|This character exists primarily within the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog continuity.|
Information in this article may not be canonical to the storyline of the games or any other Sonic continuity.
Grounder is a badnik created by Dr. Ivo Robotnik as an adversary of Sonic the Hedgehog. Along with his partner Scratch, he is a member of Robotnik's Super Special Sonic Search and Smash Squad. They are Robotnik's main henchmen, and two of the main antagonists of the series Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
Grounder was based on a badnik, also of the same name, from the game Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which was itself based on the badnik Burrobot from the original Sonic the Hedgehog. Grounder has also appeared in the Archie Comics continuity.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Grounder is a red badnik that appears in the Aquatic Ruin Zone. It is similar to Burrobot from the original Sonic the Hedgehog in terms of its design and attack pattern. Grounder made another appearance in the Aquatic Relix zone in Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure.
It should be noted that Grounder is one of the few badniks in Sonic 2 that features the Eggman Empire symbol, which can be seen on its shoulder armor.
Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
Scratch and Grounder are largely comic relief characters, and though charged with the capture of Sonic and his friend Tails, they almost always fail. Not only this, but the two are also highly gullible, easily being deceived by Sonic no matter how bizarre his disguises. These repeated failures, sadly, frequently result in the two hapless robots receiving a lot of abuse (both verbal and physical) from Dr. Robotnik.
Grounder is a sort of "clone" of Scratch with different abilities and body structure. While being created by Robotnik in the cartoon, Scratch has one of his tail feathers plucked and put into a cloning machine, but Scratch pulled an extra lever that caused, as Robotnik put it, some "slight modifications".
The two were occasionally aided by a robotic monkey named Coconuts (also based on an enemy from Sonic the Hedgehog 2), although most of the time, he would be competing with them rather than helping them, in hopes of being promoted out of janitor status.
Grounder is a small, short, stocky teal machine with tank tracks for feet, an antennae on the back of the top of his head, compass bellybutton as well as drills instead of his hands and nose. He also carries a plate on his back that reads "X-14". Grounder's design was purposefully derived from the Grounder enemy Badnik from Sonic the Hedgehog 2's Aquatic Ruin Zone, though those Grounders (named ハンドリル "Handrill" in Japan) were mass produced, their color schemes were different and they attacked by bursting out of walls. He has a IQ of 25, and is notably less intelligent than Scratch, but once acquired a chip that increased his intelligence beyond Dr. Robotnik's, raising his IQ to 25,000 and giving him a posh voice - it was subsequently lost. Grounder also seems to be the most fragile of Robotnik's robots, getting blown to bits slightly more often than the others.
While Scratch seems to be the brains, Grounder is the brawn (artillery) - his robot body is filled with accessories, which switch usually in his drill hands with any number of weapons or tools such as ropes, helicopter blades, gas guns, parachutes and boxing gloves, stores assorted equipment (commonly, his telephone called the Robo-call Phone) in his torso and even has the components of a Swiss Army knife installed in his tongue. His drill hands can also act as a telephone by using one drill hand as a receiver and the other as a speaker.
Either way, both robots are amazingly stupid and fail at almost everything they do. However they are also quite persistent and fairly durable - whenever they get damaged or blown to bits (which is very often) they can be repaired very easily and always come back for more. Robotnik himself wondered in one episode (Birth of a Salesman) why he always has to repair them.In the episode "Trail of the Missing Tails", Scratch, Grounder and Coconuts are temporarily transformed into giant monster versions of themselves. Scratch looks more like an ordinary chicken in this state, almost resembling Cluck, the mechanical chicken pet of Robotnik in the "SatAM" animated series. Grounder acquires a blocky, humanoid body with hands and legs instead of drills and tracks. Coconuts, meanwhile, becomes a hulking, tusked, mechanical ape. In this state, they are much bigger and stronger than normal, but it is unknown if they have any further new abilities.
Grounders first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 as a regular enemy in the Aquatic Ruin Zone. This version looked a little different from its AoSTH counterpart. Instead of being a green color he was red and did not have a mouth.
Scratch and Grounder also appeared in the earliest issues of the Sonic comic book published by Archie Comics. However, the characters themselves were prominently featured only in their first appearance there, published in issue #2. Subsequent appearances of the two were minor; their last appearance in the comic was part of a flashback in issue #57. However, Scratch appears in issue 4 Tails' Little Tale) without Grounder, and Grounder appears (without Scratch) in the story "Sonic Spin City!", published in Sonic Super Special #15. Often times Grounder would be Purple instead of green.
In issues #187 and #188, Scratch, Grounder, and Coconuts have all returned, now as employees of Mammoth Mogul, who has taken over Casino Night Zone, and has employed the old badniks as workers. In issue 15 of Sonic Universe, Grounder makes a cameo, simply appearing in the foreground of one panel.
Sonic Live in Sydney
- Scratch and Grounder started a trend of Dr. Robotnik having two incompetent side kicks. Example: Sonic Underground had Sleet and Dingo. Sonic X had Decoe and Bocoe. Sonic Colors had Orbot and Cubot.
- In Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, Grounder plays like Witch from Puyo Puyo, the game on which Mean Bean Machine was based. Ironically, since Witch is the eighth opponent, Grounder's MBM AI is rather smart, whereas he is an idiot in AoStH. His AI is still weaker than Scratch's, who was based on Rulue (the second-to-last enemy) and has very smart AI, referencing Scratch being the brains of the two in the show.
- As a running gag in multiple episodes of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Grounder often says he wants his mama. Scratch then reminds him that he doesn't have a mama, to which Grounder replies that he wants one.
- Grounder and Scratch throughout the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog series fall for Sonic's disguises constantly, however in "Momma Robotnik's Birthday", Grounder states that the robot repairman Robotnik sent was a small blue spiny guy, a trick by Sonic to reprogram tree killing robots, meaning that he does recognize that Sonic's disguises are poor, but is still too dumb to recognize Sonic regardless.
- "I'm Grounder...but you can call me SAM - 'cos I'm like a Surface to Air Missile...and I'm gonna have you for launch." - Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
- "Hooray! we got promoted from useless!" - Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog - Big Daddy