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"Nack the Weasel" redirects here. For other uses of the term, see Nack the Weasel (disambiguation).

This half jerboa, half wolf is a wily treasure and bounty hunter who often bungles his own traps and attempted ambushes. He rides the Marvelous Queen, a hover bike with modular upgrades and weapons that work most of the time. He has no idea what kind of power the Chaos Emeralds hold - he just wants to sell them off.


— Description, Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia

Fang the Sniper (ファング・ザ・スナイパー Fangu za Sunaipā?), also called Nack the Weasel, is a fictional character in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. He is an anthropomorphic jerboa-wolf and treasure hunter who resides in a mysterious alternate dimension, which is described as subspace.[4][5] His goal is to get his hands on the Chaos Emeralds for monetary purposes.[6] He is a slick villain, but his aspirations are small-time. Fang uses a Popgun as his primary weapon and the Marvelous Queen aerobike as his mode of transportation.

Concept and creation

An early concept of Fang with Sonic.

Fang was conceived as a Sega Game Gear-exclusive character.[7] While Fang was designed by Shinichi Higashi with permission from Naoto Ohshima,[8] Tadashi Ihoroi, who was responsible for the planning and setting for Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble,[7] was the one who came up with Fang's personality.[9] Higashi himself worked for Sega between 1994-2002 and later became known as popular freelance figure artist in Japan.[2] According to the interview of Artoyz.com, Touma got interest of the Sega's blue mascot after studying for designing in Art school. After Sega hired him, Touma worked in many departments, including at Sonic Team. Fang the Sniper was his first professional character he has designed.[2] The pointed look of Fang's face with his nose and hat both pointing forward was inspired by the simple design of Opa-Opa; Touma wanted to implement the simplicity of its design into Fang.[10] Touma would state on Twitter that he designed Fang with a jerboa (トビネズミ tobi nezumi?) motif in mind.[11] However, the sales departments of Sega decided upon him being half jerboa and half wolf in Japan, and a weasel in North America.[12][13]

Since Fang likes to collect shiny things, he was designed with attire evoking that of an explorer. His four fingers, instead of the usual five for a Sonic character, are derived from the species he was based on.[14]

During development, the character was known as "Nack."[15] However, a character named Knuckles had been created for Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Since the pronunciation of the two names would be similar in Japanese, it was decided to change Nack's name.[16] A contest to decide upon a name for Sonic's new rival ran in the gaming magazine, Shūkan Famicom Tsūshin.[17] Meanwhile, overseas, the character was originally revealed to the public as "Jet."[18] In the end, the name "Fang the Sniper" was decided upon.

In North America and Europe, the name "Nack" was retained for Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble, since "Nack" starting with an "N" and "Knuckles" starting with a "K" was deemed to be enough to differentiate the two.[19]

The early development of Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble.

During development of his debut title, Fang had what appeared to be a revolver or silver magnum as a weapon, but Sega eventually scrapped for unknown reasons. Early screenshots of Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble featured Fang pulling out his gun to hold up or shoot Sonic, but this was entirely removed from the final game. In Sonic the Fighters, his signature weapon is instead a Popgun.

Species

In Japan, Fang the Sniper was designated as half jerboa and half wolf,[3] although creator Shinichi Higashi only had a jerboa in mind when designing him. When Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble was localized for North American and Europe, he was renamed to "Nack the Weasel." In all subsequent video game appearances, he has been called "Fang" regardless of region, with no reference to his species. In his Sonic Generations cameo, both names are used, reading as: "Nack The Weasel A.K.A Fang The Sniper." The official Sonic Central website described the character as a wolf weasel hybrid.[6]

Appearance

Fang has purple and white fur. He wears a big brown Stetson hat, brown boots with white gaiters, brown gloves with metal plates on them and a brown belt with a gold buckle. In Sonic the Fighters, a holster was added to the right side of his belt. Keeping true to his namesake, he has a large, sharp fang on the left side of his mouth. He has long ears, long feet and a long, thick, purple tail that he uses to lay back on, for bouncing on and attacking his foes. Unlike most Sonic characters, Fang has only four fingers on each hand.

History

Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble

Fang, referred to as Nack the Weasel here, makes his first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble. In this game, he is one of three major antagonists, the others being Knuckles and Dr. Robotnik, who are opposing Sonic and Tails in the race for the Chaos Emeralds. Fang's motives are quite different than Knuckles', who was simply duped by Robotnik into fighting Sonic. Here, Nack is purely motivated by his greed, as he seeks to steal the Chaos Emeralds for himself. At the end of each Special Stage, Sonic must fight Nack for control over the Chaos Emeralds.

Nack always fights Sonic on his "airbike"[20] throughout the each Special Stage, except for the first. He often attaches some sort of device, such as a drill or spring, to his vehicle so that he can attack Sonic, much like Robotnik's Eggman Mobile.

Sonic the Fighters

Sonic and Fang in Casino Night, from Sonic the Fighters.

In Sonic the Fighters, Fang had managed to steal one of the Chaos Emeralds from one of the eight guardians. Eventually, Dr. Robotnik constructed the Death Egg II, which he used to deploy hordes of robots to lay waste to the world with. Soon after, Fang joined the fighting tournament held to decide which one among the Chaos Emerald guardians was the strongest. If Fang could defeat all the contestants, he would earn the right to travel to the Death Egg II in Tails' single-seat Lunar Fox to destroy it and stop Robotnik's evil scheme.[21]

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 Drift 2

Fang and his Marvelous Queen, from Sonic Drift 2.

In Sonic Drift 2, Fang the Sniper is featured as one of seven playable racers. He entered the second Chaos Grand Prix to get his hands on the prize: a Chaos Emerald. His vehicle is his "aerobike," which he named the "Marvelous Queen."

Fang's strength in this game is his acceleration, with his weakness being handling; while he possesses high acceleration and maximum speed, he also possesses low handling, meaning he cannot corner as easily as the other racers. On the race track, Fang's special ability is the "Oil Balls."[22] With it, Fang can drop balls which cause any racers that drive over them to slip, lose control, and eventually spin out.[22]

Tails Adventure

Fang-Tails-Adventure.png

In Tails Adventure, Fang makes a cameo appearance as an item called Fang.[23] This item can be found at Polly Mountain 2. When equipped, it increases the chances that a destroyed enemy drops Rings.

Sonic Mega Collection

In Sonic Mega Collection and Sonic Mega Collection Plus, Fang makes a small cameo appearance in the unlockable Archie Comics covers.

Sonic Storybook series

Sonic and the Secret Rings

Although Fang is neither seen or mentioned in Sonic and the Secret Rings, he was mentioned by Sonic in the DVD-ROM flash comic sold to promote the game.

Sonic and the Black Knight

In Sonic and the Black Knight, Fang made a cameo on a piece of fan art that made it into the game, which features him on the Marvelous Queen racing alongside Sonic and Knuckles.

Sonic Generations

Fang's wanted poster, from the console/PC version of Sonic Generations.

In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, Fang the Sniper makes a cameo appearance in City Escape, as he appears on a wanted poster for theft and extortion. Both his original Japanese and western names are mentioned in his poster, reading: "Nack The Weasel A.K.A Fang The Sniper."

On the other hand, in the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations, Fang makes a small cameo appearance on a piece of bonus artwork in the Collection Room.

Sonic Mania

In Sonic Mania and Sonic Mania Plus, Fang the Sniper makes a cameo appearance. At the beginning of Mirage Saloon Zone Act 2, one of either him, Bark the Polar Bear or Bean the Dynamite is seen standing on a Badnik while firing his Popgun to take down the Tornado. Much like in Sonic Generations, he also appears on a wanted poster around the Zone.

Fang also appears during the boss battle of Mirage Saloon Zone Act 2, where he is revealed to be one of the illusions created by the Heavy Magician. During the battle, Fang bounces around with his tail while shooting corks from his popgun. Hitting him will make the Heavy Magician reveal herself.

Personality

Fang is a mischievous treasure hunter who tries hard to be sneaky and cunning, although his overconfidence and overall naiveté proves to be his biggest flaw.[4] In Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble's English instruction manual, he is said to desire the Chaos Emeralds not because he knows of their true power, but because he believes they will fetch a hefty price on the market.[20] Fang appears to be a coward, as he often runs away when his plans go wrong or when he's frightened.

While Fang had no dialogue, he showed himself to be a comedic and egotistical bad-guy who sows his own defeat in Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble. This is shown by his trap backfiring and lighting himself on fire in his first encounter and getting shot by his own heat-seeking missile while gloating in his fourth battle against Sonic. Fang was fairly clumsy, often tripping when running away after a defeat. His poster in Sonic Generations suggests that he may be a loose criminal wanted for theft and extortion, as shown in his description on said poster.

Powers and abilities

Fang seems to be generally lacking in abilities, he often uses his wits and gadgets instead of brawn. He's fairly skilled at piloting his flying bike, and the various gadgets attached to it, such as springs, an irate missile and a drill.

Fang's main weapon is his Popgun, a gun that fires corks, as opposed to conventional bullets. His title, Sniper, suggests that he's able to use his Popgun with great accuracy.

Despite being overall lacking in any real abilities, Fang's tail is rather strong and dexterous. Fang is often seen laying back on it while relaxing, Fang can also use his tail as a spring to reach great heights, in Sonic the Fighters, Fang uses his tail as part of a powerful attack as well as a third leg of sorts when kicking opponents with both of his legs.

Relationships

Enemies

In other media

Sonic the Comic

In Sonic the Comic, Nack used to be a member of the Chaotix Crew, but betrayed them to the Brotherhood of Metallix for money. He reappeared sporadically throughout the comic, working solely for financial gain either through mercenary work or robbing banks/ancient treasures, and he battled the Chaotix Crew twice. He was later instrumental in shrinking various characters (including himself and Sonic the Hedgehog) to sub-molecular size, initiating a string of adventures on the sub-molecular world of Shanazar.

Archie Comics

Nack, from Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog and its spin-off comic series published by Archie Comics, Nack was a rare wolf-weasel Mobian hybrid and a mercenary of much renown, tracking down both treasure and individuals. In particular, he had captured or overcome Sonic the Hedgehog numerous times. Nack usually preferred to work alone for the sake of speed, efficiency, and so he does not have to share the reward. He worked on odd occasions with his twin sister Nic the Weasel, but his rivalry with her is legendary.

For a brief time he worked for the Destructix, but that did not serve his interests. His most disastrous team-up was with Karl, Jeff, and Konor. They plotted to kidnap Princess Sally, but things fell apart, and the lackeys were arrested. Nack was captured later, only to find his gang bulked up and very displeased about being left behind. When the opportunity, Nack snuck out of prison - but not before fatally poisoning the gang's food. His last job featured Bean and Bark in his employ as Team Hooligan, but ended in disaster.

Following the events of Worlds Collide, Nack has become virtually identical to his game counterpart, though he remained a part of the Team Hooligan with Bean and Bark, operating as a mercenary in Dr. Eggman's employ.

IDW Publishing

Main article: Fang the Sniper (IDW)

Fang the Sniper, from Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing, Fang is a mercenary and treasure hunter for hire from another dimension set in the recent past, where he works together with Bean the Dynamite and Bark the Polar Bear.

Theme songs

Merchandise

Sonic the Fighters plush toy.

A plush toy of Fang 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. A set of much smaller plush toy keychains were made for the game as well, one of which from the set was Fang. In 2022, Great Eastern Entertainment released a 10" plush toy of Fang, as part of their Classic line.

Trivia

  • Fang the Sniper is one of the few characters (such as Mephiles the Dark and Bean the Dynamite) in the Sonic games to have a title that does not refer to his species, with the Sniper referencing his penchant for using guns. This, of course, does not apply to the original name of "Nack the Weasel."
    • Additionally, this alternate title of his was thought of by the Sega of America localization team, as references to firearms were not allowed. Why "Fang" was changed to "Nack" is unknown, but it might be due to fangs and other sharp objects tending to have negative connotations.
  • Fang appeared as a collectible toy in Sega's 1999 adventure game, Shenmue, for the Dreamcast and its sequel, Shenmue II, released in 2001. In the game, the player can collect toy versions of several Sega characters which includes Fang.
  • In Sonic the Fighters, Fang's "next match" character illustration is not simply mirrored for Player 2. Two slightly different images are used, so that his trademark fang is always on the left side of his mouth.
  • In Sonic the Fighters, Fang's gloves are miscolored white instead of brown on his character select icon.

The Fang the Sniper boss battle, from Sonic X-treme.

  • Originally, Fang was to appear as boss in the cancelled 1996 game, Sonic X-treme. In several magazine screenshots, Fang is shown to be unusually giant, much like Metal Sonic's appearance in the game. The boss battle was meant to happen in a free roaming field,[24] with the engine being programmed by Chris Coffin.[25]
  • According to an interview on Sonic Central, Sonic does not know the whereabouts of Fang, Bark, Ray, Bean, Chaos, or Tikal.[26]
  • In the early stages of Sonic Heroes, Fang was originally planned to appear as one of the playable characters on a team consisting of himself, Bean the Dynamite, and Bark the Polar Bear.[27]
  • Despite Fang only being depicted with four fingers on each hand in games and artwork, his Great Eastern Entertainment plush noticeably features five fingers on each hand.

References

  1. Playing as Tails and Knuckles in Sonic Mania - Kinda Funny Plays. YouTube (26 October 2016). Retrieved on 26 October 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Mise au point avec Touma (French). Artoyz (25 July 2007). Archived from the original on 24 November 2016. Retrieved on 6 September 2017. "Bonfil: Quel a été le premier personnage que tu as dessiné ? TOUMA: Mon premier personnage à Sega, c’était Fang the Sniper, un membre de la Sonic Family. Mon premier personnage en tant qu’artiste indépendant était Kaeeru Rider Series."
  3. 3.0 3.1 (in Japanese) ソニックジャム オフィシャルガイド. Soft Bank. 2 October 1997. p. 107. ISBN 978-4797303377.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sonic & Tails 2 - Fang Character profile. South Island Stories.
  5. TOUMA on Twitter (Japanese). Twitter (24 July 2021). Archived from the original on 24 July 2021. Retrieved on 24 July 2021. "TOUMA: 私が記憶している情報では、FANGは異空間という場所の出身で、SONICに出てくる他のキャラクターとは少し違う世界の出身という設定だったと思います。あの当時、ゲームギア部隊はSONICチーム本隊との連携はあまりとれていませんでした。名称の付け方も違うのはそういう理由があったはずです。"
  6. 6.0 6.1 Sega of America . Fang. Sonic Characters. Sega. Archived from the original on 5 March 2005. Retrieved on 26 October 2017. "This slick wolf weasel has only one thing on his mind: Chaos Emeralds. He doesn't want to rule the world or anything like that, but he knows the prized glittering jewels will bring a hefty price from the right bidder. This makes him quite a menace for Sonic who must keep the Emeralds from falling into the wrong hands...or else."
  7. 7.0 7.1 五百蔵 容 on Twitter (Japanese). Twitter (8 July 2011). Archived from the original on 2 April 2020. "五百蔵 容: ゲームギア版のソニック&テイルス1、2で、企画と設定をやりました。当時組んでいた東(現TOUMA )と共にギア版オリキャラとしてファングを作った次第です~。"
  8. TOUMA on Twitter (Japanese). Twitter (25 August 2017). Retrieved on 15 February 2018. "TOUMA: ファングをデザイン許可してもらった師匠の大島さんに感謝ですねー そしてこんなに格好良いファングを描いていただいて冥利に尽きます! かなりお馬鹿で抜けたところのあるキャラクターなので、たまにどじってる感じのイラストがあると嬉しいです!本当にありがとうございます!"
  9. TOUMA on Twitter (Japanese). Twitter (12 November 2019). Archived from the original on 12 November 2019. "TOUMA: 25年前にファングザスナイパーというキャラクターの外見(性格などは、尊敬して止まない同期の500)を産み出して世に出した日らしいです。25年前かーそれは歳を取るわけだわね。"
  10. TOUMA on Twitter (Japanese). Twitter. Archived from the original on 7 October 2020. Retrieved on 7 October 2020.
  11. TOUMA on Twitter (Japanese). Twitter (23 August 2017). Retrieved on 6 September 2017. "TOUMA: 私はトビネズミをモチーフにデザインしました。ですが、海外ではイタチと紹介されていたと思います。"
  12. TOUMA on Twitter. Twitter (4 November 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. "TOUMA: His motif is an animal called a Dipodidae. However, apart from my intention, it was a character of a wolf and a Dipodidae."
  13. TOUMA on Twitter. Twitter (4 November 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. "TOUMA: but I remember that the sales department released weasel in the US and wolf and Dipodidae in Japan."
  14. TOUMA on Twitter. Twitter (4 November 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. "TOUMA: He is interested in collecting what is shining. So I am doing something like an explorer. This is because the four fingers are mice."
  15. TOUMA on Twitter. Twitter (4 November 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. "TOUMA: In development it was named NACK. However, it means that a character called KNUCKLES will appear in SONIC 3,"
  16. TOUMA on Twitter. Twitter (4 November 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. "TOUMA: and I have to change my name because the pronunciations in Japan are similar. I think that we publicly invited names in Japanese magazines"
  17. "ソニック&テイルス2" (in Japanese). Shūkan Famicom Tsūshin. 1994. Archived from the original on 13 February 2018.. Retrieved on 13 February 2018.
  18. "Strangely Sonic". Mean Machines Sega. June 1994. Archived from the original.
  19. TOUMA on Twitter. Twitter (4 November 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. "ソニック&テイルス2: However, in the United States it was told that KNUCKLES starting with K and NACK starting with N are differentiated."
  20. 20.0 20.1 Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble (Sega Game Gear) United States instruction booklet, pg. 2.
  21. "Sonic the Fighters" (in Japanese). Gamest. June 1996. Archived from the original. Retrieved on 15 July 2018.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Sonic Drift 2 (Sega Game Gear) United States instruction booklet, pg. 7.
  23. Tails Adventure (Sega Game Gear) United States instruction booklet, pg. 15.
  24. The Nack The Weasel Boss stage. Secrets of Sonic Team. Retrieved on 26 March 2015.
  25. What is Sonic X-Treme?. Secrets of Sonic Team. Retrieved on 26 March 2015.
  26. Sega of America . Sonic Q and A. Sega. Archived from the original on 13 June 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!"
  27. Shiro Maekawa on Twitter (Japanese) (26 April 2018). Retrieved on 5 May 2018.

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