

Sprite Name English Japanese Arrow Monitor[12] Point Marker (ポイントマーカー, Pointomākā?)[13] Continue Monitor[14] Continue (コンティニュー, Kontinyū?)[15] Invincible[10] Invincible (無敵, Muteki?)[13] One-Up[10] 1 up[11] Power Sneakers[10] High Speed (ハイスピード, Haisupīdo?)[11] Shield[10] Barrier (バリア, Baria?)[13] Super Ring[10] Big 10 Ring (ビッグ10リング, Biggu 10 ringu?)[11]

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)

An Item Box that contains Shield, from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit).

In Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit), the Item Box is referred to as the monitor[16] (アイテムボックス[17], Aitemu Bokkusu?, lit. “Item Box”) and is said to contain “Super Items”.[16] In the multiplayer mode of the game however, the monitors are referred to as Item Boxes.[18] In this game, they appear as gray cubic television sets with a base below them, a red button on their lower right, and a static screen that displays the icon of the power-up the monitor contains.

In gameplay, the monitors can only be opened by attacking them. As well as that, the player can hit a monitor suspended in the air from below in order to make it drop to the ground, but it can also crush the player. Also, in multiplayer mode, each of the players has a chance to win the round depending on how many monitors they break. Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 features identical monitor power-ups as well. The Monitor power-ups featured in this game are as follows:

Sprite Name Notes English Japanese Invincible[16] Invincible (無敵, Muteki?)[17] N/A One-Up[16] 1 up[17] N/A Power Sneakers[16] High Speed (ハイスピード, Haisupīdo?)[17] N/A Shield[16] Barrier (バリア, Baria?)[17] N/A Super Ring[16] Big 10 Ring (ビッグ10リング, Biggu 10 ringu?)[17] N/A Teleporter[19] Teleportation (テレポテーション, Terepotēshon?)[20] Only available in 2P mode. Can be placed in main game using Debug Mode. N/A Only available in 2P mode. Noticeably, all monitors in 2P mode feature the “?” power-up. Also, in Options, the player can toggle the behavior of the “?” monitors to either grant all the power-ups in the game or grant Teleporter only. N/A Eggman Mark (エッグマンマーク, Eggman Mark?)[20] Only available in 2P mode. N/A N/A An unused monitor hidden in the game’s files.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit)

In Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit), the Item Box is referred to as the Monitor[5] (アイテムボックス[6], Aitemu Bokkusu?, lit. “Item Box”). In this game, their design is again that of a cubic television with a base below them and a static screen that displays the icon of the power-up the Monitor contains.

In gameplay, Monitors appear more generally and can only be opened by attacking them. The Monitor power-ups featured in this game are as follows:

Sprite Name Notes English Japanese 1-Up[21] 1up[22] N/A Invincibility[5] Invincible (無敵, Muteki?)[22] N/A Power Sneakers[5] High Speed (ハイスピード, Haisupīdo?) The Sega Master System version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 contains a single Power Sneakers power-up in Aqua Lake Zone Act 2, which is removed and replaced with a Super Ring in the Sega Game Gear version. Super Ring[5] Big 10 Ring (ビッグ10リング, Biggu 10 ringu?)[6] N/A N/A N/A An unused Monitor hidden in the game’s files. N/A N/A An unused Monitor hidden in the game’s files. N/A A Continue Monitor exists in Crystal Egg Zone. However, it is masked by foreground scenery so the image is never seen. N/A N/A An unused Monitor hidden in the game’s files.

Sonic the Hedgehog CD

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In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, the Item Box is referred to as the monitor[23] (アイテムボックス[24], Aitemu Bokkusu?, lit. “Item Box”) again. In this game, they appear as gray cubic television sets with a base below them, a red button on their lower left, and a static screen that displays the icon of the power-up the monitor contains.

In gameplay, monitors appear normally and can only be opened by attacking them. Also, in the game’s Special Stages, if the player blows up one of the UFOs, the player will sometimes receive certain monitor power-ups. The monitor power-ups featured in this game are as follows:

Sprite Name Notes English Japanese 1-UP[23] 1 up[24] N/A Invincible[23] Invincible (無敵, Muteki?)[24] N/A Power Sneakers[23] High Speed (ハイスピード, Haisupīdo?)[24] N/A Shield[23] Barrier (バリア, Baria?)[24] N/A Super Ring[23] Ring 10 (リング10, Ringu 10?)[24] N/A “S” N/A An unused monitor hidden in the game’s files. Gives Sonic Invincibility and Power Sneakers (the latter’s music will play when opened). N/A N/A An unused monitor hidden in the game’s files. The monitor itself is non-functional. Opening it plays the Goal Post sound effect. N/A N/A An unused monitor hidden in the game’s files. It has no effect other than freezing certain level elements (animation, etc.) when opened.

Sonic Chaos

A video monitor containing the Rocket Shoes, from Sonic Chaos.

In Sonic Chaos, the Item Box is referred to as the video monitor[25] (アイテムボックス[26], Aitemu Bokkusu?, lit. “Item Box”). In this game, their design is again that of a cubic television with a base below them and a static screen that displays the icon of the power-up the video monitor contains.

In gameplay, the video monitors can only be opened by attacking them. The video monitor power-ups featured in this game are as follows:

Sprite Name Notes English Japanese Extra Life[25] 1UP[26] N/A Invincible[25] Invincible (無敵, Muteki?)[26] N/A N/A Speed Shoes (スピードシューズ, Supīdoshūzu?)[26] N/A Rocket Shoes[25] Rocket Shoes (ロケットシューズ, Rokettoshūzu?)[26] N/A Super Ring[25] 10 Ring (10リング, 10 Ringu?)[26] N/A N/A Time Stop (タイムストップ, Taimu Sutoppu?)[26] Only available in Special Stages.

Sonic Spinball (8-bit)

In Sonic Spinball (8-bit), Item Boxes appear as gray cubic television sets with a base below them. In this game, they are featured as hidden objects in small chambers in the corners of each level. In gameplay, Item Boxes can only be opened by attacking them. The Item Box power-ups featured in this game are as follows:

Sprite Name Notes English Japanese Continue[27] N/A Extra life[27] N/A N/A These Item Boxes have the Japanese kanji for “look” (見る, Miru?) on them. These variants contain hints to secret codes that can be used in the game.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles

Monitors with various the power-ups, from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.

In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic & Knuckles, and the lock-on version Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, the Item Box is referred to as the monitor[28][29] (アイテムボックス[30][31], Aitemu Bokkusu?, lit. “Item Box”) and is said to contain “Sonic Power Ups” in Western instruction booklets,[28] although they do not explicitly name the objects said power-ups come from. In these games, the monitors have a slightly different design. Rather than resembling cubic television sets, they look like light gray Macintosh Color Classics with a red, blue and yellow button on their lower half, right above the disk drive. However, they retain the static screen that displays the icon of the power-up the monitor contains.

In gameplay, the monitors can only be opened when attacked. The monitor power-ups featured in these games are as follows:

Sprite Name Notes English Japanese 1-Up[32] 1UP[30] N/A Flame Shield[28] Flame Barrier (フレイムバリア, Fureimubaria?)[30] N/A Invincibility[28] Invincible (無敵, Muteki?)[30] N/A Lightning Shield[32] Thunder Barrier (サンダーバリア, Sandābaria?)[30] N/A Robotnik[32] N/A Super Ring[28] Big 10 Ring (ビッグ10リング, Biggu 10 ringu?)[30] N/A Super Shoes[33] High Speed (ハイスピード, Haisupīdo?)[30] N/A Water Shield[28] Aqua Barrier (アクアバリア, Akuabaria?)[30] N/A “S” N/A Only available in Debug Mode.

In addition to the monitors appearing normally in gameplay, the player can make a monitor pop out of the ground if they make the Goal Plate fall down in a certain spot. This monitor will contain either a Super Ring or one of the three elemental shields. Also, when the player enters the first and second Bonus Stages, the power-ups from Single Player mode can be collected from multiple colored floating orbs.

The Competition Mode features different kinds of power-ups, which include Super Shoes, Slow-Down Shoes, Rings, Bananas, Self-Propelled Bombs, Springs and Changes. Competition Mode does not feature monitors, as the power-ups are collected immediately from small bubbles.

Sonic Drift series

Sonic Drift

In Sonic Drift, the Item Boxes resemble cubic television sets with a base below them and a full-colored screen that indicates the type of power-up they contain.

In gameplay, the Item Boxes appear along the racetracks and are obtained once the playable characters make contact with them. The Item Box power-ups featured in this game are as follows:

Sprite Name English Japanese N/A High Speed (ハイスピード, Haisupīdo?)[34] N/A Invincible (無敵, Muteki?)[34]

Sonic Drift 2

In Sonic Drift 2, like in Sonic Drift, the Item Boxes resemble cubic television sets with a base below them and a full-colored screen that indicates the type of power-up they contain.

In gameplay, the Item Boxes appear along the racetracks and are obtained once the playable characters make contact with them. However, to utilize an Item Box’s effects in this game, the player has to press up on Controlpadds.png after obtaining said Item Box power-up. The Item Box power-ups featured in this game are as follows:

Sprite Name English Japanese Dash[35] Dash Box (ダッシュBOX), Dasshu bokkusu?)[36] Invincible[35] Invincible Box (無敵BOX, Muteki bokkusu?)[36] Jump[35] Jump Box (ジャンプBOX, Janpu bokkusu?)[36] Mine[35] Mine Box (機雷BOX, Kirai bokkusu?)[36]

Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble

A Rocket Shoes monitor, from Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble.

In Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble, the Item Box is referred to as the monitor[37] (アイテム[38], Aitemu?, lit. “Item”). In this game, their design is again that of a cubic television with a base below them and a screen that displays the icon of the power-up the monitor contains.

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In gameplay, the monitors can only be opened by attacking them. The monitor power-ups featured in this game are as follows:

Sprite Name Notes English Japanese 1-UP[37] 1UP[39] N/A Chaos Emerald[37] Warp Gate (ワープゲート, Wāpugēto?)[39] Only available in the first and second Acts of a Zone. Invincibility[37] Invincible (無敵, Muteki?)[39] N/A Hyper Heli-Tails[40] High Speed Heli-Tails (ハイスピードヘリテール, Haisupīdoheritēru?)[41] Only available to Tails. Jet Board[42] Snowboard (スノーボード, Sunōbōdo?)[38] Only available in Robotnik Winter Zone for Sonic. Marker[40] Marker (マーカー, Mākā?)[39] N/A Pogo Spring[42] Hopping (ホッピング, Hoppingu?)[38] N/A Power Sneakers[37] High Speed Shoes (ハイスピードシューズ, Haisupīdoshūzu?)[41] N/A Propeller Shoes[42] Screw Shoes (スクリューシューズ, Sukuryūshūzu?)[41] Only available in Tidal Plant Zone for Sonic. Rocket Shoes[42] Rocket Shoes (ロケットシューズ, Rokettoshūzu?)[41] Only available to Sonic. Super Ring[37] 10 Ring (10リング, 10 Ringu?)[39] N/A Time Bonus[40] Time (タイム, Taimu?)[39] Only available in platforming Special Stages.

Knuckles’ Chaotix

In Knuckles’ Chaotix, the Item Box is referred to as the Monitor[43] (アイテムボックス[44], Aitemu Bokkusu??, lit. “Item Box”) yet again. In this game, they appear as gray cubic television sets with a wide base below them, a red button and two black buttons on their lower edge, and a static screen that displays the icon of the power-up the Monitor contains.

In gameplay, the player can only obtain the power-up inside a Monitor by attacking it. The Monitor power-ups featured in this game are as follows:

Sprite Name Notes English Japanese Change[43] Change (チェンジ, Chenji?)[45] N/A Combi Catcher[46] Combi (コンビ, Konbi?)[47] Only available in Bonus Stages. Combine Ring[43] Combine Ring (コンバインリング, Konbainringu?)[44] N/A Grow[43] Big (ビッグ, Biggu?)[48] N/A Invincible[43] Invincible (無敵, Muteki?)[48] N/A Power Sneakers[43] High Speed (ハイスピード, Haisupīdo?)[48] N/A Shield[43] Barrier (バリア, Baria?)[48] N/A Shrink[43] Small (スモール, Sumōru?)[48] N/A Stage Select[49] Slot (スロット, Surotto?)[47] Only available in Bonus Stages. Super Ring[43] Ring 10 (リング10, Ringu 10?)[44] N/A Swap[43] Swap (スワップ, Suwappu?)[45] N/A N/A N/A An unused Monitor hidden in the game’s files. N/A N/A An unused Monitor hidden in the game’s files.

Tails Adventure

In Tails Adventure, the Item Box does not appear as a gameplay element in the levels. Instead, one can be seen it in the upper left corner of gameplay HUD, where it shows the amount of Rings that player has.

Sonic 3D Blast

A Gold Shield TV, from Sonic 3D Blast.

In Sonic 3D Blast, the Item Box is referred to as the TV.[50] In this game, the TVs are featured in an isometric perspective and are presented as gray cubic television sets with a base below them and a static screen that displays the icon of the power-up the TV contains.

In gameplay, the TVs can only be opened by attacking them. The TV power-ups featured in this game are as follows:

Sprite Name English Japanese Blue Shield[50] Blue Barrier (ブルーバリア, Burūbaria?)[51] Extra Life[50] Sonic 1UP (ソニック1UP, Sonikku 1UP?)[51] Gold Shield[50] Gold Barrier (ゴールドバリア, Gōrudobaria?)[51] Red Shield[50] Red Barrier (レッドバリア, Reddobaria?)[51] N/A Invincible (無敵, Muteki?)[51] N/A High Speed (ハイスピード, Haisupīdo?)[51] N/A 10 Rings (リング10コ, Ringu 10 ko?)[51]

Sonic Blast

In Sonic Blast, the Item Box is referred to as the TV[8] (アイテムボックス[9], Aitemu Bokkusu?, lit. “Item Box”). In this game, the TVs are once more presented as gray cubic television sets with a base beneath them and a screen that displays the icon of the power-up the TV contains.

In gameplay, the TVs can only be opened by attacking them. The TV power-ups featured in this game are as follows:

Sprite Name Notes English Japanese Knuckles icon[52] Knuckles 1up (ナックルズ1up, Nakkuruzu 1up?)[53] Sonic gets nothing when opening this TV. Shield[8] Barrier (バリア, Baria?)[53] N/A Shoes[8] Speed Boots (スピードブーツ, Supīdobūtsu?)[53] N/A Sonic icon[52] Sonic 1up (ソニック1up, Sonikku 1up?)[53] Knuckles gets nothing when opening this TV. N/A ???[53] N/A N/A 10 Ring (10リング, 10 Ringu?)[53] N/A N/A Eggman (エッグマン, Eggman?)[53] N/A N/A Invincible (ムテキ, Muteki?) N/A N/A Marker (マーカー, Mākā?)[53] N/A

Sonic Jam

One of Secret Cards, from Sonic Jam.

In Sonic Jam, the Item Box is referred to as the Secret Card in-game. In this game, they use their design from Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, making them resemble light grey (and flat) rectangular devices with a button on their lower half and a video screen on their upper half. On the Secret Card’s screen, the word “CODE” scrolls from the right to the left on a red background.

In gameplay, Secret Cards appear as hidden objects in Sonic World. These Secret Cards include cheat codes for each of the four Sonic the Hedgehog game included in the game’s compilation. Also, one of the World Missions involves touching all seven Secret Cards within two minutes.

Sonic Adventure

Sonic using the Light Speed Attack to break Item Boxes and robots, from Sonic Adventure.

In Sonic Adventure, and its remake Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut, the power-up container is referred to as the Item Box[1] (アイテムボックス[2], Aitemu Bokkusu?). In this game, rather than resembling computer/TV monitors, the Item Boxes were redesigned to resemble glass capsules with a red lid on the top and bottom and the rotating icon of the Item Boxes’ power-up floating inside them. This makes them visible from more angles, and would be a design shared with future 3D Sonic titles.

In gameplay, the Item Boxes can be opened when touched by the playable character. Also, if the player is using Sonic, he can target the Item Boxes with his Homing Attack. In addition, when an Item Box is broken, the icon for the power-up it contained will be shown on the bottom of the screen. The Item Box power-ups featured in this game are as follows:

Icon Name English Japanese 5 Rings[1] 5 Ring (5リング, 5 Ringu?)[2] 10 Rings[1] 10 Ring (10リング, 10 Ringu?)[2] Extra Life[1] 1UP[2] High-Speed Shoes[1] High Speed (ハイスピード, Haisupīdo?)[2] Invincibility[1] Invincible (無敵, Muteki?)[2] Magnetic Shield[1] Magnetic Barrier (磁力バリア, Jiryoku baria?)[2] Smart Bomb[54] Explosion (エクスプロージョン, Ekusupurōjon?)[55] Random Rings[1] Random Ring (ランダムリング, Randamu ringu?)[2] Shield[1] Barrier (バリア, Baria?)[2]

Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure

In Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, the power-up container is referred to as the item box[56] (アイテムボックス[57], Aitemu Bokkusu?). In this game, their design is again that of a cubic television with a base below them and a static screen that displays the icon of the power-up the item box contains.

In gameplay, the item boxes can only be opened by attacking them. The item box power-ups featured in this game are as follows:

Sprite Name English Japanese 1UP[56] 1UP[57] Invincible Protect[56] Invincible (無敵, Muteki?)[57] Power-Sneakers[56]

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