- For the Badnik also known by the Japanese name Nal, see Sandworm.
The Caterkiller (ナール Nāru?, lit. "Nal") is a recurring enemy in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a caterpillar-based Badnik model created by Dr. Eggman. They are Badniks with a hard defense system and the ability to scatter their segments if destroyed incorrectly. This model has been modified multiple times, leading to the creation of multiple sub-models, examples being the Sandworm and Catakiller, Jr..
The Caterkiller is based on a real-life caterpillar, both in shape and in the way it moves across the ground, stretching its four segmented body parts up and down to crawl. It has two antennae located at the tip of its head.
An interesting feature of this Badnik is its ability to separate its four body parts if one of its three spiked segments are hit. As long as the head remains intact, this Badnik will continue to survive, albeit scattered throughout the area. Teeth can be seen on the front of the Caterkiller, but they have never been documented to have attacked with these. Standard colors for the Caterkiller model were a purple body shell with a gray underside, with a smattering of yellow for the antennae and spikes.
Powers and abilities
The Caterkiller's main attack pattern lies in its ability to only have one segment that can be destroyed without any injury to the attacker, making it more of a defensive Badnik than an offensive one. As stated in the Appearance section above, not only will the attacker be hurt if they try to hurt the last three segments, but the segments will detach and scurry around the area, causing even more potential damage. Sonic had to be extremely careful when dispatching these enemies. The Caterkiller will also sometimes turn, but it is possible to hit without taking damage/losing a Shield when Sonic is not invincible.
Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
Caterkiller appears at Marble Zone and Scrap Brain Zone in the original 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog. To defeat Caterkiller, the player must Spin Jump onto its head or roll into it with the Spin Attack, otherwise the player will take damage, and will scatter the Caterkiller's segments all over the place. If the player destroy a Caterkiller in this way, an Animal will not be freed unless the player manages to destroy the head before it bounces off the screen.
In the 8-bit version of the game with same name Caterkillers only appear at Scrap Brain Zone. Caterkillers also have an identical pattern to the 16-bit counterpart, however even if the player manages to destroy these Badniks, it doesn't have an animal friend inside of it, which is tradition in Master System and Game Gear titles.
Sonic 3D Blast
An unnamed caterpillar Badnik with the same appearance is seen in Sonic 3D Blast as it can be found at game's intro cutscene and Green Grove Zone Act 2, leaping between holes in the ground. As seeing spending its time underground, it will pop up from two dark pits which the Badnik jumps between. Attempting to defeat the Badnik with a spin jump while it's in the air may prove difficult, as mistiming the leap may make Sonic lose his rings (and Flickies) by connecting with the spiked tail. A more cunning method is to charge up a Spin Dash right on top of the hole; the robot will dive right into the spinning hedgehog and be destroyed, freeing one of Flickies of the Island.
The original Caterkiller doesn't make appearance until at Mountain Zone in the 2012 remake of Sonic Jump. Caterkillers act like they did in their first appearance, although they like to fall down to the lower platforms.
Sonic Lost World
Caterkiller appears in both Nintendo 3DS and Wii U versions of Sonic Lost World. During the game, it turns out that Badniks, including Caterkillers, got hijacked by the Deadly Six. These Badniks move on slowly to certain pattern like Snale Blasters and due to having segments, the player has to hit the head section with the Homing Attack, because hitting it to the other segment will make both get hit, as the Caterkiller will get destroyed while the player loses their shield, rings or even life in Nintendo 3DS version. They are seen in Windy Hill Zone 4 and Silent Forest Zone 3 in the Wii U version of the game.
Defeating Caterkiller is slightly different in both versions. In Wii U version, they are large and the player has to hit on to its head by doing Homing Attack or stomping. In Nintendo 3DS version, if the player pays attention to the by using a Somersault Kick on the Badnik, it will be easier to destroy Caterkiller without getting hit at the same time.
In the end of first act of Windy Hill for Nintendo 3DS, Sonic will also find himself running away from a much larger Caterkiller on the linear road with rock obstacles. In this appearance, Caterkiller do have more pink skin instead of purple and has eyelashes on her eyes, giving the Badnik a feminine appearance. After getting away from the Caterkiller, the player reaches the Capsule and completes the first act. These gigantic female Caterkillers are later seen in Sky Road Zone 1 in Wii U version. They are featured as moving obstacles during max-speed sections or larger enemies at the single planetoid section. Giant female Caterkillers burrow to the other side of the planetoid and will make shock waves, when their head collides to the ground. The player has to hit its head with multiple Focused Homing Attacks or about six Flying Kicks in order to defeat it and make a giant Spring appear.
In Sonic Runners, Caterkillers appear as common enemies in the speed type characters' stages. In this game, the Caterkiller's spike segments do not hurt the player or separate from the body when they are attacked. In gameplay, they either move slowly or stand in one place, and are either set separately or in groups.
Caterkillers in Sonic Runners come in three types. Aside from the regular types, there are golden ones which give 300 extra points each when destroyed, and black ones called Super Caterkillers which only Color Powers and power type characters can destroy. Any type of these Badniks contain Animals inside them.
Although Caterkiller hasn't made many in game appearances, there exist different modifications that may have been based on the Caterkiller.
- Crawlton from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is similar in design, almost an 'upgrade' of Caterkiller. It appears in the Mystic Cave Zone, hanging off walls and lunging at the player. The differences in appearance is that it is blue and yellow rather than purple and yellow, the spike are smaller, and it has a centipede head.
- Kemusi is an enemy that looks very similar to Caterkiller in Sonic the Hedgehog CD. It has a similar head, except for the antennae, which resemble a Buzzer's. Also, it move by compressing in and out instead of undulating, has stalactite-shaped spikes, and does not seperate its body segments if attacked wrong.
- Bead Worm Boss, boss of Gigalopolis Zone from Sonic Chaos seems to be like a giant version of Caterkiller.
- Catakiller, Jr. (known as Meramora in Japan), appears in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. It is a version of Caterkiller that has the added ability to hover and protects its body with an energy wave.
- Sandworm from Sonic & Knuckles greatly resembles the original Caterkiller, although it is blue instead of purple. It does not crawl, instead burrowing through quicksand, and can even leap out of the sand to attack the player. In Japan, both Caterkiller and Sandworm are known as Nal, making them the same Badnik.
- Fireworm from Sonic & Knuckles is a fire-resistant version of Catakiller Jr.
- Wood Butarundorf, a boss mecha in Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble seems to be another giant modification of Caterkiller.
- Unnamed Badnik is an analogue to Caterkiller at Botanic Base in Knuckles Chaotix.
- E-05 Boa-Boa in Sonic Adventure seems to be successor of Catakiller, Jr.
- Wamu from Sonic Advance is similar to Caterkiller and mostly Catakiller, Jr.
- Kubinaga from Sonic Advance 2 appears to be mix of Caterkiller and Crawlton.
- Guruguru from Sonic Advance 3 is another successor of Catakiller, Jr.
- Muugaden from Sonic Advance 3 bears resemble to the Caterkiller.
In other media
Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic
Caterkiller appears in Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic manga. At the beginning of the Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic Volume 2 story Clash!! South Island, Caterkiller chases Pocky at Marble Zone until Sonic destroys it with his Spin Attack and saves Pocky. A little later Picky emerges from the wreckage of the Caterkiller, serving as an organic battery of the Badnik.
Sonic the Comic
In the Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions, the Caterkillers were a part of Dr. Robotnik's Badnik army. Because of the different artists, Caterkillers were often give a slightly different look in each of their appearance. Despite having a strong bite, Caterkillers were not smart in their early appearances, but over time, later models got faster and were able to burrow through the ground.
The Caterkillers were frequently called into battle against the Freedom Fighters and their allies. While he was stationed on Flickies' Island, Robotnik started building a more powerful and dread-looking model of Caterkillers.
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Caterkillers were among the first generation of badniks produced by Dr. Robotnik. The Caterkiller was in fact the first badnik Sonic the Hedgehog encountered. Over time though, the Caterkillers were rendered obsolete by more advanced robots. When Dr. Eggman took over, he would go on and produce a far larger and more powerful, but also less intelligent, Caterkiller.
Following the events of Worlds Collide, the Caterkillers' history became nearly identical to that of their game counterparts. In Another Time, In Another Place, different type of Caterkillers called Goal Caterkillers were built by Dr. Eggman to kidnap Sonic's friends.
The toy company Tomy has released Caterkiller 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.
- Caterkiller was originally intended to appear in the Spring Yard Zone instead of the Marble Zone, but was switched with Spikes late in development. Caterkiller appears as a default badnik of the Spring Yard Zone in Sonic 1's Debug Mode.
- Caterkiller was the first Badnik Sonic encountered in the Archie Comics instead of Moto Bug.
- Crawlton, from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, appears in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, but the Badnik has a pink color-scheme. Originally in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Crawlton had a dark blue appearance, which may be character design error in the film.
- In Mega Man X3 there is also an enemy named Caterkiller, but does not bear any resemblance to the Badnik.
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