- "Ray" redirects here. For other uses of the term, see Ray the Flying Squirrel (disambiguation).
Ray the Flying Squirrel (レイ・ザ・フライングスクイレル Rei za Furaingu Sukuireru?) is character who appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. He is an anthropomorphic flying squirrel who was once captured by Dr. Robotnik, but escaped with the aid of fellow prisoners Sonic the Hedgehog and Mighty the Armadillo.
Concept and creation
Ray was designed by Manabu Kusunoki for the three-player arcade game, SegaSonic the Hedgehog. Kusunoki reasoned that in order to control like Sonic, the new characters would need to be animals that could have the same proportions as Sonic. Additionally, since Sonic is a hedgehog, a relatively obscure animal, Kusunoki wanted his companions to be equally unusual. With this in mind, Kusunoki decided upon an armadillo and a flying squirrel.
Ray has golden yellow fur and dark tan skin on his muzzle, inner ears and front torso. He has black eyes, a small tapered hair tuft at the top back of his head (making it appear somewhat teardrop-shaped), a furry skin membrane connecting his waist to his lower arms, small, perky triangular ears, a shiny, bulbous black nose and long club-shaped tail.
Ray wears white gloves with large cuffs. He originally also wore red sneakers with a white buckle-strap, and white sock-like tops. These shoes were almost identical to Sonic's iconic sneakers, but were a slightly darker shade of red. Later, Ray began wearing blue sneakers with white soles, white dots on each side of the shoes' heels and two white straps each, not reaching the soles.
SegaSonic the Hedgehog
In SegaSonic the Hedgehog, Ray was captured by Dr. Robotnik and imprisoned on Eggman Island where he was to be executed along with Mighty the Armadillo and Sonic the Hedgehog himself. Teaming up with Sonic and Mighty, Ray escaped his cell, only to be blown to the other side of the island with Sonic and Mighty by a geyser triggered by Robotnik. After that, the trio teamed up to escape the island. Avoiding the island's hazards and traps, the trio got to Eggman's Tower where they confronted Robotnik. In response, Robotnik activated the tower's self-destruction sequence. However, Ray, Sonic and Mighty managed to escape the island before its destruction.
Other game appearances
In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, Ray and Mighty make a cameo. In this game, they can be seen on some missing posters dotted throughout the City Escape. The poster mentions that they have been missing since 1993, referencing Ray's debut appearance in SegaSonic the Hedgehog.
Sonic Mania Plus
Although not much is known about Ray's personality, what can be inferred from Ray's behavior is that he acts as the semi comic-relief character in his trio. He is also shown to be slightly more fearful than Sonic and Mighty.
Powers and abilities
Ray is capable of running at high speeds, like Sonic, and is also rather agile. He can also perform the basic Spin Jump, a technique where he curls into a concussive ball or cutting disk and directs himself at his targets. With it, Ray can shred or burrow through just about any substance given enough speed. Being a flying squirrel, he has prehensile tail that he is seen capitalizing as a third hand.
In other media
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, Ray is a close friend of Mighty the Armadillo, having met him while both were held prisoner by Dr. Ivo Robotnik. During an escape attempt, Ray ended up got trapped in a time warp when he grabbed the prison's Power Gem. Years later, Mighty found and freed Ray, bringing him back to Angel Island where he joined the Chaotix. A loyal, if timid member, Ray helped his team face various foes on the island and then later Dr. Eggman alongside the Freedom Fighters. He later joined Mighty in his search for his sister.
As a result of reality getting rewritten by the Super Genesis Wave, Ray and Mighty became an adventuring duo under the tutelage of Moss the Sloth with ties to—but not membership in—the Chaotix or the Freedom Fighters.
- The design for Ray's shoes in Sonic Mania Plus were based on his Archie counterparts' shoes.
- According to an interview on Sonic Central, Sonic does not know the whereabouts of Ray, Bark the Polar Bear, Bean the Dynamite, Nack the Weasel, Chaos, or Tikal.
- Ray is the first Sonic character depicted with toes on his feet, which can be seen in one of his animations in SegaSonic the Hedgehog.
- Ray is one of the first Sonic characters to have a voice which was heard in SegaSonic the Hedgehog.
- Ray made cameo appearance as a key chain along with Sonic and Mighty in the Sega game Gale Racer, the Sega Saturn version of Rad Mobile released in 1994.
- ↑ John Szczepaniak (21 February 2018) (in English). The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers: Volume 3. SMG Szczepaniak. p. 309. ISBN 978-0992926083. "Manabu Kusunoki: Yes, I designed the armadillo [Mighty] and flying squirrel [Ray] characters. I did come up with backstories for them, but I can't recall them anymore. I do recall why I chose those two animals, though. In order for them to control just like Sonic did, they needed to be animals that could have the same proportions, with heads that were roughly half the size of the body. And since the game starred a hedgehog, which is a relatively obscure animal, I wanted his companions to be equally unusual."
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog on Twitter. Twitter (16 March 2018). Retrieved on 17 March 2018. “Sonic Mania goes packaged with Sonic Mania Plus! Mighty and Ray join as playable characters, new Encore mode, 4P Competition mode, Holographic packaging, 32-page art book, and more. Summer 2018.”
- ↑ SegaSonic the Hedgehog
- ↑ 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!”