Zoom Tubes are a form of rapid transit tunnels that run throughout the Floating Island. Those that enter the tunnel are sucked through long, winding passageways at high speed, then emerge shortly after in another Zone. Knuckles frequently uses Zoom Tubes to get around the island.
The island's Zoom Tubes were most frequently used by Knuckles, although on occasion have been used by other heroes. Primarily, Zoom Tubes are shown to be connected to the Emerald Chamber and other adjoining rooms. Many of Knuckles' adventures would involve him in solitude before being alerted to a danger that required immediate transport to another Zone.
They were first named by Knuckles prior to becoming in league with Doctor Robotnik. Standing in an unnamed Zone, Knuckles witnessed the crash of the Death Egg in the Ice Cap Zone. Knuckles leapt into the Zoom Tube and, minutes later, arrived at his frozen destination. Later, having stolen the Freedom Fighters' Chaos Emeralds, Knuckles led Robotnik to a remote Tube, allowing them both to quickly escape Sonic the Hedgehog and Tails. Knuckles specifically warned Robotnik to "keep a tight hold of the Chaos Emeralds", aware the force of the tunnel was strong enough to separate them. After Sonic defeated a pair of stone hands keeping him captive, the two heroes followed them down, leading them to directly witness Robotnik absorbing the Chaos Emeralds.
Whilst protecting his island and gradually upgrading his alarm systems, Knuckles used the Zoom Tubes to quickly access surrounding Zones such as the Mushroom Hill Zone and Megopolis City, to thwart danger. Sonic joined Knuckles in one of these journeys, heading off a large Badnik that had infiltrated the island's forcefield.
The Tubes returned in Sonic the Comic Online, serving much the same purpose. During The Battle for Drak, Tails led his team from the Emerald Chamber to the Temple of Chaos using a Zoom Tube, although this was only a relatively short distance up to the surface.
- Sonic the Summer Special - Guardian of the Chaos Emeralds
- Issue 36 - Power of the Chaos Emeralds
- Issue 53 - Total Chaotix
- Issue 59 - The Revenge of Trogg
- Issue 65 and Issue 67 - The Homecoming
- Issue 135 - The Take-Over
- Issue 148 - It's A Small World