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A long-armed grappler who uses his incredible strength to fling and flatten opponents. Despite his ferocious power, he's actually shy and soft spoken, with a gentle heart.


— Description, Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia[3]

Bark the Polar Bear (バーク・ザ・ポーラーベアー Bāku za Pōrā Beā?) is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. He is an anthropomorphic polar bear who competed in a fighting tournament for the Chaos Emeralds and the right to destroy the Death Egg II. He is a very strong foe who specializes in punching and throwing.[4] Bark has a quiet and gentle nature, but he ends up hanging around the wrong crowd at times. He is said to be the best snowboarder on North Island.[1]

Appearance[]

BarkFightersMegamixHD

Bark the Polar Bear, from Fighters Megamix.

Bark is an anthropomorphic polar bear with light yellow (almost beige) fur. He possesses a big round heavy and chubby body but rather than tall. He also has big fat winter belly but a little slightly thin, but muscular arms and short and thin legs. In addition, he has a triangular patch of white fur on his chest, a long peach muzzle with a pointy black nose, seemingly conjoined eyeballs with black pupils, round ears with peach canals on top of his head, three locks of hair on his forehead, shoulder-length fur around his neck, and a ponytail. For attire, Bark wears an orange and red toque that has holes that allow his ears to poke out, a green scarf, a pair of brown mittens with yellow tips on the fingers and red wrist straps, and a pair of brown-toed orange and black boots with gray soles, red straps and yellow shoelaces.

History[]

Games[]

Sonic the Fighters[]

In Sonic the Fighters, Bark was among the group of Sonic's friends who had been entrusted to safeguard the Chaos Emeralds to keep Dr. Robotnik from abusing it. Eventually though, Robotnik constructed the Death Egg II, which he used to deploy hordes of robots to lay the world to waste with. Soon after, Bark joined the fighting tournament held to decide which one among the Chaos Emerald guardians who was the strongest. If Bark could defeat all the contestants, he would earn the right to use all the Chaos Emeralds for Tails' single-seat Lunar Fox and travel to the Death Egg II and destroy it.[5]

At the end of the tournament, the victor used the Chaos Emeralds to go to the Death Egg II and made it self-destruct moments after escaping it.

Other game appearances[]

Sonic Generations[]

In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, Bark makes a cameo appearance as one of the characters in the wanted posters alongside Bean the Dynamite dotted throughout the City Escape.

Sonic Mania[]

SMBarkthePolarBear

"Bark", from Sonic Mania.

In Sonic Mania, and its expansion Sonic Mania Plus, Bark makes several cameos in Mirage Saloon Zone, where he appears in wanted posters throughout the Zone. The Heavy Magician also shapeshifts into Bark, as well as into Fang the Sniper or Bean the Dynamite, in the Zone; at the end of Sonic and Tails' version of Mirage Saloon Zone Act 1, "Bark" can appear on top of an Armadiloid, which he will make fire a shot at the Tornado, bringing it down. Also, while fighting the player at the end of Act 2, the Heavy Magician will occasionally transform into Bark as part of her attacks. "Bark" hops slowly around the arena and occasionally smashes his hands into the ground, causing rocks and other obstacles to drop down from the roof. Hitting the illusion will make the Heavy Magician reveal herself.

Personality[]

You're really a big sweetie deep down, aren't you?

Amy Rose, Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special

In his debut, Bark is shown to be serious during his matches. He is stated to have a gentle and loving heart, though he is a bit shy and blunt in nature.[1]

In the IDW Comics, Bark is blunt and quiet due of being a shy guy, and although he hangs out with the wrong crowd in the form of Fang and Bean, he still maintains his (secretly[2]) gentle nature. Bark is shown to not get needlessly physical unless he is forced or provoked into, preferring instead to restrain and/or immobilize his opponents using his brute strength. When pushed over the edge, however, he becomes a wild and aggressive opponent.[2]

Despite not talking much, Bark is actually not that bad of a person as Amy would soon discover. He just hangs around the wrong group of people.

Powers and abilities[]

Bark's main asset is his immense brute strength, which easily allows him to match the likes of Sonic and Knuckles, and allows him to flatten opponents and deal maximum damage with little effort. Bark also has the ability to harness Chaos Emerald energy from the Chaos Emeralds to bolster his innate abilities, allowing him to enter Hyper Mode.

Bark is a good close-range fighter in hand-to-hand combat, matching the likes of renowned fighters like Sonic and Knuckles. His fighting style specializes in brute strength with grappling throws and powerful punches, though he does utilize a few combo attacks. He is similarly very durable, being unaffected by the blows from Amy's Piko Piko Hammer and remaining conscious after taking a blow to the head from Knuckles. He is also an incredible hand-to-hand combatant, being capable of matching a fighting expert like Knuckles blow for blow.[2]

Relationships[]

Fang the Hunter[]

Bark, despite being one of his allies, is not too fond of Fang the Hunter, even catching an attitude when asked to do an assignment, showing his annoyance towards Fang.[2] Despite this, Bark does listen to Fang's orders, showing some respect for him. However, it is also shown that Bark can only tolerate Fang so much before he starts to get tired of his antics, as shown during a particular incident where he and Bean were taken advantage of and got nothing out of it, which eventually lead to him quitting working for him.

Bean the Dynamite[]

Come on, buddy. Let's go find something more fun anywhere else.


Bean the Dynamite, Sonic the Hedgehog: Fang the Hunter #4

Bean the Dynamite is considered Bark's best friend.[6] They have been shown to have conversations with each other about their circumstances and both show more tolerance for each other than they show tolerance for Fang. The two are also often shown in sync with each other in their opinions and actions. While Bark's silence means their relationship isn't conveyed much further, according to Bean, Bark is the one to keep him in check when he gets over his head. Overall, Bark shows genuine concern towards Bean.

Amy Rose[]

You're really a big Sweetie deep down, aren't you?


Amy Rose, Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special

Amy Rose seems to be the only person that knows of Bark's true nature, calling him a "big sweetie", for giving her his scarf temporarily during their mission to stop Eggman and Heavy King. But even in other circumstances when Amy shows him kindness, he will often blush confirming Amy's point.[2][7] Not only that but Amy is the only person he is nice to outside his gang. Since Amy showed kindness to him, he avoids opposing her as much as he can and will hide his face if he is forced to do wrong around her. This can be seen when Fang's Gang tried stealing Amy's pie, where Bark is seen looking away with a worried expression.[6]

Knuckles the Echidna[]

C'mon Bark! I know you can fight! That's more like it!


Knuckles the Echidna, Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special

After the Death Egg II incident, Bark considers Knuckles the Echidna as a real challenge or rival in combat as when Bark is kicked in the face by Knuckles, he immediately starts actually trying to fight him. Even when Bark gets punched in the stomach, he throws rapid punches proving Bark is willing to stand his ground showing the two's rivalry.[2]

Heavy King[]

You fight with the strength and tenacity of a robot. You have my respect.


Heavy King, Sonic the Hedgehog: Fang the Hunter #4

While Bark was fighting Heavy King he manages to fight him for a good while using all his strength. This manages to gain the respect from the robot proving to Heavy King that Bark has proven a worthy foe, even saying Bark fights with the strength and tenacity of a robot.[8]

Friends/allies[]

Neutral[]

Enemies[]

In other media[]

Books and comics[]

Archie Comics[]

Bark Post-SGW

Bark, from Sonic Universe #65.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, Bark was the silent partner of Bean the Dynamite. Bark himself was a walking enigma as no one knew where he came from or what his motivations were. He used to be part of a mercenary group which included Fiona Fox, Bean and Nic the Weasel. Later on, Bark and Bean were hired by Dr. Eggman to ambush Sonic on his birthday, but the duo was soon outnumbered and retreated. After being captured and escaping jail, Bark and Bean worked for Mammoth Mogul for some time before joining Nack the Weasel's Team Hooligan to secure a Sol Emerald, but failed.

After the Super Genesis Wave re-wrote history, Bark became a member of the "Hooligans", a villainous team also consisting of Nack and Bean which occasionally aids Dr. Eggman.

IDW Publishing[]

Seasons of Chaos[]
BarkIDW

Bark, from Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special.

Hired by Dr. Eggman to find all the Chaos Emeralds in exchange for a hefty reward, Bark and his companions Fang and Bean set out on their treasure hunt. Eventually coming across Sonic, Tails and Knuckles in Summer Falls Zone, Bark would occupy Knuckles while Bean fought Sonic and Fang tried securing the local Chaos Emerald. However, the Chaos Emerald got lost down a waterfall when Bark engaged Knuckles in a fistfight (which ended with Bark and Knuckles knocking each other out) to keep Knuckles from getting the Chaos Emerald. Deciding to retrieve the Chaos Emerald later, Bark got picked up by his gang and taken to Autumn Forest Zone where the next Chaos Emerald was.

There, Bark and his gang found the local Chaos Emerald in the hands of Mighty, Ray and Amy. Taking on Amy, Bark easily overpowered her and hung her up on a tree before subduing Mighty. However, when Metal Knuckles appeared and escaped with the Chaos Emerald, Bark and the rest gave chase until they came across Eggman in the company of Sonic, Tails and Knuckles.[2]

Eggman proceeded to explain that Heavy King had taken over his forces and was the one retrieving the Chaos Emeralds. Knowing Heavy King could not be allowed to have the Emeralds, Bark and the others joined forces with each other and went to Heavy King's base in Winter Caverns Zone. While there, Bark let Amy wear his scarf. The crew soon found Metal Sonic and Metal Knuckles, but Eggman managed to override the signal Heavy King used to control the Metals.

With the Metals on their side, Bark and Mighty prepared to force the base's doors up until Eggman opened it for them. Bark and his allies then confronted Heavy King, who was now possessing all seven Chaos Emeralds. Using their power, Heavy King overwhelmed Bark and his allies until Sonic managed to distract Heavy King, allowing Bark and the others to take the Chaos Emeralds back in secret. Escaping from the base afterward, Bark and took his leave with his gang, taking the purple Chaos Emerald with them as their reward, but not before bashfully taking back his scarf from Amy who suggested that Bark was secretly a "big sweetie".[2]

Amy's New Hobby[]

Bark would later come to Amy's house to read some of Amy's self-made comic books. While there, he got shoved aside by Sonic when he came to see what this commotion was all about.[9]

Amy's 30th Anniversary Special[]

Bark along with Bean and Fang was sent on a mission by Dr. Eggman but failed, Metal Sonic would put him in a Capsule in Market Harbor Zone. He would be released by a Flicky by dropping Amy's Piko Piko Hammer. Bark would be ambushed by Eggrobos but would be assisted by Amy and Ray. The three would confront Metal Sonic at Eggman Island Zone. Bark would distract Metal Sonic while Amy and Ray rescue those captured in the capsules. When Metal was defeated, Bark went with Fang and Bean and didn't join the others in their tea party.[7]

Fang the Hunter miniseries[]

Bark along with Fang and Bean were watching Sonic from a bush until Fang orders them to attack. Bark grabs Sonic, but he is able to escape and fling Bark away. After failing to attack Sonic, Fang tries to explain that they are looking for the eighth Chaos Emerald, but Sonic says there is only 7, being no help to the gang. They then leave to go ask Knuckles on Angel Island. Once they arrive, they see that he isn't there, so Bark suggests stealing the Master Emerald while it's unguarded, but Fang denies the suggestion and tells them to focus on the eight emerald. This leads Bark and Bean to tell Fang that they are tired of his antics, however Fang is able to convince them to stick around. Shortly after, the gang ends up in Mushroom Hill but Bark and Bean end up getting captured by Knuckles, who knew the three were on the island, leaving Fang to rescue them. Fang then arrives in Sandopolis to save them by defeating Knuckles. Fang then asks Knuckles about the eighth Chaos Emerald, but he thinks Fang is referring to the Master Emerald, leaving the gang again with no help, even calling Fang delusional. After the three leave Angel Island, Bark and Bean tell Fang that he is wasting their time and say that they want to quit. Fang retaliates by threatening to tip over the Marvelous Queen and throw them off, which convinces them to keep helping him. The Gang then head over to an island Eggman had tried to conquer in the past, where it would start raining. Fang then talks about what he'd gain from finding the eight emerald, after which Bean would retaliate by asking what he and Bark would get out of it. Fang tries to reassure that they'd also benefit from it too. The lab then starts to flood while they are looking for clues, before Eggman rescues them and takes them away. The gang would be hired by Eggman to find the Heavy Wing which was in test flight by the Hard Boiled Heavies, which they agree to help with as Fang believes the battleship's teleportation abilities has to do with the eight Chaos Emerald. They would then take their leave and hunt it down on a nearby island, where Bark is seen knitting a scarf until the Marvelous Queen takes off after Fang finds the Heavy Wing's location and his yarn goes flying. Once on board, the trio destroy Eggrobos and flying Badniks which leads them to the power source of the ship, which Fang believes is the eighth emerald. Before they can take it, they are confronted by Heavy Rider and Jimmy, who the three are able to stop by threatening to blow up the Moto Bug. Fang then has Bark open the vault and release the power source, but it is shown that the gem inside is not the eighth Chaos Emerald. This then draws the attention of the other Hard Boiled Heavies, with Heavy King telling Fang that the gem is actually called the Warp Topaz and confirming that the eighth emerald is not real. Despite this, Fang decides to take the gem anyways and the gang runs for it. Heavy Rider catches up to the gang, but Bark manages to defeat her, leaving Heavy King to fight Bark while Fang and Bean keep running, as the Marvelous Queen isn't able to make it fast enough. Later on, Bark is on the break of defeat, but is then saved by Fang and Bean, who teleport in using the Warp Topaz's teleportation powers with the Marvelous Queen, which had arrived by that point. The trio then warp out of the battleship, but after they escape, Bean and Bark get mad at Fang for putting them through everything they just went through and quit working for him, leaving him to go do something else without him.[6][10][8][11]

Merchandise[]

STF PlushToy Bark

Sonic the Fighters plush toy.

A plush toy of Bark was made as part of a line of plush toys for Sonic the Fighters in Japan. The toys could only be won from claw cranes.

Trivia[]

  • One of the concepts for Bark's species was an orangutan.[12]
  • In issue #174 of Computer and Video Games, the section on Sonic the Fighters refers to a character known as "Bug" in place of Bark. Whether "Bug" was an early name for Bark, an entirely different scrapped character or a mistranslation is unknown.[13]
  • Bark's blood type is unknown.[1]
  • In Sonic the Fighters, Bark's species is misspelled as "Bark the Polerbear" in his Vs. Card.
SX15

Bark's cameo as a toy, from Sonic X #15.

Notes[]

  1. Bark's height is taken from the official Japanese guide for Fighters Megamix, in which it was comparable to the human characters in the game. This appears to be inconsistent with his height in Sonic the Fighters, which was relative to the rest of the playable characters (for reference, Sonic stands at 100 cm).

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 "Bark" (in Japanese). ファイターズメガミックス オフィシャルガイド. SoftBank. February 24, 1997. p. 202. ISBN 978-4797302127.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special, "Seasons of Chaos"
  3. Flynn, Ian; Sega (December 8, 2021). "Sonic the Fighters". Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia. Dark Horse Books. p. 21. ISBN 978-1506719276.
  4. ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ【公式】 (May 9, 2023). ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ【公式】 on Twitter (Japanese). Twitter. Retrieved on July 13, 2023.
  5. "Sonic the Fighters" (in Japanese). Gamest. June 1996. Archived from the original. Retrieved on July 15, 2018.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Sonic the Hedgehog: Fang the Hunter Issue 1
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sonic the Hedgehog: Amy's 30th Anniversary Special
  8. 8.0 8.1 Sonic the Hedgehog: Fang the Hunter Issue 4
  9. Sonic the Hedgehog Free Comic Book Day 2021, "Amy's New Hobby"
  10. Sonic the Hedgehog: Fang the Hunter Issue 3
  11. Sonic the Hedgehog: Fang the Hunter Issue 2
  12. Media:BarkTheOrangutan.jpg
  13. "Sonic Fighters - The Sonic Fighting Line-Up!". Computer and Video Games (174): 29. May 1996. Archived from the original. "AM2 were specifically requested by the Sonic Team to create two all-new characters for the game. Enter Bean and Bug. What these fighters look like and what they do has yet to be revealed to us!"
  14. Sega of America . Sonic Q and A. Sega. Archived from the original on June 13, 2004. "Stephen F. (a.k.a Sonic's number 1 fan.): Will Ray the Flying Squirrel, Bean the Duck, Chaos, Nack, Tikal, and Bark reappear? P.S: COOL SITE!!! / Sonic: Actually, I don't know exactly where they are... but we do have some old faces from the past that will be with me in Sonic Heroes... make sure to check 'em out!"
  15. Staff team of Sonic the Fighters. The Green Hill Zone.
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