Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (Abbreviate: SR0G, SRZG), released in Japan as Sonic Riders Shooting Star Story (ソニックライダーズ シューティングスターストーリー, Sonikku Raidāzu Shūtingu Sutā Sutōrī?), is a hoverboard-racing video game published by Sega and developed by Sonic Team in cooperation with NowPro. It is the fifth racing game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, following Sonic Drift, Sonic Drift 2, Sonic R and its predecessor, Sonic Riders. Unlike the first title, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity is only available on the Wii and Playstation 2 video game systems; only the Wii version is available in Japan. Although the original Sonic Riders for the Nintendo Gamecube and Xbox are backward compatible, the PS2 is the only system upon which both Sonic Riders titles are available.
|Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity|
North American Wii version boxart
Kenjiro Morimoto (Producer/Director/Game System Design)
Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (Abbreviate: SR0G, SRZG), released in Japan as Template:Nihongo, is a hoverboard-racing video game published by Sega and developed by Sonic Team in cooperation with NowPro. It is the fifth racing game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, following Sonic Drift, Sonic Drift 2, Sonic R and its predecessor, Sonic Riders. Unlike the first title, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity is only available on the Wii and Playstation 2 video game systems; only the Wii version is available in Japan. Although the original Sonic Riders for the Nintendo Gamecube and Xbox are backward compatible, the PS2 is the only system upon which both Sonic Riders titles are available.
The story begins when five shooting stars crash into the planet, one crashes into the Crimson Tower and rolls into the back of a MeteorTech robot. It wakes up, along with others and go on a rampage.
The next day, Sonic, Tails and Knuckles are on their way to Megalo Station when they hear about the rampaging robots on the radio news. Soon, they are attacked by the robots, who seem to have recognized the meteor Sonic is holding from last night, and barely escape with their lives. Fortunately, the Ark of the Cosmos' was able to save Sonic, and they all escape from the city.
Along the way, Team Sonic meet up with Amy, who says she was being pursued by the robots, as well. As she hugged Sonic, she drops an Ark of the Cosmos. Tails then realizes that the robots are after the meteorites. They decide to go to MeteorTech to solve this mystery.
The team then arrives at MeteorTech and is greeted by the Babylon Rogues. Jet tries to force Amy to hand over the Ark but she is clueless as to what Jet is talking about. An alarm then sounds alerting the robots. Sonic and friends take off leaving the Rogues in pursuit. Sonic and Jet unknowingly crash into Eggman in the main computer room of MeteorTech. When he gets up and reveals himself, Sonic and Knuckles threaten Eggman and reveal his plan for forming MeteorTech. When he sees Sonic's Ark of the Cosmos, Eggman reveals that his Mother Computer hasn't been responding ever since he gave it an Ark. Jet remembers what he was there for but sees that Amy and Storm are missing. Eggman's computer shows that Storm is chasing Amy but they are being followed by a MeteorTech robot.
Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles leave and find Amy in the Aquatic Capital. She informs them that the robot self-destructed and Storm ran off with something it dropped. She said that Storm was going on about something he found in a place called Giga or something. Knuckles then confirmed it to be the Gigan Rocks. The team arrives at the rocks and find the treasure gone. When Knuckles reads an ancient script, they find that Babylon Garden is a spaceship powered by the Arks of the Cosmos and that a great darkness assaulted it. Eggman then flies over with The Babylon Rogues's airship in pursuit. Sonic then says that they should catch up.
They arrive at MeteorTech's home tower and find Jet and the Rogues waiting. Wave confirms that Crimson Tower is MeteorTech's signal tower. Storm then says that the Arks they collected were stolen by Eggman. They then realize that Eggman sent the robots rampaging in the first place and that it was part of his master plan, The Eggman Land Project. Jet challenges Sonic with the prize being the Arks of the Cosmos and Title of Fastest Creature in the Universe to whoever nabs Eggman first.
When they reach the top, Sonic and Jet enter at the same time and grab one of the two Arks he was holding. After bumping into his machine, Wave grabs the master Ark that fell out. After this, all robot operations were shut down. Due to the five Arks being in the same place at once, it called down Babylon Garden. Seeing that he doesn't need the Arks of the Cosmos, Sonic hands all of them over to Jet. When Jet accuses Sonic of running away, Sonic states that he'll see Jet at the next World Grand Prix.
The story begins in The Gigan Rocks when the Babylon Rogues are trying to get an Ark of the Cosmos at the Chalice. The Ark was a booby trap, so Jet punched in some keys on an ancient keyboard in Babylonian text. This deactivated the trap. Slowly, Jet grabbed the Ark of the Cosmos. No sooner than that, Wave saw a shooting star. There, she closed her eyes and put her hands together, making a wish. When she tells Storm what she's doing, he simply laughed, but not for long, as he saw Jet doing the same thing. Jet wished of having a power to beat him. Then, three more crashed down and caused a rumbling sound just as Storm was about to make a wish himself. This re-activated the trap, causing two boulders to come crashing down. It nearly crushed them until the Ark's power caused them to fly. Jet says his wish already came true. With this power, the Rogues escaped the ruins safely.
Back on the ship, Wave was analyzing the Ark of the Cosmos they found and explained it can charge up gravity and convert it to power the engine unit of Babylon Garden. She explains that there are five of them. Jet then orders her to create a radar to help find them. But before she could do that, Storm bursts in and shows a news report of a MeteorTech Mech stealing an Ark of the Cosmos from the Megalo City Museum. At seeing this, they set a course for Megalo City. After going through Megalo City, Jet tracks the robot to the Botanical Kingdom where he destroys the robot, but loses the Ark. He searches the ground and discovers Sonic talking with the others. When Amy hugs Sonic, the Ark of the Cosmos she found (the one Jet is after) falls out. Overhearing their conversation about MeteorTech, Wave and Storm appear and Wave suggests that they go ahead of Sonic and the others to gather information on MeteorTech.
They meet Sonic and friends at MeteorTech but are cut short by guard robots. As Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Jet, and Wave ride off, Storm attempts to get the Ark of the Cosmos from Amy. She then escapes with Storm in pursuit. They reach the Aquatic Capital and Amy throws the Ark at Storm's face. She then insists that he finds a way out when they are confronted by MeteorTech Robot SCR-HD. After scanning Storm's Ark of the Cosmos, it blows up and reveals a second Ark. Storm runs off with both Arks and returns to the airship. Jet, happy that they now have three, is cut off by Wave's description of an ancient Babylonian text. After Jet gives up on trying to figure out what the 'lightless black' is, he find that the two Arks are missing. Eggman then appears outside flying away with them.
They follow Eggman to the Crimson Tower where they wait for Sonic and the others. Jet then challenges Sonic and they reach the top of the tower. After Babylon Garden is called down, a damaged SCR-HD breaks in and steals all five Arks of the Cosmos from Wave. Tails informs Sonic that the five Arks will make a giant black hole if put in Babylon Garden. After that, Eggman declares that massive energy readings are coming from Babylon Garden. A scene then shows the outer part of Babylon Garden falling off transforming it into Astral Babylon, the Babylonian spaceship and creating a black hole. Sonic, Jet, and everyone (Except Eggman and Amy) rush to Astral Babylon's Mobius Strip to face SCR-HD's giant new form and disconnect the Arks of the Cosmos from the ship.
Afterward, it shows Astral Babylon orbiting Earth. Jet and the Rogues are atop a rock in the desert looking at it. After a quick conversation they fly off on their gear. The scene then switches to Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy, in Tails's car driving through Megalo City. Tails explains how the ancient Babylonians warped to Earth and left their engine unit in orbit. Shortly after, Sonic hears someone say his name in the tunnel. Jet rides up imposing a challenge. The scene ends with Sonic and Jet racing through the tunnel marking the end of the story.
This game introduces new abilities most characters use throughout the entire game. By gaining gravity points through tricks and technical challenges, players will enter a zero-gravity zone and be able to perform two new moves: Gravity Dive, which sucks the player towards a black hole further down the track, giving them a speed boost which tosses cars and other objects off the track and into the air which characters are able to smash into to gain more speed; in the Wii version this move is done by flicking the Wii Remote upward (L or R trigger for using the Nintendo Gamecube controller) and in the PS2 version, this is done by pressing the R1 button; and Gravity Control, which changes the gravity of the course, allowing the player to use a different track, such as one of the walls. This is done by pressing the 1 button and tilting the Wii Remote in the direction you want to go (B trigger if the Wii Remote is in vertical position), by pressing the square button while tilting the left analog stick in the direction you want to go (PS2), or the B button and tilting the analog stick in the direction you want to go for the GCN Controller. Also in the game is a move called Gravity Drift. This move is similar to the Grip move in Sonic Riders in which it can help characters turn on tight corners. This is also done with the aforementioned controls for Gravity Control. Items, first seen in the original Sonic Riders, give you special features, such as 5-30 rings, more gravity points, and an attack boost, which allows you to access shortcuts, such as springs. Item boxes can work against you, such as a ball-and-chain that hooks on your gear and slows your speed down. There are two special items that appear hidden in each course that will give you either 100 rings or 150 Gravity Points.
Along with the returning characters from the previous installment comes new items such as new playable racers, hover boards, bikes, air riders, yachts, air skates and other futuristic hover crafts that are available. These vehicles can be upgraded, even in the middle of a race. The PS2 version uses a Dualshock 2 controller while the Wii version supports 3 control methods: the Wii Remote sideways, the Wii Remote held vertically, and the Nintendo GameCube controller.
There is a new method in the game called "Gear Change". Once you gain a certain amount of rings, your gear will gain an upgrade. Each gear has from zero to three upgrades and can be upgraded during a race using the A button (Wii Remote), the Y button (GCN Controller), or the triangle button (PS2). Some upgrades include modifying your Extreme Gear's look, higher top speed, an increased Gravity Points Gauge, and character type specific upgrades, such as the ability to grind in rails as a Speed character, transform your Gear into an air ride/yacht-type to fly through Dash Rings scattered throughout the stage as a Fly character, or transform your Gear into an invincible bike/wheel-type as a Power character.
There are many different board types:
- Board Style: A basic gear type that most characters can ride.
- Skate Style: Air skates that always allow the user to grind.
- Air Ride Style: Allows user to fly through Dash Rings and soar through the skies.
- Bike Style: Allows characters to knock away heavy objects.
- Yacht Style: Allows the character to fly and draft an opponent (different from the first game, as you only run along the slipstream)
- Wheel Style: Allows the character to destroy obstacles and handle turns easier but the gravity control dash is short.
In general, since it would be difficult to animate transformation from board to skates, boards get "grind parts" rather than transforming to skates. Gears that start off as 'upgraded' versions of standard gear (Yacht, Wheel) usually have lower capabilities or have situational gear changes.
- Angel/Devil Gear: Upgrades to dark or light form (depending on the icon chosen when upgrading, purple being devil and yellow being angel) when 50 rings are collected (Air Ride Style).
- Hang-On: Changes the background music to music from the game Hang-On. When 100 rings are collected, it upgrades to Super Hang-On and changes the background music to that of its respective game (Bike Style).
- Magic Broom: It has the ability to distract opponents (Yacht Style).
- The Crazy: A board that resembles the Crazy Taxi vehicle that uses rings instead of gravity power (Board Style).
- Chaos Emerald: It is unlike all the other gears, as you have to have rings to use the board, when you get up to 60 rings, you go Super Sonic, but this uses many more rings than you would with the Chaos Emerald. This is the only gear that allows the player to stay in a constant 'run' mode and use springs, assuming the player does not collect rings (gears no longer rely on fuel to work) (Board Style & Only Sonic can use it.)
In Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, there are three new modes added to the game: Survival Mode, Survival Relay, and Survival Ball. Survival Mode entails each player to pick up missiles, then lock on and launch them at foes with Gravity Control, the winner being the last person standing. Survival Ball mode is, simply put, a football game on Extreme Gear. Players score points by throwing a ball into a goal. In Survival Relay, 2-4 players make a team of two and do a relay, with Extreme Gear as the baton.
There are a total of 16 courses in the game, eight worlds with two tracks in each.
- Megalo Station/Nightside Rush
- Botanical Kingdom/Snowy Kingdom
- MeteorTech Premises/MeteorTech Sparkworks
- Aquatic Capital/Tempest Waterway
- Gigan Rocks/Gigan Device
- Crimson Crater/Security Corridor
- Astral Babylon/Mobius Strip
- 80's Boulevard/90's Boulevard
One notable difference from the first Sonic Riders is that the tracks are a bit longer and do not virtually carbon-copy each other, like they did in the original Sonic Riders. Another change is that there are sharp 90 degree or higher turns that require the use of gravity to get around. In the first, drifting was used. Also, since Air is no longer used as a fuel source, refuel stations were removed. There are 6 tracks in the Heroes Story and 7 tracks in the Babylon Story.
There are a total of 18 characters in the game. Each character has their own personalized gear, which is stated after their name. Characters of each type can take advantage of certain shortcuts depending on the type of Extreme Gear they ride in the race.