While they were simply known as "Eggman's robots" in the Japanese releases of the games, the robots were classified as "Badniks" in the manuals of the early North American and European versions. After Sonic Adventure was released in 1999, the robots are most often called "Eggman's robots" in these areas of the world as well. However, they reappeared under the name Badniks in Sonic Rivals 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 4, as well as in Sonic Lost World (Eggman specifically calls his robots "Badniks" to the Deadly Six). Some of them appear at the beginning of Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.
In the games, they are used by Eggman as his private robot army and they appear constantly throughout the levels as enemies to hinder the player and to kill the playable character. Eggman's robots have gone through a number of changes in appearance. The first generation of Eggman robots seen in the games were also built for the purpose of finding the Chaos Emeralds, whereas the second generation was to work on building the Death Egg.
Currently, it appears that Eggman is getting away from the personalized, ornate designs of his original machine lines and is moving for a more mass-producible line of machines; although, Sonic Colors marks the return of some of his earlier robots, such as the Moto Bug and Spiny designs.
Most early Badniks in the games and those in the Sonic the Comic comic book were powered by animals that had been turned into a type of organic battery. When destroyed by Sonic, they exploded and released a small animal, such as a Flicky, that hops off the screen. In other games however, it is shown that Badniks can be powered by rings, or even by plants. Ironically, many of these older robots, from the original 16-bit games all the way to the Sonic Adventure series, usually resemble mechanical animals with built-in weaponry. While only being explained, the mass production of turning animals into Badniks has never shown in any game until in Sonic Lost World, where the process works by moving animals from capsules and set into Badniks at the Eggman's base. Even before that, the only media where this has been shown is Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic Volume 2, where Picky is seen explaining to Sonic what has happened to Ricky and Cucky.
Some continuities, such as the Sonic the Hedgehog television series instead showed that Eggman "roboticized" animals, literally turning organic beings into his mechanical minions. In more recent games evolving new models of robots not based on animal designs, it has been shown they are actually powered by just some other electric device—like Light Cores—inside their bodies and when they are destroyed, nothing will pop out of them.
Notable robot designs
Certain designs of Badniks reappeared in multiple games, while others appeared only once. The designs of Badniks from the original Sonic the Hedgehog appear often, such as variations of the Buzz Bomber Badniks, which resemble wasps and fire energy blasts from their stingers. The designs of the Crabmeat Badniks, which resemble scuttling crabs and fire energy blasts from guns within their claws, and the caterpillar-based Caterkiller Badniks are also seen often. These Badniks are likely used often due to appearing in the Green Hill Zone and Marble Zone, the very first levels of the first Sonic game, making them "classic".
The Coconuts Badnik from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was designed after a monkey, and sat in palm trees while throwing coconut bombs at Sonic. Variations of this Badnik have also appeared, most notably the Kiki design from the Sonic Adventure series, and unlike the ones from the original Sonic the Hedgehog, its design is often used in the 3D games. A specific Coconuts also got a somewhat large role in the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon series.
Eggman is also known for making robots based on Sonic himself to pit against his rival. While most of these robots have been destroyed by their organic counterpart, one of them, Metal Sonic, has appeared again and again throughout the series to battle Sonic.
In Sonic Adventure, the same game that stopped using the "Badnik" name, the E-Series was introduced. This line of robotics have appeared frequently since, with the notable E-102 and E-123 even being recurring playable characters. Some of them make cameo appearances in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.
Sonic Heroes introduced the "Egg Pawn" robots, clunky orange humanoid robots resembling Eggman that are also part of the E-series. These were apparently easier to make and were more expendable because of the many Egg Pawn troops encountered in games. Unlike the "variety" of previous Badniks and their designs, enemies in Sonic Heroes were almost exclusively Egg Pawns with various weaponry and equipment. These robots have appeared in several games since Sonic Heroes, and appeared along with animal-based robots in Sonic Rivals. They were also created in different sizes, from small bazooka wielding ones to gargantuan hammer wielding ones, however, they had only four pieces of equipment total in Shadow the Hedgehog which included a shield (which in fact balances them out as the other two sides had shields too). Sonic Unleashed features robot grunts similar in design to Egg Pawns with minor differences.
The 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog game introduced all-new robots, called Egg Gunners. They are much more intimidating and menacing than the cartoonish Egg Pawns, and are tall, armed with machine guns and have white armor. They were likely created because Sonic Team wanted the game to be more "realistic", these robots are also seen in Sega Superstars Tennis.
In Sonic Unleashed, Eggman began deploying Egg Fighters and their variants. It is believed, but unconfirmed that they are the successors to the Egg Pawn. However, Eggman returned to using the Egg Pawn in Sonic Colors, so these must be his preference.
In Sonic Colors, after a long absence Eggman goes back to using many of his original robot models from the first games, such as Moto Bugs, Buzz Bombers, Sandworms, Choppers, Spinies, Crabmeats, Burrobots and many more, along with ones from other past adventures such as Spinners, Aero-Chasers and more.
In Sonic Generations many enemies from Sonic's past return once again such as Motobugs, Spinies, Eggrobos and Egg Pawns. These Badniks appear in the stages they originated from, e.g. E-10 Cop Speeders appear in Speed Highway.
Light Core series
Egg Fighter series
Buzz Bombers and Buzzers are robots in the forms of giant wasps, based on the namesake Badniks from the classic Sega Genesis Sonic titles. Their stingers double as laser emitters, and they are usually deployed for aerial attacks. They also made an appearance in the pilot episode of the Sonic the Hedgehog TV series, wherein they pursued Tails in an attempt to draw out Sonic and attempted to transport a herbicidal agent to the Great Forest in an attempt to expose the location of Knothole, both endeavors being handily thwarted by the Freedom Fighters. The SatAM version of Buzzbomber also appears in Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball.
Eggrobo is an egg-shaped humanoid robot resembling Dr. Robotnik. They first appeared as enemies in the game Sonic & Knuckles. In Knuckles' storyline, they are the bosses instead of Dr. Robotnik; in Sonic's storyline in that game, many copies appeared as standard Badnik grunts in the Sky Sanctuary Zone, after being seen launched from the Death Egg.
They are rather more prominent in Knuckles' storyline, however, as one Eggrobo in particular attacks Knuckles in the beginning of the game, and then replaces Robotnik in cut scenes and as the end-of-zone boss in every level up until the Hidden Palace Zone (with the exception of Flying Battery Zone, which is believed to be due to the fact that Robotnik had unique angled sprites in that machine). This Eggrobo appears to have greater intelligence than the other ones, and can pilot machines like Robotnik, even apparently learning from Robotnik's mistakes as the Eggrobo attacks a lot more. There is also no animal inside this one. This Eggrobo is destroyed by Mecha Sonic in the Sky Sanctuary Zone (the final level in Knuckles' storyline). The Eggrobo restrains Knuckles, allowing Mecha Sonic to charge at him, but Knuckles breaks free and Mecha Sonic destroys the Eggrobo instead.
Eggrobo has appeared as an unlockable playable character in Sonic R and in the kart-racing mode of Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (it was also available in the original Sonic Adventure 2 for the Sega Dreamcast, but only through online downloadable content).
The Orbinaut was a robot that consisted of a sphere which orbited by four smaller maces. Although other variants of this robot design employ the more popular attack method of releasing its maces from orbit towards the target, the Orbinaut from Launch Base Zone (Sonic the Hedgehog 3) is notable among its kind for retaining its maces. Orbinaut instead moves towards its target at a constant speed while—the player moves. If the player stops moving, the Orbinaut will also come to a complete stop. Also, if Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles leaps in the air before moving left or right, the Orbinaut will not react.
The spiked maces which surround the Orbinaut make this robot semi-invincible. Most of the time, the player character will be damaged if he touches Orbinaut, even while spinning. Orbinaut can be destroyed without consequences if Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles touches the robot while he is invincible or in Super or Hyper form. The player character can also use the brief period of invincibility granted just after taking a hit and destroy Orbinaut with an attack while the player character is still flashing. Furthermore, Sonic can use the effects of some shields to destroy Orbinaut without taking damage. Finally, an unprotected Sonic can attack an Orbinaut without taking damage by using the Insta-Shield. Sonic can jump into the air and jump a second time to protect himself from damage for a fraction of a second. With the right timing, Sonic can easily destroy Orbinauts without the use of power-ups or Chaos Emeralds.
Just as Metal Sonic is the robot counterpart to Sonic, Metal Knuckles is the doppelgänger of Knuckles the Echidna. He has Knuckles' strength, with even greater speed. In terms of video games, Metal Knuckles only appeared in Sonic R, where he was a faster version of Knuckles with a better gliding ability but with worse traction. Metal Knuckles was the character that went through the most shortcuts when played by the computer, so following this character was the easiest way to find the quickest route to the finish line.
A robotic Knuckles also appears as a boss in Sonic Advance, but it is instead known as Mecha Knuckles in supplemental sources. This robot looks exactly like Knuckles, only with a pinker hue and yellow gloves at first, and has virtually every move Knuckles has. After being struck a few times his "armor" will fall off, revealing a metallic echidna with glowing red eyes underneath. In this "form", the robot is faster and can fire homing missiles from its mouth. After being attacked a few more times, the robot explodes.
Tails also has his own "robotic" copy, the Tails Doll. It has a power plant in the gem on it's head which gives it the ability to levitate and is also able to move at moderate speeds. In the video games, Tails Doll has only ever appeared in Sonic R just as with Metal Knuckles above.
Badniks by game
Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
- Ball Hog
- Bat Brain
- Buzz Bomber
- Moto Bug
- Splats (Scrapped)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- BBat (Scrapped)
- BFish (Scrapped)
- Bubbler (Scrapped)
- Bubbler's Mother (Scrapped)
- Chop Chop
- Gator (Scrapped)
- Jellies (2013 re-release)
- Redz (Scrapped)
- Snail (Scrapped)
- Stegway (Scrapped)
Sonic the Hedgehog CD
- Antlion (Scrapped)
Sonic the Hedgehog 3
- Blastoid (Hydrocity Zone)
- Blastoid (Carnival Night Zone)
- Catakiller, Jr.
- Mega Chopper
- Monkey Dude
- Snale Blaster
- Star Pointer
- Turbo Spiker
Sonic & Knuckles
- Hoverby Mk II
- Other Unnamed Badniks
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II
Sonic Lost World
Apperances in other media
Sonic the Comic
In the British Fleetway-produced Sonic the Comic comic book, all early Badniks were powered by organic batteries, the name given to the helpless Mobian trapped inside. Unlike several other media, the Badniks in Sonic the Comic were directly based upon the robotic drones that appeared in the games.
Prime Badniks soon appeared, which could operate without the need of an organic energy source. The first such Badnik was the spider-like Arachbot. Throughout the course of the comic's production, most Badniks continued to use organic batteries despite new advances (possibly because Dr. Robotnik was hesitant to discard still potentially-useful equipment and his means of maintaining a sense of fear in his citizens).
Dr. Robotnik originally used mobile factories, which were basically large Badniks that ingested a Mobian and then encased it in a metallic shell, releasing it as a Badnik. Some Badniks also had the ability to capture their own organic batteries, including Badniks modeled on Sonic and Tails. After conquering Mobius, Robotnik used huge processing plants to churn out Badniks in large numbers. One named Badnik processing plant was the Veg-O-Fortress, but it was never seen.
Several important types of Badnik were made later in the story. After Robotnik successfully conquered Mobius, Trooper Badniks—large and powerful humanoid robots—became commonplace. Sonic initially had trouble defeating the powerful troopers until he learned that they were not powered by organic batteries and that he therefore did not need to hold back his strength when attacking. Troopers, with their menacing appearance, were one of the most frequently-seen antagonists in the comic until the overthrow of Robotnik in issue #100. The most notable Trooper Badnik was Commander Brutus, who was elevated above the ranks and programmed with Robotnik's own brainwaves, and later attempted a coup against the dictator with his own army of Badniks.
Another important type of Badnik was the Metallix series, which were based on Sonic's own appearance and abilities. Like Commander Brutus, they rebelled against Robotnik, forming their own society, the Brotherhood of Metallix.
Also worth mention was the Cybernik-style Badniks, made of the indestructible metal known as Megatal, which was comparable to adamantium. Despite their heightened status, Cybernik Badniks were built using organic batteries. Only two were ever known to be constructed. The first, a squirrel-Badnik dubbed Shortfuse, incorporated a reluctant squirrel named Shorty. Shorty was able to take control of his Badnik casing, rebelling against Robotnik and joining the Freedom Fighters. The second Cybernik was a rat named Vermin (who willingly volunteered for the process), designed largely to combat Shortfuse via use of an injectable computer virus in his tail. Both were destroyed. Vermin was tricked by Shortfuse into downloading a computer program that caused his suit to open up, and once the rat leaped out of the armour, Shortfuse, reasoning that it would not be indestructible from the inside, blew it up. Shortfuse was later caught up in an explosion caused by a machine created by the alien Plax race; the explosion destroyed the armour but left Shorty himself unharmed.
All the Badniks on Mobius were immobilized along with all the electrical systems on Mobius when Super Sonic burst out of the Black Asteroid in Mobius' orbit (transported from the Special Zone by the Omni-Viewer), causing an electromagnetic pulse which covered the planet. Robotnik created a new batch from his new base on Flickies' Island and launched multiple attacks, but never regained control over the planet again. The Flicky-powered Badniks were much more powerful than normal ones, Sonic having considerable difficulty dispatching only a single one, and only just managing to do so with all his strength. These Badniks were usually a grey, dark color and looked much more demonic and menacing than the colourful, cartoony Badniks that usually populated Robotnik's army. Some didn't bear any resemblance to normal Badniks at all.
A one off Sonic story considered a fan favorite was "Smokey and the Badnik" in Sonic the Comic #75, in which a Roller Badnik (named Badnik) befriends a young Mobian called Smokey, and protects him from a Trooper attack. Sonic spares the robot once he sees it is harmless and the two walk off into the sunset.
The Sonic the Hedgehog CD Badniks were only seen once, when Robotnik decided to relocate the Palmtree Panic Zone Badniks to the Green Hill Zone. The plan went south when they decided they weren't going to share a Zone with inferior outdated Badniks, and obliterated the locals in a violent frenzy. B.A.R.F. had to bring them under control using upgraded superhuman versions of the Green Hill Badniks, known as the Seven, and forced them back to Palmtree Panic.
Archie Comics/Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series)
In addition to the roboticized inhabitants of Mobius (called 'worker bots' in SatAM and 'Robians' in the Archie Comics), Robotnik also had various robots that were created without roboticization.
SWATbots were Robotnik's primary infantry robots armed with laser weapons, either handheld or built into their forearms. They are humanoid with domed heads and thin red visors. They are colored white and gray, though they were black in the cartoon. These robots were however not roboticized animals, and in the comics they were eventually replaced by the Egg Pawns featured in the video games. They also appear in Sonic Underground, another cartoon series. However, these were considerably weaker than their counterparts; they could explode from being tapped on the head with Manic's drumsticks.
Before Snively was introduced in the Archie comics, the Badnik Crabmeat served as Dr. Robotnik's second-in-command. Crabmeat had all the intellect of the average Badnik, which was relatively low, but was for some reason permitted to assist Robotnik in defeating Sonic and the Freedom Fighters in the tactical sense rather than on the front lines. Crabmeat was a collector of Sonic comic books and was destroyed in almost every issue he appeared in only to come back again next issue, or sometimes only a few pages later, completely unharmed.
Eventually, after many issues of the comic, Sonic managed to take a vacation back to his old base in the Great Forest. There, on his way, he found the late Robotnik's base showing a repair center for Badniks. He traveled there to find many of the old Badniks waiting for him. Also, Pseudo-Sonic, Robotnik's metal version of Sonic, was waiting for a chance to fight the original. After settling their disputes through speed headbutts, Sonic was flung into a part of sea, where he grabbed onto a scrap of the collapsing island. While Sonic went home thinking it was safe, the Badniks were actually pretending to sink, while the island was being repaired and Crabmeat was repairing Pseudo-Sonic. Pseudo-Sonic, along with the rest of the early Badniks, are later destroyed by the Forty Fathom Freedom Fighters.
In the early days after his takeover of Mobotropolis, Dr. Robotnik employed SWATbots as his main labor and military force. While Robotnik would usually use various Badniks (such as Burrowbots or Buzzbombers) for engagements against the Freedom Fighters, SWATbots were used more frequently for recon, patrol and labor, as well as roboticizing Mobians. All SWATbots are programmed with a directive dubbed "Priority One" in which they attack and pursue Sonic on sight, regardless of their current status.
While usually proving to be unintelligent by normal standards, a SWATbot did develop a "Krudzu"—a mechanical plant which rapidly grew and spread. Krudzu nearly destroyed the Great Forest, until a thunderstorm destroyed them. SWATbots are also dangerous in large groups, going so far as to capture the Freedom Fighters (bar Sonic and Larry Lynx) at one point. Unlike the version featured in the TV show, Archie Comics' versions of SWATbots are white and silver in color (though this color pattern can be seen on SWATbots appearing in the show's pilot episode, Heads or Tails).
After Ivo Robotnik's demise (caused by his nephew Snively), he was replaced by Dr. Eggman—a version of himself from an alternate universe. When Eggman retook control of Robotropolis from the Mobians, he began to employ his own form of SWATbots, called "Shadowbots"—or "SWATbots Mk II". These forms are much larger and bulkier, and carry a larger arsenal. Shadowbots usually sport a dark metallic blue color.
Shortly after the destruction of A.D.A.M., Eggman seemed to stop using Shadowbots and instead began to construct a new series of robots, similar in design to the Egg Pawn series seen in the game Sonic Heroes. This is perhaps due to the fact that A.D.A.M., Robotnik's traitorous computer virus "son", controlled the Shadowbots, and after his subsequent death they could no longer function. However, it appears that he still uses the older model SWATbots as scout units, as shown by the squad that first encountered Blaze the Cat when she arrived on the outskirts of Knothole.
SWATbots come in several specialized varieties, including jet pack-equipped Aerobots and low temperature Icebots.
A series of androids created by Dr. Robotnik, the Auto Automatons were first designed for espionage purposes. The Auto Automatons were intended to be exact duplicates of the Freedom Fighters, thus enabling them to replace their biological counterparts. He first put these to use against Sally Acorn, but her efforts and those of King Acorn's Secret Service commander Geoffrey St. John put an end to that batch. King Acorn was later replaced with an Auto-Automaton, who ordered Sonic arrested and all Robians disassembled before he was finally exposed as a fake and destroyed.
The Auto Automatons were discarded as faulty, given that the materials that made them so lifelike made them so susceptible to rust that they would become useless within seconds of touching water. However, Robotnik made use of one last such Automaton, a duplicate of Fiona Fox. Created several years before Robotnik put it to use, it still had the appearance of a younger Fiona. Robotnik tested the robot Fiona's effectiveness by pretending to capture her while Miles "Tails" Prower watched. Tails "saved" Fiona and quickly fell in love with her, only to be betrayed when Robotnik ordered the robot to attack Tails. The materials that made the robot appear so lifelike were also unusually susceptible to rust, and as Tails struggled with "Fiona" the robot was drenched with water and quickly rusted solid. Tails mourned the robot Fiona as his first love, not knowing that it had been based on a real person now several years older than him. Fiona's android self reciprocated Tails' feelings for her, but their relationship was put to an end by her deactivation. While she was acting on Dr. Robotnik's orders, she clearly cared for Tails. Unfortunately, her attachment led her to want him subjected to roboticization so they could be together. Tails' own feelings were so strong that he bid farewell to her. As he left, a single tear fell from the eye of the rusted android.
Later models were produced following Robotnik's death, and were being mass constructed for some purpose. However, these Auto Automatons proved unable to defeat the Freedom Fighters, despite such duplicates of Sally and Sonic being deployed against them. A later scheme by Eggman involved hiring Mobian con artist Renfield T. Rodent to place scanners inside slot machines in Station Square's Casinopolis, enabling Eggman to copy their data and produce duplicates. Fortunately, this scheme was thwarted by the Chaotix and Rouge the Bat.
Similar to the Auto Automatons was an android created by Robotnik in the Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon. This android was created to resemble Sally down to the finest detail, and was also programmed with a copy of her personality. However, lacking her true memories, the pseudo-Sally was unable to fool Tails when she didn't know a story to read and do the "scary witch voice". She was then exposed later during another reconnaissance mission, and reprogrammed by the Freedom Fighters to serve their purposes. As a final act, Sonic replaced the real Sally with the fake, causing the Roboticizer to overload.
All Auto Automatons were equipped with abilities beyond those of ordinary Mobians. Sally's robotic double from the TV series was also able to fire bolts of energy and a sludge-like substance known as "Mega Muck" (which is mentioned by Uncle Chuck as being roughly equal parts petroleum, quicksand, and clay mud) from her fingertips.
Eggman mostly uses the E-Series in the Sonic X anime series and uses numerous other robots in the comics. Decoe and Bocoe act as Eggman's assistants throughout the series while Bokkun is his messenger robot who normally delivers messages to Sonic and his friends.
List of robots exclusive to the Sonic X comic series
- Ben-728 Packratbot
- X Robot
- Giant Bokkun
- X Robot
- Chaosbot (Perfect Chaos controlled by 'greenbots')
In addition to information taken from the Sonic the Hedgehog games themselves, content from the instruction booklets of the U.S. and Japanese versions of the games were also used as references for this article.
- ↑ http://www.sonicthehedgehog4.com/us/ - „Soon Sonic discovers that evil scientist Dr. Eggman has been kidnapping them and turning them into robots to collect the legendary treasure - The Chaos Emeralds.“
- ↑ http://www.sonicthehedgehog4.com/us/ “[t]heir reunion is short lived however, as Eggman resurfaces and begins kidnapping Sonic friends again, in an effort to create more workers to finish his ultimate Weapon - The Death Egg!”
- ↑ IGN: SEGA Superstars Tennis Screenshots (PS3) Full Size 2304655
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #3, "Mayhem in the Marble Zone"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #4, "Day of the Badniks"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #55 and #56, "The Great Escape!"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #24, "The Sonic Terminator, Part 1"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #9, "Back to Reality"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #100, "The Final Victory"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #59 to #62, "The Seven Badniks"