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The Ball Hog[1] (トントン[2] Tonton?), also spelled Ballhog, is an enemy in that appears in Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a mass-produced, pig-based Badnik model created by Dr. Eggman which throw or rolls bombs from their bellies.

Appearance

The Ball Hog is a basic pink Badnik which resembles a real-life domestic pig, but is able to stand on two legs. It has two triangular ears on the head and a grey, thick snout. It has trotter hands and two mechanical legs. The Ball Hog's round belly is actually a door which can be opened with the attached handle. A similar Ball Hog appeared in Sonic Mania, but with a red, yellow and silver coloration.

Sonic Lost World introduces larger variants of Ball Hogs. These types have darker metallic skin and yellow snouts. There are also larger, golden Ball Hogs with persian green snouts and mechanical legs. All Ball Hogs in Sonic Lost World have cyan eyes as well.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)

Tonton.gif

The first appearance of this Badnik was in Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit), where it served as an enemy. This time around, this Badnik is referred to as Ball Hog[1] (トントン[2] Tonton?). In this game, the player encounters them in Scrap Brain Zone Act 1 and 2. These Badniks usually at the end of uphill hall sections.

In gameplay, Ball Hogs stand almost against the wall or the edge of a platform, jumping on both feet and dropping bombs which bounces down the path in front of them. The player has to jump over these bombs at the right time to dodge them. These Badniks are easily beaten with the Spin Jump or Spin Attack. Also, upon their destruction, they release an Animal and award the player with 100 points.

Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)

In Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit), the Ball Hogs appear as enemies again, where they are found in Scrap Brain Zone. Similarly, Ball Hogs can be found in the hall sections and as well on upper platforms from where they can throw bombs down at the player. These bombs, like their 16-bit counterparts, will bounce downhill.

Ball Hogs, like the other Badniks in the game, do not contain Animals. They are as well easily destroyed with either the Spin Attack or Spin Jump, upon which they will reward the player with 100 points.

Sonic Lost World

Larger Ball Hogs in the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World.

In the Wii U version and PC version of Sonic Lost World, Ball Hogs appear as enemies. In this game, the Ball Hogs were redesigned to look more cartoonish. Also, aside from the regular Ball Hogs, the game introduces larger and golden variants. During the game, Dr. Eggman's Badniks, the Ball Hogs included, got hijacked by the Deadly Six.

Regular Ball Hogs appear in Frozen Factory Zone 4, Silent Forest Zone 4 and Sky Road Zone 4. These variants have the same attack pattern they had in the original Sonic the Hedgehog, where they throw exploding bombs at the player. The player can also easily defeat them with the Spin Jump or Focused Homing Attack.

Silent Forest Zone 2 features larger and darker Ball Hogs in groups, which have different attack pattern. These types sleep far away in the background, but when Sonic reaches a certain point on the path, they will jump towards him and try to squash him from above.

The golden type Ball Hogs appear in Silent Forest Zone 2 and 4, and Sky Road Zone 4, where they block routes in the side scrolling sections. Like regular Ball Hogs, they stand still while throwing either regular bombs or gold-covered ones at Sonic. The player can only defeat these Ball Hogs by using the Flying Kick to kick the gold-covered bombs they deploy from their shell back at them.

When destroying a Ball Hog in any version of Sonic Lost World, it will release an Animal.

Sonic Mania

SMBallHog.png

In Sonic Mania, and its expansion Sonic Mania Plus, the Ball Hogs appear as enemies. In terms of design, they look much like how they did in the original Sonic the Hedgehog. Their color scheme depends on the chosen mode however: in Mania Mode, they here have a coloration consisting of red, yellow and silver, and in Encore Mode they have a green color scheme. In these games, they appear in both Acts of Titanic Monarch Zone.

In gameplay, the Ball Hogs behave just like in their debut game: they jump on both feet and drop bombs which bounce down the path in front of them. Also, upon destroying a Ball Hog, it will release an Animal.

Powers and abilities

Ball Hogs have nasty surprises in their belly. They will literally start open their belly hatches and throw glowing bombs, which do not explode unless if the player touches them. Also these bombs can be tricky as they bounce while moving. In Sonic Lost World, larger types of Ball Hogs can hop very high at high speed.

Variants

In other media

Sonic the Comic

A Ball Hog, from Sonic the Comic #131. Art by Richard Elson.

In the Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions, the Ball Hogs are a part of Dr. Robotnik's Badnik army. Depending on the artist, the Ball Hogs' design would differ between their appearances. In the latter half of the comic, they were also given wings, enabling them to fly.

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog

Ball Hog, from "Untouchable Sonic".

In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog television series, Ball Hog has a drastically different design, wearing a business suit and having a bird's beak instead of a pig snout, though he retained the ability to toss bombs. In this media, Ball Hog and his partner Roller were a part of Dr. Robotnik's "Or Else" Protection Service, who bullied mobians into paying them to not destroy their business. However, they were destroyed by Sonic. Later, Tails converted their remains into a waiter for Bert's Diner.

Archie Comics

A Ball Hog, from Sonic Super Digest #8.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Ball Hogs were among the Classic Badniks, the first generation of Badniks produced by Dr. Robotnik, though they were eventually rendered obsolete by more advanced robots and got decommissioned.

Following the events of Worlds Collide, the Ball Hogs' history became nearly identical to that of their game counterparts.

Sonic X

Main article: Ball Hog (Sonic X)

A pair of Ball Hogs, from Sonic X #11.

In the Sonic X comic series published by Archie Comics, two digital Ball Hogs appeared in a simulation created by Dr. Eggman. While trapped in there, Sonic and Tails made short work of the Ball Hogs.

Merchandise

The toy company TOMY released a Ball Hog action figurine during the release of Sonic & Knuckles as part of a series of 21 figurines, sold in packs of four under the Sonic & Knuckles label and individually under a Sonic the Hedgehog label.

Trivia

  • In an early pre-release of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, playable at the Consumer Electronics Show 1991, Ball Hog appeared in Green Hill Zone. In this version it stood head-on to the screen and threw bombs to both sides from higher ground.[3]
    • Artworks in the Japanese instruction manual shows Ball Hog throwing bombs in both directions at once.[2]
  • Ball Hog's legs are similar to Roller and Bomb's in artwork.
  • Ball Hog's snout appears green in its original sprite artwork due to palette limitations, a color kept in its Sonic Lost World appearance.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, a small pig robot resembling Ball Hog appears from the Egg Mobile as part of the competition between the turtle and rabbit missiles.
  • Ball Hog's Japanese name "Ton-Ton" comes from the Chinese and Japanese word "ton" for "pig" or "pork", appearing in pork dish names such as tonkatsu.

Gallery

Artwork

Gallery

Screenshots

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) United States instruction booklet, pg. 12.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 41.
  3. Sonic 1 Green Hill Zone #1 @ CES 1991. YouTube (12 September 2009). Retrieved on 11 October 2015.


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