My Top-10 Sonic Characters
Some time ago, I made a list of my favourite Sonic Characters. Back when I made it though, I was super self-conscious about including only characters from the games and as a result, the list was honestly a bit dull. Now, I decided it was high time to bring the list back for a re-do and finally make it a proper Top-10. There’s a few new entries and I’ve decided not to be as pedantic about including characters outside the game canon this time. Still, Scratch and Grounder still didn’t make the cut. Even though they are the only thing worth seeing in the god awful Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, they aren’t iconic enough for me to really include. So instead they’ll get an honourable mention.
A character I featured on the previous list but sadly will not be making it this time is Tikal, the daughter of the Echidna chieftain who died tragically in the back-story of Sonic Adventure and who sends visions from the past to help the heroes battle that game’s ultimate adversary, Chaos. This time, story reasons for characters don’t count as much for positions on the list (although, to be frank, the order is completely arbitrary anyway) and so I felt Tikal really had to go, even though I think she’s super cute and that her back story is super sad.
Well, enough yammerin’, let’s finally get the list on the way.
This pick probably surprises no-one and Gamma survives on the Top-10, still, on the strength of his narrative. He has easily the most interesting and serious storyline outside the main plot of Sonic Adventure. Gamma is sent to search for Big the Cat’s frog in order to gain the Chaos Emerald it swallowed but eventually Gamma breaks free of Eggman’s control when he’s confronted by Amy Rose.
Afterwards, Gamma goes on a mission to free his brethren and himself from Eggman’s control by destroying them in combat. Gamma is just the most compelling of the non-main story characters that he deserved a mention here. However, he is definitely the least interesting of the characters on this list from a personality point-of-view, so he won’t be getting any higher.
Shadow’s definitely come down on the list a bit but fret not, he is still the only Sonic look-a-like character worth anything in the franchise. Shadow has a rather depressing backstory of being a science experiment who has to see his creator die. This leads to a lot of the action in Sonic Adventure 2 and it really is Shadow’s story rather than anyone else’s.
Shadow is definitely a bit of a dick and his personality is quite straight-forward for the most part. However, in the end, his heart is in the right place (even if it takes him the whole of the game to finally realise it) and I even enjoy the relationship he has with Rouge.
However, he is definitely one of the less colourful figures in the Sonic canon and so I decided that he didn’t really warrant being any higher.
These guys originally started as Eggman’s moronic assistants in Sonic Lost World but eventually graduated into becoming Eggman’s idiotic henchmen in the Sonic Boom series (both the games and the TV series). Orbot and Cubot work surprisingly well with Orbot’s more refined way of expressing himself still betraying that he’s a bit simple-minded. And Cubot… is a moron. That’s pretty much the extent of his characters.
What I love about these guys though is how they cling on to Eggman, regardless of how much he insults and belittles them. They’re also loyal to a fault, such as when they tried to track down their master in the episode Dude, where’s my Eggman? Eggman’s henchmen have rarely stood out for me (except of course for the afore-mentioned Scratch & Grounder) and even though I know these characters primarily from the Sonic Boom cartoon series, they are just an utterly lovable pair of idiots.
Oh yeah, and the meta-jokes they keep making about Sonic are priceless too.
7. Eggman a.k.a. Dr. Ivo Robotnik
I feel with my previous Sonic characters list, I really didn’t properly show my love for this moustache’od evil genius and Sonic’s arc-nemesis. This was perhaps because I was really going off on Eggman’s game persona, but the truth is, whatever you call him, Dr. Robotnik is one of the more versatile game villains around.
What I mean by this is that he’s been depicted as incredibly sinister (Sonic at AM), cartoonily villainous (Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog), over-confidently pompous (Sonic Adventure 1 + 2) as well as charmingly self-aware (Sonic Boom). In other words, Eggman has many sides to him which always makes him such a great villain. Now, do these various depictions of Robotnik kind of make it hard to isolate what I love about him so much. Yeah, maybe a little bit, but he is a fixture of the series, without whom a Sonic game just doesn’t feel like a Sonic game.
And yes, he occasionally kind of sucks as a villain too, but I suppose that’s part of his charm too.
Sticks became one of my new favourite characters when she was introduced in Sonic Boom. She’s a super-paranoid forest dweller who believes the government is out to get her and that aliens are trying to control her mind among other things. She’s also tough as nails, can communicate with wild animals and has fun, scruffy edge to her.
She’s a great counter-point to Amy on the show and although she acts crazy half the time, it’s nice to see she isn’t just a one-joke character. Also, the crazy things she says are just priceless.
I’d really want to include her in the Top-5 and the only reason I can’t is because there just isn’t enough room. Well, that and I actually haven’t played any of the game’s she’s in, so Sticks is making this list on the strength of her TV appearances alone. Easily the best character introduced to the series in the past 15 years.
Who doesn’t love Tails? Seriously! Ever since this adorable, mechanically gifted two-tailed fox was first introduced in Sonic 2, I’ve been infatuated with the character. I always feel a bit of a sting when Tails isn’t included in a Sonic game (with the sole exception of Sonic 1). Tails can fly a plane, he’s built tons of robots and he’s always making smart-mouthed comments about our favourite blue hedgehog.
Okay, so some of the past depictions of Tails have been kinda vanilla and a few even down right annoying (namely: Sonic the Movie). However, I really love his character in games like Sonic Adventure 1 + 2 (even with the awful voice-acting), Sonic Generations and Sonic Lost World.
And the current Sonic Boom depiction of him is easily the most versatile up to this point (Tails’ Crush was the first episode I watched and I’ve been hooked since). Tails has taken quite a long time to mature as a character but he’s still one of my favourites.
I can say without any hesitation that Amy Rose is quite possibly the most contentious character in the Sonic canon. Some fans just loathe her and, I have to admit, it took me a long time to accept her as well. Here’s the deal though, Sonic was a series that for its first decade or so lacked any definite identity or personality. Amy is one of the first characters to provide the series with something resembling it… even if her personality in her earliest appearances was universally “whiney”.
But, Amy is a character with a good heart, as demonstrated by her actions in Sonic Adventure (helping out the Flicky bird and Gamma) and although she is cartoonishly obsessed with Sonic, she is also hilarious. Characters who create friction on cartoon shows I think are criminally under-rated and that’s why I love Amy.
Plus, her Sonic Boom interpretation has taken on some interesting sides (not the least of which thanks to her interactions with Sticks). Yes, she can still be quite annoying at times which is the only reason she’s not higher.
Let’s not beat around the bush, Rouge is hot – but moreover she’s also the first truly interesting female protagonist from the Sonic franchise. Coming off initially as just a jewel thief, as Sonic Adventure 2 progresses, we learn that there’s a whole lot more to her character, with Rouge actually being a government agent.
She has some of the most interesting character interactions with Knuckles and Shadow. Sure, easily the best of the Knuckles encounters were seen only in Sonic X – but she was definitely one of the show’s highlight characters as well. Plus, I really loved playing as her (and Knuckles) in Sonic Adventure 2 and it makes me genuinely sad she hasn’t appeared in more Sonic games beyond SA2 and its immediate sequels.
The Sonic series needs more Rouge.
2. Knuckles the Echidna
Knuckles was a character I took a long time to really like, but I think I eventually started to dig him once I realised what a polar opposite he was to Sonic in temperament. Knuckles is quick to anger, overtly serious and gullible to a fault. He’s righteous too which is why it’s easy to feel bad for him as well. I just love the interactions he has with Sonic, Tails and Rouge just to name a few and he is a really solid character in his original incarnation.
And believe it or not, I wasn’t one of those fans throwing a shit-fit when they revamped his design for Sonic Boom. Yes, the beefy arms did look odd after I’d gotten so used to his slim design but it was the Knuckles’ personality which sold me to the character, i.e. he’s entertainingly simple-minded. Knuckles just gets the best punchlines on Sonic Boom and that made this version of the character a hit with me as well.
Now yes, I do infinitely prefer the original serious incarnation of the character, but I love the new take on him as well.
Eh, you all saw this from a mile away.