- "Nack the Weasel" redirects here. For other uses of the term, see Nack the Weasel (disambiguation).
Fang the Sniper (ファング・ザ・スナイパー Fangu za Sunaipā?), also called Nack the Weasel, is a fictional character in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. He is an anthropomorphic animal and treasure hunter living in the Special Stage who tries to get his hands on the Chaos Emeralds for monetary purposes. He is a slick villain, but his aspirations are small-time. Fang uses a Popgun as his primary weapon and the Marvelous Queen "aerobike" as his mode of transportation.
Concept and creation
Fang the Sniper was designed by Shinichi Higashi (a.k.a. Touma), with permission from Naoto Ohshima. Higashi worked for Sega during between 1994-2002 and later became known as popular freelance figure artist in Japan. According to the interview of Artoyz.com, Touma got interest of the Sega's blue mascot after studying for designing in Art school. After Sega hired him, Touma worked in many departments, including at Sonic Team. Fang the Sniper was his first professional character he has designed. Touma would state on Twitter that he designed Fang with a jerboa (トビネズミ?) motif in his mind. However the sales departments of Sega decided upon him being half jerboa and half wolf in Japan, and a weasel in North America.
Since Fang likes to collect shining things, he was designed with attire evoking that of an explorer. His four fingers, instead of the usual five for a Sonic character, are derived from the species he was based on.
During development, the character was known as Nack. However, a character named Knuckles had been created for Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Since the pronunciation of the two names would be similar in Japan, it was decided to change Nack's name. A contest to decide upon a name for Sonic's new rival ran in the gaming magazine Shūkan Famicom Tsūshin. Meanwhile, overseas, the character was originally revealed to the public as "Jet". In the end the name "Fang the Sniper" was decided upon.
In America and Europe, the name "Nack" was retained for Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble, since "Nack" starting with an "N" and "Knuckles" starting with a "K" was deemed to be enough to differentiate the two.
During development of his debut title, Fang had what appeared to be a revolver or silver magnum as a weapon, but Sega eventually scrapped for unknown reasons. Early screenshots of Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble featured Fang pulling out his gun to hold up or shoot Sonic, but this was entirely removed from the final game. In Sonic the Fighters, his signature weapon is instead a Popgun.
In Japan, Fang the Sniper is half jerboa and half wolf, although Shinichi Higashi only had a jerboa in mind when designing him. When Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble was localized for North American and European releases, he was renamed "Nack the Weasel". In all subsequent video game appearances, he is called "Fang", regardless of region, with no reference to his species. In his Sonic Generations, "Wanted" poster cameo, both names are used, reading: "Nack The Weasel A.K.A Fang The Sniper".
Fang has purple and white fur. He wears a big brown stetson hat, brown boots with white gaiters, brown gloves with metal plates on them and a brown belt with a gold buckle. In Sonic the Fighters a holster was added to the right side of his belt. Keeping true to his namesake, he has a large, sharp fang on the left side of his mouth. He has long ears, long feet and a long, thick, purple tail that he uses to lay back on, for bouncing on and attacking his foes.
Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble
Fang, referred to as Nack the Weasel, makes his first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble, as he is one of three antagonists opposing Sonic and Tails in the race for the Chaos Emeralds (together with Knuckles the Echidna and Dr. Robotnik). Contrary to Knuckles, however, who is simply duped by Robotnik into fighting Sonic, Nack is purely motivated by his greed, as he seeks to steal the Chaos Emeralds for himself. At the end of each Special Stage, Sonic (or Tails) must fight Nack for control over the Chaos Emeralds.
Nack always fought Sonic on his airbike throughout the Special Stages (except the first), often attaching some sort of device such as a drill or spring to his motorcycle, much like Robotnik's Eggman Mobile. Nack's weapons were often used against him by Sonic.
Sonic the Fighters
Fang's last major appearance and only 3D appearance to date is in Sonic the Fighters, where he attacks quickly and fiercely with his Popgun and tail. He is the sixth opponent in the "story mode" and his arena is Casino Night, a casino area that appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
Other game appearances
Sonic Drift 2
In Sonic Drift 2, Fang the Sniper is one of seven playable racers. He's entered the 2nd Chaos Grand Prix to get his hands on the prize: a Chaos Emerald. His vehicle is his "aerobike", named the Marvelous Queen.
Fang's strength is acceleration and his weakness is handling; while he possesses high acceleration and maximum speed, he also possesses low handling, meaning he cannot corner as easily as the other racers. On the race track, Fang's special ability is the "Oil Balls". With it, Fang can drop balls which cause any racers that drive over them to slip, lose control, and eventually spin out.
Sonic Mega Collection
Sonic Storybook series
Sonic and the Secret Rings
Sonic and the Black Knight
In Sonic and the Black Knight, Fang made a cameo on one piece of fan art that made it into the game, which features him on the Marvelous Queen racing alongside Sonic and Knuckles.
Fang the Sniper makes a cameo appearance at the incarnation of City Escape in Sonic Generations, as he appears on a wanted poster for theft and extortion. Both his original Japanese and western names are mentioned in his poster.
Fang makes a cameo appearance in Sonic Mania. Right before the start of Mirage Saloon Zone Act 2, he, Bark the Polar Bear or Bean the Dynamite (depending on the random pattern) is seen standing on a Badnik while firing his Popgun to take down the Tornado. Much like in Sonic Generations, he also appears on a wanted poster around the Zone.
Fang also appears during the boss battle of Mirage Saloon Zone Act 2, where he is revealed to be one of the illusions created by the Heavy Magician. During the battle, Fang bounces around with his tail while shooting corks from his popgun. Hitting him will make the Heavy Magician reveal herself.
Fang is a mischievous treasure hunter who tries hard to be sneaky and cunning, although his overconfidence and overall naiveté proves to be his biggest flaw. In the English Sonic Triple Trouble manual, he is said to desire the Chaos Emeralds not because he knows of their true power, but because he believes they will fetch a hefty price on the market. Fang appears to be a coward, as he often runs away when his plans go wrong or when he's frightened.
While Fang had no dialogue, he showed himself to be a comedic and egotistical bad-guy who sows his own defeat in Sonic Triple Trouble. This is shown by his trap backfiring and lighting himself on fire in his first encounter and getting shot by his own heat-seeking missile while gloating in his fourth battle against Sonic. Fang was fairly clumsy, often tripping when running away after a defeat. His poster in Sonic Generations suggests that he may be a loose criminal wanted for theft and extortion.
Powers and abilities
Fang seems to be generally lacking in abilities, he often uses his wits and gadgets instead of brawn. He's fairly skilled at piloting his flying bike, and the various gadgets attached to it, such as springs, an irate missile and a drill.
Fang's main weapon is his Popgun, a popgun that fires corks, as opposed to conventional bullets. His title, Sniper, suggests that he's able to use his Popgun with great accuracy.
Despite being overall lacking in any real abilities, Fang's tail is rather strong and dexterous. Fang is often seen laying back on it while relaxing, Fang can also use his tail as a spring to reach great heights, in Sonic the Fighters, Fang uses his tail as part of a powerful attack as well as a third leg of sorts when kicking opponents with both of his legs.
In other media
Sonic the Comic
In Sonic the Comic, Nack used to be a member of the Chaotix Crew, but betrayed them to the Brotherhood of Metallix for money. He reappeared sporadically throughout the comic, working solely for financial gain either through mercenary work or robbing banks/ancient treasures, and he battled the Chaotix Crew twice. He was later instrumental in shrinking various characters (including himself and Sonic the Hedgehog) to sub-molecular size, initiating a string of adventures on the sub-molecular world of Shanazar.
In the Sonic the Hedgehog and its spin-off comic series published by Archie Comics, Nack was a rare wolf-weasel Mobian hybrid and a mercenary of much renown, tracking down both treasure and individuals. In particular he had captured or overcome Sonic the Hedgehog numerous times. Nack usually preferred to work alone for the sake of speed, efficiency and so he does not have to share the reward. He worked on odd occasions with his twin-sister Nic the Weasel, but his rivalry with her is legendary.
For a brief time he worked for the Destructix, but that did not serve his interests. His most disastrous team-up was with Karl, Jeff, and Konor. They plotted to kidnap Princess Sally, but things fell apart, and the lackeys were arrested. Nack was captured later, only to find his gang bulked up and very displeased about being left behind. When the opportunity, Nack snuck out of prison - but not before fatally poisoning the gang's food. His last job featured Bean and Bark in his employ as Team Hooligan, but ended in disaster.
Following the events of Worlds Collide, Nack has become virtually identical to his game counterpart, though he remained a part of the Team Hooligan with Bean and Bark, operating as a mercenary in Dr. Eggman's employ.
- Sonic Triple Trouble: Nack's Theme, played whenever he appears in Sonic Triple Trouble.
- Sonic the Fighters: Casino Night - Here We Go.
- According to the Japanese manual of Sonic & Tails 2, it is said that Fang resides in the mysterious Special Stage, which is described as subspace.
- Fang the Sniper is one of the few characters (such as Mephiles the Dark and Bean the Dynamite) to have a title that does not refer to his species. The Sniper references his penchant for using guns.
- Fang appeared as a collectible toy in Sega's 1999 adventure game Shenmue for Dreamcast and its sequel Shenmue II released in 2001. In the game, the player can collect toy versions of several Sega characters which includes Fang from Sonic the Fighters.
- In most media, unlike most other characters, Fang has four fingers instead of five, even in Japanese promotional artwork. The reason for this is not known.
- Additionally, his alternate title-"Nack the Weasel"-was thought of by Sega of America localization team, as his name is a reference to firearms. Why "Fang" was changed to "Nack" is unknown, but it might be because fangs and other sharp objects tend to have negative connotations.
- In Sonic the Fighters, Fang's "next match" character illustration is not simply mirrored for Player 2. Two slightly different images are used, so that his trademark fang is always on the left side of his mouth.
- In Sonic the Fighters, Fang's gloves are miscolored white instead of brown in his character select icon.
- Originally Fang was supposed to appear as boss in Sonic X-treme. In several magazine screenshots Fang is shown to be unusually giant, similarly to Metal Sonic in the game. The boss battle was meant to happen in a free roaming field. These boss battles were programmed by Chris Coffin, based on the engine of Sonic Team's game NiGHTS. Because the game was canceled, Fang never made an appearance in the game.
- Fang was left out of Sonic Tweet for unknown reasons.
- Fang was a prominent figure in the classic era as he had the most appearances of any side character from that era in Sonic.
- According to an interview on Sonic Central, Sonic does not know the whereabouts of Fang, Bark the Polar Bear, Ray the Flying Squirrel, Bean the Dynamite, Chaos, or Tikal.
- ↑ Playing as Tails and Knuckles in Sonic Mania - Kinda Funny Plays. YouTube (26 October 2016). Retrieved on 26 October 2016.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Mise au point avec Touma. Artoyz.com (25 July 2007). Archived from the original on 24 November 2016. Retrieved on 6 September 2017. “Bonfil: Quel a été le premier personnage que tu as dessiné ? TOUMA: Mon premier personnage à Sega, c’était Fang the Sniper, un membre de la Sonic Family. Mon premier personnage en tant qu’artiste indépendant était Kaeeru Rider Series.”
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 (in Japanese) ソニックジャム オフィシャルガイド. Soft Bank. October 1997. p. 107. ISBN 4797303379.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Sega of America. Fang. Sonic Characters. Sega of America. Archived from the original on 5 March 2005. Retrieved on 26 October 2017. “This slick wolf weasel has only one thing on his mind: Chaos Emeralds. He doesn't want to rule the world or anything like that, but he knows the prized glittering jewels will bring a hefty price from the right bidder. This makes him quite a menace for Sonic who must keep the Emeralds from falling into the wrong hands...or else.”
- ↑ TOUMA on Twitter (Japanese). Twitter (25 August 2017). Retrieved on 15 February 2018. “TOUMA: ファングをデザイン許可してもらった師匠の大島さんに感謝ですねー そしてこんなに格好良いファングを描いていただいて冥利に尽きます！ かなりお馬鹿で抜けたところのあるキャラクターなので、たまにどじってる感じのイラストがあると嬉しいです！本当にありがとうございます！”
- ↑ TOUMA on Twitter (Japanese). Twitter (23 August 2017). Retrieved on 6 September 2017. “TOUMA: 私はトビネズミをモチーフにデザインしました。ですが、海外ではイタチと紹介されていたと思います。”
- ↑ TOUMA on Twitter. Twitter (4 November 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. “TOUMA: His motif is an animal called a Dipodidae. However, apart from my intention, it was a character of a wolf and a Dipodidae.”
- ↑ TOUMA on Twitter. Twitter (4 November 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. “TOUMA: but I remember that the sales department released weasel in the US and wolf and Dipodidae in Japan.”
- ↑ TOUMA on Twitter. Twitter (4 November 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. “TOUMA: He is interested in collecting what is shining. So I am doing something like an explorer. This is because the four fingers are mice.”
- ↑ TOUMA on Twitter. Twitter (4 November 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. “TOUMA: In development it was named NACK. However, it means that a character called KNUCKLES will appear in SONIC 3,”
- ↑ TOUMA on Twitter. Twitter (4 November 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. “TOUMA: and I have to change my name because the pronunciations in Japan are similar. I think that we publicly invited names in Japanese magazines”
- ↑ Shūkan Famicom Tsūshin (1994) (Japanese). Archived from the original on 13 February 2018. Retrieved on 13 February 2018.
- ↑ "Strangely Sonic". Mean Machines Sega. June 1994.
- ↑ TOUMA on Twitter. Twitter (4 November 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. “TOUMA: However, in the United States it was told that KNUCKLES starting with K and NACK starting with N are differentiated.”
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 South Island Stories - Sonic & Tails 2 - Fang Character profile
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble (Sega Game Gear) North American instruction manual, pg. 2.
- ↑ Secrets of Sonic Team - The Nack The Weasel Boss stage. Retrieved on 26 March 2015.
- ↑ Secrets of Sonic Team - What is Sonic X-Treme?. Retrieved on 26 March 2015.
- ↑ Sega of America (March 2007). Sonic Central. Sega of America. “Stephen F. (a.k.a Sonic's number 1 fan.): Will Ray the Flying Squirrel, Bean the Duck, Chaos, Nack, Tikal, and Bark reappear? P.S: COOL SITE!!! / Sonic: Actually, I don't know exactly where they are…but we do have some old faces from the past that will be with me in Sonic Heroes…make sure to check 'em out!”