When the player obtains the Gold Shield power-up from a monitor, they are surrounded by a golden sphere. The shield usually protects the player from any possible harm from a Badnik or threatening obstacle until the player loses it by taking damage once. Flickies will also possess smaller shields while the player has one.
When the shield is active, the player can also perform the Blast Attack, an earlier, simpler variant of the Homing Attack that only appears in Sonic 3D. In order to use this move, the player must first grab a Gold Shield. Upon grabbing it, Sonic gains the ability to home in on and destroy a nearby enemy by jumping and then pressing / again in midair.