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Quotation1 First seen jumping out at Sonic from under the bridges of Green Hill Zone, this deadly Piranha robot is back and still hungry! Quotation2
— Profile, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I website

Chopper[1] (バタバタ[2] Bata-Bata?) is an enemy in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a mass-produced, piranha-based Badnik model created by Dr. Eggman. Choppers are not very menacing, but they can launch surprise attacks from below bridges and water routes.

Appearance

Based on piranhas, the original Choppers have a red mechanical body with a white dorsal fin, pectoral fins, anal fin and fishtail. Their pectoral fins in particular are attached to blue bases. They also have serrated teeth which they flash at all times. The original models had several bolts on their body, and black eyes with white sclera. The Choppers' size has also varied over the series. They have been smaller than Sonic himself, but in Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations they are much larger.

The Choppers' design has varied over the course of the series. In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, the Choppers received a more mechanical design with white fins, yellow underbellies, slightly longer teeth, and more slit-like eyes with pale yellow sclera. Later, in Sonic Colors, the Choppers retained their mechanical look, but with more flexible-designed bodies, less bolts around their bodies, and round, cyan eyes. These Choppers also came in two colorations: red with white underbellies, and purple with yellow underbellies. In Sonic Generations, the Choppers retained their red and white-colored design from Sonic Colors.

In Sonic Lost World, the Choppers returned to their original design, with the addition of normal-looking cyan eyes and the absence of bolts. Later, in Sonic Forces, the Choppers were redesigned so they retained much of their original design, but also gained more pronounced jaws, black fins, and completely yellow eyes.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

Chopper-spr

In their first appearance in the 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog, the Choppers appear in the Green Hill Zone as enemies. In gameplay, they will leap up from pools of water under bridges to attack the player when they approach, their touch itself causing damage. Although their attack patterns rely on the element of surprise, they are easily destroyed with a simple attack while they are above the bridges. Upon their destruction, they also release an Animal.

In the 8-bit version of the game with same name, the Choppers have a slightly different appearance. Appearing exclusively in the Bridge Zone, they will occasionally be under a bridge or by a waterfall with a bottomless pit.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit)

Possibly Chopper In the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, unnamed, Chopper-looking Badnik enemies appear in Crystal Egg Zone. In gameplay, unlike the attack patterns the Choppers exhibited in Sonic the Hedgehog, they slowly float around backwards and forwards while chomping on empty air.

These enemies are barely a threat to the player as they do not cross the player while running. They can easily be defeated with a Spin Jump and do not have an organic battery like the other Badniks in the 8-bit games.

Sonic Adventure 2

Chopper - SA2

Chopper as it appears in Sonic Adventure 2.

In Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, the Choppers made an appearance as enemies in the extra stage, Green Hill. The appearance of the Choppers is almost identical to their original appearance, but is more cubic and larger. Their eyes are also smaller and they have silver-lined backs.

In gameplay, instead of the Choppers jumping up and down like in the original Sonic the Hedgehog, they jump over bridges in an arching motion. It is while they are in midair that they can be destroyed. Upon their destruction, they will award the player 100 points and release an Animal.

Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing

Chopper - S&SASR

Chopper in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing.

In Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, the Choppers appear as obstacles. In this game, they look just like they did in their original game, but are much larger.

In gameplay, the Choppers appear in two of the three Seaside Hill race courses (Lost Palace and Ocean Ruin) as hindrances that the player will encounter at water pits. A toy version of this Chopper can also be purchased as an Xbox 360 Avatar Prop.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I

S4 Chopper Sprite

The Chopper in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I.

In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, the Choppers returned as enemies. In this game, they were given a more modernized and mechanical appearance that made them look like Mashers. The player mainly encounters them in Splash Hill Zone. They would also appear in Episode Metal Act 4 of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II.

In gameplay, the Choppers usually have the same attack pattern from their debut game, where they jump up from pools of water at waterfalls when the player has to cross a bridge. Like always, they can be destroyed with a single attack while they are in midair. Also, upon their destruction, they release an Animal

Sonic Colors

Coloursds chopper

In both the Nintendo DS and Wii version of Sonic Colors, the Choppers return as enemies. In this game, they were given another redesign. They also come in two color variations: red and white (Wii version only), and purple and yellow. The player encounters them in the underwater sections of every act of Aquarium Park on both versions of the game. In the Wii version, eight Choppers also appear in the underwater tunnel section in Asteroid Coaster Act 6 and in several underwater sections in Game Land which are related to Aquarium Park and Asteroid Coaster.

Aquarium Park - Screenshot - (9)

A large Chopper in the Wii version of Sonic Colors.

In gameplay, the Choppers exhibit two kinds of behavior. In the sections where Sonic can run on water, the Chopper will be lurking just beneath the surface; once Sonic gets close (by running across the water), they will jump up to attack him. These attacks pose no threat if the player is boosting however. In the underwater sections on the other hand, the Choppers simply swim around. On the Wii version in particular, schools of normal-sized Choppers and very large Choppers infest the many waters that Sonic travels through.

Sonic Generations

Sonic Generations 2014-11-7-15-58-59-294

The Chopper as it appears in Sonic Generations.

In both the console/PC and Nintendo 3DS versions of Sonic Generations, the Choppers appear as enemies. In this game, they possess their classic red and white color scheme while retaining their overall design from Sonic Colors. They can be found in Green Hill on both the versions of the game, and in Seaside Hill on the console/PC version.

In gameplay, the Choppers' behavior depends on the Acts. In the first Acts of the stages, the Choppers jump up from water pools in intervals, much like in the original Sonic the Hedgehog. In the second acts of the stages they appear in, the Choppers jump in arches over their bridges. Like always, the Choppers can be destroyed with one attack during their jumps.

The console/PC version of the game also feature the Giant Chopper. It first appears in Green Hill Act 2, where it briefly chases after Modern Sonic. The Giant Chopper later reappears in Seaside Hill Act 2; if the player attempts to abuse the hydroplaning effects of the Boost and stray too far off-course, the Giant Chopper will eat Modern Sonic. A statue of the Chopper can also be unlocked in the Statue Room on the console/PC version.

Sonic Dash

In Sonic Dash, the Choppers are featured in Seaside Hill. In gameplay, Choppers can be seen jumping out of the ocean whenever the player has to cross large gaps in the road. To proceed with the endless running, the player has to use the Homing Attack on the Choppers to get to the other side of the gap. If the player cannot perform the Homing Attack in time, the player may fall into the water and lose life or fail the Stage.

Sonic Lost World

SLW WH Wii U 02

Sonic passing Choppers in Sonic Lost World.

In the Wii U/PC version of Sonic Lost World, the Choppers reappear as enemies. In this game, they were given a more cartoony look reminiscent of their original design. During the game, Dr. Eggman's Badniks, including the Choppers, got hijacked by the Deadly Six after the group betrayed the Doctor.

In gameplay, the Choppers can be found in Windy Hill Zone 1 and 2, Frozen Factory Zone 1, and Sky Road Zone 1. In the 3D sections of the game, Choppers usually jump over bridges that lead across rivers or oil lakes instead of directly attacking the player, while in the 2.5D sections, they retain their attack patterns from Sonic the Hedgehog where they jump up from pools of water to bite Sonic when he crosses bridges. However, their jumps are slower in this game, giving the player an easier time to destroy them with the Spin Jump or the Focused Homing Attack while they are above the bridges. Also, when a Chopper is destroyed, it will release an Animal.

Sky Road Zone 4 features skeletal Choppers that jump out of the sand to attack Sonic.

Sonic Mania

SMChopper

In Sonic Mania, and its expansion Sonic Mania Plus, the Choppers appear as enemies. In terms of design, they look exactly like they did in their debut game. In these games, they are only encountered in Green Hill Zone.

E3GHZ14

A Chopper in a shallow pool.

In gameplay, the Choppers come in two variants. The first variant behaves much like they usually do: when a playable character tries to cross certain bridges over pools of water, this Badnik will jump up from below to bite them. Like before, they can be destroyed with an attack while they are in midair. The second variant resides in shallow water pools. Like the Chop Chop in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, these Choppers slowly swim horizontally through the pools, and speed up while snapping their jaws if the player gets too close.

Upon its destruction, a Chopper will also release an Animal.

Sonic Forces: Speed Battle

Main article: Chopper Chomp

In Sonic Forces: Speed Battle, the Chopper serves as a Projectile Item that can only be obtained at random from Item Boxes.

Sonic Forces

SFpromotional6

An army of Choppers in Sonic Forces.

In Sonic Forces, the Choppers appear as enemies. In this game, they acquired more militaristic designs. The player encounters them in Green Hill.

In gameplay, the Choppers once more attack the playable character by jumping up at them when they try to cross certain bridges. While they are in midair, the player can destroy them with an attack. Also, near the end of Green Hill, a series of Choppers appear as the bridge collapses into a cinematic style while the player passes by.

Powers and abilities

The Choppers are excellent swimmers who can jump up of waterfalls. They also possess powerful jaws that can deliver deadly bites.

Variants

Masher

Main article: Masher
Masher sprite

The Masher is a fish-based Badnik that bears many similarities to the Choppers, including similar appearances, abilities, and attack patterns. They first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

Mega Chopper

Main article: Mega Chopper
Megachopper-spr

The Mega Chopper is a variant of the Chopper that, despite its name, is smaller than the original Chopper and lacks many of its features. However, these Badniks can attach themselves to their victims, reducing their movements and Ring count. They first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

Giant Chopper

Main article: Giant Chopper
IJagZ

The Giant Chopper

The Giant Chopper is a gigantic and more menacing version of the original Chopper model. Matching its size, this model possesses incredible speed, strength and durability, making it one of the deadliest Badniks around. It first appeared in the console/PC version of Sonic Generations.

In other media

Sonic the Comic

Chopper STC profile

The Chopper in Sonic the Comic.

In the Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions, the Choppers are a part of Dr. Robotnik's Badnik army which patrol the waters of the Green Hill Zone. Depending on the artist, the Chomper's design would differ between issues. They have also appeared on two covers and two pin-ups during the comic's run.

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog

LastResort 106 chopper

The Choppers in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.

In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog animated series, the Choppers are Badniks used by Dr. Robotnik. They made a brief appearance in the episode "The Last Resort" where Scratch and Grounder released three Choppers on Sonic while he was water skiing. However, they ended up being used by Sonic to water ski.

Merchandise

The toy company TOMY has released Chopper 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

  • Chopper's Japanese name, "Bata-Bata", is the Japanese word for a clattering noise, expressing the jaw clutch noises that the Chopper often makes.
  • Choppers in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I closely resemble the Masher, causing many fans to believe they were said Badnik model when they were confirmed for the game.
  • A robot resembling a Chopper appears to chase Orbot and Cubot in the episode "Let's Play Musical Friends" in the television series Sonic Boom.

References

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) United States instruction booklet, p. 11.
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, p. 37.
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