FriendBot, formerly known as FiendBot, is a character that appears in the Sonic Boom series. He is a robot created by Dr. Eggman to destroy Sonic the Hedgehog. However, he ended up joining Team Sonic after witnessing Sonic's heroism. FriendBot eventually took up the duty as the protector of the Cubot prototypes for a time, but later moved to Roboken.
Concept and creation
FriendBot was inspired by the titular character of the 1999 American animated film The Iron Giant, whom Alan Denton and Greg Hahn (the writers of FriendBot's debut episode) shared a common interest in and wanted to adapt for their own story about a giant gentle robot. There were also spirited debates about whether or not FriendBot would survive in his debut episode. To keep the episode child-friendly, it was decided to let FriendBot live.
FiendBot is a humanoid robot taller than the Mega and Obliterator Bot. He has a muscular torso with layered yellow and red plating (the latter of which resembles a vest) over a white frame, and has black shoulder rims with cup-shaped yellow shoulders. He also has red shoulder covers with spiked grey plates on top, black humerals, thick white forearms with retractable weapons, and large hands with three black fingers. He also has black legs with white armor around the upper halves and red armor around the lower halves, and possesses yellow and black feet with three black digits each. He has as well box-shaped white missile launchers on his back, a low-set black head with white plating around his non-existing mouth and neck, a brow ridge, and a long white fin with spikes on top of his head. The pupils of his cyan eyes switch between round and slit-like depending on his emotional state.
Created by Dr. Eggman to destroy Sonic the Hedgehog, FiendBot was programmed to predict Sonic's every move. When attacking Sonic during his testrun however, FiendBot noticed Sonic's heroism and deemed him a friend, so he defected from Eggman by driving him off and began following Sonic. Though FiendBot would get Sonic's friendship, he had a hard time convincing Team Sonic's other members. On a trip with the team though, FiendBot helped them stop an attack from Eggman's forces and even sacrificed himself to save Sonic. Repaired by Tails, FiendBot (now accepted by the team as "FriendBot") got his own Communicator and was made a part of Team Sonic. The team then gave him a home with the Cubot prototypes and the responsibility for the prototypes' well-being.
Eventually, FriendBot got infected by malware from Hypnobot, who compelled him to attack Hedgehog Village alongside other infected robots. During the onslaught, he engaged Amy and Sticks. Despite Amy having faith in him, FriendBot kept attacking both his friends and innocents. Once Hypnobot's control was broken though, FriendBot was freed and stopped fighting. While he helped his friends clean up after the attack however, he got taken over by Hypnobot again, who made him join his and Eggman's invasion of Morristown. What FriendBot did not notice however, was that Amy, Knuckles and Sticks hitched a ride on him to join Sonic and Tails in Morristown. Once in Morristown, FriendBot fought his friends and their allies. Though his friends fell back when Hypnobot began turning the robots in the city against them, FriendBot faced more opposition when they returned with Team Cybonic as support. After the heroes stopped the invasion and freed the robots Hynobot controlled, FriendBot chose to remain in Morristown (now renamed "Roboken") with the Cubot prototypes to live there, where he bid his team farewell when they left. When the Cubot prototypes returned to Seaside Island however, FriendBot would remain in Roboken.
A sentient Eggman robot, FriendBot initially started out as one of Eggman's typical killer robots: single-minded, merciless in battle and unquestioningly dedicated to his master's orders. Having been designed to destroy Sonic, FriendBot's purpose was his goal. After re-evaluating Sonic however, FriendBot realized Sonic's kindhearted nature and desired to become his friend. From then on, FriendBot would develop into a social, gentle and emotional robot, whose biggest interest was the companionship of friends, and would follow around those he wanted to befriend like a lost puppy.
FriendBot's desire for friendship brought about a change of morale in him. No longer looking for meaningless destruction, FriendBot now refuses to inflict harm on those undeserving of it. His sense of friendship also made him pick up on Sonic's heroism, which would inspire him to actively fight villains and help those in need. However, his original programming still resurfaces at times, as he will threaten those that pose a threat to his friends with extermination. Nevertheless, FriendBot would in the end become a heroic, caring and loyal robot who does not hesitate to stand up to his former master or his mechanical brethren and will lay down his life to protect his friends.
FriendBot speaks using a very robotic and computer-based speech pattern. While intelligent, he can be a little naive and interpret things very literally at times: when Knuckles joked about how he could destroy Sonic, FriendBot truly believed Knuckles wanted to kill Sonic.
Powers and abilities
FriendBot is easily one of Eggman's strongest robots, capable of taking down the Mega and Obliterator Bot separately on his own with relative ease. Possessing superhuman strength, FriendBot can overpower the Mega's punches and Sonic's spin attack using only a single arm, and can beat down and/or tear apart Eggman's largest robots by hand. He is similarly extremely durable, being able to tank both Sonic's spin attack and the strikes of the Mega and Obliterator Bot without flinching or receiving noticeable damage. He is also rather swift for his size and has great reflexes, as he can intercept Sonic's high-speed attacks with perfect timing. He is also capable of flight.
FriendBot has impressive hand-to-hand combat skills, being capable of outmatching larger robots in fistfights using a combination of combos, blocks and swings. Also, due to having been programmed to know everything about Sonic, FriendBot can predict Sonic's every move, allowing him to perfectly counter his attacks and exploit his vulnerabilities.
FriendBot wields a Communicator, a multifunctional and waterproof smartwatch-like device created by Tails. This device allows FriendBot wide-ranged radio communication between similar devices, and generate its own Enerbeam, an energy tether that can latch onto objects or form a makeshift whip/rope. It can also tell the time, interface with FriendBot's tech-based equipment for remote operation, and assume other powers. It even comes with its own tracking device.
Initially, FriendBot's only relation to Team Sonic was his mission to destroy Sonic. After befriending Sonic however, FriendBot began accompanying Team Sonic and adopting their way of life. Even so, Tails, Knuckles and Amy were highly skeptical about FriendBot's intentions and disliked him due to his background and uncomfortable size. However, FriendBot would convince the rest of Team Sonic of his nobility when he sacrificed himself to save Sonic. After getting repaired, FriendBot came to acknowledge Tails, Knuckles and Amy as his friends too, and was made an official part of Team Sonic. Also, after he assumed his new responsibility elsewhere, FriendBot departed from Team Sonic with a hug.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog is FriendBot's closest friend and role model. Although programmed to perceive Sonic as an enemy at first, FriendBot changed his mind upon witnessing Sonic's heroism. Perceiving Sonic as a friend now, FriendBot began following him around, hoping to befriend him, and made it his obligation to protect him. Although Sonic was uncomfortable about FriendBot's presence at first, FriendBot won Sonic over when the hedgehog realized he meant no harm. Sonic would in turn vouch for FriendBot when his team doubted the robot's intentions and provide him with a new name, befitting of his personality.
In the end, FriendBot's devotion to Sonic was so great that he would pick up on Sonic's heroism and join his side in the fight against Eggman, going as far as to sacrifice himself to save Sonic. After getting repaired and assigned a new duty by Sonic, FriendBot accepted it, as he had full faith in the choice Sonic had made for him.
Knuckles the Echidna
When they first met, Knuckles was highly doubtful about FriendBot's motivations. Also, though FriendBot did not hold anything against Knuckles, he did accidently try to kill him when he thought he wanted to kill Sonic. Nonetheless, FriendBot tried to get along with the suspicious echidna. Also, when the time came for battle, Knuckles became jealous of FriendBot's superior strength and blamed him for stealing his spot on Team Sonic. He also still called him by his original name, even after they renamed him. However, Knuckles' opinion drastically changed after seeing FriendBot sacrifice himself to save Sonic, and he quickly formed an emotional friendship with him after he was repaired.
Dr. Eggman was FriendBot's original master and was originally just another one of his robot soldiers. After realizing that Sonic, the one person Eggman wanted him to destroy, was not an enemy however, FriendBot would betray Eggman and drive him off by force to protect Sonic. Since then, FriendBot has taken up arms against Eggman and aids Team Sonic in their efforts to oppose the doctor.
- "De.. stroy? Potential threat to Sonic detected!"
- —FriendBot detecting a threat to Sonic, "FiendBot"
- —FriendBot shutting down after taking a laser blast meant for Sonic, "FiendBot"
- "Sonic's voice ninety-three percent more reassuring than usual. Trust mode activated."
- —FriendBot expressing his trust in Sonic, "FiendBot"
- Bill Freiberger on Twitter. Twitter (12 February 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. "Bill Freiberger: The actor who provides the voice of Friendbot is @WallyWingert"
- Denton, Alan; Hahn, Greg (11 February 2017). "FiendBot". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 66. Boomerang.
- Pontac, Ken; Graff, Warren (4 November 2017). "Return to Beyond the Valley of the Cubots". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 102. Boomerang.
- Alan Denton on Twitter. Twitter (12 February 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. "Alan Denton: THREAD: Hey everybody. Now that the latest #SonicBoom episode "FiendBot" has aired, here's some extra trivia (AKA #DentonsDetails) - 1/9 / ... / Alan Denton: Greg and I both were fans of The Iron Giant, and so were naturally drawn to a story about a huge gentle robot friend. 2/9"
- Alan Denton on Twitter. Twitter (12 February 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. "Alan Denton: THREAD: Hey everybody. Now that the latest #SonicBoom episode "FiendBot" has aired, here's some extra trivia (AKA #DentonsDetails) - 1/9 / ... / Alan Denton: There was a lot of back and forth in figuring out how FriendBot sacrifices itself & what happens after. In particular I remember… 7/9"
- Alan Denton on Twitter. Twitter (12 February 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. "Alan Denton: THREAD: Hey everybody. Now that the latest #SonicBoom episode "FiendBot" has aired, here's some extra trivia (AKA #DentonsDetails) - 1/9 / ... / Alan Denton: …a spirited debate in writers room on if FriendBot should live or die. Ultimately, we realized this is a kids show we're writing here. 8/9"
- Denton, Alan; Hahn, Greg; Freiberger, Bill (13 May 2017). "Robots From The Sky Part 2". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 79. Boomerang.
- Denton, Alan; Hahn, Greg; Freiberger, Bill (20 May 2017). "Robots From The Sky Part 3". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 80. Boomerang.
- Denton, Alan; Hahn, Greg; Freiberger, Bill (27 May 2017). "Robots From The Sky Part 4". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 81. Boomerang.
- Raut-Sieuzac, Natalys (4 March 2017). "Blackout". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 69. Boomerang.