Super transformation (スーパー化 Sūpā-ka?, lit. "Super form") is a recurring technique in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a transformation that an elite few can undergo when exposed to vast amounts of chaos energy, usually via the seven Chaos Emeralds. This lets the users enter a Super State (スーパー化 Sūpā-ka?, lit. "Super form")/super form (スーパー化 Sūpā-ka?) which bestows them with increased innate talents while usually granting flight and virtual invulnerability.
In gameplay, the super transformation allows the players to play with an empowered version of a character. It often serves as a story element needed to face a game's final boss, but has also been used as a game mechanic to help the player's performance in regular levels.
The super transformation is traditionally obtained in gameplay by collecting all of the Chaos Emeralds in addition to fifty Rings, as was the case in the Mega Drive/Genesis games starting with Sonic the Hedgehog 2. From Sonic Adventure and onward, however, the super transformation became more of a story element rather than a regular gameplay mechanic. In these cases, it only appears towards the end of the game, during the final boss battles, where the Chaos Emeralds are collected during the game story rather than during gameplay. In the recent games in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, however, while the super transformation for the most part still plays a large role in the story, it has returned to be unlocked in the same way as on the Genesis and is usable in regular gameplay.
Super transformation generally gives the character enhanced speed, similar to using a "High Speed" power up. The transformation also originally gave the character the same effect as the "Invincible" power up. In Sonic & Knuckles (and all games since), taking damage while using super transformation will result in the character being thrown back a small distance. Even with the transformation enabled, during gameplay the character can still die by falling in a bottomless pit, being crushed, drowning or if the timer expires. Also, in various games, the final boss is capable of damaging characters even when they are under a super transformation.
Another general super transformation ability is flight. This was originally unique to Super Sonic as he would fly above the ground at maximum speed, and take to full flight at the end of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The ability is now shared by all transformations and is a defining trait. A character can also hover in midair as, beginning with Sonic Adventure 2, the transformation is usually used in areas high above the ground. The air can also act as the ground as shown in Sonic Heroes, enabling the player to use the same controls as if in a regular level.
The super transformation is also known to enhance and increase the abilities and skills unique to the person itself, such as Shadow's chaos techniques and Silver's ESP abilities, and occasionally give additional abilities as well, based on the type of the transformation (Chaos Emeralds gives access to chaos energy-based attacks, the World Rings gives a trait of fire-based attacks, etc.). Though not displayed in gameplay, the super transformation can also increase the physical strength of the user, allowing unimaginable feats of strength.
The compromise in super transformation is that the power is sustained by Rings during gameplay. It originally took 50 Rings to enable the transformation, which are then gradually drained over time. Starting with Sonic R, players are no longer allowed to manually transform, but are simply given the ability through the story. Rings are used as a gameplay mechanic to limit how long the form can last. An exception to this is Sonic Riders, where only one Ring is needed. Should the user run out of Rings during a final boss battle, it results as an instant loss of a life, usually due to the user being in unsurvivable conditions (such as plummeting to the user's death).
Although it is a power up in itself, the super transformation can be powered up further. To do this, the player must collect all seven of the Chaos Emeralds and reactivate them in their powered up state as the "Super Emeralds." Once transformed, the character will then leave afterimages in their wake and be given an ability to instantly kill all enemies on screen (excluding boss battles) as seen in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.
In the original games, this feature was used by collecting the seven Chaos Emeralds in "Special Stages". However, in almost all games since Sonic Adventure, it has been saved mainly for the final boss battle.
It was said by Sonic in the fight against the Finalhazard in Sonic Adventure 2 that continuous usage of super transformation will cause the user to disappear. So far, this phenomenon has not yet been seen in the series. However, this may be a mistranslation, as the Japanese version does not mention this at all.
It is possible to share the ability of super transformation, allowing the Super State user to let others achieve a Super State of their own by passing their power onto them, while still maintaining their own super transformation. The earliest occurrence of this happening is in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles; when Tails uses his Super State, it also affects four Flickies who would appear around Super Tails. Super Sonic later does the same thing with Tails and Knuckles in Sonic Heroes, and with Shadow and Silver in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
List of Super States
Much like the "Power Up" enhancements of the Sonic Adventure games, super transformations are character specific. The visual appearance of the transformation and the attacks enabled are character dependent. The transformations and the abilities that they can use are listed below:
- Classic Super Knuckles: Classic Knuckles' Super State. He can attain this form using the power of his world's Chaos Emeralds. While transformed, Knuckles' red fur gains a pulsating pink glow. As Super Knuckles, Knuckles commands abilities like increased speed, flight and virtual invulnerability.
- Classic Super Sonic: Classic Sonic's Super State. He can attain this form using the power of the Chaos Emeralds or his world's equivalent of them. In this form, Sonic's fur changes to a gold color, and his quills stand up. He gains increased speed, strength, agility etc. in this state, along with abilities like flight, virtual invulnerability and different Chaos Powers.
- Classic Super Tails: Classic Tails's Super State. He can attain this form using the power of his world's Chaos Emeralds. When transformed, his fur gains a bright, pulsating glow. His abilities in this form consist of increased innate talents, flight without using his twin-tails, and virtual invulnerability.
- Flicky's Super State: The Super State of the Flickies. They can attain this form indirectly through the Super Emeralds' power. In this form, the Flickies gain a pulsating golden plumage. Abilities they command include increased power and virtual invulnerability.
- Perfect Chaos: Chaos' Super State. It can attain this form with the negative energy of the seven Chaos Emeralds. Instead of turning golden like the traditional Super State when transforming, Chaos gains a more monstrous appearance with reptilian eyes, a wide mouth and tentacles. In this form, Chaos' hydrokinetic abilities are enhanced to the point that it can control floods. It can also project destructive energies.
- Pir'Oth Ix's Super State: Imperator Ix's Super State. He was able to attain this state using the residual chaos energy left behind in Nocturne. When transformed, Ix shreds his armor and he gains a pulsating cyan aura. He possesses all of his usual powers and abilities, but on a far greater level.
- Super Knuckles: Knuckles the Echidna's Super State. He can attain this form through the power of the seven Chaos Emeralds. This form initially changed Knuckles' fur from red to pink, but later gave him a golden shield instead. As Super Knuckles, Knuckles commands abilities like increased strength and speed, flight and invulnerability.
- Super Shadow: Shadow the Hedgehog's Super State. Shadow is able to attain this form using the power of the seven Chaos Emeralds. In this form, Shadow's black fur turns a shiny lemon chiffon color and his orange-red eyes become completely red. While transformed, he gains an increase in speed and power, along with the ability to fly and virtual invulnerability. His Chaos Powers are also enhanced to their full limit.
- Super Silver: Silver the Hedgehog's Super State. Silver can attain this form by harnessing the seven Chaos Emeralds' power. In this form, Silver's fur becomes a golden white, his chest fur turns dark gold, the cyan markings on his attire turn golden, his yellow eyes become red, and his rear quills float upward. As Super Silver, Silver's innate talents are greatly increased, including his psychokinetic abilities, and he gains the power of flight without the usage of his psychokinesis and virtual invulnerability.
- Super Sonic: Sonic the Hedgehog's Super State and his most frequently-used transformation. He attains this form with the power of the seven Chaos Emeralds. In this form, Sonic's fur changes from blue to gold, his eyes turn from green to red, and his quills stand up. He gains increased speed, strength, agility etc. in this state, along with the powers of flight, virtual invulnerability and different Chaos Powers. His positive chaos energy can also neutralize negative energy and calm people possessed by rage.
- Super Tails: Miles "Tails" Prower's Super State. He can attain this form with the seven Chaos Emeralds (originally the Super Emeralds). Originally, his fur would gain a pulsating glow in this form, but he would later get surrounded by a golden sphere instead. His abilities in this form consist of increased innate talents, flight without using his twin-tails, and invulnerability.
- Mecha Sonic's Super State: Mecha Sonic's Super State. It can attain this form by tapping power directly from the Master Emerald. While transformed, Mecha Sonic turns from blue to golden-orange and is capable flight and firing energy weapons.
- Ultimate G-merl: G-merl's Super State. G-merl can attain this form using the power of the seven Chaos Emeralds. In this form, he turns into a disk-shaped version of himself with four extendable arms with claw-like hands that can fire different kinds of energy beams and missiles.
While not classified as Super States, similar transformation methods exists. Like the super transformation, these transformations are triggered by different objects of power, such as the Chaos Emeralds, Sol Emeralds, World Rings, or the sacred swords:
- Alf Layla wa-Layla: The transformation attained by Erazor Djinn using the uncontrolled power of the seven World Rings. When transformed, Erazor turns into a twisted and grotesque genie demon with a single eye, no nose, an enormous mouth with shark-like teeth, six arms, and a bulging torso. His legs also become long, thin, and segmented, and he gains a sharp tail. Since this is an incomplete transformation, Erazor loses his sanity in the process. While in this state, Erazor can create lines of fire, shoot barrages of energy balls, create dark whirlpools and form blasts of spiritual energy.
- Burning Blaze: The transformation attained by Blaze the Cat using the power of the seven Sol Emeralds. This form is her world's equivalent to the super transformation. In this state, Blaze's lavender fur turns pink, her ponytail details disappear, and her tail tip turns red. Her jacket also turns red with a golden trim and her gloves and shoes' cuffs are engulfed in pink flames. While transformed, she possesses increased speed, strength and pyrokinesis, as well as flight and virtual invulnerability.
- Dark Queen: The transformation attained by Merlina the Wizard using the Scabbard of Excalibur. In this state, Merlina takes on a witch-like form; she gains violet-blue hair, amber yellow eyes, white skin, and darker, more elaborate clothes. As the Dark Queen, Merlina's magic is greatly enhanced and she can both create or transform into a ghostly version of King Arthur.
- Darkspine Sonic: The transformation attained by Sonic the Hedgehog using the World Rings of rage, hatred and sadness. A partial transformation of what can be considered the Arabian Nights' version of the super transformation, Sonic's fur and arms turn indigo while his skin turns white, and he gains white stripes on his feet, wrists and up along his forehead. His eyes also become blank and his shoes and gloves are changed into golden bands around his ankles and wrists. While Sonic becomes more aggressive due to the World Rings' influence, he also gains increased strength, flight, pyrokinesis and control over the Arabian Nights' reality.
- Excalibur: The transformation attained by Caliburn with the rekindled magical power of all the sacred swords. In this form, Caliburn gains rubies in his pulled back hilt, and a glowing outer blade around his physical blade. The greatest of all the sacred swords, Excalibur can cut through anything, deflect magical attacks, and form a golden meteor with Excalibur Sonic.
- Excalibur Sonic: The transformation attained by Sonic the Hedgehog using the magical power of the sacred swords. While not undergoing a transformation himself, Sonic dons a glimmering golden armor with a red cape that covers his entire body. In this state, Sonic wields the legendary sword Excalibur, along with increased strength, agility and speed, the ability to fly and energy projection in conjunction with Excalibur.
- Hyper Mode: A lesser state of the super transformation which appeared in Sonic the Fighters and is usable by all characters. It is achieved using the eight Chaos Emeralds in the game. Rather than undergoing a full super transformation, the users only tap into a fraction of the Emeralds' power and gains a sparking aura. This state boosts the users' attacks and speed and unlocks special moves exclusive to the Hyper Mode.
- Hyper Knuckles The transformation attained by Knuckles the Echidna using the power of the seven Super Emeralds. This form is generally an empowered version of Super Knuckles as the Super Emeralds are enhanced forms of the Chaos Emeralds. In this state, Knuckles' red fur turns into a pulsating pink, much like Super Knuckles. With this form, he gains an upgraded and more powerful version of Super Knuckles' abilities.
- Hyper Sonic: The transformation attained by Sonic the Hedgehog using the power of the seven Super Emeralds. With the Super Emeralds being empowered versions of the Chaos Emeralds, this form is a heightened version of Sonic's super transformation. In this state, Sonic's fur flashes in multiple colors. His quills also stand up and he gets surrounded by flashing sparks. Hyper Sonic shares all of Super Sonic's abilities, except they are all upgraded and more powerful. He also gains the ability to breathe underwater.
- Master Core: ABIS: The transformation attained by SCR-HD with the five Arks of the Cosmos and the artificial black hole in Astral Babylon. When transformed, SCR-HD becomes a towering entity; its original body's upper part increases in size and becomes slightly deranged, and its lower body consists of a miniature black hole. Due to the raw power from the arks, SCR-HD gains some slight savage behavior. In this state, SCR-HD can manipulate gravity, summon meteors, shoot electric bolts and teleport.
- In Knuckles' Chaotix, the final boss resembled Metal Sonic. It was red and several stories tall, with more pronounced features such as sharp teeth and larger metal quills. Prior to it's appearance, Robotnik and the normal Metal Sonic are last seen making their escape off-screen with a Chaos Ring (which possess chaos energy like the Chaos Emeralds), it appears with no context and thus it is not known if this is a transformation of Metal Sonic or a separate entity.
- Knuckles' Emerald Power All-Star Move, where he is empowered by the Master Emerald, gives him similar traits to a Super State character.
- In Debug Mode in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic & Knuckles, and the combined games Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles the player can also break open an Item box with an "S" on it in order to use a super transformation.
- Super Sonic is the most used super transformation, followed by Super Shadow, and then by Perfect Chaos times.
- The sound effect for activating super transformation in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles is the same as Kaiser Greedy's Black Hole attack in Ristar.
- Blaze, Cosmo, Merlina and Nicole are the only female characters who have been depicted with a transformation.
- Other series have had nods to the super transformation like Gold Sparkster from the Rocket Knight series or the form Pac-Man takes at the end of Pac-Man World 2.
- The super transformation is similar to the Super Saiyan transformation, with the blonde hair, increased strength and speed, and more.
- Takashi Iizuka has addressed in public that Super States are currently restricted to male hedgehogs, explaining for Knuckles and Tails' loss of their Super States. Blaze gets around this restriction due to the Sol Emeralds and her status as their guardian.
- ↑ Sonic Team (February 6, 2004). Sonic Heroes. PlayStation 2. Sega. Area/level: Metal Overlord. "Cream the Rabbit: Everyone! Watch your Ring count! You won't be able to use super transformation if you lose all your Rings."
- ↑ "If you're in a Super State, you can use the left stick to fly up, down, left or right, and use the A button to accelerate." - Knuckles during the first phase of the battle with Solaris in the Xbox 360 version of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
- ↑ "Gutha...! I don't have enough energy to change into my super form!" - Shadow the Hedgehog during the battle with the Finalhazard in Sonic Adventure 2.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Takoushi, Tony (18 June 1993). Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (The Official SEGA Solid Gold Guides). Scholastic Ltd. ISBN 978-0590553773.
- ↑ Sonic Adventure: Official Strategy Guide by BradyGames
- ↑ Sonic 3 - Secrets of the Games - Official Play Guide by Carlton Books
- ↑ Sonic Adventure 2: Prima's Official Strategy Guide by Kaizen Media Group
- ↑ Sonic Heroes: Prima's Official Strategy Guide by Kaizen Media Group
- ↑ Sonic & Knuckles by Michael Teitelbaum and Ron Zalme
- ↑ Sonic Team (May 3, 2002). Sonic Adventure 2. GameCube. Sega. Area/Level: Finalhazard. "Sonic the Hedgehog: Shadow! Continuous use of your super form will cause you to disappear! Get back to the Colony!"
- ↑ This item is accessed through the use of the debug mode in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic & Knuckles, and the combined games Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles and Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic 2.