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Sonic News Network
Sonic News Network

The Hotaru[1][note 1] is an enemy that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a mass-produced, firefly-based Badnik model created by Dr. Robotnik.


The Hotaru is a firefly-type Badnik with a yellow and pink-colored head, small antennas and front legs. Their abdomens is mainly an electric light bulb with wires inside it while their thoraxes are thick and red.



In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Hotarus appear as enemies. They come in two types that depend on their Rounds.

In Stardust Speedway Zone 2, Hotarus fly around in pairs for a short while facing either left or right. When they detect the playable character however, they will straighten up and follow the playable character closely by locking themselves onto a stationary position, where they appear to be attached to a single spot on the screen. During this time, they charge their bulbs. After a while, they will then stop up and fire a downwards pillar of electricity, which can deal damage to the playable character. After performing this attack, they Hotarus will fly upwards and off the screen, never to be seen again. However, the player can destroy them with a Spin Jump before they make their escape. In the Bad Future or sometimes the Present timeframe of Stardust Speedway, these Badniks will be worn down from age, showing broken light bulbs. They also do not follow the player and their attacks cannot harm the playable character, being only capable of creating harmless flashes across the screen before they fly away.

In Metallic Madness Zone 3, there are three Hotarus that will appear in the room immediately before the boss fight with the Egg Spinner. When entering the small room before the boss arena, the player will be locked inside them with a Hotaru. This Hotaru attacks by shooting a beam of electricity downwards towards the ground. After that, it turns into a flashing orb of light and flies to another location in the room in a linear line. This kind of Hotaru can only be destroyed when its fires its beam or does not move. After destroying this Hotaru however, two more will appear to take its place, which the player has to destroy too. After destroying them too, the passage will be unblocked. These Hotarus are always present in this room, even in the Good Future for Zone which would ordinarily remove the enemies.

Like every Badnik in the game, Hotarus are powered by Little Planet flower seeds which will pop out of them when they are defeated.

Three Hotarus also appear during the game's ending cinematics. Here, they attack Sonic with their lasers, only for Sonic to jump up and destroy them with a midair Spin Attack.

Powers and abilities

Hotarus are capable of flight and can move at speeds rivalling Sonic's. With the aid of their bulbs, they can emit electrical lasers. In addition, they can disappear and take the form of glowing light balls that render them immune to attacks.


Hotarus firing on Sonic in the cinematic ending animation of Sonic the Hedgehog CD.

  • "Hotaru" (ホタル?) is the Japanese word for firefly.
  • Hotarus in Metallic Madness Zone 3 are the first notable enemies in the Sonic the Hedgehog video games that are required to be destroyed in order to pass through the room to proceed through the stage. This game mechanic is utilized much later in future games, where some groups of enemies have to be defeated in order to proceed through the stage (ie. open closed doors or sealed Cases).
  • Hotarus have some similarities to the Flasher Badniks from Mystic Cave Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, as sharing the same species being based of and both of them using the electricity.


Concept artwork



  1. While not listed in any instruction manuals, in-game source code from the Sonic Gems Collection version of Sonic the Hedgehog CD refers to this Badnik as "hotaru7" and "hotaru8"; the 7 or 8 designating which Round's version of the Badnik is being used.


  1. Flynn, Ian; Sega (8 December 2021). "Sonic CD". Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia. Dark Horse Books. p. 33. ISBN 978-1506719276. "Hotaru - They shoot lasers from above or create an energy chain in pairs."