Spin Dash

From Sonic Retro

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Sonic the Hedgehog performing a Spin Dash in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

The Spin Dash, which debuted as the Super Dash Attack in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit) and the Super Spin Dash in Sonic the Hedgehog CD (and is called a Turbo in Sonic the Comic), is the ability of Sonic and various other playable characters to dash off from a standstill. Its animation is meant to symbolize the wheel of a car during a burnout. The character crouches, curls into a ball, spins to rev up and gain potential energy, and finally takes off at great speed. As at any other time the character is in a ball, if they hit an enemy (e.g. a badnik or Dr. Eggman) they deal damage to them. The Spin Dash is faster and can be more useful than the spin roll.

While Sonic CD featured the first move named Spin Dash, the most famous move by this name debuted in Sonic 2 and has appeared in most Sonic games released since. In 2D side-scrolling games the move is performed by holding Down and pressing a jump button. Most 3D titles have the spin dash assigned to a single button.

In Sonic 2 and subsequent 2D games

Knuckles the Echidna about to demonstrate the technique on a helpless Sparkle in Sonic 3's Carnival Night Zone.

The most famous form of the Spin Dash debuted in Sonic 2 as the Super Dash Attack, works almost identically in Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles in which it is called the Spin Dash Attack, and is usable in all subsequent 2D games. Holding Down and pressing Jump (A, B or C) will charge up a Spin Dash; releasing Down will send the character zooming forwards at high speed. By repeatedly tapping the button, the launch speed increases.

Back-porting to Sonic 1

The Sonic 2 version of the Spin Dash has been retroactively added to the original Sonic the Hedgehog game four times officially (and many times by fans through ROM hacking; see below).

In Sonic Jam: When Sonic the Hedgehog 1 was ported to the Sega Saturn as part of the Sonic games compilation Sonic Jam, the move was added as an optional feature. The move can allow the player to finish levels much more quickly, but creates a potential problem in Green Hill Zone by slightly increasing the chance of triggering the S-tunnel scrolling bug, in which the screen does not scroll quickly enough to keep up with Sonic and he dies on hitting its bottom (as if it were a pit).

In Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis: The Spin Dash is also present in Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis, a port of the original game to the Nintendo Game Boy Advance. It works much as it usually does, with the exception that while charging speed, Sonic remains vulnerable to damage.

In Sonic the Hedgehog (2013): The Spin Dash is also present in Sonic the Hedgehog (2013), a port of the original game to iOS devices. It works much as it usually does, however it may not always be useful as the stages are not built for it.

In 3D Sonic the Hedgehog: The Spin Dash is present in 3D Sonic the Hedgehog.[1] It can be toggled off and on (which requires a game reset), and is on by default.

In Sonic CD

Sonic the Hedgehog CD was released after Sonic 2, and so technically marks the move's second appearance (as the Super Spin Dash), but here it functions differently to the version in the latter game and subsequent 2D titles. Revving up does not confer invulnerability to attack, and must be completed by holding Jump for a sufficient time, otherwise Sonic will just stand up instead of dashing off--which, in any case, he always does at the same speed, because the launch speed is not scalable.

In the 2011 remake, the player is given the option to choose between this type of spin dash and the Sonic 2 version.

In 3D games

In 3D Sonic games, the first of which was Sonic 3D Blast, the Spin Dash is performed by pressing a single dedicated button (usually from a standstill as in the 2D games) rather than using Down and Jump, because the directional controls are used to move Sonic around the floor.

In ROM hacks

Originally, adding the Spin Dash to a hack of Sonic 1 was considered technically impressive. In chronological order:

Nowadays, due to widespread assembly language usage and the existence of a Spin Dash porting guide, most recent Sonic 1 hacks feature a Spin Dash, usually Sonic 2-style.


  1. SEGA 3D Classics – 3D Sonic the Hedgehog Interview with Developer M2