Just remember that this section isn't a "what to look out for" section. Some things are speculative, as the reasons aren't easy to figure out.
As is implied; this section explains certain mechanics within the game that deserve their own page, as they don't fit under the other categories. What certain things do are explained here, as well as some whys/hows, but, as stated above, those are speculation at best.
First introduced in Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 to correct player movement in certain sections, the use of splines became more common as later games came like Sonic Heroes/Sonic 06, mainly used by loops as the normal physics made it impossible to travel large loops in the 3D games unlike the retro genesis Sonic. They will take control of the characters for you so you don't have to deal with things like camera angles and loops. All you have to do is hold ANY direction on the stick, and the game will do the rest for you. Your gravity will stay the same throughout the section as long as you hold a direction.
You're capable of jumping out of these sections. Beware that this will not only reset your direction of gravity, but can also kill you.
Rolling (and kicking) is also a viable option, and, in some cases, can even speed you up. Beware that this can also cause a variety of effects while on loops, such as making you turn completely around and going backwards, throw you off of the loop, make you fall through the loop, or lose all your momentum, causing you to inevitably fall to your death.
Sometimes, the mechanics that run Automatic Sections will cause loop glitch, which is basically the mechanics gone wild. You will be sent uncontrollably in whichever direction the game thinks you should go as a result of trying to put you back on the loop and failing,
Automatic sections might be mean, but remember that they're better than going on loops and such manually. This effect can be seen in Team Dark's section of Grand Metropolis (whichTeam Sonic ALSO goes to, but only in Super hard Mode). There's a loop where it doesn't work right, ultimately having you die.
Note: Some Automatic sections slow you down at their ends.
This can occur in a number of instances. Most of which will cause you to fall to your demise. Sometimes, it's a random occurrence, while, in others, it has to do with what your previous action was.
If you rocket accel without rolling for a certain amount of frames, the game will not allow you to do another action until after a short interval of time, even when switching characters.
After jumping out of a midair Kick or Star Throw, sometimes the game just won't let you cling to the wall. Other times, it's based on how long you've been in the air. Beware, as this WILL kill you if you aren't careful.
If your teammates are considered behind you for a rocket accel and store that value, you won't kick, star throw, or twirl. If this happens while trying to use these actions to cross gaps, you're dead, so always try these from a safe distance away. There's also a chance you'll do these actions in between both parts of a double rocket accel, which is also something to look out for.
For whatever reason, Sonic Heroes will try to take away all your momentum when you're supposed to keep it, such as when you Hammer Down as Vector and switch to Espio for a momentum boost. While it IS true that some surfaces just don't let you do it, you sometimes lose this momentum on surfaces you CAN do this on. We believe it has to do with subpixels, the same reason you'll turn around on loops and go backwards on them for seemingly no reason.
There are instances where walls will "suck you in" and prevent you from moving away without jumping, costing precious time. Others will just stop you, even if you didn't hit them directly.
Note: This mechanic isn't fully understood. Why it works is speculation over anything else.
Gravity in this game works similarly to how it does in the previous DC era Sonic games (Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2). if you've ever ran these games or messed around with them, you might already be familiar with them.
Gravity on LandEdit
Gravity tends to change depending on the angle of the land under the characters' feet. This is why you can run up walls, loops, etc. without losing speed in most cases. As long as the character stays in motion (at a moderate speed), direction of gravity will be perpendicular to the player's horizontal gravitational plane. This may give you an idea of how it works (ignore the text - it's for another guide on the wiki).
Gravity in the AirEdit
Gravity's a little weird. When you're going at a certain speed and jump, you're gravity will not immediately reset. Whatever purpose this mechanic serves, it can either help you, hurt you, or kill you, depending on the circumstances. If you're going up a slope, this effect likely won't happen unless you're on a loop (refer to the Automatic sections part). However, this is a frequent occurrence while going down slopes, so bear this in mind.
Gravity on Pinball/Bingo TablesEdit
Wait... It gets weirder... Gravity on pinball tables and bingo tables are... Interesting, to say the least. There are several things that influence direction of gravity on them
- The direction of movement upon entering the first table
- The direction of gravity on the previous table
- Colliding with ANY object on said table
The direction of gravity influences your turning. This is why turning while on pinball and bingo tables may seem loose at certain times and extremely tight at other times. So, no, it's not your fault if you suck at controlling yourself on pinball tables.
Gravity on RailsEdit
Ever wonder why sometimes you fall off of rails or try jumping to one rail and get stuck jumping to the rail in the opposite direction you were holding the stick? Yep, that's gravity's doing. This was a mechanic used to keep the player from falling to their death. Changing the direction based on gravity. This mechanic is counter-intuitive though and tends to hurt you more than help you. So dying on rails or missing the correct rail is more the game's fault than your own in an attempt to make it more functional. Basically, when you are on a rail, gravity will work in the same fashion as when you are on land, the player's gravitational plane will be parallel to the rail you are on and direction of gravity perpendicular to the plane (just like with land).
Note: This is speculation. It MIGHT be caused by automatic sections.
Gravity Resetting (Automatic)Edit
If you're direction of gravity isn't straight down and you're in the air, Heroes has a function to correct it to make more sense. Unfortunately, just like your phone's Auto-Correct, it's more of a nuisance or mistake more than anything else. When you have less movement speed, but either slowing down or come to a complete stop, not matter where you are, your gravity will reset. Some places correct gravity more quickly than others. Some places require less motion than others to reset. Some places won't reset your gravity at all because your falling speed is enough to keep the gravity (a good example is the first turn in Sonic's Rail Canyon).
Gravity Resetting (Manual)Edit
Luckily, you can abuse the gravity resetting mechanic on your own most of the time. You simply have to make two 90º turns in short succession, and your direction of gravity will be reset. This mechanic is extremely useful on bingo tables, as your turning is almost as free as while you're walking (until you collide with something). It's also useful for going off of rails if your direction of movement is, say, straight upwards. It isn't used anywhere else, however.
Note: The recommended 90º turns should go in opposite directions. If they aren't sharp enough, your gravity won't reset.
Rails are dumb, tl;dr.
You'd think the system for switching between rails would be simple, but the truth is that it's not. The programmers tried to do the best they could to prevent mishaps from coming into play, preventing you from accidentally falling off. For this reason, sometimes when you try to jump to a different rail, you'll end up skipping over one, jumping to the opposite rail, not moving at all, or just falling off and dying. We believe this is caused by either gravity or automatic sections. These effects are all consistent in terms of location, so make sure to take note of all the places they happen to you, and you'll be fine.
Interestingly enough, the obstacles you find on rails don't act as true speed-up/slow-down mechanisms. They actually act as speed cap changes in general, and possibly gravity changers. Every time you collide with a barricade, not only does your speed decrease, so does your speed cap. It's likely that in some cases, your speed cap actually increases, but not immediately after colliding with them. Boosters also act in this peculiar way. Some will actually slow you down. It seems that both boosters and barricades can influence switching rails as well, so keep that in mind.
Rails have their own automatic sections that function similarly to normal ones, but have a few extra added effects. There are points where the game will drop all inputs on certain frames to keep you from flying off, even preventing you from switching characters. There's also at least one place where you can actually become "soft locked", or stuck in an automatic rail section with no momentum. This will only happen if you switch to flight formation without any momentum during one of these sections. Otherwise, you will likely never not have any momentum on rails, not matter what.
Like other Automatic Sections, you can be turned around and move backwards, but you don't risk falling off if you lose most of your momentum.