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For other uses, see Caterkiller (disambiguation). For the Badnik also known by the Japanese name "Nal", see Sandworm.

Hit the head to defeat it; hit anywhere else, and it explodes into damaging shrapnel.

— Description, Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia

The Caterkiller[1] (ナール[2] Nāru?, lit. "Nal") is an enemy that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a mass-produced, caterpillar-based Badnik model created by Dr. Eggman that possesses a hard defense system and the ability to scatter its segments if destroyed incorrectly. This model has been modified multiple times, leading to the creation of multiple sub-models, examples being the Sandworm and Catakiller, Jr..


Caterkillers are based on real-life caterpillars, both in shape and in the way they move across the ground, stretching their body parts up and down to crawl. Their body in particular consist of four spherical segments with curved yellow spikes on the sides. They also have two antennae located at the tip of their heads. They are mainly purple in color, with white fangs in their mouths and gray underbellies, and the tops of their antennae are yellow. They also have cyan eyes.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)


Caterkiller's concept art in Sonic the Hedgehog (1991).

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 Caterkiller[1] (ナール[2] Nāru?, lit. "Nal"). In this game, they appear in Marble Zone and Scrap Brain Zone.

In gameplay, Caterkillers crawl slowly along the ground. To defeat a Caterkiller, the player must Spin Jump onto its head or roll into it with the Spin Attack; otherwise, the player will take damage and scatter the Caterkiller's segments all over the place. If the player destroys a Caterkiller in this way, an Animal will not be freed unless the player manages to destroy the head before it bounces off the screen. Should the player manage to destroy a Caterkiller properly, they will be rewarded with 100 points.

Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)

In Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit), Caterkillers only appear in Scrap Brain Zone as enemies. Caterkillers also have a movement pattern identical to their 16-bit counterparts; they crawl along the ground slowly and the only vulnerable spot on their spiked bodies are their heads. However, even if the player manages to destroy these Badniks, they do not have Animals inside of them, which is tradition in Master System and Game Gear titles. Regardless, destroying a Caterkiller rewards the player will 100 points.

Sonic Rivals

Sonic Rivals.

In Sonic Rivals, the Caterkiller makes an appearance as one of the collectible cards in the game.

Sonic Jump (2012)

In the 2012 remake of Sonic Jump, the original Caterkiller does not make appearance until Mountain Zone. In this game, Caterkillers act like they did in their first appearance, although they like to fall down to the lower platforms (where they can usually be found).

Sonic Lost World

A Caterkiller, from the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World.

In the Wii U version, PC version and Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World, more cartoonish-looking Caterkillers appear as enemies. Over the course of the game, Dr. Eggman's Badniks, including the Caterkillers, got hijacked by the Deadly Six. In gameplay, these Badniks move slowly around in certain pattern, like Snail Blasters, and due to having segments, the player has to hit their head sections with the Homing Attack, since hitting them on any other segment will result in the Caterkillers getting destroyed while the playable character takes damage. They appear in Windy Hill Zone 4 and Silent Forest Zone 3 in the Wii U/PC version of the game, and in Windy Will Tutorial and Windy Hill Zone 1 and 2 in the Nintendo 3DS version of the game.

Defeating a Caterkiller is slightly different in both versions. In Wii U/PC version, they are large and the player has to hit them on their heads with the Homing Attack or the Bound Jump. In Nintendo 3DS version, if the player uses a Somersault to stun this Badnik, it will be easier to destroy Caterkiller without getting hit at the same time. Also, upon properly destroying a Caterkiller, it will release an Animal.

A giant female Caterkiller in the Sky Road Zone 1, from the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World.

At the end of Windy Hill Zone 1 on the Nintendo 3DS version, Sonic will also find himself running away from a much larger Caterkiller on the linear road with rock obstacles. This type of Caterkiller has a pink coloration instead of purple and has eyelashes on its eyes, giving it a feminine appearance. After getting away from this Caterkiller, the player reaches the Capsule and completes the first Zone. These gigantic female Caterkillers are later seen in Sky Road Zone 1 in Wii U/PC version. They are featured as moving obstacles during max-speed sections or larger enemies at the single planetoid section. Giant female Caterkillers burrow to the other side of the planetoid and will make shock waves, when their head collides to the ground. The player has to hit its head with multiple Focused Homing Attacks or about six Flying Kicks in order to defeat it and make a giant Spring appear.

Sonic Runners series

Sonic Runners

A Caterkiller, from Sonic Runners.

In Sonic Runners, the Caterkillers appear as enemies. In this game, they retained their design from Sonic Lost World. They are also some of the more common foes encountered in the speed type characters' stages. In gameplay, the Caterkiller's spike segments do not hurt the playable character or separate from the body when they are attacked. They also either move slowly forward or stand in one place, and are either set separately or in groups.

The player can destroy the Caterkillers with any move or offensive power-up in the playable characters' arsenal. When destroyed, a Caterkiller will grant the player 100 points.

Caterkillers in Sonic Runners come in three types. Aside from the regular Caterkillers, there are golden ones which grant 300 points when defeated, and silver ones that grant 200 points when eliminated and which only Color Powers, Invincible and the power type characters' dash attack can defeat. All three variations also contain Animals that are released when they are destroyed. The Caterkillers also appear as part of several episodes' narrative, which features them being defeated time and time again by Team Sonic.

Sonic Runners Adventure

A Caterkiller, from Sonic Runners Adventure.

In Sonic Runners Adventure, the Caterkillers appear as enemies. In this game, they retain their design from Sonic Lost World. The player encounters them in every stage.

In gameplay, the Caterkillers stand in one place. Also, upon their destruction, they release an Animal.

Sonic Forces

In the "Join the Eggman Empire" propaganda for Sonic Forces, a Caterkiller makes a brief cameo via Eggman's demonstration of the "all-inclusive robotomy treatment" where a normal caterpillar is transformed into a Caterkiller.[3]

Powers and abilities

The Caterkiller's main attack method lies in its ability to only have one segment that can be destroyed without any injury to the attacker, making it more of a defensive Badnik than an offensive one. Not only will the attacker be hurt if they try to hurt the last three segments, but the segments will detach and scurry around the area, causing even more potential damage.


Although Caterkiller has not made many in game appearances, there exist different modifications that may have been based on the Caterkiller.

In other media

Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic

Caterkiller appears in Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic manga. At the beginning of the Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic Volume 2 story Clash!! South Island, Caterkiller chases Pocky at Marble Zone until Sonic destroys it with his Spin Attack and saves Pocky. A little later Picky emerges from the wreckage of the Caterkiller, serving as an organic battery of the Badnik.

Sonic the Comic

The Caterkiller in Sonic the Comic.

In the Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions, the Caterkillers were a part of Dr. Robotnik's Badnik army. Because of the different artists, Caterkillers were often give a slightly different look in each of their appearance. Despite having a strong bite, Caterkillers were not smart in their early appearances, but over time, later models got faster and were able to burrow through the ground.

The Caterkillers were frequently called into battle against the Freedom Fighters and their allies. While he was stationed on Flickies' Island, Robotnik started building a more powerful and dread-looking model of Caterkillers.

Archie Comics

The Caterkiller, from Sonic the Hedgehog #275.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Caterkillers were among the first generation of Badniks produced by Dr. Robotnik. The Caterkiller was in fact the first Badnik Sonic the Hedgehog encountered. Over time though, the Caterkillers were rendered obsolete by more advanced robots. When Dr. Eggman took over, he would go on and produce a far larger and more powerful, but also less intelligent, Caterkiller.

Following the events of Worlds Collide, the Caterkillers' history became nearly identical to that of their game counterparts. In Another Time, In Another Place, different type of Caterkillers called Goal Caterkillers were built by Dr. Eggman to kidnap Sonic's friends.

Sonic X

Main article: Caterkiller (Sonic X)

A Caterkiller, from Sonic X #10.

In the Sonic X comic series, the Caterkillers appeared as digital enemies whom Sonic encountered in a virtual reality Dr. Eggman had trapped him in.

IDW Publishing

Main article: Caterkiller (IDW)

A Caterkiller, from Sonic the Hedgehog #36.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing, the Caterkillers are a line of Badniks created by Dr. Eggman. Their past is virtually identical to their game counterparts', up until after the events of Sonic Forces. The standard Caterkiller models look almost identical to their game counterparts, except that they have black eyes with cyan irises, just like the modern Sandworms. In addition, Dr. Eggman keeps classic Caterkiller models on display in his private quarters.


The toy company Tomy has released Caterkiller 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.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) United States instruction booklet, p. 12.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, p. 38.
  3. Come Join the Eggman Empire!. YouTube. Sega (2 November 2017). Retrieved on 3 November 2017.
  4. Message #9762 at sonicthecomic Yahoo! Group
  5. Sonic Mania. The Cutting Room Floor. Retrieved on 29 October 2018.
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