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The Somersault is an acrobatic exercise where the user of the technique makes their body rotates 360° around a horizontal axis with the user's feet passing over their head. As this movement is executed, the user strikes out with their legs, thereby adding an offensive dimension to the Somersault. So far, the Somersault can be performed both on the ground and in midair. When used on the ground, the Somersault becomes an offensive roll akin to the Spin Attack. When used in the air on the other hand, the Somersault lets the user launch a wave of compressed air with their feet to hit their targets with.
In gameplay, the Somersault is an offensive technique that the playable character can use to attack enemies and breakable obstacles with. With the exception of Sonic Lost World, the Somersault allows the user to deal damage to enemies and destroy breakable obstacles. In the aforementioned game on the other hand, the Somersault can only stun enemies.
In gameplay, the Somersault is presented as the user curling into a ball and launching a forward somersault, much like a slower version of the Spin Attack. In practice, the Somersault can damage enemies, destroy Wooden Containers, and enable the playable character to squeeze through very low or narrow gaps. Notably, the Somersault has two steps to it. If the player uses the Somersault only once, the playable character will perform the Somersault as described above. Using it twice in succession however, will make the playable character perform an additional forward kick. In addition, in Sonic and Shadow's case, when obtaining the Flame RingLevel Up Item, the Somersault will be upgraded to the Fire Somersault.
To perform the Somersault in gameplay, the player must press / while the playable character is on the ground.
In Sonic Advance, the Somersault is one of Sonic's standard moves. In gameplay, the Somersault is presented as a three-step technique; while moving forward and executing the Somersault for the first time, Sonic goes into a grounded Spin Attack, which can damage obstacles; using it a second time during the technique's Spin Attack makes Sonic perform a normal somersault; and triggering it a third time in succession makes Sonic launch into a Skid Attack.
To perform the Somersault's first step in gameplay, the player must press while Sonic is on the ground. For then to execute the Somersault's second step, press during the technique's Spin Attack. Lastly, to launch the Somersault's third step, press during the second stop. However, if the player presses while in the somersault, Sonic will do a backflip.
Sonic Lost World
In the Nintendo 3DSversion of Sonic Lost World, the Somersault is usable to Sonic, Super Sonic and the Virtual Hedgehogs. In gameplay, the Somersault is presented as the user launching a Somersault in midair while kicking out with their leg, thereby releasing a thin blue wave of compressed air that can hit enemies, nullify enemy projectiles, and destroy breakable obstacles from afar. The Somersault typically serves as an alternate strategy to enemies that cannot be damaged with a Homing Attack (ex. Slicers, Thunder Spinners, Uni Unis). When hit by the Somersault's wave, the enemy is stunned, giving the player the chance to attack the enemy while their guard is down. The Somersault only serves as a distraction attack, however, as it can only stun enemies without destroying/damaging them. Some stronger enemies (ex. bosses or Sandworms) are not affected by the Somersault, and Zavok can deflect the Somersault's wave back at Sonic, who will be stunned.
If an enemy that would normally need to be stunned is targeted by the Focused Homing Attack, but is not the first enemy in the chain to be hit, then Sonic will be able to defeat it without taking damage, circumventing the need for the Somersault in some instances.
To perform the Somersault in gameplay, the player must press in midair, while locked on to an enemy.