- For other uses of this term, see Espio the Chameleon (disambiguation).
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 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
As a part of their investigation, the Chaotix went to Dr. Eggman's base where Espio tried hacking Eggman's computer despite data retrieval not being his specialty. While Espio was being pestered to hurry by his team however, Shadow arrived. Convinced to help them, Shadow opened a portal to the Mad Matrix which Espio followed Shadow through upon Vector's order to get the info they sought from the database. Inside cyberspace, Espio requested Shadow's aid for his mission.
In the Hero scenario where Shadow helps Espio, the two came across Eggman in his Egg Beater who fed Shadow with lies about his past. However, Espio convinced Shadow to focus on beating Eggman and provided support for him in the following battle.
In the last story, the Chaotix had arrived on the Space Colony ARK, where Espio was chosen to hack the ARK's main computer to recover some data. As the team put pressure on Espio about the urgency of his work though, Charmy lost his patience and rammed the computer. This resulted in the Chaotix getting access to a video by Gerald Robotnik which played all around the world and gave Shadow the determination to defeat the Black Arms once and for all.
Sonic Rivals 2
In Sonic Rivals 2, Espio was sent on a mission by Vector to gather evidence on Silver the Hedgehog whom had been accused of kidnapping Chao. When Espio found Silver though, the hedgehog noticed him. Failing to provide a decent cover for himself, Espio simply ran away from him. However, this called the attention of Metal Sonic nearby, whom Espio had to escape from as well, which culminated in a race between them.
Espio soon tracked Silver down again and introduced himself, but before he could question Silver, Dr. Eggman Nega appeared, initially disguised as Dr. Eggman but Silver called his bluff. Although confused, Espio worked with Silver to destroy Eggman Nega's Egg Liner despite inference from Shadow and Metal Sonic. Afterwards, Espio returned to spying on Silver, although he started to question the hedgehog's intents. He later saw Sonic and Tails getting involved in the case as well and chased Tails down to try and get whatever info they had gather from him and dissuade the duo from interfering, but failed. Espio finally confronted Silver with the Chao kidnappings, to which Silver replied it was to save the world. Before Espio could get answers about that though, Eggman Nega attacked them with his Egg Crawler which he and Espio destroyed even as Sonic and Tails arrived on the scene.
After failing to follow Eggman Nega, Espio chose to believe in Silver's claims and promised to help him hide the Chao. They soon found Knuckles and Rouge with some Chao and they made a plan to distract them. To buy Silver time to get a Chao, Espio lured Rogue away with the Chaos Emerald she had just found. He soon agreed to a fight with Rouge over the ownership of the Emerald and the Chao, where Espio acquired the Chao despite losing the Emerald. Reuniting with Silver, the hedgehog revealed to Espio, since Espio had proven himself trustworthy, that Eggman Nega wanted to unleash a monster called the Ifrit on the world to destroy it. However, Eggman interrupted them with his Egg Dealer which the duo beat while contending with Knuckles and Rouge just as they arrived at the fight.
Soon after in another location, Espio had Silver elaborate that Eggman Nega wanted to feed the Chao to the Ifrit which would make the beast invisible. Seeing that Silver was exhausted though, Espio agreed to find some Rings to recharge him. Seeing Sonic and Tails were collecting them, Espio cut Sonic off and got away with some of his Rings which helped rejuvenate Silver. Just then though, Eggman Nega showed up with his Egg Bull while Sonic and Tails arrived to interrogate the doctor. In the end, the heroes beat the doctor.
Though Espio and Silver continued their hunt for Chao, Eggman Nega showed up to gloat that he already had enough Chao for the Ifrit and had hidden them in a secret room. Espio and Silver thus worked together to find the Chao, although Espio got slowed down by Rouge. Having failed to find the Chao, Espio reconvened with Silver, only to face Eggman Nega's Egg Phantom while contending with Shadow and Knuckles. Despite Espio and Silver emerging victorious, Eggman opened the portal to the Ifrit's dimension, but saw that his Chao had been freed by Sonic and Tails. As Eggman Nega summoned Metal Sonic 3.0 to awaken the Ifrit, Espio and Silver followed it into the portal to stop the robot. When they did though, they learned it was just a decoy and that the Ifrit had been awoken in the meantime. However, the portal started to close, so Espio and Silver kept the Ifrit from leaving its dimension and left Eggman Nega trapped in there with it.
Returning home, Espio thanked Silver for his help as they parted ways. Espio still ended up getting cited by Vector however, as he had failed to complete his original assignment.
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 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
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
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.
PersonalityEspio is very serious, quiet, level-headed, intelligent, 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
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 swiftness is potent enough to let him fool his enemies by appearing in different spots almost instantaneously. 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. Espio also has extreme acrobatic skills, doing complex and nimble jumps in midair 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. Being a skilled ninja he is also a master of non-camouflaged stealth 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.
Like a real lizard, Espio is able to climb along any surface and stick to them for an unprecedented amount of time. 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.
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. Having undergone extensive ninja training, Espio is a master of ninjutsu, 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 he curls tightly into a concussive ball while in locomotion to damage, mow down, or burrow through obstacles and foes. 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.
As a one of the founders of the Chaotix Detective Agency, Espio has a keen, analytical mind and experience in investigation and gathering intel. While also having experience in solving mysteries, 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.
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. 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.
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. 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 heightened 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.
Silver the Hedgehog
When Espio first met Silver the Hedgehog, his mission was to find evidence that Silver was behind the kidnapping of several Chao. As such, Silver was a subject of doubt for Espio as he did not seem like a bad guy despite his actions. At first, Espio treated Silver like an enemy, but as he learned that Silver was working to save the world, he decided to follow his instincts and help him with his mission. During their adventure, the two of them built a good relationship as Espio proved his trustworthiness and helped Silver on many occasions. After finishing their mission, they gladly thanked each other, showing the great admiration and faith they had gained for one another.
- Team Sonic
- Team Dark
- Amy Rose
- Silver the Hedgehog
- Dr. Eggman
- Metal Sonic
- Team Dark
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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- 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.
- ↑ Espio at the beginning of the Egg Emperor boss fight, Sonic Heroes.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 File:Espio profile SG.png
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Sonic Team (November 11, 2011). Sonic Generations. PC. Sega. Area/level: Espio: Master of Camouflage
- ↑ Shadow the Hedgehog
- ↑ Sonic Team (November 11, 2011). Sonic Generations. PC. Sega. Cutscene: Rescuing Espio.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Sonic Heroes (GameCube) United States instruction manual, pg. 12.
- ↑ Sonic Team (February 6, 2004). Sonic Heroes. PlayStation 2. Sega. Cutscene: Team Dark.
- ↑ 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."
- ↑ Sonic Heroes (GameCube) United States instruction manual, pg. 18.
- ↑ 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."
- ↑ Sonic Rivals 2
- ↑ 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"
- ↑ Sonic Team (February 6, 2004). Sonic Heroes. PlayStation 2. Sega. Level/Area: Opening Sequence (Team Chaotix).
- ↑ Backbone Entertainment, Sega Studio USA (December 7, 2007). Sonic Rivals 2. PlayStation Portable. Sega. Level/area: Mystic Haunt Zone. "Rouge: Okay, who's there? I know you're following me. / Espio: Hey, how'd you know I was there... / Rouge: Espio, these ears of mine aren't just for show, you know. What are you doing here, anyway? "
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #121, "On the Run, Part 1"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #54, "Total Chaotix, Part 2"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #98, "Doomsday, Part 2"
- ↑ 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.