Bark the Polar Bear (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.
Bark was one of the participants in a fighting tournament when Dr. Robotnik constructed the Death Egg II to conquer earth with his robots. He is found as opponent in Aurora Icefield. If Bark won this tournament, he would get the Chaos Emeralds belonging to the other participants in addition to his own and earn the right to use them for Tails' single-seat Lunar Fox which would take him to the Death Egg II to destroy it.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
- Bark is North Island's #1 snowboarder.
- Bark made a cameo on the front cover of Sonic X #15 in the form of a stuffed toy, along with Storm the Albatross and Amigo.
- His home stage theme Fairy of A.I.F has been remixed and can be found as unlockable song in Sonic Gems Collection.
- In Sonic the Fighters, Bark's fur in his character select picture is darker than his in-game model.
- According to an interview on Sonic Central, Sonic doesn't know the whereabouts of Bark, Ray the Flying Squirrel, Bean the Dynamite, Nack the Weasel, Chaos or Tikal.
- Like Bean and Honey the Cat, Bark was most likely designed by Masahiro Sugiyama, the character designer of Sonic the Fighters.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 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.
- ↑ File:Bean and Bark.png
- ↑ 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!”
- ↑ The staff team of Sonic the Fighters listed on the GHZ.
- ↑ 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).