The concept of the "Sonic Boost" was first introduced in Sonic Heroes, where any character could repeatedly use a short momentary "boost" of speed in the Special Stages. It was later in Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure that the technique was redeveloped for universal usage and dubbed the "Super Boost". Sonic the Hedgehog would later develop an exact picture of the mechanism, a technique which subsequently appeared in Sonic and the Secret Rings. In Sonic Unleashed that technique was finally fleshed out for the consoles, drawing much of its content and dynamic from its Rush series counterparts.
Sonic the Hedgehog
When performing the Sonic Boost, Sonic envelops himself in a blue aura and accelerates to high speeds, surpassing the sound barrier and creating a distortion in space, and turning himself into a highly destructive projectile which smashes through enemies, breaks obstacles and attracts nearby rings. Although it is unknown exactly how fast Sonic can run using the Sonic Boost, it is established that the move allows him to reach at least supersonic speeds.
Shadow the Hedgehog
When performing his own version of the move in Sonic Generations, Shadow spears ahead in a comet of his own aura at an intense velocity, hovering above the ground in the torrent of increasing speed. Its potency varies between versions, ranging from being unable to deal actual damage to Sonic even when standing stationary (albeit capable of tripping him up a bit) to dealing enough damage to bypass the invulnerability of the aforementioned Sonic Boost.
Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure
The move first appeared as the Super Boost, a move utilized by Sonic the Hedgehog in Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure, and serves as the foundation for the Sonic Boost.
In order for Sonic to perform the Super Boost, the player must fill up Sonic's Tension Gauge by performing Trick Actions, passing Star Posts or defeating enemies, as performing the Sonic Boost causes the Tension Gauge to be drained. To activate this move, the player must be holding /while Sonic is standing on the ground and can be performed for as long as there are at least a little bit of energy in the Tension Gauge. If the Tension Gauge is at maximum, Sonic has unlimited use of the Super Boost for a short time.
When using this move, Sonic envelopes himself in a blue and white aura, and launches himself forward at increased speed as a highly destructive projectile. This grants Sonic limited invincibility (he can still take damage from running into spikes but not on and other indestructible harmful obstacles and being crushed etc.), and allows him to destroy or damage any opponent in his path for as long as he has energy in his Tension Gauge. While Sonic is unable to activate this move while in midair, he can still keep it active when he jumps during the boost. This move will be canceled however if Sonic runs into a wall, his Tension Gauge is depleted or if the player releases /.
Note that in Sonic Rush Adventure, Super Boost is only activated with the .
The Sonic Boost officially appeared in Sonic Unleashed. To perform the Sonic Boost, the player must fill the Boost Bar in the bottom-left corner of the screen. The bar can be filled by collecting Rings, performing the Sonic Drift, or stringing together tricks and attacks (Wii/PS2 versions only). While performing the Sonic Boost, Sonic gains limited invincibility and increased speed, plowing through enemies and object/obstacles but he'll still get hurt from hazards such as spikes. The Sonic Boost is limited by the energy in the Boost Bar; in the Xbox 360/PS3 version, the Sonic Boost can be performed at almost any time, even if there is a little bit of energy in the bar. In the Wii/PS2 versions, the bar is divided into three sub-bars (collecting rings during a level can increase the sub-bars to a maximum of six) and can only be performed when at least one of the bars is completely full.
The move is done by holding down / in the Xbox 360/PS3 version, tapping on the PS2 version and by flicking the Wii remote on the Wii version.
This move can also be used to collect rings that are just out of reach, as the rings will be attracted to Sonic, much like the Lightning Shield. In the Xbox 360/PS3 there is also an Level Up Item found in Chun-nan called the Air Boost Shoes (in the Wii/PS2 versions, Sonic already has all the Level Up Items). This Level Up Item can only be reached by also getting the Wall Jump Shoes in Spagonia. With the Air Boost Shoes, Sonic will be able to use the Sonic Boost in the air, as opposed to doing an ineffective Homing Attack.
In the Wii/PS2 version, Sonic is unable to perform a continuing boost. Instead the boost gauge is divided in separate bars, using one bar each boost, unable to use the next one until it runs out. Getting 10 rings in order to gain a bar to perform Sonic Boost is possible.
On the Wii version, the Boost looks similar to how it appeared in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed, including creating a shockwave effect on the screen, although Sonic releases multicolored waves on both sides when using it. To perform it in gameplay, the player has to press the following buttons:
Wii Remote with Nunchunk
Wii Remote Sideways
In the Nintendo DS version of the game, the Boost's properties and appearance are similar to its Sonic Rush and Rush Adventure's predecessors, albeit it also flashes in a multi-colored fashion similar to how it does on the Wii version. When running on, or under water while boost is utilized, the Boost's color returns to the static blue-and-white color palette of the Sonic Rush games. To use it in gameplay, the player must press .
The Sonic Boost also appears in Sonic Generations, the methods and speed of using are the same as in Sonic Unleashed. To charge the Boost Bar, the player can defeat enemies, collect rings, drift, break objects or perform tricks in the air. If enough Trick Actions are performed, the Boost Bar can surpass its maximum capacity, allowing boost for a longer time than normal. The boost's pull radius (used for attracting rings) is a lot weaker than in Sonic Unleashed and the boost gauge depletes more quickly when moving on top of water. Also its aura has been lowered (In some views). In the White Space, Sonic can use this technique infinitely.
In the 3DS version, the boost gauge works like the one from the console version, except that when it's completely full, the boost gauge turns from yellow to blue. From this point, Sonic can boost as much as he wants until the bar turns yellow again.
In the rival battle against Shadow the Hedgehog on the console/PC version, Sonic and Shadow race against each other using their own versions of the move. If the two collide into each other whilst performing thier boosts, they will be repelled slightly.
The Super Sonic Boost is the variation of the Sonic Boost that super transformed characters uses and is much more powerful than the Sonic Boost. Its name comes from the fact that it is Super Sonic's main form of attack against his foes and it is mostly used by him.
The Burning Fire Boost a variation of the Super Sonic Boost. It is used by Burning Blaze instead of the Super Sonic Boost.
In the DS version of Sonic Colors, if Sonic manages to collect all of the Special Rings in the game, he unlocks the Infinite Boost. When activated, Sonic can boost as much as he wants, even if the Boost Gauge is empty. The Infinite Boost also appears as an unlockable skill in Sonic Generations. However, the downside is that Sonic can't collect any rings, meaning one hit is instant death.
The Speed Break is a move in Sonic and the Secret Rings that gives Sonic a boost of speed that knocks enemies out of his way. It is unlocked when the 9th paragraph of the Lost Prologue is completed, and can be performed as long as Sonic has energy in his Soul Gauge.
The Wii version of Sonic Colors is the only game that does not allow modification of the Boost Gauge.
In earlier builds of Sonic Unleashed, the boost "aura" was originally colored white as it was initially intended to be wind resistance.
If someone hacks through the physics of Sonic Generations stop the Sonic Boost function, the player has to go to a file named "Chaos Energy" and modify "BoostEnableChaosEnergy" file. This implies that the power supply of the Sonic Boost may be chaos energy.
Shadow never used his Sonic Boost when grinding a rail in the rival battle with him in Sonic Generations.
When using Sonic Boost in Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Generations, the player will notice a distortion effect, or fisheye effect. This "distortion" is probably used to indicate a sonic boom.
The magnetic force of the boost has been lowered significantly in Sonic Generations compared to Sonic Unleashed.
It is should be noted that when Sonic destroys the robots in the first cutscene of Sonic's story of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) there is a blue aura surrounding him which is identical to the Sonic Boost.
This might infer that the idea of Sonic Boost was present in that time, but was not put in the gameplay.
In Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, Sonic's hands will clench when he boosts.
In Sonic Rush, if Sonic kept on boosting for too long, he appears to dash ahead and outside of his Boost field.
↑BradyGames (1 November 2011). Sonic Generations: BradyGames Official Strategy Guide. BradyGames. ISBN 978-0761555100. "Sonic starts each act with a full Boost Gauge. Press and hold the Boost button to break the sound barrier and move incredibly fast."