From Sonic Retro

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The Shield, referred to as the Barrier (バリア) in Japan, is a power-up that protects the player from harm. When the player runs into an enemy or trap, their character will be knocked backwards and the shield will be lost. Shields offer an extra line of defense before rings would be lost, and first appeared in the original Sega Mega Drive game, Sonic the Hedgehog.

The original shield is a simple blue sphere, to the point wherein Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island (and later games such as Sonic Mania) it is called the Blue Shield or Blue Barrier (ブルーバリア)Media:Sonic3D Sat JP manual.pdf[1]. Despite this, it is not always blue - in Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 the shield is grey, and in Sonic Adventure and Sonic Advance, it is green. An exception to its round design is Sonic Forces, where it takes the form of multiple energy particles, moving in a circular pattern around the player.

In most games, the Blue Shield offers no additional advantages outside the extra hit point (unlike the shields later provided in Sonic the Hedgehog 3; the Flame Shield, Water Shield and Lightning Shield). The one exception to this rule is in Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island, where the blue shield is impervious to the electric flooring in Gene Gadget Zone.



Items in the Sonic the Hedgehog Game Series
Collectibles   Ring | Super Ring | Special Ring | Rich Ring | Heal Ring | Red Star Ring | Number Ring | Silver Moon Ring | Sonic Medal | Sun Medal | Moon Medal | Sun Tablet | Moon Tablet | Planet Tablet | Secret Item | Red Orbs | Blue Orbs | Green Orbs | Emblem | Chaos Drives | Special Stage Key | Material | Portal Gear | Memory Token | Vault Key | Red Seed of Power | Blue Seed of Defense | Dream Orb
Power-ups   Shield (Water, Lightning, Fire, Gold, Magnetic) | Invincibility | Power Sneakers | Rocket Shoes | Propeller Shoes | Hyper Heli-Tails | Eggman Mark | Super Ring | Combine Ring | Forcejewel | Power Core | Light Cores | Special Combination
Level Objects   Item Box | Item Panel | Spring | Spring Pole | Crane Lift | Dash Rail | Spikes | Checkpoint | Time Warp Plate | Signpost | Goal Ring | Hidden Treasure Ring | Giant Ring | Dash Ring | Rainbow Ring | Capsule | Crate | Water Barrel | Button | Dark Energy Key | Bumper | Speed Booster | Air bubbles | Chao container
Powerful Items   Chaos Emeralds | Super Emeralds | Master Emerald | Time Stones | Chaos Rings | Precioustone | Sol Emeralds | Jeweled Scepter | World Rings | Excalibur | Phantom Ruby | Reverie | Dream Core
Weapons   Piko Piko Hammer | Chaos Energy Cannon | Caliburn | Wispon
Devices   Remote Robot | Combi Confiner | Mother Computer | Nega's Camera | Arks of the Cosmos | Miles Electric
Other   Chili Dog | Fortune Cards | Speed Down Boots | Chao Egg | Scepter of Darkness | Cacophonic Conch