For other uses of the term, see Grounder (disambiguation).

The Grounder[1] (ハンドリル[2] Handoriru?, lit. "Handrill") is a recurring enemy in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a mass-produced, mole-based Badnik model created by Dr. Eggman and the successor of the Burrobots in terms of design.


Being successors of Burrobots, the Grounders are similar in design, but more bulky. They have red and broad bodies with two continuous tracks for legs. On their head they have two gray bolts for eyes, a white antenna on the back, and a large drill bit for a nose. They also have a yellow neckline, a blue button on their bellies, round shoulders with the early Eggman Empire symbol on them, and slightly smaller drill pits for forearms.

Game appearances

Sonic the Hedgehog 2


Grounders made their first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, where they can be found in Aquatic Ruin Zone. In gameplay, they usually move back and forth on the ground or underwater while their drills are spinning. Though not dangerous on their own, Grounders are placed in very strategic places, such as at the top of paths above the player to block the way. They can also be hiding inside walls, only to suddenly emerge from them when the player passes them and hit them with a surprise attack. Regardless, the player can still easily destroy Grounders by with the Spin Attack or Spin Jump.

Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure

Grounder Pocket Adventure

In Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, the Grounders are featured at Aquatic Relix Zone. In this game, they have the exact same attack pattern as in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

Powers and abilities

Much like the Burrobots, the Grounders mainly attack by breaking through walls and launching surprise attacks. They use their drill bits to drill through the walls and hit their target.

In other media

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Strategy Guide

Purple and green Grounders are seen in the comics of the Japanese Sonic the Hedgehog 2 strategy guide, which loosely tell the original Japanese storyline of the game. Here, they are helping Eggman's search Chaos Emeralds, only to be quickly destroyed by Sonic.

Sonic the Hedgehog Yearbook 1992

Large variations of the Grounders appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog Yearbook 1992' story "Big Trouble". In this story, Sonic and Tails encountered a large Grounder as it bursted through a wall. The duo tried to damage it with the Spin Attack, only for it to bounce off of its shell harmlessly. Robotnik then announced to Sonic and Tails in his Eggmobile that this Grounder is the first of a new series of giant badniks whose size and strength would assure his conquest of Mobius where others had failed.

Tails wonders if they have to fall back, but Sonic refuses. With a little lateral thinking, Sonic and Tails climb to the top a column high above the Grounder. They then both leap down and hit the Grounder on the head with the Spin Attack, destroying it and releasing the three Animals that served as this Grounder's organic batteries.

Sonic the Comic

Grounder 37

Grounder in Sonic the Comic #37. Art by Richard Elson.

In Fleetway's Sonic the Comic, the Grounders were a part of Robotnik's badnik army. During his initial reign over Mobius, they were only utilised on one occasion: to help Robotnik break into Sonic's Secret Underground Base.

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog

AoStH Grounder

Grounder in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.

In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog television series, a green Grounder was one of the main antagonists of the show. He is one of the main henchmen of Doctor Ivo Robotnik, created as a part of the Super Special Sonic Search and Smash Squad whose purpose was to eliminate Sonic the Hedgehog and aid his creator in his various schemes. However, Grounder was incredibly stupid and gullible, and often ended up causing his team and Robotnik more trouble for Robotnik's plans when trying to stop Sonic.

This variation of Grounder also appeared in Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comics and as a minor character in Sonic in Sydney.

Archie Comics








  1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Mega Drive) United States instruction booklet, p. 13.
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, p. 48.

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