SWATbots (スワットボット Suwattobotto?) are humanoid robot shock troopers, that are originally derived from the Archie Comics. Designed by War Minister Julian (who would later become the evil Dr. Ivo Robotnik) for use during the Great War, early SWATbot units were initially under the control of the Kingdom of Acorn, but were reprogrammed when Julian rechristened himself Dr. Robotnik and took near total control of Mobius in the year 3224. Years later, Robotnik programmed all SWATbot units with the code "Priority One", which ordered them to specifically pursue the Mobian rebel Sonic on sight, who became the dictator's arch-nemesis.
Following their introduction, the SWATbots have been adapted into several continuities in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, before briefly being adapted into the video game continuity as well.
Standard SWAT-Bots are humanoid shaped robots, shiny metallic black, and stand at roughly six feet tall. They possess retractable wrist blasters.
SWATbots contain no personality. They are drones in every sense of the word. SWATbots contain a rudimentary survival system to avoid unnecessary destruction, but have no compunction about charging into the thick of battle. The robots only obey Dr. Robotnik. When ordered, they will also obey Snively.
The SWATbots are heavily depended upon by Doctor Robotnik to maintain his rule over Mobius. They are projections of his power, able to crush resistance wherever encountered and roboticize helpless Mobians into the growing horde of Worker-Bots slaving under his tyranny. SWATbots react loudly at the sight of Freedom Fighters, and will chase them down relentlessly by any means possible. If Sonic is spotted, the SWATbots all act under the "PRIORITY ONE" alert system, and will drop any other task to try and kill or capture him.
The SWATbots are very class-oriented (specialized). Due to specialization, some other varieties exist. Hover-SWATs are more alien in construction than the standard SWATbot. A dull gray in color, with red highlights on the head and blue tones on their arms and chest. Consisting of an upper half of a torso, the Hover-SWAT is approximately three feet in height, not including the hover-sled, which adds another two feet. The sled itself, from bow to stern, appears close to six feet in length. Like their brother model, the Hover-SWAT observes the area around it with a single optical sensor, triangular in shape, with a purple tint. Their heads are long and sharp, extending back into a flat fin, which possibly helps for aerodynamics.
SWATbots were developed by War Minister Julian and his assistant Snively during the Great War, and they were called "Peace-Bots". The original SWAT-bots were created to alleviate front-line casualties for the Kingdom of Acorn. The robots, along with the tactical genius of Julian, helped the embattled kingdom survive the conflict in relatively good order. After the closing days of the war, the SWATbots served as an interim police force in the capital of Mobotropolis, effectively preserving order in the war-weary city.
As the King approved Julian's plan to dismantle the military, he was unaware of the treason that his War Minister was brewing. Julian had no desire to scrap the robots. Instead, he altered the SWAT-bots' programming to only obey him. In the Archie Continuity, Robotnik had his nephew Snively begin retrofitting them with laser weaponry. (In SatAM, they were already heavily armed supersoldiers: see above)
On the darkest day of Mobian history, Mobotropolis was attacked. In SatAM, Julian Ivo Robotnik used his spaceship to assault the palace, while the SWAT-bots attacked the populace, the coup was over within two hours. In the Archie Comics, Julian, now Robotnik, used the SWAT-bots to surround the palace and capture the King, and then arrest the population of Mobotropolis at large. In both continuities, eventually 85% of the citizenry was rounded up and fed through the roboticizer, doomed to be slaves for the rest of their lives as Worker-Bots.
In the early days after his takeover , Dr. Robotnik employed SWATbots as his main labor and military force. While Robotnik would usually use lesser Badniks (such as Burrowbots or Buzzbombers) for engagements against the Freedom Fighters, SWATbots were used more frequently for recon, patrol and labor, as well as roboticizing Mobians. All SWATbots are programmed with a directive dubbed "Priority One" in which they attack and pursue Sonic on sight, regardless of their current status.
In other media
Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series)
Several varieties of SWATbots exist in Sonic the Hedgehog animated series. SWATbots view the world with a single red-tinted optical visor, which blinks when communicating or processing data. Melee spikes protrude from the joints and head, while large "fins" occupy the forearms.
The standard SWATbots were armed standard with pulse blaster rifles with stun or kill settings which were slung on their backs when not in use, and also have wrist-mounted blaster weapons. They also have a flashlight built into the right forefinger, and an on-board communication system in the right arm. They can also have wield grapple hook launchers and other devices. Standard SWATbots pilot Robotnik's Hover-Units, which are large, heavily armed, bulbous vehicles resembling the hovercraft used by Dr. Robotnik, Hover-Tanks, which are low-altitude, uncovered Hover-Units with a large mounted blaster, and Mega-muck Units. They can also pilot unnamed yellow mechs that were able to fold up their limbs and use built-in wheels to travel like a car. The design of the mech seem somewhat similar to E-102 Gamma and other E-100 series of robots, which are introduced in Sonic Adventure. There are also red-armored models that have two wrist blasters, instead of one. The red models usually employ air bikes for higher mobility and firepower.
All SWATbots were very durable, highly resistant to their own weapons, including artillery, and were often able to quickly recover from anything less than a Super Sonic Spin Attack. They are not, however fully waterproof, and any substantial amount of water (such as a lake or flood) would destroy them. They are unaffected by rain.
In the pilot episode "Heads or Tails", SWATbots were quite different in color and mannerisms. Instead of a uniform dark color, the robots sported an alternating gray and white paint job. They also had more of a personality, laughing at Snively's bumbling, then snapping back to attention as he pointed a dangerous remote in their direction. In this episode, the SWATbots were voiced by Frank Welker. These designs and attitudes were summarily dropped for the rest of the series.
Sonic Christmas Blast
SWATbots made an appearance in Sonic Christmas Blast special, where they have drastically different and cartoonish appearances comparing to the ones in the animated series and comics. They are created by Doctor Ivo Robotnik to steal all of the people's Christmas presents in all around of Mobius. Many SWATbots are also seen guarding the real Santa Claus, who is held in prison at north pole. When Sonic finds out and arrives at the North Pole, SWATbots start firing at him and Tails with a huge ice cannon. Despite this, Sonic spins around the SWATbots and the ice cannon while creating a round-shaped ice floe that swings them and ice cannon into the cold water.
A bulkier variety of SWATbot breed exists in the TV series Sonic Underground. They come in several variations, use multiple vehicles, and all have orders to capture Sonic and his siblings (whenever the SWATbots spot any of the three they exclaim "Priority 1, Hedgehog alert" and attack them). However, these SWATbots are incredibly inefficient, being very vulnerable to water and laser fire, and having an easily accessed control panel on their arm. They are usually armed with energy guns, referred to as lasers. They would fire a steady stream of energy, unlike the blasters weapons in the earlier cartoon. Maurice LaMarche provided the voices of the SWATbots.
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
SWATbots made an appearance in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood as enemies that can be fought by the player, where they called "Swat Bots". In this game, they are referred to as very old models of Eggman's robots.
Following Dr. Eggman's presumed death and the Nocturnus Clan's attempt to escape from the Twilight Cage, the Swat Bots were found by the Nocturnus Clan, who took control of them and began using them as a part of their own forces. They also come in a stronger variant called Swatbot Mk. II.
- The term "SWATbot" is likely a pun on the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) division of police officers.
- Troopers are the Sonic the Comic variety of SWATbots.
- Their appearance in Sonic Underground and Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood reassembles the Dark Troopers from the Star Wars Legends continuity.