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She's a high-spirited fashion designer who battles to promote her brand. Are the wings on her back part of her costume, or are they real? Only she knows the truth.


— Description, Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia[2]

Honey the Cat (ハニー・ザ・キャット[3] Hanī za Kyatto?) is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. She is an anthropomorphic cat and fashion designer[2] who competed in a fighting tournament for the Chaos Emeralds and the right to destroy the Death Egg II to promote her brand.[2]

Honey first appeared as an unimplemented character in Sonic the Fighters, but was later made a fully incorporated character in the 2012 port.

Concept and creation[]

Stf-honey-in-fv

Honey, from Fighting Vipers.

Honey was designed by Masahiro Sugiyama,[1] the character designer for both Sonic the Fighters and the game Fighting Vipers, the latter which uses the same engine that Sonic the Fighters was built on. According to an interview with Hiroshi Kataoka, director of Sonic the Fighters, Honey is based on the character of the same name from Fighting Vipers (Honey's name in English territories was "Candy"). Kataoka confirmed that since Sonic the Fighters was initially designed by simply placing Sonic characters in the Fighting Vipers engine, Honey was put in the game by her original designer as a test.[1]

Honey in Fighting Vipers has the same poses and look as Honey the Cat, even having a special attack called "Cat Punch" in her move set, along with several other cat-themed move names. These cat-themes may have been what inspired Sugiyama to make Honey a cat in Sonic the Fighters.

Appearance[]

Honey the Cat-charselect

Honey on the character select screen, from Sonic the Fighters (2012).

Honey is an anthropomorphic cat with close-lying light amber fur, a peach muzzle, and long black hair that she keeps in voluminous pigtails. She also has two triangular and perked ears with peach canals, a small black nose, large sharp black eyes, thin arms and legs, and a slim tail.

Honey's attire is very detailed. She wears a red hairband and elaborate white and laced cloth-like hair barrettes around her ponytails, alongside a red dress with poofy shoulders, black straps with silver buckles on the cuffs, a black collar, and white laces on the lower rim. She also has a pair of white angel wings on her back, although only Honey herself knows if they are real or not.[2] Her dress also has a black sash around the waist, and a black area on her front skirt with white fasteners. Additionally, she wears white gloves with red backs and laced cuffs, black arm wrappers around her wrists, and pointy red and black high-heeled boots.

History[]

Sonic the Fighters (2012)[]

In Sonic the Fighters (2012), Honey had been entrusted to safeguard one of the Chaos Emeralds to keep Dr. Robotnik from abusing it. Eventually though, Dr. Robotnik constructed the Death Egg II, which he used to deploy hordes of robots to lay the world to waste with. Soon after, Honey joined the fighting tournament held to decide which one among the Chaos Emerald guardians was the strongest, if only to promote her brand.[2] If Honey could defeat all the contestants, she would earn the right to use all the Chaos Emeralds for Tails' single seat Lunar Fox and travel to the Death Egg II and destroy it.

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.

Personality[]

Honey is a high-spirited fashion designer who is all about self-promotion,[2] having participated in a fighting tournament herself to promote her brand.

Powers and abilities[]

Honey has efficient skills in hand-to-hand combat, enough to let her fight on the same level as profound fighters like Sonic the Hedgehog and Knuckles the Echidna. Her fighting style involves a series punches and jabs combined with wind-up punches, a jumping uppercut, and a variety of high and fancy kicks.

Honey is very fast and agile. She can jump several meters into the air, kick opponents in a fluid bucking-like fashion, run up along walls, and swiftly circle around and strike opponents so fast that she appears as a blur. With the wings on back of her dress, she is also able to glide through midair like Knuckles. Honey also has the ability to harness the energy from the Chaos Emeralds to bolster her innate abilities, allowing her to enter Hyper Mode.

Transformations[]

Hyper Mode[]

Main article: Hyper Mode

A weaker variant of the super transformation. Honey is capable of using this mode for a brief time on her own by drawing power from the Chaos Emeralds. In Hyper Mode, Honey's speed and attack power are greatly increased at the expense of her defenses.

Sonic the Fighters[]

Although she was scrapped from the arcade version of Sonic the Fighters, Honey's data still exists in the game, which was discovered through hacking after the release of Sonic Gems Collection. Her in-game data is near complete, and she has a complete move set primarily based on Knuckles', allowing players to hack the game's data and play as Honey in normal gameplay, albeit with a few glitches. With her re-integration into the 2012 remaster of Sonic the Fighters on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 however, all her glitches and problems were fixed.

Character data[]

During the development of Sonic the Fighters, Honey's character data was based on Amy Rose's. This is displayed when playing as Honey in hacked gameplay, where when she is smashed by anything, her outfit will turn into Amy's for a few seconds. If smashed again, her outfit will return to normal. Also, while her squished head and hand models load fine, the rest of her body was not left in the game. This being a pretty good indicator of how far into development Honey was at the time. Additionally, her pre-fight stance is the same as Amy's, this being a curtsy before assuming her fighting position, while her victory pose is based on one of Tails'. This is corrected in the 2012 re-release, though her pre-fight stance and victory pose remain unchanged.

Another hacked gameplay video of Honey reveals a second victory pose for her, where she stands in a position that resembles Sonic's, only she does not make a peace sign with her fingers.[4] Additionally, the pose reveals another eye glitch; here, her eyes become completely white.

Eye glitch[]

In the hacked gameplay of the original arcade version of Sonic the Fighters, there is a glitch that causes one of Honey's eyes to look towards the player while the other looks at her opponent. There is no known method of fixing it properly, not even in recent emulators. However, the cutscene before entering Death Egg's Hangar after beating Metal Sonic seems to fix it.[5]

Loading Portrait[]

Honey loading screen 2012

Honey's loading portrait, from the 2012 remaster of Sonic the Fighters.

In the hacked gameplay of the original arcade version of Sonic the Fighters, Honey does not have any artwork for the pre-level scenes. Instead, it defaults to Dr. Eggman. This is fixed in the 2012 remaster where she is given her own loading portrait, though it only shows a white silhouette of Honey's fighting pose in the "cat paw" and bent leg stance.

Move set[]

In the hacked gameplay of the original arcade version of Sonic the Fighters, Honey possesses a complete move set, albeit with moves borrowed from other characters because Honey did not have a move set of her own when the game was released, so the programmers "borrowed" attacks from the other fighters to compensate. She has the same kicks and fighting stance as Sonic, though in the character select screen, the cutscene before fighting Eggman, when she executes a few moves, and the name entry screen, her stance is the same as her source character's. Some of Honey's punching type moves are from Tails, while her head clap move is from Bark.

In the 2012 remaster version the majority of Honey's moveset is copied from Knuckles with the exceptions of her running attacks and air punch attack, which are copied from Amy, and the lack of any of Knuckles' spin based moves. Some of these attacks are renamed to better fit her character, such as her version of the Knuckle Glider attack copied from Knuckles being named the Honey Glider, or her version of Amy's Hip Attack being named the Running Bootie Bop, which is also the name of a similar attack performed by her source character from Fighting Vipers. She also has some modified attributes compared to Knuckles. Her model is smaller, being more comparable to Tails and making her harder to hit at the cost of reducing her range. Her wall climb is slower than Knuckles' and her dodge followup attacks do not move her as far. Most notably, Honey's weight is extremely high, equaling that of Doctor Eggman, which greatly reduces the distance she travels when launched by attacks and affects what combos she is susceptible to.

Mirror fighter[]

The mirror fighter version of Honey is the opponent fought in the hacked gameplay of the original Sonic the Fighters when both players choose Honey. While the second player will normally be a grayscale version of the character, due to Eggman zapping them with a machine, Honey's mirror fighter has her own palette. This includes blonde hair, a blue dress and hairband, a white muzzle, and lilac fur. Mirror Honey has the same move set as the original Honey, and thus can be used in mirror matches. She is also the only mirror version character in the game to actually be colored. In the 2012 re-release of Sonic the Fighters, mirror fighter Honey serves as an alternate color for Honey.

Stf-fv-intro-shot

The mirror version of Honey, from the Sega Saturn version of Fighting Vipers.

The mirror fighter version of Honey also appeared in the short intro clip of the Sega Saturn version of Fighting Vipers, alongside a toy version of the regular Honey.

Relationships[]

Friends/allies[]

Enemies[]

In other media[]

Books and comics[]

Archie Comics[]

AStH Honey Profile

Honey the Cat, from Sonic the Hedgehog #268.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, Honey is the founder, CEO, and designer for Honey Brand Clothes and Accessories. During the Shattered World Crisis, she participated in the Chaos Emerald Championship to promote herself, going up against the likes of Sonic, some of the Freedom Fighters, Knuckles and the Hooligans.

Before her debut in the comics, Honey was only restricted to cameo appearances. Due to an exceedingly huge amount of fan requests, however, she was made an official character in the comics.

IDW Publishing[]

Amy's New Hobby[]
IDWHoney

Honey the Cat, from Sonic the Hedgehog Free Comic Book Day 2021.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing, Honey would appear outside of Amy's house and read one of her many comic stories that Tails showed to the entire village. While there, she noticed Amy acting distraught when Sonic took a look at her work.[6]

Amy's 30th Anniversary Special[]

Honey was one of the many people who got captured by Metal Sonic and imprisoned in a Capsule. However, she and everyone else were freed by Amy Rose, Bark the Polar Bear, and Ray the Flying Squirrel.[7]

Trivia[]

SonicTheFighters-honey-heart

Unused expression, from Sonic the Fighters.

  • To select Honey in the 2012 remaster of Sonic the Fighters, the player has to go to Amy's picture and press Start. Doing so unlocks both Honey as a playable character and the achievement, "Honey the Cat."
  • Honey's wings on her back are the ones on the rubber dress, or "fairy suit", that her Fighting Vipers counterpart made herself.
  • One of Honey's moves, which includes her head slide and hip attacks which she has borrowed from Amy, is similar to a move used by her source character called "Bootie Bop". She uses Honey's "horse kick" move too, although the other characters in Sonic the Fighters possess this attack as well.
  • The song "Sunset Town", which could be found in the original Sonic the Fighters data, Sonic the Fighters Sound Tracks, and Sonic Gems Collection would have presumably been played in Honey's stage.
  • Honey is the first cat-species character in Sonic the Hedgehog series, although due to Honey not originally making the cut in Sonic the Fighters, Big the Cat officially holds the title.
  • Overall, Honey is one of the only hackable characters in the series to appear after her unofficial debut. She appeared in Fighting Vipers and also made several cameos in the Archie Comics series before she made her official debut.
  • When Honey was originally discovered through hacking, her pigtails and cat tail were not seen due to an emulation glitch. This was fixed in newer emulators and the HD release, although her losing animation still has them.
  • Honey had no available information about her character, such as personality or background, due to her nature as a dropped character. When adapting her for the Archie comic book series, Ian Flynn took the information from the original Honey from Fighting Vipers. This personality and background ended up approved in the Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia, also written by Flynn.
  • According to Ian Flynn, using Honey apart from cameos is complicated due to the fact that she is an homage to the character from Fighting Vipers Candy.[8]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 ; Kemps, Heidi The Last Arcade Crusaders Sega-AM2 Interview. 1Up.com (31 March 2006). Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved on 12 February 2022. "Hiroshi Kataoka: I think Honey's character designer probably slipped her in there. He's actually the one responsible for the whole concept"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Flynn, Ian; Sega (8 December 2021). "Sonic Arcade Classics". Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia. Dark Horse Books. p. 20. ISBN 978-1506719276. "She's a high-spirited fashion designer who battles to promote her brand. Are the wings on her back part of her costume, or are they real? Only she knows the truth. Honey is an homage to the fighter Candy from Fighting Vipers, which was the spiritual forebear to Sonic the Fighters. She wasn't an available fighter until her data was restored for the digital rerelease on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2012. To choose her, highlight Amy and press Start."
  3. Vol.15 *ハニー・ザ・キャット* (Japanese). Sega. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved on 22 February 2019.
  4. Sonic the Fighters - Honey vs Bean. YouTube. Rob Krum (10 September 2011).
  5. Honey eye fix (png). Sonic CulT.
  6. Sonic the Hedgehog Free Comic Book Day 2021, "Amy's New Hobby"
  7. Sonic the Hedgehog: Amy's 30th Anniversary Special
  8. BumbleKast Mini! for April 24th, 2024 - Ian Flynn Q&A Podcast. YouTube. BumbleKing Videos (24 April 2024).

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