The Aqua Shield[1] (アクアバリア Akua Baria?), also known as Water Shield[2] (アクア[3] Akua?, lit. "Aqua") or Bubble Shield[4] (アクアバリア[5] Akua Baria?, lit. "Aqua Barrier"), is an Item Box power-up that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. When the player obtains this power-up, the playable character receives a bubble-like force-field that can typically negate one instance of damage, eliminate the need for Air Bubbles, and, for certain individuals, enable the Bound Jump.

The Aqua Shield is one of the many shield variants in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. While the Aqua Shield has not become as recurring a power-up as the likes of the Super Ring, it has made some noteworthy appearances through the series.

Description

Item Boxes containing the Aqua Shield usually either contain or display an icon depicting either a blue water droplet or a blue bubble. When the player obtains the Aqua Shield, a protective water bubble will appear around the playable character. This bubble will prevent the playable character from losing Rings, or even a life if they hold no Rings, when they get hit by an enemy attack, touches an enemy, or runs into a damage-inducing hazard. When taking a damage-dealing blow with the Aqua Shield equipped, the Aqua Shield disappears and the playable character is usually knocked slightly backwards without taking damage while gaining temporary invulnerability for a few seconds. However, the Aqua Shield cannot protect the playable character from losing a try when falling into a bottomless pit, being crushed, or in case they get a Time Over.

Like the Thunder Shield and Flame Shield, the standard Aqua Shield can deflect minor projectile attacks from enemies, like those of the Bloominators, Blastoids, Spikers and Clamers, without disappearing. While equipped in underwater sections, the typical Aqua Shield also eliminates the user's need to replenish their air supply with Air Bubbles, meaning the user can remain underwater indefinitely without drowning. Also, when wielded by Sonic and Classic Sonic. the Aqua Shield enables these characters to perform the Bound Jump. In certain games though, the Aqua Shield can have different abilities and traits.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles

Bubble Shield Thumb.png

In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic & Knuckles and their add-on continuation Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, this shield power-up made its debut, where it is called the Water Shield[6] (アクアバリア[7] Akuabaria?, lit. "Aqua Barrier"). In this game, monitors containing the Water Shield display an icon that shows a blue water droplet. In gameplay, the Water Shield takes the form of a white bubble. In terms of effects displayed by the Water Shield besides its damage negation, it deflects minor projectile attacks, eliminates the need for Air Bubbles underwater, and allows Sonic to use the Continuous Bound.

Outside of the Zones, the player can also get Water Shields from the Gumball Machine Bonus Stage by collecting an Aqua Ball. Also worth of note is that in Sonic & Knuckles, the Aqua Shield has no underwater sections in which to utilize its underwater breathing ability,

Sonic R

Item Panel Shield.png

In Sonic R, this shield power-up is referred to as the Water Shield[2] (アクア[3] Akua?, lit. "Aqua"). In this game, the Water Shield can be obtained at random when touching one of the Item Panels that lie scattered across the racing courses. In gameplay, the Water Shield takes the form of a blue bubble. In terms of effects displayed by the Water Shield, it allows the user to across the water surfaces on the race tracks without sinking into the speed-reducing waters. After coming back on bare land however, the user loses the Water Shield instantly.

Sonic Generations

Classic Sonic - Aqua Shield.png

In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, this shield power-up is referred to as the Aqua Shield[1] (アクアバリア Akua Baria?, lit. "Water Barrier"). In this game, Item Boxes containing the Aqua Shield display an icon that shows blue bubbles. In gameplay, the Aqua Shield takes the form of a white bubble. In terms of effects displayed by the Aqua Shield besides its damage negation, it eliminates the need for Air Bubbles underwater and allows Classic Sonic to use the Bound Jump.

In this game, the Aqua Shield only appears in Classic Sonic's Challenge Acts. Worth noting is that the Aqua Shield plays an important role in the Aqua Shield Challenge and With Your Powers Combined Challenge Acts; in these Challenge Acts, the player has to make constant use of Aqua Shield Item Boxes, which respawn almost instantly after the player opens them, in order to get through the level fast enough. In addition, there is a Skill for Classic Sonic called "Aqua Shield" that can be bought from the Skill Shop for 300 Skill Points after clearing Aqua Shield Challenge and be equipped to Classic Sonic at the cost of seventy Skill Points. When using this Skill in regular Acts, the player can equip one Aqua Shield at anytime by pressing XboxY.png/PSTriangleButton.png.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2013)

In the 2013 re-release of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, the Item Boxes containing the Aqua Shield display an icon that shows a blue water droplet. In gameplay, the Aqua Shield takes the form of a white bubble. In terms of effects displayed by the Aqua Shield besides its damage negation, it eliminates the need for Air Bubbles underwater and allows Sonic to use the Bound Jump.

In this game, the Aqua Shield will only appear in the Zones if the player accesses the Level Select and in the "Items" category, switches to either "S1+S3" or "S2+S3". Some of the original Shield Item Boxes will then be replaced with the Aqua Shield. Alternatively, the player can place an Aqua Shield into the Zones using Debug Mode.

Sonic Lost World

In both the Wii U/PC version and Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World, this shield power-up makes appearance. In the Nintendo 3DS version, it is referred to as the Aqua Shield.[8] In these games, Item Boxes containing the Aqua Shield display an icon that shows a blue water droplet. In gameplay, the Aqua Shield takes the form of a white bubble. In terms of effects displayed by the Aqua Shield besides its damage negation, it eliminates the need for Air Bubbles underwater. However, it does not allow Sonic to use the Bound Jump, as the move is a part of Sonic's standard moveset.

In the Wii U/PC version of the game, the Aqua Shields do not appear. In the Nintendo 3DS version of the game on the other hand, the Aqua Shields appear regularly in the Zones. In addition, the player can also make an Aqua Shield in Tails' Lab using twelve Blue Materials and twelve White Materials. Once obtained, these Aqua Shields will be stored away for the player to use later in the Zones. During these Zones, the player can look up the Item Bag and select these Aqua Shields to instantly bestow one onto the playable character.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2013)

In the 2013 re-release of the original Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit), the Item Boxes containing the Aqua Shield display an icon that shows a blue water droplet. In gameplay, the Aqua Shield takes the form of a white bubble. In terms of effects displayed by the Aqua Shield besides its damage negation, it eliminates the need for Air Bubbles underwater and allows Sonic to use the Bound Jump.

To enable the Aqua Shield in gameplay, the player must first open the Game Config menu in Level Select. In the Items category, the player must then either highlight the second (the icon displaying the Shield with the three elemental shields) or fourth option (icon displaying Random with the three elemental shields) before starting an Act. It also appears as a random power-up in VS. Mode.

Sonic Mania

SMAquaShield.png

In Sonic Mania and its expansion Sonic Mania Plus, the Aqua Shield is referred to as the Bubble Shield[4] (アクアバリア[5] Akua Baria?, lit. "Aqua Barrier"). In this game, Item Boxes containing the Bubble Shield display an icon that shows a blue water droplet. In gameplay, the Bubble Shield takes the form of a white bubble. In terms of effects displayed by the Bubble Shield besides its damage negation, it deflects minor projectile attacks, eliminates the need for Air Bubbles underwater, and allows Sonic to use the Bounce Jump. In addition, it makes the user invulnerable to harm when touching the boiling Mega Mack pools in Chemical Plant Zone. However, the Aqua Shield's Bounce Jump cannot be performed in quick succession without some delay between each usage. It also behaves differently when bouncing on slopes; rather than always bouncing straight up, it will bounce perpendicularly to the slope.

Trivia

Gallery

Sprites

Gallery

Screenshots

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Sonic Team (11 November 2011). Sonic Generations. Xbox 360. Sega. Area/level: Aqua Shield Challenge. "Loading screen: Use Aqua Shield to reach the goal in time and obtain the Aqua Shield Skill!"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sonic R (Sega Saturn) United States instruction booklet, pg. 13.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sonic R (Sega Saturn) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 19.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sonic Mania United States instruction manual.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Sonic Mania Japanese instruction manual.
  6. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Mega Drive) United States instruction booklet, p. 12.
  7. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, p. 18.
  8. Dimps (29 October 2013). Sonic Lost World. Nintendo 3DS. Sega. Area/level: Tails' Lab.


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