The Sonic Rush series is a pair of games in Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog franchise 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.
Like the Advance trilogy, the two games received a solid reception despite the Unpleasable Fanbase. Sega have all but admitted that the DS version of Sonic Colors (2010) can be considered an unofficial third installment in the series.
- 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.
- 2½D: In an... odd way. Everything except Sonic and Blaze in normal levels is a sprite, but the bosses, their arenas, and special stages use full 3D graphics. And then there's the hang glider in Altitude Limit and the mine cart in Coral Cave, both of which play in 3D, but all the obstacles (save the lava pits in the latter) are sprites.
- Airborne Aircraft Carrier / Bubbly Clouds: Altitude Limit in the first game.
- An Aesop: Friendship is awesome!
- 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.
- Big Bad: Dr. Eggman and Dr. Eggman Nega in the first game and Captain Whisker in Adventure.
- Bigger Bad: Captain Whisker was actually working for Eggman and Eggman Nega.
- Bottomless Pits: Loads in Rush, but notably much less frequent until near the end of the game in Rush Adventure.
- Casino Park: Night Carnival.
- Cats Are Mean: Blaze was a bit of a bitch 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Blaze
- Deus Ex Machina: Marine's power came out of nowhere.
- Dual Boss: Captain Whisker and Johnny 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 literally becomes the wind in the games. As guardian of the Sol Emeralds, Blaze has flame powers. She tried to avoid friendships out of fear of hurting people. And let us not forget Marine who seems to have water powers, despite hiding them until end-game.
- Eternal Engine: It wouldn't be a Sonic game without it.
- Huge Crisis and Dead Line from the first game.
- Machine Labyrinth from the second.
- Evolving Music: In Adventure, the Windmill Village music speeds up and gains instruments every time you craft a new vehicle.
- Ghost Ship: The fourth level of Adventure.
- Green Hill Zone: In both games, and as the first zone.
- 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 aren't intuitive, and most interestingly Night Carnival Zone has a point that requires the use of a non-intuitive to move past, creating a trap point much like Carnival Night Zone and its infamous barrel.
- Hijacked by Ganon: In Adventure, the Big Bad is initially Captain Whisker, however the real villains are Eggman and Eggman Nega, which is a nice twist because with Eggman, the reverse is usually true. Unfortunately, the plot is spoiled because Whisker looks so much like Eggman, not to mention that Mike Pollock is credited as Eggman/Nega in the credits, which you see BEFORE the complete end.
- The Idiot From Osaka: The Japanese version of Marine.
- I Work Alone: Blaze, at first.
- The Jimmy Hart Version: Some of the music sounds very similar to some Jet Set Radio and Jet Set Radio Future tracks, but that's because Hideki Naganuma did work on all of them.
- Lampshade Hanging: In Adventure, the other three heroes are well aware of how annoying Marine can be.
- Land Down Under: The English-language version of Marine. Fitting since Osaka is in the southern area of Japan and Australia is, well, the land down under.
- Let's You and Him Fight: Played with. Blaze knows Sonic isn't in league with Eggman, but forces Sonic to fight her anyway to see who should fight him.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Averted. Sonic and Blaze are the only two characters you can play as in both games, and there are only a handful of supporting characters.
- Motor Mouth: Marine
- 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.
- Opposites Attract: The extroverted Sonic and the introverted Blaze. The Affably Evil Eggman and the Evilly Affable Eggman Nega.
- Palmtree Panic: The Hidden Island levels in Adventure, the ones that are original levels and not based on Adventure's first 5 stages anyway.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 colors, 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.
- Remilitarized Zone: Huge Crisis in the first game is also part Eternal Engine, while Pirates' Island from the second game mixes this with Ruins for Ruins Sake.
- Ruins for Ruins Sake:
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In Sonic and Blaze's boss fight, they both have moves you can't normally access in the levels! Possibly justified as it is a boss fight and normally having those moves could make levels easier to finish.
- 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.
- 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 forth 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!
- Sequel Difficulty Drop: Adventure is easier and has shorter stages than Rush. Most likely due to the ship segments as well and all the missions, but Adventure's levels also have less cheap hits and bottomless pits, so it's easier for more... fair reasons. But 100%ing it is harder due to more challenges, some of which are evil.
- Shifting Sand Land: Mirage Road from the first game.
- Ship Tease: There's quite a bit between Sonic and Blaze. Especially Rush's true ending.
- Shout-Out: To Sonic Advance 2: near the normal ending of Blaze's story, Eggman kidnaps Cream.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Blizzard Peaks in Adventure.
- 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: Sega isn't really trying to hide that the DS version of Sonic Colors is basically Sonic Rush 3. The fans were appeased... for now.
- Springy Spores: The bouncy mushrooms in Plant Kingdom.
- Steampunk: Machine Labyrinth in Adventure.
- 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.
- Suspiciously Similar Song: The melody of Back 2 Back is ripped right out of The Kingsmen's Louie Louie.
- 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!"
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Blaze and Cream.
- Sonic and Tails, sort of.
- Trapped in Another World: Adventure.
- Under the Sea: Water Palace from Rush, Coral Cave and also Pirates' Island from Adventure. Water Palace and Pirates' Island double as Underwater Ruins too.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Marine is convinced she's the hero and Sonic, Tails and Blaze are her sidekicks.