Rings are used in many different ways.
In most of the earlier Sonic the Hedgehog series, Sonic can not be killed if he has at least one ring. Once Sonic has no rings, and gets hurt by an enemy, he will die, and lose a life. If the player obtains 100 rings in any normal level, he / she will gain an extra life. In the shooting games with Tails and Eggman in the Sonic Adventure series, rings heal the player's character.
In Sonic Riders, rings are used for obtaining different speeds and abilities, and other upgrades via the game's shop.
In Sonic Chronicles, the player can purhase items from the store using rings.
Rings are tradtionally gold in color, and are obtainable anywhere throughout a level, and are picked up by the player walking their character over them. There are also openable capsules that contain a pseudorandom number of rings.
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