Honey the Cat (ハニー・ザ・キャット Hanī za Kyatto?) is a playable character that made her appearance in the 2012 re-release of Sonic the Fighters. In the original arcade version, she was never seen and was only found in the game data. Honey is an anthropomorphic cat who competed in a fighting tournament for the Chaos Emeralds and the right to destroy the Death Egg II.
Concept and creation
Honey was designed by Kazunori Oh and Takako Kawaguchi, the character model designers for Sonic the Fighters and the game Fighting Vipers, the latter which uses the same engine that Sonic the Fighters was built on. According to an interview with Hiroshi Kataoka, director of Sonic the Fighters, Honey is based off the character of the same name from Fighting Vipers (Honey's name in English territories was "Candy"). Kataoka confirmed that since Sonic the Fighters was initially designed around Fighting Vipers by simply placing Sonic characters in it, the Honey in Sonic the Fighters was modeled around the Honey in Fighting Vipers.
The Honey in Fighting Vipers has the same poses and look as Honey the Cat, even having a special attack called "Cat Punch" in her move set (as well as several other cat-themed move names). These cat-themes may have been what inspired the designers to make the Honey for Sonic the Fighters a cat.
Honey is an anthropomorphic cat about a meter tall. She has close-lying orange-yellow fur, a peach muzzle, and long black hair that she keeps in two voluminous ponytails. She also two triangular and perked ears with peach inner ears, a small black nose, large sharp black eyes, thin arms and legs, and a slim tail.
Honey's attire is very detailed. She wears a red hairband and elaborate white and laced cloth-like hair barrettes around her ponytails, along with a red dress with poofy shoulders, black straps on the cuffs, a black collar, a pair of white wings on the back, and white laces on the lower rim. Her dress also has black outlines around the waist and shoulders, and a black area on her front skirt with white fasteners. Additionally, she wears white gloves with red backs and laced cuffs, black arm wrappers around her wrists and pointy black and red high-heeled boots.
When Dr. Robotnik constructed the Death Egg II to conquer earth with his robots, Honey entered a fighting tournament where the winner would get the Chaos Emeralds belonging to the other participants, herself included. This would earn her the right to use the Emeralds for Tails's single-seat Lunar Fox and travel to the Death Egg II and destroy it. At the end of the tournament, the victor used the Chaos Emeralds to go to the Death Egg II and made it self-destruct moments after escaping it.
Powers and abilities
Honey has efficient skills in hand-to-hand combat, enough to let her fight on the same level as profound fighters like Sonic the Hedgehog and Knuckles the Echidna. Her fighting style involves a series punches and jabs combined with wind-up punches, a jumping uppercut, and a variety of high and fancy kicks.
Honey is very fast and agile. She can jump several meters into the air, kick opponents in a fluid bucking-like fashion, run up along walls, and swiftly circle around and strike opponents so fast that she appears as a blur. With the wings on back of her dress, she is also able to glide through midair like Knuckles. Honey also has the ability to harness chaos energy from the Chaos Emeralds to bolster her innate abilities, allowing her to enter Hyper Mode.
In other media
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, Honey is the founder, CEO, and designer for Honey Brand Clothes and Accessories. During the Shattered World Crisis, she participated in the Chaos Emerald Championship to promote herself, going up against the likes of Sonic, some of the Freedom Fighters, Knuckles and the Hooligans.
Before her debut in the comics, Honey was only restricted to cameo appearances. Due to an exceedingly huge amount of fan requests, however, she was made an official character in the comics.
Original Sonic the Fighters
Although she was scrapped from the arcade version of Sonic the Fighters, Honey's data still exists in the game, which was discovered through hacking after the release of Sonic Gems Collection. Her in-game data is near complete, and she has a complete moveset primarily based on Knuckles', allowing players to hack the game's data and play as Honey in normal gameplay, albeit with a few glitches. With her re-integration into the digital re-release of Sonic the Fighters on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 however, all her glitches and problems were fixed.
During the development of Sonic the Fighters, Honey's character model was based on Amy Rose's character data. This is displayed when playing as Honey in hacked gameplay where when Honey is smashed by anything, her outfit will turn into Amy's for a few seconds. If smashed again, her outfit will return to normal. Also, her squished head and hand models load fine, but the rest of her body was not left in the game, which is probably a good indicator of how far into development Honey was at the time. Additionally, her pre-fight stance is the same as Amy's (a curtsy before assuming her fighting position), while one of her victory poses is based on one of Tails' poses. This is corrected in the 2012 re-release, though her pre-fight stance and victory pose are unchanged.
Another hacked gameplay video of Honey reveals another victory pose for her, where she stands in a position that resembles Sonic's pose, only she does not make a peace sign with her fingers. Additionally, the pose reveals another eye glitch; here, her eyes become completely white.
In the hacked gameplay of the Arcade game, there is a glitch with Honey's eyes that causes one of her eyes to look towards the player while the other looks at her opponent. There is no known method of fixing it properly, not even in recent emulators. However, the intro before entering Death Egg's Hangar after beating Metal Sonic, and even playing Death Egg's Hangar, seems to fix the glitch. However, when the cutscene that takes place after Metal Sonic is defeated begins, it seems to be fixed.
In the hacked gameplay of the Arcade game, Honey does not have any artwork for the pre-level scenes. Instead, it defaults to Eggman. This is fixed in the 2012 re-release where she is given her own loading portrait, though it only shows a white silhouette of Honey's fighting pose in the 'cat paw' and bent leg stance.
In the hacked gameplay of Sonic the Fighters, Honey possesses a complete moveset, albeit with moves borrowed from other characters because Honey did not have a moveset of her own when the game was released, so the programmers "borrowed" attacks from the other fighters to compensate. She has the same kicks and fighting stance as Sonic, though in the character select screen, the cutscene before fighting Eggman, when she executes a few moves, and the name entry screen, her stance is the same as her source character's. Some of Honey's punching type moves are from Tails, while her head clap move is from Bark.
Mirror Honey is the opponent fought in the hacked gameplay of the original Sonic the Fighters when the player uses Honey in mirror matches (when two players use the same character). While the second player normally will be a gray-scale version of the character due to Robotnik using a machine, however, Honey's clone has her own palette, which includes blonde hair, a blue dress and hairband, a white muzzle, and pink fur. Mirror Honey has the same moveset as the non-mirror Honey, and thus can be used in mirror matches. She is also the only Mirror Version in the game to actually be colored. In the 2012 re-release of Sonic the Fighters, Mirror Honey serves as an alternate color for Honey.
The Mirror Honey also appeared in the short clip intro Sega Saturn version of Fighting Vipers. Mirror Honey is the only version of Honey the Cat to actually appear in a game prior to Sonic the Fighters' 2012 re-release. This most likely indicated that Honey would have been playable in the Sega Saturn version of Sonic the Fighters if the game's programmers had the time to get her ready.
- To select Honey in the 2012 re-release of Sonic the Fighters, the player has to go to Amy's picture and press Start. Doing so unlocks both her and her achievement, "Honey the Cat."
- Honey's wings on her back are the ones on the rubber dress ("fairy suit") that her Fighting Vipers counterpart made herself.
- One of Honey's moves, which includes her head slide and hip attacks which she has borrowed from Amy, is similar to a move used by her source character called "Bootie Bop". She uses Honey's "horse kick" move too.
- The song "Sunset Town", which could be found in the original Sonic the Fighters data and Sonic Gems Collection would have presumably been played in Honey's stage.
- Honey is the first cat-species character in Sonic the Hedgehog video games, although Honey did not originally make the cut in Sonic the Fighters.
- Overall, Honey is one of the only hackable characters in the series to appear after her unofficial debut. She appeared in another game, and also made several cameos in the Archie Comics before she made her official debut.
- When Honey was originally discovered through hacking, her pigtails and cat tail were not seen due to an emulation glitch. This is fixed in newer emulators and the HD release.
Sonic the Fighters (re-release)
Sonic the Fighters (Arcade)