The Boost (ブースト,Būsuto?), also known as the Sonic Boost (ソニックブースト,Sonikku Būsuto?) or the Super Boost (スーパーブースト,Sūpā Būsuto?), is a move in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a special technique that turns the user into a destructive high-speed projectile. It is also one of Sonic the Hedgehog's signature moves.
The concept of the "Sonic Boost" was first introduced in Sonic Heroes, where any character could repeatedly use a short momentary "Dash" of speed in the Special Stages. It was later in Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure that the technique was redeveloped for universal usage and dubbed the "Super Boost". Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) would later develop an exact picture of the mechanism, a technique which subsequently appeared in Sonic and the Secret Rings. In Sonic Unleashed that technique was finally fleshed out for the consoles, drawing much of its content and dynamic from its Sonic Rush series counterparts.
When performing the Boost, the user surrounds themselves in a projectile-shaped energy shield and propels themselves forward at speeds beyond the sound barrier, thus turning the user into a highly destructive projectile moving at supersonic speeds. The color of the energy field depends on the user: Sonic's is (usually) blue, Shadow's is orange-yellow, Classic Sonic's is light blue, and the Avatar's is white. While using this move, the user is able to barge straight through obstacles at staggering speeds without slowing down.
The execution of the Boost differs slightly between users. Sonic, for example, simply runs along the ground in an aerodynamic pose while enveloped in the Boost's energy field. Shadow, on the other hand, spears ahead while enveloped in his own energy field, hovering above the ground while using his Air Shoes to propel himself forward. Additionally, the Boost can be enhanced further to increase its power through Super States or Energy Cores. The latter empowerment enables the user to fling Meteorite fragments at their opponents with extreme accuracy.
In gameplay, the Boost is a technique that not only allows the player to run at vastly increased speeds for as long as the move is active, but also to damage and/or destroy enemies and breakable obstacles by simply running into them during the Boost, all without taking damage or slowing down. In some games, using the Boost can also attract nearby Rings. Also, while the player is unable to activate the Boost in midair (the Air Boost fills out that role), the move will still stay active whenever the playable character jumps or drops down from a ledge during the Boost. Finally, the Boost enables the player to hydroplane over the surface of a body of water, which normal running cannot achieve in the games the Boost appears in; this makes the Boost a virtual move for crossing large pools of water.
While the user is nearly invulnerable while using the Boost in gameplay, they can still take damage from running into indestructible hazards, like spikes or fires, or get crushed. The Boost will similarly get canceled out if the player runs into unbreakable obstacles (like walls) or utilizes certain gimmicks. Accompanying the Boost in gameplay is the Boost Gauge. This game mechanic contains the energy needed to maintain the Boost; as long as there is energy in the Boost Gauge, the Boost can be performed. However, the Boost Gauge depletes whenever the Boost is used, and should it empty completely, the Boost becomes unusable. However, the Boost Gauge can be recharged through various means, depending on the game.
It is also worth noting that, when initiating the Boost in gameplay, it sometimes creates a distortion in space.
Sonic Rush series
The move first appeared in Sonic Rush, where it was given the name "Super Boost". In this game, it is one of Sonic the Hedgehog's actions. When performing the Boost in this game, Sonic gets surrounded by a blue and white, spear-shaped energy field that leaves a colored trail in its wake.
In gameplay, the player can both crouch and roll during the Boost. This is useful when going downhill, as it allows for even greater speeds. The super-high-speeds of the Boost are also necessary to avoid death in several places during Sonic Rush, Also, if the Tension Gauge is charged to maximum capacity, the player will have unlimited usage of the Boost for a short time. To perform the Boost in gameplay, the player must press / while Sonic is standing on the ground and there is energy in the Tension Gauge. The player can hold the buttons to Boost continuously.
Curiously, If Sonic keeps on boosting for too long, he appears to dash ahead and outside of his Super Boost's energy field.
In gameplay, the Boost works exactly like it did in Sonic Rush: the player can crouch and roll during a Boost and has unlimited Boost when the Tension Gauge is at maximum capacity. To perform the Boost in gameplay, the player must press while Sonic is standing on the ground and there is energy in the Tension Gauge. The player can hold the button to Boost continuously.
In Sea Stages, the player can also perform the Boost while riding the Wave Cyclone. To perform the Boost in these Stages' gameplay, the player must tap the stylus twice on the Touch Screen or press the L or R Button while there is energy in the Boost Gauge. Hold the stylus/button down in order to maintain the Boost.
In Sonic Unleashed, the move is referred to as the Sonic Boost and is used exclusively by Sonic the Hedgehog in the daytime Stages. When performing the Boost in the versions of this game, Sonic typically gets surrounded by a comet-shaped blue energy field while he runs. However, on the Wii/PlayStation 2 version of the game, Sonic will sometimes use the Spin Dash while he performs the Boost as well. On both versions of the game, the edges of the screen also blur in order to accentuate the effect of the increased speed.
On the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of the game, the player can Boost continuously by holding down the trigger button. In addition, the Boost automatically draws in nearby Rings when in use.
On the Wii/PlayStation 2 version of the game, the Boost's Boost Gauge is divided into subunits, which affect how the Boost is executed. It is only when the player has at least one full unit on the Boost Gauge that they are able to trigger the Boost. Furthermore, using one Boost costs one unit, and the player is unable to use the next Boost until the first one runs out. The player is also unable to perform a continuous Boost. Instead, the Boost runs automatically for a limited time whenever it is triggered. Also, if Sonic crashes into a solid wall while Boosting on this version, he falls over and will take several seconds to get back up.
To use the Boost in gameplay, the player has to use one of the following commands while Sonic is standing on the ground and there is (enough) energy in the Tension Gauge:
Wii (Classic Controller)
Wii (GameCube Controller)
Shake Wii remote
In both versions of Sonic Colors, the move is called the Boost. This time, it is used by Sonic, as well as the Virtual Hedgehogs on the Wii version. Because the Boost's Boost Gauge is fueled by the sparse White Wisps in these games, which makes the Boost more of a power-up than a move, the player is forced to be more cautious on when and how to use the Boost, which allows the Acts to be designed around more platforming than pure speed.
When performed on the Wii version, the Boost looks similar to how it looked in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed. This includes creating a shockwave effect on the screen, although the user releases multicolored waves on both sides when using it. In addition, the user's hands will clench when he Boosts. On the Nintendo DS version, the Boost's appearance is similar to its Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure predecessors, albeit it also flashes in a multi-colored fashion. When Boosting on, or under water however, the Boost's color returns to the static blue-and-white color palette from the Sonic Rush games.
On the Wii version of the game, the Boost can draw in nearby Rings. The player can also hold down the trigger button for the Boost to use this technique continuously. Also, when Sonic transforms into Super Sonic, the Boost gets replaced with the Super Sonic Boost.
On the Nintendo DS version of the game, the Boost's properties are the same as in the Sonic Rush series. Like on the Wii version, the player can also hold down the move's trigger button to Boost continuously. In additon, if the player collects all the Nintendo DS version's Special Rings, they will unlock the "Infinite Boost" feature. While this feature is activated, Sonic can Boost as much as he wants, even if the Boost Gauge is empty.
To use the Boost in gameplay, the player has to press one of the following buttons while the playable character is standing on the ground and there is energy in the Wisp/Boost Gauge:
Wii Remote + Nunchunk
Wii Remote Sideways
Wii (Classic Style)
Wii (GameCube Controller)
In Sonic Generations, the move is referred to as the Boost again. In this game, it is a maneuver exclusive to Modern Sonic. On the console/PC version of the game, the appearance of the Boost looks like it did in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed, although its energy field has been lowered (in some views). In addition, Sonic's hands will clench when he Boosts. On the Nintendo 3DS version, the Boost's energy field is more arrow-shaped and less smooth.
On the console/PC version of the game, the player can Boost continuously by holding down the move's trigger button. Like in past games, the Boost can also draw in nearby Rings. However, its pull radius for attracting Rings is a lot weaker compared to how it was in Sonic Unleashed. Boosting across water on this version also causes the Boost Gauge to deplete more quickly. In addition, there are certain Skills that let the user manipulate the Boost, like Blast Off, which grants a free Boost under the right circumstances, or Endless Boost, which grants limitless Boosting at the cost of making Modern Sonic vulnerable. Also, when Modern Sonic turns into Modern Super Sonic, his Boost transforms into the Super Sonic Boost.
On the Nintendo 3DS version of the game, the Boost can pull in Rings and be used continuously by holding down its trigger button, like on the console/PC version. Unlike its console/PC counterpart however, the Boost can on this version be used indefinitely for a short time whenever the Boost Gauge is overcharged.
On the console/PC version of the game, the player can use the Boost indefinitely in the White Space. Also during the battle with Shadow on the console/PC version, Sonic and Shadow race against each other using their own versions of the Boost. If the two characters collide with each other whilst Boosting, they will be repelled slightly.
To use the Boost in gameplay, the player has to press // while Modern Sonic is standing on the ground and there is energy in the Boost Gauge.
This time around, the Boost's energy field is more wild on the surface, yet thinner and less bright, and it emits a colored trail in the user's wake, like in Sonic Unleashed. When initiated, it also creates a distortion around the user while white streams of air appear around the screen as the user accelerates.
In gameplay, the Boost functions almost the same as it did in previous games. Shadow's version of the Boost also works similarly to Sonic's. However, unlike most previous games, using it does not attract Rings.
To perform the Boost in gameplay, the player must press // (Default on PC)/[Shift] while the Boost Gauge has some energy remaining and the playable character is standing on the ground. The player can hold the buttons to Boost continuously. If the player attempts to Boost while their Boost Gauge is empty, a small wave of distortion will appear in front of Sonic instead of a white fog like in the previous games. If the player tries to jump while Boosting, they will not use their Spin Jump but rather do a small hop. In addition to that, one cannot Slide while Boosting.
The Air Boost is an airborne variation of the Boost. Basically, it is the Boost performed while in midair. When used, it turns the user into a destructive aerial projectile that allows them to cross over far distances in the air. This move first appeared in Sonic Unleashed.
The Dash Boost is a technique used by multiple characters. When performing this move, the user turns into a high-speed projectile, not unlike the Boost, that can barge through all kinds of obstacles, indestructible and otherwise. This move first appeared in Sonic Dash.
The Double Boost is a collaboration technique between Sonic the Hedgehog and the Avatar. When performing this technique, Sonic and the Avatar use two simultaneous Boosts that they combine into one, resulting in a larger Boost that is significantly more powerful and faster than a regular Boost. This move first appeared in Sonic Forces.
In the Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colors, the Final Color Blaster appears as an amplified version of the Boost. When performing this technique, Sonic combines with multiple Wisps and blasts forward with a Hyper-go-on empowered Boost, which packs enough power to destroy the Nega-Wisp Armor.
The Fire Boost is Blaze the Cat's equivalent of the Boost. When performing this move, Blaze envelopes herself in a fireball and begins charging forward like a burning meteor. This move first appeared in Sonic Rush.
The Sonic Boom is the Signature Move of Sonic the Hedgehog. When performing this move, Sonic gathered the wind around him and executes a more wild and slightly uncontrollable version of the Boost. This move first appeared in Sonic Rivals.
The Soul Surge is a Skill that multiple characters can use. When activated on the ground in an open terrain with no enemies, the user gains a surge of speed, but will automatically go into an attack when within proximity of an enemy target. The user is invincible to almost all obstacles during the Soul Surge. This move first appeared in Sonic and the Black Knight.
The Speed Break is a super-powered action used exclusively by Sonic the Hedgehog. When performing this move, Sonic gains a boost of speed that knocks enemies out of his way. In addition, he generates flames that are released in his slipstream. This move first appeared in Sonic and the Secret Rings.
The Super Sonic Boost is the variation of the Boost that super transformed characters use and is much more powerful than the Boost. Its name comes from the fact that it is Super Sonic's main form of attack against his foes and it is mostly used by him. This move first appeared in Sonic Adventure 2.
In earlier builds of Sonic Unleashed, the boost energy field was originally colored white as it was initially intended to be wind resistance.
If someone hacks through the physics of Sonic Generations stop the Boost function, the player has to go to a file named "Chaos Energy" and modify "BoostEnableChaosEnergy" file. This implies that the power supply of the Boost may be chaos energy.
When using Boost in Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Generations, the player will notice a distortion effect, or fisheye effect. This "distortion" is probably used to indicate a sonic boom.
It is should be noted that when Sonic destroys the robots in the first cutscene of the Sonic Episode of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) there is a blue aura surrounding him which is identical to the Boost.
This might infer that the idea of Boost was present in that time, but was not put in the gameplay.
↑BradyGames (1 November 2011). Sonic Generations: BradyGames Official Strategy Guide. BradyGames. ISBN 978-0761555100. "Sonic starts each act with a full Boost Gauge. Press and hold the Boost button to break the sound barrier and move incredibly fast."