The Buzzer (スティンガー,Sutingā?, lit. "Stinger") is an enemy in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a mass-produced, wasp-based Badnik model created by Dr. Eggman, and the successors of Buzz Bombers. Similar to Buzz Bomber, the Buzzer flies around while shooting thermal energy bursts at its target.
Although the stingers of Buzz Bomber and Buzzer Badniks models work in a similar fashion, Buzzers have much more efficient thermal energy guns in their stingers, which fire faster that the Buzz Bomber's rail detonator gun. Also, Buzzer resembles mostly in color a Japanese hornet. The jet that propelled the Buzz Bomber, stored on its undercarriage, is attached to the top of the Buzzer. Also, whereas the Buzz Bomber was connected solidly throughout its design, the Buzzer's body basically consisted of a head and abdomen connected to its rear end by a thin metallic pole, giving it an appearance physiologically similar to a mud dauber wasp. The Buzzer's standard colors were a red faceplate, black torso, and a typical yellow and black striped design for the back end where the stinger was located.
Certain Buzzers in Sonic Advance 2 have propellers attached on the top of the model instead of using jet engines. Sonic the Hedgehog 4 are slightly different looking as rocket engines are much larger as its stinger. In Sonic Colors, Buzzers are given yet another redesign as rocket engines being small, are now set on each side of the body. This is because Buzzers now have four wings set above the body.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Buzzers make their first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, flying around and firing the player in Emerald Hill Zone. There can be single or two of Buzzers flying around at same time back and forth, similar to Buzz Bombers. Unlike Buzz Bombers, Buzzers hover much slower in the air.
As the player is closer enough, Buzzers stops moving and start firing its thermal projectiles in 35 degrees downward while the speed of projectile is medium, but they can be easily avoided. The player can defeat Buzzers by Spin Jumping on them.
Unnamed, closely similar looking bee-type Badniks appear in Sonic Blast. These Badniks can be found at Green Hill Zone and apparently they have almost identical movement and attack pattern comparing to Buzzers. The projectiles that Badniks shoot are incredibly small and can be really hard to recognize.
Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure
Buzzers make appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure. Like other Badniks from Emerald Hill Zone, these Badniks are featured at Neo South Island Zone. Buzzers here have a more yellow look in their in-game sprites, but their attack patterns are no different from their first appearance.
Buzzers return in Sonic Advance, as it is featured at Neo Green Hill Zone and Angel Island Zone. These models use a propeller pack to hover. Buzzers in this game fly above the player and try to fire an energy projectile when the player is close enough. The player has to avoid the bullets and can destroy this Badnik easily.
Sonic Advance 2
Buzzer makes another appearance Sonic Advance 2, as it is featured at Leaf Forest, Sky Canyon and Egg Utopia. In the game, Buzzers prepares to sting the player above when he approaches. However, bullet-firing Buzzers also appear in Sky Canyon, but these versions use the original jet engine rather than the propeller.
In Sonic Advance 3, Buzzers make an appearance in Sunset Hill and Chaos Angel. Buzzers in this game are solely the bullet-firing type from the previous game. Unlike other appearances, Buzzers are powered with rings, that can be collected after defeating it.
The Buzzer makes a cameo appearance in Sonic Rivals, where it is featured as a collectible card.
In gameplay, the Buzers retain their attack pattern from previous games, but they now hover faster than before and their energy projectiles are slower. Some Buzzers are even just hovering in one position so the player can skip across them with the Homing Attack to get to higher levels or even across bottomless pits.
In Green Hill Act 1 and Planet Wisp Act 1, Buzzers take more time to charge their shots than shooting them. Also, a sound effect can be heard when they are about to shoot. Furthermore, Buzzers in Act 1 have more mobility, allowing them to change position for different firing angles. Buzzers in Act 2, however, remain stationary and will spin around before shooting at Sonic after spotting him.
In the Nintendo 3DS version, the Buzzers replace the Buzz Bombers in Green Hill.
Powers and abilities
The Buzzers are commonly paired together, although solo units are not necessarily uncommon. They drift lazily and slowly across the landscape until they find a target. When the target is sighted they will pivot their abdomen, stinger extended, and fire a concentrated thermal energy ball at the enemy. Although slower than their predecessor, the Buzz Bomber, the Buzzer were programmed to fire at more random intervals, making them less predictable when trying to avoid them. Sonic is easily able to destroy them due to their low speeds.
Buzzers make appearance in many issues of Fleetway's Sonic the Comic, as being part of Dr. Robotnik's Badnik army during his dictatorship time at Mobius. Comic sometimes mixed Buzzer with Buzz Bomber due the similarities.
In concept, this robot would have also burned the bridges in Emerald Hill (or, if hacked there via Debug Mode, Hidden Palace due to the bridges being the same object), but it was scrapped early in development. It's likely that this was secondary unimplemented behavior rather than a separate enemy variation, as both design documents and the Nick Arcade prototype's source code identify them as "Wasp".
In the Christian Whitehead-produced 2013 mobile re-release of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, this behavior was restored in an alternate, less detailed bee object resembling Buzzer's prototype appearance in Debug Mode.
There are differences between the sprite for the Buzzer in the Simon Wai prototype and the final Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Some of the more noticeable differences include the eyes, rocket pack, and shading on stripes. These were improvements done by Yasushi Yamaguchi, art director for the project. Extra animation frames for Buzzer, which show a bulge produced when fireballs are shot and larger fireballs being shot, were found in a digitizer disk, which contained art of several prototype enemies