So when the sun goes down, I turn into...this?!
— Sonic the Werehog, Sonic Unleashed
Sonic the Werehog (ソニック・ザ・ウェアホッグ Sonikku za Ueahoggu?) is Sonic the Hedgehog's bestial werewolf-like form in Sonic Unleashed. This form was created when Sonic accidentally absorbed a large dose of Dark Gaia's energy, although the transformation itself would only be triggered by nighttime and remain active until daytime. Due to this form's unique traits, Sonic the Werehog is arguably a hedgehog/Gaia Gaia's Minion hybrid. Sonic lost this form permanently when Dark Gaia reclaimed the energy that caused the transformation.
Concept and Design
Early art of the Werehog was made by a Sega member named Tanahashi. He changed Sonic's general form into something more strong looking. The shoulder and the head are connected by a single line, and his chest is much more broad, giving his body the appearance of an inverse triangle. The final design, he said, was a "silly design"; it was made when he was getting started with the Werehog. He based the design to that of a Yeti.
In this form, Sonic resembles a werewolf and he gains more muscle mass and weight. He grows slightly larger, his torso becomes broader, his muzzle becomes longer, his hands get larger, and his arms grow thick, longer and muscular. Additionally, he grows nail-like claws on his fingers, he gains a lush and heavy dark blue fur, his skin becomes pale blue, and his teeth become fangs. He also gains fur in places in new places, such as on his arms and chest. Traits of white fur also appear on his wrists, the end of his quills and on his chest. Likewise, his ears become more curved, and his lips become black.
For attire, Sonic loses his white gloves, exposing his hands, and his socks becomes slightly frilled in the back. The white stripe on his shoes is replaced with grey metal that has three spikes on the surface, his soles are now covered with small metal spikes.
Sonic was gained this form for the first time when Dr. Eggman used a machine to painfully extract the power of the Chaos Emeralds from Super Sonic, with which Eggman would fire a specialized laser weapon at the planet, releasing and awakening the creature known as Dark Gaia from the core of the planet. In the process, due to his close proximity to the Chaos Emeralds, some of Dark Gaia's energy infested Sonic's body, causing his transformation. Sonic only transforms at night because that is the only time of day when Dark Gaia can move about and affect people. When transforming into the Werehog (or transforming back to normal), a light and a cloud of purple smoke envelops him.
Sonic the Werehog features a much different gameplay than Sonic's normal form. He attacks with his arms and fist instead, which can stretch out and hit his foes. In nighttime stages, Sonic loses his speed and must fight through swarms of enemies with his increased strength. Rather than using a counted number of rings, Sonic uses a health bar, where collecting rings refills the bar. Aside from the usual ability of Sonic being able to race down ramps throughout the levels, in Werehog form you must get across gaps in a tightrope walking fashion.
Sonic retains most of his normal abilities and personality in this form as well as the ability to speak, though with more of a growl than normal. It appears, however, that Sonic gains some minor bestial behavior while in this form, as he howls like a real wolf at the beginning of a night stage, during the Dark Gaia Phoenix boss fight, or upon getting an A-rank or S-rank. He can also run on all fours like a real wolf and fight in a more vicious way than his normal self. Therefore, it can basically just be considered a darker, more feral form of Sonic rather than as a split-personality monster like other interpretations of werewolves. Despite this, however, Sonic the Werehog still has Sonic the Hedgehog's good heart. This is primarily due to his will, which is too strong for Dark Gaia to control in any way.
Before the final showdown with Dark Gaia, Dark Gaia re-absorbed its remaining power that Sonic had incidentally taken at the start of the game, stripping Sonic of his Werehog form for good.
Other game appearances
Powers and abilities
Due to his transformation giving him increased muscular density, Sonic gains a noticeable increase in physical strength, allowing him to open sealed doors and entrances, effortlessly pick up, throw, and swing large enemies and objects, destroy metal vaults with one hit and even topple creatures several times his size, such as the Titan and the Dark Gaia Phoenix. While he loses his trademark super speed, Sonic can still run faster than the average human by dashing on all fours. He also retains his normal lightning fast reflexes and agility, and a small degree of his jumping skills.
In this form, Sonic is able to stretch his arms over long distances in an instant. It is unknown how far he can stretch his arms, however. Sonic mainly uses this ability in combat, allowing him to increase his attack range, grab enemies from long distances, build momentum for his attacks and create various forms of combat moves with the energy of Dark Gaia. He can even enlarge his arms and hands to increase the power and range of his attacks even further. Besides combat, Sonic can also use this ability to travel around, such as grabbing onto ridges and swinging from pole to pole.
Sonic the Werehog is capable of harnessing the energies of Dark Gaia, possibly due to the creature being the source of this form, for different applications. He can apply it in hand-to-hand combat to empower his attacks, put up a powerful energy shield when guarding, and harness excess Dark Gaia Force. Gathering up enough of this energy lets Sonic enter his Unleashed Mode, a temporary state that increases his strength, speed and durability.
Techniques and Moves
Sonic the Werehog uses a type of feral hand-to-hand combat to fight his enemies. Basically, when using his fists, Sonic can deal greater damage, but only in a focused area and when using his claws, he can attack several opponents at once, but the damage will be much less.
In this form, Sonic is slower compared to his normal form, which makes him less able to outrun his foes and forces him to adapt a new fighting style. Sonic is also unable to control this transformation, since it automatically activates and ends according to the sun. He cannot also grind, due to his lack of balance in this state. The Werehog also often fails when trying to communicate with humans, since people usually are afraid of him because of his appearance, and therefore he cannot be very social. This takes a toll on Sonic, making him feel depressed and somewhat unable to face those he knows, as seen when Amy does not recognize him while he was a Werehog. Sonic also gets a more of a temper in this form, as seen in Night of the Werehog.
In other media
Sonic the Werehog has also appeared in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. His first, albeit non-canon, appearance was in Sonic the Hedgehog #193, during the brief Sonic Unleashed adaptation which took place in the "In Another Time, In Another Place" reality.
Sonic the Werehog's first "true" appearance was in Sonic the Hedgehog #264, shortly after Sonic the Hedgehog came into contact with some concentrated Dark Gaia Energy. Each time under extreme stress following that, Sonic would start transform into the Werehog, only for it to subdue. When caught by the Soumerca Egg Army however, Sonic finally turned into Werehog and briefly lost control. After receiving training from Moss the Sloth though, Sonic gained control over his Werehog form.
- "Oh yeah! That's right baby!" - Sonic after getting an S-rank in the 360/PS3 version of Sonic Unleashed.
- "How do you like that, huh?" - Sonic after getting an S-rank in the Wii/PS2 version of Sonic Unleashed.
- "You've really... Gone and done it this time, Eggman!" - Sonic after being transformed into a Werehog.
- "I know little girls who are better with a hammer than you! Well, one, anyway." - Sonic after defeating the Dark Guardian in Shamar in the 360/PS3 version of Sonic Unleashed.
- "G-Geez, Eggman! Simmer down!" - Sonic falling midway through fighting the Egg Dragoon.
- "Wow! I rule!" - Sonic after getting a B-rank in the 360/PS3 version of Sonic Unleashed and after getting an A-rank in the Wii/PS2 version of Sonic Unleashed.
- "Do I need a reason to want to help out a friend?" - Sonic after Chip recovers his memory and tries to leave to fight Dark Gaia on his own.
- "Strike three monster, that's enough out of you!" - Sonic after defeating the Dark Gaia Phoenix in the 360/PS3 version of Sonic Unleashed.
- "I'm fine. I just need to be careful who sees me like this!" - The second time Sonic turns into a Werehog.
- "Uh oh! Did I fall on him?" - Sonic believing that he fell on Chip, causing him to lose his memory.
- "Mister Monster Guy?! Looks like things have gotten pretty ugly." - After Chip called him "Mister Monster Guy".
- "Aww, can I start over?" - After getting a D-rank on the 360/PS3 version of Sonic Unleashed and after getting a B rank on the Wii/PS2 version of said game.
- "Hmm, not so bad!" - After getting a C-rank on the 360/PS3 version of Sonic Unleashed.
- "Hmm, not so hot." - After getting a C-rank in the Wii/PS2 version of Sonic Unleashed.
- "Darn!" - After getting an E-rank on the 360/PS3 version of Sonic Unleashed.
|The Battle:Theme of the Werehog||Kenichi Tokoi||3:27|
- Sonic's gloves were torn apart during the first transformation. Because of this, Sonic the Werehog is one of the few non-robotic characters to not wear gloves. Oddly, when he turns back into normal Sonic, his gloves magically repair themselves. In the 360/PS3 version of Sonic Unleashed, Chip will even acknowledge this if the player feeds him enough food by asking, "Where do you put your gloves at night?"
- Sonic the Werehog is based on the famous mythical creature the Werewolf.
- The term "Werehog" is derived from the words "werewolf" and "hedgehog." However, this is a misnomer. The word "Were", as used in the term "Werewolf", derives from the Old English "wer" which is a Latin word meaning "man", making the term literally "Man-wolf", a man who became a wolf. Literally, this means the term "Werehog" means "Man-hog" which is an incorrect, making Sonic a man that becomes a hog.
- In Unleashed Mode, Sonic will spread his claws out and breath heavily, much like a real wolf when it's provoked.
- Sonic's ability to stretch and extend his arms in this form is a trait that several of Dark Gaia's Minions possess, especially the Nightmare variant. This might be due to Dark Gaia's energy being the source of both Sonic the Werehog's and Dark Gaia's Minions' powers.
- Sonic the Werehog is the second of Sonic's transformations to have a profile on Sonic Channel, the first one being Super Sonic.
- In the 360/PS3 version of Sonic Unleashed, if a player would press the jump button just as he/she grabs a ledge, the Werehog would perform a spin jump similar to Sonic's.
- Sonic the Werehog is not the first character created by Sega to have elastic/stretchy arms: Ristar, another character conceived around the time of Sonic the Hedgehog, was the first in his 1996 debut Ristar the Shooting Star, along with Chaos from Sonic Adventure.
- In 2009 a Sonic costume pack for Little Big Planet was released with a Werehog costume along with the Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Eggman costumes.
- The Werehog bears some resemblance to Darkspine Sonic, as both of them are more violent than Sonic in his usual form and use punches and kicks rather than energy and spinning attacks. Both of them are also powered by some kind of dark energy. In the Werehog's case, Dark Gaia energy powers him; and in Darkspine Sonic's, the World Rings of Hatred, Rage and Sadness, which are negative feelings.
- Darkspine Sonic and Werehog Sonic are also the only forms were Sonic isn't wearing gloves
- In the PS3/Xbox 360 versions, Sonic the Werehog's Skill, Aerial Piledriver, looks similar to Zangief's signature move Spinning Piledriver from Street Fighter.
- In addition to this, there is another move known as the Sho-Hog-Ken, a reference to Street Fighter's famous Shoryuken uppercut.
- Sonic fought the Egg Dragoon as the Werehog at night. But moments later, when Dark Gaia becomes Perfect Dark Gaia, Amy states, "It was broad daylight a minute ago!", implying that it had been day for several hours. Amy was in Shamar, which is east of Eggmanland on the map screen, so it was at least sunrise in Eggmanland. If this is so, Sonic probably should not have fought the Egg Dragoon at night.
- Granted, he was far underground, away from the sun, and near a large amount of Dark Gaia energy.
- The Werehog is very similar to Dark Jak from Jak II: Renegade as they are both powered by dark forces (Dark Gaia/Dark Eco) and both can have upgrades to expand their attacks.
- In the opening of Sonic Unleashed, Sonic the Werehog's fangs are noticeably sharp, defined, and smooth. However, for the rest of the game, his fangs appear shorter and more in line with the rest of his teeth.
- In 2008, Jazwares released a Sonic the Werehog action figure. This figure was the only one that was discontinued, due to the yellow card.