The Batbrain (バサラン,Basaran?) is an enemy in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. They are a mass-produced, bat-based Badnik model created by Dr. Eggman. Batbrains hang in dark caves, waiting for its victim to get below it and then attack from above.
Batbrain, as its name implies, is a robotic bat with wings stretched over their bodies, showing only the tip of their blue head. Firm claws ensure the Badnik stays on the ceiling and it has an engine on its back for propulsion. Its wings, feet and engine are metallic gray in color, while its body is dark blue. In Sonic Lost World, Batbrains also have small mouths with tiny fangs.
Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
The first appearance of this Badnik was in the original 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog, where it served as an enemy. This time around, this Badnik is referred to as Batbrain (バサラン,Basaran?). In this game, the player encounters them in the cavern sections of Marble Zone.
In gameplay, Batbrains hang on a ceiling, waiting for a target. When Sonic is spotted, they drop from their roost, unfold their wings, and flap towards him to cause damage upon touch. They will cling onto another ceiling if they fail to do any damage.
Batbrains do not pose a huge threat and are easily dispatched before or after their landing with a Spin Jump. Upon their destruction, they release an Animal. However, they can easily get in the player's way, especially in challenging platforming sections.
Sonic Jump (2012)
In the 2012 remake of Sonic Jump, Batbrains can be found in Blue Sky Zone. In this game, they act like they did in the original Sonic the Hedgehog, hanging from platforms and clouds below until they drop down and start flying at the player when the playable character gets close to them. These badniks can only be defeated by jumping into their underside.
Sonic Lost World
Batbrains made a reappearance in Sonic Lost World. During the game, it turns out that the Badniks, including the Batbrains, got hijacked by the Deadly Six.
In gameplay, the Batbrains appear in Windy Hill Zone 3 in the Wii U/PC version, and Windy Hill Zone 2 in the Nintendo 3DS version. Unlike in previous games though, Batbrains here attack in groups. They are located in the tubular sections where they hang from a surface until they drop down to attack the player. They can be defeated with any kind of attack.
In gameplay, like in their debut appearance, they are found in the underground areas where they hang suspended from the ceiling. Once the playable characters get close, they will swoop down at them. Also, upon their destruction, they release an Animal.
Powers and abilities
Thanks to their wings and rocket thrusters, the Batbrains are capable of flight.
In the Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions, the Batbrains were a part of Dr. Robotnik's Badnik army before, during and after his rule of Mobius. Because of the different artists, Batbrains had sometimes a slightly, but also drastically different look. The Batbrains were frequently called into battle against the Freedom Fighters and their allies until Robotnik was toppled as Mobius' ruler. While he was stationed on Flickies' Island, Robotnik started to build a more powerful and dread-looking Batbrains.
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Batbrains were among the first generation of badniks produced by Dr. Robotnik. While Dr. Eggman would go on and make more advanced Batbrains, the classic ones were eventually rendered obsolete and got decommissioned.
In the Sonic X comic series published by Archie Comics, Batbrains made a small appearance. While in a simulation of the Marble Zone, Sonic came across several Batbrains, which he easily defeated.
The toy company TOMY has released a Batbrain action figurine during the release of Sonic & Knuckles as it also includes a series of 21 Sonic figurines and these figurines came in packs of four under the Sonic & Knuckles label and were also released individually under a Sonic the Hedgehog label.
Batbrain was supposed to appear in the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog, but was removed from the final game. However in Game Gear version, unused sprites of Batbrain are found from game's code. Along with Roller, Batbrain is one of badniks that does not appear in the 8-bit version.
Like the Orbinaut, the Batbrain does not appear in neither the European or North American game manuals. Its English name thus comes from comics and other merchandise. Similar to the aforementioned Badnik, it is known by its Japanese name "Basaran" in Sonic Jam and just "Batbrain" in the British Stay Sonic guide book as well as in Sonic Mania.[note 1]
There is an enemy from the Super Mario franchise called "Swoop", which has a similar attack pattern to Batbrains.
↑While not listed in any instruction manuals, the internal files in the PC release of Sonic Mania refers to this enemy as "Batbrain".
↑ 1.01.11.2Wallis, James (4 January 1993). "Robotnik's Badniks". Stay Sonic. Fantail. p. 35. ISBN 978-0140903904. "Batbrain hangs around on roofs in the Marble Zone. Any movement wakes it, and it will flap down noisily to investigate. Beating one or two of them is easy for Sonic, but he's wary of larger flocks — especially if there's a Caterkiller around as well."