Sonic the Hedgehog
"Heads or Tails" is the thirteenth and final episode of the first season of the Sonic the Hedgehog television series, and as well the series' pilot episode. Despite being produced as the first episode of the show, it originally aired on 11 December 1993 as the final episode of the show's first season.
- Buzz-Bomber (multiple) (Only appearance)
- Bomber-One (Only appearance)
- Dr. Robotnik
- Knothole Freedom Fighters
- Muttski (Only appearance)
- Sir Charles Hedgehog (Cameo)
- Swat-Bot (multiple)
- Hover Unit (multiple)
- Roboticization (Mentioned)
A sleek black airship descends through the clouds of the planet Mobius. Dr. Robotnik, the planet's absolute ruler, is returning home to Robotropolis, a sprawling cityscape choked with the smoke of innumerable factories. Robotnik strokes his robotic bird, Cluck, saying "I do miss the beauty of this place when I'm away." Their ship settles on the landing platform on one of the tallest buildings where Robotnik's toady Snnively is waiting to greet them. However, Robotnik just tells Snively to shut up. On the way to the front entrance, Cluck begin to squawk at Snively, who in retaliation presses the button on a remote that makes one of Cluck's robotic eyes pop out of its socket. However, Snively quickly shoves Chluck's eye back in place before Dr. Robotnik looks at Cluck and tightens his head in concern. Robotnik proceeds to walk through the gate to his base, which is watched by two Swat-Bots. When Snively tries to enter the door however, it closes on him and he bumps into it, causing the two Swat-Bots chuckle at his misfortune. However, Snively silences them after threatening the Swat-Bots with his remote.
In the control room, Dr. Robotnik asked Snively if there has been any hint of his nemesis, Sonic the Hedgehog. However, Snively is too cowardly to admit that there has been none, and stammers for a while until an emergency appears on monitor 10. Scanners have detected one of Sonic's group of Freedom Fighters: Snively recognizes him as the young Tails, usually accompanied by Sonic. Robotnik thus orders Snively to capture him. "Perhaps his cries will flush out the hedgehog!"
Back in the forest, Tails is picking flowers for Princess Sally. Upon sniffing the flowers however, Tails suddenly sneezes, causing him to fall into a tree and roll onto his head. As he recovers, he notices the Buzz-Bomber model Bomber-One coming to catch him, prompting Tails to start flying away. Not far from there, Rotor is looking through his backpack, searching for nutritious fish. Suddenly, Sonic runs up to him and starts showing off his guitar skills to impress Sally. However, Rotor says that Sally will not like it. He says that Sally would prefer a softer song, like a ballad, but Sonic cannot stand ballads. Their discussion is then interrupted by Buzz-Bomber sounds and Tails' cries for help. Sonic speeds to the rescue, and Dr. Robotnik is watching the chase from his base with Cluck. Back in the forest, Sonic manages to catch Tails and save him from Bomber-One's shot, which hits a rock and bounces back, causing Bomber-One to get hit by its own laser and crash-land into the ground, leaving its stinger to fall off. Sonic is then stopped by Rotor, and the heroes turn their attention to a mechanical, flying eye that have been monitoring the heroes' battle. Sonic and Rotor uses the opportunity to insult Dr. Robotnik, but Tails simply waves and says "Hi mom!" Before they go, Robotnik swears that he will have both Sonic and the Power Rings in the palm of his hand before the day is through. However, this does not impress the heroes.
Soon afterwards, Sonic takes Tails and Rotor to the secret entrance to their home at Knothole Village, but Rotor feels decidedly queasy from the fast trip. Tails asks excitedly to ride the slide entrance with Sonic. Sonic initially denies Tails permission, but then admits he was kidding and takes Tails with him. Sonic then opens the slide, which is hidden in the trunk of a tree. He then then dives straight into the slide along with Tails and they both slide through the twisting slide that takes them into Knothole and drops them in a haystack. Moments later. Rotor follows them through the slide, landing on top of them and destroying the stack.
Some time later, Rotor, Sally, Bunnie and Antoine Depardieu have assembled in a clearing in Knothole Village to repair some catapults. Bunnie, a cyborg, is busy with the heavy lifting and is irritated by Antoine's habit of "supervising" while doing no work of his own. Antoine also flirts with Sally, who rebuffs his advances, who uses a computer to deduce why the throwing arms of the catapults keep breaking. As she comes up with the answer, Rotor guesses that this is due to the fact that the cotter pins are made of wood instead of metal, and are thus not able to withstand the additional loads. Just then, Sonic appears, who runs past Antoine, causing him to spin around. After a frustrating conversation with Sonic, Sally explains to Sonic the problem with the catapults and that they need metal cotter pins. Sonic thus takes Rotor with him to get a Power Ring. Sonic, Tails and Rotor later find themselves at the Lake of Rings, waiting for a Power Ring to emerge. Just as a Power Ring appears, Rotor holds out Tails, who grabs the Power Ring and puts it in Sonic's backpack. As Tails ask Sonic why he is the only one who can use the Power Rings, the blue hedgehog explains that the reason why only he can use the Power Rings is because his Uncle Chuck designed them specifically for him to fight "dorks like Robotnik".
While Sonic waits to get an example cotter pin from Rotor, Tails decided to go to the "big city" of Robotropolis. On the way, he flies into a tree. Getting upset, Tails begins to fight the tree. Eventually, Sonic catches up to Tails and hears what he is up to. Sonic explains that Robotropolis is too dangerous for a kid like Tails: it is swarming with Swat-Bots, which are just waiting for the opportunity to roboticize their next victim. Tails, however, convinces Sonic to let him stay with him by saying that it is a long way back to Knothole and that he could be caught by Buzz-Bombers on the way. Sonic thus decided to take Tails to Robotropolis, provided that the fox stays hidden in his backpack and guards the Power Ring.
Soon after, the heroes find themselves in Robotropolis, where they hide in one of the chests and avoid being detected by Swat-Bots. As Tails discovers that the big city smells funny, Sonic explains that it is because of the pollution Robotnik is producing. While they sneak around, however, Tails sneezes, catching the Swat-Bots' attention. However, Sonic saves them by escaping into a pipe with Tails. After traveling through the pipe, Sonic and Tails both end up in a scrap yard, where Sonic finds the metal cotter pins in a pile of debris. In the meantime, Tails notices from a distance a line of robotic workers who are going into a factory. Sonic explains to him that those robots were once people, but had since been turned into Worker Bots by Robotnik and his Robo Machine. This makes Tails ask Sonic if Uncle Chuck is among them.Sonic does not notice him, however, and admits that he misses both him and his old dog Muttski as he shows his family photo to Tails upon his request. In the following moment, Tails notices a mean-looking mechanical dog passing by. Sonic, however, recognizes him as Muttski. Convinced that Muttski will not attack him since he is his best bud, Sonic calls out to him. Muttski, however, pounces on Sonic and managed to snap a bite of Sonic's fur before the hedgehog retreats to a safe position in time. Disappointed at Muttski since he had put him through four years of obedience school, Sonic begins to admonish his dog and give him commands. Suddenly, Muttski begins responding Sonic's commands - his eyes turn from red to white and he sits, and starts wagging his tail. Sonic approachs him and begin to stroke him. He then promises Muttski to turn him back to normal by passing him back through Robotnik's Robo Machine. Unfortunately, Muttski's old personality does not stay long, and he quickly turns back to a savage, red-eyed guard dog. He then begins to spit pieces of metal at Sonic which he chomps off nearby metal column. Sonic decides to run away instead of fighting his friend, but promises him that they will be back together some day.
After escaping Mettski, Sonic gets chased by Hover Units. Sonic escapes to the roof of a building, only to find Swat-Bots waiting for him. Feeling confident, Sonic gets bored waiting for them to come at him. After a while, he uses a Super Spin to break through the Swat-Bots before escaping through the ventilation shaft. While passing through the dark shafts however, Sonic and Tails fall down a vertical shaft. It turned out that the shaft leads to Robotnik's control room. There, the doctor discuss his latest plan to locate Knothole Village and eradicate the Freedom Fighters to his forces: The doctor has prepared several special tanks with chemicals he has invented that his Buzz-Bombers will disperse over the Great Forest, which will instantly kill all the trees, thus exposing the location of Knothole Village. Snively himself is to be responsible for the Buzz-Bombers. Robotnik has also prepared a special projectile called the "Hedgehog Missile", which is designed to follow Sonic only, in case Sonic should interfere. Fromt inside the ventilation haft, Sonic listens to the doctor's plan, but Tails interrupts him with a powerful sneeze. This sneeze causes Sonic and his friend to fall out of the ventilation shaft and down in front of Robotnik. With Sonic caught by a Swat-Bot, Robotnik intends to end the hedgehog's heroic career. Sonic, however, insists that he sill has a lot to do, and Sonic promptly breaks free from the Swat-Bot holding him and escapes through the ventilation shaft to the outside. On the roof of one of the buildings, Swat-Bots, Hover Units and Dr. Robotnik surround him. In response, Sonic has Tails give him the Power Ring. Thanks to the Power Ring, Sonic receives a great boost in speed and power which he uses to defeat all nearby enemies. Then, along with Tails, he escapes from Robotropolis, driving Robotnik into a rage.
Back in Knothole Village, the night has fallen. Inside one of the tree houses, Sally is worried about Sonic and Tails, but a sleepy Bunnie assures her that everything will be fine. Sally then begins to wonder if Sonic is putting on his childish attitude on purpose just to upset her, but Bunnie reassures her that it is just Sonic's way of being himself. A moment later, Sonic returns to Knothole in the wake of a sonic boom. Gathering the inhabitants in Knothole Village, Sonic warns everybody about Robotnik's plan. Luckily Sally has a plan of her own.
The next day, Snively sends the Buzz-Bombers, led by Bomber-One, to destroy the Great Forest with the chemicals. However, the Freedom Fighters are already waiting with their catapults. Tails watches through a pair of binoculars as the Buzz-Bombers approach, but he does not notify them of the Buzz-Bombers due to his childishness. Meanwhile, Sally explains to Sonic that the catapults have been enhanced by Rotor thanks to the new cotter pins, but their range is still limited: the Buzz-Bombers have to get close enough to the catapults for Sally's plan to work. Sonic then remembers then that he can lure the Buzz-Bombers into the catapults' range because they hate him. Using one of the catapults fired by Sally, Sonic shoots himself towards the incoming Buzz-Bombers. As he approaches Bomber-One, Sonic throws two water balloons at Bomber-One, temporarily short-circuiting it. Seeing this, Robotnik orders Snively to destroy Sonic immediately. In response, Bomber-One fires the Hedgehog Missile, which begins to follow Sonic. Running a safe distance away from it, Sonic climbs onto the Hedgehog Missile as it passes him. While on the back of the Hedgehog Missile, Sonic whistles to get its attention before jumping onto the back of a Buzz-Bomber. The Hedgehog Missile promptly flies towards Sonic, but instead of hitting Sonic (who jumps away in the last second), it hits the Buzz Bombers carrying Robotnik's defoliating chemical tanks, which falls to the ground without exploding. Sonic then catches the attention of Bomber-One and the other Buzz-Bombers. As Sonic lures the Buzz-Bombers into the catapults' range, the Freedom Fighters pelt their opponents with water balloons, effectively short-circuiting the Buzz-Bombers and eliminating many of them from the fight. Meanwhile, Bomber-One chases Tails, ready skewer Tails with its stinger, but it too ends up getting pelted by water balloons, leaving it to crash into a tree. Robotnik orders the Buzz-Bombers to continue to attack, but they had had enough and retreat despite their orders. Frustrated, Robotnik decides to unload his anger on Snivel.
Back in the Great Forest, the Freedom Fighters celebrate their victory, and Sally congratulates Sonic. Both of them then take a walk through the woods. This leads to a playful argument between Sonic and Sally where Sonic asks Sally if she remembers how great he was during the past days.
This episode introduces all the main characters of the series, as well as several of its main themes including:
- The Freedom Fighters' opposition to Robotnik
- Robotnik's capacity of roboticizing his enemies
- Sonic's mission to de-roboticize Uncle Chuck and Muttski
- Robotnik's obsession with defeating Sonic, locating Knothole, and capturing Princess Sally
- Sonic and Antoine's various separate attempts to impress Sally and win her hand, and their ensuing rivalry
- Sally's confused feelings for Sonic
Title in other languages
- As "Heads or Tails" is the pilot episode of the Sonic the Hedgehog television series, it is slightly inconsistent with other completed episodes. The designs of various characters were finalized after production of the episode, most notably Princess Sally, who is depicted with pink fur and black hair this episode. Some characterization is also different. For example, in this episode the Swat-Bots are seen laughing when Snively walks into a closed door. In other episodes, they are depicted as emotionless drones. Also, Sally insists that she not be called a princess, saying that the only royalty in the woods is "Mother Nature". This was also changed in subsequent episodes. The voice cast is also slightly different in this episode. Also, Tails' shoes are not their usual design. Instead, they are like Sonic's with an inverted color scheme: white, with a red stripe down the middle and red socks.
- When Sonic practices playing a rock song on guitar in order to impress Sally, he says he "hit the old Axl Rose pose right on the downbeat". Axl Rose is the frontman of rock band Guns N' Roses.
- This episode uses several audio tracks from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
- The script of the episode was included as a bonus feature in the Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Series DVD boxset.