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Shield icon Sonic 4
The shield icon from Sonic the Hedgehog 4.
Statistics and Overview
First appearance

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

  • Protecting its user from losing Rings or life
  • Absorbing damage

A round, protective shield, which is seen colored as blue or dark green. Getting hit once make it disappear.

The Shield, also known as Barrier (バリア Baria?) in Japan, Normal Shield or Barrier Shield, is a power-up item, first introduced in the original Sonic the Hedgehog. It is obtained by breaking an Item Box with a blue or dark green circular symbol on the monitor. It is the first and original of all shield type power-ups.

The power-up itself envelops the playing character in a spherical barrier which protects the wearer from attacks or damage so that the player would not lose collected rings or a life if they are hit without rings. Its color varies from blue, green and grey depending on what game it is in. Unlike its successors, it does not have any additional abilities to grant to the wearer.


The protection of shield varies on certain forms. It is able to protect from enemies, spikes and some other level hazards and after hitting one of aforementioned alternatives, the shield disappears and the player is usually seen flying slightly backwards without losing rings. However the shield is not able to protect while falling to the bottomless pits or being crushed by crusher with spikes or in some cases, the time limit of completing the stage has been exceeded, which is the instant death. If the player also enters to the underwater sections, it doesn't disappear like elemental shields do, but neither it does protect from drowning.

The Shield's color has been varied thought the series without any logical reason. As the shield is originally known being colored as blue, while since Sonic Adventure, it changed its color to dark green. However one time in Sonic Generations, it is simply illustrated as transparent white bubble, but in most appearances it is transparent with a shade of either blue or dark green.

Game Appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

But whatever, there he goes

Sonic with shield in 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog.

The original 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog marked the first appearance of Shield. In the game, it can be collected from normal monitor with blue orb symbol icon in it. The shield is colored a washed-out blue and flashes around Sonic. If the player gets hit once by Badniks or any other obstacles, Sonic will lose the shield, but he can pick up another one from other monitors. Because the game is known having a "Spike Bug", the player is able to lose shield, rings and even life directly at a time while getting hit multiple times by spikes, despite few seconds flashing and invulnerability.

The 8-bit version of the game with same name also features shields on monitors. It is somehow smaller and more brighter blue comparing to the 16-bit counterpart. It can also seen spinning around the player during the game and like in 16-bit counterpart, it doesn't protect about drowning in underwater sections of Labyrinth Zone.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

The shield returns!

Sonic breaks the shield monitor in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

The shield makes its next appearance in 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, where the game describes more dark blue than in previous game. The shield in this game also is seen flashing effect with white core. It can be once again being found at monitors at each zone. Despite the sprite being changed slightly, the shield had no other benefits and was more or less the same as it had been in the previous installment. The shield is also seen in multiplayer mode of the game too, but items of monitors are now randomized.

When the player has Knuckles in Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the shield is shown to be colored as grey. However despite the color palette change, there are none major differences.

Sonic the Hedgehog CD

The shield's appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog CD is almost identical comparing to original Sonic the Hedgehog. Similarly, it can be found at monitors and it is seen to have same washy flashing effect. It can be lost once after getting hit by Badniks, spikes or any other dangerous obstacles.

Knuckles' Chaotix

Hey should I take that Vector

The monitor with shield in Knuckles' Chaotix.

The shield has seen as general monitor item in Knuckles' Chaotix. The blue shield has similar effect from previous games, as the player will lose it after hitting the enemy or spikes once. Although it only protects certain playable character, that player controls and breaks the monitor. The other playable character in this case gets hit and falls out the screen and comes back to the action after for while. The shield has flipping coin effect, when the playable character is seen using it.

Sonic the Fighters

Sonic the Fighters doesn't feature the traditional shield, but does feature different temporary shield, that the player or the stage's opponent is able to used it to guard defense for while. It is able to do by holding down the Barrier button in original arcade version of the game. The player and opponents are able to break others shield while they are guarding it. It takes several punches to break through a single shield. At the beginning of arcade mode of the game, the player has already five shields on the hand and if the player loses all, shields are all gone for good.

Sonic 3D Blast

Creepy shield family

Sonic and Flickies having shields in Sonic 3D Blast.

The shield is also featured at isometric perspective in Sonic 3D Blast (also known as Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island in Europe and Japan). It can be normally found at monitors with blue shield icon on it and it only protects the player until hitting Badniks, spikes or other hazards of each zone. It is worth of note, that the Flickies that follow the player also receives a small shield surrounding on them and they don't fly away by hitting obstacles, if the player himself doesn't.

There are also other two shields in the game as well, such as the Flame Shield from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Sonic & Knuckles, which protects from fire obstacles and the player is able to walk on lava lakes. The game features new type of shield called Gold Shield, which gives ability to Blast Attack to the Badnik. All Flickies also receive these shields as well.

Sonic Blast

The shield makes appearance in Sonic Blast, as being found from monitors. It is small comparing to the playable character, but works similarly like in previous appearances. However some of monitors with question marks are randomized, which may contain one of eight power-ups of the game, including the shield.

Sonic Adventure

The shield makes next appearance in Sonic Adventure, while having basic same method from earlier appearances, the color of the shield is now dark green. It can be normally found at Item boxes, which is newer form of monitors since this game. Also since Sonic Adventure, Lightning Shield from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles is also seen featured in item boxes, which also protects until the one hit, but also magnetically attracts rings.

Sonic Pocket Adventure

Shield becomes one of general monitor items once again in Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, where it is now seen colored as light blue. Shield have the same method from previous games, as by hitting Badniks, spikes or other obstacles once makes the shield disappear around the player. The shield is also seen in multiplayer mode of the game as well.

Sonic Adventure 2

The dark green shield is once again seen in Sonic Adventure 2, as being included in item boxes, that can be seen with foot-sets or floating in the air. Shield has the same method from Sonic Adventure, while the game also features Lightning Shield as well. However if the player has ninty rings on hand and run past one of Point Markers, the player will earn the shield automatically.

Sonic Advance games

Shield Advance

The dark green shield as it is seen in Sonic Advance.

The dark green shield is also seen in all three Sonic Advance games. In all three games, it can be found at normal or floating item boxes and protects player until hitting to the enemy or any hazards on the way without losing rings.

Sonic Heroes

The dark green shield is once again been featured in Sonic Heroes, as it can be found at item boxes or floating balloon variants of them. It works similarly like in Sonic Adventure titles, as getting hit once makes the shield disappear, but check points don't give shields anymore. The appearance of shield in the game is smaller and more colorful, even sometimes being nearly invisible around the playable character. The Lightning Shield is not featured in the game.

Sonic Rush games

Dark green shields are also seen once again being featured in Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure, as these power-ups are once again included in item boxes and balloon variants as well. It works similarly like in Sonic Advance games without any differences.

Sonic Rivals games

In Sonic Rivals and its sequel Sonic Rivals 2, the Shield reappeared under the name "Fire Shield". As its name states, it creates a barrier of fire around the user when used which can protect the user from one attack just like the previous games' Shield but even when not attacked, the shield will eventually disappear after being used. In order to use it, the player must have obtained a Fire element Power-Up and must be ahead of his/her rival in the stage.

Shadow the Hedgehog

The normal, dark green shield has also make appearance in Shadow the Hedgehog, where it is found at item boxes like in previous titles. Like always, it protects the player in the action until it lost by hitting the enemy once. In addition to the normal Shield, the game also has two variants of the Shield: Heat Barrier, which hurts surrounding enemies while using it, and Lightning Shield, which attracts nearby Rings.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

The dark green shield was originally supposed to appear in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), where it can be found at more detailed looked item boxes and work similarly like in previous games such as Sonic Adventure. However due to time contrains of the game, the shield is nowhere seen in the game despite the fact that it is listed in the game's instruction manual and the item box icon exists.

The game does feature a Lightning Shield, but it is featured in the form of an ability called Thunder Guard, that can be activated by obtaining the Yellow Gem. Sonic can be seen sometimes holding Elise at several stages such as Dusty Desert and Tropical Jungle, where the player can use their powers to create a yellow shield that prevents them from sinking down into the quicksand/the lake in the jungle. This will use up Sonic's Action Guage on the bottom-right corner of the screen and this shield cannot protect Sonic from enemy attacks and obstacles.

Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity

The Shield power-up only appears in Survival Battle of Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity. Its purpose remains the same like the past Sonic games; the Shield protects the player from one attack, preventing the user from losing Hit Points (in Sudden Death mode) or allowing an opponent to gain a point for hitting the player (in Points Battle). The Shield will instantly dissipate if the player falls off the field, however.

Sonic Unleashed

Werehog Shield

Sonic the Werehog creating shield in Sonic Unleashed.

A different type of shield is featured in the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 of Sonic Unleashed, which the player is able to use when performing Guard when Sonic is in his Werehog form. This energy shield guards Sonic, as he pulls his arms in front of his face by holding LB/L1 button and Sonic forms a shield around him. This energy shield neutralizes all damage Sonic will receive from certain attacks. For as long as Sonic has energy in his Shield Gauge, he can put a shield. However, every time the shield blocks an attack, Sonic's Shield Gauge is consumed, and if it drained completely from an attack, the shield will break and Sonic will receive the attack.

The player is able to increase the size of Shield Gauge by collecting Chaos Orbs after destroying enemies and use the EXP they grant to increase its level. The highest level where the player is able to power-up shield at its status is to level 10.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing series

In Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, one of the item box power-ups is a dark green shield, which can be activated after obtaining it. When activated, the shield works the similarly to the past Sonic titles: after being hit once, the shield disappears but the user doesn't take any damage.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4

The normal shield makes a appearance in both episodes of Sonic the Hedgehog 4, although still being colored as dark green. It can be found at newer monitors and works identically like in previous installments. After getting hit once by Badniks, spikes or other obstacles the shield disappears but the player doesn't lose rings.

Sonic Colors

Even though the Nintendo Wii version of Sonic Colors doesn't feature item boxes and shields at all, the Nintendo DS version does feature item boxes, which also include dark green shields as one power-ups in the game. The game also feature Lightning Shield as well and all shields work similarly like in Sonic Rush games.

Sonic Generations

The normal shield makes a reappearance, along with the Elemental Shields (Flame Shield, Lightning Shield and Water Shield) in Sonic Generations. They can only be obtained if the player buys all the shields as Skills from the Skill Shop. The player can then equip their respective Skill in gameplay, the player can activate the shields manually whenever desired. They can only be used by Classic Sonic playing through Act 1 of any level.

In the console version the shield looks like a completely white orb like the Bubble Shield, but the icon of the item shows the shield to being normally dark green. In the Nintendo 3DS version, it can be found normally on Item Boxes, as well as the Thunder shield (Emerald Coast only) or get either of them as an extra skill after playing Versus Mode online.

Sonic Jump games

Dark green shields are featured in Sonic Jump, Sonic Jump 2 and 2012 remake of the game, as collectible item boxes and disappear once after getting hit by enemies and other obstacles. The 2012 remake include different shields as well.

Sonic Dash

Dark green shields are included at item boxes in Sonic Dash. When the player gets the shield, it protects him from crashing the Badniks of the game without losing rings. However the shield will disappear after for while and the player has to get another one from other item box.

Appearances in Other Media

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog

In the episode "Robotnik's Pyramid Scheme" the Mummified Hedgehog gave Sonic a necklace that creates a Blue Shield, protecting him from Robotnik's immortality.

Sonic X (comic)

Shield Sonic X Comic

Sonic breaking the shield in Sonic X comics' issue 10.

In Archie Comic's Sonic X #10, Sonic finds shield monitor on the top of large loop at Green Hill Zone in issue 10. He first felt hesitated after getting it around and tries to outrun the shield, which doesn't work. After that, he proceed his journey until he comforts Doctor Eggman on his Egg Mobile's additional device. He lost the shield after getting smashed by wrecking ball, but despite few hits, he still manages to defeat him and thus Sonic and Eggman moves to the next zone.

Archie Comics

In Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comics, Sonic is seen using sort of similar shield at issue 227, during the Genesis arc.. When Sonic, Sally and Boomer have entered inside of the Scrap Brain Zone and come across Doctor Eggman with large mechanic pillars, Sonic suddenly got trapped of blue forcefield around him. He uses it during the fight against Eggman's machine and as Antoine arrives into the Eggman's machine, Sonic finishes the battle and after that, the shield disappears.


  • The player is unable to transform Super Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 if Sonic has shield around. However if the player does super transformation, it is noticeable that, monitors that have shield changed the blue color to golden yellow and the player is then able to pick up the yellow shield around. This is due Sonic and shield sharing the same color palette in the game. The same thing can happen in locked-on version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, where the shield starts glowing pink just like Super Knuckles does.
    • This has been later fixed in both two episodes of Sonic the Hedgehog 4, where Sonic is able to transform while having dark green shield or even invincibility at the same time.
  • Numerous lead minions of their enemy groups are known to have different, invisible shield around them in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and Sonic Unleashed, if the player attacks them at front view.


Concept Artwork


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