In the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, Roboticizer refers to a device that transforms living organisms into metal ones through a process known as Roboticization. It was invented by Sir Charles Hedgehog and was stolen by Doctor Robotnik. Jules Hedgehog is the first roboticized Mobian.
Though the concept originated as a plot point in select Western territories (North America is believed to be the country of origin, with other Westerners adopting it and altering its definition), being applied to the Mega Drive/Genesis/Game Gear video games, based upon observations made regarding their content from these Western perspectives, Roboticizer as a term has never really come to be seriously, globally used, as the concept is only held as significant, even today, by a portion of Sonic fanatics. It is explained in the video games and Japanese merchandise of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, that Doctor Robotnik was simply kidnapping animal friends to be power sources for his Badniks, with the animal simply being trapped within a mecha, rather than undergoing physiological change. Additionally, Roboticizers haven't been featured in Sonic the Comic either, as the comic's ethos was to work from, and expand upon, the Japanese intention of the animals being considered organic batteries. There have been very few video games in the series which have ever actually support the validity of the concept. To officially note, the idea of a Roboticizer has been referred to only once in video game canon, Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.
In Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball, the main factory, simply called The Machine, is the part of large Veg-O-Fortress, where all animal friends are turned into Badniks. The third arena in the game have a prison chamber for animals in the middle of the pinball arena, which the player can break and then free the animals inside it. However, the machine itself at the end of arena, better known as the Veg-O Machine, is a large device that has tubes connected to it that send animals inside it to be turned into Badniks.
At the end of The Machine, the player has to destroy the Veg-O Machine by breaking both tubes first, which lets the animals escape. After this, the player can then destroy the Veg-O Machine from the inside by entering the bottom hatch, where Sonic will bounce around vividly, destroying it for good.
Sonic Spinball Party
Eggman uses a roboticizer to turn the people gambling at Casinopolis into robots.
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
While never appeared in the game, the Roboticizer has been referred one time during Chapter 3 of Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, when Tails mentions animal seemed to be "roboticized" after defeating a group of Robodillos in Mystic Ruins. Later after defeating another Robodillo group, Tails finds a box from the robot leader's head, that he provides a conclusion as the box being a thing, that turned animals into robots.
Sonic Lost World
In Sonic Lost World, while the concept of animals serving as organic batteries for Badniks were still used, Roboticization was somehow shared along it, though it was not mentioned by name. When the Deadly Six learned about Eggman's method of making robots, they decide to take extreme measures by catching Sonic and turning him into a robot in their service. Although Tails took Sonic's place in their trap disguised as a Capsule, the Deadly Six decided to turn Tails into a robot. However, while their backs were turned, Tails used his tail to stop the system from turning him into a robot. It is possible that is was used in the story, yet it has not been confirmed.
Appearances in Other Media
Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series)
In the Sonic the Hedgehog animated series, the device was originally created by Sir Charles Hedgehog with the intention of allowing the elderly to live longer. However, he was forced to abandon the project when test subjects began losing their free will. It was stolen by Dr. Robotnik, then known as Julian, Minister of War for the Acorn Kingdom of Mobius. Robotnik used the device to maintain his grip of terror over the planet, and in a moment of irony, Sir Charles was roboticized by his own creation. According to the Archie continuity, Sir Charles was also responsible for the roboticization of Sonic's father, Jules, and that Sir Charles had created the roboticizer so that the victims of the Great War (a conflict between the Mobians and the Overlanders) could be healed. This is why Jules, Sonic's father and Charles' younger brother, was the first to be roboticized by Charles as a test subject.
The roboticizer in Sonic Underground appears to function differently than its counterparts. Its background is never delved into and it can be assumed that Robotnik was solely responsible for its creation. While the roboticizers of SatAM and Archie completely convert flesh into metal, the SU roboticizer only carries the process out on some of the body. The subjects therefore bear resemblance to cyborgs, although there are exceptions (e.g. Argus). Interestingly, they still speak in robotic voices even when their mouth remains organic.
According to the Sonic the Hedgehog animated series, although the roboticizer robs its victims of their free will, people who have been put through the process maintain their overall awareness of everything that is going on around them. They simply are not in control of their actions. The "slave mind" effect can be fought, however. Sonic was able to help his Uncle Chuck regain his free will on multiple occasions, most notably through the use of emotion; Sonic finally managed to use his Uncle's emotional attachments and loyalties against his programming. However, if a subject is still roboticized, he or she can be plugged into a device that renders them subservient even after they have regained their free will.
In Sonic Underground, free will can be temporarily given to robians via use of the hedgehogs' medallions, although it requires a lot of their energy. While the hedgehogs encountered a Freedom Fighter that had been roboticized but retained his free will due to a malfunction in the roboticization process, there have never been any examples of a subject actively achieving free will in the same way that Uncle Chuck did in SatAM.
When Tails was roboticized in Sonic Lost World by the Zeti, he proved that the "slave mind" effect can be overwritten in the pre-programming phase by tampering with the controls to retain his free will.
The De-Roboticizer is a device that reverses the effects of Roboticization and was invented by Ceneca-9009. It would effectively render the Roboticizer useless. Unfortunately, the device suffers major drawbacks. In the Archie Comics, the De-Roboticizer models built on Mobius are unrefined, and also potentially lethal. In SatAM, the device's effects are only temporary, though they do allow the user to retain their free will. This happened in the case of Bunnie Rabbot and Sir Charles Hedgehog.
By far, the worst De-Roboticizer is found in Sonic Underground. In reality, the device is a fake, designed to scam money out of fearful aristocrats. The device supposedly restores people to normal, and can even serve to immunize them against Roboticization. Sadly, the device is a fraud, and Robotnik even made it into a Roboticizer to use on the Royal Hedgehogs as a trap. However, just as Sonia the Hedgehog was about to be roboticized, the inventor grew a conscience and pushed her out of the way, in the process getting himself roboticized.
The Robotizer is a device appearing in Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comics, which is similar to the Roboticizer but alien in origin. The Robotizer was created by the alien Bem and far predates the Roboticizer. The Robotizer has the ability to turn any flesh being into a robot equivalent, and any metal being into a flesh equivalent. It was created to turn the metallic alien Biotexans into flesh creatures, but this resulted in their death. As of Sonic the Hedgehog #123, every Robian (Roboticized Mobian) has been de-robotized with very few exceptions (such as Bunnie Rabbot and Sonic's father Jules, whose organic bodies would be unable to sustain themselves if they were de-robotized).
- The earliest Roboticizer seen in the Sonic cartoons, or at least a device that can turn living beings into robots, was in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode #48 "Black Bot the Pirate". Robotnik used a ray gun called the Robot-Transmogrifier Ray on Blackbeard to turn him into a robot, and later roboticized a whale to eat Sonic and Tails.
- Even before Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, one of promotional pictures from earlier, scraped Sonic cartoon shows different round-shaped illustration of Roboticizer, doing its regular process and is titled as Dr. Robotnik's Robotic Transformation Machine.
- Roboticizer at Mobius Encyclopedia, the Archie Sonic wiki