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The Tornado, as seen in Sonic Adventure.
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Sonic and Tails' red/blue planes able to transform into a jet-plane, battle walker or racing vehicle (depending on machine).
The Tornado (トルネード Torunēdo?) is a red vintage-style biplane in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It made its first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and has since featured in many other Sonic games. The original plane is owned by Sonic himself, but he freely allows Tails to borrow it. The Tornado is often depicted as a single-seater and is usually piloted by Tails, while Sonic or another character would stand on its wings. The Tornado is also known for appearing towards the end of a game where it usually arrives just in time to save a character from falling to his or her death. It has since become a staple icon of the series. This plane allows Sonic and Tails to travel long distances or high altitudes that Tails and Sonic wouldn't be able to safely get to normally.
The original Tornado is Sonic's personal plane that he used to travel from island to island. The Tornado was first introduced to the Sonic series in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, where the plane featured prominently in the Sky Chase Zone stage. Consisting of only one act with no boss to fight, Sky Chase put the player in control of Sonic (or Tails) as he walked on the wings of the tornado, piloted by Tails (or Sonic if playing as Tails). The Tornado was shot down by lasers while pursuing Dr. Robotnik and his flying battleship, Wing Fortress. It later reappeared, repaired and fitted with a jet engine which enabled it to reach Robotnik's spaceship on his way to the Death Egg. When Robotnik's space station was finally destroyed, Tails flew the plane to Sonic's rescue as he plunged from the sky (or the other way around).
Directly following Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the plane made a brief appearance in Sonic CD, where Tails is seen piloting it in the D.A. Garden / Play Music screen. It is then seen in the introductory cutscene of Sonic the Hedgehog 3, as the duo landed on the Floating Island and met with Knuckles the Echidna for the first time. At the end of Sonic & Knuckles, it is shown to have what is best described as a mechanical arm which catches the Master Emerald, as the plane rescues either one of the three characters (depending on which one was chosen).
A plane that may be the Tornado appears in the opening of Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball, although it is redesigned in this appearance. Sonic is seen riding on the wing as usual with Tails when it is shot down, depositing him into the waters outside Toxic Caves. It bears a resemblance to the later Tornado 2.
The Tornado then appeared as the means of a Special Stage in Sonic Triple Trouble, and had a brief cameo appearance in Knuckles' Chaotix. It appears only in the good ending, and is shown in the background of the credit roll with Sonic on its wings and Tails as the pilot, hovering behind the Chaotix Crew. The Tornado then made a very brief appearance in arcade game Sonic the Fighters, where it appeared in the opening clip as Sonic and Tails arrange the tournament.
In Sonic Adventure the Tornado got a slight update along with the characters, getting some yellow stripes and getting the jet engine built into the plane itself. It was used to chase down the Egg Carrier in another Sky Chase stage. This Sky Chase was very different from the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 one, as it involved shooting down robotic planes with the Tornado's machine gun and homing missiles instead of controlling Sonic to jump on them. After the stage was completed, the Egg Carrier fired a giant laser which blew off the Tornado's right wings, making it spin out of control and crash. It was apparently repaired as it was seen in the post-credits screen after Tails' playthrough.
The plane appeared in Sonic Pocket Adventure, in another Sky Chase Zone which, much like the other zones, played just like the one in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Its next appearance was in Sonic Advance, catching the player after finishing a Special Stage and after finishing the game. In the opening cutscene of Sonic Rush Adventure, Tails and Sonic appear flying during a thunderstorm while searching for an anomaly. The Tornado appears to have been modified to fit two passengers, as Sonic sits behind Tails. The Tornado crashes after being hit by lightning and losing engine power, where it is then sucked into a cyclone and transported to the Sol Dimension.
In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Sonic and his party use the Tornado to get around the world.
The Tornado returns in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, set sometime between Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles and Sonic Adventure. Tails lands it in Sylvania Castle Zone Act 1 and the adventure begins. It is also used in Sky Fortress Act 1, and it is used to battle Metal Sonic in his jet in the Boss Act.
In Sonic Lost World, the Tornado will appear with a slight redesign, appearing closer to its original incarnation while having sleeker edges.
In Sonic Adventure the Tornado was again made playable in a retread of the classic Sky Chase Zone, now in two acts instead of one. At the end of Act 1, the plane was finally shot down by the laser cannon of Dr. Eggman's Egg Carrier.
When Tails regained consciousness he went back to his workshop to finish the construction of his new blue-tinted experimental biplane, the Tornado 2 (トルネード2 Torunēdo Tsū?). Unlike the original Tornado, it required a Chaos Emerald to function. It was placed in the front of the craft with two engines to hold the power. After finding an Emerald and finishing the plane, Tails and Sonic went to chase the Egg Carrier yet again. This time they were more successful, as the Tornado 2 was capable of folding its wings into an X-shape to reach extreme speeds. After crash-landing on the Egg Carrier due to a lack of landing gear, it was found by Big the Cat and flown to Mystic Ruins, where it crash-landed again. After this, Chaos found it and stole the Chaos Emerald from it, largely wrecking the already damaged plane.
In Sonic Heroes, Tails flies the Tornado 2 in the beginning of Team Sonic's story, with Knuckles in the (apparently new) back seat. The Tornado 2 is in its X-shape used to catch up to Sonic and give him an important message from Eggman. After Sonic throws away the message, Tails and Knuckles jump out of the Tornado 2 and follow Sonic on foot, with the Tornado 2 flying off-screen, possibly on autopilot. Due to the lack of a Chaos Emerald on the Tornado 2, it can be assumed that Tails perfected its design and it no longer requires an Emerald to work correctly.
In Sonic Advance 3, the player rides atop the Tornado 2 in the special stages, maneuvering up, down, left and right to collect the required number of rings. The plane can also temporarily transform into its X-winged configuration by flying through blue portals, increasing the plane's speed, increasing the value of each collected ring times two, and leaving the player's character comically holding onto the plane for dear life. Failure to collect enough rings at either the halfway mark or at the end results in the Tornado throwing the players' character off and spinning off the screen out of control.
In Sonic Riders, the Tornado 2 is seen towards the end of the Hero Story, when Eggman steals the Babylon control box and flies to the Babylon Garden. Tails flies the Tornado over to the island, while Jet the Hawk controls the large Babylon Airship. Knuckles is sitting in the second seat, and Sonic is standing on the wings. Sonic heads down to catch Eggman, but Tails hands him a new gear first. The plane isn't seen again, though it can be assumed that Tails landed it on the Babylon Garden.
In Sonic Adventure 2, Tails has built a new Tornado plane similar to the Tornado 2 named the Cyclone (サイクロン Saikuron?), although it has the writing "P-3a" and "Tornado III" on it. Unlike the previous Tornadoes, it is a monoplane, and carries a large missile launcher behind the single seat. Most notably, the Cyclone can also transform into a walker mode and a car mode. The walker was Tails' main mode of transportation and offense in the game. The Cyclone was armed with a lock-on missile launcher very similar to that of E-102 Gamma along with a powerful gun known as the Volkan Cannon. It could also be upgraded with several new features, including the Laser Blaster, which increased the firing radius and missile explosion sizes, the Booster which allowed the Cyclone to slowly float downwards and hover for short periods, and the Bazooka which makes the Volkan Cannon stronger. A multiplayer costume for Tails makes it resemble the original Tornado, with different writing on the outside and a red paint job, although it is still identified as the Cyclone. It performs identically to the main costume in the Dreamcast release, but in subsequent versions this rendition is more mobile at the compromise of strength.
In Shadow the Hedgehog, Tails is looking for a Chaos Emerald near Eggman's Circus Park base when he is spotted by Shadow. Shortly after, the Cyclone is shot by one of Eggman's missiles, and it crashes. After starting the level Shadow finds Tails, but there is no sign of the Cyclone. In the intro movie before the "Space Gadget" and "Lost Impact" stages, Shadow meets up with Sonic, who is going to the Space Colony ARK. Shadow agrees to come with him, and they take off in a large spaceship which is built around the Cyclone, with the blue plane body visible at the front. Much like the early Tornado 2, this spaceship is powered by a Chaos Emerald (most likely because it could not achieve escape velocity without the additional power source).
In Sonic Unleashed, Tails offers Sonic the use of his Tornado-1 (トルネード号 Torunēdo-gou?), although this is not to be confused with the original Tornado. It is a newly-built Tornado plane with a more futuristic design. This plane has writing that reads "Tornado 03" near the rear, which can be seen when it transforms during both of the Tornado Defense Acts of the 360/PS3 version. The Tornado-1 also combines features of previous Tornado incarnations: the red paint job and outward construction of the original Tornado, the ability to transform into an X-shape like the Tornado 2, and the homing missiles found on the Cyclone.
In Sonic Generations, Modern Tails once again uses this version of the plane to race against Modern Sonic in a Vs. Mission in Green Hill. He uses its normal biplane mode and not its enhanced X-Shape transformation.
The Tornado-1 will make a cameo appearance in Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games in one of the bobsleigh event set in Speed Highway on a billboard that reads "faster than airmail."
In Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, Tails built a land based version of the Tornado capable of making fast turns with its short wing span. It was built with parts found after an attempted invasion by Dr. Eggman. It has a special move called the Tails Tornado capable of removing other vehicles and items on the path in front of him by summoning a miniature cyclone.
The Tornado Racer's engine output most likely was limited on purpose by Tails as if it were faster it would fly like a normal plane. The Tornado Racer has enough speed to hover over the ground, so its power was limited just enough, also if it gets launched off of a hill, it has a very slow descent suggesting its capabilities of flight. Also during Tails' Tornado, the Tornado Racer flies in the air along with the tornado that the move creates.
In other media Edit
The Tornado has appeared in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, in which it plays the same role as in the games. There was one bi-plane that was used early in the Archie series similar to the Tornado, called the "Winged Victory", but it was later stolen by Warlord Kodos and Uma Arachnis. Its location is currently unknown, but it is presumed destroyed.
The Tornado also appears in Sonic the Comic, and again plays the same role from the games. It was originally kept in a hangar in Sonic's Secret Underground Base, and used by Sonic and Tails to reach distant areas like the Wing Fortress Zone, Oil Ocean Zone, Hill Top Zone, and the Floating Island. When the base was discovered by Doctor Robotnik, the Freedom Fighters took the Tornado with them when they started going in disguise as Bob Beaky's Travelling Circus. They often towed the plane behind the caravan, hidden under a tarpaulin. The Tornado was eventually destroyed, along with the caravan, when Super Sonic went berserk and attacked his own teammates, leading Sonic to (temporarily) believe that he had killed his friends.
In Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, the Tornado is used to enter the Land of Darkness, where it crashes. Tails somehow takes it back home, where it is repaired and used to go to the frozen icecaps where Sonic and Metal Sonic are fighting. After arriving, the Tornado is destroyed by a rabbit-shaped missile fired by Eggman. It can be noted that Tails uses a pilot helmet in the movie.
The original Tornado appeared only briefly in the anime series Sonic X in one of Tails' flashbacks in episode 18. After seeing it, Tails refitted and repainted it, making it the Tornado 2.
The Tornado 2 is used in the first few episodes until it is rebuilt as the X Tornado in Episode 8. In Episode 52, it is rebuilt again as the Tornado 2 when Tails and his friends go back to their world, but with the ability to transform into a powerful jet-plane known as the Hyper Tornado. This version of the Tornado has two seats instead of just one.
The X Tornado is a large white jet plane introduced in Sonic X. It was created by Tails and Chuck Thorndyke. This jet plane appeared in episode eight called "Satellite Swindle" after Tails had to retreat with the Tornado 2. Tails tells Chuck that he needs something strong enough to beat Eggman's E-90 ship. Tails then tells Chuck that he needs more Chaos Emeralds, but Chuck tells him that if he uses that much power, the Tornado 2 would likely blow up. They then start to build the X Tornado. This jet deserts all of the Tornado's parts. It was used for transportation. This jet plane can also transform into a warrior-like robot with a sword and shield. It can also transform into a walker. In the third season, the X Tornado is painted gold, where it is part of the Blue Typhoon. Chris Thorndyke pilots the X Tornado in episode 56 "A Chilling Discovery". Later, in episode 73, "The Cosmo Conspiracy", Shadow breaks into the Blue Typhoon. Sonic, Chris and Knuckles try to stop him, but they all fail. Tails and Cosmo get in the jet to escape Shadow. Tails threatens to run him over in order to protect Cosmo. Shadow doesn't think a jet plane like that can stop him. He then destroys the jet plane. But in episode 78 Tails rebuilt the X Tornado.
Hyper Tornado Edit
An upgraded version of the Tornado 2, the Hyper Tornado was modified in secret by Chuck Thorndyke in Sonic X. In Episode 52, Tails discovers this during a late night battle with Eggman's Grand Egg Imperial battleship, along with a message from his friend Chuck explaining the modifications. The Hyper Tornado is about the same size as the X-Tornado, but only holds a single pilot. The Hyper Tornado also appears in the third season of Sonic X, where it is piloted by Chris Thorndyke.
(Despite being the Tornado 2, Chuck mispronounces it and says "X Tornado Transform")
The Tornado is 18.7ft in length (5.7m), it has a 12.1ft (3.7m) wingspan, it is 6.9ft (2.1m) in height, its primary engine is a 480HP, 12-Cylinder, air-cooled Twin Star and the secondary engine that is installed by Tails are two custom booster engines. The Tornado's maximum speed is 450km per hour if using the primary engine by itself and an astonishing 340 meters per second if both engines are used at the same time.
- The original Tornado was Sonic's plane. It is unknown who built it, although all subsequent Tornado machines are created and owned by Tails.
- When the Tornado appears at the end of Wing Fortress Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, it has a large jet engine attached to the underside, but this engine is gone in the game's ending. The engine is back at the beginning of Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and it reappears consistently in Sonic & Knuckles and Knuckles' Chaotix.
- A new Tornado was made by Tails before the events of Sonic Unleashed, although unlike the other Tornado models it was introduced with little fanfare. It is called the Tornado-1 in the English script, referencing the events of the Adventure series. However, it is instead known as the Tornado-gou in the Japanese script and in Tails' Japanese profile. Regardless, it is identified as the Tornado 03 on the craft itself, which may be another acceptable name.
- In real life, there have been several aircraft with the name "Tornado": a variable wing fighter/bomber/electronic warfare aircraft series called the Panavia Tornado, a 1940's fighter prototype called the Hawker Tornado, and an early jet bomber called the B-45 Tornado.
- The original Tornado's design doesn't seem to come from a specific aircraft; however, following its redesign from Sonic Adventure onwards, the Tornado 2 bears a striking resemblance to the Polikarpov I-153, a 1930s Soviet biplane fighter.
- At the end of Sonic & Knuckles, the Tornado is shown with "Sonic" written in reverse due to it facing the opposite way it usually is. This is because the sprite is simply flipped horizontally, instead of entirely new sprite being created.
- The X shaped wing of the Tornado 2 and the X Tornado bears design elements similar to the X-wing starfighter from the Star Wars series.
- The variable forms of the Cyclone and the X Tornado bears a resemblance to the variable modes of the Variable Fighter series from the Macross series. The X Tornado in flight form resemble Macross Plus and Macross 7's VF-11 Thunderbolt III's Fighter mode, a resemblance that is further reinforced later on with the appearance of the Blue Typhoon, whose flight deck resemble the flight deck of Battle 7 from Macross 7.
- "Wing walking" is an actual stunt that is historically associated with biplanes.
- In Sonic X when Tails introduces the X Tornado he calls it Tornado X. This was only for the episode it debuted in, as all other episodes featuring it had it being called X Tornado.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), and Sonic Colors are the only 3D main series games in which the Tornado doesn't make an appearance. Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), Sonic Chaos, Sonic 3D, Sonic Advance 2, and Sonic Rush are the only 2D series games where it doesn't appear either.
- In the Archie Comics, the Blue Tornado appears in the Sonic Rush Adventure comic when it was the original Tornado Tails and Sonic were in.
- Tornado 2 information card from Sonic X - features size and minor information (Japanese)
- X-Tornado information card from Sonic X - features size and minor information (Japanese)
- X-Cyclone information card from Sonic X - features size and minor information (Japanese)
- The Tornado's entry at Green Hill Zone - features technical specs and information (translated from the Japanese Sonic 2 manual).
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #6, "Attack on the Death Egg"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #7, "Super Sonic"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #20, "Hill Top Terror"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #33, "Enter Knuckles, Part 1"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #38, "Robotnik's Revenge, Part 2"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #81, "Running Wild, Part 2"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #104, "Flickies' Island, Part 1"
|Features of Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Chaos Control | Chaos Emeralds | Master Emerald | Rings | Special Stage | Star Posts | Item Boxes | Super transformation | Piko Piko Hammer|
|Earth | Mobius | Angel Island | South Island | Mystic Ruins | Central City | Station Square | Space Colony ARK|
|Eggmobile | The Tornado | Egg Carrier|
|Aliens | Eggman's robots (E-Series) | Mobians (Echidnas) | Eggman Empire|