Sonic using the Somersault to break craters, from Sonic Adventure 2.
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An offensive somersault that damages the surroundings.
The Somersault (サマーソルト Samāsoruto?), also known as a Somerset, Somersaulting and Somersault Attack, is a technique introduced in Sonic Adventure 2 and is used exclusively by Sonic the Hedgehog, Shadow the Hedgehog, Amy Rose, and Metal Sonic. Basically, the move involves the user attacking, while performing a somersault. It has since then appeared in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, Sonic Advance,Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Lost World.
While standing still or moving at high speed, by pressing the action button, the user can perform the Somersault by flipping his/her body, and then proceed to attack with his/her legs.
Sonic Adventure 2
The Somersault first appearance was in Sonic Adventure 2 and is only usable by Sonic, Shadow, Amy and Metal Sonic and is an ideal move for close combat. If timed correctly, the Somersault can be used in combo attacks. It is, however, not as fast as the Spin Dash.
Beside offensive maneuvers, the Somersault can also be used to slide underneath hazards, into small openings in walls, climb steep hills and so forth. If Sonic and Shadow receives the upgrade Flame Ring, they can perform a stronger version of the Somersault called the Fire Somersault.
The Somersault move would later appear in the Sonic Adventure 2 remake, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle.
In Sonic Advance the Somersault comes in three steps, if pressing the B button at the right time, and is only used by Sonic. While moving forward and pressing the B button, Sonic goes into a grounded Spin Attack, which can still damage obstacles. Pressing the B button a second time while in the roll, makes Sonic perform a normal somersault, and pressing the B button a third time makes Sonic perform the Skid Attack. However, if pressing the A button while in the somersault, it makes Sonic do a back flip.
Sonic Lost World
The Somersault (renamed as Somersault Attack) move reappears in Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World as one of the reinvented moves Sonic can use thanks to the Parkour system. With this move, Sonic can jump while at high speeds to perform a Somersault. Basically, the Somersault is one of Sonic's three attack methods in the game, the other being the Light Speed Attack and the Spin Dash.
While Sonic must run at a fast pace and jump quickly to perform kick attack in Wii U version, the kick effect on the Nintendo 3DS version has been added to the Somersault; while turning around in the air, Sonic kicks out with his leg, releasing a thin blue wave in its wake that he can hit badniks or other enemies with from afar. When there are enemies that cannot be defeated by a regular Homing Attack, Sonic can use the Somersault to attack said enemy. When hit by the Somersault's wave, the enemy is startled, giving Sonic the chance to attack the enemy with either a Homing Attack or Spin Dash. The Somersault only serves as a distraction attack, however, as it can only startle enemies and cannot destroy them.