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An interesting type of shield, where one to several particles (can be energy balls, rocks or any other things) orbit around someone to block shots and/or damage things. This shield usually has gaps though or individual particles can be destroyed so the shielded one is not completely invulnerable. Sometimes that shield can be thrown as a weapon.

Commonly found in video games being wielded by bosses or available to the player as power ups. In Shoot Em Ups, it's a common alternative to the Attack Drone.

Compare Shielded Core Boss, if destroying the shields is absolutely required to expose the boss for damage at all. See also Beehive Barrier and Reverse Shrapnel.

Examples of Orbiting Particle Shield include:


Anime

Film

  • In the original Tron, the MCP had a ring of orbiting shields whirling around his weak point, and Tron had to wait until the MCP was distracted and the shields slowed down so he could throw his identity disc through one of the gaps.

Video Games

  • Mega Man series have many robot masters with a shield weapons which block shots and damage upon contact although a few non-robot master bosses have that shield as well. The particles of the shield can be launched at the enemy.
  • In Cave Story, Misery eventually summons 2 black orbs to partially shield her. Then she summons an additional two. True Final Boss has a variation of an orbiting shield as well.
    • Cave Story also has a heroic version: At maximum power, the Bubbler produces a swarm of bubbles that hover around the player's position before firing off in a desired direction. There is also the Whimsical Star, an attachment for the Spur that produces rotating stars around the player whenever they charge the weapon.
  • The Binding of Isaac has fly powerups which orbit around the character to block shots (and damage other flies upon contact). There are other powerups which serves that purpose as well like level 1 and 2 meat cube or a guardian angel. For bosses, The Duke of Flies summons flies to orbit around him to serve as a shield.
  • Many Compile shooters have this as a weapon, usually with variable power levels:
    • In Zanac, weapon 3 is an energy ball orbiting around the ship destroying bullets and enemies upon contact. One of the enemies has its own orbiting shield too although that one can be destroyed.
    • The Rolling Fire weapon (#4) in Power Strike.
    • The Bullet Shield in The Guardian Legend, which uses chips like other secondary weapons.
    • The Ring Blaster powerup in Blazing Lazers.
    • The Defensive Detonator (blue capsule) in M.U.S.H.A.
    • Super Aleste has a circling orb weapon that can be temporarily locked in place.
    • Rude Breaker has an alternate mode of the laser subweapon which provides this.
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog has many examples.
    • The recurring enemy Orbinaut/Unidus has Spike Balls of Doom orbiting around it (some variations can also throw the shield away).
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the Metropolis Zone boss has this kind of shield--and every time you get past the shield, one of the particles breaks off and attempts to run into you. A throwback to this specific boss also shows up in Sonic 3 and Knuckles, Sky Sanctuary Zone.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, the Tidal Tempest boss is surrounded by a ring of bubbles. They don't hurt you--in fact, they're the only oxygen source in the underwater boss room--but they block you from hitting Robotnik all the same.
    • In Sonic 3 and Knuckles, the boss of Ice Cap Zone, Act 1 has a ring of ice block around it--when it isn't making itself vulnerable by trying to drop the blocks on you.
    • The Final Hazard in Sonic Adventure 2 surrounds itself with fleshy pink energy bubbles that zap you if you touch them. You have to dodge between them to reach its weak point.
  • Fourth boss in Diamond Hollow II is a Blob Monster with an orbiting shield which can be shot down. Last two phases have shields which must be shot down with a rocket launcher only.
  • In Mario Kart, the Triple Shell item causes three shells to orbit the player's vehicle before being fired individually, intercepting most thrown objects (Blue Shells are not stopped). When one is fired, the others remain in orbit, still able to intercept a missile.
  • Necron lords can have this with flying scarabs in Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War.
  • In the first Pokémon Pinball, Mewtwo has a shield of bubble-things that orbit around him. You can knock them away temporarily by hitting them with the ball.
  • In Silpheed: Super Dogfighter, one of the recurring boss types was the small "Olleyus" cruiser which is protected by a layer of small satellites that respawn after being destroyed. In later levels the satellites also reflect the player's Laser weapon, requiring a player armed with such to time their shots carefully to pass between the satellites. The Asteroid Belt powerup provides this for the player.
  • In the first Metroid Prime, the Parasite Queen is protected by a rotating energy shield and the player must position themselves to shoot between the panels. In Metroid Prime 2, the weak point of the Emperor Ing's first form is also protected by a rotating barrier.
  • The Pain in Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater used live bees to protect himself from bullets.
  • Deus Ex has the Aggressive Defense System, which is a more-realistic variant of this trope.

 Aerosol nanoparticles are released upon the detection of objects fitting the electromagnetic threat profile of missiles and grenades; these nanoparticles will prematurely detonate such objects prior to reaching the agent.

  • Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X 2's Null Element elemental shields take the form of orbs that orbit the character in the color of that element. Each orb will block 1 attack from that element before it is used up.
  • Part of Kingdom Hearts II takes part in the world of Tron and the boss battle is fought the same way (waiting for the orbital shield to slow down before shooting at the MCP).
  • In The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword, the second Ghirahim fight has him using particles of power as a shield to prevent Link from swinging his sword just in any direction.
  • In Epic Mickey, Petetronic summons rotating energy shields to protect him while you deflect his disc back and forth.
  • The Option Barrier special item in Valis II.
  • Abadox has a barrier shield option that can be upgraded to 4 orbs.
  • The Magia Stone in Zeliard.
  • The Cane of Byrna from The Legend of Zelda a Link To T He Past. This uses up magic power pretty quickly, but actually makes the user completely invulnerable.
  • Ninja Gaiden has the Fire Shield, which for a few seconds surrounds Ryu with several fireballs.
  • Ubersoldier has telekinetic super-soldiers who can draw in objects from the area to form a shielding tornado of junk around themselves.
  • In World of Warcraft, the shaman class has elemental shields. Only one can be up at a time, with lightning shield doing damage to anyone who attacks the shaman and water shield restoring mana if attacked. Resto shamans also have an earth shield that can be placed on another player that heals them when they are attacked.
  • Hyper Princess Pitch has one as a powerup, as well as some enemies and minibosses.
  • Kid Niki: Radical Ninja has a bell powerup that circles around Kid Niki and knocks out most enemies in one hit, but goes away after a minute.

Western Animation

  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender finale, Aang's ultimate battle form has particles of earth and water (along with circles of air and fire) surrounding him as a shield.
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