While they were simply known as "Eggman's robots" in the Japanese releases of the games, the robots were classified as "Badniks" in the manuals of the early North American and European versions. After Sonic Adventure was released in 1999, the robots are most often called "Eggman's robots" in these areas of the world as well. However, they reappeared under the name Badniks in Sonic Rivals 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 4, as well as in Sonic Lost World (Eggman specifically calls his robots "Badniks" to the Deadly Six). Some of them also appear at the beginning of Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.
In the games, they are used by Eggman as his private robot army and they appear constantly throughout the levels as enemies to hinder the player and to kill the playable character. Eggman's robots have gone through a number of changes in appearance. The first generation of Eggman robots seen in the games were also built for the purpose of finding the Chaos Emeralds, whereas the second generation was to work on building the Death Egg.
Currently, it appears that Eggman is getting away from the personalized, ornate designs of his original machine lines and is moving for a more mass-producible line of machines; although, Sonic Colors marks the return of some of his earlier robots, such as the Moto Bug and Spiny designs.
Most early Badniks in the games and those in the Sonic the Comic comic book in the U.K., and the Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic Manga in Japan, were powered by animals that had been turned into a type of organic battery. When destroyed by Sonic, they exploded and released a small animal, such as a Flicky, that hops off the screen. However, in other games, it is shown that Badniks can be powered by rings, or even by plants. Ironically, many of these older robots, from the original 16-bit games all the way to the Sonic Adventure series, usually resemble mechanical animals with built-in weaponry. While only being explained, the mass production of turning animals into Badniks has never shown in any game until in Sonic Lost World, where the process works by moving animals from capsules and set into Badniks at the Eggman's base. This process has been referred to as robotization while the reversal of the process is referred to as de-robotization. Even before that, the only media where this has been shown is Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic Volume 2, where Picky is seen explaining to Sonic what has happened to Ricky and Cucky.
Some continuities, such as the Sonic the Hedgehog television series instead showed that Eggman "roboticized" animals, literally turning organic beings into his mechanical minions. In more recent games evolving new models of robots not based on animal designs, it has been shown they are actually powered by just some other electric device—like Chaos Drives—inside their bodies and when they are destroyed, nothing will pop out of them.
Notable robot designs
Certain designs of Badniks reappeared in multiple games, while others appeared only once. The designs of Badniks from the original Sonic the Hedgehog appear often, such as variations of the Buzz Bomber Badniks, which resemble wasps and fire energy blasts from their stingers. The designs of the Crabmeat Badniks, which resemble scuttling crabs and fire energy blasts from guns within their claws, and the caterpillar-based Caterkiller Badniks are also seen often. These Badniks are likely used often due to appearing in the Green Hill Zone and Marble Zone, the very first levels of the first Sonic game, making them "classic".
The Coconuts Badnik from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was designed after a monkey, and sat in palm trees while throwing coconut bombs at Sonic. Variations of this Badnik have also appeared, most notably the Kiki design from the Sonic Adventure series, and unlike the ones from the original Sonic the Hedgehog, its design is often used in the 3D games. A specific Coconuts also got a somewhat large role in the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon series.
Eggman is also known for making robots based on Sonic himself to pit against his rival. While most of these robots have been destroyed by their organic counterpart, one of them, Metal Sonic, has appeared again and again throughout the series to battle Sonic.
In Sonic Adventure, the same game that stopped using the "Badnik" name, the E-Series was introduced. This line of robotics have appeared frequently since, with the notable E-102 and E-123 even being recurring playable characters. Some of them make cameo appearances in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.
Sonic Heroes introduced the "Egg Pawn" robots, clunky orange humanoid robots resembling Eggman that are also part of the E-series. These were apparently easier to make and were more expendable because of the many Egg Pawn troops encountered in games. Unlike the "variety" of previous Badniks and their designs, enemies in Sonic Heroes were almost exclusively Egg Pawns with various weaponry and equipment. These robots have appeared in several games since Sonic Heroes, and appeared along with animal-based robots in Sonic Rivals. They were also created in different sizes, from small bazooka wielding ones to gargantuan hammer wielding ones, however, they had only four pieces of equipment total in Shadow the Hedgehog which included a shield (which in fact balances them out as the other two sides had shields too). Sonic Unleashed features robot grunts similar in design to Egg Pawns with minor differences.
The 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog game introduced all-new robots, called Egg Gunners. They are much more intimidating and menacing than the cartoonish Egg Pawns, and are tall, armed with machine guns and have white armor. They were likely created because Sonic Team wanted the game to be more "realistic", these robots are also seen in Sega Superstars Tennis.
In Sonic Unleashed, Eggman began deploying Egg Fighters and their variants. It is believed, but unconfirmed that they are the successors to the Egg Pawn. However, Eggman returned to using the Egg Pawn in Sonic Colors, so these must be his preference.
In Sonic Colors, after a long absence Eggman goes back to using many of his original robot models from the first games, such as Moto Bugs, Buzz Bombers, Sandworms, Choppers, Spinies, Crabmeats, Burrobots and many more, along with ones from other past adventures such as Spinners, Aero-Chasers and more.
In Sonic Generations many enemies from Sonic's past return once again such as Motobugs, Spinies, Eggrobos and Egg Pawns. These Badniks appear in the stages they originated from, e.g. Cop Speeders appear in Speed Highway.
Egg Fighter series
Buzz Bombers and Buzzers are robots in the forms of giant wasps, based on the namesake Badniks from the classic Sega Genesis Sonic titles. Their stingers double as laser emitters, and they are usually deployed for aerial attacks. They also made an appearance in the pilot episode of the Sonic the Hedgehog TV series, wherein they pursued Tails in an attempt to draw out Sonic and attempted to transport a herbicidal agent to the Great Forest in an attempt to expose the location of Knothole, both endeavors being handily thwarted by the Freedom Fighters. The SatAM version of Buzzbomber also appears in Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball.
Eggrobo is an egg-shaped humanoid robot resembling Dr. Robotnik. They first appeared as enemies in the game Sonic & Knuckles. In Knuckles' storyline, one certain Eggrobo is boss instead of Dr. Robotnik; in Sonic's storyline in that game, many copies appeared as standard Badnik grunts in the Sky Sanctuary Zone, after being seen launched from the Death Egg.
They are rather more prominent in Knuckles' storyline, however, as one Eggrobo in particular attacks Knuckles in the beginning of the game, and then replaces Robotnik in cut scenes and as the end-of-zone boss in every level up until the Hidden Palace Zone (with the exception of Flying Battery Zone, which is believed to be due to the fact that Robotnik had unique angled sprites in his Hang Mobile machine). This Eggrobo appears to have greater intelligence than the other ones, and can pilot machines like Robotnik, even apparently learning from Robotnik's mistakes as the Eggrobo attacks a lot more. There is also no animal inside this one. This Eggrobo is destroyed by Mecha Sonic in the Sky Sanctuary Zone (the final level in Knuckles' storyline). The Eggrobo restrains Knuckles, allowing Mecha Sonic to charge at him, but Knuckles breaks free and Mecha Sonic destroys the Eggrobo instead.
Eggrobo has appeared as an unlockable playable character in Sonic R and in the kart-racing mode of Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (it was also available in the original Sonic Adventure 2 for the Sega Dreamcast, but only through online downloadable content).
The Orbinaut is a sea urchin based robot that consists of a sphere which orbited by four smaller maces. Although other variants of this robot design employ the more popular attack method of releasing its maces from orbit towards the target, the Orbinaut from Launch Base Zone (Sonic the Hedgehog 3) is notable among its kind for retaining its maces. Orbinaut instead moves towards its target at a constant speed while—the player moves. If the player stops moving, the Orbinaut will also come to a complete stop. Also, if Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles leaps in the air before moving left or right, the Orbinaut will not react.
The spiked maces which surround the Orbinaut make this robot semi-invincible. Most of the time, the player character will be damaged if he touches Orbinaut, even while spinning. Orbinaut can be destroyed without consequences if Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles touches the robot while he is invincible or in Super or Hyper form. The player character can also use the brief period of invincibility granted just after taking a hit and destroy Orbinaut with an attack while the player character is still flashing. Furthermore, Sonic can use the effects of some shields to destroy Orbinaut without taking damage. Finally, an unprotected Sonic can attack an Orbinaut without taking damage by using the Insta-Shield. Sonic can jump into the air and jump a second time to protect himself from damage for a fraction of a second. With the right timing, Sonic can easily destroy Orbinauts without the use of power-ups or Chaos Emeralds.
Just as Metal Sonic is the robot counterpart to Sonic, Metal Knuckles is the doppelgänger of Knuckles the Echidna. He has Knuckles' strength, with even greater speed. In terms of video games, Metal Knuckles only appeared in Sonic R, where he was a faster version of Knuckles with a better gliding ability but with worse traction. Metal Knuckles was the character that went through the most shortcuts when played by the computer, so following this character was the easiest way to find the quickest route to the finish line.
A robotic Knuckles also appears as a boss in Sonic Advance, but it is instead known as Mecha Knuckles in supplemental sources. This robot looks exactly like Knuckles, only with a pinker hue and yellow gloves at first, and has virtually every move Knuckles has. After being struck a few times his "armor" will fall off, revealing a metallic echidna with glowing red eyes underneath. In this "form", the robot is faster and can fire homing missiles from its mouth. After being attacked a few more times, the robot explodes.
Tails also has his own "robotic" copy, the Tails Doll. It has a power plant in the gem on it's head which gives it the ability to levitate and is also able to move at moderate speeds. In the video games, Tails Doll has only ever appeared in Sonic R just as with Metal Knuckles above.
Badniks by game
Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)
Sonic the Hedgehog CD
Sonic the Hedgehog 3
Sonic & Knuckles
Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble
- Meta Junglira Badnik
- Penguin Bomber
- Spidal Tap
- Sunset Park Badnik
- Tidal Plant Badnik
Sonic 3D Blast
- Cart Kiki
- Cop Speeder
- Egg Keeper
- Ice Ball
- Thunder Spinner
Sonic Advance 2
Sonic Advance 3
Shadow the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II
Sonic Lost World
Sonic Mania Plus
In other media
Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog television series, "Badnik" is the term used for Dr. Robotnik's personal brand of robots. The most infamous ones of these are Scratch, Grounder and Coconuts who are Robotnik's go-to henchmen. However, they always fail in their assignments due to their utter incompetence.
In the Sonic Boom franchise, the badniks (more commonly referred to as minions) act as Dr. Eggman's primary foot soldiers. At first, only the Motobugs, Buzz Bombers (called Bee Bots), and Crabmeats (called Crab Bots) appeared. The TV series' second season would later introduce the Mantis Bots, Scorpion Bots, Beetle Bots and Shark Bots. While they are decently versatile in terms of armaments and skills, they are extremely fragile and weak, making them usually easily defeated by Sonic and his friends.
Sonic the Comic
In the British Fleetway-produced Sonic the Comic comic book, the Badniks are Dr. Ivo Robotnik and his empire's brand of robots. Serving as Robotnik's personal army, the Badniks were used for the doctor's conquest and subsequent suppression of the planet Mobius during his reign.
All early Badniks were powered by organic batteries, the name given to the helpless Mobian trapped inside, although fully mechanical Badniks were later created as well as Robotnik advanced his rule. The Badnik armies would frequently clash with the Freedom Fighters, who worked in opposition to Robotnik's tyranny. All Badniks on Mobius were eventually destroyed by an electromagnetic pulse created by Super Sonic when he escaped from the Black Asteroid, allowing Mobius' inhabitants to topple Robotnik and his empire. Robotnik tried afterwards to create new Badniks, but never managed to reestablish his rule.
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Badniks are the robot army that serves as the military backbone of Dr. Ivo Robotnik's empire and later the Eggman Empire for over a decade. The early generations of Badniks were based on the Mobini species, though their numbers also included more humanoid models such as SWATbot, Combots and the exceedingly advanced Metal Series. As more advanced Badniks came into being, the older models were rendered obsolete and ended up at second parties. The series also used the concept of roboticization where Mobians animal turned into an evil robot by Dr. Robotnik's Roboticizer, similar to how Animals got turned into Badniks in the games.
After the Super Genesis Wave, Badniks became nearly identical to their game counterparts.
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing, the Badniks are Dr. Eggman's personal robotic army that serves as the military backbone of his Eggman Empire. Their past is virtually identical to their game counterparts' up until after Sonic Forces. After the war, the Badniks would run rampant under the orders of Neo Metal Sonic, forcing Sonic to travel all over to stop them with the aid of his allies.
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction manual, pg. 7-10.
- ↑ http://www.sonicthehedgehog4.com/us/ - „Soon Sonic discovers that evil scientist Dr. Eggman has been kidnapping them and turning them into robots to collect the legendary treasure - The Chaos Emeralds.“
- ↑ http://www.sonicthehedgehog4.com/us/ “[t]heir reunion is short lived however, as Eggman resurfaces and begins kidnapping Sonic friends again, in an effort to create more workers to finish his ultimate Weapon - The Death Egg!”
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball (Sega Mega Drive) United States instruction manual, pg. 7.
- ↑ Sonic & Knuckles (Sega Mega Drive) United States instruction manual, pg. 19.
- ↑ IGN: SEGA Superstars Tennis Screenshots (PS3) Full Size 2304655