As their name implies, the rings are golden rings that Shadow the Hedgehog wears on his wrists and ankles. When worn, they limit the amount of chaos energy Shadow uses during combat and other situations. When he takes them off, Shadow can tap into his full strength, giving him a drastic boost in power, though at the risk of over-exerting himself.
The gold rings cannot be opened; instead they glow and slide off Shadow's wrists as if they are intangible when he removes them, and lock back on when he puts them back on.
Sonic Adventure 2
First appearing alongside Shadow's debut in Sonic Adventure 2, the rings were not named, but at Shadow's presumed death upon defeating the Finalhazard, Sonic gave one of the rings he retrieved to Rouge the Bat.
Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), when Mephiles the Dark had stolen Shadow's Chaos Emerald to add to his own and replicated numerous clones of himself into an army, Shadow removed his gold rings to boost his attack power and wiped out all of the Mephiles clones.
In other media
In the Sonic X anime series, the gold rings are known as Limiters. It is also in this media that their power-inhibiting properties on Shadow were first introduced.
The Limiters' properties were first demonstrated when Super Shadow released them in order to send the Space Colony ARK back into orbit. Chris would keep one of them to remember Shadow after he disappeared. During his battles with the Metarex, Shadow would occasionally release his Limiters.
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the gold rings are referred to as Inhibitor Rings. Like in other media, they inhibit Shadow's power (in the original continuity they limited his access to the Chaos Force). When Shadow removes them, he can transform into Chaos Shadow.
- It was the Sonic X anime which first presented the idea of Shadow using up more energy when taking off his gold rings. This idea eventually made its way into the games and was then used in the comics.
- In Sonic Heroes, Shadow still has both his Rings even though he lost one of them in Sonic Adventure 2.
- When taking Shadow's form, Mephiles possessed the gold rings as well, though they were likely mere ornaments.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Sega (November 13, 2011). Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Nintendo Wii. Sega. Area: London Party. "Shy Guy: What does Shadow wear on his wrists and ankles? [Answer is revealed to be "Gold rings"] He's faster and stronger without the rings, but he gets worn out more quickly!"