The very first Badnik that Sonic ever encountered, this metal beetle returns to try and take down Sonic one last time. Watch out - he will turn around to chase Sonic if he misses. — Profile, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I website
Moto Bugs are usually slow-paced robots that move around, which makes them very basic enemies. Moto Bug is known for being the first enemy that Sonic has encountered in his first appearance and thus being the first enemy encountered in the entire series.
The Moto Bug resembles more or less a robotic version of a real-life ladybug. Its body armor is red and its face is painted dark blue. Its source of locomotion is reliant on the simple wheel mechanism located in its undercarriage. A small engine on the rear of the Badnik propels its wheel across the ground. Small pincers located below its head are its only source of defense. In certain games, its torso is decorated with black circles.
In Sonic Forces, the Moto Bugs received a more militaristic design. In addition to their backs having become white-gray (although their spot markings remain), they have a smal blue exhaust pipe on each side of their rear and a small face. They also have a blue rim that goes around the back of their necks, and a black face with red eyes. They also wear what appears to be a visor with a red lens and antenas, and their main wheel is held in place by white discs with blue rims.
Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
The first appearance of the Moto Bug is in the original 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog. These Badniks only move back and forth in the zone, and will attempt to chase the player if they see them... however, it moves very slowly. Moto Bugs are relatively harmless and can only hurt you if you run directly into them. The player can easily destroy Moto Bugs with Spin Jumping or running them over with a Spin Attack.
Moto Bugs make a brief appearance in Sonic Drift 2, where they are called by their Japanese name, Motora. In this game, this Badnik tries to come to the racers' way at Hill Top track. In this game, Moto Bug is really small like they were in the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog.
However, Sonic can still take them out pretty easily by Quick Stepping into them. The Moto Bug comes in two sizes in Sonic Colors, and if Sonic destroys a large Moto Bug, all the smaller ones are destroyed with it. From this game onward, Moto Bug was given more of a ladybug look.
The Moto Bug also returns in Sonic Generations; it only appears at both versions of Green Hill, the remake of the zone with same name from the original Sonic the Hedgehog. The game also features a gigantic version of the Moto Bug in one Challenge Act. It can't be destroyed - only stunned - along with a gigantic variation of a Buzz Bomber. However, they can be used to bounce Sonic up high into the air. In this game, Moto Bugs actually put up a fight, as some Moto Bugs will rev up and charge at the Sonics at a decent speed if they spot them.
As sporting a simpler appearance like the earliest games of the series, these Badniks now move mostly in groups and some groups of Moto Bugs have certain patterns as well. These enemies seem easy to defeat, once again defeated by simply jumping on them. In one cutscene, some Moto Bugs are seen to be powered with three animal friends instead of the standard one from earlier appearances.
In Sonic Runners, Moto Bugs are one the most common enemies in the speed type characters' stages. In this game, their attack patterns varies, either remaining stationary or moving back and forth, and are placed either separately or in groups.
Moto Bugs in Sonic Runners come in three types. In addiction to the regular Moto Bugs, there are golden ones which grant 300 more points when defeated, and black ones called Super Moto Bugs which only Color Powers and Power Type characters can defeat. All variations contain Animals inside them.
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
In the Wii U version of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Moto Bugs appear as items in the Duel Beach Volleyball event. Here, they can move under the net and charge towards its opponent, decreasing 15 duel points for each hit. Players can jump over it to avoid its attack.
In Sonic Mania, the Moto Bugs reappeared as enemies. In terms of design, they look exactly how they did in the original Sonic the Hedgehog. In this game, they only appear in Green Hill Zone. It terms of attack pattern, they behave just like in their debut by driving along long areas of the ground. They are similarly easily destroyed by any attack. Also, a Moto Bug named "Jimmy" was utilized as a steed by the Heavy Rider in the game.
Sonic Forces: Speed Battle
In Sonic Forces: Speed Battle, Moto Bug serves as a Projectile Item that can only be obtained at random from Item Boxes. It is useable by Classic Sonic, Miles "Tails" Prower and E-123 Omega. As with all other Items, Metal Sonic can also use the Moto Bug if he uses the Steal Item to steal it from the aforementioned user. When used, the player sends Moto Bug above and can damage the opponent's way and enemies. To avoid Moto Bug, the player must either jump over them, or run in-between them.
The Moto Bugs are most commonly encountered in Classic Sonicstages, and in the 2.5D sections in the other stages. In gameplay, the Moto Bugs that drive on the ground will idle around until they spot the playable character. When they do, they will stop and rev up before charging at the character, and if they should miss, they will turn around and try again. Other than that, they are still as easily destroyed as back in their debut game.
On the water slides in Aqua Road and Eggman's Facility, deactivated Moto Bugs with their design from Sonic Lost World appear as drifting obstacles. If the playable character collides with them, they will pushed to the side, putting them as risk of falling off the water slides. However, the collision with also destroy these Moto Bugs. Occasionally, a golden Moto Bug will also appear. These Moto Bugs require three hits to be destroyed, and when they are, they will release a prize, like a Super Ring or a Red Star Ring. Sometimes, this will also cause the next golden Moto Bug to spawn.
Powers and abilities
The Moto Bug is often considered the weakest Badnik created by Dr. Eggman. It simply coasts along the ground in an attempt to hurt enemies with its pincers. Merely jumping on top of it will destroy it. In Sonic the Hedgehog 4, its arms look more scythe-like and it tries to chase Sonic, but apart from that, it still trundles around as usual.
Moto Bugs become a bigger threat in Sonic Colors, as they are able to move at speeds rivaling that of Sonic himself, and can only be attacked by throwing them off balance with a Quick Step into its side.
Sonic Generations brings back the Moto Bug, sporting the same design as Sonic Colors. This iteration of the Moto Bug will remain stationary until Sonic approaches, at which point they peel-out their wheel (in order to "charge" its speed) to quickly ram into Sonic. This "charge time" is so lengthy, however, that it is rendered useless when subjected to a Boost, a Homing Attack or a Spin Dash.
In their appearance in Sonic Lost World, Moto Bugs will putter around without cause until Sonic comes within proximity. At this point, the Moto Bug will gain a determined expression and home into Sonic at a slow speed. A simple Homing Attack, Spin Dash, or Flying Kick is enough to dispatch the Badnik and free the animal friend inside it.
In the Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions, the Moto Bugs are a part of Dr. Robotnik's Badnik army. Depending on the artist, the Moto Bug's design has been altered slightly various times. They are among the first generation of Badniks Robotnik produced and have threatened the people of Mobius since the earliest days of Robotnik's reign of terror.
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Moto Bugs, here spelled "Motobugs", were among the first generation of badniks produced by Dr. Robotnik, though they were eventually rendered obsolete by more advanced robots and got decommissioned. Those Motobugs that survived were left behind in various outposts until Mammoth Mogul instated them as workers in his casino.
Following the events of Worlds Collide, the Motobugs' history became nearly identical to that of their game counterparts.
In the Sonic Boom televisions series, the Moto Bugs, spelled as "Motobugs", are a mass-produced robot model created by Dr. Eggman. They serve both as Eggman's sentries and foot soldiers which the doctor uses for his frequent attacks on Team Sonic and Seaside Island. However, they are not very powerful and are easily destroyed in intense combat.
The toy company Tomy has released Moto Bug action figurine during the release of Sonic & Knuckles as it also includes a series of 21 Sonic figurines and these figurines came in packs of four under the Sonic & Knuckles label and were also released individually under a Sonic the Hedgehog label.
For the 20th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog, Jazwares decided to make figures of the characters and enemies from the series. A Classic Sonic was released and included a little Moto Bug figurine.
In several of its designs, the Moto Bug carries blades similar to the ones carried by the Slicer Badnik, except they are permanently attached to the Moto Bug chassis.
In an unused character model of Sonic Colors, the Moto Bug is shown with a pair of tube-shaped weapons on its back that are seemingly meant to be used as weapons. However, this version of the Moto Bug never appeared in the game.
It is interesting to note that in Sonic the Comic #32's story No More Mr. Nice Bug, Moto Bugs actually appear to be dark blue colored Buzz Bombers.
The top speed of Moto Bugs has been changed regularly during the series as the Badnik has appears more and more times. In its appearances in Green Hill Zone and Splash Hill Zone, these Badniks have been remarkably slow, but later in Sonic Colors, Moto Bugs have shown to have enough speed to reach even Sonic himself. Because of the setting, Moto Bugs returned to its slow pattern in Green Hill of Sonic Generations, though they speed up when attacking Sonic.
The Roaders in the Mega Man series bear a similar concept and purpose to that of the Motobug badniks.
On the English Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I website, their name is spelled "Motobug".