In Sonic 3 (and Sonic 3 & Knuckles), there is an enemy known as an Orbinaut that appears in the Launch Base Zone. It protects itself with 4 spike-balls that orbit it's body.

An Orbinaut in Launch Base Zone

Unlike the Star Pointer, Orbinauts don't fire their spikes (ergo leaving them vulnerable), and it doesn't seem possible to melt/destroy them with a shield (both possible with the Star Pointer):

Star Pointer in Ice Cap Zone

Playing as Sonic, it is possible (but relatively hard in regards to timing) to kill these enemies using the Insta-shield attack (tapping Jump again in mid-air). However, Tails and Knuckles' abilities are to Fly and Glide respectively, which don't seem to be effective at killing them.

Having recently embarked on a playthrough trying to kill as many Badniks per level as possible, I'm a little stumped on how to kill them safely, without either

  • Using Invincibility boxes (not readily available)
  • Going Super
    • Which Tails can't do in Sonic 3 anyway: only in Sonic 3 & Knuckles and obtaining the Super Emeralds can he go Super (and only on a second playthrough can he do this in Launch Base Zone)
  • Taking a hit and relying on the invincibility frames to get through the spike balls and kill the badnik (losing my current shield or rings in the process).

Am I approaching them at the wrong angle? (i.e. Top-down or Spin Dash) Or is there another way to reliably take them out?

1 Answer 1


According to the Sonic Wiki:

It can only be defeated while the player is invincible or with a well-timed Insta-Shield move by Sonic (or during the brief invulerability period once the player character loses Rings or his Shield).

This means there is no way to defeat them besides the methods you already know.

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