Chip (チップ Chippu?), real name Light Gaia (ライトガイア Raito Gaia?), is a character in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. He is a primordial entity from the dawn of time and the incarnation of light, day and rebirth. Since the earth's beginning, Chip has been in an eternal conflict with Dark Gaia to protect the planet, where they maintain a cycle of destruction and rebirth of the world.
In the present day, Chip was awoken prematurely by Dr. Eggman when he tried to harness Dark Gaia, losing his memories as a result. He later met Sonic the Hedgehog and the two of them worked together to recover Chip's memories and bring the planet back together after Dark Gaia shattered it. After restoring his cycle with Dark Gaia, Chip returned to dormancy.
Concept and creation
Chip was supposed to be named "Whip," in reference to "whipped cream," which is the reason that whipped cream became an early design motif, like his hair resembling a dollop of whipped cream. However, because the word has different connotations in English (including the act of punishment with a whip, like whipping, or suffering injury, whiplash), Sega of America was not pleased with the name, so they had it changed to Chip.
Chip is a small, imp-like creature. Resembling somewhat of an anthropomorphic chihuahua as well, he has small hands with five fingers, three-toed feet, a relatively large head, a flat muzzle with a small black nose, bronze eyes, large and slightly pointy ears on top of his head, and a pair of light green, fairy-like wings on his back. He is also mostly covered in burgundy fur with white fur on his hands, feet, front torso, inner ears, and muzzle area. He also has a collar of extra thick fur around his neck, a round turf of fur on his rear for a tail, and a white Mohawk on his head. For attire, he wears a green bauble necklace.
Born as Dark Gaia's opposite, Light Gaia originates from the beginning of time and has lived on the earth since the planet began. While their origins are unclear, Professor Pickle has speculated that both Light and Dark Gaia are manifestations of the planet's desire for a balance between light and darkness. It was back then that Light Gaia began his task of protecting the earth from Dark Gaia, who sought the planet's destruction, starting an endless cycle of destruction and rebirth of the planet. In this cycle, Light Gaia would awaken from the planet's core after Dark Gaia had incubated in it for millions of years and broken the planet apart during the time of awakening. Light Gaia would then return Dark Gaia to dormancy in the planet's core, rebuild the planet, and go back to sleep in the core again, thus restarting the cycle. Despite his many years of duty though, Light Gaia never came to learn anything about the various incarnations of the planet he was protecting.
Some tens of thousands of years ago, Light Gaia had just finished another cycle of destruction and recreation of the world with Dark Gaia, before returning to dormancy to await Dark Gaia's inevitable return.
In both the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version and the Wii/PlayStation 2 version of Sonic Unleashed, Light Gaia was awoken prematurely when Dr. Eggman used his Chaos Energy Cannon to awaken Dark Gaia and shatter the earth, giving Light Gaia retrograde amnesia. He ended up unconscious on Windmill Isle, where he unknowingly used his powers to break Sonic the Werehog's fall from space. When he was found by Sonic, Light Gaia was briefly frightened when he saw Sonic's Werehog form. Light Gaia soon realized that he had amnesia, though, and panicked until Sonic promised to help him regain his memories. Dawn then arrived, and Light Gaia saw Sonic return to his old self.
When the two arrived in Apotos, Light Gaia took an instant liking to the Ice Cream Vendor's Chocolate Chip Sundae Supreme, which Sonic named him after. After fruitlessly searching Apotos for anyone who knew "Chip", night fell and Sonic become a Werehog again, which Chip witnessed. Soon after, Chip and Sonic found Tails, who took them to Spagonia to see Professor Pickle, who could shed some light on Dr. Eggman's plan for breaking the world apart. When they got there however, they learned that Professor Pickle had been kidnapped by Eggman. The trio tracked the professor to Mazuri where they freed him from Eggman's base and reclaimed the Gaia Manuscripts. Back in Spagonia, Pickle explained how Dark Gaia was responsible for the planet's shattering and that they could restore the planet and reseal Dark Gaia by taking the powerless Chaos Emeralds to the Gaia Temples.
Sonic and Chip shortly after revisited Mazuri where Sonic saved the villagers from Eggman. The duo then pursued Eggman and managed to drive him off. Afterward, they found the local Gaia Temple, which Chip discovered he could activate, allowing Sonic to restoring the Emerald and Mazuri's continent. Chip and Sonic returned afterward to Spagonia at night where they met Amy, who was unable to recognize Sonic in his Werehog form. As Amy left, Chip unintentionally depressed Sonic by noting how different he was as a Werehog. When Amy later got caught by people possessed by Dark Gaia's Minions, Chip unknowingly exorcised them when he took a picture of them. Though they left before Amy could see Sonic, Chip and Sonic soon after came clear to Amy.
Resuming their mission, Chip and Sonic continuing travelling the world, fixing the planet one piece at a time. Meanwhile, Chip had a great time seeing the world. As they restored the sixth continent though, Chip got sucked into a mural inside the Gaia Temple where he got his memories back. Returning to Sonic, Chip explained his history, the cause of his memory loss, and the reason why Sonic retained his personality as a Werehog. He then thanked Sonic for everything and tried leaving on his own to restore the planet, but Sonic convinced him to let him help.
Traveling to Eggmanland and the last Gaia Temple, Chip led Sonic to the Temple where they started the process of restoring the final continent. As they thought their mission was over though, they were ambushed by Eggman and his Egg Dragoon. The latter then knocked Sonic and Chip into a hole to the planet's core where Sonic defeated Eggman and his Egg Dragoon. However, Dark Gaia would then emerge from the core and knock Eggman away, before turning its attention to Sonic and Chip. After attempting to attack them, Dark Gaia sucked its remaining power out of Sonic. With Sonic too weak from the energy drain to escape, Chip protected him with his powers and called the Gaia Temples to him, turning him into the Gaia Colossus.
In his new form, Chip and Sonic fought Dark Gaia. However, Dark Gaia soon reached full maturity, transformed into Perfect Dark Gaia, and began enveloping the world in darkness. Fortunately, Chip and Super Sonic defeated Perfect Dark Gaia and sealed it inside the planet. With the final continent coming down, Chip said goodbye to Sonic, who had fallen unconscious after the battle, and threw him back up to the surface of the planet while he was sealed within the earth. Leaving his necklace as a gift for Sonic, Chip contacted Sonic telepathically, promising him that he would never forget him and he would always be with him as a part of the earth on which Sonic tread.
Other game appearances
Mario & Sonic series
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games
In the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Chip does not appear in person. However, a Mii costume based on Chip can be unlocked in the game by playing for a total of five hours in Single Event Mode, after which Charmy will send the player the costume in the mail.
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games
In Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Chip does not appear in person. However, a Mii costume based on Chip can be unlocked in the game by getting a gold medal in the sixteen Olympic Events.
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
In the Wii U version of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Chip does not appear in person. However, a Mii costume set based on Chip can be unlocked in the game. However, it must be collected in two separate parts, each with their own stat changes.
Sonic Runners series
During the "Birthday on Windy Hill" event, Chip came to celebrate Sonic's birthday. However, it was not long before he, Yacker and some Chao got kidnapped by Dr. Eggman when he attacked the party with his Death Egg drones. Ever positive, Chip remained sure someone would save them. Sure enough, Team Sonic soon after came to their rescue.
Sonic Runners Adventure
In Sonic Runners Adventure, Chip appears as a buddy that gives the player a free revive once per run.
Chip has a cheerful and optimistic personality. He is usually happy-go-lucky and in high spirits and very goodhearted, though also somewhat goofy. He is likewise naive and very curious about the world, often asking simple but ponderous questions, and enjoys the slower things in life. Though he is never mean of intention, he sometimes comes off as a little annoying and blunt, like accidentally pointing out the ugliness of Sonic's Werehog form and getting up in Sonic's face a bit too often.
Chip is extremely gluttonous and absolutely adores food, especially chocolate which he always keeps on him. Even spotting some good food can make him utterly distracted. Regardless of his love for food though, Chip is never greedy with it, and will always offer a chocolate bar to those he meet as a sign of friendship or offer people food to help them with their issues. Likewise, Chip hates hunger, preferring to be dead rather than going hungry for longer periods of time. Additionally, he is concerned about others' hunger as well, as he was mostly concerned that Professor Pickle could be starving while he was Eggman's prisoner.
When facing an opponent, Chip will act threatening and scary, all while striking poses, flaunting his fists, and showing a serious demeanor. Behind this front however, he is relatively scared in such encounters and would, at least prior to recovering his memories, seek cover behind Sonic where he would resume acting threatening. Also, as seen during their encounter with Uh and Su, Chip is genuinely terrified of ghosts and scary things, even fainting dead away after Sonic teasingly scared him with a flashlight.
Chip is very dutiful when it comes to his job of protecting the earth from Dark Gaia, having stuck with it for countless ages. He also believed at first that this duty is his responsibility alone and that no one has to get needlessly involved, as he tried to leave on his own to defeat Dark Gaia after regaining his memories, even though he was reluctant. Thanks to Sonic, however, Chip realized that it was okay to let others help him with his duty.
Powers and abilities
By using his wings, Chip is able to achieve flight in mid-air. While in flight, he can reach speeds great enough to keep up with Sonic.
As a counter to Dark Gaia's abilities, Chip can bring the earth back together after Dark Gaia splits it apart, though it is unknown if he uses the Gaia Temples for this procedure or it is an ability of his own. Being a living embodiment of light, Chip can as well draw power from the light and day and possesses photokinesis, allowing him to use light to form highly durable force-fields and amplify his own attacks with light. Due to being an eternal force alongside darkness, Chip is as well immortal and can presumably never be destroyed as his presence is a natural part of the world. He is also shown to have telepathic abilities, enabling him to communicate with others through his mind.
Chip has a strong connection to the Gaia Temples which lets him control their workings at will and sense their locations. By using the Chaos Emeralds in conjunction with the Gaia Temples, Chip is able to levitate the entire Gaia Temples and move them through midair so fast that it looks like they are teleporting.
By harnessing the Chaos Emeralds' power and merging with the Gaia Temples. Chip can transform into the Gaia Colossus. In addition to his massively increased size, Chip obtains immense physical strength and durability. He is also capable of high-speed flight and can channel light into highly powerful punches.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Chip's closest and dearest friend is Sonic the Hedgehog. When Chip first saw Sonic, he was initially frightened of him due to his appearance in his Werehog form. However, he soon realized that he was a nice person who meant no harm. When Sonic then told Chip that he would help get his memories back, Chip quickly took a liking to Sonic and thanked him whole-heartedly. Unbeknownst to Chip, he also subconsciously sensed the innate goodness in Sonic and wanted him to help him.
Chip spent all his time by Sonic's side following that, and steadily built up a great friendship with him. During their time together, Chip also enjoyed engaging in friendly competition with Sonic, such as when they fought over the last meat bun in Chun-nan. However, Chip would sometimes also annoy Sonic with his naïve bluntness and his tendency to disturb him at inconvenient times, though he never had any mean intention with them. Also, when he accidentally made Sonic depressed about his Werehog form, Chip tried his best to cheer him up.
After recovering his memories, Chip was deeply grateful to Sonic for all he had done for him. However, he did not want Sonic to get himself needlessly involved with his conflict with Dark Gaia, and as such tried to leave on his own. However, he was convinced by Sonic to let help him anyway, which Chip thanked him for. Later, during their battle with Dark Gaia, Chip prioritized Sonic's well-being whenever the hedgehog was weak, such as when he was weakened by the energy drain Dark Gaia or when he fell unconscious from beating Perfect Dark Gaia. When the last continent came down and they had to depart, Chip only wished for Sonic to live on and gave a heartfelt goodbye before sending him back to the surface. There, Chip contacted Sonic telepathically, telling him that he would never forget him and that he would always be with him.
Chip is Dark Gaia's opposite, and his task, which he always having stuck with it, is protecting the earth from him, who seeks the planet's destruction, thereby keeping them in an endless cycle of destruction and rebirth of the planet. However, after they were awoken prematurely by Dr. Eggman using his Chaos Energy Cannon, Dark Gaia attempted to destroy the world, but thanks to Sonic's aid, they defeated and returned Dark Gaia to dormancy, restoring the earth's natural cycle.
- Amy Rose
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Professor Pickle
- Professor Pickle's Assistant
- Sonic the Hedgehog (best friend)
In other media
Books and comics
Sonic World Adventure (manga)
Chip is the main character from the Sonic World Adventure manga that is based on Sonic Unleashed. Similar to in Sonic Unleashed, Chip was found laying on the ground by Sonic when he fell from space. When they met, Chip got scared off by his Werehog form and punched Sonic's eyes, telling him that he tasted bad. Chip then realized Sonic was a "gentle person" and became overjoyed when Sonic agreed to get his memory back, promoting Chip to go on about how it was Sonic's fault he lost his memories and he now had to give him ice cream.
At the day time they stop in Apotos, Chip rushed ahead seeking ice cream. When he found an ice cream vendor and his shop, Chip demanded ice cream rabidly, accidentally destroying the shop in his eagerness. When Sonic got there, Chip desperately asked for ice cream, until Sonic promised the crying ice cream vendor they would fix his shop later. Sonic and Chip left to find materials for the repairs, but while Chip was happy to help, he kept finding food instead of construction material, forcing Sonic to repeatedly scold him and eventually kick him in the head. After Sonic destroyed some Egg Fighters, Chip gave Sonic the idea to use the scrap metal to fix the shop. Once Sonic had rebuilt and improved the shop with robot parts, Chip wanted to be the first customer, but when he reached there, the Egg Fighter (who was the shop) began shooting with ice cream.
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, much like in the games, Chip is an ancient spirit meant to help the world when it shatters every ten thousand years. Following the occurrence of the Shattered World Crisis, Chip reawakened, but due to the planet's shattering having gone awry, he got amnesia. He was soon after found by Knuckles and the Chaotix and brought to the Freedom Fighters who helped him restore the planet while showing him the wonders of the world.
- "My real name is Light Gaia. I draw power from the day and light, and guide the planet to it's rebirth. My job is to protect the planet from Dark Gaia. But Eggman broke the world apart himself, and Dark Gaia and I were awakened before we should've been. That's why Dark Gaia broke apart, and I didn't know who I was. I didn't remember what I was supposed to do. All because this isn't the proper Time of awakening. [...] Dark Gaia grows over millions of years, then rises to destroy the world. And I put it all back together. We've been doing this over and over, again and again since the very beginning of time."
- —Chip's story to Sonic after regaining his memories, Sonic Unleashed
- A Souvenir fashioned after Chip, called the "Chehaya Charm," can be bought from the Flying Fish Beach Shop in Adabat in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed. The description of this object hints towards Chip's true identity as Light Gaia.
- Chip was first seen in the Japanese manga adaption of Sonic Unleashed.
- Throughout Sonic Unleashed, Chip uses the same camera that Su and Uh used in Sonic: Night of the Werehog.
- Chip is one of the two oldest characters in the Sonic series, the other being Dark Gaia.
- Sonic's naming of Chip after the ice-cream he was eating is similar in nature to how Sonic gave Emerl its name.
- In Speed Highway Act 2 in Sonic Generations, Chip's name can be spotted on a sign.
- The PlayStation 2 Memory Card Icon for Sonic Unleashed is Chip himself.
- Chip is among the few characters in the Sonic series who go barefoot.
- When Chip is explaining the time of awakening to Sonic after regaining his memories in the Japanese version of the game, he pluralizes his name "Chip" and continues saying that they, "Chips," have been sealing Dark Gaia into the core of the planet since a distant past. This seems to imply that Chip is not the only "Light Gaia."
- In Spagonia University, when Chip is lamenting over how hungry Professor Pickle must be in Eggman's custody (and how he'd rather be dead than starving), his spirit is briefly separated from his body in the form of a ghost. Whether this is one of his powers, or was simply done for comedic effect, is unknown.
- Initially, Amy Palant was to voice Chip as evidenced in early 3D cutscene test of Sonic Unleashed, but was replaced by Tony Salerno in the final version of the game for unknown reasons. 
- Sonic Channel (Japanese). Characters: Chip. Sega. Archived from the original on 26 May 2019. Retrieved on 3 July 2015.
- Sonic Runners. Sega. Retrieved on 20 February 2015.
- Bloom, Ryan (21 February 2019). Concept Art Unleashed. TSSZ News. Archived from the original on 20 June 2019.
- Sonic Team (9 December 2008). Sonic Unleashed. PlayStation 3. Sega. Cutscene: No Reason. "Chip: Dark Gaia grows over millions of years, then rises to destroy the world. And I put it all back together. We've been doing this over and over, again and again... since the very beginning of time."
- Sonic Team (9 December 2008). Sonic Unleashed. PlayStation 3. Sega. Cutscene: Save the Speech. "Prof. Pickle: We cannot live without the night. We all must sleep. We all must rest. Darkness is a part of our world, just the same as light. It may be that the darkness has not been destroyed, but merely laid to rest. It grows strong over the eons, rises up, then is put to slumber by the light. Perhaps that is the true balance of Dark and Light Gaia. That balance may be the very will of the planet itself."
- Sonic Team (9 December 2008). Sonic Unleashed. PlayStation 3. Sega. Cutscene: No Reason. "Chip: You never give in to the night, or to the darkness inside your heart. I think it's because I knew that about you. That's why I wanted you to help."
- Last Minute Continue on Twitter. Twitter (28 April 2022). Retrieved on 28 April 2022. "Last Minute Continue: Archive GOOD News: SO... I've found a WIP (literally the base 3D blocking) version of the Sonic Unleashed cutscene where Chip gets his name. Complete with a scratch track and Amy Palant (Tails) as *Whip*. So, should I put it uppppp? 👍"