The Goal Ring is an item in the 3D Sonic the Hedgehog games. It is the 3D equivalent of the signpost.
In Sonic Adventure 2, the Goal Ring resembled a giant ring with a flashing symbol reading "GOAL". There were also Back Rings that read "BACK". They kept this appearance in Sonic Heroes, but instead of reading "GOAL" there was merely a picture of a star, showing the heroes they have completed the stage. In Shadow the Hedgehog, they actually are massive rings, but if it's any Action Stage that's not Lethal Highway, Cryptic Castle, Central City, The Doom, Sky Troops, Mad Matrix, Death Ruins, Iron Jungle or Lost Impact, then the Goal Ring would be a Chaos Emerald. In Sonic Advance 3, the Goal Ring is much smaller and contains a star. In Sonic Rush, the Goal Ring is identical to Sonic Heroes' goal ring..
Other Goal Rings Edit
There are also Back Rings in Sonic Heroes and Sonic Adventure 2 so you could restart the entire Action Stage if you didn't collect a certain object. They appeared in the same place a Goal Ring would. In Shadow the Hedgehog, they are replaced with Save Point Teleporters.