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The Brutal Barrier is an Item Box power-up that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a Trap Item used primarily to protect the user from damage and attack rivals.
The Brutal Barrier's icon takes the form of a teal shoulder shield with a gray outer rim, a white omega symbol (Ω) in the middle, and three gray spikes arranged in a triangle on the front. In gameplay, this power-up becomes a yellow circle with four Brutal Barrier moving along it that surrounds the user.
In gameplay, the Brutal Barrier can only be obtained at random from Item Boxes by Linebacker Omega. As with most other Items, Metal Sonic can also use the Brutal Barrier if he uses the Steal Item to steal it from the aforementioned user.
Once obtained, the player can utilize the Brutal Barrier by pressing its icon on the bottom of the HUD. While active, the Brutal Barrier will deal damage to any rival that makes contact or gets too close to the user. In addition, while Brutal Barrier is in effect, it will negate one instance of damage the user would otherwise receive during the race, although doing so will cause the Brutal Barrier to disappear in four puffs of yellow smoke, effectively ending this power-up prematurely. In addition, the Brutal Barrier has a time limit. The duration of the Brutal Barrier is shown by the decreasing gauge on top of this power-up's icon on the bottom of the HUD whenever the Brutal Barrier is in effect.
The Brutal Barrier can also be upgraded by leveling the user up to level 4, 10 and 16 respectively. At level 4, the Brutal Barrier's duration will be increased, and at level 10 and 16, the player will increase the damage dealt with the Brutal Barrier.