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Sonic and Tails having been frozen, from Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

Freeze,[1] also referred to as frozen,[2] is a game mechanic in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It refers to a state wherein the playable characters are rendered immobilized in a layer of ice.


When afflicted with freeze, the playable characters are encased in a sheet of ice, making them unable to move. This can have several consequences for the player, such as lowering time bonuses, damaging the player directly, or leaving the playable characters vulnerable to attack from nearby enemies. However, the player will always break free of the ice, either manually or by waiting for the ice to break on its own. In rare cases, enemies or bosses can be frozen too.

How freezing can be inflicted and the additional effects it might have differ between games.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog CD

Sonic frozen, from Sonic the Hedgehog CD.

In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, there are grey icy exhausts in Wacky Workbench that fire cold flames from the wide exhaust. Touching the blue flame will turn the playable character into a round-shaped ice block, with the character being frozen in a comical pose. This ice block will then drop down to the ground, and after breaking due the crash, the player will take damage. However, it is possible to press A Button (Sega Genesis).svg to jump at the right time without taking damage.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles

In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and the lock-on game Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, getting frozen will trap the player's character in a block of ice. After a few seconds of remaining frozen, the playable characters will thaw out, taking damage in the process. When playing as Sonic and Tails, if one character is frozen, the other character can rescue him by performing a Spin Attack on the ice block to smash it before the frozen character takes damage.

Snowblowers exist in the IceCap Zone which can freeze the player's character. The games also feature the Egg Froster, a boss whose icy breath attacks can also freeze the playable characters.

Sonic 3D Blast

Sonic frozen, from Sonic 3D Blast.

In Sonic 3D Blast, getting frozen will trap Sonic in an ice cube which can slide along the ground. To release Sonic from an ice cube, press A Button (Sega Genesis).svg x4. While the player does not lose Rings from being frozen, Sonic's collective Flickies can fly away. If the player collides with a Badnik as a sliding ice cube however, they will still take damage.

There are snowblowers in Diamond Dust Zone that are capable of freezing Sonic. It should be noted however, that there are the certain automated section of Diamond Dust Zone Act 1 where a frozen Sonic can slide down pathways. The boss in Diamond Dust Zone Act 3 also possesses the ability to freeze Sonic like the snowblowers.

Sonic Adventure

Sonic frozen, from Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut.

In Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, getting frozen will trap the playable characters in a block of ice for a short while. Being frozen does not damage the characters in any way however. To break free of the ice, the player must move the control stick.

In gameplay, Ice Balls and Satellites can release puffs of cold air that will freeze the playable characters if touched. If the latter is grabbed during the boss fight with Chaos 6, the player can throw them into Chaos 6 to freeze its liquid body and make it vulnerable to attacks.

Sonic Advance series

Sonic Advance 2

In Sonic Advance 2, getting frozen will temporarily trap the playable character in a thin coating of ice. Being frozen does not damage the characters in any way however.

In gameplay, the final boss in True Area 53 can inflict freeze on Super Sonic, which it does by firing a bright beam. While freeze cannot hurt Super Sonic, it leaves him vulnerable to being swallowed by the final boss and having his Rings extracted from him.

Sonic Advance 3

Sonic frozen, from Sonic Advance 3.

In Sonic Advance 3, the freeze mechanic works just like it did in Sonic Advance 2. Unlike in other games, however, getting frozen here is used to the player's advantage.

In gameplay, the playable characters can only get frozen by entering the high-tech cannon-like devices in Twinkle Snow. Upon utilizing this type of gimmick, the playable character will get launched to other locations, similar to a Spring, while being frozen at same time. The characters will then thaw out after they land on solid ground, but will not take damage.

Sonic Riders

In Sonic Riders, Ice Factory has many robots spread across its track that use freezing guns to freezing everything, including the player.

Sonic Rivals series

Sonic Rivals

Sonic approaching an Ice Power-Up, from Sonic Rivals.

In Sonic Rivals, getting frozen will trap the characters in an ice block and render them immobile temporarily. However, it does not damage the characters.

Playable characters can inflict freeze on opponents by using the Ice Power-Up. When used by the lead character, the Power-Up will be dropped as a trap (Ice Cube), and when used by the rear character, the Power-Up will take the form of a length of ice and will travel along the track which will freeze the rival character should they be hit by it.

Amongst the game's bosses, the Egg Falcon can drop bombs which can freeze up platforms temporarily. Standing on these platforms will instantly freeze the playable characters. The Egg Kong can as well fire missiles that can freeze the characters should they hit once either character has performed an Air Boost or Speed Boost with it. The Egg Destroyer features an ice weapon that fires freezing projectiles in an arc which will freeze a character should they touch it. Crystal Mountain Zone also has few trees that, when hit, will drop blocks of ice which will freeze the characters in an identical manner to the Ice Cube from the Ice Power-Up.

Sonic Rivals 2

In Sonic Rivals 2, freeze works just like it did in Sonic Rivals. In this game, the only way to inflict freeze is through the use of the Ice Power-Up.

Sonic Rush Adventure

In Sonic Rush Adventure, getting frozen will trap the playable characters in a chunky block of ice. The player can either wait a couple of seconds for the ice to thaw or break free on their own by pressing WiiDSA.png repeatedly. When breaking free however, the player will take damage.

In gameplay, the freeze mechanic only appears during the boss fight with the Ghost Whale. Here, the player will get frozen if they touch the water pools inside the Ghost Whale after entering its belly.

Sonic Unleashed

In Sonic Unleashed, the freeze mechanic only occurs in the nighttime stages, meaning only Sonic the Werehog can get afflicted by it. When getting frozen in this game, Sonic will be encased in a spiky block of ice and his Health Gauge will decrease considerably in small increments. After a couple of seconds, Sonic will break out of the ice automatically. To break free of the ice prematurely however, the player must move the movement control stick around quickly. In gameplay, the snowblowers in Cool Edge, the attacks of Dark Moray and the Egg Blizzards, the ice canisters and platform force-field that appear during the Dark Moray boss fight, and the Egg Dragoon's ice cannon can all freeze Sonic.

By grabbing an Egg Blizzard in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of the game, the player can use it to inflict freeze on normal enemies as well by pressing XboxY.png/PSTriangleButton.png, thereby immobilizing them temporarily and making them easier to attack. During Dark Moray's boss fight, the player can also freeze Dark Moray by throwing ice canisters at it.

Sonic and the Black Knight

In Sonic and the Black Knight, the blue Fish-Ones can fire energy bombs capable of freezing the playable characters if they hit. However, these shots do not cause damage. If this occurs, the player must move their Wii Remote in order to thaw out.

When equipped, the Ice Broach, Fiery Quaff and Hot Fiery Quaff can decrease the possibility of the playable characters getting frozen when attacked by blue Fish-Ones.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Sonic frozen, from Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.

In Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, the Ice Cannon can be used to freeze opposing racers. If a character can hit an opponent with two or more snowballs from the Ice Cannon in succession or all of them at once, it will leave the opponent temporarily frozen.

Sonic Lost World

In the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World, getting frozen will trap Sonic in a large block of ice while he recoils slightly. If Sonic stays frozen for too long, he will eventually take damage. To break free of the ice, the player must move the control stick.

In gameplay, the player can only get frozen in Frozen Factory. Here, there are snowblowers that spew icy exhausts which can freeze the player. Frozen Factory Zone 3 in particular features a hostile snowball following Sonic which will freeze the player if they attack it without stunning it first.

Sonic Mania

Sonic and Tails frozen, from Sonic Mania.

In Sonic Mania and Sonic Mania Plus, the player can get frozen in Press Garden Zone Act 2. Like in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, getting frozen will trap the playable characters in a cube of ice, with the character being frozen in a comical pose. Getting frozen however, is completely harmless. Upon being frozen, the character will maintain their momentum upon the moment of their freezing, causing their ice block to slide along the ground. To break the playable character out of the ice block, tap the jump button several times. Alternatively, the player can let the characters collide into a wall at high speed which will shatter the ice.

In this game, getting frozen can be helpful for the player (as being frozen allows the characters to slide through obstacles and enemies without harm). Freezing can be induced either by snowblowers, the bombs from IceBombas, or during the boss battle against the Heavy Shinobi, who is capable of freezing the characters with his sword.

Sonic Forces: Speed Battle

An Ice Mine, from Sonic Forces: Speed Battle.

In Sonic Forces: Speed Battle, the player can be affected by Freeze when hit by the Ice Mine, Ice Boost, Ice Wave, Blizzard Bomb and, in some cases, the Firework Flurry Items. When hit by a Freeze effect item, the characters lose some Rings and are then encased inside a block of ice while their Item slots are covered in ice. In addition, if the frozen characters are under the effect of a Boost Item (except for Invincibility), that Item's effect is canceled.

In gameplay, players under the effect of Freeze skid forwards and cannot move to the side, jump, use Items or accelerate with Dash Panels or Conveyor Belts. This will last for a short amount of time or until the player gets hit by an Item, obstacle or falls into a bottomless pit.


  1. Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. "Ice Broach description: Resistance to freeze attacks greatly increased when worn."
  2. Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. "Fiery Quaff description: Makes one less susceptible to becoming frozen when carried."
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