The Ball Hog (トントン,Tonton?), also spelled Ballhog, is a pig-type Badnik model created by Dr. Eggman. It first appears in the original 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog. The Ball Hog throws or rolls bombs from its round belly.
Ball Hog is a basic pink Badnik model which wildly resembles real-life's domestic pig, but which is able to stand up on two legs. It has two ears on the head and grey, thick snout. It has trotter hands and two mechanical legs. Ball Hog's gray belly is actually door which can be opened with the attached handle.
Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
Ball Hogs appear in the original 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog, as these Badniks can only be found first and second acts of Scrap Brain Zone. These Badniks appear usually at the end of act on hall section which only can lead to up and down.
Ball Hogs are standing almost against the wall or the edge of the next layer, jumping on both feet and dropping bombs which slowly bounces down. The player has to jump over these bombs at the right time and at the same time to get up. The defeat these Badniks, the player has to do Spin Jump.
Ball Hogs also appear in the 8-bit version of the game with same name as these Badniks also appear at Scrap Brain Zone. Similarly Ball Hogs can be found at hall sections, but unlike in 16-bit version, there are also halls that have no passages to up but platforms only where Badniks throw bombs down of the hall. Ball Hogs, like other Badniks, don't have animal friends as organic batteries in the 8-bit version.
Sonic Lost World
Many years later, Ball Hogs make a reappearance in Sonic Lost World. In Silent Forest, Ball Hogs are seen having darker color scheme and appear larger. They also have a different pattern now, as they can hop from lateral directions to another, while the player is moving on the route. Ball Hogs are able to squash the player by free falling to the route. There are also golden types of Ball Hogs, which fire bombs at the player, while he/she has to defeat him by kicking bombs back into them.
Ball Hogs also appear in Frozen Factory, where they are smaller and have the traditional purple color scheme. These variants have also the same attack pattern, in which the Badniks throw exploding bombs onto the player.
Powers and abilities
Ball Hogs have nasty surprise to its target on their belly, as the Badniks will start literally open their hatch and throw glowing bombs, which do not explode unless if the enemy hits them. Also these bombs can be tricky as it bounces down the hill. In Sonic Lost World, they are seen to be able to hop very high at high speed.
In the Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions, the Ball Hogs are a part of Dr. Robotnik's Badnik army. Depending on the artist, the Ball Hogs' design would differ between their appearances. In the latter half of the comic, they were also given wings, enabling them to fly. They appeared infrequently as foes of the Freedom Fighters.
Ballhog, along with Roller, appeared in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode "Untouchable Sonic". Their appearances are drastically different as having business suit and bird's beak instead of pig snout, but Ball Hog retains the ability to toss out bombs, although he used it once before Sonic tricked him into using it against Roller.
Ballhog and Roller are part of Dr. Robotnik's Or Else Protection Service, where they bully Mobians into paying them to not destroy their business. They are easily destroyed by Sonic. Later at the end of the episode, Tails had converted Ballhog and Roller's remains for an attraction for Bert's Diner.
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Ball Hogs were among the first generation of badniks produced by Dr. Robotnik, though they were eventually rendered obsolete by more advanced robots and got decommissioned.
The toy company TOMY has released Ball Hog action figurine during the release of Sonic & Knuckles as it also includes a series of 21 Sonic figurines and these figurines came in packs of four under the Sonic & Knuckles label and were also released individually under a Sonic the Hedgehog label.
Early on during the pre-release of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Ball Hog was originally supposed to appear in Green Hill Zone. Also it has to note that Ball Hog was supposed to act really differently, as it was standing straight and throws bombs to the both sides from top of medium-sized hills. This early version of the game was playable during at Consumer Electronics Show 1991.
One of small artworks featuring Badniks at Japanese instruction manual, shows Ball Hog throwing bombs on both sides at the same time. This would possibly show how the Badnik originally would act in Green Hill Zone.
It can be noticed that Ball Hog has similar looking legs as Roller and Bomb in artwork illustration.
Due the palette limitations, in-game sprites of Ball Hogs have green snout.