Glide (滑空 ,Kakkū?), also known as the Mid-Air Glide (滑空飛行,Kakkūhikō?, lit. "Glide Flight"), Power Glide, or Gliding Jump, is one of Knuckles the Echidna's signature moves. It first appeared in Sonic & Knuckles where it was first used by Knuckles, but has since been performed by multiple users as well. It is a technique where the user glides gently through the air in semi-flight.
In contrast to popular belief, Glide is not a technique that grants the user unbound flight through the air, but rather manipulates a person’s fall through midair.
To perform Glide, the user must be positioned in midair, either from a jump or a fall over an edge. The user then manipulates the air currents around him or her which makes it possible for the user to both slow down the rate of the descent from the fall and to move significant horizontal distances while descending, much farther than what they could reach with a normal jump or fall, but they cannot move upwards. This is usually done by the player by pressing the jump or Action button while in midair and using the direction controls to move. The user will then continue to glide until he or she latches onto a wall, lands safely on solid ground or stops on purpose. If the user should stop gliding while in the air (by releasing the button that caused the Glide), he or she will begin to drop normally through the air. The Glide can be resumed however, by pressing the button that caused the Glide again.
The ways to manipulate the air currents varies from user to user; Knuckles uses his dreadlocks to trap air under them and Rouge does it by using her wings to move through the air. Tails uses his two tails to stay in the air and is weighed down by the two pairs of boxing gloves he wears, which he also uses to attack enemies. Since most users of the Glide can also climb on walls, this move is perfectly suited for exploring the surroundings. Tails, Emerl and E-121 Phi are the only characters who cannot climb after they have glided into a wall.
For users such as Knuckles, the Glide can also be used offensively. By extending his spiked fists in front of him while gliding, Knuckles can damage any unprotected enemy his fists come in contact with (This is named the Grinder Attack in Sonic Battle). If any other of his body parts comes in contact with the enemy however, he will take damage.
Tails' variation of this move functions differently; the player must player must hold the left of right button to make sure Tails moves forward; otherwise, Tails would quickly fall to the ground.
Triangle Dive is a team move performed by Team Sonic and Team Dark in Sonic Heroes. This move is performed in a similar manner to the regular Glide, except that several people join the execution of the move. When using Triangle Dive, the team members join together in a united formation that lets them all glide through mid-air.
Breast Stroke is a move performed by Knuckles whilst underwater. The move functions exactly the same way the Glide does, whilst Knuckles can latch on walls whilst performing the Breast Stroke, Knuckles cannot damage enemies and will suffer damage if collided into.
Double Mid-Air Glide
The Double Mid-Air Glide is a move usable by Knuckles in Sonic Advance 3 when partnered with Tails. The move is executed in exactly the same way as the glide, except Knuckles gains some extra height before executing the move.
When Hyper Knuckles glides, if he hits a wall, shaking will occur and all the enemies on screen will be destroyed by the impact. This is dubbed the "Gliding Shock Wave Attack" by fans.
In other media
In the anime series Sonic X, the glide is only used by Knuckles the Echidna. In this media, it is only showcased in season one. Its performance and functions are the same as in the games.
In the 2D-side scrolling games, there is a trick that allows Knuckles to gain height when beginning to glide. The player must press the jump button just as he jumps onto an enemy or a Monitor.
Apparently, the Glide appears to be a personal invention in Knuckles’ case rather than an ability shared by all echidnas from Sonic’s world (with the exception of Tikal in the Multiplayer from Sonic Adventure 2); during Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood echidnas such as Shade and the rest of the Nocturnus Clan seemingly lack the ability to glide, while they are shown being able to scale walls.
In Sonic Heroes, when Team Sonic performs the Triangle Dive, Knuckles' quills seem to be catching air underneath, similar to the Glide move in most games.
Knuckles using Glide in Sonic and Knuckles
Knuckles using Glide in Knuckles' Chaotix
Knuckles using Glide in Sonic Blast
Knuckles using Glide in Sonic R
Metal Knuckles using Glide in Sonic R
Knuckles using Glide in Sonic Adventure (intro)
Knuckles using Glide in Sonic Adventure
Knuckles using Glide in Sonic Shuffle (intro)
Knuckles using Glide in the Sonic Advance titles
Knuckles using Glide in Sonic Adventure 2
Rouge using Glide in Sonic Adventure 2
Tikal using Glide in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle
Chaos using Glide in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle
Knuckles using Glide in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
Rouge using Glide in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
Knuckles using Glide in the opening of Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity
Sir Gawain using Glide in Sonic and the Black Knight