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In Sonic 3 (and by extension, Sonic 3 & Knuckles) there is a Gumball-dispenser bonus stage which dispenses different power-ups, including the various shields, rings, extra lives and a few other arena-specific ones, such as the rubber/bounce balls.

Gumball machine dispensing an electric shield

You can watch the bonus stage in action here:

What are the chances that the gumball machine dispenses one type of ball over another? Are they uniformly released, or does say, a Bubble shield appear more often then an extra life?

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3

Every time you touch the handle, the game rolls a random chance from this list:

  • Bumper (Black): 4 out of 16
  • Ring (Grey): 2 out of 16
  • Clear (Nothing): 2 out of 16
  • Water Shield (Blue) : 2 out of 16
  • Flame Shield (Red): 2 out of 16
  • Electric Shield (Orange): 2 out of 16
  • Rep (Green): 1 out of 16
  • 1UP (Pink): 1 out of 16

source for this list is http://hcstealth.tumblr.com/post/100311283757/sonic-3-knuckles-20th-anniversary

The Rep chances are unique in that if the game rolls a Rep while the bottom springs are still active, the game will re-roll that particular chance using a different list:

  • Black (Bumper): 8 out of 16
  • Clear (Nothing): 4 out of 16
  • Ring (Grey): 3 out of 16
  • 1UP (Pink): 1 out of 16

The game also checks the result of the roll against its last roll, and if the result would be the same, it "flips a coin" on whether or not the result is re-rolled.

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Well what i'm aware of is that each gumball has a lower chance to drop the better the gumball the sheilds have the same they are like in the uncommon chance nothing is the most common coins are rare and 1ups are super rare

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