A dash that follows a trail of rings to the end of line.
The Light Speed Dash (ライトスピードダッシュ,Raito Supīdo Dasshu?), also known simply as the Light Dash (ライトダッシュ,Raitodasshu?), is an ability that can be performed by Sonic the Hedgehog and Shadow the Hedgehog in certain games of the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It allows the user to travel along a trail of Rings at light speed, even in mid-air, which can allow access to new areas or by means the only solution to pass through certain sections. It first appeared in Sonic Adventure.
In Sonic Adventure, the Light Speed Dash can be obtained when Sonic collects the Light Speed Shoes, which are found in the sewers of Station Square. To activate the move in this game, Sonic must charge up his Spin Dash until he says "Ready!" and glows cyan (this will end the spinning and allow Sonic to walk around as long as the action button (/) is held). He can then approach a trail of rings and release the action button to travel along the path of the rings. If the button is released while not near rings, Sonic will quickly jerk forward and stop (while yelling "go!"). While charging, the light orbs that surround Sonic can defeat enemies, collect rings and activate switches.
The Crystal Ring is an optional upgrade that halves the charging time needed to perform the Light Speed Dash. It is found at the hotel in Station Square.
The Ancient Light allows Sonic to perform the stronger move, the Light Speed Attack, which is performed the same way but now has the ability to damage multiple enemies.
Sonic Adventure 2
In Sonic Adventure 2, the Light Speed Dash is available to both Sonic (in the Hero story) and Shadow (in the Dark story). Sonic accesses the move when he, again, collects the Light Speed Shoes, which are found at Metal Harbor stage. Shadow must collect the Air Shoes to perform the same move. The Air Shoes can be found at White Jungle.
Unlike in Sonic Adventure, Sonic only has to approach a trail of rings and press the action button as opposed to charging. Curiously, from this game and onward, the Light Dash is capable of damaging foes in the middle of a ring path and not just items. Sonic also no longer Spin Dashes and just simply dashes along the trail.
The Light Speed Dash reappeared in Sonic Heroes where it is named the Light Dash and can be used by both Sonic on Team Sonic and Shadow on Team Dark from the start of the game (Shadow's version is called the Dark Dash in the game's Strategy Guide from Prima Games). While performing it, the user is surrounded by their respective aura.
To use the Light Dash, the selected team must be in Speed Formation with Sonic/Shadow as the leader. The player must then press // while near a path of Rings (in which the heads-up-display of the leader has the required button flashing). Additionally, whenever it is possible to use the Light Dash at Ring trails, the icon of the button used to activate it appears in the upper right corner of the screen.
Shadow the Hedgehog
In Shadow the Hedgehog, the Light Speed Dash is again called the Light Dash and can be used by Shadow from the beginning of the game. To use it in gameplay, the player has to press the Circle/X/B Button when near a trail of Rings.
In this game, there are certain pathways/sets of rings that must be collected with the Light Dash in order to progress as the game is meant to allow. Any Rings that are accidentally collected prior to the Light Dash set turn into clear silhouettes, and can still be dashed across so long as there is another ring nearby within the set path. Additionally, the second action button () is used, instead of the first ().
This move can be very glitchy sometimes and if the player is not directly in line with the ring trail the character could miss, he/she could dash in the wrong direction or only dash along one ring.
Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), both Sonic and Shadow can gain the ability to perform the Light Speed Dash by collecting the Light Chip (Sonic) and Air Chip (Shadow). The move is required to reach the first stage as Sonic. Both characters can buy these items at the shop in Soleanna using earned rings. However, due to the control scheme of the game, it's possible to commit suicide by using a midair attack instead of the Light Dash when near a trail that's over a pit, especially if the character in question has an attack that sends them downward.
The user in this game also instead, flies forward with their body in an exposed manner, almost as if they are floating.
In the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Sonic Unleashed, Sonic once again accesses the Light Speed Dash by collecting the Light Speed Shoes, which are found in Shamar's Entrance Stage. In the PlayStation 2 and Wii versions of the game, he has access to the move from the beginning of the game. A Light Speed Dash can continue an Action Chain.
When special glowing Rings are within range, Sonic dashes towards and along them.
— Manual, Sonic Generations
The Light Speed Dash returns in Sonic Generations as one of Modern Sonic's normal abilities; however, it can only be performed near certain ring paths, which are surrounded by a clearly discernible ripple effect. Also, the button required to perform the move is shown (/).
Sonic Lost World
The Light Speed Dash reappears in the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World. Like in Sonic Colors, Sonic can only use the Light Speed Dash while under the effects of the Green Hover from the Green Wisp's Hyper-go-on.
Appearances in Other Media
In the anime series Sonic X, the Hyper Tornado can release rings into a line called the Ring Tunnel, which Sonic then spin dashes through the tunnel. However, since there is only one other ring, one that lets Sonic Spin Dash, and does not get collected, Sonic does not collect the rings in the Ring Tunnel.
Sonic can actually injure a Chao in Sonic Adventure DX by using the Light Speed Dash. To pull it off, the player must charge the move (and keep it charged), then walk to a Chao and pick it up (this is possible by holding the B Button to charge, then walk to a Chao and press X to pick it up). Then, when the player puts the Chao down, Sonic will immediately fly forward, sending the Chao flying.
In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), it is considerably harder to execute the move especially in Sonic's case, due to the Bounce Attack move being mapped to the same button as the Light Speed Dash (/). If players are not careful, they could end up stomping to their death rather than flying to safety.
Something similar can happen in Sonic Adventure 2 in Crazy Gadget, because in one area, Sonic has to jump to a trail of rings and if not timed exactly, he will bounce to his death. This was changed in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, as the area has a grind rail if the move does not work.
In the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of Sonic Unleashed, the Light Speed Dash is the last move to be unlocked. This is oddly different, due to every other game before it either offering the move as the first to be unlocked or automatically unlocked.
In all the games that the ability appeared in, Sonic and Shadow always float slightly above the rings when performing the Light Speed Dash.
If the player releases the Action Button after charging the Light Speed Dash and there are no rings around, Sonic will make a quick dash forward.
There is currently no handheld Sonic game that features this move.
All of Sonic's upgrades that give him this move start with the word "light", but Shadow's start with the word "air", which is odd, since this move is still called the Light Speed Dash when used by him.
Unlike all other games; Sonic can only perform the move in Sonic Generations at particular areas where the rings are marked, a similar case is also with Shadow's game with certain ring paths, only it was much less specific at the time for requirements.
Using the move is dangerous in Sonic Generations with the Super SonicSkill equipped, as the skill is mapped to the same button as the Light Speed Dash, so, in the second 2D platforming section in Speed Highway, at the end with the rings, you might end up transforming into Super Sonic and falling to your death due to the lengthy transformation sequence.
For an unknown reason, some rings in the Classic Sonic stages in the console/PC version of Sonic Generations are flagged as light speed dash enabled.
Strangely, in Sonic Generations, Sonic doesn't require the Light Speed Shoes to perform a Light Speed Dash (though they can only be used in specific areas). This may hint that Sonic is able to now perform this move without help. However, beforehand Shadow in his own game could do the same, as well as both Sonic and Shadow in Sonic Heroes.