- This article is about the video game character. For the Archie Comics interpretation of this character, see Chip (Archie).
Chip (チップ Chippu?), real name Light Gaia (ライトガイア Raito Gaia?), is a fictional character from 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 a reference to "whipped cream", which is the reason that whipped cream became an early design motif (for example, some early concepts had his hair like a dollop of whipped cream). However, because the word whip has different connotations in English (including the act of punishment, whipping, or suffering injury, as in the term whiplash), Sega of America was not pleased with the name, so they changed the name to Chip.
Born as Dark Gaia's opposite, Chip originates from the beginning of time and has lived on the earth since when the planet first began. While their origins are unclear, Prof. Pickle has speculated that both Chip and Dark Gaia are manifestations of the planet's desire for a balance between light and darkness. It was back then that Chip began his job of protecting the earth from Dark Gaia who sought its destruction, starting an endless cycle of destruction and rebirth of the planet. In this cycle, Chip 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. Chip 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, Chip never came to learn about the earth itself.
Some tens of thousands of years ago, Chip had just finished another cycle of destruction and recreation of the world with Dark Gaia, before returning to dormancy for Dark Gaia's return.
In Sonic Unleashed, Chip was awoken prematurely when Dr. Eggman used his Chaos Energy Cannon to awaken Dark Gaia and shatter the earth, giving Chip retrograde amnesia. He ended up unconscious in Windmill Isle where he unknowingly used his powers to break Sonic the Werehog's fall from space. When he was found by Sonic, Chip was briefly frightened when he saw Sonic's Werehog form. Chip soon realized his amnesia though and panicked until Sonic promised to help him regain his memories. Dawn then arrived, and Chip saw Sonic return to his old self.
When the two arrived in Apotos, Chip 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 Chip witnessed Sonic become a Werehog again. 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. When they got there however, they learned 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 seal Dark Gaia by taking the powerless Chaos Emeralds to the Gaia Temples.
Sonic and Chip shortly after visited Mazuri where Sonic saved the villagers from Eggman before they pursued and drove Eggman off. They then 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 to Spagonia at night where they met Amy who was unable to recognize Sonic as Werehog. As Amy left, Chip unintentionally depressed Sonic by noting how different he was. When Amy later was caught by people possessed by Dark Gaia, Chip unknowingly exorcised them when he took a picture. Though they left before Amy could see Sonic, they soon after came clear.
Resuming their mission, Chip and Sonic continuing traveling 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 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 remained the same person as a Werehog. He thanked Sonic for everything and tried leaving to restore the planet alone, but Sonic convinced him to letting 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, they were ambushed by Eggman and his Egg Dragoon and knocked into a hole to the planet's core where Sonic defeated the Egg Dragoon. However, Dark Gaia then emerged from the core, knocking Eggman away, and briefly attacked Chip and Sonic before sucking its remaining power out of Sonic. With Sonic too weak to escape, Chip protected him 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, becoming 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 an unconscious Sonic and threw him back up to the surface 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 he tread.
Other game appearances
Mario & Sonic series
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games
In the third installment of the Mario & Sonic series, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, a Chip costume can be earned by playing the game for five hours. Charmy Bee gives the costume as a present and the costume can then be placed on any Mii for then to be used in any event in the game. The costume gives the Mii the stats of a Skill type character.
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
A Chip costume can be acquired in Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
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 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 bright personality; he is playful, merry, carefree and very goodhearted, though also somewhat goofy. He is naïve 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 often getting up in Sonic's face.
Chip is incredibly gluttonous and absolutely adores food, especially chocolate which he always keeps on him, and can be utterly distracted by it. Regardless of his love for food, Chip will always offer a chocolate bar to those he meet as a sign of friendship and will try to offer people food to help with their issues. Likewise, Chip hates hunger, preferring to be dead rather than going hungry for longer periods of time. Additionally, he is also concerned about others' hunger 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, striking poses and flaunting his fists while keeping 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 in Sonic: Night of the Werehog, Chip is genuinely terrified of ghosts and scary things, even fainting dead away after Sonic teasingly scares him with a flashlight.
Chip is very dutiful about his job of protecting the earth from Dark Gaia, having stuck with it for countless ages. He also believed at first that it 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
Contrary to his small size, Chip ranks among the most powerful characters in the series, possessing a level of power comparable or equal to that of Dark Gaia's. By using his wings, Chip is able to achieve flight in mid-air. While in flight, he can move at speeds high 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 process or it is an ability of his own. Being a living embodiment of light, Chip can draw power from the light and day and possesses the power photokinesis, allowing him to use light to form highly durable force fields and amplify his own attacks. 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 telepathically.
Chip shares a strong connection with 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 air 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 massively increased size, Chip obtains immense physical strength and durability, is capable of high-speed flight, and can channel light into highly powerful punches.
In other media
Sonic World Adventure (manga)
Chip is the main character from Sonic World Adventure 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 improve 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 mean to help the world whenever 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.
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 seeing him in his Werehog form, but soon realized he was a nice guy. When Sonic told Chip he would help get his memories back, Chip quickly took a liking to Sonic and thanked him whole-hearted. Additionally, Chip subconsciously sensed the innate goodness in Sonic and wanted him to help him.
Chip spend all his time by Sonic's side following that, and slowly built up a great friendship with him. Chip also enjoys engaging in friendly competition with Sonic, such as when they fought over the last meat bun in Chun-nan. However, Chip sometimes proved to be an annoyance to Sonic due to his naïve bluntness and disturbing him at inconvenient times, though he never had any mean intention. Also, when he accidentally made Sonic depressed about his Werehog form, Chip tried his best 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. During their battle with Dark Gaia, Chip prioritized Sonic's well-being whenever he 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.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (best friend)
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Prof. Pickle
- Amy Rose
- Prof. Pickle's Assistant
- "Want some chocolate?"
- —Chip offering somebody chocolate
- "Don't eat me! I taste bad!"
- —Chip when first seeing Sonic the Werehog
- "Oh, I'm just fine! Thanks for asking, Mr. Monster Guy!"
- —Chip after Sonic asked him if he was okay
- "Mmmm-mm! Wow, this chip-whatever stuff is great!"
- —Chip enjoying his Sundae Supreme
- "Yeah! Chip! I love it! Yum!"
- —Sonic when Sonic asks him if he likes the name "Chip"
- "Sonic. I remember now. All of it."
- —Chip tells Sonic that he has recovered from his memory loss
- "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
- "Seven lights of the earth rekindled!"
- —Chip calling the Gaia Temples to him
- "Awaken, and gather here to me!"
- —Chip assembling the Gaia Colossus
- "Sonic, you must live."
- —Chip saying goodbye to Sonic
- "I'll never forget you. I'll be here by you, always. A part of the earth you tread."
- —Chip promising Sonic that he will always be with him
- A Souvenir, fashioned after Chip, called the "Chehaya Charm" can be bought from the Flying Fish Beach Shop in Adabat on the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 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 Wu used in Sonic: Night of the Werehog.
- Chip is one of the two oldest characters in the Sonic the Hedgehog 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 the manga that was based on Sonic Unleashed, Chip speaks in third-person, saying things like "Chip wants ice cream!" rather than "I want ice cream!" like in the video game, he would talk in third-person and often refer to himself as "Chip" instead of "Me," "Mine," or "I." This is also apparent in the Japanese version of the game, though this is after Sonic gives Chip his nickname.
- 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 the Hedgehog 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.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Sonic Channel (Japanese). Characters: Chip. Sega. Archived from the original on 26 May 2019. Retrieved on 3 July 2015.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Sega. Sonic Runners. Sega. Retrieved on 20 February 2015.
- ↑ http://www.tssznews.com/2009/02/21/concept-art-unleashed/
- ↑ 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."
- ↑ "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." - Chip, Sonic Unleashed.