|Espio the Chameleon|
Espio the Chameleon
in other media
|Also known as||
Chameleon (used once by Silver)
110 cm (3' 7")
36 kg (79.3 lb)
Gold (originally black until redesigned for Sonic Heroes)
|Alignment and character traits|
Apples 
|Skills, abilities and powers|
|Moves and techniques|
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.
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.
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 Doctor 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 to turn into his Super State, and for Tails and Knuckles to obtain Super Shields. 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
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.
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.
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.
Eventually, Espio was returned to normal by Classic Sonic (Sonic's past self) and Modern Sonic (Sonic's present self). When Classic and Modern Sonic confronted the Time Eater in the Center of Time, which the monster was revealed to be controlled by Modern Eggman and Classic Eggman, Espio arrived at the place with the others and cheered on both Sonics saying "Focus your spirit", 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 Classic Sonic and Classic Tails when they returned to their own time.
Other Game Appearances and Cameos
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 and Sonic Series
Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
Espio appears once again as a referee in Mario and 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 and Sonic at the Olympic Games
Espio appears as one of the referees in Mario and 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
PersonalityEspio 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
In Knuckles' Chaotix, Espio had the ability to stick and walk along walls as if he was walking on the floor, and possessed his own unique Spin Jump, Spin Attack, and Spin Dash abilities known as the "whirling attack" (known as "Espio spin" in Sonic the Fighters) in which he would spin horizontally as opposed to vertically.
In Sonic the Fighters, Espio displayed the ability to stretch his tongue and launch it at opponents.
In Sonic Heroes, Espio was reintroduced as a ninja and boasted new skills, such as whirlwind attack known as Leaf Swirl and the ability to throw large shuriken. Espio also displayed the unique ability to stick to walls whilst performing the Triangle Jump. It was also revealed that Espio could play the shamisen, through Team Chaotix's Team Blast: Chaotix Recital. The opening of Team Chaotix's story also shows that Espio is skilled in using Kunai as throwing weapons; as he was able to use one to nail an airborne package to a wall. As a Speed Type character, Espio is quite fast, and can perform the Homing Attack, Rocket Accel, and the aforementioned Triangle Jump.
As a Chameleon, Espio's most prominent ability is to render his skin to match the environment, which makes him completely invisible. In Sonic Heroes, Espio could use the move "Leaf Swirl" to turn invisible and remain completely undetected by enemies and lasers, allowing him to pass through areas that would be otherwise inaccessible. Espio can remain invisible for as long as he pleases, but his invisibility will be removed if he takes damage, or performs the Leaf Swirl again.
Espio could also render himself invisible as part of his Signature Move, Chroma Camo, in Sonic Rivals 2. Whilst using Chroma Camo, Espio is undetectable and cannot be hit by powerups as well as gaining a small speed boost. The ability lasts until all energy in the Signature Meter runs out. If the player presses the square button, they can slightly extend the move.
In the Sonic Generations mission Espio: Master of Camouflage, Espio can use an ability called Ninja Arts: Camouflage, when using this he turns invisible (with only his outline seen), intangible, and can teleport to different locations, the ability can be removed by shining a spotlight on him.
As a ninja, Espio has displayed some skill at Ninjutsu. This is largely helped by his ability to turn himself invisible, but is also shown through his skill in martial arts and his proficiency with weaponry and equipment, such as Shuriken and Kunai.
Espio also has degree of super speed. His speed surpasses Amy's speed and he is fast enough to keep up with the fastest characters which makes him very fast, but he is still not as fast as Sonic and Shadow.
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Shadow the Hedgehog
- Rouge the Bat
- E-123 Omega
- Amy Rose
- Silver the Hedgehog
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. This incarnation of the character differs significantly from the Espio portrayed in the games and Sonic X.
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.
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.
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.
- "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.
- "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.
- 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.
- Strangely, in the older comics, his body is a sky blue color, but is later changed for consistency with his game appearances. However, he may possess the ability to change colors like real-life chameleons.
- This is supported in Knuckles' Chaotix, in which Espio will cycle through different colors during play.
- 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 Sonic Heroes, Espio is one of the most violent characters (behind Omega), as he frequently uses death threats, particularly to Eggman.
- 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 chameleon.