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Espio the Chameleon

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For other uses of this term, see Espio the Chameleon (disambiguation).
Quotation1 Evil must die! Beware my ninja power! Quotation2
Espio the Chameleon, Sonic Heroes[1]
Espio the Chameleon
Espio the Chameleon
First appearance

Knuckles' Chaotix

in other media
Real-world designer(s)

Sega Corporation


Nobuhiko Honda (redesign for Sonic Heroes)

Voice actor(s)
voice actor(s)
voice actor(s)

Yuuki Masuda

Other language
voice actor(s)
Biographical overview



Chameleon (used once by Silver)

Physical description





110 cm (3' 7")[2]


36 kg (79.3 lb)[2]


Peach, Fuchsia, yellow


Gold (originally black)



  • Dark purple boots with black accents
  • White gloves with violet pads
  • Studded wrist and ankle bands with golden button/bolts and bandages


  • White gloves
  • Green shoes with black toes and yellow cuffs
Alignment and character traits




Favorite Food

Apples [citation needed]

  • Crooked deals[2]
  • Dr. Eggman
  • People going back on their word
  • Charmy for extended periods of time
  • Playing Games
Powers and abilities
  • Super speed
  • Enhanced strength
  • Enhanced durability
  • Camouflage
  • Stealth
  • Ninjutsu expert[2]
  • Great acrobatic skills and reflexes
  • Espionage
  • Hand-to-Hand combat skills
  • Limited computer hacking
  • Prehensile tongue
  • Wallcrawling
  • Experienced detective and data collector
  • Horn protrusion
  • Grinding
  • Keen Mind
  • Harnessing chaos energy
  • Hyper-go-on usage
Moves and techniques
Ability type


Espio the Chameleon (エスピオ・ザ・カメレオン Esupio za Kamereon?) is a fictional character from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. He is an anthropomorphic chameleon, where mainly serves as an intelligent ninja warrior and a member of the Chaotix Detective Agency. There, he works together with Vector the Crocodile and Charmy Bee to solve whatever cases they are given, where he puts his skills to good use. While initially a hothead when introduced, Espio has since become a calm, soft-spoken, serious, and disciplined person whose wariness and soulful character makes him a vital member of his team, and balances out the foolishness of his friends.


Knuckles' Chaotix


Espio in Knuckles Chaotix.

Espio first appeared in Knuckles' Chaotix for the Sega 32X. In the English manual, he is described as the hot-headed friend of Knuckles the Echidna (the surprisingly sophisticated Charmy Bee is said to keep him from losing his temper), and is visiting "Carnival Island" when Dr. Robotnik attacks it. The Japanese manual states that Espio, a detective, went to investigate the mysterious island that emerged from the sea.

In both cases, he is attacked by Dr. Robotnik and Metal Sonic who try to capture him. Knuckles saves him from the two, and Espio automatically becomes his partner character for the training stage. After this, Espio can be chosen in the Combi Catcher prior to stages. Espio can walk on walls and ceilings, and uses his own Whirl Attack instead of the common Spin Attack.

Sonic the Fighters

Espio appears as one of eight playable fighters in the arcade game Sonic the Fighters (Sonic Championship in Japan). In the story, Espio is one of the eight characters who try to collect the eight Chaos Emeralds in order to travel into space and destroy Eggman's Death Egg II. Espio is the fourth character to fight in story mode, and his stage is Mushroom Hill, a part of Angel Island that appeared in Sonic & Knuckles.

In the game, Espio is a medium-strong fighter, and his special abilities include using his Whirl Attack and attacking with his long tongue.

Sonic Heroes

Espio heroes.

Espio in Sonic Heroes.

In Sonic Heroes, Espio, Vector and Charmy have formed a detective agency (previously, only Espio was described as "a detective"). They are contacted by an anonymous client via a walkie-talkie that was delivered to them. Espio does not entirely trust the voice, but Vector and Charmy had accepted the assignment after they get promised a reward of money, with Espio tagging along anyway after Vector reminds him of their policy to never turn down work that pays. In the game, Espio is the speed member of Team Chaotix, meaning he can run quicker than the others, and creates small whirlwinds for various purposes. Unlike the speed members of the other three teams, Espio can turn invisible, throw large shurikens (ninja stars) and stick to walls indefinitely. He and the other two also have a run-in with Team Dark and Team Rose, the former due to Rouge believing them to be after Eggman's treasure and their likewise believing that Team Dark are affiliated with Eggman, and the latter due to a misunderstanding that causes Cream to think they had abducted Chocola the Chao after Espio tells her to give Cheese over to him.

At the end of their story, the client is rescued from Eggman's base, and turns out to be Dr. Eggman himself, to Espio's surprise. Eggman reveals that he had been betrayed and captured by the evil Neo Metal Sonic, who has gathered everyone's data and then transforms into Metal Madness shortly after. Team Chaotix had the Chaos Emeralds throughout the game, with Espio holding the red one. Team Chaotix then stalls Metal Madness in order to buy time for Sonic, Tails and Knuckles to turn into their Super States. At the end of the game, Eggman tries to sneak away, but the Chaotix chase after him to collect their promised reward.

Shadow the Hedgehog

In Shadow the Hedgehog, the Chaotix work on a new mission. He appears in the cutscene prior to the Mad Matrix stage, in which he and Shadow the Hedgehog hack into the cyberspace of Eggman's computer system. The player can then choose whether or not to help Espio retrieve encrypted data from the computer, with Espio being a "partner" character in the stage. In the GameCube and PlayStation 2 versions of the game, the second controller can be used to control Espio, who attacks with punch combos and homing attacks.

In the game's ending, the Chaotix are all on the Space Colony ARK. Vector and Charmy are putting pressure on Espio to hurry to recover data from the computers. Espio replies "Easier said than done, who signed me up for this anyway?" At this, Charmy gets a little impatient and he kicks the computers which activates an old video created by Gerald Robotnik for Shadow to see. When Shadow sees it, he gains new strength and defeats the main villain, Black Doom, as Super Shadow.

Sonic Rivals 2

941460 20071204 screen001

Espio in Sonic Rivals 2.

Espio appears as Silver the Hedgehog's partner as they both investigate the case of the missing Chao. Although they don't particularly see eye-to-eye at first, the two eventually set aside their differences and work together.

Sonic Colors

Espio appears in the Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colors, having been sent on a job with his team to investigate Eggman's theme park. Sonic and Tails run into him, as well as the other Chaotix, in Planet Wisp. The name "Espio" is also one of the default file names on the Wii version.

Sonic Generations

In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, Espio attended and helped prepare Sonic's surprise birthday party. As the party began, however, the Time Eater suddenly appeared and Espio was sucked into one of the Time Eater's Time Holes and ended up in the White Space, where he was turned into a statue due to the Time Eater's effects.

Sonic Generations Espio7

Espio after returning to normal.

Eventually, Espio was returned to normal by Sonic and his younger self. When the Sonics confronted the Time Eater in the Center of Time, which the monster was revealed to be controlled by Dr. Eggman and his younger self, Espio arrived at the place with the others and cheered on both Sonics, allowing them both to transform into Super Sonic. When the Sonics defeated the Time Eater, Espio and the others were sent back to the time where Sonic's party who taking place. Resuming with the celebration, Espio later waved goodbye to the younger Sonic and Tails when they returned to their own time.

Other game appearances and cameos

Sonic Rivals

Espio appears as two collectible cards in Sonic Rivals.

Sonic and the Black Knight

Espio never actually appears in Sonic and the Black Knight, but one of the default file names given is "Espio".

Mario & Sonic series

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games

Espio appears once again as a referee in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. He is seen either standing next to the starting gate or firing a starting pistol. In the DS version, Espio will tell you how many white stones are left on Winter Island (Frostown, Polastraits, Icepeak). You can also unlock an Espio outfit that your Mii can wear.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games

Espio appears as one of the referees in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. It may have been that he was once supposed to be playable, but no evidence to that has been provided to date. He is playable to some extent through hacks of the game.

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games

Espio also appears again as a referee in Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. His Mii costume can also be unlocked in the Blank Exchange, or given to you as a present.

Sonic Runners

In Sonic Runners, Espio is a playable Speed Type character in the game. In gameplay, he can use a triple jump and boost the number of collected Rings by 75%.

During the "Birthday on Windy Hill" event, Espio was going to Sonic's birthday party with the other Chaotix when they got kidnapped by Dr. Eggman. They soon escaped their holding place, but not before learning that Eggman plotted something in a nearby base. When they found Team Sonic, Espio, on Vector's order, used his camouflage skills to give Sonic a birthday surprise before telling them about Eggman. Though the info turned out to be a trap, Espio rejoined Sonic at the party after Eggman was beaten. There, he expressed gratitude at Sonic's efforts.


Espio profile SG

Espio's profile in Sonic Generations.

Espio is very serious, quiet, level-headed, wise and disciplined, but also opinionated and somewhat arrogant at times. Despite this fact, he is usually eager to find danger to flex and polish his ninja skills. He is seen as a ninja-based character; his battle poses and shuriken stars support that portrayal. In Sonic Heroes, he plays the shamisen in the Chaotix's Team Blast, "Chaotix Recital". According to the Japanese game manual of Knuckles Chaotix, Espio especially dislikes Dr. Eggman, although it's not stated precisely why, but during a cutscene in Sonic Heroes, the usual civil and soft-spoken chameleon even threatened the doctor's life. He is also able to see through Eggman's tricks very easily in Shadow the Hedgehog, and tells Shadow to destroy the villain.

Powers and abilities

Physical abilities

SonicGenerations 2015-07-27 16-25-32-346

Espio doing a nimble jump

As a Speed Type, Espio possesses exceeding amounts of super speeds. As demonstrated in Sonic Rivals 2, he can run at speeds compatible to Sonic and Shadow's and his speed is potent enough to let him fool his enemies by appearing in different spots almost instantaneously.[3][4] While not shown to the same extention as Knuckles the Echidna, Espio has impressive physical strength, using sharp karate chops powerful enough to shatter obstacles and smash robots.[5] Espio also has extreme acrobatic skills, doing complex and nimble jumps in midair[6] and grind on rails with ease. Espio also has very impressive durability and endurance, seen as he is able to withstand Sonic's Homing Attacks indefinitely and keep fighting in Espio: Master of Camouflage.

Being a chameleon, Espio possesses a stealth camouflage trick that lets him change his colors scheme to his environment. His camouflage is so effective that he is rendered completely invisible to the naked eye and allows him to pass by unnoticed.[7] Being a skilled ninja he is also a master of non-camouflaged stealth[3] which combined with his camouflaging abilities makes him virtually undetectable. Espio also possesses an extremely keen sense of awareness of his surroundings on both the physical and empathic plane, detecting Team Dark nearby despite the group being out his field of vision and was even able to perceive the soul of the Time Eater.[8][9]

Like a real lizard, Espio is able to climb along any surface and stick to them for an unprecedented amount of time.[10][4] As seen in Sonic the Fighters, he also possesses a prehensile tongue which he can use as a short-range projectile attack in combat and as a grappling hook. Espio has also demonstrated the ability to harness chaos energy from the Chaos Emerald to enter Hyper Mode.

Combat skills

By his own accords, Espio is a powerful adversary as he says it would take no less than a "mighty foe" to do him in.[11] Having undergone extensive ninja training,[7] Espio is a master of ninjutsu,[3][2] a form of material arts that employs stealth and trickery against foes. He is likewise a fierce foe in direct combat as he was able to match Rouge the Bat in battle, who has undergone similar forms of combat training and could fight Knuckles the Echidna to a standstill.

Techniques and moves

Though not a hedgehog, Espio is able to use the Spin Attack and the various techniques derived from it, where the users curl into tight balls for protection. The Homing Attack allows Espio to dash in midair toward a target, the Spin Jump lets him curl into a ball and attack opponent by landing on them, and the Spin Dash lets him shoot himself forward as an acceleration roll at full speed while mowing down enemies and obstacles.

Espio's signatures moves are the ones that combine his ninja skills with his camouflage trick. The Leaf Swirl lets Espio combine his camouflage with a Ninja Leaf Swirl maneuver to create a tornado to blow opponents away while he disappears, his Chroma Camo maneuver hides himself completely from his enemies' perception while increasing his speed, and his Ninja Arts: Camouflage both hides himself completely from enemies' perception while he "warps" between places to disorient the enemy while attacking. Another ninja-based attack includes his Shuriken where he throws a shuriken star at foes.

Miscellaneous skills

As a one of the founders of the Chaotix Detective Agency, Espio has experience in investigation and gathering intel. While also having experience in solving mysteries,[12] he is not as skilled in that field as Vector. He also has some skill in hacking computers for data as seen in Shadow the Hedgehog, although he has admitted it is not his specialty.[13]



Espio's kunai.

Thanks to his ninja training, Espio is a master of ninja-based weaponry such as kunais and shuriken stars to the point where he can strike targets with pin-point accuracy while only barely looking at them.[14] Espio mainly employs his shuriken stars for long-range offensive by throwing them at opponents and can do so in rapid succession. By attaching a rope on his kunai, he can also use as a grappling hook to swing between targets.


Color Powers

Main article: Color Power

By harnessing different variants of Hyper-go-on from Wisps, Espio can use specific Color Powers to transform into a certain form, such as a drill, a laser or even a planet, each one possessing its own unique abilities. So far, Espio has been able to transform into the Cyan Laser, Yellow Drill and Indigo Asteroid. However, these transformations require a steady supply of Hyper-go-on to be maintained.


Espio's camouflaging ability, while practical, is not perfect. Its maintenance is tied to Espio's concentration, meaning it will falter should he lose focus due to things such as being blinded by light or sneezing.[4][2] His stealth is not flawless either as seen in Sonic Rivals 2, where Rouge the Bat was able to detect his movements thanks to her heighten sense of hearing.


Shadow the Hedgehog

The relationship between Espio and Shadow the Hedgehog has changed very much since their first meeting. In Sonic Heroes, they fought against each other without a question due to their assumption that the other was the enemy. However, they put their differences aside, and helped each other stop Metal Sonic and his plan to rule over world.

In Shadow the Hedgehog, their relationship is more friendly. Espio gladly thanked Shadow for opening the portal to Eggman's computer and after Eggman claimed that he created Shadow, Espio told him to not believe Eggman and aided him in his battle against the doctor. Overall, Espio has put more faith in Shadow since their meeting and the two appear allies in most regard.



Appearances in other media

Sonic the Comic

In Sonic the Comic, Espio is a member of the Chaotix Crew and a native of the Special Zone. He is a friendly (or sometimes not so friendly) rival to Mighty and has an extremely short temper. The two of them will end up clashing and arguing who's the best on almost any subject, to the extent of demanding a defeated enemy says which of them had punched him the hardest.[15] This incarnation of the character differs significantly from the Espio portrayed in the games and Sonic X.

Espio has the ability to turn invisible, although he rarely uses this talent.[16][17]

Espio's profile in Knuckles Knock-Out Special says that he was once a prisoner in Robotnik's Combi Machine, and that he has a personal grudge against Robotnik for this. However, this is never mentioned in any strip in the series, and may not be canon.

Archie Comics

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comics, Espio is a bonafide hothead, which causes his friend Charmy to constantly remind him of his manners. This incarnation of the character differs significantly from the Espio portrayed in the games and Sonic X.

Sonic X


Espio doing his introducing pose in Sonic X.

Espio appeared with Team Chaotix in the anime Sonic X. Along with Vector and Charmy, Espio played a minor role in season 2, only appearing in Episode 39 to help find Cream when Chaotix was hired by Vanilla, Cream's mother (though in the end, it is Sonic who unites the two). In this episode Espio along with Vector and Charmy broke the proverbial fourth-wall by introducing themselves to the audience (Charmy mostly since he begged for more time to introduce himself). They play a larger role in Season 3, first appearing to bring Chris supplies from his parents. The second time Espio appears, he reluctantly helps Vector and Charmy help Tails get Cosmo, a girl he likes, to like him back, and after that appears with the others to help fight the Metarex. Espio states in his first appearance that he is the brains behind the Chaotix (to which Charmy claims that he's "Super Full of Himself"), when in the Sonic Heroes instruction manual, Vector is stated to be the brains. In the anime he is sometimes seen as a comic relief character as he has been hit (unintentionally) by Amy's hammer, woken up by Vector when he had pepper poured on him and was discovered in a humiliating way shortly before being clobbered.

Theme songs

"Team Chaotix" (although this theme is shared with Vector the Crocodile and Charmy Bee, Espio is mentioned in the two lines: "And the ninja stars fly, too!" and "Espio is clearly ready to go".)

Memorable Quotes

"Roger that."
—One of Espio's more common phrases.
"I've got a bad feeling about this."
—Espio in the first level cutscene of Sonic Heroes.
"And you are?"
—Espio when he sees Team Dark in Sonic Heroes.
"We've been had!"
—After discovering that Eggman didn't have the money to pay Team Chaotix in Sonic Heroes.
"Insulting. Your training has been a waste of time."
—Getting an E rank with Espio in Sonic Heroes.
"Impossible feat! Ultimate ninja power."
—Getting an A rank with Espio in Sonic Heroes.
"Forgive me, but this is our duty."
—Espio when you get any rank in the fight against Team Rose in Sonic Heroes.
"Death to the Evil One! Prepare to die, Eggman!"
—Espio after getting any rank after the fight against the Egg Hawk in Seaside Hill in Sonic Heroes.
—Espio dying as leader in Sonic Heroes.
"Behold! Ninja power!"
— After getting a 2000-point combo in Sonic Heroes.
"Spirits unite!"
—After getting a 1000-point combo in Sonic Heroes.
"Damn! We've been detected!"
—When Eggman discovers him and Shadow in his mainframe in Shadow the Hedgehog.
"Hey, back off! Data retrieval isn't exactly my specialty."
—Espio in Shadow the Hedgehog when Charmy and Vector are rushing him to hack into Eggman's database.
"Easier said than done. Who signed me up for this anyway?"
—Espio talking to Vector after he was being rushed to hack into a database in Shadow the Hedgehog.
"My name is Espio, a mere citizen I say not."
—Espio introducing himself to Silver.
"My skills exceed yours."
—Starting a battle in Sonic Rivals 2.
"Case closed."
—Winning a race in Sonic Rivals 2 with Espio.
"Thank you, my friend. Beware, for I have looked into the soul of our enemy and saw only darkness."
—Espio after Classic Sonic rescues him at Seaside Hill in Sonic Generations.
"It takes a mighty foe to trap a ninja. Be on your guard, Sonic."
—Espio after Modern Sonic rescues him at Seaside Hill in Sonic Generations.
"Focus your spirit."
—Espio cheering on Sonic in Sonic Generations.
"There's been a misunderstanding, but I doubt they'll listen to us."
—Espio when fighting Team Dark.
"Prepare yourself"
—Espio when beginning to fight someone in Sonic Rivals 2.
"No holds barred!"
Sonic Heroes two-player mode.
"I sense gold..."
Sonic Heroes Power Plant Missions.
"You reap what you sow, Eggman Nega!"
—Espio when Eggman Nega requested help at the end of Silver/Espio's story in Sonic Rivals 2.
"Now you see me..."
—Espio when activating Chroma Camo in Sonic Rivals 2.
"Victory was inevitable."
—One of Espio's lines when winning a battle in Sonic Rivals 2.


  • According to Takashi Iizuka, Espio and the Team Chaotix in Sonic Heroes were recreated as new characters from the same characters in Knuckles' Chaotix when Sonic Heroes was designed, ignoring certain traits that had been established in Knuckles' Chaotix that would have contradicted their intent in the game.[18]
  • Espio's name is thought to either have been derived from the word "espionage", meaning spying; it also may be a reference to the Spanish and Portuguese word "espío" (literally meaning "I spy").
  • Espio is the only member of Team Chaotix to appear in a game (Sonic the Fighters) released between Knuckles' Chaotix and Sonic Heroes.
  • Espio is the second-most used member of Team Chaotix. He has less game appearances than Vector but more than Charmy.
  • In Sonic Heroes, Espio is the only speed formation character whose shoes are not partly red. He is also the only speed formation character who is not a hedgehog.
  • Throughout the series, Espio's color gradually lightens from a dark purple to a light pinkish purple.
  • In the Shadow the Hedgehog boss Egg Breaker, when Shadow destroys any of Eggman's robots, Espio says, "Stop that! We can't let Eggman know we're here!" which is repeated from the previous level. However, Eggman already knows that Espio and Shadow were in his base as he is fighting them.
  • In Shadow the Hedgehog, Espio is one of the five characters to swear (the others being Shadow, Sonic, Knuckles, and the GUN Commander).
  • Espio is the only playable character in Sonic Rivals 2 who did not appear in the story mode of Sonic Rivals.
  • In Sonic Generations, Espio is the one of the two characters who did not notice Sonic was different after being rescued. The other was Vector.
  • Espio is the only animal character in Knuckles' Chaotix to have been created originally for that game, as Vector, Mighty, Charmy, and Knuckles had all appeared (or in Vector's case, was going to appear) in previous media: Knuckles (Sonic the Hedgehog 3), Mighty (SegaSonic the Hedgehog), Vector (Sonic the Hedgehog), Charmy Bee (Sonic the Hedgehog manga).
  • In a cutscene from Shadow the Hedgehog, Eggman calls Shadow and Espio "Rodents" although Espio is a reptile.


Sonic tshirt head (1) An image gallery is available for
Espio the Chameleon.


  1. Espio at the beginning of the Egg Emperor boss fight, Sonic Heroes.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Sonic Channel (Japanese). Characters: Espio. Sega. Retrieved on 3 July 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 File:Espio profile SG.png
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Sonic Team (November 11, 2011). Sonic Generations. PC. Sega. Area/level: Espio: Master of Camouflage
  5. Shadow the Hedgehog
  6. Sonic Team (November 11, 2011). Sonic Generations. PC. Sega. Cutscene: Rescuing Espio.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sonic Heroes (GameCube) United States instruction manual, pg. 12.
  8. Sonic Team (February 6, 2004). Sonic Heroes. PlayStation 2. Sega. Cutscene: Team Dark.
  9. Sonic Team (November 11, 2011). Sonic Generations. PC. Sega. Area/level: White Space. "Espio the Chameleon: Thank you, my friend. Beware, for I have looked into the soul of our enemy and I saw only darkness."
  10. Sonic Heroes (GameCube) United States instruction manual, pg. 18.
  11. Sonic Team (November 11, 2011). Sonic Generations. PC. Sega. Area/level: White Space. "Espio the Chameleon: It takes a mighty foe to trap a ninja. Be on your guard, Sonic."
  12. Sonic Rivals 2
  13. Sonic Team (November 18, 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. PlayStation 2. Sega. Area/Level: Mad Matrix. "Espio the Chameleon: Hey, back off! Data retrieval isn't exactly my specialty"
  14. Sonic Team (February 6, 2004). Sonic Heroes. PlayStation 2. Sega. Level/Area: Opening Sequence (Team Chaotix).
  15. Sonic the Comic #121, "On the Run, Part 1"
  16. Sonic the Comic #54, "Total Chaotix, Part 2"
  17. Sonic the Comic #98, "Doomsday, Part 2"
  18. Electronic Gaming Monthly (3 February 2004). Afterthoughts: SONIC HEROES - A candid chat with Sonic Team's lord of the rings.. Electronic Gaming Monthly. Archived from the original on 30 March 2004.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Espio the Chameleon

  • Espio discussion

    3 messages
    • I think Espio should be more ninja like. None of that Naruto crud. Oh and the Whirl Attack should be his basic abilities instead of the s...
    • If you download Sonic Dash on the Amazon app store, Espio is playable there.

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