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Bark the Polar Bear[2] (バーク・ザ・ポーラーベアー Bāku za Pōrābeā?) is a playable character in Sonic the Fighters. He is an anthropomorphic yellow polar bear who competed in a fighting tournament for the Chaos Emeralds and the right to destroy the Death Egg II. He specializes in throws and flattening an opponent but lacks in speed.

History

Sonic the Fighters

In Sonic the Fighters, Bark had been entrusted to safeguard one of the Chaos Emeralds to keep Dr. Robotnik from abusing it. Eventually though, Dr. Robotnik constructed the Death Egg II, which he used to deploy hordes of robots to lay the world to waste with. Soon after, Bark joined the fighting tournament held to decide which one among the Chaos Emerald guardians was the strongest. If Bark could defeat all the contestants, he would earn the right to use all the Chaos Emeralds for Tails's single-seat Lunar Fox and travel to the Death Egg II and destroy it.[3]

At the end of the tournament, the victor used the Chaos Emeralds to go to the Death Egg II and made it self-destruct moments after escaping it.

Other game appearances and cameos

Sonic Generations

In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, Bark makes a cameo appearance as one of the characters in the wanted posters alongside Bean the Dynamite dotted throughout the City Escape.

Sonic Mania

Bark makes a cameo appearance in Sonic Mania. Right before the start of Mirage Saloon Zone Act 2, he, Fang the Sniper or Bean the Dynamite (depending on the random pattern) can be seen standing on a Badnik while taking down the Tornado. Like in Sonic Generations, he is also seen on wanted posters through the Zone.

Bark also appears during the boss battle of Mirage Saloon Zone Act 2, where he is revealed to be one of the illusions created by the Heavy Magician. During the battle, Bark hops slowly around the arena and occasionally smashes his hands into the ground, causing rocks and other obstacles to drop down from the roof. Hitting him will make the Heavy Magician reveal herself.

Fighting Vipers

Bark breifly appears as toy in Sega Saturn version of Fighting Vipers. He is only visible from the waist down during the intro of the game.

Fighters Megamix

Fighters megamix 002

Bark about to fight human Honey in Fighters Megamix.

Bark also makes appearance as an unlockable character in Fighters Megamix, along with Bean the Dynamite. He is unlocked after clearing the 'Muscle' submode of the arcade mode and he plays like any regular Virtua Fighter character in the game. He also has alternate costume is a Santa Claus-esque suit. His home stage is Aurora Icefield from Sonic the Fighters, albeit without the ice walls.

Shenmue and Shenmue II

Bark appears as a collectible small toy in both Shenmue and its sequel Shenmue II (misspelled as "Berk") along with all characters from Sonic the Fighters, sans Honey the Cat.

Personality

In his appearance of Sonic the Fighters, Bark is shown to be serious during his matches. Accordingly, Bark is blunt and quiet due of being a shy guy, but he is known to have a gentle and loving heart.[1]

Powers and abilities

Bark's main asset is his immense brute strength which is easily on par or greater than Knuckles the Echidna's, allowing him to flatten opponents and deal maximum damage with little effort. Bark also has the ability to harness chaos energy from the Chaos Emeralds to bolster his innate abilities, allowing him to enter Hyper Mode.

Bark is a good close range fighter in hand-to-hand combat, matching the likes of renowned fighters like Sonic and Knuckles. His fighting style specializes in brute strength with grappling throws and powerful punches, though he does utilize a few combo attacks.

In other media

Archie Comics

Bark Post-SGW

Bark, from Sonic Universe #65.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, Bark is the silent partner of Bean the Dynamite. Bark himself was a walking enigma as no know knew where he came from or what his motivations are. He used to be part of a mercenary group which included Fiona Fox, Bean and Nic the Weasel. Later on, Bark and Bean were hired by Dr. Eggman to ambush Sonic on his birthday, but the duo was soon outnumbered and retreated. After being captured and escaping jail, Bark and Bean worked for Mammoth Mogul for some time before joining Nack the Weasel's Team Hooligan to secure a Sol Emerald, but failed.

Following the events of Worlds Collide, Bark became nearly indistinguishable from his game counterpart. During the Shattered World Crisis, he and the Hooligans would aid Dr. Eggman in controlling the world's restoration.

Trivia

  • Bark is North Island's #1 snowboarder.[1]
SX15

Bark's cameo on Sonic X #15 as a toy.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 SoftBank (24 February 1997). "Bark". ファイターズメガミックス オフィシャルガイド (in Japanese). p. 202. ISBN 978-4797302127.
  2. File:Bean and Bark.png
  3. (June 1996) "Sonic the Fighters" (in Japanese). Gamest. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  4. Sega of America. Sonic Q and A. Sega of America. Archived from the original on 13 June 2004. “Stephen F. (a.k.a Sonic's number 1 fan.): Will Ray the Flying Squirrel, Bean the Duck, Chaos, Nack, Tikal, and Bark reappear? P.S: COOL SITE!!! / Sonic: Actually, I don't know exactly where they are…but we do have some old faces from the past that will be with me in Sonic Heroes…make sure to check 'em out!”
  5. The staff team of Sonic the Fighters listed on the GHZ.

Notes

  1. Bark's height is taken from the official Japanese guide for Fighters Megamix, in which it was comparable to the human characters in the game. This appears to be inconsistent with his height in Sonic the Fighters, which was relative to the rest of the playable characters (for reference, Sonic stands at 100 cm).
Sonic the Hedgehog characters