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Sonic News Network
Sonic News Network

The Inhibitor Rings,[1] also known as gold rings,[2] are objects that appear in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. They are rings worn by Shadow the Hedgehog to restrain his power which he has worn since his creation onboard the Space Colony ARK.


Shadow taking off his Inhibitor Rings, from Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).

The Inhibitor Rings are golden rings that Shadow the Hedgehog wears on his wrists and ankles.[2] When worn, they limit the amount of innate power that 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.[2]

The Inhibitor 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 inhibitor 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 Inhibitor Rings to boost his attack power and wiped out all of the Mephiles clones. Afterwards, Shadow reattached his Inhibitor Rings.

In other media

Sonic X

Main article: Limiter

The Limiters, from Sonic X.

In the Sonic X anime series, the Limiters also possess their power-inhibiting properties on Shadow since they 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.

Archie Comics

Shadow removing his Inhibitor Rings, from Sonic Universe #2.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Inhibitor Rings 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 series which first presented the idea of Shadow using up more energy when taking off his Limiters. This idea eventually made its way into the games and was then used in the comics.
  • In Sonic Heroes, Shadow still has both his Inhibitor Rings even though he lost one of them in Sonic Adventure 2.
  • In the Last story of Sonic Adventure 2, the single Inhibitor Ring given to Rouge is referred to as a "bracelet". This may be due to how the rings appear in the in-game models, bearing slap bracelet-esc ends rather than completely smooth surfaces.
  • During his second form, Mephiles the Dark wore rings on his wrists resembling Inhibitor Rings, although it in unknown if they shared the same functions, or were for purely cosmetic purposes.
  • It is unclear whether Shadow Androids wear Inhibitors Rings as well or if their bracelets are purely cosmetic.




  1. Devra Newberger Speregen (2016). Sonic: The Ultimate Character Guide. Scholastic. p. 31. ISBN 978-1338033243.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Sega (13 November 2011). Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Wii. Sega. Area/Level: London Party. "Shy Guy: What does Shadow wear on his wrists and ankles? / [Answer is revealed to be "gold rings"] / Shy Guy: He's faster and stronger without the rings, but he gets worn out more quickly!"