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For the Badnik also known by the Japanese name Nal, see Sandworm.

The Caterkiller[1] (ナール[2] Nāru?, lit. "Nal") is an enemy in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a mass-produced, 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..

Appearance

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.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

Caterkiller-sprite
Caterkiller

Caterkiller's concept art in 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 destroys 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 Rivals

Card 071 (Sonic Rivals)

Sonic Rivals.

In Sonic Rivals, the Caterkiller makes an appearance as one of the collectible cards in the game.

Sonic Jump (2012)

The original Caterkiller does not make appearance until at Mountain Zone in the 2012 remake of Sonic Jump. In this game, Caterkillers act like they did in their first appearance, although they like to fall down to the lower platforms (where they can usually be found).

Sonic Lost World

SONIC LOST WORLD 3DS top RGB v2 10

A Caterkiller in the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World.

More cartoonish Caterkiller appears in both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U/PC versions of Sonic Lost World. During the game, it turns out that Eggman's Badniks, including the Caterkillers, got hijacked by the Deadly Six. These Badniks move slowly around in 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 result in the Caterkiller getting destroyed while the player takes damage. They are seen in Windy Hill Zone 4 and Silent Forest Zone 3 in the Wii U/PC version of the game.

Defeating a Caterkiller is slightly different in both versions. In Wii U/PC version, they are large and the player has to hit it on to its head with the Homing Attack or the Bound Jump.[3] In Nintendo 3DS version, if the player uses a Somersault Kick on this Badnik, it will be easier to destroy Caterkiller without getting hit at the same time.

Mrs. Caterkiller is not surprised

A giant female Caterkiller in the Sky Road Zone 1 one the Wii U version.

In the end of Windy Hill Zone 1 on the Nintendo 3DS, Sonic will also find himself running away from a much larger Caterkiller on the linear road with rock obstacles. This type of Caterkiller has a pink coloration instead of purple and has eyelashes on its eyes, giving it a feminine appearance. After getting away from this Caterkiller, the player reaches the Capsule and completes the first Zone. These gigantic female Caterkillers are later seen in Sky Road Zone 1 in Wii U/PC 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.

Sonic Runners series

Sonic Runners

Caterkiller Runners gameplay

A Caterkiller in Sonic Runners.

In Sonic Runners, Caterkillers appear as common enemies in the speed type characters' stages. In this game, they sport their design from Sonic Lost World. In gameplay, the Caterkiller's spike segments do not hurt the player or separate from the body when they are attacked. They also either move slowly forward 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.

Sonic Runners Adventure

Caterkiller Runners Adventure

A Caterkiller in Sonic Runners Adventure.

In Sonic Runners Adventure, the Caterkillers appear as enemies. In this game, they retain their design from Sonic Lost World. The player encounters them in every stage.

In gameplay, the Caterkillers stand in one place. Also, upon their destruction, they release an Animal.

Sonic Forces

In the "Join the Eggman Empire" propaganda for Sonic Forces, a Caterkiller makes a brief cameo via Eggman's demonstration of the "all-inclusive robotomy treatment" where a normal caterpillar is transformed into a Caterkiller.[4]

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.

Variants

Although Caterkiller has not made many in game appearances, there exist different modifications that may have been based on 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

Caterkiller STC 6

The Caterkiller in 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.

Archie Comics

Caterkiller Post-SGW

The Caterkiller, from Sonic the Hedgehog #275.

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.

Sonic X

Main article: Caterkiller (Sonic X)

Merchandise

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.

Trivia

  • 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.[5]
  • 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.

References

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) United States instruction booklet, p. 12.
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, p. 38.
  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZ5OSu76rk8
  4. Come Join the Eggman Empire!. YouTube. Sega (2 November 2017). Retrieved on 3 November 2017.
  5. Message #9762 at sonicthecomic Yahoo! Group
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