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For the power-up in the Sonic Boom video games, see Shield (Sonic Boom).

The Shield, also known as Barrier (バリア Baria?) in Japan, Normal Shield, Barrier Shield or Blue Shield, is a power-up item in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. First introduced in the original Sonic the Hedgehog, the Shield is obtained by breaking an Item Box with a blue/dark green circular symbol on the monitor. It is the first and original of all shield-type power-ups and the one most featured through the series. The power-up itself envelops the playable character in a spherical barrier which protects the wearer from taking damage once.


The protection of Shield varies on certain forms. It is able to negate damage taken from enemies and some other damage-inflicting level hazards. After hitting one of these hazards, the Shield disappears and the player is usually sent flying backwards slightly without taking damage, meaning the player will not lose Rings or a life if they are hit without Rings and gain temporary invulnerability. Shields will not protect the player from falling into bottomless pits, being crushed, or losing a life due to running out of time, however. It will also not protect a player from drowning, although, unlike some elemental shields, it will at least stay if the player goes underwater. Unlike its successors, it does not have any additional abilities to grant to the wearer.

Under normal circumstances, the Shield can be obtained by breaking Item Boxes displaying the power-up's icon. Once obtained, a familiar sample plays and the Shield will surround the player character until he/she collides with a dangerous obstacle/enemy or if the level is completed. In some games (particularly those released on mobile devices) though, they last for a limited duration.

The color of Shield has varied without any logical reason; in the early games it was usually a light blue color, while since Sonic Adventure, it has been dark green. In Sonic Generations, it is simply a transparent white bubble, but in most appearances it is translucent with a blue or green tint.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

But whatever, there he goes

Sonic with Shield in 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog.

The Shield debuted in the original 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog. In the game, it can be collected from Monitors with the Shield icon on them. The Shield is colored a washed-out blue and flashes around Sonic. Due to the "Spike Bug" in the original version of the game, spikes are able to bypass the player's protection and can cause them to lose their Shield, Rings, and life in rapid succession.

The 8-bit version of the game also features Shields. These Shields are smaller and brighter in color than their 16-bit counterparts, and will spin around the player. Neither shield will protect the player from drowning in the underwater sections of Labyrinth Zone.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

The shield returns!

Sonic breaks the Shield Monitor in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the Shield has a darker tint of blue than in the first game, but still functions the same. The Shield also appears in the two-player mode of the game as a random power-up. In Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the Shield is colored grey instead of blue.

Sonic the Hedgehog CD

In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, the Shield's appearance is identical to that of the original Sonic the Hedgehog and its abilities remain identical to that of those in the previous installments.

Knuckles' Chaotix

Hey should I take that Vector

The monitor with shield in Knuckles' Chaotix.

In Knuckles' Chaotix, the Shield is a fairly common power-up. It looks and works similarly to the previous games, with an added spinning effect, but is only given to whichever of the two player-controlled characters breaks the Monitor, leaving the other vulnerable to attack.

Sonic the Fighters

Main article: Guard

Sonic using Barrier in Sonic the Fighters.

In Sonic the Fighters, the traditional Shield does not appear. Instead, the game features the Barrier mechanic, which the fighters can use to protect themselves from attacks. Both fighters starts each fight with five Barriers, and each Barrier can only withstand a certain amount of damage before breaking.

Sonic Blast

In Sonic Blast, the Shield is again a monitor power-up. In this game, it is small compared to the playable characters, and, unlike previous games, is presented as two spinning stars instead of its traditional spherical shape, but its purpose is still the same. It is featured from Red Volcano Zone onwards. It can also be obtained from monitors with question marks that give one of the eight power-ups in the game at random, which includes the Shield.

Sonic Adventure


The Shield in Sonic Adventure.

In Sonic Adventure and its later iteration Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, the Shield makes its first appearance in a 3D game title. The color of the Shield is now a dark green instead of blue, but its function remains unchanged.

Sonic Pocket Adventure

In Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, the Shield has become one of the general monitor power-ups once more, where it is again colored light blue. The Shield can also be obtained during multiplayer mode.

Sonic Adventure 2

In Sonic Adventure 2 and its later iteration Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, the dark green Shield appears once again. In this game, if the player has ninety Rings on hand when they touch a Point Marker, the player will earn a Shield automatically.

Sonic Advance series

Shield Advance

The Barrier as it is seen in Sonic Advance.

In the Sonic Advance games, the Shield retains its green appearance, but is instead referred to as the Barrier.[1] In all three games, it can be found in normal or floating Item Boxes. In these games, they act similar to how they did in the Mega Drive games.

Sonic Heroes

In Sonic Heroes, the Shield is once more called the Barrier and it is a regular power-up item.[2] Its appearance in this game is smaller and unusually colorful, though it retains its green tint. It can be found in both Item Boxes and floating balloon variants.

When obtained, the Barrier is always placed on the current leader character so if the player changes leaders, the new leader will receive the item instead.

Using Team Rose's Team Blast, the player automatically gains a Barrier, alongside Invincibility.

Shadow the Hedgehog

In Shadow the Hedgehog, the Shield reappeared as the normal, dark green Barrier again.[3] In addition, the game introduced a new variant called the Heat Barrier, which hurts surrounding enemies.

Sonic Rush series

In Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure, the dark green Shields are once again called the Barrier.[4][5] These power-ups are once again included in Item Boxes and balloon variants as well.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

Shield 2006

The Shield's icon for Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).

In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), the Shield itself did not appear despite being listed in the game's manual,[6] having been left disabled within the game's files. This makes Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) one of the only main series Sonic games not to feature the basic Shield.

The game featured the Thunder Shield as an ability called Thunder Guard, triggered by the Yellow Gem Level-Up Item. The game also introduces an exclusive shield called the Energy Field. In Action Stages such as Dusty Desert and Tropical Jungle, where Sonic has to escort Princess Elise, the player can use the Energy Field to prevent Sonic from sinking into quicksand and water, although the field does not negate damage.

Sonic Rivals series

In Sonic Rivals and its sequel Sonic Rivals 2, the Shield is replaced by the defensive Power-Up called the "Fire Shield".[7] This power-up creates a barrier of fire around the user which is functionally like the Shield, but will disappear after a certain amount of time. The shield will damage the other rival if he attacks the user. To use it, the player must obtain a Fire element Power-Up and must be ahead of their rival in the stage.

Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity

In Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, the Shield power-up only appears in Survival Battle. Its purpose remains much the same as in past games; the Shield protects the player from one attack, preventing the user from losing Hit Points (in Sudden Death mode) or allowing an opponent to gain a point for hitting the player (in Points Battle). The Shield will instantly dissipate if the player falls off the field, however.

Sonic Unleashed


Sonic the Werehog creating a Shield in Sonic Unleashed.

In the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Sonic Unleashed, a different type of Shield is featured. This shield appears when performing Guard as Sonic the Werehog, and will neutralize all damage Sonic receives from certain attacks. However, each hit it blocks consumes a part of the Shield Gauge, and if drained completely, the Shield will break. The player can extend the size of the Shield Gauge by collecting Chaos Orbs to increase its level.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing series

S&SASR Energy Shield

Energy Shield icon in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing.

In Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, one of the Item Box power-ups is a dark green Shield that can be activated after obtaining it. When used, the Shield works identically to the Shield in previous games; it even keeps other racers outside of the shield.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4

The Shield makes an appearance in both episodes of Sonic the Hedgehog 4, although it is still colored dark green. If Sonic transforms into Super Sonic while the Shield is active, the Shield stays around Super Sonic.

Sonic Colors

The Shield made a reappearance in the Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colors, and is identical in function and appearance to the Shields from previous games.

Sonic Generations

In Sonic Generations, the Shield resembles a white orb like the Aqua Shield, but its icon shows it as being dark green. In the console/PC version of the game, the Shield appears as an equipable Skill for Classic Sonic that can grant multiple Shields during one Act. This Skill can be bought from the Skill Shop for 1,200 Skill Points from the beginning of the game, and costs 60 Skill points to be equipped. To activate the Skill in gameplay and grant Classic Sonic a single Shield, the player has to press XboxY/PSTriangleButton.

In the Nintendo 3DS version of the game, the Shield can be found normally inside Item Boxes, or obtained as an extra skill after playing Versus Mode online.

Sonic Jump series

In Sonic Jump, Sonic Jump 2, the 2012 remake of Sonic Jump, and Sonic Jump Fever, the dark green Shield appears as a collectible power-up. The 2012 remake includes different Shields as well.

Sonic Dash

In Sonic Dash, dark green Shields are included in Item Boxes. When the player obtains it, it will temporarily protect them from taking damage from spikes or Badniks. However, it will disappear after a certain period of time; its lifespan can be upgraded by spending Rings. Every obstacle and Badnik will be cleared if the player runs into one or the other; it will not, however, remove pits.

Sonic Runners


The Shield's usage in Sonic Runners.

In Sonic Runners, the Shield regains its light blue color scheme from the earlier games. Shields can be found in Item Boxes as regular power-ups, but they can also be bought as Equippable Items to be used during the level, where they cost 1,000 Rings.

Sonic Mania

The Shield made a reappearance in Sonic Mania, and its expansion Sonic Mania Plus, as a standard Item Box power-up where it is called Blue Shield.[8] In this game, this power-up possesses a swirling blue color scheme, similar to the Shield in Sonic Runners.

Sonic Forces: Speed Battle


The Shield icon in Sonic Forces: Speed Battle.

In Sonic Forces: Speed Battle, the Shield appears as an Item that can be obtained at random from an Item Box by all playable characters and has a light-blue coloration. The power-up in this game grants limited protection from hazards such as obstacles, enemies and attacks from opponent players. They last for a limited amount of time but the effect also ends should the user fall into a pit.

Sonic Forces

In Sonic Forces, Classic Sonic can find the traditional blue Shield hidden in monitors throughout his stages, functioning identically to its previous incarnations. Certain Wispons can grant the Avatar a one-time shield when entering a stage, represented by small circling silver lines, that he shares with Sonic in Tag-Team stages.

In other media

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog

In the episode "Robotnik's Pyramid Scheme" the Mummified Hedgehog gave Sonic a necklace that creates a Blue Shield, protecting him from Robotnik's immortality.

Sonic X (comic)

Shield Sonic X Comic

Sonic breaking the shield in Sonic X comics' issue 10.

In Archie Comic's Sonic X #10, Sonic finds a shield monitor on top of a large loop in Green Hill Zone. Upon first obtaining it, he is confused by it and tries to outrun it, which fails. He loses the Shield upon being hit by Dr. Eggman's checkered wrecking ball.

Archie Comics

In Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comics, Sonic is seen using a similar shield during issue 227, as part of the Genesis arc. When Sonic, Sally and Boomer enter Scrap Brain Zone and come across Doctor Eggman with large mechanical pillars, Sonic suddenly got trapped inside a blue force-field around him. He uses it during the fight against Eggman's machine and as Antoine arrives into Eggman's machine, Sonic finishes the battle. And after that, the shield disappears.


  • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, while playing as Super Sonic, the Shield's icon in the monitor changes to a golden-yellow, matching Super Sonic's color scheme; if the player obtains the Shield, it will be the same golden-yellow color. This is due to Sonic and the shield sharing the same color palette in the game. The same thing can happen in Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, where the shield starts glowing pink just like Super Knuckles does.


  1. Sonic Advance (Game Boy Advance) North American instruction manual, pg. 18.
  2. Sonic Heroes (PlayStation 2) European instruction booklet, pg. 24
  3. Shadow the Hedgehog (GameCube) United States instruction manual, pg. 21.
  4. Sonic Rush (Nintendo DS) European instruction booklet, pg. 20.
  5. Sonic Rush Adventure (Nintendo DS) European instruction booklet, pg. 20.
  6. Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) (PlayStation 3) North American instruction manual, pg. 11.
  7. Sonic Rivals (PlayStation Portable) North American instruction manual, pg. 17.
  8. media:SMENG013.jpg
Navigation Templates to Shield
Item Box power-ups

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