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This article is for shield introduced in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. For the shield introduced in Sonic Adventure, see Magnetic Shield.

The Thunder Shield[1] (サンダーバリア Sandā Baria?, lit. "Thunder Barrier"), also known as the Lightning Shield[2] (サンダーバリア[3] Sandābaria?, lit. "Thunder Barrier"), is an Item Box power-up that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. When the player obtains this power-up, the playable character receives an electrified force-field that can typically negate one instance of damage, grant invulnerability to electricity-based hazards, pull in Rings, and, for certain individuals, enable the Double Jump.

The Thunder Shield is one of the many shield variants in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. While the Thunder Shield has not become as recurring a power-up as the likes of the Super Ring, it has made some noteworthy appearances through the series.

Description

Sonic with the Thunder Shield equipped, from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.

Item Boxes containing Thunder Shield usually either contain or display an icon depicting what looks like a white or yellow lightning bolt. When the player obtains the Thunder Shield, a protective bubble will appear around the playable character. This bubble will prevent the playable character from losing Rings, or even a life if they hold no Rings, when they get hit by an enemy attack, touches an enemy, or runs into a damage-inducing hazard. When taking a damage-dealing blow with the Thunder Shield equipped, the Thunder Shield disappears and the playable character is usually knocked slightly backwards without taking damage while gaining temporary invulnerability for a few seconds. However, the Thunder Shield cannot protect the playable character from losing a try when falling into a bottomless pit, being crushed, drowning, or in case they get a Time Over.

Like the Aqua Shield and Flame Shield, the standard Thunder Shield can deflect minor projectile attacks from enemies, like those of the Bloominators, Blastoids, Spikers, Star Pointers and Clamers, without disappearing. While equipped, the typical Thunder Shield also makes the playable character unaffected by any form of electricity-based hazards in the environment, such as electrical emitters, and pull in Rings that are close to the playable character (except for those that the playable character drops). Also, when wielded by Sonic and Classic Sonic. the Thunder Shield enables these characters to perform the Double Jump. However, the typical Thunder Shield will disappear on its own if the playable character enters water while equipped with it. In certain games though, the Thunder Shield can have different abilities and traits.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles

Electric Shield Thumb.png

In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic & Knuckles and their add-on continuation Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, this shield power-up made its debut, where it is called the Lightning Shield[2] (サンダーバリア[3] Sandābaria?, lit. "Thunder Barrier"). In this game, monitors containing the Lighting Shield Shield display an icon that shows a white lightning bolt. In gameplay, the Thunder Shield takes the form of a clear bubble with a white outline and white electrical currents moving across its surface. In terms of effects displayed by the Lightning Shield (besides its damage negation), it deflects minor projectile attacks, pulls in Rings, makes the wielder invulnerable to electrical hazards, and allows Sonic to use the Double Jump. However, it dissipates in water. When this happens, the water will flash for a split second. This will also destroy all underwater Badniks on the screen. Strangely though, the Thunder Shield is not lost when the playable character skims across water surfaces in Hydrocity Zone.

Outside of the Zones, the player can also get Lightning Shields from the Gumball Machine Bonus Stage by collecting a Thunder Ball. The Lightning Shield can also hold up against most electrical-based attacks but not against the lightning bolts that discharge from the electrical emitters in Death Egg Zone. Also worth of note is that if the player loses the Lightning Shield while Rings are being pulled towards the playable character, the Rings will stop following the character and bounce everywhere, only to disappear after a while.

Sonic R

Item Panel Thunder.png

In Sonic R, this shield power-up is referred to as the Lightning Shield[4] (サンダー [5] Sandā?, lit. "Thunder"). In this game, the Lightning Shield can be obtained at random when touching one of the Item Panels that lie scattered across the racing courses. In gameplay, the Lightning Shield takes the form of a yellow bubble. In terms of effects displayed by the Lightning Shield, it only pulls in Rings. However, it dissipates in water.

Sonic Generations

Classic Sonic - Thunder Shield.png

In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, this shield power-up is referred to as the Thunder Shield[1] (サンダーバリア Sandā Baria?, lit. "Thunder Barrier"). In this game, Item Boxes containing the Thunder Shield display an icon that shows a yellow lightning bolt. In gameplay, the Thunder Shield takes the form of a bubble made of light blue electricity. In terms of effects displayed by the Thunder Shield (besides its damage negation), it pulls in Rings, makes the wielder invulnerable to electrical hazards, and allows Classic Sonic to use the Double Jump. However, it does not dissipate when touching water or enables the Double Jump.

In this game, the Thunder Shield only appears in Classic Sonic's Challenge Acts. Worth noting is that the Thunder Shield plays an important role in the Thunder Shield Challenge and With Your Powers Combined Challenge Acts; in these Challenge Acts, the player has to make constant use of Thunder Shield Item Boxes, which respawn almost instantly after the player opens them, in order to get through the level fast enough. In addition, there is a Skill for Classic Sonic called "Thunder Shield" that can be bought from the Skill Shop for 4,000 Skill Points after clearing Thunder Shield Challenge and be equipped to Classic Sonic at the cost of seventy Skill Points. When using this Skill in regular Acts, the player can equip one Thunder Shield at anytime by pressing XboxY.png/PSTriangleButton.png.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2013)

In the 2013 re-release of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, the Item Boxes containing the Thunder Shield display an icon that shows a white lightning bolt. In gameplay, the Thunder Shield takes the form of a clear bubble with a white outline and white electrical currents moving across its surface. In terms of effects displayed by the Lightning Shield (besides its damage negation), it deflects minor projectile attacks, pulls in Rings, makes the wielder invulnerable to electrical hazards, and allows Sonic to use the Double Jump. However, it dissipates in water. When this happens, the water will flash for a split second. This will also destroy all underwater Badniks on the screen.

Worth noting is that if the player loses the Thunder Shield while Rings are being pulled towards the playable character, the Rings will stop following the character and bounce everywhere, only to disappear after a while.

In this game, the Thunder Shield will only appear in the Zones if the player accesses the Level Select and in the "Items" category, switches to either "S1+S3" or "S2+S3". Some of the original Shield Item Boxes will then be replaced with the Thunder Shield. Alternatively, the player can place a Thunder Shield into the Zones using Debug Mode.

Sonic Lost World

Thunder Shield In Item Box (Sonic Lost World).png

In the Wii U version, PC version and Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World, this shield power-up makes appearance. In the Nintendo 3DS version, it is referred to as the Thunder Shield.[6] In these games, Item Boxes containing the Thunder Shield display an icon that shows a yellow lightning bolt. In gameplay, the Thunder Shield takes the form of a bubble with lightning-like effects around it. Notably, it is yellow in the Wii U/PC version and blue in the Nintendo 3DS version. In terms of effects displayed by the Thunder Shield (besides its damage negation), it only pulls in Rings. It also does not allow Sonic to use the Double Jump, as the move is a part of Sonic's standard moveset.

In the Wii U/PC version of the game, the Thunder Shields do not appear in the Zones. However, they can be rewarded by completing Missions and obtained and shared on the Miiverse.[7] Once obtained, the Thunder Shield will be stored away for the player to use later in the Zones. During these Zones, the player can open the Item Bag and select the Thunder Shield to instantly bestow it onto the playable character.

In the Nintendo 3DS version of the game, the Thunder Shields appear regularly in the Zones. In addition, the player can also make a Thunder Shield in Tails' Lab using sixteen Green Materials and sixteen Yellow Materials. Once obtained, these Thunder Shields will be stored away for the player to use later in the Zones. During these Zones, the player can look up the Item Bag and select these Thunder Shields to instantly bestow one onto the playable character.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2013)

In the 2013 re-release of the original Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit), the Item Boxes containing the Thunder Shield display an icon that shows a white lightning bolt. In gameplay, the Thunder Shield takes the form of a clear bubble with a white outline and white electrical currents moving across its surface. In terms of effects displayed by the Lightning Shield (besides its damage negation), it deflects minor projectile attacks, pulls in Rings, makes the wielder invulnerable to electrical hazards, and allows Sonic to use the Double Jump. However, it dissipates in water. When this happens, the water will flash for a split second. This will also destroy all underwater Badniks on the screen.

Worth noting is that if the player loses the Thunder Shield while Rings are being pulled towards the playable character, the Rings will stop following the character and bounce everywhere, only to disappear after a while.

To enable the Thunder Shield in gameplay, the player must first open the Game Config menu in Level Select. In the Items category, the player must then either highlight the second (the icon displaying the Shield with the three elemental shields) or fourth option (icon displaying Random with the three elemental shields) before starting an Act. It also appears as a random power-up in VS. Mode.

Sonic Mania

SMThunderShield.png

In Sonic Mania and its expansion Sonic Mania Plus, the Thunder Shield is referred to as the Lightning Shield[8] (サンダーバリア[9] Sandā Baria?, lit. "Thunder Barrier"). In this game, Item Boxes containing the Fire Shield display an icon that shows a white-blue lightning bolt. In gameplay, the Lightning Shield takes the form of a clear bubble with a white outline and white electrical currents moving across its surface. In terms of effects displayed by the Lightning Shield (besides its damage negation), it deflects minor projectile attacks, pulls in Rings, makes the wielder invulnerable to electrical hazards, and allows Sonic to use the Double Jump. However, it dissipates in water. When this happens though, it will not destroy all underwater Badniks on the screen.

Worth of note is that if the player loses the Lightning Shield while Rings are being pulled towards the playable character, the Rings will stop following the character and bounce everywhere, only to disappear after a while. Also, while the Lightning Shield is equipped, the magnetic ceilings in Flying Battery Zone will attract the playable character and allow them to walk inverted as long as the magnetism is active, which opens up new routes through this Zone.

Trivia

  • The sound effect used for acquiring a Thunder Shield in Sonic Generations is instead "Sound #40" from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles which, interestingly, is right before the original sound effect being used in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles for the Thunder Shield (which is Sound #41).

Gallery

Sprites

Gallery

Screenshots

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Sonic Team (11 November 2011). Sonic Generations. Xbox 360. Sega. Area/level: Thunder Shield Challenge. "Loading screen: Use Thunder Shield to reach the goal in time and obtain the Thunder Shield Skill!"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Mega Drive) United States instruction booklet, p. 13.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, p. 18.
  4. Sonic R (Sega Saturn) United States instruction booklet, pg. 13.
  5. Sonic R (Sega Saturn) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 19.
  6. Dimps (29 October 2013). Sonic Lost World. Nintendo 3DS. Sega. Area/level: Tails' Lab.
  7. Brian (22 August 2013). Nintendo details Sonic Lost World Deadly Six Edition, multiplayer, R/C vehicles, Miiverse usage. Nintendo Everything. Retrieved on 10 May 2019.
  8. Sonic Mania United States instruction manual.
  9. Sonic Mania Japanese instruction manual.
Navigation Templates to Thunder Shield


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