The Crabmeat (ガニガニ,Ganigani?) is a recurring enemy in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. They are a mass-produced, crab-based Badnik model created by Dr. Eggman. Crabmeats are slow-paced Badniks that are capable of shooting projectile balls or homing missiles from their claws.
Crabmeat, as its name implies, was inspired by real life crabs. Its main mode of locomotion was dependent on its four short legs, which allowed it to scuttle around its territory. Two photo receptors located on top of two stalks on its head allowed it a great range of vision as enemies approached it. The two pincers located on the side of this Badnik were actually only for show. The real weapon was hidden inside the pincer itself, a device that allowed it store up concentrated amounts of energy and fire them as large harmful laser spheres. Eventually, the claws were refitted with missile launchers as the laser attachment took too long to fire before being attacked.
The standard colors for the Crabmeat are red for the pincers, torso, and head; gray for the vocoder and legs. In Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, Crabmeats have given sleeker appearance with yelloy under-bellies. In Sonic Lost World, Crabmeat returns to its original appearance, although they come in two variations: regular red types and sleeker orange types.
Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
The Crabmeats first appeared in the 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog as an enemy. In the game, Crabmeats are found in Green Hill Zone and Spring Yard Zone. In gameplay, they slowly move back and forth. When they spot the playable character though, they start charging up their attack. Once ready, they will stop up, extend their claws, and fire two balls of energy from inside their pincers to the sides, which cause damage upon touch. However, while the Crabmeats charge up their attack, they are sitting ducks. The player can easily defeat these Badniks with a Spin Jump or Spin Attack.
In Sonic Rivals, the Crabmeat appears on a collectible card.
Sonic Rush Adventure
Similar, but possibly different type of enemy appears in Sonic Rush Adventure. These enemies have been only featured at Coral Cave and are possibly built by Eggman and Dr. Eggman Nega. They do not shoot energy balls or homing missiles but they attack with their claws striking upwards; attacking them from above is dangerous. They do move from side to side fairly quickly when not attacking.
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
In Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, the Crabmeats appear as a moving obstacle on some of the Sonic the Hedgehog-themed race tracks, such as Whale Lagoon, where they try to block the racers' way. In gameplay, they can be destroyed by drifting into them or by using a Pickup item on them, causing them to disappear.
In terms of appearance, they have a cartoony-moving eyes. They also exhibit more real-life crab movements.
In the Wii version of Sonic Colors, upgraded Crabmeat models made their debut appearance. In this game, they are featured as enemies in Aquarium Park and eventually in other Areas. In gameplay, instead of shooting energy balls, they are now capable of shooting homing missiles from their claws at the player.
The Crabmeats appear in both Green Hill Act 1 and 2, and occasionally in Planet Wisp Act 1. In this game, they attack the player with homing missiles fired from their claws, like in Sonic Colors. If a Crabmeat manages to hit the player, it will fall over in laughter at its accomplishment for while.
Crabmeat also appears at Green Hill Zone in the 2012 version of Sonic Jump. Crabmeat moves normally on platforms and the only way to attack them is to jump towards their underside.
In Sonic Dash, Crabmeats make an appearance as enemies. In the stages, there are usually three in row or separated ones that try to block the player's way. However the player has ability to jump over them, dodge them or use the Spin Attack to destroy them. As the player starts to run faster, dodging or destroying Crabmeats might become harder.
Sonic Lost World
In Sonic Lost World, the Crabmeats appeared as an enemy. This time around, they have received a cartoon-like design from earlier games. During the game, it turns out that Badniks, including Crabmeats, got hijacked by the Deadly Six.
In this game, there are two types of Crabmeat. The first type is similar to the ones from earlier games, possessing a red color scheme. These types can be found at Tropical CoastZone 1 and 4. In order to defeat these enemies, the player has to either use the Flying Kick twice or the Spin Dash, as the former method makes the Crabmeat fall upside down with the first kick before destroying it with the second kick. Trying to attack them without kicking them first will cause them to counter Sonic's attack with a punch. The second type of Crabmeats are featured in Frozen Factory Zone 2 and Lava Mountain Zone 3, which are loosely similar to ones from Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, now with an orange color scheme. When Sonic turns himself into large snowball in Frozen Factory Zone 2, Crabmeats will try to fire their missiles towards the player. These missiles are able to destroy the whole snowball and the player will automatically loses a life, if he/she has not collected all the Rings sticking to the snowball at previous Star Post.
Sonic Runners series
In Sonic Runners, Crabmeats are common enemies found in the power type characters' stages. In this game, there are only the regular red types of Crabmeats, which do not fire projectiles from their claws, but instead move quickly back and forth or stand still separately or in groups.
Red Crabmeats come in three types. In addiction to the regular ones, there are golden types which grant 300 more points when defeated, and black ones called Super Crabmeats which only Color Powers and power type characters can defeat. All Crabmeat types contain Animals inside them.
In gameplay, the Crabmeats follow their two attack patterns from their debut game, the first which has them moving around slowly on the ground and the second which has them stop up to fire damage-inducing balls to the sides when spotting the player. Upon their destruction, they release an Animal.
The Crabmeats can build up their store of concentrated energy inside their pincers, which they then can release as volatile balls of energy. Later Crabmeats had their trademark energy weapons replaced with rocket launchers.
Later on, during the Lost Hex incident, there were built two designs of Crabmeats: regular red types that shoot energy projectiles and orange types that shoot homing missiles.
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Crabmeats were one of the Classic Badniks-the first generation of badniks produced by Dr. Robotnik. One Crabmeat unit in particular served as Robotnik's first loyal lackey for some time during the comics' early run. Eventually though, the Crabmeats were rendered obsolete by more advanced robots and got decommissioned. For there, the Crabmeats would only make a few appearances in the storyline.
In the Sonic Boom televisions series, the Crabmeats, here called Crab Bots, are a mass-produced robot model created by Dr. Eggman. They serve both as Eggman's sentries and foot soldiers which the doctor uses for his frequent attacks on Team Sonic and Seaside Island. However, they are not very powerful and easily destroyed in intense combat.
In the Ristar video game, there's a lobster-like enemy in the Planet Undertow level which can shoot fireballs from its pincers, much like Crabmeat.
↑Sonic Team (November 7, 2017). Sonic Forces (Episode Shadow). Nintendo Switch. Area/Level: World Map. "Infinite: Hahah. The world's most powerful robot is no more a challenge than Crabmeat As I suspected, this power is without peer, It's the ultimate strength."