Sonic doing Insta-Shield in Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
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Mid-air rapid spiral technique, that can to destroy harder defended enemies, items, projectiles or other targets.
The Insta-Shield, known as W Spin Attack or W Kaiten Attack (W回転アタック Daburu Kaiten Atakku?) in Japan, also called the Wind Attack and Twin-Spin Attack, is a move, where the player character is able to do rapid 360° spiral flashing around the playable character. It creates a temporal shield for a split-second, that can slash on enemies and items without having to touch on them It can also be useful for defeating harder defended enemies and even avoiding projectiles. Usually Insta-Shield is performed by tapping one of the jump buttons while the playable character is in mid-air after already performing a Spin Jump.
Making its first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, it has been able to be performed by Sonic the Hedgehog and Miles "Tails" Prower (Sonic Advance 3 only). It has since appeared in later 2D games, particularly in Sonic Advance games.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles
Insta-Shield is first seen as one of new types of techniques for Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and is featured same way in add-on continuation Sonic & Knuckles. Sonic is able to do Insta-Shield while Spin Jumping by pressing A, B or C-buttons again in mid-air, that creates temporal shield around Sonic. It is useful, when the player has to avoid and destroy small projectiles and defeating heavily armed enemies including Star Pointers or Orbinauts without touching them at all. However the player has to do this exactly close of enemies or projectiles.
Tails and Knuckles can't use Insta-Shield due having their own abilities. The Insta-Shield cannot be used while Sonic is equipped with a shield in both games, while also getting Invincibility or turning into Super Sonic makes Insta-Shield unable to use. Instead, he will perform an action depending on the type of shield possessed:
- A Flame Shield will allow Sonic to Jump Dash.
- An Electricity Shield (also called a Lightning Shield) will allow Sonic to double jump.
- A Water Shield will allow Sonic to slam downwards and bounce. Sonic can use this to increase his jump height slightly.
- While in his hyper form, Sonic will perform the Hyper Flash.
Sonic Advance series
The Insta-Shield returns in all three Sonic Advance games (though it is called Spin Attack in Sonic Advance, Double Spin Attack in Sonic Advance 2 and Wind Attack in Sonic Advance 3 ) and is performed in the same manner as it is in the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. In first two games, only Sonic is normally able to perform the Insta-Shield by pressing again while doing Spin Jump. While being also able to do in Sonic Advance 2, if the player is close to a normal Badnik, Sonic performs a Homing Attack instead but will be able to perform Insta-Shield after the Homing Attack.
In Sonic Advance 3, Sonic can only perform the Insta-Shield while having Knuckles as his partner. In addition, Sonic must press while jumping to perform it. Tails can also perform a variation of this move called the Tail Spin Attack in the same game while he is partnered with Knuckles.
In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, the Insta-Shield is one of Skills only available for Classic Sonic under the name Twin Spin Attack. The skill is unlocked by collecting all the Red Star Rings in Act 1 of Sky Sanctuary and costs 30 points to equip. The Twin Spin Attack functions similarly to how it did the in previous games, but the slash effect is more transparent than white. It is performed in gameplay by pressing the / while jumping.
Appearances in Other Media
Sonic the Comic
Sonic used the Insta-Shield (unnamed in this continuity) twice in issues of Sonic the Comic: first to protect himself from a Pointdexter in the Marble Garden Zone shortly after visiting the Floating Island for the first time, and again while fighting Knuckles. Sonic explained that he created the forcefield by vibrating the air molecules around him at super speed.
In Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comics, Sonic the Hedgehog has done Insta-Shield only once in comic issue 13. After crashing down on the Floating Island, one of Robotnik's flying machines start firing flamethrower and bombs to Sonic and Tails. Sonic unknowingly manages to perform the Insta-Shield in right time while dodging flames.