Character battles are a recurring theme in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Character battles are boss fights between two playable characters in a game.
Sonic & Knuckles
The first game to feature a character battle is Sonic & Knuckles. In the game, Sonic the Hedgehog (or Miles "Tails" Prower in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles) fights Knuckles the Echidna as the boss of Hidden Palace Zone.
Character battles returned in Sonic Adventure. In Sonic's story, he fights Knuckles and E-102 Gamma, in Tails' story, Tails also fights both Knuckles and Gamma, in Knuckles' story, Knuckles fights Sonic and in Gamma's story, Gamma fights Sonic. In these battles, the opponent character has a three hit counter, each time the opponent is hit, the counter drop and the opponent uses a new attack, making the battle harder.
Sonic Adventure 2
In Sonic Adventure 2, four characters face off against their rival twice during the storyline; Sonic & Shadow and Tails & Dr. Eggman fight each other twice, but Knuckles & Rouge only fight once. Unlike Sonic Adventure, the opponent character is governed by a health bar. Sonic & Shadow's second battle is set apart from the others battles as it involves the two racing each other on a straight path whilst trying to defeat the other with special attacks.
Character battles appear in Sonic Heroes in the form of team battles. Each team fights two of the three other teams; in Power Plant, Team Sonic fights Team Rose whilst Team Dark fights Team Chaotix, and in Lost Jungle, Team Sonic fights Team Dark whilst Team Rose fights Team Chaotix. These battles are won by forcing the opposing team-mates off of a circular platform whilst avoiding the same fate, once a team-mate is forced off the platform they are out of the battle and cannot be played. These team battles employ a Rock-paper-scissors paradigm in which each team formation is effective agaisnt one whilst being weak to another, the pattern goes as follows:
- Speed > Fly
- Fly > Power
- Power > Speed
In Sonic Rush, Blaze the Cat appears as the boss for Dead Line in Sonic's story and vice versa, in Sonic's story, Blaze can cause flames to erupt from the ground to damage Sonic whilst in Blaze's story, Sonic can create tornados that pull Blaze in, causing damage if pulled into the center. At the end of the battle, the two characters use the full force of their powers in an attempt to knock the other off the end of the platform.
Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
Character battles appear once again in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). In Sonic's story, Sonic fights Silver, in Silver's story, Silver fights both Sonic and Shadow and in Shadow's story, Shadow fights Silver.
Sonic Rivals 2
Due to the nature of Sonic Rivals 2, character battles occur halfway through every level in the game. Each character battles the rival they encountered during the level, these battles range from a simple, three point knock-out to collecting the most rings, and even participating in a game of "Capture the Chao".
- Although he is not playable, Sonic fights Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure in a battle near identical to the one in Sonic & Knuckles.